Monday, May 12, 2014

Awesome April

Here are some of the random things that happened in April!

It started warming up enough to play outside again, even barefoot a few times! 
(Very few, because April was overall still quite chilly!)

John won this t-shirt and some other rewards for the money he raised for the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart. He got really into it this year! And Sam had fun making funny faces.

This is technically from the end of March but I wanted to include it because it's a rare and special event when Peter breaks out the power tools! Here he was putting the finishing touches on John's Pinewood Derby car, which went on to do very well the next evening in the race. Great work Peter! My husband is a jack-of-all-trades! 

General Conference weekend was nice. Peter made me a delicious chicken salad for lunch two days in a row (I told you he was a jack-of-all-trades!), and during the Sunday afternoon session Sam was resting on my lap and then fell asleep. It was really sweet and reminded me of his baby days, which I miss. I'm so glad that he still has that little cheek pudge and those knuckle dimples. He's not all grown up yet!

The morning light at breakfast. I like how it illuminated Sam's hair, the chair, the teddy bear, and even his waffle!

The kid carts are fun at HyVee!

Spring/summer candles in the candelabra on top of the piano. I like to coordinate the color and scent of the candles according to the season.

Speaking of candles, this was April's. Yankee Candle's "Soft Blanket" is one of my favorites.

 Morning iPad time.

I was so happy to find nautical-themed things for the Cape house at Target! Nautical stuff is hot this season! I love these gold anchor bookends and this golden crab.

More great discoveries for the Cape house at Hobby Lobby!

Fun with selfies! 

Ha ha! I'm such a dork!

We went to the Fossil Gorge for the first time since fall. I can't believe this used to be the bed of an ancient shallow tropical sea. It's only two miles away from my house! It's fascinating to me to think about what used to be where we are now.

See those fossils imprinted in the rock? So cool.

Sam got a pink scooter. John teased him relentlessly, but he loves it!

  Such a cute, classic kid lunch. I'm going to miss these when my kids are grown.

Sam's cute Easter footprint craft from preschool.

 Look what else I found at Target! Archie cars! I loved Betty & Veronica and the other Archie comics when I was a kid, so I had to get these. I was considering saving them in the packages as collector's items (you never know how much they'll be worth someday!), but Sam saw them and really wanted to play with them, so now that's what he (and I) do. 

A boy and his shadow. 

I got a much-needed shelf for Sam's room, which he was excited about.

I sure do love this kid. (I love them both, but like I've said before, Sam and I are together a lot more and John doesn't usually like me as much as Sam does!)

The roses at Costco inspire me with their beauty!
Those two bouquets of red roses on the top right look like they're forming a heart. It's rose magic!

One of my best discoveries of the month was green smoothies. What an easy, delicious, refreshing way to get fruits and veggies into your diet, which I need to do more of! These are the two recipes I've been using a lot: Beginner's Luck (spinach, mango, pineapple, and bananas) and this one that doesn't have a cool name but does have spinach, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and orange juice. Yum yum!

The first flowers bloomed in the yard after our long hard winter and spring.
What a welcome sight!


One of my biggest accomplishments in April was FINALLY finishing my recipe organization/meal-planning project. This has been on my list of projects to do for literally years, and I started in the fall. Now it's finally done and our recipes and cookbooks are organized and I've come up with an easy way to plan dinner meals and try new recipes. 

Peter and I finally ate dinner together at Iowa River Power, a restaurant I've been wanting to try ever since we moved here almost four years ago. The food was good and so was the view, and I like that it's in an old historic power plant. 

 RIP trampoline. :-(

This is one of my favorite spots in the house at one of the best times of day when the afternoon light comes shining in so beautifully.

 One of the best pictures I took in April! Sam and his buddy Boo Boo.

The sky looked really neat one evening, all purple and gold.

 Morning iPad/pre-breakfast snack time. This is what they sometimes do before I come down in the morning.

One of my favorite things about spring is all of the birds that come back. I love their twittering and I love their variety. It's fun to watch them fly around. From inside the house I was able to photograph this little cardinal, first in one tree, and then in another.

It's not close-up or anything, but there he (or she) is! 

And Sam continues to utilize lots and lots of tape.

 Other things that happened in April
-Best things:  Going to New York City to see my sister get married (posts forthcoming). Easter (post forthcoming). General Conference. The first warm weather in many months!
-Best (and only) movie I saw: The Amazing Spiderman. It was pretty good. I want to see the sequel that just came out.
-Favorite thing on TV: Disney Night on Dancing With the Stars. I loved it!
-Biggest accomplishment: Traveling with the kids by myself halfway across the country on round-trip connecting flights. I'd never done it before, and it went well. Even when on the return trip, I was recovering from an awful bout of food poisoning. Which brings me to...
-The worst thing that happened: I got really sick with food poisoning my last night in New York. It was horrible!
-Best discoveries: Green smoothies. Quart-size bags (how I have been missing these all my life?!). Scarves (I finally figured out how to tie them!).
-Other random things: I really enjoyed listening to a bunch of different speakers on The Mom Conference online. I learned a lot (including how to make green smoothies!). It was quarter-end for Peter at work and he worked very late a lot and even on some Saturdays. We hardly saw him, and at times I felt like I was slowly dying of loneliness. And last and probably least, April was National Poetry Month, and I actually broke out my book of Emily Dickinson poems and read some of them in honor of that. I also got out two books of fun poetry for kids that I intended to read with John and Sam, but it never actually happened. But my intentions were good!