19 April 2011

Making Easter Real for my Children!

It is so encouraging to experience the spiritual growth in our family every year!  Two years ago we did an Easter Lapbook with the little ones, Danika, Andrew and David.  

Last year we build on the Easter Lapbook knowledge.  

We had an Easter dinner and watched The Passion of Christ with the children.  Beautiful to see the impact the movie had on their hearts and souls. 
This year the Lord amazingly lead us to add more to the children’s understanding of His greatest gift to them!
Two weeks ago, I had to take Heidi-Mari to a very interesting craft shop in Northumberland street, Bellville.  While waiting to pay for our goodies,  the children drew my attention to a Wooden cross scene, exhibited on one of the small tables.  The children were fascinated by it. With their knowledge of Christ’s crucifixion, they were entertaining each other with what they knew about Jesus on the cross.  Then it was my turn to pay and within seconds I made the decision to get us the same scene.  Although there were a few impatient ladies behind me, waiting to pay for their goodies, too, I quickly enquired where I could find the crosses and the stand.  The children were over the moon and proudly walked out of the shop with their new priced possession!

The crosses we bought was just plain wood, but the crosses in the Craft Shop was decorated and painted and had a very interesting rustic look. Now it was my challenge to find the crafting stuff to decorate and paint our crosses to give it the same rustic look.  Fortunately there is another very popular crafting shop in Durbanville, near Christo’s health shop and I went in to ask for advise.  I took my wooden crosses with and tried to explain to them what end result I was looking for.  They immediately knew what I was talking about and gave me a coarse paste to cover the crosses with.
In the next few days, I would tell the children the crucifixion and resurrection story, illustrated on our felt board with felt characters

Then, with great excitement, we would cover our wooden crosses with the coarse paste. 

After we covered a certain part of the cross, we used a kitchen fork to add some texture. 

The day we decorated the stand, they went outside to pick up pebbles in my vegetable garden to mount in the paste.

By the end of the week the crosses were covered, dried and ready to be painted.  We experimented with different colours.  

First we spray-painted it with a grey colour, left over from a previous crafting project.  But it turned out to be blue, so I got black crafting paint.  Next we painted it with a dark brown colour and roughly painted it with a light brown to gave it a rusty look!  I was really impressed with the outcome!

CJ also twisted a small crown of thorns to put with the cross.
We at first thought it wouldn’t be necessary to paint the stand or ‘soil’ of Golgotha between the ‘rocks’, but after the paste dried, it didn’t look natural, so we started the patient, precise job of painting between the pebbles.  I just did a small section of it, when I had to stop to put little ones down for their afternoon naps.  Since we mixed different colour paints, to get the right colour for the soil and I didn’t want the paint to dry before I’m finished, I asked CJ to take over.  

When I came back I realized he’s doing a far better job than me, and deligated the job to CJ. He has the precision to paint between the pebbles!
In the mean time I opened a blog I don’t read often, but which has excellent postings and ideas.  Some of you might remember my posting, Naming a Year, by Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience.  In this specific posting Ann showed the Easter Garden they made. She beautifully compared the Garden of Eden, where “our beginning and mortal fall began” with a garden where “Christ’s beginning to right that fall began”. I was immediately fascinated by the idea of making an Easter Garden.  
On Friday afternoon after dropping CJ off at the horse farm and Heidi-Mari at Ballet classes, we were on our way to Stodels Garden Centre to buy small plants for our Easter Garden. On the way, I also stopped at a stationary shop, to buy modeling clay to make the tomb and stone that was in front of the tomb. 
The children was jumping up and down with excitement by the time we reached the Garden Centre.  I gave each one the opportunity to choose their own plant and we returned home, each one proudly with his or her plant on the lap! They couldn’t wait to make the Easter Garden!

On Saturday morning Josua mixed some soil and well matured compost, from our own compost heap and filled the pot.  

Then each one got a turn to plant his or her little plant!  

They had such a ball, concentrating on planting the plant, as well as posing for the camera, as I’m taking pictures, to capture the moment!

The previous evening CJ made the tomb and stone and some rocks out of the modeling clay and left it to dry.  

We covered the clay tomb, stone and rocks with waterproof coating and by Sunday afternoon it was all finished.  

This was such a fun activity and at the same time a life changing experience for each of our family members at their different level of understanding.

Easter will never be the same for me again, looking at the crosses, feeling the rustic texture under my skin, seeing the crown of thorns, imagining the sun getting darker, the earth quake, all while I stood at a distance, watching... 

The tomb in the beautiful garden, the large stone against the door of the tomb, it is so final and I feel the hopelessness of His disciples and the women whom He loved, their mourning for Jesus, their Master and Friend.

But then, I marveled with Peter as I saw the stone had been rolled away, the tomb is empty, the linen cloths lying by themselves... 

and I know Jesus is risen, and He commanded us to ‘Rejoice’ and I, like His disciples fall to His feet to worship Him - our Risen King!   
May you all experience the presence and peace of the Risen Jesus Christ, this Easter.

With love
I have linked this posting to Meaningful Easter: Tips, Ideas & Traditions at Impress your Kids.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, 
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life."
John 3:16


Joyfulmama said...

SOOOO Beautiful!! Well done, all of you! I had to chuckle as I read the bit about your Garden - after reading the same post on Ann Voskamp's blog, we made our trip to Stodels last Thursday for our garden, and I also made our clay tomb and stone over the weekend. But we will only be planting ours on Thursday.

Your crosses came out SO beautiful!

May the rest of this week be a true blessing to you all.

oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

LOVE IT! So much interaction---that's what really makes stuff stick for kids, you know?

Thanks so much for linking up with Impress Your Kids!

Sonja said...

Dit is pragtig Linnie! Ek dink julle het n uitstekende werk gedoen! En die ondervinding gaan vir ewig bly!Kosbaar!

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