It was an absolutely beautiful day today. The sky was a deep blue, the sun was shining warmly, there was a bit of a breeze, and everything is turning green again. I am so thankful for spring's arrival!
Just in time, too. I decided we finally were done with winter coats and got them all washed and packed away again. It's time for spring jackets (or no jackets at all) and bike riding!
Over the weekend we enjoyed getting out on our bikes, and tonight we took another opportunity to take the whole family out for a bit. Next time I promise to get pictures of John biking with Christin strapped to his back and Chloe in the seat! When the weather is so nice, it doesn't take much to persuade us to go outside. I even attempted a first--I took Chloe with me to go and get Clara Anne from kindergarten this morning. She rode in the seat on the way there and then I put her in the Ergo on my back on the way home. It was good exercise, cycling for three! The girls always enjoy it too. Clara Anne often sings to herself as we ride. This is fine as long as the singing doesn't turn to "dancing"--any amount of swaying from her throws me off balance!
You can imagine that we have gotten more than our share of amazed looks as people realize that John is biking by with TWO children, and then I follow close behind with another "foreign baby doll" as they love to call our kids. The other night I had to furiously ring my bell at a man who was biking towards me, but looking over his shoulder at John and the girls, whom he had already passed. He was so taken with that scene that he forgot to look where he was going! Thankfully there was no collision.
Being back on my bike again has also reminded me of the need to use my bell frequently in our sometimes "no-rules-except-watch-out-for-me" traffic culture that we live in. My bike bell has a ringer similar to a cigarette lighter, sort of a metal gradation that I have to rub sideways in order for it to ring. The harder I rub it, the louder the bell. Recently when we took a family bicycle trip to the Yellow River, by the time we got home I had a slight callous on that thumb from ringing my bell! Crazy! But a bell in this culture doesn't mean I'm mad or frustrated with the situation, it is more of a friendly reminder. "Here I am, right behind you! Don't move to your left! Careful, now! There's a bike nearby!" sort of a reminder, NOT "What are you thinking! Get out of my way!" sort of a message. There is a big difference and in this culture, bells and horns almost always function in the former way.
We are enjoying the weather and the world around us blooming with New Life as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Easter this Sunday. And I am preparing for parties! We plan to host about 140 people in three parties on Sunday morning at John's school. I am baking cookies, cookies, cookies, and inviting some friends over to help me boil and dye 240 eggs on Saturday morning! We are also excited about the Second Annual Great Easter Egg Hunt that will be on Thursday morning with some other American friends. Also this week, my girls are enjoying our first experience with "Resurrection Eggs" which a friend loaned to us. So lots of things going on in this week of (hopefully) wonderful weather. May your heart be blessed as well as you prepare for the week's special events!