Six weeks ago when Lent 2011 started, I thought, "Wow! Easter is so late this year!" Now, I'm thinking, "WOW! I can't believe it's already Easter this Sunday. As my grandsons would put it, "time is on jet propelled roller skates!" And isn't that especially true for those of us in the Sandwich Generation, busy caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren!
Instead of Easter baskets this year, I did little goodies early for one set of grandkids with their favorite singer, Fernando Ortega, and one of his hymns music albums on cd. For the other set, I went with a cute stuffed surprise and some small Bible story books, along with a bigger Bible story book and audio CD I gave them a few weeks ago so we could listen throughout the season.
The Jesus Storybook Bible, written by Sally Lloyd Jones and with delightful artwork by Jago, came highly recommended by a dear friend whose children are a bit younger than these grankids. I really didn't think my grandsons would like it that much, thinking it was a bit too young for them. They really surprised me, though, with how much they've enjoyed the stories we've listened to.
The reader on the audio cd has an English accent that is quite delightful and he does a great job reading them with plenty of expression to hold their interest. We happened to listen to it out of order and the first story was John the Baptist. It started off a bit "dry" and I was sure they were bored. When he finished regaling them with John's love for "tasty" grasshopers and funky clothes, though, they really chuckled at it and asked a bunch of questions about John. It was a joy to realize they had really been listening and enjoying it all.
The next story we listened to was about Jesus raising someone from the dead. This turned out to be a great springboard for questions and comments like, "I didn't know Jesus could raise the dead!?!" Now mind you, we've read stories like that before which turned out to be a good reminder to me of the importance of reinforcement. And what a good conversation we had about that! It is actually part of what led to my "Trinity explained to children" egg picture. 🙂
We've enjoyed it twice out of three times I've been able to play it for them. One time, they weren't in the mood for it so we switched to something musical. But overall, I have been really pleased with this audio version. The book that goes with it is quite interesting as well with plenty of colorful pictures. I'm planning on using it for naptime stories later this month. I sent a copy to my younger grandchildren too, and they LOVED it! The thing I especially appreciate is that she focuses on the theme that "every story whispers His name."
I would definitely recommend this for your kids or grandkids Easter gifts – perhaps adding one to the baskets of your grand children from very young to at least 6 or 7 – and possibly even a bit older, depending on the child. If you've been wanting a fresh new way to introduce the story of Good Friday today or Easter itself, it's definitely a good resource for that too. To read some of the actual pages, just click here.
So, how about you? Did you do Easter basket surprises, stories and projects throughout the season, or just relaxed and let the parents do the Easter goodie detail? We'd love to hear.
P.S. If you ARE doing grand kid Easter Baskets or other gifts and need some ideas you can do in a hurry but Sandwich Generation duties are keeping you too busy to shop, you could always fall back on one of my favorite resources – an Amazon gift card. Just order them and have them sent to whatever email you specify or easily print them out on your own computer. Last fall I had an unexpected gift I needed and not much time to deal with it so I did just that. Ordered it, printed it out, popped it in a cute holiday basket with some dark chocolate truffles from my stash, and had a great gift in 5 minutes flat. Perfect for this busy Sandwich Generation granny nanny, that's for sure. 🙂