Blessed Eastertide!



A blessed and joyful Easter from all of us


to all of you!

(Posey Pie and Miss M were both unsure of the carpenter bee that was buzzing ominously around.  Little Bit on the corner there was simply contemplating mischief, I’m sure.  Rosebud, standing with Rascal, gave me a big smile right after the picture took, of course.)

I’ve got a chance to sit back and put my feet up and reflect on the great joy that the Church grants us 50 days of Alleluias and Easter celebration, but that the candy in the house already will not last even ten more days.  I honestly had no idea how Easter Sunday would play out this year. Crazy family schedules had me praying that Haus Meister would be back from an emergency business trip in time for us to get to Mass on Sunday (he did!) but this year just to make sure dinner happened, I actually ordered a meal from the Publix deli than try and make something from scratch.  But things worked out, we did make it to Easter Mass as a family, and we did have a pretty joyous day. 🙂


Lamb Cake 2017! It survived! And no, I didn’t intend to miss frosting that ear. I had helpers this year. Sunshine and Miss M both wanted a go with the frosting tool, and there wasn’t much left by the time I noticed the omission.  Besides, it was still STANDING.  I wanted this to be a year of Lamb Cake success.  It was.  I suppose this means that Pillsbury Gluten-free baking mix and a tub of frosting is the key, rather than homemade. Hmm.


Someone enjoyed her first Easter with us.  And her siblings enjoyed accessorizing her. Win-win!

It was a long Lent, but a “good” one for Haus Meister and I, at least.  We decided on a penance to do together for the entire Lenten season–including Sundays, and although I flubbed on some other personal resolutions, we managed to carry our joint one through. We gave up eating meat. Suffice to say, I feasted on ham today like there would be no ham tomorrow.

I don’t want to think about ham right now. Maybe a salad.

Which is funny because last night at this time I was thinking a lot about ham and not at all about a salad, unless it’s one of those with peas and lettuce and bacon bits.

Mmm. Bacon.

Which is related to ham.

So I’m moving on.


Here’s Little Bit playing with some Peter Rabbit “skittles” I came across (cheaper on Zulily) but which will and have become a set of peg dolls. I think that is Benjamin Bunny in the red with the tie still disturbingly around his neck at time of picture (gone now).  Peter Rabbit is in her hand and Jemima Puddleduck is being whisked out of the picture by Miss M, who was actually trying to get her front and center.

I confess I didn’t take many pictures. After our ham fest, and a pleasant visit from Haus Meister’s youngest sister, the day was pretty much relegated to “hide the remaining candy as fast as you can.”  My parents texted this afternoon and asked if I wanted to Skype.  I listened to the din around me for a second and responded: “We are tired, sugar-high, and grumpy.” That about summed it up.  Haus Meister took some of the bigger kids to enjoy the neighborhood tennis courts and the playground, which is a pretty good consolation, and I kept Posey Pie and Little Bit out of the rest of the jellybeans, which didn’t console them at all.  But peace was restored to the family!

Just before she went to bed, Sunshine hugged her Daddy and said, “Thank you for the tennis!” Our hearts were warmed.

That’s good because twenty minutes earlier, Miss M told me that they had all gone to “played at the park, and playeded some baseball.”

“Tennis?” I suggested.

“Yeah that,” she replied calmly.

Proving that even with my sister’s husband patiently reminding us of the Twins baseball season over the last decade, there’s still some of us who need to work on our sports knowledge.

Happy Easter, all. 🙂  I’ll be back with another update later this week.

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real–April Already?!


I left this blog stuck in the Triduum and here we are in the second week of the Easter Season.  Happy Easter!  He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!

image5An Easter family picture, which pretty much encompasses pretty, happy, funny & real. From the spunky lass who snuck to the back step when she was told to stand in the front, to the boy who forgot to tuck in his shirt, Trooper’s cheesy grin, and Posey pinching me while looking so sweetly… Ah, life.  It’s good.

More “Pretty Happy” about Easter…


The Lamb cake survived!  I used a Betty Crocker gluten free cake  mix so that our whole party could enjoy it (we had 18 people over for dinner.  It was great!).  Of course, Miss M had to point out that it looked like a dog.  So it’s a lamb-dog cake.  Again.


Lace curtains always make me happy.


Little Bit always makes us smile.  Hard to believe she’ll be two at the end of the month.

I promised the boys that we’d begin to do something to their room this month, and no sooner did I begin to try an idea than they ran wild with it and now they’re eager to finish.  It’s a good incentive to get school done. 😉


We joked that since it matches their Trail Life calendar, then it’s the “Trail Life Room”!


The Little People Cinderella was totally left there by a little sister who had come in to observe.

I know a lot of the blog pictures have to do with the girls, so here’s the other two boys. 🙂

Funny Real.


Hello, my nickname is Sunshine, because I’m an energetic warm beam of fun and light in my house. I just lost two front teeth, cut my hair (Dad and Mom did damage control), and specialize in taking phone pictures.  I have been known to take 132 pictures of “Little Bear” while watching it on Amazon Prime.  Lately, Mom found about 30 pictures of random items on the floor before it got swept.  Famously, The Spoon and The Spaghetti Noodle.

Keeping it real, always.

Yarn Along , the Easter edition



The “Dogwood Winter” passed and the weather has been beautiful ever since. This has its drawbacks as we make the valiant push to finish as much of the school year before Littlest makes her appearance. The “we” is questionable. I would love to be done right nowThey would just like to be outside. 😉


No chance of getting the family together for a group picture, but I did get my girlies before they changed into their play clothes.

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As usual my mother-in-law was a wizard with her sewing machine. Here’s Princess in her new Easter dress (as mentioned in an earlier post, the Oliver & S Garden Party dress, made with Sarah Jane Wee Wander fabric). Using an Oliver & S sewing book, Grandma also made a doll dress, and then a purse for Princess. The purse is adorably constructed from a panel of the Wee Wander line, which I will have to get a picture of later because it is just that cute.  Grandma actually made four of these dresses, two for my girls and two for my nieces on that side of the family, and then three matching doll dresses for my three “bigger” girlies.

Miss M wore the dress Grandma made for Princess last year, and there was enough of that fabric left in stash for a matching dress for Dolly, that Dolly did wear until the way home from church, obviously. 😉

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Sunshine’s dress was a favorite.

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Posey Pie wore the smocked pinafore and green dress that Grandma made for Princess when she was 1, and lent it much distinction. The boys, as you see, were already less formal by the time we got home. I tried to get Dino to wear a tie but it was enough for him to wear the white dress shirt with black slacks. “If I wear a tie,” he informs me, “I’ll be a prince! But I’m not! I’m a hobbit!” Working on this, working on this. Rascal served Mass so he didn’t wear the tie either. Trooper might have but I need to get one in a better size for my tall boy. Ah well, like I said, working on this.


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The dry sink in the foyer, Holy Saturday night (hence poor lighting).

On a side note, I have absolutely fallen in love with these icons. I never would have thought it of me, but it’s true.


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The kitchen table, Holy Saturday night. Rascal and Dino set this up before going to bed. Earlier in the day the three “middles”– Rascal, Dino, and Princess, spent some time coloring this craft from Lacy’s page at What amused me was their enthusiasm for filling the tableau with frightened Roman soldiers. It’s in keeping with our family rosary, when we announce the first Glorious Mystery, and Dino pipes up: “It’s the Resurrection, when Jesus rises from the dead and scares the Romans.”


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Lamb Cake Success!!! I used the recipes mentioned in this post–the last time I had a success–and tweaked the icing a bit. I used powdered sugar instead of granulated, warmed it slightly in a double boiler, then transferred it all to my trusty kitchenaid and let it do the whisking. Result shown above. Everyone enjoyed it, and also enjoyed Sunshine’s comment when she saw it: “Oh, I see the puppy!”

My Easter sheep-dog cake?


And here’s where I finally get to the YarnAlong…

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The longest row–row 13 of Clue 4B of the Follow-Your-Arrow shawl. Now that row is not hard, or longer than any other. It has just taken me two weeks to finish it! Now I’m on the purl row (14) before the next lace row (15). I am determined to finish this project before taking up another because I am afraid I won’t finish it otherwise. My next project is in potential right there on the right. I chose these three from my Easter yarn to be the blanket for Littlest. Cushy bulky cotton yarn–I can hardly wait to use it. You may think they’re funny colors for a baby girl, but I have an idea from a book on how they’ll fit in to the girliness around here. Stay tuned.

As for reading, P.G. Wodehouse’s Tales from St. Austin’s and then this excellent book pictured above that I was so glad to receive at the end of Holy Week! Huzzah!

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Triple-Play today!

 +  + FossMeme

Am I on a roll? Here’s how they tie in.

Pretty + Happy

Easter Dresses! I know I wrote some months ago about my ambitious plans for three Easter dresses. You may also note that I kept mum on the subject after that. Partly this was because my mother-in-law volunteered to make two of the dresses for me, and I knew I wouldn’t see them until Holy Saturday. My mother-in-law is a master seamstress and I knew she’d make a thing of beauty. So I bought the Oliver + S Fairytale Dress pattern but I did not get the fabric indicated in a previous post. Shortly after I made that post came the iPhone mishap and subsequent replacement, causing a sticker-shock. 😉 So I opened my fabric cabinet and found that I had enough fabric in there for the dresses already! It came from my Grandma’s stash, so that was sweet for me since she’s the one who always made my Easter dresses, and then my mother-in-law had enough extra material from her mother’s stash to line Princess’ dress. Thus both Princess and Sunshine had dresses that reminded us of other seamstresses in our lives. 🙂

Here Princess models her Easter dress, made from a Michael Miller tea party design circa 2000. Cardigan by Target. Note the Princess-perfect pink sparkle shoes.

Here Princess models her Easter dress, made from a Michael Miller tea party design circa 2000. Cardigan by Target. Note the Princess-perfect pink sparkle shoes.


Sunshine looks darling in a Dick-and-Jane dress. Cardigan by Target. Mud-Puddle Proof Shoes are a must with this one.

Sunshine looks darling in a Dick-and-Jane dress. Cardigan by Target. Mud-Puddle Proof Shoes are a must with this one.

A closer look at the sweet sleeves on this dress. Oh, and thanks to the person who commented on this blog that Papo princesses work great in the M&D castle. The girls' Easter basket was gifted accordingly.

A closer look at the sweet sleeves on this dress. Oh, and thanks to the person who commented on this blog that Papo princesses work great in the M&D castle. The girls’ Easter basket was gifted accordingly.


And here’s where I come in. I did get my sewing machine out, and I did create a dress for Miss M. I used Carina Gardner’s Playdate Dress pattern, and I did get a yard of Oliver + S fabric because it was on sale and I was nuts over the buttons on the fabric! Miss M didn’t quite allow me to get a good shot of her in it–she’s always on the go these days–and as I characteristically was up until nearly 1am Holy Saturday night finishing this dress, there are a few cheats in it (the zipper instead of buttons in the back, for one). But it was oh so nice to sew again!



Another bit of sewing I did rather hastily this week was to create the First Communion banner for Rascal. I edited out the iron-on letters on the left side of the banner, mainly because if I’ve been referring to him by nickname for 4 years on this blog, I’m not going to blow it by publishing his real name in the picture. The story behind this is one of the wryly humorous ones we’ll remember for a while. I wanted to stash-bust while making this and so when the instructions called for a white background I thought of the 20 yards of white nylon we’ve had sitting around since it was a non-returnable purchase and it wasn’t what we needed for a prior project some years ago. So I used a little of it and now does anyone want 19 yards of white nylon? I’d really rather not sew it again. 😉 I was up late sewing this also because we couldn’t remember the deadline for the banners and were afraid we’d already missed it! Turns out when Rascal went to CCD last night, he was the first in his class to turn a banner in! I want my sleep back now. 🙂 Seriously though, I was glad to get this done. 😉

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And for the Yarn Along…the finished Easter Eggs! We dyed them in Kool-Aid on Holy Saturday, and Rascal stuffed them and hung them on our porch wreath on Easter Sunday.



The Lamb Cake was not a success this year. At least not as a perfectly 3-dimensional lamb with perfectly boiled icing.



Baby-lovin’ still going strong. Siblings vie for sister’s attention. Sister isn’t sure what to think of it all still! She just knows she’s loved. 🙂

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Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.



Yarn Along–knitting for Easter

This week I made the valiant attempt to complete the Easter egg project!


Basically I used Purl Bee’s sparrow nest directions to make the eggs, and I haven’t stuffed the eggs yet because we’re going to dye them on Holy Saturday! After that I want to hang them on our front door wreath. I left the cast on thread dangling so I can use it to sew up the stuffing hole at the bottom, and as you can see I also left some yarn at the top to make hanging loops on some of them. I wish I had been smart at the time to leave enough yarn for loops on all  of them! 😉 I hope to make one more egg by Saturday so each child has one. Don’t let my slowness reflect upon the pattern; it is a quick knit. I am just trying to juggle the new normal right now. Cute baby + laundry + school, etc. 😉

She finds laundry to be a tedious task, it would seem.

She finds laundry to be a tedious task, it would seem.

Reading this week: P. G. Wodehouse’s The Man with Two Left Feet, a collection of short early stories.  Lest you think I went all of Lent without some spiritual reading, I caught up on some days I missed in Magnificat’s Year of Faith Companion and also read Abby Sasscer’s Simplifying Your Domestic Church.

Here’s the plan for now…

Thursday found me lamenting the fact that it wasn’t snowing. Nor did it look like snow was going to come at all.  The previous weekend found me grumbling that the temperatures were in the low 70s, mainly because everything seemed humid and damp and knowing another cool spell was coming later in the week made me mistrust the weather. All I could think of was that someone was going to catch some bug from it.  I still wanted a nice cold winter.

So I spent part of this weekend planning for Easter.

I’m a little crazy like that sometimes.

Okay, most of the time.

Part of it came from Elizabeth’s latest Needle and ThREAD post wherein she gave us a peek into her adorable sewing stash. She’s planning to make an Easter dress pattern that I too, happened to have my eye on. Upon deliberation and consultation with Princess, who continues to be our resident arbiter elegantiae and clothes horse,  we decided that this pattern would be The One.


It has a collar. I’m slightly intimidated by the collar. However, it’s also a challenge for me, and meeting a craft challenge can be fun… or at least interesting. If you are curious, this is the Oliver and S Fairytale dress pattern. I’m smitten with Oliver and S designs, partly because they are just plain cute and partly because of the picture on the pattern cover.


They always make it look like an old fashioned paper doll. I’m nuts for that!

I hope to see if my sewing machine is back in order soon. I’m appalled that I haven’t touched it in a year. I guess it’s because knitting is easier for me to pick up in a quiet moment, but there’s a limited time one can wear handknitted clothes around here, and somehow I think it would be faster to sew this up than to handknit three summer sweater dresses in cotton/linen yarn. 😉

Once the pattern was established, I had to pick out fabric, of course!  I found this one for Sunshine (pattern is from Ladies’ Stitching Club by Oliver & S):


and this one for Princess and Miss M, who have the same coloring about them. 🙂 It’s Michael Miller Strawberry Tea Party in Pink. Princess insisted that her dress be pink, naturally!


The amusing thing is that as soon as I determined upon these very Springy things, I went downstairs and noticed that I still haven’t packed away my Santa corner!  That would be a top corner of a bookcase whereupon resides the Cookies for Santa plate and mug, a Hallmark woodland Santa candleholder I’ve had almost as long as we’ve been married, and a German wooden Santa that burns an incense cone. For that matter, I just today took down all our Christmas cards. They lovingly filled up a goodly portion of our foyer and filled the area with cheer. But it was time. Princess and I took them all down and put them in a basket. I got this idea from my mother-in-law–in their house they take a card out of the basket at every mealtime and say a prayer for the sender. We began ours tonight, and it’s just as fun as receiving the card the first time.

Meanwhile Haus Meister surveys the bare walls. HIM: “It looks so empty in the foyer right now. Wow.”

ME: (gaily) “Oh, don’t worry. The Valentines will be going up soon enough.”

HIM: (sarcastically) “What? Oh…joy. Valentine cards. How about we just put all those Christmas cards back up again?”

No thanks. I need to conserve my Scotch tape. 🙂

And last but not least, happy birthday today to my Mom!