Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Celebrate Easter Week!

A few years ago I discovered a way to celebrate Easter that I love.  I shared it on my blog and you can read about it here.  The thing that I have liked about this Easter idea of celebrating Easter Week is that it is flexible and it can change to whatever you think will work well for your family.

The first couple of years that we did it we would read a scripture about what was happening on the real Easter week, then we would add something to a table display.  This no longer worked when we didn't have room for that table anymore.  Then we changed it to an Easter picture.  We read the same scriptures, but we did a huge picture on butcher paper.  This year we are changing it again.  I wanted to find things that we could do each day that would hopefully add meaning for the children, or at least help them remember it better.

As I was thinking about it I did a little looking on and discovered that other people had written about their own Easter week ideas.  So here are some ideas that you can use if you want, or you can come up with your own ideas.  I love celebrating Easter all week.  It helps me think about Jesus more and what He did for me, and when the week is through I feel that I really have celebrated.

The Sunday before Easter is the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  One family would get a donkey pinata and break it open to celebrate.  We are going to go around the table at dinner time (much like we would at Thanksgiving) and say what we are thankful for.  What would we be praising the Lord for if we were welcoming Him into our town or our home?

Monday some people talk about the cleansing of the temple.  We are blessed to live close enough to a temple that we are going to go there and talk about some of the things that Jesus taught.

Tuesday Jesus also taught at the temple, and Luke said that at night he "abode" in the Mount of Olives.  We are going to cook outside on a fire.  Jesus may have eaten in town, or He may have been fasting, but I imagine He had a fire for warmth.  We can talk about what it would be like to teach all day knowing that many would not listen, and then to go not to a house, but out onto the Mount of Olives to sleep.

Wednesday we have always talked about Judas and how he was willing to give up his association with the Creator and Redeemer of the world for 30 pieces of silver.  This is in contrast to a King in the Book of Mormon who was willing to give up his kingdom, all he possessed, and all of his sins to know the Lord.  We will be talking about what sin or bad habit we want to give up.  Perhaps we will bury them like the people of Ammon buried their swords.

Thursday is the day that Jesus atoned for us in Gethsemane.  We will sing a song about Gethsemane and have a special family prayer giving thanks for that incomprehensible gift.

Friday Jesus suffered on the cross, died, and was laid in the sepulchre.  It would have been a dark day.  We thought about going to the cemetery to visit the graves of those that have already passed on, but it is Tia's birthday on Friday and so we are going to have a candlelight dinner.  We'll have to close the blinds to make it even close to dark, but that works for us.

Saturday some people talk about missionary work.  We have talked about it having been the Sabbath, and how His followers would be resting.  This is the day we take a break and celebrate with the Easter bunny. 

Sunday is Easter.  We listen to He is Risen.  We are also going to sing Families Can Be Together Forever and remember that those loved ones that have died will rise again, as will we.  It is also because of Jesus that we can be with those that we love forever.

I love celebrating Easter Week and I hope that you will too.
Happy early Easter!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Outside Summer

I've been feeling like I need to write something, but nothing overly interesting is going on around here.  I did get to lead the ward choir on Sunday for a performance and two practices.  The choir that sang in the performance was much bigger than the one that showed up early for practice.  They watched me carefully, which made me laugh a bit because some of them probably didn't know that I'd led the song maybe twice before the performance!  The choir sounded good and I made no embarrassing leading faux pas, for which I am thankful.

So, what sounds fun to write about?  Summer of course.  I love to plan Summer -- usually more than I actually like to do the things I plan.  Sad.  So what are my great plans this year?  So far I just have the vague notion that I am going to make myself stay outside at least two hours a day.  Now this number is hilariously small for people like my Dad and Sisters who will probably try to go inside for at least two hours a day.  I just realized that I have become a bit of a wimp.  Cold out?  Stay in by the fire.  Too hot?  Isn't that air conditioning nice?  Possibility of a mosquito bite?  Stay behind a screen.  Might get sore muscles?  Take a nap.  (Okay so I'm not THAT bad).

Other plans?  Well, the calendar is already filling up and so I don't feel a need to plan a lot.  I think I'll try to plan some simple adventures and send out e-mails inviting people.  I'll see how many impromptu, low stress, activities we can pull off -- outside.

I would like to:
Go to the zoo
Hike in Rock Canyon
Ride my bike on the Provo River Trail
Cook outside over a fire.
Look through a telescope (I never did it last year)
Walk in the dark with Derek (imagine me raising my eyebrows up and down)
Play hide and seek outside with the kids -- but I'll have to wear smelly bug spray -- eww!
Have a cabin adventure
Ride my awesome four wheeler with reckless abandon (okay or safely)
Take Dan to the pool (because he has really wanted to go)
Paint a picture outside (I didn't get this crossed off last year).
Go with Derek farther on his favorite hike in Santaquin

There are other things too, like swinging really high.  I also want to sit in the shade and drink lemonade and read a good book in a good outside nook (couldn't resist).  Jake wants to play tennis, which he says is his favorite sport after soccer.  Dan really wants to go to Lagoon.  He loves Lagoon.

What are your favorite things to do outside in the Summer?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jake Goes Fishing

Jake said he could cast his line really far out into the lake.
This was Jake's first experience with fishing.
I haven't had my first experience with fishing yet.
I'm okay with that.

Jake with his new scout group.  He seems to be enjoying it so far!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Quote and Dan Conversations

Derek and I went to see a play at the High School the other week.  It was very well done.  In the program they had all of the cast members give a favorite quote.  My favorite, though I don't know where it originated, is:

"Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

The other morning Dan said to Jake:  "The sun is really Jesus, because He's so bright, huh?"
Jake answered: "No, but Jesus lives there."


Later Dan had a friend over and he asked him:  "Alex, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Alex said:  "A policeman"
Dan said:  "Well don't arrest me, because I'm going to be a super hero."

Later that night Dan said:
"There is really no such thing as a super hero (pause) until Jake and I grow up."

So, there you have it.  Before too many years I will be the Mom of two super heroes!

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Heirloom

On Thursday I went to a Relief Society birthday party.  The Relief Society, whose motto is "Charity Never Faileth", has been around for 170 years.  At our party dinner was provided, and we were asked to wear an heirloom if we had one that could be worn.  A few were brought and placed on tables.

When my Grandma F. passed away, one of my aunts gave me a necklace that had belonged to my Grandma.  It was a bee on a chain, and it did not look very beautiful.  It was kind of a copper color.  I knew of no story behind it, and had never worn it.  I did not get rid of it though because it belonged to my Grandma.  That is the only heirloom I have to wear and so I got out my computer and tried to do a little research.  Here in the Beehive State, in a church who has a group of girls called the Beehives, I knew that bees are often significant.  I wondered if perhaps this was some jewelry that my Grandma had received because of some service she had done in the church, or for some milestone she had reached.  I could find no history of church jewelry, and decided to look more closely at the necklace itself.  When I squinted at the very small letters on the back, I found the word sterling. 

I have sterling silver cleaner and went to work.  Here is the result.

Derek insisted a picture of me wearing the necklace was required!
The more I thought about this necklace, the more thankful I felt to have it in remembrance of my Grandma.  She worked very hard, like bees do, and even when she was in her 80s she could outwork many who were younger.  It was hard to keep her out of the trees at pruning time and off of the roof where she would go to clean the gutters.  She would pull garbage bags full of weeds and wonder why she was sore!  She worked for years and years in the Primary (over 30 years I believe) and was a Relief Society President herself at one time.  She served one mission before her marriage and one after my Grandpa passed away.  I can still remember feeling sheepish one summer morning when  I was about 17.  I woke up and looked out my window and could see that, while I had slept, my elderly Grandma had been working in the garden! 

Saturday after the Relief Society party, as I studied this necklace some more in the sunlight, I could see on the back where Grandma had scratched her initials.  The initials used were those of her maiden name, so it is possible that she got this necklace some time before she got married in 1934.

I have found myself being very thankful for this years Relief Society birthday party.  It caused me to really look at what I had been given.  Discovering the beauty in my heirloom has reminded me of what a treasure I have always been blessed with in a Grandma who loved her family (including me), and her Savior, and who knew how to work hard, even when she might not have felt like it.  I am thankful for my Grandma and for something to remember her by.
Grandma with my Sister Tina (On the same visit that made me feel sheepish I think)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Pictures

Jake opens a present from Grandma and Grandpa F. with Tia looking on.

Dan in his green monster truck with dragons on the side.  This was for the Kindy 500.

Jake earned his Bear, I got a mother's pin.

Jake is up front with his Cub Master after getting his Bear getting ready to do a silly cheer.