Life in Pictures: Easter

Life in Pictures is a photographic journal of things we’ve been doing lately.

At the start of Easter week, I had no plan for how our family would celebrate, beyond hosting a lunch for some of our church family on Easter Sunday, and some new books about the Easter true story which I had bought a few weeks back and stashed away.

And I felt a little paralysed by not being prepared.

The true story of Easter is so weighty, so deep, so important – and I didn’t feel ready to tell it.

I thought I needed a fancy plan, bells and whistles, to bring the story to life in our home, and to counteract the pervasiveness of chocolate and bunnies.

Even though we know and trust in the truths of Easter all year round, it is a joy to join other Christians during Easter week to remember – specifically and purposefully – this true story.

Yet somehow, Easter seems more difficult to frame than Christmas. At Christmas, there is advent, the time of waiting, and it climaxes with a birth, God breaking into this world. Easter ends with another kind of birth, but there is a death to get through first. A death that can’t be overlooked because it’s the source of life.

I think part of my paralysis was not knowing how to approach the subject of Easter with my children, because the Christian story of Easter is so very far removed from the world’s version.

And also, I had taken the joy out of the celebration by thinking I needed to perform.

I scoured the internet for ideas, and I used some of them.

But I discovered, as the week went on, that all I really needed was a willingness to share with my children.

Whenever I read one of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I get a lump in my throat and, often, tears in my eyes. After the darkness, comes this light-filled, earth-shattering, everything-changing moment. And this joy, this breaking open of everything to show us the One who sets us free, was what I wanted them to grasp in their hearts. It is freedom, and joy, and light.

In the end, our Easter week involved reading lots of books, including making our way through the Easter story in our children’s Bible, making things, and enjoying God’s beautiful creation.

We made a Holy Week calendar (inspired by The Domestic Notebook). Each day, we took a small part of the Easter story and made a poster with a simple craft, starting with Palm Sunday and working through Jesus turning over tables in the temple, Jesus teaching in the temple, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, the last supper, the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection. Sophie loved doing a daily craft; in fact, she wanted to dive right in and do all the days at once! I had to explain that we would take our time over the week to reflect on this true story of true stories.

On Thursday, we shared a last supper meal together. We made hot cross buns on Good Friday. I made a challah loaf on Easter Saturday and we shared it to remember that Jesus’s broken body was in the tomb.

There were plenty of outdoors adventures too. The bluebells at Leigh Woods were stunning.

There are more ideas and resources for celebrating the true Easter story with children on my Easter Pinterest page. I recommend Faith at Home for some lovely ideas about building Easter family traditions. 


Rest Bay, Porthcawl – a perfect beach day out

Last week, Nick was on holiday, and the weather was warm and sunny, so we headed over to Wales in search of a beautiful beach to enjoy for the day. And we found one we loved so much, we went again the very next day!

This is Rest Bay, Porthcawl. Just off the M4 near Bridgend, only a 1.25 hour drive from Bristol, a haven of golden sands, blue sea, and nothing else. Except a cafe. Which is very important, in my books.

Everything about it was perfect. Excellent sandcastle construction opportunities. Lots of rock pools (we found a huge crab!). Paddling. Lifeguard patrol. Ice creams. Clean toilets. Surf.

The kids were entertained for hours with digging up sand, paddling in rock pools, eating a picnic, and walking down to the sea, paddling in it, and going back again. Lovely, down-to-earth, honest fun.

The only downside to this beach is that at high tide the sand is underwater, so it’s essential to check tide times before going, and choose to go when the tide is receding, or when it’s low. It was also quite windy both days we went, but that didn’t stop us from swimsuit wearing nor going in the sea, which was a remarkable 17 degrees and didn’t feel cold at all.

The price tag? £6.60 for the Severn Bridge crossing, £2.80 for the car park all day, £1.60 for a takeaway cup of tea (miles better than tea from a Thermos), and £10 for four ice creams.

So, while a trip to the beach should really be free, this was still cheaper than a day at a theme park, and we didn’t have to stand around in queues, and I got to read a whole chapter of my book. With no interruptions. Win.

Life in Pictures: Japan


Best. Holiday. Ever.

An old friend. A mascot. A visit to Kamakura. Temples. Hydrangeas. Totoros. Sushi. A great big Buddha. A paddle in the sea. (That was just Day 1.)

Exploring our local Kyoto neighbourhood. Sun. Ice cream. Rain. The otherworldly beauty of Arashiyama bamboo grove. A day trip to Nara.

One mum and two kids on the loose in Kyoto, including Ginkaku-ji, a cameo from Hello Kitty (and papa), Totoro leaves, a selfie-hating toddler, the municipal park, Nanzen-ji, matcha frappuccino, a robot, and umbrellas.

Riding many different modes of transport on a hot day in Hakone. Ice creams essential! No views of Fuji due to cloud cover.

Izu Peninsula.  A train journey with a view. Sand. The sea, the sea. A historic hotel in Ito. Barrel racing. (Who knew?)

Tokyo. Skytree by day. Skytree by night. Nightscape from Solamachi Tower. Biking around Tokyo with Antonia. Hamarikyu garden. City skyline. Hello Kitty cafe. Tokyo beach. Totoros. Shibuya. Senso-ji. More Totoros.

When can we go back?