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.
With Easter approaching, as a family we’ve been studying the last week of our Savior’s life. We started with His triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and we’ll end on Sunday when we celebrate His resurrection and the empty tomb. We have pictures for visual reminders of each event we discuss and every night we’ve been able to really contemplate what this week means for all of us. We do these “teaching moments” for the kids but I’m pretty sure I’m getting more out of it every night and it has been great spiritual preparation for our celebration of Easter.
A few years back, Steve and I gave talks on Easter Sunday and in my preparation I came across this quote and it has been burned into my mind and heart ever since. For all of us on our dark Friday, Sunday will come.
Here’s a great video to watch with your kids and family about finding peace through Jesus Christ.
Our Easter bunny made an appearance yet again on Saturday morning. Someone recently asked me how we transitioned to doing baskets on Saturday, not Sunday. It’s hard to say. We started doing it this way many years ago when we only had two little kids and they didn’t know the difference. We wanted Saturday morning to be baskets and candy – we wanted Sunday morning to be centered on Jesus Christ. Now, five kids later, they expect baskets on Saturday: Their favorite box of cereal, some candy and a small toy.
We attended our annual neighborhood “Ridge Run/walk”. We didn’t do new shirts this year, instead we were asked to wear one of the shirts from the previous years – most ended up wearing the shirt I designed for last years walk. We walked, ate breakfast and the kids did an egg hunt.
Bennett’s preschool class spent the week gearing up for Easter with egg decorating, an egg hunt and some fun crafts. Cannon is currently in a phase where he feels the need to be in every picture. (Of course, except for the ones we actually want him in.) Bennett is aware of this and as we were walking in the backyard to take the picture, Bennett says, “I’ll take the picture, but Cannon can’t be in it.”
I did my best sweet talking to get Cannon out of the picture. Then Bennett put his arm around him and started smiling. I guess he changed his mind about Cannon being in the picture with him.
Our first Easter as a family of 7 and I’m quickly realizing trying to corral five kids for any pictures (especially when trying to keep dress clothes clean) is a lot of work and may not happen as much as I would like! Some realities are hard to swallow.
We spent our early afternoon at church, except Briggs who stayed back with family who had church at another time. Easter Sunday is so refreshing because it offers so much hope to every single one of us. I love the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland, “One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.” We are never alone. This is a concept that is taught over and over again in our congregation, yet at Easter time, while focused on his last week of life, it takes on more meaning. He walked the path so that we don’t have to do it alone. I love the focus of this season on his life and sacrifice.
We gathered as extended family for an Easter dinner and egg hunt. My sister-in-law is wonderful to host such a large and somewhat chaotic group every year. It is no small feat to feed 45 people even when everyone brings food.
Briggs was in snuggle heaven – there is never a shortage of people wanting to hold him.
Each year it seems as though the number of egg hiding cousins grows larger and the egg finding cousins grows smaller. We’re definitely on the tail end of a large family.
Here they are – all lined up with their loot. Perhaps a little angry that they have to stop eating their candy to take a picture! But most of them were good sports about it.
After the egg hunt – as kids sorted through all of their Easter eggs – the lawn games came out. I’m not sure why this picture is so funny to me – perhaps because it might be the only place you’ll see corn hole played by men in white shirts and ties!