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Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Song is a Wonderful Kind of Thing.....

So lift up your voice and SING!!
Ok, so every Sunday night we usually do "family recital" where the kids all "perform" their piano pieces they've worked on for the week, or their scripture memory verse, or a school story, or whatever. Well, we've tried and tried to get Ellie to join in, just playing a few notes on the piano, or giving us her rendition of "wheels on the bus", but she just has never been that into it....or so we thought! It appears she has been practicing in secret, because out of nowhere tonight, she came up with this, stage and all.....

That's my girl!
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice, lift up your voice and

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Lambies!

There is never anything in the Family Easter Basket for wanna' know why? Because sweet smiles on the faces of my 6 Easter Blessings during a HAPPY photo shoot is what I want! And I remind them of that every time! Gratefully, they obliged once again this year! We found a lovely spot on the way to Easter dinner at Grandma's, and here are the results!

Yep, even better than candy!

The girls loved having solo shots taken in the lovely flowers...

But the boys opted for a brothers shot...for some reason the daffodils just didn't do it for them!

So I just took more pictures of the girls!

No Easter Basket could be filled with this much sweetness! (Besides, the kids are trained to give mom all the Reese's Cups!)

Hope you enjoyed a lovely and blessed day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Joy of Easter

Brian and I so enjoyed this, we couldn't help but share it!
Easter Blessings to you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Greatest Week in History!

OK, I love special days. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays of all sorts, especially Christmas. But I have to tell you, I really really love The Easter Season! The kids and I have had a great week of morning devotionals as we have walked with Jesus through the last week of His mortal life, and the lessons we are learning are bringing a beautiful spirit of love and Christ-centered reflection here in our home!

And tonight was what the kids have been looking forward to all week! For a few years now on the Thursday before Easter, we have celebrated "The Feast of Unleavened Bread" also known as "Passover", just as Jesus did the last Thursday of His mortal life! We study the Passover, experiment with some authentic Passover recipes, enjoy some traditional scripture readings, dress up in New Testament garb, and rejoice in both the symbolism and reality presented through the centuries old tradition. We hope you don't mind if we share a little history lesson about our special night!
Throughout the Passover meal, 6 of David's Psalms are read, Psalms 113-118. Here a few notable scriptorians of the day share excerpts from handwritten scrolls (there weren't any books, you know!) the words of David. All of them end with "Praise Ye the Lord". It was lovely!

On to the feast! Each child helped contribute to making one of the passover dishes, and shared with the family both the symbolism at the time of Moses and the symbolism under the New Covenant. Here we go!
Kamberlynne made "Haroset", a mixture of chopped apples, walnuts, cinnamon and honey. Haroset is believed to be symbolic of the mortar used by the Jews in constructing the pyramids. Under the New Covenant Passover, the Haroset is eaten as a symbol of hope. Jesus is the hope of the world. His love is sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb.

Christian was in charge of "Bitter Herbs". Traditionally, horseradish is used to depict the bitterness of slavery. Like the Hebrews of old, we too, must come out of slavery to our sins, out from the ways of this world. We must come out of Babylon, our modern-day Egypt, so that we will not take part in her plagues. The bitterness of this symbolic element also reminds us of the bitter cup of the crucifixion that Messiah took on our behalf, paying for our sins. We must never forget that it wasn't easy or pleasant to pay the ultimate price that Jesus paid. But because He loves us, He tasted the bitter so we could know the sweet.

Jonah was very pleased with the end result of his Unleavened Bread. In the traditional Jewish Passover, this symbolizes the bread the Israelites took with them from Egypt. In their haste, they didn't have time to let it rise. The bread that Jesus broke at the Last Supper was without yeast. Under the New Covenant, this represents the sinless body of the Messiah, which was broken for our transgressions.

Now we did deviate in our actual menu a teeny teeny bit. I couldn't do the Lambie thing. We did fish instead. But Indy did a great job telling us that the Lamb is traditionally served at Passover. For the very first Passover at the time of Moses, the Lamb was killed so that the blood could mark the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites. When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorpost he would pass over that house and not kill the first born child. The Lamb was to be the firstborn and perfect. This represents our Savior, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

Though Rebekah didn't squash those grapes into juice herself, we did use 100% pure grape juice representing the pure saving blood of the Messiah. Jesus used the symbol during the Last Supper when he instituted the sacrament. Jesus said this cup was a sign of his shed blood for us in the Garden and on the cross. Today we use water for the sacrament, but we still remember the pure saving blood of our Redeemer, The Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We also served some other foods that Jesus would have eaten in his day. Pistachios, cheese, beans and rice, and olives....Briella was such a big helper....she nearly ate this whole bowl by herself! "Canee" she calls it (translates to "candy")!

We were really glad Grandma could join us, too! We all ate by the light of kerosene lamps with no utensils...but we did eat at the table instead of reclining on the floor propped on pillows...maybe we'll do that next year! After feasting, the kids all agreed it was as good as they remembered! For the Momma, it keeps getting better and better! It is wonderful to have children who are old enough to really participate in fun occasions like these, and even more wonderful to see them continually grow year after year! This fun family tradition really brings to light in a new way for them that Jesus really did walk dusty roads, eat real food, read the same scriptures, and fulfill prophecy. It is neat to be a part of it as we recreate some of the Greatest Week in History here in our home!

"Praises we sing to Him, this Easter Time,
Jesus us Risen, Savior Divine!"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spiritual Feast!!!

Like many of you, I love, love, LOVE the blessed opportunity we get every six months to bask in the counsel, love, and encouragement of the Lord's chosen Prophets and Apostles. I have such wonderful memories of my old college days sleeping in line outside temple square hoping to fit into the tabernacle, making it in and seeing the prophet with my very own eyes, sharing the experience with Brian after we were married in the new conference center, and even singing in a conference session! I actually miss being in Utah when the whole state seemed to shut down in honor of the 10 hours of sessions, and I especially miss taking the kids to temple square for a picnic/session! What a glorious thing to be caught up in the "Joy of the Lord" for two straight days, and feel my testimony renewed that "surely the Lord will do nothing save he shall reveal it to his servants, the prophets" (Amos 3:7) We have every reason for great faith and no reason for fear as we follow them!

I especially loved Elder Holland's talk on the mission of the Savior. It was my 3rd favorite thing about this conference. You want to know what were in the other two spots?

In the #2 spot was SEEING OUR SARAH SING!
Can you find her? She is the one with the dark hair in the very middle of the second picture! Doesn't she look lovely? I am so happy for her great experience! It will be one of her favorite memories, just like mine! You did a beautiful job, cute girl!

And in the #1 favorite conference moment spot

The sweet picture tribute to President Monson during the choir's lovely rendition of "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet"

I just love his tender smile and loving countenance. I couldn't help but sing along with the choir...
"we feel it a pleasure to serve thee, and love to obey thy command"!