Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Tradition??

Easter.  It means many different things to many people.  It is a time to celebrate Jesus' sacrifice for us, a time to spend time with family, a time for springtime activities like egg coloring and...the Easter Basket.  As a child that was not raised in a Christian home till later in my kid years, the Easter Basket along with what the Easter Bunny brought was just as fun as waiting for what Santa brought in my stocking.  Now that I am a Christian Parent, I struggle with how much the secular traditions should creep into how we celebrate Easter and Christmas. 

See those baskets above?  Love them like a Christmas Stocking.  I love spring colored baskets, love watching my kids hunt for eggs, love the way the match with their Easter clothes, love the candy inside them...Need I go on?  But is it a focus of the day?  No.  Our kids get meager things in their baskets.  The usual plastic eggs with candy, sometimes a chocolate cross from our local candy store, and books from the Christian book store.  Yes, books.  Books about Easter, chapter books, devotionals, card games.  Thankfully, grandma and grandpa are on board with this too.  The longer I have become a parent, the more I focus on Jesus and less I focus on commercialism.  Is there a balance?  Of course!  My kids learn the most important reason for Easter (Jesus) which really should be celebrated all year long and they can run around later looking for eggs over, and over, and over again.

Last,  I want to share one of my favorite Easter books.  A board book titled, My Easter Basket and The True Story of Easter by Mary Manz Simon.  She uses glittery pictures of items found in the basket and tied them to Jesus' life, death and resurrection.  There is a similar one about Christmas Trees too.  Simple and to the point.  Love it.

PS Check out last week's post with our Easter craft!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Cross Project

This week's school will consist of fun projects for my little people in reflection of Jesus' death on the cross. My oldest daughter went to a birthday party over the weekend and painted this painting of the cross which was a great way to start the week.

Some of the supplies I used are pictured here.  Yes, I buy crafts sticks by the box!  Why not, we make a log cabin, a cross, picture frames or popsicles at the drop of a hat.

First I hot glue gunned the craft sticks together.  Next the kids colored them with colored pencils.

I wrapped twine around the middle (not picutred here).

Next the kids made a crown from gold pipe cleaners.

Last they placed their crosses in the air dry clay and embellished as desired.

My oldest wanted three crosses so I pulled out the toothpicks last minute.

This weekend they will be our centerpieces for Easter Dinner.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Gardening 2011

Its that time of year again.  After weeks of rain and cold weather, we finally had an opportunity today to plant our summer veggies.  The kids and I have been planning for a couple weeks as we collected our tomatoes from one nursery and ladybugs and compost from another.  Yes, I had to drive around to get ladybugs and compost because everyone was sold out!  So over the course of a couple days, we let the ladybugs go free to chomp on our aphid infested onions, then ripped them out since they were too damaged to save, and today started ammending our soil and planted our veggies!

Some of our favorites are: Green Grape Tomato, Green Zebra Tomato, Brandymaster, Caspian Pink, Isis Candy Tomato (YUM), Super Marzano (a Roma Substitute), Black Prince, Yellow Pear, and Purple Russian Tomatoes in addition to our regular assortment of squash, cucumbers, garlic and pumpkins.