Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter, 2008

The family had a terrific time yesterday celebrating Easter. I haven't posted many pictures of my nieces and nephews, so I brought along my camera and captured some pictures of our gathering.

Here's the dessert table, one of the most important parts of any family gathering at our house (and is it a surprise it's the first picture I posted?) I made some of my mint chocolate cookies, but in brownie form. The two pies to the right are the best pies anyone ate anywhere in America this past Easter, my mom's amazing cherry pies. The other one was made by me, a blackberry/Meyer lemon pie. The general consensus was that the lemon was too strong and masked the blackberry flavor. I've been on such a Meyer lemon kick, I think I went a little overboard, though I liked it just fine.

My nephews took advantage of a sunny day to do a little pre egg hunt shooting. Their target of choice? The much despised Sponge Bob Squarepants. Here they are heading back inside, from front to back: Josh, Zach and Caleb.

Here I am surrounded by two of Dave's kids, and two of Jim's children. The newest addition to our family is nine month old Xavier Anthony Gerard, sitting on my lap, flanked on the right by his sister Katherine and on the left by his cousin Abby, and the one behind her is Elizabeth. Them's some cute kids!

Here are a couple more pictures of Xavier, one with a proud grandpa, then one with a big ole smile, sitting on Grandma's lap, and then one being held by Uncle Steve.

We always let the youngest kids get a jump start on things, and here's Abby trying her best to get an egg out of what was a great hiding spot, with the older kids waiting and watching intently from the porch.

I decided to station myself at this egg, which was just a little too high for the young kids to see. I wasn't quick enough to get John's face when he saw the egg, just the grab--and in his case, he was already looking for the next one while his hand was on this one.

Check out this happy crew:

That's Abby, Elizabeth, Katherine and Maria Grace. Elizabeth asked me if I could hurry up and take the picture. I think she had eggs on her mind. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you'll see John in the back...he's either eating snow, or just found another Easter egg--I can't tell which.

There's Big John blazing his own trail--as you can see, there aren't many adult footprints in the snow near where he's headed...I don't think he had much luck over there, but he had the biggest haul of the day, with 46 eggs. In another part of the field, I was pretty devious, making some major trails in the snow, with absolutely no egg drops near by to send my oldest nephews off the scent. It worked brilliantly.

Towards the end of the hunt, in the waning hours of daylight.

There's Elizabeth running towards my brother Dave, and Gianna, hoping to get a few more eggs.

I think this is my favorite picture of the day, one of my goddaughter Emily. I think she's a beautiful girl, like all of my nieces. What can I say? I'm a proud uncle!


alison said...

What fun. How much candy is in the eggs? I love how much room you use.

The kids are getting so big. (They've always been beautiful.)

Xavier is precious.

And the pies were so pretty. I am going to crash a family get together one of these days just to get a slice of your mom's infamous pie.

Dan said...

Dave and Nancy's kids were charged with filling the candy--I think most every egg had two or three pieces of candy, and I'd say everyone ended up with about 20 eggs, so a a very decent haul. We have a train system at the end of the hunt--all of the eggs go into a huge bucket, and everyone walks around the bucket, grabbing one egg as they go by.

I'll see if I can talk my mom into baking up a pie sometime for the West Michiganders--it really is a tasty pie. Tragedy has possibly struck however in the form of trans fat free Crisco, which doesn't bake quite the same. These pies were made with my last remaining butter flavored Crisco that I gave to her after the last pies she made were filled with frustration. I fear those pies we had at Easter are the last of a very special breed, but if anyone can help my mom get back to the same old consistency, it's probably me, I suppose.

I'm going to suggest she use lard next time. :-)