After the Pow Wow, we walked nearby on the Washington University campus and found these awesome little huts. I have Googled lots of phrases (“Washington University twig huts,” “stick fort,” “hedge huts”) and can’t find any information on them other than a few photos taken by other people. It’s a mystery, but a fascinating one! The kids had fun running through them… and so did we! What I wouldn’t give to have one of these built in my backyard.
I took this photo on the 17th because this blog is for marking the milestones in our lives, as well as the mundane moments. Does anyone else have a pile of laundry that is taking over the laundry room?
Our church is full of incredibly talented artists. While walking around the building one day at work, I passed an area the artists set up where they were creating masterpieces with melted crayons. This art became the backdrop for the entire Easter celebration at all three of our church campuses. It is even cooler in person!
Jackson became a composer this month. He sat down at the electric keyboard and started playing, and wrote down the notes he played in the order he played them. Here’s his music. Later, Katie played it on her recorder too.
The HUGE change for the month was I went corn, dairy and gluten free. The doctor thinks it will ease the inflammation in my body, which will counteract my lupus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I didn’t go corn, dairy and gluten free all at once; it’s been gradual since March 9th. So far, the changes I’ve seen include a little weight loss and I can actually get my rings off my fingers even in the morning (which is my worst time of day for swelling). It sounds like a minor thing, but it’s a sign that something is working. I’m also off one of the six medications I was taking for heartburn. That’s a nice benefit! This photo shows one of my first really fulfilling gluten-free meals. I found a gluten/corn-free beer (that I actually like!) and made a rice-crust and non-dairy cheese pizza. I really liked this meal and it has been one of my go-to meals for the last month.
At the end of Spring Break, I took the kids to a new museum nearby called Myseum. There were lots of interactive exhibits, including this metal wall with magnetized PVC pipes. It’s a life-sized marble run, and the kids loved it!
One of my other favorite things at Myseum was this area called Seaweed Swamp. Pool noodles are strung from a metal grid near the ceiling, and they hang vertically in the air. The pool noodles are about a foot off the ground and pretty close together, so you can’t really see through them. It’s a fun sensory “swamp”, although I wouldn’t go in there if you are claustrophobic because you can get a little disoriented.
The last day of Spring Break was Palm Sunday. It was supposed to be spring-like, yes? NOT in St. Louis! We got a foot of snow and it was the worst snowfall in the area in thirty years. I was at work that morning when the snow started, and it came down so fast that we cancelled 11am church services. I usually get home in about 20-25 minutes, but it took me an hour that day because the roads were so incredibly bad. I prayed the entire time (out loud!) and finally made it home. It was a wacky day. We had planned to celebrate Jackson’s birthday with family at Chuck E Cheese, but cancelled. Which was for the best because Dan had to take Katie to urgent care that morning due to a really sore throat. We thought it was strep, but it turned out to be just a plain sore throat!
As if the snow wasn’t bad enough, my sister had arrived in town the day before. She was spending the first part of her Spring Break with us. Our plans were cancelled and we spent about two days in the house watching TV and letting the kids play video games. There wasn’t much else we could do! This is my sister on the couch pretending to have a WILD Spring Break. Ha!
Because our church cancelled Palm Sunday services, they decided to stream the entire service online instead. The church has never done that before, so it was pretty cool to see the worship and the message from the comfort of home. AND we also got to watch it on our cool new TV! Dan and I haven’t bought a TV for about 13 years. Our old one was small and weighs about 115 pounds because it’s as deep as it is wide. (A dinosaur!) We have finally caught up to the 21st century and gotten a “smart” TV. The high definition reception gave my brain a workout for the first few days as I started at the screen open-mouthed at how crisp people look on TV. It was like the “fourth wall” of a movie was broken through and I could see these people aren’t really hobbits and dark lords; rather, they are actors playing characters. (We flipped on Lord of the Rings as the first thing we watched on the TV). It truly blew my mind.
My sister was here to celebrate Jackson’s birthday a few days early. Since he missed his big family outing to Chuck E Cheese, she gave him a present on snow night. This was his face when he opened the Skylanders Giants character he wanted so badly. Mary also gave him two five-dollar bills, and he thought he was RICH!
In usual St. Louis fashion, school was cancelled the next day even though most roads were clear. Mary and I decided to take Katie and Jackson to Chuck E Cheese on our own. Jackson was very happy about that! We had fun with the kids and Mary and I even went head-to-head on our own trivia game.
This photo demonstrates one of the MANY reasons I love my job. Y’all know I work at a church that has multiple locations. In order to preserve staff unity, every employee goes to the main location on Wednesdays. We have ministry-specific meetings, catch up with coworkers, and attend a mandatory staff lunch. That means anyone who works at a satellite campus has to bring their portable office with them, which means their laptop and files they need and whatnot. This also means the regular office space is inundated with lots of people, so we all find a chair or coffee table to make into a temporary office for the day. You can walk through the building and see random people holed up in any available chair in the foyer and sometimes even in the nursing mothers room. A brilliant manager decided to make one of the KidzCrossing classrooms into a temporary work area. She has been setting up tables there, but recently decided to make it into a really nice space. So she put tablecloths out, nice lamps for prettier lighting, and even added a candle. This was my favorite part, though: the day she unveiled it, she had chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling juice for everyone to enjoy and to make the off-campus employees feel welcome. I love that someone made a point to give us a “home away from home.”
The big event in March is sweet Jackson’s birthday. He turned six this year, and we celebrated the day with dinner out and presents at home. This is the huge shark pillow Dan bought for him at Cabela’s. He’s been sleeping with it every night and he loves it.
The last day of March was Easter Sunday. Our entire family went to work with me. Dan volunteered at both morning services, and Katie led worship in the Preschool classroom. Jackson went into the Kindergarten classroom, where they were taught the response to the phrase, “Chris is risen!” The response is, “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” Jackson wrote it on his dry erase board. I love how proud he looks, and I especially love that his spelling makes “indeed” look like “and dead.”
After work, we spent Easter afternoon with Dan’s family. Jackson got to open his birthday presents from the extended family, and this photo shows the t-shirt quilt Grandma made him from all the shirts I’ve decorated for him in the past. One of the squares in the middle is a denim hat he used to wear in the summers. Grandma figured out how to include it in the quilt too. I love the memories this represents.
Easter Sunday’s weather was completely opposite of Palm Sunday, so we took the kids and their cousin on a walk to a nearby playground. It was a lovely end to March, and my soul is aching for spring weather to HURRY UP ALREADY!