Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Outside Hunt

I didn't take a ton of pictures of Easter this year-- mostly just shots of the hunt. But, we'll start out with the obligatory picture of the kids lined up to go in to see their baskets. We were finally heading in at about 10, after eating our delicious traditional breakfast of bran muffins and cheesy scrambled eggs. 

The kids each got a new t-shirt in their baskets. That's it. Oh, and grass. No candy, no trinkets. They all loved their shirts and, don't worry, we broke out some candy later for an after-dinner treat so they weren't totally deprived. We aren't child abusers! :)

After looking at everyone's new shirts, we headed outside for the egg hunt. We haven't had an outside hunt for ages due to cold weather, but this year it was going to be just about perfect. It seemed right to do it in the new yard, too. As usual, each kid had an assigned color to look for, eight eggs each, each egg contained $1. The kids were thrilled.

Edith picked out her own outfit for the hunt. I think she looks gorgeous. The Easter Bunny needs to make her eggs a little harder to find next year. She's a shark!

Ginger got stumped a few times, so she was thrilled when she made a discovery.

I think 8 eggs per kid was just about the right number. The hunt lasted just long enough, without kids getting sad or discouraged because they couldn't find eggs. We might do a few more next year since they're all getting older, but I think it was so great this year.

Edith was a little perplexed, so I gave her a small hint.

Success and a smile!

Edith is happy to have all 8 pink eggs in her basket. Way to go, Edith!

This pose Big is standing in as he takes a break just cracks me up for some reason. He was hoping that a broad view of the yard would reveal some hiding spots.

I guess it did!

He's happy to have all 8 of his eggs, too! Awesome job, Big!

The kids spent the afternoon re-hiding the eggs for each other around the house. It was such a pleasant and relaxing day. Low-key and quiet. 

Rophone and I went over to my mom's house to borrow a few things to decorate the table for dinner. I'm trying to do better at making our holiday meals feel different and special rather than just same old same old. I work hard on our holiday meals, so they need to feel like a celebration! 

I think that even with minimal effort it looks pretty good. Definitely more Eastery than a plain old table sitting there. We even broke out the goblets that we never use. I love it!

We were able to have the daughter of some good friends over to share our Easter dinner with us. It was so good to have her here. I was terrible and didn't take any pictures, so I stole this selfie she took. I think Edith has a new best friend. 

Easter was just right this year. Just enough celebration without excess to make us feel like we overdid anything. I hope we can continue to go through all of our holidays in the future in the same way. I sure do love the family (and friends) that I get to spend them with!

We All Dyed

I'm going to split Easter into two posts this year-- the egg dyeing in one and Easter day for another. We all dyed eggs this year, with even Rophone getting in on the action for a bit. It isn't high on his list of things to do, so we were happy when he joined us. Edith really loved having his help.

Everyone was amazed at what a pretty purple Edith's egg was when Rophone helped her fish it out of the cup. I love how I caught jaws open in awe in the photo. So funny.

Edith really loves dyeing eggs-- she kept re-dipping her eggs over and over again. I thought they would all end up brown, but we ended up with some unexpectedly cool shades you can only get when you dip fearlessly. It was fun to watch her. 

Big really enjoys the whole process, too. He was bummed when he ran out of eggs to dye. That green one you can see in the corner of the photo is a really nice shade. I like it a lot.

Bud is a little more like me-- careful to stick to what will give him expected results. I'm trying to loosen up and just go for it a little bit more, so maybe Bud will learn from me and go crazy with his eggs one of these years. I love the way his eggs turned out. 

This is Stan. He's an unassuming sort of fellow. I wanted to see how Sharpies worked on eggs and he was my test subject. Thanks, Stan. 

Here is a bowl filled with some of our finished eggs. I just love how colorful and bright they are. Dyeing the eggs is pretty much my favorite part of Easter, so I'm glad my kids enjoy it, too. They turned out great!

Pen noticed that one of the eggs I dyed reminded her of Monet's "Waterlillies". I didn't achieve the look on purpose, but I can see that it really does. 

My accidental egg made Pen decide to spend more time on her eggs, attempting to dye eggs to resemble works of art on purpose. Using only egg dyes, sharpies, and a clear crayon, she did just that. I am amazed by the results. 

Pen is a talented egg artist, apparently. Who knew?!

I really love the traditions that come along with holidays. And to think that I almost felt too lazy to have the family dye any eggs this year! Look what I would have missed out on!  I doubt I'll ever be tempted to laze out on a tradition ever again. It was so much fun.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Lot of Goings On

Okay, maybe not a lot, but a few things have gone on over the past couple of weeks. A few days after St. Patrick's Day, Rophone had the grand idea to walk to the school after dinner so the kids could play on the playground. It was so much fun.

I love how Bud played with Edith and patiently tried to help her do new things. What a good big brother. 

I still can't get Big to step forward with the correct foot when he throws, but he has a really strong arm anyway. 

Rophone discovered something absolutely wonderful and life-changing-- a laundry chute! It was hidden in the bathroom built-in. No more dirties left on the bathroom floor because the kids are so excited to chuck their clothes down the hole! Laundry is fun again! Isn't Edith just a perfect laundry-chute model?

My sister's family came to town for their Spring Break, but it wasn't our break so the kids were still in school. We had a lot of other things going on, too, but we still managed to spend some good time together.

On Tuesday morning, Edith and I went to the cemetery with Martha's family to try to find some of our ancestors. We were successful and it was nice to be out together. Plus, I left very grateful for the name I was given. Folks can get pretty creative. 

I went to a doctor's appointment after the cemetery visit, so Edith went with her cousins to do more stuff. They went to lunch and to a museum, followed by a visit to the creamery for ice cream. It was so cute yesterday when Edith was recounting what a fun time she had with her cousins, and how she really liked the new ice cream flavor she tried-- "Raspberry Sherman". Cracked me up.  

I took Martha's family to Bud's district choir concert on Tuesday night while Rophone attended Big's basketball game with Edith. I didn't manage to capture a photo of Bud (he was a little speck far, far away), but I did get a picture with Martha. 

Our parents told us that we're sisters, but looking at this photo I'm not sure I buy it. Ha! 

We had dentist appointments set up for the next afternoon and there was no way I was going to try to reschedule. I'm so glad my kids love going to the dentist, even when their cousins are in town. 

I also had to document that Edith, the-girl-who-hates-wearing-jeans, dressed herself in jeans! She looked super cute in them, I must say.

After the dentist, we still managed to get together with the cousins for a lovely dinner prepared by Martha. It was really nummy, and just fun to see the kids together. They really do get along well.

I took Edith on a balance bike ride the next day and noticed that she's getting too big for the bike. Better get her on the bike with pedals soon! She really is ready for it, though. 

The cousins hung out at our place a lot on Friday (thanks for helping me hang artwork, Martha!) and pretty much all day Saturday. The kids were having a blast. I only took one photo, though, not wanting to ruin the dynamic. You know how it is-- when things are running smoothly you don't want to mess. 

I really do love this house. On Sunday I took my green smoothie out onto the back deck to relax and enjoy the lovely spring weather. So nice. It's great to be in a home that feels like home.

I can't wait until there are leaves on the two big trees that flank the deck. It's going to be  like an oasis. 

Edith and I kind of got back to our usual types of things this week now that the cousins are gone. 

She's been working in her preschool BrainQuest workbook sometimes for hours at a time (she just got it for her birthday a month ago and cried today that she's already done with it) and has been working really hard on her goal of learning to write. It's so, so difficult and frustrating to write an 's', but she's determined. You'll get it, Edith!

Life may be going on as usual for me and Edith, but the same can't be said for the boys. Big finally lost one of his front teeth! So exciting! It's been loose for what seems like forever, so I think we were all pretty excited about it. Bud peeled Big a carrot to help things along.

About ready to jump out of his mouth on its own:

On its bloody way out (thanks, carrot!):

And…gone! Yay!

He was super excited to get $2 from the tooth fairy. Such a gap-toothed cutie.

The next day, Bud had some exciting things happen to his teeth, too-- he got his braces off! His first phase with the braces is complete, so now we just need to wait for him to lose and regain the rest of his teeth so we can start on phase two.



Doesn't he look great?! Fantastic smile, Bud. 

In other news…

Pen is running for office at school (voting closes today, fingers crossed), she was appointed to be on journalism staff for next year, and she made Dance Company. She's really going for broke for her Senior year and we think she'll do great and have a blast. Super proud of her. 

Ginger is signed up for classes for her freshman year of high school next year and has begun her final soccer season with the girls she's played with for 4 years. Bittersweet, but I know they're all excited for what's to come. 

I never feel like that much has really gone on, but there always seems to be stuff to write about. I guess that's just life when you have 5 kids-- never a dull moment. Well, except for when I'm doing dishes. Or ironing. Those are a bit of a snooze-fest. Thank goodness I have all of this other great stuff to balance it out!