Mary Ella cut out the egg garland from some pink paint swatches I picked up at Home Depot.
(idea from Pinterest, and you can assume most of these ideas are from there.) I love these sweet little jagged eggs and I will keep them forever and ever.
I've had these bunny/chick/egg ornaments for about 5 years now; Mom and I bought them when the Pier One in our shopping center was going out of business. The metal canister is from Ikea. The bunny salt and pepper shakers are Mom's and the crocheted napkin holder is from Roebuck (i.e. the thrift store.)
I bought these topiary trees on sale at Christmas time (from Lowe's) and I decided to leave them up year 'round. I added some plastic eggs and a bunny. The burlap cross and letter were made by my friend Amber and you can get all those supplies at Hobby Lobby.
A few more eggs and bunnies...
Bunny planter from thrift store. Fake green plant from Ikea.
The mantle (which I eventually added some stems to the vase on the right side too; it looks uneven here.) Egg garland made from scrapbook paper.
I found a $4 bag of grass seed at Aldi and so I decided to plant Easter grass again. I knew the kids would love it. Unfortunately Mary Ella and Chad were a bit under the weather on our planting day but Sam had a blast. He was so focused on the task.
I plant the grass seed in all sorts of random containers and I also try to plant some in egg shells if I can remember to save my shells. All you have to do is just sprinkle some of the seed on top of some potting soil and then water it every day just a little and let them get some sun.
Little Sister decided she wanted to help too...
...by eating some potting soil.
Which resulted in a call to Poison Control.
"Hello, um, this is Mrs. Morgan. You know, the one that calls, like, every day. Emma Kate ate some Miracle Gro for breakfast."
Luckily they were oh so kind and reassured me that it probably wouldn't hurt her since she only ate a small handful. Awesome.
They even called back an hour later to check on her.
I told them she was fine other than having a few vines coming out of her ears. They didn't seem too concerned.
And I'm not sure what Aldi is putting in their grass seed because it usually takes me at least a week to sprout some grass, but these babies were growin' and green within a few days. It was so fun for the kids.
I don't usually take the time to make them anything special to wear for Easter, because they usually wear it once and then it goes in the hand-me-down or donation bin. But I saw a pack of heat transfer paper at Hobby Lobby one day and I was like, "Hmm, I wonder if I could just design them a shirt on the computer and print it off on this paper and iron it onto a shirt?" And long story short, I made them some quick and easy shirts to wear (the bunny was a free icon on PicMonkey, which is where I designed the shirts.) Maybe one day I will have time to do a tutorial. Note: the transfer paper is not super high quality so these shirts will probably not last through washing. Hence the perfect reason to use this idea for something like Easter or Thanksgiving shirts, something you may not wear but once or twice.
I'm sure everyone has seen the pack-the-kids-lunches-in-Easter-eggs idea on Pinterest, and I knew my kids would love it so I jumped on the train. I packed their sandwiches separately and the eggs contained cubed cheese, blueberries and goldfish. I didn't tell the kids beforehand so they were surprised at lunch time.
And here is where I went way overboard. I did not plan to do this at all, but when I went looking for lunch sacks, I found these white ones that I didn't know I had, and I thought, "Oh! I could totally make these bags look like bunnies!" So on the way out the door, I ran into the craft room and grabbed some googly eyes, pink card stock, glue and a Sharpie... and headed to school. And then I turned the car around because I realized I needed cotton balls for the bunny tails. And then I called my psychiatrist because I realized how insane I was. No, not really.
What I didn't grab was scissors so I had to tear the card stock with my hands to make the ears and nose, but they turned out so cute and I was laughing at myself for doing something so ridiculously unnecessary. But the kids loved them, so totally worth the effort, in my book. :)
I hope he will still wear the shirts I make him when he's 12. I love this boy so much!
The next day it was home to Florence to celebrate Easter weekend with the fam.
I love going home in the spring. It's hands down the best time for pictures at the ol' Compound and I love seeing signs of new life.
The trees are probably still as confused as I am as to whether they should sprout their green leaves or not, but I'm voting YES. Warm weather, please come! And please stick around for longer than 24 hours.
Here's Grandaddy's garden, which will soon be prepped and ready for veggies. Yum.
Lots of bird houses ready for little blue babies.
That's my aunt Kristi's house in the distance... and hopefully in a month or so the new cows will arrive and will be grazing in all that green grass that you see. Brooks (my 17-yr-old cousin) and my Grandaddy have been building a new barn as well, which you can't see here, way back by the house.
And there's my parents' house to the right of the barn.
Grandaddy went up to the Mennonites' farm a week ago and bought some bunnies for the kids. They were hanging out in his shop. Mary Ella loved these rabbits.
Grandaddy decided the bunnies might want some fresh air so we moved their cage to the top of Mimi's swing set. The kids played in the fort and hung out with 'Tooter' and 'Sallie Mae.'
Ollie, resident Compound bulldog, stood guard at the bottom of the fort just in case one of the rabbits accidentally fell onto the ground. I'm sure he would've politely barked for help and gently escorted the bunny back to it's cage. #nomnomnom
Then Grandaddy had another idea. "Let's send the rabbits down the slide and we'll catch 'em!"
I had a brief panic attack as I relived the nightmare of when my brother Adam threw one of the Compound bunnies through basketball goal when he was little... about 7 times... until it died...
(Um, yes. True Story.)
Then I snapped out of it and went with the plan.
Bombs (or bunnies) away!
After this we let the bunnies rest awhile (and get over the trauma) and Mary Ella went to help Grandaddy put a few holes in the ground for some new fence posts.
While they were gone Sambo and I had some good one-on-one time.
We decided to head to the shop.
We immediately donned our Lowe's aprons and made some work plans.
He finished them outside.
Are these not the cutest pictures ever?
And is he holding his pencil like a man? Yes he is.
Next we walked over to Poppa's garden and I convinced him to take his boots off so that he could walk on the soft mud. He had the best time looking for worms and bugs.
I even tried to teach him the art of catching a chicken choker. (Anyone know the scientific name for those suckers? I don't. And if you've never seen or caught one, you must do that soon.)
We weren't lucky on catching one this time.
Here's a bug's eye view of what will soon be a garden full of veggies.
When Mary Ella returned they decided to work on the tractor for a while.
It started raining after lunch and we were able to dye some Easter eggs with Charlie and the girls.
Then it was back outside for more fun. Little Bit tried out the big girl slide and loved it.
Then she practiced some steps with Aunt Amanda and cousin Annsley.
She's a big fan of her cousins.
And this was the first time she was really able to explore on her own. I loved seeing her crawling around outside.
She even practiced standing for a few seconds. No steps just yet.
And then big sis decided to take her on her first four-wheeler ride. With brother standing close by to supervise.
That night Chad and I were able to go out to eat to celebrate our 6th anniversary (which happened to be on Easter Sunday).
We went to City Hardware in downtown Florence and I have to say, it did not disappoint. But to be honest, I don't even remember our entree because our appetizer and dessert were so ah-mazing. We ate the Shrimp Hardware sushi plate for an appetizer. I'd rank it as some of the best I've ever had. And I've eaten a lot of sushi.
And well, this skillet cookie might as well just be the last thing I ever eat.
The perfect meal might be Bang Bang Shrimp followed by the City Hardware skillet cookie.
As my friend Laura says, "It's the best thing ever if your New Years Resolution is to get diabetes." That's about right.
Needless to say, we were full and tired when we got back home. Made for a good night's rest.
The Easter Bunny stopped by that night to drop off a few surprises.
Sam was most excited about his bubbles.
And Mary Ella was thrilled to find the mini Cadbury eggs.
This is the best picture I could get of all 3 of them before church.
I couldn't not post it because my mom has so many of these hilarious pouty-faced pictures of the 3 of us when we were little and they make me laugh so hard now. I finally understand why there are no pictures of us smiling.
I loved these pale pink apron dresses from the moment I saw them. Simple and sweet.
Sam's outfit is a hand-me-down from a friend. Score.
This one was a little better. Mary Ella'a hair was still wet and Emma Kate was about to take a nose dive.
Sam let me take one of him on the porch right before leaving for church.
Bless that cheeser.
And check out this sweetness - my nephew Owen was rocking his Easter bubble.
After church we met back at the Compound for Easter lunch at Grandmother's house.
Ashley and Jentry were there so the kids were so happy to play with their cousins.
Me and my first cousin Katie.
I told her she needed some bangs so she could be as cool as me.
I mean we are practically twins already, Katie. You just need bangs and I need to lose 100 pounds.
Me and my main boy.
And the girlies...
The big cousins. Check out Jack in his dapper bowtie. And Addie Jane's smile is identical to her mothers' when she was this age.
Mimi and Poppa with their 5 grandkids.
I wish I could post all the out takes of this photo. They are hilarious.
Gracie, Sam, Owen, Mary Ella and Emma Kate
These 2 stinkers love to play together and give each other hugs.
Cousin Courtney and EK
The salad bar at Gran's.
Some Peeps Punch
and some whoopie pies!
Gracie girl getting some loving from Grandaddy
Charlie, Jack and Grandaddy
Next, it was off with the dresses and down to our slips for some good eatin.
This girl didn't mind one bit.
And then down to the basement for play time while we waited for the rain to end.
Playing with the bunny rabbits was a fun way to pass the time.
Then it was time for the egg hunt.
Sweet Owen was the prize egg of the day. So well behaved.
EK passed out on her Poppa after eating so much.
And I can't sign off without saying what a blessing it is to serve a RISEN Savior.
I've seen a lot of death over the past year... some people I knew, some I heard or read about.
Though hard to understand on this side of eternity, I hold fast to the promise that He LIVES and that we will be with Him one day soon.
I listened to Matt Maher's "Christ is Risen" over and over on the drive up to Florence, and if you haven't heard it you need to download it now! Lyrics are taken from 1 Corinthians 15 and it is so moving and powerful.
Thank you Jesus for conquering death.
I'll leave you with these videos of the kids...
Sam practicing his Easter scripture in the car. I love him so much.