Sunday, April 23, 2017

School Vacation

Ahhhhhh, this has been the best break since, well, forever. We did just about nothing and it was perfect. Kids were thrilled to spend the whole day playing, I let housework slide in a big way (tomorrow is going to be painful!), meals were more on the snacky side and Easter candy made its way into almost every one of them. Late bedtimes, playing hard outside until dark, reading chapter after chapter of books (we finished Trumpet of the Swan and have moved on to Pooh).
Actually tons of pictures this time, so here goes:

Coffee time was leisurely and prolonged each day (I got a new blond roast from Trader Joe's that's so mellow it's delicious black. Kids love it too).

Henri had Good Friday off and got to participate in Hudson's last gymnastics class. I totally spaced on signing him up and by the time I did he was waitlisted. Guess we'll be taking a break earlier than I'd planned. 

My rhubarb is flourishing

Our one, lone daffodil that survived the temp extremes last month

This years Easter Pinata. It was a success. 

Saturday was very laid back as I had minimal prep to do for Easter. We spent the morning in the woods by our house. The kids were somewhere in the underbrush out of sight at this point. 

Our first dandelions. I love them, they're so cheerful. And then you get to blow the seeds. 

You should have seen the ring he left in the bathtub. Little mudball!

I took the kids to Home Depot and after getting our gardening supplies we checked out every single shed. Twice. This was their favorite.

I had a gorgeous garden for about 4 hours, and then a rabbit ate everything except the rhubarb down to the nubs. I don't know why I try every year, but I'll probably do it again next. 

Easter morning!!!

We must have had thousands of eggs this year at church. It was borderline ridiculous. 

Bit out of order now, but the pinata in action

Checking out her loot

Continuing the tradition that's at least 7 years standing, we went to our friends for an amazing lunch and walk

Monday we went to the Audubon at Ipswich River. A little hotter than we'd planned, but a really fun place. 

We love maps. We can never follow them, we always get lost, but we love checking them out. 

They had a fun kid play space at the visitor center

Lots of trails closed because of flooding

There was a fun man-made rock grotto with a tunnel to explore

Communing with nature

They started to flag but they finished under their own steam

Extremely rickety observation tower

Over 30 turtles had come up on a log to sun themselves

Basketball, Hudson style

My exciting grocery store find for the week. No weird ingredients (actually a super short list), vegan, AND 40% iron needs filled. I've been giving Hudson one a day and they're really yummy. 

THAT is a dead spider that I killed. In the car. After pulling over 3 times to chase him with my shoe. 

Back to Easter. The official portrait. 

No TV during vacation. On this morning the kids must have really wanted a show, so they sat in front of the fridge, "snacked" on plastic chips, and narrated movies they've seen as if they were watching them. It was sad and hysterical at the same time. 

The baby sheep have arrived at Drumlin! We watched and laughed and laughed at them. They were loving being outside. 

Afternoons were for napping and reading

On Thursday we got together with friends to watch Emmett compete on Jeopardy! He did fantastic and making it better was this cake leftover from Easter (that's 3 layers of fudgy brownies, 2 of raw chocolate chip cookie dough, ganache between each layer and poured over the whole thing, cubes of brownie and dough on top. Diabetic coma after 3 bites).

Saturday we trusted the forecast instead of what was actually in front of us and hiked the Fells. And it poured the whole time. This knob was at the visitor center.

But the hike was really more a saunter so umbrellas fit just fine.

We took the trail that followed the old mills

Saturday night I babysat at a church along with friends and we had a great time (not to mention I got paid!!! Whoo-hoo!!!). I came home to find THIS on my pillow. I've only been asking for months, but it was still a big surprise. (also, that coffee ended up NOT being decaf and I miiiight have read through a good chunk of the Bible last night/this morning because I certainly wasn't sleeping).

Isn't it gorgeous?!?!?!? So many fantastic features, I love SRT and am thrilled to have a(nother) piece of their work.

Church this morning and then we walked some of the Battle Road Trail and it was again much hotter than anticipated. I'm not doing well with this thermoregulation thing.

A huge branch above where the kids play was very dead, and I realized when I tapped it, also very loose. One slight tug and it was down......along with 2 barely hatched birds. Oops. 

I scooped them into their next (which was a pretty lousy affair, not impressed mama bird!) and Steve got the nest back approximately where it had been. 

A few flowers are surviving

And mama came back!!!! She's been fussing around and tucking in branches and we'll see what happens, but hopefully they make it. Although I think the world has plenty of Mourning Doves already, but I felt very guilty. Turned into a lovely biology lesson for the kids and both were very matter of fact and accepting of the laws of "survival of the fittest", and we talked about how to handle encountering "orphaned" wildlife.

Phew, good job making it to the end. We had a lovely time with each other and I am in no way looking forward to tomorrow. Just 7 more weeks until summer break!!!