Easter!

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This Easter was an extra special one.  Probably one that will go down as one of my favorites.  It was filled with such joy, laughter, and family.... and of course, we have our own little Rose this year on Easter to add more happiness and love to the mix!   We truly have so much to be thankful for!
So here is a snapshot into our Easter weekend:

We headed to Cedartown, Georgia...my much loved hometown and where Nana and Papa live!
Mom had the job of putting the cloth on the cross and on Saturday evening, we headed over to the church and took the black cloth down ( symbolizing the death of Jesus).

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And Mike and mom hung the white cloth on the cross. Loved  that we were able to have a part in this... such a beautiful symbolic way of showing that Jesus overcame death.... he truly rose from the grave, conquered sin and death and offered us life in Him.... a life that is filled with hope.  And hope is Jesus.  I can't think of anything more in life to give me hope than hope in my Savior, my Redeemer, my Jesus. 

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And my prayer is that my own children will clearly know the love of Jesus and give their hearts to Him at a young and tender age.

pic above:  Roses in the Easter morning sunlight
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Flowers filling the Lenten garden

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Rejoice!

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The empty tomb among the flowers.

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Easter basket fun land!

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Nana and Rosie getting ready for church.

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Sweet little Rosie

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Our precious gifts from God.
Sam and Rosie
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And our sweet family....   ( tune into tomorrow.... part two of Easter!)

As I look at these pictures and think about what God has brought us through these past years....walking through the trials of wanting to get pregnant, and then watching my precious dad suffer a brain injury.  There were times that I thought it was just too hard and I did question the love of God.  However, through those sad days, God showed me His deep love.  He showed me His hope.
He brought us Sam and then Rosie. And with my dad's brain injury... I know that God cares and He gives us the strength and love to carry on.

God is all love. There is not one ounce in Him that is not unloving.
He is the reason for our life and I can't imagine life without knowing Jesus.

The One who turns winters into spring... the One who makes all things beautiful.

Thank you God.
Thank you for Easter and what it really is all about:

Jesus.

Coloring Eggs

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Sam had a great time teaching his little sis the "art of Easter egg dying."

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Sam, "Ok Rosie, watch me color this egg green... watch Rosie.. here it is." 
Rosie, "La la la la la."
Sam, "Rosie, are you watching?... Rooosie."

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Sam,  "I'm hungry... time to eat some soup!"
Rosie, "La la la la la."
 

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Sam still eating soup.
Rosie found new Easter stickers.

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And played....

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And played....

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And her arm was sticker land.

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Yep, I think they had a great Easter egg dipping, coloring, eating and "stickering" day!
Happy Easter!

Week before Easter

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Hi! It's me Rosie!
I wanted to tell you I am so excited about Easter!.... I was trying to tell my mom that I do understand some things about Easter so I pointed up into the sky and said, Jesus! 

 I have seen some baskets in the house with bright colored plastic strings...  Hmmm... what is that basket all about?
Did Sam tell the truth when he said we will receive chocolate in a basket? Guess we'll wait and see, but I am excited about the things we are doing this week:
1.  Coloring Easter eggs!
2.  Making a bunny cake!
3.  Going on an Easter egg hunt!
4.  Putting flowers in the Lenten garden to celebrate that Jesus is alive!
Now these are all first for me!

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But mommy, I may have to give you this look if I don't get a chocolate bunny like the one I saw at the grocery store.


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Happy week to all!
love,
Rosie

The Little Garden

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A tradition in our family is making a Lenten garden before Easter. And even though I'm a few weeks late with making it, I had a sweet little reminder named Sam, urging me to make it this weekend.... so we did!  And some neighbor kids helped us too which made it extra special!  We gathered our list for the garden.....  Grass ( check) wooden cross ( check) moss ( check) rocks ( check) tomb ( check) and began....

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Love to watch children get so excited about making this garden.  It is really sweet to make something that is a symbol of what Easter is all about.  We put a cross in some dirt to symbolize Jesus dying for our sins. 

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And we placed a tomb with a stone door in the garden. 
pic above( Our sweet neighbor loved designing the garden)

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We added some rocks, and nuts and yes, somehow a turtle ended up in the "pond"..... and random tiny birds. ( we're not following the exact rules.)

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The best part is having this tiny garden that is in "waiting".... it's waiting for that special morning to come. And when the sun rises on Easter, we move the "stone" door from the tomb and reveal that the tomb where they laid Jesus is empty. We place flowers all over the garden and some butterflies. It's a beautiful representation of Jesus making all things new.  He turns winters into springs and gives us real life, real love, real forgiveness, real grace, and joy.
 I can't imagine life without my Savior,  my Jesus. 

Happy Lent to all as we wait for the flower filled garden morning.......  Easter!

(P.S... if you want to read more about making a Lenten Garden, you can go here. It's a great description of what a Lenten Garden is all about!)

Winter Nights

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Christmas decorations are finally packed up and put back into the closet.  Christmas season has come to an end and the new year has begun...and it has started with some rainy but quiet nights. You know what warms my heart so much during these winter days and nights?
This...... looking through the window into the sunroom and seeing Sam reading a book to Rosie.  Yep, that pretty much does it.
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Well I put most of the Christmas decorations up.... but can't put all the twinkle lights away. I think some should stay and light up these January nights.  So I leave a few all nestled together in the big jar on our mantel.... along with some sugar plum fairies.

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And some glitter.....
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And some sugar and spice smile of a happy girl.

The twinkle lights and glitter will stay through January.
But little Rose... you  have my heart forever.

Christmas Time!

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We're back from our Christmas adventure to Georgia and what a fun time we had with our dear family!
Sometimes I just want to put everything into slow motion so I can enjoy each moment and savor the time we spend together. And these moments become sweet memories as we watch little and big ones unwrap their  presents with great smiles on faces and pretty wrapping paper scattered around.  Sweet memories are made as we gather around the kitchen and have talks about cookie recipes to kids. The best part is just being together and celebrating Christ's birth as a family.
This year was extra special with little Rose and our Christmas celebration. Watching her experience her first Christmas was a delight and one we'll always remember.

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Christmas Eve .... we turned our dining room into our "magical Christmas room".  And to make it sparkle and cozy, we put the dining room table into the sunroom/play area and then brought in the futon!  It was perfect!  Think we may keep this through Epiphany!

 

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Rosie loving the futon and fire coziness! We read the Christmas story and "The Night Before Christmas"... the entire night was extra special, sweet and truly magical!

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Reading...

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More reading....
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And then we snuggled the kids in bed and they waited ( Sam with lots of excitement!)for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning delight with the candy cane chandelier
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We loved our Christmas morning of opening presents and stockings...

 and then Christmas afternoon we headed to the bright and happy peach state of Georgia to see our parents, Sam and Rosie's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins!

First Peach State Destination:  My parent's house!

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We had a wonderful time together and mom read from her special Christmas book that she had when she was a child. I think the copyright date was in the early 40's! We also did our yearly tradition of driving to the Sorghum Mill.  It's a house with land that is completely covered with lights and Christmas displays and one can drive around the winding road and the road takes you through thousands of glittering lights. I think they start decorating in October! It's lots of fun because we're always picking out our favorite display and chattering about each new thing they added.

After our Christmas time at my parents, we headed to Peach State Destination II: Mike's parent's house!

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  Rosie had a great time playing with her cousins, aunts and uncles and practicing one of her favorite things.... brushing and combing hair.  Uncle Andy was very patient as Rosie carefully combed.IMG_6889
And the "Best buddies ( cousins) forever!
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Love this pic... it is the family singing songs that Gee Gee ( Mike's mom) made for each grandchild...so sweet and creative!! I love this time when we are all together and each child dances and watches as we sing their special song.  This year Gee Gee made Rosie a song and it was wonderful!! 

So now, we are back in the 'ham and still enjoying the sweetness of Christmas. We'll keep our twinkle lights on and look forward to bringing in the new year with bright songs and cheer and then celebrate another  beautiful part of Christ's birth..
Epiphany.
Merry Merry day to you all!

Christmas Eve

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Last night I showed Rosie one of my favorite things to do during Christmas: grabbing a pillow, putting it under the Christmas tree, and looking up at the lights and dreaming.  Have done this since childhood and so last night I was rocking Rosie in the Christmas tree room and then thought, "Oh, she needs to discover the magic of laying under the tree!"  So we both plopped some pillows down, then laid under the tree and quietly looked into the branches with all its lights and ornaments.  It really was magical.  Rosie loved it of course. In fact, I think she would have slept under the tree all night!

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Pure bliss and magic with little Rosie.

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Then this Christmas Eve morning, Rosie wanted to show daddy her new found magical way of gazing at her sweet Christmas tree.

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The wonder in a child's eyes and heart. I love it and want to bottle it up for future years!  How much I love to see Sam and Rosie's wonder and awe and imagination during this season.
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And other Rosie things...... she loves looking at all the cards of near and far friends and family.  She just stands and looks and studies and makes little Rosie comments.
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And on this Christmas Eve day,

the cookies have been baked... but still need some frosting and glittery sprinkles.
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And Mike made a fun little sign for our day and our list....
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Looking forward to tonight.... reading the Christmas story by candlelight in front of the fire with our 6 year old and 2 year old.  Think this Christmas will be one of my favorites.  To have a 6 year old believing in Santa and all the magic that goes with it is priceless.  Love to see Sam's eyes so wide and in pure glee of waiting for Santa and his reindeer to visit his very own house.  Love to see his frolick and the almost floating heart because he's so happy.

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 And then little Rosie..... her real first Christmas.  Watching her enjoy the lights and sparkle and tree and cookies and talking about Jesus is the sweetest gift.  My heart is so thankful, so full, and loves this time of the year because it is purely beautiful....... whether the world knows it or not...... it is Christ-mas.  One time during the entire year where Jesus has his birthday and the world celebrates. God sent his son to earth and we worship... we adore... we sing.....we laugh.
 I think heaven will be a little like Christmas.

Happy Christmas to you!!

The Night

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We found a tree!!... ahemmm ... dont 'laugh..... well, I admit, it didn't look like the perfect fir tree in the forest like the book showed.  But we loved this little tree and named it, "Robintree". (We decided that next year, we'll scout out the tree before we look for it in the dark!) Always things to learn from adventures like this!

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But the adventure of looking for the tree was exciting and a little... um, scary for one of ours ( hmm.. maybe he's watching too much Star Wars??).  We hiked through the woods and Mo Mo was our brave protector as we weaved our way to the perfect Robintree.  There is something so quiet and sweet about walking through the woods at night.  Even though these woods are in the middle of a suburb,  it is still fun to think that we are out in pure nature and  there are many little animals living in this preserve.

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Once we found the tree, we spread out the blanket and started decorating the tree with popcorn and cranberry garland.....
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Peanut butter pinecones coated with birdseed... then we sprinkled tangerines and apple pieces and even popcorn on the forest floor.

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After the decorating, we all sat on our blanket and made a toast to Christmas with our delicious hot chocolate!
We picked our favorite songs and sang a few tunes. I was thinking, "Wow, next year, Rosie will be able to tell us her favorite Christmas song!"

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And speaking of Rosie...we just discovered today that Rosie is a bigggg fan of this chocolate liquid called hot chocolate!
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Yummmm! May I have some more please?  I think Rosie had about 3 small cups!
 

IMG_6720 Fun little magical night in the woods which is about 5 minutes from our house.   As we were getting back in the car and ready to head out, Sam excitedly said, "Look! Do you see the bird flying to our tree!??"  He had that sparkly happiness about him and Mike and I could tell that he was definitely thinking about the animals and birds finding our night tree. Love how the minds of children work!
And as we drove away from the forest..... I thought to myself, "I hope we are doing this even when our kids are in high school... am already loving this new tradition."

Sweet memories.... and this "Night Tree" tradition is definitely a keeper!
Happy Christmas Eve!!