Although we will all be celebrating Resurrection Weekend very differently this year than we have in past years, we can still celebrate what Christ did for us in His death and resurrection! Here are some ideas of activities to do with our children to help remind them of what Christ did for us.
1. Bake Resurrection Rolls
Making resurrection rolls is a fun, delicious and memorable way to share the Easter story with your kids. These are super easy to make if you choose to use croissant dough from the grocery store (see first link below). However, if you don’t have access to croissant dough you can also make the rolls from scratch (see second link).
Google has a ton of Resurrection pictures you can print for free if you simply do a search.
3. Create a Playlist
Gather songs and create a playlist of music themed around Christ’s Death and Resurrection.
4.Make a Shoe Box Tomb
Decorate an empty shoe box to represent the tomb – use construction paper to create stones, grass and flowers. Allow your child to scrounge outside for a special rock. Make a pipe cleaner stick figure to represent Jesus. Put Jesus inside the tomb and have your child place the rock on top. On Easter morning let them come downstairs to find the lid off and the “tomb” empty with the rock set to the side.
5. Create an Easter Tree of Promises
Find a large branch to represent your Easter Tree. Search the Scriptures for promises of God. Cut out Easter egg shapes to write down the promises and then hang them on the tree. See how many you can hang by Easter Sunday.
Laughter is good medicine for the soul. And recently a lot of the laughter in my life has come as a result of the funny things my young children are saying. I love seeing life through their eyes! While I could share many hilarious quotes I’ll stick to sharing just a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Scene: Mommy is diving/maneuvering in order to get away from a bee, while a neighbor works in the yard.
Mommy: Agh! There’s a bee chasing me!
Seth: That wasn’t a bee! That was just the neighbor weed whacking!
I’m always telling the kids that they need to stay little forever. One night Seth was taking too long to eat his supper so Daddy took it away to save for later. Seth came over and said to me “That’s how I can stay little for forever! When you make recipes I don’t like and Daddy has to take my food away, that will make me stay little forever!”
Grandma was stopping in to take the kids to the park so I told the kids they needed to clean up the toys first. They weren’t quite done when Grandma got there so Seth ran to the door and told her “You can’t come in! We’re not done cleaning up yet and Mommy doesn’t want you to see it!”
One day Seth was”reading” bible stories to Kate. When he reached the story of Jairus and his sick daughter he told her “He ran very quickly! They didn’t have police cars back then.”
Daddy: Seth, do you see that bird up there?
Seth: Uh-huh. Is that an eagle or an ostrich?
Grandma was over to help Mommy out one day. Mommy went to put Seth down for his nap and he wanted to know if Grandma was still going to be there when he woke up. When Mommy told him “No,” he responded “Well, we could lock that door so she can’t get out!”
Scene: Seth and Kate are snuggling in bed with Daddy and Mommy early one morning.
Kate: Daddy! Mommy! (And points to the wedding picture on the wall as she recognizes their faces.)
Mommy: Yes, Kate. That’s a picture from when Daddy and Mommy got married.”
Seth: What DID you guys do before you had kids?!
Mommy: We slept, my child. We slept.
Seth: I can’t find my shoes. They’re hibernating!
Seth: When I get big like Daddy my cheeks won’t be as kissable!
(It’s true. We don’t call him our muffin for no reason!)
One day I was feeling extra creative and made the kids bear shaped pancakes. Seth informed me “Daddy is really good at making circle pancakes!”
Seth: Some people call you Mommy and some people call you Chrystal. When they call you Chrystal it sounds like you stole something so maybe they should just call you Mommy. Or they could call you Stauffer instead of ChrySTOLE.
Scene: Discussing possible baby names for a future baby.
Mommy: How about Ted?
Seth: (laughing) That’s like Teddy the Bear!
Mommy: Ok, what about Joel?
Seth: I don’t think so, because that sounds like he’s going to drool!
What have you been up to lately? This extroverted girl has been learning just how hard it is to get along without her routine people around. And I think I’m pretty normal for struggling through this.
God has designed us to need community. If you were to look in scripture you would see over and over that He has not designed us to do life alone. He has created marriage, the family, the church; all different forms of community. And yet, because God has temporarily removed the broader community from my life, I am becoming increasingly convinced of an even deeper truth: He has designed us to need Him more than community. In fact, often the very point of community (marriage, the family and the church) is given to direct us and others back to Him. Any time these relationships take a higher priority than God Himself they are being taken out of context.
I didn’t realize just how greatly I can depend on these relationships, looking to them for my source of fulfillment instead of God. Can you relate? Have you felt discouraged because you haven’t had a fellow sister to pour your heart out to in person? Have you felt depressed because you haven’t had anyone to do a game night with in order to take your mind off of a stressful life situation? Have you found yourself wishing desperately for a coffee date with your spouse just to get a break from the mundane tasks of daily life? Me too!
Honestly, as an extrovert, I kind of found myself believing the lie that I can’t/won’t survive this quarantine well, because… I need my people! God has graciously shown me some good news though! People, while good gifts in and of themselves, aren’t my source of satisfaction in life; God is.
Psalm 107 is just full of all the beautiful things God has done, but one thing in particular that we read is “he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (vrs.9)
What? You mean, it’s not my friends, a good book, projects, Facebook or Netflix?
And there’s more…
Let’s keep going.
Psalm 16:11 says “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
What good news for extroverts! Even in the absence of friends there is joy for us to find; in God’s presence!
Psalm 62:5-8 says “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
These truths do not change, my friends. So, let’s trust Him. When our souls feel empty and we are tempted to look around for something to fill it, let’s run to Him instead.
During this time of social isolation, let’s continue to pursue relationships with people to the best of our ability. Let’s send texts/emails of encouragement. Let’s create unique opportunities to interact with loved ones from afar. God has called us to love, support and serve others and it is a good, good gift. But…at the end of the day, let’s not forget that HE is the best gift of all. And He isn’t going anywhere “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high: Hide me, O my Savior, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, oh, leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness; Vile and full of sin I am, Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound; Make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart, Rise to all eternity.
Sometimes life consists of the mundane. Dishes, bills, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Our children learn from us just by participating in our everyday tasks. Sometimes, however, we need some fresh ideas for how we can interact more closely with our children in order to make memories they won’t forget…or we may just need some new ideas for how to keep them busy while we get a few extra chores done! Either way, today we’re providing a list of our favorite activities. If it helps you to structure your day, think in blocks of time, having specific activities assigned to each segment. For example: 9:00-9:30–Chores/clean up, 9:30-10:00 -Crafts/Projects,10:00-10:30 – Independent play and so on. The following activities are simple and don’t require a ton of random supplies so we hope that you find these helpful as you continue to love on your kids!
– When reading picture books, talk about what’s going on in the picture: count items, identify characters (mom, dad, baby, etc), identify attitudes.
-Turn on some music and sing together
– Build a fort out of couch cushions and pillows
– Bake something yummy together
– Assemble a puzzle
– If you have a little girl, paint your nails together
– Have a tea party
– Play musical chairs
– Facetime a friend
– Have your child pretend you’re a mummy. Tell him he needs to build you a great pyramid by covering you with toys/blankets, etc. Remember, mummies can’t move. You get a nap and your child learns some history. Win!
– Make crafts out of toilet paper rolls (a simple google search will give you hundreds of ideas!)
– Make paper airplanes
– Draw simple designs such as a flower, tree, house, etc., and then “color” them with rice (mix food coloring into the rice and let dry, then use glue)
– Make a mosaic using cut up pieces of construction paper.
– Make simple designs from construction paper and then have your child put together the picture. For example: cut out the trunk of a tree, the leaves, and fruit and then glue them together onto the tree you drew.
– For young children learning their alphabet, write out names of family members or friends for them to trace. As they trace the names, point out the different letters.
Our family recently went through the process of selling our old home and buying a new one. It was a crazy time of showings, inspections, paperwork and packing. Our new house was in need of some TLC before we could move into it and many of our friends were right there alongside us as we cleaned, painted and moved. We couldn’t have done it without them! Today I thought I’d share some of the things I discovered to be extremely helpful to someone going through the moving process. Trust me, your support and encouragement can make a huge difference!
1. Pray for them. Moving is draining, both physically and emotionally, and your friends need the extra prayer support from you. Pray that they will have extra energy. Pray that they will have extra patience with their kids. Pray that they would have extra compatibility/humility towards their spouse as they work together on a lot of decisions/details.
2. Ask if you can come over and wash the dishes for them while they work on packing.
3. Offer to bring some food for any cleaning/moving helpers they may have on moving day, etc. Let your friends know you will bring fresh fruit, bottled water, a veggie tray, etc. for everyone so your friends have one less thing to worry about during this process.
4. Provide them a meal. Drop off soup and bread. Stick a freezer meal in the freezer that they can pull out on a day when they are so busy unpacking/setting things up that they don’t have time to restock groceries.
5. Give them gift cards for Subway, Little Caesars, etc.
6. Supply them with a huge supply of paper plates, cups and plastic silverware. This will come in handy over a time when the dishes are packed in boxes, but it will also help to ease the load in the days following the move when your friends would rather be hanging those curtain rods instead of doing dishes.
7. Put together a housewarming basket with practical things like dish soap, scrubbing pads, toilet bowl cleaner, tape, a candle, etc. Your friends may not know where some of those items got off to during the move and having someone to supply these things can really help make everything seem a little more like home for them.
8. Offer to help babysit their kids.
9. Tell them you want to help with cleaning/packing/moving and that they are to just give you the time and place and you’ll be there! Repeat your offer so they can remember and know you meant it.
10. Offer to come over after the moving day to help them unpack boxes and move furniture.
11. Ask what they need from the store, whether it’s the hardware or grocery store, and offer to pick it up for them on your way over.
12. Show them you care! Ask how everything is going. Ask how they are feeling with all the changes and if there is anything else they need that you might not have thought of.