Every year I want to make a big deal out of Easter. Two reasons.
1. It is indeed the holiday that my faith rests on. No resurrection means Jesus was just a man, or a prophet at best. The resurrection is the one event that solidifies he deity…and that matters because if Jesus is indeed God, well it leads to so many more things.
2. It was my favorite holiday growing up. The spring flowers, the amazing See’s candy that my mom filled my basket with, the egg hunt, the delicious lamb my parents would splurge on, the bunny cake my Grammie brought over, the sugar eggs my mom would set up for us to gaze into…it was all magical and warm and perfect.
Easter is interesting because in my quest to make it “perfect” or “a big deal” it has morphed over the years. I just want to share my love of it…and each year it always goes down very differently from how I imagine it is going to go down…but each year it is perfect in it’s own way. This year we are part of a new church, our first day opening was Easter Sunday, so Easter celebrations at home were quiet.
So this year was simple: an egg hunt with the neighbors, candy, and the one fact that Jesus did indeed rise. If you doubt the last part, don’t be afraid to look into the historical. Many witnessed it. Historians verify the validity of those witnesses. So we don’t have to take a “leap of faith” as much as we can use our brains and our logic and come to a conclusion that indeed Jesus was truly God as he claimed to be. So we celebrate that, as well as celebrating that the rest of the things that Jesus said were probably true too. Celebrate because he made some pretty cool claims, that in my opinion are totally worth a read. 😉
Happy Easter. 🙂
August is now a master of the monkey bars. The real story is how he became a master that sunny day 3 weeks ago.
Determination is the word that came to my mind that day. Pure, raw, real, determination.
It was a beautiful March day, sunny and cool, and we found ourselves at a park called Hilltop Park. August has been trying to master monkey bars for quite some time, but this park had something the other parks didn’t have: monkey bars that he could reach from the platform without mom’s help! He said, “Mom watch. I am going to make it across.” He grabbed the first bar, swung to the second with ease, but found himself dropping as he tried to reach the third. “Keep watching mom, I am going to make it this time.” Again he got the first and the second bars, dropped on the third. “Keep watching mom,” he pleaded. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Same thing; first bar, second bar, dropped at third. Then suddenly he got to the 4th bar out of 6. Now he plea had turned into a self-motivating mantra. “Again,” he said. And with each drop, “AGAIN.” 4 bars to the 5th bar. 15 minutes, 17 minutes, 20 minutes. 5th bar! Then within one more minute…6 bars…and the landing on the other side! He looked at me BEAMING. I screamed in delight! Determination. Not one cry, whine, or moment of self-doubt squeaked out. Just the word, “AGAIN.” and the look of determination. With this boys lack of fear and powerful determination…I can’t wait to see the plans that God has for him!
Now he is our monkey bar master! Across any set of monkey bars you put in front of him.. Gymnastic bars too? Yes! Flips upside down…and lets go of his hands to hang. He can even pull himself on adult size gymnastic rings into a full flip!
Not even 4 years old yet…Go August go!
Our garden has seemingly gotten weaker and sadder each year since the year we put in the beds. It is so disheartening to plant, water, hope, and wait, only to end up with sad veggies.
Yes, we made a point to amend the soil like last year. BUT the other thing Daniel did this year is what turned out to be even more important: sifting through the soil to take out all the roots from previous years. AND you will never believe the surprise we found! When Daniel was sifting through he found out that one of our neighbor’s trees had roots in our veggie bed! Roots that were sucking out all the good nutrients from the soil! Clip and out they go. Then we amended. Then we planted.
Check out our bounty so far…so much better! YAY!
I can’t remember the exact year mom gave my quilt to me…I think it was right after I graduated college or so. I pulled the quilt of the attic last week to take a picture for my mom that she requested, and I am SO GLAD I did. The kids oooo’ed and ahhhhh’ed. I got to tell the story of each piece. You see, my mom took all those clothes that every kid has, the ones that they don’t ever want to give away, and saved them over the years. Then she made a unique quilt for each of us. Each quilt for each kid’s personality. My quilt pieces were made into a painting of sorts, because I always loved painting.
I don’t think I can let it live in the attic anymore. What an amazing gift!
This year we have a red power ranger, a student from Hogwart’s Wizard school, and a ninja. Daniel took this picture and told everyone to be serious. Apparently August doesn’t know serious yet.
When we first bought this house 7 years ago I didn’t love the house paint on the outside, but it was only a couple years old so it just didn’t make financial sense to change it. I loved the red door, but just not the tone of the red (pink-ish maroon).
My logical side put painting the house on the back burner.
Now 7 years have passed. Doing cosmetic changes on a house are so hard to convince yourself to change. I mean, we don’t NEED it. The house is perfectly functional and beautiful the way it was.
However something happened this month. I don’t know what it was that put a bug in our bonnet, but Daniel and I talked about updating some things on the front of our house. Maybe because the two houses next to us are both up for sale and so we are inspired to give our house a little face-lift too? Whatever the reason we bit the bullet and went for it. We couldn’t afford to paint the whole house, but Daniel painted the eves, the front door, all the window frames, and the back doors. We got a new mailbox, new house numbers, and a new porch light. I put in some cactus plants in front flower bed.
Although none of it was needed per se, I am so glad we did it. I feel like the outside of our house finally looks like US. It is ours. It is our style…it is so us. I love it. No I LOVE IT. So so much. Every time I pull into the driveway I get a huge smile on my face…it just feels like “our home” in a way it never quite did before.
Step one: painting garage door
Step two: new plants
Step three: painting eves and trim
Step four: painting front door
Step five: new mailbox, new numbers, and new porch light.
This year I asked Dayla if she wanted to go somewhere (like Nickle City or Pump it UP) for her party like her friends get to do. She said to me, “But mom, you throw such amazing parties! I want to do my party at home!” I was flattered right into another over-the-top birthday party theme for my sweet Dayla girl.
For Dayla’s birthday party this year she asked for an emoji theme. I wasn’t sure what games could be emoji, or what activities we could do in that theme, or even what food we could eat in that theme…but I always say that I like a challenge!
We came up with some emoji pops (oreos dipped in yellow chocolate), an emoji birthday cake, and an emoji scavenger hunt.
The crown jewel of the party though was the photo booth! I made a background by taping some yellow plates on our wall, Dayla made all the props (that made people look like emoji faces), and then Daniel set up the tripod and snapped away. Instant photo booth! The kids LOVED this activity! We printed up the photos with one hour and photo and got to send them all home with personalized party favors. It was a hit for sure.
That wasn’t all! The party didn’t end at 5pm…for Dayla’s big 10 year old party we let her have all 12 girls spend the night! Phew!
All in all everyone had so much fun and the party was a big hit.
We don’t get much time with the Northern Californian cousins and it always makes me a little sad, but I know that is life.
BUT…Suzanne’s family came to visit Southern California and we got to spend and few hours with them!! Seeing all the cousins get along…that makes me so so so happy! It was a short but SWEET time.
(I didn’t get pictures of the girls because they were off booggie boarding in the waves!)
Every year Daniel has to take a work trip for about 10 days in August. Every year it makes me:
1. Glad he doesn’t have to travel all the time for work
2. Glad to be married
This year I did something I have never done before. I decided to take Grandma and Daddy’s approach they take when I am gone which is this: “Be so busy and have so much fun we barely notice you are missing”
I am not someone who likes to be busy…but I think this was by far the best year yet. The strategy totally worked. The kids had a blast (which means less meltdowns which means less time-outs which means a less tired mom!) and since I scheduled in 3 overnights for them…I got some adult time and even some alone time (win-win!). It was amazing. Here are the highlights from our time…