Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Dana: "I think Easter is my FAVORITE holiday."
Daniel: "I don't know.  I think you're pretty Christmas crazy."
Dana:  "Yea.... that's true... but I don't know.  I might like Easter better."
Daniel:  "I think you just like ALL holidays."

He might be on to something there.... I DO love celebrating!  But I will say, while I try to make each holiday a little bit special with traditions and surprises for the boys, Christmas and Easter are really the big deal!  With Christmas though, we have an entire MONTH to scatter little things and traditions and festivities, you don't get that at Easter.  So every year at Easter, I have about 100 things I want to do.... but I can't do too much because then it just overwhelms the boys.... but I want them to know that Easter is a BIG DEAL!  Anyway, with that said, we had a packed week.... but it was SO fun and SO worth it.  I pray for these little hearts that I have been entrusted with, and I love watching them learn and grow in the knowledge of the Lord.  

We started our week last Sunday (Palm Sunday) reading about Jesus and dying Easter eggs.

On Monday, we baked bread together and talked about Jesus being the bread of life and we planted our Grace Garden. 

And on Tuesday we had a family "Passover Seder".  It was planned to be on Thursday to parallel with the Last Supper, but when Daniel's schedule changed to him working on Thursday, we bumped it up so that he could celebrate with us and also so that I would have his help getting the meal together.  The boys LOVED it!  We have attended a Jewish Passover meal before and remembered walking away from it in awe of the all the parallels to Jesus.... then when Focus on the Family published the idea of having a Passover Seder during Holy Week, I was thrilled.  The boys asked if we could do it again, the next night. HAHA! So this will be a tradition that sticks around.  It was also my first time making lamb and my first time making Matzo ball soup!

Then on Wednesday we headed outside for a short little Easter scavenger hunt, and Daniel went over with the boys what the items meant once they found them.

And on Thursday we washed each other's feet!  The plan was just washing the boys, I washed Leeland's, Leeland washed Hayden's and then Hayden washed baby Joel's.  BUT, the boys then wanted to wash mine, so I got washed too.  Love their sweet hearts! Leeland said he wanted to wash my feet because he wanted to be like Jesus.

On Friday, we devoured hot cross buns for breakfast.  A favorite good Friday tradition around here.  And I sent the extra with Daniel to his men's Bible study because I just got my body back and these could put the pounds back on. Haha! (Thank you Pioneer Woman for the fantastic recipe I use year after year.)

.... And then on Saturday we began our resurrection cookies.  We usually make resurrection rolls (with crescents and marshmallows) on Easter morning to have for breakfast, but this year our church gave out a recipe that you make meringue cookies beginning the night before and let them sit in the oven over night for a similar result.  The boys heard "cookies" and said we *have* to make them instead.  So we started the recipe Saturday night and enjoyed our sweet treats Sunday morning when we woke up.

As suspected, these were not the "cookies" the boys are used to.  BUT they had scripture to go with every step of making them and the point was made.

Sunday morning, the boys were loved on and spoiled with some fun surprises in their Easter buckets from Mommy and Daddy, and then we headed off to church.

It looks like we did a lot.... BUT it really wasn't.  Little things each day here and there to drive home the point of Easter.  Like I said, for Christmas I get the whole month of December to make my point, for Easter, I only get a week.  And at the end of the week, the boys really knew what the purpose of Easter is.  Crazy enough, all week long, the boys mentioned absolutely nothing of gifts.  It seems they completely forgot that they usually get gifts in their Easter baskets.  They DID however remember and remind me about the grace garden and about resurrection rolls..... It really proves the point that the gifts don't matter.  The money spent and the "stuff" is not what is memorable.  It's the traditions, the stories, and the time together.... AND JESUS!

Wishing each of you a very happy Easter!

"Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord.  Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow;  though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." -Isaiah 1:18

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy 7 Months Joel!

The little munchkin has been a busy bee this month! Learning SO many new tricks!!
While he wasn't "officially" crawling at 6 months, he was only barrel rolling, spinning and scooting backward..... He certainly figured it out this month!  And after about a week and a half of looking like he was doing "the worm", he got up on his hands and knees and worked out how to crawl.
.... And then within only a couple days of crawling, he began pulling up!  Seriously kid?!  Mommy was SO not ready for that.  And I'm not 100% sure that he was actually ready for that either because he's definitely lacking in the balance department.  Some days I feel like I need to put a helmet on the kid.  He's determined to get around to wherever he wants to go and has no fear, which has naturally resulted in bumping his little noggin quite a lot.
He also managed to pull up on the bottom stair for the first time.  Eek!!  We have GOT to work out a gate/safety something for our stairs ASAP.
Munchkin went for his 6 month check-up on March 4th and weighed 22 pounds, 2 ounces and was 28 inches tall.  Don't you wish everyone got so excited about growing and gaining weight as an adult!?  Anyway, at 7 months old, baby boy is wearing 18 month clothes.  I had to hang up my dreams of finding "first holiday" outfits for him because at Valentine's, St Patrick's, and for Easter coming up, I just couldn't find them locally in his size.  Apparently most kids aren't quite this big for their first holidays.
Still majority breastfed and getting 1 meal a day of pureed foods.  And still NO teeth, though I feel like chompers might be in his near future.
Joel adores his big brothers and spends much of the day trying his hardest to keep up with them and gives them some of his biggest smiles.  He loves to be worn in the Tula and frequently takes Tula naps in the day while we are out and about.  He LOVES bath time and could spend hours splashing away-- makes me so excited for Summer!  He's going to adore the splash park and the pool.  And hopefully he can tolerate some sand because we like the beach too.
Such a happy little fellow, and growing like a little weed.  Getting excited for some fun Spring and Summer firsts for the little guy!