Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

I Want Chocolate Cake

It probably isn't such a good idea to have Smitten Kitchen in my feed, because I saw this recipe and knew we needed to make it today. It is completely the best quick and easy cake.  I used whole wheat pastry flour and used half the recipe for the frosting. It is the perfect size so you have some cake and it is gone pretty quickly. Not that much of an overload of sugar in the house. And fun! Pieter and Juliana took turns putting the sprinkles on the frosting. Later in the afternoon, I came out of the kids' room after putting Juliana to sleep and found Pieter having a volunteer nap on the couch. These warm afternoons take their toll.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Playing at the Park

We've been spending time downtown at a park where the kids can do some real biking. This cooler weather has been great for getting out for fun.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maricao Coffee Festival

{peanut roaster, 1882 - still making great peanuts}

{fresh lemonade}
{Juliana with her favorite person}

{how can you not love this jacket}

{beautiful singing and drumming}

Yesterday we drove up into the mountains to Maricao to see their annual coffee festival with some friends. Despite it being the busiest day, we still were able to park in their huge lot nearby for $5 and then walked around for a couple of hours. We had pinchos (roasted meat on a stick) and fresh lemonade and some really yummy roasted peanuts. There were loads of coffee vendors, so we bought several bags from different farms to do some taste testing. There were aisles and aisles of vendors selling their art. It was the nicest, well done art I have seen yet. I bought several leather necklaces at surprisingly low prices and saw a lot of wood carvings that were quite beautiful. There was an extension station there in a booth with all of the amazing fruits in the photos above. Sometimes I forget how many amazing things can be grown here in Puerto Rico. This was such a great time that I hope to make it an annual trek. I think next time we'll try to get there on Friday or Saturday, which are supposedly the slower days.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Boqueron Beach

{empty home similar to a caddisfly}

We finally made it down to Boqueron Beach in Cabo Rojo for the first time for a birthday party. We all had a great time playing in the calm water and there was the best ever climbing tree. We saw that this is where all the boats are hiding out on the west coast. There are not many protected bays like this with marinas.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Last Day of Sunny Puerto Rico

{love this one!}

Today we drove Grandpa, Grandma and Aunt Debbie to San Juan for their flight tomorrow morning. On the way we listened to Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat, a favorite of Pieter's. We checked them in at their hotel and then headed to Old San Juan for lunch and to see Castillo San Cristóbal. Recently retired from the National Park Service, Saint Gaudens National Historic Site, Grandma had a great time visiting the fort and seeing her fellow workers. Now they are headed back to snow shoveling and wood stoves!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Wheels on the Bus

This week we had two artists in residence and I'm never one to miss an opportunity. For Pieter's birthday I bought a cute little wooden bus and people from ClickityClack, made by a nice man in Michigan. I got the idea from Ginny at Small Things. My intention was to paint them, but I hadn't gotten to it. Now the kids have a cute toy painted by their Grandma and Aunt Debbie!

{Pieter opening the bus on his birthday}

{the finished bus, driver and kids}

The people turned out great! We even had some extra people around that Grandma painted. Now if I can only get the song out of my head. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Enjoying Cabo Rojo

{The whole family at the salt flats!}

{Brown Boobies, Sula leucogaster}

{happiness is hanging with Aunt Debbie at Playa Sucia}

{looking for shells and seaglass}

{Grandpa throwing Juliana}

Today we drove south to see the salt flats at the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. Then we headed to Playa Sucia for some fun in beautiful Caribbean waters. We got there early enough to find a nice shady spot for our chairs and then did some kayaking and hiking out on the cliffs. Juliana loves to practice her paddling with a little help from everyone, so Grandpa, Grandma and Ben pushed her between them for a while. It was fun to see Grandpa throw Juliana off her shoulders, just like I remember doing at the lake when I was small. He's still got it!
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