Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Easter 2017

Only about a million years too late. But OH WELL! 

Inspired by the King Arthur Bake-along challenge, I made some chocolate bobka bread.



It took at least 6 hours from start to finish, so I had some pretty high expectations for the results. 

And it did not disappoint! Maybe it was the fact that it followed Lent and 40 days of no chocolate, or maybe it was the fact that after all that time I was DETERMINED that everyone would LOVE it OR ELSE, but for whatever reason, it was a hit and hopefully we can make it a new Easter tradition!

Easter Sunday was lovely! We saw Mom and Dad in the morning, and did an Easter egg hunt with the Grenier cousins (HOT weather, ALL CHOCOLATE MELTED, so much melted chocolate everywhere)

And then we headed up to Sky Meadows for a picnic! 

It was much cooler up there, and absolutely gorgeous. 




We couldn't resist setting up our picnic under this beautiful tree.




And, afterwards, we headed off on a hike!







Pat noticed a turtle go under the mud in this shallow ditch, and went in for a closer look. Some park rangers jumped out of their truck and came over to investigate.



They located the turtle and then dug him out with a shovel!



The turtle was not impressed at ALL at being manhandled in such a way, but he was entirely unsuccessful in his attempts to bite the shovel in half. 

And, of course, the kids were impressed! 



The rangers said the turtles walk up to the pasture to lay their eggs, it must be quite a hike for them and is much MUCH longer than I thought snappers went to lay their eggs. 

We looked for baby turtles in the pond, but didn't see any! However, people were fishing and having picnics and there was quite the festive atmosphere!
  


However, we did see another snapper that was trying to cross the road to get back to the pond. One of the rangers we saw earlier helped her across so that no cars would hit her. That turtle was LIVID and was doing all she could to bite the rangers hands. I wish I had a picture when her neck was all the way out and she was swinging around to snap at the ranger!






On the way back, Kateri took off her shoes because there was some dirt on them. Four year old logic.




All in all, it was a lovely day! Thanks be to God for all His abundant graces!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sunday Funday Vol 1

We had the most lovely of Sunday's yesterday! After Mass, we went to Yorkshire Diner with Pat's parents (on 28, if you haven't been, go! It is so delicious, inexpensive, and unique. Plus the decor is just fun and so different from pretty much anywhere else!).

Then we headed out to walk through the models in the new neighborhood across from Signal Hill Neighborhood.  

So, after walking through all of them, Pat and I decided we both liked the outside of this house the best:


And the inside of this house the best:


It wasn't furnished when we walked through, but there were MANY touches that are absolutely inspired by Joanna Gaines, so of course we LOVED it. For instance, 

quite a lot of 


Shiplap! Yes, literally the entire entryway as well as a significant part of the great room. 

The study, which is to the right as you walk in. Isn't it gorgeous? The wallpaper looks like birch bark. 



And, downstairs, they are building a playhouse (or a dog house, as another lady thought, eyeroll).



I wish I took some more pictures! But you should go see it if you enjoy this sort of thing at all. This one was just LOVELY!

The third house has the sales office in the garage, is the biggest, and has been staged. 

The mudroom/entryway from the garage has two benches, one on either side, isn't that just ideal for getting kids ready to get out the door?




And, of course, a giant kitchen/dining/living room . . . 




Kateri made herself right at home in the master bedroom . . .



All in all, the kids behaved pretty well, loved every moment, and no one exactly cringed when they saw us coming!



None of the models have staircases that face the front door, which I LOVE. And two of them have a window halfway up the staircase, just awesome.




The downstairs had some super weird horsehead planters lining the wall.



And Pat liked the idea of this bar behind the couch (for watching Cubs games, of course!)




All in all, it was interesting to see. Also, did you notice how they put wallpaper on the ceiling? Definitely the sort of touch you will regret later, ha! 

Afterwards, we went to check out the bluebells at Broad Run. 



We were on the lookout for the fairy house that Laura had spotted, and we found it! 





Did you know a fairy named Cordelia lives here with her friend, a mouse named Parsnip? 

And, soon, we started seeing the lovely cheerful bluebells, heralding the spring!




I do wish I had my camera, because the phone pictures just don't do it justice! But they do give a glimpse, so I will still post far too many!







Of course, some of the biggest highlights involved climbing up muddy slopes.





Kateri got some mud on herself, and Pat told her she could wipe it off when she got to the grass on top. I had to laugh when I saw how she interpreted that remark!





The chorus of frogs, many honebees, and the warm sunlight all made it just perfect!




And we also saw at least ten deer and a wild turkey, which the kids really enjoyed. 













What a lovely spot! I am so thankful to Mom and aunt Betty for first discovering it years ago!!