Monday, April 21, 2014


There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. 
Lose all their guilty stains; lose all their guilty stains.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

As you might imagine, this past weekend's merriment was captured in numerous photos, but rather than share those on the blog, what I'd like to do today is discuss Tolstoy's War and Peace.

I kid, I kid.  That was for my sister-in-law; she's a huge Tolstoy fan.  Okay, not really.  She is a fan of my kids, & she has been known to lodge a complaint when the blog is bereft of their photos.

Let me get right down to the photo business.

Last Thursday I was relieved of my teaching duties by Easter Break, so the kids & I lounged around the house until about four that afternoon when I decided we'd head over to Nana & Papa's since Jessa, Heath, & Maisie were set to arrive sometime that evening.  While we awaited their arrival, Henry took his inaugural ride down to the park in the wagon.  In Reagan's wagon, I should say; the girl knows her possessive pronouns.

Friday was a long, eventful day for us, at least when you consider that the odds of us making it out of our pajamas on Friday lately are about 50/50.  Okay, 60/40. 

I left the house with both kids in tow by eleven that morning to meet the fam for an early lunch at The Pickle Barrel.  We then headed north to Bastrop to visit Papaw.  A good time was had by all.

At this point, a good time was being had by everyone except maybe Maisie, who expressed her displeasure over my incessant picture taking & the general absence of quality naps all weekend by doing a graceful faceplant. 

The dearth of quality naps soon caught up with Henry as well as I attempted to get a picture of him with Papaw.

We left Bastrop & headed due southwest toward Nana & Papa's, where Reagan was busy in the kitchen for quite some time making cupcakes (diabetic friendly cupcakes made with coconut flour): 

Saturday the kids & I met Nana, Jessa, & Maisie for lunch while the men played golf.  I was made aware of the plan to meet for lunch about an hour before this photo was taken . . . this is a little something Reagan & I like to call "Aloof Selfie."  I'm so cool I don't need to wash my hair . . . & Reagan's so cool the iPhone can't quite handle her looking directly into the camera & smiling. 

After lunch, the babes whined a little in protest of the weekend's busyness & attempted to nap at Nana's while Reagan dyed eggs:

While the eggs soaked, Operation Bunny-O-Cupcakes was in full swing.  The aforementioned cupcakes that were baked Friday were transformed into a culinary masterpiece: 

I returned home with the kids about six Saturday evening & was not in a calm state.  On the drive home  from my parents I kept making lists (in my head, of course, since I was driving) of the numerous things that had to happen in order for the four of us to arrive at church Sunday morning (on time) bathed, fed, dressed in our Easter outfits, & happy that the Easter Bunny paid us all a visit.  Easter is about to catch up with Christmas on the stress meter; that's the mom-who-makes-things-magical-during-the-consumer-driven-holidays stress meter.  

When Sunday morning dawned, things were ticking along nicely (because of all the lists I'd made in my head, no doubt).  The kids were bathed Saturday evening; I rose before the sun to bathe & dress myself Sunday morning, & the Easter Bunny did indeed pay us a visit. 

Reagan was delighted to discover the Easter Bunny left a few jelly beans in her plastic eggs.  The Easter Bunny accounted for these when Reagan got her insulin shot for her breakfast Sunday morning. That Easter Bunny is a jack of all trades.

We went all out this year & ordered the monogrammed Easter baskets from Pottery Barn for the three grandkids.  Of course, we waited until a week before Easter when they mark all Easter paraphernalia down 20%, & offer free shipping.  Yes please!  If I am consistent in only one thing, let it be said that I do not, DO NOT, pay Pottery Barn's outrageous shipping charges.  

I knew Sunday morning would be tricky, or trickier, because Lionel Richie is wrong; there is nothing easy about Sunday morning, ever . . . unless you have no small children & sleep in on Sunday & drink coffee at your leisure instead of rising to worship the Lord.  I guess that would be easy.  I did my part Sunday morning.  I got up early & was dressed & sitting & drinking coffee by eight o'clock.  I had to wake both kids at eight thirty, & then shove Reagan's basket in her face, quickly proclaim joy over the Easter Bunny's visit, & then enlist Trey to drag her away from her new goodies & get her teeth brushed, hair combed, etc., etc.  Keep in mind that in the middle of all this, I am checking her blood sugar & injecting her with insulin.

Jessica took these of the babes in Bible class Sunday morning:

I had high hopes for some nice Easter Sunday afternoon pics.  Silly, silly me.       

I quit asking her to smile after these. 

Naturally we had to put the babes in the monogrammed baskets . . . 

He was okay with the basket situation until Reagan came over & got in on the action:

Not one to be outdone . . . 

The men were enthusiastic about all the picture taking:

Waiting while Nana & Papa hide eggs for her in the front yard:

 She was the solo hunter, but she moved with purpose & showed signs of speed & agility you'd not expect from the daughter of two slow white people:

Post-hunt, it was family photo fail time, & fail we did.

We took a few & then realized a Tahoe doesn't make for the best backdrop . . .  

So we shifted, & when reviewing these, realized the Tahoe really wasn't the big issue . . . 

When I sat down with all these pictures to upload & thought about the weekend, one word came to mind: stains.  We are kind of ridiculous about Easter.  And by we I mean mothers of young children whom we dress in expensive outfits that will look wonderful in pictures, but are not otherwise functional attire for small people who eat with their hands &/or have no concept of a toilet; we who stalk Pottery Barn's website, pouncing when they offer to ship overpriced baskets & liners monogrammed with our children's names to our front door for free.

More than once this past weekend, I found myself in full out fret mode.  I worried that the eggs Reagan dyed would stain her brand new monogrammed basket liner, or her new dress (her new Feltman Bros. dress), or both.

The dress:

I worried that the moment I dressed Henry in his Feltman Bros. outfit, something would come out one end (or the other) that would stain it, ruining all the perfect family photos we would take after Easter lunch (ha!).

Here's what happened Sunday morning.  First, when I attempted to dress Henry, it became apparent that he wasn't going to fit in his outfit.  There was no more maybe about it when one of the buttons sprang free from the threads confining it & flew across his room.  To use my Papaw's word, Henry is "solid," & this outfit didn't accommodate his recently acquired solidity.  I was given the outfit as a gift, so it wasn't bought specifically for Easter, but it would've been perfect.


Simply perfect with these shoes:

Henry did wear the shoes with another, suitable plaid short / sweater vest ensemble that was cute.  I am not going to tell you what Trey said about these shoes; let's just say it was not politically correct. 

So, Easter wardrobe crisis averted.  Fret level down a notch.

When I was loading the kids' baskets in the back of my car so their grandparents could see what the Easter Bunny brought them (& so the baskets could be used as props in pictures), I noticed this on the liner of Reagan's basket:

It's a drop of her blood.  While she was inspecting what the Easter Bunny left her, I checked her sugar, & the finger I pricked bled on her liner a bit.  I almost started crying when I saw it, for about ten different reasons.

If you're not already thinking of it, there is an old Reba McEntire song titled, "Is There Life Out There?"  It's about a young wife & mother who decides she wants to go to college (at least this is what I gather from the hoky music video I probably last watched twenty years ago).  During the course of the music video, Reba is working on a paper for one of her classes, & her child spills something on it - - coffee or coke or something.  She screams at the child, & then later feels shame, regret, etc.  It's all very dramatic & moving in that special way all country music videos are.  When she hands the paper to her professor, he makes some comment about the stains on the paper, to which she replies, "I learned more from the stains than I did the paper."   Trite, I know.  I suppose the video was shot before word processors were mainstream, because I believe the paper is handwritten, & apparently simply printing another stain-free copy was not an option.  Unfortunately, this music video was playing in my head Sunday.  But I digress.

My dad taught the adult class Sunday morning at church.  He went hour by hour & detailed the events leading up to Jesus's death on the cross.  I felt small sitting there listening, thinking about how minutes earlier I'd been a wee bit too consumed with the droplet of blood on the basket liner issue.  We have commercialized & sanitized Easter to a ridiculous degree.  Jesus's death was brutal.  He was bloodied & beaten before He was ever hung on the cross, & further agony awaited Him there.  He sweated drops of blood in the garden when He prayed to the Father, & rivulets of His blood likely dripped from the cross near the feet of His mother & others gathered at the foot of the cross.

Few things worth having are attained without spilling a little blood; ask anyone who has seen combat in a war that was fought for freedom from tyranny, or any woman who has given birth.  The lines quoted above are from a song titled, "There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood."  Lovely, right?  You know what, it is!  It's the loveliest image imaginable when you understand that Jesus's blood had to be spilled.  There was no other way, & He knew this, & the Father knew it, & they both could've ended His agony at any point during the lengthy, tortuous process, but without the river of His sinless blood, we'd have no hope; His stains cleanse me from my own.      

I haven't treated the stain on the liner.  I may just leave it; I may not have a choice now anyway as I imagine there is a window of opportunity to treat a blood stain, & then, well, you're stuck with it.  Every year when I drag all the Easter stuff out, that dried droplet of Reagan's blood will serve as a nice reminder to me to let go of my need for tidiness, perfection, pristine monogrammed basket liners, & neatly pressed Feltman Bros. attire.  The message of Easter is considerably more gruesome, & considerably more important, than the frills & bows we all too often associate with this holiday.