Thursday, April 21, 2011

Real Easter for my kids

I love traditions and finding reason to celebrate anything.  I like wearing sombreros for Cinco de Mayo and green for St. Patrick's Day.  Easter has some fun kid activities like dyeing Easter eggs and spring photos, but how do I teach my kids that this is an actual significant holiday to me and to us?  Each year they get older and smarter and that means that I need to be a step ahead of them.  I like this blogger and her last year's Easter post, so I spent a long time on Monday looking through the comments and ideas.  I got some from here and here

Luckily, my parents raised me with traditions that I like - so I don't have to reinvent the wheel entirely.  We would open our Easter baskets (that my mom made) and do the eggs and bunny stuff on Saturday so that Sunday could be reserved entirely for the REAL meaning of Easter.  Well, I like celebrating the entire month sometimes, so I should go over the real meaning more than just on Sunday. 
Here's our Wednesday Easter lesson.  (I really wish I had done something for Palm Sunday last week, but I'll do it next year . . . )

We made resurrection rolls from this blog post.  I was going to do an Easter basket with the symbols of Easter like she did over the days leading up to Easter, but instead I just talked about it and used photos.  I started with the stories of Jesus the week before his death, and when we came to the part about his burial, we took a break to roll the white/pure/"Jesus marshmallows" in the "burial oils and spices" (melted butter and cinnamon/sugar) then wrapped them each in the crescent roll "burial cloths." 

 We then placed them in the sepulchre and closed the "big stone-like" oven door and waited 3 days while the soldiers stood guard.  (Pay no attention to the marbles and bouncy balls under the tomb.) 
 And after the 13 minutes, He had risen!  He was resurrected!  These were actually still hot, but the white all melted away before they cooled down.  All that was left was the burial cloths - amazing! 
 Then Isaac really wanted to see one of the photos again.  He told me how it was dark inside like the picture.  He's right! 
 Success:)  (Side note: Dylan has been a jungle man lately, so Steven got him some jungle undies yesterday.  Dylan wants to be strong and woke me up this morning by telling Isaac to turn off the cartoons b/c Dylan wants to be smart and strong.  He also wanted to be healthy and didn't want to eat marshmallows when I bought them at the store this morning.) 
In talking about the atonement at the Garden of Gethsemane, I used the idea from this post. I talked about how Jesus didn't do anything bad ever, but he took upon himself the sins of the world.  Dylan really was interested in the red "blood" food coloring.  It has started picking up color already. 
 I came back into the room to see Isaac studying the pictures.  It's so sad, but the Easter story is that He lives again!  I remembered Lori Emery's lesson in a teacher improvement course put on my Maribet Martin about the lesson not being worth much unless it's sealed with a testimony.  I used the opportunity to let my kids know that I know this all really happened and it makes me happy and we can all be happy too and can go live with God forever because Jesus atoned for our sins even though he didn't do any bad things himself. 

 I'm not sure how to put these in order, but while the rolls were baking, we talked about the last supper.  I happened to have some left over (unleavened) pita bread from lunch the day before and we had cran-something in the fridge.  I was going to just do the pita, but Dylan asked "how do we drink the blood now - what does that taste like?"  I hadn't even gotten to the blood part, but why not take advantage of the opportunity!  I got out a clear cup that kinda looks like a giant's sacrament cup and poured juice in it.  I told them that this was just like what Jesus used when he told them about the first Sacrament meeting.  I explained that we use water now because they always spill on their white shirts.  Jesus didn't really use blood either, or his flesh.  He used symbols like we are using, just like Jesus isn't really a marshmallow in the oven:) 
I explained how the fun Easter eggs and things still remind us of the wonderful holiday but we should always remember that they should help us remember that Jesus lives again and he is risen!  It brought back memories of memorizing the set of verses Jesus asked Mary, "why weapest though, whom seekest though?"  when she thought he was a gardener.  I read those and honestly, reading right from the Bible held their attention and curiosity a little more than the photos and object lessons.  I love that kids are ready and want to know. 
I've been thinking a lot lately how I should run my home more like other organizations with a good balance of learning, fun, and service.  It takes organization, which is more difficult when I'm only directly noticeable accountable to myself.  So I started this morning with a list.  And guess what - I checked everything off of that list! 

Enterprise (we switched after 15 years to Geico and saved a bunch of $ so I had to take the car in to get the mileage checked)
Publix (I forgot the lettuce for tonight's salad and tomorrow's grilled chicken so Steven had to go after work too, oops)
Make/drink smoothies for lunch
Tow kids behind my bike
Wash the car in the driveway
Work on the oil stain on the driveway a little (it worked - dish soap - Steven's leak is fixed so we should clean the driveway.)
Clean the pool (I was going to take Isaac around more, but got irritated and made us go inside for me to cool off and calm down) Isaac did get brave and jumped in a little and swam a little near the steps, then swam w/ Steven later while I was at church.
Tiny nap
Check my church distribution order - sure enough my order was still in the cart.  Dang, that's why my Gospel Art picture book, conference CDs, and some other things are. 
Easter lesson complete with object lessons, scriptures, board book, photos, and applicable hands-on treat
Paper machet Easter eggs
Make a garden salad per Dylan's request complete with cut up carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli etc.
Present a "table talent" at church and admire others' talents
Take a shower (I didn't dry my hair but that wasn't on the list)
Unload the dish washer (I should load it after blogging . . .)
Clean the upstairs bathroom (I didn't do the downstairs one, but it's okay for now)
And finish the wedding album for a client, upload the photos, set up the gallery, and send the email
Blogging wasn't on the list, but man - what a little planning can do! 

Good people I know are list makers.  My mom has a notebook but I didn't take note 'til recent years.  Betsey puts everything in a notebook and that inspired me.  Steven makes grocery lists and home improvement lists etc and checks them off.  He's always been a good goal achiever.  I have a notebook w/ things I need to do, and I occasionally look back and see how I'm doing.  Today was a surprise, really.
And I'll do the dishes tomorrow - they can wait.  It's really late early. 


Lindsay said...

Tiff, you are the best mom! I LOVE Dylan and Isaac's little caveman undies and Dylan's necklace. Too adorable.
So my sister was telling me that she understands a little more why there is the Easter Bunny. They were teaching their 4 year old about The Resurrection and she told them that she was going to have bad dreams. Haha. Sad, but funny at the same time. I think the object lessons really help! Iwant one of those rolls!!

betsey said...

I love all of this! Especially the fact that the boys are wearing their underwear the entire time. It just goes to show, you have to take the moments as they come...not everything has to be "perfect" to teach the gospel and important principles. You are wonderful, Tiffany and I wish we lived right next door to you. It would make me so happy! XOXOXO