Monday, March 26, 2012

Pella Crossing Hike

It's Spring Break around here and we're making the most of our time off from classes.

We took a little hike today with our good friends Alex and Ruth O'Connor at Pella Crossing (north of Boulder, right outside of the town of Hygiene, a place I ride past a lot on my bike but had never stopped to explore).

We even drove past the buffalo farm on Nelson Rd. on our way there.

We have beautiful Spring weather around here, a perfect day for a hike.

When Ruthie lagged behind it was Alex who took her hand and hiked with her to help her keep up with the group:

I think this was the first hike in 6 years that I didn't even take the Ergo with me! Last year there were a few hikes that Ruthie did all on her own, but I at least always brought the Ergo backpack just in case. We've moved on to a new phase in the hiking world.

Anna and Josie along the trail:

Tally-ho and away we go! Pella Crossing is a series of 6 different ponds so we had fun exploring the waters edge and seeing what different birds were out at this time of year. Lots of Canadian Geese, robbins, hawks, herons, red-winged blackbirds, and wigeons. We'll have to come back later on in the Spring to see pelicans, killdeer, cranes, and all the smaller songbirds.

The girls thought being a train was the best way to hike:)

For your viewing enjoyment, the train in motion:

We found this huge cottonwood tree at the furthest out point on our hike and of course it had to be climbed before we could move on down the trail.

The wind came up and it got pretty blustery while Anna was in the tree. She didn't seem to mind, though. She looks pretty relaxed up there enjoy the view!

Four little girls taking in the vistas.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

At Long Last...

Josie's long-awaited Tea Party!!!

Two weeks later, now that our whole family is finally healthy again after a long battle with the flu, after a second round of baking of muffins, cookies and a birthday cake, after the easiest picking up of the house ever when I asked the girls to make the house look fancy, after Josie looking through all of our wardrobes and picking out our fanciest clothes and accessories for us to wear, after re-sending out invitations... Finally we were able to have our fancy tea party for Josie's 5th birthday.

When our little guests arrived first we had fun painting nails:

Then the girls decorated the sugar cookies we had baked for the tea party with different colored/flavored frosting (strawberry, blueberry, chocolate and lemon):

And then we sat down to tea. Josie had made name cards for everyone to show them where to sit and then all three girls had helped me set the table with their tea sets. Friends had loaned us fancy serving dishes, including a three-tiered serving tray.

Josie requested banana-blueberry-chocolate chip muffins, triangle egg salad sandwiches, heart shaped peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, sugar cookies, Hershey kisses and strawberries. Mitch and I kept their little tea pots filled with tea for them to serve themselves, chamomile and peppermint with a hint of honey. We always have tea parties with either a table cloth or placemats on the table. That makes it fancier, as Josie would say, and it also immediately soaks up any inevitable spills before they run off the table and onto the floor or onto fancy dresses, as this Mommy appreciates.

There's even a little bit of sugar in the sugar pot, with a teeny-tiny spoon, and cream in the cream pot.

Triple layer lemon heart shaped cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. Mmm mmm mmm.

Josie had us sing Happy Birthday to the accompaniment of her singing card that she got from Grandpa and Nona.

Happy birthday to my special Josie Joy.

I'm glad we were finally able to celebrate you in such a fancy, Josie-style way. We wanted to show you how much we love you and your spunky spirit, your constant energy and smile, your daredevil attitude and your sweet compassionate way of interacting with those around you. Thank you for being you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Beginnings of a Celebration

We had the beginnings of a birthday celebration yesterday, but then the festivities were cut short by a sick birthday girl. Everything seemed fine in the morning (although Josie seemed a bit tired from getting up at 5:30am!) But halfway through the morning she came down with a fever and spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch. Poor Josie. After months, literally, of preparation and anticipation for her fancy tea party, we have had to postpone it.

First thing in the morning the birthday girl and her Daddy'O went on a date to go pick up donuts for breakfast. That was the special birthday breakfast treat she chose. Donuts, baby yogurt and juice, to be precise:

Ruthie ran and got her gift for Josie and it was opened at the breakfast table. A purple water bottle that matches the pink one that Ruthie got for Christmas. Ruthie knew what her sister wanted! It's fun to see Ruthie at an age that she can start to take such pride and joy in finding the perfect gift for someone she loves.

Ruthie also made a book for Josie. Here she is 'reading' it to her:

She had us all laughing with her storyline! I don't remember what it was, now, but nothing that made very much sense as she made it up as she went along:)

Josie opening her gift from Anna (a fancy dress to wear at her tea party, earrings, and a few other fancy things). I'm not sure who was more excited, Anna to give her special gift, or Josie to receive it.

Opening the books from Grandma Jo!

Butterfly finger puppet that Anna made for her:

After skyping with Grandpa and Nona Josie said she was tired crashed out on the couch. Poor thing. This is pretty much how she spent the rest of the day.

I have to say, though, that it made for a relaxing birthday for Mommy! There has to be something positive in it all, right? It was pretty special to just sit around and snuggle with Josie on her birthday, read stories, listen to music, and give her some special attention that usually feels like we are fighting to find the time for on birthdays because of all the work that needs to be done to pull off a birthday party for our special girl.

Josie does seem to be on the upswing today. We're hoping she'll be all the way better by tomorrow and we can have the much anticipated fancy tea party in the afternoon.

Our plan for the rest of today is just to rest and knit on this rainy/snowy afternoon. Soup is cooking on the stove, I'm making some rolls soon, and we're just taking it easy. One of my gifts to Josie for her birthday was some yarn and knitting needles because she has been asking me to teach her how to knit for a while now. What better day to begin knitting lessons than a chilly, wet day and a sick/recovering girl who needs some motivation to stay still on the couch!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Notice Anything?

Yup! Two little girls got their ears pierced this weekend. Pretty exciting stuff in their world. Josie has been telling us for a while now that she wanted to have her ears pierced on her 5th birthday. Anna didn't want to be left out.
We're gearing up for a fancy tea party in our household tomorrow to celebrate my favorite 5 year old birthday girl in the whole wide world. I just finished making a heart shaped triple layer lemon cake. We'll take some pictures of our day of celebration to share with you, so check back soon!