Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Celebration

When you are living with an illness like cancer, you yearn to be near your family more than ever.  It is tough not living near my immediate family.  I think that even when we have grown up and are adults, we strongly desire our "mommies" when we are really ill.  I am sure my parents feel the same way towards being near me, because I know how much it hurts me when my children are ill--even with the common cold.  But, at the same time we are so thankful to have Drew's parents in town frequently to help us out and be near us and just love us during this trying time.  I really don't know what we would have done through this without them. We love them so much and they are literally a God-send.

We decided to make the trip to Oklahoma to visit my family over Easter weekend.  I haven't seen most of my immediate family since Christmas and I knew it would be a time that even my extended family would gather together in celebration of Easter.  That meant I would get to see not only my immediate family, but also my extended family, whom I also miss dearly. 

Warning:  to follow are a lot of photos.  I have decided to document our Easter weekend below with some photos.  We had a great time visiting with family and we even made our first trip to church since early September 2012.

We colored Easter eggs.  Here's an idea from pinterest that we tested out this Easter: we used a packet of kool-aid along with 2/3 cup of cold water to make an "eggcelent" dye for eggs!  The eggs dyed with kool-aid were the darkest and most vibrant of all the dyes we tested!

Daddy helped Luke with his eggs.  Actually, I'm not sure who had more fun...Drew or Luke.
But, Luke soon became a pro.

Brody and his dad (my brother, Jason). I think this was one of the kool-aid dyes. 

We played outside at my parents' house:

cousins: Brody and Luke
They had just fed the horses and were watching them eat.

Luke LOVED riding the tractor with Grandpa
Luke offered to steer the tractor back into the barn.  My dad was smart though and declined the offer.  :-)
Luke, Lilly and Linnea (the 3 L's) found a worm on the sidewalk.
Lilly and my cousin's husband, Michael.  He swung her very high from the tree swing.  The older kids LOVE this swing!
On Sunday, we celebrated Christ's resurrection at church.  It was a glorious time and I was so glad to see friends from my hometown church, chat with them, and even meet some new friends, all who have been praying for our family.  The sermon message was a great reminder to personalize what Christ did for us on the cross.  He died as a sacrifice for my sins.  And, the good news is that He is alive!  He is my personal savior.  He desires a personal relationship with me. I am so thankful for my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

After church, we had our quick annual family photo sessions:

Abbey looks so serious here.  (Perhaps the results of a short morning nap).

My sister, Holly, and her beautiful family (Ryan, Lilly and Linnea)

My brother, Jason, and his beautiful family (Emily, Brody, Kaylee and Natalie)

Sometimes it is so tough to get the kids to smile on command. When you don't have a camera, they seem to smile non-stop.  But, at least I captured a few photos of their "serious looks."

Our little man in his "GQ" pose.

Precious Abbey in daddy's arms.


My handsome hubby and best friend!
My other brother celebrated Easter morning and early afternoon with his wife's family in Missouri.  We got to see him and his precious family later that afternoon though.

After photos, we had a BIG, delicious lunch together with our extended family:

At the "kiddie table"

 We were also a little bit silly together after lunch:

Brody and Kaylee in their new "hats".

And later we hunted for Easter Eggs!

My beautiful and very photogenic niece, Kaylee.

My sweet cousin, Whitney, and niece, Natalie, watched the others during the hunt.
Action shot! Linnea was serious about this.  Here, she is going for three eggs at once.

Abbey even enjoyed the hunt in her own, laid back way.
Carefully placing an egg in her basket.
walking off into the sunset
Luke's basket got pretty full.  That kid is so fast and impossible to take photos of though! This was one of the few taken during the hunt.

So what do you do with all of the dyed eggs once you are done hiding and hunting them?   This is what we did with them!

We crushed them!
Natalie, in disbelief, watched them crush the eggs.

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