In many ways I feel like I missed the Easter season this year, because I missed the observance of the Paschal Triduum: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Paul was able to take most of the kids to Maundy Thursday, but I stayed home with Ruben. Friday it was impossible to make the Good Friday service, and I can’t even remember why.
Holy Saturday dawned early. We had to leave the house by 7:15 in order to pick up Malinda and then head down to Sun Lakes, where Grandma had the kids registered to join in the annual Easter Egg Hunt. We all thought it started at 9am, so we were there early enough to get a perfect shady spot for our chairs up on a little hill to watch the fun and let the kids run around before the 9:30 start time. Paul had picked up Ana and Jose, and it was a really beautiful time with family. There were balloon animals, face painting, and egg hunts for three different age groups. It turned out only the younger kids decided to participate, and that was ok because the field for hunting was small, and the eggs were few, and it took about 10 seconds for each age group to empty the hunting ground completely. After the hunt we headed back to Grandma’s house for a little belated birthday party for ME! Then it was back to our side of town, drop off Malinda, then home to get everyone shiny for Sunday morning. I also spent some time making a fairly delicious Chicken Dip to bring along to Easter Dinner. Anyway, as full as our Saturday was, there was really no hope of getting to the Easter Vigil – and plus, Geneva was planning to join us for Easter Sunday mass and dinner at Grandma’s, so we opted out this year.
Sunday morning went pretty well, all things considered, despite a row over the color of a certain person’s Easter dress, who shall remain nameless, but is rather fixated on navy blue, and the gorgeous Easter shade of turquoise I bought her (knowing that she loves all things blue, and thinking how much she would love it) was deeply offensive to her sensibilities. Nonetheless, everyone looked beautiful in their Easter Best, and we made it to church a half hour early, in time to snag the perfect pew at the front of the back. Nothing, my dear friends, nothing in the whole world, makes me happier than sitting in church with my whole family together! It’s been too long and I was so ready for this Easter celebration!
And then I started coughing. And as it got worse, and I’d had nothing to drink and knew that even if I went back and got a drink from the fountain, it was not going to improve, I made the split second decision at about 10 minutes till 9 that I wasn’t going to make it, and had to just leave. I drove home, got my phone that I’d forgotten, drove back, stopped for gas (I was on empty) and then ended up spending most of the mass in the baseball field overflow parking, listening and watching on youtube. But even that wasn’t as bad as it could have been, as the weather was perfectly perfect, and I sat in the van, coughing, but appreciating the blue sky and cool breeze blowing through my shaded window.
It was a good thing I finally had my phone, too, because Paul had been trying to call me. Apparently Ruben had not only pooped his diaper, but also knelt on the ground while playing outside and landed his knee in a pile of doggy poo, so his beautiful seersucker suit was all messed up, and he was really ripe – and they had forgotten the diaper bag in the van. So I came round to meet Paul at the sidewalk by the church. However, when he looked in the back – there was no diaper bag! So at that point he just left Ruben with me and went back into church and I got to wait with Mr. Stinky until everyone else came out.
Thus we arrived at Grandma’s house in quite a state, and were eternally grateful that she is always prepared and has the appropriate size diapers and wipes on hand for whichever grand-thing is currently in need. God bless Grandmothers!
Once his diaper was changed, all the boys were wanting to get out of their fancy vests and ties, so we had to quick wrangle the lot of them into some semblance of formation outside by the back yard prickly pear cactus for family pics. It went pretty quickly, especially since Ellie was NOT in the mood for photos and nothing could mollify her.
And, aside from some cactus bloom photos from the yard, that was it for photos for Nettie. I spent the rest of the time enjoying the fam, and watching the cousins enjoy each other. What a gift it is to have family close by!!
Pics from the weekend. (Note: I’m very proud that my Photoshop magic skills were sufficient to the task of cleaning up Ruben’s messed up suit pants.)
Nettie’s Blazing Chicken Dip
Ok “Blazing” might be a stretch, depending on how much red pepper you put in. I’m going to just tell you how I made this, and you can scale it down to your family size. This would be enough for a good sized party.
Preheat oven to 350F.
6 cans chicken, drained
2 bunches green onions, slice the white, chop the green in 1/4 inch segments
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, oil drained
2 cups shredded cheddar or cheddar mix cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3-6 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
2 bricks cream cheese, warm enough to mix easily
Equal parts Sour Cream & Mayonnaise
2-4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1-2 Tbsp Splenda (Optional)
Chili Lime to taste
Red Pepper, either flakes or powder, to taste. Remember, it gets hotter as the flavors mix.
Place canned chicken in mixer and shred. Add in all the rest of the ingredients, and mix in enough sour cream and mayonnaise in equal parts to make a stirrable concoction. It will become smooth when warmed in the oven. Place mixture in baking dish and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until browning on top and bubble through and through. Serve immediately with whatever you like to dip. Also makes a yummy hot sandwich on buns!