6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



Easter has always been an interesting time of year for me.  As a child I would wake up and walk to the kitchen table to see what outfit "the bunny" had given me to wear to church that morning.  There was always a chocolate rabbit to eat and a basket to carry to the church egg hunt.

As time passed, I became a mom and began new traditions. I knew I wanted to tie in Church and Jesus to that bunny thing too. I had to think of something original. My wheels turned and turned and it didn't take long for me to think of....Chocolate. What could I make that would tie in chocolate and Jesus?  Hmmm... Maybe I could make an empty cross somehow.... how could I make an easy cross.... Oh! I know!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

That began our tradition of making "the Ugly Chocolate Chip Cookie Cross."   I took cookie dough and placed it in a cross form on an ugly cookie sheet.  I didn't want any of this to look pretty at all.  Easter seemed to be so nice and pretty, but the way Jesus died was not at all pretty, so the cross couldn't be cute in any way.

Each Easter, the cross adorns the middle of the dining room table.  I want the kids to remember that Christ gave His life for them; before their eyes meet the chocolate treats and baskets, they see the empty cross.

As time progressed, the baskets turned to hats filled with candy and eggs.   This gave the boys something to wear, instead of a useless basket.  The past few years, Jaibrian has been in on this tradition and has loved her hats more than any Easter basket could ever live up to.  None of the children have ever asked about a basket.  They don't miss them one bit, though that may be because they don't "know" that baskets are more common than hats filled with goodies.

Last year, Kazz, Becca and Brisan were here to help Brian and I decorate the table with our traditional Easter spread. Kazz wondered aloud if we had the cookie dough to make the cross.  I assured him that it is here.  He smiled.  "That will be a tradition for my kids too." 

As I spread out the dough on the ugly cookie tray, I couldn't help but thank God for these little family blessings.

This past weekend was surreal for so many reasons.  Our son...our Kazz is married.  This is also the first anniversary of the kids' baptism and our Confirmation into the Catholic Church.  We were surrounded by friends who have prayed for us and watched as we "made the switch" from Protestant to Catholic.  I don't feel different, yet, things are different. Time is clicking on at a tap-tapping pace.  As much as things change, they stay the same.

God is always here to provide the love of family and support of friends.  I look around to see who God has blessed us with this year, because I know they're there.  Our children, my parents, my brother and sister, our nieces and nephews, our dear friends.  Godparents to our children.  Our blessings are so many, we cannot count them.

I thank God for His love.  He is seen all around us. 

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