What a busy Easter weekend this year. Cody was off for Good Friday, so we started out by getting the kiddos up and dressed in all white outfits for a little Momma photo shoot. That went ... uhhhh... well????!!! Hmmmm, I got some shots, but not of all of the kiddos in one pic. So, we are going to have to try for that on another day. I will try to post some of the pics over the coming week, because I know I have you curious now. Sorry for that! ;o
The day got away from us quickly (time flies somehow) and I did a necessary store run and then we jumped into the weekend with a bang by meeting up with friends and going to the Last Days of Christ presentation in Beaumont, Texas. As expected it was awesome and a wonderful way to bring the story of Easter to life. I know kids have vivid imaginations anyway and probably don't HAVE to have this type of presentation for it to seem real to them, but you can't go wrong by giving them a visual. After the presentation we came back to our house and enjoyed visiting.
Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed to make a marathon run to the lakes area (Sam Rayburn) for family visits with each set of grandparents. What a day of SUGAR it turned out to be!! We had a quick cereal breakfast here, but by the time we got out the door there were screams of hunger... sad starving children that they are. :) We made a quick run to the Donut Palace for kolaches and donuts/donut holes (the best around.,..yum). We went to the in-laws first... in the boonies... think I am kidding?!... it is FIVE miles back in the woods and you see NOTHING but woods until you get there!! Strangely, they have two other neighbors right beside them that think this seclusion is normal, also. :) Anyway, there we visited with MeMe, Poppa, Uncle W, Aunt D, Cousins E, H, & B. All the kids played "hopscotch" on the new checkerboard sod that was freshly put down. I am sure my girls thought that hopscotch was the reason for the sod (as opposed to my in-laws desperate attempt to have grass rather than dust for a front yard). It was cute watching them hop around on their new hopscotch grid. We had early Easter dinner, hid and hunted eggs, played some more and ate lots of sweets and after about four hours headed to my parents.... Shhhh! It was a suprise! I did not tell them we were coming because I did not want them fretting about doing anything special. My Daddy just happened to be outside when we were driving up and he was suprised. Kinda funny to see that look on his face. He is supposed to be relaxing and taking it easy after his recent heart attack, but he thinks he can "do it all" still. He really has me worrying, but what do you do?! So, we visited with Nana and PaPa and, of course, my Momma (Nana) thought we all needed to be fed. She whipped up some chili and hot dogs/frito pies and then, the kiddos went for a golf cart ride with PaPa and their daddy to visit some other kids in the neighborhood. Momma and I stuck around while Sahara cuaght a much needed nap and chit-chatted. We were supposed to stay there for about two hours to avoid tiring them out, but ended up being there about four hours, also. We headed home, so we could attend church on Sunday morning... Whew! Would have loved to stay and REST... oh no.. we don't dare do that, though. I told Cody that if he loved me at all and I was to survive this weekend he was going to have to let me try to sleep on the way home. A miracle happened and I DID... at least, some! We Got home around midnight and crashed for the night... well, somewhat. There is not really much sleep to be had here, but we try. :)
We awoke with approximately 1 1/2 hours to bathe, dress, feed, and get all six of us out the door for church!! We were moving and grooving and we made it. After church we we went to Michelle's parent's house for an Easter/birthday celebration (one year for miss Marowynn, Michelle's youngest) where we spent the afternoon eating, visiting, egg hiding/hunting. It was a great time to spend with lifelong friends. That evening we came home and I made a quick dinner. I put together a family Easter basket for my kids while they were playing. They came to dinner with this big basket as a suprise in the middle of the dining room table. Now, I have to say I did not go all nuts with the "Easter stuff". It was simple and I encourage others to follow a "less is more" policy for Easter (etc). I have had the basket for over 15 years and when I realized it would hold the stuff I had I grabbed it up and it became "the" basket. So, you see there was no great planning here. Keep it simple... use what you have even if you use it in a different way than normal. This basket normally holds cloth dinner napkins and sits in the floor of the dining room. I just moved the dinner napkins out temporarily. In my effort to give the kids a "gift" without it being too much I purchased sand buckets for each of the ($1 at WM) as their treat which I stacked together and placed altogether in the big basket. I then tossed in a few bags of candy, some Peeps, and a small chocolate bunny for each of them along with a book (The Easter Story) that we ALREADY HAD. After eating dinner they were allowed to dive into the basket and I handed Cody the little book to read to the kids. That pretty much brought us up to bedtime, so off they were to brush teeth and all that jazz. Whew! What a whirlwind weekend!
TIPS: Okay, this is random... some on the topic of Easter and some not... just what is on my mind:
*1st* About that basket in the dining room... Want to save some money and some trees on paper towel usage? I have some fabric napkins that I just use and wash. The ones in my basket or nice, but only because I just happened to have them. I also, use my kitchen hand towels for the same purpose. Change to this and you will be suprised to see that you can almost stop buying paper towels. I only buy the cheapest paper towels and those I use for draining greasy food. Occasionally I grab a paper towel in a hurry, but usually I use something I can wash and re-use.
*2nd* A new book is great to have, but if you do not have time to go shopping the kids don't care. The GIFT OF READING ANY BOOK will do for them. Now, our book was not brand new and I had read it to them a couple of times this week, BUT Daddy had not. That was a wonderful gift and having Daddy talk to them about their salvation and baptism is PRICELESS.
*3rd* Gifts that you know they will actually use over and over are much better than all those little trinkety things that fall apart or just junk up your house. Those that add clutter and stress to your house or better never to enter in! Somewhere out there there is a landfill of party favors that we are ALL contributing to... I am guilty, too.
*4th* Making memories... Attending events together, such as, plays, a movie, presentations (Last Days of Christ), McD's for ice cream, free local events like firework shows, flying a kite, or going on a quick picnic are so much better than anything you could purchase. Watch a home video, view photos, etc. If we all stopped buying so much "stuff" for our kids we would see their world change. Trade an expensive "thing" for special time together and see the difference... I DARE YOU!!! We have even told our kids that less stuff will mean a chance at better fun things this summer will we are on vacation.