Can you believe that Easter 2014 has come and gone?!? I feel like I have been in a whirlwind this past school year (OK, really ever since I started having children!), wifing, mothering 7 children in different phases (mission, college, and then varied ages down to age 4), homeschooling, navigating academic and social calendars of my amiable and active 16 year old and 12 year old boys, disciplining, refereeing fights among the littles, enduring trials, homemaking, teaching, blogging, mentoring, helping with Liber Academy (my kids’ commonwealth school) by helping with the World War heroes class and the young children and love of learning classes, and finding joy amidst all of this chaos.
Easter just sprang up on me and I didn’t even blog about it beforehand or find my trusty copy of the book, A Christ-centered Easter. I just had to wing it this year and rely on my husband’s memory of what scriptures to read every morning of Easter week.
Fortunately, God provided me with help to make this a Christ-centered time. First, I love the reminders He sends me just outside my front door in my flower bed before Easter comes. Every year, at the middle of March, without fail, the flowers in the dirt outside my front window pop up after a long winter, reminding me that there is a force beyond my own will that is guiding this world. This force is always beckoning me to light and life and love. This force is embodied inmy Savior Jesus Christ. I never planted these flowers, the previous homeowner did. But I get to benefit from her act to bring beauty into this world, just as I benefit from Christ’s ultimate act of beauty and kindness to redeem all of us. I never have to do anything, these blossoms just burst forth.
Second, my 8 year-old daughter reminded me that I had promised we had have her birthday party in the spring. She turned 8 in the winter. We have a tradition of having birthday parties with friends when my children turn 5, 8, and 12. She wanted to wait until spring so we could play outdoors in warm weather for her party. She didn’t want to invite everybody in her obvious circles of choice for friends (our neighborhood, her Liberty Girls’ Club, or ward), she wanted to invite two little boys from Liber Academy and her cousins. She wanted cookies and ice cream and was OK with me picking out everything else. Whew! For not acting like a princess or liking girly things, she can be rather picky sometimes. Fortunately she wasn’t too picky for this event.
I called my sister up to invite her girls. She has little boys too, and I wanted them to come along as well. It was such a tender mercy to find out that her kids were on spring break from their school so we could start the party before noon, share a lunch, and have lots of time time to play. It was a beautiful, windy, spring day, which was perfect, because I had planned kite-making for the party’s top activity. I saw these directions in the Friend for making Easter kites. I enjoyed learning that in Bermuda, people celebrate Good Friday by flying kites. The rising kites remind them of Jesus rising from the tomb. I think I have found a new tradition for us to do every Good Friday. To top it all of, the day I picked for the party happened to be on Good Friday.
Seeing that instructions involved tissue paper, I opted for some different directions for my rambunctious offspring who could easily break a tissue kite before they even flew it. In another post I will put directions on making a sturdy, easy to make kite for kids that really flies.
One of my mom friends who brought a guest to the party brought a real kite to fly. My 12 year old took to it really well. I love the symbolism of the kite for Jesus rising from the tomb. Maybe we will do this every Friday before Easter!
Third, my mom and dad hosted an Easter picnic at their home Saturday evening, with an Easter egg hunt afterwards. My oldest son wasn’t there because he’s on a mission, teaching others about Jesus Christ, but “Virtue” my 18 year old daughter got to be there because she is home from college. “Honor” my 16 year old, couldn’t be there either. He decided to ask a girl to prom and had been gone all day to a speech and debate tournament. I didn’t even get to see him leave to pick up the girl or take their cute picture.
The cousins had a ton of fun on the egg hunt. My mom had each kid assigned to a different color of egg so that everybody would get the same amount of eggs.
My 12 year old son recently hurt his arm ice skating with his friends. I was pretty sure it was just a sprain but he kept insisting it was broken. Do any of you hate having injuries like this interrupting your schedule? I felt like forbidding him from ice skating for the rest of his life if he is going to play so rough when he ice skates. It simply was not convenient to get him to the doctor right away. My husband gently reminded me of how silly it is to take a stance like this. This child is active, and him getting hurt is part of life. Dh took him in and then I did the follow up visit this past week. The verdict? Not a break, just a sprain.
These are two of our cousins! They are so adorable!
Finding Easter eggs reminds me of our mortal journey. We seek and find truths of eternal life that our Father in Heaven has hidden for our delight.
Opening the eggs and finding little treasures is so much fun!
Some of the cousins needed help seeing where their eggs were from an older sibling or cousin.
Fourth, I loved snapping photos of all the sweet, promising signs of spring in my parents’ backyard to remind me of new life and the new life Jesus gives us.
Checking out all the goodies that they found!
The sun started to set and we had to move inside when it got cold. We continued to visit. I had work I had wanted to get to at home in the evening but we just keep talking and didn’t leave until 9:30. We always have such a hard time departing from our grandparents and cousins. My daughter stowed away in one of the cousins’ car so I had to stop and pick her up on the way home.
My fifth help for having a Christ-centered Easter was the video that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made. Truly, because of Him, Jesus Christ, our family times will never end. I testify that He lives again and because of Him, we will too. Happy belated Resurrection Day to all of you!