Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Week


This year as we have celebrated Easter, I have truly come to feel and understand so much more about the resurrection of our Savior.  Each day starting on Palm Sunday (The Sunday before Easter) we have done a special devotional or activity to teach us about what happened during the last week of the Saviors life.  Since we have enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share it.

DAY 1---Palm Sunday: 

Today we learned what Palm Sunday was all about.  We talked about the symbolism of using palm branches to usher the Lord into Jerusalem.  It was such an honor shown by the people to use Palm branches to lay before the Saviors donkey as he rode in because they were such a livelihood to all of the people in that area of the world.  It took great sacrifice to give up something so valuable.  They tried to go the extra honor Him.  We read about it in a previous Friend article that you can find HERE

So we watched a short little clip showing the triumphal entry of the Savior, that you can find HERE.

Then I handed each person in the family an Easter egg with somebodies name inside.  We talked about how these people went the extra mile to show the Savior they honored Him.  I challenged everyone to go the extra mile this week and show more love and kindness to the person whose name they received in their egg.  I have to admit that I was a little strategic in linking the names.  I tried to put names together of people who have a harder time showing love to one another.  Cause I am sneaky like that! (: 

Then each child was given a pack of EXTRA bubble gum as a little gift-----to help them remember to go the extra mile in serving others. 

Day 2 (Monday)---Cleansing The Temple:

Today we talked about how the Savior cleansed the temple.  We watched this short clip that you can find HERE.  Then we read a story called  "The Rich Family In Our Church"

For our gift today each child received his/her very own bottle of antibacterial soap for their backpack, to help them remember how the Savior cleansed the temple and how they ought to clean their "temples" everyday....not just physically, be spiritually. 

Day 3 (Tuesday)---Jesus Taught in Parables:

Today we talked about how the Savior taught the people in parables.  I chose the parable of the Widows Mite to discuss with the kids.  We watched a short clip about it HERE.  Then I read them a story called "The Parable of the Bicycle". 

The gift we gave the kids today was an Easter egg filled with 2 quarters and 2 candy fish.  The quarters representing the 2 widows mites and the fishes representing parables....because Jesus often taught using fish!  The kids will be excited to use their two quarters to buy a treat from the family Candy Machine

Day 4 (Wednesday)---Easter Story:

No events are specifically recorded for this day in the scriptures, but it is considered that the Savior spent the day resting in Bethany.   So, in honor of  "REST", we did something that I have already prepared and used in previous years.  The Easter Egg Story!  We hid 12 eggs, each with a scripture and an item representing a part of the Easter story.  Then the kids got to look for the eggs.  We all sat around in a circle and read each egg-scripture and showing our item.  You can find this wonderful activity HERE.  I always enjoy doing this lesson before Easter each year for a special Family Home Evening.  My children always look forward to the big "hunt" and we all have the opportunity to feel the spirit as we read about his life, death and resurrection. 

For a gift today, we gave each child a little carton of mini bubble gum eggs:

Day 5 (Thursday)---  The Last Supper

Today we watched a short video about the LAST SUPPER.  Then we had a little supper of our own.  But not just any supper.  We had a special passover meal with traditional ritual foods.  We had Lamb (which by the way I have never before cooked or eaten), unleavened bread, grape juice, and romaine lettuce (bitter herbs).

The Lamb represents the lamb of God...or Jesus Christ.  By eating the sacrificed lamb on the first night of passover, it actually signified taking something outside of us and converting it into us. 

The Uunleavened bread represents Israel's swift escape from Egypt---a flight so sudden that the Israelites could not wait for their bread dough to rise but had to bake it unleavened.  '

The Bitter Herbs (romaine lettuce) is a symbol of Israelites suffering under the hands of their Egyptian taskmasters.  The romaine lettuce is fairly sweet to begin with but quickly becomes bitter.  We talked about how this is kind of like sin.  It often appears sweet or mild at first, but all too soon turns bitter with its powerful consequences.

The Grape Juice represents the wine, which represented joy and celebration back in those times (as well as these days too for some).  Certainly it is a joy and celebration to know that with the Savior help, we can all be redeemed and live with Father in Heaven again. 

The gift for today was this delicious dinner. 

It was fun trying to make unleavened bread for my first time.  It really made me appreciate my whole wheat bread with yeast!  I have never made lamb before, so this was interesting.  It smelled a little different, but tasted ok.  The kids could not believe we were eating a sweet little lamb....especially because there are pictures of the Savior holding a baby lamb.  They thought it was kind of mean.  I think everybody's favorite part was the grape juice, because we never have juice in our house! 

Day 6 (Friday)---Jesus Crucifixion:

Today we watched a 5 minute video of the crucifixion of the Savior that you can watch HERE.  Then to signify the three hours of darkness after the Savior was crucified, we turned all the lights off in the house. We had thrown pillows, blankets and couch cushions all over the floor to represent the earthquakes and turmoil the earth went through at His death.  Then we played hide and seek in the dark.  The kids loved this!  It was so much harder maneuvering around for fear of tripping on something.  It was a great object lesson and fun---- all at the same time.  I was glad nobody was injured! 

Their gift today was an Easter egg hunt!

Day 7 (Saturday)---The Jewish Sabbath:

Today we read about the Jewish Sabbath and talked about some ways we could better keep this special day holy. 

We had a special lesson about what is good on a "SUNDAE"...I mean SUNDAY. 

I had gathered up a bunch of condiments that everyone likes such as ketchup, mustard, mayo, cholula sauce, salt, pepper, etc.  On the back of each condiment I wrote down an activity that would not be a good sabbath day activity.  Then I asked each of them if they liked that  which they responded yes.  Then I poured it on an undisclosed bowl of ice cream.  At the end, I gave them each their "sundae".  They were all disgusted and said, they like those things, but not on a sundae.  Likewise, we talked about how there are many things that are good to do, but not all are good on a Sunday. 

Then we read this quote by President  Spencer W. Kimball:

 “The Sabbath is not a day for indolent lounging about the house or puttering around in the garden, but is a day for consistent attendance at meetings for the worship of the Lord, drinking at the fountain of knowledge and instruction, enjoying the family, and finding uplift in music and song.

The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important, but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day at which he is expected.” Spencer W Kimball, “The Sabbath—A Delight,” Ensign, Jan 1978, 1–5.

For our gift today, we had REAL SUNDAES with appropriate toppings. 

Day 8 ---Easter Sunday: 

Today we watched a video of the resurrection found HERE.  Then we read a really cute story called "What's In Jeremy's Egg".  The kids seemed to really enjoy it! 

One tradition that the Jews have is to make two loaves of bread twisted together as one. The loaves symbolize the Sabbath. Moses and the children of Israel, who wandered in the wilderness for forty years received double their portion of manna on Friday they could keep the Sabbath Day holy and not have to work for their substenance.

In honor of this tradition, we made cinnamon rolls for our gift today!   They are, after all, bread twisted together....right? 

What a wonderful Easter week we have had!  I feel like our family has learned a little more about the Savior and have truly felt the spirit of Easter!  I can't wait to do this again next year....with some other activities. 

P.S.  I got most of my ideas from a wonderful book that my sweet friend Susette told me about titled "A Christ Centered Easter".  Thanks Susette!!! 


Linda Roylance said...

What a wonderful idea! I sure wish I would think of things like this BEFORE Easter. I think it really would have helped in our family this year.

Susette said...

Tawny, I am so glad that you were able to begin the tradition! :) I believe you will find that it will quickly become one of your favorites, AND you will have a great time making it your "own" over the years. (Like how I don't make their recipe for flat bread...I just use Boboli pizza crust instead! It's sooo yummy!;)It will be fun to continue to share ideas too! You are such a good mama and I love reading you blog! :) Hugs to you!

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