Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Celebrating the Resurrection

We started celebrations on Saturday night as we have to go so far to church that I knew I wouldn't want to cook on Sunday. When the guests were about to arrive I noticed that I'd unknowingly dressed both Hadassah and Ellie navy and stripes and polka dots, so of course I had to take a sister picture! But getting them BOTH to smile at the same time... yeah. Pictures get harder with more than one child and we only have two right now!

This is often life here. Hadassah always has things to say, Ryan is a great Daddy to fully enter in, and Ellie just watches.

We had a wonderful feast! One of our American friend families came and helped with the food, making the meat (which intimidates me usually!) and seven layer salad. I spent a lovely afternoon in the kitchen making the delicious sides... deviled eggs, cheesy potatoes, bacon green beans, and white, soft crescent rolls!

And of course wonderful desserts - great excuse to make them! Did a brownie strawberry trifle and a key lime pie, which turned out to be the favorite of most!

I meant to get a picture of all the people at the table, but forgot until the other family had left. But I'm so glad I thought to get a picture with "Y" and "E." These ladies have been such sweet, true friends. And I honestly don't know where I would be without them. "Y" was our first neighbor, "E" is just a few buildings over now, and they have both done (and continue to do) so much translation for me and are my guides to how life works over here! Their English is outstanding.

Easter morning came early. There is no time change in China, and so it gets light here around 5:30 AM and often Hadassah is making noise pretty soon after... But when we have such sites like these early in the morning, it makes everything better. Already, Hadassah loves "reading" to her little sister. :)

I love it. The cuteness! And yes, Hadassah often has one sock on and one sock off as she loves to pull her socks off!

After these cute cute snapshots, when I got them all dressed in their dresses - running behind time of course - I tried to snap a quick picture of them before we headed out the door. But Hadassah kept pulling Ellie's bow off and Ellie wasn't her usually smiley self around the camera, so yeah... Sometimes the unplanned snapshots are best anyway!

But we had cuties in the car on the way to church!

Without even trying Hadassah and Ryan matched quite well! So springy - I love this green color!

We asked someone to get a quick family picture at church. But already we're realizing family pictures are harder to get with more than one child! ;)

For a few minute, Hadassah wanted to hold Ellie's hand... Gives this Mama's heart joy - especially since there are too often times these days she's trying to be not so nice!

I had Ellie jump on my lap to the song "See What a Morning" which just added to the joy of singing and celebrating Christ's resurrection!

And what a beautiful line-up! Songs about the resurrection are my favorite, and to have them all at once is so much fun. Hadassah laughed and smiled so big when we sang the last song, as when that one plays at home, she always says, "It's my favorite!" so was pretty thrilled that they did it at church!

Ellie was her smiley self kicking beside me for the first part of the service. Then  I actually got to hear most of the sermon this week too, which was a blessing, as Ellie nursed just before the service and then slept half way through, and Hadassah did a fairly good job being quiet with books and puzzles and coloring.

Some friends invited us to join their Easter lunch after church, so we got a second feast which was delicious! We were somewhat regretting it on the way home, though, when our taxi driver took a long, slow way, the traffic wasn't great, and it was 3 PM before we got home. So late for Hadassah's nap, and Ellie had a hard time settling down to sleep the rest of the day after 3 naps in the carrier. It's the reason we usually just pack PB&J for the car on the way home. It is so hard to live so far from most of our church Body. It's hard not to have the time to really connect with most of the people there. But, we are so grateful that we have them to worship with, for the friends we know close by, and for the friendship of those further away too. Hey, at least it's a sign that there are SO many people at our church we would want to get to know more if we lived closer! :) But, I am grateful for where God has us. It's not perfect - life never is - but it is full of so many blessings. I just have to remember them and not get lost in the things I'd like to change. :)

And the biggest blessing of all? Christ is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.

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