We just spent the morning making masks and bead necklaces for Mardi Gras. I can't say we've ever celebrated Mardi Gras before, but then again, I don't know that I can say we've been snowed in in March before, either. So Mardi Gras it is! We have a panda, a lion, and a cat in the household, and big plans for a parade this afternoon. It's not quite 32 degrees out, which is usually my cutoff for going out for a big long walk with all the kids, but this winter has toughened us up, so we'll take 29 degrees outside. I'll double wrap the babies in bunting, and they should be good to go! Good, strong European babies, those two.
And while I'm posting pictures of parties, feasting and debauchery, I've been making huge batches of meatballs with a blend of pork and beef and they've been a hit around here (which has not always been the case). Both Ben and I have noticed that we've shifted from the mentality of feeding a small family (where you can make very special allocations for each member of the family) to the mentality of feeding a big family (where there's a single item for dinner, which hopefully everyone can enjoy). The amazing thing is that the kids have more or less gone with the flow, and have become increasingly experimental in their eating, even if it means leaving behind a little of this or that. Of course we still sometimes find ourselves making a peanut butter sandwich for someone for "dessert", but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. There's something so satisfying about making a huge pot of something that feeds many hungry mouths.
And in the debauchery department, I've been enjoying a hot buttered rum just about every evening. Think of it as a sweet, warming, spiked tea. I make the batter from the recipe I've linked, and then put about a tablespoon in a mug, along with two tablespoons of rum, and fill with hot water (and this ends up lasting for much more than the four drinks approximated by the recipe). The result is so tasty and soothing! You should give it a try.
And now that we're getting all of this excitement out of our systems, it's time for Lent! With any luck, I might be back here sharing a little bit about our hopes and plans for this penitential season. I'm especially excited to be involving the big kids this year.