Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Wishes

Happy Easter to you, my friend.
this day's light shall have no end.

For Christ did rise
in the golden morn

And by His life are we reborn.

Happy Easter to one and all!
The night is over, the sun is tall.
The day did break with a tiny beam
And flooded life with Light supreme.
Source:  Holly Pond Hill ~ A Child's Book of Easter

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter reading list

Last weekend, Shine brought me down an Easter storybook to read before bedtime.  It was a Lois Lenski book called, The Easter's Rabbit's Parade.  I gave it to him, I think three years ago now.  I love children's books (especially vintage), and almost every Easter, I buy Shimmer and Shine a new book to open from Mommy.

They aren't always Easter-themed. I expand to spring and classic Easter-related birds and animals.
Here are a few of our favorites, in order from top to bottom and left to right...

1.  Bunny's Noisy Book, Margaret Wise Brown  (a perennial favorite of Shine's from year's past)
2.  The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, Beatrix Potter (any of her classics)
3.  Guess How Much I Love You,  Sam McBratney (our family still repeats every night at bedtime how far we love each other)
4.  The Fuzzy Duckling, Jane Werner Watson
5.  Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
6.  The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes, Du Bose Heyward
7.  The Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown
8.  The Easter Bunny That Overslept, Priscilla and Otto Friedrich
9.  The Golden Egg Book, Margaret Wise Brown (where would we be without her wonderful books?)
10.  A Child's Book of Easter, Holly Pond Hill (one of Shimmer's favorites and it never mattered what time of year it was -- Christ is actually mentioned, too)
11.  Spring is Here, Lois Lenski (Shimmer has her entire series of seasons books... they are treasures)
12.  The Easter Rabbit's Parade, Lois Lenski  (I enjoy the illustrations in this more than the story)

I hope these inspire you to add something new to your child's bookshelf, or least give you some ideas for a trip to your local library.

You know what I just realized?  We don't have the Tale of Three Trees in our Easter pile, so it missed the photos :(  I had it in our Christmas advent and will need to go get that out and add to our Easter reading basket!  It's one of the few Easter books I know of, that revolves around the true meaning of Easter.  I discovered another one this year though, and am looking forward to reading it together.

 It's called The Donkey who carried a King, by R.C. Sproul.

I also ordered The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous.  It's my vintage pick for this year.  I haven't decided who gets which yet.  I'll have to preview them when they arrive on my doorstep.

The real story of Easter can be found in the gospels of the New Testament.  Try reading Luke chapter 24 and the book of John chapter 20 verses 1 thru 18.    I've attached links to the scripture in case you don't have a Bible nearby.  Thank you, Jesus, for the suffering you endured for all of our sins, and for the hope your resurrection provides to each one of us who asks you into our hearts.  Make us new and ever thankful for your sacrifice.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

McShimmer and O'Shine

Shimmer and I celebrated the season about a week ago with a visit to see Lord of the Dance.  I saw it years ago when it was at the height of its popularity, and was ready to join the troop by the end of the show (despite never having taken a dance class in my life)!  This time around the dancers we just as incredible; but, the girls don't all have the same long curly hair like they used to... I missed the uniformity of that, and the costuming was a bit different, too.  We had a wonderful "girls night" together though, and since Shimmer does dance, I know she had a special appreciation for what she was watching. 

Do you decorate for, or celebrate, St. Patrick's Day at your house in any special way?  I'm not at all into the leprechaun mischief... the school seems to have that covered anyway.  Last year, I spied those adorable rainbow twizzler and rolo treats on Pinterest, and couldn't resist making them for Shimmer and Shine and their classmates as a cute surprise. 

They were a huge hit!

This year, I decided I was about due to make some sugar cookies for their class snack time, and I just happen to have a shamrock cookie cutter that I found after the fact last year, that was begging to be put to use.

They were both pretty excited to take them in to their teachers and classmates.  Added a cute printable from One Charming Party, and some simple paper doilies, and green ribbon, and there you have it... do small things with great love.

As for decorating and celebrating at home, I've become a big fan of rotating cute seasonal printables in a few 8x10 frames around our house.  It's a quick and easy way to decorate, and Shimmer and Shine are always excited to see something new appear on the mantle or on the kitchen windowsill

Shine brought home some really cute St. Patty art projects from school and I had to get photos of those, too.  It's a good way to keep the memory of cute things they've made, when you can't store or keep them forever.

Since St. Patrick's Day fell on a Sunday this year, I decided I would give it a whirl and try to cook up some traditional Irish fare for dinner.  Gave the family a choice of three soups I had seen... an onion soup with melted Irish cheddar cheese croutons; an Irish potato soup; or, Guinness stew.  They chose the later.  Once the stew was simmering, I even decided to make my first loaf of homemade bread trying out this Irish soda bread recipe with currants. 

It was a festive and fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  And now... may we wish you a sunbeam to warm you; a moonbeam to charm you; a sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Comfort in a Cup

I've been on a health kick lately... actually, I'm hopeful that it's more than just a kick, and rather a change in lifestyle. I gave up soda for Lent for the third year in a row and while the first two days were the hardest, I haven't missed it since then. Around the same time, Love and I attended a local charity ball semi-formal. Saw pictures after the fact, and was not happy at all with the way I looked. Instant motivation for regular treadmill workouts and a healthier diet. I'm not overweight by any medical definition; but, I'm not physically fit by any stretch of the imagination either. Shimmer and Shine are really active kids and I want to be able to keep up with them this summer and look good doing it! Instead of cookies and coffee with my Almond Joy creamer for breakfast, I have actually been eating a real breakfast over the last two weeks. Sometimes, as simple as half a grapefruit and an english muffin with peanut butter and other times as "fancy" as lemon blueberry quinoa pancakes. YUM!

This morning as I was making my breakfast, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite new finds at the grocery store... TAZO chai latte concentrate. It's comfort in a cup, without the guilt! Simple as mixing half a cup of the concentrate with half a cup of milk... heat and enjoy! I feel good, first because I'm actually drinking some milk (adding much needed calcium to my diet). Plus, calories are less than 130 and the sweetness is derived from cane sugar and honey rather than refined sources and is limited to 16 grams. I love a cup of warm spiciness to start my day... cheers, chai lovers!

My Back Pages

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So... I've fallen off the blog wagon. And, like so many things in life, once I fall behind, sometimes it seems so hard to get back on. Mainly, because I have lots of outdated blog posts floating around in my head (from Christmas, New Year's, Shimmer's birthday, and even Valentine's Day), and it feels strange to post something so dated now that spring is around the corner. But, I hope those of you who do follow, or subscribe, will bear with my need to fill in the blanks with backdated posts, so that I can empty my mind, while I can still remember the details and attempt to chronicle them for my family. Two steps back, and one step forward, in my case!