Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt...err...Race?

So...I mentioned that the girls participated in an Easter Egg Hunt at church today. But, to be honest, it was more like an Easter Egg RACE! It took place on a flat grassy place to really "hide" the eggs! So the kids were just in one big race to grab as many eggs as they can before they were all gone!

Elizabeth must have elbowed a few kids along the way... ;-) b/c she scored about 12 eggs out of the situation! We would offer this video as proof, but really, she was gone in a flash and Peter couldn't track her fast enough! Ashley, on the other hand, simply meandered about, not so interested in the collecting of eggs. She got two. And then Elizabeth kindly gave her two of the eggs out of her own basket. Awww.

By the way...the blur on the video is not your screen. It's finger smudges on our camera lens. All clean now, but that doesn't help our set of Easter photos or this video! :-/

Happy Easter 2011

Happy Easter!
I hope you are enjoying your holiday with your loved ones. We have already had a pretty full day...and it's not even 3:00 yet! However, these are the days that really do make me long to be closer to our extended families!

I had a bit of a "shoe crisis" last night when I realized that neither of the girls has dress shoes that FIT them right now. I've known this for a few weeks...and have just improvised for a while going to church in tights and brown Mary-Jane-type sneakers that don't SCREAM "sneakers"...but still...they are sneakers! I had intended to remedy that situation earlier this week...but it completely slipped my mind until about 9:00 last night. So I post on facebook about my dilemma--Do I run to Target or do I just make do with sneakers!? Peter, of course, voted for making due! I then got busy with work-related writing...and when I returned to my facebook page at about 9:45, it was filled with comments from my girlfriends: "Target!" "New shoes!" "Go now, or you will be sorry tomorrow!" "I vote Target!" "No sneakers! Go to Target!" AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Parenting FAIL! It was too late to go to Target. So I sat and fretted a little bit...but then shrugged it off and went to bed.

Thankfully, when we woke up, it was already about 10 degrees warmer than it was supposed to be before noon! HOORAY! That meant sleeveless sundresses with NO sweaters! And SANDALS! Happy Day! No ragamuffin sneaker children!!

Elizabeth and Ashley came downstairs to check out their Easter baskets filled with a few little goodies: egg shakers, egg-shaped sidewalk chalk, chocolate bunnies for each, Easter stampers, and some kid-sized gloves and a shovel for helping Mommy...(errrr, Grammy?) the garden! :-)
Daddy made pancakes while Mommy took a shower. Then Mommy dressed the girls while Daddy took a shower! It was a team effort kind of morning!

It was a great morning, so we even had a little time left for picture-taking on the front lawn.
When we arrived at church, however, it was PACKED like we have never seen it packed before! No really. I dropped Ashley in the nursery and then we opted to go up to the balcony, and we barely got a seat up THERE! There was no Sunday School this morning, so Elizabeth stayed with us in the sanctuary for the whole service...and she did remarkably well!

After the service, they had an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. The lawn was roped off in sections, divided by age groups: Under 5, 6-7, and 8-10. That worked really well!

There was even a surprise appearance from the Easter Bunny!
However, savvy little Elizabeth took one look, then turned to me and said very matter-of-factly, "But Mommy...that's not the REAL Easter Bunny. Real bunnies HOP...they don't walk." And, so, of course, I confirmed to her quietly that "'s not the real one...but it's fun to see someone dressed as a bunny, isn't it?" and then she announced that she thinks it would be fun if maybe she dressed up as the Easter Bunny for Halloween! LOL

All in all...a fun morning. The girls are napping now. When they wake up, we'll hunt for eggs that are hidden in the backyard. We can hardly wait! :-)

Happy Easter!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Family Traditions

As the girls get older, I have started to give more thought to what our family traditions will be. Not HUGE celebrations or extravagant blowouts that require months (or even weeks) of planning...just the little things that, when they will look back on their childhood, will make them feel all warm and fuzzy about family and remind them of our happy little HOME.

So far, we have definitely established a few things that fit this criteria...some borrowed from my family (e.g., turning over the hand-made advent calendar at Christmas) and some borrowed from Peter's family (e.g., our dinnertime prayer is one that his family said together every night). And we are also beginning a few of our own (e.g., annual Cherry Blossoms picnic, Pajama Christmas light viewing where the girls get dressed in their PJs and we take them for a nighttime drive to see Winter Wonderland and Christmas light displays and they fall asleep on the way home and so on).

And now, we have a new addition to our Family Traditions. This one is borrowed from the Johnson Family in California. Every Memorial Day, they ushered in the summer season by changing their dishes to FISH plates. Nothing super fancy...just switched out the regular dishes for a set with a whimsical fish theme...and they used them all the way through Labor Day, when they were ceremoniously put away until the following summer! I had the pleasure a few times over the years of witnessing the excited anticipation on their daughters' faces as they "got ready" to take out the Fish Plates...and it was priceless! Seriously. It's amazing what the little things can do to add a little thrill to young lives!

So, piggybacking on this time-honored Johnson Family tradition, I purchased our Summer Dishes this week! And, in honor of all of our years spent in LA on the sands of El Porto with this special family...they are BEACH plates! Voila!

It is my hope that, as we celebrate summer together, our girls will experience the same thrill and sparkle in their eyes that I saw in S & J so many years ago! There is something about tradition that is comforting, sweet, and unspoiled. It is a little something special that says "this is OUR family...and it is good!" And it is...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Existential Crisis

Ashley has a fundamental problem coping with being the subject of video recordings. Whenever she realizes she is being recorded, she immediately wants to "see Ashley" on the back of the camera. Problem is, obviously, she doesn't understand that in order to "SEE Ashley" she first has to "BE Ashley" while I record whatever it is that she is doing.

Here, Elizabeth tries to get to the bottom of the situation by analyzing what Ashley's issue is. She offers many plausible theories. And then finally, she nails it. LOL

Ashley Auditions for American Idol maybe she was a little "pitchy" and needs to work on the lyrics. But girlfriend has stage presence! ;-) I think she's in it to win it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday Mornings with Daddy

This post is for Grandma, who asked recently if the girls still play with their Ball Pit Car.

What?!...That old thing?!

Nah...totally. not. interested.

How else do you think Daddy gets to watch his DVR'd RUGBY games on Saturday mornings!?

Happy Birthday to Daddy!

No Foolin'...Friday was Daddy's birthday! We made him a MOOSE cake! :-) German Chocolate Cake is his favorite...and he's always been a fan of meese. So I decided to get a little creative. Here is the result!

I can definitely think of ways to improve it (chocolate icing on the antlers instead of buttercream, for example)...but considering that I already had all the "stuff" for just making cupcakes and I thought of the "moose" idea at the last minute, it's not half bad! Even Elizabeth agreed it kinda looked like a moose--and she's a tough critic about these kinds of things! haha!

We had a little family celebration when Peter got home from work. Then we fed the kids dinner (yes...we did have cake before dinner! It was a fun/crazy night at our house!) and our wonderful next-door neighbors, Tiffany & Braden, came over to babysit the girls while Peter and I went OUT for dinner! FUN!

Hanging Out With Mr. Jefferson...

The past couple of weeks have been pretty gloomy around here. Seriously. They even had to postpone the National Kite Festival last weekend--which we had really been looking forward to--b/c of chances of SNOW! (We only saw a few flurries, btw.) And it's been raining here since mid-week...which meant yet another weekend of cooler-than-usual temperatures and cloudy wetness. Not the optimum time for Cherry Blossom Viewing!

But, then suddenly, it cleared up! And today was a beautiful day
with near-perfect 60-degree weather.
Still a little cool...but sunny and perfect for a trip to the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms!

So that's what we did!...along with about a million other people! The Metro was massively crowded! Here we are waiting at West Falls Church station.

When we made it downtown, it was pretty much wall-to-wall people...but not quite as crowded as last year when it was about 80-85 degrees! In fact, we really had no issues moving around and making our way to the Tidal Basin. We even managed to score some food from a vendor without waiting in line! And we picked a perfect spot just across the water from the Jefferson Memorial to have a picnic beneath the Cherry Blossoms!And the girls had fun running around from tree to tree, playing on the grass, and climbing on Daddy!
Here, Ashley is engaged in a game of Peek-a-Boo from behind a tree.

Sssssshhh! Don't tell her she was wider than the tree trunk! ;-)
Then we posed for a picture in front of the Jefferson Memorial...
( least we thought that's what we were doing! Ummm...Note to Guy Who So Kindly Offered to Take Our Family Photo: I don't wanna be picky, but there's this thing across the water behind us called the Jefferson Memorial! It's a little hard to miss...and it's kind of a big deal.
Maybe you could get it in the photo next time?? Ugh!])

At least I got one of Peter with the girls!...(Well..sort of. They were watching the ducks and paddle boats!)

And he got one of us...
(Thanks for making the sweet little sourpuss face, Elizabeth!)

The girls had a fun game of "Ashley!...come here, Sister!!!" wherein Ashley pretended to run away (from one tree to another) and Elizabeth would mock-scold her and run after her as they both giggled.

Once she caught up, the game would start all over again. It's hard to say who enjoyed the game more.
But on the Metro ride home, Elizabeth suddenly exclaimed, "Mommy...Did you see when Ashley was playing with me? She really IS starting to be my friend!" XO