Alleluia! He is Risen!
Easter Sunday 2018 included our annual indoor Easter Egg hunt, chocolate nest cereal (courtesy of Auntie Janice), hospitality hour at church for lunch, Skyping with Lorianne and a big roast beef dinner.
It was also April Fool's day. Matthew had a haircut while Elizabeth was at book club, so he told her that his hair disappeared while he was sleeping. Elizabeth gave me a fish (it took me FAR too long to figure out what on earth the fish was for), and Brendan and I turned the milk green, as per tradition.
I've had orchids for years - they are my favourite flower and were in my wedding bouquet, but usually I baby them along for a decade or so and then throw them out after I forget to water them and they dry up. So around Christmas I was pretty excited when one of my orchids started to bud! Then I was pretty devastated when one of my children broke off the spray by being careless with a curtain (they aren't even supposed to touch). Luckily the orchid was pretty determined and it bloomed for Easter! The first few crocuses are poking up outside too.
The bishop visited our parish for Easter, so there were several baptisms and confirmations. Elizabeth's friends Peyton and Riley had their first communions. The congregation was invited to bring in their baptism candles to be lit from the newly baptised, so Janice and my kids did! I have no idea what happened to Brendan's baptism candle but don't think I ever had one of my own. Michael was asleep so we opted out; I had my hands full preventing Amelia from lighting her hair on fire as it was. It was a pretty cool moment.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Douvris has started a book club and as soon as Elizabeth heard about it she really wanted to join in. As an enthusiastic reader myself, it's slightly bemusing that my reading aged kid is somewhat indifferent to books. I've apparently managed to keep my misgivings to myself as she describes herself as "a good reader" and "liking to read" (hooray!). In any case, the first month Elizabeth had a scheduling conflict but she was determined to go to book club for month number two.
The assigned book was A wrinkle in time. Grandma J had given it to her two Christmases ago and she had started it then but wasn't able to get into it. This time round she ploughed through it determinedly, but it was clear early on that it's still a bit beyond her English reading level, at least within the required time frame. I ended up reading about 3/4 of it out loud to her in the interests of finishing it before book club.
What did Elizabeth think of the book? "The author likes to go to church." When pressed for clarification, she explained that Madeleine d'Engle had written down many bible verses that Elizabeth knows as part of the story. Which is absolutely true! Elizabeth was not a fan of the ending. "But Meg saves Charles Wallace!" I protested. "I like to know how things end" she explained. "The book doesn't tell me what happened to Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which."
At book club they apparently had quizzes and prizes and got to wear awesome funny glasses. Book club is "amazing" and "great" and she was excited that her team won because she knew all about the book.
Next month they are doing Charlie and the Chocolate factory!
Amelia is really interested in karate and often pretends she is doing karate at home. (Along with ballet and being a tiger).
Matthew has been trying to invite a buddy for buddy day at karate for quite a number of months now, but his choices keep falling through. So he decided to ask sensei Cody if Amelia could be his buddy.
She was extremely excited right until we arrived at the dojo. And then she refused to go in, no matter how much Matthew cajoled. Michael was sleeping so I agreed to come in with her and we sat and watched for a bit while the various black belt kids tried to make friends with her. No dice, until Cody came along to save the day (Amelia is already friends with Cody you see).
Didn't take long after that before she was bear crawling with the best of them. She had a blast!
Michael had a third piece of hair tangled in his toes this morning and although we had a very busy day planned I decided that enough was enough - it was time to do something drastic.
15" of hair cut later I'm hoping that this puts an end to the hair tourniquets.
While Amelia was being Matthew's buddy at karate, Elizabeth was at part 2 of a special karate seminar with sensei Daniel Gaysinski at the Barrhaven location (the first part was yesterday evening). Sensei Daniel is hoping to compete for Canada in the Olympics for 2020 and he is quite amazing to watch.
I walked in just as each kid had a chance to try sparring one on one. Most got flipped for their troubles, though sadly Elizabeth wasn't one of them. She assures me she was flipped several times earlier. After the class some of the kids got him to autograph their gear but while Elizabeth kind of wanted an autograph she didn't want to mark up her gear (whew). She's really hoping she gets to cheer him on at the Olympics now.
After buddy day at Bank street, I took the three youngest kids and headed for Evelyn's birthday party. Elizabeth was a bit annoyed about missing out due to her seminar but I did go pick her up and she got to eat superman cookies and cake and as she said she would have rather been being flipped by sensei Danny than have a longer time to play with Aidan and Caitlyn. As long as I agree that she can go play with Aidan and Caitlyn another time LOL.
After the party, we headed home to hang out with Amelia's godfather Michael.
Babies are pretty popular at karate, even if they do sometimes christen the gis. Sensei Brigitte especially likes to steal Michael. This time she kidnapped him and took him into the dojo for tournament team lol
Good Friday is time to prepare for Easter Sunday. We kept it low key, decorating eggs and making hot cross buns.
Matthew got to try the hot wax for his first time.
We had Dave and Karen and the kids over after church for a much calmer ninth birthday cupcake decorating party.
I think it was a Palm Sunday when I first realized that a vital part of me needs all the pomp and pageantry and just plain rhythm of liturgical living. Palm Sunday is one of my favourite days of the church year - what's not to like about waving around plant life in a procession?
In Junior Church we decided to do foot washing which the 3-SK class found extremely bemusing. At first no one was willing to have their feet washed and only Amelia was willing to be the washer. After it was established that this wasn't quite as scary and weird as they had thought at first, more kids decided to participate, including Matthew who very enthusiastically echoed Simon Peter by starting to strip down for his "bath".
There was a hilarious re-enactment of Palm Sunday too, with towels and coats and palms down on the floor and Jesuses riding donkeys across the way.
Meanwhile in the older class they washed feet too, but were so disgusted by the concept they apparently insisted on changing out the water in between each set of feet.
In which I admit that Elizabeth conned me into having fifteen kids over for an "arts and crafts" party for her birthday. Then we let five of them stay overnight for a sleepover party. Originally there were supposed to be ten kids, but there was a misunderstanding and she "accidentally" invited the sleepover girls to the art part. Daddy says he's in charge of the head count next year.
It was completely excessive and wonderful fun, but for the record she agonized greatly over the guest list, especially when she realized there were only TWO boys.
Auntie Janice helped out and honestly was probably the reason the house is still standing because it was mad chaos for a moment there. I actually looked into renting space for the party but Elizabeth really wanted it at home and by the time I made up my mind to do it the timeslot we needed wasn't available.
Poor Janice was a little frazzled; Elizabeth kept changing her mind about what the plan was so by the time we got around to actually doing the party there were random extra activities that just got thrown at Janice. But I think it was all a great success in the end.
We decorated loot bags and painted letters, did ice breakers and pass the parcel (by special request, with special colour coding for allergies). Elizabeth showed her friends how to do origami in small groups while the others made a house out of a large box. Then we did decorate your own cupcakes with artist palettes which made the procurement process worth it (three different Michael's stores)
Once the horde cleared out the rest of the girls headed downstairs to get ready for part two. Originally two of the girls weren't staying overnight; Olivia had a ballet thing the following day and Adi wasn't too sure about a sleepover with a bunch of girls she mostly didn't know. Actually at first I wasn't sure how it was going to work because the sleepover girls are all close friends of Elizabeth but not necessarily of each other. Elizabeth insisted that they must all get matching pjs (some of which were FAR too large and had to be pinned) and getting dressed was the first order of business. Matching PJs were MAGIC. Suddenly they went from awkward strangers to BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. Adi decided to stay the night after all and they all went home declaring undying affection for each other.
The girls played with Elizabeth's presents and took turns cuddling Michael (they enjoyed; he did not), watched the 1982 version of Annie, and ate ice cream lit by glow in the dark balloons. In the morning everyone was still friends and still smiling. Thus began the age of the sleepover.