Spring Break

{Flying kites}


{Even Nora did some climbing}

{New raincoats from the Easter Bunny}

{On and Easter Egg hunt at Grandma's put together by auntie Katie}

We did nothing spectacular for spring break this year, and yet it was such a great week.  There were many playdates with friends and a few sleepovers.  There was some swimming and "rock climbing".  There were a few really nice days to just be outside.  And of course there was Easter.  Given what we have coming up in the next couple weeks (most notably me starting classes and two internships) I think it was just what we needed.


First Haircut



On St. Patrick's Day

{Grace performing at the Landmark Center in St. Paul}

Grace has been hesitant to participate in the various performance and competition opportunities offered for Irish Dance.  Last year (her first year of dance) she simply opted out of all of it other than dance class and the recital at the end of the year.  Never wanting to push things on our children we felt very comfortable supporting her in that decision.  This year she decided she wanted to try a few things.  She tried a feis last fall and she really, really didn't like it.  She was upset with herself for making mistakes (of course she doesn't listen to me when I tell her everyone makes mistakes) and mostly she didn't like the idea of being judged.  I was worried she might let that one bad experience stop her from trying any of the other opportunities, but to my surprise, last month she decided she wanted to participate in the St. Patrick's Day show in St. Paul.  I was so, so, beyond words proud/inspired/moved by her decision. Especially this afternoon an hour before her performance when I could tell she was starting to feel very nervous.  The stage was so huge and bright with so many people crowded around it and the music and dancing were so loud.  It was intimidating even to me.
But she did it...

but before I get to that, let's start at the beginning of the day.

With all three kids wanting to see the parade we decided to make a day of it and arrived in St. Paul around 10:00.  We were able to stake out a great spot in the skyway to watch the parade.  Grandma Lee joined us for the day and met us at our parade watching spot.

{Grandma outfitted all three in crazy St. Patrick's Day wear.}

{Watching the parade}

While Grace and I went to her dance studio so she could practice her performance, Grandma took Nora and Jackson to the Children's Museum for a few hours.  Then we all met back at the Landmark Center.

{Grace all dressed and ready.  Watching the other dancers from the forth floor.}

{Her first dance.  She was smiling!  She later told me it was really fun.}

{Her second dance.}

She really did such a great job!  And while I was so proud of how she did, I was a thousand more times proud of the fact that she did it!  I kept telling her that on the way home, I'm proud of you for doing it and I'm excited that you did so well.  But I want you to know I would be the same amount proud if you had made a thousand mistakes..  I'm just so proud and inspired that you gave it a try.  

She was so proud too, she was beaming the whole way home.

Grace Irish Dance 1
from Amy Miller on Vimeo.

Grace Irish Dance 2 from Amy Miller on Vimeo.


Weekend Highlights






~ A swimming birthday party on Friday with many of our friends
~ Warm sun
~ First time hanging out my laundry
~ Finishing sap boiling
~ Having our friends over on Saturday to play, boil sap, grill and eat maple syrup covered ice cream


A Moment


Friday morning we decided to start school in bed (why don't we do this everyday??).  I was teaching Jackson how to knit in between reading our book and Grace was teaching Nora how to finger knit in between her own knitting.  It was one of those really good moments.  One of the ones that cancels out all the hundreds of not good moments that may have happened earlier in the week.  So at some point I decided I needed a picture of us.  This lead to more laughter as there was no way to capture us without cutting off someone's head.  Not to mention they were all really just pictures of my seemingly huge arms.






I don't care though.  It was a good moment.  You have to capture those in whatever form you can.


Becoming John Audubon





{A close up of her woodpercker}


Today we spent the (beautiful) morning outside watching and listening to the birds just like John Audubon.  Then everyone got their notebook and pencil and set to drawing one of their choice.  I will never forget walking around to the front of the house to see Nora, sitting on a tree stump with her sketch pad, watching a little downy woodpecker peck for bugs in a log pile.  She was so intent and in her element.  As always not everyone is equally as moved by this topic (but that's how it is in school too right??).  But I think I have two out three.  Three out of four if you include me.


This Weekend


This was not my favorite weekend.  There was a visit to the ER for me (chest pains, apparently I tore a muscle in my chest), there was a broken sewer pipe at our rental apartment, my camera broke with all the pictures I took this weekend on it, there was a mouse in my kitchen... you get the idea.  But despite all that there were some good moments and it feels much better to end my weekend thinking about those.

Weekend Highlights...
~ I spent 20 minutes sitting in the hammock with sun on my face
~ It was 56 degrees today
~ Ryan boiled our sap (very short season this year so not a lot of sap) and our house is now filled with my favorite smell
~ My parents came out and brought us lunch
~ Frankie and Frieda stopped on the silo this morning (this means spring has officially arrived!)
~ Ending the day reading books in bed with all three kids


{Grace and Jackson all smiles after skiing down their first black diamond}

After over 6 hours skiing with some of our homeschooling friends on Thursday we had an amazingly fun day quickly turn into a very scary day.  Grace was "ski racing" and either was too focused on speed to see where she was going or lost control on an icy patch (she doesn't remember) and hit a metal pole.  She was briefly knocked out and thankfully another skier was there to stop and help and call the patrol.  After she was transported down the hill and checked out by their medical workers and then checked out again that night at the doctor it was confirmed that amazingly she was "fine".  No broken bones and no concussion- but lots of bruises and sore limbs.  She has been resting up since and is healing more each day.  It was pretty scary for all of us so I'm kind of glad that skiing season is over.  Hopefully by next year we will be ready to go at it again.