Sunday, March 21, 2010

Celebrating the Spring Equinox

The Magic Piper

There piped a piper in the wood
Strange music -- soft and sweet --
And all the little wild things
Came hurrying to his feet.

They sat around him on the grass,
Enchanted, unafraid,
And listened, as with shining eyes
Sweet melodies he made.

The wood grew green, and flowers sprang up,
The birds began to sing;
For the music it was magic,
And the piper's name was -- Spring!

~by E.L. Marsh

Today, we celebrate the Vernal Equinox as we welcome the spring. We started a tradition last year of planting our Lenten dish garden on the first day of spring.

This past week was not a fun one. Elena got a nasty stomach flu that lasted 50 hours so we're a bit behind, but will catch up this week.

All those eggs that Tony so painstakingly blew out were finally put to good use today!

In anticipation of Easter, we decided to paint some eggs with acrylic paints. We wanted to be able to keep these (and even hang them from a tree), so they were blown out first and then painted.

Some of them, we layed a base color on first and allowed it to dry. Other eggs were just painted in one sitting.

They dried in the sun and were ready for a second coat.

We just let them dry and will later thread them with yarn to hang from an egg tree. They can be sprayed with a light coat of hairspray to give them a shine and seal the paint for longer preservation or just left as is...

A happy birthday (on St. Patty's Day) to our now 12 year old corgimix, Farley! Doesn't he look so handsome!

And then we planted our Lenten Dish Garden...

We like to place a blooming branch in the dish. Last year, I ended up using some modeling clay to hold it in place. This year, I tried a piece of floral foam, held in with a bit of tacky glue. I think the clay worked a bit better so I'd recommend that if you have some available. Stick your branch in...

Layer your dirt and then some grass seeds. We like to put in a shell to serve as a little pond, so we place that down over the area it will rest so we don't grow grass underneath it...

One more layer of dirt...

Then give it a little soaking of water and be sure to mist it daily. The seeds should sprout within 5-7 days. We'll be adding to it as the days unfold...

To celebrate Lent and Easter, we placed ours on a purple silk (purple being the color of Lent) and with rocks, we built a *cave* to symbolize the tomb of Jesus. It will sit until Good Friday when we will place a rock over the front of it until Easter morning...

The Resurrection story is a bit too intense still at this tender age, but we like to bring some concrete elements of this most important Christian holiday to the forefront this way.

There are a few books I recommend for Christians celebrating this season with their children:

~ One is called, "Stories for the Festivals of the Year: Told for Children" by Irene Johanson. It contains stories for Easter, Ascension & Whitsun, St. Johnstide, Michaelmas, Christmas, the Epiphany, and Holy Week.

~ The second is "The Easter Story Book" collected by Ineke Verschuren. The nice thing about this book, as with Vershuren's other book, "The Christmas Story Book", is that the stories are marked for the appropriate age. Some of the tales are appropriate for children as young as 5 years old. It covers Holy Week, Easter, From Easter to Pentecost, Midsummer/Feast of St. John.

~ Finally, we've enjoyed "The Emperor's Vision and Other Christ Legends" by Selma Lagerlöf. This one can be used for Christmas, as well. It can also be found at Bob & Nancy's here.

Happy Spring to you all and enjoy the return of the light in the Northern Hemisphere!!!!


  1. The eggs are beautiful! Your girls did great job. I esp. love the lamb and the cute chicks.

  2. I really appreciate this idea of using acrylic paints... sometimes other methods can be frustrating for young ones.
    Oh, those eggs look beautiful.
    Warm wishes and joy, Tonya

  3. Love the idea of acrylic paints over dying them. I'm still a fan of dying, but I always felt that there's a certain creative limit. With acrylic, possibilities are endless. What did you guys use to blow out the eggs? I used a big needle to poke the whole and my mouth to blow out the yokes, but a dozen eggs later my cheeks were in a terrible amount of pain.

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  5. Nicci - for some reason, your comment didn't end up being published, so I copied and pasted it above...

    My hubby blew them out like you did and he did it over several days as it's pretty exhausting. He said, by the end, he figured out a way to do it faster, so I will find out what the *secret* was. After the holiday, when they are hopefully on sale, we're going to purchase a blas-fix egg blower. It's a tool to help where you just punch one hole in it and suck the yolk out. It's found here, among other places:

    Magic Cabin sells one so maybe do a search for the cheapest price. If I find it on sale after Easter, I'll be sure to post it :D

    Good luck and rest those cheeks - lol!

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