Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Making Plans for Holy Week -- Are You?

I love Easter!  It is my favorite holiday -- more than Christmas or even Thanksgiving!  And I love Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow I'm going to bring out my Easter decorations and start getting ready for the upcoming Holy Week.

I've been following some of the leads I've collected on my Pinterest Easter Ideas board.  I'm leaning more to the Easter Resurrection activities this year than what I have traditionally done with my boys.

For instance, we always make containers of Easter grass.  It is such a fun activity for the boys.  What's not to love?  Seeds, dirt, and water . . . Perfect ingredients for little boy fun, right?  My boys have loved planting the seeds in the pots of dirt and watering the pots every day . . . waiting for the seeds of grass to sprout.  Once the grass has grown, we would put Easter eggs in the pots of grass and use it for centerpieces on the tables.

This year I'm going to do a variation to that activity. . . one that helps to visually tell the story of Jesus' resurrection.

We are going to make a Resurrection Garden.  I pinned this picture:

from the blog, We Are That Family .  I was exploring her blog for Easter ideas that make Jesus the focus of Easter.   She gives 10 great ideas for focusing on Jesus, and one of the ideas she suggested was to plant an Easter garden. . . also called a Resurrection Garden.  Isn't that a beautiful idea?! And I can incorporate planting the Easter grass into this idea!  I was so thrilled when I saw this . . . . and the best part . . . I have all the stuff already to make the gardens!  Yea!  My boys are going to love this and I'm going to love sharing the real story of Easter to my boys in this unique and special way.  You can read about how to make a Resurrection Garden here.

Because my boys enjoyed the Valentine Countdown I did so much, I was looking for ideas for an Easter countdown to do with them.  The Resurrection Eggs are the perfect way to countdown to Easter while teaching my boys all the importants details of the Easter story.

 I know that I can buy the Resurrection Eggs at Walmart or at Family Life, but I have found several links with instructions for making the eggs myself.   

I found on the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) website instructions for doing the Resurrection Eggs with 6 plastic eggs filled with various items to tell the story.  I liked the way they tell the story simply for small children and may use that when I'm telling the story to Shane.

Most Resurrection Eggs sets contain 12 eggs.  I think that is what I'm going to try to put together for my boys.  I also want to make each boy their own set of these special teaching eggs.  My sweet boys haven't mastered the art of sharing as well as I would like. :/

Photo from WeAreThatFamily blog
Here are some links I found for making your own Resurrection Eggs:

1. At WeAreThatFamily blog, she gives several suggestions for items to put in each of the eggs that you can find around your house as well as the items' significance in the Easter story.

2. I also watched a video on the Ministry To Children website which gives great  directions for making the eggs along with a printout for some of the items that are hard to find . . . like the donkey or the sword.

3. On the Happy Home Fairy website, she gives lots of alternatives for the resurrection eggs for different-aged children.  Here is a link she gives for making the eggs at TeachKidsTheBible website which has all the Bible verses along with an example of the different items to put in each egg.

I am probably going to use some of all the ideas from each of these websites in making our family's teaching eggs.

I also think that I'm going to have the children find some of the eggs every night leading up to Easter.  I think that will make the whole Easter week and these activities have a greater meaning for the boys.  It would have been ideal for me to have started this process earlier than now, because Easter is only 9 days away . . . that is, if I were to start tomorrow!  So we will have to do more than 1 egg some of the nights.  But I love the way the resurrection eggs incorporate the "egg hunt" activity with the story of Jesus' journey to the Cross and the Empty Tomb on Easter morning.  I also love the objects used in the lessons that go along with the Bible verses in telling the story. 

Why am I just now doing this with my boys?!?

I thought about getting the boys to help me put together the resurrection eggs, but I also like the idea of them being surprised with the contents of each egg.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do . . .

The weekend of Easter we are going to dye eggs and have a family egg hunt.  Those activities are just a part of the Easter holiday for me, and I can't imagine not doing them with my boys this Easter.  But I do have something new to do on the night before Easter morning . . . Resurrection Cookies!

photo from MOPS website
 I found these cookies on pinterest which led me to the recipe on the MOPS website.
I just love it!  I love the way the children participate in making the cookies and how the recipe corresponds with the Easter story all the way to "sealing the tomb" by sealing the oven to the "empty tomb" represented by the hollowed out cookie!  Love it!
And I think my boys are going to love it too!  I truly believe making these cookies will help to bring the Easter story alive for my boys.  When they are beating and breaking up the nuts for the cookies, I truly believe the Roman soldiers beating Jesus will have more meaning to them.  And when my boys smell and taste the vinegar, the story of the how they gave vinegar to Jesus for his thirst will have more significance.

The Resurrection Garden, the Resurrection Eggs, and the Resurrection Cookies are 3 new ways I'm trying to focus more on Jesus this Easter than on the Easter bunny.  

I am sooooo excited about Easter!  I plan to post our activities here throughout the weekend and coming Holy Week!  I hope I have given you some ideas for your own Easter activities as well.  And these are not the only ideas I have for Easter!  I have lots more I want to do . . . like the resurrection rolls which are different from the resurrection cookies . . .  but I don't want to be so busy doing stuff that I miss out on doing stuff with my boys!   Does that make sense?

So here's wishing you a wonderful weekend of Easter fun from

                         the Ferrell boys and me!

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