What a wonderful time we've been having this week at the Birrd's Nest! Taking some time last week during our spring break to plan and prepare for our Easter activities has really paid off. I think this week has been really special to the kids. I know it has been special to me.
Monday night we made bird's nests out of chow mein noodles and melted chocolate chips. I love it that with simple things like this I can just tell the older kids to go do it and I don't have to do much.
Apparently the birds who built these nests believe in big families...
Monday night was kind of crazy, so we didn't get a lesson in for Family Home Evening. So I did it with the kids Tuesday morning at the start of our homeschool day (love that about homeschooling!) My friend Montserrat posted this awesome FHE lesson on the three gardens: the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb. I printed out her lovely printables and we had a really nice lesson. After the lesson, we had this display on our mantle. I love it!
Up on the mantle you can see some beautiful things that Roo, Fish, and the Rabbit have made at their recent art lessons.
I especially love these butterfly eggs (and I shall make sure they stay out of reach of the twins!)
On Tuesday we made pretzels, which apparently is a traditional Easter food in Germany. They are fun to make and extremely yummy. The kids had a lot of fun making different shapes.
Wednesday we didn't do much because Wednesdays are always crazy with stuff going on at the church in the evening. But Thursday night we dyed our eggs.
I bought six dozen white eggs. I figure I've got eight kids so I better buy a lot of eggs. Also, you always lose a few in the process, and I didn't want to end up with the kids feeling skimped. Six dozen ended up being a LOT and most of my little helpers lost interest in the dyeing process after awhile. That meant that I got to do lots of eggs myself.
I will tell you a secret: I love to dye Easter eggs! I have many happy childhood memories of Paas dye kits, the smell of vinegar, and writing on eggs with white crayon. You were never quite sure how it was going to look because you couldn't quite see what you were doing, and the rounded surface of the egg presented an artistic challenge. It was so fun to see how they looked when they came out of the dye.
We were listening to Handel's Messiah as we were doing the eggs, and many of the ones I did ended up with Messiah lyrics on them. Hallelujah!
Then today we did hot cross buns. Peanut was very happy to help me put frosting crosses on them. I had made note last time I did this recipe that it was a little dry, so I upped the fat and the sugar a little bit and used only white flour. So they were pretty much amazing and they disappeared very quickly. Hey, if you're going to eat a treat, it might as well be a good one!
Yes, Frog does live on my kitchen counter. Why do you ask?
When I went to the print shop I had several things printed up in addition to the 3 gardens lesson. Here's another one, also from Montserrat's blog. I framed it and hung it at the bottom of the stairs. Doesn't it look lovely? It makes me so happy. And the download was free! Thank you, Montserrat!
And my Easter tree is blooming so beautifully right now, even with only three and a half eggs on it.
We have also done many readings this week: the stories from Discover the Joy of Easter as well as some devotional readings I got from homeschool guru Donna Goff a few years ago. Her book contains a lesson for each day of the entire month: a scripture, a hymn, a quote, and a biography of a famous Christian. Even though she's LDS, the collection is all non-denominational, and I have enjoyed learning more about several Catholic saints, protestant reformers, and others. Some of the bios get a little long and are a bit dry for young children, but now that my kids are getting older we have been enjoying it as a start to our homeschool day, and I think the lessons have been very valuable. (Here's a link to her website if you are interested: she is not currently selling the Easter book but she has other cool stuff.)
Roo was just in here asking me, "what are we going to do tomorrow for Easter week, Mom?" Well, I have some plans, Roo! It's going to be great!