Resurrection Garden

  This Resurrection Garden is EVERYWHERE! I’ve seen it on facebook, pinterest, had it sent to me via email, and also saw it on these blogs: The Encouraging Home & We Are That Family.

  Apparently, the photo going viral is by Melissa Holt, but I was unable to find a way to link to her, so I won’t use her photo.  It is GORGEOUS!  Ours, not so much, but I think you’ll still get the idea. 🙂

   This was a really fun hands-on activity that all my little people could help with, and unlike the Stringed Easter Eggs, it kept their attention. Plus, they LOVE spraying it with the spray bottle very day!  It will make such a beautiful centerpiece for our Easter table on Sunday!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Terra cotta mini pot for the tomb
  • Terra cotta tray
  • Small pebbles 
  • Grass seed 
  • One small bag of potting soil
  • Small twigs or nails and wire
  • A round or oval rock about the size of the tomb entrance (Yeah right, good luck!) 
  • Spray water bottle

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  First, prepare your tray and “tomb”.  Some people glue the pot to the tray, but Dale just wanted to use sand, and it worked great, clever man!

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Everyone is excited to help!

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Next, mound your potting soil until it forms a hill, leave the front of the tomb soil free. Pack down tightly.

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Sprinkle grass seed all over your soil.

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Try to avoid the sandy area in front of the tomb.

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Lightly cover seeds with more soil.  Add small rocks to the bare sand area, going into the tomb if you’d like. 

Place in a sunny place, (Away from your chickens!!!!) and water daily with a mister bottle. 

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   If you want, you can make crosses out of nails wired together like this: 

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Or you could do twigs like the original picture shows.

We waited to put our crosses on top because we don’t want them to get rusted. They are a special gift Destiny got from her adopted Grandma, Esther.

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This project was done 3/22 and as of today, 4/4, it has only sprouted a little bit.  I am bummed and wish we had started sooner, but the directions said it would only take a week or so for grass to grow.  I am hoping by Easter it will look really nice!

 Once the grass grows more, and can help hold the crosses up, I will move them into position at the top of the mound.  IMG_5962

This was such a fun project for us and a GREAT reminder of what we are celebrating this week….

That Jesus died for you and me.

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But death had no hold on Him!  He is risen, Hallelujah!!!!!

  Come back and see me tomorrow, I will be sharing the recipe for Green Bean Bundles, and another Easter Tradition at our house: Resurrection Cookies.

~T

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Egg-citing Pinterest Craft

This is Post 2 for today, be sure to head back one post to see photos from our Spring Break! 🙂

   So pinning on Pinterest is fun, right?!  I pin a lot from my own site and am always pleasantly surprised how it brings new people to our little blogosphere here at 4 little Ferguson’s. 

  One of you asked me if I am addicted to Pinterest last week, and I had to stop and think about it before I answered.  I’d say Facebook is a bigger time killer for me actually!  I just pop on once in a while to pin a few things, and then I am off again.  I am pretty proud of myself for actually following through with some of my favorite pins.…

  Let’s see, there was the Organization Board for my laundry room.

T-shirt Scarves

The Banana Caramel Pinterest Pie and Coconut Cream Pie Bars.

Now, these

Easter Eggs!

IMG_5260 FUN, right?! 

Kinda. 

  Let’s just say this is one of those “Family Crafts” that turned into a Mommy and Daddy craft.  It was messy, it was hard, it took some time, but the end result was cool! 

(Except for the poor green one, the balloon leaked air all night so it shriveled as it dried…we turned it into something else, which you will see below.) 

  I think using water balloons and making little circle ones to hang on strings of lights would be cool too!  And maybe more manageable?

  Come find 4 little Ferguson’s on Pinterest!

~T

Stringed Easter Eggs

You’ll need:

1 ball of string per egg, a disposable cup and some stay-flo starch

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And a disposable roaster to put the starch in.

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Roll the balloon in starch, covering all areas.

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Have a kiddo help you with the stringing, until you realize its going to take 14 hours.  Go to Plan B.IMG_5142

Plan B: Have 2 grown ups take over while your 8-year-old photographs you and the other kids, who have clearly already lost interest in this particular craft…..

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Wrap string all over balloon in different directions making sure its tight and the balloon is evenly covered.  Then roll it in the starch again, being sure to cover all areas, and set it on a cup to dry in your garage overnight.

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Flip the egg end for end the next day, to allow the bottom to dry, too.  This is when we discovered the poor green egg had its balloon leak all night and so it shriveled as it dried.  We turned it into a nest for Chicky.

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Once its dry, pop the balloons and decide how you want to display your colorful eggs! We decided to hang them from lime green tulle with a cheerful bow. 

(Not outside, that was for lighting reasons only!)

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I am glad these are reusable year after year, ’cause it’ll be awhile before Dale and I are ready to take a craft like this on again!

The Death of Jesus

  At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty. jesus

  At the time crucifixion was the “worst” death.

Only the most dreadful criminals were condemned to be crucified.

The nails are thought to have been driven into His wrist, not into His palms as is commonly portrayed.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long.  Can you imagine?

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There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder.

The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, later forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe. 

Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.

Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe.

Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.  Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.

Yes, over 3 hours!

Can you imagine this kind of suffering?

A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding.

He was simply pouring water from His wounds.

The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood.

He had no more blood to bleed.

But before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten.

The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body.

The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face to the point of being un-recognizable. 

crucifixtionThe crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp.

Most men would not have survived this torture. 

All this plus carrying His own cross for nearly a mile, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones.

  The cross was almost 66 pounds, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed.

Jesus had to endure this experience, so that you can have free access to God.

So that your sins could be washed away.

All of them, with no exception!

Don’t ignore the reason we celebrate Easter.

easterIt’s not about a silly bunny who delivers chicken eggs.

It’s not about new clothes and Easter baskets.

It’s about the fact that JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!

  And would’ve given His precious life even if you were the ONLY person on Earth.  Because He loves you that much!

The truth is that Jesus is the only salvation for the world.

What held Jesus to the cross was not three nails… It was His love for you and me that held Him there to endure to the end.

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May today we be still. 

  May we be in silent meditation, awe and wonder at the ultimate sacrifice we remember today;  God’s only Son, the perfect lamb, given as atonement for our sins.  Sins so filthy and so ugly draped across Jesus, that the Father Himself had to turn His face away from His Son. 

Or was it because He couldn’t bear to see the agony of it all, lest He send angels to swoop down and save His Son from this slow and painful death?

 Thankfully, this story has a happy ending: 

The grave couldn’t hold Jesus for long.  Hallelujah! 

Resurrection Sunday, as you awake, may you celebrate our risen Lord!!!!!! 

Happy Easter to you and yours!

~T

 

 

Easter Recipes

  There are certain foods that come to mind when I think of Easter.  The obvious, HAM, which by the way, is best cooked in the crock pot on low all day with a can of coke. No kidding! Best ham I’ve ever had. 

Mini recipe:

5 lb. Cooks bone-in butt-cutt ham (needs to be bone in for this to work properly)

1 can coke

Shove ham in your crock pot, or cut to fit, whatever floats your boat.  Pour Coke over ham, shut the lid and 8 hours later, its carmalized to be the best darn ham you’ve ever tasted. I’m not kidding! I hate Coke so I had some serious doubts, but it’s easy and delish!cute-bunny

That was a bunny trail (ha ha, get it?) so on to the other Easter recipes I actually got on here to share with you:

Green Bean Haystacks, so unique and so yummy!

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This is taken before they were cooked because I, of course, failed to take an after, but they were beautiful and delicious! Trust me!

Green Bean Haystacks

1 pound Bacon, Cut In Half

2 bags (16 Oz. Bag) Whole Green Beans, Thawed

½ cups Butter

1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder

½ cups Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper

Prep early in the day: thaw bacon, cook slightly, pull from pan while still soft. Bundle 10-12 green beans together and wrap with half a slice of bacon. Lay side-to-side in a 9×13 pan with bacon ends down. Place butter, garlic powder, brown sugar and black pepper in a saucepan and heat on low until sugar dissolves. Pour over bean stacks. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes.

AMAAAZING! And so pretty too!

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  These cookies have become an Easter tradition at our house.  I love the Bible verses associated with each step, and the kids love to help make these!!!  The end result is a meaningful Easter story and a yummy snack (breakfast treat?) for the next day.

RESURRECTION COOKIES

*Plan ahead, this recipe sits over-night.

1 cup whole pecans

1 teaspoon vinegar

3 egg whites

pinch salt

1 cup sugar

ziplock bag

wooden spoon or a wooden meat hammer

Masking tape

Bible

Important:  Preheat oven to 350*F before starting. 

051Place pecans in baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon or hammer to break them into small pieces.

Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the mixing bowl.

Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life.

Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste. Then put a pinch of salt in the bowl.

Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’s followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing! Add 1 cup sugar to the bowl.

Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him. Read John 3:16 & Psalm 34:8

053Beat with a mixer on high-speed for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheets.

058Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’s body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door.

Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66

Leave the kitchen and go to bed. Acknowledge that the kids are feeling  sad that they’ve worked hard to make these cookies, and now have to leave them in 057the oven overnight.

Explain that Jesus’ followers were in sad when Jesus died and the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22

The next morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.

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Take a bite, the cookies are hollow!

Note: this year our cookies were not done, still chewy and soft inside, so we just baked them a bit longer at 350* this morning.

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Explain that on the first Easter morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. HE HAS RISEN! Read Matthew 28:1-9

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  What are some Easter traditions in your family?

~T

This post linked to EVERYDAY SISTERS.

Clever, no?! Um, no.

  The other day, when we were hiding Easter eggs before bed, the kids put their Easter baskets on as hats.  I thought they looked terribly adorable and quickly insisted they leave them on for a bit so I could grab my camera and take a quick photo or two.   More like 10.

My mind was already thinking ahead to an upcoming Easter post that I could use these in, it was going to be so cute and clever, no?!

  Ummmmmm, NO.

  Didn’t work AT ALL.

4 tired kids + 4 fuzzy chicky basket hats =  CHAOS

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Avery sat like this for several minutes, silently contemplating life from below the rim of her “hat”.

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Letting it go, and moving on…..

In other news, Spring is officially here.  Want to know how I know?

  ‘Cause my kiddos feet are looking like this every time they knock on the back door to be let in.

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  Which is why they stop here, in the laundry room, to wash hands AND feet, before setting foot in mom’s clean house.

  Good job, buddy!050

Oh, and faces too. Did you know……Snot + Sand = Smud?

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   Springs arrival also means we can have snack time outside each afternoon, and do homework on a blanket in the yard.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

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  Tomorrow I am doing a post on an Easter tradition of ours, making “Resurrection Cookies”.  Come back and check it out, they are really neat! 

~T

P.S.  Guess who started walking today, just a few days after he turned 8 months?  This may not be uncommon at your house, but at our house, babies don’t start doing this for a few more months and do not walk until they are a year.  (Or if you are Destiny, don’t walk until 18 months old)

Pax grabbed onto this Postal cart and off he went through the kitchen.

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Then he fell down twice and wouldn’t have anything do with it after that.

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Good! That was a close one. 

Oh, wait, I meant awwww, poor baby!

 

Anticipating Easter

Easter bunnies

  It’s Easter week!  And with it comes excitement, anticipation and rejoicing.

Easter simply represents LifeNew life, in Christ!

  How appropriate that we celebrate Easter during Spring, when things are hatching and blooming.  When new shoots of green are finally peeking through the dull of brown winter ground. 

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The fresh promise of new beginnings surround us.  God is present in nature each and every time you step out your front door and smell the fresh air, hear the birds singing happily in the trees, and feel the sun beating down on your face. 

   With this week, comes the anticipation of family dinner with baked hams, party potatoes and green bean bundles. (recipe coming later this week)

  Followed by lemony fresh pies and fluffy desserts. 

  The excuse to put away the dark colors of winter, and bring out the white lace tights, foo-foo girly dresses and white patent leather shoes. 

  To anticipate family traditions for little ones…like Easter baskets, Resurrection cookies (recipe coming soon), egg hunts and nibbling the ears off chocolate bunnies! 

  More importantly, this time of year is a vivid reminder of Christ, and the sacrifice He made by giving His life so that we could be made new. 

Oh how beautiful, oh how wonderful, is my Saviour’s love for ME!

~T 

Egg Hunts & Yummy Dips

With Easter rapidly approaching, we decided to go ahead and bring out the ol’ Easter baskets and plastic eggs this week.  We will spend countless hours hiding and discovering these eggs between now and Easter, but seriously?  You can only hide 24 eggs in the same living room so many times!  Oh well, the kids love it, so we are all for it.

   To make things easier, and to keep fighting to a minimum, each child has their own set of eggs to find.  Avery has shiny eggs, Tylan has sports eggs, and Destiny has print eggs.  Paxton has regular, which he seems to think are quite delicious.  He made sure to taste test each color in his basket right away.

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  Once the kids had their jammies on, the First Easter Egg Hunt of the season began…..

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  They had a lot of fun but all too soon, it was bedtime for everybody.  Especially Paxton.

  Pax had been entertaining himself on the floor during all the festivities.  This being his first Easter, he was quite fascinated with his furry basket and the contents therein.

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  Suddenly, the ducky basket was NOT so fun, and he began to feel a bit distressed…..

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  He quickly spotted his “Ma-ma” and crawled over to me for comfort, and in true Paxton form, quickly tried to grab and ingest my camera lens.

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  This is the part where I informed him, oh-so-kindly, that I did NOT want his sweet but slobbery little fingers on my lens.100

He was not impressed.

 

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Hey, are you still watching how sad you made me?

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Good, cause I am getting a bit sleepy here.  {YAWN}

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  Are you SURE I can’t touch this pretty lens just one teeny little bit?

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  Still a no-no, huh.

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Even if I put on my CUTEST pouty face and shed a tear?!?!?!?!? 

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{SIGH} Fine.  Take me to bed, that was exhausting.

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Goodnight sweet baby Pax!  XOXO

   Now that all the little ones are tucked snug in their beds, I have 2 yummy recipes to share with you: 

Dips! 

Oh, how I love thee.

  We do a Sunday Night Snack supper each week, as has been tradition since I was a little girl.  It’s the perfect time for me to try new appetizer recipes without waiting for a party invite! Yay! 🙂 

  In addition to whatever appetizers I am wanting to try at the time, Dale always makes his infamous seasoned popcorn in our stir-crazy popper, and we have it with fresh fruit, orange julius’s or something equally yummy! 

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   Sunday Nights are fun, since we do something together as a family.  My mom comes over, and we play board games or watching the kid’s favorite show, America’s Funniest Home Videos……all while eating in the LIVING ROOM! {Gasp} What a treat!

  Here are 2 of our favorite dips, one an old favorite, one brand new:

Corn Dip

(click on title to print on TK)

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16 oz. Hyland’s Chive Sour Cream Dip

2- 11 oz. cans Mexicorn, drained

1 – 10 oz. cans Rotell, drained.  Use half a can of Original, and half Hot. Dale likes all hot, but then no one else can eat with him. {HEY! Maybe that’s the POINT????? Turkey.}  You can freeze remaining Rotell for next time!  Drain corn and rotell well and mix with Chive dip in a medium bowl. 

Chill until serving to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with Frito Scoops. (no substitutes)  

Cucumber Cracker Spread from The Country Cook

Ingredients:

½ Cucumber (peeled and cut into chunks)
3 Green Onions (trim Off Roots)
1 block (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
⅛ teaspoon Salt

Chopped fresh tomatoes for garnish, optional but delicious!

Finely chop the cucumber and green onions.  In a medium bowl, combine chopped veggies, softened cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce and salt.  Beat until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, it’s WORTH the wait!  Serve on crackers. 

(Or on an Everything Bagel, which I have not yet tried.  There is none left! Maybe next time?)   🙂

  Have a great weekend!

~T

 

Linking to: Easter Traditions Bunny Blog Hop

And So Sweet Sunday’s

Thanks Patti & Kim, for inviting me to link up with your blogs!