Singing in the Rain

Today was a gorgeous day.


We usually are on the crap end of the weather spectrum, but in the past few days we have been celebrating “Hooray, we aren’t getting snow in May!”


While other places not too far away were cold and yucky and recently got snow, we had a beautiful, sunny, and warm day today. Perfect for leaving the girls home with their Daddy and going to a homeschooling convention.

I came home to wet, muddy clothes strewn around the floor, and gooey, smiley, PB&J-and-sunscreen-smeared faces exclaiming over stories of running through “mucky mud puddles” barefoot and Miss learning to move the swing by herself .

Daddy knows how to have a good time.


Today gives me hope that we are starting a warming trend again, as the past week was pretty cold and gloomy. Though we didn’t get snow (Hallelujah!), yesterday was chilly and rainy.

The girls actually loved it because they got to wear their rain boots, rain coats, and carry their umbrellas when we ran errands.

They really love their umbrellas, so I let them play outside in the rain when we got home.


Appropriately, we are talking about weather and “U is for Umbrella” in school right now.

DSC_0492 DSC_0493 DSC_0498 DSC_0501Unfortunately, it was a little too cold and windy. They ran and splashed a bit and then Miss asked to go inside (which is unheard of).


I loved the rain play. We sang rain songs, like “Rain, Rain Go Away” and “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.” Miss kept asking me for more rain songs, but he only other one I could come up with at the time was “Blame It On the Rain.” So I did Milli Vanilli for them, but I couldn’t remember any of the other words so just kept repeating, “Blame it on the rain! Yeah, yeah!” After the fact I thought of “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” and “Singing in the Rain.” I’ll keep those for next time.

I’m hoping for a warm and rainy day soon.

Easter. A Birthday. I. Am. Blessed.

We had a fun-filled Easter.

We woke up to yarn trails leading to Easter baskets and an egg hunt.

DSC_0485 DSC_0493 DSC_0502 DSC_0513 DSC_0518 DSC_0521

We tried a new recipe for Easter breakfast. I had seen “Resurrection Rolls” mentioned on other blogs and probably on Pinterest too. I didn’t really consider making them until a good friend suggested it, mentioning that it is a fun way for kids to get a visual/hands on learning experience of the whole Jesus-in-the-tomb-and-then-not-in-the-tomb/Resurrection thing. Though we read several books about it, I’m still not very good at explaining this stuff to my kids (this is all very new, here), so I decided to give it a try (and make our traditional Easter breakfast of creamed eggs for lunch or dinner).

The girls had a lot of fun rolling the marshmallow “Jesuses” in the butter and cinnamon sugar and wrapping them up in the crescent roll “tombs.”

DSC_0541 DSC_0525 DSC_0527 DSC_0532

Seriously, they were delicious (recipe here).


The girls got a huge kick out of breaking open the rolls looking for Jesus and finding them empty. Lass kept saying, “But Jesus isn’t in here!” each time she took a bite.

Thanks for the tip, C.


We got all dressed up in our Easter finery and went to church. We even got there 30 minutes early so we could get a seat. It was packed.

When we got home I insisted on a few photos of the girls in their Easter dresses before everyone changed and had lunch.

How many photos does it take to get a good one when a four-year-old decides she will. not. smile.?

DSC_0547 DSC_0549 DSC_0550

Not too many once we start telling her not to smile (but still several more than what you see here!).

DSC_0552 DSC_0556



It was a little easier to get a decent one of just the girls, since we didn’t have to coax smiles and just had to try to get them  all to be at least sort of facing in the direction of the camera. They were looking at me instead of at my husband with the camera, but I still love this photo.


After lunch and naps (I even had a wonderful, long nap myself), we watched some basketball (yay Michigan wins, boo Duke loses; I know, I went to U of L!) and I made creamed eggs.

Creamed eggs is the traditional Christmas and Easter morning breakfast from my childhood. I enjoyed having the Resurrection Rolls for breakfast this morning, but could not have Easter without creamed eggs, so we had them for dinner.


I’m even going to share our secret family recipe with you (now that I’m finally able to make it myself without calling my Mom to ask how).

Creamed eggs:

You need butter, flour, milk, hard boiled eggs, and salt and pepper (and bread for toast).

Melt a stick of butter over low – medium low heat. Add about 1/2 cup of flour (give or take), stirring it in gradually until you have a nice, paste-like roux. Then add milk a little at a time, stirring it until all lumps are gone with each pour, until you have a good creamy consistency for your base. Cut about 6 hard-boiled eggs into small chunks and add to base. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over toast.


It doesn’t look that awesome, but it is so, so yummy. And it’s a good way to use up Easter eggs.

Miss and Lass weren’t all that into it tonight (though they loved it on Christmas), but I think that’s because they filled up on Easter candy at snack time. Sis went to town eating it up.


And finally, to top off a wonderful Easter, we had another birthday party.


Yep, I turned 37 today.


It was a really wonderful birthday with my favorite people. My little family of 5.


My big girls helped me to blow out my candles, open my cards, and open my birthday gift.


At bedtime, when I was chatting with my older girls I told them “thank you” for helping me to have a wonderful, happy birthday. Miss said, “Are you happy because you got a present?” I said, “I love my present. But the very best part of today was being with you girls and your Daddy. You are the best present I could ever have.” She smiled her big four-year-old smile at me and said, “Yeah, we are.”

Ready for Easter

We have been talking about Easter all week in school.

We’ve read books about the Easter Bunny. About Easter Eggs. About where both of these traditions originated. And about Jesus and the Resurrection, of course.

It has been a good week. We’ve all learned a lot. I found lots of fun activities to do addition and counting using plastic Easter eggs and small candies (like M&Ms and Jelly Bellies), and I added in a bit of number and shape recognition to some of them.

DSC_0496 DSC_0497 DSC_0498

We used up some left-over-from-St.-Patrick’s-Day poster board to make Easter bunnies.

DSC_0503 DSC_0508 DSC_0573

I often get out textural elements for the girls to add to their crafts, like cotton balls to make the bunnies fluffy (or puffy paint made with shaving cream and glue). Miss often rejects these outright. She knows what she wants, and in this case the cotton balls were not part of her vision. Lass thought it was fun to add the cotton balls. Until it wasn’t. I love their different approaches to things.

Today we dyed eggs.



We talk about measuring and color mixing and all sorts of fun stuff when we do this one.

DSC_0523 DSC_0518 DSC_0525

* Note: Last year I thought it was a great idea to use whisks to dunk the eggs in the dye. I even bought a second whisk this year since one of the ones I used last year didn’t work for this purpose very well. At the last minute I decided the whisks were sort of a pain (getting the eggs in and out of them was kind of messy, it was a little bit hard to get the eggs far enough into the dye, we could only do one egg at a time for each girl, etc.) and that the girls were old enough to do just fine getting the eggs out with spoons. I was right, and am glad I skipped the whisks this year.

DSC_0526 DSC_0533 DSC_0535 DSC_0539 DSC_0551

I used more food coloring in the dye this year. We used brown eggs that I buy from a friend who has her own chickens, so I wanted to dye to be extra vibrant. I love how they turned out.


We got a bit messy. Some fingers got dyed. Especially Lass’s, since she kept sticking her fingers into the cups to get her eggs out.


She was so eager to get her eggs in and out of the cups. She dyed four eggs green (her favorite color) before Miss pulled one of hers out of the dye, I think.


They had a lot of fun. Miss said, “I think the Easter Bunny with love these eggs.”

Speaking of the Easter Bunny, he has been here tonight. He tied yarn to the older girls’ door knobs, which will lead them to their baskets in the morning.

DSC_0567 DSC_0565

We have their baskets and eggs hidden in separate rooms so they will each have a chance to find the same number of eggs. Miss is a little bit more focused in her searching and finding, so we didn’t want Lass to miss out on eggs (and their contents) if Miss found most of them. Daddy hid Miss’s in the office.

DSC_0571 DSC_0572

We are ready for tomorrow.

I was all flustered for a few days earlier this week trying to figure out the logistics of doing Easter Bunny stuff with the girls and making it to church on time at 9. I considered doing the Easter Bunny stuff all on Saturday, hiding the eggs/baskets during nap time, or somehow running in to get it done while my husband stayed out in the car with them after church. Ultimately, I decided to take advantage of the fact that the church holds Mass at several different times during the day. We’re going at 11, so we’ll have plenty of time to get everything done and be ready to go on time tomorrow. Easy.

Happy Easter!

“Spring Forward” is Way Better than “Fall Back”

Before I had kids, I loved the “fall back” time change, and hated “spring forward.” I don’t know why really. People always talk about “getting another hour of sleep” in the fall and “losing an hour” in the spring. Which I guess is true if you have to get up for some reason on the Sunday morning following the change, but I rarely did. Actually, the time change hardly ever affected my sleep. Sure, I might have thought, on Saturday night in the spring, “Ugh, it was 1:59 and now it’s 3 am. I guess I’d better get to bed.” It might have been a bummer to wake up at 11, only to find that it was actually noon. But since I pretty much never had anywhere to be on Sunday mornings, I didn’t ever give up an hour of sleep. Oh heck no. I just lost an hour of day. But, I still preferred “fall back,” when I could wake up at 11am and find that it was actually 10!! I had another whole hour to watch Golden Girls and work on my dissertation, or whatever I used to do on weekends.

Now that I have kids, I’d really rather that we never had to go through this silly time change thing. Really.

But, since we must still change the clocks twice a year, I’ve learned that now I much prefer to “spring forward.” Now that I do have a reason to get up on Sunday mornings (three cute little reasons, in fact, who insist on waking up early in spite of my attempts to get them to understand that Mommy really loves to sleep in). In the fall, on that Sunday after the time change, my little darlings still wake up at 6am or so. Only it’s actually 5. And that Sunday after the “fall back” time change? It is the longest. day. ever.

But yesterday was a breeze. When Sis woke me up at 6, it was actually 7. And by the time her sisters were up and breakfast was done, the morning was half over. The day flew by! And a little extra bonus? All of my children slept past 7am today. Even this little one:


At some point, I’m sure they’ll adjust to this change in the clock and go back to waking at 6. But 7 was nice this morning.

And “springing forward” comes with all sorts of other nice things. Like above freezing temperatures and three days of rain that have begun to (barely) melt the mountains of snow we have.

Like St. Patricks Day fun. We made our annual yogurt covered pretzels shaped like shamrocks the other day. They were for a play date with our friends, and Miss worked really hard on them, making special ones for each of her friends who were coming over. Unfortunately our friends were sick, so we didn’t get to share with them. I was sad that we couldn’t have our play date, but on the bright side, that meant more treats for me. I mean us.


I bought some green peppers to do what I thought would be a totally awesome St. Patty’s Day craft with the girls. I made sure each of the peppers had three lobes, cut off the tops, put out green and white paint and green and white paper, and showed the girls how to make shamrocks using the peppers as stamps. They started to do the stamps, but as soon as I got out the little paintbrushes so they could paint stems, the stamping idea went right out the window. So they just painted.


Lass painted the peppers…

DSC_0486 DSC_0490

Oh well. We do have several lovely green and white paintings.

Before the rain came we got some time playing in the snow in the relatively warm weather on Friday.

IMG_1780 IMG_1784


At least we started out playing in the snow. The girls thought the snow was great at first, but as soon as they found the puddles on the driveway, they didn’t care one bit about the snow anymore.

IMG_1810 IMG_1818 IMG_1823 IMG_1825 IMG_1840 IMG_1842 IMG_1844 IMG_1848 IMG_1849 IMG_1855 IMG_1859 IMG_1864


I am so ready for spring.

One Wonderful Guy

I’m enjoying having my husband home this week.  We have been relaxing and he’s helping me get as much rest as I can.  Other than the days Miss went to school, he’s been letting me sleep in, which is such a wonderful luxury.  I slept until 9:30 one day!  It was amazing.  He’s been outside with Miss and Lass a lot too, which they love.  They’re working on getting our garden planted.
The girls helped him plant some veggies in these boxes today.
Then he opened the sandbox for them.

Oh, how they enjoyed the sandbox.  This was Lass’s first experience with it.

I must admit, I’m usually not a great lover of the sandbox.  But I think my lack of enthusiasm comes from having Miss in it last year in the middle of summer when she was hot and sweaty and sunscreened and it was nearly impossible to get the sand unstuck from her.  Today, it was no prob. Brushed right off.

Miss found a worm.  She didn’t want anything to do with it.

But Lass thought it was pretty darned cool.

It was a great day for lots of playing outside.

I love looking out the window while cooking dinner and seeing my husband chasing my girls around the backyard, playing “Monster,” or teaching them to kick a ball.  Sometimes I glance up and see them all just lying in the grass chatting and snuggling.  It warms my heart.  He is such a great girl daddy.  He is so thoroughly outnumbered, and I think he loves it.

I’m taking advantage of having my husband home this week and trying to spend some good one on one time with each of my girls.  My older girls have been such troopers through the whole adjustment to having Baby Sis home.  Miss loves to help with her, but I’m trying to give her some special attention all of her own too.

When I first brought Sis home, I was worried that Lass might get lost in the shuffle.  Miss was so interested in Sis and wanted to hold her and help with her all the time, and Sis of course just needs lots of attention and time.  I felt nervous that Lass might get left out.  So I have made a special point of trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.  She’s such a little lover that it hasn’t been hard to get in lots of extra snuggles with her and give her some special time.

I am not going to make the mistake I made with Lass of not introducing her to a bottle until she was five or six weeks old, at which point she flat out refused it, and continued to do so until I gave up trying to get her to take one.  Sis isn’t necessarily loving the bottle yet, but she has done pretty well taking it both from her daddy and from me this week.  I’m trying out a few different bottles to see which one she likes best.  I have just about every type of bottle ever made from my attempts with Lass, so she has lots of choices.

She is such an amazingly easy baby so far.  I’m finding it so easy to just soak up the sweet moments with her.

Unfortunately my sweet littlest one has had a little tendency to scratch the heck out of her face.  Poor baby.

You would think, this being my third time doing this, that I would have mastered the art of cutting newborn fingernails by now.  No.  I suck at it.  I tried three times yesterday to get those suckers trimmed and she was so squirmy I couldn’t get them done.  I know.  I’m a total wuss.  Today I finally wised up and cut them while she was sleeping.  Mission accomplished.  Why didn’t I think of that before?

I’m loving having three precious girls.  And one wonderful guy.

Easter Fun

We have had a fun Easter weekend.  The girls dyed eggs with me last night.

I got the idea to use a whisk to hold the eggs from Pinterest. It worked really well, though the whisk I used for Lass was a little bit small to fit the eggs into.  I also had to adjust the level of water in the cups and the position of the eggs in the whisks in order to be able to get the eggs submerged fully.  But, this was much easier than the way we did it last year, dropping the eggs into the dye and having Miss try to fish them out with a spoon.

Miss pretty much dyed all the eggs.  Lass did one egg and then lost interest.

This morning we hunted eggs and baskets.

It was Lass’s first experience with the Easter egg/basket hunt.

She caught on quite quickly.

I love the dollar section at Target.  So much good basket filler!

Baby Sis was still sleeping while we hunted, but the Easter Bunny left her a special basket too.

I finally got a few photos with all three of my girls together.

We went to brunch with the Easter Bunny.  The girls were so interested in the bunny when he was across the room, but once he came close, they were much more reserved.  Lass wouldn’t even take a toy from his basket, though as soon as we left, she kept asking for him.  “Bunny?  Bunny?”

Miss was a bit more brave and selected a toy.  She even shook his hand.

Baby Sis was an angel at brunch.  She is such an easygoing baby.  She got all tired out from our adventures of the morning.

Sweet little bunny…

Happy Easter!

Happy St. Patty’s Day

We have had amazing weather this week.  We’ve been busy soaking it up.

Swinging and running and climbing.  It’s been wonderful.  Lass wakes up in the morning and one of the first things she says is “‘side?  ‘side?” asking to go out and play.  My girls definitely love to be outside.

I don’t think I really even need to describe how much fun we’ve had in our yard the past few days.  The photos say it better than I could anyway.  But I will say that one of the great things about being outside is that I can often sit in the grass and watch as they get exercise and have a blast running around.  Sitting is my friend right now.  I’m at 39 weeks and large.

We have taken some walks too, as I’m trying to get the ball rolling here, but sitting and blowing bubbles or just watching my girls chase each other, or show off how fast they can run, or play with sticks or whatever. . . Well, it’s nice.  I want to be very lazy right now.  Don’t judge.

We got decked out in green for St. Patty’s day and played outside a lot more today.  It ended up being 80 degrees here.  In mid-March.  Beautiful.

We played with shamrock stickers and ate a special shamrock treat after dinner and took a walk by the lake.

I had purchased a really cute Good Luck Bear Care Bears T shirt for Miss to wear today.  It says, “Hug Me, I’m Irish” and has shamrocks and of course a Care Bear with a shamrock belly badge. I thought she would love it.  She flat out refused to wear it today and instead picked out her own green outfit.

Miss wanted to share a shamrock sticker with her Daddy.

Oh well.  At least the shirt was only $5 from Walmart.  Maybe next year.  And the outfit she picked out almost matched.

We had a fun day.  Nice and lazy and loaded with good family time.  Whether you’re Irish or not (I’m not, but my kids are), I hope you had a great St. Patty’s Day too.

“Muddy Soup” and Other Messes

So, yesterday I mentioned that I was hoping for more messy outdoor time for my girls today.  They are such agreeable and thoughtful girls.  They found the one little remaining spot of standing water/mud, and they really delivered.
They jumped and stomped in the mud.  They splashed with sticks.

Miss got a little on her face, and freaked out momentarily, but recovered well when reminded to just wipe it on her sleeve.

Lass was largely unperturbed by all the mud she was getting on herself.  Once in a while she’d turn around and point, as if to say, “Hey, I think I’ve got something on my face!”

She also held up her hands a few times and said, “Wash?” though when informed that we couldn’t wash without going inside, she happily went right back to her puddle.

Miss was a little concerned by how dirty her sister was getting.  She said, “Let me see your face, Muddy Girl.”

Then Miss declared she was going to make “Muddy Soup.”  Her Daddy requested pepper and garlic in the soup, to which she declared she would add cream, butter, and sugar.  Yum.

We had a grand time and sure did make a mess today.  I have no problem with outside messes.  Outside, my girls can get as dirty as they want.  Who cares if the yard gets dirty or messy?  The only thing I have to bother with, generally, is their clothes, and those wash (yes, these did all come miraculously clean).  So I find it kind of odd that I struggle a little bit with indoor messes. I have to regularly remind myself to lighten up when we are doing things that are a bit messy inside.  Now, I don’t care about toys getting messy.  Our house looks like a tornado hit it every day until bedtime when Miss does her chores, one of which is cleaning up toys.  No.  Toy messes don’t bother me.  I tend to get a bit uptight about other kinds of messes.  Play Doh.  Paint. Glitter.  Etc.  I make myself tolerate these things and try really hard to embrace them.  And typically I find that when I do, I have tons of fun and realize the mess is no big deal.  Like tonight.

Miss tested me with indoor messy tonight before bed.  She decided to play with the plastic eggs that I have in an Easter basket on our counter.  Yes, I have Easter decor up in our house already.  I was afraid I wouldn’t put it out if I waited too long and Baby Sis arrived before I got it out.  So anyway, we have an assortment of Easter decorations around the house, one of which is a fairly large basket with plastic eggs in it.  Under the eggs is a whole bunch of that paper Easter grass stuff.  Miss decided to dump the whole basket out on the floor, multiple times.  That grass stuff was everywhere.  I started getting all antsy about it, but I took a deep breath and told myself to chill out.  Then Miss brought the “grass” up on the couch where I was sitting.  It was in my hair and her hair, stuck to our clothes, in my couch cushions, all over my rug in the family room and the floor in the kitchen.  But you know, once I started really playing with it with her, I stopped caring about the mess we were making.  Miss made “hair” and “hats” out of the grass.  We used strands of the grass to make mustaches and giggled while we tried to arrange our mouths so they would stay in place.  She made lots of “toys” for her Baby Sissy, which she lovingly constructed, described to me (“tiny ball,” “snake,” “thing to put her thumb through,” “headband,” “mustache,” etc.), and then placed on my belly.  It was precious.
I sometimes wish I could be like those moms who are totally laid back about all the different types of messes of childhood.  That I could get out the really good crafty stuff, like finger paints and glitter projects several times a week, instead of my more boring stuff like stickers and crayons.  But, I yam what I yam, and I do always try to grow and to stretch myself, like by telling myself to chill out when a relatively minor mess starts to make my heart flutter, my hands sweat, and my face flush (just kidding, I don’t get quite that freaked out about it).  I’m getting out the Play Doh and the dot markers more and getting ready for another painting day.  I’m really enjoying the girls’ increased interest in helping in the kitchen in spite of the increased messiness it brings.  Childhood is messy.  I love the outdoor messiness.  I’m working on bringing my outdoor attitude about it into the house.

I’m getting there.

The Little Photographer

Quickie post tonight:
As foreshadowed yesterday, my girls got to get outside and play today.

And play they did.

They ran and ran around the yard, especially through the last patch of snow.

Lass fell and got snow on her hands.  She did not like that one bit, and Daddy warmed them up for her. 

They got beautifully wet and dirty and had fits when it was time to come in for lunch and naps.  Hopefully we will have more of the same tomorrow.

Miss got a little camera today.  She has been asking for one.  She was so excited and get right to taking photos of everything.

Her sister.


Her Yo Gabba Friends.

And various other artistic subjects.

This one was quite puzzling to us until we realized she had taken a picture of the cover of her Daddy’s “Whitetail” magazine.

I love this one.  She took it while spinning around dancing.

I didn’t edit any of these photos other than to enhance the color on them a bit, as this kid’s camera doesn’t take the best quality photos.  No cropping or otherwise changing the pics.  I love them!  What a wonderful way to see the world through her eyes.  I’m so proud of my little photographer.

The Beginnings of Warm

One week ago, we had this:

Six inches of wet, heavy snow.  Though it was beautiful, it was not really all that welcome.

Today, this is what my front yard looks like.  Hooray.  I’m ready for spring (notice the big sticks still in the ground to mark the driveway when we get lots of snow though…).

It was still pretty cold today, and we still have some snow in our shady backyard, but I think it’s going to warm up this weekend.

I’m not getting my hopes up that spring is here just yet.  It’s not unlikely that we’ll have another snow.  But I am loving the beginnings of warm, with longer days and more sunshine.  I’m hoping that winter will be largely behind us by the time Baby Sis arrives.  These girls are ready to start getting outside again.

The “Bumblebee Hat” 

And I’m a little nervous that I will never get out of the house again once Baby arrives, so I’m thinking that having somewhat warmer weather will at least help in my quest to not be stuck in my house forevermore.

The girls are excited to plant vegetables and flowers in the yard with their Daddy.  I can’t wait to watch them play together outside now that Lass is bigger.  I love this time of year.  So much to look forward to.

38 weeks and Baby Sis is still facing the right direction.  We’re getting so excited to meet her soon!