Happy Easter! He is risen! Alleluia!
We enjoyed a wonderful Easter Triduum as a family. The kids were so good and reverent (well, Emma was about as reverent as a three-year-old can be) at Good Friday service. Matthew really impressed me both with his behavior and his legitimate interest in the story of the Passion and Resurrection. When it came to be our turn to venerate the cross, I was moved to tears when I witnessed Matthew tenderly kneel down and kiss the cross gently. It was incredibly touching.
On Holy Saturday, we spent the majority of the day working on some spring cleaning. The kids were incredibly helpful - they washed all the windows both inside and out, helped me mop the floor, deep-cleaned their rooms, and soon the entire house was sparkling! We finished some food preparations for Easter and then proceeded to the main event - the dying of the eggs!
Now, I do not know if Paul and I are the only parents who feel this way, but we find dying eggs to be incredibly stressful. The kids are just not all that careful with the eggs and half of them end up not just cracked, but smashed. At least one cup of dye will spill. Their fingers, hands, their clothes...just everything becomes stained with the pink, purple, and green colors of the dye and no amount of washing seems capable of eradicating the stains! Our kids always have multi-colored hands on Easter morning, as do I since I'm the one who has to clean them off!! I see other pictures on Facebook or other social media outlets of parents lovingly sitting with their children and sharing their wonder and awe at submerging their pristine white egg into the dye and then having it magically emerge a completely different color! Not the case with us. Our egg dying involves a lot of hovering, quite a bit of mess, and the following phrases being uttered more than once:
"Don't eat the dye, Emma!"
"No wiping your hands on your shirt, Matthew!"
"TOO much paint!"
"Put the egg in gently!"
"Don't drink the dye, Emma!"
"No, you can't eat an egg right now! These are for Easter!!"
"Only color the eggs, not yourself!"
"Only dip the eggs in one dye color!"
"Don't mix the dyes!"
"Don't steal your brother's eggs, Emma!"
"Get your hands out of the dye water, Emma!"
"Matthew...did you wipe your dirty hands on the nice bathroom towels?"
By the time we are finished with the whole fiasco, the children are quite pleased with their creations but Paul and I are in desperate need of a nap!
However, our nerves were rewarded with a beautiful Easter Sunday. The weather was absolutely stunning - clear blue skies and temperatures that soared into the upper 70s. It was truly a wondrous thing to behold such a day in March!
Paul and I were a bit mean to poor Matthew this year. We did not actually hide the baskets until we were finished prepping breakfast, so he just searched the entire house aimlessly while we kept working. He would come back to the kitchen every once in a while, discouraged with the fruitless results of his foraging, where we would offer him a worthless hint that would send him on a wild goose chase to another part of the house. Finally, when we were done with our work, we quickly hid his basket in a cabinet that he had not yet searched and he was relieved to find it! We stuck Emma's in plain view in the middle of the family room and she still required Matthew's help to find it. That girl is very unobservant at times.
The kids loved their baskets! We only gave them each a little chocolate bunny for candy and filled their buckets with some fun toys and summer essentials - like flip-flops, sidewalk chalk, pencils, erasers, a LEGO set for Matthew, and a Hello Kitty beanie baby for Emma. We decided to hold off on the egg hunt until after breakfast. Traditionally, we did everything before eating but I think I liked spreading it out better.
We did the egg hunt OUTSIDE and the kids loved it!!! We did a colored-coded hunt this year to ensure that the kids would find an even number of eggs. Matthew was instructed to find the orange, blue, and green eggs; Emma was to find only the pink, purple, and yellow ones. This worked out really well! Paul had fun hiding Matthew's eggs in more difficult locations. Emma had a little trouble scouting her eggs at first, but soon caught on! When the hunt was over, she was so disappointed - she didn't want the fun to end!
We spent the rest of the day outside jumping on the trampoline, dancing with the bubbles from the bubble machine, making chalk drawings, and taking long walks. We ate some great food, enjoyed lots of candy, and treasured our time together. In my opinion, it was a perfect day. I hope your Easter was just as wonderful!