My mom wanted to dye eggs with the kids, and Justin has been working on finishing her basement, so I packed everything up and took it to her house so both of them could be part of the festivities. This year I found a kit with markers that looked fun, except I didn't really think it through. Obviously if the markers weren't going to come off the eggs in the dye... they wouldn't come off skin/clothing/etc. Oops.
Avery had fun until I realized my mistake.
Harvey had fun manning the colors but lost interest fairly quickly. Avery on the other hand, had fun adding stickers to the eggs even after we were done.
These eggs were my favorite. The rest we just dyed solid colors with white crayon names. Although the markers were messy (and the kids went to church with traces of red and blue on their hands) it was pretty cool to see the results.
After church I forced the family to pose for a picture...
...then we let the kids "find" their baskets on the couch.
I tried to get more non-edible things this year. Harvey got a book about the Sacrament, a cute quizzing Gospel card game (that can also be played like memory), and some bubbles. Avery got a book about colors, some little Temple cards, bubbles, and a little chick that cheeps when you hold it in your hand. I also made a couple of books out of the mini Mormon Ads that you can purchase at the distribution center. But... despite all of that, the Pez dispensers were the immediate hit.
It has always been the tradition to search for our whole baskets (even when Justin and I were kids), but this year we decided it might be fun to have our own little egg hunt in the backyard instead. Even though we only have two kiddos, I color coded the eggs so Harvey searched for blue and Avery picked up the pink eggs. It actually worked really well so Avery could "find" eggs that were out in the open, but Harvey had to search a little harder to find his.
The other thing I liked about it was that I only had a couple jelly beans in each one (and made sure no chocolate eggs ended up in Avery's basket) so they were able to have a little candy but not too much.
After naptime, we headed over to my mom's house for a delicious dinner (I didn't get a picture!) and then over to Justin's parents' for dessert and another egg hunt.
Grandma Keetch hides plastic eggs with candy, as well as crochetted eggs. It was cracking me up to see the older kids bypass the crochetted eggs completely and zero in on the ones with the goodies inside. But it actually worked out good because Avery didn't care and enjoyed gathering all the eggs she could find... candy or not.
Well, at least until the hunt was over and she noticed all of the other kids munching on jelly beans. Then she was definitely interested in opening the plastic ones...
Overall, I really enjoyed celebrating Easter all week. It was so nice to concentrate on the real reason we celebrate - that Jesus Christ completed the atonement, died and rose again on the third day.
I revamped my Resurrection Eggs, and added a few more symbols (and eggs - now we have 15).
Sunday - The Triumphal Entry
The symbols for today are a donkey and some palm branches.
We sang Hosanna and talked about the meaning of the word (love this explanation, and Harvey really understood the swimming pool/lifeguard analogy). Then we made our own palm branches; we traced the kid's hands on green paper, cut and taped them to a popsicle stick. Then we did a simple reenactment of the Triumphal Entry.
Monday - Cleansing the Temple
The symbols for today are a temple and a lamb - to represent the people that were selling animals there.
We talked about how special temples are while the kids each held a picture of a temple. Then I showed them some pictures of the inside of temples, and we talked about how clean they are kept. I told them the temple is Jesus' house, and asked how he would feel in our home. We talked about some things that we would do to make Jesus more comfortable here, and set goals for this week. (I found later, that one mom had her children write their goal on paper, then they crumpled them up and swept them out the door! I love the imagery and want to remember that for next year).
Tuesday - Teaching Parables (The Widow's Mite)
The symbols for today are 2 mites.
We talked about how it was (and is) a commandment to give back to the church. We talked about the wealthy men that gave lots of coins, and Harvey dropped a big handful of change into a metal bowl - making a "loud sound". Then we talked about the widow that only gave 2 mites (just like pennies in our day), and Harvey dropped them into the bowl noticing that they made a "small sound." I asked him which person gave more... and then we talked about Christ's answer to that question. I also showed him a tithing slip and discussed 10 percent with 10 pennies. Then I gave him 2 chocolate coins and told him that when we give, Heavenly Father gives us blessings.
Wednesday - The Last Supper (there is nothing documented on this day in the scriptures, so we talked about one of the events that happened on Thursday)
The symbols for today are a metal thimble (cup), and a cracker.
We read a little book called "A Touch of Passover". It was perfect to explain to my children some of the traditions of the Passover. The kids loved feeling the element on each page (matza, bitter herb, sticky wine, etc). We talked about how Jesus introduced the sacrament to his disciples and how some of the symbols are the same. I made a Jerusalem style dinner with foods that Jesus and his disciples might have eaten. We had Lentil Soup, grapes, saltine crackers (matza), and grape juice (wine).
Harvey loved eating out of the wooden bowls and kept asking if he could eat more matza. I wanted to do more, but I was feeling really tired. Next year I'll try to incorporate more authentic foods.
Thursday - The Garden of Gethsemane
The symbols for today are a red piece of fabric (representing Christ's blood) and an olive.
Thursdays are really busy for us, because I am taking an institute class and Justin has a basketball league... so I just did a simple little activity to demonstrate the atonement of Christ. Plus, our kids are so young it was better to keep it simple. We opened the egg, and read in D&C 19 where Christ describes his experience in the Garden. Then we filled a vase with water (symbolizing us), added some red food coloring (symbolizing our sins), and then added a white tulip (symbolizing Jesus Christ).
As we partake of His atonement, He will take upon our sins. I tried to find a carnation, but I was pleased that the tulip had already turned pinkish after only 45 minutes. I wonder if an Easter Lily would work for next year? Also, I had the thought that after we repent - our sins would be gone, thus the water wouldn't be red. Maybe I should replace the water at bedtime to remove the "sin".
Friday - Jesus' Trials and Crucifixion
We had lots of eggs to open today.... Betrayal/Arrest: sword, rope, 3 dimes Peter's Denial: red feather Trials/Mocking of Christ: purple cloth, crown of thorns, soap Crucifixion: cross, 2 nails Soldiers Actions: 2 dice, sponge soaked in vinegar Darkness/Earthquakes: 3 black stones Burial: strip of cheesecloth, flat & round stone
The symbols for today are: spices and a white glove (to explain the body/spirit)
We talked a little bit about the women that came to the tomb to treat Jesus' body with spices. Then we talked about what happens to your body and spirit when you die. (Body stays on earth while your spirit goes to the spirit world). When I told Harvey that Jesus' spirit went to the spirit world he asked me if Jesus went to visit my dad. I had to explain the time difference, but it made me smile that he is understanding this doctrine. We talked about the message that Jesus had for the spirits there.
Sunday - The Resurrection
As the week progressed I added the pictures to the wall, and Harvey loved to review what actions Jesus took during his last week.
The symbol for today is an empty egg!
Harvey was disappointed the egg was empty; I had to explain that it was a good thing! We made Resurrection Rolls for an afternoon snack because we have 9 am church.
Overall, I am pleased with how this week turned out. It was really good for me to familiarize myself with the details of Christ's last week, and I really enjoyed researching and discovering the symbolism of the Passover. Someday, when my children are old enough to appreciate all of it, I can't wait to share it with them.