Thursday, June 19, 2014

Easter Sunday 2014

On Easter Sunday we got dressed in our matching wedding clothes (because why not use them again while they still fit us all!) and we headed off to church to worship our Risen King!

After service we came back to our house for a quick family basket hunt and present opening. This picture also shows how we've cut down the huge raccoon infested, ivy covered, almost dead cherry tree and all the growth on the slope which makes the backyard seem much bigger. We also moved the bee hive away from the trash cans and they have their own little bee garden now.

After the kids found the basket, we changed clothes and headed over to Aunty Tonya's for a delicious dinner prepared by head chef Uncle Chris. Since we weren't able to have our glow in the dark, night egg hunt this year because of rain, we had a lot of eggs to hide. Grandma and Grandpa brought some for an egg hunt too. So we had two egg hunts one inside the house and the kids had to go upstairs and find one egg and come all the way back down and put it in their bag before they were able to find another one.

Then we took the kids on a walk down to the park for the second egg hunt. We played on the playground while Dada hid the eggs.
On the walk back we had fun posing with murals:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Holy Week 2014

I have big plans for making the season surrounding Easter a bigger deal for our family. Christ's resurrection is a huge deal and I want all of kids to know it's importance and His amazing sacrifice and power.  I want HIs love to take over all of the superficial bunnies, eggs, and baskets that cover up the true meaning of our faith's most important day. 
We've done well in the past, making Holy Week special and each day focusing on what Christ actually did leading up to His death on the cross and Resurrection Sunday. But this year, I failed. I was not feeling up to it. We even cancelled our big Passover Feast. Everyday I would spend lying on the couch and having to take at least a three hour nap. 

Just potty training our Pelly Pie took most of my energy. (Why I decided to potty train her during Holy Week, I have no clue.) She did amazing! She didn't really get it the first couple of days even though she desperately wanted to go pee pee on the potty she couldn't figure it out. But after a couple of days she finally went on the potty chair and after that she was good. Lot's of ice tea and lemonade gave her lots of chances to try throughout the day. Kivi and Eben did wonderful helping me take her potty too. 

So, we did the first couple of days, we built temples on Monday, made up questions we would ask Jesus on Tuesday, washed each other's feet on Thursday and did our Holy Week devotions every day.

The kid's really wanted to have Passover, so I said we could have a mini family celebration if they did most of the work. I already had the grape juice and Peter got some matzah on the way home from work. Kivi made the matzah ball soup, Eben made latkahs and set the table and I made dinner as usual. Peter was a great sport and led the Sedar meal from his Dada chair since the kids made up the table on the floor. He read through the Hagada and did great involving the kids in the questions and readings together, pausing for the times when they all get up the wash their hands over and over and the multiple times we drink the juice. 

The kids' favorite part is hiding the Afikomen and this year Berg found it and was rewarded by Dada with two caramels. We used what we had on hand and pulled it off. The kids were grateful and had a fun time. I'm glad they look forward to Passover now as part of our family traditions.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Uganda Comes to Stay With Us!

April 7-10th three girls and their chaperone came to stay with us at the end of their 7 month America tour with the Watoto Children's Choir. We roasted marshmallows on their first night with us and they had s'mores for the first time.  They watched Snow White and we took them to Chuck E. Cheese's on their second night with us and on their last night they really wanted to see Frozen. We had fun learning their cool dance moves and hearing more about the Watoto Children's Villages in Uganda. It took a while for them to warm up and actually talk to us. Their chaperone did most of the talking until we found out English is their common language since they all originate from different villages. They loved Pella and Berg and Pella cried,  "I no want girls to go!" every morning we had to take them back to church for the day. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

More Chicks!

On March 13th Kivi and Eben presented Dada with a petition it read:

               Dear Dada, 
Me and Eben would really like baby chicks. If you let us get them we will clean up after them. We will spend our money on them and take care of them when they are grown up as well. That means we will go out and feed them when they are out of food, collect eggs and take out the water and fill it up. When they are chicks, we will also feed and water them, clean up their poop, and when we first get them if we do, we will make up the fire place and garage for them. We have put away the older chickens to help the family and to prove to you we are responsible for chicks. If we get them it will mean more eggs to make up for Puff and Mooney's not laying and the loss of Eben, Jasper's and my chickens, from raccoon attacks. We will continue locking and letting out of the chickens. We hope you agree to our petition and let us have chicks. We have also proven ourselfs with fish and frogs.
                 Kivi and Eben

Needless to say Dada said yes to their adorable request. How could he say no? Dada agreed to three new chicks.

When we actually were able to go to get the chicks on March 26th, Dell's would only sell them in groups of six! So everyone got a new baby chick. We got three Leghorns and three Ameraucanas. Opal's is Winky. Pella's is Chunky Chicky. Kivi's is Butterscotch (Butter). Eben's is Hugo. Jasper's is Sleepy. Berg's is Bunky.

We actually got the idea of having the kids write a petition for something they really wanted from a family with 9 kids who went to our old church. When I found out their kids had to write their father a petition to help me lead preschoolers in song time I thought, "What strict parents!" However, when I thought more about it I realized that asking their father in such a formal way was not only good writing practice for one, it also helped them organize their thoughts, think through why they really wanted what they were petitioning for and come up with good reasons why. It is also what God calls us to do. We are to go to Him first. We are suppose to take all of our "petitions" to Him. Sometimes He says yes and sometimes it's no. Right now our kids have to trust their earthly father for decisions in life. Later on they're going to have to trust God alone. Both fathers have their best interest in mind for their children. I pray all our kids will know the love God has for them and the great plan He has for their lives and the importance of petitioning their Father just like they petition their Dada and know his love for them now.