Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter festivities

It was one of the best weekends I can remember having. If I have to include the entire realm of festivities, Christmas is of course my favorite holiday, but Easter still comes in a close second. I love the inspiration for the holiday, and the spring weather and colors put just as much magic in the air for me as Christmas lights. The kids and I warmed up to Easter with some springtime crafts:

Actually, Kjerstin helped the kids make these handprint-cutout lilies while I was running errands for the Easter bunny. Such a cute idea and my heart really did swell up when Ellie presented me with the bouquet and reported back to Kjerstin that I really, really loved them.

Egg decorating and dying (or is it dyeing? looks much less severe) was a must.

Erik's creations included the spider web design (which he achieved simply by banging the eggs on the table--brilliant!), all shades of brown (color indecisiveness), and the one on the right, affectionately referred to as "Daddy." Oh yeah, and I don't know how those two stripes ended up on the dyed eggs, but it definitely wasn't due to Erik coloring in a straight line.

Ellie's proud creations include a self-egg (she even gave it a haircut that she thought most resembled her own) and some classic crayon combos. It was surprisingly easy and not terribly messy, and even a little hard to peel and eat some of them because they were so cute (Ellie and Daddy eggs remain untouched in the fridge).

Here's a project I really thought could be a family affair. I just cut out scraps of green ribbon and orange fabric, sewed them up, and let the kids stuff the carrots. They were interested in stuffing maybe half of a carrot each, so it ended up being another Mom project, but a fun hide-and-seek activity, especially preparatory to the egg hunts.

I'm on that felt food hiatus, but that doesn't mean I'm forsaking felt altogether now! In my mind, these were going to be perky bunny ears, but floppy is pretty realistic, too. Erik's really into wearing Ellie's headbands, so I thought I'd give him an excuse to do it in public. He even wore his ears to church.

This was my big Easter project and I would do a lot of things differently second time around, but for having to make my own pattern (and that included geometry in the wee hours of the night) and following mediocre internet instructions, they turned out well enough. Now we have Easter baskets worth storing for 11 months of the year.

We decided to brave a community egg hunt on Saturday (in the pool, no less), but only because it was divided by age groups and Ellie would be at top agility for her egg hunt. We were more than a little disappointed when we scampered into the pool and discovered that all of the floating eggs were EMPTY...

but then our eyes caught this:

Like the cut-throat, pseudo-Asian parents that we are, we quickly indoctrinated Ellie until she knew nothing but that the golden egg must be retrieved. All the eggs may be empty, but an empty golden egg would leave no room for shame. So, upon the whistle's blow, Kyle half-placed, half-thrust Ellie into the pool toward the golden egg. Our baby girl delivered.

With Erik's help, she also collected seven empty eggs. We were so proud. Especially once we found out that the empty eggs do translate into bags of candies and the golden egg scored us a new soccer ball and t-shirt. Woohoo! Murray Parks and Rec, you did not disappoint.

That night we had the rare treat of going out together on pretty much the coolest date night ever. Our wonderful friends J & C invited us to join them with court side tickets to the Jazz game.

We enjoyed a scrumptious catered buffet before and I brought down to our seats enough desserts to feed the entire basketball team. We were so excited to be sitting so close to the court (all that separated us from the sweaty players was a row of security guards, but we could still smell them).

Everything was great until these four intoxicated bozos sat down behind us and started being all manner of obnoxious, commencing with spilling an entire glass of beer down C's nice sweater, dry-clean-only shirt, and onto her leather boots, and escalating into inconceivably profane threats at J for his very controlled comment on their bothersome behavior.

Here's just a drop of evidence. Above is one of the many empty beer cups those kids cleaned out during the game. Below is some of the damage, but you really can't tell how nasty it was, and you'd really have to ask C how nasty it feels to have a huge cup of beer spilled down your pants to get a feel for it.

This was all very vexing, disturbing, and frightening, as you may imagine, and really ruined the game for J & C. Thankfully, J & C sat somewhere else for the second half and the drunken losers toned it down after half time (one of them commented: "That guy who's [mad] at us totally changed his clothes on us. They both changed clothes! I could have sworn the stripes were vertical. No, no, that's [totally] him, but...") and then Kyle explained that they had traded seats. Wow, really drunk. Really stupid. Really offensive. Really stinky, too. Nevertheless, after the potty-mouth losers left, the game was really enjoyable and even though we were losing the entire game except for the first few minutes, we were determined to make the most of a one-time opportunity and really did love it. It's amazing how much smaller the arena feels when you're on the court instead of in the nose bleeds. Somehow the players looked less intimidating, more real. We felt awful for J & C and what they had to go through, but we're still really grateful they invited us --we had a very memorable time.

Easter morning the kids were not even mildly interested in seeing whether or not the Easter bunny had paid them a visit (I think because Mish and I were actually the ones to put the bunny-luring carrots on the porch and place the kids' Easter baskets out, poised for getting goody-packed)...

...but the mention of treats finally enticed them to investigate and indeed, the Easter bunny had been generous enough to fill their baskets with craft supplies that I already wanted (for crafts I plan to do with them). That Easter bunny is so sharp, I tell you.

Erik quickly complied to donning his new Easter ensemble ("new" meaning snagged off consignment store clearance racks, of course), but for Ellie, it was an ordeal.

Grandma Larsen may be the only one who remembers this dress because I bought it in MN when Ellie was only a couple months old. For some strange reason, Kyle resisted this purchase at the time, as if purchasing outfits 3.5 years in advance isn't endearingly prudential. It was $6 and, at the time, I was sure it was the prettiest dress in the world. Finally Ellie fits into some 3T clothes, and I had been waiting for this moment, so when Ellie slipped it on and then immediately off, declaring it "itchy and hurty," I was more than a little disgruntled, but not at all deterred. An embarrassing amount of bribing, coaxing, threatening and sweet-talking later, plus consenting to putting a white t-shirt under it to counteract the itchiness, I present you with the Easter vision I've dreamed of for three years:

Mish and I put on a thorough Easter feast (that I naturally neglected to photograph until we had boxed up most of it) which included ham with homemade glaze, mashed red potatoes, carrot souffle, deviled eggs (Kjerst brought some, too), fruit salad, green bean casserole (compliments of Noe & Mark), homemade rolls (compliments of Kjerst), strawberry swirl cake, and black-bottom-cherry-cheesecake. Yes, it was as good as it sounds.

We ate until we all looked pregnant (j/k guys) and then decided the kids hadn't consumed enough sugar and put on an Easter egg hunt around the living room. They were all plastic eggs so it's okay if we keep finding them in the coming days. Kyle and I also gave the kids "My First Old Testament Stories" picture board book. We read a story from the Book of Mormon one every night before bed and Ellie has all the stories memorized (I kid you not, and I mean verbatim) so it was time for a fresh set. I've loved teaching them about the resurrection over the past couple of weeks and preparing for this Easter in spiritual and temporal ways. We were so grateful to spend it with friends and family, and look forward to extending the holiday into this week when we'll celebrate with the Williams'!

I also want to give a shout out to my dad who turned one year older yesterday. All he got from me was the coordinating of a speaker-phone birthday song rendition and a couple hours of lively conversation, but that was no indication of what the man actually deserves. He is as kind, caring, wise, and lovable as a father could be, if not more. He has been the anchor of my understanding of manhood since I was a child, which is why I think I was able to marry so well. I have only ever seen him be an unselfish and devoted husband and father. He is the father every girl dreams of having, and I love and appreciate him more and more all the time. Happy birthday, Fa.


Joe and Christie said...

Ah, you got me with the emotional sneak attack at the end! Too much for my pregnant tear ducts. But I love it.
Oh, and I remember that dress! Ellie looks adorable, way to bribe through the itchiness.
The golden egg story was hilarious. Well played, Larsens, way to Asian-out the competition.

Cristi said...

What a fun post. We sure love you guys! SO glad you could come with us on Saturday night. Sorry about the rude drunken strangers behind us. Hope you still had fun!!

sara said...

I love the picture of Ellie looking at Eric like he's crazy for wearing those ears. Everything is so adorable! I can't believe how much crafting you do!
You're amazing!

Kallista said...

I am so glad you had a great Easter. Dave is going to be so jealous when he sees that you guys had court side seats. You are awesome!

Devin, Naomi and Spencer said...

Hey Tiff, you gave me some great ideas for the Easter holidays in teh future. Lets hang out before I leave. Love you


Tana said...

You are the blogging and crafting queen these days! I love seeing what you are doing, and it's fun to see you do some of the same things I plan and or intend on doing. Maybe one day we will live close and we can craft our little hearts out and make each other's kids lots of cool stuff. Are you guys going to try to go to Montana this summer? You really should meet John & Kathy and see all the cool things they are able to create.

blaine and michelle said...

I need to spend as much time as possible with you while I'm here, to get inspiration for fun things to do as well as blogspiration to actually write about it in a entertaining way. You do both so, so well.

amy zhang from China said...

woo... it was such a great Eaaster festivites... I am so happy to read your family blog, we miss all of your family, wish you family have more fun, and share with us!!
Amy Zhang

Anonymous said...

Sounds so fun! I was laughing like crazy when I read this post. Sorry J and C about the lame-o guys behind you.

Marilyn said...

You are without a doubt the craft qween. I am amazed by you. The weekend sounded very fun. Having you at our house for the next weekend was super fun for us.