Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Sunday - Time for tea

We had a lovely tea this afternoon, which gave me a great excuse to use the new cake stands I acquired from my favourite antiques and collectibles emporium last week. We all had a lovely meal, though we didn't work out how to divide up the bunny on the cake. We've decided to cut slices around the bunny and leave him on a little island of cake (our very own Easter island you might say!), then we'll work out what to do with him. Lily thinks she should have him!

During tea, I was explaining to the Podlings that we were having a special tea to celebrate Jesus. I find explaining theology to toddlers quite challenging, but some of it must be sinking in. Lily looked at me and said "Jesus. Talk to Jesus". Quite impressed, I smiled at her and said "That's right Lily, we can talk to Jesus whenever we want to. What would you like to say to Jesus?". Without missing a beat, she replied "Bye!". Well, at least it's a start!

Mark has his 'she's got the cake stands out again' face on in this picture!

As it was a special occasion, I let Tom use the Peter Rabbit plate given to me my by Godfather when I was a child.

The results of our biscuit decorating endeavors

The chocolate nests I made last night.

I asked Lily to 'smile for Mummy' and this is what I got. She's wearing her second dress of the day!

Lily enjoying some of my tea

Yours truly, with my beloved three-tier cake stand

Easter Sunday

We had a lovely day today. We went to church this morning, but we were running a bit late, so ended up having to sit at the the front. This is a BAD thing when you have to keep two toddlers quiet and still for a long service. At least when you are at the back, you don't feel like the eyes of the whole congregation are watching your children as they get increasingly bored and fidgety! Plus, you always have the option of taking them outside when you are near the door. The Podlings did very well for the first hour, but as the service stretched towards 90 minutes they had had enough of sitting still. As much as I enjoyed the service, I was glad when it was over and we could let the Podlings walk around and make noise again!

After church, we came home and had some lunch. We gave the Podlings their Easter baskets as their 'pudding', which they loved. I don't think many of the eggs survived! We put the children down for nap time (Lily taking her new rabbit to bed with her) and then Mark and I relaxed for an hour with a cup of tea and some our own chocolate eggs. I even got to read some of my book before Lily woke up with a bee in her bonnet about something.

When the Podlings came downstairs, we did some biscuit decorating with them. I had baked some egg-shaped biscuits of Friday with this activity in mind. The children love this activity, though Tom usually eats more of the decorations than he puts on the biscuits! Mark is usually at work when we do this sort of thing, so he doesn't usually get to share the fun. Today, he got to decorate a biscuit of his very own and I have shared a picture of his efforts for posterity!

After they had decorated all the biscuits, Mark took the children outside to play while I got the tea ready. Can you believe it was actually snowing while they were playing outside. Sing it with me, "I'm dreaming of a white Easter...."!

Yes, I'm afraid that is Lily's best dress. Yes, the icing washed out okay!

Tom showing the best location for sprinkles when biscuit decorating is, in fact, your face!

Mark's very lovely Easter biscuit

Happy Easter

Christ is risen!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Easter cake

I made our Easter cake this evening, in preparation for our special Easter tea tommorrow. I made a Victoria sponge and sandwiched it together with buttercream and raspberry jam. I covered it with melted chocolate and then decorated it with mini eggs and a Lindt chocolate bunny. Mmmm! Not quite sure how we're going to divide up that bunny though!

Friday, 21 March 2008

An Easter centrepiece

Behold, our Easter table centrepiece! The Podlings and I dyed some eggs this afternoon, which Tom found mildly diverting and Lily thought was the best way to spend an afternoon that anyone ever invented. She was particularly obsessed with the one egg that cracked during boiling and wandered around telling everyone "Egg cwacked" for about an hour. I only had red and blue food colouring to hand, so was only able to make pink, blue and purple eggs. This was rather vexing to Tom, who had decided he wanted yellow eggs! I think they turned out well, with the exception of one egg that flatly refused to change colour, despite all the other eggs in the pan turning blue. Anyone know why this might be? I know I'm a scientist by training, but I didn't cover dyeing Easter eggs in my thesis!

The children enjoyed the eggs so much, I wanted to put them on display where they could easily see them. This evening, I took one of my two-tier cake stands and made 'nests' from raffia (yes, I have a lot of raffia on hand at the moment!). I then simply placed the eggs around the two tiers and put the whole thing in the middle of the dining room table as a centrepiece. I know the Podlings will be thrilled to see it when they come down tomorrow morning.

Easter baskets - Part 2

When we were on holiday in the Alps a couple of weeks ago, Mark bought these colourful hand-dyed eggs which he thought the children would enjoy. My mother-in-law carefully wrapped them in tissue and they made it home undamaged. I wanted to display the eggs in some way, as they are too fragile for the Podlings to play with. The baskets are the same style as the ones I used to make the Podlings' Easter baskets. I simply made some little nests out of raffia and placed the eggs on them, then tied some ribbon bows on the handles. I think they look adorable! The larger basket is now adorning my kitchen window sill and the smaller basket is in the dining room. The Podlings can look but not touch, which is good as Lily wants to get her hands on these eggs in the worst way!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Easter baskets - Part 1

Lily's basket

I made the Podlings' Easter baskets this evening. I kept them small and simple on the grounds that I don't really have a lot of time to do anything more elaborate! I bought these mini baskets from Hobbycraft a couple of weeks ago and used ribbon and flowers from my craft supplies. The little rabbits are just so cute and are holding little flowers with "Bee Happy" stitched on them next to a little embroidered bee (a bit corny, but still cute!). I picked them up from our local shop when I popped out to buy juice the other day. The rabbits are surrounded by little foil covered chocolate eggs. I decided not to give too much chocolate to the Podlings this Easter as they usually get lots from other family members and it lasts us for months! Instead, I made two little book vouchers on the computer (apologies for the photo), which I rolled up and tucked behind the rabbits in their baskets. I know neither of my children can read, but Tom is old enough to understand what it means and I enjoy making these things.

Tom's basket

Tom's book voucher (Lily has one with pink type). It says: "This voucher allows you to choose a book from Mummy and Daddy when we next go to the book shop.

The joys of Spring

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils."
From 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth

It's the first official day of spring today, though as a wise man once said:

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." (Henry Van Dyke)

It is cold, wet and windy here today and couldn't feel less like a Spring day if it tried! Still, it's nice to feel that Spring is at least on its way.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

My sweet boy

Because he is so sweet most of the time. I have to remind myself of that today because he has spent all morning whinging, crying and trying to get his own way and it has sorely tested my patience. Whoever came up with the term 'terrible twos' clearly never had a three year old!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

"Hmmm, what's this? Some fool appears to have left the biscuit barrel open."

"I'm going in!"

"Bother! Caught red-handed!"

Monday, 10 March 2008

These boots were made for walking

I was unpacking the morning after we got back from holiday and had the contents of our suitcases strewn about the dining room. I came in from the kitchen to find Lily as you see her in the picture, still dressed in her pajamas and wearing my walking boots. She had my handbag slung over her shoulder and was making slow but steady progress across the dining room floor. The fact that she managed to move at all in my very heavy boots is a testament to her strength and determination to look good even in uncomfortable shoes. However, I will need to stress to her the importance of matching her accessories. I mean, a black handbag and brown walking boots...what was she thinking!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Some holiday pictures...

Chiemsee in Germany

I have now caught up with most of the housework and have finally found some time to upload a few of our holiday pictures. Better late than never! We don't have too many 'scenery' shots this time because we have been on holiday in this region a couple of times before and already have lots of pictures of it. The awesome beauty of the Alps never fails to enthral me though and I just love this part of the world. I will never tire of holidaying here!

Tom and Lily on the balcony of our hotel

Lily was completely obsessed with these deer in the foyer of our hotel. We had to take it turns taking her down to see them...frequently! She named them Daddy, Tom and Lily.

"For goodness' sake, I'll drive!".
We were taking too long to load the car one day, so Lily climbed
into the driver's seat and tried to take matters into her own hands!

We stopped on a drive to take some photos and let Tom get out of the car. He loved the snow and thought it was hilarious when his Grandad threw a snowball down his Daddy's neck!

Mum and Dad P. They really made this holiday for us. We loved being on holiday with them and it wouldn't have been much fun without them.

Mark in the snow. This man will drive miles for a glimpse of the white stuff. He's not happy unless he's standing in it!

Neuschwanstein castle. This is the most fabulous fairytale castle in Bavaria. It's the one you see in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in case you're interested. We took a ride in a horse and carriage up to the castle, which Lily thought was wonderful.

I was there too, though there aren't many pictures of me. I'm a little windswept in this one!