There are few things more important then family, especially during holidays. As a military family we are more then blessed to be living less then a half an hour from our family. We know there will be years that we won't get to spend Easter with them, so we saver each moment of the years that we are together.
After baskets and breakfast we got all dressed up and headed over to Grams and Pops' house to take them to church. We have been planning Lily's First Easter outfit for months! I think she is beautiful and she makes the dress perfect. Mommy knitted her sweater and made her bow, because I love making her cute stuff.
Lily's cousins have the same dress as Lily, so that they can all match and be even more adorable!
"Aunt Nenni" also made Sammi and Ella's sweaters and bows, why not?
While we where at Grams and Pops' house they gave the kids their Easter gifts. Johnny was so sweet and excited.
That is my handsome perfect little boy. He got a St Christopher medal. St Christopher is the patron saint of children and travelers, so perfect for an Army brat. It is a tradition in our family, Papa has one and gave one to me and my brothers each at a special time in our lives. Papa gave me mine when I started a new high school in a new state in my junior year. It is a memory I treasure, just like Johnny will treasure this special gift.
Lily got a bunny purse that held a tiny silver bracelet
strung with her birthstone (pearl) and engraved with her name.
Her little bracelet is so precious, I hope that at her birthday pictures we can get some adorable pictures of it, since I didn't get a great one.
These kids just love their Grams and Pops, I don't know what we would do without them. They make these holidays so special and enrich the kids lives every day!
Lily also has a thing for their beast of a dog, Brutus. She spent the morning chasing him around the living room as he tried to escape her, she was sure it was the best game ever.
I have come to truly enjoy church, especially on these holy days. We attended mass at St Margaret's Mission. It was hot and crowded, but I enjoyed the sermon about fresh starts in this Easter season and spring.
After mass we headed outside and found these great flowering trees to take some pictures under. It was close to 80 degrees! So everyone stripped down a layer to be more comfortable.
Johnny loved being in the tree, I think he felt big, looking down on all of us. But no one was comfortable with him up there, hence Daddy's arm under him at all times and in every picture.
Johnny has also started a new thing of picking flowers for the women in his life. He picked some and right away wanted to give them to all of us, then he wanted to give some to Samantha and Ella, but they were not with us. So we took some home for them. He is the most loving child I have ever known.
He also loves his little sister so much!
She is just so beautiful!
We took off her tights, sweater and shoes to help her cool down, and I think it makes her look even sweeter!
Later in the afternoon everyone headed to our house for an egg hunt and dinner. This is our third year hosting and I love it, we get better every year. All the girls where great in their matching dresses. We did really miss Wyatt and Piper who stayed in Ohio this year. Wyatt has a little suit just like John Roberts and Piper has a rose petal dress too.
This pictures makes me tear up a little, he is just so handsome! Old and sweet, my big baby boy.
The sweet boy who loves his cousins was very happy to hold every one's hands. His best day is when he has his cousins around him to play.
You get the best pictures when they don't know you are taking them. As soon as we sat down to take the picture Ella asked to hold Lily. She is an amazing big cousin, always taking care of the little ones.
After a quick wardrobe change the kids descended on the back yard to hunt out the Easter eggs. The Easter bunny was asked to really hide the eggs this year so the kids had to look for them and not just pick them up.
The Easter Bunny also told Mommy and Daddy that he wanted to get the kids a swing set, but that it wouldn't fit in a basket. So Mommy and Daddy handled that for the Easter Bunny and found a great swing set that they got a great deal on. Of course now nothing else fits in the yard.
I always forget just how old Ella is. This year she will be 7 and headed into first grade!
It felt so wonderful to watch the kids running around and hearing them giggle and yell out every time they found an egg. They shared with each other and pointed out the easier ones for the smaller kids. It felt perfect.
Samantha didn't care so much for the egg hunt after just a few minutes , when she saw the swing set!Eventually Sammi got down and gave Lily Bean a chance to swing, I think she liked it just a little :)
Dinner was wonderful. Ham, potatoes, home made mac and cheese (my Gramma Nancy's recipe), fresh green beans, and crescent rolls. We all just ate and talked, even after we had finished eating some people got up and some of us stayed and talked and people just came and went and it was relaxing.
While the adults had home made apple pie home made carrot cake (Natalie made them from scratch!) Lily got to have her very first chocolate! I like making these things special by including them in a holiday, Johnny had his first chocolate on his first Valentines Day. At first Lily did know what to do with it, I had to put it in her mouth and let her taste it before she dove in.
It didn't take her long and she completely devoured it! I was worried she would get a tummy ache, but she is my daughter and was more then fine.
While Lily was eating chocolate and the adults where talking, the other three kids just played together, no problems, they where just happy to be together and needed nothing else. They played waiter for a while, serving these cupcakes to everyone.
Another holiday behind us and some more very precious memories made!