Origami in the Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden just opened a really cool exhibition…one that I’ve been anxiously awaiting since they had to postpone it due to COVID-19 last year…Origami in the Garden!

There are 18 large-scale sculptures around the garden, and we saw most of them this weekend:

They also have a really cool display in the Visitors’ Center which shows a few pieces on a much smaller scale, and also what a piece of paper that was folded into those shapes would look like upon being unfolded:

I’m looking forward to visiting this exhibition again, and catching the few pieces we missed the first time through!

Tulip Time at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Tulips are my favorite…I was so sad to miss seeing them at the Missouri Botanical Garden last spring when everything shut down. But it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, because I love them even more this year!

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

I have never before understood the phrase “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” like I did this morning upon receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but now I’m having a major moment.

Cherry Blossom Season

I really love the cherry blossom event in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I still don’t like how they handle obtaining the recipes for the special furniture (I’m tired of hunting down balloons!), but I love the pink trees, floating blossoms, and of course the elusive special furniture items. While I didn’t get every recipe for every item, between everyone in the house that plays the game and myself I was able to get all of the items I wanted for my cherry blossom viewing area, including the pond stone, lantern, bonsai, and branches:

This has been one of my favorite events in the game, and I felt less pressure the second time around because I knew what to expect (and what not to get my hopes up about!), which made it even more fun!

Easter Monday

After the busyness of Holy Week and Easter, Easter Monday can be a bit of a letdown. But we did finish our Jesus Tree today, and that’s quite an accomplishment considering that last year, we only made it about a week before we gave up (I blame COVID-19).

Since we had some leftover Easter lamb, I shredded it to go on lamb “nachos,” which is always a popular dinner.

I kind of missed having a church service to go to today, after four straight days of services, but it was still a nice day, and we kept of the spirit of Easter going!

Easter in the Time of COVID-19

Time for another look at a Markel Family holiday in the time of COVID-19!

Last year, I was all about keeping as many things as normal as possible for everyone. This year, I decided to embrace the new and different as much as I could. For starters, even though I’m now back to grocery shopping once a week instead of every two weeks, and could have bought hot cross buns from the bakery, I decided to make a batch again this year:

We went to our new church for the evening Maundy Thursday service to begin the Holy Triduum, and it was short, but very nice:

On Good Friday we were back at our new church for an equally moving (and equally short) Tenebrae service:

On Holy Saturday, we watched Rick Steves’ European Easter and made our Paschal candle for the year, as is our tradition. This one didn’t turn out so well, but it still gets the job done!

We attended the Great Vigil of Easter at our new church…I’m so glad they offer that service. More of it was spent outside than we are used to, and that was really nice!

After church, instead of getting sundaes from McDonald’s like we usually do, we got Frosty’s and fries at Wendy’s, and I introduced the Fab Five to the culinary experience that is dipping the fries in the Frosty:

We didn’t have a sunrise service this year, but I was still up early enough to see the sunrise:

And even though we didn’t need to leave the house super-early, I still bought our traditional Pop-Tarts:

It was a beautiful morning!

I took pictures of the Fab Five in the garden outside of church:

Since I couldn’t really take pictures of them inside the church (and especially by the baptismal font) like I usually do, I did that the day of Chickadee’s confirmation:

Our new church is beautiful!

After church, we came home and made Easter breakfast…eggs and sausage, English muffins, pomegranate juice, and every flavor of mini donut I could find…seven varieties. Maybe we’ll be able to go to Easter breakfast at church again in the future, but for now, it’s nice to have the meal at home!

I may have completed all of the Bunny Day goals in Animal Crossing: New Horizons last year, but I still checked in with Zipper T. Bunny:

We had fun watching some of our favorite Easter movies today, including My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, Easter Parade, and It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. While we did that, I made sure the table looked pretty for dinner:

And made our Easter feast for dinner. I tried a new leg of lamb recipe in the crock-pot, which was both amazingly delicious and easy. We also had Greek potatoes, carrot fritters, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, breaded artichokes, cherry Jell-O, and popovers:

For dessert, I made carrot cake Oreo truffles:

No matter what stays the same or what is different from year to year, our reason for celebrating remains constant. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!!!

Holy Saturday

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son. The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: “My Lord be with you all.” And Christ in reply says to Adam: “And with your spirit.” And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” “I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.” “I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.” (quoted in For All the Saints, vol. III, p. 1037)

Good Friday–The Reproaches

“For behold, by the wood of Your cross joy has come into all the world.”

Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. For I have raised you up out of the prison house of sin and death, and you have delivered up your Redeemer to be scourged. For I have redeemed you from the house of bondage, and you have nailed your Savior to the cross. O My people.

Thus says the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. For I have conquered all your foes, and you have given Me over and delivered Me to those who persecute Me. For I have fed you with My Word and refreshed you with living water, and you have given Me gall and vinegar to drink. O My people.

Thus say the Lord: What have I done to you, O My people, and wherein have I offended you? Answer Me. What more could have been done for My vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? My people, is this how you thank your God? O My people. Lutheran Service Book

Mail Call

I love a delivery!

When Erstwilder announced that they were going to be offering a line of handbags, I was excited to see what designs they would include. To my surprise, the handbag and purse I fell in love with are based on a brooch that never really caught my eye. But they’re so beautiful, and whimsical in an elegant way, I knew I had to add them to my wardrobe. They’re also extremely well made, and the vegan leather actually feels like real leather…I have no idea how they do that! Now the only problem is I wish I had bought the Flora Fox Face brooch when it was available, because I really want the full collection!