We had the most restful and beautiful Easter weekend 2015. Seriously, I couldn't have really asked for much better and I definitely didn't dream of hoping for it. We started out our Triduum by successfully attending both Holy Thursday and Good Friday services all seven of us. In past years we have always had an under 2 and decided to have one parent go with the older kids and one stay home with the younger ones (in my experience toddlers and Mass after supper are just a poor combination). Now that Lucie is getting closer to 3 we decided to be brave and other than a potty accident during Good Friday service everyone did really well.
We decided not to push our luck, however, for Easter Vigil. Tim and Aidan went alone, just like Aidan and I went last year. Holy Saturday in the morning, my parents stopped by for a quick visit on their way out of town. It was supposed to be hugs and drop off Easter surprises but somehow turned into brunch (since at 9:30 when they got there we still hadn't gotten around to breakfast yet...), 4 innings of baseball, and board games to boot. I'm not sure I've ever laughed as hard as playing baseball quite like this!
|Wherever the ball went, the dog went. She never actually took the ball away but it was clear that she wanted to!|
|We had a couple near misses when it came to swinging the bat.|
|Lucie playing outfield.....about 10 rows back over the visiting team dugout. |
She registered a protest over her Dora hopscotch pieces being used as bases....
only SHE could stand on Boots.
|Angry Birds rainboots ....totally MLB approved.|
|Aidan may have been swinging for the fence, but only my dad managed to make it over. |
Although I did hit not one, but TWO, ground rule doubles....ok the second one actually went under the fence, not over.
After Vigil Mass, Tim and I always stay up and redecorate the piano where we keep most of our candles, statues, bibles, rosaries, etc (we strip it bare on Good Friday, just like the altar at church) and uncover all of the Jesus pictures and crucifixes (which we also cover on Friday). We set out Easter surprises and prepare breakfast for the next day. This year I made maple pecan rolls instead of my normal caramel pecan as an attempt to create a refined sugar free roll . Writing this reminds me how I need to get back on here and write the "Answers Part 2" post that has had information rolling in in spades the past couple weeks because then I wouldn't have to explain that we aren't normally eating ...well a lot of stuff... right now and I was trying not to turn breakfast into a system overload while still maintaining our rolls for breakfast on special days tradition.
Rolls (pictured above) were kefir, flour, yeast, salt, water, maple syrup (from our own tree), and pecans and that's it. Oh and I put a tiny teaspoon of honey in the dough to speed up the rising as I didn't leave enough time to skip something sweet in the dough completely- probably should have just used a dash of maple syrup instead. Glaze was kefir cream and powdered sugar. Not exactly health food, but not nearly as much sugar as a traditional roll and dairy free except the kefir and since the kefir cream wasn't heated hopefully it helped balance out the powdered sugar a little bit.
I'm gonna tell myself it did.
In any case, they were well received and the pickiest eater among us consumed THREE of those huge rolls.
In the morning, the kids were all up early like it was Christmas...which it kind of was. Lucie, however, disapproved of all the noise and pulled the covers back over her head when I got up.
Apparently lots of people really wanted to spoil my kids this year (us among them) and they had quite the bounty awaiting them. We don't usually do egg hunts or individual Easter baskets, more like a community basket (less candy that way and less fighting rather than more in our experience). While our rolls were baking, the kids opened up quite the bounty of goodies.
|This is only the *basket* part.|
My mom, Tim's Mom, 2 of Tim's Aunts...there was a lot of stuff. Bird feeders, seeds and bulbs, stickers, books, music...money (made the big kids happy)...lots of stuff, most of it faith themed or spring themed without being Easter bunny (which makes me happy).
After surprises and breakfast, we got ready for Mass. I think we are going backwards in our ability to take a picture of the entire crew. I wanted to have someone hold our Siena bunny in the picture of the kids, but it didn't really work out the way I planned. Apparently a little bunny is a BIG distraction!
For about 90% of the photos Logan was standing on one foot, not sure what that was about. Caleb has a beautiful smile but he severely objects to producing it upon demand.
We made a last minute decision to drive one town over to attend Mass at the Cathedral. This meant we had to leave much more quickly, but in the end I was really glad we did. The kids love seeing the seminarians and having the Bishop preside. They love seeing the kids singing in the choir and friends from our homeschool co-op as altar servers. We were spoiled at our parishes in Utah to always have multiple priests, deacons, etc. at Mass...often every Sunday, but always on the *big* days. Choirs and organs...things like that. The Mass obviously isn't about those things, but they can add a lot and its something we miss at our rural church with one priest and a mostly non-English speaking deacon (we have a large hispanic population).
We came home and had a nice lunch of pulled turkey breast (cooked in chicken stock in the crock pot- so easy and delicious), garlic/almond green beans, and sweet potatoes. Then we played outside some more. Kids climbed trees. Daddy hung the new swing.
For afternoon snack/dessert we ate our traditional annual lamb cake. I did absolutely nothing to make this more healthy. I did, however, see that Catholic All Year makes theirs with Crispy Treats instead of cake and decided to try that. (No picture on the blog page, just link love to give credit where credit is due- I saw it on her Facebook page.) Which was MUCH easier and resulted in far fewer creation frustrations!
Despite only having 1 bag of jelly beans, a bowl of chocolate covered almonds (which we didn't finish), and the rolls for breakfast as our sweet treats for the day (which sounds like a lot to me- but I know compared to a normal year wouldn't have been) we weren't even able to finish half of the poor lamb. Even the kids declared they just couldn't eat any more sugar (never thought this would happen). His bust will be donated to Tim's workmates or sadly disposed off in the garbage can.
Maybe next time a laying down lamb with only half of the mold.
We are finishing our night with popcorn and Veggie Tales: League of Incredible Vegetables. A good end to a good day...to a good weekend. And the truth is I FEEL good, which is probably the best gift of all that I could have asked for this weekend. No Mass meltdowns (Mommy is as prone to this as anyone right now). No crazy lady freak out parties. I felt good all weekend. In some ways it felt like the most normal weekend this family has had since September. Even if it is only a temporary reprieve, I am so grateful to have had it.
If the foggy cloud is back when I wake up tomorrow, someone please remind me not just of the spiritual gifts of Easter but of the real gift of this Easter specifically.