Mantoan Family Traditions – April

Combining a general update with some traditions. Since its within the Octave of Easter, I don’t feel like I’m too far behind in giving an Easter update. An update on everything else…well, I’m definitely behind there.


I’d picked Byron up on Holy Saturday around 8:30 a.m. for a 36 hour visit. He had to work Good Friday evening at Chick-Fil-A (c’mon Chick-Fil-A; you’re supposed to be the Lord’s chicken!!) On Saturday evening, Tony and Edie had attended the Easter Vigil Mass while I got the Easter baskets ready and cooked an Italian Easter pie for the next day. We all attended the 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday morning after eating chocolate Easter cake for breakfast as well as a healthy serving of candy. When we got home the whole house smelled of roasting lamb. Tony and I finished making the sides (mashed potatoes, lamb gravy with brandy, fruit salad, roasted artichokes) while snacking on meats and cheeses. A family friend came for dinner and we ate around 3:30 p.m. Tony made cannolis for dessert. We watched some UFL before Tony returned Byron to college. I sent a few extra candy filled eggs along with Byron and the younger three kids did an egg hunt in the evening. We didn’t chat with Addie; we planned a time to talk Monday when we’d be in Virginia with Tony’s parents so she could talk to everyone at once. She cooked an Easter dinner for friends on Holy Saturday and attended the vigil Mass at the Cleveland cathedral. She spent Easter with her boyfriend’s family and even baked a couple ricotta pies for everyone. Per her request I sent her a box of Easter goodies that included fancy skin care products, plus some local salt water taffy. Here’s a collection of all my Easter posts:

  • 2012 – 8th April – Second post about Easter.
  • 2013 – 31st March – No Easter post.
  • 2014 – 20th April
  • 2015 – 5th April
  • 2016 – 27th March – My Easter post was St. John Chrysostom’s Easter Homily.
  • 2017 – 16th April – No Easter post.
  • 2018 – 1st April – No Easter post.
  • 2019 – 21st April
  • 2020 – 12th April
  • 2021 – 4th April
  • 2022 – 17th April
  • 2023 – 9th April

Monday we got up, packed the van, and hit the road before lunch. We made good time and arrived at our destination in Virginia by dinner time. We’ve had a great week fishing, visiting museums, and Tony and I got in a date night. Tony unfortunately needed to work while we’re here so he’s missed out on a lot of the fun. As I mentioned in my last post, we tend to visit with his family around Easter, and while his brother from the Midwest is not out this year, we will visit with Tony’s oldest brother this weekend. The only other Easter octave tradition we have is eating enough junk food to feel sick for eight days straight. I don’t recommend that tradition at all.

Tony’s brother came in from the Midwest over Easter in 2010. It was unseasonably warm (90°!!) so we went to the beach on April 7. Fulton is napping in the wagon.

A break from homeschooling…one way or another.

When we homeschooled year round, April was a month off (along with August and December), which worked out great since we have a history of illness striking our family in April. Fulton’s been hospitalized in April at least twice I think, and illness has definitely interfered with Easter celebrations in the past. I’m not sure why spring is such a rough time for us, but it seems like no sooner does the weather warm up and we start to think we’ve avoided a nasty winter bug, than something strikes us down.

This year the boys got a full week off school for Easter week. Every other year, their Easter break was split; off Thursday, Friday, and then Monday and Tuesday. This year, Edie had one live class off Holy Week, and another off Easter week. And when Addie and Byron were doing community college classes, they didn’t get any time off around Easter. It’s been hard to turn over our family’s schedule to outside obligations, but I suppose its unavoidable. I’m glad we took the longer spring break for as long as we could. In general, year round homeschooling: 5 stars, would highly recommend.


While we don’t have any family birthdays in April, both my parents and Tony’s parents were married in April. We don’t often see them on the day, but we did take Tony’s parents out to dinner for their 50th wedding anniversary…which means we’d better remember to do something for my parents 50th in a couple years!

South Jersey Geekfest

There is a local comic con that holds events every year on the Saturdays closest to Halloween and Easter. We’ve gone many years; most recently as last year (though I forgot to take pictures). While we don’t make it to every Geekfest, going to these smaller events has always been a fun way for the kids to reuse Halloween costumes and purchase nerdy items related to comics/ movies/ books I am completely ignorant about but must feign enthusiasm for.

From the South Jersey Spring Geekfest 2018, Byron as Cobra Commander, Edie as Captain EO and Addie as some anime character I can’t remember.

April isn’t as busy as May, which I guess is good since someone is usually sick. I hope everyone had a good Easter and is still celebrating!

One Comment

  1. We keep getting hit with bugs & I have a theory. It’s the end of winter when our vitamin D levels are likely the lowest they’ll be. We try to supplement, but we don’t do a great job. Also, daylight savings time really messes with my family’s rhythms. I am blaming it for getting us run down. Our family would LOVE to see our country/state ditch daylight savings time forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.