Spring sunshine has finally started to arrive in Portland - a month late - and with it the wildflowers. The kids and I went hiking this morning in Forest Park, along the Ridge trail and Wildwood, and saw trilliums and other beauties.
It was nice to get out together - Liesl's been sick all week and has mostly been lying around reading books, making drawings, writing in workbooks, and generally being lethargic.
On Friday night after dinner, Sebastian and I took advantage of the late sunshine to walk down to the pond together. He brought along his little bow and arrow and shot at various targets along the trails.
The ducks at Mill Pond have hatched their ducklings; we stopped awhile to watch them peck in the dirt and chase their mom around. Baby animals are so fuzzy and adorable.
Friday evening sunset above the trees.
The elementary school planted six or seven new trees last week - ginkgos - in back and front of the building. Both Liesl and Seb got to participate in the planting, shoveling dirt, and were proud to show off "their" trees.
Last week, Liesl and I took a "nature walk" along the trails, down to the Pond. She brought along a pencil and paper, and a book for backing, and made a list of everything we saw along the way. "Whot we see on hour nachere woc: chomelya, magnolya, baby trye, cryck, dade mol, brown brd, hoce, wiolde rose, fron, dock, holy, charye, brige, lady bugs, moshrom, chreiyams, budr fliy, dugles fir." (What we see on our nature walk: camellia, magnolia, baby tree, creek, dead mole, brown bird, hawk, wild rose, fern, duck, holly, cherry, bridge, lady bugs, mushroom, trilliums, butterfly, douglas fir.)
It rained in Portland today, but my friends and I made our way east, past the Dalles, to Columbia Hills State Park, where we found sunshine and spring wildflowers in abundance. We did this hike last year as well, and it's a lovely place to venture out in spring.
In the fall, the kinder soccer team had practices and intra-squad scrimmages. It was great for Liesl to meet her classmates and to get some fresh air, exercise, and an introduction to the basic skills and rules. But today, she got the chance to "play up" against a first grade team in the the spring soccer league. (She was asked to be a substitute player - I asked her if she was interested in playing with her friends, and she said, "Will there be snack?" A girl's gotta have priorities.)
She was a little tentative at first, and unsure of how to play and what to do, but then she got really into it during the second half. She played defense, she dribbled the ball, she got into the scrum, and best of all, she scored two goals!!! Two! One of them was amazing - she actually dribbled the ball from half-field all the way down and then kicked it into the goal.
Afterwards, she said "I didn't know it would be so fun! Can I play with this team again?" Yay!
The children got to participate in their school's Fun Run on Friday, to raise money for arts education at the school. It's one of my favorite events - I love seeing the kids trying their hardest, running lots of laps, getting all sweaty and red-faced. I volunteered to mark laps for both kinders and 3rd-graders, and it was fun to be involved and cheering them on - it was also gorgeously sunny, one of our first clear days in ages. Liesl ran 12 laps, running some at a good clip and then stopping to walk with friends on others. She was happy, since that had been her goal number.
The kinders are off!!!
Liesl getting a sharpie check on her paper tag.
Sweet red-faced children, post-race.
Sebastian ran 20 laps this year - he looked even and steady the whole time, loping around the track at a good pace. He walked occasionally but never even looked all that tired out.