Monthly Archives: April 2011

Looking back at Easter weekend

We had a happily busy weekend.  I can’t believe it took me until Thursday to get back here to share our comings and goings. 

We began on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) with our annual “Maundy Meal.”  I made up a plate similar to the Seder Meal, and we talked about how the different foods remind us of Jesus and all the ways (the Exodus, the passover, etc.) that God has taken care of His children through history.  This year was particularly fun and meaningful because our older son had a lot to say (He usually does!).  After dinner, we went to church, and I prepared for an evening in the nursery since the Maundy Thursday service is quite solemn and challenging for little kids.  So, I prepared a simple craft and an Easter story.  I forgot to download the picture of our craft!  But I’ll just say that my son drew the cutest last supper picture.  I will keep it forever!  Since no other children joined us in the nursery, we slipped into a side door of the sanctuary to catch the end of the service.  I’m so glad that we did.  The purple vestments of the church were quietly taken down and replaced with black cloths.  As the lights continued to dim, my husband and another man in the church carried in a cross, rested it in front of the communion table, and draped it with a black cloth.  When all was dark and silent, our pastor sang “Were You There” a cappella.  It was a moving moment, and I am so glad that my son could witness it (the little one had fallen asleep).  He asked lots of questions, and my heart delighted in hearing how much he has learned and how greatly he’s grown since last year.

On Friday, we had a quiet day.  At noon and at 3 o’clock, I reminded the boys of the events on the cross on a Friday long ago.  At about noon, we flipped through magazines, looking for pictures that remind us of Jesus.

(You may be wondering about the s’mores ingredients at the top right.  Well, our five-year-old very confidently explained that it reminded him of the story of the five loaves and two fishes.  I see, I said as I hid my giggle.  I will never look at a s’more the same way again.

Saturday was all about fun!  We took a trip to the natural history museum with some of our extended family.  What a joy!  The boys (all five of them) were so well behaved.  They had a great time exploring the dinosaurs and the other animal displays.  The igloo in “Polar World” is always a favorite, too.  Afterward, we headed over to my parents’ house for some egg coloring and a general good time with Grandma, Papa, my sister, and my brother-in-law. 

And then we reached the highlight of the weekend…Resurrection Sunday!  I wish I could say that I had a truly spiritual Easter experience, focusing upon the precious gift of our Lord’s sacrifice and the miracle of his resurrection, but in truth, I spent a lot of time scrambling around, trying to keep boys seated and quiet during church, trying to keep egg dye off of clothing, trying to allow our fellow worshippers the experience that I was missing.  But I did have my own sort of spiritual moment–an intense feeling of gratitude, an appreciation for the precious gifts of my children and my family.  Now that the hustle of a holiday weekend has gone by and the treats and small gifts of the day have been stashed away, I can finally stop and reflect upon the truth of this most holy time of year.

Do you remember our Lenten Tree?  It is bursting with color now.  I love how the tree becomes a record of our state of mind and heart over the weeks of Lent.  There are plenty of prayers for patience, for wisdom, and just as many prayers of thanksgiving recorded there with snips of ribbon.  We are in a challenging but hopeful time.  My hubby is busily spreading his CV all over the job market.  We are praying for God’s provisions for the coming year as our jobs wind down for the academic term.  We are watching our kindergartener finish up his first year of “real” school, wondering if he has learned enough and matured enough, wondering if we will be able to return to the school that we’ve come to love.  Or will be starting a new adventure, in a new place?  Only God knows the plan.  I just can’t wait for Him to share it with us!

10 Good Things

Following Soulemama’s lead with 10 Good Things for which I am thankful today.

Dinosaurs

Coloring eggs

New seeds for planting

A bit of spending money

A delicious meal

cherry pie!

Lots of little boys

A miraculous full night’s sleep

A very sunny day in the 70s

And the #1 good thing…The promise of New Life in Jesus

(Back with more soon…)

Anticipation…

I know it’s been quiet here! My real life hasn’t been quiet in the least. As we anticipate the joy of Easter, I’m trying to work moments of reflection and peace into our busy days. At the same time, we are anticipating the end of our university’s school year, grading papers, evaluating students’ work, and putting the finishing touches on a busy semester. I’ll be back soon with stories to tell and pictures to share.

Thinking about Grandparents…

I’ve been thinking about grandparents a lot lately. Several reasons.
1) My hubby is applying for teaching jobs all over the U.S., and I have to acknowledge that distance between us and our boys’ precious grandparents is a very real possibility. I think about this a lot, and yet, I try hard to be positive and open to God’s call. That’s hard.
2) The grandma in one of the dearest families I know passed away yesterday. My heart is breaking for this wonderful family. I know they are shocked and hurting right now as the death was completely unexpected. I lost my maternal grandfather suddenly when I was in college, and although he left this world in the way that we all hope for ourselves–peacefully in his sleep–the stunning news of his passing was almost too much to withstand. The loss of “Grandma Helen” yesterday has put me in a prayerful and pensive mood. How blessed any of is to have had a grandma or grandpa to love and to give love in return.

…and 3) Today was “Grandparents Day” at our older son’s school. The little one and I attended in the company of both grandmas. The whole event was just delightful. The program was sweet. The elementary choir sang. The kindergarten, first grade, and second grade each sang a song, and then they combined to sing a song together. Our boy actually moved his lips! And he was clearly enjoying the motions to each song. He even drew some giggles from the audience when he gave his music teacher a big thumbs up! We also got an amazing sneak peek of the spring musical. Afterward, we headed to the kindergarten classroom for a look around. Our proud kindergartener loved seeing his grandmas and showing them around. I felt a rush of joy at knowing how special my grandparents were to me and watching my children develop treasured relationships with their Grandmas and Papas. Now, if we could just figure out a job situation…nearby…soon.

A Shiny, Happy Weekend

Our weekends fill up fast.  Often, they get filled with things that we would rather not being doing!  This was not one of the those weekends.  We were busy but happily so.  Saturday brought the annual Easter Bunny Breakfast at our church.  It is always a fun, cheery, well-attended event, and the committee does a wonderful job of blending the fun tradition of the Easter Bunny and all the springtime symbols with the story of Jesus and his resurrection.  I loved watching my growing boys really get into the middle of the festivities.  Our little one truly isn’t a baby anymore.  He was eager to take part in the games, the bunny hop, and of course, the Easter egg hunt.  (A little too eager…for several heart-stopping minutes, I thought I had lost him!)

Saturday afternoon was a bit cloudy but warm enough to feel like spring.  I spent a delightful two hours alone browsing a little maternity boutique that is going out of business and the local library.  Afterward, I returned home to take my boys to the park.  Jackets were in order, but compared to the hats and coats of the last few months, jackets felt like nothing more than feathers lifting us toward brighter skies and other-worldly adventures.  Ah, spring!

Sunday was so, SO warm.  I even heard my hubby complain a bit…how dare he?  Our dog rested under a tree, and the boys happily switched into short-sleeved shirts.  We did a little digging in the yard, some raking, and plenty of daydreaming about the tiny garden we’ll plant and all the fun we will have when summer vacation truly arrives.  Aside from enjoying our postage stamp of a backyard, we also went to church, helped with the youth group’s annual Mall Crawl, and celebrated with an ice cream treat.

My heart feels full just thinking of the special weekend we had.  We were together–as a family and as a church family.  I set aside the worries that crop up about job searches, a broken drier, a messy house, and little  boy mischief.  I just enjoyed my guys in the present.  That’s not something I’m always very good at doing, but for one shiny, happy weekend, I succeeded.

Too Many Riches

Do other bloggers have this feeling?  The last week has been rich with blogging possibilities, but I remained silent.  I could tell you about my one hour alone in the local art museum.  I could tell you about the connection I felt to the artists and the nagging sense that I belong in that world of art…somewhere.  I could write about the maple syrup festival that we attended on Saturday, an annual venture that I’ve sadly missed over the last two years.  I would write about the muddy shoes, the amber syrup, and the bumpy bus ride next to my sweet, ginger-haired nephew.  Yes, I would love to write about that. 

Or, I could tell you about the long talks my husband and I have shared as we sort through all the factors of employment, insurance, and finance that whirl around our heads like a flock of mismatched birds waiting to land.  I would share our certainty that God is in control mixed with our human longing for some kind plan, some kind of answer. 

Or, I could write about the simple patterns of our days.  The drawing after drawing after drawing.  The little phonics books that our Kindergartener brings home from school.  The meals I’ve planned and prepared.  The yummy, super-hearty oatmeal cookies the boys and I made.  I could tell you about the tumbles that our toddler takes or the exciting plans the five-year-old makes for a “Danger Club” based upon the club at the library for which one must be 8 years old–a shocking disappointment.

Instead, I’m going to go back to grading papers and making plans for the remaining weeks of my school year.  The blogging possibilities are ripe and waiting like heavy bunches of grapes hanging low on drooping vines.  But they must wait.