After looking through a few Easter Advent ideas, I found this Countdown from kojo Designs (shown on left), which I LOVED immediately. Her’s is beautiful, modern, and artistic. She got her children involved in the creation by asking them to “think of ways we can thank God for everything He’s done for us“, and excited about the delivery by using bright colors, and adding a treat. Of course, I had to adjust mine a little, because I didn’t already have the Metallic Window to hang my eggs from (nor the time to create one), my kids are not old enough yet (3 & 16 months) to come up with ideas outside of “get a toy” and “eat candy”. Also, I didn’t want to be giving them treats every day for a few weeks when they were probably going to end up with a ton from the family. So, I used the resources I already had: plastic eggs left over from hunts of years past in my holiday bin , stickers from my ‘hoarders’ crafting collection, spring colored scrapbook paper left over from my sister’s baby shower, and the egg carton(s) we were about to throw away. Below is what my eggs looked like after decorating.
I shortened ours (out of pure laziness) down to 2 weeks, starting on a Sunday, then picked which ones I thought we would be able to accomplish out of her list of 18 . Here is the list I ended up with when I completed it (the first time.. Yes, you read that correctly.. I”ll get to that.):
-Watch the Veggie Tales Easter special.
-Make something for someone as a surprise
-Make something for old people.
-Have an egg hunt. -Read Good Friday story.
-Have an Easter treat. -Share.
-Meet our neighbors. -Read the Easter story.
-Help someone who needs it.
-Dye Easter eggs. -Open our Easter baskets!
-Give a toy to a kid who needs it.
-Make a special Easter dinner.
-Do something nice for a friend.
I wrote them out nicely,
thoughtfully choosing each color combination of pen and paper, and tried to fold them in some different ‘cute’ ways.
During one of my lunch breaks, I was reading back over my list (in order to be prepared for each egg activity when opened). I realized that some of the eggs were setting me (and in turn my family) up for extra stress and possible ‘failure‘.
My kids and I are away from home between 10-12 hours a DAY! Our time at home consists of eating, getting ready for school/bed, and little bits of time in between. Not to mention the fact that we are taking a class at church Monday nights through Holy Week, participating in a Young Adult (Woohoo! We meet the qualifications!) group on Tuesday nights, and I sometimes have commitments outside the home on Thursday nights. I decided to make a few changes accordingly.
I made the following activity substitutions:
–Make something for someone as a surprise (not enough time)
-Decorate our window for Easter
–Share. (this is on our responsibility chart)
-Make Bunny Masks
-Help someone who needs it. (WE need HELP!)
-Do Jesus/Sin Science Experiment
–Make something for old people. (rephrased and redirected)
-Make something to send to Grandparents
–Watch the Veggie Tales Easter special. (we don’t already own it)
-Color Easter Pictures
Next, I made sure any activity requiring a lot of time, prep, and cleanup was saved for the ‘right‘ nights. Like the NERD I am, I pulled out my calendar and plotted it all out before assigning any activity to a day number. (To be honest, I did transpose a few of them and had some surprises when opening them. Thankfully they were easy ones I was already prepared for.) You know, a ‘Full-Time Lifer‘ has a scattered brain and has to be ready to adapt at a second’s notice.
And to finish us off, the Saturday before the unveiling, I got a full (3 hour) dual-nap window (for those of you who have never dealt with small children, this is when both/all children sleeping at the same time for the allotted duration of the ‘non-cranky-pants’ nap time requirement). So, of course, instead of cleaning or resting, I got a crafting bug in my brain and decorated the egg carton!
I mean, why
choose a number
of days that
that way?And yes, that is masking tape. The crafting bug does not plan ahead, it moves on a whim and utilizes the resources at hand! But that’s ok, cuz I just covered it with a ‘Jesus Loves Me!‘ sticker. What?!? He DOES!