Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter 2015! Easter is the one holiday that I enjoy cooking the big feast for. I love all the food involved and so I offered to host this year. Easter fell on conference weekend which helps make it even more special. The girls and I spent the weeks up to Easter running around going to activities. By the time our egg hunt rolled around the girls were pros! My parents came up early and we had a nice brunch before we checked to see if the Easter Bunny came. I made an overnight egg casserole that has croissants in it (it was amazing!). Addison helped me made Jesus's tomb for everyone's place settings. They turned out really cute and she really enjoyed making them. It was made out of a graham cracker, green frosting, chocolate donut (tomb) and a mini oreo (the rolled away stone). At breakfast Dave shared his testimony of the Resurrection and what Easter means. This is the first year that Addison has really begun to understand why we celebrate and it was fun to watch it click in her eyes. Addison peeked out the blinds and indeed saw that the Easter Bunny had come. We all went outside and the bunny had left close to 50 eggs so the girls were busy for a while. Addison was really good about helping Avery find the lower eggs and some special Elmo ones. Addison also had some special Hello Kitty ones that she found. Up in the playhouse the girls each found a Frozen themed fishing pole, a camo fishing chair (someone the other Easter Bunny thought that was a good print) and a pink tackle box. As tradition the girls got a new movie which was a Tinkerbell one this year. Avery was so funny carrying her bag around hanging on her arm. It was a beautiful day with the sun shinning and I loved watching the girls excitement.  Addison had been asking if the Easter Bunny could bring her a fishing pole for like a month. On top of that request she wanted it to be an Elsa from Frozen one. When I told her how lucky she was that the bunny knew just what she wanted her reply made us all laugh really hard. She said, "It's just from my favorite store Field and Stream!" She is too smart for her own good! We came inside and got ready to listen to conference. I tried a new set up with putting pictures of topics on the outside of cups. Each cup had a snack in it and every time the word was said you could take one. It kept Addison occupied for the majority of the sessions. She of course liked the M&M cup the most. Avery kept standing on her tip toes and stealing the oreos. She would pull them apart and lick the frosting of and toss the rest of it. Both girls did some coloring and Grammie helped Addi draw the faces of the speakers. We ate a nice meal in between sessions that had us all rolling ourselves over to the couch after. Avery loved the ham which made me happy since Addison only ate rolls and lots of butter. My mom topped the day off with homemade pies that were delicious. I love spending holidays with family near by. We are grateful for the holiday season of Easter and all that it reminds of what blessings we have. Jesus Christ has risen so that we might live with him again. We are forever blessed because of that knowledge. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tender Mercies

I've been thinking a lot lately about tender mercies. What do I consider a tender mercy and how often do they really come past my way. I'm preparing to teach a relief society lesson on Mother's Day and I chose to teach on compassion. I invited all the women to join us and I am scared out of my pants! I've prayed a lot about it and for some reason whatever I have to say we all need to hear! I started to draft my lesson and I came across the words tender mercies. Last Saturday Dave had to work. The girls and I get bummed when Dave is gone on Saturdays. On top of that it was the day before Easter and I wanted to go do something as a family. I got a call late at night (around 10pm) that a newly baptized sister in the ward needed a babysitter for her 1 year old. It was going to be for 9 hours and I really didn't want to say yes. I've been having some stomach problems lately and I was feeling like crap that whole day. The woman was desperate and I ended up saying yes. The next morning rolled around and I had slept terrible. The lady dropped off her daughter in less than desirable circumstances. The girl was really sick and clearly wasn't feeling well. I decided to load the girls up and go to the grocery store. Everyone behaved...I was shocked. We then headed to an Easter egg hunt with thousands of people...everyone behaved. The day went on and it didn't seem like much to have an extra set of messy hands around. Her mother was late to come pick her up and then left with out a thank you. I found out that her husband had been home and she showed up with new painted nails. That usually would of set me off. At the end of the day I knelt down to pray and felt a heart full of love as my head hit the pillow. What normally would've been a day that I complained about the whole day was a day that went better than normal. Avery took a longer nap than normal. Addison played with the new friend and kept her entertained while I prepped for Easter dinner. I accomplished a lot and enjoyed the day. Those are what tender mercies are to me. The day was an answer to prayers and I truly enjoyed serving. I'm learning to serve without hesitation and judgement. I've had to do some hard things this week with my calling. Uncomfortable situations of sisters who are in impossibly hard spots. Situations that I couldn't even dream of being put into. I'm learning what small amount of love Christ has for all of us. It's difficult for me to want to help those that don't seem to want to help themselves. Especially when it pulls me away on a night that I'm tired and haven't seen Dave. This ward has stretched Dave and I to capacities that I didn't think would happen for a long time. Dave help two families move this weekend and then had meetings all day Sunday. I struggle supporting him constantly leaving. Tonight I received an email from a family expressing appreciation for attending their sons baptism tonight. We didn't really know them, but I wanted to go with Dave so we could spend some time together. That was another tender mercy. I needed that affirmation today after a hard day.  After putting thought into what is a tender mercy I hope it makes me more aware of what I can do to show compassion. I hope to pay it forward this week and allow someone else to feel what I've begun to recognize :)