Passover 2017 

This year we celebrated Passover for the first time. Last Fall I did a study about the feasts of Israel and how Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the feasts and required sacrifices when he walked among us, died on a cross and was resurrected three days later. Since it was the first time we’ve done this and the kids are still very young (and fidgety), I made the seder pretty short. However, we fed baby S ahead of time and emphasized to E that we were having a special dinner, and they both did really well. 
It’s a really busy week with Passover, people visiting, S turning one, and Easter so I wasn’t able to put as much thought into it as I wanted to. But I was really pleased with how everything turned out!

Here’s our table laid out for the seder, including 3 loaves of unleavened bread in the white cloth in the foreground, the seder plate, and the cup for Elijah at the back of the table. 

E drinking from Elijah’s cup. We can drink from it because the Messiah has come! 

Our Passover meal which consisted of lamb, roasted asparagus and new baby potatoes, sweet carrots, haroset and some of the homemade matzoh. As we ate, we celebrated the new life we have in Christ! 

My seder notes and one of the resources I used to plan our evening. If you’re interested in celebrating a Messianic Passover with your family or church, I highly recommend this book! You can buy it here.  I also used Ann Voskamp’s guide to a Christian Passover and used the recipes she links to, and this is where I got most of my “script”.  

I can’t wait to continue this traditional celebration every year and add to it as the children get older! 

“Next year in Jerusalem!” 

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Pi Day 2017! 

Today we celebrated National Pi (3.14159265359)  Day by making and eating two kinds of pie! Normally I would have E help me out with this since she loves to be in the kitchen with me… But the house is upside down because the estate sale is this weekend, so I banged these out while the kids watched PBS and in between people invading our space. 

In addition, Chris and I gave up sugar for lent, so I made a sugar free blueberry crumble pie and also a ham and cheese quiche for supper. 

Here are a few pictures! 

Blueberry pie ready to go into the oven. 

Beautiful. And so, so tasty. 

This was my first time making quiche from scratch and it was really simple and incredibly delicious. 

E ate almost all of her “egg pie” and blueberry pie. She’s definitely my girl! 

So delicious! 

This is the first year I’ve had it together enough to make my own pies. I have to say that I was really impressed with how they both turned out! I’ll definitely be using both of these recipes again.

 
How did you celebrate Pi Day? 

(P.S. I used this recipe for the quiche crust. It’s my go-to because it’s super easy and works every time.) 

And because it was so pretty, I’ll leave you with a close up of that glorious crumble… 

The Lunar New Year

On January 29, 2017 we celebrated the Lunar New Year (commonly referred to as Chinese New Year). With the kids so sick in December and January, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to really prepare for this like I wanted to. But we celebrated anyway, and it was a lot of fun!

Traditionally, the food served at the New Year feast is a meat dish, a communal “hot pot”, good luck dumplings, etc. Usually there are 8 dishes served, as the number 8 is associated with good fortune. I do not have very much experience with preparing traditional Chinese dishes, so I just did what I could! We had homemade fried rice, with orange chicken (using oranges from the tree in our yard!), pre-made pot stickers and spring rolls, Lucky Buddha beer, Chinese almond cookies, fortune cookies, and chocolate coins and mandarin oranges. Here are a few pictures of our little celebration! I’m already looking forward to doing this again next year.

img_20170129_160307The table, all set and waiting for the food and company to arrive!

img_20170129_173402Group shot… lots of red (considered to be good luck).

img_20170129_173510The spread…

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Lucky Buddha beer. It was surprisingly delicious.

img_20170129_180321My fortune, which hit very close to home. Note: my fingernails were yellowed from peeling mandarins for my daughter. 🙂

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Chocolate coins, which remind us to give to those less fortunate than ourselves. Next year I’m hoping to get my hands on some little red envelopes to put real money in so the kids can donate it to a cause of their choosing.

img_20170130_152915White Rabbit creamy milk candy. OMG. I was not very excited about these at all, but figured my husband would like them. They were amazing, and I’m pretty sure I ate the whole bag by myself…

We also read Bringing In The New Year by Grace Lin, which was a wonderful way to introduce E to the celebration.

For more information about the history and traditions of the Chinese New Year, click here and here .

National Popcorn Day 

I don’t need a reason to eat popcorn! The kids are too young to eat it, so we celebrated National Popcorn day on January 19th after they went to bed. I popped it old school… In a pot, on the stove. Melted some butter in the microwave, poured it over and sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese. Chris likes his with Tajin seasoning and Parmesan. A rather silly thing to celebrate, but fun nonetheless! 

Winnie-the-Pooh Day 2017

January 18 was Winnie-the-Pooh Day! Chris asked me, “what makes today Winnie-the-Pooh day?” and I had no idea. So obviously, I Googled it.

The author and creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne was born January 18, 1882. So it makes sense that January 18 commemorates Milne and the Silly Ol’ Bear he introduced to the world through his stories. I have been a huge fan of Milne for many, many years and never knew about Winnie-the-Pooh day until this year.

We’ve all been under the weather this week (“tut! tut! it looks like rain!”) so I decided to skip the honey cakes and we just cuddled on the couch with our many Pooh Bear plush toys, and read all of the Winnie-the-Pooh books in our home library.
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In the afternoon, we watched the 2011 Disney film, Winnie the Pooh, which is one of my personal favorites.
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At the end of the day, I gave Emery a spoonful of honey (Sawyer isn’t so lucky as he isn’t a year old yet) and we sang the 100 Acre Wood song (aka the Winnie-the-Pooh theme).

I adored Pooh when I was growing up, and even collected all of the classic characters when I was a teenager. It makes my heart so happy to watch my kids playing with those little plush toys that sat in storage for so long, and to hear my 2-year-old’s sweet voice singing out, “Winnie a Pooh! Winnie a Pooh!”

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
– A.A. Milne, from “Winnie-the-Pooh” (1926)

Rainbows

Last Thursday, I missed my husband’s great-grandmother’s funeral. Both of our kids were sick with fevers, and so I cancelled the babysitter and took the kids to our pediatrician. As I gripped the steering wheel and navigated my minivan through the torrential downpour, I prayed. I prayed that the kids would go to sleep (they didn’t). I prayed that God would keep us safe on the roads. I prayed that He would bring comfort to our family members who were mourning the loss of a matriarch. I prayed for guidance, as Granny’s death impacts our lives and our living situation. I thanked God for the rain, but prayed that it would ease up a bit so I could at least drive the speed limit.

As I prayed, I looked off to the left of the horizon. Through the downpour, I could see blue sky. It wasn’t overhead yet, but it was on its way. And I couldn’t help but think about how that relates to life. Lately it has felt like we’ve been caught in a storm without an umbrella. We can’t seem to get ahead financially, the kids are “always” sick, there’s uncertainty in our future… it can be very overwhelming. But storms do not last forever. The rain will ease up. The clouds will part. The sun will shine again.

On our way home from the doctor, we drove out of the rain. The sun was blinding, and a glorious rainbow stretched across the sky. “See the rainbow, Emery??” I called to my daughter behind me. “Isn’t it beautiful? Rainbows are a sign of God’s promises to us.”

My heart soared. It’s so easy to get stuck in the mud and surrender to the rain pounding us into the ground. I’m so thankful we have a God who lifts our chins, takes our hand and pulls us up out of the muck to stand with Him. I may not know what tomorrow, next week, or next month will bring. But as the old hymn says, “I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.”