Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter 2013

This Easter was such a special time for this mama. It seems that all holidays mean so much more to me as a mommy- not only am I truly taking time to focus on the reason behind the holiday, but I'm diving deep into the truth in order to teach my girls about the JOY we have in Christ. Especially during the week leading up to Easter...I am so thankful that I serve a LIVING God and that He took care of my own sin on the cross all those years ago. Because of heart is FULL this season as we celebrate Jesus' final days with his disciples, his death on the cross, and then most importantly...his Resurrection!! No one, not even death can keep my Lord down:) What an amazing truth and joy that I can share with others- most importantly with my girlies.

I have been reading the book of Mark in my Bible this month. I have LOVED reading all of the red lettered words...these are the words that Jesus spoke in to me- the most important words of all. I loved reading all about what he spent his last days teaching his disciples and complete strangers leading up until his death. All of the times he foreshadowed what was to one got it. But we have the privilege of reading it all after it happened. We see the references. We see the big picture. We can take joy in the whole story because we know the ending. That is something to be happy about:)

This is kind of a picture blog for my own sake to remember what we did and what traditions we hope to carry on each Easter. It was so special and so neat to see Caroline soaking in all of the bible stories, apply them to our lives, and see her understanding the JOY of salvation. My heart was more than full. Sweet little Emily and Hannah didn't have much to say on the matter yet, but they sure had fun learning along side of us:)

Palm Sunday craft...footprints and hand prints. IT'S A DONKEY.With palm branches. Don't make fun. I thought they turned out cute!!

Dying eggs- we started with 12 and ended with 7. The cracked eggs lead to some fun exploration of the parts of an egg...everything is a learning experience:)  They enjoyed it and had colored little fingers for a day or two. Hannah called them "balls" and wanted so badly to hold them. Maybe next year sis.

We had our own little Lord's supper...or acted out the last supper that Jesus had with his BFF's. We had breakfast for dinner that night. I let the girls set the table and prepare it all with care- just as I imagine Jesus did for his disciples. Jesus spent his final hours LOVING others. Serving others. We read some scripture and took our blueberry pancakes and apple juice and had our first ever family communion. It was a fun, meaningful, and spiritual moment. Afterwards we followed Jesus' example in the Bible and did some feet washing:) We washed the girls feet first, then Brad did mine and of course I followed by washing his. We explained to the girls how much we loved them and cared for them and wanted them to feel special. The did and so did I. Of course a conversation about dirty feet with a 3 and 4 year old is going to lead to some sort of reference to poo we explained that the disciples had been wearing sandals, walking in dirty streets...anyway, we got the point across:)
Good Friday Pancakes...This thought totally came to me as I was mixing the pancake batter up that morning. It was kind of a tricky morning to explain and describe to the girls. I decided to make their pancakes in the shape of a cross, and I poured red sprinkles onto one side of them. Red because of Jesus' blood that was shed on the cross, and for our sin. I let the girls have their own little cup of sprinkles to add to their pancake when they got it to show them actually putting "their" sin on the cross. Then the best part...we flipped the pancake over to the plain/white side and celebrated because Jesus took all of our sin away and leaves us white as snow...clean, pure, and righteous in His eyes. This was a fun lesson and one I think makes perfect sense to a hungry 4 year old:) They didn't even ask for syrup on these because we had sprinkled them up so well!

The weather was terrible all weekend. Rain. Rain. Rain. We didn't get to go on any of the big egg hunts that we normally do, but we did end up improvising and doing an indoor egg hunt with our friends. We went over to the Robertson's and the girls had a blast!!

Easter baskets set out the night before...

I read somewhere about how a mom started the tradition of being the first to wake up Easter morning and waking her family members with the words..."He is Alive!" because it was the women in Jesus' life who discovered his empty grave first. I did in fact wake up early, to iron clothes and actually grab a shower, so I turned on my favorite Easter song, Alive by Natalie Grant...and woke my sweet girls. Brad, Caroline and Emily, and then Hannah woke soon after. It was very neat to wake them up and truly share my joy and excitement with them..we listened to the song and danced first thing in the early morning light in the living room. Sweetness. Then we had even more sweetness as we gave them their Easter baskets full of sugar.

The girls were SO excited to finally get to wear their dresses. They were gorgeous.

We celebrated at church that morning despite the nasty rain and dreary weather. Thankfully by late afternoon the sun came out and gave us a BEAUTIFUL evening to enjoy.
That evening we cooked dinner together, had our friend Peter over, and played outside in the dirt/mud. We ended the night by making Resurrection rolls. Basically if you have no idea what that means- you place a marshmallow inside a crescent roll (that is sprinkled with cinnamon, butter, and sugar!) and talk about how Jesus' body was placed in the tomb...then you cook the rolls...let them cool and then look inside...and the tomb is empty! It's a little bit of an odd illustration to roll Jesus in butter and sugar then cook him...BUT it does create some excitement when they look inside for the marshmallow and its not there;)

The good 'ol Easter bunny... we ran into him as we went out for ice cream the week before Easter. Hannah wasn't so fond of him. Caroline loved the bunny. Emily loved the candy in the eggs he gave them. Fun times.
Hope you all had a special Easter! After thinking about how fast and furious holidays seem to be...there is no reason we cannot celebrate our risen Savior every day out of the year! :)

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