Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mattos Family 2010 Year in Review



We hope this letter finds you and your family doing well and reveling in the joy of the Christmas season.  As we look back on the past year, we realize that there were significant moments and many memories made.  It was a pretty eventful year for the Mattos family.  Please allow us to highlight it for you here.

January: Settled into our new home in Olympia and flew to the Bay Area, CA for Kenton’s cousin Anna’s wedding (and a trip to the Jelly Belly factory).   

February: Attended Mandy’s father’s wedding to a wonderful woman named Jodi.

March: The sale of our house in Cornelius closed, so we could finally breathe a sigh of relief.  Jillian started attending preschool.  Kenton’s family came up from Oregon for a visit and we all went to the zoo.

April:  Easter was celebrated at our new church, Church of Living Water in Olympia.  Jillian came down with an ear infection while visiting family for the holiday.  That was a bummer.

May: Celebrated Mother’s Day on Anderson Island with Mandy’s mom and celebrated Father’s Day early with a fishing trip in Oregon with Kenton’s dad & nephew.

June: Took our second trip to California for Jillian’s first trip to Disneyland (plus Universal Studios & Hollywood)!!!
   
July:  Kenton and Mandy celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss and found out we were going to have a baby.  As well as a camping trip to Oregon with Kenton’s Dad, step-mom, sisters and nephew.  We picked (and ate) fresh blackberries . . . delicious!

August:  Jillian celebrated her 4th birthday with a grandiose day at the Pt. Defiance Zoo with her best friend, Tori and a picnic later at Pt. Defiance Park with many family members in attendance.  Too bad it rained, but we still had a good time!  

September:  Mandy celebrated another birthday.  We announced our pregnancy to the “world” via Facebook & our blog.  We took our 6th annual Seattle Road Trip and Mariner’s game with our dear friends the Ratliffs.  And we rejoiced in the safe (albeit early) birth of our nieces and nephew, Natalie, Riley and Avery, born to Mandy’s (step) sister Katrena and brother-in-law, Joel! 

October:  Found out that our baby is going to be a boy . . . can not wait to meet Joshua Caleb Mattos.  Went apple picking at the Anderson Island Apple Squeeze. Took our 4th annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch with the Ratliffs and did the customary Trick-or-Treating and Harvest Party festivities. 

November:  Celebrated Kenton’s birthday and had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with Mandy’s family.

December:  Surprised Kenton’s mom at the Annual Salem Carousel party for her work.  We made graham cracker houses with friends.  Jillian performed in our family’s annual Talent (or not so much) show by telling a story and singing the Squirrel song, so cute!!!  We made graham cracker houses with friends, attended Zoo lights with Grandma and Grandpa Kennish and hosted multiple Christmas celebrations.

Throughout our year, we have been blessed by our amazing church and the inspired teachings of the Pastors there.  We have become more aware of the everyday blessings in our lives which so many people go without.  We are thankful for our jobs, each other, a wonderful place to live, full cupboards, warm beds and the love of our family and friends. 
Especially in this season, we want to acknowledge the source from whom all of our blessings flow.  May the birth of our Savior and the hope that He brings, bless you and keep you in this season and throughout the coming year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

I wanted to find a really cool graphic to usher in my first (and maybe only) Tuesday Tidbits but could not find one and am not yet of the caliber to create my own, although I tried.  Maybe next time . . .  if there is a next time. 

Tonight's post is inspired by the plethora of little things I have had on my mind today and this past week.  And the fact that I was feeling a little guilty for not being a 'better blogger'.  I aspire to have interesting content on my blog like many of the blogs that I read and maybe someday I will get there.  But for now, for my few (fabulous) followers, I give my (random) thoughts.

-I am still struck by something that happened at church the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Our Senior Pastor spoke about Thanksgiving and asked us what we think Jesus thinks about when He thinks about what we think about the poor and the needy.  We learned things about the miracle of feeding 5,000 that I had never known.  And then, we took an additional offering above the standard church offering.  The offering plates were passed once around the church and collected.  Then they were passed a second time so anyone who was in need could take money OUT of the offering.  It was beyond humbling to witness this simple but profound act of servant hood and stewardship.And to know that despite all of my many wants, my needs are nowhere near so great, that I needed to take money out of that offering.  My "need" was put into a phenomenal perspective in that moment and I don't know that I will ever forget the way it touched the core of my being.

-I just went in to my daughter's room to scream and yell at her and I am paralyzed with guilt.  She had interrupted me for the fifth time since I put her to bed and I am so tired of it.  This kind of thing has been going on for weeks, if not longer and I just don't know what to do.  I have so few hours for her after I get home from work and even fewer minutes to myself after I put her to bed.  I know that a mother's call is selflessness and I don't come anywhere near to measuring up to that.  I want to be able to give her so much more of me and all she ever gets is whatever is left over after my job has had it's way with me.  I pray so often for God to heal any wounds that my words, impatience and selfishness may cause her and that somehow she will know how much I love her and how hard I try even thought I am so quick tempered way too often.  So many times, I want nothing more than to crawl into bed with her once she is asleep (she won't fall asleep if I do it before then) and wrap my arms around her in hopes that that comfort will erase any harsh words I had inflicted earlier in the night.

(Please excuse me for a minute while I go apologize to my beautiful baby girl and try to explain to her, yet again, that mommy made a bad choice, tell her that I love her and ask for her forgiveness.)

- My Financial Peace University lesson last night was a combination of "Working in Your Strengths" and "Real Estates and Mortgages".  The last time I sat through these lessons, I was unemployed and stuck in a REALLY bad mortgage.  This time, I could see that I was the poster child for BOTH lessons of the things Dave Ramsey says NOT to do.  And in a strange way, it was encouraging to me.  In a sense, it gave me permission to start again with a clean slate and that is a hopeful place to be.  The more time goes on, the more I realize, I should probably never have been an accountant or if I should have been, I wish I would have had more guidance into what KIND of accountant I should have become.  I've learned that I like people too much and I care about people too much to sit behind a desk in a cubicle all day long, yet that is what I have done for the majority of my adult life and I hate it!  It's time for a change.

- I am beginning to wonder if I have spent too much of my life living for someone else and not for myself.  Living in fear because it was how I was conditioned to live instead of living a life of vibrancy.

- There is a big change coming, more than one actually.  But one that causes me more anxiety and questions than most other changes in my life.  I am preparing, yet again, to go against the grain.  To turn my nose up at the 'American Dream' (and my mother) and do something that has no logical explanation and no guarantee of success.  And I am scared!  There are so many unanswered questions and I may fall flat on my face but I have to try.  We are preparing to take a HUGE step of faith and praying that God will provide when we do.

- I have not been doing something that I KNOW I need to do.  And tonight, I am going to start doing it.  For the month of December, I am committing to reading my Bible EVERY day.  It is, in a way, my Christmas gift to God.  I want Him to know how much I love Him, how much I need Him, how much I truly do want to spend time with Him.

- The Christmas budget is small this year and I really wish I didn't feel such obligation in the giving of gifts for some people.  The spoiled, only child, in me also wishes that the budget was much bigger so I could have a dozen gifts of my own under the tree.  But in light of my first tidbit and the offering at church I realized that I truly have all I NEED and I am trusting that to carry me through this season.  After all, when the food has been eaten, the boxes recycled, the tree disassembled . . . what really matters?  That we are loved and that we love others . . .  We love because he first loved us. John 4:19  And I am DEEPLY loved!  Thank you God!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Handsome!!



I am so grateful that 34 years ago, God blessed the earth with this amazing man.  He is faithful, full of intergrity, compassionate and kind, patient, loving, fun, and an amazing father.  Better than I ever could have asked for!

For the nine years we have been together, I have had the honor and pleasure of watching him grow beyond his circumstances and his past.  I've seen him grow into the role of a husband and help me grow into my role as a wife.  He is a loving son, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle and friend!

Despite the challenges we have had, I am so grateful that God gave me exactly what I needed in this man and I look forward to celebrating many, many, many more birthdays with him!!

I love you, Handsome!  Thanks for choosing to love me and for loving our kid(s) SOOOOO well! May your day be blessed and the year ahead bring more happiness and joy than you have ever known!!

Love,
Beautiful (& the Bean)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Honor of Mandy's Birthday

I haven't even known my wife for more than a third of my life. But the time I have known her has been some of the greatest memories a man can have. So to honor the most beautiful and intelligent woman I know I am posting some pictures picked out by the most beautiful and intelligent 4 year old I know.



Okay so I did most of the picture picking. Jilly just said okay when I asked. However Jilly got very excited when she saw the Tinker Bell Format. So we choose it for Mandy from here Jillybean.

I love you Mandy Lea Mattos. Your birth is a day I will always hold as a day of celebration and joy. I am very glad that 33 years ago God had a future family in his mind so he created you. I am blessed to be a part of that family and and grateful that God decided to create you.

Love You,

Kenton J Mattos

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Telling the World


video

So we have officially let the baby out of the bag so to speak. Yes the Mattos Family is expecting another baby. Estimated arrival is March 12th, 2011.

All is going well so far. We got to hear a strong heart beat at our appointment on 8/27 between bouts of laughter from Mandy... It was a great relief to us both to hear the turbo speed washing machine swishing sound coming through the speaker. We will be trying to determine the sex of the baby, Mandy doesn't like surprises, ultrasound should be in about 8 weeks. We will hope this baby is a little more cooperative than Jilly. I took 3 ultrasounds to get here to reveal her gender to us.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Jilly Bean

Four years ago today, a beautiful, vibrant life entered the world.  It was a moment of complete awe . . .


 
But the journey had been unlike any other we've ever taken and SO worth the ride . . .

Watching this little person we created grow into an inquisitive, articulate, funny, dramatic little girl has been such a blessing.  

We have never laughed as much, prayed as much, hoped as much or loved as much.

Here's to many, many, many more birthdays celebrating this little girl who has already taught us so much!!  We love you, Jilly Bean!!

Love, 
Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eight Year Anniversary

Eight years ago today this branch of the Mattos Family began our journey after a ceremony on a hot July day in Keizer, OR.

Our life has had many ups and downs, lows and highs and a few changes. Through it all we have loved each other by choice. The grace of God and our commit to love each other is the only reason that we are able to celebrate our eighth anniversary. It is also the only thing that will allow us to see ten times as many more.

Mandy, I choose to love you and say I do today just as I did eight years ago. It was one of the greatest days of my life and the start of a partnership that has brought me all of the greatest events in my life since then and probably since I was born.

This is 3.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Friendly Face . . . in Downtown L.A.

Upon entrance to Disneyland Resort on our vacation last week, there was an 'All-Star' clad Mickey Mouse on display in honor of the upcoming All-Star Game.  It seems that scattered throughout the city were other Mickey's displaying pride for all of the teams in the MLB club.  It just so happens that to kill some time before our plane departed to bring us home, we decided to make a stop on Hollywood Blvd in downtown LA. As we headed to lunch at the Kodak Theatre shopping center, we stumbled upon this handsome fellow.  It was a sweet surprise for all of us and we couldn't resist getting a picture with the best-dressed mouse in town. 


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My life today . . .


I would like to warn you before you go any further that this is a VERY LONG and not a particularly touchy, feely, sunshiney post about the joys of motherhood or how much I love this wonderful Northwest weather we're having or even how much fun I had this weekend.  What follows is a nitty-gritty, down and dirty, ugly and honest truth about my day today.  If you're not in the mood to hear my sob story, stop here.  However, if you are interested in my honest to goodness, unpretty, non-foofooed, emotional reality, I would appreciate it if you would read ahead, keep me and my family in your prayers and comment with any encouragement or honestly with which you feel lead to respond.  ~Mandy

I'm not going to lie, today has been a rough day emotionally.  Call it PMS, seasonal affective disorder or plain ol' stress.  It doesn't really matter, the tears have felt almost non-stop all day.  Most days in our new surroundings are manageable but some days, the crazy pace of life and the loneliness gets the better of me and I overflow seemingly at the drop of a hat.  Today was one of those days.

Now, I am aware that in the grand scheme of life, things are pretty good.  I have a job, a roof over my head, money in the bank, a husband, family and friends that love and support me and a beautiful, charismatic daughter.  But like many of us, I also have dreams and desires that are unfulfilled.  I feel guilty sometimes because I know there are others out there with challenges much greater than my  own.  Those who are without jobs and have been for many months, or even years.  Those who have lost husbands, who are battling sever disease or walking through life with someone who is.  Those who have lost precious children.  The list goes on, I know.  But as a wise woman (who lost her husband suddenly at a very young age to a brain aneurysm) once told me. . . the size of anyone's pain is really irrelevant.  To compare yourself to others and make admissions for your own hurt is basically useless (thought I don't think she would EVER use that word specifically) because to each of us, our pain is unique and no matter how great or small it may seem, it still hurts and that hurt is very really to you.
So please bare with me as I invite you to be a witness to my "pity party".  I ask that you would extend grace and prayers to a woman who is just trying to find her way most days.
As many of you already know, Kenton and I felt lead last fall to leave behind our (large) home, our friends, two church families and a great deal of security for new opportunities in Olympia, WA.  We felt very strongly that the Lord laid out step-by-step the path to take.  He opened many doors for us, making it impossible for us to deny that He was at the heart of the plan.  However once we reached what we incorrectly thought to be our final destination, we lost sight of the path,  Possibly, it was our own fleshly understanding of what the path was going to look like or perhaps we began making our own plans, rather than letting the Lord reveal HIS plans to us.  Whatever the reason, thing have not been as easy or freeing as we had hoped. 
We expected for me to take a full time job with the state in order to allow Kenton to cut back to part time work (or not work at all) in order for him to focus more time on his schooling and become a full time (as opposed to part-time) student.  We expected to have enough money to add a few necessities to our budget that we were not able to have in Oregon (like clothes, co-pays and car maintenance) and to have enough money to save for the future (a fully funded emergency fund, down payment on a house someday, etc . . .).  We expected to have more and consistent time together as a family, with both of us being home in the evenings. And we expected to find great childcare for Jilly similar to the options we had been blessed with in Oregon.  But . . . none of these plans came to full fruition.
I work 40 hours a week, M-F, outside of the home in a job that has proven itself to be extremely frustrating and discouraging for a forward-aspiring, technologically advanced, big picture thinker like myself.  The people, for the most part are friendly and kind but the work is mostly, mundane, tedious, and significantly lacking in efficiency.
I arrive home at 5:15 to a often delicious dinner.  prepared by my adoring husband (for which I am very grateful).  We sit down immediately so that we are able to eat dinner together as a family and most days Kenton is out the door at 5:45 for his swing shift at Fred Meyer.  When he arrives home around 11:30 (on a good night), I am sound asleep and he does not want to wake me, just in case I am preparing to fulfill my desires of going to the gym before work in the morning (at 5:30 am).  My alarm goes off in the morning, loud enough to wake me, but quietly enough to allow hubby to stay asleep.  On a good day, I get dressed and head to the gym (it's a 50/50 shot as to whether this happens or not) which usually depends on whether or not I have given in to my natural night owl tendencies the night before. I return home to shower and get ready for my work day.  Usually by this time, the Bean has crawled in bed with Daddy and they've both fallen back to sleep.  Most days, Jilly wakes up as I'm walking out the door (usually in a mad rush to get to work on time).  It's sad to say, but I prefer the days when I am able to sneak out unnoticed, only because I am not bear the sleepy eyes, outstretched arms and longing desire for mommy to give her cuddles. 
Now, if you know my girl at all, you know that she has never been a cuddler so when she comes to me on my way out the door wanting nothing more than for me to sit down and hold her, and I can't, it is heart wrenching.  And so my day begins again . . . .
Though we are grateful that cutting back to part-time work has allowed Kenton to limit his availability and thus give us Saturdays and Sundays (until 5:45pm) to have quality time together as a family.It means just enough money to get by (and not nearly as much as many people we know need to live).  Even now, nearly four years into our journey, I wonder how single income families do it. And more often than not, I am envious of them no matter how they manage to accomplish this.  I know it is not right and I do love my SAHM friends dearly, but it is still a challenge I face most days.
Kenton's schedule and not having someone at home in the evenings to watch Jilly has made it very difficult for me to get involved in any small groups or Bibles studies as I have yet to find on in the evenings that offers childcare.  Once in a while, I might be able to schedule a sitter but the budget really does not allow for that to be a regular occurrence.  And so far we have found no opportunities for a married's group or Bible study the we can attend together because of the childcare issue &/or Kenton's work schedule.  So aside from my walking buddies at work (who are old enough to be my mother and have grown children of their own), my mother and Facebook, I have yet to establish any other relationships that can offer me any support, encouragement, or just female interaction.  This simple (and very HUGE) fact makes for significant loneliness most of the time.  And especially on days like today where I just want to have someone understand the challenges of being a Christian mom who works outside of the home full time.  
When you add to that, the fact that Kenton is taking full-time classes online through PCC in order to obtain an associates degree in Computer Science (which we hope will allow him to get a job that gives us opportunity to turn the tables on our current situation) and taking care of Jillian during the day, squeezing in studying during nap or TV time, it is hard for either of us to keep up on the daily duties of maintaining our home.  I can't tell you the last time the bathroom floors were scrubbed or the mirrors were cleaned.  There's currently about 4-5 loads of laundry waiting patiently in a pile in the living room waiting to be folded and we're extremely lucky if any of us can find clean underwear or socks on a given day, much less that they be in the appropriate drawers or shelves. 
All of this while raising a temperamental toddler who takes after her mother (and is having bedtime battles of will MOST nights) and the gloomy whether outside, I am tired with little to no time or energy to keep my composure all the time.  And with dreams that seem so unreachable given current circumstances.  Dreams of being self-employed, owning a home of our own again someday and expanding our family.  Most days, if I think about them too much, I get tear eyed.  And some days, I am strong enough to let go, lay them at the foot of the cross and say . . .  "Father, YOUR will be done."  On days like that I am grateful and rejoice in faith, but on days like today, I just cry. 
  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our New Home

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time and I'm sure there are some of you out in the blog world who have been waiting very patiently to read it as very few of you have actually had the pleasure of seeing our new home. Eventually I realized that the house is never going to look perfect so I might as well just post what I can and be okay with that so, here you go.  Welcome to our new home:
 
The exterior front
The first glance at the kitchen

The sink and front window

The Dining Room


Living Room from the Dining Room
Looking towards the fireplace, from the garage.


The entryway behind the front door, leading upstairs

The bed half of our room, a bookcase has been added to the left of the bed and opposite the foot of the bed is a desk and another bookcase.
Jilly's Room
I swear this kid has the coolest room . . . ever!

Jilly's alcove which now sports a pretty pink curtain with small white daisies on it.

"Tori's Room"
Since before we moved in, Jillian has referred to this closet as Tori's room.  I figured what better to do with it than fill it with books and hang a picture of Jilly and Tori in it.  When this whole thing was MY room, I had a twin mattress on the floor of this closet and Bop and Big Bopper 8x10s covering the ceiling.  It was a wonderful place for some teenage privacy.  Here's to hoping that we've moved to a new house before Jilly's a teenager! 

So, there's the short tour.  For something more extensive . . .  I guess you'll have to come visit!  We don't have a ton of room for guests but we'd love to have them.  There is a significant lack of familiar faces around here (except for my parents and one dear college friend).  We have a membership to the local 'Y' for free swimming and a membership to the Pt. Defiance Zoo and Northwest Trek as well.  So come on up and we'll show you a good time for sure!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

This year, I had the brilliant idea to head out to Anderson Island in the Puget Sound for Mother's Day to spend some time at my parents' weekend home there. I know it is a place that my mother goes, to escape the rest of the world so when I suggested it to her, she jumped at the chance.Jilly and I headed over with my mom and step-dad on Friday night (Kenton had to work).  Upon our arrival, we noticed a few oddities about the house. Some kitchen cabinets were wide open, there was a set of decorative pewter measuring spoons on the counter . . . my step-dad took a closer look in the back of the house and found that someone had removed the guest bedroom window and invited themselves in.  It had been a few months since my parents had been out to the island so they weren't sure when the break-in occurred. Fortunately, the house was pretty much in order except for a few things strewn around in the back bedrooms and some open cabinets and drawers.  My parents don't leave too many valuables out there (probably for this very reason) and the things that were taken were slightly odd anyway . . . an air mattress and pump, a few bottles of wine, a jar of change and possibly a pair of binoculars.  Interestingly, the most expensive thing was the increased electric bills because the culprits were not kind enough to return the window they had removed to its rightful place, therefore extra heat was needed to keep the house at the set temperature. 
Once we took a trip to the local market to report the break-in and learn that this house was one of many.  We went back, picked up and settled in for the night.  The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast of cinnamon swirl toast, eggs and bacon,  a member of the Pierce County Sheriff's office stopped by to make his report about the break-in and to his joy and surprise, found not one, but two FULL handprints on the back window which he would later send a forensics team out to properly retrieve for the investigation.  We found out then, that 'our' house was one of 25-30 break-ins on the island that had occured of the last 5 months.  WOW!!!  Makes you feel glad that you're not the only one, but a little scared that someone is causing that much trouble to so many of the homes.  Apparently ours was mild compared to others.  In some of the cases, the culprits spent the night in the houses they broke into and even worse, hosted parties in the houses and left them trashed,
Kenton joined us mid-morning, not long after the office left.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather as a family by blowing bubbles and throwing and skipping rocks off the beach into the Puget Sound.  I even got a few blissful minutes of sun bathing on the shore with my sleeves and jeans rolled up. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of our time on the 'beach' but I can assure that both Kenton and Jilly had a wonderful time throwing rocks together.
Kenton and I made dinner as a special treat for my mom.  Butter and garlic noodles with chicken and asparagus, garlic bread and salad.  After dinner, we headed outside to roast S'mores.  An island tradition.  And then, I got the most wonderful Mother's Day gift of all time . . . my daughter (who frequently fights bed time at home) put herself to bed.  We brushed her teeth and she climbed into bed without any prompting.  We read a story and before I could even come back to check on her, she was asleep.  And the best part about it was, she was asleep in another room of the house apart from where Kenton and I would be sleeping AND she slept in their ALL night long . . .BY HERSELF!  All of these things were enough to have me beside myself for most of the next morning.  It was amazing and Kenton and I took full advantage of it by playing cards together until almost 1am. What a treat!!
Sunday morning brought hand painted decorations from Jilly to both me and my mom.  I got a butterfly, she got a turtle. Breakfast was a spread waffles, eggs, sausage, bacon and coffee.  Num.  Not long after, my step-dad's brother and mother arrived to join us for our mother's day celebration.  I treated my mom to a pedicure and painted my step dad's mom's toes as a small pampering in honor of Mother's Day.  We lunched on Salmon, steaks, garlic bread and fresh fruit before heading home on the ferry for Kenton to go to work.  All-in-all, it was a beautiful weekend celebrating the gift of mother's and motherhood.
Here are some pictures from our weekend:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Easter Experience

So I'm having a little bit of trouble with the slide.com slideshows, not reading my edited images correctly.  Mostly in terms of ones that I've rotated, so I'm going to try to pick out my best pictures from the weekend and post them individually here.

Our Easter festivities started on Thursday when we went to grandma and grandpa's house to color Easter eggs.  Grandma had bought a special glitter decorating kit and Jilly had a great time shaking the glitter onto the eggs:



On Friday night, we headed over to my Dad's house to visit with him and his wife, Jodi.  It had been far too long since we had seen them. A death in the family had kept them from feeling up to company for a while as they mourned the loss of Jodi's dog Piko whom she had had for 12 years and raised from a puppy.  Piko was her one and only until my dad came around and even then you had to wonder who was really the 'top dog'.


On Saturday, the church we have been attending held an Easter Egg Hunt and Charlie's Safari.   A local kid-focused restaurant here in town. The place was packed.  When we got there, they were setting up inside for the second wave of patrons so there was no one in the building and the line outside wrapped around the side of the building and was probably 150 kids deep.  They began passing out tickets to the people in line and eventually ended up having to turn people away because they just did not have enough room or time for everyone to be able to come in. 

Jillan had a wonderful time, climbing in the tube tower, sliding on the inflatables, seeing Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny and getting her face painted.  I can't even begin to tell you how much candy she came home with that day from all of the eggs that she found.  Needless to say, most all of it went to work with me that week so that it wasn't sitting around our house.  Lord knows none of us needed it.  :-)



You can see that even Daddy had a good time at the Easter Egg Hunt.

After the Easter egg hunt and a nap, we headed over to grandma and grandpa's house for a delicious Turkey dinner (thanks to Chef Kenton), more Easter egg hunting and Jilly's first Easter basket of the year.  Unfortunately, Jilly moved to fast for me to get any very good pictures of this hunt.

Sunday, we had made arrangements to go to church with my aunt and uncle in Auburn, about 45 minutes north of our home.  Jillian had been complaining the day before of her ears hurting so we had bought some ear drops and had been trying to keep her pain levels and the fever she had developed over night down with some Tylenol.  Any wise parents, would have canceled our Sunday plans and allowed her to stay home and rest but both of us were eager to see my extended family and attend their church with them so we pushed ahead.  Bad idea!!!  No sooner did we turn into the parking lot, did Jilly lose her breakfast smoothie all over herself.  Eeeek!  Thank goodness she wasn't wearing a fancy Easter dress and we had a decent looking change of clothes in the car.  Not that it mattered, once she got cleaned up and changed, she was wrapped in blanket and held in one of our arms on our lap, sleeping through the ENTIRE  Easter service.  I was amazed!  And selfishly, being as I do not have a cuddling child, I savored these sickly moments with her still on my lap.  Please, don't hate me for this confession.

After church, we returned to my aunt and uncle's house for a delicious lunch of Tomato Ravioli soup,  homemade bread, jicama and grapes.  Funny, the spell checker doesn't recognize jicama. Of course, I don't know that my husband did either, but I digress.  :-)  Nearly as soon as we arrived, Jillian asked to watch a movie and given her condition, I didn't argue.  She chose Tarzan and sat quietly mesmerized on the bed upstairs while we adults ate and chatted downstairs and within an hour, she was out cold!  Our poor baby girl slept for nearly 3 hours straight.  

When she finally woke up, we tried to get her to open her three remaining Easter baskets (one from her Grandma in Oregon, one from her Papa & Jodi and one from us).  She wasn't too into it and we probably should have pushed it but it was Easter and time was running out.  She muddled her way through the baskets and we made our way home.  Finally, half way home, she was starting to get back to her old self and the next day, she had a great time playing with Daddy and some of her new Easter gifts.