Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Busy Easter Weekend

Easter is one of my favorite holidays! I love the egg hunts, time with family, the chocolate candy, and getting the girls dressed up for Easter Sunday. This Easter was a very busy one. It started on Saturday with an egg hunt at our church. We took the girls, and a couple of our neighbors and their kids came with us. Here is a picture of Ava with her best friend Cami, who lives next door. They are two peas in a pod for sure!

Here are all six kids from the cove lined up ready to hunt eggs:

Here is Ava feeling defeated because another kid found "the golden egg". So sad!

Here is Elia running to find as many eggs as possible:

Here is Ava once the egg hunt was over. I had to scoop up some eggs for her and put them in her basket. She was so upset over not finding the golden egg that she didn't want to hunt anymore once it was found.

After the egg hunt, we went to the petting zoo part of the church event. Ava loved the bunnies. I think Elia thought she was too old for the bunnies so she didn't hold any of them.

As soon as we left the egg hunt, we headed to the Carters for Easter lunch. The girls enjoyed spending time with their grandparents. Once we ate lunch over there, we went straight over to my parent's house for Easter dinner. We celebrated Easter over there with the whole family. Even LeeAnn came down from college to be with the family for Easter.

After we ate hamburgers, it was time for Grammy and Papa's egg hunt. The four kids all lined up at the starting line and waited for Grammy to yell "GO"!

Ava was way more into this egg hunt than the one at her school and church. You see, these eggs had candy AND money in them. She did not consider this a "babyish" egg hunt at all!

Once all the egg hunts were over, we headed home to get ready for church the next day. The Easter bunny came, and the girls were up at 6:45 to see what he brought.

Once they had their fill of chocolate for breakfast, they got dressed and we headed for church. Here they are in their pretty Easter dresses:


Friday, April 22, 2011

April Theme Dinner

It was time for our monthly theme dinner. Since this is April, we did an Easter theme this month. The girls were, once again, so excited. They really get into these dinners.

I got our decorations from Target this time, and I tried to think of a dinner to make that goes with Easter. I am not too much of a cook so this was a challenge for me. I went with chicken, carrots, and corn. I was trying to think "rabbits" but the carrots were as close as I could get.

For dessert, we made resurrection cookies. However, these have to stay in the oven overnight so I bought a tiny Easter cake so we would have something related to Easter for dessert. It was the perfect size for the four of us and it was very yummy!

The last part of our theme dinner involved making the resurrection cookies. I have to give Mrs. Jerkins, the best preschool teacher in the world, credit for telling me about these cookies on her blog. It is a great and fun way to reinforce the real meaning of Easter to your children. The girls are excited about the bunny coming but you should have seen how excited they got when they were able to recall the death and resurrection of Christ.

To make the cookies, we started off by turning on the oven to 300. Then we put a cup of pecans into a baggie. The girls beat the pecans into tiny pieces. This represents when the soldiers beat Jesus.

Then we added 1 teaspoon of vinegar to a mixing bowl. I had the girls smell the vinegar and explained when Jesus was thirsty of the cross, they gave him vinegar to drink.

Next came the 3 egg whites. We added to the bowl. I explained that eggs represent life, and Jesus gave his life on the cross for us.

After we added the egg whites, I had the girls taste a dash of salt. Then we added a dash of salt to the bowl. The salt stands for the bitterness of our sins.

I explained to the girls that everything in the bowl is kind of yucky. However, the "sweetest" part of the story is that Jesus DID die for us so we could be forgiven of our sins and all the yucky stuff we do. We needed to add something sweet to the mix so we added a cup of sugar.

Then we mixed it with a mixer for 15 minutes. We talked about how the white color of the mixture stands for the purity we now have since we are forgiven of our sins. We are cleansed and made new!

Once we finished mixing it we added the crushed pecans. Then we put teaspoon amounts onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. The mounds represent the rocky tomb where they laid Jesus' body.

Then we put the cookie sheet in the oven and closed the door shut just as the tomb was sealed shut.

The amazing part of these cookies is that you turn the oven off, go to bed, and when you wake up the morning to eat the cookies, they are hollow just as the tomb was empty that first Easter morning!

He is RISEN!!!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My baby is growing up!

Ava had her kindergarten Easter egg hunt today. Last week we had to send a dozen plastic eggs filled with candy and numbered 1-12. The kids were supposed to get one of each number during the hunt. Luckily, I was able to get another teacher to watch my class so I could be at the egg hunt with Ava.

I was so excited and couldn't wait to watch Ava hunt eggs. The other kindergarteners were all lined up just waiting for the teacher to yell "go". The time finally came when Mrs. Grimes gave the ok to hunt eggs and off they went running and searching for 12 candy filled eggs.

As I started to join them in the hunt, Ava said, "I want to just hurry up and get this over with. This is babyish!" I about fell out. My baby is only six years old, and she already thinks she is too big to hunt eggs! What in the world? How did this happen? When did this happen?

I think I ended up having more fun than Ava. Ha! Of course, once Ava started opening her eggs and checking out all her candy, I am sure she changed her mind about egg hunts. We are going to an egg hunt at our church this weekend so time will tell! I am not ready for my girls to grow up!

OCD Again

Once I got started organizing things in the kitchen, I couldn't seem to stop. I had to finish the kitchen, move to the girls' bathroom drawers, and finally to my closet. I started with the lovely tupperware cabinet. Of course, we had containers without lids and lids without containers. We also had Christmas dishes in there from 10 years ago that have never been used. Here is the before:

And here is the after:

Once I finished the tupperware cabinet, I moved to the water bottle/Kroger bag cabinet. I know that is a weird combination, but it is one of those things that just evolved. Here is the before:

And the after:

Once I finished this cabinet, I was done with the kitchen. Yea!!!!! It was time to move on to the girls' bathroom drawers. These drawers were the catchall for everything and anything. Of course, I used my containers to hold everything and to make it neater and more organized. Here is the before of one drawer:

And the after:

Here is the before of the other drawer:

And the after:

Once their bathroom drawers were finished, I tackled our closet. This was a HUGE job! I had an unreal amount of flip flops (and still do). These flip flops had literally taken over the closet. Here is a before of one of the shelves where we keep sweaters (and some flip flops):

And the after:

Here is a before of my side of the closet:

And the after:

Here is an overall picture of the closet before it was cleaned out:

And here is the final product:

I ended up putting the flip flops I wear the most on one of the shelves. Then I put the rest in a big tub behind the door. All my other shoes actually went on the shoe rack that came with the closet.

It is amazing what cleaning out closets, cabinets, and drawers will do for you! Cleaning out my closet was almost like a shopping spree. I actually discovered clothes I had not worn in a while since they had been swallowed up by the closet monster!