He is risen!
Last year, we did an elaborate 12 days of Easter extravaganza! This year was definitely less extensive, but we still celebrated in the days before Easter Sunday the new life we can have because of Jesus Christ.
Like last year, I read the stories of what happened in the days before the resurrection and used flannelgraph to illustrate the story. Often (though not all 12 days) we had a basket with little toys or treats to remind us of a truth about Jesus. We sang Ho-Ho-Ho-Hosanna and Nothing but the Blood of Jesus again. They sponge painted their footprints and decorated bunny cupcakes.
We also did some new things. We participated in an egg hunt with our homeschool group and did a stained glass window cross craft. A church nearby hosted an Easter event for families to experience and engage in the truths of Easter together. There was a hallway that was covered (over some sort of plastic, I’m sure) in sand, and then palm branches and cloaks were laid down. We walked down the path and felt the sand under our shoes. They had several rooms with objects and activities for children- of all ages- to do to taste, touch, hear, smell, and see the truths of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Much of it went completely over our children’s heads, but it was a wonderful experience nonetheless.
Also new this year, Daddy, X and K did a fun paper mache craft.
X exclaimed several times during this process, “Eeeewy Gooey!” K said, “Oops.” That was unnerving for me. Sure enough, her balloon with paper mache strips had fallen to the floor. This whole process was quite messy indeed.
But they turned out great! A few days later, after they had dried, Daddy cut the bottom of one off to make a tomb shape and cut a door in it. The kids and I painted it and found a big rock in our side yard to use as the door. On Friday, after our story about Jesus’ death, we wrapped a flannelgraph figure in a paper towel and laid it in the tomb. On Sunday morning, the rock was rolled away from the entrance and the tomb was empty!
I got a fabulous Easter craft idea from The Imagination Tree… a new ‘spin’ on painting Easter Eggs. We used paint, eggs cut out of pastel paper, and a salad spinner. This was the result:
We also did the very traditional dyeing of Easter eggs for our Easter breakfast. My foot ended up yellow and I can’t even blame the kids. (Perhaps I can blame the child in utero? Doesn’t pregnancy make one a little clumsier? So that one might drop the yellow and blue dyes she is carrying and spill them violently and gloriously all over the kitchen, her pants, and her foot?)
Easter Sunday itself was a wonderful day! I woke up very early to prepare a cinnamon crumb cake for breakfast. I made hot chocolate and then woke the family. We trekked outside in our jammies with blankets, hot chocolate, and our Bible. We sat in a circle on a picnic blanket on our lawn, just as dawn was breaking. We breathed the chilly air and sipped the hot cocoa and sang several hymns and songs of praise to our Savior for His glorious work on the cross and subsequent triumph over death! X requested the “Daddy song” with “rocks” and “trees,” which turned out to be This Is My Father’s World. Daddy read the story of the resurrection from the gospel of Matthew and I looked at my husband holding little Z and my other two children curled up and wrapped in blankets. Tears filled my eyes and I thought of how very precious and beautiful that moment was.
The kids ran inside to find the tomb empty and the bowl that had held colored eggs empty as well! They searched and found the eggs and we sat down to a wonderful breakfast. We got all dressed up and went to church. At our church on Sunday mornings, the Pre-K classes take flowers up the aisle during worship and lay the flowers at the wooden cross on the stage. It is very sweet. X-man, our crazy son who loves attention made his way to the front of the stage and then with a white carnation in each hand, conducted the church while we all sang. Boy, do I wish I had a video camera handy for that moment!
After church, we enjoyed an Easter egg hunt and lunch with our neighbors and then rested for the rest of the day. Today, the kids woke up and wanted it to be Easter again (though thankfully, they’ll settle for a bunny cupcake after lunch). It was a beautiful day!
He is risen indeed!