Tuesday, April 6, 2010


"In my Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it.
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade."

Easter 1963, we either didn't have new bonnets or we didn't wear them in the after-church shot at my Grandma/pa Neelly's house.

But it does show our Easter finery. My mom made our Easter dresses every year. Usually, she used the same pattern for my two sisters and me, and we each got a different color of the same fabric. (This was before my brother Kent was born. Even after his arrival, he didn't get a matching tie or anything!)

We usually didn't wear hats except at Easter. I certainly can recall the choking grip of the elasticized band around my chubby neck. We may have begged to leave them off for the photo.

However, my memories didn't keep me from making my daughter wear an Easter bonnet (at least until she was old enough to protest!)

(Easter 1988)

I don't know whether it's my advancing years or what. But I seem to have been bitten by the nostalgia bug.

Last week, it was the music festival.

This week, it's Easter. It sent me digging through a few boxes of photos. (A sidenote: I have always taken tons of photos. If only I would be bitten by the organization bug instead of the nostalgia bug, I might get them organized. But, as I tell my kids, the story of their lives is alive and well and buried in multiple plastic tubs.)

At my childhood home, the Easter bunny always arrived overnight and left a treat on the table. Easter morning usually meant going to a sunrise church service. When I was younger, we attended the Byers United Methodist Church, just 3 1/2 miles away from our Pratt County farmhouse. The Byers church and the Pleasant Plains Friends Church just south of Byers alternated hosting the Easter sunrise service each year, and breakfast was served following the meal.

As a kid, I didn't think about the work involved in the breakfast. Your perspective definitely changes as an adult. Our Stafford UMC church's Hospitality Committee has hosted an Easter brunch the past three years. It's a great time of fellowship, and I think we had 80-plus people this year. I provided three coffeecakes, which I'd stashed in the freezer earlier in the week since I was having 15 people for Easter dinner at my house.

(My family at the church's Easter brunch)

I like decorating for holidays. When the kids were little, we started an Easter egg tree tradition. We blew out eggs and decorated them. I've been storing them in egg cartons ever since, and each year, I enjoy remembering the fun we had decorating eggs (For more on the process, read my monthly blog at Lovely Branches Ministries: www.lbrfoodforthought.blogspot.com)

As I looked through some old photos, I discovered some central themes. The tradition for frilly dresses, white patent leather shoes and ruffled socks continued until Jill objected.

I've always loved this photo. Brother and sister love and cleaned up kids ... what's not to like?

2010 was not the first that we celebrated my Dad's birthday along with Easter. At this particular Easter, only three of my parents' seven grandchildren had made an appearance (Blake, Paige and Jill. Brent didn't arrive until that May.)

(Easter 1988)

2010 was not the first year we had used the forsythia bush as a colorful backdrop.

(Easter 1993)

I also was amused by Brent's tie in this photo. The kids are constantly telling Randy that his tie is too short. Obviously, the fashion police were not available to monitor Brent's tie in 1993.

The tie appears to be a better length in 1992.

It appears my penchant for making my kids pose for photos was alive and well in 1993. I'm sure Brent will love this one.

Easter egg hunts are a central theme in the photos. I usually took Jill & Brent to Stafford for the Chamber of Commerce hunt. That is one event to which punctuality is crucial. Easter egg hunts last all of about 2 minutes. I'm not sure whether it was worth the 30-mile round trip to town, but it's what you do for your kids.

(Easter 1991)

We didn't stop with the in-town Easter egg hunts. The after-church family egg hunt was popular because of the prizes. The older kids kept hunting along with the younger ones. Chocolate was always good, but it was the eggs with a little bit of cash that kept the older kids captivated as they grew older. Jill always seemed to have the knack for procuring the biggest haul in the money department.

Blake, Jill & Paige
Abby, Brian and Brent
The 7th and final grandchild, Madison, had not yet arrived!

The younger ones delved into the eggs to determine the loot!

Don't you just love a trip down Memory Lane?


  1. I do love it! Those kids are too cute!! But where are the pics of your sister and her husband? Those are the ones I want to see!

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  2. I love seeing Brent and Jill's pics when they were little!! They both took (and still take) great pictures!

  3. Who knows? Maybe Lisa and Kyle will appear in some future episode. However, the kids seem to dominate the thousands of photos in my possession!

  4. Wow where did you find all the pictures.

  5. I feel so blessed to have graced your blog. I can get you more material if you need it!

  6. I'm always looking for material, Paige!

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