Thursday, March 31, 2022

Monthly Musings: Easter/Spring

It's time for Monthly Musings with Holly, who blogs at Pink Lady, and Patty, who blogs at Good Better Best. This is seriously a really fun link up and you should all join in :)

1) Do you celebrate Easter, Passover, or another holiday?

If you've been reading around here for any length of time, you'll likely already know that I am Christian and my husband is Jewish so we celebrate both Easter and Passover. And often the two of them overlap (like this year) which adds extra fun and excitement!

Unfortunately, this year Sam is getting braces the day before Good Friday and the first Passover Seder so we might be "celebrating" mouth pain. We shall see...

2) Do you decorate your home for spring?

Well I've thrown out the Play-Dough snow people which lived on our shelf for a couple of months so if you count that as decorating, than, "YES!" Otherwise, no, not really. Eventually I'll put my Spring wreath on our front door but I'm not feeling like the weather is cooperating for that, just yet.

And of course, as soon as it warms up a little, I'll be planting pansies in the window boxes outside so if you count that as decorating, well, then, "Yes, I decorate for spring!"
pansies from a few years ago 

3) Favourite spring meal?

If it's warm enough, and we have some on hand, we BBQ Saskatchewan Farmer's Sausage for Easter and eat it with potato salad. That is my favourite spring meal. But really just about anything we can BBQ with a salad is delicious!

4) Is your Spring Break in April or March?

We had ours back in March and it was amazing! We went to New York City and to visit Dave's aunt, uncle, cousins, and their kids. You can see the first parts of our Spring Break getaway here and here.

5) Favourite spring Easter traditions or activity?

I love going to church on Easter morning. And I enjoy celebrating the Passover seder with Dave's parents.

6) What are you most looking forward to this spring?
Hopefully we'll be able to go to some baseball games in person. Baseball hasn't been played in Canada in the spring for three years now, so I'm excited it's back in April. 

7) Favourite spring fashion items?
 I don't know that I have a favourite spring fashion item, but I do know that I love getting rid of my socks and going barefoot in my shoes! Does that count?!?

Even if I have to bundle up, I'm not wearing socks here!!!
8) Do you transition your wardrobe from winter to spring?
 I get rid of my socks :) And I don't wear as many heavy sweaters in the spring. I have some nice flowered shirts for work and I enjoy wearing those with cardigans. I also pull out my bright necklaces.

9) Does the Easter Bunny visit your home?
If he remembers. Hahaha! We've never been big on the Easter Bunny and the last few years I don't even think the kids had Easter baskets. There's always some sort of chocolate to be had though.

10) Any traditions or activities coming back post-Covid?
Yes! Rachel's big spring dance show is back for the first time since 2019!!! She's in three pieces and two shows so it will be a busy day. And her dance performance group has its spring show this weekend, which she's never been able to participate in before. I'm sooooo excited that she gets to dance on stage with a live audience again!
 And our neighbourhood soccer nights are back. Again, we haven't been able to play since spring of 2019 so we're excited. Even though Rachel is the only one who is still eligible, it will be a fun night of neighbourhood bonding!
Rachel in her first season of neighbourhood soccer :) 
And I'm super excited about the Easter Service at church. It's always one of my favourite ones of the year, we haven't been able to have it in a couple of years, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What's Up Wednesday: March 2022

It's the last Wednesday of March so it's time for another What's Up Wednesday. Before I go on with the regular questions, I have to mark that today is also Sam's 13th birthday!!! Yes, I am now parenting a teenager so some extra prayers would be appreciated :)

As always on the last Wednesday of the month, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To. This post could alternatively be titled, "The One With All The Pizza!" Hahaha!!! I didn't mean for it to be so pizza focused.
image from here

What we're eating this week... Pizza, pizza, and more pizza is defining this week. Whenever I have to answer those questions about "If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?", I always answer "pizza." But this past week, due to random circumstances, I ate it four times and now I just might be kind of tired of it. Gasp.
The picture on the left is blurry because we were eating pizza outside in the rain. It was for our mid-week church program and we eventually decided to move inside. Thank goodness.

We also ate pizza for Pi Day in New York City. When we were talking about Pi Day, Dave had commented, "We could eat cheesecake, no, cheese pie. What even is cheese pie?" "PIZZA!!!" I shouted with glee. So we had "cheese pie" AKA pizza for Pi Day. Mine had a vodka sauce and was delicious!
What I'm reminiscing about... Well today Sam is 13!!! Oh. My. Word. How do I have a teenager?!?!? So today I'm reminiscing about Sam's birth day, and the week that followed.

What I'm loving... I'm loving my new position! In case you missed it, I got hired as a Temporary Head Secretary at a school just a twenty minute walk from our house. (You can read more about it here.) Even though I'm still figuring things out, I'm loving the responsibility and the people and the work. 

What we've been up to... We are getting back to the "normal" routine of life -- in person everything -- dance classes, Jr Youth events, church, and Religious School. Dave and I have definitely entered the "taxi phase" of parenting where we (read: mostly Dave, because I really don't love driving) are getting the kids to all of their activities. But we love it!

We also went to New York City over March Break and you can read about the first part of our trip here. (The second part is coming up on Friday (I hope!)).

And after basically not being able to go on dates for almost two years (thanks Covid), Dave and I went on three dates in March! Yay!!!
We had a date in a private greenhouse and a date where we went and ate... yep, you guessed it... pizza! We also attended a concert for the first time since Covid hit when we went to see a local choir perform.

What I'm dreading... I'm dreading Spring allergies. I never used to have them but they've hit me with a vengeance the past couple of years. By next What's Up Wednesday, I will likely be feeling fairly miserable. Boo.

Also, Sam gets braces put on mid-month, and, having worked doing attendance in schools, I know how many kids are home with braces pain after orthodontic appointments. So I'm hoping and praying Sam doesn't have too much pain and has an easy transition into braces wearing.
What I'm working on... Besides all the tasks I'm working on at school (I've learned how to laminate and how to force Chromebooks to restart), I'm working on... laundry. I'm sorry, I'm always working on laundry :) And even more so now that I'm working full-time and picked up a few random hours on a couple of Saturdays in March.
What I'm excited about... Spring (if it ever gets here!), in person church (and visiting with friends), hugs (I've been getting and giving more and more lately), and the fact that we got to leave the country over March Break! There's a lot to be excited about right now!!!

What I'm watching/reading... I can't think of what I've been watching lately. I guess most recently I've been watching the snow fall, which is frustrating because WHY ISN'T IT SPRING YET?!?!?!? And today we're under a freezing rain warning. Ugh.

As for reading, I really haven't read all that much in March, which is pretty sad. And my March reading has been heavier on non-fiction than usual.
What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat Going There
Two non-fiction books I've read recently.

What I'm listening to... Right now I'm listening to Dave and Rachel play "Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza." Dave is using it as a way to bribe Rachel to eat her apples. Yes, she is almost 11. Yes, we (read: Dave) still bribe her to eat healthy foods. Ugh.
What I'm wearing... When we went to the States, we went to Target three separate times. At the last Target stop, I bought this shirt. I wore it once last week when the weather was a little nicer and I know I'll be wearing it all the time when warmer weather finally gets here.
What I'm doing this weekend... Assuming we all stay healthy (Rachel has a cold right now and I'm praying the rest of us don't get it), Rachel and I are going to a play on Friday night and Rachel has a dance performance on Sunday afternoon. Other than that, I'll probably be folding laundry! Hahaha!!!

What I'm looking forward to next month... Canstruction is supposed to be back in person and I'm sooooo excited to go see it again!!! You can read more about Canstruction here. Also, I'm looking forward to in person Easter services.

What else is new... Did I mention Sam is 13 today?!?!? I think that's really about it :)

Thanks for reading and tell me -- is it Spring where you live or are you desperately hoping to say good-bye to Winter soon too?

Sunday, March 27, 2022

I Spy 2022: Week 12 (Week 64)

Phew! What a week! My parents left after a two month stint of being our neighbours, the kids went back to school after March Break, I started a new full-time position at a different school, we had an ice day, and there were also all the "normal" happenings of life in there -- play dates, dance, Jr Youth events, mid-week church gathering... Oh, and I worked yesterday.

I was feeling bad that I didn't get my "I Spy" post up for yesterday but reading the above paragraph, I now know why I didn't :) As always, I'm linking up with Lysha at at A Camera and A Cookbook.

Let's Play iSpy 2022



I thought the railways tracks, the brick wall, and the path were all nicely "lined" up in this picture. This is now my walk to work and I LOVE it!



The city got an artist to create banners to hang on the lamp posts on one part of the path near uptown. Dave and I walked to the library on Friday and were looking for something "spiral" to photograph for this prompt. We saw this piece of art and spent a long while debating if the spiral was intentional or graffiti. Since the spiral was exactly duplicated on the other side, we eventually decided it was intentional and then spent some time discussing why it was added to the piece.



I "spotted" this community chalkboard on my walk to work and the wisdom on it was something I desperately needed to be reminded of. Sadly, we've returned to cold temperatures and snow these past few days. Spring, WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!?!?!



A mocha from my principal and a doughnut from the staff room were exactly what the doctor "ordered" for the first Friday of my first week. This was such a surprising pick me up on Friday morning.

{your choice}

Seeing Rachel's creativity coming out in her chalk drawings is always "my choice." She drew a fox and a rabbit among the flowers, which I thought was so cute. Sadly, we've had a rainstorm, and now snow, so this drawing is now just a memory.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

"Yes" To New York City

Today I'm talking all about our first day in New York City. We hadn't been to New York since January of 2019 and we were so excited to be back. We also made this a bit of a "yes" day and did some fun things we wouldn't normally do.

We took the train from Dave's cousin's apartment where we were staying into the city and arrived at Grand Central Station. Thus, our first stop was Zaro's, a bakery at Grand Central. We love their chocolate croissants and I got a cafe mocha.

I wanted to walk around and people watch but the kids wanted to go the library. So we went to the library. They had a really interesting exhibition on of some of the 56 million items the library has in its archives. I took this picture of one of Thomas Jefferson's handwritten copies of the US Constitution. They also had Malcolm X's briefcase, a handwritten letter by Martin Luther King, Jr, and the handwritten first page of the first draft of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. It was a very interesting exhibit.
I did ask if they did tours of the superintendent's apartment but the answer is, "no." Boo. (See my review of The Lions of Fifth Avenue here if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

After we left the library, we walked up Fifth Avenue towards Central Park. We enjoyed seeing the sights as we wandered. And we enjoyed street pretzels as a mid-morning snack.

The kids wanted to go into The Lego Store. We got to sit in a almost life size New York taxi, made of Lego, and got to see all sorts of fun and creative Lego creations. I really loved the tree.

Last time we were in New York, I decided that we needed to start going to museums. I figured the kids were old enough to both behave, and potentially enjoy one. So we started with MoMa (Museum of Modern Art.)

MoMA has everything from sculptures to weavings to paintings. I thought the weaving of the receipt from a Wal-Mart equivalent in Mexico was so interesting. Rachel wasn't sure how it was art!

Despite the fact that neither kid is looking at Warhol's soup cans, they did both spend a significant amount of time staring at that wall of paintings.
This was a large piece of paintbrushes in acrylic which I thought was so interesting. 

Rachel couldn't believe this was the "real" Starry Night. She kept thinking it was a copy.

Some of the paintings were huge...
...and some were just very abstract, like the piece on the left which was made up of four broken umbrellas, or the piece on the right which uses one square for each phone number in a phone book. I think the blue squares are odd numbers and the red squares are for even phone numbers.

After a few hours of looking at art we had a quick snack at the museum restaurant (a platter of delicious olives and a bowl of slightly spicy tomato soup which we all shared) and then headed outside for some fresh air.

We decided to splurge on a very short carriage tour of Central Park. I'd kind of wanted to do one of these for a few years, and Rachel really wanted to do it, so we agreed. It was cheesy but fun! Our horse was named, "Sparky" and Rachel enjoyed petting him.
Then we spent a bit more time in Central Park while the kids climbed on the rocks and Dave and I enjoyed the view! 
We had a reservation at Black Tap for supper. The kids and I ate salads and guacamole while Dave had a burger. The kids and I were saving room for one of their crazy shakes! Ours came with an ice cream sandwich and was perfect for sharing among the four of us!
After that we walked around more because we had some time to kill. We walked up to the Target at Columbus Circle so Dave could buy some deodorant and then we walked through Times Square, which was just as overwhelming as I remembered.

Finally, we were able to enter the theatre for our second ever Broadway musical. We went to see The Lion King. Sam and I loved it and Rachel was too tired to enjoy it. She whined through the first half, and fell asleep in the second half. We realized we had tried to pack in a little too much on this day, so her whining was justified, although annoying.
By the time the show ended, we walked back to Grand Central, caught the train to our station, and walked back to Dave's cousins' place, it was almost 1am and we were exhausted. Thankfully we could sleep in the next day.
So that was our reintroduction to New York City after a too long absence. It was the most fun day and we enjoyed it so much.