Monday, April 13, 2015

Bluebonnets

We took the kids to see all the beautiful bluebonnets that are blooming here in the Texas Hill Country.  Everyone was a little grumpy at first about having to do this little family activity, but once we got out of the car and started walking around---the kids became mesmerized with all the beautiful blooms.  It was so sweet to watch how excited they were to actually get to see, touch and smell them up close.

We ended up having such a nice time....and our little crew really enjoyed themselves. There were lots of giggles and laughter and thankfully, the rain that was set to com  that day--it held off long enough for us to take these photos.  :-)  I look forward to making this an annual family tradition now that we live in the Hill Country.




















Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter morning

The kids were so excited when they woke up Sunday morning.
They couldn't wait to run into the kitchen and see what the Easter bunny had brought them...

There were squeals of excitement as they began digging in their Easter baskets...
KiKi and Pops mailed the kids an Easter box filled with all sorts of neat treats--they were so excited when they opened it up. 
After the Easter baskets goodies, they were ready to go hunt for their Easter eggs...
While they were hunting, a goose flew into our yard and started walking around---the kids thought it was so cool.

What a blessed Easter we had this year... we pretty much stayed in our jammies all day relaxing, eating Easter candy and chocolates until we felt sick. :-)  I literally probably ate enough chocolate to send an elephant into diabetic shock! 

I made pulled pork in the crock pot for the first time and it was a hit with the family. We also enjoyed watching General Conference and hearing all the spiritually uplifting messages our church leaders had to share about the Savior and other Gospel teachings.  

I was thinking as I watched and listened to the church talks from General Conference .. how thankful I am for a loving and forgiving Savior who has made this life possible.  The past 2 years have been some of the most trying of my life as we fought to keep our foster son, Gavin and finalize his adoption.  It took an emotional toll on all of us.  There were many days that I solely had to rely on the power of prayer and my faith in the Savior to keep moving forward.  We literally felt the power of prayer blessing our precious son and our family during this unsettling and uncertain time.  Now looking back, I have no doubt that the Lord's hand was in His adoption in a very powerful way.  I felt an assurance on more than one occasion rush through my heart and soul that this precious boy was supposed to be raised in a Christian home with a mother and father who would raise him in the Gospel.  So, as we celebrated the resurrection of the Savior this Easter season, my heart was reflecting on these past 2 years events and the little miracles we experienced along the way in our journey to become Gavin's forever family.   

"The restored gospel gives us an understanding of where we came from; of the importance of birth, death, and a literal resurrection of our earthly body; and of where we will go after this life. One can see the significance and purpose of this life with the perspective the gospel plan gives."

-Franklin D. Richards

Easter Eve

On Saturday morning, we got the kids up bright and early and headed into town for the annual Easter Egg hunt at the Pioneer Museum.  

This was our first time to visit the museum.  It is such a neat place with all sorts of historic structures, authentic objects from the early German settlers that migrated to this area of the Texas Hill Country and all sorts of old photographs.  I look forward to going back and visiting again some time when it's not so busy and crowded.

It was a little chilly on the morning of the Easter egg hunt, but that didn't deter anyone from coming out for the event--it was packed with families.  The kids had a great time running around with all the other kids and hunting for eggs. 

On the way home, we stopped by this historical marker and read it to the kids.  It's about the Easter fires and pageant that were once held here in Fredericksburg. Such an interesting story about the early German immigrants who settled here in Fredericksburg and how they were able to forge a peace treaty with the Commanches...if you'd like to read more about it, click here
Later that day, Noah and I started making preparations in the kitchen for dying and decorating our Easter eggs while Taylor and Gavin had fun playing with their blocks (and mama's table decorations). :-)
They are such best friends I tell ya...they were giggling and belly laughing up a storm the entire time.  I love listening to them talk and am so grateful for the special bond they share.  I have felt on so many occasions in my heart that the Lord wanted these two to become brothers and sisters in this life through adoption.  I hope and pray that their sweet and tender relationship will continue to deepen as they get older and that they will always be there for each other to help one another through the good times and bad. They are very blessed also to have such a kind and loving big brother.  Noah loves them so much and is always watching out for them.  I'm so thankful these three have each other as siblings. 
Sweet Lola sat at the table the entire watching the kids play...she is the best kitty ever!  Most cats would prefer to be hiding somewhere and sleeping amidst all the chaos and noise like we have in our house---but not our Lola--she likes to be right in the middle of all our family gatherings.
After Noah and I finished getting the eggs boiled and while they were cooling, we had a little lesson on the holy week leading up to Christ's crucifixion and his glorious resurrection. We had been discussing it all week by doing this nightly activity here.  I also found this cute little matching activity here and we reviewed and discussed all the things Jesus did the week leading up to his death.  We then cut and pasted the matching pictures to the daily account of his final days on earth.  They really seemed to enjoy this activity and it was a great way for us to remind them of what this special day is really all about.
After our little lesson about Jesus, it was time to decorate the eggs. Wowzers!! It's pretty wild and crazy around here when we tried to decorate eggs with a 2... 3 and 8-year old!!  We only had a few spats over the crayons and eggs, but other than that, we survived.  :-)
Miss Tay-Tay always loves to wear mama's reading glasses....
Lola watching it all from the sidelines...

Special memories were made as we decorated our eggs and talked all about Jesus and the Easter bunny.  They were so proud of their colorful eggs and couldn't wait for the Easter bunny to come to our house to leave some treats and hide their eggs! 

We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner, family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships LOVE is really spelled T-I-M-E.  Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. 
— Dieter F. Uchtdorf