Easter.... Resurrection Day!

Yesterday was Easter... the Resurrection Day, the day we celebrate Christ's rising from the dead to declare victory over death. Yes, Death is defeated! Praise God!!
Growing up, every Easter (or just about every) was spent at my Nanny's house with TONS of family. I have 5 aunts and 2 uncles (plus their spouses) and 11 cousins on that side of the family... not including the extended family that came! Nanny's house was always packed, but it was also filled with love and laughter. For many years, I have not lived near my family.. or extended family... or neccessarily people that I've known very long. Usually, we have lived in places where we didn't know anyone.... at all!

One year in particular, I was very sad... we were very far from family and no one invited us to join them. So, I wallowed in self-pity.... my family went to church (no new Easter outfits), we celebrated at church, and then we went home at ate PB&J sandwiches for lunch. Now, my children didn't really care, but I cried all afternoon. God finally said, "Ladette... you can be bitter or you can make it better!" I decided to make it better. Every year after that, we invited people to join us for Easter. Yes, it was hard... trying to get the pastor... and 3...4...5 children ready for Easter services, be there early, make sure dinner was prepared .. etc. BUT, it was so worth it. The memories we have and the relationships that were built us because we reached out to others will never fade!! And God is/was glorified.

This year, we are once again, away from family. We are living far enough from family that we aren't able to celebrate Easter (or other "Sunday holidays") with our own families... unless they come to us. We've only been here a month, but a week before Easter, we were invited to join a celebration!! I was so excited!!

So, we dressed in our Easter Finery... I thought my children looked like angels (although, my oldest son asked if I could hurry up, 'cause he was "sweatin' like a sinner in church!"-- rofl!).

This dear family invited us and another family to join them and their extended family for Easter dinner-- what chaos, what noise, but what fun!! There were 3 toddlers/preschoolers, 5 elementary aged (all boys!), 5 teens, 2 college aged kids and 11 adults!! What a house full! And the food... there was so much food.... deviled eggs, rolls, fruit, green bean casserole, rice, squash casserole, ham and fried chicken. Oh, and banana pudding and cake for dessert!!

After all the food, we had an Easter Egg Hunt! To make it all fair, the three little ones got to hunt in the front yard (about 30 eggs total) and then, they got to join the BIG kids in the back yard for their hunt!! We had over 200 eggs hidden.... with a grand prize egg that had a $5 bill in it (several of the other eggs also had differing amounts of money in them).

(the littles peeking at the eggs outside)

And the hunt is on....

The big kids joined in!
What a beautiful day!