Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peeps and Eggs and the Cross

Our Easter is a series of events that center on family and love:

We move the cross around the circle throughout the season of Lent.  Observing the passage of time and honoring the life of our Savior.  This is our act of remembrance.  It is first and foremost. It is essential.

Then, a few days before Easter, we roast peeps and we smash them up into s'mores because, well, it's a whole lot of fun to roast a sugary yellow chicken.   All families have odd rituals.  This just happens to have become ours.

 Following our sugar rush, we hide glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs.  This recent addition to our Easter celebration came about as a creative way to keep older kids interested in egg hunts.  It is 100% successful.  We hide eggs until long after bedtime, until we crash from adrenaline and sugar. 

When we wake up the following day, around noon because of the aforementioned crash the night before, we dye Easter eggs.  We're a pretty artistic family, so every year we try to find a new way to dye eggs.  This year, I decided on a science lesson.  If you put oil in the dyed water it creates a marbled effect on the eggs, allowing for several colors on one egg.  They were all sad when we ran out of eggs to play with.  I personally think they turned out beautifully.

On Easter morning we rise and, wearing our spring best, we go to church to celebrate our Savior. 

After lunch we still do a traditional egg hunt, though I think we've almost left this stage.  Only the little one truly enjoys the search.  The other two are good sports though, so they still play with her.  Chris hides and the girls seek.  Although I have to say that Sicily is so competitive that she would find them alone, which is what ends up happening by mid-afternoon.  She even changes out of her nice sandals into tennis shoes for the hunt.  Egg hunting is serious business to that girl!  The cat is also an egg hunting participant. She follows the egg hider around, waits until she doesn't think anyone is looking, and then pounces on the egg.  I think she's disappointed every time she finds that it's not a real egg.

After all of this, we spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful spring day, remembering the love that was given for us and offering one another the same.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Let's Be Honest About Fundraisers

It's that time again.  Time to run to raise money for the school.  I hate school fundraisers. Seriously hate them.  Does anyone really like them?  But they're a necessary evil as our schools find themselves increasingly underfunded.   So I give to fundraisers because I care about my children's education.  (I feel I need to say that because I fear I'm going to digress into bad mom mode as this post continues.)  If I have to participate in a fundraiser I vote for this one.  I don't want to sell wrapping paper or magazines or even those "only worth it for people who eat out all the time" city pass books.  And let's just be honest here.  It would be me selling it.  Just like girls don't sell girl scout cookies anymore.  Over ambitious mom's sell girl scout cookies.  That, by the way, is the reason that my girls aren't girl scouts.  We went to one introduction meeting and it became clear very fast that I wouldn't just be signing them up to be a girl scout.  I would be signing up to be a girl scout as well.  I know, I know.  It's about parental involvement and maybe the fact that I bolted for the door as soon as they laid out how much of a time commitment this was going to be for me makes me a bad mom.  But, I didn't want to be a girl scout.  My daughter wanted to be a girl scout.  I wanted to be at home sipping a glass of wine while my daughter was off being a girl scout.   And I'm pretty sure you would all think I was a worse mom if I was sipping that glass of wine while walking door to door selling all of those stupid cookies.  (See. I told you I would digress.  Fundraisers and children's activities that require absurd time commitments do that to me.)  Back to boosterthon.  The reason that I like this fundraiser is because I feel like I'm paying for something worthwhile.  This program teaches positive character traits, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and the kids do a large chunk of the work.  I don't end up with something I'll never use or something that I could have bought at a fraction of the price elsewhere.  I'm paying for my kids to run.  They run their little hearts out.  And I pay because I'm proud of them.  They work hard for something and they're rewarded for it.  That's what a fundraiser should be.  It's the same reason I like read-a-thons or like programs.  I'm willing to participate in that.

So with that in mind, I pledged my $1 per lap like I always do and I went out and watched them work for it. One of them, the little one, ran 53 laps.  She stopped only at the water table.  She ran the whole time.  The girl has serious drive.  It's one of the things that makes her awesome.  The other girl ran off and on for the minimum 35 laps.  Then she walked hand in hand with her best friend, chatting about what little girls chat about.  Occasionally another friend would stop running and join them.  They laughed and danced the time away.  Her loyalty and friendliness are two of the things that make her awesome.  So you see, they participated in a healthy activity, they earned the money they raised themselves, the event brought out each of their beautiful personalities, and I walked away proud of them both.  That is everything a fundraiser should be.

*I apologize if I offended any girl scouts with this post.  I'm sure you're all great.  And I do love a box of samoas every now and then, so knock on my door any time.  And mom's, I totally won't judge you if you're standing back on the sidewalk with a glass of wine.