Monthly Archives: April 2014

All I Want for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up, so here are some thoughts in case you need ideas for what to get your mother.  What I want most for Mother’s Day is… to be a mommy!  I know lots of moms want to get an escape from the kids and the daily grind and have alone time at a spa to be pampered on Mother’s Day, but that just isn’t me.  I just want to be with the person who made me a mommy.  It may sound strange, but to me Mother’s Day is every bit as much about celebrating our daughter as it is about celebrating being her mommy.  Honestly, all I want to do on Mother’s Day, all I ever dreamed about doing on Mother’s Day during our long wait to become parents, and all I will ever want to do on Mother’s Day is to spend the day basking in the wonder that is our precious daughter and the amazing gift that I am lucky enough to be her mommy.  Being together as a family is the best present I could ever ask for.

Ok, and brunch.  And cupcakes.  And throw in some flowers for good measure.  As long as we get to spend time together with all of those other things added in, I’m happy!

Our newly minted Mother’s Day traditions start with brunch after church for my mom as we have done for many years.  To add my own spin on the celebration when I became a mommy, I decided I wanted to go pick out our annual flowers after our brunch each year.  It works out really well – around here, Mother’s Day is traditionally the day that it’s safe to plant annuals after the threat of frost has passed (although who knows this year after the winter of 2014 that won’t seem to end!).  So going on a flower shopping spree is timed perfectly.  Going home with a trunk full of flowers makes me happy.  It’s the prettiest the trunk looks all year!

Trunk Full of Flowers!

Trunk Full of Flowers!

I ask for a special new flower pot as a gift each year in which to put some of the flowers.  My hope is that in future years our daughter can decorate a flower pot for me herself.

Mother's Day Flower Pot

Mother’s Day Flower Pot

Then we end the day with cupcakes from my favorite cupcake bakery.

So that’s it – my simple Mother’s Day wish: brunch, flowers, cupcakes, and family time.  It’s the best celebration of mommyhood I can imagine!

The Best Egg Salad Sandwich of the Year!

Easter is over.  That means it’s time for the best egg salad sandwich of the year!

After eating a big dinner after church on Easter Sunday, we are always too full to eat much for supper.  That’s ok though because we have a perfect light meal just waiting for us.  All of those eggs we dyed before Easter need to be turned into egg salad!

Dyed Egg Whites

Dyed Egg Whites

And that’s what makes it the best egg salad of the year.  There’s something extra special about chopping up those eggs with dye that has somehow rubbed off from the shells and winding up with orange and blue bits of egg in your egg salad.

Orange Bits of Egg

Orange Bits of Egg

I’m a traditionalist – I like plain egg salad on regular bread.  But there are a few variations you might want to try to spruce up your post-Easter egg salad sandwich.  Marble rye bread is very good with it.  A few green olives sliced on top are a nice touch too.  And my husband loves hot sauce on his egg salad.

However you serve it, there’s no doubt that your post-Easter egg salad sandwich will be the best of the year!

Bunny Cake

Every Easter for as long as I can remember my family has a made an annual bunny cake.  It’s a fun tradition I’m excited to continue with our own little girl.

It’s so simple to make.  Start by making your favorite cake batter.  (We always use chocolate.)  Pour it into two round cake pans and bake.  After the cakes have cooled, leave one cake round and cut the other into two ears and a bow tie.  The ears come from the edges and the bow tie is the space left in the middle.  This sketch I made for a friend shows how.

Bunny Cake Pieces Sketch

Bunny Cake Pieces Sketch

Then put the pieces on a cookie sheet in the shape of a bunny with a bow tie.

Bunny Cake

Bunny Cake

Then comes the fun part – decorate the bunny!  Frost the cake and add eyes, a nose, and a mouth.  Frost the inside of the ears with pink.  We always like to decorate the bow tie with m&ms, but you could use any candy of your choice.  It’s sure to be a special part of your Easter celebration!

Another Bunny Cake

Another Bunny Cake

 

 

April Author of the Month: Leo Lionni

April’s Author of the Month is one of my favorites!  I first fell in love with Leo Lionni’s books from my mom’s book collection.  (As you can see in the picture, some of the books have been much loved over the years!)  I grew to love his books even more when I did a research project about him for a children’s literature class in college.  The possibilities with his books are endless and span all subject areas, and they all have nice morals – often about being true to yourself – to get kids thinking.

Leo Lionni Books

Leo Lionni Books

Little Blue and Little Yellow – I like to use this simple story about two friends to introduce Lionni’s technique of using torn paper to make collages for his illustrations.  After reading the story, let kids make their own pictures using torn paper – no scissors allowed!  The kids may be frustrated with the tearing at first, but they always get more and more comfortable and creative as they continue to work on the project.

Frederick and A Busy Year – These darling mice books are perfect for talking about the change in seasons.

Inch by Inch – I like to practice measuring in math when we read this story about an inchworm.

Fish is Fish – This story about a fish who dreams of being other animals is great for reviewing characteristics of different animal types in science.

A Color of His Own – This book about a frustrated chameleon is another good one to use in science as it provides a wonderful example of animal adaptations and camouflage.  I like to have kids cover a sheet with different colored tissue paper squares and then trace a chameleon over the top to illustrate camouflage after reading this book.

Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse and The Biggest House in the World – These stories about a mouse who wants to be a toy and a snail who wants a bigger shell provide opportunities to discuss and write about how important it is to be proud of who you are.

Swimmy – I love this story about a little fish who helps his friends work together even though he looks different from the rest of them.  It is a great discussion starter for talking about teamwork and how everyone in a classroom community has unique talents and skills to share despite their differences.