Uncle Chris, Maria, Elizabeth, Matthew, Amelia, Michael and I all went to the Log Farm sugar bush today. Erika got into a fight with her dad right before leaving and stayed home to do chores instead with Uncle Brendan.
There were more animals at the farm this year. Matthew was quite impressed by how many cats there were. Elizabeth was unimpressed by not getting maple taffy on the snow. They had a wonderful time playing in the woods and I was reminded how much I enjoy this particular location, especially the part where we don't have to drive an hour to get here!
Elizabeth went to Peyton's for her first non-family sleepover! I gather Elizabeth enjoys sleepovers. I like them less because it turns out that we miss having Elizabeth around for chores. She actually pulls her weight now.
Elizabeth is away from home at least one night for the first three weekends out of four in April (and then again the first week of May), which is slightly unfortunate timing especially given that her cousins just moved in. On the other hand their presence helped mitigate some of Matthew and Amelia's jealousy.
Brendan was laughing at me because I had a slight moment of "my baby is growing up too fast".
Not wasting any time, Erika and Maria started school at Hopewell right away. The Japanese school year ends at the end of March, so when they left Canada Erika had to repeat grade three and Maria had to repeat kindergarten. Coming back they finished grades two and five respectively and now have a very short grade three and six year to acclimatize themselves.
The schedule works out okay - it turns out that if they leave at the same time as my kids have to catch the bus, they can walk from our house to school.
Elizabeth thinks her cousins should go to her school instead, but at least "now we know they can get to school so we can do sleepovers during the year". Ha!
Chris, Maria and Erika have all moved back to Canada from Japan! They are living with us for the next few months as their house is currently rented out until the end of June.
There was still snow on the ground and I have to say that coming around the corner to find hundreds of eggs scattered all over the woods is quite magical.
This year we divided up the bags for easier hiding and tried to improve the water proofing especially for those candies more prone to becoming disgusting if waterlogged. I actually searched around for eggs without holes but it seems that the hole is an integral part of how they are made.
Marit and her brother came to help me stuff the eggs this year which was super appreciated, and Lynda also gave me some pre-stuffed. All told we had some 400 eggs or something ridiculous, but we also had a pretty good turnout of kids who were quite happy to collect them all.
One thing that drives me insane about the kids' current life stage is their desire to make magic potions.
Specifically, this involves raiding my spice, flour and flavouring cabinets, soap and a LOT of food colouring.
Now, I like to think I'm a chill mom about this sort of thing but while I can overlook using a few drops of food colouring here and there, it's much harder to focus on the creativity and fun of the activity when my yellow (hard to find in bulk) food colour just got (literally) poured down the drain, my pure vanilla extract bottle is half empty (why?? Why not use the artificial stuff?!?) and there's a couple of tablespoons of chili powder dumped all over the counter.
But then I take a deep breath, remember how much fun it was to make my brother eat "magic potions" (watered down shampoo, if I recall) and resolve to make sure the kids know that the magic only works if applied externally.... outside... to the ground...
Alleluia! He is Risen!
Easter Sunday 2018 included our annual indoor Easter Egg hunt, chocolate nest cereal (courtesy of Auntie Janice), hospitality hour at church for lunch, Skyping with Lorianne and a big roast beef dinner.
It was also April Fool's day. Matthew had a haircut while Elizabeth was at book club, so he told her that his hair disappeared while he was sleeping. Elizabeth gave me a fish (it took me FAR too long to figure out what on earth the fish was for), and Brendan and I turned the milk green, as per tradition.
I've had orchids for years - they are my favourite flower and were in my wedding bouquet, but usually I baby them along for a decade or so and then throw them out after I forget to water them and they dry up. So around Christmas I was pretty excited when one of my orchids started to bud! Then I was pretty devastated when one of my children broke off the spray by being careless with a curtain (they aren't even supposed to touch). Luckily the orchid was pretty determined and it bloomed for Easter! The first few crocuses are poking up outside too.
The bishop visited our parish for Easter, so there were several baptisms and confirmations. Elizabeth's friends Peyton and Riley had their first communions. The congregation was invited to bring in their baptism candles to be lit from the newly baptised, so Janice and my kids did! I have no idea what happened to Brendan's baptism candle but don't think I ever had one of my own. Michael was asleep so we opted out; I had my hands full preventing Amelia from lighting her hair on fire as it was. It was a pretty cool moment.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!