Caroline and I had begun to prepare on Friday. One thing we did was to hang these doves above our dining room table. Caroline was so excited when I told her we were going to get out all the dove Christmas ornaments! "So, we can look at all the other Christmas ornaments, too?" I had read in several places about the idea of decorating with doves - the symbol of the Holy Spirit - and perhaps hanging them up from the ceiling. One thing I read suggested a wooden dove figure, to which I thought, "Where would one find a wooden dove? And how much would that cost??" Then I remembered - we had a few dove ornaments that would do very nicely. I think it would be really neat to collect more (my husband groans as he reads this, I am sure!) and have them hanging at different heights above the table... I think my light fixture could accommodate up to 12 total!
Three of the four doves we hung up were gifts from my godparents - they used to get me a Christmas ornament each year. This is one they gave me in 1996 (no, I didn't just remember this piece of trivia - I wrote the years on the boxes when I received them!).
They gave me this one as well, in 1993. It is one of my favorite Christmas ornaments of all... so simple and pretty.
They gave me this one at Christmas 1994. Cecilia particularly enjoyed this one last Christmas - the sparkly-ness was probably very attractive to her!
Here's the fourth dove ornament. It came with Chris when we got married, so I don't know the history behind it!
The hanging of the dove ornaments was the only idea here that I came up with partially on my own. The rest of the Pentecost ideas I cannot take any credit for at all!
Caroline is holding her completed Garden of the Good Shepherd. I saw this activity referenced on many other blogs, and then when I saw that it was on sale for just a couple dollars, I decided, why not? We'll do it this year! I see so many activities and think, "Oh, that will be fun to do in a few years..." So we did this one this year! It is an Easter countdown, with fifty stickers, one for each day of Easter. We put the final sticker on today - a dove surrounded by flames for Pentecost. Caroline was very excited to hold up the completed display! She was also sad that we were done with it... but it is able to be reused (at least, it is marketed as such!), so we will pull it out again for next Easter.
Caroline and I put together our decorations and other Pentecost preparations on Friday, because we were going to a birthday party an hour away on Saturday and from there to my brother and his wife's house to stay overnight. We made this fun Pentecost Mobile... I printed off some dove shapes and cut them out while Caroline cut out the spiral that I had drawn on some cardstock. Then she glued the doves to the spiral.
Cecilia really wants to feel like a part of things - she flips out if Caroline gets play-dough, makers, scissors, etc. and she does not. But she has to be contained... she will take crayons all over the house, so I put her in a booster with a tray. She doesn't do well with paper on this tray because it doesn't fit well, and she also doesn't understand about holding the paper steady with her other hand. So, since they are washable crayons, I just let her draw on the tray. It rubs right off with a damp paper towel. Unfortunately for Cecilia, she will not be drawing again any time soon... she ate the brown crayon. Well, she ate a bite, chewed it and spit it out, then took another bite... yuck.
Here's the finished product in action. Hanging under the fan, it really twirls well! The doves are supposed to be glued on facing down (oops), because then as the spiral twirls, the doves descend - like the Holy Spirit did, get it?
And here is our table on Pentecost Sunday, all set up under the doves. Caroline and I decorated while Chris and Cecilia went grocery shopping after our trip home from my brother's house. We put out the red tablecloth, since Pentecost's color is red... the priest wears red, and the church we visited this morning had a red altar cloth as well.
I couldn't get a great picture of it, but we also salvaged petals from our last remaining roses on our rose bush outside our house. We sprinkled them along the tablecloth - they are to symbolize the flames that rested above the apostles' heads. Can't remember where I read this idea... apologies to whoever came up with it for not linking to you! If anyone knows where I read this, fell free to put it in the comments box!
We made cupcakes (er, oatmeal muffins with cream cheese/honey frosting!) while Chris and Cecilia were shopping, too. Then I arranged them on this cupcake stand. Here's where I found this idea. The top cupcake is tinted blue for Mary, and then there are twelve white cupcakes for each of the apostles. Caroline pointed the one mismatched cupcake (a leftover cranberry muffin from a couple days ago... how do you bake 13 cupcakes at once with only one muffin tin? Yay for my rare instance of foresight in saving the cranberry muffin for this use!) and declared, "This one is John." She didn't name any others... apparently it was only important to her to know which one was Mary and which was John, ha ha! The lit candles represent the flames that appeared above their heads, and then Caroline blowing them out represented the wind that filled the room when the Holy Spirit came down. I thought that was a fun idea, and so did Caroline!
Here she is blowing them out (her hair is wet because she just got out of the bath... Chris did bathtime while I frosted the "cupcakes" and stuck the candles on).
We had lots of fun celebrating Easter this year! Wrapping it up with several ideas for Pentecost worked out really well... celebrating the end to a very blessed Easter season! And there were so many other great suggestions for Pentecost at Shower of Roses... a great resource for the coming years (and where I found most of my ideas linked from ;). A few other things we did to celebrate Easter throughout all fifty days... we learned all the words to "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and sang it almost every day. We kept the Easter books and the Resurrection Eggs out for use throughout the season. Along with the daily sticker and Bible reading for the Garden of the Good Shepherd, I think we had a good first year of actively celebrating the fifty days of Easter in our home!