Our Easter

Easter is the absolute perfect holiday for toddlers.  



1. Most importantly, Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His triumph over the grave.  In the last few months Camden has had a lot of questions about death and what it means to die.  It's a brand new concept to him.  How cool is it to be able to tell him that death isn't something to fear!  That because Jesus Christ is risen, we will rise too!  That because Jesus loves us, He provided a way that we can live with Him again with our families forever and ever!

Yup, we loved focusing on that good news with our little one this season.  The brittle grass seemed to be waking up, the birds returning to sing by our windowsills, the flowers blooming and raining down from the trees.  Spring is a lovely symbol of resurrection, and it was fun to see Cam grasp that even just a little.


2.  That being said, we certainly didn't skimp out on the chocolate.

 

3. But that's another great thing about this holiday for toddlers.  It doesn't matter what's inside the egg, it's the thrill of finding them that makes the hunt so exciting.  I mean, at our library egg hunt we got a quarter-sized dollop of partially dried Playdough in one of the eggs.  You would have thought we found a gold nugget!

 

 I thought Camden enjoyed the hunt last year, but this year we reached a whole new level.  We actually had four different Easter egg hunts throughout that week, and it only got more and more exciting.  {As Camden likes to say, "I so 'sited!"}



Between Easter egg hunts we made necklaces and bracelets out of the beads sent by Aunt Kirsten, played outside as often as possible, and put together a nursery for Baby Girl.




4. Then on Easter Eve we dyed eggs, which was such a treat for Camden.  He may not be into arts and crafts, but he can dunk an egg.  What toddler doesn't love multi-colored messes?

That night we set out our baskets for the Easter bunny, who may have gone a little overboard this year.


Then it was Easter!




I took a deep breath, fully anticipating a struggle with the cute Easter outfit Grammy sent.  Cam has never been a fan of ties, and it was highly unlikely the hat would stay on.  Weighing my options, I decided it would be worth the fight.

But the fight was non-existent!  Camden loved his "special Easter" hat and bow tie.  He proudly wore them to church, occasionally adjusting his hat to make sure it was just right.  When it came time for the children to sing Jesus Has Risen for the congregation, he leapt out of his seat and sprinted to the front without a second's hesitation.  Being the first child up front, he took to the podium, grabbed the microphone, and began to sing without waiting for anyone.  Luckily someone had had the sense to turn off the microphone before then, so we couldn't hear his voice.  We just watched in shock as his lips moved and he stared down the audience with his confidence.  I've never been so smitten and so embarrassed at the same time!  Stinkin' cutie!



After his Sunday School class he told me all about the lesson - about how Jesus died but he "came back to life."  Even though we had been discussing it all month, it seemed like having it come from his teacher really solidified the story and concepts in his mind.  So thankful for sweet volunteers who teach our little boy this essential stuff!

Once we got home Cam refused to change out of his special Easter clothes.


The idea of having Easter dinner without any family seemed strange.  Luckily we had a number of chums who felt the same way, so we all combined for a big framily dinner!  Ten adults and a bunch of kids running around.  Just like it should be.

After a proper feast we had one last little Easter egg hunt for the children.



Followed by a game of smash-the-plastic-eggs on the trampoline.


We Buckmasters fell into bed that night exhausted but smiling.  So happy for Easter.


Last Hurrah of Winter

[[[Insert creative opening sentence.]]]

I'm 30 weeks pregnant so my creativity {and logic and emotional stability and pretty much everything else} is a bit out of whack.  So bear with me here, this post might be a little mreh.  And in case you're not familiar with the word "mreh", it is advised that you scroll through the pictures and ignore any and all text.  You're welcome.


So Roy took a few days off and we went to Utah for our last hurrah of winter.  {It better be a last hurrah, because I'm ravenous for spring.}  Roy ended up being sick for most of the trip, poor guy.  He missed out on the snow tubing.  But that gave Papa the go-ahead to hog Camden for the whole hour and a half of pure toddler bliss.


Kind of a demanding job for a grandfather, really.  Camden shouted, "LET'S GO AGAIN!" at the bottom if the hill every time.  He never wanted to leave that orange tube.  Not even to use the restroom...  (-_-)





There's Zac, Jess, Alexa, and Jacob!



If only I had the audio of Alexa's man-scream for you!





Official photographer here!
 Being pregnant has its perks.  For example-- I didn't mind missing out on tubing.  It honestly looked a tad terrifying, my 3-year-old is braver than I am.



When Roy felt a little more himself he went snowboarding with these guys...
{Next year I'm teaching Camden!}


And we spent half a day with Leah, Danny Jay, Zoey, and Luke at The Living Planet Aquarium.  I'm pulling the pregnancy card for forgetting my actual camera *face palm*.  But these iPhone pics capture some of the fun anyway.



This pic in particular could be on the cover of a horror film...



The cousins had fun.  At home Camden is constantly asking for Danny Jay to come over and play, so he was excited to sprint around with him.  





 Meanwhile, Luke and Zoey were perfectly content in the stroller.  I love these chunky babes!


And this chunky babe too!  Jaxon wasn't at the aquarium, but I just couldn't leave him out of the niece and nephew lineup. 


Last but not least, we had to get the ol' band back together.


The stars of this pic are actually the children, who are all looking at me like I'm a complete idiot.


 But this one just melts my heart.  Cade might have some competition.


One more highlight was going to the Provo City Center Temple Open House.  Originally this building was a 112-year-old tabernacle, which I actually attended as my stake center when I lived in the area.  But it caught fire in 2010, leaving pretty much just the shell.  I was happy to learn that the exterior was being used to house a brand new LDS temple!

Camden loves pointing out temples and asking about them lately, so it was fun to be able to take him.  While we were touring inside he said, "This is the prettiest place I've ever seen!"

Considering he pointed at the chandelier and called it a sparkling birthday cake, I certainly see where he is coming from.  But even more than seeing the beauty I'm glad he got to feel the Spirit residing there.  He kept asking if Jesus was in the room.  I thought my heart would explode.

The remainder of the Collett Family Reunion consisted of horseback riding {preggo card!} and quality time at the cozy cabin.  We were sad to say goodbye to everyone-- and to all the many people we love who live up there.

But on a brighter note, we came home to short-sleeved weather and a tree full of pink blossoms in our front yard!  Hello Spring!!!!!



Mreh and goodnight.

Boys and Butterflies

The potential hazards had crossed our minds.  Taking our bulldozer of a boy to a butterfly exhibit seemed dangerous.  For the butterflies.

But our friends were in town--important to note they have daughters--and we were willing to do whatever it took to hang out with them.  So we risked the lives of thousands of butterflies as we set foot inside America's largest butterfly conservatory.


Surprisingly the boys were doing well.  They knew not to touch the butterflies {we were all strictly instructed not to get any of our human oils on them} and really they were more interested in running the paths through the "rain forest" room.  I'm sure each of the butterfly enthusiasts with their micro-lensed cameras got a few cute photo bombers.


 My favorite part of the exhibit was the room filled with dangling cocoons and chrysalises.  Since Camden is a fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he was super interested to watch the butterflies struggling to emerge.  {Bonus: they were safe behind glass.}

 



The butterflies were beautiful.  One perched on little Alice almost the entire time we were there.  Another hung out on Roy's hat for a while, which he got plenty of attention for from every child in the room.  It was going well.

 

 And then it happened.

Camden was barreling down the path just ahead of me when I heard the sickening crunch followed by the mortified gasps of every butterfly-lover within earshot.  Camden kept running, oblivious that he had just trampled a gorgeous blue butterfly--one of the biggest species there, of course.

So that left me with the glares while Camden scampered up to the head of the waterfall.  "Hi everyone... sorry about... that."  The butterfly's wing twitched once more before going still.  Aaaand then I just slunk away with my head down.  Pretty sure we are banned from that place for life.



We almost made it through the Butterfly Wonderland without smashing something.  So close.  Soon after we escaped into the aquarium room, a much more bulldozer-friendly area.  There were just a few giant aquariums of fish {yay thick glass!} and a little touch and feel pool.  Stingrays seemed to be more resilient than butterflies.



I feel like I should finish this up with some moral lesson.  Some golden parenting nugget that was discovered inside our butterfly experience.

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Sorry, I got nothing.  Funny story though, right?

RIP blue butterfly.