Easter in El Dorado

We always strive to keep visiting grandchildren moving, thinking, creating and away from staring open-mouthed at a television set for hours – which explains my craft cupboard for visiting grandchildren and eagle eye for community activities.

We maxed out with Easter activities during the grandchildren’s recent spring break visit – thanks to the community wide planned activities.
In fact, they had barely arrived Tuesday when we packed them up in the car and took them to the last performance of “The Promise” at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium. Sitting near the aisle at the front of the auditorium, the children felt part of the play as soldiers, disciples, town folks and Christ passed them in full costume on their way to the stage. For two hours, the show held their full attention All the way home they talked about the actors and scenes.

While I worked during the day, my husband pulled out his miniature race tracks, helped the children decorate clay pots for a future plants and laid out a treasure hunt. He delights in laying out the clues – which this time led to a basket of Easter goodies including chocolate crosses.
Thursday evening, I pulled out eggs and a food coloring kit for a grand mess of egg decorating.

Friday evening, we checked out First United Methodist’s child friendly, hands-on review of Christ’s last days. In the candle lit room, we dropped 30 silver dollars into a heavy leather bag as Judas did when he betrayed Jesus. Before two containers of water, we considered whether we would follow Christ’s example of dipping our hands into water as an act of servanthood or be like Pilate and forsake Him. We watched red food coloring spread through a cup of water to remind us how Christ’s blood gives life. The children handled the crown with the spikes of thorns and touched three nails asking “were they like this?”

Remembering that Christ endured such pain for our sins, we wrote three of our own sins on a piece of paper. A dish of vinegar and cotton swab hinted at the bitter experience of the soldier’s mocking Christ. We extinguished a candle as we thought about how Christ’s life was extinguished on the cross. Upstairs in the sanctuary standing before a rough cross, we replicated the dipping of the bread into the cup and thought about Good Friday events.

Saturday, before the family left we had a birthday breakfast with one granddaughter, a picture taken with the Easter Bunny – and gathered enough chocolate at the Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt to share with their Great-Grandpa Hibbard in the nursing home – and still had plenty left to make them sick to their stomachs.

Oh sure, during their visit we went out to eat a couple times and checked out the newest kid movie at the theater. But, most of the time was spent pulling games came out of the closet, dolls out of their cupboards and grandpa and grandma out of their recliners. Grandpa took them on nature walks and they found 25 different varieties of flowers. When they played our old upright piano, I noticed a distinct improvement.

Driving into town, we replaced backseat teasing with counting assigned colors of vehicles: Blue, silver, red, white, black (we had to divide the white vehicles into trucks and cars – there are so many). We all kept busy hunting and pointing out vehicles on side streets, in parking lots and in far-off fields.

The children say one reason they like to come is because we are always doing something fun.

I hope so, because after they left, we let out a huge sigh, kicked off our shoes, relaxed and did absolutely nothing for the rest of the weekend.