Saturday, April 30, 2011

My favorite thing about spring

By far, my favorite thing about spring is the flowering trees. They don't last a long time, but they really are beautiful. In a way, they seem to distract your eye from the patchy grass, the muddy ground, the tips of flowers that are just starting to grow, and the bare branches of trees that still don't have leaves.
And then once the delicate pink and white flowers are gone from the trees, the world seems to suddenly turn green and lush!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yes, it is still raining

Forecasters are saying this could be one of the wettest Aprils on record in our area. It certainly feels like it has been raining every day this month. With all this wet weather, I discovered that I have three raincoats - 4 if you count that the one I have on in this photo is reversible!Now all I need is come cute rainboots like Grace has. I think I might put them on my shopping list!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweet treats

Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris sent Grace some Easter treats. One was an enormous container of flavored popcorn. We took some of it in bags to see "Hop" at the movies on Friday night and I think Grace is going to share the rest with her friends at school. (Otherwise, Mommy is going to eat too much of it if we keep here at the house!)They also sent a cookie decorating kit. It was another rainy, cool day on Sunday, so we spent some time on Easter morning...

...getting messy,...pretending to be a bunny,and having fun with sugary icing, colored sugar,
and little candies to make these gorgeous cookies!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

You KNOW I had to buy these

For E.B. - the Easter Bunny, of course!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter egg "dash"

The weather forecast was "iffy" this morning after another night of rain and high winds. But when we woke up this morning it was noticeably warmer and all that was left of the April showers were puddles on our deck. So, after Grace tested out her new rainboots we gathered our Easter bunny basket to meet Kellie and Dawson for a new adventure.

I can't really call what we did an Easter egg hunt since the eggs were spread out on the lawn in front of the manor house at Stan Hywet Hall. When the whistle blew, the kids dashed out to gather as many eggs as possible. There was no "hunting" going on! The event was wonderfully organized with the children divided into age groups, costumed nursery rhyme characters walking around handing out small trinkets, the Easter Bunny available for pictures, snacks, and outdoor games (jump rope, frisbee, hula hoop, etc.). There were a lot of people, but we never felt crowded or rushed.
Grace and Dawson telling Little Miss Muffet
that she had a spider on her hat!
Align Center
Practicing her jump rope skills.
Sitting on a bench to open their treasures.
While walking the grounds, we discovered a huge lawn chess set. Grace and Dawson had so much fun lifting and moving the pieces. Their giggles were just delightful!
Teamwork!Come on, girls! Let's get some lunch!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April showers bring....

Grace's flowers!
Tonight was the summer camp open house at Grace's school. We didn't stay because it is already a LONG day for us, but she got her face painted and took some cheese, crackers, strawberries, and banana bread to go!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colored eggs, three ways

This year, we tried some new ways to decorate our Easter eggs. One of them was an idea I saw in a magazine to use crayons on warm hard-boiled eggs. Since the eggs are warm the crayons melt and create really bight, colorful designs. The trick was holding the eggs since they were pretty hot. Wearing mittens seemed to be the best solution!Then I used a kitchen grater to "shave" some crayons and we sprinkled this on the warm eggs. The effect was pretty different!By the time we were done with our crayon eggs the others had cooled so we tried some Q-Tips that had egg dye in them. You break one end and watch the color fill the other end of the cotton swab. Then you paint with them like with a paint brush. I was surprised at how well this worked with minimal mess.And, then we made the traditional dye-vinegar mixture and dunked our eggs to get a variety of rainbow colors. Grace made funny faces when we were adding the vinegar. I guess she didn't like the smell! There were a lot of giggles and messy hands, but we had a lot of fun!I guess I am going to be eating a lot of eggs this week. Good thing I like them!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boot Scoot bike

For some reason, Grace has been reluctant to try the really cool Schwinn bike Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chris bought her for her birthday last year. We can't figure it out, but it seems like she is having trouble with the pedals. Kyle thinks it might be because it is her first experience with a bike with brakes since the pedals on her tricycle turn both ways. So a couple of weeks ago when I saw the Boot Scoot bike on an online shopping site, I decided to get one for her. These types of "coasting" or "running" bikes don't have pedals. People who have used them say kids learn to balance on a 2-wheel bike much faster without training wheels and then jump to a "normal" bike much faster. My hope is that she will learn to balance on this bike and then we will take the training wheels off her Schwinn and she will be pedaling along by the end of the summer!
It arrived last night and, as you can see from the photos, Grace liked it right away. She jumped on and after a little demonstration of what to do, she was able to scoot along the sidewalk in Kyle's neighborhood.She balanced a little - for a second here and there - but is nowhere near coasting. For her first time, I think she did great! And she was very proud to tell the 9-year old boys playing next door that it was her new blue bike (she chose the color) that has no pedals!

Look, Ma! No feet!
Grace enjoyed it so much, right after dinner we went back out to ride again. First, Kyle showed her how to put air in the tires. And then she did 4 loops of the block. With us watching from behind and eventually from the driveway when Miss Independence wanted to try it alone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roller girl

Kyle's parents bought beginner roller skates for Grace for Christmas. This weekend she got the chance to try them outside for the first time. They are designed to fit over her shoes and have different "levels" to go from walking to sliding forward only and then, finally, the wheels can go forward and backward. We had her in the second level but she didn't get the idea of sliding her foot instead of walking. We'll get there. She seemed to have fun so I think she will want to try it again soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just perfect

The weather on Sunday was perfect. People were out everywhere working in their yards, biking, running on the trails, walking dogs, playing in the park, and eating on the restaurant patios that have been neglected all winter. As Kyle said, "This is the weather we have been waiting for since November!"Open windows and a visit to the park were part of our Sunday afternoon.