Monday, April 28, 2014

Lunch dates, natural history, hiking and creative exploring - Spring Break 2014

The kids only had two days off school for Spring Break this year (four days total with the weekend) and Jared couldn't take any time off work. But we made the most of what we had!

As a pre-spring-break treat for myself and the kids, I took each of the big kids out of school for a special little lunch date on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (it was Restaurant Week in Ogden - great chance to enjoy wonderful stuff at great prices).

How did my babies grow up to be such big handsome young men?
 Isaac picked Tona - I was pretty excited about that - they do the best fancy and wonderful Japanese food! Isaac loves sushi and loves trying new and interesting things.

Ashton picked something a bit more tame - Union Grill. He went for the triple pig sandwich - bacon, roasted pork and ham. He was quite pleased about it.

Somehow I didn't think to take a photo of my lunch with Eliza but we had a grand time chatting it up and enjoying beautiful and super tasty food at Bistro 258.

Then on Friday when the kids were out of school, we explored the gorgeous new Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. We learned a ton about the earliest inhabitants of Utah, Utah's diverse ecosystems, Utah's rich geological history (the kids love rocks), earthquakes and fault lines, dinosaurs, and chocolate (there's a special exhibit going on right now all about how chocolate is made).

Saturday morning, we had fun with the new tradition of string leading the kids all over the place to find their baskets and we all ate too much candy (the Easter Bunny comes on Saturday for us so that we can focus on the spiritual side of things on Easter Sunday). Eliza covered the string maze to the  baskets in her post about Easter.

Then we went for a family hike - my favorite really hard hike - Maylan's Peak. Oliver, Silas and Isaac were the advance party and wow, they hike fast! At the base of the mountain it was late spring with leaves on the trees and nice warm weather. We hiked up through early spring and on to winter. The last part of the hike involved LOTS of slushy, slippery snow but we made it!
 Beautiful waterfall of spring run-off:
 Early spring green just getting started in some areas:
 Patches of serious spring in some spots:
 Lots of snow at the top - the kids were delighted!

Great mix of spring and winter at the top!

Sunday was Easter and Eliza already covered that quite nicely in her post. It was a really lovely Easter involving watching great videos about Christ's life and death, eating our traditional eggs benedict for breakfast, going to church in our new Easter clothes (well, the boys just got ties and belts but that was plenty for them), having a pork roast and mashed potato dinner (we're not that into ham, the traditional Easter meal - why's it traditional? Anyone know?). We ate dinner by candlelight at Silas's suggestion (he was sad that we didn't get a chance to do our Passover dinner on Thursday by candlelight and wanted to still have that experience). We sat at the table for a long time and just talked, everyone bathed in that pleasant candlelight that softens faces and moods and brings out good conversation.

Monday I left it totally up to the kids what they wanted to do. They voted for a lazy morning of games and big tasty breakfast of crepes with fruit and nutella.

Then they said they wanted to walk downtown to the train museum, visiting shops along 25th street on the way and trying out some of the fun activities in the new book I got recently called How to be an Explorer of the World: A Portable Life Museum. We had such a great time exploring things we'd already seen many times but hadn't really LOOKED at carefully (the ideas in the book helped us do that).

 Here we are setting out:


Here they are down by the train station:

The kids climbed on the trains for a while before we noticed the new signs that said you're not supposed to climb on them. Sad day. That's always been a favorite activity. But luckily a lady told them they could climb on the front of the trains, just not on the tops.

On our walk, we looked for all the different words we could find and took pictures of them. We also looked for patterns. When we got back home, we made these collages and were pretty darn pleased with them.

Recently we did this activity where we found things in nature to match different paint chips we had (Eliza spearheaded this one).

There's so much to see when you really look! And art is everywhere. Beauty can be found in almost anything.


ppp said...

I think ham is traditional because in the old days pigs were usually slaughtered in the fall. So hams were cured over the winter and ready by spring. You couldn't have a pork roast in spring.

More recently, in the 1930s, the meatpacking industry and the USDA launched a big campaign for Easter hams. Meat consumption was at an all time low due to the Great Depression, and they wanted to boost the ag industry.

Brooke said...

I love the collages of words and surfaces! That is a great way to create art of your adventures. Very cool.


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