Thankfully, Chris is an amazingly great dad who doesn't mind giving up most of his day off to the whims of a 12-year-old girl. Today, her first request was that the three of us play Monopoly, which was a birthday present from her Grandma. She very specifically wanted the classic edition, which was certainly a relief to me - no electronic banking to figure out, and the rules were mostly just as I remembered.
usury (which allowed us to learn a new vocabulary word, in addition to all our it-doesn't-even-seem-like-math math fun!) and Sarah and I started colluding to stay afloat. By colluding, I mean things like Sarah gave me $17. Just because I'm nice. I ended up with Park Place and Boardwalk (with houses), Sarah had all 4 railroads, the yellows and the reds, and Chris had... everything else. I mean everything. We left no property unpurchased!
And when Chris put 3 houses on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Sarah landed on, I basically bought him off by giving him all I had left, bequeathing my properties to Sarah, and allowing the two of them to continue the game.
Best trade, though, was when Chris (in a moment of generosity, as we were talking about Christian charity), told Sarah he'd give her $100 for a kiss on the cheek. She did. I was, at that point, just about broke, but I offered her $1 for a hug and kiss, and she kindly accepted.
This was a two-hour game, and we finally ended with another deal: Sarah would be declared the winner IF she let Chris pick two stories of his choosing to read at bedtime. Win-win!
It thundered and poured very briefly during our game, but it quickly dried out, and we left to run errands. Among our stops was the library, where Sarah was slightly dismayed by the lack of books on either the Titanic or the kingfisher bird family, but we found what we could.
Driving home, Sarah had a wonderful idea: "Let's take the dog to the golf course!" We are blessed to live almost adjacent to a former golf course, eventually to be the site of a local hospital, but for now home to a wonderful mix of wildlife and walking trails provided by the former golf-cart paths, open to the public each day from dawn to dusk.
Sarah was SO nice to the dog. He's a little on the older side (he'll turn 10 this year), and he wasn't exactly a speed demon. But Sarah encouraged him, telling him what a good job he was doing keeping up, and calling him a nice boy. She even asked Chris to "help" Coby climb up on the rocks with her here, and praised him like crazy for "almost making it on his own."