So after living outside of American culture I feel like I got a chance to breathe and really see a holiday for what it is and what Iiiii have the ability to make it. It's almost TOO easy in America to celebrate Easter. Which is great. You can't forget it...though you may lose it along with an egg or two in the tall grass. In places where it's not "automatic," it takes more effort to make it something special and we found ourselves deciding the ways we had always done things weren't absolutely necessary to make the holiday special. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the American way is wrong, it's just that when Jesus died on the cross and rose again to life on Sunday, there wasn't anything "inherent" in how we were to celebrate that (except for the Lord's Supper...but we do that on more occasions than just Easter..and now we have church on Sunday instead of Saturday) just that we remembered God's love and sacrifice for us.
So this year, Easter was great. Last year was low-key but also great. We went to an Easter Egg Hunt put on by our college students at our church on Saturday. This is Ava Grace, too sweet! Isaac got into it as he had had a practice round a couple weeks ago at a friends party. He did great and loved it... we only had one meltdown at the end when he realized there was candy in the eggs and Mama wouldn't let him eat every bit of it at once.Isaiah didn't hunt eggs, but he seems pretty fearless when it comes to the Easter Bunny.Then on Sunday we got all dressed up. Which even the fact that last year I mentioned the possibility of it happening this year means that my culture really is ingrained in me! But what I didn't realize last year was that I'd have TWO boys to dress up!
After not even going to a church last year for Easter, I can say I didn't think twice when my dad suggested we head to Disney after church. We had a GREAT service (it was our Pastor's last Sunday at our church...bittersweet for sure) and worshiped our Risen Savior. After we did "Easter Dinner" at the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom. Last year we had monkeys in our backyard, and this year we had fake ones swinging over our heads in a jungle room! So here's the pictures... Every mommy bone in my body LOVED dressing my boys up like this!Isaiah slept in the nursery along with Parker and Cohen. TOO cute!All the cousins who were at our church that day. The Rivers boys were not in a photo-op mood by this point!Our family of FOUR! LOVE IT!And on to Disney. Rainforest Cafe and "The Festival of the Lion King" show and rode a couple rides. At the restaurant our we had a great chat with our waiter about Easter. Apparently another Christian family had sat at his table before us and left him a note encouraging him to know Christ as his Savior. He was already a believer (had even gone to church that morning but couldn't stay til the end because he had to be at work) but we had a little "church" (in the verb tense) right there at our table talking to him and encouraging him. Sorry no pictures!Our battery died before we could get pictures of Isaac crushing the slides in the "boneyard" playland. He was fearless!A slightly atypical Easter, but altogether a fantastic day celebrating an empty tomb and being with family!