Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 2 of The Tribes Holy Week festivities

Thank you Lord that my salvation doesn't rely on my ability to boil an egg.  Seriously.

Yesterday at Sundown was the beginning of Passover.  I have a deep love for and interest in the Old Testament and how it reveals such a gorgeous picture of Who God is and also points to Christ as the Messiah.  So this year, I decided we should observe the Passover Seder.  

This seemed to me totally do-able.  Even with 3 little ones and a slam packed week.  No big deal.  

This is where I was so very wrong.  

There is a reason that Jesus sent the disciples AHEAD to prepare for observing the Passover.  

It is a lot of work.  And we did such a scaled down version too!  But I did learn the following lessons:
  1. Shop for your lamb shank before Passover begins.  This may be common knowledge, but me, I learned the hard way.
  2. Make a detailed list of all the elements, what you must do to prepare them and when you should prepare them.  My charoset had no raisins, my lamb shank was too cold and my egg too hot (see below about egg.)
  3. First, I had completely forgotten how to hard-boil an egg.  Second, everyone else in the free world knows how and will cheerfully explain it to you if you just post your plight on facebook.
  4. The idea of waiting till the babies had gone to bed to observe Passover was probably a good one, however, the fact that I couldn't boil an egg gave us an approximate start time of 9:00 pm.  Although still a wonderful event, it was not enhanced by Mr. Wonderful and Daddy's Girl's yawning during their readings.
I learned a lot more, most of it good.   But I think this is enough for you to process for now.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Palm branches, mac and cheese and a band-aid

For those of you following our Tribe's Holy Week festivities, here is a rundown of it so far:

Palm Sunday: An absolutely wonderful message from our pastor. God has not been duped! He is victorious! Hallalujah! What a Savior!
(Now, for those of you looking for the lighter-fare, here goes) My plans for Palm Sunday were thwarted in some ways, but I still felt like we really were in a celebratory spirit.

I stayed up way to late Saturday night candying almonds for my salad and toasting coconut for my dessert (which did not turn out like the pictures...never does). I didn't get the chicken defrosted in time, but figured I'd pick up something at Publix (where shopping for something YOU didn't have to cook... is a pleasure). By Sunday I was exhausted to say the least.

As I said the service was wonderful, and despite my weariness, I was still excited about my brother and friends coming over to share in the "kick-off feast" with us.

Well, as it always goes, lunch didn't get on the table till about 1:30pm and we had seven kids seven and under absolutely starving. Once we finished with all the plate fixing and bottom sitting that goes on with that many kids, we (the grown-ups) sat down to eat. But of course by the time we got our plates served, the kids had finished and were popping up like those weasels in that game (but in the game you get to bop them with a mallet to sit down, I'm just sayin').  So we pretty much ate in spurts. We laughed about life B.K. (before kids) when you just decided to eat and sat down and ate.  Lunch and the conversation at the table was a lot of fun and before we knew it it was time to head back up to the church with a bunch of kids who had no nap. (God bless committees!)  Oh, and you know someone had to fall and get cut up before it was all over too!  

For any of you who read "So Much to Celebrate," rest assured that I am taking on this week and all my many plans with the full understanding that like Daddy's Girl always says, "It doesn't have to be perfect."  

Friday, March 26, 2010


I had to do it.

Every night between 4:30 and 6, for some reason, my children lose their minds. 

Everyone is screaming.

And crying.

And toddlers are wedged between me and the cabinets banging their heads back and forth between the two.

I do not understand the phenomenon, but it happens EVERY NIGHT. 

Well tonight, as I was attempting to fix chocolate chip pancakes (the spent woman's answer to dinner), we hit that moment of crazy and I had to just put each of them in a separate room till dinner.  So Daddy's Girl is writing.  Most likely an entry in her journal of her most oppressive life.  Little Prince is calling from behind his closed door to anyone who might listen, and Sunshine is in the pack-n-play in our room quietly playing with her toys.  

Me? I've got my music cranked up and am finishing off the majority of the chocolate chips that are supposed to go in the pancakes.  Just like Donna Reid would.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So much to celebrate!

(I'm sorry if this is a little longer than usual.  I'll try to keep it interesting.)

I'm excited.  It is almost Passion Week, and for the first time ever I'm really excited about celebrating!  Not because Christ's death and resurrection have never moved me before, but this year I have decided that we will really "do it up."  

I want this time to be special and meaningful for my family.  To remind us of what really happened and what that means.  "And we have the activities to swing it!" (That is for Craig who knows exactly where it came from.)

Now I could care less "who" began celebrating "what" at the beginning of Spring.  The fact is that Mr. Wonderful, the kiddos and I are celebrating God's love, sacrifice and power next week full force.  My hope and prayer is that each celebration, activity and observance deepens our understanding and awe of exactly what Christ's death and resurrection means to each of us personally.  

Many thanks to the websites I borrowed from to get ideas.  I'll try to list the ones I remember.  (I'm new to this blogging and forget to save the sites for links.) 
 A special "shout-out" to my new friend, Mama Llama for the great ideas and sharing the same "passion."  Visit her blog at http://www.littlellamas.com

Here's what I hope to do:

PALM SUNDAY:  Jesus' Triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
A big lunch after church with lots of extras that I usually don't fix like extra garlic bread, more than one dessert and bunches of side dishes.  I want the kids to get the idea of the great celebration and excitement of the day.  We may make our own palm branches and decorate crowns.  You get the idea.

MONDAY:  Passover begins Monday at Sundown.  
I love the picture of Passover, when obedience led to deliverance from death.  Christ was obedient and He was the sacrifice for our deliverance from death in our sin.  I am hoping to have a Passover dinner and explaining the symbolism of Christ in the Seder.  (I am really excited about this as I adore the beauty and foreshadowing of the Old Testament.) Hopefully Daddy's Girl can help me prepare (she loves to cook), and it will open discussion.

TUESDAY:  Jesus' feet anointed in Bethany.  
(Other things happened too, but we will probably focus on this)
I have thought about letting the kids decorate jars and making fragrant oils to put in them.  (This idea is not completely fleshed out.)  I have also considered letting Daddy's Girl do a little "newspaper reporting" on what happened as she loves writing stories.  Any ideas for the oil thing are welcome.

WEDNESDAY:  This was the day that the plot was formed against Jesus.  
We will probably gather stones for the children's Blessing Baskets.  We will paint them black to represent our sins against God.  These will go in their baskets on Friday and be replaced by goodies on Sunday morning.  (Read http://www.gettingtoknowthepages.blogspot.com/2010/03/easter-baskets-and-blessing-baskets.html for more info.  I LOVE it!  Thanks Mama Llama for the link.)

THURSDAY:  Wow!  So many events this day!  
The washing of the disciples feet, the Last Supper, the prayer in the garden, 
the betrayal, the "trial."  
I can't imagine where we will begin.  I am pretty sure we will dye eggs that night and there is color symbolism there, but it is really just for fun (and eggs get funky if you dye them and leave them any earlier!)  We may have a family foot-washing and talk about following Christ's example of serving others.  
Because of the age of most of our kids, we probably will hold off on a family communion until they can really embrace it.

FRIDAY:  Crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. 
 I'm hoping this will be a "quiet day" (baha!) in that we forgo any TV and noisy distractions to observe the day. 
This is the day we will put the children's rocks in their baskets.  I'm thinking about covering them with a red cloth to represent Christ's blood.  Any thoughts on that?
We are going to make Resurrection Cookies too. 
 I have considered getting "The Passion" from Netflix for Mr. Wonderful and I to watch.  
(I love Netflix.)

SATURDAY:  Obviously not an event on the timeline.
Our Preschool Minister at church puts on a fantastic picnic with Easter Egg hunt and all.  We love it and will spend the afternoon outdoors at that. 
I've considered doing a "Passion Walk" that day.  I read something like this last night and am sort of shooting from the hip on it with little ones.  I thought I might set up a little walk with a station for each day we've observed.  Each station would have an envelope that had pictures or verses or something that reminded us of that day in the life of Christ.  I think this is a neat idea and would get us outside, but I haven't even begun to assemble it, so we'll see.

SUNDAY:  He is Risen!  

The children will get their Blessing Baskets that morning with all their goodies and we will talk about the symbolism of our sins being replaced with God's Gift and gifts!  We will open the oven and see the cookies from last night (I hope they turn out better than last time.  They are supposed to be hollow to represent the empty tomb.)  
Then we will doll ourselves up and head on to church for what I am sure will be a fabulous celebration!  
Afterwards, some of our friends always have a big lunch and egg hunt.  We will eat and CELEBRATE the same as we did at the beginning of the week. 
Hopefully that night we can reflect on the week and talk about what we did and didn't like and what meant the most to us.  

I'm really excited!  Can't you tell?!
(I always overshoot, so I'm sure that some things we will love, some we will leave and some we will lack.  I'll keep you posted--no pun intended, well, maybe a little).

Seder image from http://www.imafoodblog.com
Empty tomb image from http://www.churchmedia.net

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Save me a seat by you at lunch, ok?

I just have to say that I love getting into new groups of people.  

I think people are the coolest, and tonight Mr. Wonderful and I began a scary journey with about 18 of the neatest of them.  

We had a kickoff to something called "Dynamic Marriage."  It's the first in-depth marriage study we've done in about ten years and I'm really excited (and nervous!).  

But the people in the group are amazing.  It was all I could do not to ask them all to be my best friend.  They are just that much fun!  

So as time goes by, you'll probably be getting updates on how it's going.  Brace yourself.  I'm just sayin'.

It's because I'm the oldest, isn't it?

(With me it is either feast or famine.  I haven't written in over a week and now I have lots to share.  I promised a precious friend I would share a story so here it goes.   It's really more of a rant.) 

I love my sister.  I love God.  But sometimes I think they get together to pick on me.  

My sister and I are from the same set of parents.  

I had my third child over a year ago.

She had her second child less than a year ago.

This past week we went to visit she and her family for Spring Break.  While talking to my sister before leaving on our journey, she told me,

"Yeah, I've got some pants for you when you come down.  I was going to put them with my maternity clothes, but then I thought you could use them (can you picture my face?).  They were my "transition pants." (Interpretation for anyone who doesn't know:  that means fat pants for right after giving birth).

I love her, I really do, but was pretty much ready to bomb her with eclairs at this point.  

But the best part was getting to her house and trying on the pants.  And I'm sure you already guessed...they didn't fit.  

How is this right?  There should be a law.  I'm just sayin'.  

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Funnel cake and a sea cow

I love a good festival.  I mean, a good festival.  So while we were in Tampa, I was so excited to find out that it was time for the Plant City Strawberry Festival.  We actually have a history with the PCSF.  After all, Mr. Wonderful rode in the parade in complete strawberry-red polyester suit and white shoes back in 1970-something.  

However, my recommendation that we attend said festival was completely shot down by the rest of the decision-making adults.  So I conceded and agreed to whatever family-fun activities were decided upon, and the activity was manatee viewing.  I had no idea what to expect.   

So the next morning we began the process of packing up the crew of 5 children to go view the sea-cows.  But when we arrived at said viewing "sanctuary" (which I will touch on shortly), what did we find?  It is Manatee Festival time!!!!  Bwahahahahaha!  I win!  I win!  I win!

However, the joke was on me.  the recent heavy rains caused marsh-like conditions and the fam decided that it wasn't worth $5 per adult to end up ankle deep in the mud for a couple of hours.  
So off to view manatees, which are I believe one of God's ugliest creatures.  He loves them I'm sure.  But they are ugly.  And apparently they like to vacation at Cherynoble-like destinations. (see pic).
 I am praying my kids don't grow a third ear or something.  

We did get to see a bunch of the manatee,s and the kids were delighted.  We also got to wave at the air like fools so that my brother, who is in another state, could see us waving like fools at the air and laugh at us.  Apparently there is a world cam somewhere in the vicinity although we are still not sure where.  

All in all it was a fun experience and we ended the day with dinner at a fantastic Cuban restaurant, which I enjoyed so much that I will let dinner count as a festival.  So there. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Worth a thousand words. Or one hundred and thirty-seven.

Things I really love about this picture:

The kid.  Love him.  He totally rocks.

The kid's pose.  He is really that cool.

The kid's pants.  My dad wore red sweatpants.

The Dr. Suess books on the table.  We are from the South, and we are literate.

The absence of junk strewn all over the floor.  I have no idea how this happened.  Our floor rarely is "junkless."

The absence of papers/hairbrushes/sundry items stacked on the bookcase.  This is unheard of, and I'm sure something similar to the phenomenon that occurs when "images" show up in photos.  In all honesty, there probably was junk everywhere on that shelf, it just unexplainably disappeared for the photo.

The false image.  It might propagate the idea that I keep a tidy house with quiet and calm children.  BA HA!

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