Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, March 29, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Traditions are important for a family and if nothing else, our family has traditions! I keep thinking that someday, I will write them all down so I don't forget one. There's nothing worse than waking up the day after a holiday and having your child wistfully reminiscing about something we "used to do"...only it wasn't supposed to be just a fond memory, Mom forgot because that's just what she does sometimes! Well, I've been cruising along thinking, "I've got this Easter thing taken care of". I've already bought new baskets, grass (which I always forget), more eggs because the 1500 (no, I'm not kidding) we already have are in storage, invited ourselves over to my mom's for brunch and an egg hunt (I bribed her by offering to bring all of the food...oops, let me add that to the list). Then I realize, my girls have nothing to wear, we have not yet made the white shoes pilgrimage...yes, I still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and that white should not be worn before Easter or after Labor Day; and I have no peeps....!!! The kids could probably overlook a lot but not having peeps would probably push them over the edge, not to mention what my marshmallow-lovin' mother-in-law might think!
We have established some really fun and meaningful traditions, in spite of my occasional absent-mindedness. Two of my favorites are Resurrection eggs which tell the story of Easter and Easter cookies which offer another create (and edible) telling of the story of Jesus crucifixion and ressurection.
I've got to go hit the fabric and dollar stores but I will leave you with this recipe. I hope you and your family enjoy it!

Easter Story Cookies (by Wanda Long in Home Life magazine)

Begin on Easter Saturday

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
ziploc baggie
wooden spoon
duct tape

We gather around the kitchen island and Dad reads each scripture as we go along. Place pecans in ziploc bag and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to until they are broken into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19: 1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19: 28-30
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10: 10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the mixing bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing are they? Add 1 cup sugar to the mixing bowl. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3: 1-3
Fold in broken nuts.
Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Explain that the mounds represent the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matthew 27: 57-60
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27: 65-66
Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight just as Jesus' followers were in deep despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read 16: 20 and 22
On Easter Morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter morning, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28: 1-9

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