Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hope your Easter was filled with all that is special!

We had a wonderful Easter; another year and super egg hunt. We challenged ourselves to think of ways to keep the big kids wanting to participate. We managed. Amber, AJ and Barry decided to hang in one more year. We even had an extra older guy, Brady who often hangs with the group but wasn't expected for this. I think he enjoyed himself as well.

The younger kids, Wren, Cori, Cassi and Cali all had fun and still like doing the egg hunts. I hope they always do. I'm not sure I'd survive the sadness of having them home and not willing.

I managed to get what I believe to be some beautiful pictures of all the kids. I'm not sure I can put into words why I like these photos so much but I do. I hope you enjoy them too.

First, there is a photo of everyone (except Scott-because he took the picture). It is rare that we take an all group photo and even rarer that it turns out all right. I'm not sure any that we took are great, but I think you can make everyone out clearly. That has to be blessing enough! :-)
In the event you don't recognize everyone for all they've changed and grown...starting back left going clockwise...Holly, Barry who is now 16, Rachel in her new glasses, AJ who is also now 16, Brady, Grandpa, who turned 60 this year, Cori who looks incredibly pale in these pictures, Cassi, Amber and Cali, Wren and Me. Some days it is hard for me to believe they are as old as they are.

We did the normal thing this year as far as Easter eggin' (as Cali calls it) goes. We hid well over 300 eggs. We had oodles of silver eggs with lots of cool prizes. We try really hard to make sure all the kids get at least one silver egg, usually everyone makes it pretty fair. The prize of choice this year was $10.00 gift cards for the local department store and a huge wiggly bouncy ball thing that I apparently should have gotten more of.

We always let Cali out the door first and have a little area that only she can find eggs in. Scott hid a silver egg in that area this year and couldn't remember exactly where it was. I believe it was the last egg found and there was actually an offer of extra cash if anyone found it; he was so frustrated that he couldn't find it! AJ looked for the longest time but never uncovered it. Cori finally scrambled for it and unearthed the darn thing after hearing there was extra cash for the taking.

Grandpa gave lots of weird clues this year. It's either that or I am getting more and more dense at figuring them out. It's got to be Grandpa! AJ is quite athletic and thereby finds LOTS of eggs. He also seems to be quite the logical thinker so he's quick too. He doesn't waste time and seems rather business like in the hunt. Barry is much the same; maybe they've been doing it so long it's like spring cleaning or some other job one does once a year or so. Maybe it's just "old hat".

This could possibly be the last year Amber hunts eggs with us for a while. We hope she will drive down from Anchorage next year but things change so we are all trying to wrap our minds around the fact that she could simply decide not to participate. I can't help but think of my Aunt Karen at times like these; when I talk to her about Easter I think she'd still be finding Easter eggs if someone would just hide them for her. :-) The kids are going to leave one by one and I'm going to be left looking for some one to hunt eggs with.

As always, there were treats and just general sharing of old stories and new ideas. It was a peaceful day with little drama. Joy, happiness and peace surrounded us and it was as special a Sunday as Easter should be. We have an awful lot to be thankful for; the sacrifices made through out time are never forgotten. It's my wish that as my own children get older and create their own lives they too will take time to appreciate things as simple as eggs wrapped in foil hidden by adored Daddies and Grandpa's. I hope they remember the sacrifices made so that these days might happen for them and that they continue to value what is most important. It's by the grace of God they have such a large and wonderful family and are so loved there shall never be the need to feel alone.

I hope the day was special for each of you in whatever way you chose to make it so. One of these years we should all gather for Easter. It would be different and fun and a great way to make new memories.

Love to all of you!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The King and I

It has been such a long time since I've posted. Our lives have been just a tad bit hectic. Most of you have heard by now that the two older girls and I participated in the play THE KING AND I this winter.

It was once again a wonderful experience and I believe the girls truly love being part of community theater. This year was a little harder on our family overall as compared to Cori participating in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST last year. They were on stage more and thereby had to attend a lot more practices. I also have learned that some years are simply more intense than others by virtue of the story being told.

This was Cassi's first year and I think she fell in love with the experience also. Both girls are already talking about what the play might be next winter and whether or not they will make the cut. They are also hoping they can participate in the children's summer theater this coming summer. It often overlaps with our soccer schedule but we've heard there may be two summer programs this year so we are keeping our finger crossed.

I ended up in the play this year by accident. I happen to read sheet music and ended being on stage for a very small part playing finger cymbals. The opportunity was fun but I think I will stick to being a stage mom until the girls are old enough to do their own hair and makeup. doing tight little buns and makeup on three was a little hard to manage and nerve wracking at times.

I also think Cali would like to hang around more and being in the show kind of takes away that opportunity since she would be left backstage alone. She is determined she will have a place in the show next year!

Here are a few pictures of the girls in costume. I suppose I forgot to mention they were servants to the king and his wives in the show. They were also in the ballet chorus singing for Uncle Tom's Cabin; the ballet piece that is so important to the show. They both are fine tuning their voices and seem to show some talent in that regard. Their instructor tells me me they show gifts in music, voice etc., etc., etc.

There were a few friends from school who were also in the show as was their music instructor, who sort of ended up being in it by accident like me. I really got to know her a litte better and I think the girls made new friends too.

Hope you enjoy the photos.