Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter Fun

Dear Kate and Riley,
In addition to being spiritually uplifted, we also got to have some secular fun for Easter. A few days before Easter we went with Will to the "Easter Train" which was surprisingly similar to the Halloween Train and the Christmas Train. We rode the train and when we found out it was $10 to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap, we decided to wave at him instead. The bounce house was a much better deal than sitting on a creepy bunny's lap!
On Saturday we had a little informal ward egg hunt on Saturday and on Sunday we had the Bowens over for yummy dinner and some egg dying. Two year olds and food coloring make me a little nervous but we managed with no major catastrophes.

I was excited for my first chance to dress the boys in matchy outfits. They may not go for it for long but while I still have control over the wardrobe choices they can match!

Matching! This was the Sunday before Easter. Getting a picture of these two turned out to be pretty impossible

Like I said, almost impossible

Waiting for the Easter Train

So excited to hold his own ticket for the train

I don't know what he was pointing at but I can hear the "WOOK WIWL!" (that's look will for those of you who don't speak Zachary)

The bounce house and a proud mom moment, my kid actually came OUT of the bounce house without someone having to go in after him. Didn't mean we didn't have a 20 min tantrum afterward, but hey we count every success here.

Brady was really in to the ward egg hunt

Zach getting ready

in pursuit

Checking out the loot
(let's get tax season over with so Dad can get some sun on those legs! wow!)

Easter Basket. I took a video so the pictures were scarce. He got Mater and Doc (from "Cars") and was VERY excited

"Happy Easter" (it was cuter on the video, doesn't quite translate here!)

Brady might kill me for this outfit when he's 16 but it was a gift and it was so cute we couldn't pass it up!

Easter Eggs, the whisk keeps hands out of the dye. It was a brilliant idea!

Our photographer was having some issues but I guess the moms were too nervous to back away enough to get a picture of the two of them

It was a fun-filled week!


Monday, April 05, 2010

"My soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain"

(we forgot the camera so dad's phone had to do in a pinch, the quality is really bad)

Dear Kate and Riley,
I think you know by now that since losing you Easter has become one of my favorite holidays. The promise of the atonement and resurrection are so much more real and powerful in my life than they ever were before you.

This year we had general conference on Easter where we get to stay home and listen to all of the church leaders give talks on TV. I have to admit that at first I was a little disappointed. I like going to church on Easter Sunday. I was excited to dress the boys up in cute little matching outfits, to sing "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" and to listen to the choir sing. But it turned out to be a wonderful blessing to still sing, to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing (no disrespect to the ward choir, but come on, can you compare!?) and to listen to the apostles and prophets of the Lord share powerful testimonies of Christ and His atonement and resurrection.

Even though its hard to concentrate on conference with a noisy and active two year old and a needy infant, I was able to enjoy some of the talks and hope to be able to read the rest in the coming weeks. One talk in particular struck me with such power. Elder Hallstrom spoke of a woman who lost a baby in childbirth. He talked about this couple and their family and the anger they felt (I could relate) and how their inability to let go of the anger, hurt and resentment caused them to ultimately leave the church and affect four generations to come. How sad for that family. He then spoke of another family who lost not only twins but the mother as well as a result of childbirth but how their faith remained strong and that their faith and obedience to the Lord had positively affected four generations to come. It made me so grateful that I fell into the second category. There were times I was angry when we lost you but we were able to keep our faith and to understand the principal of opposition.

Elder Hallstrom continued and talked about the concept of opposition being a divine principle which I have come to have a very strong testimony of. He said that the promises that "Men are that they might have joy" ( 2 Nephi 2:25) and "there is an opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11) are complimentary and not contradictory. He also reminded us of Alma and his declaration that "...yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!" (Alma 36:20) Oh how true that statement rang in my heart! I sat on that couch and thought of our pain of the past and our joy in the present as tears streamed down my face. I can truly say that I have felt joy as exceeding as was my pain. And that the pain that I felt is one of the REASONS that I have felt the exceeding joy that I feel. I am so thankful to have the gospel to put these things in perspective for me. I am so grateful to have the joy in our lives that we have today and for the promise that we can be together as a family again and that we will feel even more joy as we are reunited as an eternal family some day.

I hope you enjoyed your Easter celebrations.
How sweet the joy this sentence gives-- I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES!