Wow, I haven’t downloaded pictures from my phone or posted on the blog in 3 months. What happened?!!
I suppose there are plenty of explanations–life happened, work and church and school and family and whatever else. The kids are bigger, they aren’t here doing cute stuff every 5 minutes all day long, and there are so many good things to spend time on.
However, for my faithful followers there are still some fun photos and seasonal events to share. I’ll try to get caught up and break the silence so it isn’t so daunting to post over the summer!
Here is Catching-Up #1–Easter pics. I’m not sure they need much explanation, they are what they are!
Holy Week often seems more hurried than holy, even though each year I wish that it would somehow magically be different. However, God is faithful to remind us of His great love and sacrifice, the gifts that make possible all of the joyful and necessary activities that fill our days. Here are some Easter highlights….
The unexpected treat of decorating Easter eggs with our neighbor, invited in my my children when they were delivering hot cross buns.
Bits and pieces of four different generations from both sides of our families, gathered at our house to share the afternoon.
Cousins who get along well and enjoy each other thoroughly. (No, Katya doesn’t have glasses yet, that is just a dress up pair that she was enjoying for the day!)
A front-and-backyard Easter egg hunt that kept both kids and adults entertained. Nathan even had the kindness to run some eggs across the street for the little girl who lives there!
The delight of fun treats, large and small, hidden in eggs and given from loving family members.
Not photographed but still important moments to reflect, serve, and rejoice at our church’s prayer walk, Good Friday meal, and stirring Easter service.
And my favorite, 21 people gathered together because of the miracle of God’s saving love for us. As we read in 1 Peter 1: 3-4 “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading…”
He is risen!
Has it only been just over a week since Easter? Seems like a lot longer than that! We enjoyed a joyous celebration, characterized by lots of the typical activities of the season–our Good Friday service and meal, special music at church (I even got to play in the orchestra!), bright dyed Easter eggs (3 dozen this year), a full table of family and new friends for dinner, egg hunt in the backyard, kids dressed up in nice clothes–so many ways to mark the importance of the resurrection day. Here are the pictures:
The kids couldn’t wait for our Easter dinner guests to arrive!!
We shared the meal with a table full of grandparents. Happy times!
We borrowed special dishes from my grandpa, set the table in the dining room, and even ate in a few courses!
Following dinner the kids each played on the piano for us.
It was a joy to have generations together, and to be at a table filled with people who were celebrating together the importance of a resurrected Savior. I am grateful that my children can be part of that heritage.
My sweet Easter kids…
…had lots of fun looking for things over Easter week. An egg hunt with cousins at Gran B and Poppy’s house (inside because of snow)
backyard eggs (minus the one the squirrel destroyed),
even finding treasures while wearing an Easter dress and rain boots!
My favorite Easter hunt was the one Than did inside, using clues inside the eggs that led the kids to find the new What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver DVD. (If you haven’t heard of Buck Denver yet, better click on that link to get up to speed!)
What a joy to celebrate Christ’s resurrection! New life, bright colors, flowers springing into bloom–God’s handiwork evident in the world around and hopefully in the hearts at our table as well.
Than worked very hard on the Good Friday events at church. SGC did lots of new things this year including some very artistic, interactive prayer environments, an all-church family meal at the conclusion of the Good Friday service, and an attempt at making the Easter egg hunt intergenerational. Good stuff! Our family didn’t see much of Than, but we enjoyed sharing the evening with Than’s parents and other church friends.
Saturday involved some housework, some preparations for Sunday, a 4-year-old birthday tea party with friends, and a family trip to the Botanic Gardens. We also dyed our Easter eggs (and I was left wondering when my kids will be old enough to do it without me worrying about cracked eggs and the threat of dye splattering all over something!)
Sunday I got to play with the church orchestra, always a treat. Easter music stirs the soul! After lunch the kids went to “nap” while I prepared dinner and Than hid our Easter suprises around the yard. It was hard for them to wait for our dinner guests, so they each hid 10 eggs in their rooms and then traded rooms for a warm-up hunt.
Finally the grandparents and great-grandparents arrived and we set the kids loose to race around the yard and fill their baskets. The weather was beautiful and the grown-ups enjoyed talking in the sunshine while the kids brought back their treasures. We enjoyed grilled chicken, salad, sourdough bread, grilled pineapple and asparagus for dinner and strawberry shortcakes and coconut macaroon nests for dessert.
In some ways, the highlight of the day happened at bedtime. After everyone was tucked in, I heard Nathan crying and went in to see what was wrong. He was sad because Easter was over and he loves Jesus rising from the dead and the Easter egg hunt. In my mind, that means we’ve succeeded at least this year in making this holy time of year an important event in our children’s lives.
“Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in words alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” –Martin Luther
I know, two quotes in a row, but my Easter decorations make me think about spring and new life and Resurrection!! I love the way spring helps me feel the joy of resurrection, just as reading the story helps me know the joy of resurrection. God is restoring the world to the way He designed it, made possible by the sacrifice of His Son.
When I think of the ways our family gets ready for Easter, I think this one is my favorite. My brother and sister put together this devotional as a gift for me several years ago. Each day’s lesson corresponds with a passage in Matthew and with a tiny object inside a numbered egg-shaped box. The kids eagerly enjoy taking turns opening the boxes and arranging the items on the special shelf. They like to look at all the little treasures and remember what each one means. I like to look at the display and remember the thoughtfulness of my family in helping us remember the meaning of this very important season.
“Why does man have creativity? Why can man think of many things in his mind, and choose, and then bring forth something that other people can taste, smell, feel, hear, and see? Because man was created in the image of a Creator. Man was created that he might create. It is not a waste of man’s time to be creative. It is not a waste to pursue artistic or scientific pursuits in creativity, because this is what man was made to be able to do.” –Edith Shaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
A bit of an explanation for the joy I find in cooking and craft projects, that’s for sure!
Making deviled eggs gives one plenty of time to think–it’s a basic but time consuming project. While carefully garnishing each egg with paprika (yes, Bonzo and Mima!) and a sprig of parsley, I started reflecting on where garnishes fit in the scheme of God’s work in the world. Yes, I could serve my tray of eggs without all that fussing and they would still taste about the same, Should I really take the extra time away from other things I could be doing? But wait, didn’t God take the time to make hundreds of colors of birds, not just one or two? Aren’t flowers accompanied by colors, smells, shapes, textures–lots of things that don’t serve a strictly utilitarian purpose? Didn’t God ask the Israelites and Solomon to adorn their Tabernacle and Temple with gold, engravings, weavings, and lots of special “garnishes”? Don’t I see His little sparks of beauty and things that enhance the humdrum in my everyday life? I think there is a place for garnishing!! Thanks, God, for the pleasure and richness given by a world full of beautiful and special, not just utilitarian, things.