Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Art

Drew's art gallery this month is full of spring and Easter crafts.

A flower box, full of flowers Drew cut from magazines.

Umm... a chicken... I think???

Drew first told me that was his tail on his tummy. Then he changed his mind and said it was his really fluffy tummy. :)

Watercolor egg.

His bunny ears and art project from his school party. And that's his basket from school, which is overflowing with his and Reed's candy from school, church, and home. That should last us for a while.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Sunday

We had what seemed like a day-long celebration for Easter. Brad was up and out the door quite early for the sunrise service. I'd like to say that I'm such a Supermom that I'm able to master getting both boys ready on my own and out the door for a 7:30am service...but, uh, n.o. {I realize now typing that that it's pretty lame. You know, mom's who work outside the home have to have their children up and at 'em much sooner than 7:30 in the morning. And so yes. I'm a bit spoiled in this regard. And I know it.}

I digress.

Easter. Yes, ok. So we weren't over to church by 7:30, but the little boys and I were over there by 8:10 to enjoy the Easter breakfast with Brad and the other early morning risers.

We then enjoyed our regular morning service, and the boys went to Children's Church and took part in the egg hunt with the other kids.

Because Brad is gone so early in the morning, there's no way we can hunt for eggs before he leaves. Thankfully, the Easter Bunny is very accommodating of our schedule and, during Sunday school, he/she arrives to hide eggs in our backyard for the boys to find after our morning at church is done.

Before they ventured into the backyard to hunt, though, they blew off some steam in our side yard.

Then the hunt began!

The haul.
Man, that bunny likes chocolate!

Brad and I had talked briefly about how we wanted to approach the whole Easter bunny thing with our kids. Does the bunny give both eggs and baskets? Does the bunny give the eggs and then the baskets come from us? Do we forego the bunny altogether and tell the boys it's all from us? In the end, we decided that the bunny can take the credit for the hidden eggs, and we'll tell the boys their baskets full of goodies are from us.

After they finished finding and opening their eggs, we gave the boys their baskets. I like the idea of giving them each a new movie as a yearly Easter basket tradition, and everything else was a cheap, fun find for extra fill (color wonder, car, and a couple larger pieces of candy).

Our day concluded with an extra special Easter dinner, complete with ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, corn, and frog eye salad. Oh, and a few deviled eggs. We'll have a few of those to eat as a result of our egg art fun. We're not fancy enough for nice dishes, but regardless of casual serving bowls (note the Steamfresh corn bag!), it was a really good meal, with plenty of leftovers to last the remainder of the week.

Through it all, we wanted to be sure we were teaching the boys the real reason for the Easter season; that is, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For about 10 days, we read different parts of the Easter story with some kind of visual reminder for that portion of the story. For example, for the story of Palm Sunday and Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem, our symbol was the donkey. Drew was really captivated by the story, and each day he asked about it. Reed sat still for about two seconds before he wandered off to do something else. We know that neither one of them really "get it;" grasping the concept of death is difficult enough but then tack on the whole idea of rising from the grave AND that in doing so Jesus saved humankind...well, that's a concept even difficult for adults to grasp. But I'm hopeful that seeds are being planted, and that faith will begin to blossom for our boys. Our greatest prayer is that they would come to know, love, and serve Christ. It is, by far, our greatest responsibility as parents.

{Update: I caught a small glimmer of Drew's understanding of Jesus' death and resurrection, or at least recognizing that Jesus died and then became alive again. We were listening to a children's praise song that Drew hadn't heard before called "Radical God." No where in the song does it mention Jesus' name, but it does say "He came to be a man and then he came to die. But he didn't stay dead, because he couldn't stay dead. He rose from the grave..." In the middle of singing, Drew stops and says, "Mom! They're singing about Jesus!" It made my heart very, very happy.}

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Egg Art

The plan was to dye eggs for Easter on Friday sometime. But because I like to force Brad into participating in these sorts of things (because he just looooooves it so much) :) I decided to wait until Saturday. Well, I'm glad I waited, as having two very "handy" boys would be too much to watch for one supervisor, unless of course you don't mind a multi-colored table and floor. A two adult to two child ratio is much more appropriate when dealing with small children and a semi-permanent coloring medium!

Saturday then turned out to be quite the day for Brad. As he's finishing up his plans for both the Easter sunrise service and the regular service, he gets called into the hospital for an emergency. While we can't predict when these things happen, it always seems to on some of our busiest days! Because not only was the next day Easter, he also had a wedding to officiate later that afternoon. (Sidenote: The groom's sister is John Stamos' girlfriend. We were hoping for a celebrity siting, but no go. Apparently Pekin isn't the draw one would expect for those Hollywood folk. :P )

Anyway... all of this to say that egg dyeing didn't happen until Saturday night; right after dinner and just before bed. We weren't able to fit in all the decorating steps (in particular, the stickers as the eggs weren't dry enough to put them on), but we did complete the fun (and messy) dyeing process. This was the first time Reed's been old enough to *kind of* participate, and he got more joy out of pulling his stir stick out of the cup saying "ta da!" than removing the actual dyed egg! He wanted to pull the egg out almost immediately after dropping it in, so perhaps next year I'll have to boil a few more eggs to keep him occupied! Drew was very fascinated with the whole process, and was anxious to try both the egg wrappers and the magic crayon.

We'll be eating egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs for the rest of the week. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter at Hobby Horse

Last Thursday, Drew's preschool class had their fourth, and final, holiday party. This time around they celebrated Easter, of course, complete with an egg hunt and a special visit from the Easter bunny. {Brad was able to stay home with Reed for an extra hour so that I could go to Drew's party without him, and I'm so glad that it worked out this way. Reed would have been all over that grassy knoll, picking up every egg he could find!}

The bunny!

The kids must have been told there would be someone special outside {the bunny} as they all had an expectant look on their faces as they came out the door. Check out Drew's expression: kinda excited, kinda really nervous!

Instead of each child having their own basket to collect eggs, they all gathered their eggs into a community basket and then the eggs were divided equally when they returned inside. Super smart thinking, if you ask me!

Such a cute cute bunny!

Drew was a bit hesitant during the egg hunt. During school when I'm not around, he's totally active and participatory in everything, and then as soon as I show up, he'd rather stand by me and do nothing. Humph. Definitely something we need to work on...

Both myself and Drew's buddy Gage tried to get him to join his class for a picture with the Easter bunny. Neither of us could convince him. So here's Drew's class - minus Drew (and to be fair, there were one or two others who didn't want their picture taken either!).

Craft time!

The project was to fill and decorate their Easter baskets. Instead of construction paper eggs, Drew filled his with heart stickers.

Game time! They played Pass the Bunny, which is just like Hot Potato - except with a bunny. :) It's a good thing I got this shot as Drew was out the first time around. He didn't mind...especially when he was the first to pick a treat from the prize basket!

The party concluded with snack time...

...and it was good!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Picture of the Day, Week 16

Sunday {4.17.11}
The kids marched down the aisle during the processional at church today, waving their palm branches. Drew really wanted nothing to do with the whole thing, and about two seconds after this picture, he started crying for Mommy. Good thing I sit in the front row!

Monday {4.18.11}
People say they look just like their father. I just don't see it... ;)

Tuesday {4.19.11}
Mom's Fix-It Shop was open for business today. Tools of the trade: super glue, tape, and a magic potion of vinegar and water to clean out the residue from a leaky battery. I mean really, what would we do if we couldn't get that obnoxious Caterpillar song to play?!?!

Wednesday {4.20.11}
I exercised tonight just so I could eat this little piece of heaven. Aside from the whole Jesus raising from the dead to save humankind thing - this is the best thing about Easter.

Thursday {4.21.11}
An Easter party at preschool! Look at all those cute little bunnies!

Friday {4.22.11}
The obligatory post time-out apology hug.

Saturday {4.23.11}
After dinner tonight, the boys dyed eggs. It was Reed's first time actually participating, and he had more fun "stirring" the egg and pulling the egg scooper out from the dye than he did anything else!