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A Great Easter

Spring is my favorite season of the year. I love seeing the little flowers popping out of the ground and the trees with their fresh array of bright green leaves. After a long, cold winter I love the warm sunny days. I miss spring so much while we're in Niger where April and May are the hottest months with afternoon highs hovering around 110 degrees or more. It's hard to find much enjoyment when it's that hot!

It was a double blessing for me to have Easter while the weather was warm. Sometimes when Easter is in March it is still cold and snowy. But this year the weather was perfect.

And the triple blessing was that we got to spend it with my Great Aunt Jeanette and my Great Uncle Carl. Aunt Jeanette lives in Ohio and her brother, Carl is from California. I think Daniel and Suzanne had met Uncle Carl only once before, so they didn't really know him. How exciting for them to see what a godly and goodly heritage they have! They are fun, encouraging, and amazing. They are the youngest 90-something people I know.

Suzanne and Aunt Jeanette

We picked the kids up at school when they were dismissed at noon on Wednesday. On the way out to Ohio we stopped to spend the night with supporters. The next day we stopped off at Lehman's Hardware, a hardware store that caters to Mennonite and Amish clientele and others of us who enjoy taking a step back into the past. We bought a washboard (that's how we do laundry in Niger) , ate home-made ice cream, and watched all the different kinds of buggies and wagons.

Aunt Jeanette had a delicious supper waiting for us. My cousin and her husband (actually my Dad's cousin. I guess she's my cousin once removed) came for supper.

On Friday a friend and his family took us out to dinner. He had also invited along another Daniel. This boy sends us money whenever he collects a little spending money. He is so sweet and afterwards we got to go to his house and see the rest of his family for a few minutes. Then our friend took us to a place that gives things away to missionaries. We collected quite a few goodies there. Back home, Aunt Jeanette had a nice supper for us, then she and Uncle Carl regaled us with stories of "Donny" -- my dad, my kids' grandpa, and their nephew. Every story they told was hilarious.

Saturday took us in different directions. John and Daniel went to the Flight Museum at Wright Patterson Airforce Base. Jeanne took Suzanne, Uncle Carl, and me to the thrift store. I got a lot of baby clothes and youth-sized t-shirts to take back to Niger with me to give to all "my kids". That night we went out to Jeanne and Kenny's for supper. When we got home, we were going to go right to bed, but Aunt Jeanette said she had eggs to dye. So, Aunt Jeanette, Uncle Carl, Suzanne, Daniel, and I had a hilarious time coloring eggs. The dye we dipped the eggs into was good, but then there was another dye that you could sponge onto the eggs to get a mottled effect. I think that dye was meant to be thicker than it was because when we sponged it on, it just ran all over. Aunt Jeanette was bemoaning the fact that her egg looked terrible and disgusting. Then she looked over at mine and exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! Now I feel better!" Uncle Carl said he hadn't colored eggs for over

Can you guess which two were mine? Hint: They were pretty bad!

20 years so why did they have to end up looking so bad. Daniel made one for the dog, Cody, but I thought it said Cod on it. Suzanne put her egg into the dye, imagining a beautiful red egg. The expression on her face was priceless when she pulled it out and found it was hot pink. She hates all things pink! In reality, the two she made were the best of all. This was definitely an evening none of us will ever forget.

The next morning we were getting ready for church when John sat down to play some of the old hymns on the piano. Uncle Carl started singing

with him and it was a beautiful moment. We almost hated to make them quit so we could go to church. The service was beautiful. The highlight was singing In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. The third verse is especially beautiful. Quietly we sang,
"There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain".
Then a little more loudly we sang,
"Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again".
Finally, with loud triumphant voices we sang,
"And as He stands in victory, sin's curse has lost its grip on me, For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ."
(By the way, I recommend that you listen to the full version of the song. We have three versions, one by the Newsboys from their Adoration CD, one by Philips, Craig, and Dean from their Let The Worshipers Arise CD and one by Margaret Becker, Marie Brennan, and Joanne Hoagg off a Songs of Worship CD. I'm sure there are lots of versions of the song, but I think the Becker/Brennan/Hoagg version is my favorite.)

We had a wonderful Easter dinner with family, and then John and the kids and I went to John Bryan State Park to hike on the trails there. It was a gloriously beautiful day and we had a good family time.

We ended the day by having ice cream at Young's Dairy which is now the #2 Dayton-area attraction according to a Chamber of Commerce bulletin posted on the wall there. The Air Force Museum was #3 and John Bryan State Park was #7. So we found time to do some of the most popular things in that area!
This was definitely one of the best Easters ever!!!