Sunday, April 05, 2015

Our Easter Morn

Because Andrew started out the Easter season with Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday Mass in New Orleans, he thought it would be fun to finish it off with Easter Sunday at the Duke Chapel. Not that Easter is over per se. We've only just made it through Holy Week—there's still Easter Week left. Still, he thought it was a fitting "end."

My thought was, "On a weekend when we're each attending ten hours of church meetings and where we're trying to make the kids sit through eight hours of church meetings you're suggesting we submit ourselves to another hour of church? Are you serious?"

He was.

So this morning we got up, rifled through our Easter baskets, ate breakfast, got dressed, and left.

Here are the girls holding up their chocolate bunnies. Benjamin got one as well. They're all different and they all have names. Benjamin's bunny was named Sunny. Rachel's Bunny was named Honey. Miriam's bunny was named...Yummy. Who thought that was fair to poor Yummy the Bunny? S/he doesn't stand a chance of surviving Easter with a name like that!

Miriam also got gloves and a hat. She saw them at the store and was dying to have them. I'd blame that on living in the south too long, but it might just be a part of who she is. When I was little I had a white hat that I wore to church every Sunday for weeks (months perhaps). I loved it. And Miriam has so far enjoyed her fancy hat and gloves quite a bit as well.

The first thing Benjamin found in his basket was a set of "building blocks" from the dollar section of Target. I got a set for each of the kids; I should have gotten like ten more. They had a blast with them during conference. Anyway, that's the first thing Benjamin found in his basket and apparently that was all he needed. He immediately decided to build a tower.

When I told him there was more in his basket he said, "Nope! Nope! Me build a towey!"

Eventually he finished and was able to move on to other things in his basket:

He earned that owie on his elbow by falling up the front steps (they're brick) a couple of days ago. He was quite concerned about it today and showed it to the whole family on skype. We got to talk to my niece Amy for the first time ever and Benjamin was all, "Hey! Look at my elbow!" And when we went on a family walk this evening he was holding his elbow up so he could show his owies the flowers and bats and cars and everything. It's rather special to him. I don't what he'll do without his special friend when it heals.

Here are the girls comparing their treats and things:

Rachel wasn't upset about not getting a matching Easter bonnet; she got socks instead and was thrilled with those (and about the idea of not being forced to wear an Easter bonnet).

And here's Andrew blowing some bubbles at Benjamin—they stuck to his hair rather than popping:

And here's Benjamin exclaiming, "My bunny has a bow tie!"

After all the excitement of the Easter baskets we had to rush to get everyone ready to leave, even though we were leaving two hours later than we ordinarily do on Sunday mornings. Our walk from the parking lot to the chapel was perfectly timed with my post-meal "work out," so it worked out well, even if it involved quite a bit of waddling on my part.

Andrew has started singing random lines from "The Duck Song" when we're walking anywhere together, just to get a rise out of me. We were walking into church a couple of weeks ago and he sang, "'Til the very next day..." and I said, "Rude!"

Anyone overhearing that conversation might have thought I was a tad over-sensitive (and they'd probably be right), but they might not know that the line he sang falls right after the line, "And he waddled away (waddle, waddle), 'til the very next day..."

Anyway, the chapel was packed. We managed to find seats in one of the alcoves—but even that filled up within minutes of us arriving.

We sang a few familiar hymns and knew a few of the recitations by heart, but I was glad for the program and hymnals so we could join in with the parts that were new(er) to us. That organ, though. It's loud. We're supposed to be singing along but all we could hear was the organ. I'm sure I wasn't hitting every note correctly—because the music was new to me—but I don't think it even mattered. I couldn't hear anyone singing, not even myself. All we could hear was the organ. Oh, and the brass ensemble that was there today as well.

Benjamin and Miriam thought some of the music was a little scary. Benjamin kept asking, "What's that sound?" And then saying, "That's a ghost sound!"

One of the hymns familiar to us was "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," only I goofed on the second line because in our hymn book it says Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia! / Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! but in their hymn book it says Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! / Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!

I just thought that was an interesting change. I think the original lyrics, which, by the way, were written in the 1700s, are the ones we sing (sons of men and angels), which means the hymn book at Duke Chapel must used a changed version. And I really don't mind it.

In our hymn book "Joy to the World" was changed so that "Saints and angels sing" rather than "heaven and nature sing." And, really, that's not all that was changed.

So I stand by my argument that it's okay to change the lyrics to hymns even today.

Also, I know how to beat a dead horse (I totally know that discussion happened at book club weeks ago and I'm so totally over it (mostly)).

The sermon was good. It was different from what we're used to. He had a wonderful story telling voice though. He told the story of the horse who obeyed to the commands "Praise the Lord" and "Amen" in place of "giddy-up" and "whoa," respectively. He told it so well that Benjamin stopped all his shenanigans just to listen. The reverend was up there, animatedly telling this story complete with sound effects. Benjamin was entranced. In the end the lesson was that it's a good thing we're not in charge and that the Lord doesn't just do whatever we ask whenever we ask it because we could end up getting ourselves into a lot of trouble that way. Amen! The Lord's way and timing is much better.

After mass we paused for a few pictures in front of the chapel. Benjamin has been full of beans the past couple of days (or...years) and insisted on posing in tree pose. "Me bah-yance on un 'eg!" he declared (translation: I'm going to balance on one leg). We could not convince him to stand normally.

He's really pretty good at balancing (though not always); it's really not the best pose to pick for a family picture though. Here he is after he lost his balance (the girls, especially Rachel, were highly amused):

Eventually we decided he'd do better being held, so while Andrew did that, I set about trying to get the timer set right on our camera. A sweet woman sitting nearby came over and offered to take a picture for us instead, so here it is:

And here are the girls by a pretty tree (because spring):

We wanted to take a walk through Duke Gardens but we also wanted to listen to conference and there just wasn't time, so we raced back to the car (waddle, waddle)...

...and Andrew whips out his phone and says, "Let's see if we can get conference to stream!"

And I said, "Didn't I say we should just listen to conference in the gardens?"

But Catholic Mass was going on in the gardens and it was rather loud, so I suppose even that plan would have been futile. So we listened to conference on the drive home. Here's Sister Wixom sitting where our GPS normally does:

I suppose our Easter morning is spilling over into Easter afternoon now, but I have a few pictures of the girls playing with the "building blocks" from their Easter baskets.

I figured out how to make a cube, which everyone else quickly figured out, too (because you just, like, make a cube) and we found that really helped with getting shapes together. Rachel and Andrew accidentally made a cross; they were just throwing pieces together when I said, "Hey! Look at what you made!"

It was during Elder Uchtdorf's talk, so it was rather fitting.

Miriam made a pair of binoculars:

It was a pretty good Easter morning, filled with wonderful messages! I'm a sucker for Elder Holland, so I'll leave you with a quote from his talk this morning:

Happy Easter!

1 comment:

  1. I'm just now reading this whole thing though I saw it soon after you posted it. I really enjoyed reading about your Easter and seeing the pictures. Miriam looks cute in her hat and gloves. The family picture is nice, too.

    I know "Christ the Lord Is Ris'n Today" as you do, but definitely not the same version of "Joy to the World." :)

    I actually did something weird this year and attended the 8:30 mass at the Catholic church two miles from my house. I'd never been to a Catholic service before and wanted to try it out.