1. Bunny Day - watching the kids hunt for eggs around the house. There was no rest until all were found.
(bottom left: I asked Conner to pose with his Easter bucket and he made this face. He says it is his "curious face.")
2. President Monson's ad-lib, off-the-prompter, stories about he and his wife, Francis, in the early days of their courtship & marriage. Totally had us laughing.
3. Julie Beck's words.
"The ability to qualify for, receive, and act upon personal revelation is the single most important skill we can acquire in this life."
And quoting Eliza Snow: "Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time." (I replayed my DVR to get the correct wording).
4. Bare books. The kids found a few of these in their Easter baskets saturday morning. Kept the kids entertained for a large part of the day. Payton filled his book with drawings of hot air balloons, Conner has plans to write part 3 in his epic story "Kids vs. Adults", and Anna's stories were titled "The Mermaid Book" and "The Princess book". Each of her stories began with me writing "Once upon a time . . ." followed by a lot of crazed drawings of who knows what. I think she was in a big hurry to just fill up all the pages.
5. Conference bingo - printed from the church's website. Used these for 2 sessions of conference.
6. A first time excursion to watch sunday morning general conference at the church that almost didn't happen. We normally always watch conference at home on BYUTV. But because this was Easter Sunday I just felt like we needed to be at church to make the day feel right. We showed up in our Easter best at 8:51 (the broadcast begins at 9am) and the doors were locked, the building was dark, and the parking lot was empty. Ackk! 8:56 we climbed back into our cars resolving to just watch it at home, when 5 cars pulled into the parking lot all at once and things got rolling.
7. Deviled eggs, ham, funeral potatoes, orange rolls, marie calendar's banana cream pie (yes, she does make a great pie).
8. A few more conference highlights:
M. Russell Ballard - how to strengthen relationships between children/youth and mothers. "A daughter learns to nurture by being nurtured."
Henry B. Eyring - speaking of the straight and narrow path . . . He has assigned us to stations to help travelers along the way. There's no mistake that families were placed at the beginning. If children are strengthened with faith and testimony, they are less likely to need rescuing as teenagers.
Deiter F. Uchtdorf - "We cannot gage the worth of another soul anymore than we can measure the span of the universe." Everyone is walking their own difficult path. We must love & heal rather than judge & condemn. Let us commit to be His hands - that others, through us, may feel his loving embrace.
Robert D. Hales - The biggest influence on children is regular, warm, caring, friendly interactions with parents. "The greatest rescue, activation, and missionary work will be in our homes."
9. Hearing the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing a powerful rendition of "He is Risen" in the Sunday morning session. Following the closing prayer people around us began gathering themselves to leave and I noticed that Payton sat motionless in his seat, staring ahead at the screen. "Payton, did you like that song?" Silently, he nodded his head up and down. I think he was touched by the spirit. I know I was.
10. Remembering the atonement, sacrifice, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Lately, whenever Anna sees a picture of Jesus she exclaims, "He's alive!!!" (She's getting a triple dose of resurrection lessons - home, church, & school)
One day she came in from the backyard and said, "I saw the clouds and the sun was behind it. Is Jesus behind the clouds too? The clouds opened up and I didn't see him come out."
I'm thankful for this dialog that Anna has brought into our home and Elder Bednar's reminder of "spontaneous testimony sharing with children", because I have been able to do just that.
I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected. I know that He lives. And I know that because of his atonement we will all be resurrected and have the chance to see him again. This knowledge and testimony is such a blessing to me. And Anna, I want you to know that one day, whether in this life or in the next, you will see him come out of the clouds and return to earth again.