Easter is not a big deal to Latter-Day Saints. We celebrate Easter every week, so the only difference this holiday has for us is a new set of church clothes and an egg hunt. Some don’t even do that… it just depends on the timing. One of my friends said that she didn’t have time to sew a new set of matching clothes for her children (like she did last year) since she was busy preparing for and running in a marathon. Yeah. That would never happen to me, I’m afraid. For me, I was just late. Easter snuck up on me, so I found myself at CVS on Saturday night with my oldest child picking out things the Easter Bunny would bring the next day.
That is not to say that we do not teach the children that it’s not about the candy or the egg hunt or the new clothes… but it’s about renewal. That’s the word that was preached over the pulpit today that stuck in my head. It’s Spring, the dead branches of winter are sprouting new green leaves and mimic how Jesus died for our sins and lives again. He led a perfect life and was therefore a perfect sacrifice. He was the unblemished and first of the flock given in sacrifice for us. We no longer have to offer burnt sacrifices, the old law is fulfilled in his sacrifice, but he only asks that we come with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And this we strive to do every week. If we are properly prepared — praying and reading our scriptures daily — partaking of the sacrament each week is an Easter celebration.
I was surprised by the comments made by my children earlier in the week… apparently, every year they get new Easter Sunday clothes. I was unaware that they had noticed this, and if it weren’t for a series of events, I would not have followed through this year. I had no intention of getting them new clothes until I was at the store on Saturday night (we had also gone to Walmart looking for plastic eggs and diet coke to appease the Daddy). We had paid our taxes earlier that day, and after months of stressing over it, it was a burden suddenly lifted. I was glad to be able to get them new clothes because the boys really need them anyway and Sarah has half my closet confiscated. I liked being able to get some of my clothes back and keep this family tradition.
We have another tradition that we started when we lived in Northern California and Sarah and Zack were the only little ones. No matter what the weather, the kids can count on an egg hunt inside as soon as they wake up. We do the Easter Bunny like Santa Claus… he comes after they are asleep. We use plastic eggs with candy inside. This year we got some creme eggs, marshmallow eggs, little wrapped chocolate eggs, Starburst Jelly Beans (because the old fashioned Jelly Beans are disgusting), and Peanut M&Ms. We also had a solid chocolate bunny and a chocolate smelling plush bunny in their empty baskets sitting on the table. This being Zoe’s first Easter as an active participant, we had a new basket for her as well. I used another basket to hold items that I had picked out from Tata and Nananita. She had called a few days before asking me to get something for them.
As a side note, my parents were planning a big egg hunt at their house this year and Nananita was sorry that we couldn’t be there. She said it would be the last party at their house, but I’ve heard her say that before, so who knows? Parties at my dad’s house are insane. Our family is huge, so it takes a lot of energy to throw a party. Lots of food prep, lots of parked cars line the street, and lots of cousins of all ages take over both the front and back yards. It’s one of the reasons I love being a Benavente. I have tons of memories as a child of eating, no, stuffing myself silly with my favorite Chamorro foods and running completely amuck.
For my children, their way of getting crazy was waking up at 4:00 am to hunt for eggs. It’s a good thing that I put a note next to the baskets asking the boys to wake up Sarah before they started (since she knew first hand what areas were off limits), reminding them to leave the eggs on the floor in plain sight for Zoe, and also not to let Zoe hunt until Mommy and Daddy were awake. They were generous enough to wake me at 7:00 am. I was in extra pain because I had been on the phone for an hour with my Mom and didn’t sleep until 3:30 am. I managed in my half-awake stupor to get some footage of Zoe hunting for eggs. The boys were really excited and Sarah didn’t make them go back to sleep when they woke her up. Plus, they said that Zoe was awake with them at 4:00 am. I saw her fall asleep in the middle of the boys’ beds (which are in the middle of the living room right now while their room gets a new ceiling and we get all repairs from Hurricane Ike done) and in the middle of all the commotion. It was sweet. She eventually woke up in time for a bath before church.
After church, we came home and changed (I regret that we didn’t take any pictures as a family wearing our Sunday best — and I even wore makeup today, dangit) so that we could go have Easter dinner with some friends at their house and die some eggs. I brought a pan of sugar-free Jello blocks, a pitcher of sugar-free fruit punch, hard boiled eggs for dying, and some sugar-free candy as a gift. It was out of respect for the diabetic father. What did she make? A ham, cauliflower done like mashed potatoes, jello salad with fresh pineapple, two-different kinds of rolls, and green beans. I felt like we could have contributed more, but she withheld information on how much food she was making. She’s the kind of person that finds joy in serving others, so I forgive her, but the next time she asks us to dinner, we’ve threatened to show up with a roast.
The food and company was very good, however, I had to bow out early because I was so tired and going through a box of Klenex like there was no tomorrow. I had spent the morning with a runny nose despite the Claritin I took. We didn’t get to play any board games like we planned, but it’s just as well. I went to bed when we got home and didn’t get up until 9:00 pm. It felt good to get some rest, but the draining just won’t stop. I went ahead and took a Claritin-D, even though the first one I took is supposed to work for 24-hours. It helped a little, but I ended up popping a Sudafed a few hours later. I’m not sure if this is just allergies at this point. I’m happy that it doesn’t feel like Strep Throat, either. Two or three more times of that this year, and I’ll have to get my tonsils out. My throat just hurts from the post nasal drip. Ugh. Doesn’t it make you swallow and gag just to read that? Ugh. It does me. Sorry, I’ll change the subject.
Right now I’m guessing that there are still about 20 hiding eggs. We hid 116 of them and they still had 40 to go when I counted this morning. The eggs will keep popping up unexpectedly as the year goes by. We recycle them every year, and I had thought we wouldn’t have enough plastic eggs for this year’s hunt. I didn’t buy any new ones because they were sold out. It’s probably better to keep the number around 100 anyway. A few more years of living in this house, and all the hiding places will be known.
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24