It’s Not About the Bunnies

For the last several weeks, all I’ve seen are these cute little bunnies, colored eggs, decorative Easter baskets, tiered tray designs with marshmallow peeps and chocolate eggs, and all kinds of other decorative items. All my favorite craft stores are full of bunnies and baby chicks, colored plastic eggs, garland and all manner of craft ideas. Then there are the grocery stores and candy stores with all the chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and more marshmallow peeps, you know, that colorful nothing-but-sugar concoction that’s been around since we were kids! I didn’t like them, then, either.  But I do like those Cadbury eggs!

And you can even buy or make Easter ornaments and decorate your own Easter tree, sort of like a Christmas tree. As you may have seen, I decided to make styrofoam Easter trees this year with mini Ester eggs and decorative grass, They turned out great, and I even made two for our grandchildren.

Then there’s the Easter Bunny. Our granddaughters haven’t been real fond of having their pictures taken with him in the past, and this year hasn’t been any different. But we do like the memories with those not so wonderful pictures, and I’m sure they’ll get a laugh out of those pictures in the next few years. Or maybe not.

Yes, it’s almost Easter. And EVERYONE associates bunnies with Easter, right? Along with the colored Easter eggs, of course. And those previously mentioned marshmallow peeps. In all the colors. And now there are new flavors, I hear. Please, no.

But, as I like to remind us all every year at this time…it’s not about the bunnies. Or the colored eggs. Or the Easter egg hunts.

From what I’ve been able to determine, the legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs seems to have been brought to our country by settlers from southwestern Germany in the 1800’s. Since that time the Easter Bunny has gradually become the commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Folklore tells us the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes even toys to children the night before Easter. Sometimes the baskets might be hidden, and the children have to go and find them. Most likely, that’s how the tradition of the Easter egg hunt began.

But it’s still not about the bunnies. And here’s where I take a few minutes to express my feelings

To those of us who are believers, Easter is about one thing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very name of the holiday may have come from an ancient holiday depicting the rites of spring, or rebirth from the bleakness of winter, but to us, it represents much more than a rebirth of the world. Easter is a celebration of the eternal life we have waiting for us when we leave this earth. In fact, our belief in the resurrection is the very foundation of our faith.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

While Jesus was conducting his ministry on earth, He told His disciples what would happen to Him in order to fulfill the ancient scriptures, but of course, they really didn’t believe Him, and even tried to prevent it. Until they saw the truth for themselves.

We have read about the agony of the crucifixion. We have seen it depicted in countless movies and plays, sometimes in such a gruesome manner we have to look away. But the real crucifixion was much more gruesome than can be portrayed in a movie or a play. And our Lord suffered the most horrific pain, so we will be eternally with Him in heaven, along with all of our friends and family who also believe.

What a wonderful, unselfish, beautiful story. As wonderful as the Christmas story is, the Easter message is so much better. Because in this story, death is defeated for all time. The baby that was born at Christmas has grown up, became a man who is the son of God himself, and gave His very life to save ours, and has now defeated death itself.

Just imagine…the loved ones we have lost we will see again, and be reunited with them. We will know them, and they will know us, and we will be together. We will be eternal beings along with the Lord. And what a glorious day that will be! And just think of all the catching up there will be; and all the family members we will meet that we never knew before.

Many of us have lost family members and friends over the past couple of years, as well as many years ago. And I admit there are still times that I think about those loved ones, and how wonderful it will be to one day be with them again. To enjoy the serenity and peace of that heavenly home with those that I love the most. Because the Lord has said it, and I believe it.

You may choose to believe, or not. That is your choice, But I do believe, and I know in my heart there is so much more to come that we cannot imagine, because of what happened during this Easter season. No, it’s not about the bunnies. Yes, they’re cute and cuddly. But the true Easter story isn’t cute and cuddly. It’s real, and it’s not pretty. But it’s also the greatest love story that ever took place.

Crafting an Egg Tree

An Easter Egg tree, that is!

After doing my wine cork Christmas trees, I still had a few styrofoam cones left over and was wondering if there was anything I could do with them besides save them for next year.

Then I looked on Pinterest. There were a lot of Easter Egg trees in there, but they were either all made with pieces of ribbon or those big plastic colored eggs that open up to put candy in. That didn’t really do it for me. Too big and bulky.

So now that I had an idea…how to carry it out? And when I have an idea, I don’t rest until I figure a way to do it.

So I decided to check out my first go-to stop for non-jewelry making projects. Dollar Tree, of course. And luckily they had bags of small pastel colored foam Easter eggs. How perfect! I didn’t have a clue as to how many I’d need, but I figured I’d make several different sized trees, so I’d start with 12 bags. Each had a dozen eggs in them, so I figured I was good.

Then I realized I needed something for the top. I couldn’t use my leftover Christmas tree stars for Easter, but I found some Easter bunny heads on dowel sticks, probably designed for sticking in flower pots, but they were perfect for my trees!

Pleased as I could be with my purchases, I went home and planned my tree. The next day I set up on my kitchen counter and got to work. I don’t use hot glue in my craft studio because it’s too messy and my craft table has a tablecloth on it, and well, you can imagine what a mess that could turn out to be!

Gluing on the eggs was fairly simple; just time consuming. I hadn’t counted, though, on the glue dripping slightly through the eggs on the bottom row and sticking to the counter (it didn’t do that with the wine corks!). Fortunately dried hot glue isn’t that hard to get off if you do it quickly.

What I  hadn’t thought about, though, was how many of those little eggs it took to complete a tree. I’d started making a medium sized one which was almost finished when I realized I probably hadn’t bought enough eggs to quite finish two trees. Oops!

Then I remembered I’d bought over half of the bags of eggs they had at the dollar store, and I knew if I waited, I wouldn’t be able to get enough to make all the trees I wanted to do.

So I headed back to the store and got…eight bags. All they had left. Now what?

Fortunately there was another dollar store a mile or so away so I headed there, hoping they still had them. And as luck would have it, they did!

I bought 32 bags. Almost all they had in the store! I think the cashier thought I’d lost my mind. And I probably had.

But now I had enough to make another set of three trees as well as two more small ones for our granddaughters!

Egg tree assembly is really fairly easy as you can see from the pictures below. You just glue the eggs on in a row starting from the bottom. There will be gaps because of their shape, so I used bits of green moss to fill in the areas where the foam showed through. It’s a bit messy, but when the hot glue dries, trim the moss up as needed. And now you’re ready to put your bunny toppers on. I cut the dowel sticks off the bunny heads from the dollar store and substituted floral wire to make it easier to stick in the foam. And please pardon the quality of the pictures, because I just don’t get the best pictures when I’m creating at the same time!

And one last hint. These take a lot of hot glue, so be sure you have enough glue sticks on hand! I lost count of how many times I had to refill my glue gun! But at least it’s now ready for my next project!

It’s Not About the Bunnies

For the last several weeks, all I’ve seen on Pinterest and other sites are cute little bunnies. Sometimes with brightly colored eggs, sometimes with pastel Easter baskets, and sometimes, well, they’re just there looking cute and adorable. All my favorite craft stores are full of bunnies and baby chicks and all kinds of colored plastic eggs. Then there are the grocery stores and candy stores with all the chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and marshmallow peeps, you know, the colorful straight out sugar concoction that’s been around since we were kids!

All I seem to see on social media are cute Easter ideas, cute Easter outfits for babies and toddlers, ideas for Easter brunch, Easter Egg hunts, etc.

Did you know you can even buy Easter ornaments and decorate your own Easter tree, sort of like a Christmas tree? Just what I need to start doing….me with the six Christmas trees! I can’t afford to start that.

And the Easter Bunny? Well, not only have we had our granddaughter’s picture taken with the Bunny, we also had our dogs’ photo taken with him. Of course, she’s still sort of scared of the Bunny so her dad had to have his picture with her as well, That made it all better.

And then there are the Easter baskets for the kids. Of course we’ve put one together for our granddaughter Rachel, and our daughter has also put one together for her. But the grandparents don’t get one, and neither do the parents. I guess it’s just the way things work these days.

Obviously it’s almost Easter. And EVERYONE associates bunnies with Easter, right? Along with the colored Easter eggs, of course. And those previously mentioned marshmallow peeps, in all the colors of the rainbow. And the Easter egg hunts with the kids getting all kinds of prizes for the most eggs found, or the special “golden eggs” that some places have.

But…it’s not about the bunnies. Or the Easter baskets. Or the Easter egg hunts.

It’s about something far more important.

From what I’ve been able to determine, the legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs seems to have been brought to our country by settlers from southwestern Germany in the 1800’s. Since that time the Easter Bunny has gradually become the commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Folklore tells us the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes toys to children the night before Easter. Sometimes the baskets might be hidden, and the children have to go and find them. Most likely, that’s how the tradition of the Easter egg hunt began.

But it’s still not about the bunnies.

To those of us who are believers, Easter is about one thing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very name of the holiday may have come from an ancient holiday depicting the rites of spring, or rebirth from the bleakness of winter, but to us, it represents much more than a rebirth of the world. Easter is a celebration of the eternal life we have when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. In fact, our belief in the resurrection is the very foundation of our faith.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
While Jesus was conducting his ministry on earth, He told His disciples what would happen to Him in order to fulfill the ancient scriptures, but of course, they really didn’t believe Him, and even tried to prevent it. Until they saw the truth for themselves.

We have read about the agony of the crucifixion. We have seen it depicted in countless movies and plays, sometimes in such a gruesome manner we have to look away. But the real crucifixion was much more gruesome than can be portrayed in a movie or a play. And our Lord suffered the most horrific pain, so those of us who choose to love Him and call Him Lord will be eternally with Him in heaven, along with all of the others who believed the same.

What a wonderful, unselfish, beautiful story. As wonderful as the Christmas story is, the Easter message is so much better. Because in this story, death is defeated for all time. The baby that was born at Christmas has grown up, became a man who is the son of God himself, and gave His very life to save ours, and has now defeated death itself.

Multitudes saw Him die that day. They saw the lightning and heard the booming thunder when our Lord drew His last earthly breath. They saw his lifeless body taken down from the cross, and many followed the procession to where His body was laid to rest in a tomb, the entrance sealed by a heavy stone and guarded by fierce Roman soldiers.

And on the third day after the crucifixion, just as the ancient prophecies had declared, when the women went to the tomb to anoint His body with spices, “…they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:2-3)

And an angel was there as well, to remind them, “He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.” (Matthew 28:6).

No, it’s not about the bunnies. They’re cute and cuddly. But the true Easter story isn’t cute and cuddly. It’s real, and it’s brutal. But it’s also the greatest love story that ever took place.

Now, I was brought up believing in the Easter Bunny as well as Santa Claus, and I think I turned out OK. But there are still a lot of parents who don’t think they should let their children believe in such “fairy tales” because they won’t be able to distinguish what’s true and what isn’t as they get older. And they are entitled to their own opinions. But as far as I’m concerned, as long as you also teach your kids the true story behind these holidays, let them enjoy these children’s traditions while they can, because being a child doesn’t last that long! We took our daughter to see the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus every year, until she was old enough to not believe anymore, and we’re doing the same with our granddaughter. It’s fun, and to me, it’s part of our childhood traditions.

But we also celebrate and appreciate the true meaning of Easter, so to all of you, from me and my family, have a blessed Easter!

It’s Not Just About the Bunnies

For the last several weeks, all I’ve seen on Pinterest and other sites are cute little bunnies. Sometimes with brightly colored eggs, sometimes with pastel Easter baskets, and sometimes, well, they’re just there looking cute and adorable. All my favorite craft stores are full of bunnies and baby chicks and all kinds of colored plastic eggs. Then there are the grocery stores and candy stores with all the chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and marshmallow peeps, you know, the colorful straight out sugar concoction that’s been around since we were kids!

Did you know you can even buy Easter ornaments and decorate your own Easter tree, sort of like a Christmas tree? Just what I need to start doing….me with the six Christmas trees! I can’t afford to start that.

And the Easter Bunny? Well, not only have we had our granddaughter’s picture taken with the Bunny, we also had our dog’s photo taken with him.

Obviously it’s close to Easter. And EVERYONE associates bunnies with Easter, right? Along with the colored Easter eggs, of course. And those previously mentioned marshmallow peeps. In all the colors.
But…it’s not about the bunnies.

From what I’ve been able to determine, the legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs seems to have been brought to our country by settlers from southwestern Germany in the 1800’s. Since that time the Easter Bunny has gradually become the commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Folklore tells us the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes even toys to children the night before Easter. Sometimes the baskets might be hidden, and the children have to go and find them. Most likely, that’s how the tradition of the Easter egg hunt began.

But it’s still not about the bunnies.

To those of us who are believers, Easter is about one thing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very name of the holiday may have come from an ancient holiday depicting the rites of spring, or rebirth from the bleakness of winter, but to us, it represents much more than a rebirth of the world. Easter is a celebration of the eternal life we have when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. In fact, our belief in the resurrection is the very foundation of our faith.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

While Jesus was conducting his ministry on earth, He told His disciples what would happen to Him in order to fulfill the ancient scriptures, but of course, they really didn’t believe Him, and even tried to prevent it. Until they saw the truth for themselves.

We have read about the agony of the crucifixion. We have seen it depicted in countless movies and plays, sometimes in such a gruesome manner we have to look away. But the real crucifixion was much more gruesome than can be portrayed in a movie or a play. And our Lord suffered the most horrific pain, so those of us who choose to love Him and call Him Lord will be eternally with Him in heaven, along with all of the others who believed the same.

What a wonderful, unselfish, beautiful story. As wonderful as the Christmas story is, the Easter message is so much better. Because in this story, death is defeated for all time. The baby that was born at Christmas has grown up, became a man who is the son of God himself, and gave His very life to save ours, and has now defeated death itself.

Multitudes saw Him die that day. They saw the lightning and heard the booming thunder when our Lord drew His last earthly breath. They saw his lifeless body taken down from the cross, and many followed the procession to where His body was laid to rest in a tomb, the entrance sealed by a heavy stone and guarded by fierce Roman soldiers.

And on the third day after the crucifixion, just as the ancient prophecies had declared, when the women went to the tomb to anoint His body with spices, “…they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:2-3)

And an angel was there as well, to remind them, “He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.” (Matthew 28:6).

No, it’s not about the bunnies. They’re cute and cuddly. But the true Easter story isn’t cute and cuddly. It’s real, and it’s brutal. But it’s also the greatest love story that ever took place.

Now, I was brought up believing in the Easter Bunny as well as Santa Claus, and I think I turned out OK. But there are still a lot of parents who don’t think they should let their children believe in such “fairy tales” because they won’t be able to distinguish what’s true and what isn’t as they get older. And they are entitled to their own opinions. But as far as I’m concerned, as long as you also teach your kids the true story behind these holidays, let them enjoy these children’s traditions while they can, because being a child doesn’t last that long! We took our daughter to see the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus every year, until she was old enough to not believe anymore, and we’re doing the same with our granddaughter. It’s fun, and to me, it’s part of our childhood traditions that should be continued.

But we also celebrate and appreciate the true meaning of Easter, so to all of you, from me and my family, have a blessed Easter!

Here Comes the Easter…Flamingo?

Well, they were a big help to Santa last Christmas, so it’s only fair to help out the Easter Bunny. And since Easter colors feature a lot of pink, it’s another holiday the flamingos really enjoy!

So when they told the Easter Bunny they’d be happy to help out this year, that bun-bun wiggled his tail, twitched his little pink nose, and shook his head and ears with a big “yes!” And promptly proceeded to give Henry, the designated Easter Flamingo, and his helpers their assigned route.

So now, the flamingos not only have their own Easter basket route, they even get to put the baskets together as well, from decorating the eggs, selecting the chocolate bunnies and treats (and probably tasting several of them in the process), and then hopping around to their assigned houses, delivering the baskets to the children, and adults, and hiding some special flamingo decorated eggs in the yard to be found later. And most likely a few inside the house as well!

First of all, they had to decorate the Easter eggs. No commercially bought Easter eggs for the flamingos! They just had to design their own. After all, they had an important job to do, and they wanted to make it a spectacularly special flamingo Easter day! And they wanted to be invited to do it again next year. They really liked the idea of an Easter Flamingo!

So they put their creative flamingo minds together and came up with some beautiful egg designs! They even stepped “out of the box” and didn’t make them all pink! Which was quite difficult, since that is their favorite color! What do you think?

And their Easter baskets…again, they put their creativity to work, and designed works of flamingo art to hold their special eggs. They wouldn’t let me show many of them here, because they want their recipients to be surprised. But what do you think of these? I’m sure we’d all be thrilled to find one of these on Easter morning!

Of course, they didn’t stop with Easter eggs and Easter baskets. After all, they ARE flamingos, and they like to do things in a flashy, spectacular way!

So they decided to add some Easter strawberries and cookies to some of their baskets, of course, with a few flamingo cookies arranged here and there just to remind people that the Easter Flamingo was on the job! And I’m really hoping to get some of these….

They also know they’re going to be quite busy Easter morning, and by the time they’re all done, they’re going to need some rest before having their Easter grilled shrimp dinner by the pool. And what better way to relax than with special Easter cocktails created and served by Gustav, the flamingos’ favorite mixologist! Here are some of the amazing concoctions he’s whipping up with his pink wings, just for the Easter Flamingo and his helpers!

Nothing like winding down a great Easter Sunday with peeps and jelly beans. Especially in flamingo-styled cocktails!

Happy Easter from the flamingos, and a special Happy Easter from the Easter Flamingo!

Disclaimer: All content posted here is assumed to be in the public domain. If you find one of your images here and wish it to be removed please contact me.

Photo Sources: Header Photo: Susan Brack – ebsqart.com – 1st Row: marthastewart.com; LiaGriffith.com; source unknown; styleandcheek.com; lifeisaparty.ca; sheknows.com; creativechurchideaattic.com – 2nd Row: – LiaGriffith.com; source unknown; via pinterest; via pinterest; source unknown; via pinterest – 3rd Row: – jackiesbaskets.com; via pinterest; via pinterest; source unknown; via pinterest; treatsbuyterri via Etsy; via pinterest source unknown; via Facebook – 4th Row: via pinterest; fashionablybombed.com; kitchn.com; via pinterest; via pinterest; source unknown; via pinterest; via pinterest

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

There are a number of special food delights associated with Easter. Certainly chocolate bunnies, Cadbury crème eggs (be still my heart!), those sugary marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, and the chocolate covered Easter eggs we discussed last week are some of the first to come to mind.

You can also find a lot of cute Easter treats to make for kids on Pinterest*, one of my addictions, such as rice krispie “nests” filled with jelly beans or peeps, creatively decorated coconut cakes made in the shape of bunnies or even decorated with more peeps….you get the idea!

But one particular item I’ve always enjoyed at Easter is the Hot Cross Buns. My mother would buy them every year, as soon as they were in the grocery store, which was usually about a month before Easter Sunday. And as soon as Easter was over, once the stock was sold out, you couldn’t find them again until next year.

5ecf625ec1bf91acb4247c48f2cfb15fIt’s funny how my mother, who was a wonderful cook, never tried to make them herself. Most likely it would’ve been fairly easy, especially using her special cinnamon bun recipe.

Next year I’m most likely going to be trying all kinds of those creative treats I mentioned before, because we’ll have our granddaughter next Easter, since that’s what grandmothers are supposed to do. But for right now, I’m going to try this recipe that I found years ago and just filed away in my “things to make sometime when I have the desire” recipe box. It sounds good, and it also sounds fairly easy. And I like both! And don’t be put off by how long the directions seem to be. They are very similar to how we make my mother’s cinnamon buns, and those are easy!

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 c warm milk, divided
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 c butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 c dried fruit (combination of currants, and chopped candied citrus peel – and yes, I’d add a bit extra!)
2 tsp grated orange zest

In bowl, mix together 1/4 c of warmed milk and 1 tsp of sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the milk and let set 5-10 minutes, til foamy.

In large bowl vigorously whisk together 3 c flour, salt, spices, and 1/4 c sugar.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add yeast mixture, softened butter, eggs, and remainder of milk. Mix ingredients until well blended (will be “shaggy” and sticky). Add fruit and orange zest.

Slowly sprinkle in remaining flour, 1 tbl at a time, kneading after each addition, until mixture is no longer completely sticking to your hands. Form dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. (Be sure to put in a warm spot in your kitchen)

When ready, take dough, and roll into a log shape and cut into two halves, leaving one half in bowl until ready to use. Cut dough you are using into 8 pieces. Take dough and form into mounds, placing them 1 1/2” apart on baking sheet. Cover mounds again with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

orange-hot-cross-buns-su-xPreheat oven to 400. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 tbl milk. Score tops of buns in cross pattern with a knife (deeply cut so that the cuts will stay visible after baking). Brush egg mixture on top of dough. Bake on middle rack in over 10-12 minutes til lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

When buns are totally cooled whisk together 1 tsp milk and 3-4 tbl powdered sugar, adding sugar until you get a thick consistency. Place in plastic bag and snip off corner to make pastry bag. Pipe lines across the top of each bun to make a cross.

*If you want to visit my personal Pinterest board to see the Easter goodies I’m talking about, here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/bdnewell/easter-ideas

It’s Not About the Bunnies

For the last several weeks, all I’ve seen on Pinterest and other sites are cute little bunnies. Sometimes with brightly colored eggs, sometimes with pastel Easter baskets, and sometimes, well, they’re just there looking cute and adorable.
Obviously it’s close to Easter. And EVERYONE associates bunnies with Easter, right? Along with the colored Easter eggs, of course. And the marshmallow peeps…in all colors.

But…it’s not about the bunnies.

From what I’ve been able to determine, the legend of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs seems to have been brought to our country by settlers from southwestern Germany in the 1800’s. Since that time the Easter Bunny has gradually become the commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Folklore tells us the Easter Bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes even toys to children the night before Easter. Sometimes the baskets might be hidden, and the children have to go and find them. Most likely, that’s how the tradition of the Easter egg hunt began.

But it’s still not about the bunnies.

To those of us who are believers, Easter is about one thing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The very name of the holiday may have come from an ancient holiday depicting the rites of spring, or rebirth from the bleakness of winter, but to us, it represents much more than a rebirth of the world. Easter is a celebration of the eternal life we have when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. In fact, our belief in the resurrection is the very foundation of our faith.

John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

While Jesus was conducting his ministry on earth, He told His disciples what would happen to Him in order to fulfill the ancient scriptures, but of course, they really didn’t believe Him, and even tried to prevent it. Until they saw the truth for themselves.

We have read about the agony of the crucifixion. We have seen it depicted in countless movies and plays, sometimes in such a gruesome manner we have to look away. But the real crucifixion was much more gruesome than can be portrayed in a movie or a play. And our Lord suffered the most horrific pain, so those of us who choose to love Him and call Him Lord will be eternally with Him in heaven, along with all of the others who believed the same.

What a wonderful, unselfish, beautiful story. As wonderful as the Christmas story is, the Easter message is so much better. Because in this story, death is defeated for all time. The baby that was born at Christmas has grown up, became a man who is the son of God himself, and gave His very life to save ours, and has now defeated death itself.

Multitudes saw Him die that day. They saw the lightning and heard the booming thunder when our Lord drew His last earthly breath. They saw his lifeless body taken down from the cross, and many followed the procession to where His body was laid to rest in a tomb, the entrance sealed by a heavy stone and guarded by fierce Roman soldiers.

Luke 24 2-3
And on the third day after the crucifixion, just as the ancient prophecies had declared, when the women went to the tomb to anoint His body with spices, they were were quite surprised!

And an angel was there as well, to remind them, “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.” (Matthew 28:6).

No, it’s not about the bunnies. They’re cute and cuddly. But the true Easter story isn’t cute and cuddly. It’s real, and it’s brutal. But it’s also the greatest love story that ever took place.

Have a blessed Easter!

Note: I was brought up on the Easter Bunny as well as Santa Claus, and I think I turned out OK. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you also teach your kids the true story behind these holidays, let them enjoy these children’s traditions while they can, because being a child doesn’t last that long!

Chocolate Easter Eggs

I admit I absolutely love those chocolate covered eggs sold this time of year. When I was little I couldn’t wait to get in my Easter basket, grab the big chocolate coconut egg, and take a huge bite out of it! And were they ever delicious!

They still are. And I still have to have one every year!

However, it’s become quite popular now for people (not me yet) to make their own chocolate covered Easter eggs. A lot of organizations sell them as fundraisers. The hair salon where my mother used to go sold them every year, and I’m sure they still do.

One thing I’ve never tried to do, though, is make my own. But I thought just for the fun of it, I’d try to see how complicated they are to make. So I paged through all of my mom’s old church cookbooks as well as recipes she’d cut out of the local newspapers, and came up with a couple of recipes!

easter egg2I doubt I’ll have time to try them this year, but next year, since we’ll have an almost year old granddaughter at Easter, well, I’m sure there will be lots of new things made that I’ve never tried before!

I’ve not made candy before. And I confess I haven’t tried this recipe, but it sure sounds easy enough. Maybe next year I’ll attempt it. But if you try it, or have other similar recipes you’ve tried, let me know. I’m always interested in new ideas!

Chocolate Easter Eggs

½ c butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp almond extract (I’d probably try coconut extract as well)
2 ¼ lb fine confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ lb semisweet baking chocolate, melted

Decorative icing, sprinkles, or cake decorator candy flowers

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk and extract. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar until well blended. (Note: I’d probably try to add some finely shredded coconut in this mixture, because my favorites are the coconut cream eggs.)

Knead with hands until mixture is soft and easy to shape. Form into egg shapes. (This is where I would say a bit of skill and ingenuity comes in. Probably mine wouldn’t look as close to an egg shape as I’d like, but we shall see…)

Place eggs onto tray or cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Cover and chill for 4 hours or until firm.

Place each egg on a fork and dip into melted chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place back on tray, cover, and let stand until firm. Refrigerate for best results.

easter eggsWhile still most, you can decorate with colored sprinkles, or add the candy flowers. I would wait an hour or so to add the decorative icing, but remember, I haven’t tried these yet, so it’s a matter of trying it out to see which works the best.

I would probably display or serve these in decorative cupcake cups, especially the ones that are shaped as flowers. You might even want to put them in an Easter basket if they turn our really nice!

Happy candy making!