Oh boy, I meant to post this earlier and here we are already in the afternoon. But here's our Easter this year.
We lucked out and got to be here for Easter:
(That's the Conference Center in Utah where they hold LDS General Conference every six months. It just so happened that Easter weekend and General Conference coincided this year.)
It was pretty spectacular.
I should back up because I actually shouldn't say "lucked out" because this has been years in the making. We always planned on taking our kids up to General Conference one by one when they turned twelve. It seemed to be the perfect "date" to have some one-on-one time with each child in a place where we could all build up our spirits.
But I swear every single conference weekend since Max turned twelve had some sort of conflict or another. Some were little things where we just figured "we'll wait," and others were bigger, but as this last General Conference while Max is really under the roof of our own home approached we decided to get in gear and make it happen despite what we might have to miss.
The biggest conflict this time around was that Max and Elle's prom dates both decided that for the whole groups the best day for their "day date" would be on Good Friday since there was no school. (Yes, they do "day dates" here in the desert a week or two before the dance.) And they were supposed to be in Utah with us that day. But our friendly travel agent (aka David) worked it out for them to still make the day date and fly up in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend and we felt so lucky to be right there in the middle of it all.
Dave and the "middles" took off a day early to get in one last ski day this season.
My travel buddy and I headed up to meet them on Friday, and Max and Elle came on Saturday.
On Saturday morning my Dad had some up-front seats for conference so Dave and I accompanied them on a little double date.
HERE. I also loved Elder Clayton's talk and especially Elder Perry's about strong families. You can listen to any of them by clicking HERE.
The spirit was thick in that beautiful place that morning.
We did a little shopping between sessions:
Grace and Claire practiced their Chinese with these cute girls from Shanghai at H&M (there were so many people from all over the world filling up that whole Temple Square area).
The boys went to the Priesthood session on Saturday night (with my brother-in-law and nephews too):
While we girls met up with my sister and cousins and their kids.
(check it out HERE...if you're ever in the area check it out, you won't be disappointed!).
So fun to get all these cute girls reacquainted:
Before we go into Easter I wanted to post some of what we did for Holy Week before we left and some thoughts I had on that. We did our traditional yellow Holy Week stuff (back here), but added a few things like reenacting Palm Sunday with palm fronds from our neighbors.
Each week we have a different child in charge of early-morning scriptures and (works out great since we have five kids), and the week before Easter we had each one take one of those days and lead the devotional as to what happened that day during Holy Week. They were in charge of reading the scriptures and adding anything they wanted.
There is so much to do around Easter to celebrate the miraculous resurrection of our Savior, but I loved this post from my friend-I've-never-actually-met-but-who-I've-emailed-a-bunch-because-we- lived-in-China-at-the-same-time:
We can get SO scattered trying to do all this stuff to make Easter (and any holiday for that matter) more meaningful which is important and wonderful.
But the most wonderful thing of all is for our children to know that we love them, and that we love the Savior. And that we BELIEVE that he gave His life for us and that the Atonement can save us.
If all this other stuff fits in and works, great. Awesome. Wonderfully enriching. But sometimes it's so easy to get caught so much up in it all that we forget to just love those kids of ours and weave the Savior into all that we do in life. Not just at Easter.
Sorry, a little digression.
The Easter Bunny found us and brought his string along to the condo:
Because it's there.
I believe that with all my heart.
That little devotional was probably my favorite part of the whole weekend.
Even despite the fact that it was followed by an Easter egg hunt outside in the wind filled with children fighting so I didn't even get any pictures (I did get some of the squabbling on video though...maybe I should post that...:)
My dear Mom helped us have our traditional Conference Cinnamon rolls (with a little help from Rhodes):
We listened to part of the first session on the lawn by the temple.
I get the middle seat now because I am the shortest...weird.
Beautiful sunset on a beautiful weekend.
I'm just so grateful for this:
And the opportunity to reflect on that glorious occasion in a heightened way this year.
And because He lives everything changes.
How I hope I can try to be more like Him in what I do each day. I hope each of us in our family can let what happened and what we heard up at that conference affect us more in our daily lives.