Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Past Two Weeks

Howdy hoooo~!

Hey, everyone.
Sorry for the long absence there.
My mind has a funny way of doing the exact opposite of what I resolve to do sometimes.
For example, I noticed that I have progressively posted less and less entries since January, when I first took up blogging again. This prompted me to promise to myself that I'd turn that all around in April...only to fail miserably~!

But I must also say that the past two weeks haven't felt like there was THAT much to report.
Mainly because of a slew of crappy weather days, and William being sick for pretty much a whole week straight.

But looking back through my calendar and my cell phone's photo folder, I realized there is actually a bit that I would like to record here for posterity ;)

So without further ado, here are some posts I could've/should've done these past couple weeks:

1) Taxes!!
We actually got them done early this year (the day after my last post) and as always it put me in a foul mood since I hate to think that my taxes are paying for military efforts I don't support, and because we are self-employed and never have taxes withheld and so always have to pay out a bunch of money. I have never received a "refund" during tax season so I think it's a particularly more negative experience for me than for most folks

2) Wacky Weather!!
After a great big week of grand weather, we then had a week of colder, rainier weather which also put a damper on my mood. Spring can really tug at my heart strings, getting my hopes up that hat-n-mitten weather is officially over, only to pull the rug out from under my feet.
Here is what some instances of nice weather looked like:

William practicing how to write his name once more~!

And then foul weather that kept us indoors...but which did lead to some nice creative time with the kids:

Look at that tower!

There was even a super windy-rainy day one Tuesday that resulted in a blackout that lasted at least 5 hours, from 5:30pm to around 10:30pm! That is very unusual occurrence for us in-town folks, and it found us eating cold leftovers out of the fridge for dinner and reading by candlelight! I loved it. I felt very much like we were Ma & Pa Ingalls, since I couldn't surf the web and put the kids down at 6:30pm out of the sheer lack of anything else to do.
It's funny because I always want to be prepared for a disaster...but here we were with just a few hours without electricity and I felt pretty paralyzed. Oh, well! It was a cozy evening for sure.

Snug in bed, reading my fantasy novel by candlelight. And a candle resting on our sconce in the background~!

3) Social Fun!!
We also had the lovely サンソム家族 over on one of the Sundays which was the first instance of entertainment we'd done in what felt like months. It was such a lovely time, Dash and I vowed that we really must do that more often. It forces us to really tidy up the home (always good!) and generally isn't as much work as we tend to assume it will be. Just good fun all around.
We just made it a big "burrito bar" style dinner with ground pork, homemade guacamole + tortillas, and all manner of toppings. :) The kids had a blast since the weather was still nice so they were outside a lot too.

It's a bit of a tradition that the kids put on a fashion show when our two families get together :D

Mei and William curled up on the sofa to read LoZ manga! William is quite smitten with Mei ;)

4) So Much Baking!!
I must say, now that we have this motor for our grinder, Dash has been baking more regularly than ever, and we also have a supply of freshly ground flour in the house!
I also took advantage of all our flour by baking some crackers with William for our neighbors:

Love using our star-shaped cookie cutters to make the crackers extra special

As I'd mentioned, he got a head cold all week so he didn't go to school at all last week. That resulted in my morning school commute routine being a lot faster (not so much dead weight to pull!) and really taking advantage of McD's as my work space with its free wi-fi and distraction-free setting :D
I got a ton of work done, both paid and otherwise, and am feeling very much on top of things.
Thankfully, William is well now so his in-class celebration will be Monday. So sweet!

5) William Turns Four!!
Speaking of William, he had his birthday just yesterday! The big ol' four years old :)
Crazy to think that Ella turned four once. I'd been so committed to making things for her birthday and holding a really big shindig for it. But perhaps it's my age, because now I feel like a small, sweet celebration is better. Less stress/effort, that's for sure. ;)
So for William, we stuck to our li'l family tradition and went to El Sol De Mexico Friday evening.

William fell asleep right in the middle of his meal! Ha!

On Saturday (the day of!) William got to open his presents. One of which is a nifty flashlight-light saber. Our family just adores flashlights, so yay!

Thanks, Nana!!

The weather finally turned a corner from the cooler stretch we'd had so we took a stroll down to the riverfront to enjoy the first day of the Farmer's Market:

The kids surprised me by insisting that they carry their notepads and pens to sketch nature on the way~

Tree climbing with a goofy face

Ella has become a master at finding four leaf clovers! Did you know, as a child I thought four leaf clovers were a myth @_@

Back at home, we enjoyed baking William's cake and making mini quiche for a potluck-in-the-park celebration our dear friends the Stalters put on for us.
It was such a good time!!!!!
I swear, potlucks are the way to go since the hosts don't have to be responsible for feeding 3x as many folks as usual which can be hard on the wallet and also take a bunch of time. Instead, the theme was "French finger foods" so that clean-up was minimal and the spread was delicious.

There was sourdough bread with balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and mozzarella, veggie burgers in pitas, and more! :D
Here's a shot of Ella since William and his friend Lucas were rarely at the picnic blanket with us, rather opting to make mud pies instead :D

It was held at Arnold Park, which has recently had an upgrade so that it's got awesome massive climbing structures, and the kids had a great time while we adults also got to connect and enjoy fun conversation. It was the Stalters, the Petts, the Collins and a friend of the Stalters whose names escape me now but were also delightful. ;) We were celebrating not only William's birthday, but also the good news that the Petts will be staying in town rather than having to move away, the Stalters are about to close on their first home, and also a little precursor celebration for my own birthday that is coming up~! So many good things to celebrate!!!!

Whelp, that's about all that is worth sharing from these past two weeks.
I really hope to do better about posting regularly because it feels nice to record these days, to some day look back on.
So far April has been grand, and I look forward to the coming warmer weather and that springtime feeling~
Today we'll be hitting up Enchanted Forest amusement park which is my non-material experiential gift to William. Dash will actually be joining us since he got all his usual Sunday deadlines done ahead of time. Hurray!!! :)

I'll be sure to report back in as to how it went.
So until then, take care and Happy The Past Two Weeks!!

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