April 25, 2011

Rediscover the Resurrection - Everyday!

"Now what?"  That was my children's response after finding Jesus out of the tomb.

I think that happens with many.  It seems like with holidays the build up is so exciting, then the day passes, and the celebration is over...right?  Well, that's the best part of the Good News.  On Resurrection Monday (and every day thereafter) the party is just beginning!

We were talking today about what happened to Jesus AFTER he rose from the dead.  I love it...he broke all the rules, AGAIN!  hehe  You would think if Jesus were going to appear to anyone, it would be his disciples.  First he appears to Mary Magdalene (out of whom he had driven seven demons), then to Cleopas (not a well known follower), and finally Peter (who denied him three times), before appearing to the eleven.  Why does that matter?  To me it says, "Jesus can't be put in a box!"  He breaks the mold.  It didn't matter what the people of the day said about women, or how popular or well-known you are, and He didn't hold a grudge against a good friend who denied his existence.  He knew exactly who needed to hear from Him and He spoke!

He is as alive today, as He was 2000 years ago when He rose from the dead, and the most awesome part is "He still speaks!"  How do I know?  It's simple.  I hear His voice.

What got me all worked up today, well this crazy video.  It is a group of people who hear His voice in Texas and they danced their shoes off and gave them to people in need, just because He told them to.

P.S.  I know I'm having posting issues once again...will have time tomorrow to figure it out, but today I'm gonna Dance My Shoes Off too.  ;-)

April 21, 2011

Rediscover the Resurrection - Day 5

Thursday - Crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-56, Matthew 27:27-54)

Tonight our scene had lots of action!  I'll let the photos tell the story...

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane while his disciples slept...

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss...

(I wasn't able to capture the flurry of activity, as Peter cut off the guard's ear, Jesus put it back on, Jesus was arrested and put on trial, and was thrown around between all family members until someone finally found a rubber band and asked Papito to attach Jesus to the cross...)

The lights went out as darkness covered the land, and Jesus cried out "It is finished!"  Levi began shaking the table for the earthquake, and the (napkin) curtain was torn from top to bottom! 

April 20, 2011

Rediscover the Resurrection - Day 4

Wednesday - Passover/Last Supper (Luke 22:14-21, John 13:1-17, )

Tonight we rediscovered the Last Supper by having our own Passover.  We cleared out the school room (as I knew I would be much more relaxed with grape juice spilled on foam mats versus the living room carpet), and made a short table out of the laundry basket and tray.  The children helped me set places for everyone in the family, including Bibi and Judah (who ended up sleeping through it.  hehe)  They also set out a pillow for Jesus, then decided to set one for Elijah too, after reading about the Jewish tradition.  

Here is what our Seder plate contained:

- a candle (Partylite brand that burns like red liquid, very cool)
- 4 glasses for the four cups
- a plastic lamb
- parsley and a bowl of salt water
- 3 pieces of "matzah"
- charoset (I put two apples, a splash of grape juice, a few dried apricots, and handful of almonds in the Vita-mix)
- horseradish (not pictured, because I could not find it anywhere!)

I used a combination of two great resources to guide our night.  The first was a great post called A Messianic Passover Sedar for Families with Young Children written by Jennifer @ Getting Down with Jesus.  The second is a step-by-step guide, with biblical text and a script for the leader all included in a printable booklet.  I purchased the entire Biblical Holidays book, but you can now download just the Passover guide for $5 at the Heart of Wisdom link.

These combined resources weaved together the Exodus story and the Last Supper in a way that kept everyone's attention, and taught even the grown-ups many new things!  

Highlights included:

-Washing each other's feet just like Jesus washed the disciples' feet

- Serving each other communion (and the irony of the grown-up being the one to break the glass, hehe)

- Searching the house to find the Afikoman, "Mamita, can you just give us a little hint?" and a few minutes later, "Mamita, what about if we play the hot/cold game."  hehe

For more activities:

- Mighty Moses Scavenger Hunt from se7en

- Passover Platters from se7en

April 19, 2011

Rediscover the Resurrection - Day 3

Tuesday - Judas Betrays Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16, Luke 22:3-6)

There were plenty of events that happened on Tuesday, but we focused on Judas betraying Jesus.  Betrayal is when someone lies, pretending to be a friend, but is really an enemy.  Judas was one of Jesus' disciples, his group of closest friends, but he turned against him.  He did this for just 30 silver coins (the cost of a slave at that time)!

There was much discussion amongst Judas and the chief priests, before we counted out 30 pieces of silver to add to our scene.

For more activities:

- Squeeze out some toothpaste and ask your child to put it back into the tube.  (Obviously this is impossible.)  Talk about how words are the same way...once you’ve said something, you cannot take it back.  Encourage your children to be mindful of the words that come out of their mouths, and use kind words rather than evil words.  

- Experiment with dominoes.  First give your children free time to play with the pieces, then demonstrate how dominoes fall, creating a chain reaction. Let the children try lining the dominoes up and knocking them down. Tie this activity into a discussion of how wrong or bad actions/choices can create bad chain reactions, just like Judas’. 

Rediscover the Resurrection - Day 2

Monday - Jesus Teaches (John 12:20-36Mark 11:15-18)

The enthusiasm was still very high for Day 2, with reminders on the hour "Is it time yet?  What is Jesus going to do today?"  Tonight we talked briefly about Jesus clearing the temple, but I had planned to focus on two parts of his message.  First about "if a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces many seeds."  They weren't really interested in this illustration and were having more fun trying to decide what to use for the temple in our scene.  Levi thought of a napkin holder we have in the china cabinet.  Hey, why not?  It's only collecting dust in there.  hehe

So I let them set up the scene.  They dug Philip and Andrew out of the disciple pile (since they were the ones who it says were with Jesus) and stood them up on either side of them.  Levi was a little frustrated that Jesus wouldn't fit inside the napkin holder temple, but they decided he would be facing the people to teach them.  

When I began talking about walking in the light, they got it immediately.  They jumped up to turn off the lights and tell me how dangerous it is to walk in the darkness and how that is what Satan wants us to do.  Then on came the light switch, and "See Mamita, the darkness is gone!  Jesus is the light!"  We went with it, and I dug out some tealight candles to add to the scene.  We lit one for tonight, then added six more on the way to the cross.

My favorite moment was catching Sissy fascinated with the light long after our story was finished. 

For more activities:

- Clean your temple.  Explain how the area Jesus was clearing was the place where people who were not Jews were allowed to pray, but it had been become dirty, noisy, and corrupt...not a place of worship.  Together, clean up a space in your home that is peaceful and conducive to worship.  Add some candles or little white lights to be turned on only during your Rediscover the Resurrection! time to make it more memorable.  

- Create a Peace Retreat.  Similar idea as above, but used in a slightly different way.  We have recently designated a rocking chair in our corner to be that peaceful place for us.  (Check out this post by A Holy Experience on how to make and take a peace retreat.)

- Plant some seeds.  Choose grass or a quick sprouting herb in order to be able and see results fairly soon.

April 17, 2011

Rediscover the Resurrection - Intro & Day 1

I was inspired by this post about creating an Easter garden at A Holy Experience, and decided to begin a new family tradition we are going to call “Rediscover the Resurrection!”  I love eggs (hard-boiled, scrambled, jelly bean, marshmallow, chocolate, and especially Reese’s), and bunnies are fluffy and cute...but eggs and bunnies really have nothing to do with the true meaning of the season.  I’ve been looking for a fun way to get the family involved, and really learn about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection...and I think I found it!

Every day this week we will be reading chronologically about Jesus’ life during his last days on Earth.  (I am really enjoying The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order, but feel free to use any bible or storybook you have available.)  Then we are going to make our own mini-scene to “rediscover” the story.  Every night I will share photos, activities, and our readings in case you would like to join us!  (We will be using whatever we can find around the house, and I encourage you to do the same.  My children have much more imagination and creativity than myself in this department, so I let them take the lead.)  

Sunday - Triumphant Entry (John 12:12-16, Luke 19:29-44)

We started with a big foil container, and added some sand to the bottom.  We discussed the main locations of the story, so we could plan a little better and decided to include the tomb on one side and Golgotha (the hill where Jesus would be crucified) on the other side.  We used an old frosting container with a hole cut out of it for the tomb, and two large rocks for the hill.  We were pondering whether to use lego men, trio block men, or army men, when Ary said “Let’s use Jesus and the Disciples!”  See why I need them?  hehe  We have this set of Jesus and the disciples, and it is most definitely a favorite. 

Then there was much dialogue amongst the characters, and a little sand flying.

We found a little brown horse in the farm set, and decided to call it a donkey, then had two of the disciples take the colt to Jesus.  We found a purple dress in the scrap container, and laid our "cloaks" down on the road.  Then we cut off some branches and laid them in the road as well.  

We learned that it was common tradition for a king to ride on a donkey in times of peace, and ride on a horse when it was time for battle.  By entering Jerusalem riding the donkey, Jesus was essentially proclaiming himself King and coming as the Prince of Peace, and the people recognized the symbolism and significance of this.  That is why they covered the road, waved the branches, and yelled "Hosanna!"  Here's a bird's eye view of the finished product.

For more activities:

- Learn this Hosanna Song (adapted from www.ChristianPreschoolPrintables.com)

- Add this little song booklet to your Resurrection Lapbook (link and blog post coming soon)

- Have your children find branches outside (living in the tropics is helpful for this, as we have an abundance of palm branches...hehe) and re-enact the story.  My children didn't care that the donkey was actually a pink stick horse.  ;-)

Of course a Hosanna branch bash is great fun too.

Linked up to The Practice of Easter at...

April 10, 2011

Week 22 - Anna is Prayerful

Printables for this week:

Prayerful Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Philippians 4:6 from Hubbard’s Cupboard

Our character trait this week was prayerful.  I had so many ideas and wanted to start some prayer journals, but the time just seemed to fly right on by!  Maybe that’s because we were learning about flying along with our zoo friend Vincent Vampire Bat.  I must admit, bats are not my favorite creatures.  In fact, I am really, extremely, VERY afraid of them!  In college I took a 3 week summer biology course, and as part of it we had to go very quietly into this cave where the bats were roosting.  I couldn’t do it.  Got the cold sweats, shakes, and everything, and was ready to risk my grade if necessary, but could not bring myself to go in there even on my hands and knees.  hehe  So maybe it was a good thing for me to explore bats a little more this week.  We actually didn’t talk about real “Vampire Bats” much, but focused more on the fruit eaters.  Levi was so curious as to what are the largest bats in the world, and I found this cool video from National Geographic for Kids.  The answer...Flying Foxes with a 6 foot wing span that live in Australia.  Check them out...

Our cooking project this week was short and sweet, Vanilla Pudding in the Vita-mix!  A few children just went for the whipped cream on top, but us Mamas were more than able to take care of the leftovers.  Right Miss Peggy?  ;-)

It ended up being more like “Fun-ny” Friday this week, as many JungleMamas had various things going on.  Amy and Bella were our only guests of the day!

On the agenda for the Mamas was a Vita-mix demonstration day!  I had ingredients ready for nut butter, frappes, ice cream, or smoothies...whichever sounded the best.  For the children, we were supposed to make a volcano erupt, but whenever I asked the children if they were ready they wanted to just “play a little longer.”  So, Amy and I decided to make our own experiment...lava cake!  We followed this recipe from Savory Sweet Life.  Check out the photo...isn’t it just amazing?  It was fairly easy, smelled great and tasted yummy.  However, the middle was not like molten chocolate lava like we were expecting.  :-(   (I think I overcooked it by just a minute or two, because one of the children got a tiny bit of goosh in the middle.)  We also made some vanilla ice cream in the Vita-mix to go along with our very tasty dessert.  These were the only photos I got, as the lava went down the hatch mighty quick.  hehe

I became so consumed with striving for that molten lava center, that we tried again on Saturday afternoon.  This time using this recipe from Recipe for a Gluten Free Life by Mrs. G.F.  It smelled great and tasted great too, however...no lava.  I was paranoid to overcook it this time, and instead undercooked the first one I tested.  A bunch.  hehe  So, I ended up with three overcooked and one batter bowl of lava cake.  What’s a creative Mamita to do?  Well, dig out the center of the overcooked and replace with a little batter of course.  Cover it with a little scoop of Vita-mix ice cream, and nobody questioned.  hehe  I still want mine to look like that first picture though.  Any lava cake success stories out there?

April 3, 2011

Week 31 - Jacob is Diligent

Printables for this week:

Diligent Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Colossians 3:23 from Hubbard’s Cupboard

This week we talked about being diligent, and practiced not giving up in little ways throughout the week.  Our bible character was Jacob, and how he worked diligently for seven years (twice) to earn his bride’s hand.  We incorporated some number writing into our bible page this week, too.

Our cooking project was a no-brainer...“Upside Down Cake!”  Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to be exact.  I used a recipe online, but the cake texture wasn’t my favorite, so I’m not recommending it.  It was a very fun one to make with children though.  What we did was drizzle some arequipe in the bottom of a pan, then “plop” in the pineapple rings.  We put a cherry inside each ring, then split up for the cake making.  Miss Peggy and the girls measured out the dry ingredients, while the boys and I measured the wet.  Then we put it together and poured it in the pan.  I think my plain wacky cake recipe would go great instead, but we’ll have to experiment with that later.

The best part is when you take it out of the oven and get to flip the pan Upside Down!    I was surprised that so many of them wanted seconds.  It is amazing how much more adventurous children are with food, when they are involved in the preparation.  As you can see, we already made a good dent in it before I remembered the photo.  hehe

For our Fun Friday activity, we had a great day at Miss Amy’s house.  It was supposed to be a bubble day, but I couldn’t find the batteries for our bubble machine.  (Thankfully, the children didn’t know the difference.)  They all piled in the hammock for awhile, then the heat and humidity chased everyone upstairs.  While the children played, Miss Amy prepared an Unbelievably delicious lunch!!  We got to actually sit at the table together and enjoy our gourmet chicken, date, and olive dish.  Thanks Amy!!  Sorry for the point and shoot but had to capture the fun...