Going for a stroll.
Dj was hobbling along with his sore knee
Hannah making sand angels
My teenagers! Aren’t they so cute?
He’s so weird…
Isaac collecting rocks to skip
Me and my Sweet Boy
The Eight biggest blessings in my life: Aiden, Noah, Gianna, Hannah, Isaac, Jacob, Coley and DJ
After an enjoyable trip to the beach it was time to face our next hurdle; how were we going to get the van out of the sand? Brian and Jake tried to push the van out while I drove. No luck. Bubba thought that he might be able to help since DJ couldn’t ( due to his stitches). Even though he is a very strong seven year old, he just wasn’t quite strong enough to help push our massive 12 passenger beast van out. Finally a really nice guy came and helped the “men” push and we were able to get out! Not so silent prayers of thanksgiving sent up to heaven! The van had sunk about 8 inches down in the sand and with rearwheel drive, it was challenging to say the least! But we were back in business.
It was time to have some dinner. We were all really hungry, especially since we had been fasting all day. We wanted to find a family friendly place and we settled on Eat ‘n Park. We plugged the address into the Garmin and we were off! When we were waiting to be seated, I heard it start again. “One, two, three…seven, eight!! Oh my word! Eight children can you imagine!?” Sigh. Seriously?! Can’t we just walk in and sit down to eat without being counted? I wasn’t the only one who heard it. When Brian heard the second table start counting us, he waited until the man said “eight.” And then the poppa bear came out in him. He stopped and turned to the man and said, “Yes. Eight. You are right. We have eight kids. ” The man shocked us and said, “How wonderful! What a beautitful family you have!” OK , so now we felt a little bit bad about being annoyed. I guess that all of the “counters” aren’t bad or judgemental. Some are just pleasantly suprised and I guess with good reason. We do have a family that sticks out most places, but that’s ok. We just need to remember what a blessing it is and sometimes other people realize that too! When were seated and the waitress took our order, she asked the inevitable question, “Are they all yours?” Umm, I love kids and all, but I don’t know of anyone in their right mind that would take 8 kids to a restaurant if they didn’t belong to them! But again we were shocked by her genuinely kind response to our “Yes.” She said “How beautiful! What a blessing!” She then continued to suprise us when she came back and told us that several of the other customers had commented to her about how well behaved and lovely our kids were. I was so proud and humbled. It’s easy to assume the worst in people, but thankfully that isn’t always so! She then delighted the kids when she returned with a dozen of smiley face Easter bunny cookies for us to take home! With our bellies full and our spirits lifted, we headed back to St Joseph’s for the tenebrae service. The way that Father Larry did the tenebrae service was that it was basically the stations of the cross in the dark with scripture readings with each one. It was beautiful. The kids really enjoyed it. Brian and I even got to fully participate because Noah and Aiden (our X factors) both fell asleep and slept through the entire thing! Prayers of thanksgiving yet again! After the service was over, we were finally on the road headed back home. Thankfully our trip home was fairly uneventful. We were all sound asleep by midnight.
The next morning was Holy Saturday. Brian and I had alot to do. We had to be at church in Kittanning at 10:00 am for practice for the Easter Vigil mass. We had been truly honored by being asked to stand as godparents for our friend Steve as he joined the church. The Easter Vigil mass was when his Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion would take place. It started at 8:30 pm and lasted about 2 1/2 hours. It was beautiful but long, which is why we did not take the kids with us. While the kids were disappointed to not be able to go, they had stuff that they worked on while we were gone. They finished coloring eggs and decorated sugar cookies.
Let the egg decorating and cookie baking begin!
My little cookie baker at work mixing up icing
He’s just causing all kinds of mess, starting with the marker around his mouth.
Brian and Steve and I at the Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil was an amazing experience to be a part of! Brian and I were so thankful to be a part of Steve’s Journey. It was wonderful to see Steve baptized into the church and confirmed. It was truly awesome to see him receive Holy Communion for the first time. Thank you, thank you Steve for asking us to be a part of this!!! I kept joking with Steve that I was going to bring a huge banner that said “YAY STEVE!” on it. Since I didn’t, I’ll just say it now. “YAY STEVE!!!!”
By the time we got home it was about 11:00pm. The little ones were sleeping and the older three were waiting for us to get home so that they could go to sleep also. I still had a mountain of church clothes to iron and baskets of Easter bunny things to prepare. It was about 2:00 when I finally went to sleep. At around 6:00 we heard the pitterpat of little feet coming to wake us up to check and see what the big bunny may have left behind. Soooo not enough sleep, but I’m getting used to it! After watching everyone check out their baskets, I started our traditional big Easter breakfast. It’s not as intense as the big Christmas breakfast, but it’s still a nice spread of food. I made the cinnamon rolls, bacon , sausage and eggs and we ate. Once we were all dressed and in the van I heaved a sigh of relief. Easter Sunday is not a day to be late for church. If you get there less than 1/2 hour before Mass, you will pretty much have to stand in the back for Mass. We made it to church by about 10:30 and Missy and Steve were there and had been sweet enough to save us a row of seats. (Thanks Guys!) We had plenty of room, which was great. Unfortunately Aiden was a major cranky pants. I ended up having to take him to the basement of the church and nurse him until he fell asleep. I made it back upstairs for the last half of Mass. The music, the flowers, the people…it was a beautiful. He is Risen! He is Risen INDEED!
After mass we headed to my Mema and Poppy’s house for Easter dinner. It was tons of food, family and fun! There was an Easter egg hunt for the kids. The weather was perfect for the kids to play outside. The day was going wonderfully, at least for the time being…
Here it is…the annual Hough Family Easter picture. We clean up pretty well, if I do say so myself!
Here are my handsome young men!
And my lovely ladies!
Mama and her grandkids (missing Dylan)
Aiden and Mama during the egg hunt at Mema and Poppy’s house
Coley helping Noah and Gia find some eggs.
My beautiful goddaughter Isabella with her egg hunt findings
Here is the lovely Miss Abbagail with her egg. She was so cute when she found a yellow egg, she kept squealing, “I found two yellow eggs! They match!!” So cute!
The sweet little Francesca
After a lot of fun at Mema and Poppy’s house it was time to pack up and head to Brian’s mom’s house for Easter Dinner and egg hunt #2. Noah came running into the house crying. Jake was right behind him and said that Noah said that his nose hurt. When I looked at his nose it was bleeding a little bit. I asked him what had happened and he kept saying something about a rock, but he was crying so it was kind of hard to understand him. Finally I realized that he was saying there was a rock up inside of his nose!! I put him up on the counter and Mema gave me a flashlight. Sure enough, wedged in there was a little pebble. Brian came over and suggested having him blow his nose, but like most three year olds, he hasn’t quite mastered the art of nose blowing. I was concerned that if he tried to blow his nose he would actually breath in through his nose instead of out. That would be very bad. After looking up his nose for a few minutes, Brian and I decided that it was time for ER trip #3. Sigh…But when Noah heard that we were going to take him to the hospital he started to freak out and asked Brian to get it out himself. I must admit that this made me kind of nervous. Brian has, on many occasions, admitted that he hates dealing with these kind of things. Loose teeth, bloody noses, shots, he hates all of those kind of things. Thankfully when he started to slowly put the tweezers into Noah’s nose it tickled a little bit and he sneezed. The rock came out! Woohoo! Good job honey! I was so relieved. Haha!! ER trip #3 avoided…at least for now! You might be wondering as I did, why in the world he would put a rock up his nose. Well, when I asked him he said that he thought there was a “skeeto” up his nose so he put the rock in there to squish it. Of course! That makes perfect sense!
We were off to Joan’s house for another yummy Easter dinner and of course the annual Easter egg hunt at Babee’s house. Once again, yummy food, great family and lots of fun as the kids went in search of eggs that could hold anything from candy to cash.
Here are the kids anxiously awaiting the green light to go!
Gianna was showing Babee all of her candy and money from her eggs.
The “BIG KIDS” Breanna, DJ, Coley, Jake, and Kaylee
That basically wraps up our Holy week and Easter adventures! The road was definitely filled with lots of detours and potholes, but we ultimately reached our destination. And we reached it in one piece, which I wasn’t so sure would happen when we first started out. But despite all of the problems that came up, it was definitely worth it in the end. We had a (mostly) great trip to Erie, some fun at the beach, lots of wonderful food and precious time with our families. We had hoped to create some memories and I am sure that we did just that. It would be ok if sometimes our life was a little bit less memorable, but what fun would that be?! God Bless!!