Thursday, April 4, 2013

Highlights From Our Easter Week

I always have the best intentions, but of course, life happens and things don't always go as I plan. But isn't that the way God works? He is always teaching me to live in the moment, following Him instead of my to-do list.  It's about flexibility, contentment, and trust...choosing to see Him in each moment, making the best of it, knowing it is from Him.

I wish I could say that I do this well...this "taking life as it comes and adjusting cheerfully when my plans don't work out" thing. Unfortunately I usually stress out and get frazzled.  And this last week, with all the plans I had (see my post Ideas to Make Easter as Memorable as Christmas), it was especially important to remember that making much of Christ at Easter was not dependent upon all the activities we did, but rather about FOCUS...setting our minds and hearts on Him in the midst of it all, and taking time to slow down, reflect, and drink in His goodness.

And Jesus has been so gracious to show me His goodness this week, His deep deep love for me...and for His people, and give us special times as a family reflecting on Him and what He has done for us (even if we didn't do all that I had planned...or when I planned!)

Here are some of the highlights... (and if you want further descriptions of these activities and more, see my previous post)

Ok, the Palm Sunday re-enactment was a bit wild...ok really wild. But we made some great memories! Especially when Zack (Jesus) was riding on the donkey (Dad) while Jed was slapping the donkey's behind saying, "Go donkey, go donkey!"...meanwhile Ben, Sam, Hailey & Jake were all busy throwing blankets and leafy branches and pillows down in front of the donkey while yelling, "Hossana! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" (or something that resembled that).  I think this was our first take.  We did it a few more times and it did get a little better. Needless to say, it wasn't a star performance, but it was fun!  

We watched the Gospel of John movie...over a few nights and read (and are still finishing) Amon's Adventure: A Family Story for Easter. This book has been us a unique perspective on what it may have been like for those living at the time of Christ's death and resurrection.

Zack & Ben had their very first piano recital Thursday night! So we didn't get to have a Seder meal, but we had a great time celebrating Zack & Ben's job well done...They both were amazing!

Then we came home and had a special "foot washing". Steven read the scripture about Jesus washing His disciples feet on the night of the an example of how we ought to serve one another. So, Steven washed each of our feet one at a time sharing what he loves about each one of us and giving encouragement for us to seek Jesus.

Then the kids and I all gathered around and washed Steven's feet. It was such a meaningful and enjoyable time together.

Friday the kids woke up with an idea of something they wanted to do instead of normal school. So we all had a meeting on my bed and discussed their ideas. They wanted to dress up like Israelites and make market places outside and try to experience the life they lived (I think watching the Gospel of John and reading Amon's Adventure has spurred their interest). We ended up having such a fun day outside as Israelites buying and selling "goods" (trash or little creations they made) from each other's markets. We used rocks as money...and Mom had "special" money (Easter robin egg candies that looked like rocks). Oh the joys of home education!

Jed ended up being a (nice) Roman soldier

Jake's market

Ben's market

Zack's market

Abel got in on the action once he woke up from his nap

Sam & Hailey's market (shared with Jed)

Daddy happened to come home early and got to see everyone's creations!

It was a fun day. I love how the kids get so into it....from creating their own costumes, to making toothpicks by carving twigs from a certain bush, to Jake making his own ink by squeezing the juice out of stems and mixing it with dirt and water....and painting his own sign.

Easter Sunday we woke up to see the cross draped in white and the table beautifully decorated with our resurrection garden in the middle...and the stone rolled away! (and the little toilet paper wrapped Jesus was gone!)

We ate a delicious resurrection breakfast...and the kids loved pretending that the pancake was the tomb and had fun rolling the sausage stone away. They even used the bacon as the sticks to roll the stone away.

After worshipping and fellowshipping with our wonderful church family, we delivered some cookies and a little booklet by John Piper called For Your Joy to people who had to work that day. Steven and I took turns taking a couple of the kids with us into a couple hotels, an auto parts store, and a gas them our little gift and telling them of the love of Jesus...who gave His life so that we can have life. We had great responses from people. The first lady Steven spoke with was so thankful and asked where we went to church because she really needs to get her life together. He gave her our phone number and we are going to pray for her. It's amazing how God can use something so small to make a difference in someone's life.

Later that day we had a fun Resurrection Egg Scavenger Hunt and Easter egg hunt. We had to do it in the house this year because of the weather. But there were lots of fun hiding spots!

Reading the clues for the scavenger hunt

The "happy" at the end

The Easter egg hunt!

We were going to end the day dying Easter eggs, since we hadn't gotten to do that yet. But the kids really wanted to go outside instead. After spending too much energy trying to convince them that we should dye Easter eggs, I came to my senses...what was I thinking? I'd gladly skip dying Easter eggs!! (sorry, but the thought of all that dye with so many little kids after a busy day made me tired)

So, we ended the day playing tag and jump rope (I gave them some jump ropes in their Easter basket) outside since the weather had cleared up. There is only one thing that my kids have missed from not being in public school...jump rope! Ha! It was hilarious to watch the boys try to do it (including Steven). At one point Sam came up to me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad you got us these jump ropes! They are perfect for capturing people!" Ok, I tried....but, boys will be boys!  (You'll notice in the video that Jed is in his underwear...with shoes and socks...and sunglasses.  Apparently Steven told him to take off his nice church clothes before he went outside.  So he did!)

We hope y'all had a happy Easter too!

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