I’m not sure whether to be sad or a little bit relieved. Sad because Easterfest is a fantastic festival, great artists, so many things to do and fun. But I am relieved we didn’t go today, because as much fun as it was, gosh it was so tiring doing it with five kids under seven – and in particular, you guessed it, the three two year old triplets.
When we were home from the festival, the triplets did sleep well, let me assure you! Alex and I my parenting strategy is just to get in and do things and deal with the fallout afterwards. So Easter Monday was officially devoted to going slow and recovering. Don’t tell the triplets, but because they were fully zonked out and taking an extra long nap, they have missed out on a post Easter egg hunt with some friends at a local park. The big boys were happy to go along though – not that any of them needs extra sugar, but that’s another story.
Talking of which, sugar is exactly the way Easter Sunday began, with Trent, our living alarm clock, running in and letting us know that the Easter Bunny had came! He then specifically came over to me and made a point of saying, “The Easter Bunny has given me chocolates, not you. Just the Easter Bunny.” We tell him every year that the Easter Bunny and Santa aren’t real. (Just our choice, no problem with those who don’t) It doesn’t matter. He simply refuses to believe me. At least he can never say I lied!
Little did he know that after coming in late from a watching the jazz at Easterfest, (See ) I had stayed up late not only filling their Easter buckets with chocolate, but also loading a new game onto their leapsters/leap pad so they had something to distract them at the concert on Sunday night.
The triplets normally are locked in their bedroom in the mornings. (On account of their super powers of destruction if they get up before us.) I didn’t trust them enough to leave chocolate in their room with no supervision. They were pretty happy to find the buckets at the door when they woke up!
|Small girl emerged without clothes on. She defies fashion trends and has decided she hates onesies. It is an ongoing battle between her and I at the moment…|
Of course there was chocolate for breakfast.
There’s only one day of the year you can get away with chocolate for brekky!
Anyway, onto Easterfest. We headed to Mainstage for the church service. As usual it was a brilliant time of corporate praise and worship. Our church traditionally runs the Easterfest service, and there is always a big crowd from Easterfesters and particularly the campers. We were so proud of one of our great pastor’s Nat Spary preaching the sermon. Nat shared his testimony about growing up in a dysfunctional home. He was so poor “that we couldn’t afford the R in poor and that just left us with poo.” Because of the Resurrection that we were celebrating on Sunday, Jesus has set him free from a life of hurt, pain and addictions. He learned that God’s love had the power to heal and to save. These days Nat runs an awesome ministry called The Base which ministers to the poor and disadvantaged, to kids who are in a similar situation to him.
|This is Nat and his incredible wife Tiff. I had run into them in Kidsworld the previous day!|
After church we went home and settled some very tired triplets down for a sleep. The big boys and Daddy kicked back and watched a DVD, so I took advantage of the peacefulness and escaped back into town to watch Jars of Clay at “The Palace” (tent!) It was so nice just being out on my own and enjoying the music. I had to run away a bit early, but I couldn’t resist ducking in to have a quick look at the Lifeline tent after hearing such great things about it. I picked up a cute shirt and dress, complete bargains. Yay!
Once I was home I discovered the triplets were still sleeping, (they clocked up a three hour nap, thanks to Easterfest exhaustion!) so I raced madly around the house packing things, particularly warm clothes, (Toowoomba is chilly at this time of year), so we could go out as a family to the final event on MainStage. We were a bit nervous about how we would go with all the kids. As always, we decided to plunge in and just do it. We always have an “Abort Mission” clause that we’ve agreed to if things aren’t going well. A few times, a very few at that, we’ve aborted missions. But for the most part we find that we get through things, and we would prefer to be doing stuff rather than sitting safely at home and missing out on the fun.
|Minus one child in the pic Sunday night.|
Having said that, it may be that the people sitting behind us were wishing that we aborted the mission sooner. There was certainly a lot of movement from our little patch on the grass! Thankfully no one seemed to notice or mind the strange attire and state of our
kids. Because we had whipped them out of bed and into the car, there were dirty faces, crumpled clothes, Jayden was wearing a girls hat that he refused to take off, the identical boys refused to wear shoes, so ran around in their socks and later in the night, Imogen refused to wear her coat, despite it being freezing. And when she finally gave in, it took her half an hour to get it on because she then refused to accept help. Ah, the joys of toddlerhood! We made it through most of the evening, even if we arrived later than we wished and missed out on Alabaster Box and Jimmy Needham, (I really wanted to hear him!)
|Getting towards the end of the night…|
Dami Im was brilliant. I loved seeing how genuine and passionate she is about her faith, and she really has the Wow factor as well as the X factor when she belts out a tune!
I was so impressed with how the OC Supertones worked the crowd. They had everyone up on their feet and participating. Even my kids listened and obeyed! (I wonder if they do house calls) As the kids danced around, raised their hands and clapped to the songs, I was so glad that we made the effort to come as a family.
A presentation by the crew from Yes He Is was truly inspiring.
New Empire also rocked the stage. Towards the end of the set, it was apparent that it was time to take the kids home. It would have been good to stay for the Worship Party finale, but this is just the stage of life we are at.
Altogether, I am very grateful that the organisers of Easterfest giving us tickets. It has been a pleasure to share with you about this well organised, fun, inspirational festival that is full of talent, passion and faith. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy taking five kids to the festival every day. We were absolutely exhausted by the end. There are a lot of moments I just wanted to give up. When we came home at lunchtime I felt like bawling while the kids were all crying, I had a sore back, I was tired and I was worried because our dog had run away since Friday night, (Thankfully our neighbours on the other side of the highway found him at their place when they returned from camping.) But after a little sniffle (such self control!) I just pulled my big girl pants up, thanked my God for my blessings and kept pedalling like mad, because it’s a glorious ride this life and I want to make the most of it!
Just to remind you as I say this, I’m under no obligation to say anything but my own opinions here. Easterfest hasn’t sponsored these posts or all my social media contributions over the weekend. I just really want to heartily endorse and recommend Easterfest as a great event for people to go to. As a family, we had a blast. Sure we don’t get to do as much as we might like, but everything we did do was awesome. (Cue Lego theme song… Everything is AWESOME!!!) Kidsworld was so good at keeping the younger ones engaged, it may not feel you are getting value for money when you are stuck in the sandpit, but like my sister said as she hung out with me there on Saturday, “I come here when the kids are young because I want to support this festival in the hope that it will still be here when my kids are teenagers.” Her family got a one day pass, but her 11 year old eldest daughter loved it so much her and her father came on Sunday as well. For families, if you have kids who are in their pre-teen and teenage years, I think they are the ideal age to enjoy the full benefits and value of the wide range of music available. Of course it’s ideal for young adults as well if we are talking more than families, but everywhere I looked there was people of every age group. There were a lot of grandparents sitting up the back with us at MainStage also, and they certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves even if their mosh pit days are over!
The big announcement of the festival was that Switchfoot will be there in 2015. The news hot of the press is that until April 30 you can get discounted tickets online for 2015, so it’s definitely worth checking out, or letting someone know if you think they will enjoy it. Hop over to the Easterfest and click on the tickets button.
But in the meantime, I loved it, but it’s time to take off the festival wrist wear and get on living the life that glorifies that God we spent the weekend proclaiming.
Linking with Essentially Jess