Friday, May 13, 2011

Celebrating the Easter Season with the Garden of the Good Shepherd!

This year I am wanting to try harder to focus on celebrating the Easter season... it lasts 50 days, you know, so that's a lot of time to cover! A few other Catholic moms have come up with ideas on how to teach their children that Easter is an entire season of 50 days, and one of these ways is through the Garden of the Good Shepherd Easter Calendar. We have been using it for a few years now, and so far this year we have also taken part in the weekly Garden Parties to celebrate! I like that these ideas are already laid out by other generous bloggers, but that they are adaptable too. You can be creative with the ideas and create a special meal for each week!

~Garden Party for Week One~

Since I ran myself out of space in Picasa web albums, I had to figure out how to upload more pictures for free... and I found that I can do it through Snapfish, so here are photos from both the first and second week. The first week focuses on the shepherd and the sheep.

Here is Caroline watching the popcorn "sheep" jumping around, guarding them from escaping from their bowl "sheepfold," just like a good shepherd would do.

These cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, cut out with a J cookie cutter, represent the shepherd's crook.

Here are the gates to the sheepfold, made from peanut butter and pretzel sticks on graham crackers.

The wolf, a threat to the sheep... we used some cookies we'd made earlier in the week (chocolate chip cranberry oat!) and put "claws" on them to resemble wolf paws.

This drink is called lamb's wool...

And here is Caroline with her shepherd... shepherd's pie, that is! I was so excited to see that there are now canned pre-made biscuits that are somewhat natural. I hadn't looked at the ingredients on a tube of biscuits in ages - or ever? - and was excited to find some that, while I wouldn't call them healthy, they were not exactly bad for you either. The biscuits form the crust of the shepherd's pie, and then they are filled with the meat and veggies and topped with mashed potatoes. I have never been a huge fan of traditional shepherd's pie, but with a biscuit crust, yum!!

~Garden Party for Week Two~

This week's party was centered on the table. We read Bible passages which included milk, honey, bread, fruit, and wine. We also decorated the chairs with streamers and put sheep decorations on the table, as you can see in the above photo.

Here is the bread, shaped like a lamb... the girls had lots of fun sprinkling sesame seeds on it! The dough I used had a lot of yeast, and so it probably ended up rising a bit too much...

Here is the "wine" - white grape juice mixed with Sierra Mist.

Can you tell it is a sheep? ;) The wool kind of rose into its face and below its belly... but it tasted good! The honey butter is next to the bread on the right.

For the milk, we used ice cream! These cute ice cream dishes held the toppings: leftover Easter candy.

The fruit and some cheese cubes... cheese made from milk, and curds were also mentioned in one of the Bible verses we read.

Caroline and Cecilia were excited to get to use the real wine glasses! Apparently we broke one at some point, because I could only find three! We had this party as lunch on a weekday, so we only needed three. I wonder what happened to the fourth in the set?

Caroline tops her ice cream!

And Cecilia takes her turn. The girls were excited because they don't usually get a dessert at the end of lunch!


Carrie said...

You do all the cute stuff I see online and think is cool but don't ever do! What a great mom! :)

Gardenia said...

everything looks wonderful. we're enjoying these parties at our home too. Easter blessings,

Anonymous said...

Looks fun, we have the exact same popcorn maker and make popcorn regularly, I like several of these ideas!

Anonymous said...

You do so much fun stuff!! We have the same popcorn maker and have been making a lot lately. Great ideas!