It's been spectacular today. So relaxing.
Today is a celebrated day for the children in this family. Why? It's not anyone's birthday or anything. I didn't know until Sarah told me last night. All she did was ask: "What's tomorrow?"
So I answered "Tuesday" like normal people do.
The normalness did not last long, as she kept on asking: "And what else?"
My very confused and desperate list included -
- The 2nd
- Tuesday the 2nd
- The second day of the month
- The third day of the week
- The first Tuesday of the week (seriously?)
- The day after April 1st
- The day after April Fools'
- The day after the Weasley Twins' birthday
- The day before the last-quarter moon
- A week before next Tuesday
"WHAT IS IT?!?!"
"It's the day of A Thousand Names."
"Did you just make that up."
"I didn't just make it up, I made it up, like, a minute ago. Also, it's a rest day tomorrow."
Now if you don't know what a rest day is, I'll tell you. We're home-schooled, the lot of us, and have a home business and live in the country, so we often have a lot of work to do. Not too much get-up-early-exercise-that-mind-until-late-afternoon-like-public-schoolers stuff, more physical, get-up, get-dressed, clean-the-kitchen, fold-the-laundry, stack-wood, move-plants, make-the-lunch, put-your-brothers-down-for-a-nap-so-we-can-get-stuff-done work. Our schedule isn't REAL tight, but sometimes, like this week, it's pretty full. We had Easter at our house this year, with, what was it... two... two... eight... twelve... five... four... around thirty-three people.
First, when we got up in the morning, at seven, to get all fancied up before we left, went out and had our coffee cake for breakfast, like we do for almost every special event. Then we got to open our Easter baskets (yup, we still do that, even though we've never done the Easter bunny), then we rushed to get ready for church. We had to drop by a friends' house first so they could follow our car (they were visiting our church for Easter), and we still managed to make it to the church almost on time. After church we had to speed home to meet our grandparents and cousins, who had already let themselves in.
That was only the warm-up. THEN we had fun. Fun that includes hauling a round of wood about two feet in diameter six feet in the air with chains, tow straps, and some creative T-stake work, all to make a big round target for us to THROW TOMAHAWKS AT.
No joke. We did the same thing for Thanksgiving. So far no one is dead. Except for the target, which we bedecked with an unclaimed trench coat and a milk-jug full of water for a head. That was fun.
That wasn't even the Easter egg hunt. That's the real challenge. The little kids' hunts are all the same. Not so with the older kids'.
Okay, this is how it works. Since the first time we've started splitting the hunts into older kids and younger kids, our parents and aunts and uncles have made it their mission to destroy us all. Their motto is, "If you still want to hunt eggs, that's fine, but we're not going to make it easy for you."
Even my seventeen-year-old sister is still at it, but the hunt has been getting harder every year. Let me show you what I mean.
The eggs are hidden across the yard, usually in pretty easy places. "Hard" for them means there's an egg above eye level. Then the kids get to go find them. The end.
As for the older kids. Ah ha ha ha. I have to separate this into sections. I'm trying to describe this, and it just sounds unreal. Our family is awesome.
Older Kids, prior to 2010: For awhile the eggs were hidden quite creatively. Once when we were on a church egg hunt, one got stuck in the hollow of a tree. I have no idea what happened to it ultimately. Around 2009, it got a little harder. The older kids' group was split into younger-older kids and older-older kids, and the older-older kids had to give the younger-older kids a head start. Torturous.
Prior to 2010, there wasn't really anything special done to the egg-hunters, but from around that time to this, the eggs are hidden EVERYWHERE. Under a pile of mulch, on the roof, up in a tree, inside of the front porch light, up the gutters, in the adults' pockets. This is no joke. These are where the eggs are found. If you follow a random adult around without them noticing, they'll just meander around the yard, dropping eggs in places we've already checked.
Older Kids, 2010: Three-Legged-Race: The adults began to get more creative. According to the rules, the kids are randomly put in pairs, and have one of their legs tied to the other person's. Then it's just "Now get the eggs before anyone else does!" That year was quite interesting.
Older Kids, 2011: Marco Polo. There was bad weather that Easter, so for a while we all thought that we couldn't have an Easter egg hunt, or that we would only hunt eggs inside. The second part was true, but the parents stayed true to malicious form. The eggs were hidden in our aunt and uncle's cluttered garage The kids were randomly put in pairs. One person has a blindfold, the other one doesn't. The person who can see can't touch any eggs or touch their partner. The blindfolded person is the only one who can pick up eggs. And no, they weren't making it easy for us. Eggs were hidden from floor to ceiling and inside the bases of foosball tables. Eventually we had to take our blindfolds off to search for the last few eggs that none of us seemed to be able to find.
Older Kids, 2012: Relay Race. By now we knew something evil was coming, we just didn't know what. The adults went outside and spread the eggs around, then brought us outside to tell us the rules. You can only put your bag/basket in one place. You can choose the place, but once you put it down, it stays there. And you can only put one egg in their basket at a time. And there's over a hundred eggs scattered everywhere. So in other words, you have to run back and forth about fifty times trying to get your bag full. Up- and down- hill on tilled clay. Toward the end there was only one important egg left, and it was buried under a mound of dirt. Originally it had been buried somewhere near the surface, but when someone dropped a hint about an egg being buried there, everyone was up to their kidneys in dirt, tossing it this way and that way until the camoflauge-colored egg was completely buried. Eventually my uncle bull-dozed the whole pile with our Kubota, and my older sister (Trinity) got it.
Older kids, 2013: Disco Era. Present day, just as tough. Here's what they did to us. After the typical little kids' hunt, which we helped organize, we all had to wait till it was dark. Meanwhile, the parents put light sticks inside large eggs, sprinkled smaller eggs with lightstick juice, spread the eggs across the yard, placed decoy light sticks, then set us all loose. Then the adults walked around amongst us, shining flashlights in our faces to ruin our night vision.
Oh, and if that is not enough. Years ago the adults had the idea to raise the stakes. Monetarily. As in, they hid eggs full of money. Back in 2012, the "important" egg that my sister got, that was a money egg, which is why we were all so desperate for it. Usually the money eggs are enormous, partly transparent ones, but sometimes they'll put it in normal-sized eggs, just to shake things up more.
Yes, that our Easter. I forgot to mention that between the tomahawk- and knife-throwing and the Easter egg hunts the majority of the kids went running around in our woods gathering ticks, playing tag, and dangerously reinacting The Hobbit in that Sarah and Darby climbed a tall familiar-looking evergreen tree with my younger sister and I snapping at their ankles. We also informed my bewildered cousin that his new name was Azog.
Oh, yes, I forgot what I was saying so long ago. When I go off on rabbit trails I really go off on rabbit trails. Today being a rest day was so special because the day after Easter, when we were all exhausted from aforementioned strenuous exercises, we had to go into town to do work for most of the day. Because of all that, Mama proclaimed today as a day of rest. No extra work besides the typical obligatory chores, and we could sleep in, which meant I was in bed until 9:30, and also that I have plenty of time to do a post. So that's how the opening sentences come full circle to this point. This point, which is also a good place to post something about my actual art subject for today. Sorry, I just like to talk a lot.
Easter Project 2013
The decoration of an egg. Voila to you all. This is a work of art to be marveled at, for those who dare to take upon the quest of squeezing the yolk of a chicken egg through holes the size of a pinholes and have doubtless wasted breath till they were red in the face, I salute you.
By the way, if you want to get a yolk out of an egg, both ends need a hole. Probably at least one the diameter of a pencil eraser. Then your family will cheer as you expel the yolk from the egg, but no, no one will eat it, not after it's been sitting at room temperature for a whole day.
This was inspired by an almost-tutorial on Pinterest. (Pinterest takes up so much of life, these days, no?)
Whoever did the original did it much better than I did, but I imagine they do it as a job. I took a few creative liberties, which were almost necessary, 'cause they don't actually tell you how to do it. That's what I usually do. I don't know when I've ever followed a tutorial exactly - I normally change it up at least a bit to make it my own.
I don't have any pictures of the process itself, since the almost-tutorial is so handy, and probably more effecient and sense-making than mine would be. But if you want to embark on such a endeavor, I can give you a few bits of kind-of-experienced information.
1. Rechargeable-battery-powered dremels take a long time to fully charge.
2. If you are using a dremel, there will be eggdust. Like sawdust, but made of egg shell.
3. The yolk will not obligingly drip out of pinhead-sized holes during the night. Don't bother trying.
4. Probably better not try to suck the egg out. Not from personal experience, but my parents and older sister, both very skeptical, warned that it was not a good idea.
5. It's pretty difficult to sand tacky paint. I don't know if the person who made the original used a different kind of paint, but just-dried fabric paint is close to unsandable. Try sanding Jell-O or something, and you'll get the idea. Not dry stuff won't flake away. It will uncooperatively crumble/squash.
6. Don't leave the egg down low! In a house of toddlers, this should be a given. Eggs are delicate and break. I kept mine inside of a bowl most of the time, except when I painted it with 3D fabric paint. At that point I turned the bowl over, set the egg carefully and firmly in a wad of poster putty so that I would have even access to the outside edge without the egg rolling over and messing up the paint, and shouted "Don't touch it!" at anyone who got too close. It's a miracle mine didn't break, in a house full of children under four feet tall.
Also, the advice that I gave earlier about having to make a hole on both ends. I haven't experimented over much with it, but the hole-on-both-ends thing is tried and true. Best option for now.Oh, and:
7. Try to check your tools before you start the project. Don't pour your paint and then go looking for a sponge brush, which you may or may not have. I did not have one, and wish I did. I think the white paint job would have turned out more smoothly with a sponge brush instead of a bristle brush. (Those brushes probably have special artisty names. I have no idea what they are. One has a sponge on the end. One has bristles on the end. Why complicate things?)
So I hope this was interesting. Have you noticed I like starting paragraphs with "Oh", "So", "Okay", and "Anyway"? I also like lists. And I try to make dramatic/creative/memorable entrances. Keep that in mind, as I will continue to try to show myself up. Except on the oh-so-okay-anyway thing. Another habit to break, along with procrastination. I'll work on that later.
Any thoughts? Comments? Smart remarks? (That was the spiel from my dad's radio show a few years ago). Go ahead and comment, here or there, in a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox...
And Happy Easter, from both of us! Jesus Christ is risen!
Great cheesepuffs, that was a lengthy post.
To God be the glory,