Saturday, Mar 21
This Saint Patrick’s Day week, our family took the wearin’ of the green to a whole new level when the stomach bug hit our house last Friday. I had a feeling it would eventually hit us since we dodged it all winter, and there is never a good time to pass the voms from one family member to the next, but St. Patrick’s Day? I was majorly bummed, and so were the kids. To keep our spirits up, I still decorated and played plenty of Irish music and I even managed to make a shepherd’s pie for those of us who were feeling up to eating it. The kids enjoyed their first viewing of The Quiet Man and we all enjoyed some sunshine and warm weather on our front porch. This Sunday, to make sure we properly celebrate our beloved St. Patrick and The Motherland, we’ll have a special feast day dinner at our festive table. So, by way of Seven Quick Takes, here’s how we attempted St. Paddy’s Day amidst the ups and downs of the stomach bug.
If you haven’t discovered her already, Kendra Tierney at Catholic All Year is, in my book, the source for all things Domestic Church. She is a girl after my own heart when it comes to hosting parties and I really and truly think I might just fly all the way out to LA one of these years to crash her annual Hooley at the Tierneys. We weren’t up for much partying this St. Patrick’s Day, but the decorations certainly helped lift our spirits. I hung a boat load of printables that Kendra created. So cute and cheerful! Inspired by this Pinterest post, I decided to make a “Slainte” (Health) banner. I just cut little bunting flags out of an old book and stuck some gold adhesive backed letters I had on them. Then I drew a couple of shamrocks on some green glitter paper I had and glued them too. I taped each flag to a long piece of twine with scotch tape and I love how it turned out! I’m thinking this banner is going to make several reappearances in different forms for our holiday and birthday celebrations to come. So cute and easy!
Bells of Ireland
I had so much fun making this St. Patrick’s Day inspired arrangement. I bought all the flowers in the floral department at our local Wegman’s. I tied three vases together with a long piece of ribbon. Then I arranged the flowers to look like one big bouquet. Bells of Ireland, Green Trick Carnations, and Geraldton Waxflower look gorgeous together. For me, there is nothing like an arrangement of fresh cut flowers to cheer me up. Choosing the flowers, cutting and arranging them, enjoying them for a week or so– it’s worth what I spend because of the joy it brings me to be creative and bring God’s beauty into my home.
Irish Dance Shows
This is our daughter Dimples’ fifth year in Irish Dance, but her first year participating in “Show Class” and she absolutely loves it. She gets to attend an extra class each week where her team of four girls practice all the dances they will perform at shows throughout the year. The month of March is very busy for these show teams, performing all over the area at parish St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, restaurants, and parades. It truly is breathtaking to watch them all dance together in their beautiful green dresses. They bring so much joy to people, most especially their parents. Dimples is so confident, standing up there in front of large crowds, and, most importantly, she is so very happy. Her joy shines through her smile and this is what I love most about her dancing.
The kids love these books about Irish Dance. The first one is a a tale of two male Irish dancers who come to the town of Ballyconneely to teach everyone to dance. A competition between the two dance champions ensues. The illustrations are stunning and the author even threw in a few gaelic words and translations. Just delightful.
The second book is Kathleen O’Byrne: Irish Dancer. Kathleen is a little Irish dancing lassie who dances any chance she gets. She wants desperately to qualify for a feis (a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival) but does not make it. Rather than wallow in her sorrows, Kathleen invites some children to join her in putting on a show for any neighbors who would like to attend. Then she realizes, she is an Irish dancer. So sweet!
Washington, D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This was Dimples’ first year dancing in the DC St. Patrick’s Day Parade and it was such a thrill! It was a chilly and windy day, but the sun was shining and the dancers were all having a blast. To keep warm before the parade began, they had a dance party in the middle of the street with their teachers. I shared with The Hubs later that if I were on the outside looking in, I would want so much to be a part of this wonderful dance school. The teachers love what they do and they love their students. What a blessing to our kids! The dancers did such a wonderful job skip-2-3-ing down the long parade route. I was so impressed by the long line of beautiful green dresses dancing up Constitution Avenue. It truly was breathtaking, and the highlight of our St. Paddy’s Day celebrations.
A lot of people turn their noses up at Shepherd’s Pie, but I am telling you, don’t underestimate this one. It is so stinking delicious and packed with flavor. I could eat the entire casserole dish completely on my own. A traditional Shepherd’s Pie would be made with ground lamb, and I suppose you could substitute the ground beef for it if you’d prefer. Come on, just look at this beauty! Any recipe that starts with carrots, onions, celery, butter, and cremini mushrooms is going to end up tasting delicious, right? I guess I thought that eating around the shamrock I traced in the mashed potatoes would make up for the fact that I didn’t wait for my spouse to get home from work to eat it. The leprechauns made me do it!
It was such a consolation to have a warm sunny day on St. Patrick’s Day with everyone home sick with the voms. We sat out on the front porch and enjoyed some saltines and apple sauce and just soaked up all the sounds and sights of the promise of spring. It sure was a green St. Paddy’s Day this year, aye and for certain. Here’s to health and blessings to the Irish and to all those who pretend to be. Slainte!