Tuesday, April 2, 2013
In anticipation of Easter Sunday, as a family we continued our Resurrection Egg tradition. Each evening during the week before Easter, we opened 1-2 eggs that held small objects to remind us of the Easter story. Each egg also had a corresponding scripture reference attached that we (actually Allie read most of them this year!) read together. This year, we also used our favorite children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible, to help us focus on the true meaning of Easter.
By the end of the week, I was amazed at how much the kids retained. Allie and Zach remembered most of the eggs and meanings from last year, but the whole experience was brand new to Olivia. Regardless, she was also able to recount many details of the Easter story by the end of the week...including the cracker that symbolized the Passover Meal, the thorns (from our backyard rose bush) that remind us of Jesus' crown (or "hat" as Olivia put it), the brown shoelace that symbolized the whip that (in the word's of Olivia) "hurt Jesus," and the purple piece of paper that reminds us of the robe Jesus wore as the soldiers mocked him.
We had some great conversations as a family throughout the week about what Jesus' death and resurrection means for us...how something so horrendously unjust as the death of God's blameless son was in fact His plan from the very beginning of time to rescue us from sin. By Easter Sunday, all three kids were excited to celebrate Jesus because HE IS ALIVE!
Sunday morning was a bit crazy because I played flute with the worship team and sang in the choir at church, meaning I had to be awake, ready, and out of the house by 5:45 am for our final run-through before the three morning services. Since absolutely no one else was awake when I left, Ben was on his own to get all three kids ready for church. The only request I made was that he take a picture of them in their Easter outfits before they left. Not only did he deliver on the photo, but he also made sure to curl the girls' hair and make sure Zach's bed head was tamed as well!
Although I had a great time participating in worship at church, I was definitely tired after that third service and so incredibly thankful that my mom offered to host Easter at their house this year. After the last service, I headed over to my parents' house where a full Easter meal of Beef Tenderloin, potatoes, veggies, mushrooms, salads, bread, and fresh fruit was waiting to be served. For dessert, we indulged in the kids' Easter candy and cupcakes (carrot cake, red velvet, raspberry-almond, and chocolate).
Since I didn't think to pack the kids' snow boots and it was pretty cold and blustery, we opted for an indoor Easter egg hunt this year. Ben and I hid the eggs on the main level of the house while my parents kept them busy upstairs. Before the hunt, I made sure to snap a few more pictures.
Then, the Easter egg hunt began! Each kid had 10 specific eggs just for them (filled with Tinker Bell Squinkies for Allie, Disney Animal Squinkies for Olivia, Toy Story Squinkies and small Disney marble Cars for Zach) labeled with the initial corresponding to their first name, and the rest of the eggs were fair game (filled with all sorts of candy). There were eggs hidden in baskets, candy dishes, on bookshelves, under tables, on top of pictures, on the refrigerator, and in the chandelier (just to name a few places).
After all the eggs were found, the kids had fun sorting through their toys and consuming far too much candy.
Then, after the sugar-high subsided, we all crashed. And by crashed, I mean as Ben gave the kids baths and showers at home at 7:00 pm, I actually fell asleep on the couch.
Then somehow, when all three kids were squeaky clean (and apparently still reeling from their sugar-highs...probably because we let them eat leftover cupcakes for dinner), they managed to climb up on the couch, nestle underneath my blanket, and in between slobbery kisses and full-body-tackle-like hugs, they proclaimed they were helping me rest.....
Only half awake and laughing uncontrollably, I was reminded of just how much I love my life...how blessed I am by my family, my husband and kids....how undeserved it all is....and how very thankful I am for the sacrifice Jesus made so that by God's grace I can experience joy, life, and freedom to the fullest---now and forever.