Broken decoration…

It has been years since I put any Easter decorations out. It seems like we’re always gone for spring break and Easter sneaks up on me and I just haven’t been good about getting decorations out. But this year, I was cleaning out the garage when I came across the Easter boxes and decided this was the year to pull it all out.

Briggs didn’t even know we had Easter decorations and he was obsessed with the ceramic bunny. Steve and I were out one night while Hallie babysat and the next morning I noticed the ears sitting next to the bunny.

I sent Hallie a text while she was at school to try and get to the bottom of the broken ears. This was her response.

You’d think I would’ve tossed the broken decoration. But I didn’t. It stayed on our counter all the way through Easter. First, so I could question Briggs about what happened to it and watch him squirm. Second, is there any better holiday than Easter to have a broken decoration sit on the counter?! It was a gentle reminder the whole season that we’re all a little broken, which is why Easter is so important and why we need a Savior.

Easter 2022…

Last week was the longest week ever! We had the slowest moving stomach bug for over a week. And just when we thought we were in the clear, Bennett knocked on my door at 6:30 Easter morning saying he didn’t feel well. I will spare all the details but it didn’t end pretty.

Easter was a little different. We could either leave Bennett home and the rest of the family could go enjoy a nice dinner with extended family, or we could stick it out as a family at home. We were concerned who might be the next one to catch the bug in our family and unknowingly pass it to someone at the family gathering. So against the vote of our children, we spent the afternoon at home as a family.

I had already made all the rolls for our large extended gathering and I just needed to pull them out of the freezer to rise. I made a call to my sister-in-law who was hosting later that afternoon and informed her we were out but the rolls would be in. In return we would swing by for some food and bring it home for our family. Side note: I pulled out the rolls to rise before church but I got stuck in a meeting after church and I came home to Hunter cooking batches of rolls! I asked him how he knew how long to cook them and he said he didn’t, he just kept looking at them to see when they were brown enough to pull them out. He did a beautiful job and they all got cooked in time!

So our little family spent the afternoon together. Bennett joined us for pictures and the egg hunt. And Hallie and Hunter must have hidden his eggs too hard because he gave up pretty quickly and said he would try again the next day (and he found them all today!) We typically do an egg hunt with cousins which is great, but our kids enjoyed the egg hunt we did during covid when every kid had a different color egg and they had a certain number to find. With only 13 eggs a piece, this activity lasted far longer than expected (almost an hour!)

Knowing we were missing dinner with family, our friends dropped off an Easter cookie decorating kit which kept their interest for quite a while. Such a thoughtful gift.

Briggs insisted we recreate the time “when he almost died” in his Easter basket. (He made the same request last year) One of these days, his little bum isn’t going to fit in that bucket but we’ll recreate it until that happens!

Hallie is my picture girl! The boys tend to scatter, but she’ll always humor me and let me take as many pictures as I want. She is a real gem.

It was a special day. We would have loved to have been with extended family, but these family members are the most important people in my life and it was a beautiful day to spend just our little family. We had some beautiful discussions we won’t soon forget.

Easter 2021…

Over the years, Easter for our family has become more than just a Sunday holiday. It starts the week before as we start to recount the events of the Savior’s last week. We talk. We read accounts in the scriptures. We watch uplifting videos. All of it is a beautiful lead into Easter Sunday.

Every few years, when Easter Sunday is the first Sunday of April, we end up having our semi-annual General Conference for our church (where we watch talks and messages from home) and Easter on the same weekend. This year happened to be an Easter Sunday/General Conference combo and it was beautiful. The messages we listened to this morning about Jesus Christ, his resurrection and atoning sacrifice were a beautiful reminder of His love for us and the power we have to change and become the best versions of ourselves. More than anything the messages offered hope for all those with heavy hearts and burdens that seem unbearable.

It was a powerful reminder to continue teaching these kids about Jesus Christ and his love for every single individual. To instill a faith in something so much larger and more powerful than they could ever imagine – a faith that will change their lives if they come to know Him.

Happy Easter!

Easter…funny comment…

Just before we were ready to go hunt Easter eggs, the kids were running around the house with their Easter buckets.

While holding his bucket, Briggs started recounting a time he almost died. He was talking about his Easter bucket. He was making a silly face – he was so animated recounting this story. (I thought maybe it was related to Easter because we had spent the morning talking about Jesus dying.)

We were all a little confused.

But he insisted and told the story again of the time he almost died. This time he actually sat in his Easter bucket and tilted his head back a little and made the face again.

We finally realize, he’s describing a picture he’s seen of himself sitting in his Easter bucket just weeks after he was born – for some reason, he looks at the picture and thinks he was in danger of death! 🙂

We all about died laughing. I’m not sure when he saw this photo last but he was doing a pretty funny impression.

I think this is last year he’ll fit in that bucket!

Easter 2020…

I’m sure everyone across the country could say something similar but Easter looked a little different this year but we loved it still the same. Our traditional “bunny” showed up on Saturday right on schedule. In case you were wondering – yes, they received two flavors of peeps, sour watermelon and root beer float.

Sunday morning we were surprised to find another bunny had made a visit. Bennett was the first to point out he knew it didn’t come from us (parents) because there is no way we would give them that much candy. He was absolutely correct. The walkway leading up to our doorstep was littered with candy as well – so much candy! It didn’t take them long for the kids to guess who would do such a thing. We are grateful for wonderful and thoughtful neighbors who know how to make a kid’s day.

The kids came running out the front door collecting all they could fit in their arms – the Easter pinata! I couldn’t not capture each kid with a stash. They were only mildly disappointed when they learned we would only be keeping a portion and then passing some off to other families who would enjoy it!

We had an elaborate crepe bar. Steve mastered what he dubbed the “fully loaded” crepe and the kids waited patiently while he loaded up their crepes. Vanilla crepe filling, strawberries and bananas, topped with whipped cream, nutella, powdered sugar, strawberries, bananas and peanut butter drizzle. I call it the sugar coma. Who needs Easter candy when you can have breakfast!!

We had a beautiful home church service with Hallie and Hunter sharing talks and Bennett singing “Gethsemane” for our musical number and a little Easter symbolism activity. We talked of Jesus Christ and played music throughout the day to foster that special spirit we had in our little church meeting. It was probably my favorite Easter church yet. Simple. Powerful. It was a beautiful day – but unlike any Easter we’ve ever had. (And Steve was with us the whole day which was probably the biggest treat for us all.)

In the afternoon we prepped and ate a special ham dinner and then let the kids start their Easter egg hunt.

We typically spend Easter with Steve’s family hosted at his brother’s house. It’s always such a special day and we always look forward to it. But life is different right now and everything we expected life to be at this point has been thrown out the window. Like everyone else, we continue to adapt and roll with it. But if I’m being honest, leaving traditions on the table is a little hard for me. I love them. I love doing the same thing year after year. I love when my kids talk about the traditions they look forward to. Easter is no different.

A few days before Easter as I was outlining the day and making a plan for food and activities the thought of an egg hunt wasn’t high on my list. We always do it with cousins and even then it’s not necessarily my favorite part of the day. Kids whine because so-and-so got more eggs or being disappointed because somebody else found the money egg from Nana and Papa.

I knew my kids would want an egg hunt so an idea came to my mind and I started running with it. Every kid would have a certain egg color and they would all have the same amount to find. But the catch would be the eggs would be hidden in different front yards (with permission) around our evening walk route.

The kids didn’t know this. They started looking for eggs in our front yard and they weren’t finding very many. By the time most of the kids had found 3 eggs we told them there was only 3 eggs to find…in our yard. We started walking our route and they were casually looking to see if they could see any. Once one kid spotted an egg in someone’s yard they would all run in the front yard looking for their eggs. We ended up telling them how many were in each yard – either 2 or 3 eggs.

I can’t tell you how much fun this was! They were hidden based on age so Hallie and Hunter and even Bennett had some hard ones to find. Hunter had one so hard to find, we never found it! And isn’t it always the case that everyone can see your egg hiding in plain sight but you?! A few times we had to play hot and cold in order to find some. Steve even narrowed down areas to help the older kids find a few hard ones.

There was excitement. There was laughing. There was frustration. Everything you want in a good egg hunt. Our typical 4 minute egg hunt lasted two hours and each kid only needed to find 16 eggs – eggs they all helped to fill with candy from our doorstep earlier in the day.

It was just the right ending to our day. A day typically steep in tradition looked totally different and yet felt wonderful all the same. The kids are convinced this egg hunt needs to be the new tradition and I think I agree. That’s the funny thing about traditions I suppose; they are wonderful and fantastic until you introduce a new idea and suddenly we’re okay with old traditions changing.

We love our family and missed them dearly on this day – we long for days when we can gather with them again. Happy Easter – He is risen!