Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eowyn's Easter Basket

Eowyn's Easter Basket

This year we are again at Ryan's dad's house in beautiful green Portland, Oregon!  (See pics here and here.) We'd been experiencing a lot of very wet weather (par for the course in Oregon's spring?), but Easter dawned bright & beautiful!  I can't fault the rain when it means everything is so lush and vibrant!

The first words out of Eowyn's mouth were "now I can open my last egg and get my purple basket with my white shoes and new books and treats!"  Doesn't forget anything, that one.  She was just as excited as she'd hoped to be about her purple Easter basket, most especially her new white "church shoes."  More on the basket & its contents in a minute.

Ryan, E & I attended a local Easter service with one of Ryan's "Drupal connections"-- so nice to have those pretty much all over the world. :)  The service was beautiful, with a good message on both the historical reality of the Resurrection AND its relevance to us today.  (Eowyn especially rocked out to the Hallelujah Chorus!) We found the people very friendly, from Steve's kids jumping right in to playing with Eowyn to strangers striking up conversations with us to free espressos at the in-house coffee bar!  The setting was absolutely gorgeous- so much so that we came back later in the day just to walk their wooded trail and play on their playground.

Note:  I forgot to get a picture of her basket
before she broke her tools in "helping" in Savta's garden...
We came home and, as mentioned before, got to enjoy a brunch with more family than we'd expected!  Honestly, I really really like the idea of making an Easter brunch our family tradition (rather than the ham, etc.)-- it's so low-stress, easy and yummy! Once they left, Ryan hid the Resurrection Eggs we've been opening every day in the front yard while Sabba & Savta gave E their little treats for Easter-- a stuffed dog that looks like their toy poodles in a fun Spring-colored purse, and healthy treats like dried fruits and fruit chews and peanut-butter cups. Eowyn insisted on carrying the purse on her egg-hunt.  We all helped Eowyn find the eggs (the dogs would have liked to help more, hah) and then she and I opened each one in order and told the whole Easter story.  She was surprised to find that the last egg was empty-- just like Jesus' tomb!

If you are looking for a great tradition that helps keep Easter about Christ's work and not rabbits, we really have liked the Resurrection Eggs!  You can buy them (made by FamilyLife and sold in many Christian bookstores) or put them together yourself, as I did when I was preschool teacher.  They are very inexpensive to make, with many items you can make or find around the house, but you may have to raid the dollar store and/or craft store for a few items.  There are different lists, like this one, or this one, and some families go beyond just the eggs and make an Easter tree too.  The FamilyLife eggs have an optional accompanying story book called Benjamin's Box (Melody Carlson) which is really good-- a school-age comprehension level, so I had to paraphrase some for Eowyn this year, but we both appreciated the pictures and the sweet story.

I was surprised at how much Eowyn got "into" Easter this year, actually!  She would wake up from every nap asking if she could open the next egg (usually remembering exactly what color it was), and we'd have to explain that it wasn't tomorrow yet.  She remembered the story in quite a bit of detail as we opened the eggs each morning and told a little bit more.  Next year I hope to add Scripture memory to our eggs.

Here's our take on the Easter basket:  white dress shoes (for William they'll probably be just new dress shoes), an age-appropriate story Bible or devotional, book(s), and either a new outfit or other treats.  So far every year grandparents have added stuffed animals and edible goodies, too.  This year Eowyn got her beloved new shoes, the Beginner's Bible, Benjamin's Box (from Nina),  a set of 3 Little Chick board books (motivated mostly by the long plane ride home), and gardening tools.  My mom had already given her a beautiful smocked dress for her birthday that I'd set aside as the perfect "Easter dress," so we swapped out the dress for child-sized gardening tools (a shovel, spade, trowel, rake, and watering can).  [Most items in the basket were bought consignment or on clearance after last Easter, I must confess.]  This has so far gotten Eowyn excited and commemorated Easter as a celebration but also been both practical and Christ-centered.

PS- E is still wearing the new shoes.

What Easter traditions do you have in your families?

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