"You didn't want Heaven without us so Jesus, You brought Heaven down..."
These lyrics filled the air of our beautiful church service on Easter Sunday morning as I sat surrounded by our families - and most importantly - our beautiful boys that were absolute angels throughout the entire service. I thought Jaden would throw a bit of a pout when I told him no hot chocolate allowed this Sunday morning due to the stark white shirt he was wearing, but even he fully cooperated with my request and didn't even try to trick Papa Tim into grabbing him a cup! ;)
Our Easter morning started first, though, with baskets of course. I don't quite know why it is but I have a really fun time putting together a good Easter basket. I can remember during the very early years of our marriage and parenthood, when both boys were still babies and items in the baskets consisted of fun rattles, teethers, sippy cups and cute Christian sing-along movies. Even then, I adored finding the perfect colors, themes and tiny items to make for a special morning, and I can remember how lovingly Cody noticed and acknowledged it one year. For some reason his compliment to me and my skills as a mom in that one seemingly insignificant moment that Easter day all those years ago still stands out to me as one of the sweetest things he's ever said to me.
And several years later, though the sippy cups have been replaced with chapter books and card games, I still pride myself on a good and full pastel basket spread. Some might say I go a little overboard for Easter, but it makes me happy to find fun and small, unique items to help us welcome in the warmer seasons and the fresh new start that's ahead.
This year's baskets included new movies for our car DVD players, including the brand new Rogue One (although
I found a set of Star Wars chapter books that tell the unique story of kids trying to rescue their parents from the Dark Forces, Life and Monopoly travel card games, colored tablets for Brandon's bubble baths and a bottle of R2D2 bubbles that I swear make the best bubbles you've ever seen come out of a small bottle.
But my greatest accomplishment was this Darth Vader Lego minifigure I found on Amazon. Sure you can find him in the stores, but he's really hard to find outside of a large Lego set that costs a lot of money, and he's one of the figures that Brandon has been wanting for months. I found a guy that was selling him by himself for $10. Brandon was thrilled. :)
The boys had a lot of fun combing through their spoils at about 6:45 Easter morning, and we still had plenty of time afterwards to get all dressed up, take some family pictures, and cruise through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to church.
I took the boys clothes shopping over lunch on Good Friday, just hoping to find something new for them to wear on Sunday - and hoping all the sizes weren't picked over. Talk about waiting until the last minute, but we scored big. Especially when we spotted this hat. Brandon, always a fan of hats of all kinds, fell in love. And we ended up styling his entire outfit around it.
We struggled a bit more with Jaden, as more of his sizes were picked over, but we did come away with new shorts, a button down and some new shoes. And I somehow managed to keep him stain-free while he wore it for the first half of Easter Day.
As I said, both boys rocked the church service, and Brandon drew the most adorable Easter picture from his seat. They're growing up!
As soon as church was over, we headed out to Grandpa Don and Grandma Alda's farm, our favorite place to spend Easter. Once again we were blessed with a beautiful day, and I'm convinced there isn't a better place to spend Easter.
We lunched on ham and potatoes and deviled eggs, hunted for candy and money-filled eggs around the farm, took a walk up the street to climb the big rock and see the animals on the neighbor's farm, took a dozen trips around the yard with Grandpa Don's old golf cart, and watched Jaden eat way too much chocolate. And once in a while, we snuck into the garage to check on the baby kitties, too. :)
I love them!
Driving lessons. We learned here in about five minutes that Jaden will not be learning to drive a car from his Daddy. This was the five minutes of the day that did not go real well! ;)
After a full afternoon on the farm we headed home to relax for a couple of hours on the back deck before hosting my mom and dad for Easter dinner. All the neighbors were out, and we enjoyed going back and forth between Kristie and Austin's backyard, playing games on our deck table with Bryce and feasting on the surprise Easter treats that Kristie and Austin surprised our boys with. They truly spoil them!
And by this time, Cody had had enough watching the boys battle me in Star Wars Risk and wanted to take me on himself. He came into it pretty cocky, but left defeated. :) (Truly, if your kids love Stars Wars and board games, this one is addicting! It's indicated for ages 8+, but Brandon knows the rules and strategies better than any of us)!
Mom and Dad came over in the evening for an outdoor smoked meat dinner and foil wrap potatoes and a little bit of baseball season prep.
They gifted the boys with giant chocolate eggs from Stam Chocolaterie...
...and the boys were thrilled until Brandon discovered that his egg had cracked down the middle. I guess Humpty had a great fall?! I love this picture! :)