I think we may have started a brand new OLD tradition today.
Confusing? Trust me, it was a bit confusing for us too.
Meagan had an abbreviated photo shoot to do this morning. She had called earlier in the week to ask if Papa and Noni would like some bonding time with the Smith children? We said, "Certainly!" That's when I went to work pondering what our entertainment would be.
Taking them out for breakfast where a playground is involved makes the littles happy but it's Easter week. I wanted something a bit more meaningful. After checking with Papa (I don't attempt these things alone, friends!) we put a plan in place.
I bought Easter egg dye, some Jell-o, cake mix, coconut and other necessary items. We contacted the Schreck tribe and moved forward in creating a memory.
The Smiths arrived around 9:30. Papa and Noni were sitting on "Ready." (Seems my brain was eager to get the day started and woke my body at 4:30 AM. Sigh! One can do a LOT of getting ready in five hours.)
We had eggs and dye ready to roll. Please bear in mind, all this was completely new to our super blond babies. They were entranced by each step of the process.
We put eight eggs on to boil then started the Jell-o. Yes, I do have an Easter mold of bright pink plastic. "Happy Easter" is the top banner. I store the mold right next to my personal set of Resurrection Eggs which are dispersed among all the children at our Easter meal.
Have I mentioned Christmas (which I love) takes a back seat to EASTER celebrating, in my heart?
While the Smiths stood side-by-side stirring the Jell-o, we talked about how things can change. The Jell-o was a powder when we started, now it's liquid. When it sits in the refrigerator the right amount of time, it will change again. It will get all jiggley.
"God can change anything in our lives that He needs to, can't He?" Noni was fishing.
Noah took the bait, "Just like the Jell-o! Right, Noni?"
Have I also mentioned these kids are brilliant?!
They watched wide-eyed as we poured the Jell-o into the mold. Leftovers went into parfait glasses for taste-testing later. There was a bit of arguing and jostling to see who would open the refrigerator door. Thank heaven I have two doors on my refrigerator and I quickly declared they each could open one. Whew!
(In case you're wondering what Grayson was doing during all this excitement, he was with Papa. A bottle was given and a nap started. Hallelujah!)
Papa had a table set up in the garage for the egg dyeing portion of the morning. We used a crayon to carefully identify each egg. I wish you could have heard the squeals and seen the delight when the first colored egg was pulled out of the water.
"How did you DO that, Papa?" The process elevated him to the level of magician in their bright blue eyes.
"It's not hard when you know what you're doing." Frank answered.We talked about how God knows just what He is doing in each of our lives. He loves us so much!
Their parents have done a great job making the true story of Easter understandable and personal. Noah explained the cross sticker he was putting on his colored egg. "That's where Jesus died to take away our sins, Noni."
Madi wasn't to be left out. She made clear that the birdie sticker she was using could sing for Jesus, too. Not bad for 3 1/2.
We listened and laughed and loved watching them discover this brand new process. The same old process Noni and Papa used over 50 years ago with our own Easter eggs. Then again about 25 years ago with our own children's eggs.
Smiths headed home and the Schrecks arrived around 11:30. After peanut butter sandwiches, the fun started all over again. One of their eggs cracked while boiling but took the dye just the same. We talked about how important it is to remember that even when we make mistakes and things look messed up, God can still make something beautiful if we let Him.
The Schreck babies aren't known for moving slowly. We had to explain this egg dyeing takes a long time. It's a process you can't rush. Abby started pacing herself by singing "Have patience! Have patience! Don't be in such a hurry...."
Spencer and Zach were also quick to catch the illustration of the Jell-o changing from one thing to another. They watched closely as Papa took the first round out of the mold. "Look, Noni! It's been three different things. You would think that wasn't possible."
I jumped on that one, "Just like people thought it would be impossible for Jesus to rise from the dead. But He did, didn't He?"
Zach responded first with huge eyes, "Jez came out tomb! BOOM!" (Being interpreted, "Jesus came out of the tomb with a loud Boom.")
The Schreck parents have also talked with all their children about the wonder of Easter and the hope it brings for each of us. Thankful is a word they all understand with this season.
(Some of you may be wondering about Ava, the youngest. We decided to wait and have her join us next year. She enjoyed one on one time with Mom and Dad. )
Abby stayed after the boys went home and helped Noni bake a carrot cake. She was thrilled when we used green food coloring on the coconut to make a "grass" topping for our basket cake. Malted milk eggs crowned the basket and pictures showed her delight.
I'm now exhausted. There are more traditions to come. Family sunrise service. Spoken blessings. Breakfast of egg casserole and Pillsbury orange rolls. (Keep it simple is my motto.) An egg hunt in two rounds, younger and older. Then Easter Sunday with all our church family.
Hopefully, you will share this sacred time with someone you love and appreciate. If family is far away, remember that the One who came out of the tomb with a loud BOOM is as close as your whispered prayer.
Blessings for Your Easter!
We'd love to hear about your favorite Easter/Passover traditions. Your celebration may spark an idea for someone else. Stop by the comment box, won't you?