Sunday, March 27, 2016


I love my church's Easter hashtag this year, #hallelujah. The video that went along with it struck a chord with me. With all the many ways that I fail as a mom, a wife, a friend, as a Christian... I really do feel like shouting Hallelujah for forgiveness!! Hallelujah for carried sorrows, for inner peace, for fresh starts!! Life would be TERRIBLE without all of that and I really do know from experience that Jesus Christ's atonement is the source of that power. He made possible God's gift to us of transformation. From sorrow to peace, from guilt to hope, broken to strong, and death to life.  So seriously, the chorus from Handel's Messiah is spot on and I feel like singing "Haaaaaaallelujah! Haaaaaaaaallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeeeelujah!" 

We talked on Monday about Palm Sunday, and acted it out for family home evening, then.... the school/work week got busy and we weren't able to do anything else until our branch put on a Good Friday musical evening. The kids sang 2 songs with the primary (led by me, which I was pretty nervous about for some reason), then I had a solo, "Pass it on" and among lots of other great musical numbers Chris and I (and Freddy) sang in the branch choir.  

Then on Saturday we talked about why eggs are a symbol of Easter while we dyed eggs in preparation for our egg roll the next day. Our good friends the Gines came over for a late lunch and egg hunt. 

Freddy was super cute as he found each egg. I think around his 5th egg, he realized there was candy in them because one broke open. He got even more excited and shouted, "can-ey!" He wanted to stop hunting right then and just devour his sweets. 

The rest of the kids were fairly committed to completing the search for the golden egg that's filled with money but despite almost all of the kids walking within 2 feet of it, Freddy picked up the golden egg! 

Saturday night was the Women's broadcast and it was VERY good. I loved the multi generational - multi racial choir. They were dressed in white and portrayed a sense of unity among God's daughters across the whole world and all of the talks were about service and reaching out to help the refugees across the world. It lasted for about an hour and a half then I came home and Chris and I tried to get ready for Easter Sunday. 
For the kids baskets this year we tried a new thing because Alec requested it. So late Saturday night (and I'm talking WAY late because I was needing to plan Singing and Sharing time, and Chris had some Journal paper submissions to work on) we hid the kids' baskets around the house and tied string from their bedside tables, around the house and finally leading to their hidden basket.

Sunday, Chris's meetings were later than normal so we had time to bring all the kids into our bed and retell the events of the first Easter using pictures.  Since our Friday night movie a few days before was The BBC old school version of Chronicles of Narnia (we just finished reading the book as a family) Charlie kept interrupting our Easter story with "Just like Aslan!" "Yeah, because Aslan loved Edmond!" etc. Then they excitedly followed their strings to their baskets.  The kids sometimes got frustrated with how slow they had to walk b/c of difficulty winding up their string and the crossed strings easily got tangled up. I'm not sure we'll repeat this, but it was fun to try something new.

Church was good. We were holding a branch fast on behalf of one of our congregation and our shared testimonies brought such a nice spirit into the chapel. We had been invited over to a friend's house for lunch and egg hunt right after church and despite feeling like we didn't have much time, I really wanted some family pictures so we set up the camera on top of a stool on top of a chair and took the following. I'm so glad I pushed for this. It didn't take long, and the kids didn't complain too much and I LOVE seeing pictures of our family together.  

Lunch was delicious the egg hunt was fun and before long we realized we had been at our friends house  for more than a few hours! Our kids and their kids get a long so well.  Its nice to have friends with whom we can share the holidays! 

Our egg roll ended up being only 2 eggs each (when Frederick helped dye the eggs... we lost about 5 of them). Chris made up a bracket and away we went.

Charlie is the winner, twice over since both of his eggs never cracked! (Although 2 of his 3 matches ended early because his opponent Freddy chucked his egg instead of rolled it and sp of course it cracked... leaving Charlie winner by default)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Charlie basketball

Charlie's basketball season ended! Chris did a great job coaching, and Charlie worked so hard and had a good time. Towards the end of the season we had a really good win where the boys scored more than 20 points! That earned them a pizza party at our house. We won our first game in the tournament against a team that we had lost to previously, then we lost to the 1st place team in the second round. The boys improved, as a team and individually so much.. especially the ones who came to the weekly practices on top of the weekly games. Charlie caught some passes and had an awesome assist, (I think?) and even tried for a shot or two during the last few games. He's by far the youngest player on the court and learning basketball for the first time, he did amazing. I'm so proud of his happy, eager, team-player spirit. 

Climbing trees and Freddy snuggles

There is this big tree in our front yard that my boys love to try and climb.  They must have quiet a bit of Chris' cautious side in them because they remember to put on helmets and work gloves all on their own...even put some on Freddy who would not actually be leaving the ground.  The after-school-treat of popcorn is a big magnet to stay grounded for that little "caw-coin"-loving cutie. 

Another fun thing about this time of year is the HUGE flocks of birds that come around.   This picture doesn't do it justice. The flock is SO BIG and SO LOUD that we can hear them quite noticeably from inside even if all the doors and windows are closed. We hear this loud squabbling and the thunderous flutter of their probably thousands of wings.  Its pretty awesome. 

We all love to snuggle Freddy, the kids still fight over who is playing with him. I wonder if/when that will ever wear off... I'm thinking its not too far down the road. 

Alec likes to teach him how to be 'cool.'

Charlie insists Freddy loves Polar Bears just like him. (Another think I like about this picture is that it almost captures Freddy's side-eye-roll. He does it when he's trying to be silly and he makes a goofy face then without moving his head looks way over and up to the side, then looks back at you. I don't know why, but I think its so adorable.) 

Gwen has been obsessed with reading and spelling lately and turns out Frederick can sit next to hear and listen to her read a Dick and Jane book for forever. Yesterday Gwen was even spelling out what she wanted to say to me instead of just saying it. "M-O-M... L-E-T-apostrophe-S ...E-A-T" 

At the busiest/fussiest moments (usually right before lunch or dinner) Freddy will grab his blanket come to me, lean against my legs and with outstretched arms say, "Ah  cuh-wull"  Translation - I want to cuddle.   I'm starting to half cringe when he says this because although a small part of me wants to believe that he actually means he wants to sit on the couch and cuddle with me under a blanket, the experienced part of me realizes he wants to play this doggie-fetch-balls game we played once a few weeks ago and now he wants to play it every day at 11:00am and 5:00pm. After we gather all the big soft balls in the house we do get to cuddle on the couch or beanbag for approximately .5 of a second before he wiggles free and throws the ball as hard as he can around the room after which we both crawl on our hands and knees to bring the balls back to the couch/beanbag and we start it again. and again. and again.  I guess we gotta take the cuddles where we can get them. :)