Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter with the family, Part II

Three cousins born within a month of each other. They absolutely love to be together.
My family has started Easter traditions without really trying, which is the best kind of tradition in my view.
It all began some 13 years ago with the birth of Lincoln, my brother’s oldest son and the first of the second wave of cousins in the family.
The first wave came when I was 14 years old and my two older sisters started having children. These children are now in their 20s and 30s.
Lincoln started the second crop of cousins. It’s a convoluted mixture of cousins old enough to be aunts and uncles, and aunt’s young enough to be cousins.
Less than two years after Lincoln joined the family his mother and father (my brother and sister-in-law) found themselves expecting again.
So did I very shortly after my marriage.
Most remarkable, so did my older sister who was in her 40s, and whose youngest child was in high school.
The three cousins were born within a month of each other.
Then my sister’s daughter (yes, the sister with the toddler) married and began giving her mother grandchildren.
My brother had two more children, and I had one more.
We now have ten children ranging in age from 13 down to 2 for our Easter gatherings. It is a hoot.
We managed to get the whole group together maybe once or twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Easter.
On the Saturday before Easter we dye hard boiled eggs together. Then, all the parents (grandparents, great-grandparents) stuff plastic eggs with candy and toys for the family Easter egg hunt.
Since you can almost guarantee it will be raining or snowing on Easter in Wyoming, we started having the hunt at the local elementary school media center. My sister is the librarian at the school, which is practically in the back yard of my Mother’s home. The media center is a fantastic place to hide and hunt eggs.
This overview of the media center shows what a nice place it is for egg hunting. "The Pit" is the grey area in the back center.

We usually start the event by eating supper on the little tables. Then we clean up and send the youngsters into “the pit” ~ an ampitheater in the library children normally gather to hear story time. It is separated from the rest of the room with portable screens.
While the children wait in the pit, the adults and older cousins hide the eggs. The media center offers hundreds of books and crannies for egg hiding, and the older cousins ~ particularly the men ~ are tall and very clever when it comes to stashing eggs.
This year Lincoln graduated form egg seeker to egg hider.
We had so much candy this year; we ended up just scattering some of the wrapped pieces on the floor for the younger children to find. My niece Lisa was on scattering duty and while she tosses treats, her brother followed behind her picking up the goodies. She eventually spotted him and made him put it all back.
After the hunters are let loose and comb the books, computers, tables and toys for goodies, we finish off with an egg roll.
A ramp runs the length of the Media center behind a wall. It makes a perfect hill for the egg rolling. Each child picks out their best rolling egg and they are grouped in threes (based on age) for the roll off. Afterwards, the adults relax, chat and clean up after dinner while the children stuff themselves with candy, run up and down the ramp and roll eggs to their heart’s content.
The “triplets born of different mothers” are 11 this year, and probably have only one more year of hunting. So the pressure is on my sister’s two sons and oldest daughter to get into production so we can keep the tradition going strong.

There are almost as many cameras as there are kids rolling eggs.

Lincoln is now 13 years old, six feet tall and growing. The boy loves to eat. Notice the bandage on his thumb, that came from splitting it in half, lengthwise (like a hotdog) at Scout Camp.


Wyo sis said...

I absolutly love this post. Please save it and send me a copy with pictures and be sure to save it on paper as a journal. It just seems to get to be more fun each year. I do hope Shane and Paul will hurry and marry and have children for the third wave.

Adrienne said...

Great entry!!!!!

Karen said...

Apparently there is no longer any hope for me to add to the melee!

justjohanna said...

gross! (about the thumb) i had to read that twice to see if that's what you'd really said!

Susan said...

What wonderful traditions your family has!! I love it!

Bro said...

Cool entry T wants to be part of the third wave... we will see what we will see on that one. She is still rather young you know (34). P.S. Karen you were not left out of the third wave so hang in there.

Six- foot nefew said...

I will never eat hot dogs again after what happened.

Wyo sis/Mom of Karen said...

There is hope, however you are a girl. Shane and Paul have much more choice in the matter and they had better get busy. As for you tick...tick...tick! Idf you want it you'd better go for it soon.