Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kickin' It Old School

About a week-and-a-half ago I received a letter from my friend Kim. It's always such a treat to receive fun mail and this letter was surely no exception! Back when I was a child I would look forward to getting the mail each day. You never knew when there would be a card or letter or something fun in the mail. These days, unless my grandfather sends us a letter, or Kim sends some gnomes (or other surprises) for the girls or a letter to me ,or it's someones birthday, the mail is generally pretty boring. There really is something so wonderful about receiving a handwritten note from someone you care about. So, last night I sat down to write to my friend. It felt so very right to take pen to paper and reply back. Sure, I could have dropped Kim a note via Facebook but that wouldn't generate the same excitement and happy feelings as getting a letter in the mail would now would it? I filled three sides of the card and easily could have written more. Receiving Kim's letter and reading this article really got me thinking. We have so much technology and yet we are more disconnected than ever before. A handwritten note, a phone call, a visit in person, family gatherings on Sundays: these are all things that we really should bring back. Things that we should make more of an effort to make happen. And perhaps if we do, if we unplug and "kick it old school" a little more often, we'll all become happier, more connected and and a lot less stressed. Perhaps then getting the mail will return to being an exciting time each day (and hey, maybe in the process we can help save the postal service, too)! I am going to make sending letters to family a friends a much more regular practice. I hope you'll join me in doing the same!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Costume Day!

Costume Day at dancing is pretty much as exciting as the arrival of their birthdays or Christmas Day! Emma's costume arrived first, the week before April break, and Grace's arrived yesterday. From the moment that Emma received her costume Grace couldn't wait for hers to arrive. On our way to her dance class yesterday she asked: "Do you think that today will be the day, mama? Do you think my costume arrived?" And as luck would have it her wish came true! From the moment that both girls were handed their costumes they couldn't stop smiling! They are lovely, these costumes, and with any luck the days will fly by and June (and the recital) will be here before we know it! Until then, there's much practicing and preparing still to do and the costumes will remain in their new found home in my closet. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Marvelous Monday

A gorgeous day spent with fabulous friends is the perfect way to begin a new week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Smiles::Greetings From Tanzania

Today at church we had two visitors from Pomeran Tanzania. 
They will be here for the next couple of weeks and will be sharing about their lives in Africa.
During Children's Time today the children were asked to raise their hands if they were five, six or seven years old. They were then told that if they were living in Tanzania they would be expected to carry home five pounds of water (on their heads) every day. Children in Tanzania generally have to walk five miles to get clean, fresh water. A family of four requires ten buckets of water per day! After this information was shared with the children Grace was selected to go and attempt to lift the bucket. The congregation was impressed that she was able to lift it off the ground! 
Later in the service, after the children had gone to Faith Workshop, our visitors shared some thoughts with us. It was then that they also presented a beautiful picture to our church from their church. 
They are so thankful for all our church community has done to bring clean, fresh water to their village. 
And we are so grateful to be able to help our neighbors have access to such a vital resource! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Grace And Emma Meet Laura Ingalls Wilder

Yesterday found the girls and I headed to Old Sturbridge Village to "meet" Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is perfectly portrayed by Melanie Stringer and the presentation was truly a joy to behold. We sat captivated the entire time (over an hour!) and were thrilled to get to chat with her a bit afterward as well. Little House on the Prairie has been a part of the girls world their entire lives. They have watched the show, seen the movie (which is much more true to the book) and we have read the book (a read-aloud version my brother gave us a few Christmases ago). So, with all this in mind it was no surprise that when I asked them yesterday afternoon if they'd like to go to the Village to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder that they instantly shouted "yes"! I am so glad that we went as it truly was an amazing experience! We hope that she returns to OSV for many moons to come! To read more about Melanie and the hows and the whys check out the link here, here and here (the second link is my favorite part of the three part series). 

Friday, April 25, 2014

{This Moment} Patiently Waiting

{This Moment} - A Soule Mama Friday ritual. A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments section for all to find and see. We wish you a delightful weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Last Thursday

The girls and I spent last Thursday morning making pretzels and singing while we worked (the Pandora station we were listening to totally hit it out of the park that day)! It was so fun to see them get so excited each time they twisted another pretzel, and such a nice way to spend a morning. It was the first time that they had made pretzels (and many moons since the last time that I made them too). We agreed that this was a tradition we surely wanted to make sure happened each year before Easter!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In Which Grace And Emma Join The Militia

Yesterday was Patriots' Day here in Massachusetts. It is the day that we commemorate the Battles of Lexington and Concord and therefor the start of the Revolutionary War. My friend Erin invited us to come along on an adventure with her and her boys. They were headed to Minuteman National Park and wanted to know if we would like to join them. Without any hesitation I replied "yes", packed us a picnic lunch and off we went. How it is that we have been in Massachusetts for as long as we all have and have never been to Minuteman National Park is beyond me! Such a neat place, just oozing in history (as is the case in Massachusetts and all of New England, really), with lots to learn, lots of places to explore and acres of beautiful grounds to enjoy. We saw a presentation at the visitors center which was really well done. It was a nice refresher for those of us who had forgotten some Revolutionary War information learned many moons ago, as well as a good introduction for those that have not yet learned much about it (Grace and Emma). After the presentation we headed to Hartwell Tavern to see for ourselves a building that was present during that time. We had no idea when we arrived that our littles would start their militia training, but start it they did (and they did a great job too)! My brother, a Patriot through and through, as well as an accomplished marksman, upon seeing these pictures asked when they would be able to try their hands at firing the real thing. We'll leave that up to Grace and Emma but for now I think this mama will be fine if they stick with the wooden version for awhile longer! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

On Easter Sunday

Last year was the first year that our church "flowered the cross". It's such a beautiful tradition and we are so glad that it took place again this year! For those that have not participated in this fabulous tradition, everyone in the congregation is asked to come forward and add a flower to the empty cross. It is a way to take a device associated with torture and death and turn it into something of beauty and love.
Greg and Elizabeth add a few more flowers. 
Blessings and scarves for the members of the congregation who ran the marathon. 
Easter baskets were checked out after we returned home from church (as is our tradition). Even though it's our tradition to wait it always impresses me how patient the girls are!
The new gnomes (made by my friend Kim from Mothering with Mindfulness) were of course a beloved item in their baskets! 
One of the chickens I knit. I had a tough time with the beak (which next time I will felt instead of knit) but other than that this project was super easy and very fun). The girls were so happy to have a mama-made item in their baskets!
In they go. 
Ever since our trip to The Museum of Russian Icons, there have been loads of questions about the crucifixion. With that in mind we have spent this Lent talking about the events that led up to Easter Sunday. The items above are part of an activity to help kids better understand the empty tomb. A friend of our from church posted this on her Facebook page and I am so glad she did (thanks Joyce!) as it was the perfect way to end our Lenten theme. 
"Where did the marshmallow go?! It's gone!"
Ready for Easter dinner. 

We had such a lovely Easter Sunday. It wasn't our traditional family gathering for Easter but it was fabulous nonetheless. The church service was beautiful, the weather lovely, the Easter baskets a total hit and the food delicious. The girls and I even snuck in a walk while Dave was catching up on some work. Regardless of if you celebrate Easter or not, we hope that your weekend was as sweet and wonderful as ours was! xo