Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Traditions... Old and New, Three Local Easter Dates

Good Thursday morning!

The Gallery pics this morning are from last night's book signing. Ree (The Pioneer Woman) and I are super-duper close friends, but last night was officially the first time we actually met... or spoke to each other... or had our picture taken together. It was an EPIC night.

RANDOMNESS - Well, I met her. The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond. Blogger, Cookbook Author, Photographer, Homeschooling Mom Extraordinaire.

And it was thrilling, I tell you. Thrilling!

I've never been to a book signing. This was a first for me. And because I've never attended a book signing, I didn't know the "rules." (Yep. There are rules... Even for a book signing.)

Actually there are a TON of rules for a book signing. Let me share my new found knowledge with you this morning.

I thought you could arrive one to two hours prior to the book signing and get in line. WRONG!

BOOK SIGNING RULE #1 - It is advised to come the DAY BEFORE THE BOOK SIGNING and obtain a NUMBER. Waiting until one to two hours prior to the book signing is a HUGE mistake. Just ask me... Number 218!

I knew The Pioneer Woman (Ree to her closest, dearest friends) was popular. I did not know she was shoulder-to-shoulder, chest-to-back, packed crowd popular.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #2 - Wear something that "breathes." Wear something cotton. Preferably just a bra. It gets hot in those crowded situations.

I knew when I talked to Number 10, I was in big trouble. She had four other people with her.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #3 - Up to FIVE people can hold one number. That means instead of just talking to, signing and having her picture taken with one person, you have to multiply it by FIVE.

I also knew from faithfully reading her blog, she has to make bathroom trips during these marathon book signings.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #4 - After you have had a leisurely one-hour dinner with your husband (and you return to the book signing to discover they are only on Number 64), find a place to sit down near the bookstore bathroom. She's going to go to the bathroom. Have your camera ready!

There is a very specific order in which you must prepare your book(s) prior to signing.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #5 - You MUST have a sticky note with your name printed neatly in Sharpie on the left side of the Title Page. The paper book cover must be folded in such a way as to open your book immediately to that page. This must be checked by three or four staff members prior to meeting The Pioneer Woman.

From 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., I waited. Mikie joined me after work. We had dinner together. Sat in the bookstore and looked at books together. Took a small nap around 9:00 p.m. together.

And then it was my turn.

I have to say, at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, I was looking very good. I had on my Pioneer Woman flowy top. I was wearing my Pioneer Woman earrings. My hair was behaving well. My breath was fresh. My speech was prepared. I was READY!

I also have to say, five hours later... not so much!

Right before my turn, I generously re-applied lipstick. Mikie had the camera ready. I walked up to Ree. She was gracious, warm and said, "It is lovely to meet you."

I took a deep breath before I gave her my prepared (straight-from-the-heart) speech... and silently nodded.

She looked at me with a big smile. "Are you doing okay this evening?"

I again nodded.

She looked at me again. She signed my book. She told me to look at Mikie. "I always instinctively know when a camera is pointed at me," she said and giggled.

I said something like, "Ackmoffyuh."

She patted my arm and said, "Thank you so much for coming."

I nodded.

Mike got my other arm and guided me out of the book signing area.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"How much fun was that? It was thrilling, I tell you! Thrilling! Let me see the picture!"

And he did. And it was good.

I grinned all the way to the Big Gold Van. And then I drove home with Mikie following behind.

If you ever get a chance to go to a book signing, I highly recommend it!

OLD TRADITIONS - (First Posted April, 2011)

Easter Nature Walk

Go on a walk in your neighborhood and have an Easter "nature" hunt.

Give each child a colored paper bag to decorate with crayons, stickers and markers. When the bags are decorated, lead the children through the neighborhood and let them gather anything that interests them.

When you arrive home, sit down in a circle with the kids and have them empty the contents of their bags in front of them.

Ask for the following items, and as the children put the item in the middle of the circle, tell them why it is significant to the Easter story.

"Did anyone find a branch?" The week before His crucifixion as Christ entered the city, the people waved branches from palm trees welcoming Him.

"Did anyone find a piece of wood?" Jesus' cross was made from wood.

"Did anyone find something prickly?" His crown was made of thorns.

"Did anyone find something that is no longer alive?" Jesus did die on the cross.

"Did anyone find anything dark in color?" Pick up three "dark" things and talk about the three days of darkness following the crucifixion. Light could not be found following His death.

"Did anyone find a stone?" There was a huge stone at the opening of the grave of Jesus that the angel removed.

"Did anyone find something living." This reminds us that Jesus Christ died, was resurrected and He lives today.

NOTE - Since you want the children to collect anything and everything that interests them, make sure you have at least one item in YOUR bag to represent the Easter story told above. A child might not pick up a prickly object or a dead object, etc.

ANOTHER NOTE - This would be a great time to read The Three Trees to your little circle of friends. Pass out a treat and a juice box for them to nibble on while you read the book.

End your Easter Nature Walk with a prayer thanking God for the amazing gift of his Son.


As part of Blog Linkage, go to She has a LOT of fun ideas for little ones this Easter season.

Start at the top (April 3) and scroll down, down, down. From top to bottom, I bet you'll find something your children will enjoy between now and Sunday!

Blog Linkage - Other than the above link, I have just one for you to read today. However, it is a good one.

Go to Go to the bottom of her sidebar to Archives. Click on March. The first post to appear should be "For the Love of Babies" dated March 31. Such a sweet, sweet post. Read, look and enjoy.

Three Local Easter Dates

Thanks to, I have several date suggestions for THIS SATURDAY, April 7!

1. The Great Egg Drop at McWane Science Center - Join us for an eggciting, eggstreme, hands-on fun eggstravaganza. Scramble over to the Science Center before noon the Saturday before Easter. Take your egg to the flight prep area where Science Center staffers have lots of items and eggspertise to help you construct a vehicle that may or may not allow your egg to survive a two-story fall!

Times - Building from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Egg Drop at 12:00 noon

Cost - Included in cost of admission to the museum. FREE for members.

2. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at The Birmingham Zoo - Make your reservations now for this popular event! Breakfast with the Easter Bunny takes place in Kudzoo Café and features a delicious breakfast followed by a visit from the Easter Bunny. All children will receive a special treat. Call 879-0409 and reserve your spot today!

Times - 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

3. Cottontail Express at Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum - Welcome Spring with a train ride to Peter Cottontail’s meadow. Join in the fun as we hunt for Easter eggs. You might win a prize! Bring your camera to take photos with the Easter Bunny! This fun-filled family excursion lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Cost - Children age 2 to 11 - $10
Adults - $15

Times - Train departs at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Have a tremendous Thursday. I'll be back tomorrow with Weekend Happenings AND more Easter Traditions... Old and New!

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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