This year was a little odd for Easter. It is the first major holiday that I can remember that Stanton and I have spent alone since we have been married. And only the second holiday in Waco. (We spent Thanksgiving 2008 in Waco with his parents since it was only days after Chaselyn was born.) But in an odd twist, our family was able to spend a whole week in Arkansas with our extended family just last week. So, it seemed like a stretch to try to make it back only 5 days later. So that meant we had a 3 day weekend together with the four of us.
We kicked off the Easter weekend with a Maundy Thursday service. I had never been to one before because usually we are traveling on Thursday night to get home for Good Friday. Any way, the service was one of the most powerful services I have ever experienced. It is necessary to come face to face with the gravity of the true suffering, pain, and sacrifice that Jesus Christ endured to really set the tone for the joy of Easter morning. I hope that this is something that I get to experience annually.
Friday was a rarity. Stanton was off work and we had no specific plans. So, we decided to take a trip to our Waco zoo. It always amazes me that Waco has such a quality zoo for the size of town it is. And I am so happy that we decided to go ahead and get a zoo membership. We bought the membership at the end of March and we've already gone enough to pay for it, any more visits are free! And this trip was THE BEST trip to the zoo we've had. We were there when the gates opened and it was still cool so all the animals were up close.
We went to see the tigers and orangutan first. One of the tigers was standing just as close as he could get to the fence. And the orangutan was actually awake. I've never seen anything other than an indistinguishable ball of fur in the orangutan pit. He was in the building, but he was right next to the window so we could see him, some of the family chose to make faces at him too. Then we went to the African animals. Ironically, the elephants were the only animals not out in the cool eating. Usually no matter when we go we find the elephants out eating some hay. Which is probably why they are Chaselyn's favorites. So it was off to the lions. And look who we found
The rhinos were awake too. Usually they are snoozing off in the corner, but not today.
The giraffes were giraffing with their long necks eating leaves off of trees, the deer were endeering basking in the breeze, and even the bear was bearing the TX heat by taking a little swim.
The one drawback to the morning zoo visit was that there was a large group of children that were on a field trip. We started out ahead of them, but we often felt a little rushed to stay in the lead. After all, we didn't want to get Chaselyn caught up in the 'Fight! Fight! Fight!' chant they were yelling at the tigers. (We only yell 'Fight! Fight! Fight!' at the end of the Razorback fight song in our house.) But because we were hurried along, we still had lots of happy play time left for the playground.
And we wrapped up with some 'Manlybugs'.
Afternoon Friday was spent cleaning, laundering and napping. There was more of the same on Saturday. Because we have been out of town and sick and just busy, our house desperately needed the attention.
And then hippity, hoppity Easter was no longer on it's way, but it was finally here. The day was just perfect. The kids woke up together, we got the video camera set up, and watched the fun. Unfortunately, in the remembering to use the video, we forgot to use the regular camera for still shots. Chaselyn is at a fun age for holidays. She ran to her basket and looked at all the prizes. And then showed Jacob what he got too. The celebration was only slightly inhibited by the 'loud bird' otherwise known as our security system going off as Stanton tried to let Holly out. Only then did he realize he couldn't let Holly out any way because the Easter bunny had left prizes outside. After looking and perusing through the baskets, it was time for breakfast. Nothing but the finest for our first family holiday at home. I made cereal and milk per Chaselyn's request and fixed a nice microwavable pancake for the little man. After breakfast it was time to get in our Sunday best and take some pictures.
Then egg hunting.
The Easter Bunny was so smart. He put little 'C' and 'J' stickers on the eggs. So even though Chaselyn was really the only one hunting, Jacob also got to enjoy some treats.
As Chaselyn found the eggs, she would identify the C stickers because 'C is for Chaselyn'. When asked the letter on the other eggs, she responded 'I don't know that letter name.' So I guess she was classifying them as C's and not C's.
Chaselyn counting the eggs. Each of them got 8 eggs.
Then there was more surprises in the eggs.
Stanton was showing them that they each got a special penny with a cross cut in it. And that the cross is really what Easter is all about.
And as a special treat, each of the kids got an Easter prize from Mommy and Daddy. I will admit, I don't plan on Easter presents from us becoming a regular tradition in our home, the Easter Bunny is very generous. But this year we had a very special prize in mind for Chaselyn and we just couldn't wait until her birthday or Christmas. So we found a special prize for Jacob too. He got a Little People car wash. It was enjoyed by all.
And then it was time for Chaselyn's treat. We had her sit and close her eyes.
It's a Belle doll.
But wait there's more.
It's a Cinderella doll.
Honestly for a while, she seemed kind of bothered that Cinderella was tagging along, but before long she was having fun with both of her dolls.
By the time it was time to leave for church, the kids were tired. This is not unusual for Sunday mornings, but this day was a bit more eventful. Church was great. We had been away for 3 Sundays and it was nice to get back.
Sunday afternoon was again filled with organizing and straightening. And we wrapped up a wonderful Easter weekend with a feast of smoked ribs, deviled eggs, corn on the cob, and semi-homemade potato salad (I bought some potato salad from the store and added some egg).
It was a fantastic weekend. We missed our family back home. And there were many traditions that I really missed, but it was good to not have to worry about traveling and sleeping in different places and trying to be sure we make it to see everyone. For once we had a holiday weekend where we were actually rested and relaxed when it was all said and done.
Mom of beautiful Chaselyn and handsome Jacob.
Wife of wonderful husband Stanton.
Daughter of lovely parents.
Sister of siblings I've grown to love (yes it took some growing on my part to learn to love them).
Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics.
Student of life.
Friend of many great people.
Child of God.