On Saturday morning we got up somewhat early to go to the ward Easter egg hunt. Last year the primary presidency planned it and it was a ton of work—we did the hunt, a meal, and a play—this year we're in the process of planning another activity so we outsourced it to some other primary people and simply showed up to help. It was lovely that way, though we did have a few hiccups.
The first thing we noticed, as we turned into the parking lot a full fifteen minutes before the party started, was that the parking lot was rather full.
"Wow!" I said to Andrew. "What a turn out! And can you even believe so many people would be here early?" I mean, there is such thing as Mormon Standard Time (which is several minutes late).
The next thing we noticed was that the church smelled suspiciously of pancakes.
"Mmmmm...pancakes," Andrew sighed.
We weren't planning on pancakes. We were planning on donuts.
The next thing we noticed was that the partition curtain in the gym was closed and all our people were shut in one third of the gym. And they were completely frazzled.
"What's going on?" I asked.
Turns out: another ward's Easter party had been rained out so they decided to just come to the church.
Their party started a full hour before our party started so the building was empty when they arrived. If only they had looked at the calendar. They would have seen that we had the building booked.
They reluctantly gave us back a third of the gym (how generous) and promised they'd be out (or close to out) by the time our party started. However, they were still cooking pancakes long after our start time. And when we were trying to hide the eggs their children were going around and finding them, leaving fewer eggs to go around for our children (we'd planned on ten each but didn't quite make it).
I stood guarding one of the egg hunt locations so that children wouldn't go in and steal our eggs—and had to turn away several children. Talk about ruining the holidays.
"Ooh! Look! More eggs!" the kids would squeal excitedly.
"Sorry, kids. No eggs for you. Happy Easter," I'd say, blocking their entrance.
While I was guarding the hallway the other ward was wondering aloud if they should put away the tables they'd used or if they should leave them up for us. I told them to go ahead and put them away. They found someone "in charge" and came back with the message that leaving them up was fine. And then they also left all their trash in the kitchen and didn't even wipe their syrup/strawberry mess from the counters.
Not. That. I'm. Bitter.
Ahem. So, currently our building is home to several ward families: D2, D4, D5, and Mebane. D4 comes first thing in the morning on Sundays and they have their sacrament meeting. Then D5, a Spanish Branch, shows up and they have their Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society meetings together. While they're in their third hour D2 (our ward) shows up and has sacrament meeting. As soon as we get out of the chapel, the Spanish Branch files in for their service. And then the Mebane ward shows up.
It's chaos. Our parking lot can't even handle all the cars. There are hundreds of people milling around the halls every Sunday, which I suppose is really a great problem to have even if a few toes (literally and figuratively) get stepped on every now and then. Apparently a new chapel for the Mebane ward is under construction. But it's not finished yet. And I'm not sure it ever will be (because it's been "in process" since we moved here). But I think everyone is really looking forward to the day it finally is...
Anyway, in spite of the chaos (and how long it took us to clean up after two parties) I think everyone had a lot of fun.
Our party began with a craft: we decorated bags to put our Easter eggs in. This was great because it killed time while the leaders were trying to figure out WHAT TO DO?!?!? and because not every had brought a basket to collect eggs with and because I had a whole tub of foam stickers that someone had given us and I wasn't quite sure how to use it (it's empty now).
Here's Miriam showing off her bag (I'm not sure why she's acting so timid):
And what's Benjamin doing? I'm pretty sure he's teething, big time. He needs—not one, not two, not three, but four—four fingers in his mouth at all times.
I went with the girls to hunt eggs this time while Andrew accompanied Benjamin. The photos are pretty terrible—no natural spring decor anywhere, just old church carpet and room dividers. That's what you get when your egg hunt is rained out.
Miriam was rather uncooperative this day, evidently:
After the egg hunt we had donuts and juice/milk and visited.
Oh, and then we spent over an hour cleaning the church. Did I mention that already? Did I also mention how strongly I feel about wiping off counters after pancake breakfasts?
"They were trying to get out in a hurry," I rationalized to Marian as we scrubbed the kitchen together.
"Yeah, you're right," she agreed. "They were trying to get out in a hurry. I'm going to keep telling myself that while we clean up the rest of their mess. You can't have everything your way, right?"
Thankfully it wasn't my toddler who peed on the carpet just as we were getting ready to lock up. It was Marian's—and (oh, boy!) was she ever frustrated with that. "Seriously, kiddo?!" she said as she soaked up the mess. "We were this close to getting out of here!" Poor dear.
Once we came home it was time to decorate eggs. Our eggs were incredibly sweaty. We could hardly draw on them with crayon and the dye didn't really do much, either. I don't know what we did wrong. Perhaps it was simply too humid of a day? I dunno. We had fun decorating anyway.
Here's Miriam intently scribbling on an egg:
She's a fabulous artist but apparently eggs are not her preferred medium to work with. Her eggs were named Pinky and The Grass One and Mr. Tree-stump. Very rushed work.
Here's Benjamin attempting to colour on an egg:
As soon as I handed it to him he lifted it above his head and said, "BALL!" so he lost egg-holding privileges.
Rachel really did fine, though I'm not sure what's going on with Andrew in these pictures. He claims to be fixing her hair in this picture (it was getting in the dye...apparently):
And this is just your typical mid-blink mess:
He was in every single picture I have of Rachel dying eggs, so unfortunately for him these pictures are staying (he semi-approved of these pictures).
We had a quiet rest of the afternoon...but before bed I put the girls's hair in curlers. Miriam's went up in rags and I used foam curlers for Rachel.
The curls turned out wonderfully. My girls are always beautiful (see exhibit A below) but the curls helped accentuate that beauty (see exhibit B below).
It was, all in all, a Joyous Saturday and a wonderful Easter Eve.