Good, Good Friday

As many of you know, by the grace of God, Good Friday has become one of the most important days in the life of our family.

Several years ago, we started a new tradition of dressing in black to remind us of the death of Jesus Christ and to help us understand the mournful aspect of his crucifixion.

Sin is dark. Heavy. Horrific.

And never has that sin been so on display than when the son of God gave up His life for a world who hated Him.

Our clothes on Good Friday help us to contemplate that.

We spend the day simply, occasionally singing hymns and reading stories, and our food is easy to prepare.

It is a true day of rest.

A day of worship.

A day both sad and wonderful…

This morning, we gathered around and read the story of Jesus’s death.


Then, Papa rubbed mud on Gideon’s arm. “This is what our sin looks like,” he explained. Dirty. Gross. Dark.



Then he gave Gideon a mud-soaked rag. “Now wash the dirt off of your arm,” he instructed him.


“I can’t!” he laughed. “It’s too dirty!”


Rebekah’s muddy rag couldn’t clean Gideon. Nor could Betsie’s.

Only the clean rag in the bowl of clean water could wash the mud away…


“Jesus is the only one who can wash our sins away,” Papa explained. “His blood is the only thing that can make our sinful hearts clean.”


As I watched Mr. Gore share the good news with each of our children, muddying and then washing their hands, I marveled over the beauty of the gospel and prayed that the truth would plants itself deeply in their hearts, even as it continues to transform my own.

Now, I don’t quite know how to segue from that touching illustration to this next picture, so I won’t even try. After getting cleaned up and preparing our lunch, we walked to the shed for a picnic.

In a stroke of whimsy, Gideon and Rebekah asked to pull Shep’s stroller like carriage horses, so…

voila! I think this shall henceforth be our new mode of transportation.


Once at the picnic table, we relaxed and ate at our leisure, nowhere to go, nothing to do…



and surrounded by nature and stillness, my heart was full of prayers…


God save Betsie…


God save Rebekah…


God save Gideon…


God save Shepherd…


God save and preserve my marriage.

My husband.

My church.

My friends.

My family.

And God save me.


Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;

what can avail to wash it away?

Look! There is flowing a crimson tide!

Whiter than snow you may be today.

Holy Week (3).

On Easter Sunday morning, our church congregated a bit early to share breakfast together, forgoing our regular Sunday School classes for one joint class following our potluck meal.

Brother Ralph, our retried missionary from Tanzania, led us in study, and opened the class with a question: “Would anyone like to share a memorable Easter?”

A few shared funny stories, and sweet memories of years gone by, and then Ralph told us what Easter had been like in Tanzania…

It was the biggest holiday of the year, he said, and the celebration lasted for FOUR days.

“Wow…” I thought to myself, “four days! That would be amazing…”

But then I started doing a little mental calculating, and realized that WE had spent four days celebrating Easter this year, and I had to thank God on the spot for working in us, even when we aren’t being intentionally…well, intentional.

Because, Easter, in the past 3 years alone, has been transformed into one of the most substantive weeks of our year, and I kid you not when I confess that I had little to do with it. We’ve just kind of naturally followed the Spirit’s leading, and the result has been eye-opening and all kinds of wonderful, to say the least. I love that about the Spirit of God, condescending to work in you when you never would have changed a thing in the first place!

And so, very quickly and with few words (and lots of pictures), I thought I would share how our 4-day celebration is starting to look. I do so mostly for those of you just starting out in this whole family living stuff, in the hopes that you will glean inspiration for shaping your traditions sooner rather than later…

but with the following disclaimer: I am in no way an expert and none of my parenting endeavors have been proven successful – my oldest child is 6! My kids are mostly still heathens, I am still learning to fall out of love with materialism, and I have no reason to believe that in the next 3 years, our Easter “traditions” will not change as much as they have in these past 3 years. For all I know, in 2016, we will no longer be doing any of the things we are doing now!

But this is where God has us now, and this is working for us now, and we are so pleased with it. For now.

Now…let’s get started.

{Oh, and up there when I said I would do this very quickly and with few words? I changed my mind. I can’t do anything on the blogosphere with few words…but then, you already knew that, didn’t you?}

Day 1: As I’ve shared in the past, to commemorate Good Friday, we all dress in black and spend the day together, cooking, reading, playing, singing hymns…it is a solemn and sweet day, and to try to express the joint gravity and joy of this holy day to our very young children, I had them take a happy picture (Gideon was supposed to be smiling!)…


and a sad picture…


Miss Sunday took hers a little far, though, and wept and mourned…


but…you get the point. We rejoice in the sacrifice that was made on our behalf! But we cry over our sin and that we would choose death and destruction everytime without the work of Christ.

And to further instill these truths into my children’s hearts, I put away all their toys and only allowed them to play with the bones of dead animals.


Just kidding. That just happened, and I thought it was funny and ironic so I took a picture. All the toys are still on the porch.

And we don’t usually play with skulls.

Just sometimes.

Moooo-ving on, that night, we met with our church family for a Good Friday service and communion. Rebekah so longingly gazed at “the Lord’s feast” (as she has dubbed it) and said “why is it taking me so long to grow up?! Can I take the Lord’s feast when I am 26?!” To which Gideon replied, “You can’t take the feast until your heart’s fixed! Your heart’s not fixed.” To which Rebekah cried and cried.

(This story was topped by Amy’s, whose 3-year old daughter, Kate, yelled out during their Good Friday service, “I want to drink Jesus’ blood!!”)


We followed this service by a churchwide meal at our friends Zac and Chrissy’s house. What a sweet, sweet night, enjoying the bounty of brotherhood and fellowship on the day our sin was atoned for.

Day 2: The next day  (Saturday) was spent making Hot Cross buns and, after naptime, the children made “good news” pictures saying “Jesus is alive!” Once everything was finished, we strolled down our street and delivered the buns and pictures to our neighbors. This sort of just happened at the last minute, but it will definitely be something we do every year now.





When we came home, we sat in the living room floor and ate as many Hot Cross buns as our tummies could hold and read the Easter story together before singing some of our favorite hymns. This was one of the best days I’ve ever spent with my little family. I had been wondering what to do on this empty day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and God so graciously took care of that for me, in a sweet and simple way that just bowled me over.


Day 3: Like I mentioned earlier, the next morning – HAPPY EASTER! – we met with our church family for a potluck breakfast, followed by a group Sunday School class, followed by worship. I’m speechless when it comes to this morning spent with this group of people I would have little in common with were it not for the blood of Jesus that binds us together…for eternity! Because of Him, we can be one, and we can point the world around us to the cross by our love for one another. That’s too beautiful, don’t you think?


After that, we went to an amazing Easter picnic and egg hunt at my Mama’s house (I will share more on this in the future) where we spent the day with family and friends, enjoying love, delicious food, our freedom, our hope, and some truly beautiful Spring weather…





This picture that I snapped of Rebekah on our egg hunt in the woods says it all…she was just sitting there by a tree with a happy little smile on her face. My heart felt exactly the same way.


oh, and we finally colored some eggs, just for fun!


Day 4: And the next morning (Monday), we finished up our week with a “Life Abundant” party. This party is my way of utilizing those fun Easter traditions I grew up with, but in a way that doesn’t interfere with our Holy Week observations, rather, that works with them fluidly and comprehensively.

It was a really fun morning with our children, eating a special breakfast as a family, giving them Spring gifts and candy, reading Spring and Easter books, and hunting eggs in our backyard. And it’s funny…I’ve struggled over how to  fit “the Easter Bunny” (a truly special old friend of mine) into our celebration…but guess what? He didn’t even come up in our conversation this year. The baskets were set out, just like normal, but the kids rightly assumed they were from us. And, in accordance with all we told our kids that week, we shared with them that the purpose of this party was to celebrate our new life, and that Jesus truly is ALIVE! We also told them that, just because we follow Jesus, doesn’t mean life will always be easy and that we will get “stuff” like Easter baskets full of candy…but that if we do receive any blessings, they are from Him, and that we are free to celebrate and enjoy life as a family because of what He did on the cross. This was a day of rejoicing. Of living. Of enjoying life and life abundant.








As an adult, it has bugged me that I always gave Christmas all of my time and thought and, by my actions, made it out to be so much more awesome and important than Easter, but, by the grace of God, that is beginning to change for us, and Easter is becoming the crowning week of our year.

God is truly good.

Easter is the BEST.

Oh…and Jesus IS alive!


Do you have any traditions to share with our expectant mothers, young families, or anyone looking to make their Easter more meaningful? Even if you have shared over at the facebook page, please share again. We’d all love to hear from you!

Holy Week (2).

Sitting on the tiled seat of our walk-in shower, I watched Rebekah’s hands and arms as she slathered them up with the leftover sliver of Dove soap. Her motions were part girl, part baby, and I drank in the precious sight of her soft, slightly chubby body as the water cleansed a day of play and food and preschool living away…

So young.

So sweet.

So naive and trusting.

And as I heard the (albeit halting) strains of my husband practicing the Getty’s “Communion Hymn” at the piano in our bedroom nearby, my thoughts were drawn to our Maker.

This week we are doing our best to observe “Holy Week”, contemplating the greatest sacrifice history has ever known and one which our human hearts can barely begin to understand. 2000+ years ago, He was preparing for the agony of not only a painful physical death, but for the inconceivable reality of meeting and receiving the full wrath of a holy God.


To save a race that couldn’t – wouldn’t – recognize Him when He was here in the flesh.

To save a people who loved darkness so much that they would abuse and mock and murder to get Him – and His Words – out of their sight.

To save a woman who has known and experienced His love and forgiveness for a near lifetime but continues to house a weak faith, timorous trust, and is as “prone to wander” as the most wayward sheep in the fold.

To save her family.

Her husband.

Her children…

Amazing love! How can it be?

2000+ years later, as I have the freedom and the leisure to enjoy an afternoon moment with my baby girl, my heart set free from its shackles, my eternity secure, my life complete, my hope bright, I have nothing left to do but praise Him.

Heart trembling with gratitude, I wrapped Rebekah into a towel and lifted her into my arms. She laid her head on my shoulder and I held her close, rocking back and forth to the tinkering of the piano as my heart sang along to the music…

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away,
Slain for us – and we remember
The promise made that all who come in faith
Find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of peace
Around the table of the King.

The body of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
Torn for you – eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life
Paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of love
Around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin,
Shed for you – drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in
To receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of grace
Around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise
To respond, – and to remember
Our call to follow in the steps of Christ
As His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering
We proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven
Around the table of the King.

“Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn)”                                                                                                 by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend

By His grace, I remember.

I will teach it to my children.

I will strive to make our life about Him and not us.

I will do my best to write it upon our doorposts.

May He continually write it upon our hearts.

Holy Week.

Holy Week is here.

How timely that, just last week, I was wrestling with old, deep issues of selfishness, struggling to find truth in the sticky webs of sin that were clouding my vision. I momentarily felt stifled by my life, by the long sickness that my kids were passing to one another in the longest relay race ever, by the voices in my head that were saying that I had given up so much and that I needed something more and something different.

And I’m not talking like, a new family or a career or something. I’m talking like, Fridays off.

But my pity party was no fun, because I was fully aware the entire time that I was wrong, and that something was very, very off. Thus, my discontentment was of the wrestling rather than the stagnant variety, and the two of us (discontentment and me) sparred all week long in every room of this house until I got to the bottom of my issues…

you know what I found?

A hard and fast lapse in my vision. A forgotten mission. In the trenches of everyday living (and lots of kid diarrhea), I was failing to see with clarity my God-given purpose during my short stay on this earth.

How could I have completely forgotten, in one random week, that I’m supposed to be dying over here?

And that, in my daily death, I find more life than I could ever find in having that free Friday I was throwing an internal hissy-fit over.

God is so good to answer our heartfelt prayers for truth, and you can always know that if you ask for something good and biblical, He will give it to you, posthaste. By the week’s end, I was seeing my mission and purpose everywhere

in my conscience, prodded by the Spirit…in my deepest convictions…in Desiring God blog posts (I’ll share more on that later)…in random conversations with friends…in our Sunday School lesson…during the singing time…in the sermon…

and the recurring theme was this: die.

This life is not about me and what I want and what I feel and what I expect. And those things would never make me happy anyway…

and as I rocked by Baby Betsie for 45 uninterrupted minutes on Saturday afternoon, I had the sweet relief of using that time to pray and think about God and my growth and my purpose as the wife of my husband and the mama of my little children, rather than feeling that horrid fluttery feeling of impatience and drudgery that had been my trademark earlier in the week.

I could see it with my own eyes and feel it in my own two full and happy arms: when I die to myself and live for someone else in the name of the gospel, I find sweet life. And life abundant…

whether I am on a foreign mission field caring for orphans, writing important books that are changing the world, or…

rocking a 1 1/2 year old girl in the upstairs nursery of my house. She was sad and lonesome while her siblings were away, and she needed me. And, by the grace of God, He reminded that the gospel is found, even here, even in an old, pink, upholstered rocking chair with only me and Betsie in the house.

I worked hard over the weekend and had great plans of a 3- or 4-part series about Gideon’s birthday party this week, but after yesterday’s extremely soul-stirring sermon on Holy Week, I think I’ll postpone that, and encourage all of us to use this entire week to somberly and intentionally meditate on the cross. As my husband said yesterday, we will NEVER take up our own cross daily if we are not dwelling daily on the cross of Christ…

And if we are not dying, we might not be alive to begin with.

I am more excited than I have ever been to examine where and how my life began as I walk through Holy Week alongside my family. Last week’s struggles might have been humbling and difficult and heartbreaking, but their result displays the sovereignty and graciousness of God…

for I am all ears, ready to listen, ready to learn…

and, for this moment at least, ready to die.

Hot Cross Buns

~ My very last late Easter post. I think. ~

In my Good Friday post, I mentioned the Hot Cross Buns “we” made as a family.

Meaning “we” stirred the bowl a couple of times and sprinkled the yeast and set the dough to rise…

and then when the kids were asleep I did the real work, adding the tastiest ingredients (sugar, cinnamon and raisins), rolling the buns, setting them to rise again, baking them, and finally, icing them.

I’m sure that, with experience, I will be able to make these with little thought, but the effort and concentration I had to pour into them as a pioneer bun-maker made me very nervous about the finished product: “What if they taste gross?” I thought, “and I’ve made all this ado and spent all this time for no reason…”

But I should have known Pioneer Woman wouldn’t let me down. Her recipe was DELICIOUS, even if I accidentally turned the oven off after I put them in to bake and didn’t realize it for 10 minutes. (This perhaps resulted in my buns being a little flat, but they were still pretty, and most importantly, scrumptious).

I plan on never celebrating an Easter weekend without these Hot Cross Buns. To find the recipe, click here:

The children peek around the corner waiting to see their Easter baskets and our finished buns…

Our simple breakfast table…

my “special” Hot Cross Buns, a little on the flat side…

I promise I didn’t have my eyes open during the prayer. But my camera might have….

I love a new tradition, don’t you? I hope you find room in your recipe book and in your Easter weekend for Hot Cross Buns.


And while I’m at it, let me just tell you one last time…Happy Easter! 

Easter Sunday, 2012


~ a remembrance of Good Friday 2012 ~

Easter continues to evolve for our family.

You guys know how I feel about holidays. I was the young wife who innocently hung skeleton lanterns in the apartment window of our seminary that had a no-Halloween policy. I start planning for Christmas the day after Halloween. I painted my house white so it would match every season. I have a huge tub of supplies and decorations for each major holiday of the year…

And so I absolutely adore Easter as we know it in America. The eggs…the pastel colors…the celebration of Springtime…the candy…the baskets…bunnies and chicks and soft little critters…pretty dresses…bonnets…pearls…jello salads with mystery ingredients…


Love it.

If you remember, though, this type of Easter had begun to encroach on our Resurrection morning in the peskiest of ways and so I swiftly moved it to Saturday.

We’ll observe Good Friday, I thought to myself, and then while we’re waiting on Jesus to raise from the dead, we’ll have some Fake Easter fun!

But after this year’s monumental observance of Good Friday, I’m afraid that even more Easter change is a’coming next year.


We started the day by making the dough for Hot Cross Buns. The children loved helping me sprinkle the  yeast and flour on our mixture of scalded milk, butter and oil, and then coming back an hour later to see how it had magically risen. As I prepared this very homemade and simple treat for my family, I thought about the cross….

I thought, especially, about the friends of Jesus who really had NO idea who He really was and what was really about to happen to their world.

I thought about my failings and how I would probably have done worse things than betray Him on the morning of His death…I would probably have never followed to begin with.

I thought about how I haven’t done one silly piddly little thing to deserve the life I’ve been blessed with.

I thought about the unmerited grace and kindness of the Creator of the universe who could snuff my life out in an instant but instead lets me make Hot Cross buns on a beautiful Spring day with all the windows and doors open…

As the morning ticked by, Mr. Gore and I off-handedly discussed what traditions we might employ to help our children (and us) really observe Good Friday in the future. As the mother of preschoolers, I spend a lot of time thinking about our family holidays and rituals, antsy to formulate our traditions now before these little birdies grow up and fly the coop.

“We could wear black all day…” I suggested, thinking back to old traditions of mourning and observing the memories of lost loved ones. My mind was thinking ahead to next year and how we could make this happen, wondering whether or not Janie and Jack would have any pretty black dresses for my girls…they have a wedding line…maybe by next year they would have a funeral line! (What?! One never knows…)

“Yeah…” Mr. Gore murmured, and then abruptly stood up and yelled outside “Hey kids! We’re going to wear black ALL day to help us remember that Jesus died on the cross for us today.”

“Today?” I thought skeptically, “this wasn’t really in my holiday planner…“, but seeing my children’s immediate excitement over the idea, I threw my uppity plans out the window and bounded up the stairs to see what we could find.

Black jersey shorts for Gideon and a black tee-ball t-shirt. A black dress for Rebekah with white polka dots. Mr. Gore had a black t-shirt and navy blue shorts. And, lucky me, my favorite lounging outfit (that Mr. Gore has lovingly/hatefully dubbed my “ninja costume”) made of flowy bamboo fabric is black from neck to ankle.

We shed our normal clothes and dressed in black, every one of us.

It is absolutely unreal what this simple observance did to make Good Friday actually mean something to us. The children were so willing to wear these clothes for Jesus – as we dressed them, it was obvious that, while there was a measure of fun and/or novelty to our actions, it actually symbolized something to them. And for me…my gosh, everytime I looked down and saw the black of my outfit, I thought of Him. Everytime I walked outside and worried that the neighbors would think I was a slob in my black stretch clothes, I thought of Him. Everytime I spilled baking ingredients on my shirt and saw the white all-purpose flour starkly contrasting the color of my clothes, I thought of Him.

How simple it is to turn our thoughts toward heavenly things.

And it struck me what great responsibility there is in the choosing of our traditions. With a word, I have the power to make our Christian holidays about Christ, or about…other stuff. If my kids expect sugar and candy and gifts and money and treats and fancy clothes and toys and consumption on every holiday, it will be because I – the holiday-maker – have made much of those things.

And I was struck even harder by how happily and easily my children embraced the beauty of a simple and homespun Good Friday at home. In their black clothes, my 2-year old and a 5-year old sat on a miniature picnic table  in our office and listened to a beautiful version of “At the Cross” over and over and over again until they had it memorized.

And guess what? The song wasn’t performed by a goofy animal band.

It didn’t have motions.

It wasn’t even sung by a children’s choir.

And guess what else? I didn’t make them listen to it.

I didn’t make them memorize it.

They weren’t rolling around bored on the floor by an ancient and stuffy hymn.

They voluntarily loved it and eventually sang their little hears out:

Alas and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a wretch as I? At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith, I received my sight and now I am happy all the day…

Beautiful. Meaningful. Eternal.

I could have died of happiness on the spot.

Our entire day carried with it the same solemnity and sweetness. When we began to dress in our church clothes for a Good Friday church gathering that evening, Gideon asked if he might take his bike and ride it in the church parking lot.

“No, not tonight, Gid.” Papa said.

“But why?” he asked.

“Well, because we’re going to church. Tonight is our Good Friday service.” Papa explained.

“Ohhh…” Gid replied, relief in his voice as he explained,”Well I can be sad while I ride my bike!”

We laughed at his childish interpretation of our day, but with hope; for someday, by the grace of God, he will rightly understand the weightiness of Good Friday, mourning over the broken state of the world in general and his heart in particular, but joyful for the redeeming work of Jesus Christ who rose from Friday’s grave.

I got a taste of what Easter weekend can be like this Good Friday…

And I’m thinking that maybe next year, the Easter Bunny will come the week after Easter.

A Picnicky Celebration of Springdom and Eastertide

I wouldn’t consider myself a super determined or headstrong individual…

I am only very slightly super determined and headstrong, until someone slightly more super determined and headstrong comes along and then I cower in the face of their super determination and headstrongitude.

until it came to this Easter picnic I envisioned one night as I lay in bed. It was going to happen, even if it meant my regular posse (my beautiful nieces) couldn’t be there due to scheduling conflicts and that I had to carry all the supplies out to the shed by myself (remember? Mr. Gore is a recovering back surgery patient…he has been forbidden to lift even a gallon of milk!).

I’m sure the neighbors think I’m an absolute nutcase, dragging rocking chairs and tables and half of my kitchen across our acre-sized lot for a 2-hour picnic, but…I AM a nutcase! I’m glad my neighbors are so astute.

And let’s face it…they’re probably nutcases, too. Who isn’t?

Anyhow, even though the odds were against me and even though I’m a big baby who hates to carry heavy stuff, I’m SO GLAD I plowed forth and picnicked. And I’m extra glad that our friends, Ben and Leslie, could come by at the last minute, all bedecked in their Easter finery. It was a special time to share with them and their handsome baby boy, Grey. Plus, Ben is a big guy who didn’t mind hauling all my junk back to the house when the picnic was over! Thanks, Ben.

And I’d like to thank you, loyal audience, for giving me the motivation to put a little extra something into our festivities ~ for you and you alone, I make sure my shoes match my clothes and that the table linens are ironed. I work a lot harder and a lot better – even at doing the dishes – with you in my life. In my heart, you were an honored guest at our Easter picnic…let’s take a look, shall we?

Lemonade is always refreshing and makes for a pretty treat…

this whole Easter picnic idea originated with the flowers my Mom dropped off after Mr. Gore’s surgery and this dishtowel from Anthropologie, circa 2007ish. (p.s. I DID iron this towel, but the Oklahoma wind knocked it down a couple of times and mussed it).

this carrot cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart is not to be missed! The recipe was perfectly easy to follow and that cream cheese icing with orange zest was tuh-DIE-for!

did you know that when you buy a dishtowel at Anthropologie you are also purchasing wall art or curtains or upholstery fabric? I have several and I use them for near about everything!

for the children, my Mom and I poured little bottles of milk into jars and colored them pink, purple, yellow, blue and green. Each bottle required only one little drop of food coloring (except for purple which required a couple red and a couple blue). Shake it up…Easter milk!

my Mom used to add sugar and vanilla to our “colored milk” but with all the other Easter treats we’ve had this week, we left those ingredients out. You should try it sometime, though – its delicious!

One thing is certain ~ I’ll never forget our Easter picnic by the shed!

(uber-green grass courtesy of iPhoto).

a little pail of carrots provided a healthy snack…

as did this little pitcher of celery. Perfect for my growing bunnies.

Easter picnics do something magical to even the rootingest, tootingest children and hypnotize them into momentary bouts of kindness and goodwill. Feast your eyes upon this rare display of sibling affection!


Gideon found 14 eggs. Rebekah found 3, 2 of which were pointed out to her. She is almost as observant as her Mama.

and as usual, Baby Betsie watched from afar.

the children loved this little watering can filled with Crunch n’ Munch and pastel peanut M&M’s

Isn’t Mr. Gore good to humor me and attend my silly picnics? He even showered and dressed for the occasion, with very little grumbling! He’s a fine chap, he is.

a quick wardrobe change transformed Betsie into a sweet little bunny rabbit…

she has been granted permission to raid all the neighborhood gardens, free of charge.

An easy and no-fuss menu of chips and croissant sandwiches made for simple preparation and clean-up. As always, a special thank you to my beloved Mother for helping me make this happen…without her, I would arrive late to all my parties as a frightening spectacle of dishevelment.

I present to you…the Williams family! So young, so devout, so lovely. We thank God for their friendship!

Now, back to the colored milk…

Next to the egg hunt, I think this was for real the highlight of the picnic for my eldest two – something about those pretty bottles of milk really intrigued them! For more on the bottles we used, see “Miss Sunday’s Two-Two“:




Mrs. Gore loves to party. 

and so does her little friend, Baby Grey

and so does his adorable Mama, the other Leslie

and so does Miss Sunday, even though she refused to properly pose for this picture with her doting Mother.

Ahhhh…I think even grouchy old Mr. McGregor would have had fun at this picnic.

But then again, I do have a soft spot for grouchy old men.

Happy picnicking, everyone! Happy Spring! And Happy Easter!

Ye Olde-Fashioned Family Egg Coloring

This year marked a very special milestone in our family’s life…coloring eggs was more FUN that it was HARD WORK. Part of the reason was that my kids are a year older and can listen to instructions a teensy bit better than they did last year.

Another reason is that I took the party outside. As a result, I was a hundred times less tense about…oh, everything.

Weather permitting, I’ll never color eggs inside the house again!

First things first – I left these eggs and bowls on the counter all day long to get the kids excited. Yes they asked me about 989,333 times if it was time to “color our eggs” yet. Yes it was kind of worth it.

We put all of our supplies on a big wooden tray and hauled it out to a kid-sized picnic table in the yard (protected with sheets of construction paper).

These small jelly jars were the PERFECT egg-dying vessels. The eggs fit just right, we could see the color of the dye, and the kids could basically watch their eggs as they floated in the colorful water.

We’re still working out our Easter traditions as a Christian family, but I think we’ll always color eggs every Spring, no matter what. Too much fun!

I spy something GREEN!

And something RED and BLUE!

Sidenote: this little stoneware egg crate from Anthropologie was super handy for this project. Its fairly inexpensive and it also comes in turquoise! But you know me…I love me some white.

Should we or should we not continue to tell Rebekah to say “Cheese!” We should.

Betsie Fair couldn’t join in the festivities just yet, but she watched from nearby as she feasted on organic snacks…

Snot and carrots.


The only tricks I used on these…interesting-looking…eggs were scotch tape on some, stickers on some, and string wrapped ’round and ’round some. Easy. Sorta cool. For sure fun for preschoolers.

Oh! And an old egg-dying kit I bought on clearance sale at Williams Sonoma a couple of years ago – I love the “drying” supplies.

Almost done!

Which one is your favorite, Rebekah Sunday?

This one and this one and this one and this one and this one and THIS one!

An egg-streamly succ-eggs-ful eggstatstic egg party!