Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter 2011

Once again, I find that this year's Easter post looks a lot like last year's.  But that is fine with me.  I love this stage of life and our family's traditions. We did our Lenten Lights every day leading up to Easter.  We did them at breakfast this year because PD's schedule for dinner is so wacky. Then Easter day we celebrated with Gram and Papa and Papa's brother and cousin.  The girls each received THREE Easter baskets again.

Gram got them these darling buckets filled with great snacks and a monogrammed stationary set:

Cousin K found these darling egg shaped baskets.  They are so cute and will now become a permanent part of my easter decorations.

K also got them a glow in the dark Etch a Sketch.  Those were a huge hit.

Since the girls receive so many goodies from relatives, we don't do an Easter basket at home. But this year I got them these dolls made in Uganda by Ugandan women.  I hope the dolls will remind them of our time with the kids choir and of the little girl we support in Uganda.

College Sister sent them an Easter package in the mail.  It was full of cool stuff, but the best thing was these glowing gummy worms.  I am going to start getting those for birthday gifts.  They were awesome.

One new thing this year was roller skating with the Easter bunny.  Not your most holy of Easter week activities, but it was fun.

Our church hosted a Seder dinner that was just fantastic. The Rabbi was so good at teaching us what it all means in an understandable and entertaining way.

The girls and I study the passover every year during holy week and have found these two books very helpful.

Every year we talk about Passover and add layers of understanding.  I didn't even know what Seder meant until this year.  It just means "order."  In other words it walks you through the story of Passover telling you the order of things using foods and symbols and rituals to help you remember.  That really resonates with me.  I do think that is how we learn best and remember and incorporate ideas and rituals into our lives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Waiting for..Michelle Rhee

PD and I got to go to a special screening of Waiting for Superman last week.  I had read so much about it and seen so many clips, I wasn't sure I needed to see it, but I was glad I did.  It is excellent.  Everyone should see it.  I could have watched in my jammies at home anytime, but the real draw was a question and answer time afterwards with the Governor and Michelle Rhee.  Michelle Rhee is the awesome, brave, school reformer featured in the film and I did get to meet her really briefly afterwards!  Here is a picture of me with her and with my friend who owns and runs a Montessorie school here in town.

Actually, here is a commercial for her school that PK1 was in almost 5 years ago!  See if you can spot little PK1:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mwangaza Children's Choir

A few weeks ago our family hosted some girls from the Mwangaza Children's Choir.  Our church partners with a church in Uganda and one way they raise funds and awareness is to send out these traveling choirs of kids from Uganda.

They are the most amazing children.  Every night before bed, they lead your family in a devotion time.  They pray with such fervor.  They have such a real relationship with God.  I can't even put it into words.  When they are singing though, you know that the Holy Spirit is there in that room. They pray that God will bless your family.  One of my friends whose husband was out of work, hosted a group too.  The day after the girls prayed for them, the husband got a job!  We went to several of the concerts they were doing in the area and really got close to them.

We took them to the water park.

Played games...especially Uno:

Played outside:

Looked through a telescope:

It was a crazy exhausting weekend, but I hope we will never forget it.  I also hope we can do it again sometime.

They really loved just doing puzzles.  It made me want to send a huge package of puzzles to Uganda. When the littlest girl saw our American Dolls, she said, "Oooooo I have dressed these girls before."  After a meal, they carry their plate in and say "thank you for cooking."  And they call you auntie and uncle. And they put a ton of salt on everything. They also have an amazing ability to remember names.

When we had to take them to the church to leave on Monday was really hard.  I started crying and PK1 did too.

In fact, PK1 and I cried off and on for a few days.

PD kept asking me to explain why we were crying.  It wasn't just that we were sad to say goodbye.  It is just that they were such a blessing. I wish that we lived like that all the time.  I don't mean to be down on our family, because our family is awesome...but I wish we were more like that.  Well, I shouldn't even try to explain it, because I can't.

Here is a little video clip of them performing one of their songs: