Archives for posts with tag: easter

I make a horrible Tooth Fairy. I make it a few steps into the room and immediately burst into peals of laughter. True story. Or worst ¬†yet, as I’ve shared before, I forget to replace the tooth with money, let alone swipe it.

I’m a bit better at the Santa thing, though forget about being any of the Three Kings… again, I can’t seem to get the grass out of the shoe box and all over the house without making some kind of commotion. It’s a miracle That Child still believes in anything make believe.

Add Easter Bunny to the list of characters I am not able to emulate in any way, shape, or form. I went to bed so late last night I figured I’d wake up early and put the kids baskets together, spread confetti everywhere (Brooks thinks it’s magic left behind by the Easter Bunny, I think it was a pain to clean up, but hey…), get myself dressed and ready for the sunrise Easter service at Tanja’s church, and then wake up the kiddos.

Except that I didn’t count on Brooks being so excited about the Easter Bunny coming to visit that he woke up three times last night to check the house to see if he could find his basket ( which the aforementioned bunny hides every year). That third time awake? Five minutes after I got up at four am. And I still had to go to the car and get all the supplies for the baskets. And everything was so loud and crinkly. Torture. Thankfully I was so worried about messing up something the kiddos were so excited about that I didn’t even come close to giggling, not once. I was more petrified than anything.

But it got done, the kiddos had fun searching for their baskets and exclaiming over the messy bunny’s mess.

The rest of the day was amazing. The Sunrise Easter service was beautiful and the service later that morning was wonderful. Tanja’s church is growing on me ūüôā

My foot has been less than stellar lately. That, coupled with the lack of sleep as a result of my painful foot, had me wishing for a nap after church. But I had the mess the Easter Bunny had left behind to clean up and activities to coordinate for the kiddos.

I kept the whole thing low key since I was feeling so crummy.

We had an indoor Easter Egg hunt because Brooksy enjoys finding the eggs around the house. I try and hide them really, really well so that it takes awhile, enough for the excitement to run it’s course. Both kids were ecstatic since this year I did things a bit differently. I figured instead of stuffing the eggs with candy, since they’d done that at three egg hunts already, that I would place stickers in some of the eggs, which the kiddos would then redeem for a prize. That made the kiddos really excited and pumped up. I couldn’t hid the eggs fast enough for them.

Afterwards we sat down for some art. I had seen a blog post a few days ago about using shaving cream and food coloring to create dyed Easter eggs with a marbled effect. Shaving cream and kids is just fun so I knew it would be perfect, plus setting up was a breeze. The kiddos went nuts laying down shaving cream into a large platter, added drops of food coloring and then used a chopstick to run the colors together in streaks. They then rolled their eggs in the fluffy stuff and laid them out to dry. Over time the shaving cream disappears and leaves behind a cool, dyed egg.

Obviously we can’t pull out shaving cream without playing with it, so after the kids were done I let them spray a whole bunch on the table and let them go at it. I’m not quite sure my mother invisioned so much messy art occuring on the table she was gifting us. I wonder if she would have still given it to us ūüôā

We headed outside for the kiddos to stretch their legs and lungs and play in the sun. I’m being terrible at posting links today, but I had also seen a blog post about a egg rolling variation game. Instead of just rolling the eggs this game entailed drawing three circles on the ground, within each other, each designated with different points, in which the egg was supposed to land, thereby awarding points to the rollee. Such a super simple thing and yet the kids were excited and couldn’t get enough of it. Kind of reminded me of the simplicity and joy of boxes and kids, bubble wrap and kids, balloons and kids… you all get the gist. ¬†At first the game was kaput because the wind was messing with the rolls, so we fixed the whole thing by stuffing the plastic eggs full of candy.

And after a few rounds we loaded ourselves into the car and headed to the movie theater on post to watch Mars Needs Moms. I didn’t think anything of the fact that the kiddos had been up since five am and had also gone to bed late the night before. Needless to say by the time we drove home poor Marilyn was nodding off and I could tell Brooks was hoping I wouldn’t mention a bath or tooth brushing.

Silly boy!

Little Brooks made a comment to me this morning that quite frankly I had been mulling over myself, although had not yet given voice to. He mentioned that holidays were different without Daddy around, and in fact, as we got closer and closer to Easter I’d been thinking the same thing.

Obviously, he’s not here, so that’s just too obvious to miss. But, what Brooksy was making a point of, was the fact that holidays are completely different during deployments. Sometimes holidays occur on alternative dates. Santa has been known to visit us weeks prior to Jesus’s birthday. Birthday’s are just as wacky… we’ve coordinated web cams so that D.Brooks could watch Little B blow out his candles and listen to us sing him happy birthday.

But it goes beyond that. There are some things that we do during a holiday that we wouldn’t normally do with Big Brooks, and vice versa. It all depends on the holiday but for sure things are different, and My Boy is getting old enough to pick up on those differences. We do a lot more running around when D.Brooks is gone. He’s not a big fan of crowd infested events so we usually skip those when he’s home.

In our family D.Brooks always knows he’s leaving again so we are always have a date looming large over our heads. That can color things, tinge them in such a way that everything gets marred. Art projects not completed during Brooks’ work day or schedule won’t get done while he’s home. We’re too busy spending time with Brooks, talking his ear off, or just being near him, that those things get discarded by the wayside.

It’s an abnormal¬†existence¬†that for us is wholly normal.

I vividly remember our second Christmas together, that coincidentally we spent apart. Brooks’ parents had come down to Georgia to visit with us before he deployed to Kuwait (prior to the thrust into Iraq in 2003). ¬†We all knew he’d be involved in something, that they wouldn’t just sit in Kuwait if something happened. It made me so sad to think that he’d be alone on such a big day and so I ordered us an artificial tree over the internet, this smallish thing that we placed on a table to give it some semblance of height.

But when I think of that now, it doesn’t make me sad anymore. It makes me smile, at what we were, at the memory of the day, because for us, that was our Christmas.

And so another holiday apart is about to transpire before us. One we didn’t rush to celebrate before he left, like our combined birthday celebration in January. I miss that he’s not here to help me assemble Brooks’ basket. I miss that he’s not here to help me eat the bunny’s treats or hide his basket. Tomorrow I’ll miss Brooks just a little more than I usually allow myself, because I know it’ll be another holiday that he’s missing with his boy. Another holiday shared over the phone, via pictures posted on the web, and a blog post.

And I remain ever proud of him and the profession he’s chosen. Though we miss him, and wish every moment to be together, this is our here and now, and we’d be silly not to embrace it. Someday our life story will change… we’ll be blessed with a calendar looming large over our heads, with empty spaces waiting to be filled, year after year. Won’t that be something?

And so today we partook in some Easter celebrations, without Brooks, though we thought of him often.

My wonderful friend Tanja invited us to her church’s Easter egg hunt. Although I’d been hurting pretty badly the night before I’m glad I pushed myself to make it. The hunt was at a parishioners home and they had graciously provided different areas for hunting eggs according to age as well as a wonderful lunch. Marilyn and Brooks got plenty of candy filled eggs and had a great time.

I had been planning on taking the kiddos to the Killeen Easter Egg hunt but at the last moment changed my mind. My foot was already protesting and I was still tired from the night before. The kiddos came home and went straight to Brooks’ room to play with his toys, which they later abandoned when I put on a Veggie Tales movie. I heart Netflix… just saying.

After I rested I took the kids outside to play in the sprinkler. The girls, Marilyn and Rayanna, drew pictures on the driveway with chalk while BB and I played catch with a mini football. Football in a boot is not the keenest idea, but I tried my best and we had a great time. It was nice to spend some one on one with The Boy doing something we love.

Later the girls joined B in the sprinkler and they all played with bubbles.

After the kiddos came in we worked on some Hot Cross Bunnies. Here is the link:  http://www.charlotteparent.com/articlemain.php?Neat-Eats-Hot-Cross-Bunnies-3673

The recipe is super simple and the kids loved being able to make the whole thing. We figured we’d make some for the Easter Bunny to snack on while he visits our home. There are few things that smell as amazing as baking bread. Yum!

While we let the dough rest and double in size we headed to Cove’s Church of the Nazarene for an Easter Musical. One of our homeschool families had mentioned that her church put this production on every year and that it was a neat thing to see, so in the car we jumped and went (this, the running around in the car, might be one of the primary reasons why my foot is doing so poorly).

The musical was amazing. I think we need to go again next year. I cried like a baby and enjoyed every second of it. The kiddos were on the edge of their seats. They enjoyed it as well.

I’m including photos of the Hot Cross Bunnies after they were formed by Brooks and Marilyn and baked. We never got around to dying our eggs, though it’s on our list of things to do tomorrow. I found ¬†a neat link for shaving cream egg dying that I thought the kids would love. Plus, I have a ton of games and activities for tomorrow, so it’s going to be a busy and full day.

Just the way I like it.

After an incredible day with the kiddos that included the Apache Arts and Craft Easter Thingy (though I doubt it was named that, merely dubbed so by me), Brooks’ first soccer game of the season (they lost), and a trip to the library to see a movie, check out books, and play on the computers I came home to a sweet message from Brooks.¬†

I’ve been blessed with a husband who is 1oo percent honest, brutally so at times. I can appreciate the honesty because the opposite, well, would be confusing. But sometimes, especially when he’s gone for long stretches, being 100 percent honest about how we feel about each other can be gut wrenching. Because it brings to the forefront all those feelings I’ve gotten so good at pushing aside, just so I can make it sanely through another day.

Call me naive, but I don’t worry so much about his safety. I leave that in God’s hands. I would rather expend my energy on living life than worrying about a miniscully possible “what if.” It’s the missing him that gets me. And interestingly enough it’s not the big moments that usually do it for me, though I tend to feel sorrowful for him, because of the moments he misses. He’s surely missed half of Little B’s childhood. For me, it’s the small moments. The hand holding, conversations face to face, watching him walk down the drive to the door after work, seeing his boots laying around the house…I miss the smell of his aftershave, miss the extra laundry, and miss trying to cook something really¬†extraordinary¬†just so I can hear him ask for seconds.

So sometimes this deployment hits me harder than usual. And those moments can transform me to the day we watched him march away from us… to all the sorrow, and grief, the sadness, even the acceptance of it all.¬†

So tonight, as I cried big crocodile tears into our dinner, I was struck by the abnormality of our normal. That as I walked into the kitchen, with tears streaming down my face, my son hugged me, patted my back and went back to playing. Because as much as he’s become accustomed to Daddy being gone he’s also used to Mommy crying from time to time. And he didn’t have to ask. He just knew. And that made me sad too.

Sometimes I need a big ol’ cry. A big ol’ cry and a nice, cold, tall glass of Coca Cola. Tomorrow will be a better day. And regardless of the sadness that tinged today, I am so grateful for each moment.¬†