Be vewy vewy qwiet...

Easter 2008. The morning was great. So was church. We had a fantastic Easter dinner which is still hindering me from ever eating again due to the sheer magnitude of food I packet into my gullet. And I will say again, great job Maribeth. The bread was fantastic.

Then it was time for the third and largest Easter egg hunt of the day. At the Swarr de la Senior household, egg hunts are do or die. Good thing for lil man I'm not allowed on the hunting grounds anymore or there'd be elbows and tears abound. But we're training him up real good. Starting out with an empty basket, the lil man does not look too happy...
Then he finds a few and things are looking a little more promising...maybe around this tree.
They're supposed to be around here somewhere...maybe by the shed. Or down this look!

To the victor go the spoils...

And a huge sense of satisfaction.

Challah Back Youngin'

I am writing this on the eve of Easter Sunday 2008. This Easter is not very different than all of the other Easter's here at Casa de Swarr. The only thing that really prompted me to write this boils down to the fact that we are going over to Maribeth's sisters to have Easter lunch with her and her husband. Again, not very different...getting together with family for Easter. And (big surprise here) we are taking something to contribute to the oh so wonderful event of holiday, mealtime overindulgence. We were asked to take bread. Again, no biggie. However...

Yesterday Maribeth and I were discussing what we wanted to take and we decided to bake bread from scratch. Scratch meaning yeast, flour, etc... OK, in case you don't know, I love being in the kitchen. However I really love baking. Especially bread. So when Maribeth actually got excited about making bread from scratch, I was excited too. I love when she takes on new things. Especially something I enjoy doing or at least something she can do and I can vicariously get excited through her. It's great.

So there we were, looking through the bread book (aka, my second Bible) and we found a recipe for Challah. I will use this time to point out the absolute irony of making a Jewish bread for an Easter Sunday meal and taking the time and making it on the Sabbath. I'm sure that if my mother was Jewish, I would never hear the end of it...ever.

So the time came and Maribeth started mixing all the ingredients. I was sleeping on the couch, I think, so she was actually having to reference the book for explanations of terms and techniques instead of asking me (which is probably a good thing because I have a habit of teaching by doing, not just telling...and that would have led to me just doing it myself).

So the recipe proceeded according to plan and I must say that Maribeth did an outstanding job mixing and kneading the dough. Then it came time for her to put lil man down (aka bedtime) and I had the task of beautifying the loaf. In this case braiding the bread. The recipe called for three 'strands' of bread, however, due to my fantastically uneven division I ended up with four even pieces that I braided together. I must say, I think it looks a lot nicer this way.

So then Declan went to bed and Maribeth took over the final steps of applying the wash and poppy seeds and chucking the whole kit and caboodle in the oven. 45 minutes later...the end result:

Great job Maribeth. Easter Day will tell, but I bet it tastes as good as I assume it will.


Meet Lucy and other stuff

By: Mrs. Swarr

We finally bought a card reader, and boy do I have pictures to show you! First, here is the [most] neurotic member of our family, Lucy:

Quite ladylike, no? She still annoys the crap out of us (Arty most of all), but she seems to have edged her way into our hearts, so I guess we'll keep her. Although if she ever pees on our bed again......

Right. Less blogging more pictures. Next is one of Zach's brilliant ideas for Thanksgiving. If one of us is ever to stay home with the kids on a permanent basis, it will be Zach. I would make them wash dishes and clean their rooms. Zach? Not so much:

More Thanksgiving - seriously, do you see the smile on this kid's face? Leave it to Uncle Gabe:

Here's one more recent picture to get you through the day. Much more to come, but they all have stories to go with them.

That's Capital

Last night was family fun night, as is every Wednesday. It doesn't matter what we do on these nights, so long as we do it together. Last night Zach decided to make this particular night a bit more special. After the adventure of making chicken quesadillas together and trying to get Declan to eat his dinner in less than 3 hours, we cleared the table. Lo and behold, under Declan's plate was a note in Daddy's handwriting. It was a clue. I was excited, Declan was not. "What has keys but no locks? What makes music so we can dance?" Declan was convinced it was the door despite the obvious logic. We finally clued him in that the door in fact does have locks and most definitely does not make music, so the next logical answer is the piano. He still didn't get it.

We made it to the piano though, and thankfully the rest of the clues were much easier. Declan and I ran all over the house discovering new clues in places such as "where we put the clothes to dry" and "where Declan lays his head to sleep." It was picture perfect family bonding time.

What I didn't know was what the prize waiting for us at the end would be. A lollipop for Declan? A sticker? Two stickers? Oh how I continue to underestimate the man I have chosen to endure life with! There was not a lollipop or a sticker or even two stickers. There was not even a new toy for Declan. Instead there was a detailed plan of our already booked and planned out trip to Washington DC. I. Am. Stoked. I can't wait to take Declan to the zoo and the Smithsonian and the Museum of Natural History....... We are seriously going to have a blast and I can't believe how awesome Zach is for planning this whole thing out.