3/14/08

Balcony Girls See Easter Come to Life!

I’ve been thinking ahead to Easter next week. I must admit that the Easter baskets and gifts, candy purchases and games, have dwindled now, as my kids have gotten older. And that is a good thing. Because that means my kids are expecting less hubbub and hoopla, as they increasingly understand the true meaning of this holy holiday

It’s all a part of growing up.

One thing I love to do is “hands-on” lessons that kids can relate to. This Cookie Easter Story lesson, in particular, I shared with my children when they were younger. But I also pulled it out of my Balcony Girls archive, from two years ago, as I invited my Balcony Girls into my home for a fun “cooking” demonstration – and it was a fun one!

It was an impacting lesson of love (the Easter Story), and fun (hollow cookies with a meaning behind them!), and even though we only had a couple of hours, the lesson still worked as I explained the outcome to them.

Not only did we read through the Easter story, we talked about the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and how it gives us hope for the future! Of course in every Balcony Girls group, we discuss a tip valuable to each girl and to the relationships that they are forming with other girls. This week was simple: If you are doing something irritating or annoying to a friend, and they ask you to stop, then STOP IT! 

The girls were challenged to take these bits of information and think about them during the week.

As Easter nears, if you are looking for a fun idea to do with your younger kids, or even grandkids or neighbor kids (hospitality = reaching out!), you might want to try this “recipe.”

Easter Cookie Story
To be made the evening before Easter, or whenever you want to give this lesson. I actually had to open the oven early because of our time frame, but over-night gives best results.

You will need:
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1c. sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
tape
Bible

1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, that the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3.
3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
8. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.
10. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

Here’s to another great Balcony Girl’s lesson – in celebration of LIFE!

(Photos: BGs from 2 yrs ago in my kitchen, and FUN on the trampoline!)

18 comments:

Mrs. Jules said...

Even though my girls are getting older, I would definitely do this with them and a couple of friends. Beautiful illustration! Have a blessed weekend.

Mrs. B. said...

I can't believe I've never heard of this before. Love it! I'll have to try it when the kids get a bit older.
Maybe I'll do it with my husband. He'd be amazed! ;)

Nadine said...

This was my favorite post with the BG and that's saying a lot since your lessons on posts are so great.

I love this idea. I wished I knew about these cookies before...what a great way to demonstrate the story of Jesus. Loved it.

Becca said...

Sandy, I am so interested in starting a group like this with our girls. Can you give me some pointers/guidelines for setting up a group like this?

tearjerker said...

I first saw this recipe just a few weeks ago on my Christian mom's board. It's so sweet (not to mention I always tear up at the "sweet" part!)

I do plan to do this with my two oldest girls, who are only 4 and 2, but the oldest especially seems to have a very mature understanding of Easter, even for her age. This will be very fun for them.

-Tammie

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I love this Sandy. I'd love to do it with my kids (4 and 6) this year. But they don't like nuts and my husband is allergic. Which means I'd be the only one eating the final product, and that's not exactly an Easter blessing if you know what I mean.

Do you think I could substitute something else for the nuts? Like a chocolate bar or candy canes? It sound like the finished product is basically a meringue cookie, correct?

Sandy said...

Hi Kelly & Becca - Mmm, I'm not sure how to get around the meringue cookie recipe. You probably could try it with no nuts!

I think just making them, and seeing how they turn out would be cool enough? Maybe not ...

Becca, email me any questions specifically to BG!

Org Junkie said...

What a wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing it with us!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Hello Sandy! Just came via Joy's blog. I love your blog! What a great cookie for the kids - it's so hard finding things for Easter to do that brings the meaning of the Resurrection. Scrolling down, I loved the authentic family living post too! I'm looking forward to coming back to see what other inspirations I can get from you! Thanks - your a blessing!
Karla

An Ordinary Mom said...

I have never heard of this activity, but it is one to treasure!

Jen said...

What a great idea...I need to print this one off.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandy, hare to believe Easter is next weekend. Hope you & your family have a wonderful Easter day!

xo,
Rhoda

Dawn said...

Thanks for the great story/recipe. I hope I can find the time to share this with my kids this week.

Stephanie said...

I have never heard of this before, but am thinking of doing it with my teenage daughters!! Thanks so much for the great idea and story.
Have a wonderul weekend,
Stephanie

Rhonda said...

I love this idea - I showed to my husband. Can you move here?? :)

You changed your very pretty display picture - you look much nicer than crystal!

Xandra said...

I have heard of this, but never seen the recipe or the points to go along with it. I think I'm going to do it this year with my kids.

Thanks for a wonderful idea!

Xandra

Dee Ann said...

I came across your wonderful cookie story on Crosswalk and linked to your blog. With your permission I would like to add it to an Easter post that I am writing on my blog The Most Wondersome Stroytime
www.themostwondersomestorytime.blogspot.com
With, of course, full credit to you and a link to your blog. Please let me know if this will work for you.

willzmom said...

I love all of your Balcony Girls stories. I take something wonderful away from each one. I know this "girl" is never too old to learn or relearn something good.