Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birthdays, Bicycles, And The Best Easter Basket Ever

When Easter falls on the same day as your daughter's 7th birthday, there is a lot to celebrate!  Saturday morning I had our family over for our traditional birthday breakfast.  On the menu: lots of fresh fruit (strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes); coffee and orange juice; baked oatmeal; and of course, birthday cinnamon rolls!

We also celebrated our risen Savior on this sunny morning!

The table was bright and cheerful, just like our girl...

After breakfast, she opened a bag of fun little Disney goodies from us.

Then we spent the rest of the day relaxing and reviewing lines for the Easter play later that evening.  Here we are, dressed and ready to go!  Right before we snapped this photo, Trev handed me that plaque, sent to us by my friend Laurie.  He wanted it to be in the picture since it shows Jesus bearing the cross and quotes Isaiah 53:5...

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes, we are healed.

He is risen; we are healed.  Hallelujah!

And speaking of the play, I was so proud of Madi.  She remembered all the many lines she worked so hard to memorize, sang her song beautifully, and sweetly and courageously offered her talents to Jesus.  It was a true sacrifice of praise because she was nervous and somewhat stressed.  But she did it, and did it for the Lord.  My heart was full.

Easter morning I set out Easter baskets...Trevor's "basket" was an Indiana Jones hat filled with a map, whip, and other accessories for his adventures!!  For Madi I painted a shirt and shoes to go with a Minnie Mouse tutu she got from her Grandpa during his visit.  Madi also got one more birthday present, this one an outfit for our little fashionista!

I love their expressions in this photo...so sweet.

Everything is better with a little sparkle.

Little Indiana.  :)

After finding their goodies and eating hot biscuits for breakfast, we went to church and performed the musical one more time.  Madi declared herself "free" after it was over (I told you this was a big step of faith for her!) and received lots of birthday wishes, including a special serenade from our sweet friend!  This personal rendition of Happy Birthday brought tears to my eyes.  So many people showed much love to our daughter, and it warmed my heart.

After all was said and done, Madi changed out of her costume and into her new, glittery outfit!

Then we headed to my parents' house for a birthday/Easter lunch where there were more surprises waiting, even for me.  This year I received the coolest Easter basket ever...

Because it was attached to a new bike!!  

I knew Madi was getting a bike from my parents for her birthday, as she had outgrown the one they had given her for Christmas quite a few years ago.  We found her the cutest cruiser with a style that matches her own...and now I have a cruiser too!  I have always loved riding bikes, ever since I got my first blue banana seat bicycle from a garage sale in our neighborhood back in the 80's.  I used to cruise my street, circling round and round our court on that old bike, pretending I was Nancy Drew in her blue Mustang solving mysteries.  Lately I have been cruising the neighborhood with two littles ones who have discovered the thrill of the open road...and now Madi and I have cute bikes with baskets!!  We can hardly stand the excitement!

Of course our baskets were filled and lovely, thanks to my amazing mom...

Such a fun surprise!!!

We stopped admiring our bikes long enough to share a wonderful dinner of ham and salads with family and friends....

Enjoy the beautiful cake my uncle bought for Madi...

Let the kids open their Easter baskets from my parents (Trev's included an Indiana Jones Mickey!)...

And let Madi open a few more presents from our guests, all of which were thoughtful and just lovely!

Then after a little rest, we hit the road!

We rode and rode and rode some more.  Then on Monday, we picked up another surprise for Madi...

A hot pink, sparkly bell for her bike.  And guess what?

I got a bell too!  Can you even stand it?  So we have been going round and round the neighborhood, ringing our bells and carrying things in our baskets simply because we can.  Yesterday we rode from the time Madi got home from school until dinner, and then after dinner until it was almost bedtime.  Then Jimmy turned on the sprinklers to water the lawn and got busy talking to a neighbor and before I knew it, Madi and Trev were running wild and free through the sprinklers, fully dressed including shoes!  They thought it was the best thing ever!  I let them giggle and run and giggle some more. After putting the sopping wet shoes in the garage to dry and soaked clothes in the wash, I gave them baths and we ate popsicles on the front stoop in pajamas.

Oh the charm of simple pleasures and happy children.

What a weekend and start to the week we had!

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