Friday, March 9, 2018

Reading Day

The big kids' school invited parents to come read in their children's classrooms today.  I couldn't make it to all three of my kids' classes . . .

. . . but I was able to read two of our favorite Elephant and Piggie books to Anna's class.  It was delightful to share these fun books with Anna's classmates, using a different silly voice for each character. The kids even wrote me thank you notes afterward, which was really sweet.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring is Coming

We're slowly edging closer to spring in Maryland.

The crocuses are blooming.

The daffodils are THINKING about blooming.

And our temple is closing.  This Saturday will be the last day it's open before it undergoes a two-year renovation.  While Todd was at preschool today, I made one last trip to the Washington DC Temple before it starts "hibernating," just as everything else around here is starting to wake up.  Sleep well, Friend.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Stroll (Partway) Around Wilde Lake

The weather was sunny and surprisingly warm today . . .

. . . so Todd and I spent the afternoon exploring Wilde Lake Park. 

We were joined by Joy, who was sent home from school yesterday with a fever.  She feels fine today, but technically can't go back to school yet, so she came on a field trip with us instead.

At this scenic spot, Joy dipped her toes in the lake to see if it was chilly.  Given that we got a couple inches of snow here over the weekend, you won't be surprised to hear that the water was, well, freezing.

Partway around the lake, we stopped to have a snack and watch the geese.  They didn't pay much attention to us, but when a jogger came around the bend with a dog the whole flock made a beeline for the water.

We planned to walk all the way around the lake, but this little sign put a wrench in our plans.  Time to figure out a Plan B. :-/

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cinnamon Roll Valentines

I bake bread about once a week these days.  Sometimes I make wheat bread in loaf pans . . . 

. . . and sometimes I make challah braided bread because it looks fun (and tastes good).  I usually make two loaves at a time . . .

. . . but since this is Valentine's Week, I rolled out half the dough, brushed it with some butter, sprinkled on plenty of sugar and cinnamon, and rolled them into cinnamon roll hearts to share with my family.  Any holiday is more fun when you have some festive food to go with it. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Hike in the Urban Woods

The temperature got up into the sixties today, so Todd and I decided to go for a little hike on one of the many paths that crisscross our fair city.

Our path looked like a secluded woodland trail . . . 

. . . until you glanced fifty yards to the right or left and saw businesses and houses.  That's Columbia for you.

Todd had fun counting the wooden beams of each bridge we crossed.

We enjoyed seeing natural wonders like these mushrooms that looked like dragon scales on a fallen log . . .

. . . this tree whose light-colored leaves provide pretty contrast to the dreary greys and browns of winter . . .

. . . a couple of elegant Canadian geese (no matter how many of them I spot in this area, I still think they're a treat to see) . . .

. . . and a MINI.  When your dear Daddy drives one, you notice every single one that you pass.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Keepin' It Real on Sunday

Joy decided to spend her Sunday evening reading stories from the lives of some modern prophets.

It's an idyllic Sabbath scene . . .

. . . until I pan out and you see all the messes waiting to be cleaned up . . .

. . . and the mountain of dishes waiting to be washed in the kitchen.

We'll clean it all up at some point before bedtime, but for now, as the saying goes, "Our house is clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be happy."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pikmin Cake and Dogpiles

We celebrated Daniel's ninth birthday today.  When I asked what he wanted for his birthday dessert, he requested a chocolate sheet cake decorated with a yellow pikmin (his current favorite video game character).  I baked the cake . . .

. . . and his big sister used her art skills to draw the pikmin with yellow frosting.

Daniel was very happy with his custom cake. :)

After dessert and presents, the after-party party consisted of a wild dogpiling session (a fitting party game, given the birthday boy's rambunctious personality).  The three big kids took Daddy on together . . .

. . . but bantamweight Todd competed in a separate division so he wouldn't get hurt in the flailing chaos.  Snugglepiling looks like more fun to me, anyway.