Today started out quite restfully. I 'was allowed' to sleep in a bit. You moms will all relate to that 'allowed' part, but I will also qualify that since my kids have gotten older sleeping in is not as much a luxury as when they were babies and toddlers. Our family seems to thrive best on a later schedule and even when my kids were younger, they slept later than 7 AM each morning. I know, that's music (or grating on the chalkboard!) to some moms! Enter the teen years. Some Saturdays … if my kids have had an abundance of homework coupled with sports and social activities throughout the week … they won't venture from the warmth of their feathers until about, oh, say "NOON"! I don't think it's humanly possible for someone MY age to sleep that late, but I'm always glad to let THEM get extra snoozes.
I woke up with hunger driving me to the kitchen this morning so I put the latte on hold (I KNOW! Hold the presses!) and I dove into a plain yogurt topped with honey, and some strawberries and blackberries. Lovely breakfast, accompanied by the previously 'held' latte and some web-browsing. I did my workout (yes, still at it!) and asked my Em if she wanted to head out to Country Village and the grocery store. I have a couple of friends who are decorators (OH! To be a professional decorator!) and who sell wares at a darling shop in Country Village. Em and I had a great day just being 'shopping buddies', preparing for our Easter Sunday. I bought a lamp originally intended for Ben's room, but I've grown quite attached to it in the last few hours and I really think that it's going to live in my office instead. Sorry, Ben.
I was sad yesterday when I opened our bin of Easter stuff and realized how many things we aren't doing with the kids any more for this holiday … simply because they have outgrown certain activities. I put the wreath on the front door and pulled out our Resurrection Eggs and put a couple of bunnies on the shelf in the entry. It seemed adequate although less than when the kids were younger.
One huge blessing is that while I was doing all that, Em was here with her "Sean-ster Monster". That's what I call the little guy that she nannies. He is only 5 years old, but really a brilliant kid and quite pleasant to be with! Em said, "Hey, why don't you tell my mom what Easter is all about?"
He said, "It's about all the stuff you get, like the chocolate bunnies!" He had such a gleam in his eye! The prospect of sugar does that to some people, especially Little Ones.
She looked at me with a bit of a sad face and then said, "Hey bud, do you want me to tell you what Easter is all about besides Chocolate?"
He's only 5 so he's curious and he said, "Sure!"
They had a very clever conversation about what this day signifies. My sweet, compassionate Em said, "Do you know how you ask me sometimes about God and Jesus? This day is ALL about HIM!" She went on to talk to him in.his.terms about Jesus being on our earth, about his life here and what it meant, about his sacrifice and ultimately about the resurrection … all in very simplistic, easy-to-understand terms. That's really the essence of this holiday observance and it's the foundation of human existence.
I thought to myself, "This is why this sweet girl is a nanny!"
So … since I was missing the egg-coloring with Little Humans and junk like that, I decided to make cookies. I saw a "Bird's Nest" cookie recipe on Martha's site today and thought that even if I wasn't joined by little people, I would still enjoy creating them. The recipe was a bit involved, I thought, and I wondered how Martha thought that the average "Jill" would be persuaded to try them. I simplified as I went, to be sure!
Since it was a Bird's Nest, I followed the directions to color the coconut with green.
The instructions were very clear as to how to mix it with the color and then to put it in the oven, but to watch it closely so that the coconut doesn't brown. Why wouldn't you want it to brown? Nests aren't GREEN!
OH! Heavens! I really shouldn't tinker around on the computer while something is in the oven!! Holy Cannolis! I kept smelling something and couldn't figure out what it was! ;) There was enough Green to salvage, thankfully, but I didn't have a problem using some of the brown either! Seemed to keep it real!
I rolled the dough out thinner than the recipe called for so I ended up with twice as many cookies …
… but I don't mind that since I wanted to give some to our neighbors as well as have some for my own kids.
The assembly was the most fun part … after the cookies were made and cooled, I spread them with a mocha ganache, and then topped them with the 'browned green coconut' to create a nest of sorts. Then I nestled in three peanut M&Ms on each one. Can you believe these cute M&Ms have chickies, lambies, and bunnies on them?! Darling!
In the end, I had oodles of Bird's Nest Cookies. It's a good thing I have neighbors to share with!
My Brain Waves on this Holiday: The symbol of an egg that is so often associated with this holiday has great meaning … The newness of life that is epitomized in the physical egg is congruent with one's acceptance of the significance of this day. Easter has been commercialized to the point of almost not even being recognizable as a religious holiday … almost more than Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth and Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection. The one holiday that has the most meaning for our spiritual freedom, and that celebrates His LIFE, has been overshadowed by the Bunny, Chocolate, and new clothes. Which do you think has the most importance for your eternity?
I know … I know … it is heavy and thought-provoking, perhaps controversial in some worlds. But it's worthy of consideration, no?
Have an excellent day celebrating Christ's Resurrection!!