Easter is quickly becoming my most favorite holiday of the year. And not because of candy, eggs or a bunny (even though Cadbury eggs are still among my all time favorite candy), but because of the awesome opportunity to teach my kids about Jesus and his amazing love for us shown through his death on the cross and God's power in raising Jesus from the dead!
Thanks to Pinterest and a number of Christian blogs I follow, we've found some great activities that really show our kids the power of Jesus grace and forgiveness.
- We start by observing Lent to prepare our hearts. Levi surprised us by joining in as well - he gave up CHOOSING a tv show for 40 days and really stuck by it. He was still allowed to watch the shows his brother and sister chose, but we figured this was great for a 4 year old. Colt also decided to give up sugar for 40 days... and this last all of about 1 day : )
- This year, we kicked off the Lenten season by attending an Ash Wednesday service. The church gave us a kid friendly calendar with activities to do each of the 40 days. We didn't do all of the days, but it was a good guide for those days when I was uninspired.
- I bought the Benjamin's Box book that corresponds with the Resurrection Eggs. We read a page a day for 12 days and the kids LOVED this.
- As far as the Easter Bunny, we decided that we would do our egg hunt on the first day of spring (March 20th), so we could focus only on the resurrection the closer we got to Easter Sunday. We celebrated the newness and creation of the Lord and praised him that he continues to create new things in our day and age while munching on jellybeans and chocolate. *Note to self for next year - Whole Foods sells natural fruit jellybeans that are to die for... SO much better tasting than regular jellybeans. I almost ate the whole bag myself without putting any in the kids eggs, and I usually don't even like jellybeans!
- The night before Easter we did an exercise where the kids wrote their sins on a piece of paper which we crinkled up and put in their Easter baskets. We talked about how to get rid of our sins and how they keep us from a relationship with God. The next morning, their Easter baskets were supposed to be covered with red cloth to symbolize the blood of Christ covering them (but I forgot to buy the cloth), and all of their sins were in Jesus' Easter basket. In their baskets were some good gifts from the Lord (and Mom and Dad). Thank you God for your gift of Grace!
- We also made Resurrection Rolls on Easter morning. It's so fun (and the most unhealthy breakfast I make all year long!! Ha!) to put Jesus' body (marshmallow) in the burial spices (butter, cinnamon and sugar), then wrap them in the tomb (crescent roll). After they bake, Jesus has disappeared from the tomb! He has conquered Death!
This is probably my favorite picture of the day... captures their personalities perfectly!
Anyway, I just write these things as a reminder of what we taught at their current ages and to remember for next year. There are so many ideas out there that I'm sure we'll change it up as they grow, but it's fun to see the lightbulb go off and to use some of these fun activities to communicate some difficult concepts. Next year I would definitely like to do better at not just sharing these things with my own kids, but with others as well.
Funny picture of Colt - he loves to have his hair spiked all over like this. And, the boys love to open all of the packages that are delivered to the door. I ordered this shirt and one to match it in a baby onesie, incase baby #4 is a boy, for a possible future photoshoot. Anyway, Colt really liked the shirt and wanted to wear it - so here he is!
Speaking of the baby... today I am 3 days past the due date. I thought all along that the baby would be early since it's the 4th kid and my body would know how to get it out quickly. However, Baby is proving me wrong. We've tried what seems to be a million of the "tricks" to get a baby to come out and nothing has worked up to this point, but we know that the Lord's timing is perfect, so we wait on him (more patiently some days than others). We just look forward to meeting our Little One soon, looking into their eyes, holding their sweet fingers, smelling that newborn smell, and finally being able to stop referring to it as "it, them, Baby #4"!