The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Switzer Family's Eggcellent Easter Extravaganza

Here comes Peter Cottontail... hopping down the bunny trail.... hippity hoppity... Easter's on it's way... (don't be alarmed, I realize that it is already come and gone... but remember that I am behind on life and trying to catch up). Does that sentence sound familiar? It is actually part of a song that my Mom used to sing to us around Easter time. My Mom has multiple songs for every holiday. These songs are real and not made up... and are just another way to make the holiday more special. I grew up singing songs.... in the car, at church , at scouts, in the shower, and for my supper. And yes... I did sing out loud - emphasis on the word DID because these days I only lip sync the words because my voice is inappropriate and rude.

Easter is usually my busiest week of the year. Have I mentioned that I'm in retail. Christmas is busy all month where as every one waits until the last minute to shop for that perfect Easter outfit and they fight the crowds all week. Then that means that I have to fight the crowds... to get to work, to move throughout the store, to keep my clothes on, and to keep my fake eyelashes from falling off. Ok.. so the "keep my clothes on" part is not necessarily something I need to fight for... it is technically my fault that I like to "lose my clothing" in the middle of the store while yelling that someone is ripping it off of me just so I can get some attention. And yes, I do stuff like that with no explanation - it's in my genes. Needless to say that by the time Easter finally gets here - I am absolutely exhausted.

Now let me take you back a couple of years... when my only life concern was that I hoped my bucked teeth would get out of my way so I could close my mouth. Yes, it is true... my teeth were so bucked that I would sometimes be asked to help beavers build their dams. It paid well... but was humiliating. Anyway, Easter was such a huge celebration and process back then. My family would always travel to my grandparent's house in Atlanta. They had this little white door on the side of their house ( I just found out recently that it is a "crawl space" door) that was the entrance to where the Easter Bunny lived. Can you believe it? The Easter Bunny lived at my grandparent's house! That is why we would travel there every year..... so he could hide our eggs and baskets.

My Mom would spend weeks smocking all of our outfits.... not just dresses... but bonnets and sometimes purses to match. I cannot even imagine the time that would go in to this. I have some amazing pics in my albums.... but cannot post them due to scanner issues.. so you are just going to have to believe me.

We would have an egg hunt on Saturday. The hunt would result in someone finding the "golden egg" which would be filled with puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces would make a picture of the movie that we were going to see. Every child would get their own special egg with a dollar inside to buy a treat at the movies. Yes... this was the 1950's and movie treats cost less than a dollar. We would see the movie... visit the Easter Bunny...color eggs... and then settle in for the evening so the Easter Bunny could do his work. And we did all of this while singing Easter songs.... even in the movie which resulted in us getting kicked out and having to listen through a glass at the exit door. Good times!

Sunday we would wake up for church and would be told to NOT look around as there was stuff hidden that we could hunt for AFTER church. When I was growing up... the word NOT meant GO AHEAD AND DO IT... at least that is how I translated it. So, I would sit at the bottom of the stairs and search the rooms with my eagle eyes to try and find the treats. I would then whisper to every one else where I thought their things were hidden. I wasn't trying to be evil or mean.... just trying to save time. That way, when we got back from church, we could find everything quickly and would have more time to play. What would you do without a big sister? Probably live a happier life.

I truly have the most amazing memories from growing up and spending Easter with Nana and Gran every year. Our Easter celebration has now moved to my parent's house - where they are the "Nana and Gran" to my niece and nephews. My Mom still sticks to the same traditions and does so many activities with the kids all week to celebrate this holiday.

Since I am not a kid anymore (which I'm sure is a surprise to you based on my behavior)- I have to work. Let me just say for the record though... that I am extremely thankful for my job and love my job! It just changes the way I do things. So, we semi-celebrated at work ( my second family) by me making cupcakes. If you remember correctly... then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE to make cupcakes for every occasion. I got a cupcake frosting decorator from Pampered Chef. That plus these delightful Easter-like decorations made for a fun treat. Every member of my team worked so incredibly hard that week- and it was greatly appreciated!

After a week of long days and insanity..... Easter Sunday had finally arrived. I had bought Kev a cute green shirt that matched the leaves on my shirt. I had it steamed and ready for him to put on .... much to his delight. After church the kids stuck around for an egg hunt while me and Kev went to my parent's house to start getting the food ready. I had to take a pic of SOME of my Mom's decorations.... because I truly do not have enough memory on my camera to take pics of all. Here is the infamous beanie collection that changes out every month depending on the holiday.....

There are at least TWO Easter beanie babies per step. That calculates to be over one hundred Easter beanies. I don't have anything else to say about that.

Here is a picture of the adorable Easter dinner table settings....

My Mom FINALLY gave in and used paper products. Almost every meal is eaten on her good china and it is a pain to clean up..... well, not a pain to me because I usually disappear when dinner is over until I'm given the "all clear... kitchen is cleaned" text from Bethany (however, Bethany doesn't technically live here anymore... or visit... so, I don't know how she knows - but she is smart like that). Anyway.... It is just so much easier.... and look how cute everything is. The decorations in the center of the table are my Nana's. That was very special to see. We had so much delicious food! Besides a ham... there was several wonderful salads (pasta, broccoli, asparagus), fresh croissants, deviled eggs and dessert. I made a Paula Deen dessert called "Sunshine Cake". I got the recipe from Melissa (Paula's protege) and was able to make it sugar free. It was still just as delicious but was a little healthier. The recipe involves yellow cake mix, mandarin oranges, pineapple, vanilla pudding, and cool whip. If you want the recipe ... just ask. I forgot to get a picture of it.

Our traditional family pics in front of my Dad's gorgeous bushes.....(not his beard.. the flower bushes)

Mom and Dad or Nana and Gran or Suzanne and David... depending on who you are....

Me and Kev.... look how cute he looks in his new shirt. He even wore it with navy pants - which was his idea. He likes to stand that way to show how great his posture is.... compared to mine. My posture is so bad these days... that he is actually holding me up by my spanx waistband.

The Settles family.... Shannon, Michael, Ashlynn, Austin and Mason..... Austin actually wasn't feeling very good... you can tell by his HUGE SMILE... or as you probably see it... his frown.

And the Nowells... J.C, Kristen, and Elijah.... oh and fuzzy wuzzy... Elijah's caterpillar that he is holding for the pic.

After dinner, the kids all searched for their Easter baskets. And let me just tell you that they got some pretty cool stuff.... especially the "fart puddy" which made some interesting noises. It was sooo noisy that I couldn't tell which ones were real and which ones were fake - a common dilemma with this group! The adults used to search for our Easter baskets... but I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it was to carry Kev from room to room because he refused to hunt due to his age. Instead, my Mom gave us our baskets at the table - like civilized old people. I got the movie Pinocchio and girl scout cookies. My Mom seriously went ALL OUT to make this Easter special. AND it was a huge success!

Once we got back home... Kev had a gift waiting for him from the Easter Bunny.... A picture of my Dad....

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Up next... The Biggest Loser .... and I'm not talking about David Hasselhoff.

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