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I am so excited to be hosting an Easter Brunch this year at our house! Traditionally, we have had a big Easter Dinner, but in order to accommodate everyone's schedules this year, everyone is going to attend church with us and then come back to our house afterwards for brunch! There should be about 18 of us, including children. That is a lot for our small house, but we have done that before. But, coming up with a menu and how I want to decorate has been the things I have struggled with. Today I will talk about the food and save the decorating for another day.
When I think of brunch, I think of food items that can translate to breakfast or lunch. They shouldn't be too heavy and everything should look beautiful and appetizing! I also have had to consider many types of diets with so many people. I have come up with a mixture of home cooked and also purchased items that I think will provide choices for everyone that they will enjoy and that will make everyone feel like this brunch satisfied their Easter holiday food expectations. I hope that you can find some ideas to add to your menu! These could also translate to a Mother's Day Brunch as well!
I've decided to purchase croissants and crackers and to have 3 choices for fillings:
The nice thing about all of these foods is that they can be eaten without bread by those who are gluten-free or low-carb eaters, or with crackers! Of course, there will be condiments on the side as well, like mayo, mustard, ranch and Italian dressings, salt, pepper...you know.
We will be serving a variety of juices and water. This is one of the things I've assigned out!
Pastries and Desserts
My plan is to shop and cook so that everything is finished and ready to put out the day before. I will also set and decorate my tables. The platters for food will be out and ready to fill. Then, when we get home, it will be easy to pop everything onto the platters and serve! We will serve buffet style around our kitchen island and counters. Here are a few tips to help everything to work well:
Those are my ideas! I would love to hear yours and what you are doing for your Easter dinner or brunch! Drop me a line in the comments! Most of all, have a blessed, wonderful, happy Easter!
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I have shared activities I've done with my grandchildren with you on past posts. I love to try to make memories with them. For example, this post was from last year when my grandchildren who now live in Wyoming were here. (sigh)
At this time in my life, I am watching my 15 month old granddaughter 4 days a week. She is at the age where she is curious about many things, strives to be independent, needs to be constantly supervised, is a little too young for art projects and loves to be outside. I know that this stage is going to fly by quickly and I am trying to enjoy it with her as much as I can. It is so cute to hear her learning language and to see her experience new things. I am so blessed to be a part of her growth.
Now that the weather is nice, she loves to go outside as much as possible, I thought I would share with you some of the fun that we have together during these beautiful Spring days.
After we eat breakfast, we put on sunscreen (a must all year round in Phoenix), and then we go outside to water the garden. She "talks" to me all about it as we water. This watering can is heavy for her. I get it started pouring and she holds it for me. I am ordering this cute child sized watering can from Amazon for her to use. It is a Melissa and Doug Brand, which I have always been happy with. Compared with all of the kid sized watering cans I've seen, this one is a very good price! Look how cute it is! She will love it, as will my other grandchildren when they come to visit. I had some small metal cans for my older grandchildren, but they have seen better days. If you would prefer metal, this is a reasonably priced one.
While we were in the garden today, we found a great surprise! Look!
After the excitement of finding the tomatoes, Emily started picking up rocks to carry around. If she doesn't have a rock in her hand, she likes to have a piece of sidewalk chalk. She loves to use the back block fence as her canvas to use the chalk on and likes me to draw with her. If you don't like getting your hands all chalky, my daughter-in-law purchased some chalk holders for my grandson that help with that. They are awesome because they provide good grip for little fingers. These are by Melissa and Doug. The others are Peppa Pig themed. My grandson would love those. Chalk with chalk holders would be a welcome Easter Basket gift!
Today, as Emily picked up rocks, I thought about the rock painting craze that seems to have happened lately. She is too young for paints, but I found some rocks that we could draw on and she really got into that!
One thing that we are thankful to have in our backyard is a wagon! Emily has to have a ride in it everyday. When her cousin Spencer comes to visit, our wagon is a two seater and they can both have a ride together. Our wagon is a hand-me-down, but here is a similar one. The kids have all loved to either ride in it or pull each other around. I love pulling her around the yard not only because she gets a kick out of it, it also gives me some exercise! 4 laps around my yard gave me 200 steps this morning. Then we did 2 more laps in the afternoon! The added weight of pulling the wagon with the toddler in it has to burn more calories, right? Ha ha
When we come in from our time in the backyard in the morning, she is about ready for a morning nap, so we wash our hands and read a book and then listen to some songs on the Echo Dot, more commonly known as Alexa. Emily loves to dance to the songs, but if I play some quiet ones, she will often fall right to sleep on my shoulder. (Sometimes, if we're lucky.) Later in the afternoon, we will go out and do our backyard routine all over again.
A little sun for vitamin D, a little exercise, a bit of gardening, some exploring and creativity. What could be better than that?
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This was a Friday Faves that we published two years ago in September for National Literacy Day. But I am updating it today in honor of Beverly Cleary who just celebrated her 102nd birthday! It seems appropriate that on What to Read Wednesday we talk again about some great children's literature since Beverly Cleary has definitely been a notable contributor to the Children's Lit genre. Last week my mother turned 96 and I talked about a favorite series of her's on this post. It is time to recognize another woman who has seen much and influenced many in her lifetime.
Happy National Literacy Day (*and now Beverly Cleary's Birthday!), and welcome to Friday Faves #32 and What to Read Wednesday! (Ha Ha, both at the same time! This is confusing!) We can't let a celebration of literacy go by without talking about some of our favorite books. And since we become literate on children's books, we decided to pay tribute to some old favorites today. Be sure to join in the fun and remind us of the books you loved as a child in the comments section!
What were your favorite children's books?
If you know me at all, you know that books have always been a huge part of my life. I wanted my children to love books as much as I do. I believe that your children are never to young to read to. I read to mine before they were born. I read to my grandchildren whenever I can. Books open up a child's world and imagination and the more a child is read to, the better reader he will become. My mom gave me that gift as a child. She loves to read, too! When I was young, she would take me to the library and recommend books to me. I loved them all. Today I chose my favorite because of those memories I have of my mother. One of my all time favorites is Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne. I read the original book of stories first, and then later came to love the Disney versions and movies as well. All of the best quotes come from Winnie! I made a picture frame for my little grandson when he was born prematurely and tiny. I put this quote from Pooh on it.
"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
You can still get the original version of Winnie-the-Pooh by clicking the link below. I love the illustrations in the original.
I also just learned of this book, Finding Winnie, that is about what inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories! I feel like I need to read it! It is a Caldecott Medal winner!
*Update! If you have Netflix, check out the Disney movie "Christopher Robin". It is a live action story about when Christopher Robin is all grown up. He has almost forgotten his time in the 100 acre wood, but Pooh hasn't forgotten him. He comes back into Christopher's life just in time to help him save his family and to remember what is important. It reminds me of "Hook" and the story of grown-up Peter Pan. I am a lover of Winnie-the-Pooh and I thought this movie was sweet and funny. Eeyore stole the show for me. (You can also rent or buy it onAmazon.)
I decided that for this Friday Fave, I needed to ask not only my children, but my grandchildren about what books they enjoy reading. On Tuesdays, I go eat lunch with my grandson Spencer. (He is the one reading with his daddy in the collage above.) His parents tell me that his favorite books are The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Where's Spot by Eric Hill. Two great choices! I was introduced to The Little Blue Truck by my grandson Adrian, and Where's Spot I read with some of my own children. They are fun books to read and interact with.
Alicia and her little Adrian chose Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex. It is described as a petrifying parody of Goodnight Moon, although Alicia says it is not petrifying at all. The rhymes are so cute and the illustrations are funny. It lends itself so well to interaction with your child. There is a part about tummies when Alicia will rub Adrian's tummy, and the characters lend themselves to different voices and you can count while reading to encourage that skill. (My grandson is quite good at it!) And now, Adrian will get the book and "read" it for himself!
And, PS, Goodnight Goon would make a great toddler Halloween gift!
My 5 grandchildren who live in Wyoming have tons of books between them. Some of their favorites are Go, Dog, Go, by PD Eastman and the Little Critters books by Mercer Mayer. I have a fondness for the Mayer books as well. The illustrations really tell the story in those books! Here is a good one.
Lindsey has always loved Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. She says she loves it because of the language in it. It's like it is coming straight from Max's imagination. He was a wild thing that day and got in some trouble for it, but he still had an adventure that helped him see that home is a good place to be, and his mom still loves him even though he was being wild in his wolf suit. LIndsey has decorated the nursery for her her baby girl in the theme of Where the Wild Things Are because even if Emily is wild sometimes she wants her to know that her supper will always be waiting for her, and it will still be hot.
Madalynn chose something a little more for a first or second grade reader. She says that she always loved the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park. A lot of school teachers will use these fun chapter books as read alouds in their classrooms. That encouraged Madalynn to read more of them on her own. She said that since she was about the same age as Junie, it was fun to imagine herself getting herself into the same situations that Junie did. I have read these aloud to many students over the years as I taught school and they are always a lot of fun and enjoyable for the children. The chapters aren't too long, so an emerging reader can feel a great sense of accomplishment as they finish a chapter.
That brings me to Beverly Cleary and her Ramona Quimby Series! There are many books in this wonderful series about a girl named Ramona who goes through all of the kid relate-able growing pains of being a in school and a part of a family. Some of her experiences are heartwarming, some are funny and some are just downright embarrassing! It is said that Beverly Cleary used her own childhood as an inspiration for these stories.
Some of Beverly Cleary's other books that you may recognize are:
You can go to this website to learn more about Beverly Cleary, to see all of her books that are available, to see character descriptions, to play games and to find helps for educators!
Of course, as I type this post, so many more books come to mind and I wish that I could share many more with you. There are a few great resources to use that will recommend great children's books when you are looking for something new and worthwhile.
So, if you are looking for some good reads for your kids and yourself to enjoy together, I hope we have given you a start! There are so many great choices out there, so lets all grab a book and celebrate National Literacy Day! Be sure to tell us about some of your favorites!
Other posts about books that we have shared:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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