I woke at 4:53 a.m. today. Mom Radar, Ted calls it. One of my children who shall remain nameless had an accident and had taken all the bedding down to the laundry room. The child was able to get back to sleep, thankfully, allowing me to continue my sneaky Easter work.
I set up an Easter egg scavenger hunt all over the house. (Yes, it rained more last night and again today, though we did see the sun briefly...no outdoor egg hunts for us!) Before leaving for training, Ted helped me pick out Easter baskets for the kids. We didn't necessarily have a plan in mind, but when we saw the baskets with balls--soccer, basketball, and kickball--and a VERY small amount of candy, we decided we had found just the thing! We bought one for the boys and one for the girls. (The girls' balls are all pink and purple!) I hid the baskets in two different closets in the basement, then set out the eggs around the house that had clues leading them to the next location. In each egg I also included two of the Werther's sugar-free candies (one for each kid), which are really quite good. I figured the kids should have SOME kind of candy on Easter! After all, we celebrate a really SWEET story, don't we?!
Once the eggs were hidden, I continued with my typical morning routine--typical, anyway, now that Ted is gone. Fix hot tea for me, lemon water for the kids. (Part of our diet plan.) Set out everyone's allergy medicines. (Sigh. That's what we're hoping to get AWAY from with this diet.) Fetch the paper and briefly scan while hot tea finishes. Enjoy quiet time with the Lord while sipping tea. Today I thumbed to nearly the back of the chronological Bible that we've been reading along with a "Resolve to Read" class this year, and I read the Easter story that way, which was neat...all the accounts put together, in order.
By the time I finished my shower, the house was still quiet. I even made our banana-squash-peanut butter pancakes, set everything out for breakfast, and it was STILL quiet! So I had a quiet breakfast and read the comics before my children had a chance to get them all out of order, and by then it was time to wake the crew. While I was getting their plates ready, they searched for 4 of the Resurrection Eggs that I had hidden in the kitchen.
As a side note, I highly recommend this family kit! We've been using the eggs in various ways for years. Sometimes I've hidden one egg per day leading up to Easter, but often--like this year--Easter comes and we're just not ready. (Yes, I know, Easter was late this year!) So we did 4 eggs Friday right before the Good Friday service, and I intended to do 4 eggs on Saturday as well. But, ahem, things do not always go as planned, so we ended up doing 4 this morning and the last 4 this evening.
I put slips of paper in each egg with the Scripture references on them, so the kids read the passages as they opened each egg. Charis helped Kenna "read" her passage by asking her to repeat the phrases, a job that Kenna took VERY seriously!
The kids then enjoyed their breakfast, and I was positively bursting, trying not to hurry them along TOO much. But the countdown was on...after all, we did have a church service to attend! So at 9:00 I gave the girls, who were finished eating, their first egg with the first clue in the hunt. Charis was SO good with Kenna, letting her help find the eggs and be very much a part of the whole experience.
The boys quickly finished their breakfasts as well once they realized what was going on, LOL. Then the "race" was on--according to the boys, it was a RACE to see who could find their basket first! It was so much fun to watch the commotion! Lucan happily wandered around in the midst of the fray. The kids' excitement over the baskets was so great they didn't even mind when I made them fork over the candy! They were all very excited about the balls. Prior to this we had one girls' soccer ball, and Tobin just got a kickball for his birthday. That's it! So it's time they added more to their collection, and, Lord willing, maybe it will stop raining enough for them to actually go outside and use them...they're driving me crazy in the house, ha!
I had to hustle the crew out the door shortly after they found the baskets, but we made it to church in good time and even had time for a family photo before taking the kids to their classes. (By the way, the girls received these matching Easter dresses from a homeschool family in our co-op whose daughters had outgrown them. Aren't they precious?!)
The service was very, very good. Even though it was a bit gloomy (weather-wise) outside, the worship was phenomenal, and the message (from 1 Peter 1:3-5) was right on. Meanwhile, in the kids' building, Charis was enjoying being a part of the Easter drama for the kids' service. It sounds like they had a great time of worship and learning as well.
We came home and I quickly made a batch of almond flour biscuits to take with us (along with our homemade strawberry jam, yum!) to Sidra's house for our Easter meal. I had given her our squash bake the day before so she could pop it in the oven. I also heated up some of the navy bean casserole I had made earlier in the week--there was enough left to share, and I thought it would go well with the pulled pork she was making. We enjoyed visiting and watching the kids play for a bit before the meal. I was proud of the kids--they were well-behaved and mannerly and ate almost everything on their plates! We had a great meal, and it was nice to have some fellowship. (And, I confess, it was REALLY nice not to have to clean up dishes, LOL!)
We came home a little after 2:00 for naps. Lucan was NOT happy about napping--Sidra had given us an old toy guitar that her kids didn't play with anymore, and Lucan is rather attached to it! But I managed to carry him (kicking and screaming...I guess he's really 2 now, isn't he?!) to bed, and after sobbing awhile, he got quiet, so I guess he resigned himself to his fate. The older kids watched the Jesus film and...who knows what else they did?! I was napping very soundly in my room! I have no idea how long I would have slept if it hadn't been for Arden knocking on the door and saying, "Mom? It's 5:15, and I think maybe you should get dinner for us!" Um, yeah, OK, I'll get right on that! Heh...good thing I had planned for us to just heat up the leftover pizza I had made last night!
So a 3-hour nap wasn't entirely my intention, but it was very nice to sleep soundly and wake to find that the kids were entertaining themselves well and hadn't done any major damage to themselves, each other, or the house! While the kids ate their dinner, I read Benjamin's Box, which goes along with the Resurrection Eggs. (It also happens to be the book I read out loud to Arden the day he accepted Jesus as his Savior 3 years ago!) Then they played while I ate my own dinner (I like doing the crossword and eating in peace!), and then I brought out the chocolate-frosted cupcakes. Lucan seemed happy enough with his unfrosted cupcakes, so I didn't bother adding to the mess! I let Charis hide the final 4 Resurrection eggs, and then we had our weekly family worship time by reading the last Scriptures, talking about the aspects of the story that were represented by each egg's contents, and singing and praying together.
Kenna and Lucan went off to bed, and the other kids and I enjoyed our weekly episode of The Amazing Race. (Not the outcome, unfortunately, but it was otherwise a fun show.) And I guess that wraps up our Easter! To view more pictures, see our album here.
Happy Easter to you, too! We're so thankful we have something to celebrate. As my dear husband posted this morning, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:19-20).
Christ is risen, indeed!