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Let’s see, it started with me working more and more hours to get my mom through spring banquets and to earn some cash for a Disney trip.  Then there was testing for the girls’ school, finishing up said school for the year, end of swim season (did I post about Jane qualifying for regional?), spring soccer,   and who could forget the cold that would not end and managed to travel through our house 2 people at a time for two rounds (that is about a months worth of illness for those wondering.)  In general life just got so busy that something had to give.  I’d say I was sorry that it was the blog that had to be set aside, but I am not.  My family comes first and I am not ashamed to say it.  It was all a good kind of busy, but it pushed me to my limits.  Here’s some quick takes on where we are at right now:

  • My first trip to our farmer’s market was this past weekend.  My haul: chard, green onions, peas (which the twins helped shell), chicken (whole bird, non-GMO), and my one regret was I did not get any of the rhubarb or strawberries.  They looked so perfect, but I already had berries from the Amish and the only way rhubarb is good is drowning in sweetness.  I love it, the rest of the family is not fond, I end up eating it all….you get the picture.
  • Summer swim has just started and the first meet is this Thursday (at home for any locals that might want to watch.)  Did I ever mention I was not in a single sport in all my growing years.  I sometimes feel like the mom that is clueless, but after a couple of seasons of swim and soccer, I think I am getting into the swing of it.  Speaking of swing, they are also taking a golf clinic next week.  Love that my girls want to be active!
  • Twins will be 4 in a month and a half….FOUR!  No idea yet what we are doing for a party, but hoping for something breezy and fun outside. It’s freaking me out a bit how quickly my girls are growing.  Where is time going?  Jane is going to be ten this winter, someone help me please!!!!
  • Currently, I am not working so much, only three shifts this month that I know of and I like that very much.  The money is nice, but my family is much more fun 🙂
  • Plans for the summer are to relax and “Spring clean” so to say.  With school, swim, etc. there was not much de-cluttering or cleaning going on the first part of this year.  Hoping to take advantage of summer when the obligations are less to get some things done around here.
  • We are helping out a couple of times a week with my grandparent’s garden.  I’ve never done traditional row gardening.  It seems like quite a bit of wasted space and lots of weeding, but I am willing to give it a try.  My square foot garden is planted with herbs, scallions, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce.   The row garden out at their place has corn, beans, beets, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, melons, squash, and cucumbers.  It will be nice to spend time every week with my grandparents and good for the girls and I to learn.

So, yes, I am still here and I hope to have more to post soon.  Here’s a photo to hold you over until then.  Aren’t my girls so beautiful!  A better photo is high on my priorities for the next week or two, but it was a last-minute shot and I love the memories of that evening in the park.

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Getting home from our trip was rough: illness, school, extra work hours, etc.  They all added up to something having to give and the photos are what had to give.  However, now the sun is shining, there is not a fever to be found in the house, and I do not go back to work again until Friday so I am catching up on what I do have and sad for the days I missed.  It is what it is, though, and I am good with that.

A display from the North American bird room in the Museum of Natural History.  This place is massive!  When we first got there, I thought it would be very crowded, I was wrong.  The entryway and admission room were packed, absolutely packed, but the various exhibits were not too bad at all.  Being a rainy day in NYC, I expected the crowd, so you can imagine how pleased we were when we got to the mineral room and could stop and read about the displays, taking our time with what interested us and not feeling pressured by a crowd to keep moving.

Hershey Pennsylvania was a decent stop along the way.  They weren’t crowded being a Tuesday at noon and the “tour” was entertaining.  It gave the girls a chance to run around a good bit and I found a bar of Lavender and Blueberry Dark Chocolate….yum!

Welcome home, a mid-west Spring can bring all sorts of things.  The next morning we woke to a blanket of white.  I wasn’t feeling that one so well, then the fevers started in, plus working a couple 10 hour days….well, I won’t start in on all that again. 

I will be putting in three long days this weekend as well.  I know I mentioned it before, but please be sure to tip your server well on Easter….I know I would rather be at church with my family on Sunday, sitting down to a nice meal together afterwards.  I am better many of my fellow servers would as well.  At last count, our little small-town social club that I work at part-time has 140 reservations and I am guessing it will be around 160-75 by the time Sunday rolls around.   Not only am I serving, but I am helping with the dessert station and I am looking forward to creating another beautiful display.  Oh yes, and a baby shower for 55 people on Saturday.  The money will come in handy.  My mom is feeling “the mouse” call her name and I am sure we will be heading south before school is out.  Life is good!

Our first day in the city was beautiful!  Sun, breeze, cool enough for a jacket, but comfortable.  We took the Staten Island Ferry round trip for some great views and a nice chance to discuss our plans for the day.

The subways were a bit of a learning curve, but we figured it out.  It helps to read the service notice posters…that would have helped a bit on the couple occasions we flew on through what we thought was our next stop (that we wanted to get off on, of course.) 

This was free and the girls loved it.  You do have to call ahead for tickets and specific time to go.  Worth it if you think you will  need to let the kids run a little bit free for awhile.  It has several levels of learning about technology all hands on.  We did a news broadcast, open heart surgery, programmed a robot, and played virtual games and instruments.  Highly reccomend this place.

Grand Central Station was so beautiful, but the lighting for photos was awful.  I had to include this one, though.  The mural of the stars on the ceiling was so beautiful, a neat greenish-bllue.   Next to the stone work on the left, you will see a small grey/black  rectangle going into the mural.  Apparently when the city went smoke-free, they did a huge rehab on the interior of grand central.  They left this patch nasty as a reminder of what the smoke can do to historical buildings….or so my sister tells me.   The stone work in this building, the lighting, everything was so very beautiful.  I really wish I could try to get in there during a better time for light and hence photos.

What would a trip to the city be without a stop in Times Square?  This was very neat, you see it so much on TV and what-not.  It’s huge, bright, and the M&M’s were tasty. 

We did quite a bit more that day, but trying to keep ahold of the girls and the feeling of not knowing exactly where I was at kept me from pulling out my camera.  Day two later today.

78/365 view

it’s the only photo I took that day, but it is a nice (but blurry) view of Upper Manhatten from our room

It pays to have a friend that is a pasty chef!  Spumoni, Red Velvet, Lemon Dream Surprise, Hunky Chunky Banana Love…the family and I cut them up and sampled small bits and wow were they good!  If you have a Gigi’s Cupcakes around you, I want to know how you manage to not gain serious weight.  They were rich, tasty, moist, and they didn’t last long with this crowd.

I am not sure I will have photos posted the next 4 days.  We will be in NYC and I am not sure about internet access.  I promise there will be many photos taken and that when I get back there will be plenty to share!

straight out of the camera from walking the dog late this afternoon

75/365 fresh

Is there anything nicer than the first load of wash hanging on the line after a long, snowy winter?  The sheets will be next!

Some things I have cooked or will be cooking this week: chili, chicken gravy, taco meat, greens.   I am sure that somehow I am wanting all this comfort food out of my mind before the nice spring weather settles in.  Things that sound good: lavender lemonade, chicken salad with walnuts and grapes in it, picnics with cold cuts of meat and deviled eggs, and garden fresh veggies!