Monthly Archives: March 2015

Everyday Magic

 

InAnOrchard

I wish that somehow I could wrap up all these pictures into one tidy “Week that Was” post, or connect them by some profound or humorous thread. But really it’s just a hodgepodge of all the little things that make our weeks go by so swiftly (with a milestone thrown in for good measure).InAnOrchard

This past week I woke up early one morning and shuffled to the coffee maker.  As I was grinding the beans and filling the pot, I glanced out the kitchen window at my neighbor’s field.  It was beautiful in the morning light.  Like a scene out of a book. I half expected to see Darcy walking out to meet Elizabeth in the middle of the sun-drenched, misty field.

The coffee was left unmade on the counter.  I hastily ran out to and snap a few pictures in my flip-flops and p.j.s.
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InAnOrchard

 

This year I couldn’t resist doing a little something with the kiddos on St. Patrick’s Day.  So we made green cupcakes.
InAnOrchard

InAnOrchard

I found these fun rainbow candy strips in the dollar section at Target a last month.  I snipped them in half and we made rainbows with marshmallow clouds.  The children’s delight was only surpassed by my own excitement ;)  We jumped in the van and made cupcake deliveries to friends and cousins.InAnOrchard

 

Miss P is getting very close to being two.  She is a busy girl, who likes to explore all-the-live-long day!  It can make our homeschooling day… interesting.  This is one of the ways I’ve been able to keep her occupied lately.  A small tub of lukewarm water, kitchen utensils, with plastic toys and the baby girl is suddenly very content.
InAnOrchard

 

We decided to go on a day trip with the kiddos this past Saturday.  It’s so easy to get stuck in a weekend rut of “we need to do this, this, and that”, and we forget to have fun.  We considered several day trip destinations but ended up taking the kids to Sutter’s Fort.  What a great place to explore with the kiddos!  Our oldest son J has been studying the Western Frontier at school so he was particularly excited to visit the fort.

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The docents who volunteer at Sutter Fort were great!  They involved the children in whatever activity they were doing, and told stories about life in the Fort as they worked.  Miss E got to use the rug loom and learned about being a Weber.InAnOrchard

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We looked at guard towers, old cannons, and rifles so big they took three men to them hold up.InAnOrchard

At first Miss P was more than content to sit perched on her daddy’s back eating snacks, but before long she was running along behind the big kids.
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As one of J’s school assignments he had just finished reading “Patty Reed’s Doll”.  It’s based on the true story of Patty Reed who traveled by wagon with her family and the Donner party.  It was a fascinating read for Jude (it left out all of the gruesome details we associate with the Donner Party), and it centered around the little girl, Patty Reed and the dolly she had tucked into her dress, after her family was forced to leave most of their possessions on the trail.   The Reed family was eventually rescued and brought back to Sutter’s Fort.  Upon her death Patty Reed willed her little doll to the Sutter’s Fort museum.  InAnOrchard

I think it amazed J to see it, the real doll carried by Patty Reed herself, sitting under glass all these decades later.InAnOrchard

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It really is a beautiful old building.  Simple, utilitarian, but beautiful all at the same time.InAnOrchard

InAnOrchard

InAnOrchard

There were quite a few activities set up around the Fort for the children to try.  They had candle dipping, corn husk baby dolls, bread baking, and even a cannon demonstration (which sadly we missed by only a few minutes).InAnOrchard

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It is such a great place to take young children!  If you haven’t taken a tour you really should.

 

This little girl turned six this week.  I know I’m completely biased but I really love the girl she’s becoming.  So excited about life, full of curiosity, and fierce determination.
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And right now this yellow bike is her whole world.

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She rides it first thing in the morning, as soon as she gets home from school, even in the dark.  As soon as she sees her daddy’s car pull into our lane each evening, she runs out to meet him, jumping up and down, saying, “Daddy will you take me on a bike ride down the canal?!”.   He always smiles at her, sets is work things down, changes his shoes, and before I know it I see them flying past the back of the property on their bikes.  He is always close behind her, she is pedaling like mad with a wide grin on her face.

Yes, 6 looks good on you little girl

Birthday Tea

Birthday tea | Inanorchard

Two cousin-friends, born only 11 days apart, turned 6-years-old this March.  Jessica (my sister-in-law) and I have been daydreaming about throwing a tea party for the girls for a number of years now, and this seemed like the perfect time. The girls have the sweetest group of friends from their Kindergarten class, so we invited them (along with Miss E’s other sweet cousin friend) to an afternoon tea, hosted at Grandma W’s house.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

The table was set up on the front porch, with paper lanterns hanging from the eaves.  Jess and I thought it would be fun to do a more colorful and playful version of a fancy tea; we used bright colors and my Mother-in-laws crystal tea cups and clear glass plates.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

I loved the contrast of the bold, black gingham with the dainty doilies and turquoise jars stuffed with pink and white flowers.  It’s always so rewarding to have and idea in your head and see it turn out exactly the way you pictured it.

We assembled all the tea luncheon essentials; fruit, mini cupcakes, tea sandwiches, hear-shaped cream-filled cookies, eclairs, a token vegetable, and hot tea.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

I found these darling white berry baskets at Michael’s and we used them for party favor bags and place markers at the table.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Each box was filled with jelly beans, a sucker, and a shiny new jump-rope.  Jess and I found those darling jump-ropes in the dollar section of Target.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

After we got the table set and all the tea things in order the guests began to arrive!  Each girl came in the sweetest tea party frock, with braids in their hair, pearls around their neck, flouncy skirts and spring sandals… it was pretty adorable!

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

We started the party off with a simple craft project.  We wanted the girls to have a craft activity, but we had to be careful about the mess since they were all dressed so beautifully.  Painting was out of the question, so we decided to let them decorate small ring boxes with colored tissue paper and paper flowers.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

After the craft it was time for tea!  You could tell that each little girl was so excited about the fancy tea table.  Even before it was time to eat, they were hovering excitedly around the table.  I did a short story time for the party guests, while Jessica and the grandmas made tea and set out the food.

Birthday Tea | Inaorchard

We filled the center of the table with all the treats.  I think they where all a little surprised when we let them each pile their plates with whatever tea goodies they wanted.  The carrots were not as popular as the eclairs (no surprise there)

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Of course the real hit of the tea party was the sugar cubs and tiny stirring spoons.  I won’t even tell you the number of sugar cubs those girls put in their 8 oz. tea cups!Birthday tea | Inanorchard

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

I loved the small crystal tea cups!  They were just perfect.  Tiny curved handles and even a little pedestal at the bottom; you could tell the the little girls were pleased with them.  We served sparkling lemonade as well, just in case some of the quests didn’t prefer the taste of tea.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Little Miss P was toddling around in all the tea party hustle and bustle.  She was such a sweetheart but shortly after tea she was getting a little tuckered out.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Daddy made a surprise visit to the tea party to give the birthday girl a hug and wish her happy birthday.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

This probable comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read this blog, but I have had a thing for flowers ever since I was Miss E’s age.  I loved looking at pictures of bridal bouquets, and I remember seeing pictures in story books of girls wearing crowns of flowers around their head.  I always wanted to wear a flower crown.  So I made two for the birthday girls to wear to tea.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

After the girls ran wild through the yard for about a half an hour, we got the mini cupcakes out and sang happy birthday to the birthday girls.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Finally the moment Miss E had been waiting for all day arrived; opening presents!

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

I love watching them all lean forward with anticipation as each gift was opened.

Birthday Tea | Inanochard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

By the time the party was wrapping up, the little ring boxes had completely dried.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

I was so pleased with the way they turned out, I thought the girls did a great job decorating them.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

As one last parting gift, Jess and I slipped a small flower ring in each box.  My mom was sweet enough to make these ring for me from scratch.  She bent and smoothed and polished each ring by hand.Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

It was a fantastic day!  I think the girls made some sweet memories together.  It’s such a fun time in their lives, and I am loving watching them experience the carefree excitement of being six-years-old.

Birthday Tea | Inanorchard

 

Happy Birthday sweet girls!  Love ya lots!