Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thank you, E.B.

As is so often the case, we will be traveling tomorrow on Easter.  This seems to be how it goes when you work in education and have to take your vacations when school is not in session.  We try to take a trip - sometimes to visit family - whenever we can.  So like on Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will not be at home tomorrow for the Easter Bunny to come to our house.  No worries...he came early and dropped off a basket of goodies for Grace this morning.  What is cute, is that when she saw him today, she thanked him for the basket and gave him a big hug.  I think he was surprised!
It has become a little tradition of ours to attend the Easter Egg Hunt at Stan Hywet.  It is a well-organized event but it is ALWAYS TOO COLD!  Not their fault, of course.  This is Ohio and Easter comes at the end of March or early April when the weather here is never a sure thing.  It was very sunny today but chilly in the morning which meant warm coats and gloves!

The grounds at Stan Hywet are beautiful - even now when the flowers and trees are not in bloom yet.  In the summer and fall they are gorgeous to visit with everything full of seasonal color.  It must have been an amazing place back in the years when the Seiberling family lived there.

We didn't walk around too much today.  We were all hungry for lunch and decided to head back to pack for our trip to Florida tomorrow.  We are hoping for some warm temperatures to go with the sunshine.  And maybe by the time we get back spring will have finally arrived in Ohio.  Then we will be able to say goodbye to our winter coats for a while!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter colors

We colored our Easter eggs this afternoon.  They turned out very bright and then we used markers and rubber stamps to decorate them.

When we were done, Grace asked if she could crack one open.  Then she peeled it and discovered that she likes to eat hard-boiled eggs!  Not the yolk, though...just the white part.  What is that part called, anyway?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The groundhog was wrong

This week, there have been a lot of jokes on the news and social media about the groundhog wrongly predicting an early spring.  In Ohio, spring has not arrived.  There are hints of spring in the birds chirping in the morning, daffodil bulbs sprouting above the earth, and buds on the trees.  But the layer of ice on the lake and the thermometer indicate that winter is still holding on.  I actually thought that Grace might need to wear snowpants and boots to her class Easter egg hunt today!  But, luckily, the snow melted and the sun came out in time for the kids to have a great time running around the park and playground.
A parent of one of the girls in Grace's kindergarten class organized the entire event.  She sent invitations and had 400-500 eggs, treat bags, juice boxes, prizes, and homemade "egg" pinatas. I asked if I could bring anything, but she said she had it all handled, and she really did!  It was a great idea and a fun way to get the children together on the first day of their "spring" break.
Ten of the 26 students in Grace's class attended.  From left to right they are:  Christina, Ariel, Grace, Mckenna, Vasilia, Kylie, Charlie (girl), Logan, Carson, and Zachary.  Today, she says her favorite friends are Carson and Zachary.  But I only saw her play with the girls!
Getting reading to search for the eggs!

And off they go!

The eggs were all over the field.  Hundreds of them.  Every child got more than 40 eggs.  They were overflowing in Grace's bag so she came to give me some to put in my pockets so she could go get more!

Grace made me laugh how she was so selective about the eggs she chose.  She didn't pick up every egg in her path.  She ran around, found one she liked, shook it, and then put it in her bag.  

After the egg hunt, the kids sat at a picnic table to examine their loot and then got even more candy from the pinatas.  We came home with almost as much as we do from trick-or-treating on Halloween!

Ready for next year!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The lion won't go away

It is mid-March and you know that old saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb"? Well, the lion is still here...we have white-out conditions on our lake this afternoon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spicy lamb

The Spicy Lamb Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park was our family destination today for their annual "lambing days".  The farm includes 10-acres devoted to raising Dorset sheep, processing wool, and growing organic fruit and herbs.
They also spin the sheep wool into yarn that they sell to visitors. I saw one woman walking out with an amazing wool blanket.  Yes, I am a little jealous that I didn't spend more time inside checking out the items they had for sale!

Each year for two weekends in the spring, the Spicy Lamb invites people to visit the farm to hold lambs, chicks, ducklings, and rabbits.  Being "city folk", this sounded like a good opportunity that we normally would not have.  Grace's friend Camryn stopped by to play about an hour before we were planning to leave so we invited her to go with us.  Both girls were very brave and seemed to have a great time.

The little lambs were roaming free on the farm and you had to chase and catch them if you wanted to hold one.  I am sure this is stressful for the little guys....good thing the farm only does this two weekends each year!

It was amazing to me that the farm owners let the visitors (and there were hundreds of them!) hold and touch their animals without any restrictions.  They warned you to use hand sanitizer after handling the birds and that the rabbits have sharp nails like a cat, but other than that, you were free to roam and touch.

In the fields they had a few horses and a llama, but they were not close enough to pet.  Good thing, since I know llamas spit!

I really enjoyed watching the Border Collies herd the sheep in a big enclosed area.  The owners were training them to do this and it was an impressive show to see how well they did it, how the sheep instinctively grouped together, and subsequently were forced into an enclosed pen.

This sign on the barn door made me smile....
...since it is the slogan they use in Las Vegas.  This farm is SO far removed from Vegas, yet, somehow the slogan works here, too.