Dogwood Trees

dogwood3As we walk the woods, the dogwood trees are emerging cautiously with their subtle blooms. I am reminded once again of the story my Granny B shared each spring, usually around Easter:

There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this.  In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering, he said to it: “Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. It shall be slender and bent and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross…two long and two short petals. On the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember…”

This story had a huge impact on her throughout her lifetime as evidenced in her writings. The following poem, penned by her in 1934, was her version of the story:

In Jesus’ time a dogwood grew to a stately size and a lovely hue; 

Strong and firm its branches interwoven and for the cross of Christ, its timber was chosen. 

Seeing the distress at this use of wood, Jesus made His promise still holding good: 

“Never again shall the dogwood grow, so large enough to be used just so…

Slim and twisted it shall be, with blossoms like the cross for all to see;

As blood stains the petals marked in brown, and the blossom’s center with the thorny crown. 

All who see it will remember Me, crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree. 

Cherished and protected this tree shall be; a reminder to all of My agony.”

When Granny moved from her beloved Tennessee to Texas in 1955, she brought a clipping of a beautiful dogwood tree for replanting in her new yard as a powerful reminder each spring of the legend, and of His grace in our lives.  Happy Easter, friends…be blessed and be a blessing to others. 🙂

EGGStraordinary EGGSperiences…

Truly EGGSciting opportunities emerged today in various IMG_0035parts of the building!  From EGG artists and EGG hunts to chocolate chickens to funny bunnies to a spring parade, it was quite an EGGSellent day indeed.

Some Kinder friends took EGGSactly 55 seconds to locate all 497 EGGS hidden by a special bunny out on the Tricycle Town lawn.  Noted one learner:  “Someone mowed the grass so this wasn’t too hard, Mrs. Van!”  🙂

IMG_0038Some older learners led discussion and research EGGSpertise with younger learners (book buddies) by EGGSplaining their traditional customs and sharing Easter ideas.  They completed the activity with EGGSotic EGGSamples of springy EGG designs…what fun for all involved!

Funny bunnies wrote springtime jokes to share with 4th grade writers who were finishing their final touches on reviews for next week’s state assessment tests.  These younger learners shared rhymes and riddles they created for their book buddies.  One example:  “Why did the chicken get upset with the rabbit?  Because nobunny helped him cross the road!”  🙂  (I know; right?!)

A finale for the day was a spring bonnet parade some friends shared with their “book bunnies” by decorating EGGSpressive hats with kind words and sayings for best wishes in the days ahead.  As one friend noted:  We’ve had some EGGStraordinary EGGSperiences today at Miller!  Here’s hoping you have some of your own this spring weekend.  EnJOY your day off tomorrow, LME, and Happy Easter!

EGGceptional!

It’s the time of year we celebrate Spring and all the glories of a refreshing season…new plant growth, warmer temperatures, time change, outdoor sports practices and games, unpredictable weather, and the anticipation of summer break!  Spring Fever (a highly contagious disease) spreads throughout our learning community; this year is no exception.

While making rounds this afternoon, I was privy to a small group conversation involving some young learners and their excitement of Easter (and our school day off tomorrow).  While many celebrate the religious significance of the holiday, some also celebrate the arrival of spring with annual egg hunts and surprises from the Easter Bunny.  These learners were sharing their family traditions from their past experiences.  One friend said, “Mrs. Van, please share my picture on your blog because it’s so beautiful with the ‘ceptional eggs we dye at home and a chocolate bunny, but don’t give my name ’cause if my grammy sees we hunt eggs during Passover, we’re in really big trouble..”  🙂

However you choose to celebrate the holiday (and the school day off tomorrow), please take time to hop outside and enjoy some eggsceptional spring weather with your precious learner.

Note:  Midlothian ISD is closed on Friday, April 6, 2012.