Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Onion Easter Eggs

I just came across a couple of different methods for dying eggs with onion skins - here and here. We are definitely trying this out next year! Thanks, Kristine, for sharing the idea!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birthday Time Again

Gareth was pretty excited for his birthday this year - now that he's fully aware of what presents are and that he gets them for his birthday and all that good stuff he gets way more excited for things like Christmas and birthdays.

We were debating whether to get him a bike or a small drum set, but the bike won out. We'll save up for a small drum set for him along with saving for Ryan's and buy that at the same time that we get Ryan's. Initially I was thinking he'd be too big for one of those balance bikes, but when we went to their site after everyone kept telling us that was the way to go, we discovered that we could purchase an extra-long seat which will hopefully enable the bike to last almost a year. Hopefully by that point he'll be ready to go to a regular bike (maybe even without training wheels).

We had a playdate/lunch with our friends from the summer a few days before his birthday, which was especially exciting for Gareth since it'd been a while since he'd had a chance to play with other kids. Then on his actual birthday we kept things pretty relaxed.

We gave him his helmet in the morning and helped him find the bike down in the garage. He hopped on and off we went to the park. (Notice the overgrown, nasty-looking grass to the right in the picture. Hopefully it'll be chopped back tomorrow.)

He enjoyed playing at the park with another little boy, who we discovered will be in his preschool class in the fall. After a bit, the boy's parents invited us over to their house for some coffee cake. We enjoyed chatting with them while the boys played. Then it was back home for a late lunch and some playing. Ryan took Gareth out for some more riding while I made dinner.

After chatting with family for a bit, he opened presents and we had some strawberry smoothies for dessert (I was planning on making pound cake, but it didn't happen).

As you can see, a couple of his other gifts were yellow rain boots and Cars. Oh, and he's really into crouching down when you take pictures of him. Gareth's been out riding every day because we've had an unusual entire week of sunshine. We'll pay for it this next week with an entire week of rain (not so unusual). All the good weather means that he's improved rapidly with the bike and can even coast for brief periods now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yard Clean-Up

I know some people reading might think I'm crazy, but I have missed doing yard work! Somewhere in all those childhood years of getting up at 6 am to work in the garden I grew to love it. There were always some aspects I loved - planting seeds was one of them. I remember looking at the seeds, fascinated that something so small could turn into a carrot or a beautiful flower. And, of course, eating what came from the garden was definitely enjoyable. Anyway, I haven't been able to do any of that yet, but I have had a chance to mow the lawn (it needed a couple of mowings since it hadn't been touched since the owners moved out, so for about 9 months), weed the existing beds, and start hacking at the pampas grass out front.

You might not be able to see so well in this picture, but our grass is now an acceptable length, except along the edges. I'm not willing to fork out the money for a weed-wacker, so I'll have to get some clippers or something to trim around the edge of the yard.

And I know the beds don't look super-clean, but that's because of the pine trees. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to them being full of pine cones and needles because otherwise I'd spend half my life out there trying to clean them out.

No pictures of the grass out front yet, but I'll take some before and after pictures before I finish with them. They look awful before, but don't look any better after. I'm hoping that after they grow back out a bit they'll enjoy a stage at some point where they look decent. But I've decided that I hate them and will never plant such a thing at any house we own (and felt even more justified in my hatred after the landlord told me that she didn't like them either, had thought she was buying dwarf plants, and agreed with my decision to chop them way short). Since I don't have those pictures, I'll share this one. Does anyone know what it is?:

It looked a little too like an intentional planting for me to be willing to pull it up, but there were some pretty large weeds in the beds...