Time travel into the past: July 2017

Life’s been happening by the spade full around here, and blogging has been severely neglected, sorry. Here’s an attempt at rectifying that!

Back in July last year… hmmm, let’s see if the photos can remind me that far back!

There was the joy of growing veggies in the backyard,

IMG_20170627_094726102IMG_20170627_094747088 a great visit from Ben’s dad and a picnic table built by him and Ben,

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and many pool days, including a fun 4th of July celebration at my friend Kelly’s house that involved a crazy greased watermelon game. It’s kind of like rugby but with a watermelon slickly greased with Crisco, and in the water!

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Marica went off to a 5-night sleep-over summer camp with her friend Willow, and loved it,

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and while Marica was at camp and Laurelin at preschool, I took Esther for a fun mom and daughter pedicure, which was a real nice treat!

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There were also plenty of park days,

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beautiful sunsets,

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a fun picnic with a sister church out on Long Island,

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and plenty of hilarity — that is dirt she sat in outside while playing with mud, not poop, I promise! Why my kids seem to think that playing with dirt in white clothing is okay is beyond me. See also the crazy sister in the background about to do a roly-poly on the tile floor. Did I mention hilarity? :-)

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A little time travel into the past: June

In early June, Marica and Esther performed and did really well at their annual piano recital. They both played solo pieces and also performed a duet. I was a proud mama!

The highlight of June was a visit from my sister Angelique and nephew Tyson. We fit in a whole bunch of fun stuff like a visit to the Crayola factory, NYC sight-seeing, a visit to the Museum of Natural history, swimming at a friend’s house, and more. I think, though, that we managed to find a pretty good balance between out of the house activities and just hanging and having quiet fun at home — including some homeschooling that Tyson did with us! You have to have both or you’ll go bonkers!

I loved spending some quality time with my sister and nephew. It was the longest time we had spent together since both leaving home, and it felt like I got to know her much better. :-)

(All the photos I have of our time together were taken on my new phone that I got for my birthday. The quality is definitely nowhere near the same as my DSLR, but it does the job, and I didn’t have to carry a heavy camera with me everywhere. I don’t think this will be a permanent change, but sometimes convenience wins out over quality!)

A little time travel into the past: April

In April, we had a wonderful visit from my parents. It was great to spend time together again — especially for the grandkids to have their grandparents around! Spring really was a great time for a visit — not too hot and not too cold, and it’s so beautiful with all the blossoms and flowers out.

I was really excited that my mum could be here for the tea party I like to host in the spring, especially seeing that most of my pretty tea cups come from her! It was great to be able to introduce her to some of the wonderful ladies in my life and to all share together yummy teas and scrumptious food.

Our time together included a little trip down to Washington DC and Lancaster, PA.

Washington DC has so many impressive buildings, and it’s so clean compared to NYC! We did the touristy thing and took one of those city bus tours — it was a great way to see the city, and we could hop on and off to stop at the places we wanted to explore a bit more, like the Capitol and the White House. We had missed most of DC’s famous cherry blossoms, but still got to see plenty of other beautiful blossoms all over the city.

We were on our trip over Easter weekend, and got to attend a beautiful Good Friday service in DC. On the Saturday, we drove to Lancaster, PA, for a few nights to look around and to visit with cousins Hannah and Peter, and attended church with them on Easter Sunday. We rented an Air B’nB place in Lancaster — the most narrow little row house I’d ever seen! It was great to have a kitchen and living room area, though and so much cozier than a hotel room (though I have to say the hotel we got just outside of DC had nice big rooms and was plenty comfortable for the price we paid).

We spent our time in Lancaster by resting and taking it easy at our rental apartment, checking out a market in the city, playing with the kids at the local playground, and meeting up with Hannah and Peter for dinner. We also drove out to Intercourse and Strasbourg where the men took the kids on a steam train ride while mum and I went exploring the little shops with trinkets, fabric and crafts. I do love me some fabric!

Easter morning the children had an Easter egg hunt inside and outside in the little backyard. After going to church with Peter and Hannah, we went to lunch with my parents at The Greenfield Restaurant where I had the most exquisite scallops of my life. I think everyone else enjoyed their meals too, but I’m still raving about those scallops!

While my parents were here, they offered to watch our kids again so we could get away just with the two of us again.  This time we took a whirlwind trip to Playa Del Carmen in Mexico after we got back from our trip to DC and Lancaster with my parents. It was so good to have some relaxing time without the kids (as much as we love them!), getting to see some Mayan ruins, going snorkeling, and just working really hard at relaxing. I’m not even joking about that — when you’re always busy busy busy, it can be hard to relax! We were just so thankful that this was even a possibility, and that we could experience another piece of God’s beautiful creation, as well as get some great quality time as a couple.

A decade old!

In February, Marica turned 10. TEN?? How does a decade go by so fast? Marica is growing up — both taller and also growing in maturity little by little. Or maybe not so little! Her independence in the kitchen is growing, and she’s becoming quite the cook and baker. It’s beautiful to see her help out her younger sisters and play with them in a kind way (most of the time), especially with Laurelin; and to start taking on more responsibilities and duties without so many complaints. She’s still a voracious reader, is getting really good at playing the piano and doing her schoolwork diligently, she can do some pretty impressive gymnastics moves, and loves our homeschool co-op. She’s also been trying her hand at sewing, much to my delight, though I see a problem brewing on the horizon — having to share my sewing machine when I want to use it!

This year Marica wanted a purple themed party. It was probably the biggest party she’s had yet (in number of kids). The kids made their own pizzas, baked brownies, played good old fashioned games, and ate ice cream cake. There seems to be a strong food-related theme going here! She got some really neat gifts — people clearly were thoughtful in getting their gifts for her, which was special. She had requested an ice cream crunch cake, which turned out very yummy.  All in all a lovely day for a lovely girl!