Easter Visitors

March 31, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The kids enjoyed the annual visit of the Easter Bunny. As usual, there was plenty of sweets/candy to keep them occupied. Conall wasn’t too interested, although he is developing a taste for ice cream. He turned three a few weeks ago, and enjoyed his birthday cake. He has also taken a few steps unsupported, so I’m sure he’ll be whizzing around in no time.

We spent a quiet Easter Sunday, with Jenn out-doing herself in the kitchen doing her Ballymaloe impression, serving up the traditional baked lamb and assorted goodies. We had the bright idea of sending Orla and Eoghan off with Sue to do an Easter Egg hunt at Justin’s, so we were able to enjoy a lazy afternoon !

With the arrival of Spring in the US, the kids have been busy planting flowers in the garden. I’m not sure if anything will actually grow, but at least it keeps them out in the fresh air. The dogs, too, are outdoors most of the day now; there’s room to walk around in the kitchen once again…

This past Saturday saw the arrival in NY of Mary, Liam, Eimear and Cliodhna. Returning to Ireland from Orlando, they missed their connection at Newark and so had to spend the day in NY. We met up with them at the Winter Garden and had a great time with the kids in the parks along the river. Orla and Eoghan were thrilled to meet their cousins and can’t wait for their next trip to Ireland… Jenn has posted some videos on Youtube.



The house seems to be filling up with more and more animals. We now have tanks and cages everywhere, with tadpoles (which are unlike anything I ever saw growing up; these ones look like they’re left over from a horror movie, after being zapped with steroids and radiation) and crickets adding to the ever-growing menagerie. Apparently, it takes two years for these tadpoles to develop into bullfrogs. We’ll see how long they survive; based on past experience, the odds on their survival aren’t too good !



Spring has finally come to the North-East, and the kids are thrilled and energized, ready to be outdoors again. They have started riding their bikes again, and designated Conall as the officer in charge of bike speeding violations. He sits in his little red and yellow plastic car on the sidelines and enjoys his position of authority.

Conall just celebrated his First Birthday ! We had a very small family party and will soon post pictures green frosting all over Conall’s face as he ate his first piece. The kids decorated the kitchen for him with their babysitter, festooning the place with chanl drawings and balloons that they filled from a helium tank (whilst avoiding the temptation to engage in a water balloon fight) before Conall arrived home from lunch with Mom, Dad, Seamus and Ivana.

School has been going well, with many field trips for the kids. Eoghan loved the science show, Fun with Energy, at the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center. He is now able to put out candles with sound waves and was thrilled to be a volunteer in front of the audience for the balloon experiment.

Orla has discovered the pleasures of reading with her favorite new series, Pony Pals, and is starting up horse lessons again now that the good weather is returning. She has also continued taking her music lessons on the piano and flute, and continues exploring YouTube.

Eoghan, meanwhile, had his interest in the ballet piqued…We were asking him if he would like to go to the ballet with Orla and Dad. He immediately asked if the ballerinas would be pretty. When he heard they would, he decided he wants to go !
Brian has been busy trying – usually unsuccessfully – to get some studying done, and Jenn is still busy chasing the 3 kids. Today, she loaded them up in the car to the library and frog hunting. The lesson learned was that it’s too early in the season for frogs, but the kids had a great time anyway looking for them, using their nets and pails.



Orla and Eoghan have discovered Youtube, and the fun of making movies. They’re busy learning how to use their cameras to record video, and how to use iMovie on their Macs. They have setup Youtube accounts and already have some (very) short movies up. This is one of the fun aspects of homeschooling; they can get to work on activities that they might not otherwise, if they were in school. You can see Orla’s movies here and Eoghan’s here.

Meanwhile, Eoghan is still feeling pretty miserable as he recovers from a bout of flu. Conall, too, has been fighting it and hasn’t suffered as much. Orla escaped it, so she’s been able to enjoy reading her Enid Blyton books. Next up is ‘Five On A Treasure Island‘.



Conall is a ham…

March 5, 2008 | 1 Comment

Conall has turned into a real ham, acting up for the camera…



Library Card

March 3, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The weekend was  pretty uneventful. The never-ending winter continued. We received about six inches on Friday night, so by now we’re about ready for spring to arrive. Orla commented to Jenn that the trees are starting to bud, so perhaps there’s hope for us…

We didn’t do much; Donna babysat the kids on Saturday, so Jenn and I headed out to check out a Mexican restaurant nearby. It was reasonable but not as good as Mexican Radio, in Hudson, which is well worth a visit.

Poor Eoghan started feeling miserable over the weekend, and wasn’t even perked up by the snow.  He’s been staying in bed and just lounging around. The family had planned on visiting the library today, but unfortunately Jenn had to stay home with Eoghan who is sick. And while I had planned to take the day off work, I ended up having to go in. Instead, Orla went with Donna. Before she left, Jenn gave Orla her library card. Orla has a favourite horse keyring, but up until now has had nothing to carry on it. Now, however, she has her card on it and walks around twirling her keyring and feeling very sophisticated. Orla has always enjoyed visiting the library, but now feels like she owns the place !