I didn’t want to leave you hanging…
When we talked about Easter a few weeks ago, I was telling you about our preparations, and finding balance. I was in the midst of teaching the children about the true meaning of Easter, homeschooling, working on learning some new recipes (I am trying to loose weight), and preparing a song to sing for a special at church on Easter Sunday.
How did our week of Easter preparations go?
We had a lovely week of weather. We had lots of learning activities leading into Easter, and enjoyed some fun activities for several days after the holiday too. I just couldn’t get it all done that week, so I let the “cards fall where they may” so to speak. The kids were able to complete some special Easter videos, bible study, crafts, in addition to homeschool projects we were working on. Finally, in the name of art and science, we colored three dozen boiled eggs to finish up our Easter fun. The week was so busy!
Mid-week we celebrated daddy’s birthday. He turned 46. The kids thought it was funny to switch around the numbers on his cake to 64, ha ha! He was really surprised.
We baked him a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday. It is his favorite and he has celebrated his birthday with this very kind of cake all his life! It was his grandpa’s favorite cake too, and he has fond memories eating this cake swimming in a bowl of milk just like his grandpa. His mother always made this cake for him for his birthday and I picked up the tradition when we got married. It is usually the only time of the year he gets this cake, so we make it really special. One reason I don’t make it more often is because it is made with a store bought german chocolate cake mix and pre-made can of coconut pecan frosting and the ingredients are not very healthy. But I never learned to make it successfully from scratch. I tried once and failed miserably. Since it is such a special tradition for him, I just keep it the same as his mom did.
We had a review party for The Happy’s robotic toy pets and combined the festivities with daddy’s birthday celebration. It was really fun to combine them, as the kids carried over the theme in teasing daddy that he was an “old dog” and the kids were “young pups”. They got him a birthday card that had a cute pug dog on it and said “Remember, you’re not truly old until you have as many wrinkles on your butt as you have on your face”. The kids laughed and laughed to give daddy that card. Plus they each made him a special note too. The kids thought it was the best birthday celebration ever. They don’t see the lack, they just see the joy of spending our time together. I love that about my kids!
I practiced the song at home for a week an a half, and finally practiced at the church on Good Friday. I had chosen to sing “Via Dolorosa”. I didn’t really choose it as much as I felt God told me to sing it. Be sure to read the first story for more information on this. I had prayed and asked the Lord for two months for a song for Easter, but he didn’t reveal the song to me until two weeks before the day I was to sing. Good Friday was my first time to try out the microphone and sound system in the building. It was also the first time in at least 7+ years that I had stood in front of a church (or any group setting) to sing, and I was honestly nervous. Rehersal went well. I ran through the song three times that night and my family sat in the pews and cheered me on.
I had battled a scratchy throat all week, and thought I was loosing my voice as larangitis was going around. I was worried I would not have a voice to sing with on Sunday. Each of the kids had experienced a raspy voice earlier in the week, so I knew my body was battling it. I also had a sore shoulder and neck. My neck was so stiff and painful that I could not turn my head. I was in so much pain for three days and nights and got no rest or peace. Not only did the soreness in my neck hinder my movement, it hindered my joy, and I could not feel natural, or like myself. But I was determined to press on and give it my best skill I could. I continued to practice the song on Saturday at home, even though the pain was so strong it made me cry. I was a lot more nervous about singing in front of the church on Easter than I thought I would be. I really felt petrified by the time it was time to sing on Sunday. Why? I don’t know, I think it was just that I hadn’t done it in so long. I was a little worried if I would get the Latin pronunciations correct, but I think my nervousness was more related to just being in front of a group of people, and not being able to turn my neck without pain. I tried to look as natural and relaxed as I could, but I didn’t feel it.
Easter was a beautiful day. We got to the church early, which is a huge task with 6 young kids, 2 adults, and only one bathroom for everyone to get ready in the morning. I prayed as I entered the building and the whole time leading up to the time I went forward to sing. I asked the Lord to help me convey his message through the verse and song. When it was time to go up to the mic. I told them how God had layed on my heart to sing a song about love carrying the cross. Then I read from the bible:
1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18
“The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work.”
and 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verses 1 thorough 5
“Friends, when I came and told you the mystery that God had shared with us, I didn’t use big words or try to sound wise. In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who had been nailed to a cross.
At first, I was weak and trembling with fear. When I talked with you or preached, I didn’t try to prove anything by sounding wise. I simply let God’s Spirit show his power. That way you would have faith because of God’s power and not because of human wisdom.”
After reading these scriptures, I sang Sandy Patty’s song “Down the Via Dolorosa”. I was nervous, and had a hard time turning my neck or head, but I was able to sing the song. I used the music stand to hold my bible and music, and the mic stand to hold the microphone. In practice I realized it was very painful to try to hold the mic, so this was the best solution for me. All I can say is that it was the Lord who gave me the strength to sing the song and overcome my circumstances. After the song, the pastor preached a message from 1 Corinthians, then the children went outside for a candy egg hunt in the field behind the church building and had a good time. I was amazed that the Lord had placed 1 Corinthians on my heart, and also on the pastor’s heart. That was very cool indeed.
When we got home, we had an Easter dinner, but it wasn’t the one I had planned. Oh yeah, I really screwed this up. I was busy as a bee, and thawed out corn from our garden last year, I made homemade bread, and chocolate pie bars for desert.
But I had forgot to pull the turkey from the freezer in time on Saturday for it to completely thaw and bake for lunch on Sunday. It was still slightly frozen on Sunday morning, so I waited until the afternoon to put it into the oven. I felt bad about it, felt that I had ruined Easter dinner, but amazingly it worked out well anyway. We had chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw for lunch, and then tried to have the official Easter meal of homemade bread, green beans, sweet corn, mashed potatoes, minus the turkey…because…it was still…baking…,
So I substitued leftover chicken from lunch, instead of turkey, and ate the chocolate pie bars for our Easter supper. At first I was upset with myself, but again, I just had to get over it. The kids and daddy were happy and fed, and it really worked out fine no matter what the rest of the world thinks.
In between meals, we spent the afternoon and evening outside enjoying the beautiful day. Lots of trees and flowers are getting leaves and blooms. It was the prettiest day we have had all year so far.
So the turkey was used in another way. The kids enjoyed turkey legs for lunch on Monday, and we had a fun science experiment with the turkey bones after we deboned the meat and packaged it up for later use (story coming soon). One twenty pound turkey produced six ziploc bags of meat, two large turkey legs, and a gallon of broth.
The kids rebuilt the turkey like an anthropologist. We made this a seriously fun hour of science learning. I hope to get a story written about it soon to tell you more about it.
Then I made broth with the bones. I boiled the bones with filtered water all day, let it set overnight, removed the fat from the top, and strained it. I put it into the refridgerator, and finally we enjoyed a delicious dinner of turkey and noodles made from the rich broth later in the week. Oh it was so delicious.
We colored the eggs the day after Easter for a science experiement and art with colors, and I am hoping my oldest son, age 13, will write a story about it and I hope to post it here. Here is a picture of him with his funny sense of humor. After coloring his egg, he drew Wilson, from the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks on his egg. Then commensed to doing the “review” of how to color Easter eggs, while talking to Wilson. It has been a couple of years since we saw that movie, but it must have left an impression on him. He is too funny!
He said at the time he was coloring the eggs that he would write a review of the “science” of the coloring kit (dye, vinegar, porous material, etc), however, I have yet to see him get started writing. He doesn’t really like to write, but will if prodded and if it is a subject that excites him, like science. One thing he would love to do with eggs, is learn to etch art designs into the empty egg shells. He seen this done at a fair we attended years ago, and was facinated by it. This is a difficult skill to learn, but one I hope he will be challenged to pursue and give it a try.
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