Signs of Spring.001

Ten Signs of Spring in our Home

 Signs of spring are popping up around our home! What are the signs of spring around your home?

Signs of Spring.001

I eagerly watch for early signs of spring. I wait for the very moment when winter fades into my memory, and once more, warmer days and windy breezes blow the frost and barren land into the season of spring. The sights and sounds are all familiar friends that reunite with joy and reawaken memories. I love spring.

Spring hits this ADHD lady pretty hard. I can be heard pathetically whimpering to my family, ”Ooooout….ssssiiiiiiiiiiiide” just like one of my toddlers use to say. Years ago, when we were in the thick of homeschooling, my kids would brag to my husband, “She’s pretty weak, we can suggest any outside activity, and we’ll get the day off of school.” Okay, I’ll admit…g.u.i.l.t.y.
Even my dear daughter, my last high schooler, knows spring is the kryptonite to her structured homeschool mother.

I can’t help it. So I ask myself, why fight it? I resign to anticipating this wonderful season like my five-year granddaughter old awaiting her birthday. Classic signs of spring help me usher in the season, the return of first red robin, small blossoms on bushes, and green grass emerging from the dry clay soil of northern California. But there are a few signs of spring unique to our home I look forward to every year.

Ten Signs of Spring in Our Home

1. My mom’s Easter bread arrives. Signs of Spring.002
Bless my mom. Miles may separate us, but her baking brings us together. Easter Bread (An Italian tradition passed down from her mother’s mother.) arrives on our doorstep every year with a card reminding her family that, “He is Risen!” As we unwrap the bread, two stories are always retold. The first story is about when she was a new wife attempting to continue the Easter Bread tradition for the first time. She placed the rising dough on top of the refrigerator. The next morning, she found the refrigerator shrouded in bread dough! Apparently, the dough had more than doubled. The second bit of family history goes like this. Expert bread baking cousin asked for the family Easter Bread recipe even though it was nowhere near Easter time. She made the bread, and it failed epically. My cousin called my mom to find out if an ingredient was missing or if a technique was not executed accurately. My mom politely but emphatically reminded my cousin that the bread symbolizes Jesus’ resurrection and should only be made on Easter. My cousin disagreed. The failed Easter Bread is one of those unsolved mysteries. Here is the recipe. Make it only for Easter. You have been warned.

Easter Bread Recipe- Makes 2 Loaves
Ingredients:
2 cups Very warm milk
6 tsp yeast
1 cup of sugar

1 cup softened butter
9 cups of flour (divide in half)
6 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
9 cups of flour

Directions: (Mom uses her muscles-I use a dough hook.)
Add yeast, sugar, butter to warm milk.
(Let stand for 10 min until bubbly)
Add half of flour
Add egg yolks
Add one egg at a time-beating each time
Add vanilla
Add rest of flour a little at a time
Knead and cover for six hours.
Punch and knead dough.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Punch and knead dough again.
Grease and fill bread pans ⅓ full. Cover and allow to rise for one hour.
Brush with the reserved egg whites.
Bake at 325-350 degrees for 45-60 min.

2. Easter week Bible reading begins. Signs of Spring.003
Starting the Monday before Easter, we read the passages in the Bible leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is always some new insight hidden in God’s word for us to discover. We pick a “Week Before Easter Bible Reading” plan. Here is our reading plan for this year.
Week Before Easter Bible Reading
Sunday – Matt. 20:17-34; Mark 10:32-52; Luke 18:31-43
Monday – Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38; John 12:12-15
Tuesday – Matt. 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46
Wednesday – Matt. 21:18 – 26:16; Mark 11:11 – 14:11; Luke 20:1 – 22:6
Thursday – Matt. 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-72; Luke 22:7-62; John. 13:1 – 18:27
Friday – Matt. 27:1-61; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:66 – 23:55; John 18:28 – 19:42
Saturday – Matt.27:62-66; Luke 23:56
Sunday – Matt. 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:1-8

3. The Passover Meal is served. Signs of Spring.004
The smells of roasting lamb, sweet charoset, bitter herbs, and matzah are a sure sign of spring. The Passover was Jesus’ last meal and it is where He asked us to remember Him in the breaking of bread and in sharing the cup. It provides our family with rich Christian roots. This year, we are celebrating it with some friends from our daughter’s youth group.

4. We play “Peep Jousting”. Signs of Spring.005
Have you heard of this game? It is a time honored tradition in our home. Your boys will especially love it!
Object of the game: To spear your opponent’s Peep.
1. Each player chooses a different color “Peep”.
2. Players strategically position
a “toothpick sword” into the Peep.
3. Separate the Peeps one inch apart
on a paper plate.
4. Place in microwave and
turn on high for one minute and WATCH!
5. As the Peeps expand, one peep
will impale the other.The winner is the last one skewered.

5. Late winter vegetables arrive. Signs of Spring.006
Living in northern California, cool crops tend to bolt quickly under Sacramento’s piercing temperatures. So the only time we can grow lettuce and other cool crops is early spring. We don’t always get the plants in the ground soon enough, but when we do, it makes for a crunchy spring.

6.Seedlings are growing. Signs of Spring.007
In our area, we cannot plant our summer garden until May 1st. Warm temperatures can fool even a master gardener. Those who succumb to the temptation of planting too early sometimes reap a deadly frost rather than a harvest. I have pictures of my kids in late April snow sledding. My solution and another sign of spring around the Mora household is the use of my makeshift greenhouse, where I can plant my seeds early and watch them grow. Checking on my little seedlings makes me happy.

7. Flowers bloom on our deck. Signs of Spring.008
For Valentine’s Day, I usually receive flats of annuals that I can plant anywhere I want. It is a true gift of love! I collect flower pots at thrift stores and garage sales and fill them up with colorful flowers. Just another sign, spring is here.

8. Roses creep up our trellises. Signs of Spring.009
I know spring is here when the rose bushes begin to bloom and climb. When I am stressed out, you can find me by these ascending little beauties drinking in their fragrance. It’s the best aromatherapy I know.

9. The hum of the weed whacker is heard. Signs of Spring.010
Rural California sprouts some tall grass. And if you don’t get a handle on it early, you are going to be in waist-high grass before you know it. We learned that lesson the hard way! The first year we moved to the country, we didn’t recognize this sign of spring and our weeds grew shoulder-high! I am sure our neighbors made some remark about “those city slickers” next door. This year, I am so grateful we still have a college boy at home to make our weed eater hum.

10. Left over winter wood needs to be re-stacked. Signs of Spring.011
Spring always seems to arrive just when we have filled up the wood rack. Despite all the signs of spring, I have never mastered the timing of the last day of winter and the first day of spring. I guess I could use some additional lessons from Mr. Groundhog. Oh well, time to carry the split logs back to the main wood pile. So long winter….Welcome spring! I’m glad you’re here!

What are the signs of spring around your home?

From Our Home to Yours,

bethBeth-Mora-Signature

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