Monday, April 09, 2007

Our truly HOLY week; part Four (scroll down to read part one)

Easter Sunday found us in our beds at 6:30 am, listening to the cooing and wiggling of little John Paul who had joined us in the wee hours of the morning. We decided that since we were up anyways, we would make a go of getting to church for the 8am mass. This mass, although early, was our best chance of getting a seat, and a parking spot.

We quickly rushed through the house getting everyone ready for church, in their Sunday best. Pretty dresses for the girls, vests and dress pants for the boys, car seats, diaper bag stocked with extra diapers... we were ready.

"but wait!... "cried the children... "where's the chocolate?? when is the Easter bunny coming??". They scoured the downstairs, but all they could find was a lone jellybean under the kitchen table (which the toddler quickly gobbled up before they had a chance to decide how to share it).

"No time!! We must go go go"... get to church on time so we don't have to stand at the back and park 3 blocks away

Luckily, the excitement of Jesus rising from the dead was enough to tear them away from the house... that, and a sworn promise that we would have chocolate when we came home.

At church, we got our usual seats (the ones right up in the front that are always left because no one wants to sit so close under the eye of the priest... our thought is maybe the children will behave better if they are so close?). When we entered the building, we were greeted with a beautiful display of Easter flowers: hydrangeas, lillies, and other springy flowers spilling out of the doors and all around the altar at the front. Even with the snow and frigid temperatures outside, it was hard not to rejoice in new life, spring, and resurrection joy.

The mass was lovely. We were sprinkled with holy water, renewed our baptismal promises, sang the Gloria and the alleluia again, and rejoiced with the whole church around the world as Jesus rose from the dead.

Of course, we ended up standing at the back of mass anyways, even though we had these comfy choice seats at the front, because the crazy toddler was tired of church by this day, and was trying to run laps around the aisles, and peek into the large baptismal pool at the front (while the priest was blessing everyone)... and the babies were taking turns crying, and fussing... and since we went at 8am, we didn't know anyone there to help us hold one of them. Picture two parents, with three kids needing to be held, and one preschooler needing to go pee in the middle of mass.

Anyways, like I said in my first post, we eventually survived, and after the children had fun running around in Easter joy, splashing in the holy water with their friends, running through the snow outside, and then running to get in the van to race home for breakfast and an egg hunt, we went home.

The obligatory egg hunt was lots of fun, with the kids following clue to clue throughout the house, eventually finding a big family Easter basket filled with lots of jelly beans, cookies, apple strudel, books, movies, and of course, chocolate. Little H was having so much fun running through the house yelling 'more candy! more candy!!'. E, the six year old, enjoyed hiding her candy all through the house pretending the Easter bunny came again. (later she got mad at me for telling someone she did that, because she didn't want to reveal the secret that it wasn't the bunny).

We sat down to a beautifully set table, with our decorated eggs, strudel, bacon, daddy's special berry juice smoothies, and a Ukrainian bread called pasqa (sp?? my good friend Michelle baked and decorated these and brought them up for us). During breakfast we listened to the Easter mass being celebrated by the pope at the Vatican, and after we ate, we watched as the pope gave his Easter message and blessing to the world.

Later in the day we went to my mom and dad's for a family dinner where the children were spoiled with more chocolate and jello, and fun with my sister and uncle jack. A perfect way to end the special feast day.

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