Our April

April seemed to fly by! We stayed pretty busy between soccer, gymnastics, planning for Brax’s party, work, and just the everyday grind. We are enjoying our last few months in Indiana and spending as much time with family as we can. HereĀ are the highlights of our April…

Soccer

We are loving Kinsie’s soccer season. It has been very odd weather on game days…either freezing or pouring down rain, and ONE nice Saturday so far! Kinsie loves playing with her cousins and she continues to get better every week!

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The boys cousins watching the girls

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Easter

Easter weekend is one of my all-time favorite weekends of the year. I love spending time with family and doing Easter egg hunts with the kids, but I mostly love what Easter represents. As Kinsie gets older each year, I try to teach her a little more of the details about why we celebrate Easter (and Christmas). Last year, she knew that we celebrated Easter because “Jesus Loves us.” This year I took it a step further and taught her that we celebrate Easter because “Jesus died and came back to life.” She understood this, and seemed amazed by it…so I accomplished my goal! We had an amazing weekend including time at Ryan’s aunt’s house with all his aunts, uncles and cousins, Sunday Easter service, an Easter bunny visit, multiple Easter egg hunts, and time with all the people we love.

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Showing off their gifts from the Easter bunny

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A visit from the Bunny…Brax loved it! Kinsie was a little unsure…

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Crazy kids getting ready for their egg hunt

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Bradford Woods

One of the highlights of my school year is our annual trip to Bradford Woods with the entire 5th grade. This field trip takes planning all year, but it is so worth it. While I hated being away from Ryan and my babies for 3 days, I love getting to spend time with my students in an awesome environment. I love seeing the students in a different light. The students who have the hardest time at school sitting at a desk all day thrive at Bradford Woods. This trip was especially important to me because it was my last one. I will truly miss this tradition, and I will truly miss my fellow teachers with whom I’ve gotten to share the experience.

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Brax’s Birthday Party

We had our sweet boy’s FIRST birthday party on Saturday! We had a “Wild One” lumberjack theme, and he had the BEST time. I will have a separate post with more details and pictures about the party soon!

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And just like that…it’s May! The coming months are going to be an absolute whirlwind for us, so hopefully I can keep up and remember to breathe and enjoy the ride!

Easter Blessings

We had a great Easter Sunday celebrating with family and friends. As you already know, Kinsie gets really into holidays these days, so of course she was all about Easter eggs and bunnies. While all of that is good and fun, since Kinsie is able to understand so much more now, I tried really hard this year to help her learn why we really celebrate Easter. I tried explaining how Jesus died for us, then came back to life…but it is hard to explain that to a toddler when they don’t really know what death is yet. So instead, we just focused on the idea that we celebrate Easter because Jesus loves us, because she understands that concept, and loves the song, “Jesus Loves Me.” I really feel that society gets way too wrapped up in the “eggs and bunnies” part of the holiday, that they forget (or may not even really know) the true significance of Easter, and I want Kinsie to understand that significance at an early age so she always knows it as she grows up.

When Kinsie woke up in the morning, she was pumped to see what the Easter Bunny got her. She got an Easter basket with a personalized dinosaur placemat, Olaf tattoos, a magnetic building set, a new set of stamps, and Ninja Turtle bath toys. As you can see in the picture below, she was pretty excited, and even had to take her new bath toys to church with her.

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After an awesome sermon at church, we went to my parents’ house for Easter lunch and an egg hunt. Ryan’s parents and brother were out of town for Spring Break, so unfortunately they didn’t get to join in on the festivities, but we still got to be with Ryan’s sister Megan and her husband Tim, Aunt Renata and her family, and Ryan’s grandparents. We also spent the morning with my parents, my sister’s family and some family friends. After lunch, the kids had an egg hunt. This was definitely one of the highlights of the day!

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After the egg hunt, we went to Ryan’s aunt’s house for some family festivities with his mom’s side of the family. Like I mentioned in my last post, Kinsie has pretty much given up naps, but she’ll fall asleep easily if she rides in the car late in the afternoon. She fell asleep on the way with her Easter basket clutched tightly! Even once Ryan got her out of the car, she was still passed out! Once we got up to the house and she heard all her aunts and cousins, she woke up refreshed and joined the fun.

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Kinsie loved getting to play with more of her cousins and have another egg hunt. Ryan’s cousin even dressed as the Easter bunny (even though it was probably the creepiest Easter bunny you could imagine.) Some of the kids were terrified! Kinsie was definitely skeptical, and she would only go see the bunny if I went with her. We had a great time catching up with Ryan’s extended family.

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We really had a great day, and the weather was beautiful throughout most of the day. Kinsie loved getting to find eggs with all her cousins and friends. Throughout the day, I would even ask her why we celebrate Easter and she would say “Because Jesus loves us!” So even with all the hoopla, I still accomplished my goal this Easter! While Easter is the main day we celebrate the incredible act of love that Jesus did for us, really this is something we should celebrate every single day. Whenever I sit and really reflect on the crucifixion and the resurrection, my mind is completely blown. I know that I need to do a better job each and every day of reminding myself of the love that Jesus has for us, and the hope that the cross has given us. If you want to see an awesome Good Friday and Easter sermon, I would highly recommend the sermons from my church home, Traders Point Christian Church. The links of the sermons are below in case you are interested…

TPCC Good Friday Sermon

TPCC Easter Sunday Sermon

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Happy Easter from the Matthews’ family!

Spring has sprung!

I am so excited that it is finally SPRING!!! While this past winter wasn’t near as bad as last year, it is always so refreshing to be done with the cold, dreary winter in Indiana…especially when you have a crazy toddler and a very small house! We took her out to play in the snow one day, and she was less than thrilled. She didn’t mind sitting in her little car, or when we held her, but she wasn’t crazy about playing or even standing in the snow. She’s definitely my child!

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Kinsie has been pumped about the fact that we can go outside and play now. She makes sure I take her out every possible chance we get. I had a 2-week spring break, which is always much needed. The first week was cold and rainy, so Kinsie and I had to get creative on how to spend our days. We spent a few days in Muncie with Ryan, went shopping, and watched “Pups” (101 Dalmatians) a few more hundred times. Even when it was raining, she was always looking out the window telling me she wanted to go “outhide,” or go “wee” (swing). So of course as soon as the rain stopped and the temperatures broke 50 degrees, we were outside and she was in heaven. We have a great fenced-in backyard with lots of stuff to entertain her. She loves sidewalk chalk, bubbles, her water table, and finding leaves, rocks, sticks, and worms! Yes, this girl likes to make friends with worms.

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Kinsie is obsessed with going to the playground. She loves to swing and go down the slide. Her newest thing is going down the slide head first. Of course we are always waiting at the bottom to catch her though! Spring break_117

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We also had a very busy and beautiful Easter weekend. Kinsie is getting to the age where she understands so much more and is so much fun during holidays. She was really into all the eggs and bunnies (she calls them “hop hops”). While we were in Muncie, we went to the mall and I’ve always thought the Easter bunny was kinda creepy, but she saw it and loved it! She kept yelling “hop hop!” and laughed when it waved to her. On Easter Sunday, we went to church and heard another amazing service with 138 baptisms over the entire weekend! After church we had brunch and an Easter egg hunt at my sister’s house. The kids LOVED their Easter egg hunt! Kinsie literally could have done this all day.

After Kinsie’s nap, we went to Ryan’s aunt’s house where she got to do another Easter egg hunt and play with some of her cousins. Finally, we went to my parents house for dinner. Since the kids had so much fun with their egg hunt earlier, we had another one for them so they were pretty excited! Easter is such a special day to me because it is a reminder of the amazing grace that Jesus has for us. It is really important to me that Kinsie, and my future children understand why we celebrate Easter and what the Easter bunny and Easter eggs represent. As young as she is, I made a point to read books about the story of Easter and tell her all about Jesus. Hopefully as the years go on she will learn what it means to accept Jesus into her heart too. It was a busy Easter, but I was so grateful that we got to spend it with the people that we love most!

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Happy spring everyone!!

Easter Blessings

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live ever after dying. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

Our first Easter as a family of 3 was a wonderful one! Not only did we get to spend the entire day together and with family and good friends, but it was also a beautiful day! Kinsie is getting more of a glimpse into the Spring season and so far, she is loving it! We started the day by attending the Easter service at Traders Point. Our pastor had an amazing message about the true meaning of Easter and how monumental it really is. If you weren’t able to attend an Easter service on Sunday, or you just want to hear a powerful sermon, I would highly recommend listening to ours here. We absolutely LOVE our church and are so grateful for the Spiritual growth we have made since we became members a little over a year ago. Every year on Easter, they have a “spontaneous baptism,” where people who are feeling moved by the Holy Spirit can get baptized right then and there during worship. It is unbelievable and such a powerful way to respond to the Gospel! It was on Easter last year that Ryan officially gave his life to Christ and got baptized. It was a moment I will cherish in my heart forever.

After church, we went to my parents’ house for brunch and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Now I know our crew only consists of a 2-year-old and 2 babies under the age of 1, but we wanted to live it up for our first Easter with the girls. They loved it! Briggs ran around and collected eggs for himself, Kinsie and Kerigan. Ryan and I took turns walking Kinsie around to collect eggs that she could reach, and to be honest, she really seemed uninterested. In fact, she was much more interested in the grass, mulch and tree bark. She is definitely her father’s daughter!

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Kinsie enjoying the gifts that the Easter Bunny brought her!

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Easter Egg Hunt with the kiddos!

We spent the rest of the day with the family relaxing in the beautiful weather. Days like this where we can all be together are such a blessing, especially since Ryan, Kinsie, and I don’t get as much time together as we’d like. Whenever we do though, we embrace every second!

 

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As many of you know, I’ve been really into photography lately, and like to practice my new hobby any chance I get. It just so happens that I have a beautiful little model who is usually willing and happy to help her mommy out. We had a fun little Easter photo shoot, with the help of daddy making our sweet girl grin from ear to ear!

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Happy Easter from the Matthews family!