We woke up, ate breakfast and headed to church. Afterwards, we came home and played board games until it was time to go to my Dad and Stepmom's house. This year, two of my stepbrothers were in town to celebrate with us. One of them flew in with his 8 year old daughter which my kids were excited about. A playmate!
First we had a scavenger hunt for each kiddo to find his or her Easter basket hidden somewhere in the house. My dad did a great job writing creative clues and even used four different colored post-it's so each child could follow the right path. They loved it!
Next up was an Easter egg hunt in the back yard. 145 eggs hidden, 10 minutes of wild hunting and they were all scooped up. Most of them were filled with money, so they cleaned up well!
The last activity was the annual jello egg fight. My stepmom made over 100 jello eggs using a special mold. We decided to have kids vs. adults, so everyone grabbed their egg ammo and found a good spot in the yard. Soon jello eggs were raining from the sky and flying through the air. No one officially kept score, but the kids thought it was fun to run around and pelt everyone with jello. There is a "no face" rule which most everyone followed (Who threw the one that hit my chin? I'm coming after you next year!).
Finally, dinner was served. My stepmom went above and beyond-- baby back ribs, corn casserole, broccoli slaw, Mac-n-cheese, rolls and strawberry cream cake. We stayed and talked until 8:00 when our kids had to be dragged home to go to bed.
These last several years, holidays have had a tendency to get me down. Since my mom passed away, her absence is more noticed without her leading the egg hunt or baking a bunny cake. Without her thoughtful cards and warm hugs. But I am trying to make a conscious choice to be grateful. Grateful for a new family (as awkward as it is sometimes), grateful for my awesome kids and husband, and most importantly, grateful to Jesus. That He loves me--freely, unconditionally, completely.