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Author Archives: ohAmanda
So, we took an unintentional bloggy hiatus. I moved into a new house, my boxes are FINALLY unpacked and now we’re moving Impress Your Kids, too! That’s right, we’ve got our very own .com (well, it’s actually gonna be a .org but, who’s counting?)!
Stay tuned we’ll be announcing it next week! Ooooh, I’m so excited!
I found this craft online years ago and always wanted to do it Easter Sunday at church. Alas, there aren’t usually ovens on hand during Easter Sunday church services. Now that Lydia is old enough to kinda sorta a little bit understand about Jesus’ death and resurrection, I thought it was time to finally do this one!
Collect the following delicious and somewhat sinful items: canned crescent rolls, marshmallows, melted butter, brown sugar (or cinnamon and sugar mix).
Roll said marshmallows in melted butter. Just enough to get ’em wet.
I told Lydia we were pretending the marshmallow was Jesus. (I know. Just go with it.) I explained how when Jesus was put in the tomb the women were going to rub his body with precious oils and good smelling spices. So, that’s what we were doing–dipping Jesus in the butter…er, oil. (I know, it’s weird. Keep reading.)
Then roll buttery marshmallow in brown sugar/cinnamon-sugar mix.
Or you know, roll Jesus in the spices.
Place one marshmallow on the wide end of a crescent roll. Roll up and make sure you pinch the edges so it’s sealed tight!
Now, I explained to Lydia about the tomb and it being sealed with a rock. So we pretended the crescents were the tomb and we sealed Jesus…er, the marshmallow up in the tomb.
Cook for the appropriate amount of time.
If you don’t seal the crescents up tight, your marshmallows might leak out…not a pretty sight. And kinda confusing if you’re pretending they are supposed to be Jesus…
As we waited for the tomb-snacks to cook, we read a few stories about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Lydia had lots of questions to ask. Some of them were about the pictures in the book. But some were about the angel that rolled the stone away or other aspects of the story. She was definitely interested.
When the timer rang, I put one tomb-snack on Lydia’s plate. I reminded her that this snack was like Jesus in the tomb. I asked her what she thought happened to the marshmallow. Then we opened up the crescent and peeked inside. Our marshmallow was gone! It was a big empty roll! And Lydia was AMAZED. She stared at it—and was almost afraid! She said, “But where did it go?!”
I explained to her that just like we were surprised that our marshmallow was gone, Jesus’ friends were surprised, too. They didn’t expect Jesus to come back to life. But he did! And he’s alive today.
Later on that day, when my husband came home, Lydia told him all about our snack. She said, “We pretended the ma’smewwow was De-dus!” Then she described how the marshmallow was gone and said, “I was like…I was like…” but couldn’t put her finger on the emotion she felt! She was so excited and I *think* she caught the idea of the surprising and amazing miracle of Jesus resurrection!
(oh, and I *did* finally tell her the marshmallow just melted and wasn’t resurrected!)
PS: these were DELISH.
Today we had a first.
We spent most of the morning on the couch in our pj’s. We read lots of books and made a craft. Then I had to look up some phone numbers up on the internet and make some phone calls. You stayed next to me and played with your craft box and read. In between phone calls you looked at me and said, “I want to change clothes.” I shrugged and said, “OK, when I’m done, we’ll change.”
A minute later you were quite agitated and said, “I want to change clothes!” And then you blurted out, “I’m hiding something from you! I’m hiding something from you!” You said this with your hand covering a part of your pajama pants. I thought maybe you had gone to the bathroom or drawn on your pants. Then I saw a tiny hole.
“Lydia, did you cut a hole in your pants with your scissors?” I asked.
You just nodded with tears in your eyes.
The dots all connected for me and I tried to speak gently, “And you were trying to hide it from me? That’s why you laid on the floor to read? That’s why you asked me to change clothes?”
I caught you up in my lap and had you sit face to face with me. “Lydia do you know the 2 things you did wrong?” I asked softly. You nodded in the affirmative again. “You cut your pants. Which you know you’re not supposed to do. We only cut paper. Then you hid it from Mommy. You shouldn’t hide anything from Mommy. Do you know what that’s called?”
You just stared at me.
“It’s a lie. And lies make Jesus so sad. They make me sad.”
This whole time all I could see was your sweet contrite face. And all I was thinking was, “Should I discipline her? What do I do?!”
So, I finally said, “I’m not going to punish you. We’re going to pray and you can ask Jesus to forgive you…remember our F verse? ‘He forgives all our sins.'”
You were really crying now and did not want to voice a prayer to Jesus! So, I prayed for us instead. I thanked God that you had such a tender heart that even in the midst of sin, you chose to do right.
This whole time I was still frantically wondering, “Do I punish her?!” I finally decided that instead of changing clothes I was going to make you wear the pajamas until it was time for us to go out later tonight. You were horrified. You were crying and crying, pointing at the hole in your pants, “I don’t want to wear these!”
You were so sincere and so remorseful. I honestly tried not to smile because you were so beautiful. And I said, “This is what we’re going to do. Let’s take your pants off and we’ll throw them in the trashcan, ok? This is just what Jesus does. When we ask him to forgive us, he throws our sins away and never remembers them.”
It was a long walk to the trashcan and you held my hand tightly the whole time. We threw your pajamas away. Never to be seen again. Just like your sin.
Lydia, I know you won’t remember this day. But I hope you remember this: that Jesus loves you. He takes your sin from you when you ask. And he dresses you with new clothes. (Isaiah 61:10) He sees you as his perfect daughter.
Just as I do.
Today Lydia and I read all the books on her bookshelf that had to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection (aka “easter”). I know at 3 years old she can’t understand it. She doesn’t even know what death is. She’s never experienced it or known someone who died. But today, as I held her in my arms and read 5 or 6 versions of the greatest story ever told, I got tears in my eyes. I know that the truth of Jesus’ love for us will be planted in her heart.
The book I love the most for “easter” is The Parable Of The Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is part of a series that gives a meaningful parable (aren’t all parables meaningful?) to common holiday items (like my favorite Christmas book, The Parable of the Christmas Tree).
The Parable of the Lily is about a little girl, Maggie who gets a surprise package in the mail—a box of dirt! She is disappointed and places it on a shelf. One day she accidentally knocks it over and out of the dirt pops a flower bulb. She is aggravated at her plant and throws it into the yard. Early Easter morning, she walks out into the garden to see that her dirty ugly boring bulb has blossomed into a beautiful lily!
The parable-ness comes in when you read the scriptures on the bottom of each page. Higgs uses scriptures to compare Jesus to this flower—an unimpressive man, hated and rejected by his people, dead in the ground for three days, bursts forth with new life for everyone. She also ties in Maggie’s father as the giver of the gift…just like God’s indescribable gift of Jesus to us.
It’s a beautiful book. I read it to Lydia once, then again with the scriptures. I wish I had thought of it earlier and we would have planted a lily, too. What an object lesson for her to see growing in her own front yard!
We also read The Easter Story by Tracy Harrast. It’s part of the Peek-a-Bible series, a fun lift-the-flap series. I like this one because it tells all the important parts of the story—Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus’ appearance to the disciples and his ascension.
The very last page does have a picture of some modern day kids holding Easter baskets, but at least it doesn’t talk about eggs or bunnies.
Then we “read” my new favorite version of the Resurrection story from the See With Me Bible: The Bible Told in Pictures by Dennis Jones.
There are no words. Just pictures. And it is breathtaking. Jones absolutely captures the emotion of the story. It is the only book of all our books that actually showed Jesus in pain and with wounds (cartoon-ish, but still…). I couldn’t find any online to share with you but I highly recommend this book!
The last book you could probably see coming a mile away since I have probably blogged about it 80 times. Yes, its the The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones.
There are about six different stories surrounding Jesus’ passion–Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet at the last supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus appearing to the disciples & ascension. Here’s the best part…
“If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!” they said.
And of course they were right…But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn’t understand. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.
“Papa?” Jesus cried, frantically searching the sky. “Papa? Where are you? Don’t leave me!”
And for the first time–and the last–when he spoke, nothing happened. Just a horrible endless silence. God didn’t answer. He turned away from his Boy.
Tears rolled down Jesus’ face. The face of the One who would wipe away every tear from every eye…
The full force of the storm of God’s fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.
Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, “It is finished!”
And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.
:: :: :: :: ::
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to impress your kids’ heart with God’s ultimate story this easter season. Grab these books and give them in (or in place of) an easter basket. Then, make them a part of your book rotation, not just at easter-time—this is the story that should be central to your kids’ lives…and to yours!
Do you have a favorite easter book to share?
Ever since I first realized that the word “Easter” wasn’t even in the Bible I’ve just had a “eh” feeling about the holiday. It just makes me feel weird that the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection is so tightly wrapped in a convoluted earthy-pagany-american holiday. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Cadbury eggs. I loved getting a new Easter dress as a kid. I absolutely believe your kids will grow up to love the Lord if they believed in the Easter bunny.
As a mom who wants to use every second, every event, every story, every holiday and everything within me to impress my kids, I just try to separate Easter from the Resurrection of Jesus.
When Lydia was just a year old, I headed to the Christian bookstore to pick up some books about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I figured there’d be tons of good stuff. But I was very disappointed when I started looking around. Every single solitary book had “Easter” in the title. Yeah, I know, that’s what we call it. But still! Not even one book called, “Jesus is Alive!” or “Alive Again!” or “HOSANNA!” Not to mention you can’t even buy a kids’ book about Jesus’ resurrection any other time during the year. (Just like you can’t buy a book about Jesus’ birth except at Christmas.)
But I’m getting side-tracked. Let’s step off that soapbox and get to the real reason for this post!
I want to share one of our favorite “Easter” books with you. This is one of the books I picked up that day and even though it in fact called Easter, Easter Almost Here!, it’s actually about Palm Sunday. (WHICH IS THIS SUNDAY! Where did the time go?!)
We read this book year round. It’s a great rhyme, fun pictures, cute peek-a-boo cut outs, shiny, sparkly colors and a solid re-telling of the story of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem. I like having a book that is about this specific event because it tends to get lumped together with the next week in Jesus’ life.
Lydia and I can practically say it by heart. I’ve even heard her chanting it while playing or “reading” other books.
If you are looking for an “easter” book or a great intro to this important season, I highly recommend this book!