Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Refreshment is in sight.

I can almost feel it today.

Tomorrow, Rick and I leave for Minneapolis.

Nothing against Minneapolis, but it is not on my list of places I must see, but that doesn't really matter right now.

It is away with my husband and with 1,000 other people that are passionate about orphan care and adoption!!!!

We are going to the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit, and Rick has the opportunity to be on a panel in a breakout session and share about the work of Beyond Survival!!

I can't wait to hear the speakers. I can't wait to be around other people like me.

I can't wait to sleep in a hotel and eat out, and not have to keep my house clean for showings.

I can't wait for Rick and I to have each others' undivided attention.

I can't wait to have a break from being a mom, just for a few days.

It is a much needed break.

It is going to take 6 people to do what I do while I am gone. You would not believe the orchestrating I have had to do to make this possible and the amazing people that have stepped up to help me out.

I am one hard person to replace.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Out of Nowhere?!?!

Grief is a weird thing.

It ambushes you when you least expect it.

How do you deal with it when everyone around you has no clue that it has hit? Heck, you don't even expect it, how can you expect others to?

That is how I have felt this week.

Grieving and not even sure the fullness of it all.

I can pinpoint one thing that excites me, but also has brought that unexpected grief to my heart.

We have friends that returned this week with their newly adopted little guy.

He is tiny. I mean tiny like Sam was. That sure does bring back memories.

It also saddens me because every time I see him, I am reminded that I have no idea what Isaiah and Laila looked like as babies.

I feel a little cheated for Isaiah and Laila, our family, and me.

I don't mean this at all to take away from my excitement for our friends. I rejoice greatly that they have their son and that they met him when he was only days old. They have had their own share of grief in the adoption process that I have not had to deal with.

It doesn't change the emotions that flood my heart out of nowhere.

I am sure this grief is a good thing. I am sure it helps keep me aware of some of the pain that Isaiah and Laila will feel as they get older and have realized more fully the losses they have experienced.

I think this is the burden as an adoptive mom that we carry for our kids. It is an important role. I don't really even think I fully grasp the importance of it yet.

I pray that God will use it in the lives of my babies. I pray that He will show me their hearts as they grow older and deal with the struggles of the losses in their lives.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Snow Day???

Yes, it is the end of April. Yes, today is a snow day. Yes, I really hate snow, especially when I would rather be wearing shorts!

I don't want to dwell on the negative here. One fabulous thing about today is that we are all home together because there is no school and it is Rick's day off. We had a big breakfast. This is one of our weekly traditions that we have had to forgo for the last several weeks because we have had showings on most Saturdays. Today we got to experience it again which was really good for the fam.

I could really use a day of relaxation as a family at home.
So, on second thought, bring on the snow!!
You can't tell in these pictures, but the snow is coming down like crazy.
When I first woke up, I couldn't figure out what all the hoopla was about and why school had been cancelled. Now, I can see that the snow is supposed to continue all day long and a snow day was a good decision.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where did that wall come from?

This week I have hit a wall.

I didn't see it coming, but it doesn't really surprise me either.

I am exhausted and it is coming out in so many ways: falling asleep at random moments throughout the day, losing my patience with the kids more than usual, just wanting to be alone, feeling like I just COULD NOT get out of bed this morning, wondering if things will ever slow down, and thinking I can't possibly clean this house one more time without losing my sanity.

So, here I am.

My wonderful husband took the big kids to school for me this morning giving Isaiah, Laila, and me a quiet morning at home.

Tonight, Rick and I are going on a date, another timely event.

I am taking this mom, wife, ministry, burdened for Swaziland, people hurting all around me, end of the school year, house on the market life that we live one day at a time, hoping and praying there is an end in sight.

June 13th people, June 13th.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today is a monumental day. Every day for the last 9 months, Isaiah has taken his TB medicine. Since he can't swallow a pill and they don't make them chewable for children, it has been a real hassle.
First, I had to cut the pill in half and then crush it is this pill crusher.
Then, I had to mix it in some food. Usually I used yogurt or pudding.
It tastes awful so hiding it was really important!
It was so important that we not miss days, because then we would have to start it all over again. I was not at all thrilled about that idea.
Isaiah taking his medicine for the last time!!
"See, it is all gone!"
Completing this medicine means that Isaiah is cured of TB. He does not have to worry about every having active TB. That is a huge blessing!! I am so thankful to close this chapter in our story.

Congratulations, Isaiah, you did it!!

Just One Of Those Days

Isaiah is in a mood today.

It has taken me off guard a bit because I can usually tell by the look in his eyes when he wakes up that we are going to have a hard day.

The look did not appear until later this morning.

So far, he has driven a little car into the wall after being told not to, hidden from me while being called over and over, bit Sam, scratched Laila, and peed on my chair.

Any of these events by themselves are pretty typical, but when they come rapid fire one after the other at me, I know I am in for a challenge.

Thankfully, lunch is almost finished, and I get a couple of hours to reload my arsenal.

That is, if he takes his nap today(who knows what kind of battle nap time will be!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

First Days Home

Those first days home were a mixture of extreme joy and happiness and extreme frustration and adjustment. I can't even find any pictures on my computer from those first days. I am guessing it is because they are on Rick's and not mine, but it very well could be that it is because we were so exhausted and overwhelmed that we didn't take a lot of pictures.

It was really hard to give our 3 kids who had been without us for so long the attention they needed while trying to adjust ourselves, Cody, Isaiah and Laila to the right time zone. Isaiah was REALLY aggressive those first months home. He would bite, hit, pinch, etc. You name it, he did it. It was so hard. We knew that his little world had been turned upside down more than once. We had to show him that this time, the change was for good, and that we loved him deeply and unconditionally. I know he was grieving the loss of his mother, his friends at the orphanage, his "home," and his country. He had to learn our language. He had to adjust to the new climate.(It snowed the day after we arrived home. I am pretty sure it was the first time he had ever seen snow.) He was being given new foods. Poor little guy. It makes me sad to even think about it now.

The adjustment didn't just fall on Isaiah and Laila. Cody, Lauren, Abby, and Sam had quite a bit of adjusting to do as well. Sam had been dethroned from his position as "baby" of the family. Lauren and Abby were constantly fighting over who got to take care of Laila, our new baby. Cody had to readjust back to school and his culture after being away for over a month. Rick and I now had to figure out how to live life as the parents of six children. Just typing this exhausts me. It was a really hard time.

On the other hand, we had so much joy and excitement in our hearts and amongst our community of friends. We were surrounded by help with meals, school pickups, clothes for Isaiah and Laila, gifts for our family, and playdates for the big kids. Everywhere we went, people were so excited to meet Isaiah and Laila. So many had journeyed with us and followed our adventures in Africa. This wasn't just about us. It was a group effort of God's people coming together to fulfill His plan. This adoption would not have happened without God's people surrounding us and supporting us so much.

Now, here we are, one year later, a family of 8. We have our groove on how to function. We have overcome most of the initial adjustment, especially with Isaiah. (Don't get me wrong, he is a work in progress behaviorally, but most of his behavioral issues at this point appear to be a result of his strong will and personality. He is much like Cody was at this age.) There is no question in any of our minds that we are family. It is understood and accepted and we like it that way. While in Africa, I wrote the statement in my journal, "I am forever changed." I believe that is true of our family. It is a good thing. It is God's plan.

Lotion Bar Cafe

I have to tell you about a business that I love. Not only do they make amazing products(the soap and bath fizzies are my favorite), but over the last 3 years, they have continually supported the work that we do in Swaziland. They have sold items for Swazi like lip balms and soap and donated the money to Beyond Survival. They have also put together goody bags and pampering sets for the gogos and our ministry partners in Swaziland. I have actually watched Holly make the soap in her home. She knows what she is doing and she creates a product that is exceptional.

They have an open house coming up. If you are in the Springs, try to go. You will be glad you did. If you are not, but would like to try out their products, go online to here to check them out!! Below are the details on the Open House.

Spring Open House!!!!
When April 24th
where 5617 fantasia drive c/s co 80911
Time 10-5
Lotion Bar Cafe
Presents Spring open house
Come and see all the new products!!!
New soaps , lotions, scrubs , lip balms
lotion bars, bath fizzies and new liquid lotion!!!
Need teacher gifts? Mothers Day Gift? Birthday ?
Come check out all the local artist
here are some that will be here
Lotion Bar Cafe--Soaps , lotions, bath fizzies, and body treats
Kitten Britches- eco friendly - dolls , lunch bags, and scarfs
Traveling Picnic basket-yummy chicken burritos and tamales
Max's Treats---truffles and sweets
Cheery Checkerboard ---dips and mixes
Several Jewelry Gals-- all handmade
Yobel market-- all fair trade items
Swirly girl-- aprons
Door prizes !!!! lots of them!!!!
Print this and bring it to open house and get an special prize! Yes someone will win soap for a year!! ( you will always smell good)
There will be free massages, prize wheel and goody bags for the first 100 people!!!
Support Local business!!!
There will also be a local author here too:)
Bring a friend and get an extra ticket for the door prizes!!!!
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Then and Now

I found this picture of the girls one year ago. I had to share it with our picture from yesterday
New sisters
Sisters now
These 3 have a special connection. Over the last year, Lauren and Abby are constantly fighting over who gets to take care of Laila. She loves them both. They both love caring for her. I am so thankful that they have each other.


The word for the day in our house yesterday was, "CELEBRATE!" It was the day that we celebrated being together for one year as a family. What a milestone for us! What a year we have had!

We decided to go to Denver and check the ever popular Casa Bonita. We went not really knowing what to expect. It was definitely different and exciting. The whole way there, Isaiah kept saying, "we going to celebrate?"

If you don't know what I am talking about, basically, it is a Mexican Restaurant with shows, cliff divers, arcade games, puppet shows, and kiddie rides. People go there for the experience more than for the food. It was fun.

Outside the restaurant
Sam had to go pee and Laila would not look at the camera
At our tables in the "cinderella room"(that is what the girls called it).
Skee ball competition
My how much they have grown and changed over the last year!!
Laila throwing a fit on Rick.
After kissing and making up.
Sam and Isaiah being silly.
After we left, I wanted to take the girls by the new American Girl store in Denver. It was crazy crowded. I couldn't even attempt to take pictures inside. So, we just got one outside.
My beautiful girls
Isaiah woke up today saying, "Let's celebrate again sometime, okay?" Yes, buddy, we will celebrate again.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Food Challenge - Halfway

We reached the halfway point for our food challenge for the month.

We are almost out of any of the forbidden ingredients in our house.

The really bad part is that I have spent a whole month's grocery budget in only 2 weeks!

This was my biggest concern with changing our diets.

I cannot afford to double my grocery budget each month.

We do have reserves around here.

It looks like the rest of the month, I need to focus on cooking with what I have.

I am going to try to buy as little as possible and see how much I go over in the end.

I would love any hints on saving money while eating healthy.

I have tried all the ones that I have read and so far, not making much of a difference.

The challenge continues.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home - Together At Last

Words really can't describe what it felt like to land on American soil. Such a sense of relief filled me. We were finally safe. No one could take Isaiah and Laila from us.

Since we were arriving in the U.S. from another country, we had to go through Customs. That was actually a really good thing because we had to get our luggage and recheck it. I was able to get Isaiah some pants and shoes so he didn't look so pitiful when meeting everyone. Then we had the long line at Customs to wait in. We had all of our luggage along with holding the kids. My body has never hurt so much in my life. They had one person working and about 3oo of us in line. It was CRAZY!! Thankfully, the morning shift arrived after about 3o minutes of waiting.

As we approached the counter, my heart stopped beating. We handed the man our packet of info on Isaiah and Laila. We had been through so much at this point that I was ready for him to say,"You are missing this piece of paperwork and have to go back to Africa to get it." Honestly, that would not have surprised me. We had encountered so many obstacles in our process up to this point. That was not the case. He looked through everything and sent us to the Immigration Office. We didn't have to wait, Rick went right up to the counter. They looked through the papers and said, "Welcome Home." I get emotional right now even as I type this. WE MADE IT!! NO MORE WAITING!! NO MORE OBSTACLES!!

The minute we landed on U.S. soil, Isaiah and Laila became U.S. citizens. It was a profound moment, but so normal all at the same time. I think the Immigration office should throw a quick party for people bringing their babies home. After all that we had been through, we needed to celebrate. They could pull out the horns, have a little confetti falling from the ceiling, give us each a cupcake. Don't you think that would be a nice added touch?

Instead, we headed to our gate and celebrated our reentry into the U.S. with a little Starbucks. Nothing like a White Chocolate Mocha with Caramel Sauce after the adventure we just endured.
The first picture of Isaiah and Laila as U.S. Citizens!!
The flight from D.C. to Denver was fabulous. We were all so exhausted that we ALL slept the whole way. Laila slept on me, Isaiah slept in his seat, and Cody was excited to have a seat behind all of us. (I wasn't about to let Rick leave me alone with those kids!!)

I can't tell you what it is like to be away from my other 3 kids for over a month. Wow! I don't ever want to do that again. I was so ready to see them. I was so concerned that this experience might scar them for life. They were such troopers while we were gone. It was hard on all of us.

The kids watching for us to get off the plane
It was so amazing to be greeted at the airport by so many. We needed that community around us at that point. My mom was there and so many friends from our church. It was really a special moment. I just wanted to soak it all in. It was one of those "I will never forget this feeling for the rest of my life" moments.
Our Family Together At Last
One of my favorite pictures from that day!
Our Welcome Home Crew
We loaded up to head home. We had an hour drive from Denver. On the way home we stopped at Chick-fil-a to get some food for the road. That was yummy, too. That ride home seems like a blur. All the kids were talking 90 miles an hour. Isaiah was entertaining everyone saying, "Hallelujah" and "Praise the Lord" in his beautiful African accent. It was so good to be home.
Isaiah in his new bed, in his new room, in his new home!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Headed to the U.S.A.

*I have to start this post by saying that I have no pictures to document this post. We were so traumatized at this point that pictures were a luxury that we could not even consider. So, I have my recollections to remember this time last year!!

On this day last year, we were spending our last day in Africa completing the process with the U.S. Embassy. You would think the last day would be pretty relaxed and just spent preparing to leave. Not, so for us. We spent that day running around "Amazing Race style" praying all the way that we would actually be able to leave on the flight out of Joburg that we were scheduled on that night.

It really came down to the wire and I did not breathe a sigh of relief until we were sitting on the plane. Then, the real adventure began. Here is how the last day unfolded for us:

First, I really need to tell you about the day before in order for you to get the full emotion of this day. On April 14, we had appointments first thing in the morning at the U.S. Embassy. They had been closed the week before for Easter and because they were moving their offices. That alone had already delayed our return trip by over a week.

Now, it was finally time to meet with someone from our culture who spoke our language!! That was huge at this point. We were supposed to leave our hotel at 7:45 in the morning. The van that was supposed to take us did not show up!! This was not a good way to start the day. When we finally get to the Embassy, we are told that we need more "passport" pictures and medical reports to proceed.

We then find out that not only do we not have all of the medical reports that we need, but that the Dr. will not sign one particular form for us because Isaiah had a positive TB skin test. He then proceeds to tell us that we may have to stay in the country with Isaiah for another 6 months for him to complete TB treatment. It didn't matter that he was not active. It didn't matter that his chest x-rays were clear. It didn't matter that we had info that indicated he had already been on TB treatment at the orphanage. We were frantic at this point. We started making phone calls to try to get some info that this dr. would accept so that we could get that paper signed.

I can't even describe the spiritual oppression that surrounded us that day. Every obstacle was put in our way, from the van not arriving to Isaiah's pictures not developing and having to take them a second time. We sat in that dr. office all day long waiting for some breakthrough. It was a tiny office. It was hot. Isaiah and Laila were so restless. Just a few nights before, during the night, God took me to Psalm 59. I didn't really understand why at the time because at that point, I thought the battle was over. During this day, I remembered those verses. I remembered Isaiah 43 and I remembered the song, "Counting on God." Those were the only things that helped me make it through that day.

After almost 8 hours of battling, a resolution was arrived at and the Dr. signed the necessary paperwork. Now we were running a race against the clock. The U.S. Embassy closed at 4:00. It was 3:15 and we had to travel across town. We made it!! Our interview was completed and we were told that our visas would be ready the next day before lunch. We could not travel until we received those. That night was full of anxiety for me. If we missed that flight, we would have to pay over $1,000 to change our flights and we would have to wait another day to return home. That seemed unbearable at that point.

We woke up on April 15th and checked our email immediately. The Embassy said they would send us an email when the visas were ready. The morning dragged on and on. I can't even tell you how long that day felt. Finally, we got a call. Rick had to rush to the Embassy. I had to pack our stuff and we headed to the airport. We still had to get things cleared up with Isaiah and Laila's tickets so Rick went to stand in a line that was a mile long and was not moving. Once again we were battling against time. Our flight time was getting closer and he was not close to being done. In the meantime, I am stuck with Isaiah and Laila in the crazy airport line to check our baggage. Isaiah is antsy and disobeying. Laila is heavy and tired. I just didn't think I could survive one more minute of this journey. Little did I know that the day was only beginning for me. The next 30 hours of my life would be exhausting and would cause me to question everything we had done.

Finally, we boarded the plane. What a relief. Isaiah had lost his shoe in the process, but we were all there, ready to head home. In the past, I considered that flight somewhat relaxing. I could watch movies, they brought my food to me, and Lunesta always helped me to sleep. Not so with children. I don't want to do that flight again with children for a long time. We had a middle row that we filled. Rick's and Isaiah's TVs did not work. For much of the flight, Isaiah and Laila were both in my lap. They would sleep short amounts and then out of the blue regularly throughout the night Isaiah would just start screaming uncontrollably. I remember sitting there just wanting to cry and thinking in my head, "What have we done? Have we just made the biggest mistake of our lives?" It was a long, lonely flight.

Feeding them was difficult. Isaiah had a major blowout. I actually just threw those pajamas away. I did not want to take that home with me!! So, I am arriving in the U.S. with my African child who has no shoes or pants!! That's attractive.

It was hard, but it felt so good to land in the U.S. Tomorrow I will share about that first day home. The day that we are celebrating because we were FINALLY a family.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Laila pretending to be asleep on my bed.
I love how she squints her eyes closed.
She likes to trick me.
Every day has a bright spot with ALL of these kids in my life!!

Crazy Days Ahead

June 13. That is the day that I am focusing on.

That is when our vacation begins.

If I think about all that has to happen between now and then, I get dizzy and a bit panicked.

It is not all bad stuff, there is just a lot, and I am responsible for a lot.

I would love to know why the schools make April and May so crazy.

Field trips + Field days +concerts + Teacher Appreciation Week = busy days and empty wallets.

Then, I think of my friends who are going through difficult circumstances: death, cancer, infidelity, painfully waiting for adopted children etc.

I am reminded that my complaints are really petty.

I am reminded that God is in control.

I am reminded to take one day at a time.

Sometimes I have to give myself pep talks.

Today was on of those days.

Now, I think I will go eat a marshmallow bunny.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


We busted our bottoms this morning getting ready for a showing.

We loaded everyone up to leave the house for 2 hours.

As we are at Chick-fil-a eating our lunch, we get a call at the end of our showing time saying, "The people are running really late and want to change the showing time to 4:00-6:00. Will that work for you?"

Oh, my goodness. I could go postal at that point.

Really? You took our lunch time, and now you want to take away our dinner time, too? Do you people not know how hard it is to get a house that 8 people live in ready for a showing, plus finding a place for those 8 people to go for 2 hours?

We already had dinner plans for tonight so I had to say, "no" to the later showing. You know what I didn't feel bad about it either.

We have to sell this house soon. I am teetering on the edge....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Busy Day Full of Milestones

I don't feel like I have stopped going today since my head left the pillow.

Got the 4 big kids ready and took them to school.

We had our LAST post placement visit for the adoption today!!!!!! I can't put enough exclamation points on that one. It is complete. (Except that I still need to order their new birth certificates.) No more paperwork. No more appointments. No more hoops to jump through, and no more ridiculously overpriced fees to pay. WOOHOO!!! I cannot type it large enough to truly express how excited I am about it.

This afternoon, I had a neat opportunity. I was able to go to a local high school and share with their class about Beyond Survival and the work that we do. They want to do a fundraiser as a class project supporting our work!! I love talking about Swaziland. I love being reminded myself of why our family is doing this. I love seeing the light bulb go off in someone else's head when they realize the difference in their lives as compared to the lives of the Swazi people. It excites me and exhilarates me.

I can't wait to see how this impacts the lives of these teenagers. I truly hope that this experience is one that changes them. I am praying that I was able to plant some seeds in their hearts that will grow and lead them to live their lives differently because of it.

Rick and I get to do this again in a couple of weeks with the youth group at our church. I can't wait.

If you are reading this and don't know what I am talking about, check out our website and see what is happening. Click here to see more.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Food Challenge - Week 1

I have completed the first week of my food challenge.

The biggest struggle for me has been the cost of food. We live on a very modest food budget. I am struggling to figure out how to still do that in buying these more expensive foods.

My life right now requires some convenience foods. There just really is no way around it. I don't have time to make everything from scratch with our house on the market.

It is one week into this challenge, and I have already spent more than half of my grocery budget for the month.

I have done fairly well this week. I don't think I have eaten anything on my "get rid of" list. I haven't started the green drink yet. They were out of it at Vitamin Cottage. I have to go back.

I have missed sodas. I wanted to drink one today. I have also missed gum. Does anyone know of a gum that does not have aspartame????

The yucky food in our house is dwindling, and I am replacing it with the good (much more expensive) stuff.

Week 2, here we come!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Could I just have 5 minutes where no one touches me or talks to me???

Is that really too much to ask??


It is so painful some mornings to drag myself out of bed to get 6 kids fed, dressed, the house ready to show and out the door by 7:40 BUT,

to hear that school is cancelled and to crawl back under the covers is a BEAUTIFUL THING!!

Now, it is time for a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and hot chocolate!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Last Hurrah!

So, we had to have an Easter Egg Hunt at our house today. It is tradition, and we have a prize egg. We could not let that one last Easter tradition go by the wayside.
Isaiah knows exactly what to do now!
Cody helping Laila.
Abby running to snatch an egg she saw.
On the way home from school while we were discussing the egg hunt, Sam got really emotional because he has never found the prize egg. It is white and the finder gets a delightful little prize each year. When the hunt began, he decided he would only look for that egg. He put all of his eggs in one basket so to speak. : ) I was afraid he would be hugely disappointed in the end when the egg hunt was over and he had no eggs. He was walking around the yard crying looking for that one egg.

That little booger found the prize egg. His basket was empty, but he was puffed up with pride!
The delightful prize, you ask? A bunny that walks across the floor and poops out jelly beans as it walks. Because that is how we roll around here!!

Easter Duds

Can I just tell you how hard it is to take a picture of 6 children and get everyone to look at the right time? It only worsens when a child or two develops an attitude. That was the case with Laila on Easter. She really did not desire to have her picture made in any way, shape or form. If only you could have witnessed the "photo session" I did with the kids in front of the house before we left for church. I am sure to the casual observer, it was hilarious. Not so much to the mama trying to get a decent picture of her kids.

You see, I worked hard to put together these outfits. I had to make sure everyone had the proper shoes, that each of the girls had sweaters because we live in CO, and that I let them have some say in their outfit choice. I only have maybe one more year of this before Cody will outgrown the matchy matchy outfits. He doesn't love it now, but tolerates it. I try to keep the clothes acceptable to him so that he doesn't refuse.
The Single Ladies (Laila has an attitude in this picture)
The men
The Fam(Don't we look like colorful Easter Eggs?)
Hunting Eggs
Love this little guy

Abby Doo
Sammy(sorry about the shadows)
My attempt at an artsy picture.
She is so pretty in purple.
After Easter lunch at the Williams' house along with many others, ALL of the kids(over 20 children) had a big Easter egg hunt. It was so much fun, and I am so thankful the weather cooperated this year. It is usually VERY COLD on Easter here. It was a great day!!

Easter Morning

We woke up on Easter morning eager to check the oven and see our how our Easter Story Cookies turned out.
Lauren and Abby checking them out.
The final product
I really should have taken a picture of how they look on the inside, empty, but I forgot.
The kids also woke up to Easter baskets with candy in them. That is always fun. Of course they want to eat it all right away. Do you know how hard it is to find gum that doesn't have aspartame? Seriously, why do they need to put aspartame in gum that has sugar?
The boys(giving each other and themselves bunny ears).
The girls with bed heads
We don't get "family time" on Easter morning because Rick always has to leave really early for church. So, the kids and I ate the Easter Story Cookies and a Butter Braid for breakfast. Then, it took the rest of our morning to get everyone dressed and ready to go. Stay tuned for more Easter Day pictures.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Story Cookies

We ended the night with the little ones in bed while we made Easter Story Cookies. The cool part about this recipe is that there are Scripture verses to go with each step of the process. I love being able to use the kids' senses of taste, touch, smell, and sight to draw them into the Easter story. As the kids are getting older, they are able to read the Scripture verses. Sam and Abby read for the first time in this tradition. That was special.
Crushing the pecans reminding us of Jesus being beaten.
Sam reading John 3:16 with his daddy.
Before bed, the cookies are put in the oven and sealed just like the tomb. When we wake up in the morning, the "tomb cookies" will be empty inside just like the empty tomb.

Tombs and The Lord's Supper

I think this is probably my favorite Easter tradition. We started this with Cody when he was little. It is a good one because little ones can participate. You take large canned biscuits, like Grands, and big marshmallows. The biscuit represents the tomb and the marshmallow represents Jesus. Roll out the biscuits, put the marshmallow inside, and pinch the dough together surrounding the marshmallow. Then, bake the biscuits in the oven according to the package directions. When they are done, let them cool for a few minutes. From the heat of the oven, the marshmallow will melt into the biscuit. When the biscuit tomb is opened, it is empty because Jesus is alive!!

We take the biscuits and sparkling juice, and Rick leads us in the Lord's supper as a family.
Isaiah was so funny with his facial expressions as we opened the tombs. He was so animated and into the what we were telling him. After listening and waiting he anxiously said, "Can I eat God now?"