Playdates

All the goodies that Mardi Gras has

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Playdates on February 17th, 2015 by jen – Be the first to comment

King cake, beads, and New Orleans jazz…all the goodies that Mardi Gras has!

I hosted our annual Mardi Gras party last Thursday. While I was in Louisiana last month, I picked up a new Mardi Gras book, so I read to our guests about the traditions of Mardi Gras and then the kids enjoyed making their own festive masks.

Annual Mardi Gras party

Who's behind that mask?

Who's behind that mask?

We also had a King Cake bake-off. I made two king cakes from two different recipes. The smaller cake is a recipe I've been using for many years. The larger cake is a new McKenzie’s King cake copycat recipe that a high school friend recently shared. The only difference was the dough; the cream cheese filling, icing and sugars were all the same. Many of the adults at the party tried both and voted. The larger cake was deemed the winner; the dough was more pastry-like and as Chad commented, "It's closer to what I think of when you say King Cake."

King cake bake-off

Leah loved having her preschool friends over to celebrate. Happy Mardi Gras!

Playgroup send-off

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on August 23rd, 2014 by jen – 3 Comments

Our playgroup has been a constant in our week for the last 6.5 years. Some friends have gone, and others have joined in, but there has been a core group of us watching our kids grow up together. Two years ago when we were considering whether to move locally or back to the South, this playgroup was one of the reasons why I wanted to stay. I loved that Molly, Leah and I have made such great friends through this group.

With three of the younger sisters heading off to Kindergarten this year, and Leah's preschool schedule changing, we got together for one last "official" playgroup on Thursday. I reassured my girls that just because we will no longer have playgroup every week, it does not mean that we will not see our friends. Playdates and sleep overs here we come!

Playgroup send-off

A little trip down memory lane...

May 2008. Shortly after it all began.

Play group party

March 2009. Molly's 2nd birthday

Molly and Simon playing house

October 2009. Trick-or-treating together

Lots of kiddos

April 2010. Simon and his girls

Simon and his girls

Summer 2010

Allison's birthday

Baby buddies

October 2010. Trunk-or-treat at Glen Mar

With friends

December 2010. Brookside Gardens train display

Girls and their boots

June 2011. Strawberries at Larriland Farm

Strawberry pickers

September 2011. Leah's 2nd birthday

Gather round

Easter 2012

Posing with the Bunny

July 4th 2012

Independence Day celebration

December 2012. Garden of Lights

Trains

March 2013. Molly's 6th birthday

Glamorous friends

September 2013. At The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Smiles at the zoo

April 2014. Road trip to Philly

Role reversal

We love you guys!

Strawberry buddies

Posted in Leah, Playdates on June 9th, 2014 by jen – Be the first to comment

Like last year, Stacie and I took the little sisters to pick strawberries at Gorman Farm. Here they are finding the perfect ones to pick.

Picking strawberries

You must taste them along the way, right?

Taste test

Leah and Matilda were proud of their loot, showing off the biggest strawberries in their bucket!

Biggest ones in the bucket

The strawberries were gone in 2 days! So, next week...strawberries at Larriland Farm?

Acting like a bunch of animals

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on September 15th, 2013 by jen – Be the first to comment

The girls and I joined some friends at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. School was closed that day, so the big girls were able to join in the fun too.

Turtle ride anyone?

While waiting for her friends to exit a cave, Molly practiced some crazy faces.

One crazy kiddo

She's gotten a bit bigger than the last time she took this picture.

Spinning in a shell

That's one excited turtle!

One excited turtle

Leah had to practice her oinking while posing as a cute little piggy.

Cute little piggy

As the kids were checking out the giraffes, this one decided to poke his head around and check out the kids!

Hello Mr. Giraffe

Smiles at the end of a good visit to the Zoo.

Smiles at the zoo

Summertime adventures

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on August 27th, 2013 by jen – 1 Comment

I took the girls down to Brookside Gardens and Wheaton Regional Park. There are no butterfly pictures because Molly and Leah kept exclaiming, "These butterflies are freaking me out!" But at the park, Molly and Allison loved climbing to the top of this jungle gym.

Wheaton Regional Park

Before heading home, the girls took a spin on the merry-go-round (thanks to Amanda!). The park also has a train, and picnic grounds. It was a fun day with friends.

Round and round

Another summer adventure - picking blueberries at Larriland Farm with playgroup friends. Everybody's ready to get started!

To the farm

Leah wasted no time finding the perfect blueberries.

Getting to work

It's always more fun to hang out in the middle of the blueberry bushes with friends.

In the bushes

This is the way you must eat freshly picked blueberries.

Crazy kid

After the blueberries, we moved on to picking purple and red raspberries. Leah took her job very seriously, inspecting her raspberries for the perfect color.

Inspecting the raspberry

A berry fun time

Posted in Leah, Playdates on June 3rd, 2013 by jen – 1 Comment

Leah and I picked strawberries at Gorman Farm last week with some friends. She did a great job of inspecting her strawberries to make sure they were only red.

Inspecting her strawberry

On the hunt for the perfect strawberry…

Finding the perfect one

Strawberry picking is always more fun with a friend. Leah would have stayed longer, but the buckets were full!

Always fun with a friend

I froze one pound of the strawberries for Strawberry Sour Cream ice cream later this week, and the rest of them are gone! Guess we need to take a trip out to Larriland Farm to pick more!

All her {pink} eggs in one basket

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on April 4th, 2013 by jen – Be the first to comment

On Good Friday, I took the girls to an Easter Egg Hunt organized by my MOMS Club. Leah was one of the oldest of the youngest group, so she ran full on in search of all the pink eggs.

On the hunt

Leah loved filling up her basket. She eventually had so many eggs that she started collecting eggs to give to the younger toddlers and babies.

A basket full

The egg hunt for the older kids was a bit more challenging with eggs hidden in bushes and wedged in tight spots.

Hidden eggs

The girls were joined by some of their best playgroup buddies.

Friends make it more fun

After the hunting was complete, the candy counting began. Leah and Molly brought home 40 pieces of candy each! They'll be eating Easter candy until Leah's birthday!

Counting the candy

Molly, Keira and Maya were happy to pose next to the Easter Bunny. Leah is still unwilling to get near large, costumed figures.

Hanging with the Easter Bunny

We’re on a roll

Posted in Molly, Playdates on November 19th, 2012 by jen – 1 Comment

Molly was requesting to go roller skating. So I called up some friends and we all headed to the Skate Arena.

First time roller skating

Allison & Molly had fun hanging out and hanging on railings and walls.

Hanging out & hanging on

Matilda had a harder time getting the hang of skating, as did her mom!

Giving it her best

The skating rink (also known as the arena at our local gym) uses a section of the indoor track as a practice lane. Simon was doing a great job with his dad.

The practice lane

Jake showed up with his bike helmet and was ready to go!

Prepped and ready to skate

Molly eventually realized that she could skate better on the carpet, rather than in the rink. All the kids had fun, so we'll definitely try it out again.

Skating on her own

Another farm field trip

Posted in Field trips, Leah, Playdates on November 1st, 2012 by jen – Be the first to comment

It was Leah's turn to take a trip to the farm. Our playgroup headed out to Gaver Farm for a morning of Fall fun.

Another farm field trip

The farm had so many things for the girls to do, with at least 6 different mazes.

First of many mazes

The corn crib was a big hit. Fun like a sandbox, but without all the sand all over!

Corn crib

Leah and Rachel had a great time test driving the tractors.

Farmers in training

Leah loved this slide! She probably went down it 15 times, and insisted on doing it all by herself. It is made of ridged tubes, so she'd bump down and laugh all the way.

Leah's favorite part

It’s the end of summer as we know it

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on August 25th, 2012 by jen – Be the first to comment

For our last summer playgroup, we met up with friends at the (new to us) Jeffers Hill community playground. How have we not know about this playground before?! The kids had a blast on this teeter-totter.

We found a new playground

Things could get pretty rockin' when Simon was bouncing the teeter-totter.

Rockin' out

The playground has a lot of great things to play on, but not much shade. So, the picnic lunch was in the shade of a very small tree.

Picnic in the shade

This was the last playgroup before the big kids start Kindergarten on Monday. Molly will miss seeing all these silly friends every week.

Silly friends

In honor of National Peach Month, I also took the girls to pick peaches at Larriland Farm this week. Molly loved climbing the peach tree in search of the perfect peach.

In a peach tree

Leah had to get in on the tree climbing too. I eventually had to stop the great peach pickers since the box was full. We came home with 20 lbs. of peaches. Mmmm, that's a lot of peach goodness. I've already got peach custard ice cream, peach salsa, and peach & brie quesadillas on the menu this week!

Don't fall out of the tree

Picking peaches with friends makes it even more fun.

Peach picking with friends