We woke up earlier than usual for us (at least, earlier than usual for this time of year...sadly, it'll soon be the norm!) on Easter Sunday -- Tony rushed to the farm to do chores as I got things ready for dinner then got ready for church before tip toe-ing into the kids room and quite rudely turning on the light. Luke moaned and buried his head under his pillow. Susanna made a funny noise and pulled the blanket over her head...until I whispered "He is not here. The stone is rolled away. The grave is empty! Jesus is alive. He is risen!" at which point Susanna (my morning child) jumped up, stumbled over to my lap, and collapsed with a smile, closed her eyes, and said, "indeed!" ah! They remembered my story about early Christian greetings!
Luke, meanwhile, was still buried under his pillow moaning something about his eyes not working. He did finally make it downstairs.
We had a wonderful Easter service -- the youth group (jr. high and high school) are in charge of the Sonrise services each year and usually have some drama presentation that is meaningful to them but often a bit confusing to most others...but it's great to see between 30-50 kids doing drama, leading praise & worship, and actively participating in the service each year. One of the young men followed in his father's footsteps yesterday, preaching a short but powerful sermon about Christ's blood -- his father is our head pastor. Another thing I absolutely love about Easter Sonrise services is that we always have a baptism during that time. Yesterday, five pre-teens were baptized. I was thankful and amazed as each one recited their most meaningful Bible verse, how they came to the Lord, and how all but one made that commitment to Christ during AWANA. During most baptisms, there is more time to share a fuller testimony, but with so much going on Easter Sunday, that part is shortened in front of the congregation but still given much detail with the pastors before hand.
The youth then had a full breakfast prepared for us -- french toast, sausage, fresh oranges, fresh muffins (homemade!), and lots of hard-boiled eggs. We then went into the "usual" Sunday schedule of Sunday School with one combined service.
On the way home, I broke the bad news to the kids....their Easter baskets that they had patiently been waiting to break into had disappeared during the night! All that was left was a little slip of paper for each of them. (with them knowing and understanding clearly the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday, having them enjoy the "commercial" side of Easter doesn't bother me as long as the overall focus of the day remains on Christ.)
We arrived home, quite concerned, and found the slips of paper that had been left....two photos of something in our house. Each figured out where the photo was taken and rushed off to the separate spots hoping to find their basket. Instead, they each found an Easter egg...with ANOTHER photo clue in it! Twelve clues later, after lots of trips up and down the stairs, through the kitchen, living room, family room, bathroom, and bedroom, our little sleuths finally and triumphantly found their Easter baskets, impressing me greatly...as some of those photos I thought would be quite tricky figuring out. Nope. Susanna especially raced through everything often telling me, "hurry up, Mama, follow me!" Oh, I wish the video camera was working! But...we'll do it again next year!
We had a yummy dinner shared with Dad Carter of ham (slow cooked in the crock pot, falling apart tender!), green bean casserole, "Julie" potatoes, and tossed salad followed by Carter strawberries and raspberries (from the freezer) over angel food. Naptime and bedtime went very smooth yesterday as did naptime today, yippee!