Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring Break! Part 1

The Spring Flowers welcomed us at the Lauret House.

I'm going to have to blog about our spring break in chunks because the post would be too long otherwise.  

We had an AWESOME spring break.  We visited so much family and enjoyed many Easter festivities together and made lots and lots and lots of memories!  Only an hour after school got out, we were on the road to Steve's cousin Teresa's house in Riverton where they were holding a bridal shower for his other cousin, Natalie.  A lot of Steve's "Christensen" cousins were going to be there, and Steve has quite a fond relationship with them, seeing as he lived with them in Connecticut for a semester of high school, and we both haven't seen the crew for years on end, so you can imagine that we were quite excited to get such a quick start on our vacation so we could see them all.  His other cousin, Natalie, the bride-to-be, I actually knew her before I ever met Steve.  She was one of my roommates in Provo for the summer.  It was that summer she invited Steve and his brother to one of our apartment barbeques and that's when I met Steve for the first time.  I saw him on a couple of other occasions throughout that summer as Natalie would invite me to go play volleyball with a group of friends, or go with her to visit her parents in Idaho and Steve would happen to be there.  After I moved back home for Fall semester of college, Steve called Natalie and asked her for my number.  After playing phone tag for a little bit, Steve and I finally connected and went on a date.  Then another, and another... and the rest is history!

I only got one picture, and a lame one at that, but here's Natalie at the shower. Sorry, Natalie.  The picture really doesn't capture you or the moment very well.  I should've been more aggressive with my camera.

I must say that I am very happy for Natalie!  She has always been a great friend to me and she played a key part in me meeting my eternal mate.  The bridal shower was wonderful.  Our family stayed after the shower an extra, oh~ 4 hours or so, just so we could catch up with everyone and their families.   Here's a pic of Steve's Christensen cousins and their families.  Oh, good times!

Photo: Most of our granchildren!

Easter Eve

We got to Steve's parent's house late after the bridal shower, but we fit in a good night's sleep, then we headed to my dad's house for a full day of fun:
  • Lauret Easter Egg Hunt
  • Potluck Lunch with Pork Salads
  • Decorating Huge Easter Cookies
  • Garrus's Baby Blessing at Uncle David's House
  • Soup Dinner at Uncle Davids House
  • Helping My Dad With The Traditional Easter Fudge Eggs
It was an absolutely gorgeous Spring day, perfect for an Easter egg hunt!  The kids did their hunting and they scored BIG!  There are a lot of photos, so I think I'll just let them tell the story...

Inside the Easter eggs, there was either money, candy, or a paper with a number on it.  The numbered papers could be given to Grandma Debby for a special Easter prize... and she had plenty of them to give!

Then the itty-bitties got to do their "easier" egg hunt in the living room...

Soon, all the kids were enjoying their goodies.  Steve was watching Amara's basket while she used the bathroom.  Good thing too, because it was an enticing temptation for some...

Then it was the adult"kids" turn.  The eggs were hidden with greater difficulty, and there were also wooden "chocolate bunnies" that each couple could find for an additional prize.

When I said adult kids, I meant Grandpa too.  He's sporting his cool visor complete with a full head of spiky hair.  Incidentally, Grandpa got a couple eggs for him and Grandma, but he didn't score any with gift-card prizes associated.

See the 2 eggs behind his back?

Then... we couldn't find all the eggs or bunnies.  Oh well.

The whole house was soon buzzing with excitement as everyone combined received over $250 worth of gift cards, plus a bunch of cash and candy.

Later, after a yummy lunch, we cleaned up and Grandma Debby had huge bunny cookies for the kids to decorate and eat.

Amara had sent a "flat stanley" to both her Lauret grandparents and her Christensen grandparents. She got to meet up with this flat stanley at the egg hunt.

Evening approached, and my cousin JD had a baby blessing for his son, Garrus.  It was my first time meeting Garrus and he is so adorable with his super-kissable cheeks.  The blessing was really nice, and it was a little different than other blessings I've attended because Nicole (JD's wife) and her family are of another faith.  I really enjoyed hearing a little talk before the blessing which was given by my Uncle David, JD's dad, which explained what a baby blessing is and what the priesthood is and why we believe and blessing babies.  After the blessing, there was a tasty soup buffet and lots of visiting and "catching up" with family members we haven't seen in awhile.

The dinner ended and it was back to my dad's house to gather all the lovely Easter gifts we had received.  My dad was putting his traditional finishing touches on the fudge covered eggs, piping everyone's name with a blue or pink flower next to it. 

The fudge eggs have always been in my Easter basket every year since I can remember (even in recent years...thanks dad).  I asked my dad how the tradition started and he told me that he always had a fudge egg in his Easter basket growing up.  There is a story about his great aunt writing to See's Candy Company for the recipe for their fudge eggs and they sent her the recipe, along with a bill for $250.00.  She was outraged, paid the bill, but shared the recipe with everyone she knew.  So, my grandma always made them for her family, and my dad just followed tradition. 

A few years ago, I was looking for a fudge recipe online and I found dozens of stories of someone's aunt writing to See's for their fudge recipe and being charged a lot of money once they received it.  Hmm...  Myth or not?  Well, not sure, maybe they're all true and See's made a killing on recipe sharing.  Doesn't matter to me.  I still love the fudge eggs- even though I'm not eating much in the way chocolate and sugar these days due to my POTS and heart arrhythmia.  My dad still made me a mini-egg and I sliced one thin piece off each day for 10 days until it was gone.  That was heavenly.
So, as a side note, first you make the fudge, then you cool it and cut it into rectangles, then you use your hands to shape them into eggs, then you melt chocolate and dip each one, then you let the chocolate dry and then you pipe the frosting names and flowers on each one.  It's a labor of love, and I much appreciate my dad's willingness to keep up the tradition even though there were years when he was really tired and thought about not doing it, but us kids begged and he gave in.  Love you dad!