The bees are here! On Saturday Peter took all the kids to Trees and Bees (while I was at the MOPS Summit) and picked up our "girls" (that's what bee people call them), all 7,000 of them. Peter said it felt kind of strange loading all the kids in the van with a box of buzzing bees. Here's what they looked like in their box:
We were planning on putting them in the hive that day, but when I got back, it was raining, so we had to wait until after church on Sunday to move them to their new home.
First, Dada helped the kids rub honey all over some of the frames, so the bees would like their new home.
Then after spraying them with sugar water (Eben's job) and jarring down the box so all the bees fall to the bottom, we got the queen's box out of the bee box and put it in the hive. Notice Peter has the Beekeeping For Dummies book in hand so we could read the process step by step.
Next, it was time to pour all the bees into the hive. As I was pouring them in, I felt wet drops on my hands and we realized Eben was still spraying the poor bees and me with sugar water. So many of them flew to my white suit, and it was a stickier process than it should've been, but it all worked out.
I look like a real beekeeper. Or at least a real first time beekeeper.
All our girls dispersing into their hive before I replaced the last frames. The ones on top are all surrounding the queen in her box, trying to get her out by eating away at a marshmallow that worked like a cork on her little cage.
Shari took this video and the pictures and she was so great, she got right in there, practically inside the hive.
Now we have a week to wait until we can peek at them again and see how our bees are doing in there. Last night Jasper asked, "Are you so excited about your bees Mama?" I said I was and he replied, "I am so excited too!" I hope our whole family will come to love these bees and appreciate their hard work. Thank you Honey Baby for my bees! (I know you already love them too!)
So true to our word, the day after Easter, we all loaded up and headed out to Roy, to let the kids pick out their Easter chicks. We met Farmer Mark at his cute country home and he led us to the barn where the chickens lived. After he gave us a tour of the hen house and "Super Hatcher" (seen below) he let all of us pick out our own baby chick, then he asked each of us what it's name was and everyone got a picture with their chick. It was such a fun experience and Farmer Mark was so patient with all of us.
All of us in front of the barn with our box of baby chicks. Here's our chicky run down:
Dada's is Patty the oldest, an Ameraucana. Mama's is the next oldest, Puff, a Barred Rock. Then Eben's, Tiny, we think a Rhode Island Red. Opal's is an Ameraucana she named Doody. Kivi's, Suzy, is an Ameraucana, and so is James', which will be Baby Oly's, Nugget. Jasper's is a Barred Rock he named Peep.
Right now we are keeping them in the upstairs fireplace - it's perfect! The kids love to take them out and hold them, which is great for friendlier chickens later on. But we go through a lot more soap. And lately since the weather is nice we've taken them outside a lot. At first I was so scared they'd run off, but they are so cute and stay together in a little clump around the yard the whole time.
Eben loves to hold all of them at the same time.
And Kivi is the keeper of the chickens. She helps bring them to him, and keeps them where they need to be.
Here's Opal with Doody. I think it's hilarious. I asked her to smile and she made this face - what is that?
And here's all my little Easter chickies in the basket! It's almost time for a bigger one.
On Easter Sunday we got all dressed up in our matching outfits (I can't help it - I love this part!) and headed to church to celebrate Resurrection Sunday! Eben even got to have another Easter egg hunt and the other kids all received little stuffed Easter bears from their teachers.
After church we came home and I whipped up some Easter baskets and Dada hid them while the kids watched an Easter movie. When Dada was ready we all found our baskets.
We decided that the big gift for the kids this year would be chickens! I've always wanted chickens - I even tried about 5 Easters ago and bought chicks without Peter's permission. I had to give them away. But this time everyone was on board! So the kids got pictures of chicks in their baskets and were told they would get to pick out their own live version the next day. Thus, the birds.
And the bees!
I have also talked about wanting bees forever. And for some reason, Peter completely surprised me with a bee hive he had been building in secret and an Easter basket full of bee supplies! I was so extremely shocked and excited and happy! He is the greatest, greatest, greatest!
Birds and Bees! So much fun!! And soon there will be a baby too! Ha!
All the Johnsons came over for a turkey Easter lunch which Peter made. It was delicious!
Peter checking his bird.
The cousin picture.
The Johnsons at Easter.
For dinner we went over to the Schocks with our Bible study friends and hung out, played games and let the children have some fun too. It was a great Easter day and a fun way to remember Christ and His love for us!
This year we did something new to celebrate Christ and how He loves us at Easter time. I really wanted the kids to understand just what Jesus did during this week, and how many of the Bible stories that are taught all throughout the year in Sunday School actually happened in a one week timeline. So I came up with little lessons that we could do every day to help them understand just what occurred the week before Jesus rose from the dead. Also I really love how much we focus on Him at Christmas and even though Easter has so much to offer in light of Christ's sacrifice it seems like it just gets blown over with baskets and eggs and bunnies. So we made a real point to build up to Resurrection Sunday and the meaning behind it this year. We had so much fun doing it and I learned a lot too! I've been preparing since Christmas, because there's a lot to tell. The only sad thing is that Peter wasn't able to join us for the first part of the week because he was in Alabama for training.
So here's some of what our Holy Week consisted of:
We made a huge poster that we hung in the kitchen and did a little craft everyday that went along with what Jesus did everyday.
Here's a shortened version, it will help me remember what we did so I can be ready for next year:
March 28 - Palm Sunday - Praising the King - Matthew 21:1-9 We waved palm branches and sang "Hosanna". The kids wrote things they praise God for on palm leaves.
March 29 - Monday - Cleansing the Temple - Matthew 21:12-17 We built the Temple that Jesus cleared the money changers out of using cardboard and foil and the kids drew pictures of the Temple to put on the poster.
March 30 - Tuesday - Questioning Jesus - Matthew 22:34-46 We learned about all the parables Jesus told this day and how He answered all of the Pharisees questions so well they were stumped and desired to do away with Him. We made hearts to remind us of the 2 greatest commandments Jesus tells us about.
March 31 - Wednesday - The Anointing of Jesus - Mark 14:3-11 We used some expensive perfume and made our own anointing oil that we sprayed on our "alabaster jars".
April 1 - Thursday - The Passover - Matthew 26:26-30, 36-38, 47-56 We learned about how Jesus changed the Passover Meal using the bread to symbolize His body and the wine to remind us of the blood He was going to shed - a day before it even happened! How he went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested. We made paper matzah and designed our own goblets for the wine and put grape juice on it with a q-tip. Then we spent all day getting ready for our own Passover celebration.
One of the Seder plates. Kivi made scroll name tags for everyone. We had unleavened bread, and an as Kosher as I could make it meal. Prime rib, carrots and parsnips, fruit, latkes, matzo ball soup, matzah butter crunch and a chocolate cake made with matzah flour.
We invited the Schocks and Grandma and Grandpa to feast with us and remember this day.
The kids all looking for the afikomen - I learned after our Passover meal that this has so much significance! It is matzah (a flat bread with holes in it - made without yeast, which is a symbol of sin) which early in the meal is broken. It first sits on the table under a cloth between 2 other matzahs. (The Father, the Son [the one that gets broken], and the Holy Spirit maybe? Obviously, the research I did from all the Jewish sites doesn't say any of this Jesus part - I am.) Then it gets hidden (Christ put in the tomb?) And at the end of the meal, it gets found (Christ's resurrection?) And the one who finds it gets a prize. (Eternal life?) Plus, I realized that in the Bible the "bread" that the Last Supper talks about, which Christ broke and shared with His disciples would have been this piece of unleavened bread. It happened after the meal! And this piece of bread, after it is found, is supposed to be shared with everyone at the table and be the last thing eaten of the night. This is the same unleavened bread that Jesus took and said, "Take and eat; this is my body." - Why has no one ever told me this before!! Before last year, I didn't even realize that the Last Supper was the Passover. Another small tidbit, the cup of wine that Jesus drank and shared and told them this is my blood poured out for you was probably the same cup after the Passover meal that is poured along with the one for Elijah, the prophet, who is invited to the meal to ask that the Messiah will come before the next Passover. Chills? Yes, it's cool.
Ok, back to Holy Week:
April 2 - Good Friday - The Crucifixion - John 19:17-30 We made crosses for our poster and attended a Good Friday service at Lake City - that was so moving! We prepared the kids for solemn and silent and instead experienced a rocking victory service knowing it's Friday, but Sunday's comin'!
We also dyed some Easter eggs!
April 3 - Saturday - In the Tomb - Matthew 12:39-41 and 27:62-66 We learned about how Jonah was a sign of how long Jesus would be in the tomb and how the Pharisees remembered Jesus saying that and securing the tomb so that the disciples couldn't steal Him out and say He rose from the dead. We made stones for our poster.
It was also egg hunt day. We went to the Lebows church for an egg hunt, some crafts, and really cute cookies and Bubba got to help Miss Laura tell the Easter story with the letter "S". He was so excited.
We also had another egg hunt and BBQ at our friend's Joe and Kim's house and I got to go to tea with Kim and her friend Bri from Chicago! Here's Jasper with his lined-up loot:
Also this day, God was so good to me, I found Easter shoes for Opal, that exactly matched Kivi's, an Easter dress for me, and kakhi pants and a white shirt for Eben for Easter (since he needed a new one that would fit over his cast) all the day before Easter - with all the kids. Plus, we were in and out of Goodwill in 20 minutes! Have I mentioned before that I love thrift stores, because I really do. God, a thrift store, and tea - my kind of day!