Sunday, April 30, 2017


I know I should love Spring with its flowers, budding trees and promise of warmer temperatures. But Spring is a tease, a tramp that promises more than it can deliver. More often than not, Spring is rainy and chilly and windy. Spring lulls you into a false hope with its one or two sunny, warm days followed by weeks of rain, wind, and cold. Down go the windows and up goes the furnace. Shorts are stashed back in drawers and coats that were cleaned and put up for storage are wrestled back onto outraged children who look at you accusingly, as if you are the fickle Mother Nature herself.

Last week, the spring storms took one of our big trees down. It already had a canker spot which was the point at which it snapped when the big winds blew through. We got very lucky as it was held up by the surrounding trees and did not smash all the way to the ground or onto Santa's gift.

The village arborist got his crew out to our house before the girls had even left for school.

The chainsaws didn't seem to bother the goldfinches at our feeders. I love that you can see the fallen tree behind.
It left a big hole in our woods...
The mud combined with a truck full of large logs led to their truck being completely stuck in the ditch until another truck could come pull them out.
The falling tree sheared off a good bit of our evergreens.
It looks so bare now.
Another sign of spring, though, is butterflies. We've had a few flitting around these past couple of weeks so I ordered 2 cups of caterpillars for the habitat that Uncles RyRy and Paul gifted us a few years back. Here they were on April 20.
Seven days later.
By the next day, one cup was well on its way with 4 of them ready to transform. The other cup is in the slow class.
Last night, all but one in the fast cup was transformed. One never went to the top but just lay like a slug and transformed in the poop. I'll have to scoop him out when it's safe to move them.
As of tonight, all but one have transformed. One in each cup never made it to the top but stayed in the poop/food mix on the bottom. Hopefully by tomorrow morning, our last holdout will turn himself upside-down and start the process. Then in 3 days we can move them to their habitat to become butterflies.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Concert

The school held a spring concert with the 1st & 2nd graders performing. There are 2 homerooms with Chinese Immersion students in each grade and the rest of the homerooms are not but the music teacher still incorporated Chinese songs into the mix and had all of the students learn them. It was a great show of support for the program!

As they were finding their spots on the stands, Kate saw us out in the crowd. Lucy was too busy trying to direct everyone into their proper location.
 Then she helped Archie find his dad in the sea of parents.
Kate spent much of her time wiggling her front tooth, which has been dangling for WEEKS.

Spring concert grades 1-2 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

We had a lovely Easter weekend...even the weather cooperated, only raining (a fabulously spectacular thunder/lighting storm actually) at night.

Saturday our community held its annual Easter Egg hunt on the islands. The three islands were divided into age groups so the very littles wouldn't be trampled by the not-so-very-littles. There was the Easter bunny, bloody marys, mimosas and lots of candy! Unfortunately, Saturday was also the 2nd class of chemistry for Kate, who was incredibly torn about which thing to go to. She ended up at chemistry and was super pleased when she came bouncing out of class, chatting with Len all the way home about the experiments she had done, and finding a basket full of eggs that Lucy had gathered to share with her.

These were the early birds at the big kids bridge....ready to go!
The youth committee provided the beverages and a generous neighbor showed up with bagels and cream cheese.
The youth committee arrived an hour early to distribute the eggs across the three islands. We had nearly 3,000 eggs.

Play island had a line waiting to charge over the bridge.

Anxiously awaiting the 10am ribbon cutting at Rest Island.
 The littlest ones awaiting their turn at Toy Island.
Finally it was time!

The Easter Bunny was on Toy Island.

Lucy wasn't too sure about the bunny....
as you can tell from her expression!
Time for refreshments!

And just like that, in 5 minutes, it was over.
Sunday morning the Easter bunny had not arrived at our house yet so we all headed out for breakfast.

Len finished up early and left to "run an errand" and amazingly, when we all got home, the Easter bunny had visited.

Pay no attention to the pile of laundry on the couch that needs folded....I even washed the winter coats in the hope that we are done with them for the season.
She always has to check to be sure each basket is even...
Baskets emptied of goodies, they headed outside to find all of the candy-filled plastic eggs.
The newly-dumped mulch pile was a good hiding place.

Last week I moved a bunch of daffodils that were randomly scattered in the mud near our house to create a nice patch out near the mailbox. They made a great place to hide eggs.

"But where are the eggs we decorated yesterday?" Kate asked. A search of our house led us to the basement...

That silly bunny hid them all over the basement!
As is our tradition, the last egg gets dyed in a mixture of all the colors. Last year it was more purple, this year it turned out a ghastly green. DAD was written on the bottom!

 Next up was a bunch of confetti-filled real eggs. We had a blast throwing them onto the pavement!

Around lunchtime, the girls got out their chalk stencil sets from their baskets and headed outside. Len made quesadillas so they could dine al fresco.

The art project extended into the driveway and lasted most of the afternoon, off and on.
Carrots and kale "growing" nearby...
Time for the crime-scene outlines...

This seemed to be the year of art in their baskets. They set to work on their Easter figures.

Soon enought it was time to prep for supper.
Somebody was ready to eat!
A spring pasta salad with asparagus and early peas.
The girls love artichokes...mostly for the novelty of it all.
This was supposed to be fava beans but a search of three stores left me empty-handed so it turned into lima beans with pecorino and parsley. Still quite tasty with the roasted ham next to it.
A rhubarb and orange crumble was lovely topped with vanilla ice cream.
Barefeet and swinging....they are turning into country girls. Happy Easter everyone!


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