I figured I should finish writing about my dad’s visit two months ago before I move on to my mom’s visit two weeks ago.
My dad is a good sport. He agrees to come out and help me with projects large and small. This year my highest priority was the bookshelf closet doors. Everything else he helped with was icing on the cake. The light fixtures that needed replacing. The sink that wouldn’t drain. The two bathroom fans that needed to be rebuilt. The fence that needed new wood planks.
We also started another large project – Hunter and Bennett’s closet build out which required building lots of drawers. Just an hour before he was leaving for the airport we were installing in their closet. (Still have a little more to do before it’s finished).
This trip and sadly most of his trips are a lot of work, little play. Luckily, Sunday is a day of rest from all projects and we were able to play games and take the kids to the temple visitor’s center.
And somehow amidst loud children, my dad still has the ability to sleep anywhere, through just about anything. My kids thought this was pretty funny. He works so hard every time he comes to visit, I’m sure he loves returning home to rest!. Cannon especially loved having him around, wrestling, eating lunch with him and bringing the same book over and over again for him to read. We love his help and we love his visits.
Okay – so this is the last Easter post, I promise. As I was going through pictures from our Easter dinner, I came across the picture of Briggs in his basket.
He had been grumpy and crying the whole evening and then we squeezed him into his basket and immediately he was all smiles and giggling. Funny kid.
I went back and found his picture from last year in the same exact basket in the same exact lawn. He’s a little bigger than he was last year. It’s amazing the difference a year can make for him…and for me.
I’m pretty sure this is the last year I’ll be able to squeeze him in there which makes this the last Easter I’m squeezing any child in a basket. Not sure why I ever started doing this – I suppose Hunter was just the right size on his first Easter and somehow that created a tradition. Poor Hallie – she didn’t even have a basket until Hunter was born – we’re lucky we even have pictures. I think most people start off taking the most pictures of their first child and then trail off. I’m the opposite. I’m hitting my groove with child #5 and he’s going to be the most documented out of all of them.
Here are a few pictures from our pre-Easter festivities…
Our kitchen chalkboard for the month – a line from one of my favorite church songs, I Know That My Redeemer Lives. I found myself singing this line over and over again and I caught Hallie on multiple occasions singing it as well. Can’t think of a better song in my head on repeat in preparation for Easter.
We spent the week before Easter studying the last week of our Savior’s life. Every day we would pull out some pictures and read about the events leading up to His resurrection. I found this note in the kitchen one evening. Hallie is holding strong in our favorite daughter status, she is truly a gem and helps out beyond measure.
Bennett had a spring flight at school. I had no intention of going, but Bennett made it known that he really wanted me to come. So I was there. He ignored me most of them time and played with his friends. But I was there and I was able to see his excitement – he always puts on a good show.
We had our annual Ridge Run breakfast/egg hunt/service project. The kids each found their buddies and we didn’t see much of them the whole morning.
Briggs was trying to figure out if he liked the rabbit. It was conclusive he did not! 😉
I fail in the “fun mom” department when it comes coloring Easter eggs. Our family egg hunts never include real eggs so there’s never a need to color any. Its just not a tradition we follow. My friend wanted to make sure I wasn’t depriving my kids of wonderful memories and she made sure my kids had the opportunity to color some. Did my kids love it – of course they did. Don’t kids love anything that makes a large mess?! We’ll just make sure to head to their house every year so we can color a couple of their eggs!
This is the home we walked into Sunday night that filled me with love for the people we call family. Steve’s brother and wife hosted a beautiful Easter dinner for a large crowd, not an easy task. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was peaceful (except for the screaming toddler – what were thinking bringing Briggs?!).
For those wondering how to feed 44 people – there were two/three people assigned to every food category and everyone received two assignments. This year I was assigned 1/2 of the rolls and 1/3 of the salad. Next large family dinner I might be assigned vegetables and dessert. And sometimes we’ve had people sign up for categories and someone might choose to sign up for two assignments in the same category – they end up bringing all the salad or all the rolls. Let it be known – the food never disappoints.
The annual grandkid picture – although I can see we’re missing several people that were there last night. I need to be better at my gathering skills.
The numbers for egg hunters seem to get smaller and smaller every year, but the excitement never fades.
Uncle David wanted to add some excitement and try to get the teenagers to really do some searching so he added one egg to the front yard – away from the kid’s egg hunt. An egg that everyone wanted to find. The teenagers/adults searched for a bit before some of the younger kids made their way to the front yard and started searching. Hunter had eyes like a hawk and spotted the white egg in the tail pipe of one of the cars. Try as he may, every time he tried to grab it, he pushed it a little further in. Luckily they started the car up and it shot right out. Pretty sure he has a new favorite uncle.
Steve’s sister has 4 boys just like us and they line up in age pretty well. It’s fun to watch them grow together. They are anywhere from 6 weeks apart to almost a year – not one of them will be the same year in school. They’re all just barely off from each other.
As the kids finished the egg hunt, the sun faded behind the horizon and we were left eating strawberry shortcake under the sky with cafe string lights strung across the yard. I loved listening to the sound of Steve laughing with his siblings and the kids playing with their cousins. It was a beautiful night.
We happened to have an unusually busy weekend. Rushing from one commitment to the next, only home long enough to really make a mess and then never fully have time to get it put back together. What should’ve been a beautiful Easter church service today ended up being exhausting with Briggs and Cannon had a nice long bloody nose right down the front of his shirt; we came home early.
As we walked out the door for our family Easter dinner tonight with one screaming child, I was tired: Physically, but mostly mentally. Not at all how I had envisioned the day going. In my exhaustion of the day, I’d lost sight of the focus. I spent the 5-minute drive collecting my thoughts and composure.
We were celebrating Easter – our Savior’s sacrifice and resurrection. It’s a beautiful day. It’s the day the tomb was found empty because He had risen. It’s the day we rejoice in because we find peace in knowing we can all conquer death. It’s the day that gives us comfort in our grief of losing loved ones. It’s a day to celebrate knowing darkness does not last. It is a beautiful day.
We were fortunate to walk into a home tonight filled with some of the people we love most in this life – our family and I was overcome with gratitude. I have faith that we are a forever eternal family because of Him. With 5 young children our lives are loud and often chaotic but I seek and find peace in Him. It took some time today to truly feel the spirit of the day, but I felt it tonight and it was powerful. I am grateful for my Savior and I love these people with all my heart. Happy Easter.
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