Friday, April 8, 2016

Little Bits of March

March came and went so quickly. It is an aptly named month because it marched right on passed us. As each month tends to be, it was nicely packed. This month, however, was special because some of my family was in town for a month-long vacation/visit. Although our SoCal weather was cool with some occasional rain (ironic, since February was unusually warm and they were escaping the Canadian weather) and the flu swept through our house, our time together was nonetheless most memorable. We simply did the things many families take for granted. We celebrated birthdays together, the boys played their flag football games with more fans on the side-lines (which was super meaningful to them), we baby-sat for each other, shared meals together, swapped kids for sleepovers, and, well, enjoyed more of the relationship we normally miss. 

It would have been nice if my kids' spring break had been for the whole month, too, instead of just one week! We did not tag along with them to all the local attractions (i.e. zoo, amusement parks, etc.), as our regular school, sports, and ministry load kept us plenty busy. We did take them to a few of our favorite spots, and each time those proved to be just as fun. Here we are at our friends' grove, which is quite different from a Canadian orchard:

Andrew showing his cousins his fort

Cousins! These little guys are the most cute, entertaining, and special of playmates!

My sister said this one was hard to photograph because he is always moving and clowning around. My tactic was to shoot through the fort walls unsuspectingly until he became accustomed to my camera...

I'm used to boys, so finding bugs for this nephew allowed me to snap pictures of him for a while.

Always together... I loved to see the physical connection between all the kids! So sweet!

A birthday celebration at the condo;
Smiles and laughter at some sort of silliness happening behind me.

"How old are you, Tristan?"
It's not an easy thing to get three finders up!

Our fair-eyed boys: Michael absolutely loved time spent with his cousins. Age difference didn't matter to him.

"Can you show me a thumbs up?!"

The tide pools were high on my list of places to take my family. We are all nature lovers. This experience is so wonderful to the kids whether it's their first time or not. They never tire of the exploration and discovery.

Looking through the water with my camera... as long as I can cast a shadow over the surface of still water, I can take a picture. 

Sea Anemone

Sea Slugs

The perfect spot for a quick rest

Crabs everywhere. I loved watching the little hermit crabs going about their business.


The boys found brittle stars and an octopus. The octopus wouldn't come out from hiding, but he would wrap his tentacles around anyone who was brave enough to stick their arm or foot below a submerged rock ledge.

Baby sea lion

Then came Easter. I like that it's a quieter holiday than Christmas. It makes it seem more sacred to me, like it's mostly reserved for those to whom it is meaningful. We enjoyed communion at church on Good Friday, and spent Saturday at home doing odd jobs as needed (I was still recovering and catching up from a flu that completely wrecked me) and preparing a simple day for Sunday. The best part of Saturday was sitting down with the kids in one of the bedrooms and reading through Luke's account of the crucifixion and resurrection. If nothing else was done, I still would have been happy simply reading through scripture together.

Olivia and I gathered little bunches of flowers from our yard for the table, and she wrote on the chalkboard. This picture was taken early Sunday morning, before the table was set. We enjoyed a family breakfast, then time at church.

Olivia dyed white eggs for the center piece. We wanted a natural blue, so I chopped and boiled a red cabbage to make a dye. The result was a lovely robin's egg blue. The intensity of the color depends on how long the egg sits in the colored water.

After church, the gang came over. Some had changed outfits, some had not. And some of my boys thought socks paired with flip-flops were cool for the backyard. My older kids had hidden treats for everyone to gather, so everyone was eager to go hunting.

All the kids, my mom, my sister, and me... I'm thankful for this picture.

Searching and finding

Some treats were hidden in the fence knotholes, some in the trees, and some in "secret spots" in case there was nothing left for the older ones!

Jacob not wanting to pause for a picture!

After the egg hunt, we loaded up and went to a school field nearby and played an egg toss game. The adults participated, and my three-year old nephew thought the point of the game was to hit people with the egg, sort of like a snow-ball fight! It was a fun game that I'm sure we'll repeat again in the future.


My sister and her kids FaceTimed with us yesterday. The call came in as we were driving home from Olivia's school, so only the kids got to talk. They showed them all their Maple syrup bottles lined up on the shelf (a great harvest from their own trees), and all the snow still covering the ground. I hope their time here was a nice respite from the cold; more importantly, I hope relationships were deepened and special memories were made. It meant a lot to me that they chose to vacation here.



  1. How nice that your family could visit for an extended time. The memories from those kinds of visits run deep!
    You and your sister are beautiful and your daughter is right there taking after you too. :-)

  2. Thank you! We do hope that our kids will gather someday and reminisce!


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