Just a forewarning that this post contains a lot of photos. But I promise you it's worth the read - a couple of my best memories were made over the weekend.
We attended a neighborhood church's Easter Carnival and egg hunt Saturday morning. We got there as it was just starting and got to play lots of carnival games, eat funnel cakes and fresh popcorn, and watch Georgia clean house in an egg hunt before the crowds really started. By the time we were leaving, the funnel cake line was insane!
I knew the church had a prayer garden with a koi pond and when we walked over to check it out, there were signs for a Holy Week Walk, so we decided to take the tour. Oh my gosh - it was completely amazing! There were nine or ten"stations" along the way with volunteer actors leading guests through interactive scenes from Holy Week. It was set up so that kids Georgia's age could understand, and it held adults' interest as well. Georgia knows the Easter story pretty well, but getting to participate like this really helped her grasp it so much more.
This may have been my favorite station. We have talked so much about how Jesus gave His disciples bread and wine as a symbol of his body and blood. I really expected Georgia to forget about it being a symbol and not want to participate (which would have been ok with me, she is free to participate or not). As it was, she whispered to David, "It's not really blood, it's just juice."
I grew up Baptist with a strict closed communion. We didn't partake in conjunction with Easter or any special dates or occasions, and I didn't participate until I was an older teen or adult. Honestly, it never meant much to me - there was a sermon to go along with it, but no connection. I didn't hone in on the fact that it was an actual last supper where Jesus said goodbye to the people He was closest to.
The "Jesus" at the station pretended as if we were the disciples and he told us goodbye and how much he loved us; how one of us would betray him and the soldiers would soon come for him. It is overwhelming now to know that He knew what was in store in the coming hours - disloyalty from a best friend, severe violence and a terrible, suffering death.
I can't tell you how much it meant to me to be by Georgia's side, to help her dip her bread and pray over her as she participated in her first communion. I know that God helped her little mind understand what it meant. It was very clear that we were participating in Jesus' last meal with his disciples and that He knew what was coming.
The actor representing Jesus asked us to walk with him to Gethsemane and pray with Him and for Him. At that particular station, there was a little boy playing Jesus - he was praying and never looked up. Sweet little Georgia got down on her knees and started praying. I could see her eyes closed tightly and her little lips moving fervently. My heart was so full!
I hesitated on whether or not to share this photo, because it is so private and special to me. But it shows how we can come to Him and lay down all our cares and worries for Him to take care of, and He will bring peace to our hearts and minds.
After the crucifixion station, in which we were shown how sin keeps us away from God, but meeting him at the cross, where Jesus died, washes our sins away and brings us near to Him, the children were asked if they'd like to tie a ribbon on a tree to signify that Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross.
Another heart-melting moment - as I was helping Georgia with her ribbon, she said simply, "I'm sorry, Jesus." That's all we need to say! That's all He ever wants to hear from us: I am sorry and I believe.
The kids really liked seeing a tomb. I have to admit, it was pretty cool!
But then this is where Georgia got a bit more Georgia-like. When the leader asked if anyone knew what a tomb was for, she raised her hand. "Back in the mean times, if people needed a spanking or needed to go to time out, they just took themselves out to a tomb." Goodness knows what these people think Baptists are teaching these days!
One of the cute young actresses along the trail.
Georgia listening so intently.
She got to dunk someone at the dunking booth.
A prize for getting two rings around the ring toss game - a feat I don't think I've ever accomplished.
The remaining photos are from her dance class last week. Every couple of months, or for each holiday, the class showcases a short routine for the parents. This was a tap to Peter Cottontail that I've actually caught her practicing around the house! There's usually some surprise involved....for Christmas they threw candy from their costume pockets, and for this one, they brought each of the Mommies a fresh flower and a kiss!
I thought I was videoing using my regular camera, but it turns out I never pushed the correct button to start recording. Who knew it's some random, unlabeled button on back of the camera and not the one on top that you press to take pictures? Anyway, I'm glad that I accidentally took a few photos.
I'm really impressed watching Georgia in tap lately. She's always been adorable when hopping around dancing, of course, but once she puts her tap shoes on, she gets pretty intense. (She doesn't seem to care that much about ballet, however.) She watches the teacher closely and I can tell she concentrates hard on getting the steps right.
I also noticed that her face is pretty expressive and in line with what the music is conveying. She seems to be acting it out rather than just smiling and waving. It's so fun to see how much she has grown and learned since her recital last year!
I have lots more pictures of our actual Easter day to upload and share later this week. In the meantime, make sure you are following us on Facebook and Instagram for fun sneak peeks of parties, recitals and fun with friends!