April 30, 2011

A Beautiful Service

We had such a nice worship service for Easter Sunday.  Really we had two services combined into one.  The first focused on the death of Jesus and included the Lord's Supper, singing, special music, a slide show and the reading of the four Gospel accounts of Jesus Crucifixion.

Before service got underway we visited with some of our church family.  Love these little girls, who remind me so much of my girlies when they were all three little.

How adorable is this pair of sisters.  I love their contrast.   Suzanna all lean and tall.  Ella all round and cuddly.
Suzanna so dainty and ladylike.  Ella a little more on the wound up size.  Just like with my kids, it always makes me stop and scratch my head to think how they are all raised in the same home with the same standards and rules and yet the Lord gave them such distinct personalities.  Can't help but wonder how He will use these.
And then the little ones passed the camera around for a few snapshots.  Love the different perspective!
Not sure what Samuel is showing us but he seems happy about it.
Ellie seems happy too.  I'd be happier if we didn't have to see her gum.  I guess that's the cost of someone saying "Smile" to a baby with chewing gum, though.
After the first half of the service we had a little fellowship with muffins, juice and lots of hugs and giggles.  Ellie liked showing Aunt Dawn the ropes of Baptist fellowship.
Our precious friend, Miss Lorene.  She is everyone's adopted Mama and grandma.  A true southern bell and a blessing to us many times over through the years.
When I saw my friend Katie, I told her she matched my girls.  We had to take a picture, since I couldn't match them this year.
Allen got such a kick out of our friend TJ... who is very tall... sitting at the little Sunday school table with all the little ones.
Glad to have our friends Miss Gayle (blue blouse), visiting from Texas, and David, visiting from college, with us for the holiday.  Miss Dora (sitting) agrees.
I mentioned this in another post, but this picture really goes here, too.  I love looking down the row on Sundays and seeing our family worshiping together.  Sunday morning when the song leader said we will sing, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"  I looked around Allen because I knew all the girls would be smiling at that one.  Sure enough they were trying to sing and not laugh at the same time... while thoughts of Hyacinths danced through our heads.  I wanted to remember that moment forever so grabbed the camera.  Did I ever mention how much I love having my little Canon Point and Shoot with me all the time?  I rarely miss a moment that I want to capture for posterity.  The down side is... I take So MANY pictures.  ☺
The second half of the service included preaching, singing, special music, and testimonies.

The service was followed by an extra special event for our family when Brianna joined the church in Baptism.   Details to follow in another post.
I think we all agreed this was the nicest Easter service we have ever had the privilege of being part of.  

April 29, 2011

Easter Pictures

Every Easter the girls and I make matching dresses and make or find some coordinating outfits for the boys.  This year, many factors influenced our decision to use the ones we made last Spring.  First off, is the insane cost of fabric.  It used to be, I sewed for the kids because it saved so much money.  The last sewing project we did cost over $300, though.  Second, everyone's outfits still fit.  Third, I didn't really want to spend time making something I would only wear once.  Emma's dress was too tight, so Kaitlin and her used fabric leftover from Brianna's dress to make a new one.  Brianna wore my dress from last year, because she wanted all the colors represented.  A friend of ours brought Elisabeth a new dress, and since it coordinated, and she really loved it, she wore polka dots.  All in all, as much as we love the tradition of sewing together the week before Easter, it was probably better to not have that diversion with all the other things going on last week.

Anyway, the morning of Easter, weather permitting, we always take pictures under the cherry tree.  Which usually reaches full bloom between the 18th and 20th of April.  This year was particularly nice, since Easter conveniently fell when the tree was in bloom.  The ground was way to wet to be under the tree but we managed just the same.

Looking through these pictures, I had to laugh at the inability to get a picture with everyone looking at the camera at the same time.  Somehow, no matter where the sun is, at least one of the boys end up squinting.  All in all, the progression of pictures, sure tells a lot about our family.

There is always something crooked or un-tucked or slipping down in Samuel's Sunday suit.  I love this about his personality.  He often reminds me of Theodore Cleaver... trying so hard but still unable to get it all straight.

Well, she's just lovely in her spring green.  I love that this vintage hat we got so many years ago for KK happened to match perfectly.  I love that she loves to wear hats.
I wasn't here for these pictures so I am not sure what transpired but this is definitely Emma's "You girls have got to be kidding look."
I can not believe how grown up my little man is getting.   It seems like just yesterday he was wearing his little Jon Jon to Easter service.
Love that Ellie was carrying her pig, Charlotte, around in this bucket all morning.  She actually took her to church like that... but Charlotte had to stay in the car because she doesn't know how to sit pretty in church yet.
And a few with Aunt Dawn.  Note that Emma has her eyes closed... Samuel is looking at who knows what... Nathaniel is in some other dimension... One can try anyway!
Well, a little better.  Seems as if Ellie smelled something unpleasant.  See Samuel's sliding socks?????
Again, I wasn't here for this one, so I have no clue what is going on with Ellie, I thought her face was hilarious, though.
Emma, did you have to close your eyes????  So close and yet... no cigar!
And despite 10 pictures of the boys... not one where you can see all of them and they all happen to be looking, not squinting and dare I say, Smiling!
Who knows...  but love the this one anyway.
Trying again.  Aedan's turn to close his eyes.
Two out of three isn't bad?
Now they said Winnie had to be in the boy picture... in case "she is a boy."
Well, they all have their eyes open, anyway.
Winnie and the girls.  Love Ellie's expression here.
And here...
This one actually isn't too bad... go figure.
And grown ups
And us

And what would life be without a picture of my belly Winnie.
Guessing you can figure this one out.
And one of Dawn and I... a moment of calm... kids are in the car... Bibles are gathered up... ready to go!

Easter Eggs

I don't know exactly why we color Easter eggs except that it is something that Allen and I both have fond memories of doing since we were little.  We have always spent some time doing it with our kids every year around Easter and this year was no exception.  The number of eggs has increased a bit since our early days, though.

Saturday was a very rainy day so the afternoon was perfect for such an artistic endeavor.

Since the men were at church working on a project, we thought we'd pick up lunch and join them for a while.  When we called they were just wrapping things up so instead the fellows brought home Chick-fil-A to go with our project.

We started with 5 dozen eggs.  After some experimenting with cooking techniques, we had a few less to work with.

Love the beautiful colors. 
This may look like complete chaos, but really we have it all under control.
Pa's not buying that.

Samuel was eager to give it a whirl.
Such concentration.

Aunt Dawn is super creative in EVERYTHING she does.  Definitely a more artistic approach than my dip it and dry it method.

The kids had fun experimenting with stickers to make different designs.  

Her sweater matches her egg dye.

And now I see her dye matches her shirt, too.  I think they have been reading Martha Stewart Living too much.

When I ran out of creative ideas... after 1 egg, I started playing with my camera settings.  Blue color accent is fun.

Hole reinforcements make fun dots on the eggs.
What would any post be without a few shots of Elisabeth.
Who got this coloring thing down like a pro.
Even if she did get a few blue fingers along the way.
Just love this expression.  Like she is really thinking and trying to figure out what to do next.

Of course, there were a few casualties in the process.

But in the end
We had about 5 dozen (give or take a few)

Beautiful colored eggs.
Enough for a little decorating project.
To brighten up a very rainy day.