We are the Easter People

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song."~Pope John Paul II

I can't begin to say how much I love this quote. We are the Easter people! We really are, and hallelujah really is our song.

It's Easter week {finally - -seems like it's very late this year!} and I have had my Easter thoughts bubbling up for the past few weeks. I had a sort of epiphany recently as I was saying my morning prayers, expressing my gratitude for all that I have. But it hit me that I need to be grateful more for what I know, rather than what I have. I have many blessings, and I am grateful for all that I do have, but more, I am grateful for what I know.

I am so thankful at this time of year that I know that the story we read in the scriptures is more than just a story. The fact is that Jesus was born on earth {in a miraculous way}, He was raised by a mortal mother and father, He taught, served and loved the people on the earth at that time, and eventually, as His mission neared the end, He was taken by unbelievers and crucified.

But the glorious fact {here comes the hallelujah part!} is that after 3 days in the tomb, He rose again. And because He did, we will too. And not only that, before he was put to death, he atoned for our sins. Every one of us. Every one of our sins.

I am one of the Easter people and hallelujah really is my song. I am SO grateful.

At this beautiful time of year and always, I hope everyone will take a minute to reflect and be grateful for a truly magnificent gift. Happy Easter week to all!


The Love of a Good Book

"I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." ~Anna Quindlen

I love reading. I love books. I love the library. And now, I love seeing our grandkiddoes all curled up with their noses buried in good books or chuckling over something that tickled them or hearing their excitement over a book they love. There really isn't much that makes me happier than that. I love reading to them, I love reading with them, and I love hearing them read to me.

Books opened a whole new world to me when I was a child, and they still do. And it makes me so happy to see the children I love loving books like I do.


A New Career -- Clowns! (?!)

This past Friday, the Cottam kids and their neighbors threw an awesome carnival for charity. The kids came up with the idea and with the (awesome) help of several mamas, they ran with it. It was amazing. Booths with games, fortune-telling, food, fun -- and (wait for it!): a fabulous clown show.

Yes, we were the carnival clowns. Maya came to us the week before the carnival and requested that we put together a 'clown show'. We looked at each other dubiously and then agreed because seriously, when a 7 year old and her cohorts think you can be funny, you suck it up and do your best.

I was a bit nervous -- I have been sick for the past couple of weeks and while I was feeling better, I wasn't sure I was going to be very energetic or very funny. But we pulled out the old Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes, found some jokes, got a helium tank for regular balloons, got Mark trained to make a few balloon animals with the skinny balloons (yay for the internet!), and figured if we danced the chicken dance and threw out some necklaces, all would be well.

But the chicken dance wouldn't play on the CD I burned and when we tried to do the helium balloons, that didn't work either. Sigh. But the (very corny) jokes were pretty well received, the necklaces were popular, and Grandpa was a hit with his twisty balloon animals. (actually, only wiener dogs -- he's going to up his skills for the next time around.)

Because you can be sure there will be a next time. And if we get asked, we will try harder to be funny. As it was, I heard from a neighborhood mom that 'the clowns were our favorite part of the carnival, mom!'

I love seeing kids put their minds to something and really do it.