Let's just call this "How the Houghs do Easter" Installment 1...
Good Friday service started at 12:30. I had to be there early because of choir, so I drove over to the church and Brian and the kids met me there. I had a rare moment of quiet in the church. I took the opportunity to say my rosary, choosing to meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries. My mind began to wander, as it often does, as I closed my eyes in prayer. (This used to be something that would frustrate me, the mind wandering that is. But I have finally figured out that this is usually God's way of guiding me to what I am to pray for.) As I was focused on the Sorrowful mysteries and Jesus journey to Calvary, my mind drifted to a Good Friday from about 13 years ago. Brian and I had taken the kids to church. At the time we only had the three oldest. (That is so hard for me to even imagine now!) The twins would have been 5 and Jake would have only been 4. (Again, that is so hard for me to remember!) We read through the Passion and the congregation began to line up to venerate the cross. We had explained to the kids that we would all walk up to the big cross that the altar servers were holding and you could kiss the foot of the cross or touch it or just genuflect. This is to represent an expression of gratitude for the amazing gift that Jesus' cross symbolizes. The kids were a little bit unsure about it, but each of them went up in their own little way venerated the cross. After we were back in our seats, Coley crawled up onto my lap and I noticed that she was crying. I leaned down and quietly asked her what was wrong. She looked at me with tears just streaming down her little freckled face. "It is just so sad!" she said. That moment struck me so strongly. Here she was, only 5 years old, with a very real understanding of what was going on. In her own little way, she realized the gravity of the moment. And she was absolutely right. It was so sad. I felt tears fill my own eyes as I held her. I think of that moment each year on Good Friday and this year was no exception. My prayer intention was that we can all remember that simple little thing. The Passion, the Triduum, the whole Easter story is so sad. But it has one heck of a Happy Ending!
After the Good Friday service, we went home and as is our tradition, we remained unplugged. As a family we don't watch TV or use any electronics. The kids played outside for a while. We read books and worked on a few last minute Easter decorations. I made dinner, pierogis, fried shrimp, fried fish, homemade french fries and fruit. Basically it was a heart attack on a plate, minus the fruit of course. This is the one meal each year that I know will be completely eaten, actually devoured or inhaled, because Brian and I along with the older kids fast on Good Friday and the little kids do not eat between meals. You would seriously think that the kids hadn't eaten in months the way that they attacked dinner. It was a pretty laid back evening consisting of bathtime, some reading, The Passion movie (for some) and sleep.
Holy Saturday is always a weird day. It is like a day of limbo. Technically it's not Lent anymore, but it's not Easter either. It's like a weird waiting game all day. Waiting for Easter to come. I felt so emotionally exhausted from Good Friday, but excited for Easter and slightly panicked because I still had a bunch of stuff to do. The weirdness passed quickly because we went to Brian's Mom's house for Easter dinner and an egg hunt.
Babee' and Jonathan in the Great Egg Hunt
Checking out the loot
Hannah and her Band-a-loom slingshot...she was born for the Hunger Games!
Gia getting some air!
I am not quite sure about this face that Aiden is making, but look at his hair. Now you know why we (affectionately) call him Fuzzhead.
Gia and Noah with their blossoms.
This picture just cracks me up. They all look so funny!
Me and my baby....whether he wants to be or not!
Dinner was delicious and the Great Hunt was "eggcellent"! Once all of the excitement wound down it was time for DJ, Jake, Isaac, Brian and I to head to church for the Easter Vigil. Coley, being the awesomeness that she is, brought the little kids home. Not only did she make sure that everyone was bathed and ready for bed, but she also let them help her decorate sugar cookies and they all watched Hop. She is a rock star of a daughter and big sister. But this post is long enough for now, so keep your eyes out for the next installment of How the Houghs do Easter....