Because of state testing, our school system decided to take spring break at the end of April, rather than the usual March or early April. It actually was rather nice, since the weather is a bit nicer. Or nicer-ish. It has been below freezing every single solitary night, so it isn't super warm. But it is sunny and the kids have played outside a ton!
Last weekend we down to Clover and Evan's and had a jolly party Friday night with lovely people. It was nice to just sit and talk. It feels like it has been ages since we have done that! I was enjoying it all so much I forgot to get my camera out once. But this is Saturday morning. Before Justin and Evan took the little boys with them to a job site.
Cousins and friends
Rilla taking orders. Or something.
These two have had a wonderful time this past week hanging out together!
In the afternoon, we played a little more Dominion. Just for something different. Poor Andrew was lured to the Whites house under false pretenses. The guys planned on making poutine for lunch, so Andrew came over to have some. Except Scott and Sarah made a lovely big brunch and we weren't hungry. We neglected to tell Andrew we had changed our minds.
But he got a game of Dominion out of it anyway!
After Dominion, I wandered around outside taking pictures.
Rolling down the hill
Lily doing a trick. Clover and Evan have a terrific dip in their yard to allow for a daylight basement. The kids adore it for riding bicycles down and back up very fast. They also like to do tricks.
A cherry tree I believe.
More cherry blossoms
This terrible picture is of British Soldier's Lichen. Great name, eh? The red parts are the spore producing reproductive organs.
Trout Lily leaves
Rocks and an unnamed species that I cannot find in my field guides or google. I suspect I am just not using the right guides or words in google. I mean, is this a plant or a woody groundcover? Is it coniferous or just spiny?
Sunshine-y straightforward pine needles.
This I did find on Google. Meet the partridge berry.
Abandoned toys--the drum
Bat and soccer balls
Pencil and piece of drawing wood
Rocks and wood
And then, back home for some reading. Number the Stars! Oh how I loved that book! Orianna was engrossed!
Harry Potter is a big deal around here.
Fairy tale book
I had really big plans for my spring break. We are moving in a few weeks (just a few miles away) so packing is pretty important. And cleaning and getting our house ready for listing. Somehow, nothing really major was accomplished this week. On Sunday, after having the family over for lunch, I took a nap and read a frothy novel (Madeline Wickham--The Wedding Girl) from cover to cover. Monday saw us running some errands in town and more book reading. (The Hypnotist's Love Story by Lianne Moriarity) Tuesday was finishing up the Hypnotist's Love Story and attempting to make some sense of the chaos my kids created when I was bingeing (why is that not a word?) on reading. Wednesday was applying for Graduate School and applying for a mortgage on the place we are buying. Also starting The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Thursday, Clover and the cousins came north and Cody came home after five months. Friday was more cousin/family/errand time. And today, my house is clean, I am further into The Summer Before the War, and the sun is shining and I am contemplating a nap.
Large sigh. I accomplished absolutely nothing much this break. (Well, I guess it was good to get the Grad school and Mortgage apps in.)
But oh! the fun of doing nothing much! I hadn't really realized how uptight I am when I am working. I get up at exactly 5:30, go for my walk, go to work, come home, do housework, feed my family, tidy up, write a book blog post, and go to bed again at precisely 10. Every day. There is a part of me that thinks if I vary the routine in the least, everything will fall apart. So even though I didn't accomplish much, I feel so refreshed by the whole week. I have loved being with my little family. The extra snuggles, book reading, silliness, and relaxing that has happened this week are worth a little self reproach for not accomplishing miracles.
A lot of painting has happened this week. I always tell the kids they can't paint because it is messy and more work. But this week, as I lolled about, reading, it seemed like I couldn't really plead the too-busy-to-clean-up-yet-another-mess card. So the kids have painted a couple times a day several days this week. By now, they are pretty good at cleaning up after themselves.
I always wanted to be the sort of parent who would view painting as a regular part of life.
It was nice to pretend to be that parent for awhile.
My Elsie June with her wild dabs
Orianna, very neat with a tidy paint tray.
Lily and her sunsets.
Gilbert wasn't feeling good this day, after a stomach bug night, so he was napping instead of painting.
Can you tell which tray and rinse water belonged to the older girls and which one belonged to the little kids? Yeah. Gilbert and Elsie's paint always turns into a lavender-y grey. A nice color actually. But very monochromatic.