My own Easter basket, it isn't made of white wicker, gingham plaid pastels or tulle netting. There are no remnant aromas of jelly beans and chocolates, even though that smell is so yummy. My Easter basket is even sweeter than the left over smells of candy!
This year it was filled with precious memories beginning on Palm Sunday.
We celebrated two, very important days in our house.
Ester's baptism birthday on April 13, (2001).
Ester's precious heart was not in the best of health at birth. In fact, by just 2 weeks old, she was in Congestive Heart Failure. We kept her home, away from strangers and germs, waiting for her surgery date.
Living 120 miles from the closest relative, our elderly neighbors, Charles and Eleanor, helped us out a lot. They were Ester's proxy godparents during a very small & private baptism (at 6 weeks of age.)
We celebrate our baptism birthdays each year in a very simple manner. This year, we gave Ester a leather-bound book, Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit. (I found it at a local Catholic gift shop.)
I thought it was appropriate since she is about to enter her 2nd year of Confirmation preparation.
You can also find it on Amazon, here.
Then there was Stan's Gotcha Day celebration April 9, (2006).
Wasn't he just a doll?!
On April 9, 2006, they officially placed him in our arms forever before driving us to the airport.
That photo above was actually the 2nd leg of the trip home out of 3. (Seoul, South Korea to Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo, Japan to Chicago, IL. Chicago, IL to Springfield, IL.)
His big sisters met us at the airport with joy! joy! joy! hugs galore, tons of kisses, and balloon & signs!
That photo above makes my heart just thump so hard!
Each year we celebrate April 9, trying to do something to involve his heritage.
He's getting older now and has more of a say in matters. Due to a busy calendar, he agreed to postpone his celebration by a few days and instead of a Korean restaurant, he chose to dine in at In and Out :)
It was just Stan, David and myself. Some good one-on-one time with Stan the man!
(Check out those delicious burgers!)
For an extra special dessert to celebrate both events, we made Black Bottom Cupcakes (recipe found here) and then turned them into the traditional Easter basket cupcakes...
Inside those delicious cupcakes was a special cream cheese, chocolate chip filling...
My kids LOVE these!! They are SO good!
This year, my Easter basket was also filled with bittersweet moments, when we received word on Wednesday of Holy Week that my dear father-in-law passed away.
Remembering the man he was prior to the devastating effects that Alzheimer had on his body helped us find some peace knowing that his pain and torment was gone.
We started to prepare for the trip back "home" to bury Grandpa Bill.
Trying to keep it somewhat "normal"....I continued focusing on simple, colorful moments during Holy Week ::
Little fingers coloring Easter eggs for the first time...look at her smile :)
I placed some Easter eggs on the mantel...
I just love my table cloth! My mother and father brought it back after a trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia where my mother's family is from.
Pulling it out of the drawer each Easter makes me so happy. Each year, as I run my hands over it to smooth out the wrinkles, I dream of taking a trip to Slovenia .... some day....
Simple Easter decorations this year, but they kept our children feeling secure with routine. Feeling secure is a good thing especially when a grandparent has just passed away.
*We are off now, driving a GREAT distance for my father-in-law's funeral and then stopping in to visit my mother for two days before starting back for Texas. I have my lovely neighbors watching the house. (Such great neighbors. Truly.)
Thank you for all the kind expressions of sympathy you have passed along and the prayers. If I may ask, please continue to pray for our safe journey, (we still have the 1,000 mile trip back to Texas.)
God bless you and Happy Easter!
~ Patty ~