At the very beginning of March we started our Easter preparations by covering our wall with pictures of Jesus. It was a really powerful experience. Emily and Nathan asked lots of questions and observed so many little details. Nathan went over to Laura and told her about Jesus washing people’s feet in a bowl. There were many precious moments to witness between the children.
We spent the month choosing different pictures to talk about and reading the stories in the scriptures. I loved building up to the last week of Christ’s life by discussing his ministry. For the last week of his life we talked about what happened each morning at breakfast. On Palm Sunday we went on a short walk in the freezing wind and acted out a brief walk from Bethany to Jerusalem and discussed the events.
On Saturday we had an egg hunt. Emily remembered the Easter Egg hunt with our ward last year and was really sad that the church didn’t have one this year. Then a moment later she suggested we buy our own easter eggs and TWO kinds of candy and do our own hunt. Due to an untimely rain storm we hid the eggs at home.
I laid out a trail of jelly beans that the kids followed that led to a book. Emily was really intent on following the trail and Nathan was really focused on “Not eat jelly beans.” which really was a question that he answered with a yes. Emily thoughtfully only picked up every few jelly beans so that Nathan could pick some up too.
Emily sat down to read the book and then remembered there were eggs to find! She jumped up and ran around, leaving eggs that she found for Nathan to get making sure they both had every color. Nathan was oblivious to the hunting the egg part and was completely focused on eating the jelly beans. After Emily found her eleven eggs we were able to coax Nathan to go look for a few. But really he just loved the candy. We sat around for a bit just enjoying the aftermath of the hunt before conference started.
Not a lot of sleeping happened for Andrew and I Saturday to Sunday while we tagged teamed Laura and Nathan’s needs. On Sunday morning the four of us had a slow start but I found Emily downstairs around 8:30. She rearranged all of her plastic eggs and requested a picture of her and Laura.
On Sunday morning we went to our neighbor’s for a Stories of Jesus easter program and brunch. Each family shared a story from Christ’s life and we sang an accompanying hymn or children’s song. This is the second year we’ve done this program with them and it is one of my favorite traditions that we will be taking with us. (thank you Meghan for taking and sharing pictures!)
General Conference was wonderful. Andrew and I heard more live this time than we have any other conference since having children. It is a good combination of us being proactive and coming up with activities and the kids playing together (and sneaking easter candy). We printed out coloring books which the kids did during one session. Nathan would say, “colored that one” for every object he colored in. On the last session we popped popcorn and we got to eat it when someone said a name of Jesus or God. Emily was an expert at that game.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity we had to reflect not only on the blessings of the atonement and resurrection but also to listen to the words of the living apostles and prophets. It was powerful and instructive for me.
In between sessions on Sunday we went for a walk at the celery bog. Emily found tool sticks including an ax, chisel, and drill. Nathan also had an ax and the two of them chopped down trees as we went. Emily’s took stick collection kept growing and growing and she determinedly kept rearranging her armfuls to bring them all with us. After we made it out to the far platform and looked at the water for awhile it started snowing. Andrew and I tried to get the kids to hustle home because it was FREEZING. It was a perfect activity for in between sessions.
I’m so grateful for the Easter season – it is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays.