The days leading up to Easter usually include train rides to the zoo, drives to the beach, bushwalking, museums, perhaps a few days in a tent, and what ever other free fun we can find in Melbourne. We are an outdoorsy thrill seeking family. And so as we've all found, these last weeks have seen us with much more time on our hands at home. This time is usually spent making mess, living around mess, getting frustrated by mess, and cleaning mess. It's not all Netflix and leisure baking. Even boardgames are a struggle with a 3 year old trying to join in. It's chaos. But it is precious time. Time that has been gifted to us as a family as we join forces with the world to be 'Home Heroes'.
And so, this year we've had a bit more time at home to prepare our home and hearts to reflect on the message of Easter. The day God's Son died for the sins of mankind to bring us all back to Himself. The greatest act of love imaginable. The creator dying to redeem the created. As I put my 6 year old to bed tonight he said "Mummy it is a funny thing that we celebrate a person dying, but it is a great thing that he has saved us from our sins!". You nailed it kiddo.
So what have we been up to?
There are not many things better than a plate of fresh home made hot cross buns. Steaming hot. None of that messy toasting required. And then there's the process... I just love involving the kids in the process of breaking the dough up into balls, squeezing on crosses, and painting the glaze on at the end too.
This is my recipe that I've tweaked from a friend years ago. It is for a breadmaker.
Put into breadmaker:
Set on 'dough' setting on your breadmaker and hit start. When it beeps, add 1 1/2 cups of sultanas.
When finished, form into balls on a floured surface. I half my dough, then quarter each of those, then third each of those again so I end up with 2 trays of 12.
Spray some clingwrap with oil, flip so oily side rests on dough, and place trays somewhere warm for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180 and mix up white cross mix
Once crossed, place into oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Glaze immediately using a pastry brush with a mix of:
Let cool a couple of minutes then DIG IN!
We had a great lesson a few days ago as we enjoyed our fill then dropped the rest of the buns around our neighbourhood. It hurt us to give them away - but it reminded us of the sacrificial love God pours out on us through sending Jesus.
Easter egg baskets made from milk cartons. Pictures explain it mostly - but note that we used a mix of acrylic paint and PVA (1:1) with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid in it to help it spread evenly. Adding glue to the paint helps it stick to the milk carton which is a non-porous surface. This glue still peels off, but is the best result without purchasing expensive glass paints.
Easter eggs!! We realised that we didn't have any of these earlier this week. We haven't been to the shops for over 3 weeks and I wasn't really focusing on buying them as the COVID crisis gained momentum in Australia. Our usual family traditions focus around a celebration on Sunday including chocolate for breakfast so we needed something on hand. As we were exploring the depths of one of our random craft drawers we came across some egg moulds and I thought - we can do this!
And so we did...
For the coloured eggs we melted white chocolate over a double boiler and added food colouring. Then the kids painted a layer of chocolate straight onto the mould using a pastry brush. We then refrigerated it for a couple of minutes and then repeated, twice. A gentle push and it popped out! I only had one packet of white chocolate melts which was enough for 3 medium sized half eggs - but what about for us adults?
For us I went back to one of my favourite chocolate craving recipes. Coconut oil melted in the microwave for 1 minutes plus cocoa powder (1:1 ratio), a dash of honey and a pinch of salt. And boy is it dark. We like it dark. So if you don't, don't do it! But if you do, this works a treat and hardens just like the melted buttons as seen in picture.
I left it at half an egg each so we can use these as our bowls for breakfast on Sunday (!). Still haven't quite worked out how that will look... but if it's chocolate, for breakfast, it doesn't really matter does it?!
We read the bible daily with the kids as we put them to bed, and this week we've been focusing on the passion narrative. I've been struck by the voluntary isolation of Jesus (God the Son) from God the Father. He left the comforts of Heaven to be murdered so we too could be part of God's family.
A few days ago I teamed up with the kids to create a stop motion of the Good Friday events from the eyewitness account of Luke as we read through it from a kid's bible. You can see our result here:
Over the last few days we've also been enjoying watching some extra clips on Youtube. Last night it was 'Gospel Of The Kingdom' - which traces the origins of the word 'gospel' and how it ties the story of the Old Testament and Jesus and His announcement of God's kingdom. It's probably best for older kids - for younger kids I'd also recommend Crossway Kids channel on Youtube and in particular the 'Gods Story' episodes.
There are many more things we've been up to - we are a busy house - but that will be all for now. Goodnight!
Made By Me