A most amazing day!

Dye painting

Dye painting

Spending time with family for me is one of the best parts of a holiday, and I made sure that opportunity would be there on Easter. I invited family over to our house, even though my husband would be working. What was I thinking? My work schedule did not allow much time for cleaning, so my guests had to deal with the house as it is. Plus, I put them to work.

The day started with breakfast at the church and then services with my mom. The service was WONDERFUL and it was great to see everyone, hug so many people and wish everyone a happy Easter.

At home, the basement had to be cleared before hand because my mother, who is in a wheelchair, cannot make it to the main level of the house. My son helped with that, and my husband vacuumed. On Easter, before we ate, my son set up the tables in the basement, another family member helped with preparing food and another took the trinkets I bought for the grandchildren and packed them into the baskets we would hide later. My daughter swept the kitchen floor, and my son-in-law went to pick up my mom. He had to jump-start her van because I left the lights on the last time I used it. And everyone brought food to share.

I grilled three whole chickens, with my son’s help. I had never grilled whole chickens before, so it was quite the adventure. By the time I got the chickens on the grill, the first set of charcoal was waning, so we started another set in the smaller grill. When that charcoal was ready, I lifted the cooking grate, with all the chickens on it, and my son poured in the hot coals. We also three pimento wood chips on the coals to smoke the chickens. Throughout the nearly two hour cooking process, we had to add charcoal twice, and the chicken turned out wonderful! But we ate about an hour later than intended, and the litte ones were getting tire and hungry. They masked it well by playing outside using sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles and digging in the garden. I’m not sure how I am going to keep them from digging up the seeds once I get the garden planted… The older kids also used the sidewalk chalk and threw a Frisbee around.

We actually spent a great deal of time just hanging out in the back yard…

When the chicken was finally ready, we said grace and then loaded up plates and headed to the basement to eat. Along with the chicken, we also had quinoa tabbouleh, ham, cucumber salad, potato salad, fresh veggies, green beans, ham, chips, sliced seasoned baked potatoes and carrot cake for desert.

Being the last to actually get food and sit down, I was the only one left sitting at my table when my 2-year-old grand-daughter crawled up on a chair across the table from me, put her elbows on the table, looked at me seriously and said “bun-bun.” She was asking for the gluten-free bunnies I keep in the cupboard just for her. The act of propping herself on her elbows and looking at me so seriously when she asked for the bunnies was hilarious! She is such a cutie!!!

The food was good, but my favorite part of the day started after the meal. Everyone filed outside to the back yard, where baskets were hidden for the four grandchildren that came. One at a time, they searched for their baskets. It was a blast to watch, and they seemed pleased and excited about the treasures inside.

Then we sat on the steps and did the Resurrection Eggs. My sister brought them, and I had never done them before. There are a dozen different colored plastic eggs, each with a different object that symbolizes a part of Holy week and the walk Jesus took from Palm Sunday to Easter. You open them in a specific order, talking about the object and the part of the story it represents. It was fun, even with one of the grandchildren having a meltdown. He missed his nap and was very tired.

Afterward, we moved back into the basement where we dyed eggs, trying some of the natural dyes I made earlier in the day. The colors were muted and didn’t produce the results some of the kids wanted, so we used tablets and hot water to make some stronger dyes.

One of the 3-year-olds, soon to be 4 this summer, was a hoot. He would dye an egg and then crack it right away to eat it. He said he was “hatching” the egg. The 4-year-old would dip the egg in the dye and then hand it to his mother to break so he could eat it. My three older nieces experimented with egg dyeing, and then took eggs outside to crack them on their heads.

The white sheet used as a tablecloth was spilled, splashed and dripped on, so we hung it on the fence outside and finished off the dye by painting and splashing the sheet. By that time, many people had gone home and there were few of us left. One of my nieces and I had a blast painting the sheet, and the 4-year-old joined in. We had so much fun, and our masterpiece turned out spectacular.

Only my daughter and her family remained. We had moved inside and were visiting in the kitchen as the children played with toys when we got a wonderful surprise: The son who said he was spending the day diving and would not be here showed up with his fiance. My husband got home from work less than an hour later, and the fellowship continued until 9 p.m., me cleaning up a little, all of us visiting and my husband ending up on the couch cuddling the little ones while they watched “It’s a Bugs Life.”

It was an amazing day! I am truly blessed!

Throwing dye.

Throwing dye


The other side

The other side


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