|All dressed for church on Easter Sunday|
I had such a great time making this past week a celebration with Susie, and have collected lots of ideas for next year! Here's what we did, and what I'm planning to do next year:
Good Friday -- we ended up spending this day away from home for the most part because of what we thought was an emergency with the baby I'm carrying (turns out he's just fine), so we didn't get to the Easter mountain until dinnertime, but Susie and I talked about Jesus dying on the cross and then put him inside the mountain and put the rock over the opening. I taught her the song "Easter Friday" from Emu Music that she just loved. We must have sung it 50 times. I sang the first two lines with a sad face, and covered my eyes, rubbing them when I sang the word "cried", and then spread out my hands slowly on the line "Sunday morning what a surPRISE", which always made her get really excited! She requested we sing this song all weekend, calling it "Jesus sad" or "Easter". We also went swimming Friday night -- I tried to have some fun and special outings during this time to really make it special.
Saturday -- our church participates in the Easter parade that takes place on Frankfort Avenue, where Clifton Baptist is located. Susie and I showed up to walk in the parade, but bad weather (and potential thunderstorms and hail) forced us to pull our float to keep the kids safe. Back at the church parking lot, we passed out candy to parade watchers and watched the parade ourselves. Other than re-reading our Easter books and checking to see if Jesus was still in the tomb on Saturday, we didn't do anything really original. I wanted to make Resurrection cookies, but we attended a birthday party, and by the time Susie got a bath, the day was done. I'm sure she'll appreciate doing the cookies more next year!
Sunday -- I hung a banner in the dining area that said "Jesus is Alive" and put Jesus outside the mountain with the stone rolled away before Susie got up. I also set out a basket with a couple pieces of candy and two Christian Focus board books. I let her eat some M&Ms pre-breakfast while we read them . . . may not have been wise. :) We ended up with a little bit of spare time that morning (probably because I didn't fix a big meal), so Susie and I turned on her Gettys CD and had fun dancing in the living room. I'm really glad that happened, because it certainly communicated to her "celebration". After church, we went out to eat with some friends, and Susie had a really late nap. When she woke up, we had a small egg hunt for her in the living room (downpour outside all day!). She ate lots more candies that way, but amazingly still went to bed happily last night!
For next year, I want to do a little more decorating for Easter -- maybe with a special tablecloth, table settings or something. I feel like decorating communicates celebration to kids -- and we decorate a ton for Christmas! Along with this, I would like to do an Easter tree (with a white branch) that we can decorate all week (or during Lent, maybe) by finding eggs with the decor hidden inside. I have some things that I collected this year that may work for that next year. This would be an adaptation to doing Resurrection eggs. I'm also hoping to do the Resurrection cookies (that you bake overnight Saturday and they are hollow inside when you bite them) next year. The last thing that I feel like I may have dropped the ball on is making an Easter dinner. We just had such a busy week and weekend, and ended up eating out (which was great!), but I want to be more intentional next year so we could invite people over and maybe start a tradition with our meal even!
Here are some great ideas from GirlTalk blog for next year as well!