Thursday, March 21, 2013

Christ-Centered Countdown to Easter

I've been busy lately planning a surprise Easter countdown for the Ferrell boys.  They love countdowns.  :)

I had initially planned to make each boy a Christ-centered Easter basket this year similar to the ones on the Detail Oriented Diva blog.  She has some cute ideas for an Easter basket using items typically found in an Easter basket and associating a Bible verse or Christian meaning to the item.  Such a cute and creative idea to focus on Jesus in what has become a very commercialized holiday.  I'm guilty of overdoing the whole Easter basket idea . . . Last year's Easter baskets were a prime example:

Easter 2012
I have already purchased some items in anticipation of preparing Christ-centered Easter baskets for the boys, but at some point, it occurred to me that there was probably a better way to focus on Jesus this Easter than putting all my "ducks" in one basket!  :)

Alex - Easter 2012
On Easter morning, the Ferrell boys are wild with excitement and tear through their Easter baskets looking for each new surprise hidden for them.  I don't think during that frenzied Easter morning, the Ferrell boys would get the full impact of the Bible lessons I'm trying to present if I put all the Christ-centered items in their baskets.

Easter Frenzy 2012

So I decided I would combine the Ferrell boys' love of countdowns with my desire to focus on Jesus completely this Easter . . . instead of the bunny.  So I have planned an Easter countdown using the principles of the Christ-centered Easter basket starting the weekend before Easter (Palm Sunday weekend).  We will be counting down to Easter with a special surprise each day for the boys with a scripture-related meaning for each item. 

Shane - Easter 2012

I am going to put each item in a brown paper bag for each day with the scripture reference on the outside of the bag.  I am going to let the boys look the scripture up prior to opening the bags and try to guess, after reading the scripture, what is in the bag.  Hopefully, this will give the boys more time to think about the scripture and its meaning to them.

Zach - Easter 2012

I have purchased 3 small Easter baskets for the boys, and I have painted their names on the front of each basket.  Everyday I will put a brown paper bag filled with a special item for each Ferrell boy along with the scripture reference.

The Ferrell boys have no idea that I'm planning this, and I'm so excited about doing it! I can't believe I have kept it quiet for so long! 

Check out the Detail-Oriented Diva blog for her clever ideas for putting Christ in the center of your Easter celebration.  I am using some of her ideas, and I am incorporating some of my own ideas for the Ferrell boys' countdown. 

I am still going to make the boys a Christ-centered Easter basket, and hopefully after participating in the countdown the whole week prior to Easter, the boys will take the time to appreciate the scripture references with the items in their Easter basket.

Here are some of my picks for the Ferrell boys in no particular order:

1.  Comb/shampoo (hair bows for girls) -

Luke 12:7 - Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV)
(I'm probably going to give the boys a buzz cut as a part of this happy.  They've been trying to get me to do for a week or two now)  :)

2.  Cologne or perfume -

2 Cor. 2:14 - But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. (ESV)  (Yes, you will smell the Ferrell boys coming after this I'm sure)

 3.  Finger lights - Matt 5:16 -

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  (ESV)

4.  Jewelry or gold/silver coins - Psalm 119:72 - The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (ESV)  (No picture of this.  I have to go to the bank to get some of those gold dollar coins)

5.  Markers, crayons, or art supplies - Eph. 2:10 -

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
(We are probably going to have a craft project to make as a part of this happy.)

6.  Rock candy or Pop rocks candy -
             Jesus is the Rock!

Matt 7:24-25 - Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
( Resurrection garden craft in conjunction with this happy.)

7.  Hand soap/sanitizer - Psalm 24:4-5 -

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

8.  Slinky - Rev 7:17 -

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

9.  Stapler -    Ephesians 4:15-16 -

  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.             From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.   

I know that some of these items are kind of weird . . . like the mini stapler . . .but my boys will love it.  I'll post my items for the Easter basket in a later post.  I had to be very creative for some of the items (hot wheels cars, nerf guns, and crocs).

Please share any ideas you have for making Jesus the center of your Easter holiday.  I'd love to hear them!

Until then . . . start counting down to Easter with . . . . .

                        the Ferrell boys and me!

I'm linking up to these awesome parties!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Easter is Coming . . . Are you ready?!

Easter is my favorite holiday.  Always.  I like it better than Christmas.  Really.

I have lots of Easter decorations.  I'm planning to get most of it out this weekend.  :)

Besides Easter decorations, I have some special Easter plans for the Ferrell boys.  We are going to do the same activities that we did last Easter.

We're going to make a Resurrection Garden.  You can read about this activity in last year's "Resurrection Gardening at the Farm" post.

We're going to countdown to Easter by telling the Easter story through the Resurrection Eggs that I made last year for the boys.  You can read about this activity in last year's "Teaching about the Resurrection" post.  You can also see how I made my own set of these eggs for the boys.

We're going to make some Resurrection Rolls too.  We may make them on Easter morning like we did last year.  I haven't decided about that yet.  You can read about how to make these rolls that help illustrate the story of the resurrection in last year's "Easter Morning with the Ferrell Boys" post.

All of those activities help to keep the focus on Christ this holiday instead of the bunny.  :)

Another way I'm going to keep the focus on Christ this holiday is by making a Christ-centered Easter basket for the boys.  I got the idea for this from the Detailed Oriented Diva blog.  She has a bunch of cute ideas for connecting items in a typical Easter basket to scripture.  I'll go into more detail about what I'm going to do for my boys in a later post.   Let's just say it involves a countdown!  My boys love a countdown with happies!  Me too!

Until then . . . I just wanted to share some of what the Ferrells are going to do this Easter to celebrate and remember our Savior and His sacrifice for us . . .  

and God's love for us . . . 

                         His love for you and His love for . . .

                                  the Ferrell boys and me!

I'm linking up to these awesome parties: 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Flower Balls

I've really been in a crafty mood lately.  And I've been suffering with intense Spring fever too!  Ha! 

I saw a cute flower ball topiary made from carnations and using a topiary form from Walmart.  Alas, we don't have a Walmart where I live.  (I know that's hard to believe.)

So I stopped by my favorite dollar store (Dollar General) and bought some flower bundles.

And I dug through my craft supplies and found a package of styrofoam balls and clay pots.  :)

I cut the flowers off the bundles leaving a small stem.

Then I stuck the flower into the styrofoam ball.  You could put some glue on the flower stem to secure it to the ball after you poke it into the ball, but my flowers stayed in just by sticking them in.

Then continue adding flowers until the entire styrofoam ball is completely covered.

I'm going to get a stick from the yard and make a topiary out of this daisy flower ball.

I got a little carried away making flower balls.

Yellow daisies . . .

Pretty pretty pretty . . .

Even the Ferrell boys wanted to help.  Alex and Shane had a great time making flower balls with me.

Who would have thought that two little boys would enjoy making flower balls?!

We had a great time together.  I haven't decided where I'm going to put all the flower balls we made, but I think they look great!

I put a couple of the balls on top of a clay pot and I think they look so cute!

I also had a couple of styrofoam balls with a metal piece in the middle for a candle.  they are actually halved styrofoam balls . . . not round ones . .  so they sit flat.   I stuck flowers in it leaving the place in the middle for the candle and then put it in a clay pot.

Now I just need a candle!  I'm getting everything ready to decorate for Spring and Easter . . . I just need to haul my Easter/Spring containers from the shed!

Spring fever is rampant here at Ferrell Farm with . . .

                       the Ferrell boys and me!

Something for my door . . .

I wanted something different and special for my front door this Easter.

The other day I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed and I came across a picture posted from Cheerios and Lattes blog of a cross made from stick bundles.

The instructions for making the cross wreath is on the Cheerios and Lattes blog . . . the only problem for me is . . . the blogger used some twig bundles that she bought at Hobby Lobby and we don't have a Hobby Lobby where I live.  :/

She suggested that you could gather sticks and make your own bundles.  So that's what I did . . . after all . . . I live on a farm.  :)

Also, notice the sander and my kitchen table . . . I'm still sanding on that table top!  I don't think I will ever be through!

First I cleaned the sticks of all the extra stems and brush sticking out the sides.  I made a nice little mess on the floor.

I sorted the sticks into two piles -- one for longer sticks and one for shorter sticks.

I tried to make the two pile even on the ends . . . no stick sticking out more than any other stick . . . and I tried to make the two stick piles the same density or size.

I wrapped some burlap ribbon around each stick bundle.  I think some leather string or twine would look great for this, but I didn't have any.

Then I placed the shorter stick bundle across the longer stick bundle to make a cross and wrapped the burlap ribbon around both to attach them together.

I wrapped the ribbon in a criss-cross pattern to attach the two bundles together.

This was a quick project to put together.  I hung the cross on my front door . . .

But it needed something . . . (Yes, I know I need to stain the front door!)  Ha!
I stopped by Dollar General and picked up some flowers . . . which were marked $3.00 but rang up 1 cent!  Yea !

I added the flowers to the cross . . .

Ok . . . still not happy with it . . . what to do . . .  so I stopped by Parker Florist to consult my florist friend, Robin, and she suggested I add a burlap bow.

What do you think?  Should I stop with the bow . . . should I chunk the bow . . . what to do?!?

I would appreciate some feedback.  I'm going to make a couple more crosses for two of my friends, and I appreciate any suggestions.  You know how sometimes you can't see something anymore because you've been looking at it for such a long time . . . any who . . .

until next time with . . .

                                the Ferrell boys and me!
I'm linking up to these awesome parties: