Monday, April 8, 2013

Birthdays/Easter/Spring Break 2013

It's been a doozy of a week and a half. A whole lot of fun, but a doozy nonetheless. 

Since last writing, I accompanied 3 of the 6 opera performances put on by Elizabeth's 3rd grade class:
And attended one performance:
Did my best to keep up with short, daily family devotionals revolving around the events of Holy Week. I think everyone would agree the highlight was the traditional Passover meal we did on Friday night:
Believe it or not, this was really quite easy. Other than a roasted lamb (still not much work), we had some boiled eggs (supposed to be roasted, but ah well), celery in salt water (bitter herbs), applesauce with cinnamon and raisins (haroset), matzoh (unleavened bread), and grape juice (wine). I threw in some dates, nuts, cheese, and hummus just because, and did a very simple Passover reading while listening to the Hebrew channel on Pandora. The kids loved it!

 We even left an empty seat for Elijah: 
After going over the story of the Passover, we got laughing about Will and Jacob both being the first born sons and how I would have to sacrifice them if they got grape juice on the tablecloth: 

I was trying to come up with a cute Easter banner and finally knew what to do: pictures of the last week of Christ's life leading up to the resurrection:
Saturday morning we did our Easter baskets and a yummy brunch. It was a beautiful morning with the sun streaming into the house in such a lovely way. I love that Easter and its celebration of the resurrection of Christ happens in the spring when the world is coming back to life. It wouldn't be the same if it was at any other time of year:
I made these easy orange rolls for our Easter brunch. Brandon liked them more than I did. Next time I'll go back to the cream cheese variety. Still, they weren't bad:

Don't you just love spring?
This spinach quiche recipe is my absolute fav. Even my pickiest eaters love it:
Like she's humoring the paparazzi or something:

We do baskets and Easter bunny/egg stuff on Saturday so we can focus on Christ and the resurrection on Sunday. It works great for our family. This year's baskets and the kids' Easter Sunday clothes were quite pathetic. This mom has a bit of an aversion to shopping, and it was a super crazy week of extras (like the opera) while trying to prepare for not just Easter, but Will's birthday, hosting out of town family, Spring Break, etc. There is literally nothing in these baskets except a little bit of candy. And no one complained one bit:

We've had these little chickies for a few years now. I just love them:
What a nut:
That afternoon some of our California family arrived for their spring break which just happened to correspond with ours this year. (Yay!!) Decorating Easter eggs:

That night we celebrated my father-in-law's 69th birthday by inviting his brother, sister, and their spouses over for dinner. That's his entire family, and both spouses live here in Utah, so it was a real treat to be able to have them all together for this special occasion:
No, of course he's not 17, but I didn't get around to picking up a 6 and a 9 candle (kind of like I didn't get around to buying trashy trinkets for the Easter baskets), so we settled on the best combination of numbers among the ones I had. Dad was 17 when he got baptized, so we decided we were kind of celebrating his re-birth on his birthday if that makes any sense. And who wouldn't want to be 17 again?

 Banana splits for dessert:

Elizabeth telling Tall Tales:
Young love:
Sunday was a very special day for our entire family as we celebrated not only Easter, but also Will's 12th birthday. In our church, prepared boys at the age of 12 receive the first level of the priesthood and begin using it for service such as passing the sacrament on Sundays. It's a pretty big deal to us, so having his 12th birthday fall on Easter made it that much more meaningful. (His 1st birthday also landed on Easter Sunday.) We had a wonderful family meeting before church at our house with all our California family together where everyone had an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings about the day, and it was just simply wonderful! (What Will said was especially touching, but this blog is kind of a weird place to share . . .) 

I was a little out of my mind preparing food for Easter dinner after church, making sure everyone looked fairly decent (in the spring dresses I picked up for the little girls at the grocery superstore the night before . . . that's my kind of shopping), and getting myself ready for church (I was subbing as the music chorister for the children's class), so I didn't get any pictures of everyone looking cute in their supposed Easter clothes with baskets in hand like I have done in years past. All I got was this ONE picture of Elizabeth and cousin Ty taken from my iphone in between leading music:
 Back at home getting ready for Easter dinner: 
I went overboard on the food. (Big surprise.) The funniest thing on the table (counter) was this irresistibly tacky ice cream/jello mold I just have to make every year: 

Wittle Claire is just too cute!
Bless Brent's little heart. He asked me if anyone had taken a picture of me, the orchestrator of the day. I told him of course not, so he took the camera away from me and snapped this cheesy picture. There's just something about wearing froofy aprons that makes me want to pose like a 50's commercial:

 Easter Dinner:
 Ridiculous. I want to eat her up:
 The Easter egg hunt we never got around to on Saturday:

Makes her seem not quite so small anymore . . . waaaah!  

 A little post-dinner exercise and walk:

 And then back home for dessert (courtesy of Kneaders--I am only one woman after all):
And more dessert! (This one was homemade.) He requested the same chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting that I made for him last year:

How did this happen? He was just born like 15 minutes ago:

(I swear we're going to get some built ins for that wall someday . . .)

Luckily, he needed a new bike, so that was the big gift. The only gift. (And Brandon did the shopping for it. Can you tell that when I pick and choose what to do with my time, shopping gets shoved really really low down on the list? Except for food. I like shopping for food . . .)
Grandma Reynolds got him an awesome safe (like, a real one), and Mimi got him 12 fun and random gifts that he loved opening since his mother only got him one thing and she didn't even wrap it. Thank goodness for Grandmas:
One of the gifts from Mimi was hair gel for the thing he likes to do on his hair. I had Will do it to Ty's hair:

He also loved the funky socks . . . 
Next day we were all lazy and tired so the kids spent the morning playing Capture the Flag in the "forest" behind our house and then the dads took them to see The Croods while Shauna and I took Claire shopping. Yes, shopping! I make exceptions for things like Studio 5 appearances. You know I had to get something to wear for my little moment of stardom this morning . . .

That night all the adults went out together for dinner at Pizzeria 712 and I got this cute pic of 3 of the 6 bros. #1, #3, and #6:
An instagram pic of the buds ready to pop on the tree outside the restaurant:
Next morning the boys left with all the older kids to go spring skiing while Shauna and I took the little 'uns to the (sad) Aquarium in Sandy. What can I say? Once you've been to the aquarium in Newport, nothing compares. Utah isn't really known for it's sea life, but the kids had a good time anyway. We started out with a nice, slow morning:
I almost ate her for breakfast:
Taking the little things for a walk:
And then it was off to the aquarium:

Wednesday I went up with the rest of my family for some skiing (which is always 1 part fun and 9 parts terrifying for me after my "little" accident that just about took my knee out 5 spring breaks ago . . .) and we got Rachael signed up for her first ski school classes. She did awesome: 

My little ski bunny having a lunch break:
The ski bunny's cute daddy:
After a long but fun day of skiing:

Funny thing about this picture? It's Will and Nicole who are the same age. And THAT'S what happens between the years of about 12 and 14:
Rachael and I only made it up for a half a day of skiing on Thursday. (The girl who grew up on the midwest plains finally took lessons of her own on this day and felt MUCH better after doing so. Should have done that years ago . . .) Before heading up to the ski resort, I took her with me into the Apple store to pick up my issue laden lap top. The apple people got a kick out of us since I was in ski pants, and she looked like this:
On to Brighton!

Elizabeth is the fearless one in the group (Will too), so once my lessons were over and Rachael and Dad were hanging out on the bunny hill together, she made me go with her on some greens mixed in with a little blue. Again, one part fun, 9 parts terror, but we had a great time:
 And thus begins and ends our 2013 ski season . . .

Friday we laid pretty low after Todd, Shauna and kids left the night before. Will had a bunch of homework projects he'd been putting off, so I spent the morning writing my post to go along with the Studio 5 segment this morning as well as helping him write a 2 page report on the Middle Ages. We were all feeling a little antsy by afternoon so we headed over to the BYU Art Museum to see the Superheroes and Monsters exhibit. This is my favorite picture by far:
And the runner-up:

 Enjoying the first real tastes of spring outside the museum:
 Rachael and the 3 ducks:
Kate mastering the slightly annoyed, aloof, cool teenage face on the drive home while listening to her tunes:

And thus concludes a photographic journey through the last 10-ish days of my life full of fun, but exhausting Birthday/Easter/Spring Break festivities.

Last but not least, why I stopped reading Mommy Blogs 2 years ago (Hey, cool! I just googled my title to bring it up for linking and found that LDS Living Magazine picked it up somewhere. That's fun!)  and a link to my segment on Studio 5 today. (You have to click on the second video on the right below the main screen/preloaded video to see my segment.) But maybe I'll re-post this by itself later, because chances are good that only my mom is reading at this point . . .

Midnight! Yikes! Night . . .

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