Easter 2016

Easter was filled with activities and fun. We made our traditional Resurrection rolls. We dyed eggs. We went to Easter service. We had two egg hunts. We had two Easter feasts.

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Resurrection Rolls:

They will be empty (like the tomb) once they are baked. Take Grands flaky biscuits and half. Put a marshmallow in the center and pinch dough around it. Dip the biscuits in butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Bake until lightly browned.

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Saturday

Dying Eggs: We just take packets of regular Kool Aid, add a little water and dip the eggs. No vinegar or anything. It is so quick and easy!!

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We ordered the Easter meal from The Fresh Market and we were so pleased with it!

It included ham, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, broccoli slaw, and yeast rolls. All we had to make ourselves was the deviled eggs, baked beans, and dessert.

We had a lovely day!

Frozen Birthday Party

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Two years ago when Frozen was all the rage, we had a party for my two youngest girls. Their birthdays are only one week apart and so far, they always agree on the theme. We sent out custom invitations with their pictures on them. I like to do this whenever I can, so we have a memory of the theme of their party and what they looked like at that time.

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We made Snow Capped Mountain punch. It was just blue Hawaiian punch, Sprite, and Vanilla ice cream.

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We had snowballs on a different table (powdered sugar doughnut holes), the standard chicken salad and croissants, chips and dip, a fruit tray (not shown), cheese tray (not shown), Swedish meatballs, tuna salad, and two Scandinavian jellies.220

Finding the Frozen decorations was no problem, but finding the snow themed items was a lot harder due to the fact their birthdays are in the middle of the summer. My crafty daughter made many huge snowflakes. I was able to purchase several items on Oriental Trading.

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We made the Frozen tree from sticks we found in our yard. We spray painted them silver and added icicle ornaments from Amazon.

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Once everyone arrived, we played our unwrapping game. Basically a gift is wrapped in many layers and hot potato style it gets passed and unwrapped until the person actually gets the prize. I use all the plastic bags I have on hand at the time. It makes a lot of layers. The gift was an artificial snow making kit. It was a hit!

The kids made Olaf out of jelly beans, powdered doughnuts, mini chocolate chips, multi colored Twizzlers, and pretzel sticks.

We had a game outside where I had a bucket of ice water and items hidden inside. They had 30 seconds to grab as many items as possible. It was hilarious to watch because it was so hard to do.

There was another game where each person got an ice cube and they raced to melt it as fast as they could on a plate but they could not use their hands.

We also played trivia with facts about the movie .

                                                         “Frozen” Movie Trivia

  1. What is the name of the snowman who guards Elsa’s ice palace? (A) Marshmallow (B) Icy (C) Cold Heart
  2.  What other Disney princess is attending the coronation?
  3. Idina Menzel, voice of Elsa, is in what other Disney film?

                   (A) The Princess Diaries (B) Enchanted (C) Brave 

4. What is Anna and Elsa’s favorite food?

  1. Which Hans Christian Andersen story is Frozen inspired by? (A) The Angel (B) Ice Maiden (C) Snow Queen

6. Which of the following is NOT an ingredient for the icy force described in the song ” Frozen Heart”? (A) cold (B) winter air (C) freezing wind (D) mountain rain

7. Which character in the film comes up with the line, “I like warm hugs.”?

8. What is the name of the software that Frozen’s creative team invented to create realistic looking snow? (A) Matterhorn (B) Ice Palace (C) Blizzard (D) Everest

9.How many brothers does Hans of the Southern Isles have?

10. What time do Anna and Hans break into their song “Love Is An Open Door”?

11. A stuffed toy version of which famous Disney character makes a very brief cameo in the film? (A) Donald Duck (B) Goofy (C) Pluto (D) Mickey Mouse

12. Where does Elsa create her Ice Palace? (A) South Pole (B) Southern Mountain (C) North Mountain

13. Which animals serve as backup dancers to Olaf when he sings “Summer” (A) penguins (B) chipmunks (C) seagulls (D) squirrels

14. Who convinces Kristoff  to go back and help Arendelle?

15. When was Kristoff adopted and by whom?

 

I don’t have a picture of it, but we did make snow cones as well. It was messy and required more than two adults. 236234235

 

237 We had the movie playing while the party was going on.

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The cake was one of the easiest I made in a long time. It was just three layers with buttercream icing. I decorated it with the snow looking sprinkles, rock candy lollipops (from Oriental Trading) and the figurines I purchased at the Disney Store.

I wish I had a picture of what we did to Prince Hans. We stuck him upside down in a cup of water and froze him solid. We brought him out before we had the cake and the kids thought it was the funniest thing ever!

We had a nice party. I wish I had more pictures. Now that I’m writing this little blog, I hope to do better with that kind of thing.

 

 

 

Daddy Daughter Dance

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One of the things all of my girls have enjoyed is the annual Daddy Daughter dance our church hosts. (I don’t have any pictures on my current computer of my oldest daughter when she was going to these dances; but she went from kindergarten through fifth grade.)

Sometimes they are themed, like 50s or 80s, or even a cowboy theme, but many years they are just a dressy occasion.

No matter what theme, the best part of the night is getting to spend special time with their daddy. They love getting dressed up and having him see them and telling them how beautiful they look. They love riding in his car. They love receiving the little gift he always gives them before they head out to the dance. He loves taking them.

I’m so happy that they all get to spend these special evenings together.

 

Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season. Easter is probably my favorite holiday. I love the meaning of it the most. It has gotten more and more commercialized over the years but has seemed to stay purer in some ways. I think the reason is Lent. I think that for many people, the time of reflection, sacrifice, and prayer leads to this fact. We don’t come up with lists of things we want or feel the pressures to fulfill somebody’s every desire. We don’t have a thousand parties or activities to attend. We tend to be stiller and more reflective during the 46 days leading up to Easter.

I have always tried to make this time one that really draws my family to the Lord. I want them to really think on what it means to be THAT LOVED. I want them to think about what it means to have owed a debt and the fact that someone thought they were WORTH THE PRICE.

This year, we are doing something extra. Right now, I have about 30 activities (I need 10 more) that we will do each day. Some are the simplest little things, like hold the door open for someone, make a dinner with everyone helping, and try not to complain all day (that might actually be the hardest one). Some require more work. One is “egging“. We “egged” several people last year and we loved doing it and the people that we “egged” loved it too.

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Others are making a dinner for someone and making resurrection eggs.

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photo credit: Christianbook.com

If anybody out there has some suggestions or other ideas of things to fill the rest of my days, I’m ready to hear them.

 

Plates on the Wall

Having lived my whole life in the South, I am shocked that I had never seen plates hung on a wall until I was an adult. Maybe it just didn’t fit in with the shag carpets and orange and green color scheme of the 80s or the huge floral and bright brass touches of the 90s. That’s actually just a guess. I have no idea why I just am getting in on this. I’m frequently late to party when it comes to home decorating.

I saw it in a magazine first, then on one of my favorite blogs (Dixie Delights). I instantly loved the look and with a new house with lots of naked walls I needed plates STAT!

I asked for them for my birthday and nothing happened. Then I asked for them for Christmas from the one person I knew would come through…my sister. She is one heck of a gift-giver. It’s a talent and that girl’s got it! So, I got my plates. I ordered the hangers. I cut out templates of the plates and hung them in different configurations until I found the perfect one and then I was ready to hang them. All I needed now was for my husband to hang them. I waited and waited. For months I waited. I finally took the papers down.

Then I asked the one person I knew who would come and get it done…my niece. She and her wonderful husband arrived ready to hang some plates. He is more meticulous than my husband and I, so it’s probably for the best that we didn’t do the hanging.

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It looks fabulous in my opinion. I love looking at that wall. I love that Baby David always says Tasha and Jason every time he goes into the dining room. I also love that every time I look at it I think about the people who bought them and hung them…my family, the people you can always count on.

Snow Day

Most of the south is covered in snow. Where we live is no exception. I got up this morning and it was snowing and it hasn’t stopped so far. We have about 9 inches of snow on the ground. This is definitely the most snow most of my children have ever seen. The day is still young, but they have made snow cream and done some sledding. They came in to warm up and now they’re bundled up again and playing outside. This is just the kind of day I like. Everyone is home and everyone is looking for fun and no one expects us anywhere.

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General Tso’s Sauce {Low Carb}

Many years ago, when I was still living at home, my parents fell in love with a Chinese restaurant in our town. We ate there all the time. We also ate there every Christmas Eve after our church service. So, every Christmas I want Chinese food. I never have it, but I always crave it.

Right after Christmas I decided I was going to try to make my own General Tso’s sauce. I was pleased with the results and have made it twice now. It is very easy and quick to make.

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Low Carb General Tso’s Sauce

2 Tbs. oil

6 Tbs. Rice vinegar

6 Tbs. soy sauce

1/2 cup water

5 Tbs. Splenda

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3 tsp. red chili paste

3 tsp. chili garlic sauce

Put all the ingredients into a small sauce pan. Stir. Cook on medium heat. Bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.

 

I make this in a small sauce pan while I have my chicken in a wok on another burner. Once the chicken is done, I move it onto a cookie sheet and finish the vegetables in the wok. I let everyone decide how much sauce they want. More for me because I like the heat and less for Olivia since she doesn’t.

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I hope you enjoy this if you try it!

 

 

History’s Mysteries

I never knew my grandfathers. I was born after both had passed away. My father’s father died when he was just a young boy. That entire side of the family lived states away from us so I never really knew them or much about them.

One of the things that I’ve learned from Ancestry.com is that my father’s father had been married several times before he married my grandmother. There is even some evidence that he may have had other children. The more searching I do, the more mysteries I seem to find. The worst part of all is that all the people who might have had answers are gone.

I thoroughly enjoy researching my family’s history. I just wish they’re weren’t so many unanswered questions about the man my dad so lovingly called Pop.

Backyard Campout

I do not like the cold. I’m not the biggest fan of bugs or wildlife (i.e. opossums and raccoons). Despite these facts since my children and their father along with their cousins and their fathers enjoy camping out, I gladly play along. Our backyard is wooded and provides a great place to camp. You have all the convenience and goodness of indoor plumbing while still feeling like you roughed it (a little).  So, every year or so we plan a night of camping.

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When your s’more catches fire

A few weeks ago, we had our family campout. We roasted hot dogs. We made s’mores. (Try making s’mores with Town House crackers instead of the graham. I’ve heard it’s life changing). We let the children shoot paintballs. We talked and laughed and had a great time. When it was super late, I went inside with the baby and we enjoyed the great indoors while all the rest enjoyed the other.

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Baby Boy making “fire”

 

One of my favorite parts of our tradition is making breakfast for everyone the next morning. I love this little campout tradition and hope they all want to do it for a long time.

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Food for the masses