Happy Easter!

As with most things in my life these days, I haven't had time to shop for and make Easter baskets for the kids. If I was at a store, the kids were always with me. So last night I made a mad dash to Kroger to pick up two colorful baskets and some candy. Oh no! They were out of baskets. Tom Thumb - same thing. I finally found some baskets at Walgreens. Thank you, Walgreens!

I put the baskets together and got them ready to hide. I didn't think about hiding the baskets when I got the helium balloons. They make it hard to hide the baskets. So we decided to put the balloons on their chairs at the kitchen table and just hide the baskets.

Apparently the Easter Bunny always hides Nicholas' basket in the same place. He told us yesterday that he knew it would be behind the curtain in the playroom. You'd think the Easter Bunny would remember where he put it from year to year and put it somewhere different but apparently he has memory lapses and just sticks it in the same place each time.

But he must have heard Nicholas bragging about knowing where his basket would be because this year it wasn't there.

While Nicholas was looking all over the house, Rachel easily found her basket behind her play kitchen. She was super excited!

She got a little gardening kit of tools and lots of candy.

Daddy showed her how to use the magnifying glass. That will be fun to use when we look at bugs in the garden.

Meanwhile Nicholas finally found his basket hidden away in a cabinet in his room.

I love how excited he was. It just reassures me that he is still my LITTLE boy.

Rachel wasted no time digging into her candy.

She is totally addicted to sugar. We really have to watch her or she will eat it all in one sitting.

She was sweet to offer me some Robin Eggs. She loves her candy but also loves to share with others.

The kids had a cool treat in their basket. It is a hollow chocolate egg with a marshmallow chick inside. How cute!

Nicholas found a balsa wood glider in his basket and put it together.

We took a break from the overindulgence in sugar to have Easter breakfast....hot cross buns, bacon, and scrambled eggs.

I wonder how long it will take for my kids to make themselves sick from candy overload?

Easter Egg Hunt

We took the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt this morning. The hunts were divided up by age group. I took Rachel to her field and Stuart took Nicholas to his.

It wasn't actually much of a hunt. The eggs and candy were just spread out over the field.

Rachel didn't mind. She was just excited about the thought of getting candy!

We got there too early though. She started getting restless about wanting to get out on the field. But we had to wait patiently until the fire truck blew it's horn.

But before long, the horn blew and they were off!

There was lots of loose candy as well as eggs all over the field. Rachel went straight for the candy. I guess the eggs were too risky for her because they might only contain stickers!

She did quite well with her candy loot!

She sat right down and started enjoying her sweets. She said she wanted to eat this banana flavored Laffy Taffy. I said that I liked that candy too and she had made a good choice. Then she said, "You can have it!" My sweet girl!

Fishing for Fun

The weather here is absolutely perfect so despite all of the projects that needed to be done around the house, we spent the day outside fishing with the kids.

We got to our local fishing spot. As we were getting out of the car, Rachel spotted this little caterpillar and immediately picked it up. No fear in this one!

It's been a while since we've been to this spot but it is just as beautiful as ever. Pond, trees, picnic tables, gazebo, trails, nature educational signs. Perfect!

In less than 5 minutes of having their hooks in the water, both kids caught a fish! Here's a video of Rachel catching her very first fish. Of course, Stuart helped a little with casting and setting the hook.

Rachel's first fish!

Nicholas is a good fisherman on his own and he wandered away from time to time to try to find just the right fishing spot.

We didn't have fancy bait, just little pieces of hot dog on the hooks. But the blue gill were biting and Rachel soon caught her second fish.

She liked touching them before throwing them back in the water.

Nicholas did great too. It was challenging at times because two little red-eared slider turtles kept trying to take our bait. We didn't want to catch one of those guys though because we wouldn't be able to fish the hook out of their mouths.

It was hard to keep up with all the fish catching going on between the two kids. That's a good problem to have!

Rachel reeled this one in then wasn't quite sure what to do with him next...

Look at this big one Nicholas caught!

He threw him back, baited his hook, and dropped his line in the water again. Next thing you know - bam! Another fish! I truly lost count of all the fish these kids were catching!

Rachel must have gotten the munchies because she was caught eating our bait!

After her little snack she was back at the edge of the pond with her fishing pole!

We had been helping her get the line cast but she wanted to show me how she could do it all by herself. She's VERY independent!

Rachel started wandering a little and as I was on the other side of the pond with her, I couldn't help but admire this view. Stuart is such a great teacher and father.

Rachel and I eventually made it back to the fishing spot. Stuart helped her catch a little fish. It's a little hard to hear her but Rachel was talking baby talk to it!

Stuart taught her a little more about casting her line.

Hold down the button.

Then swing it forward and let go of the button to release the line.

They are just so cute together!

A friend of mine was at the pond too and she stopped by to tell us Hi. She mentioned that her dad had caught a 5 pound bass in this pond. Nicholas got excited and wanted to catch a bass too.

This seemed like a good spot.

Yep, caught another one!

We're studying the character trait of Patience right now. We hadn't planned our fishing trip to coincide with our Konos work but it certainly did. The kids learned that patience is needed when you are fishing as you have to wait for the fish to bite or be calm and patient as you untangle a knotted line.

I've thought of taking the kids fishing here by myself but I was so grateful to be there with Stuart. It was more fun having him there but also he just knows so much more about fishing than I do. He was really a great teacher for the kids.

And he is very good at getting hooks out with his needle-nose pliers!

Rachel wanted to fish where Nicholas was.

And she caught a fish too!

That's a big one!

What an amazing day! Beautiful weather, time outdoors with my wonderful family, watching the kids fish and seeing their joy about their accomplishments, and watching my husband patiently help them learn how to improve their fishing skills. A blessed day indeed!

A Fun Box of Surprises!

I'm on lots of email lists about homeschooling. One of the lists is The Homeschool Post and they recently organized a fun little Swap Sister event that homeschool moms could sign up to participate in. You get assigned to another homeschool mom, get a little info sheet about that mom and her kids and their favorite things, then you send them a little goody box of about $10 worth of things that they might like and they send you a similar box. It sounded like fun so we signed up!

My kiddos helped me shop for fun little things for our Swap Sister mom and her three kids. But that wasn't nearly as fun as when our swap box arrived and they got to open it. The suspense was killing them!

I watched their faces from the other side of the table so I didn't even know what they were seeing but it was obviously pretty exciting.

Nicholas pulled out some Smencils which are pretty cool scented pencils.

They pulled some more things out of the box then some more things and some more. We has to spread it all out just to look at it all. Our Swap Sisters son found out that Nicholas likes Star Wars so he made a custom Star Wars greeting card for Nicholas.

Wow that's a lot of stuff!

I love the little acrylic glass that comes with its own reusable acrylic cup with a lid and straw. I see these things everywhere these days.

I had specifically mentioned that I like Milky Way bars or hot tea when I want to relax so my Swap Sister made sure I was covered. I love her!

She must have looked around my blog some to learn that my kids love it when Stuart blows up balloon animals for them so she sent them their own kid-friendly balloon animal kit with this cute doggie air pump.

Nicholas got out his Lowe's work apron and loaded it up with balloons and a Sharpie just like "professional" balloon creature makers wear.  He made quite a few creations of his own right away.

This was a fun little thing to do and my kids can't wait for the next swap!