2 years ago

Mothering Highs, Lows, + Elderberry Syrup Recipe.

I know this should be broken into two posts but look at all my cares. Here I go.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger
When even Mom and Dad can’t get it together, family photos make for far and few.


Easter Triduum this year went remarkably better than the last 6 years worth of Triduums.  I attribute it to creating some form of routine- and I say that with a great gagging because ridiculous things like “consistency” and “scheduling” give me rage. But it turns out, I do these things whether I like it or not and if I can trick myself into thinking I’m not creating a rigid schedule and locking myself into The Prison of Plan-Making, we end up finding ourselves actually doing an at-home Stations of the Cross, and praying a Rosary all in the same day.

Also: Lexington is 6, Emmett (albeit special needs) is 5, and Collin is 3 and will mostly tolerate the activity if his brothers are on board.

Easter Sunday Mass? Compared to last week’s Palm Sunday performance (in short there was repeated, guttural bellowing of “CRUCIFY HIM” followed by maniacal cackling), it was a breath of fresh air:

Emmett –if you’re new here (hi!), it’s important to know he is Autistic, mostly nonverbal, but has hyperlexia, which is defined as self-teaching how to read at an early age (We think Emmett started as early as 2, but finally showed us at 3 years old), obsession with letters or numbers, while also having difficulty understanding and communicating verbal language.
So there we were, Easter Sunday, singing the closing song at my childhood parish and I hear Emmett muttering…
“Push in, and pull down!” I hear his little voice ring out like bell.

I turn around just in time to catch his hand grasping the pull handle of the FIRE ALARM, and I had to stand firmly rooted in front of it until the end of the song, because Emmett saw letters and they were telling him what to do, and why wasn’t anyone else taking care of this “push-in-and-pull-down” situation so clearly articulated and within reach? –at least, that’s what I imagine Emmett thought.

Kind of like Alice in Wonderland’s “Eat me” cookie. Well if no one else will, give it here.

I don’t mean to turn this into an Emmett post but seeing him interact with the world around him is frustrating, wonderful, and hilarious. Bringing him to family events is always kind of an area of stress for Craig and I, because of Emmett’s known flight-risk, and because he screams a lot when he’s frustrated. Get a bunch of people together (even the ones you love most) who aren’t used to dealing with a kid with special needs, and he starts screaming his head off about the movie selection, or the way a toy will or won’t work, and it’s hard to calm him down, and a parent senses the anxiety spike in the room and that makes it all worse.
But Emmett is getting older and while he has new challenges, Craig and I can pretty much anticipate his frustrations and act accordingly.

What touched both Craig and I yesterday was watching Emmett happily interact with different family members in a way that we’ve not yet observed.
Roses and thorns, that’s Autism. That’s everyone, really.

Also of note! Our experimental homeschool Kindergarten year is coming to a close and while Lexington still might stare off into a daze if you ask him the purpose of Lent, I have to say: He’s finally gotten down the reason for Easter.

Craig took the boys to a Panera lunch on Saturday and the cheerful cashier used her most excited-talking-to-little-people-voice and asked them if they were going on an Easter Egg hunt that day, to which Lexington replied, “I think you mean tomorrow. It’s not Easter yet.”
and then she chipperly persisted, asking if they were SO EXCITED FOR THE EASTER BUNNY?! to which Lexington answered, “Ehh… you know what’s even better than that?  Jesus opening the gates of Heaven.”
Lady didn’t say much else.


I really, really, really don’t want to be smug here because I’m really good at ending up with my foot in my own mouth but…. my work is done here. *wipes dust from hands*

Foot, I’ll taste you soon, old friend. wink.

Elderberry Syrup!
Want to make some?
I did!  (pretty much anything I do everyone else can do, and do much better, so that means this is grade K easy.)

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

It was easy, with the help of Amazon Prime. (not sponsored, but the links imma give you below ARE affiliate, just so you know.)
I made Elderberry Syrup to help get us through a wave of colds the house of Svell endured a few weeks ago. I was better in 4-5 days, and it usually drags on for a few weeks. Now we are into spring allergies and I found myself hitting up the syrup again this morning, so I figured I’d share the Pinterest recipe from which I adapted my own concoction:

Elderberry Syrup

  • 2/3 cup dried elderberries -can buy here
  • 3 1/2 cups of filtered water (mineral is best if possible)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup raw honey –can buy here.


Fill a medium pot with the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
-Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until you’ve boiled the mixture down to about half of what you started with. (Should be 45 minutes)
Enjoy the Elderberry/clove/cinnamon aroma. yum-o.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Strain Elderberry mixture into size-appropriate bowl.
-Making sure that the syrup is no longer hot, mix in honey (if the temperature of the syrup is hot, you will lose the medicinal properties of the raw honey).
Store in a glass jar, and keep refrigerated.
-Use clean spoons or droppers to administer the syrup, never contaminating it by “double dipping”.

Kids: 1/2 – 1 Tsp
Adults: 1/2 – 1 TBSP
*Once / day*
If cold or flu is present: take every 2-3 hours.

***I’m not a doctor. Talk to your doctor to make sure this is okay for you and your family. Definitely don’t give this to a child under 1 year old as it contains raw honey***
My people approve. I hope you enjoy!
Happy Elderberry. Happy Easter – He is Risen.