Our family likes to spread it all out throughout the week. I got this fabulous book a few years ago that had a list of different traditions you could tie into each day of Easter week, and we've started with that and modified a little each year. This was the first year the boys were old enough to really get into it. And they seemed to grasp so much more about Easter when we focus on a little bit at a time and go a little more in-depth on it.
Some of my favorite things we've done are a Palm Sunday reenactment where we dress up and someone rides a donkey/Daddy, and we celebrate Jesus' arrival. They loved it and wanted to do it over and over. I also have some felt board stories about the miracles of Jesus, and also about the crucifixion. We did those throughout the week, and by the end of the week they were telling us the stories. It was amazing to see how much they learned. The parts that really got to me though were the Jerusalem dinner and the movie, "The Lamb of God".
The boys were way excited about the dinner and continually asked more and more questions about, "When Jesus lived, did they eat/do/have ____?" It was fun to see their curiosity and understanding grow. And it really led perfectly into the next day, which was the day we watched, "The Lamb of God" - Good Friday.
I had a little bit of a hard time watching them watch the movie. I kept wondering if they would be okay....I wondered if they were a little too young for it. They really had a hard time watching it. But man alive, it was a humbling experience for all of us. Taking the time to really stop and develop and even further understanding about what happened that day and the physical and emotional despair felt by our Savior was very moving. I felt the spirit so strong and I know they did too. I feel so, so grateful for those moments I got to share with them.
The rest of the Easter week was similar. We kept it simple but Christ-centered. Easter morning was a little weird this year because Wes had to work. We did a little devotional early and then the boys hunted for their baskets. Once they found the baskets, it was all about the candy. The Easter bunny also loves to throw a few little things in there, so they go scripture stickers and a Scripture Scouts CD. He also gave them sunglasses and water bottles to use at Disneyland, and Jonah got a few little bath toys. Daddy gobbled up Jonah's treats when he got home that night. I gave Wes an Easter basket filled with plastic eggs, each naming something I loved about him. He loved it and so did I. I love how stopping and telling someone how you feel really confirms and strengthens those feelings to you as well. It felt so good to be able to do something thoughtful for him after all he's done for me these past few months. I truly am the luckiest woman alive.
Easter morning we always go on a hunt. The Easter bunny leaves a few "clues" with treats on them until the last clue takes them to their basket. The boys were really into "the hunt" this year and actually remembered it from last year. It's fun to see some of the traditions we've developed start to stick on their own.
I don't know why they love those darn peeps, but let's just say the Easter bunny was looking long and hard for them the night before because he didn't realize that they were apparently the best treat of all the Easter treats. Micah dug right in before he even finished scoping his basket out!
I love how you can see the swollen, I-didn't-sleep-last-night-from-excitement-and-I-woke-up-too-early-this-morning-eyes. Nothing like the magic and excitement of the holidays.
You can see those adorable eyes even better here:
And this little guy wasn't sure what to think, but thought everything tasted good...
I feel so blessed to have Easter every year. I love Christmas, but sometimes I wonder if I love Easter even more. I just love having a holiday that psreads over a few days. A holiday where our family can grow, our love can grow, and our love and understanding of the gospel and our Savior can grow. I always feel like my testimony grows so much during the times when I am able to remember "the reason for the season" and focus on that fully. And it was an amazing, unexpected, added blessing to see those little seeds start to be planted in our children. I feel so blessed to have the gospel in our lives.