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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Easter

Only a little over two weeks ago, it was Easter.  And, yet, it seems like forever ago!  I don't even know why because two weeks really isn't that long.  I guess it's because we've been a lot of miles during these past two weeks and done a lot of things.  So here's our Easter.
We dress up, and we do baskets.  We do egg hunts.  But we also make sure to be super intentional with reminders and activities that celebrate our risen Savior and Lord.  This year we really tried to focus on Holy Week in its entirety, beginning with Palm Sunday, and talking about and studying Jesus' last week here on earth . . . what He did, where He went, what He said.  

You know, sometimes it takes me awhile.  And I honestly can't believe it took me so long to get it.  But when I started looking at how much each of the New Testament Gospels tells us about Jesus' final week on earth, I realized I never thought about just HOW MUCH of those Scriptures is devoted to Holy Week.  Matthew devotes the last 8 chapters to Holy Week, Mark the last 7 chapters (and there are only 16 chapters in all), Luke the last 6 chapters and John the last 10 chapters.  That's nearly half the entire book!  And then I began to consider the progression of Jesus' teaching during His final week with His disciples and followers, and I realized just how intentional He was in teaching them and telling them about His kingdom and what was to come and how to get there.  It just goes to show that no matter how much you study God's Word or how long you've been studying God's Word or how many Bible studies you've done, how many sermons you've heard, there's always, always, ALWAYS something new every time you take the time to dig in to the Word.  The Lord always has something for you!

Since the girls love painting, they did hand/finger print paintings for most of the days during Holy Week.  They began on Sunday with Palm Sunday and worked through Jesus' resurrection.  They both agreed that the Garden of Gethsemane was their favorite one.  They enjoyed picking out the colors for their flowers.  

This was the entire project once they were finished.  On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (top print) while the people were waving palm branches and shouting, "Hosanna!"  Then we moved forward to Thursday when Jesus observed the last supper with his disciples (grapes and wheat), prayed in the garden and was betrayed by Judas who received thirty pieces of silver.  On Friday Jesus was crucified. And the girls are holding their Sunday paintings of the resurrection.  They really enjoyed working through this, and it was a great visual for Holy Week.
On Good Friday we went to church for lunch and a devotion.  I'd say it was much more than a devotion though!  Let's just say I have something new to study now.  We came home, and the kids made resurrection rolls.  I used to do these every year with Mason and Hannah Kate when they were younger, and I realized I'd never done them with Ellie.  So I made the big kids promise secrecy while we worked through it with Ellie.
This is another super fun activity and awesome visual depicting the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  The marshmallow represents Jesus' body which was anointed with oil (melted butter) and spices (cinnamon sugar) before being wrapped in a linen cloth (crescent dough) and placed in a tomb (oven).


So after all the marshmallows were dunked and wrapped, they were placed in the oven (tomb).  The oven door represents the large stone that was rolled in front of the opening to the tomb.
After our rolls baked for 10 minutes (we pretended it was three days), we took them out.
The best part was Ellie's reaction when we cut them open, and the marshmallow was "gone" (because Jesus' body was not in the tomb when the women arrived on the third day after His crucifixion because He was risen).  So here they are with their hollow crescent rolls.
Good Friday night we went to a fish fry with good friends and family.  Seth used to catch a lot of frogs back in his younger years, and his best frog hunting buddy is still at it.  So they fried up some frogs, too.  Nope.  I didn't eat them.  But I'm pretty sure they taste like chicken.  
Saturday morning the girls went to the annual community Easter egg hunt at church.  Mason declared that he's now officially too old for egg hunts.
But Hannah Kate still enjoys finding eggs.  Something tells me though that it won't be much longer before she's "too old" also.


I didn't actually get to see this one hunt her eggs.  My girls and Cierra's girls are in two different age groups so we just had to divide and conquer to get pictures of our girls before they scooped all their eggs up.  I was with the older ones, and she was with the younger ones.
These two little bow heads are just the cutest things.
The Houston cousins were in town for the weekend so the kids spent the rest of the day with them.  Somehow we ended up cooking crawfish bisque again.

And then it was Easter Sunday morning and time to rise and shine bright and early for the Sonrise service and a full morning of Bible study and worship.  
I have to say I really enjoyed preparing for and teaching my Bible study class that morning.  We did something a bit different from what we normally do, and I hope it's something they will remember.  But we began class with a friendly competition between the guys and the girls to see which team could construct the best bunny using only peeps and toothpicks.
After church we ate lunch together, and I was promptly ready for a nap!  It really was a special time of celebrating the greatest act of love ever known to man.



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