Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Blessings

We used the entire weekend to celebrate Easter. If you are going to stretch out a holiday, Easter is a good one to do it with.  I cannot think of a more important holiday to celebrate. This holiday is what separates Jesus Christ from all the other men in the world. This holiday defines Christianity and the God that I love. 

(photo courtesy of bob.blogs.com)

The son of God, crucified.  Dead.  Buried. 

And He came to life.

He overcame death.

For love. 

John 3:16 says it all: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus.

For loving me enough not only to die for me, but to not stay dead.

This holiday is important to our family and we really enjoy celebrating together with the Grandpas and Grandmas, nephews and neices, Uncles and Aunts, cousins, and just about anyone else we can squeeze around the table.  (When I grew up our 'family' wasn't limited to just those people related by blood, but it extended to anyone we called friend who needed a place to land for the holiday.) We were able to celebrate with Troy's parents on Friday afternoon/evening. (Unfortunately I forgot to get out my camera and take pictures so this post is going to look a little one sided.) When we arrived at my in-laws, they had the Easter egg hunt already set up.  The kids love this.  (My in-laws live in the country and have a big yard)

After a quick conversation about the boundaries and what each kid was supposed to find - the boys were off!

I'm not sure how to describe the next 30 minutes.  Here's my best effort:

Searching, laughing, over, under, through, joy, frustration, clues, helping, teasing, finding, treasure, eager, lost, discovery, chocolate, grass, baskets, eggs, sunshine & fun.

The perfect recipe for a great outdoor Easter egg hunt. 

Topped off with a delicious dinner and  good conversation it all made for a wonderful first Easter celebration.

Afterwards, we drove down to Neenah and spent the night at my sisters.  This was our mid-way stop on the way to my parents house.  It gave the cousins some extra time to spend together.

The next day was Easter Sunday.

After the boys spent some time searching the house for the surprises Troy and I had hidden for them, we all got ready for the singspiration service at my Dad's church (he's the Pastor).  

Aren't these pictures precious!  
Do you know what it does to a mama's heart to hear her young sons singing hymns of praise to God?
Be still my beating heart, it could do me in. 
I love it.
Hearing my boys singing to our Savior is one of the most perfect ways I can think of to begin this day.
We followed this warm fuzzy with a delicious breakfast at the church where my sister and family joined us.  My sister and I actually wore the same dress. Different color and I wore a cardigan over mine, but still, the-same-dress. If you knew us you would be equally as surprised as I was! And I didn't get a picture! Aaarghhh! When am I going to learn? I will say, we both looked smashing in our matching dresses and they were different enough that only a couple of people noticed (one being her hubby, gasp! pick my chin up off the floor ;)
When breakfast was through, we had our regular church service.  Can I just tell you how proud I am of my Daddy, preaching his heart out up there in the pulpit? Well I am.  I did not grow up as a p.k. No, my dad waited until he was in his 50's to listen to the call of God on his heart. My mom and dad are both doing a great job in the new role that God has them in.
My dad roped me into singing with him during church, so I roped Megan into joining us. (Actually Troy made her do it) It's been awhile since I've sang in church. While being up front I had a little deja vu.  You see, my grandpa was a pastor and he used to rope my mom and dad into singing at his church on some Sundays.  History repeating itself.

Following church we rushed to my mom and dad's house, the husbands rushed to hide the eggs in the yard, my sister started the dinner prep, and I went outside to take pictures. The kids were all prepped and ready so that as soon as Grammy came home and changed into her comfy clothes, they charged out into the yard to find their prizes.  We broke the hunt up into 2 different categories since my parents do not have a large yard, so the littles went first and then the bigs.

The egg hunt was followed by dinner, where we all ate until we were about to burst. . .  and then we had pie.  There is nothing like family sitting around the table sharing some good food.

It was such a good holiday weekend. It was such a good Easter celebration. It was such a huge thing that Christ did for us, for love, so we could live with him eternally.
I am so blessed.
I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the cousins, minus 2. (My brother lives in Delaware so we don't get together for holidays much.)

This one is my personal favorite.  My sister gets a little worried about her daughter, being the only girl amongst all these boys.  I don't know why she should be worried.  Ella looks like she fits in just fine!

This one's a little better. 
Oh come on, you know that it's nearly impossible to get a good picture of six kids.  Especially before the egg hunt. 
I'm feeling lucky that they were all looking at the camera.
That's an accomplishment!
Six blessings.
Six kids learning to understand how much Jesus really loves them.
What do you think God is going to do with these kids?
I can't wait to find out!  

These are my Easter Blessings.
I'd love to hear about some of yours.
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