Easter Celebration

I grew up in the Episcopal Church, attending St. Paul’s in Visalia, and then the odd Bible Camp, crusade or revival when I could find one. I spent years doing correspondence bible courses after attending a Billy Graham crusade, and then at UCLA was rebaptized Easter Sunday my sophomore year at Santa Monica Beach in the Pacific Ocean because I worried that infant baptisms didn’t count. I carried my Bible around UCLA. Wouldn’t dream of going on a date without it. Was I the most popular girl at UCLA? Probably not.

At the ranch: My brother and sister, holding family dogs, and me (in orange).
At the ranch: My brother and sister, holding family dogs, and me (in orange).

For all my religious fervor, my family didn’t often attend church on Easter Sunday as we were rarely home Easter Sunday. Our Spring Break was usually at our ranch outside Paso Robles in the coastal foothills.  But just because we were at the ranch for Easter, it didn’t mean we didn’t have a church service. We did, and it was run by the kids. Well, run by me. We’d put on an Easter play or pageant, reenacting the events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. I’d assign parts, select appropriate scripture, find hymns and then round up everyone to stand on the hillside for the worship service. My brother Thom’s best friends, Will and Charles Winn, were often there with us for Easter and so we’d have plenty of people for the roles of Herod, Christ, Pontius Pilate, Mary, soldiers, mourners.  I loved directing. I liked the good roles but could on occasion share. After the service, we’d hunt for the Easter eggs my dad hid on the property–eggs tucked in corral nooks, gopher holes, rocks by the stream, in low branches of massive oak trees.

Mom, Dad and my little brother, overlooking the ranch
Mom, Dad and my little brother, looking out at the ranch.

I loved the ranch. I love the country. She’s Gone Country is an ode to my father and Texan grandfather’s love for the land, too. I can’t wait for the book to come out this summer and see what you all think, but in the meantime I thought ‘d give away the other book I wrote that features a ranch setting, The Secret, a book in the Harlequin continuity series called Cooper’s Corner. My book was one of four direct mail books, which means it was never sold retail and very few people read it but it’s a fun story—a mix of rugged cowboy and Hollywood glamour as my hero’s Nevada ranch is being used for a movie shoot. To celebrate my memories of Easter at our family ranch near Parkfield, California as well as this Easter in Hawaii (the 7th Easter anniversary since meeting Ty in 2004), I’m giving away 6 copies of The Secret, my Cooper’s Corner novel, a Starbucks drink card, and lots of JP reader goodies. Interested in winning my Easter Celebration prize? Tell me what you’re doing today, or share your favorite Easter tradition or celebration and you’re entered. I’ll draw 6 winners Wednesday morning. Good luck, and Happy, Happy Easter!


  1. Our Easter tradition is gathering everyone together at my grandparents’ house for Easter lunch. It usually ranges from about 15-25 of us in total. I think today my cousins and I might get a game of Cranium going now that we’ve had Easter lunch. Hope your family is having a Happy Easter too!

    1. Nancy, congrats! You are a winner! I’d decided that whoever posted first would be the first winner, so congrats and make sure you send me your mail address later so I can get the prize out. And everyone else…there are still 5 prizes to give away so comment when you can!

      And now I’m off to eat a Peep or two…


      1. Hi Jane,

        I sent you an e-mail with my addy since you replied to my comment, but you wrote congrats Nancy so I’m a little confused. Anyway, hope you’re having a happy Easter!


      2. Emily….I know you’re Emily…sorry about that. I’d just replied to an email from a friend named Nancy and voila! Everyone is now Nancy. 🙂 Sorry about that and glad you sent me your address!


  2. No traditions these days. Husband works continental shifts, so he’s working tonight. Kids are away. Quiet night. Perfect for reading a book!

    As for the rest of today, after I finish this, I’m writing a poem for my sister’s 40th wedding anniversary card. I’ve got four stanzas done, but I need more before printing it off, gluing it and embellishments into a homemade card, and mailing it off.

    My laundry is up-to-date, the dusting/vacuuming is done, dishwasher is emptied, and most little messes are gone. Hope to work on the remainder of them before settling down with that book. Mind you, hope springs eternal!

    Have a great weekend, Jane and fellow bloggers. As always, Jane, we love hearing about what’s going on in your life. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Happy Easter Jane! We use to spend our Easter Sundays with people from our Church, and my grandmother if she was in town. Our pastor was (is) my Godfather, so we always ended up over at their house. Today most of my family are all at my brother-in-law’s mom’s house for dinner.

    I already had my traditional Outback Steakhouse steak last night. I didn’t think they’d be open today for whatever reason, lol. My sister and I started ‘the tradition’ in Annapolis when we couldn’t make it down to FL, and went to the Outback after I got off of work (on Easter Sunday – not Navy; the grocery store I workd at til’ 6pm that day). She told me yesterday she’s going for her’s with her friend today lol. You go big sis!

    Other than that, I’ve been invited for a cookout (may go), and I was going to go for a hike up either Diamond Head or Koko Head, but it looks to be raining. So the skie’s open. Winging today :0)

    Hope you’re having yourself a blessed little Easter with your family Jane ~

  4. Happy Easter! We got home last night after staying at Dad’s in Santa Rosa for a week. 13 hours to get back to Puyallup. Even though we are bushed, a certain 3-yr-old granddaughter can’t wait for an egg hunt at my house. We fill plastic eggs with change saved throughout the year, she finds them, it goes into her bank account. And we are decorating eggs. And trying a new ham recipe. I can’t wait to do the eggs. 3 is an awesome age. So aware of things and so excited about it all.

  5. I am actually having the quietest Easter I can remember…

    My oldest daughter and my husband are driving to Palm Beach to pick up her horse as his Florida season is over. My son and his girlfriend are both university students with part time jobs and of course they were offered hours to work on a holiday weekend. That leaves me and my two youngest daughters at home.

    My brother lives 700 miles away and is spending Easter there with his wife’s family. My sister’s daughter has a ringuette tournament this weekend, and as my sister is coaching, they are occupied. And my parents have opted to stay in Montreal (I live an hour away) and watch ringuette.

    So, today Rachel, Vicky and I were totally lazy. We slept late… the Easter Bunny left them baskets. I had a lovely, sunny two hour walk with the dogs — I live on a little country road in the ski area north of Montreal. I’m making shrimp pasta for supper, we’re sharing a bottle of wine (mostly for me!) and I’m quilting this afternoon.

    I read all morning and it’s been a lovely stress-free Easter. I am anxiously awaiting She’s Gone Country as I re-read Easy on the Eyes this week. I have Mrs. Perfect on order at my bookstore and it should arrive this week, I can’t wait to read it.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful Easter in Hawaii with Ty and Mac!

  6. Happy Easter Jane…nice of you to pop in on this special day. We’re building a house for our son on our property and are in the door hanging stage. I’ve got a ham in the oven and will fix other things later on to accompany it, and end up eating late today. I’m a CA girl too..grew up in Venice and Mar Vista, but wanted to raise my three boys in VA…they grow up so fast and I enjoyed them all during their youth. Have a wonderful day with all your family…Ruth

  7. Hey Jane, I don’t really have any Easter stories to share. Thanks for giving us another glimpse into your life.

    Don’t count me in okay. Just wanted to wish you, Ty and the boys a Happy Easter!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  8. I love that mom still gives me Easter goodies, just like she used to hide our Easter baskets when we were younger.

  9. Hi, Jane! Happy Easter : ) Two traditions that I remember from childhood: Easter Church Finery and Easter Candy! The one clothing item I remember the most is the fancy underpants with the rows and rows of stiff lace across the back. Then there was the lacy dress with the ruffled hem, and the stiff lacy crinoline-style petticoat underneath. White gloves, white lace-trimmed ankle socks, black patent-leather shoes and a lacy drawstring purse completed the look. Lace everywhere. I’m talking 60’s style. 1960’s, not 1860’s….really!

    The candy…ah, yes…the candy! Since I lived with my mom and grandparents, I got an Easter Basket from each of them. Now, we’re talking about a candy-loving family. More candy than I could eat, so it was shared by all. Took me years to realize the method behind that madness : )

    Each of us had individual favorites, but there was one candy item which was on everyone’s list. It was a biggie! The Whitman’s Fruit and Nut Egg. Chocolate covered whipped nougat filling, studded with pieces of nuts and candied fruit. A candy egg as big as your hand. Heavy as a rock in a snowball, and potentially just as deadly. Lord, I want one now!!!

    1. Virginia! What a kick! Your entry brought back such vivid memories for me…had to LOL when you mentined the lacy underlovies!
      Thanks for the gift of going back in time. All the best. Mary J.

  10. Hello Jane! I typically spend Easter weekend with my parents. We have a wonderful visit with them and my siblings. Mom always cooks us a nice breakfast.
    I always try to eat chocolate today too 😉
    I hope you have had a wonderful day!

  11. Happy Easter! Started the day off right and went to church. Spent part of the day enjoy the weather outside and reading.
    Enjoy Hawaii!! I’m so jealous.

  12. The family celebration is going on right now here at my house. My older sister, one brother and their families (age 2 to we don’t tell..) are all here and we are having a great time. I remember my younger sister and I getting matching dresses for church on Easter, and all those egg hunts. We are missing mom but remembering her with love and stories to tell the kids.It was a wonderful holiday back then; candy and eternal life, how can you beat that! Now it means spring and rebirth and family. It must be neat to be in Hawaii at Easter, how perfect!

  13. Happy Easter Jane and family and all the commenters.

    We went to church at Easter growing up and then had a delicious meal at home. Mom was a wonderful cook.

    Both parents are gone and this year we celebrated my and my twin brother’s 60th birthday yesterday(bday on 14th). I cooked eggs and dyed some with onion skins like Grandma and Mom used to do and my niece colored some blue and some yellow also. We had sour cream chocolate cookies iced and put little colored jelly beans on. Had a great time and included Easter also.

  14. This Easter I am helping to chaperone my daughter’s school trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. We are here for the week with 12 high school girls and 3 adults. Best Friends is the largest no kill animal shelter in the US. They have horses, dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and pigs! Today we spent the morning with the pigs and the afternoon with the bunnies. We have cleaned cages, walked dogs, scooped bunny droppings and feed the pigs!
    Hard work but rewarding…tiny bit jealous of the Hawaii Easter!

  15. Our family usually has a dinner at my sister’s house but this year she is still recovering from a total knee replacement so no big dinner this year. So actually I’m just taking it easy today and resting up from a hectic week. I visited with a friend for a while and that was great. Now I’m just relaxing, I watched The Blind Side earlier and loved it. I hope every one had a happy and safe Easter, particularly the people in California since they had an earthquake. Hope everyone is safe.

  16. Our Easter tradition growing up was having my grandparents over for lunch and an Easter egg hunt. Mom and Dad would hide the eggs all over the yard and my brothers and sister and I would make a mad dash to find them all!

    This year, my hubby was not feeling well. So, I took it upon myself to work on some household projects we had going on so that he could rest. I painted several shelves, fixed the toilet, replaced the belt in the vacuum cleaner, planted some phlox and put up popcorn ceiling in our guest bathroom. Busy day and I felt goo that I got alot accomplished!

    Hope you had a wonderful Easter today!!


  17. I’m actually alone today but that’s ok. I went to church this morning and witnessed 3 young men give their hearts to the Lord….what a day to realize what He did for us all in raising from the dead those many long years ago. I’ve fixed a nice dinner, watching TY and playing on the computer. I hope everyone is having a blessed day. He is Risen!

  18. Happy Easter, Jane. And to your family also. Today was a day spent with my kids at my mom and dad’s. We always work on Easter dinner together (there’s only 8 of us). An extra-special blessing this year is that today is also my mom’s 80th birthday! She’s such a great lady.

  19. Hi Jane,
    Enjoyed the pictures. Pretty quiet Easter this year. Feeling a little under the weather today. I miss when we’d dress my two girls up in their easter outfits with their eater bonnets and go to church. They were so sweet and cute. All grown up now. Happy Easter!

  20. today i got to host easter at my place for my sister and her family and my brother and his family since my parents and other brother + his family is in florida. it was a great time and i hope we can make this a tradition.

  21. What great memories, Jane. I can definitely relate to your college experience 🙂

    I love Easter. We went to church this morning and had an Easter egg hunt in the sanctuary after the service. No traditions besides that, although every Easter I like to take a quiet moment to think of and thank God for all the wonderful blessings He’s given me. Somehow it seems more appropriate to thank Him on Easter rather than Thanksgiving! God Bless.

  22. Easter is a wonderful time in my family. Today my daughter and I went to mass, shot photos of the mission, made lemon bars and chocolate dipped strawberries then went to my sisters house for a family get together. That has become our tradition. It is a nice time when the whole family gets together and just spends time together. You never know what will happen and it is always different and fun. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time with your family.

  23. Hi Jane,
    We had an Easter lunch at my mom and dads. It would have been at the in laws but since my father in law died Monday my husbands family moved the Easter meal to Saturday evening so the out of town family could attend.
    The meal at my moms was yummy. My mom makes more desserts than main meal items.
    Later that evening my little family went and rented a few movies to watch together.

  24. Being the mama of 5 kiddos, we seem to have the biggest family out of everyone. We always go to other family members dinners because I was embarrased about our house. Raising all those kids we were never able to afford anything new. After 9 long months we finally remodeled, adding a large kitchen, dining room, sunroon and new front room. I was happy this year to be able to have everyone over, celebrating early on Saturday so not to interrupt other family dinners on Easter Sunday. It was a blast! Plus today we were able to relax, take in a movie, get one of the twins back up to college and rest! Happy Easter Jane and enjoy your time together with your guy, Ty and the family! Mama G~~~Lisa

  25. My family just returned from spending Easter at my in-laws. I was up early this morning hiding (not too hard) our daughter’s Easter basket. Then we had a little breakfast and were off to church for Easter service. All my husband’s brothers and sisters came for Easter dinner. We used to have an egg hunt for the little ones, but the little ones are getting too big for that. After visiting for a while, we got back on the road to the Twin Cities. It’s fun to get together with family and catch up on what everyone is doing. It’ll be back to work/school tomorrow. Happy Easter, Jane!

  26. Quiet Easter with my family: went to Easter Mass and had a nice Easter supper. I made a roasted leg of lamb for the first time and it came out really good. Easter used to be more hectic for me when the children were younger as they had a lot of activities: palm cross making, passion plays and easter egg hunts. Now it’s all quiet and peaceful.

    Happy Easter Jane (and Happy 7th Easter Anniversary, too)

  27. Hi, Jane! Our family attended church and of course had a big family meal. New to the whole family this year was a egg hunt for all the kids. What fun starting a new tradition. Hope you had a blessed day.

  28. I wish I were a child again and could hunt for Easter eggs, but instead I spent today reading legal cases (homework – not so exciting) and Harlequin novels (to escape the legal cases – much more exciting, and I’m thrilled that Kate Hewitt commented here as well, because you and she are two of my favorite Presents writers!). Happy Easter!

  29. Traditionally, our family searches for Easter baskets, attneds church, then enjoys an early dinner of smoked ham. This year was especially memorable when my three year old pulled a bowl of cranberry juice marinade (for the ham) off the kitchen counter and all over her white and pink Easter dress, an hour before church service! Somehow I was able to wash and dry it and make church on time, much to my husband’s amazement. The afternoon was filled with quality family time together, relaxing and rejoicing in the true meaning of the day. Happy Easter everyone!

  30. So for me, since I can remember, its always been about some sort of dumb argument on Holidays and me being a sulky brat sitting in my room. I have a large, loud, VERY Polish, (hardheaded) family. This year my mom and I invited my brothers fiance’s parents over for dinner. (+2 makes 16) As I said, a Holiday isn’t a Holiday without an argument so I got it out of the way Saturday. Today- my sister and I decorated the table beautifully, my mom prepared so many savory dishes, and Megan and her parents arrived. We all had a WONDERFUL time. This was my first meeting with her parents while everyone else had met numerous times before. We laughed, we shared stories, we planned for the upcoming wedding. Not a single negative thing was said. Afterwards, I went home and my two young nephews accompanied me for a game of Monopoly. I got a phone call from my brother. (Who is 7 years older than I and just kind of the funny but quiet type.) He called to tell me that Megan (Fiance) was really happy that I chose to partake in the family togetherness all day, and it really meant a lot to her to see me just be myself and have fun. Her parents adored me and blah blah blah. The main thing is…… My brother- who’s always been my hero- called and said all this nice stuff to me. (I may be hard on the outside but I’m truly a softie inside.) It meant the world to me to hear him say that and I truly feel that this was the best Easter I’ve ever had!

  31. Hi Jane:
    The past few Easters have been spent with my cousin and his family. I work at our church so Easter mornings are tricky. I am there for all 3 services and usually too exhausted afterward to do much. They are nice enough to have us over so I can relax afterward and just EAT!!
    Hope you are relaxing and having fun in HI.

    Peep Peep Peep!!
    Hugs, Shannon in Tustin

  32. Our Easter wasn’t so good. We’re all sick. I had to stay in bed coz of my ‘morning sick’ 🙂
    my DH had a fever, and my 3.7 yos son, couldn’t do anything since his parents were sick 🙁 so he just followed us. stayed in bed all the time.
    he brought his hotwheels, and some children books to the bed.

    anyway, we’re enjoying our time in bed together 🙂

  33. Hi Jane,
    Hope you had a happy Easter! I had to work but bought myself 3 chocolate bunnies to eat at work. Once I got to work my friend Karen told me she had forgotten Easter. Yikes. I gave her my chocolate bunnies and 3 movie certificates that I had in my purse. She has 3 boys and needed to have something for them.

  34. Yesterday was my last day of vacation so I spent it cooking for the week. The last few weeks I’ve been coming home cooking dinner (with the intent of having leftovers for lunch the next day) and it was interfering with my going to the gym. I’m hoping cooking in advance will allow me to have a good healthy lunch and dinner all week and also allow me to go to the gym – because I’ve missed that! 🙂

  35. Jane,
    Happy Belated Easter! My favorite tradition lately is the night before, we drive to my parents, almost 2 hours south from us. We unload the kids, and all the bags and we go to Atlantic City for dinner and we walk around. This year, my friends joined us and made the dinner even better! After the fun is over, we drive back to my parents and sleep so we can wake up to the kids and their Easter baskets. Yesterday, the weather was beautiful and the kids played baseball and rode their bikes and we just enjoyed being with family. It was a truly nice day. Hope you had a wonderful Easter! See you soon!

  36. Our tradition has been to go to Easter church services followed by a family dinner at my parents house.

  37. Went to early Mass with the family and then drow 3 hours to visit with my sister and her family. It was a beautiful day!

  38. As usual on Easter, I sang. The music this season was particularly beautiful and really brought home the miracle of the day.

    And I made casserole. Easter has always been a full court press for my family as we’ve always been involved in the music for the service. As a teenager, my mother was hospitality coordinator for our church. So we had to attend the Sonrise Service at 6:30 so that she could coordinate the breakfast that followed. After that there were two more services that we’d be involved in in one way or another. Then home for Easter dinner. I really don’t know how my mother managed it all.

    I continue a small tradition by making my sumptuous egg/cheese/sausage casserole for my current choir, the same casserole my mother used to make for the Sonrise Service all those years ago. My church has 3 services to sing for, so we traditionally have a breakfast for the choir members and their families. This is my church family and having that time of fellowship is part of what makes Easter special. Easter dinner is then at my boss’ home whose family has become mine over the years. She’s a fantastic cook and it’s always a good time.

    Not too long after that, I fall asleep on the couch, usually waking for dessert, also a long held tradition.

    Glad you had such a marvelous day. May Easter blessings be on you and yours throughout the year.

  39. When I was a kid we all got up on Easter morning and put on our new dresses and went to church and afterward we went to my grandmother’s house for a hugh easter egg hunt.

    Now my parents and grandparents are all gone and we don’t do much! My son is grown and in college, he didn’t want to come home for the weekend so we drove over to the college and picked him up and took him out to eat. I think he really enjoyed himself! Also took him a box of chocolate, he may be grown but he still enjoys his candy!

  40. Since my daughter was born, I hide the easter eggs after she goes to sleep, so when she wakes up, she grabs her basket and heads down the hall. I hide them inside the house, because it is usually cold outside. I put one or two in her bed and when she rolls over in the morning, she rolls onto an egg. It is too funny watching her find the eggs.

  41. My favorite traditions aren’t from when I was little but ones I’ve made at for my own children. Our favorite part of Easter is decorating the eggs. My daughter is really creative but my son isn’t so much. This year we made egg monsters and they used the video camera to make mini-movies staring the creatures.


  42. Hi Jane,
    I hope you guys had a wonderful easter. Our favorite part of Easter is decorating the eggs and having the egg hunts in the morning. I also have kept the tradition I got from my Grandma, of hiding the Easter baskets. It gives my kids one more exciting thing to look forward to in the morning. We went to my parent’s house in the afternoon and had dinner. I really enjoy just being around family at holidays. Just being together and visiting is the best!

  43. My favorite tradition: My Mom’s side gets together for a large family dinner on all major holidays. We’re lucky that the majority of us live close to each other – if all of us are together, there are 45 for dinner. The traditional egg hunt, that my grandparents started, now happens with their great-grandchildren. I feel very blessed that my daughter gets the opportunity to spend time with her great aunts and uncles, and consider my cousin’s children to be her cousins too.

  44. hope everyone had a happy Easter! we started a new tradition of having brunch at a local restaurant. that way no one is doing the cooking in our group, and we can relax, get caught up with each other and just enjoy the time. and no cean up! when my kids were smaller, i had several hundred plastic eggs. instead of hiding all of them, i would scatter them all over the front yard, and hide some in the back yard. their eyes would light up when they saw the front yard covered in the colors of all the eggs! they still talk about the “bunny” doing that Easter morning!

  45. This year i really didn’t do anything. My husband who is a truck driver was on the road and took my oldest boy (17) with him for 5 days. My brother hosted Easter dinner but he lives 3 hrs away and my sister and i were supposed to go with out kids but that fell thru. basically my youngest two and i just hang out at home. I watched the Janet Oke series Love comes softly. I think i must’ve watched all of them. lol I kind of got hooked. Ended up sitting up to 1 am to see the last one.

    Kind of boring day.


  46. Hi Jane
    Happy Belated Easter. We were supposed to go to the Saddle Ranch Service at Angel Stadium but had a quick change of plans and spent it with our family. It was fun and I’m glad we got to spend Easter with those that we love. Have fun in Hawaii and good luck with Ty’s store opening!

  47. Someone else mentioned a fruit and nut egg. We always had these back in the 50s but I thought they were Fanny Farmers – oh, so good!

  48. Hi Jane!

    Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

    My in laws came up and we went to mass and then ate all day! I am still full! I made our favorite Polish Easter foods like sauerkraut & kielbasa. I made my kids baskets but didn’t hide them this year since they are older now. (15 & 13) 🙁

    When I was younger my mom would make us keep meatless from Thursday night until we came home from church on Sunday in the old Polish-catholic tradition. It was sooooo difficult and torturous since she would have gone to the Polish store and the fridge was loaded with all our favorite sausages. I guess it made them taste even better!

  49. My favorite part of Easter is a memory of my mom always making a bunny shaped cake! I love the Easter baskets I used to get (and sometimes still do) and the fun of decorating eggs and then the Easter Egg Hunts.

    These days it is usually just a champagne brunch somewhere, preferably a nice hotel.

  50. Aloha!
    We had a wonderful easter,had guestsover, and were awakened early by the kids to find eggs and baskets. Since we live in Southern Arizona, we had a late brunch out on the lanai in 75 degree weather, then headed up the mountain and played in the snow.

  51. With both our daughters living in Seattle and my husband and I in New York, Easter was quiet this year. We talked to our daughters via Skype giving and getting Happy Easter wishes. Later, we threw some steaks on the grill. The steaks were perfect along with tossed salad, French baguette slices and a chocolate dessert. Simple but good. Easter is my favorite holiday, filled with life and hope, resurrection and springtime.

  52. Hi Jane,

    My favorite Easter memory is when I was young. Every Easter, we would go to church wih our new “Easter” clothes on. My mother would cook a good Easter meal and the kids would have Easter baskets.

  53. My fondest Easter memories from my childhood were the annual Easter celebrations that took place at my maternal grandparents’ farm in eastern Washington. The same farm that my Mom grew up on. As one of 8 children there were always plenty of aunts and uncles around not to mention a multitude of cousins for a hearty Easter dinner of scrumptious homecooked fare – Ham, mashed potatoes, rolls made from scratch and several salads/casseroles. After the feast, the adults went out to hide brightly dyed Easter eggs while all of us kids impatiently waited inside, sequestered away in a room with the blinds drawn so no one could peek. Then they unleashed us outdoors and I can remember clear as day the mad dash down the porch steps, kids running in all directions, and sometimes amid new baby piglets. It was pure joy to spot and nab as many of those jewel-toned eggs as possible. Ah, love those happy memories. I wish my grandparents were still around so that my girls could know them.

  54. I hope you had a Happy Easter! We use to have many traditions. Going to church and then over to my Mom and Dad’s house, where everyone would gather for dinner. Since my parent’s aren’t with us anymore, I am creating new traditions. I had a blast watching my young Grandchildren hunt for eggs this Easter. I just had to pull a stunt with any empty egg. The expresion on their face when there was nothing in it was priceless. (I know it sounds mean…but it was all in good fun) 🙂 Seeing them smile is about the best gift I could ever ask for. Nothing like a happy child!

  55. Our big tradition was the entire family getting together for the day and spending time catching up, eating a fabulous feast and relaxing. It is meaningful and memorable. Love those photos.

  56. Our Easter tradition is early service at Grace Episcopal church which is just a block from our house and brunch with family at home.

    Happy Easter Jane!

  57. Having been born in Iowa, often it was too cold or snowy to have an Easter egg hunt outside, so my mom always had it indoors. Instead of eggs, the Easter Bunny hid jelly beans! We have continued the indoor thing at my house since it can still be pretty chilly in Visalia at Easter, but the Easter Bunny hides plastic eggs filled with candy or money here!

    By the way, Father James from St. Paul’s married my husband and I. My parents still attend services there every Sunday…beautiful church!

  58. Had a great day yesterday. Went to church as a family, as we usually do, but worship feels like such a celebration on Easter Sunday. My parents joined us for egg coloring and of course, we all indulged on candy! It was cold and rainy here yesterday on the central coast but, my hubby still managed to bbq a tri tip for us for dinner. Relaxing today and enjoying the day off with my 3 kids. Wishing we were back in Oahu like you. Enjoy your time in paradise with your beautiful boys. Happy spring Jane!

  59. For the first time in years I did not have to work on Easter so with little sleep I went to Easter service at my friend’s church. They have three and like to invite new people so I was told I would not be taking someone’s spot. It was a good service and everyone was very nice. My name is Cat and I have 3 black Martha Stewart wood cats outside my front entrance and put 3 small Easter baskets by them. Weird maybe but it was fun. I have not really celebrated any holidays for years because I work in medicine and I always get the holidays so doing anything is fun for me. My friend who cannot go anywhere by herself (she says that but I disagree) woke me from my nap and asked me to go out to Easter dinner with her so I did. Still have not done an Easter basket for my cat yet (yes, I used to do that..Jazz likes Easter..what can I say)but I will.
    I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley too..ever heard of Firebaugh? My mom still lives there.
    Hope you had a Good Easter. cat
    PS. One of the outside small metal Easter baskets has been tipped over and the contents spilled…critique from my neighbor’s child? Who knows…next the cat’s get fake flower necklaces…wonder what I will do for summer…any suggestions…cat

  60. Why is it that we love seeing the name of our hometown in print? Maybe it’s being let in on someone else’s experience there?

    Anyway, today I got two hometowns mentioned: Visalia and Paso Robles.

    I’m extemely curious as to where exactly your ranch in Parkfield was located.

    Back to your question… for Easter I had most of my family here, in Paso Robles, at our home. I am 8 month pregnant, but loved having everyone here. The only one who wasn’t here was my brother Andy. He lives in Texas, going through a divorce, has 3 kids…and well, need I say more.

    I love having everyone here and I love hosting although it is stressful trying to get everything cooked and ready at the same time. Thankfully my mom and sisters were there to help.

    Hope you had a great Easter in Hawaii!!

  61. Easter Sunday
    Easter Mass is always a special day to remind us how beautiful love is. After Mass we went to show to see Clash of the Titans. Any day with Liam Neeson is a good day. And it was a great movie too.

  62. One of my favorite Easter memories is from when I was younger. My sister and I would get up early to see what the Easter Bunny left us. Then we would search for our eggs. Once we found them all my sister and I would have egg races. What we would do is get down on our hands and knees and had to move the eggs with our noses only. The first one across the living room won. I have no idea how we started this but we did it for years:)
    Thanks for letting me relive this happy memory and thanks for the giveaway!
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  63. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. Our traditions are getting up and watching the kids hunt for their goodies from the Easter bunny. They get so excited and dramatic over those funny plastic eggs. 🙂 We then head to Church followed by a trip to the Grandparent’s house. It’s a day of relaxing and family fun (and if you’re a kid…way too much candy and tummy aches!)

  64. Happy easter! When I was a child, we’d start by having a Easter breakfast at my Nono’s house, a traditional Italian with lamb mixture and eggs. I still make it for my family and friends. Then in late afternoon we’d go to my dad’s family and have dinner with the Fiore’s. Both are families are large, and very loud. But we had alot of fun. I miss these family gatherings alot. Both my grandparents and my momare gone, and i live in Fla. and the reat in Ill. I have made memories of my own. And have added Cajun in the mix since thats what Mike does all the cooking and i add my dishes and desserts. Its a blasted around our kitchen table.

  65. My family of 4 stayed with my sister’s family this weekend (the house that we grew up in). At church this morning, we 1st enjoyed a fundraiser Breakfast Burritos for a Mexico mission trip my niece will be going on this summer. Church service was filled with joyous music accompanied by guitars & other instruments. I got to visit with several people I don’t see very often at all. Then my Aunt Amy (she’s the last living of my Mom’s family, she also grew up on this farm) joined us for a wonderful meal. We really did not want to leave but had to make the 5 hour trip home. I just love “going home”!

  66. This Easter was relaxing and fun. I had all of my children together, which doesn’t happen much. Besides a little rain, the party went on. I love watching my grandchildren hunt for eggs and their faces light up when they discover the prize within. It never gets old to see their little face light up with excitement. Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter or passover, which ever you celebrate.

  67. The Easter bunny brought me a Marvin the Martian shirt this year. My that bunny is good! I love anytime family and friends gather. And any excuse to bake away is even better. I always get put in charge of desserts and I just wouldn’t have it any other way. How is your Peep supply Jane? Make sure you stock up!

  68. Hi Jane. We go to my father in law’s for Easter dinner each year. He hides plastic eggs with money in them for my son, who’s 12, and still does the same for my older niece and nephew who are now 19 and 21 – and did this for them ever since they were small.
    Today my goal is to get a lot done on my resume – haven’t done one in 20 years! Ack! I’m on spring break this year and will be applying for a full time teaching job for next year, so I need to get moving on all the paper work while I have some down time. I’d much rather be reading…….

  69. Our Easter is spent with my family – parents, sister & her family and brother & his family. Our traditional Easter breakfast is home-baked Easter bread & kielbasi. Our traditional Easter meal is homemade ravioli with meatballs.
    Hope you enjoyed your Easter in Hawaii ~ we had a beautiful day in Pennsylvania!

  70. Aloha!

    We spent Easter Sunday on a beach here in Maui that we had never been to before… So many beaches and so little time! I am really not looking forward to the time we need to return to our regularly scheduled lives.

    The boys (10 & 12) kept asking if the Easter Bunny was coming – I told them that the Easter Bunny couldn’t swim (bad Mommy!). We usually hide about 150 plastic filled eggs for them in the middle of the night. In the morning I complain about the big mess the Easter Bunny made, the boys love it. I did however look for chocolate bunnies when we got here and every place I checked was sold out – I couldn’t even find Peeps. **GASP!**

    I wish I could pop over on Thursday and go to Ty’s opening, it sounds like a lot of fun. So close, yet so far away! So far though I have managed to read 1 1/2 books from the stack that I brought with me. My husband has read 42 pages from his book – guess I am enjoying my material better than he is.


  71. I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. Ours was wonderful. Our traditions are heading to chruch service in the am then watching the Grandkids do the egg hunts. Then all of our family gets together for an early dinner. It was nice. We watched some home videos of the grandkids from a couple years ago on Easter. It was pretty funny watching their reactions to when they were babies and the funny things they did. 🙂 Good times!

  72. Not a tradition, but a favorite Easter memory is trying to find all the dyed, hard-boiled eggs before our dog, a border collie, could find and eat them. She would eat the shell and all if we weren’t fast enough! I think she liked the hunt as much as we did.

  73. Hi Jane!

    Our Easter tradition, we’ve decided, is changing our Easter traditions. It seems so many holiday traditions involve the food..and our food traditions have changed dramatically since our daughter has become vegetarian. Also as the kids grow up things change.
    In any case, it is still a day for the family to gather, enjoy a meal & time toether and to count our blessings.

    I hope you had a beautiful Easter.

  74. Hi all, Jane’s experiencing problems with her internet access today and asked me to log on here and post the winners she picked for this contest –

    #1 Emily
    #9 Virgina C
    #25 Darcy O
    #32 Markiska
    #59 Radcat38
    #67 Mary Feterl

    Congrats to all the winners! Please send an email with your full name and mailing address to Lee @ janeporter (dot) com and mention that you won the Easter contest. I’m helping Jane organize the prizes and we’ll get them out to you very soon!


  75. I am so delighted! Thank you very much! Email with mailing address has been sent! Thanks, Easter Bunny!

  76. Hi
    I am one of the Easter winners and I have sent my email. Thank you to both of you! Hope everyone had a great Easter. cat

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