One of my favorite weeks of the year is the week leading up to Easter. We have slowly added simple traditions each year and it was great to have them all in place this year to enjoy. I wrote up the plan for all to see on Sunday night. We sang “He is Risen” each morning at breakfast and then the scripture stories for that day. On Wednesday we flipped through lots of pictures of Christ’s life and remembered what happened during his childhood and ministry.
We then went on a family bike ride and Nathan crashed, cracking his front tooth in half and up through his gum line into the root. This qualified as a dental emergency and the pediatric dentist opened up the office with one assistant to remove Nathan’s tooth. Because of extra precautions with the coronavirus, Nathan went through the entire process by himself and was so brave. That night we talked about the miracles we had seen that day and Emily exclaimed, “Jesus helped us!” This experience has made the atonement more relevant for the kids this Easter and we’ve referenced it a number of times throughout the week. Nathan is doing great and adjusting to life with a missing tooth. We’ll just wait for his permanent tooth to grow in in a few years.
Thursday night we had a Jerusalem dinner to commemorate the last supper. Emily made a beautiful centerpiece all of her own idea and design using flowers from our yard. I made sourdough pita bread, curried chickpea salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, and hummus for our meal. We ate by candlelight and read about the last supper and what Jesus did in the garden of gethsemane.
On Friday our thoughts turned to our typical Saturday Easter Egg hunt. We realized that we didn’t have any candy or plastic eggs like we’ve had in years past. Emily was particularly disappointed that there wouldn’t be a jelly bean trail around the house. We have been shelter in place for weeks for the coronavirus pandemic and while we can go to the store we are trying to limit how often Andrew goes as our designated shopper.
The kids and I water-colored a bunch of eggs paper eggs together (32 to be exact) to hide the next morning. We looked up recipes to make our own jelly beans or any sort of candy, but we quickly discovered those ingredients are not stocked in our pantry. After much searching we decided chocolate covered peanuts was the best we could do and we’d make them that weekend.
Andrew ran up to our bedroom Friday night and declared, “I just witnessed a General Conference level miracle! I found a box of mike-and-ike’s in the cupboard!” Jelly bean trail was back on!
After some Saturday jobs we did our family egg hunt. The kids were shocked to discover the mike-and-ikes on the stairs. It took a bit of effort to transition to hunting for eggs but everyone got the hang of it eventually with some extra clues and help from us. It was so fun to see the kids helping each other and passing the eggs that someone else had painted to their rightful owner.
Easter Sunday was absolutely wonderful at our house. We started the day with scripture stories about Jesus appearing as a resurrected being in Jerusalem and America. We watched a beautiful video created by our ward primary with the presidency’s testimonies and videos of Christ with the song “Peace in Christ” sang by a ward member. We all appreciated their efforts to bring the spirit into our home.
It was a cold morning (in the 50s!) so Andrew started a fire in the fireplace. We had home church in front of the fire, with a particularly meaningful sacrament. The kids can sense the specialness of the experience an I love that Andrew can administer the sacrament to each of us in our home. We had a family testimony meeting and each person shared their thoughts about Jesus. It was absolutely a highlight of our Easter morning.
Andrew helped the kids make the chocolate peanut clusters to have as a treat after lunch – grilled cheese sandwiches on a PERFECT loaf of sourdough bread.
Nathan spent a lot of the morning watching the fire and sharing his observations and questions (like the fire is stuck to the logs and why does only the smoke go up the chimney but the fire stays?).
We are so grateful for the blessings that come from the atonement of Jesus Christ and for the strength and peace that his sacrifice brings to our lives each day.