Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

"Mum-mum, Easter is so much fun!"  That's what Eliot told me the other day.  Last week we went to the Primary's Easter party where he and Peter hunted for chocolate eggs and sailed paper boats.  The party-planners had intended for the children to race the boats down the little stream, but the current wasn't very strong and most of the children lost interest.  Not Eliot.  He sailed at least four boats that I folded with him and he probably would have sailed more except that we had to go home and have lunch.  He and Peter had a wonderful time hunting for chocolate eggs and when they felt they'd found enough they plopped down in the shade to sample their loot.

On Easter Sunday Eliot and Peter woke up at 6:00 am, as usual, and were ready to go.  We had our oatmeal first, then came the scavenger hunt.  Both boys got involved this year and they hunted here and there for each plastic egg that held the next clue until finally uncovering the stash of chocolate and other treats.  Their blood sugar was unusually high going in to church, but in spite of that they behaved very well and enjoyed listening to all of the music.

Enjoying their treats.  I love the crossed ankles.

Playing with their new stickers.  Can you see the road that Eliot drew for his car stickers?  Peter quickly got the hang of peeling off his Thomas stickers and enjoyed decorating his paper with them.

That evening we finished off the day with a supper of roast chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, and hot cross buns.  For dessert we ate the ears off of a large chocolate bunny.  The boys had no problem going to sleep that night.
Eliot and I tried our hands at making lemon macarons for Easter.  He helped mix, sift, pour, and sample.  It was a drawn out process, but fun to make something special for the day.  

I've heard it said that without Easter there'd be no Christmas.  That without the life, death, and resurrection that we commemorate at Easter, the babe in Bethlehem would have just been another baby like so many others.  I'm thankful that he was not just another baby like so many others.  And I'm thankful for the promise of hope and renewal that Easter brings.   
We hope you all had a very Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Peter!

Peter turned two this past Saturday.  Spencer was in Melbourne on a work trip so the celebration was a bit delayed.  However, the boys and I stopped off at McDonald's for an ice cream cone to mark the actual day.

It was the first time Peter ate an entire ice cream cone without it disintegrating into a pile of mush in his hand. He's getting to be such a big boy!

Spencer returned home Sunday afternoon, at which time the celebration began with a brand new tricycle.  Now Peter can peddle along with Eliot.

Peter loves cars and has recently developed an interest in traffic lights, so we went with a car-themed cake.

The little car atop the cake didn't stay there for long.

After supper it was time to open presents.  Peter required very little assistance.  He's getting pretty good at this.

Pausing to peruse a new book. 

Enjoying his cake.

We love our happy Little Peter Man!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Eliot!

Yesterday we celebrated Eliot's 4th birthday.  It was off to a good start when he got to take cupcakes to school to share with his class, only to arrive at school and discover that he was the leader for the day.  Each day a child is assigned as the leader, or special helper.  Eliot has been the leader once before, so he knew that this was a special treat.  They sang happy birthday to him on his arrival and he got a happy birthday sticker to wear on his shirt.  He was embarrassed and delighted all at once.  

This was really the first birthday where he totally ran the show.  We had a Yellow Bear cake, per his request, as well as his favourite dish for supper: tacos.  A few days ago I asked him what he wanted to have for supper on his birthday:
Eliot:  Cake
Me:  Well, yes, but what would you like to eat for supper.
Eliot (emphatically):  I want to have cake.
Me:  We'll have cake for dessert.  But what would you like for supper?  Sometimes we have quiche...what should we have?
*I used quiche as the example because he's not super fond of it so I knew I wouldn't be influencing his decision.
Eliot:  Let's have tacos.

After supper we opened one present.  A bike helmet.  But what is he going to do with a bike helmet?


We went straight outside to take it for a spin.  Besides, we needed to walk over to the store to get ice cream for the cake.  He had a blast.

Then it was home again for cake and ice cream and presents.

Very focused.

At one point Eliot asked me if he would be 4 for the whole day.  You betcha Eliot!  You're going to be 4 for the whole year!  We love you!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family Road Trip: Albany

This past weekend we packed up the car, piled in, and drove down to Albany.
The boys did a really great job with the five-hour drive but we were all glad when we finally made it to our destination.  We went straight to the beach to stretch our legs.  It was Eliot and Peter's first visit to the Southern Ocean and they had a great time playing chicken with the waves.

We stayed in a place with a small kitchen.  Eliot was extremely impressed:  "Mama!  Even they have a toaster!"
Their favourite part was the little enclosed patio area.  Eliot was also very excited about sleeping in a different bed.  So excited, in fact, (and probably exhausted) that the first night he announced that he was ready for bed at about 7:00 pm and went right to bed.
Peter just had a great time being in the thick of things.  It didn't matter what was being done, so long as he was doing it too.

The next day, we got an early start and drove out to visit The Gap and Natural Bridge.  According to the sign-age this is a spot where Australia and Antarctica were once connected, and similar rock formations are found on the northern shores of Antarctica.  Pretty cool.

The Natural Bridge

The Gap.  Rock cliffs at a 90 degree angle.

In the parking lot, a large rock marked the opening of the hiking trail.  I'm sure it was there to prevent cars from obstructing the trail.  I'm also sure that I'm not the first, nor the last, mother to tell her children that it is a special Climbing Rock, put there especially for them since all of the other rocks are off-limits.

The boys had a great time getting the rock climbing out of their system on the Climbing Rock.

Next it was off to the old Albany Gaol which has been converted to a museum.  It was interesting to see, and Spencer and I managed to learn a few things while chasing the boys around.

The boys' favourite parts were turning the old laundry ringers and running around the exercise yard.  The museum was well done, though perhaps with one too many creepy mannequins scattered about.  The boys wandered freely in and out of the cells and I stepped into one to find Peter face to face with a strange figure reclining in a hammock.  I almost wonder if they bring in a little extra cash doubling as a haunted house after dark.

After lunch and naps we took an Epic Walk up a bluff over-looking the ocean.

Eliot proved himself quite a hearty little walker.  He just kept going and going.

Peter was a little more stop and go.  He enjoyed running along the trail, but stopped often to take a closer look at things and toss rocks into the bushes.  The best was when he tried throwing a leaf into the wind.

It was a great little trip and the first real family trip we'd made since moving to Australia.  It was so much fun watching the boys have so much fun.