Friday, April 30, 2010
Yup, that's Logo. I might just have to frame that one.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here he is at his party on Sunday blowing out the candles on his dragon cake...beautiful day, lovely party, wonderful birthday boy.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
So each year, we send our children on an Easter egg hunt. We generally will send them on a treasure-style hunt, where they are given a clue to an egg, which contains the next clue to the next egg, which contains the next clue, and on until they reach the end. Sometimes there's a grand prize at the end, and others there isn't, but it's all fun.
You may have noticed that I'm in a bit of a funk these days, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to put it all together this year--inspiration and creativity is key. So I hadn't really been thinking about it a whole lot until yesterday when the threat of disappointing my kids spurred me to action. Zap, an idea popped into my head, and The Amazing Egg Hunt was born. Really, it was so simple, and the boys had a great time with it. Code-man's already been telling me what the Easter Bunny can do to make it better next year...I didn't bother to tell him that it was the best the Easter Bunny could do in the circumstances, and by the way, the E.B. was freaking out as she was outside hiding clues at 11:30 last night...
If you don't care, you can stop reading now, but I'm mighty proud of this egg hunt, so I'm going to list the clues we used below (there are some pictures down there, so maybe you at least want to scroll through).
On the hunt, you will be working as a team of three to complete your tasks and bring you to the pit stop and the big prize. You must collect your eggs and clues in the provided basket and not make a big mess when searching for your clues. The person who finds the clue must let someone else open it.
To begin your adventure, make your way to Caleb’s room and search for your next egg.
All team members must make their way to one of three showers, then wash their hair and body and dry off. Once all members of the team are dressed in their Easter finery, you will receive your next clue.
All team members must now make their way to the sandbox, where you will search for your next egg.
Team members must weave through the provided cones carrying an egg on a spoon (Bubby can just carry the egg). If the egg is dropped, the team member must start over. When this task is completed, you will receive your next clue.
Choose one team member to climb into the fort, out on to the monkey bars, retrieve an egg, and slide down the slide (the other team members can slide down the slide, too, if they want).
Make your way to the living room, where you will search for your next egg.
Each team member needs to pick up and put away the number of toys they are old (so Code-man puts away 9 toys, etc). These can be from anywhere, upstairs or downstairs. You will receive your next clue when all of the toys have been put away (all the way away where they belong).
Team members must now collect the garbage and recycling from the following areas:
C & L’s room
Kitchen (under sink)
Once the garbage and recycling has been collected, place it into the appropriate bins, and take the bins out to the road. Once the bins are in place, you may search for your next egg.
Make your way to the garden, where you will search for your next egg.
Two team members must make their way to the tree fort, climb up, and yell “Happy Easter” as loud as they can. When the task is complete, you will receive your next clue
All team members must now ride their bikes down the bike path to where the “Lake” should be, where you will search for your next egg. After you find your egg, return your bikes to the garage.
Make your way to the basketball court, where you will search for your next egg.
Each team member must make the same number of baskets as they are old. When all the baskets have been made, you will receive your next clue.
Team members must now make their way into the house while balancing a marshmallow peep on their head (Code-man—no hands; Logo—one hand; Bubby—two hands). When you have reached the laundry room, eat your peep and search for your next clue.
Make your way to the Pit Stop in the Living Room. Happy Easter!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Guess what our favorite treat at the zoo (and amusement parks, and festivals, and parades, and the circus, and...) is!
We went to the Conservatory, too. The spring flowers in the sunken garden were gorgeous--well worth the trip, if you haven't been yet. I tried and failed to get a good picture of the boys with the flowers in the background, but they enjoyed staring at the koi. I think the koi liked them, too.
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen, indeed!
And because Christ is risen we have been given eternal hope, not just today, but every day.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
In the church we attended during my teenage years, it was a tradition to strip the altar at the end of the Good Friday worship service. The congregation would sing the verses of "Were You There?" slowly and ponderously, pausing between each one while someone would read one of Jesus' last words, and more items would be taken from the chancel area: the big Bible, the candles, the altar cloths. After the altar was bare, it would be draped with black cloth, and a crown of thorns would be placed on the draped cross. After each verse of the song, more lights would be turned off, so that it would be completely dark by the end. We would leave in silence, in the dark. It was an extremely moving experience, a loving act of remembrance.
Do you know that hymn?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes, it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
As I would leave the church's sanctuary, devoid of light, seemingly devoid of hope, Jesus' last words echoing in my mind, it was easy to imagine that I had been there, witnessing the horror, the blood, the pain, the cruelty. And, in a way, I was there. Every one of us was there, because our sins were the nails driven through Jesus, into that cross, and it was Jesus' love for us that kept him there.
Friday, April 2, 2010
In other news, Code-man called Sawblock to ask permission to build a ramp/ladder in one of our oak trees. SB said yes, and just look what happened!Just in case you can't tell, Code-man and Logo climbed really, really high.
And Hubby--here's where I put the swing, for now...That was in sunnier times... (uh, yesterday)
It feels so right to me, that the sky became dark, because this was a dark, dark time. Have you ever felt so utterly, completely abandoned? Oh, it makes my heart ache. Horrible. Even worse than horrible. In fact, that is the definition of hell: being completely and eternally excluded from the presence of God. This exclusion from God's presence is the consequence of sin. Jesus, bearing the sins of the world, experienced this, on the cross, so that we would never, ever have to.
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. Matthew 27:50-51
Do you understand the significance of the temple curtain being torn? In the temple, the curtain separated the holy place from the most holy place. No one was allowed to go into the most holy place except for the priests, because that's where God was. In fact, the priests wore bells on their robes, and a rope was tied to their ankle, so just in case the priest died while he was in there, they could pull his body out without entering the space containing God's presence. The idea was, if they couldn't hear the bells tinkling anymore, the priest must not be moving, and must be dead. With the curtain torn in two, there is no longer a separation. Jesus made it possible for each of us to come directly into God's presence.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" Matthew 27:54
Surely, Jesus is the Son of God!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
It's Thursday, the day we remember Jesus' last meal with his disciples at the Passover feast. Jesus began the evening celebration by washing his disciples' feet, something which normally would have been done by a servant--just one more example of Jesus' complete counter-culturalism. In fact, Peter was horrified, at first, at the thought of his Master washing his feet. Jesus told them,
"I have given you and example to follow. Do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than the master...."John 13:15-16a
After supper, Jesus went to a quiet place to pray. He "began to be filled with horror and deep distress" (Mark 14:33), and told his friends "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me." (Mark 14:34)
He went a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him pass him by. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." Mark 14:35-36
I'd just like to point out, here, that saying Abba is like saying Daddy. Can you imagine a 30 year old man calling his father Daddy? That, more than anything, demonstrates to me the sorrow and distress, even despair that Jesus was feeling. Luke reports that
He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Luke 22:44
Once again, I love this picture of Jesus. It is so easy, amidst the miracles and healings and teachings and throwing out of demons and walking on water, to remember that Jesus is God. And it is so easy to forget that he was, at the same time, fully human. I think we just gloss over that part sometimes, because it's so difficult to understand how he could be both, God and human.
And yet, here he is in the garden. Jesus knows what he has to do, and, quite understandably, doesn't want to do it. It will be difficult. It will be humiliating. It will be painful. It is beyond words, what Jesus will go through. But Jesus, because he loves us (US!), does it anyway. Jesus has free will, too, we all do, and he chose salvation for the world, redemption for us all, in exchange for his life.
When I was younger, I never really understood why Good Friday was called good. I never understood why Jesus had to die. It seems to me that the day on which Jesus died was awful, horrible, terrible, anything but good. I guess I didn't understand salvation at that point, or how God can use even the most horrific situations to fulfill his purposes.
It is no accident that Jesus' sacrifice came during the season of Passover, the time when Jews remember the angel of death passing over the Hebrews' homes just before their escape from slavery in Egypt. If you remember, the Hebrew people were to slaughter a lamb, a perfect lamb, without blemish, and smear its blood on their door frames, which would signal to the angel of death that this household was to be spared. Jesus, on this night in which he was betrayed, became the perfect passover lamb, once and for all, and his blood is smeared over the doorways of our hearts, sparing us from the horror and the grief, the agony and distress of death: the slavery of this imperfect, sinful life.