Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making Easter more memorable and meaningful with a new (old) tradition

Another Easter is already here!  As I wrote about our Passover Meal from last year I already decided that I was going to celebrate this great occasion every year, in this way, with my family.  There is a blog that completely inspired me and this is the author's brief summary and following our 2013 updated meal and Easter ideas farther down in the text.

Ann Voskamp. Farmer's wife. Home-educating mama to 6. Author of the NYT bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. DaySpring writer. Women of Faith speaker. Library book Loser. Named by Christianity Today as one of the leading 50 women most shaping culture and the church today. Soup-stirrer. Partner with Compassion International. Loud laugher, kid snuggler, and Jesus lover. Honestly, she's a bit of a mess. It’s okay, really. Grace is the most amazing of all.

Here is a link to her blog and recipes to make for the passover and a reading passage to print out for free.

After reading her story, it became so special and sincerely meaningful in a way I had never experienced. I hope you can take a look and enjoy the music while you read. 
Washing hands before the meal

This is our 2013 Christian Passover Seder Meal pics with some friends of ours and their children.  Somehow, unfortunately, I did not get but a couple pics, I guess I was too busy hosting.After it was all over, they had just left for the evening and I saw the camera and almost seriously meant what I said, "oh no, they must come back and do the meal over, I didn't get any pics" what a disaster :(
But, we did actually observe the full representation of the Seder Meal, Christian version.    My friend brought her fresh eggs from their farm and basalmic potatoes, which were delicious!  We had our meal while  reclining on blankets and pillows near the coffee table in the living room. The kids had so much fun that they actually ALL tasted everything presented, including parsley dipped in horseraddish! I was shocked.  During the meal, we went and looked at the front door where I had hung a branch of hyssop (well, really it was gathered thyme from the herb garden outside) and taped red tissue paper at the post and sides of the door.  We also hid the Matzah bread and the oldest boy found it in the chandelier after they had all given up!  We enjoyed a wonderful meal at the end of the Seder. I did use all the recipes from a holy , which was all great and necessary after eating bitter herbs!  We then sat around and talked while the kids played, well the women mostly just watched the kiddos and didn't get to visit much, but it was a time enjoyed by us all.  We certainly will enjoy this for years to come. We are also so thankful for our friends and the appreciation they have for using these ways to teach the kids about the heritage we want to give them.

(2012)Our Easter was not about a mysterious Easter bunny or the eggs and candy he leaves, but it became about something entirely new and real, plus we did it in a super fun way.  Here's a peek at what we did:
An Easter  3-D Lamb Cake, instead of the traditional bunny cake! Scroll down for details.

We did use some fun candy on the easter table.

Made a spring wreath for Pastor's wife that they ordered. Using a bird house I found at Hobby Loby, a grapevine wreath, moss, some floral wire, hot glue and floral tape, two spring birds, some greenery and a rustic Gold monogram,'W'.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
We used: Red Onion, Violets (purple), Rose petals, red berries (reddish pink), Blueberries (Blue), Grass and yellowish green weeds from our yard (light green)
I heated up about 1/2 c. vinegar per rammekin in the microwave until nice and hot and  then added my ingredients to each separately.  I let them 'steep' for about 5-10 minutes and then started dyeing the eggs. I used the regular hand held egg wire from the old coloring kit and also used the wax marker from the pack as well.  You can experiment with how long to keep the eggs in. You also may find it helpful to reheat the solution before dipping; it will retain the color better when hot. Have fun with it and let your kids experiment as well. Landon had a blast guessing what color was going to dye each egg.

Landon's favorite color

Here is my fluffy lil lamb 3d cake. I ran out of icing at 1 am the night before and by morning one of the ears had fallen off! I remember Landon waking up and saying, "oh look, it's a little dog, how cute!" So I had to explain. Anyway, the idea I had in my head did not turn out like I wanted, but for all you cake experts, you will probably perfect this! I basially baked two round cakes and stacked them and then cut out the shapes to assemble each part of the lamb. I would not suggest using toothpics, the long skewers work better!

Ressurection Garden, using a potato, stones and fresh cut flowers and greenery.  Landon and I assembled this on Thursday and I explained to Landon the events that took place with Jesus dying on the cross for us and they laid him in a tomb, similar to this potato and how the guards sealed the stone.  So we put goofy inside with a burial cloth and closed the stone.  All was wilted by Saturday, but on Sunday Morning I replaced everything wilted to alive and fresh flowers, I opened the tomb where goofy was (we couldn't find lego man) and put goofy on the chandelier. When Landon woke up, I asked  "Where is Jesus now?" I said, "Look up", just like Jesus.........HE IS Risen! And I also explained how the flowers were wilted and everything was dying, but with Jesus' resurrection power, he made everything new again!

Our cross of sticks and a real crown of throwns

Journal 2012:Easter is this weekend and each year I plan to do more than the typical Easter traditions, but just run out of time. However, this week we will be making time to celebrate the passover . My husband had to work late tonight, so we'll be having the meal Friday night instead of the traditional Thursday.
We'll be learning what the Passover really is and the biblical meaning for it.  I've researched some about this special night and I've decided to do the shorter version, since it is originally quite lengthy.

  When I was a teen. my missionette's teacher had a lesson on the Passover and cooked the real deal, I'll never forget the experience.  That memory has encouraged me to teach my children the history of the Jews and the real meaning of  Easter. It's not about bunnies, candy and eggs,however so cute, but rather a celebration of the new life and hope that Christ brings.

As Christians, we can celebrate Passover anytime, because of Jesus, the Messiah's death, burial and Resurrection ultimately on Sunday. The Jews, however, are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah and still celebrate the Passover on Thursday evening.  We must remember the Jews and hold Israel very dear to our hearts.  They are still God's chosen people and we must pray for them.  As Gentiles, we were adopted into God's plan and really did not deserve redemption, however God made a way for us and I am so thankful for it.

I will be updating our experience after our meal on Friday evening.

Here is one blog that has simplified the passover and its christian meaning at

Also, this site is a great resource for detailed information

Update on this post:(2012)
Well, we had our Seder meal....nearly 2 hours later than planned (fussy baby, husband worked late), the roasted egg got boiled and removed from the shell (husband did this on accident), the lamb leg bone was not in the piece of meat I bought and I ran out of time trying to research what each item meant on our plate.  Aside from the inaccurate meal and the cries of a 5 month old and the no-nap today 4 year old jumping around the table and interrupting each time we talked, we tried to make it through the meal.  Besides all the chaos, we ended on a good note and discovered it was quite the experience and next year we will make it even better.  Our son actually tried each food on the plate and he got a little toy for finding the Matzah bread.  It was very fun for him and we read the excerpt from a holy about their Seder meal tradition.  All in all, we look forward to doing this next year.  We also finished up with a Resurrection rock garden that my son put together.  That will be a neat memory for him on Easter morning!
All this experience has prompted  me to make Easter a BIG deal, make it a FUN deal, make it a HUGE event so that all other man made holidays will just be overwhelmed by the importance of this life changing, future making, eternity altering event. It has detoured me away from bunny and candy crazed, dazed and confused "things" and pushed me towards time devoted to make this a week my children will never forget and will always look forward to each year. I will devote to make more time for Easter and it's real meaning.I want my children to know who they are, where they're from and where they're going in this life, and all that comes from a lifestyle devoted to binding God's word in our hearts.While we walk, while we talk, while we sit, while we lay, while we sleep, while we play, when we go out and when we come in; these are the opportunities to mold our children.

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