Easter 2014

Getting closer to getting caught up on the blog! Thought I should get Easter posted while it’s still May at least. We had a great Easter this year. We dyed eggs at home and did an egg hunt inside our house when the kids got up. Then after breakfast we headed to my grandma’s for the family gathering and another hunt in her yard. The kids both loved hunting for eggs this year and checking to see what they got. Last year Anna was starting to get the concept but each time she found an egg she wanted to stop and open it and investigate the contents. This year she had the strategy down and collected as many eggs as possible in the allotted time. There are a lot of cousins at my grandma’s house each year so they stagger it by age, letting the little kids go first so they can find their fair share. The teenagers aren’t left out though, there’s one “golden egg” that has a $20 in it and is always hidden in a very tricky spot for one lucky hunter to find.  

Tulips 2014

We are very fortunate to live not far from the well-known Mount Vernon Tulip Festival. Every year tulip farms in the area host a festival and visitors come from all over to see thousands and thousands of tulips. It really is an amazing sight to see and we try to get up there every year with the kids. The traffic coming and going gets crazy, but we’ve perfected the strategy of leaving home right after breakfast, getting to the fields when they open, and then heading out before lunchtime. There are still lots of people around, but that way we’re not sitting in tulip gridlock. The kids enjoyed wearing their rain boots and tromping around the fields, and put up with my picture taking. They were good about gently touching the tulips with one finger only, and I’m happy to report that no one picked any. As usual I took a ton of pictures, so here is a selection of the best ones!

Florida, Round 4

Here is the last round of Florida pictures! Some JAMM readers will know about the saga of our trip home. The short version is we went to the airport, flights ended up cancelled, we waited for 3 hours in baggage claim for our bags, went back to Dad and Helen’s, spent an extra day there (that was a nice bonus!) and then flew out at the crack of dawn the day after that. As we were getting ready to depart that second time Max remarked, “I hope none of our flights get deleted this time.” It was so cute, we knew right away he meant “delayed” but it actually still made perfect sense! I’m already looking forward to our next visit, thanks again Dad and Helen for taking such great care of us.

On one semi-rainy day we went into town. First stop was a store with a bunch of parrots in cages out front. One of them said a very clear “Hello” a few times, and the kids got a kick out of the fact that one was named Maxwell.
After admiring the birds, we walked around town and stopped for ice cream.
Another day we visited the Sarasota Aquarium. The kids loved seeing the big turtles, dolphins, and manatees (or as Anna calls them, “mantnanees”).
The aquarium had this statue of manatees with a sign for donations. Anna ran up and gave it a hug.
And finally, some more fun at Grandpa and Grandma Helen’s house!

Florida, Round 3

Another batch of pictures from our time in Florida! We’ve enjoyed a week of warmth and sun here, but we’re back to cool and rainy this weekend. So it’s the perfect time to look back at pictures of the warmth. 

Max wanted to make a list of things we would do that day, so he and Grandma Helen made one with boxes he could check off. He played with it for several days!
Max showing Grandpa and Grandma Helen how he can read the “Brand New Readers” books they got him for his birthday:
Helen had gathered an assortment of dress-up items for the kids. Of course they all had to be worn simultaneously.
Last year Max and Grandma Helen made homemade orange juice, and he was eager to do it again this year. We all enjoyed the results!
I love this one of Anna snuggling up with her Daddy.
A couple pictures from another day at the beach. Too cool and windy to swim, but still beautiful!
That’s Max and Grandpa walking and holding hands. So sweet.
Dad and Helen live close to the town of Bradenton, which has a great river walk with a really nice playground. We spent a sunny, windy morning there, the kids loved all the things to do on the playground!
For lunch we went to a little waterfront spot close to Dad and Helen’s house. They have fresh seafood and you can look out at a great view while you eat!
The kids loved watching the pelicans and seagulls.
The restaurant has a big wooden swing at the end of the dock. The kids and I enjoyed some time on it. I have no idea what I’m doing with my hand, but it’s otherwise a cute picture.
We love playing outside at their house. This year bubbles were a big hit with both kids, and Max loved “playing tennis” also.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a picture with Max without a round of silly faces!