Three for Thursday

I must confess that Easter is my favorite holiday, and one of the reasons is because it usually means warmer weather is on the way here in Western New York.  Yet, this is the scene outside my dining room window as I write…

April 5th and more snow…

When will this cold snap end?  Where is the forsythia in bloom?  Those poor crocus bulbs are stuck under ground in their frozen tundra tomb.  It’s so discouraging.  I could never live in a cold weather climate, in spite of the fact that snowmen are some of my favorite people.  Regardless of the wintry winds whipping up bad alliteration in my writing, friends, here is my Three for Thursday in which I catch you up with all things Sunny.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So getting back to Easter – I love this day for the obvious and most important reason, Jesus has risen from the dead and it is the highest and holiest days of my faith.  On Good Friday this year we had an added treat of seeing my eldest granddaughter, age four, participate in the living Stations of the Cross at our church.  She was featured as a weeping woman during the eighth station and she took her role very seriously.

Easter is a also holiday when we gather with loved ones without the expectation of gift giving, which Christmas and birthdays always involve.  Over the years, however, I have always given Easter baskets to my children and grandchildren, and in a addition to some chocolate and candy – I do indulge a little and give a few gifts. When my own children were young it was funny to see them get a bottle of chewable Flintstone vitamins and a new toothbrush along with the chocolate and jelly beans, but usually I was the only one amused.

Group shot of the grandkids. Love those smiles.

This year, along with a bag of sweets,  I gave my granddaughter a blanket I had been crocheting and finally finished.  I think she liked it since she immediately laid down on the floor with it and became wrapped up like a taco by her cousins.

Another idea I found for some of the grandchildren on Etsy were these adorable painted wooden saint pegs.  From Emmaus Road Etsy, each of them was crafted individually to reflect the specific saint they represented.

Pickleball Tournament Finals

Back in my post Four For Friday I mentioned the first round of a Pickleball Tournament that my friends and I had begun, and I am happy to report that it was finally concluded last night after we had to postpone for a week.  Two weeks ago we played for the seeding spots, and yesterday we met for the semi-finals and the championship/consolation games.  Each week when we play either Pickleball or Badminton, we circle up and begin with a prayer, but this time we also sang the National Anthem because, well, we wanted to be all professional and stuff.

So check this out… I brought an American flag house banner from my home to have as the USA flag that we salute, and I taped it to the wall figuring there would be no flag hanging in the gym.  And as I am preparing these pictures to use for this post a day later, LOOK AT WHAT IS BEHIND US!

Did you see that HUGE American flag?!?  And none of us even noticed!!

Anyway, the number one seeded team played the number four team while two and three played against each other.  The hubby and I were seeded third.  Early in the first game my husband let his paddle slip after an intense return and the paddle, still attached to his wrist by the handle string, flew up and caught him in the left ear.  I didn’t even realize anything was wrong until someone on the other team asked what happened to my partner.  We took a time-out to attend to the bleeding, but we never did recover from our rough start, and lost in the semi-finals.  We also went on to lose in the consolation game, coming in dead last.  But our prize was a jar of Dill Pickle Relish, so there’s always that.  The Golden Blinged-out Pickleball Paddle went to a pair of awesome athletes, two ladies who fought long and hard playing all three games of both sets.  They earned it – rhinestone trim and all.

The other teams received prizes with variations on the pickle theme, and I for one am grateful to be rotating back to my beloved badminton next week.

Sweet Endings

I couldn’t resist throwing in a recipe to end this post.  This is one of the dishes I brought to the Easter Sunday meal with the extended family.  This year we were hosted by my sister-in-law and her husband as we gathered with the extended family totaling forty people; it’s always crazy and fun when the whole family is together and our hosts were most hospitable.  My family and I have always referred to this dessert as Slush Cake, but it’s technically called Cold Fudge Cake, and is a recipe by Mr. Food (recipe link here), remember him?

In this version I used pistachio pudding, but I have also used chocolate and one time I did a half and half version.  It’s a dense ‘cake’ with five layers; very rich with ingredients such as cream cheese, pudding, and whipped topping.  The crust uses chopped walnuts, butter, and flour and the top is dusted in more chopped walnuts.  A small piece goes a long way in taste and calories, but it is truly is a crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

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