Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Just Might Be Here

Spring break is here and as of yesterday it seems that spring might just be on her way too! I've decided I really like this "balanced calendar" for school -- two weeks off every nine weeks helps to break up the year and give me a rest of sorts. Of course what are breaks for but to get those things done that you couldn't do during school, right? 

So what have we been up to this past school term?

Laura started a little ballet class at a local church in January. She loves it!!! It's fun to think that Rachel attended the same class 7 years ago when I was pregnant with Laura!

 We have to put in a large amount of volunteer hours at the kids' high school each year. One of the ways I do that is to do volunteer sewing for the theatre production. This year it was "Pride and Prejudice" and the costumes were pretty and fun. I sewed a couple of gowns and two lined jackets. This occupied many January and February evenings.

 And provided good opportunities to improve my sewing skills! :)

We had our annual Church Bowling Outing in January. The kids love it!

And Valentine's Day always seems to roll around before we know it!

Yay for sweet little valentines.

Every week at piano lessons I visit this little mouse (well, he's a rat). He's so cute and in 30 seconds I get my "pet fix."

Speaking of cute things, have you seen this adorable book??!!!

And while we are on the subject of cute books, you have to check out The Mouse Mansion -- so much fun!!!

The third week in February was the production of the "Pride and Prejudice Musical". I got to go opening night and see Rachel in her scenes (see below underneath the hanging picture first person on the left). It was so much fun!!!!! And everyone was terrific! The drama director is such a wonderful mentor for these kids to have!

Our annual church women's retreat was the last weekend in February. We all met at a home and spent the night there, enjoying food, fellowship, and hearing one another's testimonies.

Two sisters: they are so cute! And they are both growing up far too fast!!!

A few weeks ago we paid a visit to a friend to welcome the newest member of her family! She had lost a beloved pet in the fall and when Fiona was found and brought home we needed to meet her! Fiona is part Turkish Van which means she LOVES water! Believe me, it is so fun to see a cat who truly loves water.

It's that time of year when Prom is approaching. That means prom dress shopping!!! I can't post the final one here until later in April but we had a great evening with the aunts and found a lovely dress! In just a little over a week we are having an exchange student arrive from Spain for a month! We are all going to have fun with this international guest! She's also very excited to be introduced to an American Prom!

Laura had the special chance to go with my mom and me to see the repertory theatre's rendition of Stuart Little. It was terrific! We followed this with lunch at our favorite place: Wildwood Market.

Decaf coffee and a little chocolate? Yum yum yum.

Once Rachel finished theatre it was time to jump into "Spring Spec" with her choir. Yikes! These poor kids and the amount of time it takes to rehears for these things! But, it was all good fun and lots of learning too. Rachel is on the far right below.

We had the strangest weather in February -- very warm. So warm the daffodils came up and bloomed right at the beginning of March. Then winter decided to come back which gave me the guilt-free opportunity to pick every.single.daffodil.there.was.

Wow these flowers brought so much happiness for those few days!

I almost thought peony season was here the way I kept grabbing my camera and taking pictures.

The color yellow is so essential for the month of March.

I felt like a millionaire having these flowers to look at:

Three weeks later and the daffodils that were still in their buds are just now blooming again.

Reading and hot drinks (and a little chocolate) still seem to be the best way for me to re-charge. This winter has been harder health-wise for me than I've dealt with in a number of years. I'm glad the warmer weather is here and hope that perhaps my energy will pick up a bit.

 At the beginning of March I headed with a few kids to my mom's church for their annual THINK conference. This year we heard from Erwin Lutzer, pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. He spoke about the reformation. It was such a great weekend and so fun to go with others from our church as well as my mom!

It's also tradition to go to my mom's place for lunch on the Saturday of the conference!

The kids tried a new tradition for St. Patrick's Day this year -- Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's. Very festive!

Of course you've heard ALL about our trip to Vermont in February. Mom thought she'd miss out on her trip to Maine this spring but circumstances arose that had her on a plane to Lily Brook Farm before we knew it. She's knee deep in snow, the unpredictable joys of lambing season, and navigating the hardships of real life with her cousin.

Check out these beautiful orange beets! The colors of food are so inspiring to me!!! Sometimes it's hard to eat the food -- I just want to stare at it!

Last Sunday we had a traditional St. Patrick's Day feast. Delicious!

And afterward we had a cake-eating tea time. Fortunately there was a Dundee Cake left in the freezer from Christmas.

And now that it is spring break I'm working on this, and a ton of other projects. I've had to sort through and cull my felted wool collection (anyone nearby need any felted wool for projects? I have lots and lots of red and dark colors). I've managed to get my closet back into control and half of it looks awesome. The other half will be tackled this week.

The first day of spring snuck up on me. We have a family tradition of tea on the spring equinox. Somehow these traditions were so much easier when the kids were little and life was SLOW!!! I should have thought about how life would speed up and become more impossible before beginning all these "traditions."

Sometimes it's good to just let things go un-done and sometimes it's good to just put in the effort and do it and remember that little-by-little these memories are building up emotional energy that will feed these kids for years to come.

I did manage to tidy up my linen shelf (middle shelf is to-be-ironed and is normally stuffed to the gills). I have yet to clean the laundry room it resides in.

James has been working on chain mail for his raccoon. Each link has to be made individually! Good thing he has lots of patience!

Often my house feels like a wreck -- at least in many places, and I am too quick to notice the ten-year-old paint on the walls that is chipping or dirty, or this or that (or the disgusting white cushion covers on the couch below) but if I close my eyes to the dirt this little snapshot of the living room makes me happy for all the bright colors and flowers.

Here is Laura having a tea party with her little friends. David is so kind to create these parties whenever I ask him.

And now it is time to get out the vacuum and cleaning supplies and try to bring some order to the downstairs. It will be nice to have the windows open to do this and maybe there are a handful of daffodils I could bring in for the table. Have a good weekend!


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I got out this afternoon and cut most of the daffodils that are blooming now. We have heavy rain moving in later today and tomorrow so I knew I'd have to cut them now. They are currently sitting in a vase in the sink while I wash tiny ants down the drain!

Rita H said...

So many lovely photos and notes to comment on, I can't contain them here. Lovely!!! Your costume jackets are spectacular!
I might have a use for some felted wool, if you still have any...

Heather Anne said...

So sweet - you've been quite busy indeed! Wow! I am also knee deep in a busy season - and doing quite a bit of costuming for Beauty and the Beast - our 16 year old is the BEAST! - we've never done anything like this before and he is thriving! So fun to see God at work in him!

HeatherMavis said...

I have a kitty named Fiona!
You are always doing interesting things.I would have loved to see Pride and Predudice.

reader19 said...

Amazed at all you guys have going on!!! I heard the daffodils were already up in Indiana; though no sight of them up here!!! Loved seeing all the pictures, how the kids have grown, the amazing food, flowers and a messy closet was my favorite! I miss seeing you all! Sendina along a hug! Great job on the sewing!!!

Pom Pom said...

I'm amazed at all the things you do, Heather!
The dafs are glorious!

Unknown said...

Wow. So many beautiful things you have going, Heather! :D We are still cold, rainy, and dark here...brown and gray. We've had a lot of rain though, so I'm holding out hope that will bring green and flowers! :D