posts tagged with 'easter'

lots of Easter

I didn't take that many pictures of Easter yesterday. Like I anticipated, it was a crazy morning and a full day overall. But full of joyful celebration too!

kids sitting on the lawn trading easter egg treats

the day's treasures

We started off bright and early by heading into church to set up to welcome kids and families with kids to the service. It's been a long time since we did a big service in person, and it showed—but never mind, everybody had so much fun that they didn't mind the occasional issue. There were some new families, and some folks I hadn't seen for a while. And lots of them were dressed up for the occasion... including Elijah!

Elijah in church holding his big Easter bunny

his bunny matches, but it also covers up his tie

There was also an egg hunt after church, but I was too busy running it to take any pictures or even pay attention to the kids finding the eggs. But that was alright because after church we went home to a big party with our own egg hunt. Also a fire, a whole bunch of friends, and plenty of food for all of them.

lots of food, mostly desserts, on our kitchen table

how many calories in total?

Maybe the balance was a little heavy towards the sweet treats side, but that's ok for a holiday. Everybody seemed pretty happy to be hanging out together, and when a few snowflakes started to fall the kids were especially happy to be able to play inside. There was plenty of outside time too, and at least the cold weather the last few days meant that all the flowers were still hanging on to make a fine show for the holiday. Happy Easter!

Zion picking up an easter egg in front of flowering bushes

plenty of eggs for all


full weekend

We've got a lot going on this coming weekend. Tomorrow morning we have the 4H fairground cleanup, and as soon as that's done we want to head to the Tower Park reenactment in Lexington. From there we're going directly to a Passover celebration at Leah's parents house. Then Sunday morning is Easter, and I need to be at church to start setting up by 8:30—but before then I need to finish making a leaflet and cutting out 60+ doves and eggs for the kids to color on (Leah is doing noble work on the doves already: they are not easy). As soon as we get home from church we're hosting an Easter party. Then sleeping a bit, I would expect! Monday is Patriots Day and we're planning to bike to the parade, but that's not until the afternoon, so I expect that the day will feel positively relaxing!

our joyful Eastertide

As I mentioned, we had a lovely Easter day Sunday. It was sad not getting to church, but it also meant the morning was a whole lot less stressful. The kids didn't need to get dressed up, and planning for dinner was much easier when I knew I could keep cooking during church! And of course, we also missed having friends over to join in the egg hunt and share dinner. But we're getting used to this social distancing thing, and the boys made the best of it.

the boys sitting on the lawn opening their easter eggs

still fun with just three

To be honest, the part about missing church that bothered them the most was missing out on the spread of donuts and pastries we've come to expect. So since I had some extra time—and wanted to make the day extra special, despite all the restrictions—I made some myself. They came out good.


just like the real thing!

I got them done just in time to start up the computer for my online Kids Church program. Unlike us, a few of the kids did dress up and I was glad to give them a chance to show off their finery! I showed off my donuts. Harvey and Zion joined me for worship for the first time—we sang Matt Maher's "Christ Is Risen", and they gave it all their energy and volume to make our rendition way better than the original. More punk for sure. When that was done we tuned in to the adult service (as mentioned, as I listened I worked on the scalloped potatoes). The boys were done with church and played Minecraft.

When church finished up we headed outside for the egg hunt. We own a whole grocery bag of plastic eggs, and we put them all out; and knowing the capacity of my offspring I actually hid them all this time. So the hunters were occupied for a good while (and needed a few hints from their parents to stay focused towards the end). We didn't have much candy in the house, but Leah ordered a bunch of little collectible eraser animals and they were a big hit.

Lijah reaching under the elderberry bush to grab an egg

found one!

Then it was time for dinner. After some debate we ended up getting a big ham; it was on sale (the little ones weren't) and besides, we're supposed to be stocking up to reduce the number of trips to the store. The boys were suitably impressed when they came to the table.

a big ham and some other food on the table

do you think it's enough?

We ate maybe a tenth of it; we froze two pounds of the leftovers, and what we kept out gave us four or five meals over the last three days. The donuts didn't last that long.

When we first entered this shelter-in-place season, Easter seemed far away—and it was the day we initially let ourselves we'd be able to see a return to normalcy. Now the end of the quarantine seems farther away than ever, and our social distancing life is starting to feel like a new normal. So it was good to have a beautiful, celebratory, socially distant Easter celebration to show us that things can still be fun and exciting.


Easter report

dyed Easter eggs in an egg carton

remember Easter?

A month ago today the boys were very excited about Easter, mostly because they were looking forward to wearing new suits, and Leah was quite stressed for the same reason. Needless to say, she made it happen, and everyone was thrilled with the results!

the boys posing on the porch in their Easter suits


Besides the outfits, Leah also saw to the Easter baskets, which were low-key but still delightful.

Zion and Lijah on the couch with Easter baskets

cozy and happy

I don't have any good pictures from church because, for the first time, we ran kids programming on Easter. That's what I saw to. It went well and felt properly celebratory, but it was also a lot of work. After the service there was an egg hunt. Being small Lijah got to go in with one of the earlier groups, so he got his ten eggs without any trouble. The bigger boys had a tougher time with more competition!

Zion with a crowd of kids waiting for the church egg hunt to start

ready to rush

Never mind, we had another hunt at our house with plenty of eggs for everyone—filled not just with candy but with little plastic Pokemon too.
Many of the eggs were easy to find, but a few were very hard, so there was some hard searching time for the older kids. Some children, traumatized by hunts in years past, didn't want to try; but anyone who did try got all they wanted.

Lijah opening plastic eggs at the picnic table, surrounded by hundreds of empties

they found some

There was plenty of food too—pot-luck style so we didn't have to work to hard—so even though they didn't get 25 eggs filled with candy the adults didn't go hungry either.

Looking back, I feel lucky we got to experience such a lovely Easter: wonderful friends willing to hang out with us and a fun, laid-back church even with 80 kids to look after. Good times. I'm glad I could finally write about it.


Passover and Easter report

It's the holiday season! On Saturday we celebrated Passover with the Bernsteins, and then enjoyed a fun-filled Easter Sunday yesterday. Passover was lovely, if a bit stressful: a seder feels very long to our children, who usually stay at the dinner table for a maximum of twelve minutes. Leah doesn't think that Lijah was as horribly disrespectful as I do... and there may be something to her assessment. After all, he didn't break the wineglass any of the times he tipped it over while fooling around. Harvey, on the other hand, was very respectful and attentive, and he's the one who broke the water pitcher when he dropped the grape juice bottle on it. On the positive side, he earned $5 finding the afikoman. I didn't take pictures of any of that, but Leah got a beautiful one.

For Easter the boys got a little dressed up.

the boys in their pink Easter jackets

Easter pink

With Leah working these days she didn't have time to make bespoke suits for them, but that's fine: their activity level doesn't match up well with fine tailoring. Zion was overwhelmed and clingy during the Easter service at church, but he came alive for the egg hunt and was willing to sacrifice both body and light-colored fabric in the pursuit of the egg.

Zion crawling under a bush in search of eggs

dedication to the hunt

Of course, the hunt at church was but a prelude to the main event at our house. We had nine kids hunting, but Harvey and Zion were quickest off the mark.

kids running into the yard to start our egg hunt


I did a good job hiding the 200 eggs this year; it took the kids about half an hour to feel done, and they had a fine sense of accomplishment after figuring out some of my trickier hiding spots. Harvey found the golden egg to bring his take for the weekend to six dollars—it's no fair being the biggest.

After the intensity of the egg hunt, everybody was happy to relax for the next few hours. The kids traded plastic pokemons in the play house, and the adults sat around the fire and tried to stay warm without getting too smokey. Hot dogs are perhaps not the most traditional of Easter foods, but I'm not sure why not.

food on the table

the Easter spread

I hope your holidays were as enjoyable!


our Easter day

suited and barefoot Zion on the steps with a basket full of eggs

the egg hunter

Yesterday was Easter, and it was full and celebratory. The weather was beautiful all day, and we enjoyed sharing the day with lots of friends. But first—before breakfast or even Easter baskets—with the photoshoot:

the boys in their Easter finery

celebratory clothing

Unfortunately, the rising sun was in the subjects' eyes, but you get the idea. At least they weren't dirty. This is the first year since Harvey was born that Leah didn't make new clothes for the boys the holiday—she's a little busy—which meant that they had to make due with hand-me-downs, or, in Harvey's case, awesome African duds from Auntie Nelly. They still looked sharp.

At church we all got right to work either setting up an awesome, welcoming service, or freaking out at all the rush and business—as appropriate for the age or general coping skills of each of us. When it was apparent that there was going to be enough food, and enough eggs hidden, and enough greeters, I could relax. Leah couldn't quite as much, since Lijah's freak-out was only magnified by the above-normal crowds. So he had some quiet time. Then there was the egg hunt. Sadly, due to its early start I missed seeing Harvey and Zion hunt, but I did make it in time to see Lijah at work (he was drawn out of seclusion by the prospect of candy).

Lijah holding up an egg on the church playground

green egg and bunny

And, of course, I caught up with Zion afterwards to get a load of his haul, as pictured above (he made a mockery of the eight-egg limit, but he was their early to help hide them so maybe it's ok..).

There was another service after that but everyone was exhausted, so Leah and the boys headed home to set up for our egg hunt and party. I was on the clock so I had to stay. And I enjoyed the second service; then enjoyed the hot bike ride home, an hour when I didn't have to talk to a single person. The boys had a more conventional rest, so they were raring to go when 4:00 rolled around and our egg hunt opened for business.

Harvey saluting with his basket on his head

pre-hunt high spirits

It went well; I think there's not more than a dozen unfound eggs littering our yard today.

Kamilah reaching for an egg

like you do

We didn't have many kids join us this year—just six hunters counting our three, and three babies—but there were lots of us old folks, plus one special guest.

Harvey making friends with a puppy

making friends

The second-graders there were glad to share their obsessive sorting and categorization of prizes; I think they made some trades too.

Harvey, Zion, and Havana sorting eggs on the stage

checking the loot

Zion is in that picture too, but he also played; the other two sorted for like, an hour. Maybe more. They love sorting. In their defense, there were lots of cool things in the eggs this year: dinosaurs, Peanuts dog tags, Squinkies (if you don't know, don't ask). Not so much candy, but that was fine—we had plenty of treats available.

lots of desserts on the table outside

just desserts (and drinks)

The party ran on cheerfully until darkness, light rain, and too-far-past-bedtime drove our guests away, and we went to bed dreaming of the next adventures. Today was just as full and exciting; maybe I'll manage to write about it tomorrow.


joy full

some plastic eggs in the backyard

a small fraction of the total

We had an exciting Easter day Sunday; so exciting I've only managed to summon the energy to describe it now. And I'm still not sure how much I have to spare! Of course, the boys started the day in brand-new suits.

three boys in new Easter suits, posing by the fence


Leah is a wonderful seamstress and produced a trio of lovely suits—the first time either Zion or Lijah have had jackets as part of their Easter finery. Harvey and Lijah both were very well behaved and sat still for their fittings, which is why their jackets hang properly. Leaving Leah behind for a few minutes to ready the house for a party later, the boys and I headed off to church to set everything up. That done, they got to work enjoying the craft tables.

Lijah reaching up high to paint a paper egg on a table

a bit of a reach

Some of them, anyways; Zion wasn't so sure about the Easter-sized crowds, and he wasn't happy until he connected with his friend Eliot and they found a spot better suited to their energy level.

Zion and Eliot drawing together in a quiet corner

out of the way

Harvey didn't seem to mind the hustle and bustle.

Harvey painting amidst a crowd of kids

a happy multitude

There was a service in there somewhere, but we didn't manage to pay much attention to it. There was too much going on, including special food.

Harvey reaching for one of many donuts on the table

plenty for all

And the Elementary Kids Church Holy Week art show, featuring Harvey's sculpture "Despair".

Harvey's clay sculpture

comes before joy

And, of course, anticipation of the egg hunt! Lijah was so excited he didn't think he could wait for it to start. The eggs were in there!

Lijah trying to squeeze through the gate into the egg hunt

let me in!

He had a delightful time and easily found his five eggs, but then things took a turn for the disastrous when he tripped and fell headlong into a mud-puddle. He was not happy.

Lijah crying, with mud all over the front of his suit

not happy

He was also tired. So Leah took him home, while the other boys and I hung out through another service and then helped clean up. Leah was cleaning up at home and setting up a fantastic inviting party—and also hiding lots of eggs in the yard. We got home in time for me to hide a few more, then our guests started to arrive, ready to find them all. We held them off for a few minutes, then it was go time.

kids rushing into our yard through the gate

1 2 3 go!

Due to their age and upbringing, some of the kids weren't sure what to do at an egg hunt, but they were all thrilled to be there.

Kamilah looking serious holding her basket

egg hunting is serious business

We'd set up the party inside, but as we watched the kids run around after eggs it occurred to us that it was actually pretty nice out all of a sudden, so out came the food and chairs. It was delightfully spring-like.

a few friends eating at the picnic table outside

Easter dinner

The party went on for maybe four more hours, inside and out, and by the end we were filled to the brim with joy, friendship, and delicious food. We didn't take in much theology over Easter 2016, but at the end of the day it was pretty easy to feel that Jesus is alive!


welcome happy morning

acrylic on cavas blue and green cross painting

untitled cross

We'll have more about egg hunts and the boys in suits and who knows what, but all that will take some time. But the Elementary Kids Church art show is already delightful, and ready to welcome the festive crowd in a few hours. Happy Easter!

20 hours of sewing and I can't be bothered to blog about it

In the past I've taken the week after easter to write some self-congratulatory blog post about the adorable suits I sewed for the boys. Either I'm becoming more mature in my old age or I'm just too tired now to self-congratulate. I sit down in the evening and think: I should write a blog post something. Then I do the dishes.

This is half blogging procrastination and half because there are now a lot of dishes to do. Our dishwasher is broken, and washing dishes by hand is the way of the past that is now the way of the future.

Also, I've had a negative attitude after Easter, and not just because we threw a BIG party with A LOT of dishes. I let Harvey take my camera the morning after Easter and he shattered every shred of self-congratulation I had left with pictures such as this one:

skipping the easter chocolate was apparently not enough

On Easter itself I wore a white sweater that was equally unflattering..

a friend totally snapped this with her iphone and emailed it to me as if it wouldn't completely break my self-concept

Maybe if I'd been doing Pilates for an hour a day in March instead of wasting all that time sewing, it would look like I have a jelly-roll or some similar glutinous substance hanging over the waistband of my pants. Instead, I have ugly photos of myself and lovely photos of three very well-dressed children.

well dressed gentlemen

For those who want to sew along with me, I used the same pants and vest patterns I used in previous years, modified for size. The new sewing challenges this year were a morning coat for Harvey and ascot ties all around. The morning coat took the most time out of any piece of sewing but it was the most well received. With Dan's help I modified a jacket pattern to make it longer and more fitted, and I lengthened the colar. I added welt pockets, turned up tails in the back, and a boutonniere hole that Harvey didn't want to use in the end.

Harvey in his Easter suit leaning against the wall of the house

what a good looking guy

As for the ascot ties, they were much easier to make than the traditional elastic-necked ties I made in the past, but much less confortable. Indeed, Zion was the only one who stayed in his tie the whole day. Harvey had a minor melt-down before church regarding his neckware, because he wanted to please us and complete the suit, but he didn't like the feel of the tie around his neck. The two competing pressures broke his chocolate-bunny-for-breakfast brain. So he chose not to wear the tie, but whenever someone complemented him on his outfit he said, "There's a tie that goes with it."

Poor boy. He also struggles with perceived judgement around his appearance.

Previous Easter suitings, if you want to look back are: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

Next year, maybe they'll all have morning coats...


short Easter report

one egg up close, lots more in the background

egg day

Happy Easter everyone! We survived the day, and there were lots of fun and beautiful moments along the way. Of course, we had to start with the family photo-shoot—before anyone got too dirty or chocolate-stained.

all the Archibalds in our matching Easter finery

looking good, even if we can't all smile together

Leah totally outdid herself with the wonderful outfits, including a tie for me (though I was still jealous of Harvey's morning-coat and ascot.

When photographing our boys, there are always lots of outtakes.

Lijah in his Easter suit, his brothers moving around behind him

Lijah momentarily still

Zion mugging for the camera

keepin it silly

After breakfast it was off to church. A half an hour of egg hiding followed by a very crowded and energetic service left the boys a little sleepy.

Lijah sleeping on Leah's shoulder


Harvey leaning against a column beside the stage

to tired to worship

But the very prospect of chocolate revived the big boys at least, and they headed in to the egg hunt with a will.

Zion under a bush grabbing an egg

successful hunter

Harvey climbing the play structure to get an egg, while Zion watches

searching high and low

We took a brief calming pause in an out-of-the way part of the church to take a breath before heading home to clean up and hide more eggs. Of course the pause also involved some more candy consumption.

Zion in a quiet room at church looking at a book

the calm after the hunt

At church the kids were limited to five eggs apiece, but there weren't any restrictions like that for our afternoon egg hunt at home! Leah stuffed 130 with some great candy and toys.

Harvey on the lawn walking away from the camera

collar up against the chilly wind

There was one golden egg with a real dollar bill in it; it took some finding, but eventually Zion bore the prize away. The bigger kids were a little disappointed, but they had no shortage of loot themselves.

some of the kids (and adults) checking out their hauls

seeing what we got

So much went on, and we got to hang out with so many awesome friends, that this report should be much longer; but after all that excitement Lijah and Harvey aren't the only ones worn out. And I need my rest too: with Easter over, it's time to get geared up for gardening season!