Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hello spring break!

We're all breathing a sigh of relief. Spring break is here! The kids are home all week and so is Ian.

The icky weather has passed on to stunningly gorgeous. I'll take it! This morning Katherine had youth choir practice at church from 9-11 a.m. in preparation for Living Stations tomorrow afternoon. We picked her up, stopped by Chik-Fil-A for lunch then spent a couple hours walking through Mason Neck State Park. There's a little beach on Belmont Bay, raised walking paths and plenty of room to run around.
4/1/10 - On our hike 4/1/10 - Amazing how big some of the trees are that get tipped over. 4/1/10 - The tide was going out
4/1/10 - Mason Neck Park - My kids. 4/1/10 - Jonathon in a tree he could camp in.
On our way home we stopped at Pohick Bay Regional Park just to see what there was, and aside from a Marina there are playgrounds, mini golf, frisbee golf and a Pirate's Cove water park. Usually when we think about a water park, we think about Andrew Leitch Water Works on Dale Blvd near us. Hopefully this summer we'll be able to hit the water parks and the kids won't be too worn out with water stuff when doing Frogs.
It's been a great week so far. There's been some theater movie watching, we saw "How to Train Your Dragon" on Tuesday and give it 12 thumbs up. There's been some home movie watching, we watched "Ocean's 11" and "Ocean's 12." Kids liked those. We cleaned house on Monday and the kids are appreciating having clean bedrooms and bathroom. Of course my bedroom is nothing to look at since I spent my time helping with their stuff and now also have several loads of laundry waiting to be washed. Ian has been manning the dishwasher this week and commented that it seems to never end. Gee, really? It's worse when everyone is home of course, snacking and munching and baking and cooking. Uh oh, looks like dinner time is coming up again.
The dish rack is full of drying plastic eggs though. This is Holy Week, the week before Easter. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday with a parking lot processional and outdoor blessing of the palms.
Palm Sunday 2010
You can't see Katherine, but she's part of the Youth Choir and was singing for this Mass.
Oh there she is...

Ignore the squeaky singing you hear, that's me by the camera. I should have kept my mouth shut, the kids did a great job.
Last night I took the middle two for their semi-annual sacrament of penance (Katherine went last month on her retreat, Jonathon had his First Penance a couple weeks ago). Tonight is Holy Thursday Mass, the celebration of the Last Supper. It's not mandatory but I think I'll go, I like the washing-of-the-feet bit. Tomorrow Katherine is singing for Living Stations in the afternoon and then there is Good Friday Mass, the celebration of the Lord's Passion. Saturday is Holy Saturday. There's an egg hunt at our lake beach for the boys so I'll take them there while Katherine gets a couple more volunteer hours for decorating the church for Easter. At noon when she's done is the blessing of the family Easter basket at church. Which reminds me, I should probably pull something together for that. I have little lamb chocolates, but getting the feeling that won't cut it. Oh right, hard-boiled eggs. Must do that once I post this blog so the kids can decorate tomorrow. Yum, maybe we'll turn them into deviled eggs for Easter Sunday lunch at my parents' home. Oh yes, a plan!
There's one more thing to get ready for Easter Sunday... the home egg hunt. Each year we count out the same number of eggs for each kid and they are color coded, one color for each kid. If they spot a sibling's egg they're supposed to ignore it. This system works very well, if you don't do it and you have multiple kids and there's regular crying about who has more eggs, you should give it a try. But this year our oldest is 14 and the youngest is 8 and it's time for something a little more challenging. I've come up with a scavenger hunt. Where the clues are cyphered. And each kid has a different cypher. I can't give more details than that because Katherine reads the blog. Just know that since I brought it up Ian has taken an interest in it and if he's involved he'll try to make really complicated and way too hard for the kids. That's why I'm around, right? To reign him in. We have a simple kid cypher/code book that we can use as a guide... Ian, are you listening? Simple... fun... not meant to make children cry. Seriously.
Dinner... boiled eggs... cyphering. A busy evening ahead.

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