Blessings to everyone this Easter holiday. Thought I'd fill you in on our day with a few pictures.
First up, the cursory picture of the kids' egg dying efforts this year. While I don't think this is something we do every year, Brayden informed me, quite unhappily, that indeed it is an EVERY year tradition and he was quite ticked that I let Kenady and Mikayla dye eggs without him on Wednesday afternoon. (He was with Jack). So, we hard boiled some more for him. Just when I worry he's growing up too fast..... =)
And speaking of growing up too fast, they aren't too grown up for Easter baskets, but apparently, there is now this unspoken understanding that it is "us" they thank and not a mysterious Easter bunny. Hey, I'm fine with that - I'm all about taking the credit for my efforts!
Following the Easter baskets and breakfast, we attended Easter service at our church. Mom and Dad, Leona, and Travis and Stephanie all joined us. (Let me tell you, trying to save an entire row of nine seats was not too easy this morning......!).
I am not exaggerating when I say it was the BEST Easter service I've ever attended.
I was moved to tears on about three different occasions. Listening to Scott sing "Every Man" (a song you'll hear right now on KLOVE) sounding better than he's ever sounded, with a video on the big screen he put together - wow......
And then the message - it was just so perfect, following the theme of "Bridging the Gap" - complete with a bridge having been built below the stage. Pastor Ben knocked it out of the park and the song sang immediately after his message was Point of Grace's "The Great Divide". The trio that sang that - with the accompanying choir at the end- omigosh - it's already one of my favorite songs and their rendition was phenomenal.
Finally, as the service neared its end, our own Dave Mertz sang "I Can Only Imagine". Tears all around - it was so powerful.
Mom and Dad both felt like the service demonstrated the sort of talent you'd find in Broadway (their words, not mine) - but, in contrast to what has been done in year's past - I didn't feel like it was a "production" - it all felt so personal and inviting. On days like today, I'm so proud of our church, our congregation - the whole community that has evolved, particularly in the days since our new pastor took over.(These fine pictures taken at church are courtesy of Bethany Jennings)
Then, it was off to lunch. This was not a "Schilling year" so John and I decided we'd use today to not only celebrate Easter, but to honor Brayden's birthday with his family. So, we let him decide where he wanted to go, and no surprise, it was Red Robin. Here's a shot of the family out front....in the cold and wind........brrrr!
I was so delighted that Uncle Jeff was able to join us for lunch as well. (Aunt Laura had just gotten home from her police dispatching night shift). It was really a pleasant time for everyone. (At least that's what I came away thinking!)
Finally, it wouldn't be a Red Robin birthday visit without the singing servers and hot fudge sundae. Brayden was just super thankful this wasn't "Red's" day to be in the restaurant (the robin in costume). He's at the age where that guy gives him the creeps, so he's already determined that on his real birthday dinner - Tuesday night - he will not be making a Red Robin return visit as that IS one of the nights that Red is present. Instead, he's chosen Applebee's. Man, our family really spreads its wings when it comes to restaurant choices! =)
I hope your Easter has been magnificent. I have to confess that I'm delighted that the festivities are passed and we are all in our pj's on this stormy day by 2:15. Hunkered down, fire roaring, John napping on the couch next to me - yeah, that's a great way to be celebrating too!