Disclaimer: Pace yourself. This is the post where I went for length and volume, because sometimes 107,000 words and 4 million pictures are the only way you can successfully describe your weekend.
The following things happened over our three-day Easter weekend:
1. No one slept very much, as we seemed to play the game How Long Can You Go With No Sleep and Continue to Be Kind to Others? It’s kind of like The Limbo, but instead of getting lower and lower on your pom-pom enhanced rollerskates, you simply get more tired and more tired until you melt down, like a pile of chocolate chips in the microwave, and do the Ugly Cry. (As a side note, I am fully recovered now and well-rested, and the Ugly Cry is behind me.)
2. We were surrounded all weekend long with friends and family and giggles and only a couple of comments of, “Will you stop following me? If you don’t, I’m going to tell!” (This threat usually works very well for Hubs, and then he backs down.)
3. We had some messes in the form of dye. And also confetti.
4. Our weekend was plum wonderful.
On Friday morning, we all attempted to get our bearings at 5:40 in the morning, when the boy and his mini-slumber-party guests, Eli and Enzo, woke up. The thing about boys when they sleep over is this: They do not wake up slowly. They go from being sound asleep to being instantly out of the sleeping bags, laughing full-force, and swinging a stick at someone in the name of Great Jedi Powers.
By 10:00 on Friday morning, the boys were finally starving, after having battled one another in every video game we own. Being the wonderful mother that I am, I made them a brunch worthy of gracing the cover of any food magazine currently in publication. We had golden scrambled eggs. I fried sausage links to pure perfection, and I fried MANY sausage links, because Boys + Sausage = Eating Frenzy as Featured on Wild Kingdom. After adding lightly-buttered slices of toast to the plates, I called the boys to the breakfast table. They bounced and skipped and flopped and ran up the stairs, as only a tribe of boys can do, and they plunked themselves down at my dining room table, with shouts of, “Oh, man! I’m starving!”
And then Eli, being the wonderful, dedicated Catholic boy that he is, announced, “Oh! I can’t eat this sausage! It’s Good Friday!” This was immediately followed by Enzo proclaiming, “Oh, wow! I can’t eat it, either!” Thankfully, neither boy had even touched their sausage links, so I swooped in and removed them from their plates.
Baptist mamas are always messing up Good Friday menus.
The boy looked at me and said, “I’m Baptist! I’ll eat their sausages!” And that, people, is exactly what he did, and he may have moaned and groaned in pleasure and said, “This sausage is delicious!” one thousand and eight times.
By early Friday afternoon, we had completely switched our guests out, which is to say that Eli and Enzo had left the premises, headed for Good Friday services, and Kellen and Quinn, having already attended their Good Friday services, came over to our house.
I still had three boys under my roof; they were just three DIFFERENT BOYS.
Because the wind was blowing in a windchill that was similar to having the central air conditioner on in Siberia, and because the wind gusts were equivalent to Hurricane Katrina, we decided to load up into the Suburban and head to the gym where I teach PE.
Because I have the keys to the school building, and because we needed to run! And jump! And wrestle! And we needed to do these things in another spot besides my family room!
In my PE classes, we use the scooters quite often, but we have very solid Scooter Rules. It gives me great pleasure to announce that we threw the Scooter Rules out the window on Friday afternoon with my pack of three wild sharks boys.
We actually STOOD ON the scooters. While being PULLED. Please don’t tell their mothers!
And then, do you remember the scene in the movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, where Rowley rides the Big Wheel down the hill and Greg throws a football at him? I have no idea why the male brain thinks of such things, but these three boys invented their own game. One person would ride the scooter. One person would pull him, with the help of a jump rope. And then the third boy would throw the volleyball at the kid on the scooter, hoping to dislodge him and cause a wreck. They rotated spots. They actually FOUGHT OVER who would ride the scooter, because apparently dodging the hurled volleyball and staying ON YOUR SCOOTER is something akin to reaching manhood, and they all wanted to prove that they were capable of achieving it. Please don’t tell their mothers that I giggled out loud while they did this!
They also used their Very Intelligent Reasoning to create Human Slingshots, where they looped a jump rope beneath the armpits of a boy on a scooter, and then ran with him, until they’d reached a speed similar to the space shuttle at its launching. At that point, the runners released the ends of the jump rope, and the Scooter Rider was thrown into a gym wall. This amused them for great lengths of time. Please don’t tell their mothers.
I have yet to achieve a decent level of great photography skills in a gymnasium, under fluorescent lights. I know that you’re supposed to change the ISO setting, which results in graininess, so you have to be careful. I either get dark, yellowed pictures, or pictures that look like I spread a thin layer of sand over my lens. And then I throw my hands up into the air and admit defeat and try to convince myself that it’s okay that my gym shots look horrid, because I have Great Talents elsewhere.
Behold! I give you The Red Eyes, as captured in a gymnasium!
By the time we left the gym, the boys were dripping with sweat and exhausted. We had one broken toenail, one bruised eye that was caused when the eye connected with a Frisbee, and one lone finger that had been run over by a scooter. I considered those minor casualties, that weren’t even worth a set of tears.
By 6:30 on Friday night, our boy was spent, after having gone through a day-long field trip and soccer practice on Thursday, which was followed by a late night/early morning sleepover. He had reached the summit of Mt. Everest, and he needed a tank of oxygen and a nap. Hubs and I tucked him into bed at 6:30, and it took him exactly two minutes to fall asleep. We didn’t hear a sound out of him until 8:00 Saturday morning.
With a quiet house on Friday night, Hubs and I decided to watch a movie. Netflix had delivered The Good Shepherd to us, and we decided to take that on at 9:0o PM. The only things that I can tell you about this movie as a review are these things: It’s very long, it’s about the CIA, and I never had any idea what was happening, which caused me to talk incessantly through it until Hubs shot me the Stink Eye. Hubs understands CIA missions and can follow them in a story line. I, apparently, cannot.
By midnight the movie was done, and I couldn’t sleep, so I took on Night Two of Very Little Slumber.
On Saturday night, Hubs and I invited my parents, Sister and her family, and Gabe and Jodi and their kids over for dinner, so that we could all dye Easter eggs. Sister’s son, K, decided to pick THAT night to have problems with his asthma, which resulted in them staying home to treat him with a nebulizer and many inhaler hits, until he was all better, so we went on with the evening without them. Hubs grilled chicken on the Traeger, and listen! It was nothing short of the best chicken of all time!
Ciara, Blaine and the boy managed to hold still long enough to snap a group shot.
Some of us are VERY MESSY while we dye Easter eggs, which results in us having to dye eggs in the buff. For the record, we also eat spaghetti without a shirt on, even though we have reached manhood by not getting knocked off the scooter with a thrown volleyball and by staying awake all night long. My boy cannot dye eggs or devour spaghetti without all of the mess landing on his clothes, and I can’t ever see a world in which this situation changes. He’ll probably be a nineteen-year-old Harvard boy, who walks into the cafeteria and shouts, “Oh, great! Spaghetti for dinner! Let me just take my shirt off here, so I can eat!”
Eventually the cascarones (real eggs that have been hollowed out and filled with confetti) were brought out. Enzo’s family thought that it would be a fantastic declaration of their friendship with us to make the boy a dozen cascarones. Because confetti is one step above glitter on my list of hates, I did cut Enzo’s mama a tiny bit of slack. Confetti vacuums up so much easier than glitter does. (For the record, we do not bring glitter into the Jedi Manor. Please note this and file it away for future references.)
The kids had a blast smashing the eggs on one another’s heads.
On Saturday night, I think I woke up exactly twenty-nine times (which was also the time known as The Night Of Basically No Sleep), because I kept checking the time. I didn’t want to miss the Easter Bunny, and I know that he usually comes in a pre-dawn, close-to-wake-up-time hour, so that when he hides the REAL EGGS, they are not sitting in their hiding spots, gathering bacteria. I think that the big rabbit finally arrived somewhere around 5:30 yesterday morning.
So, you know, just in time for the boy to get up.
The Great Chief with the amazing bedhead wore his buffalo robe while he sorted through his Easter basket, because he was chilly. The bunny brought some new Crocs, a set of Legos (which he actually took the time to WRAP), and some chocolate.
Because the Easter Bunny knows that springtime weather in Small Town, USA can be unpredictable, and he apparently wasn’t in the mood to fight off any wind and risk the herd of rats with antlers deer eating the eggs before the boy found them.
And this is the one day every year when I wish that I had a small girl to doll up in ruffly dresses and flowered hair bows, so Sister has promised to let me have my niece, L, next year on Easter. Yay!
Our church service was wonderful, and it completed Easter morning.
And then we all skipped over to Mam and Pa’s house for Easter dinner.
I had to bribe the boy and L and K to squish together on the sofa for a snapshot. I bribed them with chocolate!
This is a happy smile from K, which was induced by vast quantities of chocolate!
The boy and Sister’s Husband played a game that involved piling rocks in little divots. Much like the CIA missions in The Good Shepherd, I didn’t understand what was going on, so I passed on playing. (For the record, Sister and L are in the background, TASTING L’s new lip gloss that she found in her Easter basket. When you just have a boy, you don’t get to taste fancy, fruity lip gloss very often, so this was an activity which I actually DID understand!)
Later on Easter afternoon, we piled into the Suburban and drove twenty miles down the highway to Small Mountain Town, USA, where Hubs’ parents live. We met up with Brother and Brother Joel, and their families. Grammy and Papa and Hubs’ sister (Aunt Pink, who was in town from Dallas) had hidden one trillion plastic eggs in their yard and the neighboring wooded area for all the kids to find.
Eventually, the boy and his cousin, B, caught on to how many eggs Miss R was finding, so they began following her. She ran. They ran fast behind her. She tried to dodge and flee and lose them. They are older and also persistent, and they stayed hot on her trail, trying to out-grab her when it came to the eggs she found.
M worked the yard and wooded area alone. He was like a Navy SEAL on Mission Egg Hunt. His mission was a success.
The boy and B worked the egg hunt together. When they weren’t chasing Miss R down and stealing the eggs she found, they each took certain areas of the perimeter and called out phrases in code to one another.
Miss A managed to snag a lot of eggs herself, too, until she called in The Big Guns, in the form of the kids’ fifteen-year-old cousin, H. H wasn’t officially involved in the hunt, but I have it on good authority, from an eye witness, that he plucked eggs from high places and tucked them into Miss A’s bucket.
And then, because they had eaten nothing but chocolate all day long, the boy and B decided to use Grammy’s treadmill to burn a few calories off. Because they are boys and can’t do anything without inventing a whole new way to accomplish it, they created a little exercise routine called Tandem Treadmill Running, in which they both ran, single-file, on the treadmill, until they’d accomplished a half-mile run.
I just think that the boy and B should consider themselves lucky that their teenage cousin, H, didn’t chuck plastic Easter eggs at them, to try to dislodge them from the treadmill while they were running.
THAT would have taken manhood to a whole different level!
And that, people, is how we spent our weekend, in 107,000 words or less!