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Waxing Crescent Moon
Foothill Park

Jasper was not with us today.
Jackie Frost was covering so many places today yet Grandpa Sun shone warm and bright. Where ever he went Jackie Frost had to flee so, we followed the Sun often and kept warm and comfortable.  But, where ever the cold was ice crystals and Fairy like images were all around.
In the bus we settled in and on the ride to Foothill Park Bosch was his usual fun and peaceful self which the children would be brought into peels of laughter.
I had two main intentions, to see if we could find our apple/bird seed Bird gifts that we made right before holiday and to stay warm. I thought it was to be FREEEZING on this day!!! so I wanted to make sure that they moved alot.  We found a warm spot to park the bus and sit in the sun for circle.  However, this did not happen, which is most often just PERFECT!! and following the “will of the day.”   With that said, as I was getting things out of the bus and helping Eric go pee, Bosch and serveral of the children ran up the hill right in front of us where many Deer paths were covering the hillside.
Eric, when ready, ran up there.  They all were going up higher and higher and higher.
Hailey, Anissa and Emme were with me down at the bus.  Emme and Hailey finally decided to go up but Anissa wanted to stay down below.  She sat on a rock and watched us go up.  But everyone was going up and up and up and up and it was becoming to far away so, I came back down, and she and I walked back up this very big hill together. At a hard part I gave her my scarf, she held on to that and I pulled her, just a bit to help, up the hill.
When we were up there they were all ready for snack so I brought that up.  There we sat in the warm sun looking down on the huge meadow.  We sang our new songs and then sat quietly as the deer that we saw earlier began to meander into our sight.  How beautiful!
A game of find the mittens, that the children were wearing, came about.  I would hide the mittens and some of the children, Emme, Erick, Aurora, Natalie and Hailey, went searching for them.  I then created a game where I put something in one of my hands, put them behind my back, sang a little song, and then they had to guess what hand I had the object in.  Anissa really liked this game.
Dahlia and Nareya discovered that slipping down the hill was really fun so they did that. Later Eric, Natalie and Emme followed them and then they all climbed back up the big hill.
As we began to eat our lunch in the beautiful Sun a Ranger came a long and said that we could not be up there so we needed to pack up and create a new adventure for ourselves.
Down we went and at the bottom we discovered that the Oak tree’s acorn caps were pink inside!!! When Bosch showed this to me I thought that he had tricked me and just colored them with something. But, HE DID NOT!!!  All the acorn caps were colored with a beautiful pink hue inside each and every one of them.
Dahlia and Nareya thought that they had to poop so I brought out my shovel.  Emme REALLY wanted to help dig the hole. Dahlia let her.   We dug holes, they squatted but alas, no poop came.
The children wound up going further down the road under another great Oak tree and eventually we made it to the Redwood Grove where had made our apple nest gifts to give to the birds before holiday.  But oh yes, on our way there, we were all, accept Bosch, Eric and Natalie, tracking Bosch’s foot prints in the icy grass.   We then made our own tracks.  When we got there, oh no, where was Natalie????  Well, there was something quite interesting next to Bosch. At first I just heard sounds but then, could it be? Could it BEEEE???? YES! it was Natalie!!!
From there some of us really looked for the nests and what did we find?  STRING!  and no apples with bird seed in them.  The string Eric found was very intersting too because the apple was gone and the string was wrapped up and around the branch. We had many guesses of what might have happened. One guess: “Was it a squirrel that pulled the apple up and ate it on top of the branch and that was why the string was wrapped up wards?”  What do YOU think?
After this there was a lot of exploring with the frozen plants, the big rocks that were fun to climb on and, one of my favorite parts of the day was, making tracking pictures in the dirt with our fingers and sticks.   Eric drew pictures of the Deer trails,  Bosch and I drew Deer, Cat and Bird tracks.  I began to make up a story showing pictures of the deer trails and where the deer was going to the pond and then leaving and going to it’s Deer Lay and on and on ( showing them how come there are so many Deer trails traversing the Mountain sides.)  All were there accept Nareya and Dahlia who were playing on the rocks across the way from us. Bosch left after a bit and went over with them.
But then, we had to make our way back to the bus so off we went. On the way out there were many more deer to view and wave good by to.

Waning Crescent Moon
Foothill Park: Back side

It was a gloriously gray and sometimes blue skied day.  We were only sprinkled on a very little bit  though prepared for much more rain. It only came as we drove away to go home and then it came down in buckets!!!
We took them to a wonder filled place at the very back side of Foothills park. There is a row of Redwood Trees. Inside they are all like houses and are grand for when it rains.   Some knew that we were going to make gifts for the birds but first, eating snack, singing songs and hearing a story about how Robin got It’s Red Breast.  This led us into giving gifts to the birds because in the story Robin and another bird and a tree were given gifts, right about this time of year, for their wonderful assistance to a very little child.
Half the children stayed with me to make these gifts: apples cut in half, string put through both sides as a handle, middle scooped out and bird seeds put in the middle.  After the children put their bird seeds in then they went to hang them up somewhere.  All the children went on their own, well accept Natalie aided them all, to hang up their apple nests. And, they hung them up BEAUTIFULLY!  The ones with me were Natalie, Anissa, Hailey, Emme  and Jasper.  The others, initiated by Aurora, went to go “touch” a deer.  When we drove in there were three male deer with many prongs on their antlers.  Aurora, who wanted us to call her Tara all day, Nareya, Dahlia, after making a nest Emme, and Eric all went with Bosch on their Deer adventure.  We saw then go towards the deer but then they veered off and went off trail and up the hill.  After awhile we heard them and they came scampering down delighted and ready to eat their lunch and make their nests.
Once everyone was down and fed we played hiding games, stalking games, playing with the orange cones that were in the parking areas and making music out of them.  We took the long beams out of the cones and used them for jumping over.  There were several bathroom times, and chasing each other times.  Tara AKA Aurora wound up having half of us stalking her and then this turned into tag, at least by Emme.  Dahlia and Nareya were making mud pies or something like that on the boulders we were near.
On the way back they loved playing their, “wake up Bosch game” only this time they had to guess what he was dreaming by the movements he was making while he was “asleep.”  And, when we got there, as you know, it was POURING  rain and we rushed them out to you as best we could.
A fun day before the Thanksgiving Holiday. And oh yes, their end of the day Thank you’s were filled with gratitude, smiles and joy.

Waxing Crescent Moon
Foothill Park- The Big Meadow

Emme and Hailey were home sick today.   The sun was shinning and the day was, in the Sun, very, very warm.  Even away from the Sun it was just slightly cool.   The bus ride was sweet and when we got there they gaily jumped out to play and run about.  Half of them went to the bathroom with me and the other half stayed with Bosch under the grand tree where we eventually had circle.
We sang our new songs and had our Squirrel story from last week.  They are responding so well to this because straight away they were looking for holes in the ground where squirrels might have buried their nuts and looking up in the trees for Squirrels nests.   I saw a butterfly and they stared with great focus where I pointed to in order to find it.
We then walked down the big open lawn space to get to the meadow with scat discoveries, bird sightings and a pond to check out.
We set up our things under the traditional tree camp and carried on with play, eating and exploring.
Eric, Dahlia, Nareya and Natalie went far off down the meadow and up into the the Pine trees. There they played. Eric began rolling down the hill, Natalie went away and I became a bird behind a tree.  She happily found me by the call I was making and then the others came to.  We scattered from there.  The others were playing with Bosch as he was up in the tree letting leaves gently fall down from the tree. Just the way the song we have been singing spoke about!
I brought out a big bag of some of the acorns that we have harvested.  We got rocks from the water near us and used those for pounding.  Jasper, Eric, Natalie and Anissa were very happy pounding with Bosch.  I cut some Cattails down for fishing poles. Aurora was having a grand time climbing through bramble to get closer to the water. Dahlia, Natalie and Naraya were playing near the water spot and they all finally took off their shoes to either play in the water or on the grass.
Each interest lasted about 20 minutes and then moved on to the next.
I began to crawl with Dahlia along the ground looking for ducks further away. I thought I heard a frog so we were looking for them too.   All of them wound up crawling or following us. Then a game of, put them on our feet while we were lying down and bounching them up and down happened with Bosch and I bouncing and bouncing them up and down. However, his long legs and high lift was THE HIT OF THE DAY!!!
After this there was more eating and then playing with BOTH of our hair.  They made our hair all special for a very long time to “get ready for the wedding.”  I began to bury myself under leaves and then Eric, Aurora and Dahlia really wanted to be buried.  At first Annisa kept taking the leaves off but then she, like Natalie and all the others became Squirrels and they were taking the leaves in their mouths like Squirrels and giving them to us to bury.  And on and on all of this and the day went until it was time to find our way back to the bus.
It was a full, yet also relaxing and very playful, enjoyable day.