Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Break Adventures IV

It started raining last night, and there was a 60% chance of thunderstorms the rest of the day. That took swimming at the pool off the table. So last minute we opted to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts. It is a very nice art museum, with some really amazing pieces, and it is free to residents in our county.

They had a postcard watercolor craft for the kids to do. Peter and Andi enjoyed the experience, David was a grump.

Once we got to the art exhibits David got a lot happier.

All of the kids especially enjoyed the Egyptian art. However they were totally creeped out by it, especially the mummy...

The ceiling of the museum's main hall was stunning. I'm pretty sure this is a very old building and it is a very beautiful building too.

For a Bear adventure requirement David did some research on American historical figures. One of the people he read about was Benjamin West. So David was pretty impressed to find a couple of West paintings among the painting in the Early American Art gallery.

We had a lot of fun. We didn't even get to half of the exhibits so I am rather excited to go back. The kids have probably seen all they care to see, but I would go again.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Break Adventures III

Today's adventures stayed a little closer to home. We went to a basket shop five minutes up the road and took a basket weaving class.

The shop itself was fun to explore with all of the basketry supplies one could ever hope to find. For a basket-lover like myself it was basket heaven! The shop owner was kind and patient, the perfect teacher. 
David and Andrea were clever and figured out the pattern and system pretty quickly. Peter needed some help, but he, too, weaved his basket with little trouble. 

David was attentive to all of the details and Miss Kathy taught him an extra nice finishing technique for his basket. She said that boys tend to be surprisingly good at basket weaving. Kids that are good at math also tend to excel at the craft.
Peter and I did the normal finish on our basket. Andrea did a loop that leaves the basket looking like it has a lace edge, it is very pretty.

After our class we went on a hike at Kensington and fed some chickadees. Everyone got at least one bird in their hand, so all left happy though one little girl grumbled almost the entire time. 

We saw a muskrat (I think...) as we were heading out. 
After our hike we went home for lunch. And, after two days of long, busy days, everyone was extra tired so we all went and had quiet/nap time. I set my timer for an hour, so imagine my surprise when Jonathan, not my timer, woke us up! We'd been out for a solid two and a half hours! We got ready for the YMCA, went and played (kids) and worked out (me and Jonathan), then hurried home for dinner. I had promised the kids we would have ice cream after quiet time, so we went after dinner. 
It was just across the street, and I am rather sorry we haven't been before. It was really good!

So another successful day, albeit quieter than the last two. But a rest day is always a good thing.

David and I want to go back to the Basket Sampler and make more baskets. That was just so much fun. It is always something I've wanted to do but never tried until now. I think the best part was that we paid $7 for each basket's supplies and then the instruction and use of the workroom was included. We came home to a clean house, no mess for us! And we can go get other kits and work on them there again! A hobby with no accumulation of supplies at my tiny home... Now that is a hobby I could really embrace!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring Break Adventures II

We went to the zoo today. The cost of the tickets for our family vs cost of a membership prompted us to invest in a membership, so we will probably be going rather regularly now...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Break Adventures I

We had really wanted to go visit family for our Spring Break this year. And then the cars needed significant repairs and our plans had to change. So I made up a list of things we could do during our Spring Break. First on that list was a tour of a chocolate factory. I asked around to see if anyone wanted to go with us and got the tour scheduled. We had five families show up, so we had quite the happy crew on the tour with us. It was so fun!

I couldn't take pictures on the tour, but it was so neat to see how the conveyer belt and chocolatiers turned basic ingredients into the yummy Sander's Salted Caramel Chocolates you can buy at Costco. We got some free samples, too!
After all that chocolate we needed to have lunch. I'd packed a lunch, but it was cold out and not nearly as nice as I had hoped it would be. So we nixed the picnic idea and went with a couple of the other families to McDonalds. The kids played and ate their packed lunch and I got to visit with a couple of remarkable women. Win-win!

Andi's friend C got her mom's phone and snapped a few pictures of the two of them together. The goofballs are so cute! I taught them both while I taught Sunbeams a couple years ago. They've grown up a lot, and their personality and character has grown even more. In these pictures I see a hint of the young women they will be in ten years. I hope they stay as silly, happy, and friendly!

After playing for a while we headed home. I tried to drive by Lake St Clair but had limited success. From what I did see, it is HUGE!! It looks like the ocean, and it isn't even as big as one of the Great Lakes. We are going to go up to Port Huron at the end of the week. That should be fun.

When we got home the kids watched a movie and I taught a piano lesson. After we had the brisket we were supposed to have yesterday. I remembered to put it in the oven this morning. ;)

A good, busy day made for tired children. They happily went to bed and now I have a moment to myself. General Conference catch-up and dishes are the order of business tonight!


I put the kids' Easter baskets together last night. Most of it was candies I got at IKEA but I also managed to find chocolate frogs (complete with a Wizard trading card) and then my mom and dad sent up Kindereggs (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
I also made bow ties for all of my boys, but I didn't get them in the picture.

Today the choir sang an arrangement of Beautiful Savior that I revised. I included an children's chorus in the piece so David lended his beautiful boy soprano voice to the piece. I'm really proud of him and our choir. They did a great job and we got a lot of compliments, especially the children. I have to say, this calling has really challenged me, but it is worth the sacrifice to have Sunday's like today when the ward (and I) get to hear such beautiful songs that bring such a beautiful spirit. It was a good worship service.
The kids are officially transitioned to their new summer church outfits. We give them only one for each season. Andi and I went shopping for her dress on Tuesday. She was so happy to find that dress! And the boys all looked spiffs in their matching outfits.

At church I found out that a friend's husband was out of town for a test that was randomly scheduled for tomorrow. She has no family in the area so it was just her and her 17-month-old daughter at home. I really had to drag that out of her, and when I did I couldn't just let her celebrate Easter alone! So C and L joined us for fish tacos (we forgot to put the brisket in the oven before leaving for church). After dinner Jonathan and David went to scout out the park to see if the Easter bunny had been there. He had, so Andi, Peter, C and L, and I made our way to the park for a short hunt. It was so fun!

After the hunt we went back to the apartment for cake. The kids had decorated it with Peeps:

It was a great evening. I'm so glad we were able to share the night with friends. We have great people around us and I'm so grateful for their love and support. I'm always so glad to return the favor in some small way. :)