|Happy Easter from the Eliker clan!
After a few weeks of cold, chilly, rainy (and tornado-y) weather, we were blessed to wake up to a beautiful Easter morning with sunshine and balmy temperatures. As usual, we were torn out of bed earlier than we might have otherwise chosen to get up by the shrieking insistence of overexcited children ready to find their baskets. Basically, their goal was to eat candy for breakfast. It’s a rare, occasional treat, so I obliged once everyone ferreted out their candy stash.
After making sure everyone had some healthy food for breakfast and were started getting ready for church, I headed outside to take care of the animals. One of the things I particularly enjoy about farm chores in the spring is the return of green grass. There is something incredibly satisfying about opening the gate and watching the herd descend on the pasture. Usually, they barely make it a few steps before their heads are down and mouths are full.
Though church is a regular part of our weekly schedule, there’s also something special about attending on Easter Sunday. The children sang songs for the congregation, which Kate, Zoey, and Henry sang solos. Henry was asked to share his thoughts about his Savior, and did a fantastic job. The messages were brief and heartfelt, and it was a change to quietly(ish… Adam is not the type to sit still just yet) reflect on everything Jesus Christ has done for humanity. For me.
Jack had driven to church separately so he could go home and perform his portion of the Easter Bunny duties, while the rest of us took a Sunday drive. We appreciated other farmer’s green pastures, and hope that someday we’ll have more land to enjoy, too.
On Easter eve, we maintained the tradition of dying eggs as a family. I love that everyone still participates, and it’s a time of full-on creativity, and collaboration. The older kids help the younger ones, I remind people not to use their hands to dye the eggs, to no avail. It’s a wild good time.
This is also the first year that Adam is cognizant of a lot of what’s happening. He might not know why we were dying eggs (but does anyone, really? Such a weird [but fun!] tradition), but at least he understood the how. Grab an egg, put it in the mug, get it out. Repeat. Steal siblings’ eggs if necessary, and drop most of them, too.
All those dyed eggs and a couple dozen jellybean filled fake eggs made for an intense scavenger hunt. About an hour into running zigzags all over the yard, we still couldn’t find all the hard-boiled eggs, and I thought we’d found all the candy filled ones. I’m told several more were found in my absence. I’ve no doubt I’ll be mowing over them in the next month or two.
I’d gotten a ham, but wasn’t planning on having a full-blown Easter dinner, but sometimes, when I get in the kitchen, I can’t help myself. Food and service is part of my love language, and is a way of creating memories.
For the next several hours, the kids wandered in and out of the kitchen helping as they felt like it, napping, fishing, or playing outside when they didn’t.
By the end of it, we had ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes (which I realized six hours later I’d left in the oven), cheddar rolls, beans, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, and a carrot cake. All the food was decorated and flavored with wild chives, ramps, violets, and redbuds, because why not make the food as beautiful as it is delicious? And since it was such a gorgeous meal, we decided to pull out the tablecloth and China. We don’t have fancy meals frequently (unless you count our Halloween murder mystery dinner), but it was a lot of fun to pretend like we were high class, complete with Kate speaking in a British accent while sipping her lemonade out of a tea cup.
I know there are sometimes sides divided against each other when it comes to religious holidays… some want it exclusively reserved for the spiritual, while some simply want the day off for fun. I straddle the line between both parties. Why? I want it all! I want to reflect and ponder on the goodness of a Heavenly Father who is involved in the details of my life, and I want to make memories with my family. I want to sing hymns and chase my kids as they find eggs. I want to live life to the fullest here, while also being grateful for a loving Savior who makes it possible to be with my family not only in this life, but through the eternities. I think Easter is the perfect union of both the secular and spiritual, that can knit families together with longlasting memories.
Sitting down at the end of the day, when all the excitement has died, has my heart feeling full. I’m grateful for the blue sky, the green grass, warm weather, and the myriads flowers blossoming color in the sea of green. I’m grateful for the beautiful, healthy, incredible children that are a blessing to Jack and me, and all the happy times we’ve had together. I’m grateful for a Savior and Heavenly Father who makes it all possible, now and forever. We’re so blessed, and we were thoroughly reminded of it this Easter.
Hope you had a beautiful Easter, celebrating with friends and family!