I love living in a place with 4 distinct seasons, but I have to admit that I don’t love spring. Here in Maine spring is usually still pretty cold and there is a reason that they call it “mud season.” Most of the time I would be pretty happy if we just jumped right into summer! But actually, as I look back on these pictures from last spring I’m starting to remember that it was actually pretty good…more mild than normal, maybe not quite as muddy…as there was something quite magical about tapping the trees in your own yard to make syrup! So here it goes…better late than never!
Spring in Maine still calls for scarves, pajamas, and snuggles!
And lots of days looked like these…
This little trooper does a lot of driving with us to drop off and pick up his big sister and brother from school…but most of the time he really loves to go for rides (and sometimes catch a nap)!
And sadly the spring days didn’t end the sickness in our family all together…
And you know it’s going to be a rough day when your morning starts like this (poor homemade mug)!
St. Patricks Day muffins!
And St. Patricks Day gak…file this under “why in the world did I think this wouldn’t be a total mess!” And notice the little guy in the back on top of the table with only a diaper on (there is no explanation for these things)!
We do messes well actually!
Spring and winter are perfect for baking!
Then there are those wonderful spring days when you begin to feel the warmth and even the kids want to get out and clean things up!
And this was my favorite…I came home from work one day to find that Eli (and thus Joe) had been inspired by his teacher and bought a few things to tap a few of the maple trees in our backyard. It was really fun to check them every day to see how much sap we had collected (and to take note of the conditions that produced more)!
And eventually there was this…the boiling down of the sap into syrup was a bit of a learning process and didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped but we are learning and we did get some yummy (though runny) syrup to enjoy! Joe wasn’t sure it was worth all of the effort but I’m already looking forward to the excitement of tapping the trees again soon!
This was the season we realized how much fun (and special it feels) to have a popcorn dinner at the movies (since they are all old enough to sit through most of a movie)! I think this one might have been Angry Birds!
Out with three of my sweet girl friends to the opera for the very first time! This is dinner before hand, but after we went to see La Boheme and I loved it!
Painting tye dye Easter eggs!
It’s so funny to look back at this picture now because he no longer has his nuks (9 years later and we are finally a pacifier free family)!
Hunting Easter eggs…in Maine sometimes that means in the snow!
Another little Easter egg hunt at Nonnie & Grampy’s on Easter Sunday!
A little inside play…this boat swing is awesome and has been a favorite for years!
A spring storm did this in the backyard…and this is how it still looks almost a year later (but this summer I’m sure it will become fire wood)!
Lily’s 9th birthday…my most sweet, beautiful girl!
For her birthday we let her choose a fun thing for our whole family to do and she chose doing a bike ride in Acadia National Park! So we decided to be bold and try the amazing carriage trails around Eagle Lake! This is around a 6 mile loop that we’ve done many times with our Lifelines students and we knew that there are a few uphill climbs that have been hard for even college students…so we went into this with light expectations. Honestly we didn’t think we would come anywhere close to doing the whole thing! But these kids of ours surprised us…especially Lily! Lily biked the entire thing except for one short steep uphill section where I got off and walked the bikes with her…other than that she biked the entire thing with a smile on her face the whole way. We were beyond impressed with our newly 9 year old! And we were quite pleased with Eli too who only had to ride in Joe’s bike carrier twice and for the most part had a really good attitude! I wish I could have gotten a picture, however of Joe during those two times…pulling the bike carrier behind him with Eli and Liam inside and with Eli’s bike over the handlebars of his bike…pretty much Superman. And with all that added weight and bulk I was actually able to keep up with him on a bike finally! Such a perfect way to spend a spring day and celebrate our girl!
How Liam spend the end of our bike trip!
Enjoying the view after all the effort at Eagle Lake!
One of the stations at the “Prayer Experience” that Morgan, our Cruller president, and I organized for the students on campus! It was brisk spring evening watching the students at U-Maine draw nearer to the Lord!
Spring this year also brought a first a for us…t-ball for Eli! He really enjoyed it and we loved getting outside and watching him play!
Frequently during Eli’s practices or games Liam could be found doing this…he could roll down little hills all day long and proclaim with excitement after each roll, “One more time!”
I love having people over to our house, but I often forget to photograph these gatherings (as I’m just too busy being with them, I guess)! This was one of these occasions. I had a group of friends and students over for a little party to share about, discover, and shop Fair Trade…it was such a good time! And while I didn’t get a single picture of the party or my friends I did manage to take a picture of this sweet spring inspired cake that I made before the party!
This year on my birthday Joe had to work so to treat myself I took the kids out to my friend’s farm to visit their baby goats! I just love animals and who can resist babies?! I think that maybe this needs to be a birthday tradition!
For our annual Mother’s Day tradition we were in the gardens and at the beach and enjoying my favorite restaurant in Bar Harbor! Always one of my favorite days!
One of my very favorites of us together!
I hope that I never grow tired of running through the sand and the waves with these three!
Every year there is that spring day when the weather turns warm and the kids just want to play in water (even if it has to be a plastic bin on the porch)!
Eli’s kindergarten class took a field trip to my friend, Molly’s, farm and Liam and I came along to play!
The first driveway paintings of the season…this time with homemade glittery chalk paint!
This was also during the time we were trying to keep the chickens off the driveway…we were unsuccessful!
Spring days slowly begin to feel like summer!
Liam…just a little shy of 3 years old…I couldn’t love that floppy strawberry blond hair or the boy it is on anymore than I do!
Our first yard sale and lemonade/brownie stand in our new house!
I started training to run a marathon relay with two friends…until we found out that the relay race was full and then I promptly stopped running!
Lily got her ears pierced as a birthday present! Let me tell you that it is something as a parent to watch your child overcome their fears! This girl was scared and having a real anxiety attack as we waited to have her ears done. But we prayed and talked and hugged and she didn’t give in to the fear and the second we walked into the piercing room she was as cool as a cucumber and as brave as can be. I have a feeling this girl will never cease to amaze me!
These would be our last couple of months with our sweet bunny Hope! Oh don’t worry, she’s alive and well…we just decided that since her first mama (Lily and Eli’s kindergarten teacher) had retired that it might be best for Hope to go back to her (and it was)! We loved Hope and she was such a sweet bunny, but after almost a year and a half we had to be honest and admit that small animals with long fur in small cages are just not our thing (we had the darnedest time keeping that bunny’s fur clean)! We wouldn’t have given her to anybody but her first mama…but we were so happy it worked out! I think we might be overdue for a bunny visit though!
The new zip line in our backyard that was a combined birthday present from Joe’s parents!
Our first canoe ride with all of them trying to “help” daddy paddle!
Late in the spring we went canoeing with a friend of Joe’s from the fire department and his family…and it was the first time ever that one of our kids fell out of the canoe! Can you guess which one it was? Yes, it was Liam! Thankfully he did of course have his life jacket on and Joe has cat like reflexes on the water so he had him scooped up before any of us fully realized what happened!
Eli’s class field trip to a greenhouse…and no, his teacher was not yelling at them (simply talking about the plants)!
This year we joined a community garden with dear friends of ours…this was after a full day of planting (I am pleased to say that the tomatoes, cucumbers, and dill I helped plant were a success)!
A new tradition was born…opening day pool tarp slip n’ slide!
Opening the pool also requires a lot of cleaning…and I’ve never seen a cuter plumber’s crack in my life!
The last field trip of the school year with Lily’s class to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory and Fort Knox! Eli was already done with school for the year so the whole gang got to join in!
One of the few pictures I got at Fort Knox because chasing my three kids around without Joe at a fort full of stairs, tunnels, and dark passages was a challenge (mostly with our little guy)! Let’s just say that a few children were misplaced during this field trip (but only momentarily)!
And then suddenly there was ice cream and eating on the porch and paddle boarding and summer was upon us!