Friday, April 10, 2009

Don't you love free stuff? - Freebie Friday..

I promise, I will get to today's giveaway at the end.. but when I was writing the title to this post, I got kind of sad. We get so excited about the possibility of getting something free and I get so excited about giving something free.... but how excited do we get about the only perfect FREE GIFT.. SALVATION through Jesus Christ?

Easter is quickly approaching, and I have been stressed out about getting our house ready for our 20 guests, the menu, the Easter Egg hunt, Kate's first Easter, etc. I should be so excited to celebrate the most exciting day on the Christian calendar... the day that JESUS rose. I get sad, because I think that those of us who have grown up in church (ME) can sometimes get desensitized to the amazing Gospel and all that Christ did to save us. Want a challenge, encouragement or excitement for Easter?... read: I Cor. 15.

Want to see Kate's Easter dress? Here are a couple Easter photos of Kate in her dress...

Kate is getting so big! She even took a couple of steps this week (which totally blows my mind!) One thing I so look forward to as she is getting bigger... is starting traditions. I don't really think my parents did too many traditions growing up (that I can remember), but I want to do things every year with Kate. I am going to post a recipe tomorrow that will definitely be a tradition we will do with her. I also found this fun activity to do with your kids on the Desiring God website. I thought you might enjoy.. Don't Worry...The giveaway is posted at the end.

Tell the Easter Story with a Playdough Mountain

Here's a messy way to draw your youngsters into the meaning of this coming weekend. Make a mountain out of playdough to tell the story of Jesus' death and then turn it around and you have the tomb he arises from.
This idea can be found in Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions. (I am going to order this)
Ingredients for playdough:
4 c. of flour
1.5 c. salt
1.5 c. water
1 Tbs. oil
(Increase or decrease depending on how big you want your mountain to be.)
Other items you'll need:
several pipe cleaners
2 twigs
1 small aluminum can
Making the Pieces
Bind two twigs together with a piece of pipe cleaner to make a cross about five or six inches tall.
Make some stick figures out of pipe cleaners that will represent Jesus and a "crowd." (You get to decide how many you need for your kids to be convinced it's a crowd.)

Making the Mountain
Mix playdough ingredients and knead. Add small amounts of water as needed until the texture is right.
Separate a small lump of dough and form a disc-shaped "stone" to cover the entry to the "tomb." (The can will be the tomb, so the stone needs to be a little bigger around than the can.)
Shape the rest of the dough into a mound. Embed the can into one side, open side out, to create a cave.
Press the cross into the top of the mountain to form a hole deep enough to stand the cross in. Make the hole a bit larger than the stick because the hole will get smaller when the mountain bakes.
Press a fork randomly around into the hill to make "footholds" for the stick people.
Bake the "mountain" and the "stone" 4-5 hours at 250 degrees.
When cooled, color with paint or markers.
Using Your Playdough Mountain
With your kids on Friday, you can reenact the story of Jesus' death—putting him on the cross, burying him in the cave, and rolling the stone in front of it.
On Easter, before your little ones are awake, take him out of the tomb and put him somewhere for them to find. First they'll notice the tomb is empty; then they'll see that he's alive and all the other pipe-cleaner people are jumping for joy.
Their excitement at seeing an aluminum can without a stick figure in it is a good reminder how much more excited we should be about the real thing.


Finally... Since I have a new minivan (yes, I am going to let it go.. and move on) and I am going to order these for the minivan... I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of them.
Here is the giveaway... from Chic Giving... a set of Monogrammed Car Mats (2 front, 2 rear) valued at $75. You have a choice of four color mats (black, light grey, dark grey tan) and two fonts (Fancy and Curlz). Click Here to see the choices. These make wonderful Mother's Day, Birthday and Graduation gifts.

To Enter: Just post a comment of your favorite family tradition below (if you have one, if not.. it is fine to still enter) and be sure to include your e-mail address if you don't have a blogger account, so I can get a hold of you. This giveaway will be open to enter until Monday at 10am. The winner will be announced /posted on Monday. Only one entry per person, but feel free to share... if you share on twitter, Facebook, e-mail, etc.. please tell me and I'll give you another entry for each place you post it.

I hope you all have a wonderful EASTER!! Come back tomorrow for a great Easter recipe to do tomorrow night with your kids. The recipe will be posted first thing Saturday morning.


lea said...

my favorite tradition is on the last day of school we go to eat lunch (they get out early) at a pizza place where i used to go and eat as a child. it is the ONLY time that we ever go to that restaurant and that pizza tastes like SUMMER to me.

we have lots of other ones that are a lot more meaningful and spiritual but since i am SO ready for summer that one was the first one i thought of!

Meghan said...

My favorite tradition is Christmas Eve. After the candlelight service at church, we have a neighborhood soup and salad dinner. It is so great to see everyone at least once a year. Oh...and... we open our presents...all of them...because the 25th is WAY to conventional for the Greene's!

Unknown said...

I think my favorite tradition is Christmas Eve. We always have a deli dinner...(hame,pastrami, corn name it we have it)and we eat it in the new pajama's and robes that we opened that night, while we watch two or three family movies that we spent the week before deciding on. The kids look forward to it, and that is one day that we always know that Dad with the crazy work schedule will ALWAYS be home for

JoAnne Roy said...

When the children were little during Easter, we put out an Easter tree with ornaments on it. We would die Easter eggs. For Easter lunch I would make a little lamb cake to represent the lamb of God that took away our sins.

JoAnne Roy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Marie said...

This was definitely not one of my most favorite family traditions but it's one I laugh about when I think back about it now (and it's appropriate to share this week. :) Each year on the way to church on Easter Sunday, my mom would make my sister and I pose in front of this tree in our front yard for a picture in our Easter dresses. For some reason, I disliked this tradition - probably because it was forced upon me and I was a stubborn child. :) If you look back at the pictures now, in EVERY one of them I either have this look of disgust/disdain on my face or I'm crying. It's pretty pathetic ... I mean, how dramatic was I?!?!

kim ancion said...

about our only concrete tradition is reading the Christmas story out of the bible before the kids get to open their gifts. they get anxious, but hopefully it means something to them.....

Christy Perry said...

We make "reindeer food" from anything in the pantry on Christmas Eve. The first time we did it, Nicholas must have been about 4 and he beat us up the stairs and immediately went to sleep. We were stunned that it worked so well and have done it each year since!

Debbie W. said...

Our family's favorite tradition seems to be one I started years ago to keep the kids from snooping in the Christmas presents. I give each child a secret code name. For example the first year I did this I gave each child a name of one of the seven dwarves. I tried to find a characteristic close to them. They loved it and every year I come up with something else. We have done cookies, butterflies, flowers, dogs and this year was superheroes. My goal was to give them something they would have to research to figure out. They spend so much time trying to figure out who they are. It is really cute, and they haven't snuck a peek that I know of.

Anonymous said...

I have two favorite family traditions... the first is that everyone gets a new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve (that includes mom and dad too). The second is our weekly FHE or family home evening. My husband travels a lot and with a nine year old and a 20 month old, it's easy to get distracted with the everyday issues. This helps our family stay connected while having fun and remembering why we are really here.

Pam said...

We tried to start an Easter tradition today...I was going to dye Easter eggs with my nearly 3 year old son after we made muffins. Instead of waiting like Mommy asked, he thought he'd get started. What a surprise - he dropped an 18 pk. of eggs! 13 of them ended up on the floor! I'm really hoping this isn't a tradition that carries on...

melacan at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

my favorite family tradition is what my dad and I started a few years ago. He grew up catholic and so every x-mas eve we go to midnight mass it is such a special time we have together.

Princessliak said...

We have so many - we are all grown up with families of our own, but when we are all together for Christmas the old traditions rule. I love that we still make gingerbread (graham cracker) houses! It is funny to see how they have changed over about 30 years! said...

My favourite tradition is the candlelight church service on Christmas Eve, followed by a simple oyster stew supper.

Unknown said...

My favorite would have to be at Christmas. Every year we read the Christmas story before we eat. This year my 5 year old nephew Samuel, recited the entire Christmas Story. It was amazing.

Anonymous said...

We lived out in the country and we'd go to the neighbor's farmhouse and collect feathers and color them for Easter, and hang them on birchtwigs all over the house. Easter Saturday we'd have a big bonfire and bake potatoes in the ashes. I still remember how good they were. Elisabet

DawnS said...

Family cookie day. We all get together and bake Christmas cookies each year. It's so fun each year to see how much the kids have changed in how they design their cookies!

tracey said...

For Easter, we usually go to church, then off to the local park for their big Easter egg hunt and finally to my parents for dinner - although my daughter has stated this year she wants to do a family hunt at home...I just hope the dog doesn't find the eggs first.

ginnn7 said...

we always have a family get together. this year we will have 5 generations. we always have to have chicken and dumplings. and a easter egg hunt. after church. thanks

Piccolina Designs said...

I have to say that my favorite tradition in Christmas Eve. Everyone makes their favorite dish for the dinner (even the little ones help). Then we have to "convince" dad to let us open one present on Christmas. He, hums and haws, saying he doesn't know (he does it every year). He then says that first we need to read the Christmas story. We do that and then the little ones get to pick a present to open and they get to pick which ones the moms and dads get to open as well.

Shawna Bates said...

We have alot of traditons really, but one that I have is a mix of halloween and Christmas.
On Halloween whatever candy the kids get they have to pick out 25 pieces of candy. I then place it in a baggie and pop it in the freezer. Then the saturday after Thanksgiving we start on our count down to Christmas. We decorate 25 envelopes per child and in each envelope goes a piece of candy from their Halloween frozen stash.
I find this works out great and they don't need all that candy at once anyways!!

Aviva said...

My favorite family tradition is that each person, on their birthday, gets to choose both what the meal will be for dinner (and if it's a weekend, the rest of the meals too!) and what kind of cake they want. Of course that makes for some very unbalanced meals when the kids are little, but one day doesn't hurt anyone.

Also, it's fun to get creative in coming up with what can be a birthday cake. My husband, a 4th of July baby, often likes watermelon for his "cake." This year, I chose bread pudding for mine.


We really only have one (which I hope to change) but every Mother's day we all go to my grandmothers house.She cooks "yes we TRY to help " but she refuses.We are southern so we like to eat southern food.She cooks a huge meal and we just sit around and talk afterwards.Nothing special but seeing the 3 generations get together and spend time together ,is priceless.I love my mamaw and am so glad my son got to meet her and hope he gets to spend many more years with her too.

Esme said...

The day after Christmas my mum would make turkey pies. As a family we always got a new board game and puzzle for the family at Christmas. We would spend the day after Christmas, playing board games and working on the puzzle together. To this day, I still make turkey pies the day after Christmas, as a memory of when I was growing up in my parent's home.

Heather said...

I have so many favorite family traditions. One of them is doing tin foil dinners and dutch oven peach cobbler up the canyon every summer! Can't wait to do it again this year. :)


Tamara Hallock said...

We are a new family, so we don't have a tradition yet. I'd like to continue my crafts for family members at Christmas and include my son.

These mats are so neat. Wouldn't THT look great?

I have a Facebook account, too: Tamara Hallock Thomas

Darcy said...

My favorite tradition is our homemade posters. We write Happy Birthday Grandma, etc. on them and decorate them with markers, stickers, stamps, you name it. We make them for family member's birthdays, new babies, parties, and visiting family members. My kids help make them and then we hang them all over the house. It's a blast!