Saturday, May 20, 2017

Easter Sunday

All of our family Easter activities led up to this festive day-- Easter Sunday, the celebration of our Savior Jesus' resurrection. Salem's service was joyous and worshipful, one of my very favorite church services of the year. We loved having Andrew, Sarah, Ben, and Abby worship with us this year, too. Here is our family's Easter pic.

Many thanks to Grammy and Papa for finding the cutest of outfits for all three of our children! I especially loved Adley's precious little pink shoes. :)

Adley's first Easter:

Between all of the church services, Salem hosted egg hunts for the children. Hundreds of eggs were already strewn about various rooms (separated by age groups), and the kids were instructed to collect 20 eggs apiece. This come-as-you-please format made for a very relaxed egg hunt. It was perfect!

These three cousins listened carefully to the directions...

...and then ran to fill their buckets as soon as they were given the go-ahead!

Opening up the eggs and finding yummy candy is always the best part!

That evening, the whole family gathered at Jon and Chelsea's home for a tasty ham dinner. Aunt Kim planned several fun Easter activities for the kids including an egg matching game...

and a real egg hunt (no simple egg gathering off the ground this time!). Each of the kiddos was assigned a certain color of egg to find and collect. As you can see, the kids were quite eager to begin!

Cody hunted for green eggs...

...while Jaden was on the lookout for blue.

Adley slept through her first family egg hunt, but we'll likely get her on board next year! :)

After finding all 10 eggs, the kids opened each egg to find a task to complete (like take 5 steps backwards or hop 8 times).

Jaden and Cody were both especially enthusiastic about the donkey kicks!

After completing all their tasks, the kids traded their eggs in for a bag of Easter candy and a collection of coins. Our boys were thrilled! Best egg hunt all year. What fun ideas, Aunt Kim!

We spent the rest of the evening just hanging out before eventually putting all the kids to bed and having some adult game time. We love these regular family get-togethers!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Easter Activities

The season of Easter is one of my favorites. I love the bright colors, the beautiful flowers, the egg hunts, the egg decorating, and most of all, the celebration of grace-- reflecting on the pain of our Savior Jesus' death and then rejoicing in the miracle of His resurrection... all for us. I love the reminder that death does not have the final word in our lives. We can rejoice in Christ's victory over sin and death. Praise God for Easter and for all that it means in our lives!

Easter Eggstravaganza
Our family celebrated Easter in several different ways this year. Our first activity was an Easter event in Grammy and Papa's subdivision. The entire extended Walquist family was able to go together. How awesome having everyone living in the same community now!! After arriving, Cody, Ryan and Jaden wanted to go directly to the bounce house.

Soon, it was time for the egg hunt for the 4-7 year olds. This age range consisted of TONS of kids! I much preferred last year when Jaden and Cody were still with the 0-3 year old bunch, where kids are significantly calmer and slower. Mommy needed have worried though-- these two did just fine!

Here are all the cousins, lined up and ready to go!

Ian, Ryan, Abby, Cody, Jaden
It always makes me laugh that these are called egg hunts when the hundreds of eggs are all in plain sight on one large field. I guess that "egg gathering" or "egg pickup" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. :)

Jaden and Cody knew just what to do this year and were off to "hunt" quickly!

The field quickly filled up with kids.

The boys were very pleased with their stash of eggs and candy!

After the hunt, we stood in line for face painting.

I ended up exchanging my two boys for a tiger and a frog. :)

The Eggstravaganza event also had other carnival-type activities, so Jaden and Cody played this basketball game...

...and rode a train with Daddy. 

The weather was so pleasant that day which helped contribute to our fun time! At the very end, Grammy and Papa treated all of our families to a meal at McDonalds. We didn't get a picture of that part of our day, but of course the kids loved running around the playplace and we adults appreciated the opportunity to visit. Thanks, Grammy and Papa, for the fun idea and the easy meal!

Resurrection Walk
Aunt Kim gave us the tip about this meaningful, hands-on event at a nearby church. We were glad to attend something that would help our kids learn more about the Holy Week events leading up to Easter. It was obvious that this church had put in a lot of time to organize this event, and it was impressive seeing all the volunteers that stepped up to work it too. Jaden and Cody learned about an olive press...

...and then sat down to eat at a Last Supper-type meal. They were even given a piece of unleavened bread to try.

At this station, two ladies washed either the kids' feet or hands and talked with them about how they could be a servant in their own homes. I didn't hear Cody's conversation with the volunteer, but Jaden told his lady that he could be a servant at home by helping with his sister Adley.

Next, the boys visited the Garden of Gethsemane and heard about Jesus' prayer and the disciples' tiredness.

Here, Jaden and Cody were given the chance to pound nails into a board.

They tried lifting up this crossbar to experience (on a small scale) how heavy the cross may have been for Jesus to carry.

For the final station, we entered Jesus tomb...

...and found that it only contained Jesus' grave cloths. He had risen!

Each station contained quite a bit of talking, so Cody and Jaden got somewhat bored at several of the stops. Hopefully, though, the experience as a whole made at least part of the Passion Week a bit more real for both of them.

Dyeing Easter Eggs
We kept our Easter egg dyeing VERY simple this year and just did the basic store-bought dyes. Cody and Jaden didn't seem to remember much about the dyeing experience from last year, though, so they didn't mind the simplicity. Even watching the color tablets dissolve was exciting. :)

Both boys could be completely independent with the dyes and eggs this year. Yay!

The boys were especially interested when I told them that the darkness of the color depended on how long they left the egg in the dye. They were very patient and left some eggs in for quite a long time!

Adley wanted to be part of the action, too, for her first egg-dyeing experience. :)

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!