I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend, and had a chance to remember and celebrate the real reason for the season, the death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This year, for the 13th year in a row, we spent the weekend at Easterfest: the marvellous Christian Music festival that’s held in Toowoomba at this time each year.
I’m pretty sure I say it every year, but I think this year was the best so far. Somehow after the craziness that occurred with the freak flooding of Easterfest in 2011, this year’s festival just seemed to pull together in an amazing way that was community-minded and God-filled.
Mayana once again was an absolute legend. This kid is a born rocker, and it doesn't cease to amaze me how well she copes with such a huge weekend. We make a parenting decision each time we go to the festival that it’s one weekend a year, and three days with no routine, crazy hours, and lots of noise is not gonna kill the girl (or us). Amazingly, she really just makes it work. Each day she napped in her pram, and crawled into a various lap each night at around 8-ish, announced she was tired and promptly fell asleep. Some of the music was a bit loud for her, but we soon fixed that with a pair of baby-muffs, and she was ready to rock with the music a few decibels lower. Each day she took a trip to ‘Kids Island’ to have her face painted, but other than that she was content to just hang out with various family members, usually myself, Aunty Joce & Kami… and she has taken away a very special memory of her first dodgem car experience with Opa!
The final night was the only one that Mayana was still awake when we left (although she had had a 2-ish hour nap earlier in the evening). This meant that she was awake for the Family Variety Show, which is a new festival event and was one of my favourites. Mayana was quite impressed with the orange puppet, Zoe, who emceed the event (and who she thought was the one off Sesame Street), and with the Magic of Christopher Wayne. The kid has been doing magic tricks ever since.
We shouldn’t be surprised really, Mayana is after all a seasoned Easterfest veteran. How many kids can say that they’ve been to their fourth Easterfest at the tender age of three? Even Easterfest was impressed with that!!
Half of the fun of Easterfest is catching up with friends, and this year’s was no different.
Our family My very dedicated husband saves a spot in a particular place on the hill for each of the evening shows, and we are usually joined by a whole lot of wonderful friends, making the experience that much more wonderful.
This year our lovely friends from Iron & Clay both performed and joined us on our little possie on the hill. It was so great to see and catch up with them!
Other highlights for me this year included the incredible Empty Chair Project, Melbourne Gospel Choir, Mercy Me & Michael W Smith. The Lads came back for the first time in a few years, and I enjoyed them as always. The Sunday night combined church service was very powerful, with Darlene Zschech leading worship, and a very impacting message from Allen Myers.
The Melbourne Gospel Choir always gives me goose-bumps with their amazing harmonies!
There is something pretty special about coming together with thousands of other Christians to worship God for the combined Resurrection Sunday service!
It was a somewhat different experience for me this year, being you know, 4 weeks away from having my baby. I got to hang out with my mum and Aunty Joce, and we all agreed that having a pregnant woman around had its perks… it meant that we sat down a lot more and therefore ended up listening to a lot more music than we usually do, instead of flitting around between venues (I’m not much one for flitting these days).
I was pretty exhausted by the end of the weekend, but I had the most fabulous weekend, and I wouldn’t have missed it for quids.
This year, we were given the opportunity to stay at this gorgeous little retreat property owned by a local Catholic school. We had beds, cooking facilities, showers and toilets, and it was cheaper for us than camping! Needless to say we have already booked this accommodation for next year!
We all had a brilliant weekend, and can’t wait to do it all again in another 12 months or so (we’ve got our tickets already!), this time with two youngsters in tow.
If you ever get the opportunity, I can’t recommend spending the weekend at Easterfest highly enough!