Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Easter is the BEST holiday. I really wanted to make sure that my kids felt that way, too. Easter is about the risen Savior and because of that we all are offered life eternally if we choose to accept it. I know some people feel like coloring eggs, doing egg hunts and Easter baskets take away from the point of Easter. I feel like they make it exciting. As my children grow, we will continue to emphasize the point of this special holiday and while they are little we will have lots of fun celebrating.

Almost every day during the two weeks leading up to Easter, we did an egg hunt and yes I put things into the eggs. Usually only 1 fruit snack or small piece of candy. I hid about 12 eggs (6 for each). During this time, my kids learned something amazing--how to help the under dog. They very quickly began to give an egg to the other if they found two in a row. When we had a hunt at Grandma and Grandpa Gray's house, I couldn't have been more proud. They didn't run and push each other or their cousin out of the way, instead they shared. They often gave away eggs even if they had less then their family members. LOVE IT!

A few years ago, after Easter, I purchased a set of resurrection eggs. I bought them 75% off after Easter. They have been a fabulous investment. So for 12 days leading up to Easter, we opened an egg and told the story of Jesus. We read from the Bible and then prayed using our prayer cards (after Christmas I kept all of our Christmas cards and put a ring thru them). Some days, I had lots of activities and some days that is all we did.

The first egg contains a donkey to remind us of Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. After reading this story, we made these darling donkeys and hand prints out of our hands and feet that I found on Catholic Icing.

The second egg has coins to remind us that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. This day we talked about money. Each child got a few quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. We reviewed their names and value. I helped Ollie count the value of several coins together. Dawson and I spent time simply counting them and reviewing their names.

A few eggs later, we opened up a crown of thorns. My children made crowns from playdoh and toothpicks. Rolling playdoh into a snake to create a crown is quite good for motor skills!

After the crown of thorns, we opened a cross made of nails. We talked about how we belonged on that cross but Jesus took our place. I illustrated this by giving the kids a block of wood, nails and a hammer. First, I placed my hand on the wood and placed the nail there. Then, instead we replaced my hand with a heart and the boys nailed them on.

We had great fun after when we opened the egg with a piece of white fabric in it that reminded us that Jesus was wrapped in linens and placed int he tomb. I got out a roll of toilet paper and we wrapped each other up. Then we ripped it up and threw it all over the house!

As I said earlier, I do Easter baskets and that is because I feel like God gave us a great gift and I want to give great gifts to my kids. We do not however do the Easter bunny. This year I found this fabulous idea. I like that the baskets relayed a message. So the night before Easter, I sat down with my kids with a small pile of rocks. I placed their baskets on the floor and asked them what sin is. They did not know. So after defining sin as the bad things we do that don't please God. We started talking. We talked about how taking a toy away is stealing and I wrote, "stealing" on a rock. I placed it in one of their baskets and said, "Just one sin is enough to be sent to hell because the Bible says, 'The punishment for sin is death' but the good news is
Jesus loves you so much that he took your place." Then we wrote things like selfishness, hurting your brother, not putting God first on rocks and I repeated the same thing over and over. Next we placed a red piece of fabric over the baskets. The red fabric represents Jesus' blood that he shed on the cross. We left them there until morning. When my kids got up and peeled back the fabric, they did not find rocks but gifts because we Jesus died for us he took away those sins and leaves us the best gift--eternal life but we have to choose to accept it. I hope that if you haven't made Jesus your Savior, that you do! Happy Easter! It's something we should celebrate each and every day!

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