Monday, April 28, 2008

Ukrainian Easter Weekend.

Last Sunday we celebrated Easter with my brother's family. When I was growing up, the preparation to this day started 2 weeks prior to the holiday and involved everything from cooking, baking and cleaning the house. It was not only a holiday, but also an event. Additionally we would prepare a Easter basket to get blessed on the day before the holiday. Nowadays, I simply go to a Russian food store on Friday night and just purchase practically everything that I need for my holiday basket which includes babka, kovbasa, eggs, butter and some other food items.
With a busy Saturday ahead of us and much to Seth's dismay, David was ready to start his day at 5am. While Julia and I were still catching some Z's, Seth took David to a nearby stream to look for frogs... at 6 am. Since the weather has turned nice, Seth's been trying to spend a lot of one-on-one time with David outside instead of turning on the television.
Before heading to the church in the city, we headed to Abma's farm to pick up some organic chicken, fresh eggs as well as other healthy snacks. This particular farm also has a petting area where kids can pet and feed the animals.

When we returned home, I finished up preparing the Easter baskets; one for each child. On the way to the Church, David insisted on carrying his own, although I was afraid that by the time we returned home, all the eggs inside would have a broken shells from David shaking the basket.

The kids sat long enough on the steps of the church for me to shoot a few pictures of them until they realized they could be running up and down those stairs with their cousin.

We then planned to meet up at my brother's place so the kids could play in a nearby park, but the traffic turned out to be a disaster. Thoughts of driving to the city for Ukrainian school every Saturday, (starting in September,) and dealing with this sort of traffic scares me.
We were back to the city on Sunday to celebrate Easter with the kids' cousins. I know I didn't prepare days before for the holiday, but my sister-in-law sure did. The food was delicious and presented beautifully.

The best part of getting together with my brother's family is seeing the kids interact with one another (or rather jumping all over Seth.) Daria, who isn't even two years old yet, was riding her tricycle all over and even asking to go to the potty. Someday I'll start potty training Julia, but I am afraid it is not happening anytime soon.

Luckily for me, the kids and Seth were not interested in any dessert except for hallow chocolate eggs, so I felt obliged to eat their share. Anyone who knows me realizes how difficult that task is.

So what makes four kids sit still long enough for a photo? A movie of course!

The only reason David left their house while "Peter Pan" (his favorite Disney movie) was still on without much screaming was because there was a "big boy" bicycle waiting for him in a hall. His cousin lent his old bicycle to David, who took to it like a duck to water, jumping on the seat and peddling down the street to our requesting that he slow down and wait for us. I guess it is just a matter of time when those training wheels have to come off.
So to sum up: Great weekend, great company, and great food. What else can one ask for? Oh, yeah, for those terrible threes to go away (I wonder if I ever stop mentioning David's age without a word "terrible" next to it. I doubt it ... sigh).

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