Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Easter!

Before it is April, I thought I should get this one up…

Easter!  It is such an important time of the year for Christians.  It is a time that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Christmas is amazing with the virgin birth, and Christ coming to earth.  But Easter goes beyond that.  It comes after He died for our sins on the cross.  He was without sin, and yet soaked our up while he hung on the cross.  He descended into Hell, and then He conquered death when he ROSE FROM THE DEAD on Easter!  How amazing!  I wonder what kind of a person I would have been like at the time.  I wonder if I would have been like Peter when Jesus was crucified and denied knowing him to save myself.  And then I think of all those who have been brutally executed recently in the middle east for not denying Christ.  Oh, the courage and the faith to know something so much better awaits them!  And I wonder if on Easter, I would have traveled like Mary and Mary to the tomb to remember Him.  And I think of those who travel to the Holy Lands to walk the paths of Jesus today.  I wonder if I would have doubted like Thomas – even after seeing Jesus with my own eyes!  If I would have had to actually touch the wounds in his body.  And I think of the times I doubt the miracles of Jesus today, somehow deciding it is simply coincidence instead of giving Him credit.  What I know is that He has risen victorious from the dead, granted me new life because of His grace, and asked me to share the good news with others.  I need to soak this in.  I need to feel this and not just know it.  I need to be like Ellie who is adamant that dying isn’t that bed because you get to be with Jesus – even though you don’t know what he looks like.  So, let us rejoice together in the gift that was given to us this Easter season. 

We celebrate with Easter breakfast at church in the morning followed by worship.  Our pastor has done a stellar job this Easter season preaching on the seven last phrases of Jesus.  It has been good.  (Disclaimer: I missed some of the content due to entertaining small children, but still caught enough to be encouraged and blessed.)  You can listen to any of the messages at this link.  From there, it gets a little chaotic…

I was completely stressed about roasted cauliflower this year.  Yep, roasted cauliflower.  We had divided up the food that we were bringing to my mom’s for Easater.  I volunteered for vegetables – two kinds.  I did frozen green beans with baby carrots for one.  I just handed bags to my mom to be honest.  I am pretty sure she doesn’t just boil them because they always taste a little better than when I do the same thing at home.  I am guessing there is a little butter added, although she has never said that.  Maybe she’ll ‘fess up one day!  The other vegetable I wanted to do was roast a whole head of cauliflower.  I had memories of this being done when I was invited over during college to someone’s house for dinner.  It was the most amazing thing.  A whole head of cauliflower – baked in the oven.  It had a rich flavor and the perfect texture.  I found some recipes on pinterest, but it takes 50 minutes in the oven, and I don’t have a time bake, so…. I finally decided I would cut up 2-1/2 heads of cauliflower and roast them in three pans in my two ovens.  I rushed home from church, threw off my coat, cranked up the ovens, and tossed the cauliflower with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin.  While it roasted at 425F, I cut up cheese for the second gathering and cleaned up dishes.  I managed to get to my mom’s at 12:40, which I thought would be a little late, but ended up being earlier than one of my brothers and before the rest of the food was ready.  Lesson?  Don’t stress; you are never as late as you think you are.  (Don’t tell my husband this; I think this is his motto!) 

Anyway, the day was great.  The sun was shining; the food was delicious; and conversation was good.  We took family pictures (missed my mom in any of mine and my brother, Ben’s family) 

DSC_6780    DSC_6783DSC_6788    DSC_6789

The kids hunted eggs around the yard – some with more enthusiasm than others. 

DSC_6794DSC_6799    DSC_6800    DSC_6801DSC_6802     DSC_6804DSC_6806   DSC_6811DSC_6809

Around 4pm, we left for round 2.  Many had already left or were on their way out when we got to Brickerville.  They had started the party at 1:30pm, so I totally understand.  The girls had fun hunting eggs with daddy’s cousin.  They found 18 eggs here! 

DSC_6824     DSC_6826DSC_6829     DSC_6834DSC_6836

They also got this little rocket shooter from Marianne that they had some fun with!

DSC_6840    12891135_10103796360644754_3875943179862370413_o (2)

We left around 7pm because it is the end of spring break and time to get back on schedule.  Happy Easter Everyone!DSC_6765

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Catch Up

I figure if you are allowed to randomly turn your clock ahead an hour, I can also shove a lot of randomness in one post to catch up.  That’s logical, right?  So, here goes…

American Girl Tea Party at the Orrville Library.  Madison took her doll to the tea party.  She was lucky enough to find one of her friends from school also in attendance.  I think that made the event that much more meaningful. 

IMG_0920     IMG_0923IMG_0924

Her doll and her enjoyed tiny, tasty treats (real and fake).  Madison decorated a cookie with icing and sprinkles, too.  At the end of the party, she could meet “real” American Girls – Maryellen Larkin and Elizabeth Cole.  Madison had a blast, and she felt super special.

IMG_0927     IMG_09261501523_10154078203482223_4758384322159440631_o

Outfits… They found they fit – with a few alterations – the older cousins’ dress up dresses at Grandma’s!  This is a big deal as this are super fancy play dresses.  They had fun twirling and learning about the red carpet!

IMG_0892IMG_0879IMG_0893

They also dressed up in the same style outfit.  Madison got dressed one morning for school.  Ellie, because she admires her sister so much, wanted to dress very similar to her.  So, here are my “cowgirls.” A long way from the red carpet, but just as cute!

IMG_0940

And swimsuits.  Swim lessons started, and I realized that we had pretty much wore out the summer swimming suits with our trips to the beach.  Thankfully, we picked up some decent ones for cheap at Wal-mart.  While I may grumble about the speed with which summer attire comes out, I was thankful for these swimming suits!

IMG_0963

Ellie had been going to story time at the Dalton Library this winter.  She has a friend from church that goes as well.  It is good for both of us because Ellie enjoys story time while I enjoy a little social time with a couple moms that are there.  They celebrated Dr.Seuss’s birthday by making hats one session.

IMG_0965

Ellie also suffers though quiet time every day.  I think if I never called it quiet time, we would be okay.  But it helps me know that I can definitely get the space I need to work on school work (or the blog or watch part of a movie or read a book or nap or just have “me” time).  If I let her be with me, I may never hear silence.  Sometimes, she figures out some things to do; other days she takes a nap.  I like coming upstairs to see what and where she may be.  Last week, I found her “reading” on the couch. 

IMG_0983     IMG_0984

The sunshine has been peaking out lately.  Then the rain and clouds settle in for awhile.  Then, it gets cold and windy.  And then the sun comes out.  It is spring in Ohio.  Here are our signs of spring.  The one I don’t have is that Jeremy had marked out the perimeter of the garden; I do have the giant mulch pile we need to relocate to our “back to Eden” garden!  Apparently, the former owners had a large and successful garden.  We are aiming for successful, not so much large… at least not this year!

IMG_0987     IMG_0989IMG_0986

Finally, we went Easter dress shopping with Grandma Yoh.  It was a fun afternoon… except for a few meltdowns when they couldn’t get everything they wanted.  They did find some nice Easter dresses; you will have to wait for Easter for the big reveal!  They also enjoyed an ice cream treat at Dairy Queen in the mall at the end of it.  The sundaes are huge!  (They managed to eat one by themselves…)

IMG_0996

Until next time… and hopefully sooner than last time!  Have a great week and enjoy the sunshine… or rain… or wind… or clouds… or cold… or well, you get it!