Countless “winter” afternoons were spent sporting flip flops, eating picnic lunches outside, soaking in the warmth of the sun’s rays.   And I loved every minute of it, while also inwardly fearing a return of cold weather.  I so hate that time of year when you have to keep both warm and cold weather clothes in your drawers because you never know what the weather will do.  I love it when you can confidently box up last seasons clothes and fully embrace the new season. 

Which is why, I found it somewhat frustrating, and quite a bit comical that on the second Saturday of SPRING… the day of the annual community Easter Egg Hunt… the kids were bundled up in coats, with red noses and cold hands as they gathered their eggs.  But, the cold wind blowing didn’t dampen the fun too much. 


When we got to the van, she had to run back into the house for her Daisy Hop because “Mom, I promised Daisy Hop I’d bring her to the Easter Egg Hunt!”


This was his first hunt.  His glee was priceless.


Their was a special “magic egg” which was orange with a purple suction cup on it.  Whoever found it got an extra special prize.  I loved my 6 year olds strategy for egg hunting.  She only gathered orange eggs.  It was so cute to see her running around the egg covered field, never giving a second look to any other color egg.


None of the other kids cared what color their eggs were. 



The Easter Bunny also made an appearance.


It was a blustery, but fun morning!

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I love the music, the food, the decorations, the smells, the lights… I love it all.  But without a doubt, my favorite part is that it is truly a month long celebration of our Lord’s birth.  And I love that as I am grocery shopping or at the mall, or in the inner harbor of Baltimore, I can hear music which praises His name. 

But, as wonderful as Christmas is, and as very near to my heart it is, it means nothing, NOTHING without Easter.  For Easter is when we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and His conquering of death and sin when he rose from the dead on Easter morning.  

Easter is where it’s at, folks. 

217580225716815943_ACXXa8VI_fAnd yet, I don’t know why.  It seems Easter gets much less celebration.  Last year a friend sent me this link with some great ideas of activities to do with your kids Easter week.  I was super excited and bookmarked the site.  Next thing I know it was Easter Sunday and we had done none of the activities. 

You all know that I love a good celebration and will celebrate any day that comes along.  Pi day, anyone?  And therefore, since we are a holiday/celebration loving family, I felt compelled this year to attempt to go all out for Easter.  Being as it is, in my opinion, the holiday most worthy of celebrating.

So,  I mapped out our Easter celebration on my calendar.  We started our resurrection eggs on March 2o, with the goal to finish on Palm Sunday.  I gotta tell you we have missed a few days here and there and had to double up.  But, the kids have really, really enjoyed them and I think the physical symbols of the Easter story in the eggs helps them remember the details of the story.   While my 8 year old already knows what is in each egg and what they represent, I realized my 4 year old doesn’t and so this has been a great review for all of us.  Even our youngest enjoys his turn opening up the egg and playing with what is inside. 

Today, I sat down with the link I mentioned before, my Easter pinterest board and a sheet of paper to map out the week of Holy week and schedule in the things I want to do with the kids next week during our spring break in anticipation of Easter. 

I am so excited!   But, I know that my intentions don’t often pan out, however, here is my dream list of what I’d like to do with the kids in the coming week.  Here they are, in case any of you are looking for some Easter activities to do with your kids in the next week.

This weekend we are going to make a Easter garden like this.  We are also going to go to our neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  I am also hoping to make this adorable egg garland this weekend to hang above our piano.  I bought the supplies today, but not sure if I will attempt this one with the kids or after they are in bed.


Sunday:  We are going to make palm branches out of construction paper and wave them around singing Hosanna!

Monday:  Bake bread for neighbor , make Handprint Easter lily bouquets

Tuesday:  Easter picture tree, and do an Easter egg lunch hunt

Wednesday:  Easter scavenger hunt, make cross shaped Rice Krispy treats



Thursday: foot washing ceremony, also going to make jelly bean bracelets with the girls (I saw the bracelet idea on pinterest but when I went to link to it, the site where it was linked to no longer exists, so here’s the picture.  I assume a needle, thread and jelly beans is all that is needed).



Friday:  GOOD FRIDAY:  For breakfast we are going to have hot crossed buns.  I’ve never made them before but they seemed appropriate for Good Friday.   The recipe calls for raisins which I don’t care for and after an informal face book poll, it seems ok for me to make them without raisins as long as they are hot and crossed.  

I would also like to have each of us write down a sin we’ve done this week and nail it to a cross, as well as do the white carnation in red dyed water activity (both found here).   In the evening, we will also attend our church’s Good Friday service.  It is my most favorite church service of the year.

Saturday:  We are going to invite the grandparents over to dye Easter eggs.  I was also thinking about re-watching the Passion of the Christ after the kids go to bed.

Sunday:  We will go to church Easter morning.  Afterwards we are going to have both sets of grandparents over for Easter dinner. I’m going to have the kids make these resurrection rolls for our dinner.  We are going to have carrot cup cakes for dessert with those trick candles that keep relighting.  We will also do an egg hunt in the backyard.  That night we’ll have a family movie night and watch this animated movie about the life of Christ. 

Without a doubt, my favorite Children’s Story Bible is the Jesus Storybook Bible and I do plan to read the Easter story to them from it on Easter weekend as well.   I’ve also pulled out my copy of No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado to read personally this week. 

I gotta confess I set out on the first day of Lent to read the Holy Week account during Lent, and I got off track somewhere during week 1 and haven’t kept up.   I hope I do a better job this week of staying on track.  I can’t wait to worship our Lord on Easter morning and I think my worship will be much more heartfelt if I spend the week reflecting on my sin, and on His sacrifice for me. 

Happy Easter everyone!


She pretty much whips me at this every Monday and Wednesday… and I wouldn’t trade the sweet memories we’re making for anything in the world.

I really wanted to take the kids in to DC this spring to see the Cherry Blossoms.  It’s not something we do every year, in fact, I think I’ve been only a handful of times in the 27 years I’ve lived in Maryland.   But, this year, I thought it’d be fun to go and was thinking we might even have a free weekend during their peak blooms. 

But, thanks to the warm winter we had, they peaked early and there was NO chance of going during their peak week as it just didn’t fit with our schedules.  We hoped to try this weekend, but the cold and rain didn’t make it seem worthwhile.

So, today Scott called me at 11:30 and said, “What are we doing tonight?  Wanna go to DC?”   I had an hour and a half to pack up some dinner, gather stuff together, (shower) and pick him up at work and the oldest 2 from tutorial.  I was so excited, b/c I had given up on seeing the blossoms this year and while we knew it wouldn’t be peak, we figured we could hopefully still see some. 

Once we arrived in the city we realized there really weren’t many blooms left, so we decided to make a bee line for the Natural History museum b/c I’ve been wanting to take the kids this year to see the mummies, dinosaurs, and butterflies (all things we studied in school this year).  We had a little over an hour before it closed and were able to see all three exhibits!  (wahoo, 2 trips taken care of in one spontaneous outing)




Since Scott’s dad works in the city, he met us and we enjoyed a picnic dinner on the mall looking at the Capital and Washington Monument.  (can you tell we had them looking into the sun for this picture?)


The big 3 actually enjoyed sitting on a steam vent for the metro.  It was nice and warm as the cool evening air blew in.  IMG_2970

I tried not to think too hard about the smog and pollution that was blowing up on them and their food. 





Like I said, most of the blossoms were off, but we did enjoy walking around the tidal basin at sunset and we did see some blossoms.  It was also peak season for the tulip garden which was beautiful!




We were so excited to find a tree in bloom.  Daddy and Pop hoisted the girls up on their shoulders so they could get a picture with the blossoms. 



What a wonderful way to start the week… with a spontaneous afternoon in the nation’s capital with the family. 


Despite wet ground and a rainy forecast all systems were go for the Cub Scout rocket launch this morning. 


And, I gotta come clean on this one… it was WAY cooler than I thought it would be. 

They built the rockets at home and then went to the field to stuff them and other technical stuff which I didn’t really follow all to closely.


Then they set the rockets up on their “launch pads”


And the count down began…


3-2-1… Blast Off!!


He was able to launch his rocket 3 times.  Unfortunately, the last time it was lost in space…. such a fun way to spend our Saturday morning.  Thanks again Cub Scouts for providing us with a educational and fun family experience.

Since it was the first day of spring this week, I decided it might be time to take down the Valentine’s wreath from my door and switch it for my Easter one.  Today I thought I’d take it a step further and even pull out my spring/Easter/”leave up till I pull out the red/white/blue decorations for summer around Memorial day” decorations…as I did the girls were ooing and aahing over the little eggs, flowers, chicks and lambs…Then my 6 year old daughter saw the bunny my mother in law had given me a few years ago and said, “Awh look at the bunny and it’s even holding a football.”IMG_2775

Yes, that’s right… a football, not an Easter egg was the first thing to come to her mind when she saw this bunny.  Because at our house, football knows no season…it’s a year round obsession and truly, nothing says Easter like a bunny holding a football.

Our tutorial had its Science/History night on Monday.  As with any special event, it’s taken a few days to come up for air following all the pre event preparations….  As I watched tired mother’s dragging ginormous projects into the gym on Monday morning, I realized this is one of the major reasons we’re at our tutorial.   Science/History night gives them an opportunity to get up in front of a group of people and perform something.  It gives them an opportunity to work on a project, complete it by a set deadline and display it for others. 



It’s helpful for me too because often I have good intentions of doing fun hands on projects with them, but then Friday rolls around and even though we tend to have less work to accomplish that day, I don’t often utilize it for extra hands on projects.   And these projects give me a great opportunity to watch their creativity and work habits come out.  I won’t lie it was a HUGE exercise in patience on my part.  I had to take many a deep breath and persevere through the process. 

But, persevere I did and we ended up with a butterfly poster completed by my kindergartener and a life size mummy created by my second grader.  There were other projects they did as well, but these were the two major ones.  (read these were the two responsible for the my new grey hairs)


I’m so proud of them both and so thankful for the opportunities we have our tutorial. 

While he wore the jersey for 14 years, she proudly wore hers for 3.  (more than half of her life).  It was her first jersey and I always thought it suited her personality well.  IMG_8676 

As we listened live to Hines bid his tearful goodbye to football this afternoon, we were sad to see him go but as my 7 year old pointed out, “thankful he’s not going to play for the Ravens.”  IMG_6950

We’re going to miss seeing his smiling face on the practice fields at training camp this summer.  IMG_7049

As he retires, his jersey, it seems time to retire hers as well.  As she pointed out after the announcement, “I’m going to need a new shirt so I have a new guy to cheer for and it has to be a Steelers guy because I won’t cheer for a Raven.”




From our part of Steelers nation where we proudly wear our black and gold in a land of purple, thank you, Hines Ward.  Thank you for all you brought to the game.  Thank you for your leadership both on and off the field.  Thank you for giving us something to cheer for, for so many years.  We’ll miss you and look forward to the day we can wave our towels for you again at your induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton.  DSC_8662

When you start the day with a bowl of our traditional St Patty’s day breakfast of Lucky Charms, you know it’s going to be a good day.

And today was just that.

I was so excited to have St Patrick’s Day fall on a Saturday this year.  After our magically delicious breakfast, Scott took the big 3 to my son’s baseball practice.  I stayed home to make our lunch (shamrock shaped soft pretzels) while our youngest took a morning cat nap. 

Then, Scott texted me this picture. photo (6)

Can you believe it?  I’ve never found a four leaf clover and Scott helped the girls find one on St Patrick’s Day no less!! Luck of the Irish, perhaps?

IMG_2530When they got home from practice, lunch was ready.  And, I gotta tell you, I was pretty excited with how it turned out.  I’ve tried my hand at shamrock shaped soft pretzels more than once.  I’ve used pillsbury bread sticks, I’ve used the Auntie Anne home kit… and to be honest I can sometimes get one to kinda sort resemble a shamrock.  But, this time, I was actually able to make 6 pretzels that tasted delicious IMG_2517AND all resembled a shamrock. 


You better believe I’ll be using this recipe again! We topped them off with mint chocolate chip milkshakes for a deliciously green inspired lunch!

In the afternoon, we met some friends in  Stars Hallow  Easton, MD for their St Patrick’s Day parade. IMG_2623

It’s my second time visiting Easton and it did not disappoint.  I loved the town, I loved the 3 school bands that performed, the decorated golf carts, the gaudy green attire lining the streets.  I found myself grinning from ear to ear the entire time and seriously contemplating a visit to the local real estate office.  It was that charming (or I am that much of a sap for small town parades).IMG_2624

The weather was gorgeous.   The afternoon was relaxing (more so for some of us). IMG_2645

IMG_2665Seems the kids wanted a turn in the parade and Scott was happy to oblige (as long as their parade route went down hill).

But, then he requested a ride of his own.


I came home smiling having enjoyed a festive day of family fun with my family. IMG_2581

I had high hopes for Feb with plans in the works for Mardi Gras and Leap Year celebrations, but the stomach bug and a business trip and well the busyness of life, put those on the back burner… perhaps another next time…

March is full of celebrations of its own, so no time to mourn the missed holidays of February… We started off with Dr Seuss’ Birthday on March 2.  We had green eggs and ham bacon for dinner, and Cat in the Hat treats for dessert.  Simple and fun, perfect for a Friday after a long week. 



Always trying to follow in the steps of his siblings…


March 14th was Pi Day (3/14)  IMG_2494





We celebrated with taco pie for dinner and toll house pie for dessert.




I can’t wait for St Patrick’s Day tomorrow.  I am so excited that it falls on a Sat this year and Scott can participate in all the fun with us. 

I baby him.

A lot.

I know I never, ever babied any of my others like I do him.  It’s mostly because I know he’s my last, but also because he lets me. 

He weighs 27 lbs


and will be 2 in three months, and yet most days you’ll find me carrying him on my hip.  I joked the other day that you’ll probably find me carrying him in to kindergarten. 

By far his most favorite toy is a ball.  He still thinks all balls are footballs and before he throws you a ball he will hold it down to the ground and say, “hike-hike-hike”  Which when he does it with his Steelers football, it fills this Momma with pride, but when he does it to say a soccer or baseball, it brings a giggle. 

Today the kids and I went in the back yard to play and as I watched him, I realized how much of a little boy he is.

Try as I  might to keep him my baby, he really is growing up.  I guess it’s a good thing he has older siblings, because they keep me in line.  They don’t baby him nearly as much as I do, nor do they let him get away with us much as I do either.  (his adorable smile seems lost on them when he sneaks an extra cookie or gets into a mess)


Today as my 4 year old lifted him onto the big kid swing and pushed him, I watched in awe as he held on tight and giggled.  He loved every minute of it.   As he did climbing the ladder to the club house and sliding down the slide into his sisters arms. 


Of course, I can’t yet leave alone in the yard with the big 3 to play, I need to be there to catch and comfort.  But, he’s ready to play and explore.  And I can’t hold him back. 

He wants to do everything they do…  even if it means riding a pink bike. 


As I watched them play for hours in the warm spring sun,  I had that all too familiar feeling


that despite Momma’s best intentions


my baby is turning into a “big kid.”


Just look at him here, does he look like a baby to you?


What is going on?