Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Stealing

I'm joining up with the Sunday Stealing crowd where we answer questions/write responses together. Bev steals the questions and this week. This week she stole from League of Extraordinary Penpals.

1. My favorite sources for delicious recipes: I find a lot of recipes online. I usually google what I'm looking for and read several recipes. Sometimes I pick one recipe and sometimes I combine a few. I also have two other sources I use regularly. One is a cookbook that I love and the other is a big white three ring binder. One year I took all of my paper recipes on our vacation and at night, I put the binder together with all of my handwritten recipes in plastic sleeves.


2. If I had to repeat a day over & over, how I’d want it to go: Wake up with people I love. Read a little. Write a little. Laugh a lot. Eat some good food around a table filled with happy people. Spend some time on the beach. Breathe deeply. I am blessed that I get to do many of those things every day. It would be nice to add in some beach time every day but we live about 4 hours from the coast.


3. Who or what has saved my life: That is a deep question. I believe in God so I definitely think my faith/God's grace has played into my life in a huge way. I often feel like Mark has saved me from myself many times over the years. He is a much better money manager than I am and he is definitely a better saver than I am (play on words there!).


4. Something I can never seem to start or finish - the answer to this question!!


5. How my taste in food has changed over the years - I actually ate salmon for dinner on Saturday night and I've always hated salmon. Mark tried a new recipe and I was  able to eat it. I also eat cooked greens now and I hated those when I was growing up. 


6. The last time I cried - I am not a big crier but I teared up on Saturday night when we were watching this week's Ted Lasso. I love that show.


7. The best parts of human nature - There are quite a few -- the ability to care about others; the ability to show emotion; the ability to think and plan and dream and learn new things. My list could go on.


8. Concepts and ideas that bend my mind - Anything related to physics blows (bends?) my mind. Also, sometimes the opinions of others bend my mind.


9. What I’m most likely to ask for help with - lifting heavy things!


10. The story behind one of my scars - I have a scar on the inside of my ankle. I was climbing on a neighbor's running board on a really old car and there was a piece of jagged metal and it came in contact with the skin -- stitches!


11. I’ve never said this out loud...and I'm not going to say it now!


12. Times I’ve been the leader/the one people count on: I teach a large Sunday School class and people sometimes count on me.


13. Whenever I see these people, my heart lights up -- our granddaughters and their parents. If I've been away from Mark, my heart lights up when I see him, too!


14. With my financial needs met, here’s how I’d spend my time - traveling the world and seeing new things!


15. The people I talk to when I want the truth - I have a co-worker who is usually honest with me and I have a close friend who is honest with me.



Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Tweet Tweet Hodgepodge

I'm joining up for Joyce's weekly Hodgepodge. Feel free to join us at From This Side of the Pond or you can answer the questions in the comments!

1.  April 26th is National Audubon Day, honoring John James Audubon, the French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter known for his detailed study and illustration of birds in their natural habitats. Do you have a bird feeder? Any birds in your home decor? Have you ever owned a pet bird? What's your favorite bird?   Normally, we have a hummingbird feeder – sometimes two – in our yard. We will again next year. We actually own several Audubon prints that are framed. We purchased them at the museum in Washington, DC and brought them home a LONG time ago. We’ve never owned a pet bird, but one summer we were the foster family for the bird from Glenn’s class. Birds are messy. I don’t know that I have a favorite bird. I love seeing the blue birds in our park. I love watching the antics of the hummingbirds. They do NOT like to share. I love watching a woodpecker (as long as he isn’t poking holes in my house). We have gorgeous cardinals here, too.

2. What's something you took to 'like a duck to water'? Way back when I was in high school, they offered short hand and typing classes. Even the kids who were immediately college bound were encouraged to take at least a basic typing class. I took both and I remember how quickly I picked it up – just like a duck to water. I loved it. I still type (on a computer, not a manual typewriter) for pleasure (blog), for work (taking notes, emails, etc.), for teaching (both Sunday school and small groups), and now for college (all my classes are online).

3. Empty nest, nest egg, proud as a peacock, free as a bird, birds of a feather flock together, or the early bird catches the worm...choose one and tell us how it currently applies to your life. The first one that popped into my head is nest egg. Since we are upgrading some things in the house, we are dipping into our nest egg. Also, I was talking with someone at church who is about to be an empty nester. Empty nesting is pretty good for us.

4. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds...your favorite seed and a favorite food or dish made with that seed or topped with that seed? Have you tried all the seeds on the list? Any you don't care for? For the young adult dinner on Tuesday night, I served Poppyseed chicken. The topping is ritz cracker crumbs, poppy seeds, and butter. On Monday, these actual words came out of my mouth in the staff breakroom, “Pepitas make a salad a party.” I love pumpkin seeds (pepitas). I also keep sunflower seeds on hand for an Asian slaw that I make. Poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are my three favorites. I have tried and like all of them.

5. Something in the past week that made you 'happy as a lark'? The weather has been amazing – blue skies, sunshine, and highs in the upper 60’s and 70’s. Those things help with my happiness factor. I’m also thrilled that we are finally seeing progress on the house.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I’ve emailed my advisor and she informed me that I have to take Biology 101 and Biology 102. I have emailed with the professor, Dr. Swindall, who will allow me to register even though her class is full. I think I’ve told y’all that in the state of Alabama if you are over 60, you can go to any community college for fees only but the catch is that you can’t register until the day before classes begin.  I can register now but it is about $500 or I can wait and register and pay only $129. Are you curious as to how I will do labs in an online class? I was curious so I asked. It is like a video game – there will be a lab on my screen and I will move things around to conduct the experiments.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Weekend in Review

A little bit of theater, fellowship with friends, a couple of margaritas, and time with family equals a pretty good weekend!

We have season tickets for a local theater and Thursday was opening night. The play had a golf theme and I was a little worried that I wouldn't understand. It turns out that it was one of the funniest plays I've seen and the acting was superb!! Our friend, Marietta, was the director and she is so talented. I, along with the rest of the audience, laughed loud and often! Before the show, we had dinner with friends and the city has declared the area around the theater an "entertainment district." That means we could buy margaritas at the taco restaurant next door and take them with us into the theater.

Friday morning, I ran over to the house to check on a couple of things. We are making slow progress but we are making progress.

School was out for our oldest granddaughter so we kept her on Friday and had so much fun. She and Pops played Barbies (in the closet - she loves small spaces), we went to one of the neighborhood parks, and she and I ate lunch downstairs at the Italian restaurant (Vecchia). Once again, the pictures below are out of order.

After her mommy picked her up, I took dinner to one of our neighbors who is recovering from surgery and then I went to another neighbor's house to look at her paint - Agreeable Gray. I mentioned this before but if any of you have that paint color, please send pictures!

When I was leaving that neighbor's house, another neighbor called my name and I walked to her house to see the baby duck she had brought home from school for the weekend.

Saturday morning I made a Weight Watchers Pound Dropper Banana Bread. It was pretty good!! I used White Lily Self Rising flour because it is my favorite and I used unsweetened apple sauce instead of the light butter. I can taste either the baking soda or baking powder -- I think the soda. Is it salty?

In early evening, Mark and I ran to Target for a pick up order of a 25 pound box of cat litter. It is so nice when they load it into the car! I think Barbie was shopping in Target because her car was in the parking lot. It even had a pink steering wheel.

I wasn't dressed to go out for dinner (shorts and a t-shirt and flip flops) and so we stopped at Taco Mama to get take-outs. We ended up eating there and of course, we saw people I know. Why is it that if you go somewhere looking terrible, you ALWAYS see people you know?? The pomegranate margarita was delicious along with my shrimp tacos. Yes, if you are counting that means I had a margarita on Thursday night and a margarita on Saturday night. That is a big drinking week for me. :-)

Sunday morning I worked the welcome desk at church and then we had lunch as a family. Later in the afternoon, Mark and I walked back over to the house and they have started the sheetrock!!

I bought a magnetic nail picker-upper
that someone told me about (Joyce?)
and we picked up about 40 dry wall

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Sunday Stealing

Many thanks to Bev who steals the questions for us each week! Join us by answering the questions in the comments or by copying and pasting the questions into your own blog. You can link up here. 

1. Would you rather trade some intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence? I want to be beautiful and smart! I don’t want to trade either for the other.


2. If everything in your house had to be one color what would it be? This question has made me stop and think. I guess if I could only have one color for everything – walls, ceiling, furniture – I would go with off white. That would be so boring! We are having a hard enough time picking out a single wall color. I think we are going with Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. Anyone have that color in their house? If so, please send pictures!


3. What animal would be the most terrifying if it could speak? Any animal that could eat you . . .so . . .Lisa . . .I’m going to take a giant bite out of you and then I’m going to slowly eat the rest of you! That is gross and terrifying. Is a spider an animal? (just googled it) Can you imagine the spider saying, “boo” as you accidentally bumped into his web?? Now I’m going to have nightmares.

Have you ever heard this joke? A priest is being chased through the woods by a hungry bear.

As the priest is running, he makes an impassioned plea to God: Oh please God, in your infinite wisdom and mercy, turn this bear into a good Christian!

Before he can get another word out, he trips over a log and goes sprawling. The bear catches up and approaches the terrified priest. Rising up on its hind legs, it puts its paws together, and says

“Lord, thank you for this meal that I am about to receive.”


4. How do you procrastinate? This is embarrassing to admit, but I procrastinate by eating. I procrastinate in other ways, too. I may be procrastinating right now as I type these words.


5. If you had a warning label, what would yours say? My negative warning label would be: Extremely volatile – don’t push too many buttons – may explode. My positive one would be: Beware – she laughs loudly and often.


6. Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or life without dessert? Since I don’t eat dessert already, I’m choosing that one!


7. If one animal was made the size of an elephant, which would be the scariest? I’m still thinking about the animal question early. A spider the size of an elephant would be terrifying.


8. If you were reincarnated as a famous landmark, which would it be? I don’t believe in reincarnation but I’ll play along. For those of you who do believe in reincarnation, can you actually come back as a landmark? If so, I want to be a place where lots of people visit. How about the Cliffs of Moher? They are amazing and beautiful.

photo taken when we were in
Ireland in October of 2021

9. What celebrity chef would you like to make you dinner? We have quite a few award winning chefs here in Birmingham. It might be fun to have Chris Hastings (local – James Beard award; best chef in the U.S. back in 2012, and more) come to my house and cook. If Anthony Bourdain was still living, I would want him.


10. How much would someone have to pay you to eat a spider? Now I’m really going to have nightmares! You would have to pay me a whole lot and even then I’m not sure it would go down. Did I tell y’all about the grasshopper in my Dole Salad box? He was still alive. Yes, he was . . .and yes, the whole gigantic box of greens went in the trash.


11. If you joined a circus, what would your circus act be? I’m not skilled in any circus acts, but it would be cool to be the lion tamer (that is probably not a politically correct term anymore and I do hate to see those lions caged up). Let’s skip the animals . . .I think I want to be a trapeze artist . . . or maybe I could be the ring master?


12. Do you have any superstitions? My mom had several superstitions when she was alive. I try not to have superstitions but I always think about them when I see a black cat crossing the road.


13. What cheesy song do you have memorized? Does the theme from Gilligan’s Island count as cheesy?


14. What’s something weird that you recommend everyone try at least once? My friend recently made a curry dip. The curry dip was in the center of the tray and Fritos were on one side and pineapple was on the other. It was so good – the curry, salty, and sweet. My own would be a peanut butter, banana, and mayo sandwich. Peanut butter on one piece of bread and a light coating of mayo on the other with sliced banana in the middle.


15. What do you think is the most unpleasant sounding word? Moist! I hate that word!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Quincentennial Hodgepodge

Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your own blog or answer in the comments. See my random thought regarding the importance of this hodgepodge.

1. Last time you drove/flew 500 miles (ish)? What's a place you'd like to visit that lies approximately 500 miles from your current location? About 15 years ago, I drove from our house to Charlotte, NC for a conference. It was the longest I had ever driven alone. It isn’t 500 miles but it is quite far. Several years ago Mark and I drove to Savannah and then on to Charleston. The Charleston to Birmingham trip is closer to 500 miles. I have flown 500+ miles quite a few times – the most recent in February to Israel. In June of 2022, we flew to Italy and flew home from Munich, Germany. In October of 2021, we flew to Dublin, Ireland.

2. Tell us about a time recently it felt like you were 'racing against the clock'. I often feel as if I’m racing against the clock – lots to do and never quite enough time.

3. Have you ever attended any really large sporting events? What was your impression of the experience?  We live in the south and SEC football is HUGE in the south. In the state of Alabama, the big rivalry is between Auburn University (our team) and the University of Alabama. I’ve been to that game and it is HUGE. I’ve also been to several other Auburn (and Alabama) games over the years. For those of you who live in other places where football isn’t HUGE, this should put it in perspective. The Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn) is the nation’s 10th largest (I think their ranking has dropped below the top 10 now) on campus stadium with a capacity of 87,451 people. The Bryant Denny stadium (U of A) holds over 100,000 people.  My impression of these events . . .I actually love the excitement of the crowd and the smell of stadium food! I love to watch people and there are some interesting folks at these events.

The Superbowl, The Kentucky Derby, The World Series, FIFA World Cup, The Indianapolis 500, The Daytona 500, The Olympics, The Masters, Wimbledon, The Boston Marathon, March Madness, Tour de France, Monaco's Grand Prix, The Open (golf), The Ryder Cup, The Stanley Cup Finals..of the events listed which would you most like to attend in person? Or maybe one that's not listed? I’ve never been to any of these events and they are definitely bigger than SEC football. I would love to attend an Olympic event or the Tour de France. I think it would be cool to attend/watch America’s Cup!

4. Are you an iced tea drinker? If so, do you drink it year round, or only in the spring and summer months? Do you make your own or buy it bottled? Sweet or unsweet? Flavored? Lemon or no lemon? How about a Long Island Iced Tea? I do like iced tea. We always drink unsweetened ice tea at Sunday lunch at my mother-in-law’s house and we drink it year round. We make our own using tea bags – I think we use decaf tea bags and we put the bags in a teapot and pour boiling water over them and let them steep. I do love a Long Island Iced Tea but they are DANGEROUS. They are so smooth when they go down that you could very easily drink too much . . .not that I would know about that hahahaha!

5. April 20th is Volunteer Recognition you volunteer in some way? Tell us about it. If not, tell us about a volunteer you appreciate. I do volunteer by cooking and hosting a young adult study every week but my husband is the bigger volunteer of the two of us. Pre-covid, he cooked dinner once a month at a local shelter and he did it for years. He doesn’t do that anymore but now he works at our Hub. I mentioned the Hub in a previous post. It is located at our other church campus/location and we are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked (not literally), furnishing apartments, and loving on people. Mark volunteers two days a week at the Hub since he has retired.

6. Insert your own random thought here. Joyce has provided questions for 500 Hodgepodge posts. She deserves a round of applause from all of us. Thank you so much! I love this “community” of folks and look forward to visiting the other blogs and reading as many of the answers as possible every week. I actually had to google the word for 500 and I hope that google led me in the right direction -- quincentennial!


Monday, April 17, 2023

Week and weekend in review

Our office was "closed" this past week so that the staff could rest after Easter. I went in everyday but one for at least a few hours and worked some from home.

On Easter afternoon, I went over to the house to check on things. My new island is in the garage and I'm in love with it. Since ours was damaged, we designed a new one and added some cool features. 

I'm so excited for cookie sheet and
cutting board storage!

and drawers!

Mark's request was for built in
trash cans

I also checked on the doorway where we are adding a pocket door 

and I checked out the new fireplace.

Mark and I met the designer, Liz, at the house on Tuesday morning at 7:30 and picked out the stain for our new bar and we picked out the wall color and the main bathroom cabinet color.

Wall color is Agreeable Gray on 
the right - cabinet color is on
the left - a shade darker

This is so tiny that you
probably can't tell anything
but the bar will go to the
ceiling - glass in top
cabinets - Alabama
marble on counter
and backsplash

Wednesday morning we spent a lot of time texting for work because one of our beloved members died and we had to plan the funeral. In a large church, a funeral involves a lot of people especially if it is to be held on a weekend.  Working around the text messages, I made a double batch of cheese straws to hand out to our neighbors. Then some of the girls from the office went to Eleanor's house for lunch.

Can you see the salt and
pepper shaker? It is Lot
and his wife (pillar of salt)

We ate outside and it
was a lovely day. I
work with the best young

I went to the office on Thursday. While I was in the office, I received a text message. One of our neighbors found construction nails in our alley and texted to warn everyone. I was glad that I had made cheese straws and a cute card to deliver to everyone on our circle. 

Thursday night, we joined friends from Sunday School at the Five Points Public House for dinner. While we were driving to the restaurant, we saw an amazing rainbow!! Actually, there was a double rainbow. I have never seen such a perfect rainbow!

I had deconstructed shrimp and
grits - delish!!

I got a haircut and a root coverup on Friday morning and then walked around our street and put the cheese straw packets and notes on everyone's front porch. We exercised and Mark did some yardwork at the house trying to repair freeze and fire/workmen damage. We spent a quiet Friday night at home.

Saturday morning, I headed to my WW meeting and then ran by Walmart to pick up a few things I forgot when I placed my Shipt order. We then went to our friend's funeral (the one mentioned above). Our pastor did an amazing job, as usual. 

Mark has been in a men's Bible study with
the husband of Ann (who died). The
men's group and wives ordered
these flowers that were placed
by the book.

Saturday night, we went to our neighborhood supper club. This is the only picture I took. They had the neatest fire pit and we ate outside and sat around and laughed and talked. The host/hostess served hamburgers and hot dogs and baked beans. I took Asian Slaw and one person brought the tray with lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. One person brought an appetizer and another brought deviled eggs. The last person brought dessert.

Sunday found me working in the Welcome Center and teaching Sunday School. We had lunch with Mark's siblings/spouses and mother.

After lunch I hurried back to the church to offer hospitality to attendees for an afternoon conference.

I finally made it back to the apartment and meal prepped my lunches for the week and mixed up the casserole for Tuesday night and rode the stationary bike and did laundry!

What did you do this last week and over the weekend?

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Stealing

Welcome to Sunday Stealing. This feature originated and was published on WTIT: The Blog. Bev steals all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Cheers to all of us thieves!

Stolen From Mantelligence


1. If you had the world’s attention for 30 seconds, what would you say? Stop killing each other. Be kind to one another. Think before you speak . . .or think before you write on social media.


2, If your food is bad at a restaurant, would you say something? It depends. One time we were in Las Vegas, and I was served chicken that was still raw. I did send it back but I didn’t want them to “cook it more” and return it. I’ve always felt like the people in the kitchen would probably spit on your food when you return it! We’ve eaten some wonderful meals in restaurants, and we’ve eaten some not so great meals over the course of our lifetimes. One time, years ago, we were eating in a restaurant and the rubberband from the green onions was in my salad. I did show it to the server and they comped my salad.


3.What is in your fridge right now? Diet Pepsis, Diet Ginger Ale, beer, cream, almond milk, eggs, cheese, lettuce, Grey Goose Vodka, sliced turkey, lots of condiments, and a whole bunch of other stuff. We really miss having our big fridge and our extra garage fridge, but we’ve made do.


4.What are you freakishly bad at? I’m one of those people whose face says it all, so I guess I’m bad at covering up how I really feel. I will say that over the last 20 years I’ve improved. Since I work in a church I hear all sorts of things and I have to work hard to keep a neutral face and I don’t always succeed.


5. Where do you not mind waiting? Give me a chair on the beach with an umbrella, in case the sun gets too hot, with a cooler of water and Diet Pepsis (and a bathroom nearby) and cold margaritas and a few snacks and a good book or two and I could wait all day.


6. What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again? When I turned 40, I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I bought a guitar and I took lessons for a few months. I learned how to play “Ode to Joy” and decided playing the guitar wasn’t for me. I’m probably done with guitars though it was fun.


7. If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be? Wow – that is a tough question. The thing that popped into my head is controversial and I don’t usually post ANYTHING controversial on my blog but . . .I wish they had never invented the electric chair. I have mixed emotions about the death penalty but the electric chair seems to be cruel and inhumane especially since they’ve had some terrible mishaps. If we have death as a punishment, the lethal injection seems much more humane. (This is not really a discussion of whether we have the death penalty or not. This is simply my opinion on the electric chair.)


8, If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be? We’ve been watching the new season of Ted Lasso (love that show) and we just finished Shrinking. I think it would be fun to be part of the “work family” on Ted Lasso. I’m not sure where I would fit in on Shrinking either but it might be fun.


9. What would be the best thing about not having a sense of smell? The best thing would be to never have to smell things like poop or vomit! In our family, I’ve always been known as the one with a super sense of smell – like a super power . . .or a super curse. I could smell a yucky baby diaper from across the room. Mark would say, “come smell of this” because my sense of smell was so much better than his. Back in July, I had emergency sinus surgery and my sense of smell has not been the same. I don’t smell as many things and for some of those things (cat litter box), that has been a blessing but there are some things that I can’t smell that I miss.


10. Would you rather live (permanently) in a roller coaster park or in a zoo? One of my good friends grew up living in the zoo! Seriously, her dad was the . . .maybe zookeeper? They had a house on the grounds of the Birmingham Zoo. I didn’t know her back then but a few years ago, I went in the house because it is now used as a venue. I need to ask her if it was ever quiet at the zoo or if the animals made noise all night long. I think I would choose zoo but I do love riding roller coasters.

picture from their website

11. When scrolling through social media, do you prefer posts from celebrities or from your best friends? I only follow a few celebrities and several of my closest friends never post on social media. I do have FOMO when I see that folks I know are out and about doing fun things . . . if I’m stuck at home for whatever reason.


12. What makes someone a hero? My first thought is a hero is someone who “saves the day.” I know the true meaning is someone who is really strong and courageous and fights adversity but sometimes I think my simple idea might be better. The hero is the person who can unjam the stupid copier when no one else can. The hero is the person who can give you advice about your computer when you are ready to throw it away. The hero is the person who shows up at your house when you need help.


13. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done because someone dared you to? When I was about six years old, I was playing at the neighbor’s house. We had a gas stove in our house so I didn’t know anything about an electric stove. She turned the stove on and the burner was glowing such a beautiful shade of red. She dared me to touch it. I did and it hurt like hell.

photo borrowed from the internet

14. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done on your own free will? Over 64 years, I’ve made some pretty stupid choices and done some really stupid things. I learned the hard way that it is stupid to talk about someone (unless the person you are talking to can be trusted above all others) because it will always come back and bite you in the butt. Can you tell I’ve made that stupid mistake?


15. Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life? Unlimited tacos for the win. My husband would probably pick sushi!!

Did The All Capital Letters In The Questions Drive Anyone Else Crazy? I had to correct them!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Easter Weekend

Well . . .I'm only a week behind posting about Easter. Better late than never, right? 

Let me just tell you a little about Holy Week when you work in a church. IT IS BUSY!!

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we had a service each day at noon with a guest speaker and then lunch. The service lasted 30 minutes or less and the lunch can last 30 minutes or less. We hope that will encourage people to come during their lunch break. My co-worker, Marie and I worked as greeters each of those days.

Thursday was Maundy Thursday. I grew up in a denomination that didn't observe Lent or Advent. Just let me tell you that I love both and they add so much meaning. On Thursday evening, I stayed and worked the Welcome Desk and then I "sneaked" into the back of our contemporary worship space for the service. It was a service of word, song, and communion with TONS of candles and it was so good. One of our Associate Pastors, Amy, talked about the thin spaces between us and God and how the communion table straddles those two spaces. I always love to think about not only Jesus being on the other side of that table but about all of those who have gone before us.

Friday morning dawned bright and early and I took Harvey to the vet for a check up and his shots. He did really well and the vet was pleased that he was down to 12 1/2 pounds (he is a LONG cat - not fat). I met my friends for lunch. We meet once a month and I love those three women. Friday evening was our Good Friday service and there are no words to describe it but I'll try to give you an idea. It is a dark and moving service. The service begins with multiple candles at the front and by the end of the service, the sanctuary is in total darkness except for one candle - the Christ candle. Then one of the pastors slams (literally slams) the large Bible closed and our pastors recess carrying the one lighted candle while someone beats out 33 times on the tympani. Everyone leaves in total silence and no one speaks until they are out of the building. The sanctuary was full so I would think there were probably about 800 people there. 

Saturday morning I headed to my WW meeting and then I worked on the food that I was taking to our Easter family lunch. We actually have our first Easter "morning" service on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. Over the years we have found that we cannot seat everyone who wants to attend on Easter and we definitely can't find a parking space for everyone. There were over 500 at the Saturday evening service. I was able to go to worship with Mark which was wonderful. We stopped at my mother-in-law's house to drop off our food for the next day and my sister-in-law snapped a quick photo of us.

The music at all of the services was spectacular and the sermons were amazing. After the Good Friday service on the night before, when we left the sanctuary it was dark and the cross was draped in black. The sanctuary was transformed for the Easter services.

Sunday morning, I was up bright and early and it was COLD! What the heck? I had a new dress from Tuckernuck and I didn't want to wear a winter coat over it. I remembered that I had brought home a cashmere scarf from Israel that I hadn't given away and it had the exact pink in it to match my dress. It was important to have something to keep me warm because we (employees) had to park about two blocks away in order for our parking lot and nearby spaces to be available for visitors. It was not quite 7:00 a.m. when I was walking so I was glad for the warm wrap.

My co-worker, Marie, and I matched the hydrangeas so we took a quick photo while we worked the Welcome Center.

I made cute baggies of Peeps for our volunteers who help us each week in the Welcome Center.

I wasn't with my family on Sunday morning but they all shared pictures. Our son and our daughter-in-law and granddaughter, along with several of their friends, attended our church that day. At one time they were all members at Trinity but have moved further away so attend different churches now. 

Mark and sweet granddaughter

Our son, Glenn and our daughter-in-
law, Lauren, and granddaughter

The whole crew - Wynn, Lauren, Emma,
Mallory and Brian and their three children, and
Glenn (as an aside, Brian is a manager with our
insurance company and drove 30-45 minutes on the
night that our house burned to be with us). As a parent,
it brings me great joy that both of our "children"
have good friends

Our daugher, son-in-law, and sweet granddaughter attended their church but were kind enough to send photos. Sweet granddaughter is wearing her mama's dress that was hand made by my mother-in-law. We showed pictures to my mother-in-law but she didn't remember. She made that dress for Laura to wear to Pop George's (Mark's twin brother) and Aunt Alice's wedding. I'm trying to remember what year -- maybe 89 or 90? Way back then, my mother-in-law told me that she quit counting when she crossed the $150 mark. I wish you could see the dress up close. The lace and the french hand sewing are amazing. It is so special to see it on our sweet granddaughter. They even sent pictures of her hunting eggs.

Sweet girl wearing her mommy's dress

Our son-in-law, Scott and our daughter,
Laura and our sweet granddaughter

My sister-in-law, Alice (same one mentioned above) did the flower arrangements for the tables. Aren't they beautiful? She is so talented.

dining room table (grown up

fun bunny decorations that
my mother-in-law already had

breakfast room table (kid's table--I ate
at the kid's table!) Look at those
cute napkin rings that
my other sister-in-law found

After cleaning up the lunch dishes and visiting for a while, I headed home and studied and took my final. I don't have my grade yet but feel ok about it. I mentioned this in another post this week but I'm happy to have a little time without studying. I am sad that my advisor told me that I don't need to take another religion class!