Sunday, April 21, 2013

Easter Weekend

Easter this year was fantastic in almost every way.  We had wonderful guests to enjoy it with- my mom and my older sister and her two sweet little boys drove up to spend the holiday and the week with us.  The weather was amazing- sunny and warm (it actually felt hot being in the low 70's)- it was so gorgeous.  And we had lots of fun activities.

Our company got into town Friday evening.  Mitchell was so excited to share his room with cousin Carter.  They were great roommates all week.  They even had matching pajamas!

Saturday morning was our community's annual Easter Egg hunt.  We love going to this and look forward to it every year.

Baby Jackson was the first participant in the 1-2 year old group.  He was so anxious to get out there and start collecting eggs before it was time.

When it was time, it was so overwhelming all around.  There were so many kids (and parents) out on the field that you couldn't see anything.  Poor Jax did not like all the commotion.  (Don't mind the bare backed lady with the tattoo... It was too crowded not to get 20 other people in my shot).

Next was the 3-4 year olds- Leah & Alexis and Carter's turn.

They were super excited to get their turn.  I had a hunch that Leah might have a hard time-  I tried to prep her to just go as fast as she could and get as many eggs as she could.

When time started, there were so many kids that she became overwhelmed.  If someone took the egg she was headed for, she had a hard time moving on and finding another one.  She took it pretty personal.

Within just a minute or two, she had given up and was back at the sidelines with me in tears.

Lexi was a trooper.  She ran out all over the field in search of eggs. 

She only got one or so more than Leah, but she had a great time.  It didn't hurt having Grandma there to guide her.

Lucky for us, our community stuffs the eggs with awesome candy- name brand mini chocolate candy bars!

Next up was Mitch in the 5-6 year olds. 

This was his best year yet- I told him not to come back until he couldn't see anymore eggs anywhere.  He took those directions very seriously and hunted and searched for quite some time.  He has become much faster and more competitive than in years past.

Good job buddy!

Finally it was Chloe's turn.  It was a good thing she was last- she just barely made it back in time from team softball pictures.

She did a great job too and got the most eggs of any of her siblings.

Before going home, we had to get a picture with the Easter bunny.  This might just be our first year even without someone crying!  An Easter miracle!!

The Easter bunny gives out candy after pictures- awesome!

Jackson and Carter were next- I love this picture.  Poor baby Jax did not want that Easter bunny to hold him, and Carter smiles on like a good boy.  Carter also thinks that the Easter bunny lives in Seattle, because that's the only place he has ever seen him and they are usually up here around Easter time every year.

Our fun day of activities continued later in the afternoon- Chloe and Mitch had their first softball and t-ball games.  The weather couldn't have been any better for baseball.  It was a gorgeous day to watch two games.

Lucky for us, the games were one right after the other, and in the same location.  We made an afternoon out of it.

We started off on the wrong foot- Chloe forgot her mitt and I had to run home and get it (I was not happy about it).  I missed the first few innings, and subsequently missed the only hit she got all game.  I was bummed.

She started at first base.

She had a great swing that game, but never quite connected with the ball after that first at bat.  It was a fun game to watch- the girls definitely need some polishing up on all their skills, but not bad for a first game.

Mitch's game was next- their team calls themselves The Mariners.  I know tball can be brutal to watch sometimes with the little guys just learning and everyone is all over the place.  But we were thoroughly entertained all game.  Those little boys were hilarious.  Whenever the ball was hit, every single boy on the team would run after the ball and dive on their knees and stomachs to get it.  Every dive they would take, I would hear the coach yell "Stay on your feet!  You don't need to dive!"

Mitchell's coach is amazing.  Not only is he patient (tball would be hard to coach), but the skills that he is teaching these boys is top notch.  Every practice and during this game, I have been so impressed by him.  He is constantly teaching them and was on the field with them all game, telling them what to do every play and teaching them why they shouldn't do some things (like all chase after the ball, etc).  I hope he's still coaching when Mitch gets older- he is very baseball savvy.

My favorite picture- all these cute little boys lined up on the bench, waiting to bat.

Mitchell is a great little batter- he steps right up and whacks that ball as hard as he can.

But his running.... I'm afraid that's not his strong suit.  Bless his heart, he is trying as hard as he can to run fast, but for some reason his legs don't carry him quite as fast as his brain tells him too.  His knees comes up a little too high and his momentum does not push him forward.  At one point during the game, we pulled him aside and told him to run as fast as he could.  He replied, "You mean like a cheetah or a sonic?"  Yes, buddy.  Just like that.

We were sitting right on the 3rd base line.  When Mitch got to 3rd, I snapped this cute picture of my little slugger.

I am probably a bit biased, but I think my little Mitch Man is so adorable in his baseball gear. 

It will be fun to see Mitch learn and grow in this sport.  This is his first time playing sports in a league and he has been so, so excited to start.  He really could hardly wait.  Baseball is one of my favorite sports of all time and I really hope my kids enjoy it and continue to play it for a long time.

After a long and eventful day, we ended with a fun Easter surprise from Grandma.  She brought the kids the book "The Velveteen Rabbit" and read it to them before bed.  The book also came with a little stuffed Velveteen rabbit and the kids took turns passing it around during the story.

Easter Sunday dawned sunny and was another spectacularly gorgeous day.  I imagine the day Jesus rose again and was resurrected to be just like the Easter day we had this year.

A quick picture of my little Easter bunnies before church.

Ben had meetings before and after church and wasn't able to get a family picture with us at home, so we grabbed a quick group shot right after church.  The kids were being silly (Chloe started first), so we didn't get the perfect shot I was hoping for.

Grandma with her grandkids!

At home, the adults stuffed almost 100 plastic eggs (with candy and a few with money) and went outside and hid them around the yard.

The kids waited patiently inside.  They were so excited!  They had been asking about this event all weekend.

They were all so cute searching for eggs.

Luckily, there were no tears from Leah this time.  She found lots of eggs and had a great time.

Mitch found a tricky egg in a tree.

He enlisted some help to get it down.

Back inside, the kids dumped out all eggs and sorted through their candy.

I didn't get any pictures of our Easter dinner, but it was a full day of cooking and prepping.  We decided to smoke some ribs this year instead of our traditional ham.  (Ribs are still pork- pretty close).  Ben is a rib master and they were amazing!  There were lots of yummy sides and I may have eaten my body weight in all the delicious food....  It's for the baby, right?

The Easter bunny didn't come until right before bedtime.  He kept it simple- a new pair of spring/summer shoes for each kid, a few pieces of candy, and the game "Twister" for everyone to share.

Pink and purple Crocs for the twins!

Silver sparkle flats for Chloe

Crocs for Mitch

Right before bed, the kids got to eat the adorable Easter cake my mom made.  They all had been so excited about this cake all day.

I love Easter time and the opportunity it gives us to reflect on our Savior and His life, atoning sacrifice and His resurrection.  We have had a few recent Family Home Evenings on the resurrection and my kids have really taken to that concept and have asked so many deep and thought provoking questions.  I am so grateful for our Savior's promise of our own resurrection some day.  I also love that Easter gives us hope for new life, new birth, and that we are able to enjoy all the beautiful new products that nature has to offer us at this time of the year.

Happy Easter!