Friday, April 1, 2016

A Very Hoppy Easter

Easter has long been one of my favorite holidays. It's a time to celebrate renewal and new life, and the resurrection of Jesus on the cross. And it's a time to spend with family and friends, sharing love and laughter.

Our Easter celebration started in the middle of the week with an egg hunt at preschool with Grace's friends and classmates.  All of the eggs were hidden outside around the playground, and after finding a personalized egg, Kyle and I helped Grace to find some eggs for the bag she decorated.  It was fun to watch the kids open their eggs and see the joy across their faces when they discovered the treasures inside.  It's been a really great year in preschool this year, and the kids just love on Grace.

Grace and her friend, Hazel, at the preschool egg hunt.
Grace loved finding the eggs!
The following day, Grace was in for a very special treat, when our friend, Tina, gave Grace a very special Easter basket during our regular weekly lunch at The Ariston Cafe.

Grace was so excited about her basket from Tina.
We were good little egg hunters this year, and our next egg hunt was on Saturday.  There are always lots of egg hunts throughout the county, so we are busy covering them throughout the day. I picked to cover the one in Taylor Springs because they offer a special needs egg hunt inside the community center, and we thought it would be a good spot to help Grace hunt some eggs.  

Grace and her dad LOVED hunting eggs in Taylor Springs!
I set up to take some photos outside the zero to two age bracket, and Kyle helped Grace hunt eggs inside.  He said she would just giggle and giggle when he put them in her basket.  And I got a huge smile when I came in from taking photos outside. I had hoped to see Kyle and Grace hunting eggs, but they were pretty fast.

After a nap on Saturday afternoon, we walked across the back yard to Grandma and Grandpa Galer's house. PaPa John had carefully hid eggs among the plants in their landscaping, and even a couple in the mailbox.  Grace held tight to the basket in her lap, and PaPa John and I took turns tossing the eggs we found in her basket, much to Grace's delight.  The eggs each had a $1 bill inside for Grace's savings account.  

Grace kept a tight hold on her basket.
Hunting eggs with PaPa John is so much fun!
When we had hunted all the eggs, we headed inside for a special dinner, PaPa John's egg casserole. As mom and dad put the finishing touches on our breakfast for dinner, Kyle and I helped Grace open her Easter basket from them, including some candy, a few new books and a copy of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on DVD to watch in the van on the way to therapy.  It was one of my favorites growing up, and I knew Grace would love all the music.

Checking out all the goodies in her Easter basket.
Dinner was wonderful, and I think we ate until we couldn't move. Kyle headed back home to do some writing for work, and Grace and I promised to help mom fill eggs for the church's Easter egg hunt the next morning. PaPa John entertained Grace while mom and I filled all the eggs. 

Playing with PaPa John is lots of fun!
Then it was time to head for home and get to bed early so the Easter Bunny could stop at our house!  We tucked Grace in to bed and gave her a kiss. And when she awoke the next morning, there was her Easter basket, right next to her bed. It had bubbles, M&Ms, a couple of pairs of jeans and a copy of the new Peanuts movie.

She was surprised the Easter Bunny stopped in her room!
We ate a quick breakfast at home before getting ready to head to church. Grace looked so pretty in her new pink dress. Kyle was the worship leader at church, and when we got there, the song leader was gone, so Kyle asked if I would help out.  Grace sat with mom and dad, and Kyle and I sat up front together. It was a very moving church service, and just a wonderful time to be together as a family.

Church on Easter Sunday morning.
When the service concluded, the kids headed outside for another egg hunt.  Grace had a little pink basket, and one of the other girls, Jaida, helped her to hunt some eggs.  She especially liked the little rubber ducks in some of the eggs.  And we loved her sweet smile when she snuggled with a new stuffed pink bunny after the hunt.

Jaida helped Grace on the egg hunt.
Family photo on Easter.
We stopped briefly by the house to pick up a few things en route to one of our favorite places, The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield for Easter brunch with the Galer clan.  The food was fantastic, even though we all probably ate too much of it. And the company was even better.  It was fun to catch up with everyone, and just enjoy being together.

Our sweet princess and her new pink bunny.
Hanging out with Grandma Susie at the Ariston.
Since it was a Sunday, Kyle and I had to go into work at the paper, so we took Grace to Kyle's mom and dad's house, and she found a few more Easter surprises with a new sparkly Cinderella purse and some more books.  And of course, she found some snuggles with Grandma Kim.

Reading Easter stories with Grandma Kim.
As we paused to celebrate Jesus and the life he gave for us, we stopped to count all of our blessings. Although we still pray for a miracle every single day, we also know this journey is part of a greater plan for our lives. There are good days and bad days, but with a little faith and a little hope, we can make the most of all the time we are blessed to have Grace in our lives.


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