Easter Recap

Relatively low key Easter this year, though we got some beautiful weather. The Easter Bunny brought a few gifts, but the main thing for Evie was a kit where she can mine for her own gemstones…


…and Ollie got a hand drill and has spent most of the time since then drilling, screwing, and hammering nails into a piece of wood.

Evie is in the choir and performed two beautiful songs. It is so fun to see her up there singing her lungs out (there’s no trouble picking out her voice from the crowd) and really enjoying it.

(Side note, I saw someone pause in the communion line and take a selfie on her phone in front of the altar. I wish I were kidding.)

After the service there was an Easter egg hunt but, as usual, all the other kids ran out first and found most of the eggs before we got there. In my experience, Easter egg hunts always seem like a good idea in principle but never quite seem to live up to the hype, and usually end up in a lot of upset kids.
Unfortunately, Ollie thought Easter would be a great day to be a holy terror (pun intended). All day he was stubborn and short tempered as only a kid can be. He took every opportunity he could to spite us at every turn, up to and including dumping a full cup of milk on the floor in protest over…who knows what. I think because I asked him to wash his hands? Or something else equally awful, I don’t know. It was just that sort of day.

Needless to say, I was pretty grumpy and exhausted at the end of the day, and ready to declare no more Easters ever. On the other hand, now that some time has passed, I’m starting to forget about all of that stuff and only remember Ollie happily pounding nails in the wood and Evie bouncing up and down in time to the music as she sang.

That’s the good thing about memory I guess. As long as someone doesn’t record the bad stuff on his blog.

Easter 2013

Easter has come and gone around the Halbach household.

I think Oliver wasn’t exactly clear on what Easter was, and we didn’t think to tell him until Easter-eve. This worked out well, because the kids didn’t really have time to get excited about it until the night before, which kept expectations low.

The Easter bunny hid some eggs in Evie and Ollie’s room, and Evie swears up and down she saw the Easter bunny in her room. She has a description, including coloration (white) and height (bigger than a regular bunny, smaller than an adult). They slept in relatively late, but when they found the eggs hiding in their room, a lot of shrieking ensued.

Ollie found a decent number of eggs, but we did have to limit Evie a little bit to slow her down. Both kids found their Easter baskets (Evie’s in the pressure canner, Ollie’s under his coat on the coat rack). They both got a puzzle, Evie got a book about fairies and some fairy paper dolls, and Ollie got a book and the Annie soundtrack.

The kids also had a good time dying eggs, and were disappointed that we didn’t do more eggs. However, we had to limit it to the number of eggs we could reasonably eat!

Most of the excitement happened at church. (That’s the first and last time I’ll ever type that phrase!)

We knew there was an Easter egg hunt at the end of church, but I was surprised to see the Easter bunny coming down the aisle. It seemed a little…secular. Pagan even. But that surprise was nothing compared to the surprise a lot of the kids experienced when the Easter bunny tripped on a kid and his head fell off in front of all the children (the bunny’s head, not the child’s). You couldn’t have set this up better: all of the kids crowding around, cheering, the poor kid being mashed into the floor by the giant falling bunny, the enormous head tumbling off, the horrified face of the grad student struggling to get the head back on as fast as possible as if the kids surrounding her could possibly not notice that inside the Easter bunny was a tiny black haired woman like some kind of perverse Russian stacking doll.

The egg hunt went very well. They wisely split the kids into young, middle, and old. This meant that Ollie was down with the ravening beasts in the basement, splitting lips in an effort to grasp one more egg, while Evie was traipsing sedately with the few other “medium sized” kids in the church. The hardest part for Evie was that they told us to wait until all the eggs were hidden before starting, and I held a hand on her shoulder, forcing her to wait until they said to start. She was literally THE ONLY KID who was forced to abide by the rules. So on one hand, I’m the meanest dad ever, but on the other hand, a dozen other kids and their parents will burn in eternal hellfire for blatantly ignoring the rules in a greedy attempt to get more candy in a church.

One final bit of strangeness. After they service, they served champagne. I mean, technically, Easter is a joyous occasion, so it kind of made a certain sort of sense. “We closed the big account!” is a good reason for champagne, so certainly “Someone came back from the dead!” should apply as well. But it still seemed a little strange to be standing by the alter and hearing champagne corks popping. It was greatly distracting to the parents, which is probably why they didn’t mind their kids ignoring the pleas of, “Just a second kids! The eggs aren’t all hidden yet!”

If you are going to have champagne at church though, spring for the good stuff next time. This stuff was to champagne what church wine is to actual wine. Let’s just say this is the kind of stuff you’d save for the end of a wedding in Cana, if you know what I mean. I’d be embarrassed to scrub the floor with it. It took 4 people to finish our little plastic cup full.

Getting snockered in church, fighting kids for chocolate candy, and a giant, headless Easter bunny. In other words, we celebrated Easter like the pagan holiday it was meant to be!

The best Easter egg hunt ever

On Saturday we signed up for an Easter egg hunt over at the community garden. We thought Evie would have a good time. We had no idea.

So it turned out that only one other kid showed up for the Easter egg hunt, besides Evie. There were 50 eggs hidden around the neighborhood park. For those of you following around at home, that’s 25 eggs per kid. This is WAY more eggs than you usually get to grab at a thing like this. There were eggs everywhere, and Evie could hardly pick them up fast enough. And there was no competition for the eggs, no egg tug-of-wars, no big kids abusing little kids, more eggs than a 3 year old could imagine.

Another kid showed up about 30 minutes later, and I’m not sure if  he was there for the egg hunt or not, but we felt bad for him watching Evie gloating over her hoard of colored eggs like a dragon over treasure. When Evie wasn’t looking, we would take them out of her basket and re-hide them for this other little boy to find. However, this boy was not prepared for the egg-finding force that was Evie. We would practically hide the egg in his pocket and he would miss it, but not Evie. Her usual focus and determination apparently applies to egg hunts as well. She would re-find them as fast as we re-hid them. So she probably found at least 40 eggs when all was said and done.

After this we had to play Easter egg hunt for the rest of the day at our house. Alternately either hiding eggs from her, or finding eggs that she hid. The eggs contained such treasures as rubber bands or candy that you weren’t allowed to eat. After playing this game with her for a while I discovered A) she’s better at finding eggs than I am, and B) she has a pretty sophisticated idea about where to hide eggs.

An interesting side note, the other kid that showed up for the egg hunt is actually going to be in her class at her new school next year. So that was interesting, and I’m glad to see they got along well.

You can contrast this with the other Easter egg hunt of the weekend, which I think was a pretty typical egg hunt experience. In other words, it was pretty crummy. This egg hunt was after church on Sunday, so first off, Evie is forced to sit through the entire service looking at eggs hiding all around her, but not able to touch them. Naturally, she spent the entire time cataloging every coordinate of every egg in range of our position.

Here’s where the trouble really starts.

Afterwards, the directions were for kids to come to the front and get instructions before looking for eggs. Poor Evie, who’s the most perfect, mature child on the planet who also has terribly mean parents that make her follow the rules, had to go to the front to get the instructions as the rest of the children raped and pillaged all of the eggs in the rest of the church. Second off, people can’t stop trying to hand her eggs during church, which she knows is wrong but is quite a temptation to offer a 3 year old. And might I add that the fun of getting the eggs is finding them, not having them handed to you by and adult.

I know this is something on me, because it’s one of my personal pet peeves, but FOLLOW THE RULES! Who are you that are so important that YOUR precious little monster doesn’t need to follow the rules? Go ahead little Timmy, you’ve waited long enough, you can start a little early. Here little girl, it’s just one egg, what could it hurt. Yes, I understand that it’s just an egg hunt and who really cares, but it is a series of these little things over the course of the lifetime of your child that teaches her that rules don’t matter because she is special and above the rules for some reason.

So naturally, Evie follows the rules and is devastated to find out that all of  her carefully cataloged eggs are gone before she gets back (except for the one I was sitting on and another one I was defending through sheer intimidation). She ends up finding 3 eggs (so one other one that I wasn’t personally defending), even though they planned about a dozen per kid. And kids are walking by taunting her with their piles of 20+ eggs. Most of this stuff went over her head, and she was actually somewhat happy with the ones she found, but she was a little disappointed and it’s only going to get worse as she gets older and becomes more aware of what is going on.

You can see why I liked the first one much better.

As a side note, is there some kind of inflation of candy hidden in Easter eggs? Everywhere we went, the eggs had 2 or 3 pieces of candy in them, basically as much candy as could fit in the eggs. I only remember there being one piece of candy per egg! I had to sneakily go through Evie’s found eggs as quick as I could and remove a bunch of the candy, so she wouldn’t have candy overload (total she had something like 30 eggs with 2 or 3 pieces of candy per egg…I think that’s a little excessive for a kid her age).

Aw man, I just realized, the reason I only remember one piece of candy per egg was that MY parents probably dug through my eggs and removed extra pieces. Oh well, I guess I’m just part of the parenting circle of life.

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

I was going to start a zombie-based religion, but then I remembered there already was one.

He Is Risen…and he hungers for your soul.

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

A Successful Easter

Since I didn’t wish you all a happy Easter yesterday. Happy Easter!

I have to say, holidays are just so much more fun when you have kids. Evie was really digging Easter. Other than being a little candy crazed (and believe me, she got practically no candy!), I’m not even all that sure why she enjoyed Easter so much. She got a couple of presents in her Easter basket, but nothing extraordinary (some play-doh, a couple of books, some glue sticks, etc.). I guess it’s just because it is such an event.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. We were surrounded by family, we took some wonder springtime family pictures, we ate some candy, had an Easter egg hunt, and we enjoyed the outdoors a little bit. Sunday morning we had a delicious breakfast casserole, and then late in the day a traditional chicken masala. Ah, the smell of Indian food…it brings back those Easter memories, doesn’t it? 🙂

I hope everyone had as good of a day as we did!