Monday, March 23, 2015

Holy Week with Children: Daily Lessons and Activities

I've compiled the 'perfect'  Holy Week lessons/activities for children! 
(Perfect for our family at these ages--- 'Perfect' is so fluid a term...)
I thought I would share my compilation with all of you! 
I've mentioned before that I love teaching my children. Easter is one of those holidays that is tremendously secular unless YOU bring the Truth into your home. I'm passionate about doing this and for Easter the past couple years I've been gathering teaching ideas* to make this week truly remarkable for my family. 
*Note 1: I've borrowed other blogger ideas and I owe particular credit to We Talk of Christ We Rejoice in Christ for the original inspiration. I've made it my own, but I definitely used her blog as a jumping off point! 

Here's how it works: 
Every day I have a devotional time with the kids. We use this layout of Jerusalem (a 2-page spread) and move a little picture of Christ with sticky tack each day to show His path through the week. We sing songs, read a scripture, and discuss an application question for their lives.
We put coordinating pictures on the wall each day to build a 'timeline' of how Christ's final week was spent. Some of these pictures are Gospel Art pics, others are from a stash of religious art I've collected from Friend/Ensign magazines. 
THEN we do the activities below to go along with the day! So here are the activities:

Saturday (one week and one day before Easter)-
  • Plan of Salvation review and what Christ's role is in the plan. 
I made the one above by combining free illustrations and my own creations too. 

Palm Sunday: Triumphal Entry
Monday: Purging the temple (teach about temples, our bodies, and/or repentance/baptism)
  • play outside and then take a bath
Tuesday: Miracles and Teaching at the temple (parables and widow's mite)
Wednesday (actually occurred on Thursday)**: Last Supper and washing of disciples' feet

  • Passover Feast
     Emmett wanted in on the unleavened bread! (He snatched it right off Eric's plate and swung it around triumphantly before attacking it)

     garlic and cumin rubbed roast lamb
eaten together the lamb and arugula (bitter herb) is truly spectacular!
**Note 2: The lessons follow each other in chronological order, but you'll notice that Wednesday's events actually occurred on Thursday. That is because the Gospels are very quiet about how Christ spent the Wednesday before Passover. And because Thursday has so many important lessons, I didn't want to gloss over anything. Splitting the subject matter into more than one day seemed appropriate. If you want to be sure you are teaching correct history, be sure to point this out to your children or feel free to put it all on Thursday. 
Thursday: Garden of Gethsemane and Christ's arrest

Friday: Peter's denial, trials, the Crucifixion and the burial

  Caroline crushing walnuts
 scriptures alongside recipe instructions--- my advice? NOT by the mixing bowl unless you like batter splatters on the Word of God!
Gwen beating the meringue--- she is becoming an actual helper in the kitchen these days! (as opposed to the little 'helpers' we love to have cooking with us but struggle to find a job for them--you know the kind I mean)

Saturday: no picture. Talk about the Spirit world and Jesus' teaching there. Review the Plan of Salvation. Talk about missionary work. 
  • Easter egg hunt with golden egg for Christ (1 golden egg per child with picture of Christ inside)

This year we are using gold foil Cadbury eggs with a tiny picture of Christ taped over the candy logo for each child and one BIG golden egg filled with candy and a picture of Christ--- lesson? to SHARE with others once you've found the Lord! Gwen found it this time and was an eager 'missionary' as she zealously distributed "Jesus candy" to the family. :) Found that giant golden egg at Target.

Sunday: Christ visiting Mary, the Empty Tomb, Christ appearing to Apostles
  • open the oven 'tomb' cookies (see Friday above)
Monday after Easter:
  • serve honey and fish for dinner (ha! I know this should be served on Sunday to reflect the post-Resurrection meal Christ shared with his apostles, but... Yeah right! We're having ginger-thyme pork loin roast on Easter Sunday! I am actually planning this tradition for the day AFTER Easter for our Easter review)
  • FHE review Easter (using ALL the eggs from the whole week-- see below)

The evenings of Wed-Sunday is when we open the corresponding Resurrection Eggs 
There are tons of these out there! Some have free printables too. I have a set from my mom that actually has 15 eggs instead of the usual 12. You have to sort through which ones correspond with each day, but it creates a nice evening recap of the day's lessons.
In the evenings we also watch the Bible Videos that correspond to that day's lesson and give the kids a chance to share with Daddy the things they have learned that day. This way they learn from teaching AND he gets to participate in their testimony-building experiences even though he's gone when we do the learning activities.

 If you are interested, I have a printable that lists the days/activities on one 8x11 sheet for easy preparation that I am happy to email to you. Just leave your address in the comments! 

I hope you all enjoy Easter week as much as we do!!! Share your Holy Week traditions in the comments!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

When you ask a preschooler to smile for the camera...

This is what you get when you attempt to try to take pictures of your daughter because she looks cute in her Sunday dress...Smile for the camera, honey! :)



Though I did manage to snag a couple that I can use! Stinker!

Friday, March 6, 2015

my seemingly important (but not really) rant about shopping for modest summer shirts

Perhaps it is the winter blahs. Perhaps it is my deep deep craving for bright colors and warm weather. Perhaps I'm just going stir-crazy but don't feel like braving the mall with 3 kids. Perhaps I just want a change and have that itch to purchase something but don't ACTUALLY want to spend-- clarification, don't HAVE-- money to spend.

Perhaps ALL of the above reasons would explain why I spent some time today looking for summer clothing online.

I consider myself a reasonable shopper, but apparently I'm asking too much. Because everything I find has something I DON'T like. Here's what I'm NOT looking for:
  • Not tanktops. I want sleeves  (Yes, I will probably resort to wearing some tank tops with jackets over or shirts under... but seriously, I would love to only need ONE shirt because layering gets so stinkin hot in the summer!) 
  • Not long sleeves/sweaters. Seriously? summer, guys. SUMMER. 
  • Not workout clothes. I want to look like I care (though I have to admit I might sneak in a day or 3... or 5... with stretchy capris and a comfy workout shirt!)
  • Not tunic/shapeless. I want a nice fit (the currently trending flowy tunic shirts just DON'T work for busty women, much as I wish they did). Just can't do tents, comfy as they are.
  • Not blouse/restrictive. Great for church, but what about the rest of the week? I want comfortable and casual so I can be active and play with my kids. 
  • Not just a solid colored under tee. I want some kind of embellishment or design so, again, it looks like I care. And preferably not this tight either. Don't get me wrong, I love the clingy/tight under tees for wearing UNDER things, but if that is all I've got on...ya know. I think I don't need to be shrink-wrapped. :)
Guess what I discovered?

Every single cute shirt that I know would be flattering to my body type is either
out of stock
(like the above shirt or the cute mustard polka dot shirt below which I would NEVER get anyway because it was 225 dollars before it sold out!)
or made for Asians

who, apparently don't get larger than a size S/M in US sizes

but who, apparently, REALLY know how to make modest look fashionable!

So in other words, in an alternate reality, choosing summer clothes would be simple. :)