Easter, 2014

The first half of Easter, 2014 was eventful, to say the least.

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Even if all we’d done was get up early to bathe and feed 5 children under 8 years of age and then wrestle them into their Easter best, it would have been eventful. Of course, it almost went a step beyond “eventful” when, after I fixed Ezra’s tie, I returned to finish ironing Della’s dress and discovered that the (hot) iron had fallen over and was resting squarely on it. If you heard someone screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” that was me.

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Sorry for disturbing your morning.

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{Evy, left, Nola, right}

Miraculously, the Easter frock remained unburned, and even more miraculously, we managed to get to church 30 minutes early to set up for our Children’s Church duties (our church is small, and we still ended up with 22 kids, ages 3-6; they did awesome, and it was really fun, but it was still a lot of kids).

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{Della’s current outdoor obsession = bringing me weed flowers}

Of course, on the way to church, we got the text we’d been awaiting for over 40 hours: Baby Halleli (my brother’s first kid) had finally made her grand entrance after a long, hard labor. As the labor dragged on, and the updates remained largely unchanged, I kept getting shuddery flashbacks to my own 44-hour-long marathon labor with Ezra (I find it amazing how quickly we can forget the pain of childbirth, only to have it all come rushing back in gloriously vivid and visceral detail given the right prompt).

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{My snaggle-toothed big boy will be 8 in a month; I think we have braces and lots of acts of kindness in our future}

After church, we rushed over to the hospital to visit Hannah and Shae and Halleli. Sadly, we didn’t get to meet her because she had to spend a little time in the NICU to get her oxygen levels stabilized and wasn’t out by the time visiting hours closed. (She is out now and doing great, though).

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{Simon is our resident “male model;” he’s known just how to pose and smile since, well birth, pretty much; he’s also a thoughtful, hardworking young-man-in-training who still loves to cuddle with his mama first thing in the morning}

From the hospital, we raced to our next stop, which was an Easter egg hunt at our neighbor’s house “down the hill” (we can literally see their peach orchard from our back yard/field).

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{Della is {mostly} a ray of sunshine. She definitely has her drama-queen moments, but she’s such a cheerful little girl that she spends way more time beaming than bawling}

Honestly? I’m not just a huge fan of Easter egg hunts or anything Easter-ish that has nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus (don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny). I realize that Easter is a manmade holiday. In fact, it’s a pagan holiday that Christians have hijacked to memorialize the death and resurrection of our Savior. I get that. But since it is when we celebrate it, I want that to be my family’s focus. The blatant commercialization of, well, pretty much every holiday ever at this point is obviously a blog rant all its own, and I won’t really get into that, but it definitely saddens me that my children get more excited about the prospect of candy than the prospect of eternal life.

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{Nola is a little social butterfly; she took to the egg-hunting immediately!}

And yet, I get that too. Eternal life is a really hard concept for a six-year-old to grasp. Eternal bags of chocolate, though? That, he has no trouble with.

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{Unfortunately, this picture is rather representative of Evy’s moods lately. She smiles a lot, but she’s also spent a lot of time perfecting her brow furrow; she had just woken from a nap in the car when the egg hunt started and was even less sold on the concept than I am}

And part of the problem is definitely me. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked this year at really emphasizing the most important aspects of Easter, but it gave me renewed resolve for next year (last year, we stayed home sick on Easter Sunday and did a Scripture Easter egg hunt that I think I’ll bring back).

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And here’s the thing: if I can manage to compartmentalize an Easter egg hunt as something completely separate from the celebration of Jesus’s death and resurrection, I can definitely enjoy it for the sheer joy and thrill it brings my children.

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{Egg hunting in heels = a calf work out + a lot of holes in your neighbor’s yard}

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{All three of the girls’ dresses were on clearance at Old Navy}

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Our neighbors were so generous to let us eat their food and roam their yard searching for eggs, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend time together reveling in the sunshine and the feeling of too-full tummies.

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{Something I can totally get behind? Easter wagon rides}

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{PUUUUUUUULL!}

I was even more grateful that we only had to drive one minute up the road before we could haul all the kids out, dump the babies in bed, and send the older ones to their rooms for mandatory egg inventory.

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Nobody much actually slept, but at least we all got a chance to regroup after a jam-packed day.

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{Nola was the lone child who did take nap after we got home}

The rest of the day was considerably less eventful (not that I’m complaining), and I am happy to report that Easter, 2014 was day of rejoicing for many reasons.

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{My favorite picture of these three, maybe, EVER}

And, now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go discipline a 3-year-old who now thinks that candy is a right rather than a privilege…

 

 

How was your Easter? Is the candy count in your house as obscene as mine?

6 thoughts on “Easter, 2014

  1. Hi! I love your blog! Have you heard of “resurrection rolls”? My kids and I love them!!! It’s our Easter tradition- but we make them the day before so that on Easter morning we can make it to church nearly on-time! You make them with your kids (it’s super easy) and you get to tell them about Jesus! Basically you dip a marshmallow in melted butter, roll it in cinnamon and sugar, then wrap dough around it. Bake. The marshmallow represents Jesus – pure, no sin. When your kids break open the roll and they see that the marshmallow is gone… It’s priceless! (And these are super yummy!).

    Another thing that I wanted to do this year, but we didn’t get around to was a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt: glow bracelets in plastic eggs. I thought it’d be fun, we could focus on how Jesus is the light of the world, and no candy!!!

  2. No candy here! We lit sparklers at night to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, because you’re right, it’s not part of Easter in any way, shape, or form. I wouldn’t say that Christians “hijacked” the holiday though. Actually the Bible is very clear that the resurrection came at the time of Easter, based on the Jewish calendar, at the time of Passover. “Easter” (or Ishtar) is a Babylonian (etc.) goddess of fertility (etc.), hence the eggs and bunnies, who’s celebration is in the same date range. Somebody along the line must have decided to “pep up” the resurrection with an addition of Easter celebration. : ) We manage somehow to not know anyone who celebrates Easter, so for us it’s a nice clean focus on the greatest day on the Christian calendar. No chocolate need tempt me, whew. : ) Yikes! I hope this doesn’t come across as a big old lecture! Haha!

  3. Beautiful photos of your beautiful family. We had a very low-key Easter here, and I was perfectly fine with that. Growing up my family did the commercialized version of Easter (baskets, egg hunts, etc) as a celebration of Spring a little before the actual Easter. That way Easter weekend ended up being all about Jesus (but we never felt left out of all the fun either!)

  4. I have two girls….5yrs and 7yrs…..can we maybe plan a meet-up about 10-12yrs from now so we can introduce them to your boys?!? Scares this momma to think raising good boys into God-fearing gentlemen will be a thing of the way..way..past by the time my girls are girls are at the age of courtship. Just a thought 😉 Love your blog…..it is a daily read for me! Your family is precious and yes…..I too loathe the fact that on Easter my kids talk more about the eb than God…but I am working on that!

  5. Your kids are adorable. Totally agree with you on the egg hunting thing. We do it because the kids love it so much, but it’s hard to keep that from being the focal point of Easter. This year we decided to put the egg hunt off for a week (this Saturday). We’re weird, I know. 🙂

I love hearing from you guys!