We got some great ideas from the book and came up with a bunch of our own. Here are all the simple little things we did (well, most of them were simple...):
- We learned all about Palm Sunday and the cleansing of the temple and many parables Christ shared in his last week.
- We learned about Passover and had our own pseudo-Passoverish meal while talking about the events of the Last Supper.
- We did the story of Easter using symbols and scriptures in plastic eggs (olive leaves, twine, thorns, a cross, an empty egg…) (thanks Aja).
- We read books about Jesus and learned the song “He is Risen.”
- We did secret buddies and tried to be Jesus’ hands here on earth, serving each other (the kids were so cute about this).
- We made “Easter Story Cookies” where you learn about many aspects of the Easter story as you put in ingredients symbolic of many parts of the story (vinegar, eggs, salt, sugar for Jesus’ love for us, nuts for the rocky tomb – you put them in a warm oven overnight and they become these hollow meringue cookies to represent the empty tomb – the kids really got into this).
- When we dyed Easter eggs, we dyed the first egg red to symbolize Christ’s blood (like they do in Bulgaria).
It was hard to tell how much of all this effort was really sinking in with the kids. They seemed to enjoy everything though, so what the heck. And there were those moments when I could see the understanding and the empathy and love for Jesus in their eyes. Most importantly, throughout the week, I got the chance to bear my testimony in different ways to the kids as I told them the stories of Christ’s life and that gave me a chance to really deepen my testimony of the Atonement. There’s nothing like explaining something to someone else to help you understand it better yourself!
Then today after church as I was out on the balcony reading and the kids were downstairs playing some rather rough game about space ships in the backyard (involved a lot of wrestling and knocking the twin’s little slide over again and again), I suggested that they pick something else to do like an Easter play or something. They got right on it and it was so fun to listen in as they made up their little play. Ashton: “Isaac you’re Judas – you put out your hand and I’ll say ‘chink chink’ and then you be the bad guys and get me because I’m Jesus. Then you be Pilate.” Isaac as Pilate: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this guy – should we let him go?” Isaac still (after moving over a couple feet): “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Eliza (who insisted on being Mary Magdalene and no one else): “I’ll be over here crying and then when I say ‘ding’ Ashton leaves the tomb and then it’s empty when I look in it and then I go over and ask this guy if he’s seen Jesus but it’s really is Jesus, OK?” There were so many funny comments – and so many comments that showed they really took in the Easter story and remembered it.
They practiced for a while (with a little too much emphasis on Isaac dragging Ashton around and beating him up and probably some borderline sacrilegious stuff thrown in) and then they had me come down and watch. They put on a great little play and ended it by singing “He is Risen” very nicely together at the end. Bigtime payoff as a Mom. They picked up so much this week!
The Hand of the Lord has been active in our home this week. I’ve been more patient, more at peace, more in-tune, more happy with my life than I have been in a long time. I’ve also been more tired than I have been in a long time. But it was worth it!
Here are a few more pictures of our weekend:
We had a fun Easter egg hunt Saturday morning. The twins were totally into it!
Our traditional Eggs Benedict Easter Breakfast