The Gallery … Easter

So, this week’s theme for The Gallery is Easter.

*sigh*

Easter means Spring, doesn’t it? And, it’s safe to say that Spring has most definitely arrived here in Florida. There’s a change in the air, a change in the weather, birds are chirping, toes are being polished, the sun is shining a little more brightly, wildflowers are popping up by the side of the road, afternoon rain showers are occurring, blossoms are … erm … blooming and everyone’s humming and falling in love.

Or like.

Or lust.

Or whatever it is that Spring brings.

Change.

It’s good, right?

I do love when the seasons change from one to the next. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown to welcome change in my old age. Or, even need it. They say that change is the one constant that we can all rely on and whether voluntary or forced, it gives us the opportunity to feel … a passion or zest or spark … for something we hadn’t yet felt before. It can certainly be challenging and frustrating, but if you don’t ever feel that, then what’s the point? I recognize that it’s a good and necessary part of life in order for us to keep growing and moving forward. Truth be told, I honestly thought I’d had enough of it in the past couple of years to last me a lifetime, but I know more is on the way.

The photo I’ve chosen for today’s post is the reason why I’m going to continue to embrace the changes in my life … it’s all for them. Those little pieces of my heart wandering around on their own, growing up way too fast and changing.

*sigh*

Change.

Please tell me it’s a good thing.

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Photo Credit: Taken by my wonderful sister over at Gone Bananas

Friday Food Fight … Chocolate Easter Nests

So, for this week’s Friday Food Fight I’m flinging these delicious Easter treats that my middle son and I made for a party that my little one is attending today … Chocolate Easter Nests

They are so easy to make and so much fun too. This is the first time I’ve made them with chow mein noodles and I think the nests ended up looking a little more “realistic” if you know what I mean. The salty taste of the noodles combined with the sweetness of the chocolate made them nom nom nom too.

Ingredients:

8 ounces milk chocolate chips

2 1/2 cups chow mein noodles

any small egg-shaped candy/sweets

Directions:

Line a baking tray with a piece of aluminium foil, smooth the foil, and then grease it.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or pan over a saucepan of simmering water. *I know, excuse the photo … kinda looks like baked beans to me*


Gently fold in the chow mein noodles, being careful not to break them.

Spoon six mounds of the mixture onto the prepared pan and, using your fingers, form each mound into a nest shape. Make a small indentation in the center of each nest.

Place the egg-shaped candy in the centre of each nest.

Place the tray, with the chocolate nests, in the refrigerator to set (about 30
minutes).

Makes about six – 4 inch nests. Preparation time 30 minutes.

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Easter traditions …

Easter traditions are a little different for my own children than they were for me.

Like most kids that grew up in the UK (for the most part), every Easter I would look forward to the Easter bunny dropping by my house and leaving me some yummy chocolate eggs.

To me, Easter meant Spring, chocolate and fun!  Of course, I knew what Easter was really about, not particularly from going to church, but from my mum and school.  Whitby, the town I grew up in, was actually where the date for Easter was decided upon and this was taught to us in the local school system.

When I tell people over here that all I would get for Easter as a child were chocolate eggs, I always feel the need to clarify that in the UK they are not at all like those you get here — they’re huge and hollow and usually filled with more chocolate.

With four of us, we’d usually wake up on Easter Sunday to a chocolate buffet that looked like this …

I remember we’d break bread together and have a big family dinner with all the trimmings and of course, the obligatory hot cross buns.  We’d boil up eggs and decorate them … for some reason, I always made up mine to look like a Native American … and then occasionally we’d have an egg rolling race.

As an adult, Easter still means Spring, chocolate and fun, but I never really gave more thought to the celebration until I had my first son. I just assumed that the Easter bunny would leave him a chocolate egg, we’d decorate some hard-boiled eggs, have a lovely dinner together and that would be that.

I remember chatting with some other mums at my local playgroup and a discussion was started about what we were all doing for Easter.  I quickly learned that Easter egg hunts are the big thing over here … something we never really did when I was a child. You buy plastic eggs and fill them with miniature chocolate eggs or money and hide them around your home and garden for your child to find and place in their Easter basket.

I also learned that over here the Easter bunny doesn’t leave chocolate eggs, but huge baskets packed full of toys. I recall the conversation went from one parent saying they were getting their child some sidewalk chalk and bubbles for Easter to one who said they were getting their daughter a swing set!  The British Milky Way chocolate egg I’d managed to procure from somewhere seemed a little insignificant and I immediately went home and told the hubby what we needed to do to celebrate Easter properly with our 10-month-old son.  Of course, he told me not to be so fond and that our son was too young to remember, but unconvinced I was determined to make it the best first Easter ever.

I certainly didn’t purchase a swingset and truth be told, I don’t even remember what goodies I purchased for my baby’s first Easter basket, but I remember how delighted he was when he found it!

And, we’ve done the Easter basket thingy every year since.  Over the years and as our boys have grown, we’re careful not to go too overboard though.  The boys usually get a new outfit and some little toys for their Easter baskets.  And, we hide those eggs, sometimes with seconds to spare before our boys wake up!  We then head to Grandma’s for another Easter egg hunt, some eggstravaganza family fun games and a huge feast!

How about you?  Are your Easter traditions the same for your kids as they were for you?

Easter 2008 . . . enough said!

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Taylor making a mad dash to find eggs!

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Cameron looking for eggs — he found the LAST one and so won an extra $1!

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Taylor enjoying some kayaking!

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My lil sis Kirsty, big bruvva Jamie and dear Mumsie!

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La famille stuffing our faces with yummy food!

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Cousins!

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Daddy and Cameron out in the paddleboat!

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Logan and I.

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My gorgeous mother- aka glamorous granny!

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Just you wait til I get this paddleboat in to that %@&$ing dock!

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My lil sis with her gorgeous daughter Meghan.

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Jamie, Isobel and Rusch sitting on the dock enjoying the day.

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And, last but not least, my beautiful boys, Taylor, Cameron and Logan.

The Spring Fling . . .

So, yesterday I decided to take the boys to our neighborhood’s annual Spring Fling . . . against my better judgement. 

Now answer me this, who plans a kids’ party at 1 p.m.?  Isn’t 1 o’clock the universal time for all napping toddlers?  Mine was already a little sleepy and grumpy when we set off.   I made a mental note to definitely get involved with the activities committee here so I can be the voice of reason when planning the times for such future events.

We arrived and DS#3 was excited to see his beloved slides except I couldn’t let him go on them as the playground was all taped off and covered in hundreds of plastic Easter eggs.  He cried, he screamed and he squirmed as I stuck him in his stroller and tried to quickly maneuver past said playground as I figured out this was where they were doing the toddler egg hunt. 

We headed over to the food stands and purchased the older boys hot dogs, where people (none of which I knew) were staring a my beautiful little boy’s face.  For some reason, I felt the need to tell the story of what happened.  Maybe I wanted to yell, that no I am not a bad Mommy! (Hmmmm, as I sit here writing this, he is eating his chocolate bunny grahams for breakfast, but no, I am not a bad mommy!)   Anyway, I finally let him out of his stroller to have a run around in the field whislt we waited for the hunt to start. 

When it did finally start, all he wanted to do was play on the slides!  Taylor, his big brother did help him to grab a dozen or so eggs though.  We had left Cameron in the bouncy castle when we headed over to the hunt.

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A half hour or so later, the boys’ age group egg hunt started so we headed over there and all chaos erupted!  Logan did not want to go in his stroller, nor stay by me, nor help his brothers out with their hunt.  No, he had decided his little legs were going to take him back to the playground!  So, off he went with me in hot pursuit and all the while, people were staring at him with sympathetic expressions.  Now, I am used to people staring at my children, but commenting on how gorgeous they are so this was all new to me and very humbling I might add.

When I overheard one woman say that she thought it was a birthmark, I decided I had had enough and as soon as the boys were done with their hunt, we were out of there!  Huh?  Can’t you see the scabs on his face?

Then I heard it!  The fart from hell!  My darling toddler decided he needed to poop!  Aaaargh, and I had no wipies as I had not yet refilled the box I had used up to clean up all the blood from his fall.  So, I had to stick him in his car seat, poops and all, gather up the big boys and head home!  What joy, what fun!   We had lasted all of one hour!  One hour!!

Baby’s 1st Easter egg hunt ends in tears . . .

Yesterday, it was my toddler group’s annual Easter egg hunt at one of the local parks.  So, after dashing to a couple of stores beforehand to find the perfect Easter basket, we amazingly arrived on time!  My little man was having such a good time.  He got in to the egg hunt towards the end when he eventually realized that he was supposed to be looking for those plastic, brightly colored egg thingies.

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He was having so much fun playing with his new little buddies, eating snacks and taking turns on the the scooters and ride on toys that the other moms had brought.

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That is, until he decided he wanted to play with a little Tonka toy he had spied.

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I think he pushed it so fast that he tripped over the top of it and went right down on his face onto the concrete sidewalk.  All I heard was a loud thud and this shriek.  Oh my goodness, there was blood all over his beautiful face and he was crying hysterically.  I managed to stay pretty calm as one mom handed me her first aid kit and I was able to clean out any dirt right away,.  But, I have to admit, it looked bad.  This park is just around the corner from mum’s house, so I said our goodbyes, scooped him and his Easter eggs up and ran over to the van to drive him over there.

I knew when he was yelling “help” and trying to squirm away from me as we passed his beloved park slides that he was probably okay, but I wanted my  mum to look at him nonetheless.  His nose had stopped bleeding by the time we got there and thankfully he hadn’t broken it — it was just very bruised and swollen.  We kept him awake for a few hours just to make sure he didn’t have any type of concussion and now he is fine, although he looks like he has gone a few rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali or Barry McGuiggen.

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My beautiful little boy’s face!  It looks so painful.  Plus, he has a snotty nose so when I have to wipe his boogers, it hurts all the more.  I just hope the boo-boos have cleared up by the time DH’s parents come over!