Beautiful Day

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Moments of March

The last day of March means it's time to review the moments and memories brought to us within its thirty-one days.

The entrance of spring is always glorious! But the onset of Daylight Savings?  Not so much.  It always takes about a month to adjust to it ever since "the powers that be" moved it to a month earlier.  At least we get breathtaking colors and blossoms on our plum and cherry trees to make up for it.

I wanted a fresh way to countdown the Lent season this year and saw this idea.  The rock candy, small though it is, is given to a child who has exhibited something of the character of Christ that day.

Many tea times this month, which is always a special treat!  We had a small tribute to Purim with these Hamantaschen cookies.  Only a few of them stayed folded in the oven though!

We get to start bringing cut flowers in from our garden! Sunny daffodils warm my heart.

Once again, a St. Patrick's Day feast!   We enjoyed our favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe, Potato Leek soup, and a new addition this year.....Irish Apple Cake.  We spend some time reading of the life of Saint Patrick during the course of the day and after the meal.

We were finally able to make it back to a Ceili dance!  Hurray!  It is a family-friendly event, but I kind of thought our younger children would be a bit lost in the speed of the dance and end up watching most of the time.  Not so!  They danced their hearts out and loved every minute of it, and didn't want to leave.  This was truly a great time for our whole family.  Loved the live Irish music, the friendly, helpful (more experienced) people who also helped the younger ones learn the dances, meeting a new homeschool family, and getting very good exercise while having a blast together!  We can't wait to do it again!  (In the meantime, Country Girl, Adventure Girl, and I will be taking an Irish dance class through our local community college.  It starts tonight!)

March means time for the annual state fiddle contest.  Another anticipated event, and a lot of hard work goes into preparing for it.  This was our second year.

A gorgeous day!  Thankfully we could have a picnic outside in between being indoors playing up a storm of music.

As I've said before, one of my favorite parts about this is the interaction of generations.  The older, longer-playing musicians are always so gracious to come alongside the younger and pass on their knowledge.  This man is in his 80's, and he also placed 2nd in his age division fiddling.  Most of the time he was backing people up, including our daughters, with his guitar.  And giving Tender Warrior and Young Warrior tips to grow their own guitar capacities.

My other favorite part?  Watching my family play music together!  The joy this brings my heart is indescribable.  Why am I not on stage you might ask?  Well, I am busy keeping track of Littlest Warrior, for whom this is a VERY long day, and my instruments of choice don't quite blend in.  I am focusing on Irish harp and whistles, which can blend when we play Celtic music, but this was Old-Time music day.  I'd love to play the hammered dulcimer someday too :)  And the bodhran.  But then, you must know that I have IAS (Instrument Acquisition Syndrome)!

The children did so well.  The older ones made it to the second round (top 5), which can be tough to do, especially for playing less than 2 years.  Every one of them earned an award, which was a great accomplishment.  And we were surprised and delighted that Country Girl WON her age division!  So thankful for the rewards for their hard work.  It has encouraged them to play and grow all the more.

My Warrior "boys" were busy all the day long strumming their guitars (Young Warrior also played fiddle in the contest in between accompanying others), so their fingers were quite tired after being on stage a dozen times, playing 3 songs each time they were up there.  They did great!

What is a month without a little action between the Blue and the Gray?  At least, that is so around here.  Young Warrior's paper soldiers advance over the table and the battle is on!

The arrival of the tulips rounds out the month and I can never resist pictures of little ones with flowers.  He did this on his own, and I just grabbed the camera to capture it.  I think tulips are among my favorite of flowers and I just love the colors of spring!  They represent hope and new life to me.

On a sadder note:  A few days ago we said good-bye to Adventure Girl's dear little rabbit, Clara.  Thus ends the era of the friendship of Heidi and Clara in the pages of rabbit story.  Our girls were quite little when they brought home these two Dutch rabbits.  We had so enjoyed the story of "Heidi" that they chose to name their bunnies after the main characters.  They have lived with us for almost ten years.

I am rounding out the month finishing up some projects I have purposed to do:  Finally finished Princess Girl's cloak and hope to work on a nightgown today, along with finishing another project.  Perhaps I'll have photos of those next time.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Capturing Moments--February Edition

As we are now nearly half way through March, I am quickly documenting the memories of February.  It was really quite a fun and eventful month!

Music is an integral part of our lives and home and cold winter days means cozy indoor moments spent learning new tunes or new instruments.  We added a couple of instruments to our repertoire recently, though this guitar isn't one of the more recent ones.  This one was a gift from an uncle, when we discovered it sitting at Grandma and Grandpa's house, a little worn and lonely on its stand, and Young Warrior asked if he could have it.  So we brought it home and had it brought up to playing quality--my, is it lovely!

I already mentioned the snow.  Yes, it DID put happy faces on everyone's face, even our buried little car!

I suppose it did not put happy faces on our hens, though!  After a few days of keeping them insulated, Country Girl went out to "un-bury" them.  I love this photo because it seems very Tasha Tudor-like, in her long wool cloak.  After spending some time with the company of Middle Earth this winter, Country Girl and Adventure Girl decided they were finally going to do that long-planned project of making these capes.  And now, they hardly go anywhere without them! (They double as a nice warm winter blanket for reading time on the couch).

Did you know you can make your own S'Mores pizza like they make at Papa Murphy's?  It's really quite easy (and much cheaper)!  It's a little sweet for me, personally, but it is a fun treat on occasion for our weekly homemade pizza night.

Ah, yes, and Valentine's Day.  Which means just another excuse for a tea party and a pretty table!  And scrumptious food!

I love my little tribute to Olde England in a teacup :)  

Family love letters.  Each year I think the children stuff this box more full!  Taking them out is a highly anticipated moment.

Homemade Valentines and a sweet potholder from my Country Girl.  I am well-loved indeed, and so very thankful.

My beautiful friends held a very special English-style tea with a Downton Abbey theme.  They did a fabulous job at creating such a lovely event! We were encouraged to come in costume, and as DA is set in the 1910s and 1920s, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to wear my Titanic tea gown that I made about ten years ago!  Thankfully, the weather even cooperated.

I honestly think it's about the best tea, in terms of delicious food and beauty, that I have been to!  You must believe me that everything tasted wonderful!  And I had another opportunity to provide some scones.  I rarely pass up an opportunity to make scones :)

And, we must not forget the Olympics in Sochi.  A source of lots of conversations about discipline, hard work, the sacrifices people make (and are they always worth it? and for what prize?), and inspiration.  

One evening Warrior Daddy decided to have a speed skating competition.  The children practiced their best speed skating form and tried to move in sync with the skaters on the television.  It was rather amusing.

Speed skating in pajamas

Getting the form down quite well.  

And may I add that hereafter there was much rollerblading outdoors and practicing all manner of skating in the cul-de-sac....and finally....
AN ICE SKATING TRIP!  We've been trying to do this for over a year.  For various reasons we just couldn't seem to make it happen (the ice skating rinks are not necessarily close-to-home).  What fun everyone had.  We stayed to just about closing and still didn't want to leave except for our tired aching feet (rental skates are not well-known for their comfort).  I helped my girls who wanted to learn to skate backwards, and we all tried to fumble our way through learning a spin of some kind.  There were some skilled skaters there.  My Princess girl found herself trying all kinds of tricks....and this was her FIRST time on ice skates!  I was amazed at what she could do by the end of the evening.

I don't have pictures from our visit with the like-minded, fellow Bible Bee, musically talented, and dear S family whom we were able to visit on the same weekend!  It was so much fun to have such stimulating conversations, good food, fellowship for the young adults and teens while Ceili dancing and playing games in the basement, younger children playing together, and more.  The older ones were all getting warmed up at 11 pm, but we needed to make the drive back to our hotel and get up early the next morning.  Great memories!

The great backyard bird watch takes place in February too.  In our household, it takes place almost all year long!

That is our February all wrapped up in one blog post!  And now, I'm off to take in the rest of March.  We plan to attend a Ceili this evening, have some St. Patrick's Day fun (including food, of course), participate in an upcoming fiddle contest, and start Irish dance lessons.  


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...