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Bon appétit, bébé! {What to Feed Baby}

Welcome back! If you’d like to get caught up on the previous posts in this series, click here: Bon appétit, bébé! Today we’ll be discussing great starter foods for Baby. And next week? How to avoid picky-eating.

making real food

There are lots of yummy foods you could feed your baby, right? And, whether you choose to make babyfood or not, it just makes sense that we want to offer the most nutrient-dense foods possible. We don’t want to waste empty calories to fill a tummy that may not be hungry the next time the breast (or bottle) is offered. These empty calories are found in cereals and sometimes in fruits and vegetables.

The Alligator Pear

avocadosA great first food is avocado (nicknamed the alligator pear – fun, huh?). One avocado has almost 30 grams of deliciously good-for-you grams of fat and over 300 calories. Erase what you’ve been programmed to think about calories and fat – they are vital for your baby. And this makes avocado a wonderful first food! It’s also a great source of protein. Even better? You can often get great deals on these little yummy fruits!

I did freeze a bunch of avocados in the beginning of my babyfood days but I quickly learned that this was pointless. It is far easier to buy a range of ripe to unripe avocados and store the unripe ones in the refrigerator until a couple days before you need it – then stash in a drawer or a paper bag till ripe. Easy-peasy!

The Incredible, Edible Egg

I shared briefly my love of eggs in last week’s post in this series (). And it’s true. I think eggs are amazing. They are a great source of complete protein – vitally needed for Baby’s growth and development. Eggs, though small, are very filling! One egg yolk has about 50 calories, 5 grams of fat (remember, it’s good for baby to have good fats!) and 3 grams of protein.

I often hard-boiled a bunch of eggs and served up the yolks as needed (whites are typically a no-no before the first birthday – especially if there is a family history of egg allergies).

Nanas and Taters

bananasAnd of course, bananas and sweet potatoes make great starter foods! Bananas are super yummy and, while there’s no great nutritional value (no fats, little protein), they’re fun for baby and have a decent caloric amount (around 100 calories). They are high in fiber, so take it slow with your little one.

Sweet potatoes, while also low in protein and containing no fats, are very high in vitamins and minerals. Your baby will receive plenty of vitamin A after a few bites! And like egg yolks, it’s also a great way to get iron!

Bananas are so super easy to prepare – just peel and mash or slice! Sweet potatoes are easy as well: bake ‘em up and slice open the skins to get to the yummy tater. I dare you to not snitch a bite. Double dog dare ya.

The Rest

Freezing? Not worth it! Stay tuned for more tips!

Freezing? Not worth it! Stay tuned for more tips!

There are many more wonderful foods to introduce to baby soon after he begins! We also gave them carrots, peas, pumpkin, squash, green beans, eggplant, green peppers, summer squash, broccoli, prunes, peaches, mangos, apples, pears, cherries, watermelon, blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, apricot, kidney beans, black beans, quinoa, etc. Anything I could get my hands on, I was feeding them. Now, I chose to not give them dairy right away (more on this soon) and we waited a bit for meat because I wasn’t convinced their tummies could handle this. I erred on the side of caution. I’ve since come to the conclusion that I could have given them meat at that time and they would have been fine. However, being breastfed as often as they were, they still received the necessary nutrients from me. So I’m ok with my decision. And they eat plenty of meat these days. Pa-lenty.

Now, you may notice that in none of these “first foods” did I mention pureeing anything. That’s because I now believe the blender to be more work than necessary. It is just as easy to mash a sweet potato as it is to puree it. Or to mash steamed carrots. Or peas. Pretty much anything is easily mashable. And, call me lazy, but if it needs to be blender-ized I’d just as soon wait till they show more interest in finger foods than messing with all those ice-cube trays, Baby Bullets, and the like. If the thought of not blending freaks you out, hold on. I’ve got some recipes, tips and ideas I think you’ll feel comfortable with…more importantly, I think Baby will love them!

Oh, meal-plans? You want those? Calm down. We’ll get there. Soon. =)

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Bon appétit, bébé! {Myth Busters}

Welcome back to our series on feeding Baby! If you missed the other posts, you can click to read the “intro” and “how and when to feed baby.” If you’re all caught up…read on! =)

making real food

The Munchies

When thinking through how you’ll begin feeding your baby, you may want to take a look at which produce is the “dirtiest.” The EWG has an excellent list of items ranging from the dirtiest to the cleanest. (If you’re unfamiliar with why organic is often super important, you may want to read my recent post documenting how our food has become a literal science experiment of nastiness!)

Once I knew what was in our food, I just couldn’t see how putting that into their bodies made any sense: chemicals, viruses, unknown DNA strands? Yeah, this is a recipe for disaster. A recipe spelling: ADHD, asthma, allergies, organ damage, autism, sterility, etc.

Of course, I can’t control everything about my children and certainly not every particle of their food, unless I grew it myself. So I simply did the best I could in making choices today that will affect their tomorrows. And I trust God to give me both wisdom and help me to walk in peace for decisions like these.

So there’s kinda a lot of food out there – what should I start with?

Glad you asked! Actually, I do hear this question a lot. There are so many contradicting voices, blogs, moms and books, aren’t there? Here is some of what I have learned:

Pass on the Grains

Many pediatricians recommend rice cereal or some other type of grain. But recent research has been shown that this is not necessarily the way to go. Babies actually don’t have the ability to digest grains until after they turn two!

What?

I know, right? I was shocked. I thought everybody fed their baby SOME type of cereal from the get-go. And baby formulas are chock-full of grains. The Weston A. Price Foundation (which I looooove!) explains why this shouldn’t be the case:

Babies have limited enzyme production, which is necessary for the digestion of foods. In fact, it takes up to 28 months, just around the time when molar teeth are fully developed, for the big-gun carbohydrate enzymes (namely amylase) to fully kick into gear. Foods like cereals, grains and breads are very challenging for little ones to digest. Thus, these foods should be some of the last to be introduced. (One carbohydrate enzyme a baby’s small intestine does produce is lactase, for the digestion of lactose in milk.)

Foods introduced too early can cause digestive troubles and increase the likelihood GMOsof allergies (particularly to those foods introduced). The baby’s immature digestive system allows large particles of food to be absorbed. If these particles reach the bloodstream, the immune system mounts a response that leads to an allergic reaction.

Can anyone say gluten-intolerant? Yup. This is often the result of feeding grains so early, albeit years down the road.

My babies got small amounts of formula during the months I was working to bring my supply up to breastfeed all three of them. And I’ve spent the past year protecting them from having to work overtime to digest something with which they don’t know what to do. And you know what? I don’t miss it! No need for goldfish crackers, Cheerios or toast! There are plenty of whole, real food options to feed babies, instead! Eventually I’ll start them on sprouted grains, but…that’s a topic for another time. =) Suffice it to say, grains are not only not necessary as first foods – they can be very harmful for babies!

The Chicken or the Egg

The most allergenic properties lie in the egg white. However, it is very, very, very beneficial for babies to eat egg yolks. If your family has a history of egg allergies, it would be wise to hold off till at least a year in giving your baby the complete egg.

The recent dismissal of eggs as a super-food due to high cholesterol levels is easily explained away: cholesterol is vital for babies’ development. Seriously. Studies also show that babies who eat egg yolks also have higher levels of iron! So there should be no need for nasty, hard-to-digest and bottled iron supplements

But, please consider farm-fresh, pasture-raised eggs over store-bought eggs. The difference is really quite massive. Eggs from the store are laid by hormone-shocked, grain-fed chickens who spend all day in a tiny crate laying more eggs per day than they were intended to. Sounds yummy, right? Eat up, baby!

The Better Butter

Our generation has been brain-washed to think that fats are bad. Well, this is partly true. The processed fats we typically consume on an, sometimes, hourly basis are bad. True. But there are several good fats that serve many purposes in a baby’s growth and development.

Coconut oil is one of these. It is personally my favorite because of its versatility (lotion, toothpaste ingredient, cooking oil, conditioner, etc.). It also is high in good fats and is a stable saturated fat. It is recommended to give small amounts to smaller babies to help them gain weight. And it helps with digestion, as well. If your baby is on formula it can be especially helpful. Add a ½ tsp of coconut oil to the bottle and you should soon see constipation disappear!

Spice of Life

saltThis one will really throw ya. Are you ready? Positive? Here goes:

Salt is good for babies.

No, really! However, don’t reach for the salt shaker on the table to season your baby’s food. Most likely you and I grew up similarly – eating chemically processed and super-refined salt. And this is where it gets a bad rap. There are virtually no health benefits from this kind of salt. The unrefined salt, though, provides our babies with much needed nutrients for brain development.

If it still makes you nervous to salt your baby’s egg yolk, stick with me and I’ll show you how. =)

And as far as other spices and seasonings? Go for it! As long as there’s no MSG or other fake ingredients, sprinkle away! My babies got a whopping amount of hot and spicy foods while I was pregnant and nursing – why stop when they are the ones eating the food? Herbs? Yes, please! A little cayenne? Why not?

Out with the Old

If it seems like everything you are reading here is new, it really isn’t. A generation or two ago, this was just a way of life! There were no baby cereals or Cheerios or mini hotdogs (gag) on shelves in the General Store. There was only real food. The kind we really do want to feed our babies – if we think about it.

Next week I’ll be discussing how I got the babies started and with which foods. Oh, and I’ll share how I skipped past having picky eaters!

photo credit: atmtx via photopin cc

 

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Triplets Want Real Food, Too!

It’s no secret that I’m big on no-GMO foods over here. Even the triplets don’t like GMOs. It’s true! This was their reaction when I showed them some GM corn:

Monsanto

Ok, so really they had no idea what I was telling them. But I do and it’s my job to protect them however I can until they do understand and can make decisions for themselves. Amen?

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms” and you will find GMOs in just about every item on the shelf in your grocery store.

What’s the big deal? Why should we care?

tomatoBasically, it’s like this. That tomato looks fresh and juicy and should hurry up and jump on your burger, right? Wrong. That tomato has been scientifically engineered in a lab. Way back when it was just a baby seed, it was genetically modified with genes from totally different plants, fungi, viruses or animals! What?! Why?!

To make rich people richer.

How? Well, scientists have modified seeds for many different crops to help them withstand many, many sprayings of pesticides, herbicides, etc. Essentially, the plant lives but the buggies die. This means a better crop for the farmer (or the company that “owns” the farm, but that’s a story for another day!).

Doesn’t sound that bad? Oh, just wait!

cowSee, these seeds – the ones that were injected and cloned with DNA from foreign sources like animals, humans and viruses! – are grown in massive quantities and turned into food that is fed to animals. Corn, for instance, is highly GM and is a big source of food for beef cows, chickens, pigs, etc. These animals eat food they were never intended to live off of (including candy sometimes!!!) and basically their digestive systems can’t handle the new “DNA” strains. Those that seem well enough are passed through to slaughter…and arrive at your dinner table. Yum. Who knows how that meat has been affected and what it will do to your family’s health?

Or take the produce section of your fave grocery store. Most of that pretty produce (unless USDA-certified organic) is GM. Which means that your body literally has no idea what to do with much of it!

And if you’ve ever read a food label, chances are you’re seeing ingredients like: canola oil, soybean oil, cane syrup, corn flour, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Am I right? Quick – go check your pantry, fridge or freezer…I’ll wait for you.

Waiting…

Waiting…

You’re back? Ok! I’ll bet you anything there are GM ingredients in just about everything in your kitchen that is not in its original form. If it has to be packaged, and isn’t organic, you can bet there is something GM in it. Ugh!

Some of the highest GM food crops are corn, soybeans, canola, sugarbeets (from which HFCS is made). And lots of other foods are being tested – like a salmon that will grow four times faster than normal!

Getting Sicker

Ok, so we know that GM ingredients are bad and are found in produce, in conventional meats and in most packaged/processed food on shelves. So what does that mean for us? Our families? Well, since those GMOs aren’t recognized by our bodies, they create holes in our gut and leak food into our bloodstream. Yup. So gross. The result? We now have new diseases, and others that are skyrocketing each year, like celiac disease, infertility, food allergies and diabetes. What we eat is making us sick.

We have become a scientific experiment – unable to process the food correctly.

The Big Guns

Who benefits? Companies like Monsanto. They benefit greatly. They hide behind labels like “all natural.” They develop and implement marketing ploys that tout saving the world with stronger, hardier crops. When asked, they refused to label their products with which ingredients are GM. …Of course, because who would buy them? (I hope not you and I!) And then they would lose money. Which would be bad. Of course.

And then Obama recently signed a bill that stops federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from eating these products may come to light in the future. Gee, thanks, Pres.

Get Your March On!

So what do we do now? We march! On Saturday, May 25, you can join thousands of others around the world and fight to keep your food clean, real and in its natural state. And you can do so in your own city or from the comfort of your own home. (Click here to find info on where your city is marching; and click here to find out how to march online.)

no gmo orlando single

So What Do I For Dinner Tonight?

Well, I heard the White House is serving a yummy special – all organic, of course. Maybe you should stop by? Kidding. =)

But seriously, it can most definitelydefinitelydefinitely be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start in overhauling this (and other!) areas of your life. You can read my Baby Steps to Natural Living for how to do so slowly and effectively.

Are you going to join the fight to keep your family out of the science experiment? Where are you marching?

Sources: Eat Taste Heal, Genetic Roulette – Are You Playing?

Photo Credit

 

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Bon appétit, bébé! {overview}

One of the topics I receive questions about most frequently (besides “are they natural?” =) has to do with how I made baby food for the babies. Now, I’ve only been feeding the triplets for about a year, but during that year I have made a lot of baby food. A lot. And, if you know me, I’ve done more than a little research on this region of parenting – nutritional aspects, cost analyses, time efficiency, product reviews, etc. So, I am happy to finally be able to share my efforts and experiences with you!

making real food

Some of the most frequent questions I hear from you are:

  • When did you first give solids to the babies and what did you give them?
  • How did you decide what to give them?
  • How did you keep them from being picky eaters?
  • Did you do baby-led weaning or puréed baby foods?

You asked, I’ll answer. =) Additionally, over the next several weeks I’ll be tackling the following topics, as well. Topics like:

  • Organic vs. non-organic
  • Cereal – why it’s not so good for Baby
  • Baby against mommy – how to deal with a picky eater
  • To season or not to season – is salt really bad for babies?
  • Coconut oil – what’s the big deal?
  • The egg question
  • The only equipment you really need (skip the Baby Brezza!)

And of course I’ll share a meal plan, shopping list, baby-friendly recipes…and how to prepare two weeks’ worth of food in two hours. That’s right. Two weeks’ worth or 45 meals…in two hours.

So join us each Wednesday as we dive into the world of feeding Baby…real food.

Did I miss anything? What would you like to see discussed?

 

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A Little Bitty Garden

Garden

Maybe someday my garden will actually look like this!!!

That’s what I have now! I actually am really excited and feel so super grown-up! I have always hated anything to do with yard-work, much preferring to be in the house accomplishing something. I guess I just hate bugs and dirt and…the unknown?

But now with three little mouths to feed (that really can eat more than I do!), I am desperately looking for ways I can decrease our costs while still serving up wholesome, real foods. So, I turn to the world of gardening. Did you know it’s far more difficult than planting something in some dirt and watering every day??? There’s a whole science to it. Ok, so I really did know that, but I didn’t know as much of the science as I know now…and there’s a lot to learn.

Last  year I attempted tomatoes. No good. Snails got every single one. Or the birds. Or the deer that roam in our neighborhood. (Yes, neighborhood. We also have several black bears, racoons and lots of other wildlife!) This year I’m attempting just a few things: lettuce and spinach and tomatoes (suuuuckerrrr) and some herbs. I really don’t see how the costs will decrease, though, unless I grow massive quantities (and am successful, obviously!) since the darn start-up costs were tremendous!!! These little seeds want better nutrient-dense soil than our little Florida dirt has to offer. Great. So I bought soil. Dirt. I actually paid money for dirt:

“I’m sorry, you said the DIRT is how much?!?!”

But such are the sacrifices of a gardener. Or so I hear. So this lettuce better grow. And I’m talking it better grow lots. Or I’ll have one unhappy Farmer McGregor…and I won’t be so thrilled, either! So, anyone got any tips or tricks for me? Great websites or books (preferably with pictures and one sentence per page =)? I’m not afraid to beg: pleeeeeeeeeeeease help me!

Oh, and don’t laugh at me. Or my little garden. Stopit! I can hear you!!! =)

Grow, little seeds, grow!!!....I said GROW!

Grow, little seeds, grow!!!….I said GROW!

A load of pot. Kidding.

Cilantro!

Cilantro!

The very expensive dirt.

The very expensive dirt.

Did you know that you have three more opportunities to vote before the Top 25 Moms of Multiples contest closes? Three days. Three votes. Three babies. It’s SUPER easy – click the button and scroll down till you see Growing Up Triplets and vote for us…once a day, till May 8 at 4pm!!! Thank you!!

photo credit: Distant Hill via photopin cc

 

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Baby Steps to Natural Living

PC: SellFarmProducts.coom

PC: SellFarmProducts.com

If you’ve been around here for long, it’s no secret that I l.o.v.e. doing things naturally. I love learning and researching how to eliminate chemicals and toxins from our home and keep them from going into our bodies. I’ve been on this journey for a few years now and it certainly hasn’t been easy (not in the least!). But it has been fun! I see each aspect of change as a challenge. I envision what it must have been like to do these tasks or create these foods 150 years ago over a hot, wood-burning stove in the middle of summer with 15 layers of clothes on…and it is amazing how much funner (yes, that’s a word…ok, it’s not but I pretend it is) these tasks become. No joke!

Life, Naturally

But, what does “naturally” mean? Well, my definition would be this:

naturally – nat*u*ral*ly, seeking to live life with as few artificial contributions as possible. Put simply, do it myself.

“Ok, you’re crazy,” you say. Possibly. But I’ll tell you why “naturally.” For me, it is a conviction. As a follower of Christ, I have a responsibility to care for this body He has given me (as well as those in my family). Many believers teach about the sins of promiscuity and the need for moral integrity, etc. (which is good!). But how about the sins of gluttony or laziness? Did you know that your everyday lotions and beauty products contain ingredients that are very, very harmful? This is true for most of the products we use, whether ingested, injected or used topically. So is using these things helpful or harmful to my body? I believe it is honoring to God for us to be aware of what we are taking in; we wouldn’t want our children ingesting second-hand smoke on an on-going basis or watching pornography. Many of the commercial products we use are just as harmful to our bodies, yet we continue to down them and drink them.

Now, a lot of amazing things have come from labs, factories and plants in the past 150 years or so. But a lot of bad things have come out of them, as well. Particularly, the demand for ease and deserving attitude that is so prevalent in our culture. Think about it…we microwave leftovers instead of pulling out a pot three minutes sooner. We don’t want to take a few extra steps (or in many cases, including mine, don’t know how) to make chicken broth so we buy it packaged in the store. We buy the latest gadget/cleaning product/fitness routine/meal-plan/diet/immunization-suggestions that promise immortality, to shave time off that task, or get the results we want while “eating our cake, too.” But there’s a cost. A very high cost, at that.

The Cost of Convenience

For instance, buying just about any food bought in a conventional grocery store has the potential to save you money….short term. Heck, it even has the potential to make you money if you shop right. (I used to get those deals and they were exhilarating!) Unfortunately, those products in bright boxes and cool bags contain unnatural ingredients.

Yeah, but they’re FDA approved, so what’s the big deal?

The problem is that many of them, while FDA-approved, wreak havoc in our bodies in very, very serious ways. The chemicals in food products, cleaning products, toiletries, immunizations, etc have been proven to be harmful to our bodies – they are making us sick as a nation. They are lowering fertility, creating higher infant mortality, causing cancer/celiac disease/asthma/ADHD/allergies, etc, etc, etc. (If you haven’t watched this documentary, I would highly encourage you to do so. Genetic Roulette will be life-changing! …in a good way!)

What To Do?!

Fortunately, the art of making things ourselves is one that is pretty easily learned and, like I said earlier, fun. Does it take more time to make these items like cleaning products, home remedies, and foods than it does to buy them in the store and pick up a prescription. Most times, yes. But the payoff is amazing. My food is fresher. My family is healthier. I spend less money on chemicals (cleaning products, ingredients in packaged foods and medicines) and more on…food. Seems like a good trade-off, right?

However, it can be vaaaastly overwhelming and nearly impossible to know where to start. Of course, there are many “12 Step Programs” for the conventional American to take. I’ll simply (pun intended) give you my suggestions:

1. Pick one area, then one item.

Is it the food that you buy/make/eat that bothers you? Is it the cleaning products? What about your toiletries? Or your health and hundreds in Rx costs? Pick one area and then hone in on one aspect of that area. If it’s your health, what natural remedies are there for your condition? If it’s cleaning products, which do you use most often? If it’s food, which item concerns you? And then…

2. Research.

Search the internet. Read articles. Ask questions. Find someone who is “a step ahead” and become their apprentice. Make no changes until you feel confident in your decisions to make changes. Unfortunately, the marketers are doing a great job in selling “natural” and “organic” products that sometimes are no better than their counterparts. You’ll discover which ones are clever marketing as you dig deeper. Now this can take a while or a few minutes, depending on the item you’re researching. But I can attest that it is well worth turning off that show and spending a few minutes reading blog posts to learn how I can better care for my family (though I do still watch TV, almost every night!….a subject for another time, though =).

3. Implement.

This is the fun part. All your new findings come together and you excitedly pull some new recipe out of the oven and…it’s a mess. Or you brew your herbs and…your kiddo still has a snotty nose for three more days! Or you wipe down that tub and…your arm breaks off from scrubbing so hard. Yes, it’s possible. Just as it’s possible that that new Rx from the doctor didn’t work so they had to up the dosage. Just as it’s possible that that Hamburger Helper was quite as disastrous. Just as it’s possible that that Soft Scrub caused your arm to grow some serious muscle even though the commercial shows a woman with her hair done up, in her neat little outfit and bent happily over the tub. But I’m telling you, there’s a high – an excitement – that comes from the victory of trial and error and pushing through the “error” part to victory! And knowing that you can do this again and again, which spurs you on to…

4. Pick the next item.

I dare you to stop at number 3. You won’t be able to. It’s just sososo rewarding to know you can do something yourself, save money and give your family something better/fresher/natural.

5. Watch for guilt.

This little booger sneaks up on us like a mosquito, but leaves much worse consequences than an itchy bite. There will always be someone who is further along in this process than me. I can get frustrated that I’m not doing enough or that I don’t have the money to overhaul this particular area of our lives. At the end of the day, did I love on my family? Were they fed and clothed? Did I honor God with my priority-placement? Those are the biggest biggies, right? Everything else will eventually fall into place! So remember to take it slow and find those who are “behind” you who could benefit from your new-found knowledge and experience! Become a teacher!

Over the past few years, these are a few of the changes I’ve been able to make (this is a sloooooow process):

  • Cloth diapers and line drying
  • Switched all processed oils to coconut oil, homemade tallow and a little bit of olive oil
  • Organic produce (EWG is a great resource for what is good to buy organic and what is personal choice and check out the awesome new company Local Organic Moms!!!)
  • Make bread
  • Make household cleaners (vinegar and water, baby!)
  • Soap nuts for laundry detergent
  • Grassfed beef and pastured chickens
  • Raw dairy
  • Eliminated processed and pasteurized foods from my pantry and fridge
  • Make kombucha (a probiotic drink suuuuuuper beneficial to the health of your gut!)
  • Make toothpaste
  • Soak beans and nuts
  • Make handsoap
  • No immunizations

Some of you are probably laughing at how small this list is…leave a comment so I can find you and learn from you!!! =) For those of you who are tempted to be overwhelmed or intimidated by it, please remember…this list is an accumulation of years of “switching.” I didn’t make these changes overnight!

The next areas I hope to tackle are household items and toiletries. I want to find alternatives for things like deodorant, shampoo and paper towels/napkins. I’ve been gathering my information and am about ready to take the plunge in a couple of them! =)

What are you currently working on?

 

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Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend

I’ve always loved Easter and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I love remembering His incredible sacrifice for us on Good Friday, and His triumph over the grave three days later. I grew up knowing it was a celebration of “more than just fun baskets.” My parents did a wonderful job teaching us the true meaning of Easter. And I am so grateful.But we also had lots of fun with Easter! I can’t tell you how many times we found “lost” Easter eggs in the backyard…months afterwards. Or how many bunnies or birds we got at the end of a treasure hunt over the years. Or the Easter cakes and crafts we made. Or how many times we’ve gone through the Easter eggs that tell the Resurrection story. Or how many choirs I’ve sung in and productions I’ve directed at church.

And now I have children. I love thinking of ways to make it “more than just fun baskets.” Of course right now they’re too young to understand any of this, I know. But this morning, when Makenna was mimicking Mama and Dada in “praising Jesus” during worship, I wondered if maybe they weren’t too young to understand after all! In little munchie-sized pieces… Maybe singing The Gospel Song ( < a MUST watch!) every night before bed, instead of a lullaby, isn’t hokey but starting to keep the Truth before them…especially now that they try to “sing” along. As a parent, I can’t imagine my sweet babies ever growing up to curse at me, shake their fist at me and storm out of the house. But they may. I want to teach them that Jesus came to earth to take their punishment for their sins so that they could live with Him forever – that this life, with its momentary trials, is our temporary home. And that Easter is much more than Easter baskets. Much, much more…

But we still enjoyed the silly, fun and fellowship-y side of Easter this weekend. Because our God is a God of laughter and joy and loves seeing His children enjoying His gifts. So we went up to our church on Saturday morning to see what this Easter Egg Hunt was all about. (Maybe next year I’ll let them join the hordes of kiddos looking for eggs. This year they would’ve gotten trampled! =) And then after church today, we met up with the fam at my parents’ house. It was the first holiday I’ve gotten to enjoy since the Easter I was pregnant!!! Every other holiday we have been up to our eyeballs with babies x 3 (the babies’ first Easter: recap here). Now we have toddlers. Toddlers…toddlers. (I don’t like that word. Boo.) Don’t get me wrong, it was still crazy! Besides carrying in three babies, we carried in a van-load of paraphernalia for the afternoon. And it’s a lot of work. Borrow three toddlers for an afternoon – I have several other friends who’d love to take advantage of this! (Jenn, Christy, Andrea? =) But today was like that first Christmas where the kid enjoys opening presents. We had soooo much fun!!! And I think they did, too. But wow…they were so exhausted!

What did your family do to celebrate today the resurrection of Jesus Christ – 2000 years ago?

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