Celebrating Easter in Houston

For the first time since the boys were born, we celebrated here in Houston instead of back home.  The main reason is that we went home for Christmas a few months ago for the first time so that cancelled our spring trip home.  It was great timing though because we ended almost 4 weeks of Spring visitors and house guests.  

Earlier in Easter week, our favorite neighbors text me that they had baby chicks and we had to bring the boys over to see.  Does anything say spring, new life, and Easter more than baby chicks?  The boys LOVED them.  We still talk about them. Eli asked me "are we going to eat them?" Ha!  

Love this sweet touch from his brother while they are looking
 We did have much debate in the house, both us and the Armstrong family regarding the Easter bunny tradition.  I really don't get it. I do think it takes away from the true meaning of Easter.  I mean, I get why we give gifts on Christmas.. to celebrate the birth of Christ.  But why gifts at Easter?  After much debate we all sat down and I googled the tradition which I found out does in fact have roots in Christian tradition but like all things mainstream changed the meaning and made commercialized. If you google it you will find that the only color that you should be dying eggs is red (for the blood).. just thought you might want to know that nugget of info.  Justin was insistent that we do the bunny so I got on board too.  I found that the Chik Fil A near our house was having a "Bunny Breakfast" on Friday so Nikki and I decided to take all the kids to meet the Bunny.  Beckett and Charis were not a fan. They both screamed if we got close to the bunny, the egg, or the cow.  Eli and Charis were troopers though! Giving hugs, high fives, and jumping right in the chaos.  Of course, they all loved eating jelly beans out of the eggs they found on the playground Easter egg hunt.  

Loaded up to see the bunny

Eli meeting the bunny

Can't believe he gave him a hug!

Eli and Charis with the bunny

and the really large egg

Giving the cow a high five

hunting for eggs on the playground


My little jelly beans :-)
Because we weren't really having a party or Easter gathering on Sunday, I found an egg hunt for us to go to one neighborhood over on Saturday morning.  Technically I think we were supposed to live in that neighborhood but whatever.  Now here is the Riley factor of the story.  I worked really hard to get us there on time.  Really hard.  I won't say who made us late but he was really high maintenance that morning :-) We show up 10 minutes late and they have already let all the kids go to find the eggs.  So here are my sweet boys, so excited about finding eggs, looking mighty adorable holding their sweet elephant baskets that they love so much just watching all these kids with huge eyes.  This sweet lady walks up to me and tells me not to worry they have extra candy for the kids that come late.  Which was really sweet but what was even better was these 2 kids and their dad that came up and put eggs in Eli and Beckett's basket.  Wasn't that awesome!  My two were so excited about them they did not care at all that they didn't find them, they just loved the eggs.  The Easter bunny was tehre too but this time neither would get too close. After everyone cleared out in a few minutes, Justin went and hid the eggs.  Which was way better anyway because they could take their time and find them.  LOVE!

I found this really cute idea on Pinterest for Easter called Egg'ed - An Easter Tradition.  The basic premise is to take eggs, go to your neighbors house hide them in the yard, ring the door bell, and leave.  There is a cute poem that goes with it.  We did most of that.  Kara knew that we were coming and then once they found them, we showed back up to hunt again.  It was a blast!

And I can I just point our that both boys were wearing a belt for the first time? And they wanted to show Mr. Brad?  Big boys!

After hunting eggs, I noticed that the boys kept looking through the glass of the front door.  I asked them what they were looking at and Eli says "turtles mommy" Yep.  Their 2 turtles were inside so of course we had to go see.  We finally talked them into touching them!

What better treat than to come home and find that Fed Ex had left a special box from Ma.  What was inside? Her yummy yummy tea cakes!  And what could be even better that tea cakes? Bubble wrapped tea cakes.. FUN!

Very special Easter cards that the boys got in the mail!
On Saturday evening, Justin and I signed up to serve at church.  The boys were able to have their regular Sunday school class while we served which was awesome.  We greeted and as always was a blessing to be at our church.  The boys had so much fun.  Funny story:  Eli had an accident and I didn't have any extra clothes.  When we picked him up he was pantless!  He went all the way to the car with no pants.  People were saying things like "Here comes the Easter streaker!" or "Hey - my wife wouldn't let me wear that same outfit. " HA HA HA.  Stinker.

On Sunday morning, the Easter bunny had in fact come to our house and filled their baskets with a few fun things. 

And of course, took the required Easter pictures in the front yard.  The boys are wearing plan B.   I washed their Easter shirts on Saturday night with a load of Justin's shirts.  I get them out of the dryer on Sunday morning and almost cried when I saw them covered in ink. Yep, that's right. Mr. Businessman Riley left a professional ink pen in the front pocket of one of his shirts.  I am working on salvaging them because they are precious.  We go to a super casual church (hence the hubby in jeans) so no big deal but plan A sure was cute :-)

The service was wonderful and led by our teaching pastor Ben Stuart who is the executive pastor of Breakaway at A & M College Station.  It is the largest college ministry in the country and he is incredible as is his wife Donna who is led the music.  Amazing!  You know its going to be a good sermon when he says, don't follow the notes in the handout.  God led me to give a different message today.  We are blessed with the knowledge and growth He has led us to at Faithbridge.

After church we came home for naps and easy lunch.   I cooked for Easter dinner which was yummy and simple.  Do you know what we did all afternoon?  A whole lot of this!!

Watched the Masters, hung out, did laundry, rested and relaxed.  A great way to spend the Sabbath if you ask me.  Although it wasn't glamorous it was exactly what we needed after the busy, house filled weeks we had just had.

I bought these sticker books at the Christian book store about Holy Week and did them with the boys and read them to them each day.  I did find myself stumbling on how hard it is to explain the resurrection to a 2 year old who has no concept of death yet.  I was pleased to know that they were listening though because we saw a big boulder this week and Eli said look mom, it's a big rock like Jesus (meaning the tomb) and I said "that's right Eli" and he said "it's empty"  And Beckett was looking at a picture book today of Bible stories and there were 3 crosses on the front and he said "one, two, three crosses" and I asked him what they were for and he said "Jesus".  I pray for their sweet little hearts everyday asking that Jesus is preparing them for a beautiful relationship with Him just like Justin and I have.  This Easter, I am grateful  for the sacrifice of my Savior, His grace that allows me to enjoy this beautiful family, and my little family to share it with whether here in Texas or anywhere else its special because of Him.


The Riley's
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