Sunday, April 26, 2009

KerPLUNK! Konk! Boing!

That is the sound of all the balls I am supposed to be juggling hitting the floor. Clearly, blogging is one of them. I am pretty sure my hiatus is the longest in my blogging history.
But I'm back. Don't get too excited as this post isn't going to be worth your 2 week wait. It's mainly just to let you know that all the Jordans are still alive. In case you were starting to wonder.
There is just so much to cover from the last couple of weeks, and it is 12:44am. So I will sum it all up in a list and, hopefully, elaborate later.
  • My Grandma (and the kids' Grandma-Great) got to visit from Tucson, AZ.
  • My mom and Raun came with her and they all spent Easter with us.
  • Elena puked all over herself in Sunday School on Easter. Then she spent the next week with intestinal problems which eventually spread to both Mommy and Daddy.
  • Adaryll went to a gun show. (I know, you are dying for an explanation, aren't you?)
  • Elias had a field trip to Barton Springs and Zilker Park
  • At the suggestions of many friends and the prompting of 2009-2010 tuition for Elias, I have started a hairbow business. I have been making bows like a maniac and plan to build a website this week. The official launch will be in a week, but I have already delivered bows to paying customers!
  • Elias has been "Coach Elias" on his t-ball team because of his broken foot. The cast comes off Friday!!!
  • Adaryll played the national anthem at a Round Rock Express baseball game
  • Elena did the trampoline/bungee cord thing at the Express game.
  • Elias pulled out his 4th tooth. (Completely by himself!!)
  • The boys went on their first HCBC Father/Son Campout

And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. There have been dozens of conversations and happenings which brought forth the thought "I need to blog about this". I only hope I can keep my brain cells long enough to get them down. Which will never happen if I keep staying up this late, so goodnight!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Ok, so it's Easter Sunday (Happy Easter!), and that means I better get on the ball and finish these Easter egg posts!! Had I realized that there were actual people out there wanting to do this with their kids, I would have tried much harder to post each day. Instead, I would log on with the intention of blogging and get caught up reading all yall's blogs instead. So, really, it's your fault. If your blogs weren't so interesting, mine might be. :)
At least everyone can copy and paste and keep these for next year...

Egg #5
Item inside: A piece of leather cord. The string of leather reminds us of the ropes and whips that Jesus was beaten with.
Message: Jesus was arrested and flogged, or beaten, even though he had not done what the people accused Him of.
Scripture to read: Mark 15:1-15
1Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
2"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
3The chief priests accused him of many things. 4So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of."
5But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
6Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
9"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
12"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
13"Crucify him!" they shouted.
14"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

What I can't get past in this passage is the reminder that Jesus was INNOCENT! And Barabbas was completely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, GUILTY! And yet, Jesus was the one sentenced to beating and death on a cross. And Barabbas was let go, scott-free. I can't help but think about how I am Barabbas. Completely guilty of so many thoughts and deeds that are just despicable. And yet, I am able to walk away without paying the penalty required (like Barabbas) because Jesus did on the cross.

Egg #6
Item inside: Thorns. The thorns remind us of the crown the soldiers made for Jesus to wear.
Message: The soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus' head and made fun of Him. They did not think that He was really a king like He said He was, so they thought it was funny to make Him wear the crown.
Scripture to read: Matthew 27:27-31
27Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Both kids actually got poked in the fingers while handling the thorns. (it was a stick about 2 inches long from a really thorny bush, so just getting it out of the egg was a little tricky) I asked them to imagine thorns much longer and pokier being pushed into their head. It wasn't a pleasant thought. Each night the kids usually start with egg #1 all over again and recount the story up to the egg we are opening that night, but Elena never touched egg #6 again after this night.

Egg #7
Item inside: A cross. (you can buy little wooden ones at Hobby Lobby or Michaels or make one out of broken popsicle sticks) The cross reminds us of Jesus, beaten and bruised, carrying His own cross toward the place where He would be crucified.
Message: Jesus carried His own cross.
Scripture to read: John 19:17
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).

Something I would love to do when the kids are a little older is to actually research the size of the typical crucifixion-cross in Roman times. If I could build one or locate one of similar size and weight, it would be a cool experience to have us each try to shoulder it and walk. It would definitely give us all a clearer understanding of this part of the story.

Egg #8
Item inside: Dice. The dice reminds us of casting lots, which is what the soldiers did to decide who would get to keep which pieces of Jesus' clothing.
Message: The soldiers cast lots, or played a kind of game, to divide up Jesus' clothes among themselves.
Scripture to read: John 19:23-24
23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it."
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,
"They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing."[a] So this is what the soldiers did.

Again, this is another fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. See Psalm 22:18 and show your kids that God knew all of this would happen long before Jesus came to earth.

Egg #9
Item inside: A nail. The nail reminds us of the nails they used to hang Jesus on the cross. They placed one nail through each of his hands and another through his two feet. Then they raised the cross up and He hung there to die.
Message: Jesus was nailed to a cross and pierced in His side.
Scripture to read: John 19:18 and John 19: 31-37
18Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

31Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken,"[a] 37and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."[b]

We got to do something neat at church on Good Friday. We were each given a piece of dirty fbris on which to write our names. This represented us and our righteousness, which is like filthy rags. Elias and I talked about how, without accepting God's forgiveness, no matter how good we try to be, it isn't good enough to get to heaven. It isn't perfect. It can't be. The only person who has ever lived on earth who achieved living without sin is Jesus, and that is because He is God! And we just aren't capable of that. So, no matter how "good" we think we are, the cloth representing our life is NOT white. It is dingy and dirty. Actually, it's filthy.
We were asked to write our name on the cloth and then nail it to a cross. The nails were pretty big. I laid my hand on the cross and put a nail up to it and Elias and I talked about what it would feel like if he hammered it through my flesh. It took some convincing to get him to put his hand up and let me hold the nail against it. It was a pretty good visual.
On that note, if your kids ever have the unfortunate experience of stepping on a nail (yes, I did this as a kid- actually I jumped down onto a piece of lumber with a nail sticking out about 2 inches. It was instantly attached to my foot until one of my parent pulled it off and took me to urgent care), you can use that situation to remind them what it must have felt like for Jesus to have nails hammered into his body. Not right then, maybe. But later. :)

Egg #10
Item inside: Spices. (we used whole cloves so the kids could actually touch them and not make a huge mess) The spices remind us of the way the Jews prepared Jesus' body for burial. They used spices and linen, a type of fabric, to wrap up Jesus' body before they placed it in the tomb.
Message: Jesus' body was wrapped in spices and linen and placed in a tomb.
Scripture to read: John 19: 38-42
38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[a] 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Elias loved the spices. He loves to smell them. And he thinks it is awesome to think of Jesus' body being wrapped up like a mummy. Hey, he's 6 and he's a boy. Not sure what else you expected from this one! :)

Egg #11
Item inside: A stone. The stone reminds us that the huge stone that sealed Jesus' tomb had been rolled away.
Message: Jesus' body was placed in a tomb which was sealed with a huge stone. But when Mary Magdalena and the other Mary went to the tomb on the 3rd day, the stone had been moved away and an angel was there.
Scripture to read: Matthew 28:1-5
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

Elias went to "big church" with us today, and the whole sermon was about the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. They had a big tomb built on the stage with a video camera inside. So when Tim went in and told us all about what was in there, you could still see him up on the screens. It was really, really cool. When he came out, he rolled the stone in front of the opening. A little later, the lights went out and loud, thundering earthquake noise came. It was loud enough to shake the floor a bit, so the feeling of an earthquake (at least for a 6 year old) was pretty real. When the lights came back on, the stone was rolled away and the body that was in there covered with cloth was gone. Elias looked at me and asked, "What just happened? How did they do that?"
If you want to see a video of it, you can search for Hill Country Bible Church Northwest and download it on itunes. There may also be sermon videos at

Egg #12
Item inside: Nothing. The last egg is empty, just like the tomb.
Message: The tomb was empty. Jesus had risen from the dead and come back to life! This is what we call the Resurrection, and it is what we celebrate on Easter.
Scripture to read: Matthew 28: 6-9
6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

He is Risen! HAPPY EASTER!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Will It Taste Like Pee?

We interrupt this Easter Egg series of posts to bring you something a little more lighthearted. Actually, downright funny.
Last week Elias and I were talking about his broken foot. He has always had lots of questions about anatomy and physiology. Some of his favorite books are "See Inside Your Head" (about the brain and all the different parts), "What Happens to Your Food" (yes, you read that right), and "The Encyclopedia of the Human Body". I know. He's 6. But I think he knew most of the names (like actual medical names, not just made-up-by-mommy name) of most of the bones by age 3. Thanks LeapFrog.
So we were talking about his foot and how bones heal. I explained that he would need to get lots of calcium, and we started talking about how he doesn't drink nearly as much milk as he used to. He pretty much just wants water these days. Anyway, I told him that he probably needs to drink more milk. The conversation went something like this:
Me- You probably need to start drinking more milk again.
Elias- What kind of milk did I drink when I was little?
Me- Soymilk. (because he was allergic to dairy when he started milk)
Elias- Yeah. I don't like regular milk.
Me- Well, we can get some and you can try it. There is lots of calcium in both kinds.
Elias- Why don't I like regular milk?
Me- I don't know if you like it. It tastes different from soymilk because soymilk comes from soybeans. Regular milk comes from cows.
Elias- *confused look, followed by laughter* So, will it taste like pee?
Me- WHAT?!?!?!
Elias- The cow milk. Won't it taste like pee? *6 year old boy potty-talk laugh*
Me- NO!!! Why would you think that?
Elias- Because the cow pees out the milk, right?
Me- No! No, that is NOT what happens. And no, it does not taste like pee. *smile. i have a 6 year old boy.*

Egg #4

Ok, so I have completely dropped the ball on the Easter Egg posts, but I plan on getting all caught up tonight!
It has been an eventful, both good and not so good, few days. More on that later...

Egg #4
Item inside: Coins. (we used 3 dimes since they are silver and together they make 30 cents)
Message: Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Scripture to read: Matthew 27:1-4
1Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. 2They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
3When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."

Both kids were super-excited about the dimes. Who wouldn't be?! I'm not sure that they actually understand this part of the story though. Elias is starting to, but I think he is confused about why on earth anyone would have done what Judas did.
And yet I think about how I do this just about every day. I sell myself out. I betray what I know Jesus stands for. And I do it for things less valuable than 30 pieces of silver. Surprised?? I bet, with a little self-examination, we would all realize how much like Judas we each are.

The interesting thing about this is that, really, we can't NOT be like this. The Bible says that "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So, basically, we can't help it. We are sinners- every single one of us. And none of us can reach eternity with God without Jesus' forgiveness. None of us. I may not have been the one who handed Jesus over to the authorities, but my sins are just as ugly as Judas'. And I am so thankful that I won't have to pay the penalty I deserve for that ugliness, because Jesus already did.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Egg #3

I took Nyquil last night, so the egg #3 post didn't go up when it should have. If I had done it then, it would not have made any sense anyway. :)

Egg #3
Item inside: Little communion cup and cracker
Message: Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples the night before He was crucified. He told them that the bread they ate was his body, which would be broken for them and that the wine they drank was his blood, which would be poured out for them.
Scripture to read: Matthew 26:17-18 and Matthew 26:26-29
17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
18He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.' " 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."

Elena ate the cracker when she opened the egg. We will have to get a new one. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Egg #2

Egg #2
Item Inside: a cotton ball sprayed with perfume
Message: Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. Jesus foretells of His own coming death and burial when he answers the questions of the disciples.
Scripture to Read: John 12:2-8
2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages.[b]" 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. " It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

When I read this passage, I am reminded that God is all knowing and all powerful. He is in complete control, no matter how ridiculous the events of my day might seem (and, trust me, today was pretty ridiculous!!!). See, Jesus clearly knew what was going to happen. He wasn't a victim, nor was He surprised when the Jews cried out to have him crucified. In fact, He was in on the whole thing. It was all part of His plan, set out before the beginning of time and predicted thousands of years before throughout the writing of the Old Testament, to glorify God. Knowing that Jesus is the one I have as a model, that also tells me that my purpose (and that of everyone else He has created) is to glorify Him as well. Of course, I am a sinner and an utter failure most days, but I can glorify God in the simplest of things: not grumbling, being humble rather than prideful, exhibiting self-control, resisting the urge to judge others, showing love and grace to people who may not deserve it. All in the name of the Lord who is the only one who can possibly equip me to do any of those things.

Of Unknown Origin

Yesterday, in the car after school (still in the parking lot), Elias says to me, "Mommy, my toe hurts." He kicks off his Croc and puts his foot up in the front seat. I look at his toe and it looks fine. I squeeze it and he laughs. I pull it up and he laughs. I push it down and he yells, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" Then I notice that the top of his foot is really swollen and something is definitely wrong. I ask him how he hurt it and he has no idea. I ask him if it was hurting at lunch or recess or carpool and he has no idea. He says he thinks it started hurting in the car. Clearly, it was hurt before he got in the car or it would not be ridiculously swollen. Off to the pediatrician we go. Mainly because he has t-ball practice and I don't want him to go without being looked at. (but I don't want him to miss it if nothing is really wrong.)
After seeing our doctor and being sent somewhere else for x-rays, we came home to wait. They called this morning and said that he broke his tarsal. We would need to go see the pediatric orthopedic guy. After spending 3 and a half hours in his office, (and I have NO EARTHLY IDEA why it would take that long!!) we left with Elias sporting a Texas Tech Red cast. He has to wear it for 4 weeks. The real challenge is the no running rule (which we had to expand to "no jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping, or running just on the way out to the car).
He is such a trooper and still thinks the whole thing is kind of cool. But it is going to be a looooooong 4 weeks!!

Egg #1

We began a new Easter tradition last year called "Resurrection Eggs". They sell these online and at stores like Lifeway and Family Christian Bookstore, but you can also make your own set. I made a set for each of the 15 kids in Elias' class last night for about $30 total. You end up with 12 eggs that you can open in order to tell the story of Easter. We begin the Wednesday (today) a week and a half before Easter, so that we can open one each night. We found that doing it this way builds anticipation of what will happen next, and it gives us all time to think about and process each part. So, over the next 12 days, I am going to blog about our Easter Eggs, what is inside each one, and what it reminds us of. I am also hoping there will be some sweet (ok, or funny) reactions from the kids to write about.

Egg #1
Item inside: a leaf (you can also use a miniature donkey if you have one)
Message: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people lined up along the road waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" (This event had been written about and predicted in the Old Testament LONG before it happened. Look it up: Zechariah 9:9) It is really neat for kids to see that Jesus had been foretold so long before He ever came to Earth.
Scripture to Read: Matthew 21:1-11
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."
4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "[a]
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[c]
"Hosanna[d] in the highest!"
10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee"

Since Elias is doing this at school each day, I asked him to explain to Elena why the leaf was in the egg. As he told her the story, he described how people were putting their coats and branches on the road for Jesus to ride over on the donkey. We talked about how that was a way of recognizing Jesus as royalty. I think Elias liked telling the story to his baby sister, and Elena was pretty excited about the leaf. :-)