Tuesday, March 29, 2016

{This and That} :: Easter!

Alleluia, He is Risen!

Hope you all had a blessed Triduum and a joyous Easter Sunday!  We had a beautiful Mass, a delicious breakfast, and I got a photo of all the kids together, so it was a happy day all around. ;)

the Easter breakfast table is my favorite of the year

lotsa baskets!  or in our case, repurposed ice cream tubs. (obviously we eat a lot of ice cream.)

Someone asked what was in all those Easter baskets, so I thought I'd do a little round-up:

:: free coloring pages courtesy of GraceLaced
:: WoolPets felting kits (I'll review these once we have a chance to try them out!)
:: Mad Libs and Sudoku
:: holy cards for their holy card rings
:: more Schleich animals for our collection
:: more notecards and gel pens for the big girls
:: puzzle cards for the little girls
:: and a bit of candy, with chips for the hubby ;)

And books, of course!  Details on those coming soon in my {What We're Reading} for April. ;)

I also gifted myself a new loupe for nature study, which has a pretty terrible smell right out of the package but works wonderfully!  I ordered a second one, a different model, to try out and compare, so I'll let you know which loupe wins. :)


I shared our annual Easter candle project over on Instagram, and someone asked for a quick how-to.  There are already some lovely tutorials out there: one for a more ornate candle than ours using the same materials (I always love Jessica's work!) and one for a simple form you can do right now with a grocery store "novena candle" and a printer (thanks, Jennifer!).

For ours: I buy a short plain beeswax pillar because we only light it during our rosary times through the Easter season.  (This two pack is also good value, and then you'd be a step ahead the following year! ;)) If you want a cheaper option, you could definitely just do this on a non-beeswax pillar.  Or you could opt for a taller pillar candle and keep it going longer!

The other item you'll need to buy specifically for this project is a set of decorating beeswax sheets.  (You only use a very tiny bit for each candle, so this box can last for years and years.)

First, you'll need to buff up the beeswax, as it sometimes gets a cloudy sheen if it has sat too long.  We just rub it all over with a rag until it's nice and clear.

Then you're ready to cut out all the bits from your beeswax sheets!  I just use regular scissors and cut:
:: two strips for the cross
:: the alpha and omega signs
:: the numbers for the year

This is definitely the trickiest part!  Straight cuts are super easy, but curly letters and numbers like 0 and 6 can be a challenge.  I often just cut a somewhat rounded shape, then use my fingers to form the figure I need.  The wax is very pliable.  Since our candle is small, we're cutting very small shapes.  We only use about a square inch of each, red and blue.

I place the figures lightly onto the candle as I go to eyeball size.  Once all is cut and ready, press the pieces on firmly with your finger.  They'll easily "stick" to the candle.

Last but not least, you need some kind of marker for Christ's five wounds, as in the prayers Jennifer provides on her tutorial.  We used jewel stickers, like these, but you could use cloves, grains of incense, or even cut circles from the wax sheets in gold or silver.

And that's it!  Your candle is ready to be added to your home altar and lit on Easter Vigil.  (Or Easter Day, if you are a house full of little children and aren't up to braving the Vigil Mass just yet!  Maybe next year. :))


In non-Easter news, we are on our last week of school, with exams next week and then the start of our "summer" break.  We started our school year last July, so it's wonderful to be so near the end!

My plan is to spend exam week doing my filing and scanning of school paperwork and straightening up binders, folders, and school shelves.  Then I'm off to the CM West :: Retreat at the Beach!  When I get back, it will be a true break for all of us for a couple weeks.

We'll spend May and June doing a very light summer schedule, which I'm pulling together right now, as well as lots of beach days, mornings at the park, and long stretches in the backyard.  My kids keep a list of the activities they want to do during their break--I will share that here soon, because it's a hefty list and going to keep us quite busy in the best of ways.


Last but not least: Pam kindly invited me to share about doing Morning Basket with all little ones for her Your Morning Basket podcast.  We recorded it last month, but I didn't know it was going to pop up on the podcast channel today until I got a bunch of kind comments on social media.  Thanks, friends!  If you're interested in listening, click on over. :)


  1. I so enjoyed your podcast on Your Morning Basket! Thanks for sharing your favorite resources for littles (she types with a baby in her lap).

    1. Thanks, Melissa. And I do most of my typing with a baby or toddler on my lap too, so we're in company together! :)

  2. A blessed, Happy Easter to you and yours! The Lord is risen indeed!
    The children look beautiful in their spring finery. I like your Easter ice cream buckets. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Kimberlee! I pray your Easter has been blessed so far.

  3. Really enjoyed hearing your podcast. I'd like to live nearby, I'd enjoy your friendship!
    Best wishes
    God bless
    (Italian Gouin series person who emailed you!)

    1. I'd enjoy that too, Antonia. And we could do Italian together, so that would be a big bonus! ;)

  4. What a wonderful picture of your children! That was definitely a big win right there. Your candle is lovely. I opted for the printer version as I usually do. I'm sure my daughter would love to do a beeswax one, I should try and think of that before, say, Holy Saturday some year. :-) Easter does last 50 days, but it does rather seem like something that should be ready at the beginning!

    I have a few loupes like that too, but mine are only 20x. I'll be curious to hear which you like better, it would be neat to have one with a little higher power as well.

    1. Yes, I have done the printer version for several years and it works well too! I am so appreciative to Jennifer for sharing so many printable Catholic resources, like the vintage Lent readings, the Stations of the Cross, and such. Hers is one of the sites I always check first when I'm doing any liturgical planning.

      I will bring my loupes to the beach retreat and you can try them out! :)

  5. I love the candle idea, I've never heard of doing an "in home" Easter candle before, thank you for sharing. i enjoyed your morning basket talk very much. Can't wait to see when you have next years' plans up. God Bless!

    1. Thank you! God bless you also in this Easter season!