Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Hosanna!!

*First of all, I want to apologize for Friday's whining session. I certainly hope no one was offended. I think, sometimes, doing what I'm trying to do, trying to make something of myself in the music industry, can be very exciting, and sometimes downright frustrating and discouraging. Thank you so much for your support and patience.*

As many of you know, I had the opportunity, over the last couple of months to sing with the Antiphonal choir for Lex De Azevedo's Oratorio "Hosanna." The concert was held last Friday and Saturday. To tell you a little about it, it's a collection of beautiful, haunting music, with lyrics taken straight from the King James bible, telling about the last days of Christ, the trial, Gethsemane, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. A musical depiction of Christ and the Atonement. As you may well know, music has a powerful effect on me. And I must confess that the experience that I've had with this production has been one of the most powerfully spiritual experiences of my life. The music of "Hosanna" absolutely resonates in my soul. Over the last week, I spent many sleepless nights, lying awake in my bed, singing the songs over and over. They just won't leave. And I don't want them to. As I stood, singing with the choir, the Spirit testified to me the truth of the message we conveyed. This isn't just a beautiful story. It is real. It truly happened. Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of God, and he suffered and died for us. I am just so, incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with such an amazing group of talented musicians, and with this magnificent production.

So, as I went through the last week, pondering this renewal of my testimony, my children were concurrently anticipating the arrival of the Easter Bunny. So, one night, I sat down with them, and asked them, "What do you think Easter is all about?" Of course, they said things like "Easter Bunny, eggs, chocolate, baby chicks, spring, flowers..."

I was shocked and appalled that not one of them mentioned Jesus. And disappointed in myself for not teaching them better. So we had a nice chat about the real reason we celebrate Easter.
It's probably because we spent so much time doing things that revolved around the "bunny" part of Easter. Friday, we colored eggs, and made some little birds' nests from a recipe we got on the MMB. They were supposed to be green, and made with white chocolate, but I didn't have any, so we had to use brown chocolate (I always have a plethora of that), so we had brown nests. I told the kids the were more authentic to nature that way. Besides, brown chocolate tastes better anyway. And we used Cadbury mini eggs, instead of Jelly Beans. The more chocolate, the better, right?

So, yesterday, before church, I asked KJ again what she thought Easter meant. She said "Jesus and the resurrection."

Good. It's sinking in. Even if she doesn't understand it. Even if she is still bent on catching the Easter bunny in the act. I found this little story she wrote on Friday:

Translation: Once upon a time there was a girl her name was KJ. She was trying to catch the Easter Bunny every Easter, but every time, she tried she didn't get him. Then next Easter Yay I got him. Good for you, Mom said. The End.

She told me she wanted to skip church so she could catch the Easter bunny, when he came while we were at church. Again, we had to have a little chat about Easter not being about the bunny, but about Jesus, and it's important that we go to church.

The Easter bunny showed up at our house in the middle of the night. He stayed up until 1 am on Saturday night, putting out goodies, and an Easter egg hunt, with clues for the kids to find their baskets. Then, of course the kids woke at the crack of dawn, excited because they'd found eggs on their pillows.

The Easter Bunny was very, very tired and ornery on Sunday morning, from lack of sleep. But, it was fun to watch the kids reading the clues, and trying to figure out where the next egg was hidden.

After church, we had dinner at my parent's house, and the kids got to have another Easter Egg hunt with their cousins.

So, what did you do for Easter?


Erin said...

I'm so with you on the explaining about Jesus thing. And trying to veer away from the Easter Bunny momentarily so they will understand the spiritual aspect of it.

That said, I love your daughter's story!

2busy said...

To me Easter is even more important a celebration than Christmas. Thus, it is a much more humble celebration than Christmas. We have always done the Easter advent calendar where you open a numbered egg and read a scripture counting down to Christs resurrection. Have you ever seen this?

Don't worry about whining on your blog. That's what they are for! ♫It's your blog and you can do what you want to, do what you want to...♫

Vanessa said...

Looks like the kids had a blast!

Kristina P. said...

I think it can be tricky at times to balance out the secular symbols of holidays, with the religious ones, but it sounds like you did a great job!

Ashley said...

Wow, that looks like you had such an awesome Easter! I'm so glad! I'm going to do a post about how my Easter went soon too. :)

Jessica said...

I wish we could've come to your concert. I'm hoping that when Nate is done with school we can start participating in normal life again. The nests you made with your kids are cute. I forgot about those until I saw them on your blog!

Noah's Mommy said...

Easter is celebrate the author of is so wonderful to worship him....How wonderful that you got to participate in that.....and a huge Welcome to glad you are here.

Mina said...

Isn't it wonderful how music helps us feel the spirit?! I love holiday music, and being able to be part of it. I am our ward choir director, and we did "in the Silent Garden" by Sally DeFord. It's SATB with piano, organ, and two flutes. Everyone did such a beautiful job, and I was so pleased!

The easter bunny thing cam be hard. We always do our egg hunt on Saturday. That seems to help. They still get a basket filled with candy and gifts on Sunday, but since it's not a game, it's less crazy. Then we watch one of the church Easter-y videos and do the Easter story in the eggs thing that everyone has.

But I always am burning the midnight oil the night before, and so I'm often dead tired. I need to learn to get things done in advance!

Tink said...

I loved KJ's letter and the fact that you scanned and put it online! I just love their handwriting and sounding out words! Too cute for words. Yep, it is so confusing to kids about the Easter bunny and then trying to relate it to Christ's resurrection. But you did good! Your pictures are adorable! You're a good mom.

greedygrace said...

What a fun day you had!

I came by to welcome you to SITS!

Pedaling said...

hi sher. thanks for leaving a little note on my blog the other day. so fun to find new bloggy friends.
we actually just got back into town.
i love your cute little story.
i remember going through that a bit with my kids,
one time i was going through the whole meaning of Easter with my girls on their beds one night and after i told them and we shared thoughts, my then 3 year old brightly said "so, i will go to sleep tonight and the Easter bunny will just hop, hop, hop across my bed!"
just know- you try and they do get it. they really do.
you have a beautiful family and what a blessing and talent you have with your music.

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience while singing with the choir. Loved it! Wished I would have been on town to come. I needed something like that.

And the Easter story is awesome! It's always hard to get the little ones to wrap their hands around the real reason but it comes....

wendy said...

I like the idea of the clues in the eggs. I didn't see any of my family over easter as they were with the "other" side of the family this year. DANG. loved your photos It has been fun to see everyones easter pictures.

Rachel said...

My kids are the same. They parrot "Jesus and the resurection" when asked why we have Easter, but there is really nothing to commemorate it. I'm feeling kind of guilty about that, because I haven't done anything to help with it. Somebody needs to come up with like resurection activities or something!

Merrianne said...

you are such a good momma Sher!!!!!

Mikki said...

Oooh! I love 2busy's Easter advent calendar idea. That's really awesome. I'm going to do that next year. I actually personally felt more of the spirit of this beautiful holiday this year, thanks in large part I think to General Conference. I meant to read the Easter story with my kids more during the week than I did, but I kept getting sidetracked.
YOU are a terrific momma! You saw a great learning moment and you tackled it, and I think they heard you. The atonement is a really hard thing to wrap your mind around, so I'd imagine for kids, it's nigh on impossible.

heather said...

Ah, you have a little writer! :)

AND, my friend's mom was teacher her Primary class the Easter story, and one the kids was like "Wait. Where does the Easter Bunny, and Easter Eggs fit in with this story?" (They don't fit in with the story.)

And, do you have miles for me from last week, I'm trying to catch up on that. :) Thanks.

Lara said...

I have decided that from here on out we will do all Easter Bunny type things on the Saturday before Easter and I will come up with some really great Christ-centered tradition for Sunday. I was super annoyed with the Easter Baskets and egg hunts on Sunday this year.

Regardless, it looks like you had a lot of fun and you still managed to teach them the true meaning of Easter. :)

tiburon said...

I am so bummed we couldn't make it. I really wanted to :(