Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter 2009

We went to my parents' house on Holy Saturday to spend Easter there. My brother Tim was there, and my brother Mike and his wife were able to come for dinner Saturday evening, so we got to have a nice big family celebration.

I brought the ingredients for Resurrection Rolls, which Caroline and I prepared on Saturday to be eaten with Sunday breakfast.

Basic whole wheat bread dough, melted butter, cinnamon/sugar mixture, and large marshmallows... after making the bread dough and letting it rise, the rest is very simple!

First, Caroline took a marshmallow and dipped it into the melted butter and rolled it in the cinnamon/sugar. The marshmallow represents Jesus's body, and the butter and cinnamon/sugar represent the oil and spices used for burial.

Here's Caroline dipping while I wrap an already-dipped marshmallow in dough. The dough represents the tomb in which Jesus's body was placed.

Caroline had remembered this from last year and was very excited to make resurrection rolls again for this Easter! She had gone to my mom's preschool with her, Daddy, and Uncle Tim to play on the playground while Daddy looked at a computer problem my mom was having, and she got back just in time to help finish making the resurrection rolls.

Here they are before baking, each representing the sealed tomb. We baked them and then let them cool and set them aside for the next morning.

On to the next Easter preparation activity - egg dyeing! We learned a lesson here to not let Uncle Tim mix up the egg dyes. We had two separate kits, and he read the directions for both - which were identical. Both called for a quarter cup of vinegar and then 3/4 cup warm water. Well, I don't quite know what he was thinking, but first he put two tablets in each cup (he later said, "Hey, at least I tried to match up the colors!"). Then he filled each one with a whole cup of vinegar until he got to the fourth cup and announced, "Mom, we're out of vinegar!" So, the yellow dye is of the correct proportions, and the pink dye is only water, no vinegar.

Somehow, they still turned out okay!

Caroline is wearing an apron my mom put on her to try to protect her clothes from the dye. Yes, it does look like a Christmas apron.

We wrote names on the eggs with the "magic crayon" that was included with one of the kits. Caroline and Tim dipped each egg and then pulled them out to reveal what was written.

Another fun project: Caroline and her Aunt Crystal worked on a craft that she and Uncle Mike had given Caroline for her birthday. It is a little duck made of foam that has a plastic egg in the center. She made another one they gave her that was a bunny, and she saved this one to bring to make with Aunt Crystal.

See the Coke bottle, sitting there taunting Tim and me on the last day of Lent? We both gave up Coke for Lent.

Easter dinner, a day early - since Mike and Crystal could be there on Saturday evening, we had our big meal then... lamb chops with a mint sauce, homemade macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Yum! The middle seat is Caroline's - a placemat to protect the tablecloth and a non-nice chair (one without a fabric seat).

Dessert - I can't remember what my mom said it was called, but it was made of an angel food cake that was cut up and then molded back together in a bundt pan with some kind of lemon cream, and then the whole thing was covered in whipped cream. Mmmmm...

Our after-meal drinks, lemoncello mixed with sparkling water and a few blueberries. Supposedly this drink "cleanses the pallette" after dinner. We had it before/with our dessert and enjoyed it very much!

After finally getting Cecilia to sleep - a few tired hours later! - I assembled the Easter baskets. To get Cecilia back, all she got was one little board book ;-P No, really, does a one year old need a huge Easter basket full of junk? I only got her a basket so she could hold it for photos the next day anyway! Caroline's basket contains a chocolate cross, a book about the Easter story, and some "Backpack Cat" band-aids. The flowers are actually covering one of the stick crosses that we made on Good Friday - I hid the one we had made with Jesus on it and put out this one covered in flowers (which had all fallen off by morning and I quickly replaced - oops). Behind both baskets is a cute book from 1939 called The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.

Caroline tears apart a resurrection roll at breakfast on Easter morning to find that the tomb is now empty!! The marshmallow melts away, leaving a hollow center in each roll. Jesus has risen!!!

Yum!! The cinnamon makes these a perfect breakfast roll. For the overly-observant, yes, Caroline is wearing the same shirt as the day before... it is because she wet the bed and so we just put the previous day's shirt on her for breakfast before changing her into her Easter dress. I am sure she will one day appreciate me sharing this with the world, but I didn't want anybody to think that my kids wear the same clothes for days at a time. ;)

We went to Mass in the parish school cafeteria - there were two Masses at 10 and one at 10:15. We chose the one in the cafeteria because we thought it'd be more kid-friendly (more space for Cecilia if I had to take her out in the school hallways), we liked the priest saying that Mass, and the music in the church tends to be a bit on the slow side (read: funeral march slow), which isn't the joyous Easter music that we'd expect. Tim served at that Mass, although that wasn't a reason we went to it - he chose to do so once we decided which Mass to attend. Cecilia did really well, and I was able to stay in the cafeteria for nearly all of the Mass and hear all of the homily - a rarity lately! Father made an announcement right before Communion about making a "spiritual communion" and how that was appropriate for certain situations such as those who have been away from the Church for awhile and were therefore not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion. It was so well-said, and so true... and so refreshing to hear a priest giving proper instruction to his flock on this matter!

After Mass, the girls posed for pictures in my parents' front yard... well, Cecilia wouldn't hold still, so they wandered around a bit while I tried to snap photos.

The Easter basket is almost too big for her, but she handled it quite well! Caroline's Easter basket was mine as well as my mom's when we were children. I should have let Cecilia hold it for a picture too... oh, well.

Her dress was given to my mom by a mother at her preschool who owns a children's boutique consignment store. It was so pretty, all white with the pink smocking at the top.

Caroline stood still to pose, and I got a couple shots where she wasn't making a goofy face. Her dress had a little white sweater with navy trim that tied in the front, but she insisted that it was now too warm to wear it outside in the pictures.

The dress is still really cute anyway - I was very lucky to find it at a consignment sale, brand-new, for $6!

Here's Caroline hunting for eggs. Grampa is the official egg-hider in my family, and so he was recruited to do it for Caroline too. I had brought twelve eggs to hide... each with a special surprise inside!

Caroline opened the eggs, which were numbered 1-12, in chronological order once she had found them all and brought them into the sunroom. These are no ordinary Easter eggs... they are Resurrection Eggs! Inside each egg is a symbol that goes along with the Easter story, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the Resurrection of Jesus.

The eggs contain: a piece of palm for Palm Sunday, a piece of cloth with perfume on it for Mary bathing Jesus's feet in expensive perfume, a piece of bread for the Last supper, three dimes for the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas, a cross made of toothpicks, thorny stems from a rosebush to depict the crown of thorns, dice for the lots being cast to divide Jesus's garments, a nail for the crucifixion, a piece of sponge for the sponge with vinegar offered to Jesus, a few whole cloves for the spices to prepare Jesus's body for burial, a small angel figure (can also use a rock for this symbolizing the stone being rolled back from the tomb), and last... nothing! the twelfth egg is empty because Jesus is no longer in the tomb, but has risen from the dead!

Caroline was able to figure out most of the symbols herself, and she showed them to Uncle Tim as she told the Easter story. I helped her out with the few she didn't recognize - for instance, we hadn't talked about the soldiers dividing Jesus's garments by rolling dice. She enjoyed recognizing the symbols and using them to retell the story. The Wednesday following Easter, we had our seminarian over for dinner, and Caroline was very excited to show him the Resurrection Eggs. Since she went on and on about Jesus and church while he was here, we had to tell him that she wasn't just showing off for him - talking about our Catholic faith is one of her favorite topics! I guess it is a big enough part of our lives that Caroline really explores it through her play often.

Our parting Easter shot - the dyed eggs. See, they really didn't turn out too bad somehow! We enjoyed them as egg salad on spinach tortillas for our Easter Day lunch. Egg salad for lunch was always a tradition in my family on Easter - we would hunt for the eggs first and then turn them into egg salad.

We had a wonderful Triduum and Easter Sunday and hope everyone else did, too! And remember, Easter is not over! the celebration continues for fifty days! We are trying to come up with some ideas for continuing the celebration... we bought this sticker countdown for the fifty days of Easter and are using it. If anyone else has some ideas for celebrating the fifty days of Easter, feel free to share!


Jessica said...

What beautiful Easter pictures! It looked like you had a wonderful time!

Happy Easter to you and your family!

mel said...

What great pics of the girls! Catching up on your blog..those drinks look yummy! :) Do your ressurection rolls explode? We made them with crescent roll dough,a nd they split open and oozed sticky marshmallow goo everywhere! Still yummy though.