Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spiritual Bouquet's- Gift idea for Godparents, or Mother's Day, Father's Day, Priests, anyone really for any occasion.

  I remember back in grade school making Spiritual Bouquet cards for our Priest Fr.Scaletty on his anniversary. I think I mostly remember my 4th grade teacher doing it with us, although I do know we did it every year. Anyway, Spiritual Bouquet's are just a promise to say "X" amount of prayers, or penances, or Masses, or Rosary's- whatever you can truly commit to doing for someone's intentions and for themselves.
  I remember I sent a non-Christian friend of ours a thank you note and let him know I was saying a Rosary for him for his kindness. He was stunned, I mean literally. I recall his tone of voice and him saying, "Wow, no one has ever prayed for me before let alone say a Rosary, thanks."  So even if you think it's a long shot and whomever it is maybe isn't Catholic so maybe they don't understand the prayers or maybe they think we are Mary worshiping freaks- (because they are uninformed about what worship vs. asking someone to intercede actually is) that's ok.. show them you love them anyway. This is prayer, it will all come out okay ;) God sees to that part when prayer is genuine.
  Anyway, I made some bookmark like cards up on Google Docs to give away as personal gifts from the kids. I took a random image off the internet and this is what I came up with. You can make your own, find an image of a Icon of a Saint, or the Feast day that's coming up..etc and insert a beautiful image on your card. (Please do not sell other people's images off the net, or my creation. Feel free to use it for personal use).


A Gift of Prayer
For (insert name)
The following are offered for you
and your special intentions







_____INSERT SAINT IMAGE_____









2 Hail Marys
2 Our Fathers
2 St. Michael the Archangel

From (insert name)

Prayer and Blessing for the New Year's Eve or New Year's Day

Big new years plans? Don't forget the blessing! 





Uncle Jon's visit last week.

   Uncle Jon is Genna's Godfather- he was one of my brother's who helped conspire the Nativity Play with me for Christmas Eve. He came and visited with us last week while he was taking time off work to travel into town for the holidays. He is getting read to have a minor knee surgery, please pray for him. He is a single guy and an engineer, and he loves Legos- go figure. Pardon my sweats...lol and my shortness, my little brother is the tallest in our family, I think.





Don't forget to thank your Godparents on New Years Day!

Think of where you are at in life, and if you recall your Godparents being there at different stages of your life now is a great time to thank them! Even as an adult you can still thank them! It's tradition for Catholic's to thank Godparents on New Years day.  Get back in touch with them! To read more about that tradition, it's in that book I showed you on EWTN's website.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Thanks to all our Godparents, and a visit from Knox's Godfather, Derek (and wife Sarah)



   Derek is Knox's Godfather. He is the brother to my daughter Genna's Godmother, Anna. I posted her picture back over Genna's birthday. No family resemblance as you can see if you check, lol. They are a huge cradle Catholic clan. Derek went partially through the seminary and then joined WPD where I reconnected with him and he made friends with my future husband Brad. Matter of fact two of Derek's other brothers have and will be exploring the seminary. Someone in that family is being called to the priesthood I think! Derek popped in during two of my delivery's at 3 am at the hospital. I wasn't thrilled at the time, as I was deep in labor and waiting for my epidural both times. I look back and laugh now! He was always cheerful and was a great relief to Brad. Derek was that special friend to Brad, and really lifted him up when he was around. As an outside observer to their friendship, I could see my future husband needed a friend like him, especially given the occupation they are in. 
  Last week- we were so lucky, Derek's wife, Sarah, called me and after a bit of calling back and forth to get a time when we were home for the day (errands and stuff), we were able to see Derek and Sarah for a few mins. Knox really appreciated him stopping by in person, it means a lot to kids to have a special visitor. I think a lot of Godparents do not realize the impact they have on young children, and really throughout their lives. Being there for them through birthdays and holidays, Sacraments and other special events is so important. The prayers they offer up for their Godchildren are so necessary as well, being real examples of living a Catholic life (the Catholic Church requires they remain in good standing  (ie..like not breaking the Ten Commandments- read the Catechism and Cannon laws on Godparents). Godparents aren't just your best drinking buddy at the time, it's a lifetime commitment to prayer and offering sacrifices up for your Godchildren. they become family. My Godfather was always there for me, even now I only live up the road and still communicate with my Godcousins and him. I am very very thankful for the good example all my children's Godparents have set. LOL So this isn't putting pressure on them ;)
  By the way, Genna's Godfather is my brother Jon and Knox's Godmother is my sister Mary who I always mention on here- yea the one that's mentioned a zillion times. You will get to meet Brenden's Godparents later this week. A big thank you too all my children's Godparents for the time you have given us away and with us. God Bless you! We love you very much!



*It is tradition for Catholic Godparents to be thanked by their Godchildren on New Years day. An open house and godcakes can be given and served in as the Godparents stop in to visit- if a recent visit hasn't occurred yet it's good to get in touch again. The Godchildren's mother assists them in making initial cookies and a beer blessing is given and pretzels served to the adults and punch to the children. For more details visit here.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

free book (out of print) Christmas to Candlemas on EWTN, Barm Brack recipe, St. Stephen, St. John's Wine Blessing custom, New Years, Beer Blessing...it keeps going!

I don't know if any of you have tried searching for books on celebrating the Christmas season but this one is a goodie I keep seeing referenced. It's called  Christmas to Candlemas, By Helen McLoughlin. EWTN has it on their website for free.  I found one on Ebay luckily.
  It has forgotten traditions for St. Stephen's Feast Day, St. John and that cool St. John's wine custom and toast, it has really good ideas for New Years, and blessing beer, making kids punch, Epiphany ideas and a cake recipe, morning and evening prayers for Christmas, Holy Innocent prayers and Epiphany prayers for night time with your kids...it's so full of good ideas! I want to try the recipes for St. Canute and St. Agnes, as well as St. Brigid's Feast day- Barm Brack. Oh what fun! Here's the publisher's link.

Come back for the Epiphany Link up! Starting on the 5th.

Suggestions for celebrating Epiphany!

12th Day of Christmas drink- Lambswool. Remember the song "Here we come a wassailing"? Find out what it all means!

New Year's Suggestions for Catholic Families.

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Type writer!! Someone typed out the Advent Wreath blessing (we happen to use it too,-USCB)


Traditional Lambswool drink recipe for Epiphany or 12th Day of Christmas

  I have no idea if this is good or not. But I want to try it...maybe it's that steel mug my husband bought me at the Ren fest this last fall.  Sure would be fun drinking that out of my mug I think ;) It might make us want to go "a-wassailing among the leaves so green".  Here's another recipe too...I recognize the names of the ale's in it. Let me know if you have tried it and what you think. This drink is an oldie!




I am thinking you can cheat and substitute apple sauce- use the no sugar added stuff- NOT the fake sugar with articfical sweetners...yuck. Just no sugar added natural applesauce. You're supposed to be adding an apple puree.


simmer one beer with spices.


My brother Nathan- this dude couldn't froth well.. I am not sure if was him or the beers. We should have used the New Castle..it was a pot of Red's Apple and the Woodchuck Cider in the other.


Normally there would be a large layer of lambswool froth on top, but it's okay, we'll learn to froth better next time.  I thinking I am going to make it for St. Patty's Day. And use the New Castle.

Yup, keep up those decorations cause its still Christmas, Epiphany Party ideas.

  All good Catholics know what the Advent Season is and when the Christmas season actually starts. And a few know that in the Eastern Church they exchange their gifts on the Epiphany. That's when their big celebration is. Us western Catholic's celebrate primarily on Christmas. You will find a lot of other countries do gift exchanges on Epiphany as well. Don't you love rebelling against mainstream culture? One way to keep on rebelling against the retailers and other people who like to be uninformed about the Christmas season is to have an Epiphany party!  Oh join the party here on this blog too!
  Here's some ideas.

1. Make some crowns for everyone! Make them from card stock, go to Burger King and politely ask for a few and decorate those ;)

2. Make a King's Cake. This is just a cake with a porcelain baby Jesus baked inside. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. Give the person who gets the baby Jesus a second helping! (Substitute a dry bean if your unsure) See if you can find a way to make a crown out of the cake. I have seen some good crown cakes on the Internet.

3. You can have another gift exchange. Don't go overboard, maybe stick to religious items for the gift exchange too. Remember we are counter cultural, we don't really need more dump trucks and Hello Kitty's.

4. Have you been moving your Wisemen still? Ours have traversed all over the house. I laugh every time I see them in a different place, clearly my kids are having fun with this.

5. Have a three Kings procession around the house, make sure you have your gifts of gold, Frankincense and Myrrh with you- you can buy them on Holy Heroes website.  Burn that incense.  I saw the idea for camel races- just a piggy back ride on dad ;) I suppose you can make Dad part of the procession. Have someone carry a star and follow the star.

6.  Why not make up a game about the 3 Kings. You can do trivia questions about them, when they were given names. Maybe even have a hide and seek with the figurines of the 3 Kings. Learn about Psalm 71.

7. Make crown sugar cookies and decorate them!

8. I see every country seems to have a special raisin or nut bread recipe they call Epiphany Bread or Kings bread. If you are sick of sweets try that instead of cake or cookies, and put a bean or baby Jesus inside of it.

9. There are several blessings outside the traditional Epiphany Blessing for the home and Blessing of Chalk,  are the Blessing of Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh, the Blessing of Bread, of Eggs and of Salt, and the Blessing of Water.

10. Read a book about the Epiphany. How about Story of the Three Wise Kings- Paola
Or read from Joy to the World- Paola (has the three wise kings in it).

11. Find and print out a coloring page for your kids.

12. Make Lambswool! You know that song here we come a wassailing?  Learn what that means!

13. Save your stockings- the presents inside them for Epiphany. (came from a suggestion by reader B. Mohr)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our No rehearsal Nativity Play..and a there is a video link.

  I started this post last weekend and did a smaller post about this earlier this week before Christmas. There is a video link in here of our Family's 2013 Nativity play. My kids were the only ones who tried on their costumes ahead of time.
  Last night after reading a couple of nativity books about St. Francis and the first Nativity and some other advent books- Genna wished out loud that we could do a Nativity play. So again referencing my super duper book of Liturgical ideas (Seriously I would get this book as a gift for ANY Catholic family), I said we sure can! We have all the pieces for the costumes from other Saint costumes. I even have a big brown horse that is now our donkey plus all the barn animals- from the kids stuffed animals box. I wrangled my brothers into the play, and my husband to be the Narrator. I believe my brother Jon's (who is Genna's Godfather) main motivation to be in the play is because he said he watched Duck Dynasty a few weeks ago and saw their Christmas play.  Now just as I am telling him what I need him to do, he sort of interupted me on the phone and wanted to be a Wiseman right away, and then proceeded with some Duck Dynasty imitation! lol  He even tracked down the Burger King Crowns for me! What a good brother!  So I am really glad I have these men in my life to help encourage our children with the real meaning of Christmas, even if the Wisemen were  Wise Guys. But hey, I threw a script at them and asked them to put on some silly costumes right when we walked in to my parents home. I was lucky I didn't get booed!(this is the video link) 
  Here's a play from CatholicCulture.org that comes straight out the Gospel. You can cut the music, or keep it, just dink out the songs with a single hand on the piano. We rehearsed this morning, but the play was a little long because of the music so we cut it for the sake of squirmy kids. They kept wanting to play Mary and Joseph they loved it! I was so pleased at how quickly they learned. It's such an easy play.
  This one includes the Annunciation. I had to modify it so my brothers all could have a speaking part as Wisemen, we even named them with their real names and they speak of why they bear the gifts they do. I have one adult- my brother in law Kale, and his son Augustine who will have to fly by the seat of their pants on Christmas Eve with some easy parts. Kale is extremely talented though, he secretly is a rockstar guitar player and an awesome singer so I have confidence. They don't know yet and neither does my mom. I am trying to keep it hush hush so she can be surprised. (And they were surprised!)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Epiphany Party/ Epiphany Blessing Link-up January 6th, 2014!

The post for the link up is the first post at the top of my blog now. Click here to go there.

Let's link up and show each other for our Epiphany Party or Epiphany Blessing! If you are wanting to do a blessing for your home on the Epiphany here's is how.  I have link to ours from last year up already. Don't forget to get a piece of your kids sidewalk chalk for the priest to bless, just print off the blessing and show it to them. Here's some other ideas.



This year, your doors will have on them, 20+C+M+B+14. The letters are the first initials of the three Wisemen- Casper, Melchoir and Balthazar, and the 2014 is obvious. In Latin the C+M+B stands for Christius Mansionem Benedicat. That translates into “May Christ Bless this House”. I will run this from January 5th to January 10th, so we all have time to get on here and link-up! (And hopefully I will run this right, this is my first time.) Make sure and link back to this particular post not the main home page. Advent Blessings!

 I will repost at the top of my blog page!! Go there 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

One of my kids favorite drawing books. A Catholic How-To-Draw.

I love this book. Its recommended to use in conjunction with and in my other CHC book, A Year with God, Celebrating the Liturgical Year(I see that the prices are again reasonable on Amazon and not $200 like before)


The moment I gave it to Knox he was inspired. He started giving me all sorts of beautiful pictures of Rosaries and alters and the Eucharist, and had the Chi-Rho on everything. 



   Now he is only 5 right now, and he is learning to draw. This book at least takes the student step by step in the drawing the picture process. I just got my hands on a second copy of it too, it is sort of hard to share with two kids who want to draw different pictures. I did pay for the download on CHC's website- I didn't care for it. I like a spiral bound book already to go in front of me. I think that's a better way to draw. Plus I don't feel like printing off a picture series. I wont do online books again. Here's what's inside.




Timing is right, syllabus, Jesse Tree and a 10 Commandment file folder game.

I love when things just happen to line up just right. Right now we are going on Christmas break now for school. Knox is supposed to try and memorize the Ten Commandments. There are a couple nice file folder games you can also access and print off from Catholic Toolbox. They have several posts on each individual commandment too. They explore the individual commandments more. Everything happened to time right with the Jesse Tree and with his MODG studies. I love when everything we are learning is in the same time period!

Sancte Micheal Archangele, defende nos in proelio..

  When we registered our school we named our homeschool after St. Michael. Something we started doing after Mass is to say the prayer to St. Michael. One of our local parish's always says it immediately after mass, it's wonderful they kneel and wait till the candles are out. Anyway, some important people like Pope Leo and Pope John Paul II have asked us to say this prayer after mass and frequently.
  Last summer we read this cool little book- at my son's request for a book about real St. Michael miracles and not to long later my daughter spotted this awesome "Angels Explained" cd from Catholic Lighthouse in the back of church. Both have really enlightened our family. Did you know Lucifer probably fell from the Choir of Cherubs- one of the highest choirs?  And St. Michael is one from one of the lower choirs of angels- the Archangels. The explanations and theories presented in the CD are backed by Theologians although they are not official church teachings at this time- (that means there is a general consensus among Theologians) I suggest getting the CD for sure. I think you can get them at St. Francis here locally still, they were only $2 or $3. It actually was interesting enough it kept the kids attention too at 5 and 3 years old! And it has the promises and prayer of the St. Michael chaplet at the end. It's beautiful! (Having an Angel escort from each Choir of Angels to communion would be beautiful to see!)


  It has been said Pope Leo was given a vision of Satan battling with Saint Michael, and Saint Michael casting him back in to hell. During this vision that went on for about 10 mins near the altar, Pope Leo said he heard two voices. The vision gives me chills. Anyway, Pope Leo went and wrote the prayer to St. Michael immediately. We should be saying frequently if not daily. He prescribed saying it after mass. It used to be a tradition, and I remember as child we used to back at St. Jude, but now it's rare around here to hear parish's saying it together.
   "May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, "Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power," (Eph 6 10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church. "St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil." Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world." Pope John Paul II, in the Angelus message, St. Peter's Square, April 24, 1994.




Saturday, December 21, 2013

Looking for a quick and easy Nativity play to do for Christmas Eve, with little rehearsal needed?

  Last night after reading a couple of nativity books about St. Francis and the first Nativity and some other advent books- Genna wished out loud that we could do a Nativity play. So again referencing my super duper book of Liturgical ideas (Seriously I would get this book as a gift for ANY Catholic family), I said we sure can! We have all the pieces for the costumes from other Saint costumes. I even have a big brown horse that is now our donkey plus all the barn animals- from the kids stuffed animals box.
  Here's a play from CatholicCulture.org that comes straight out the Gospel. You can cut the music, or keep it, just dink out the songs with a single hand on the piano. We rehearsed this morning, but the play was a little long because of the music so we cut it for the sake of squirmy kids. They kept wanting to play Mary and Joseph they loved it! I was so pleased at how quickly they learned. It's such an easy play. There is one with the Annunciation. I modified ours to work for our family. Good luck!

 *I will update you with more on this post at a later date, I can't give away it all as I want to keep something a surprise ;)


traveling to Bethleham



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ideas for New Year's Resolutions for a Catholic Family.

  New Years Eve is coming up. I know we all like the lose weight and eat healthy resolutions...I am great at failing at those ;) Me and the kids decided last year we were going to do some cool Catholic stuff for our resolutions. Here's some ideas you can discuss with your family.


1. Attend Mass as a family on New Year's Day (oh wait it's a Holy Day).

2. Pick a Saint and dedicate your family to the Saint for the year. Hang an icon or painting of the Saint in the main living place.

3. Read a biography on the Saint your family chose, collect children's books on the Saint during the year.

4. All members of family wear that Saint's holy medal that have been blessed.

5. Find out the Feast Day of the Saint and through a Feast Day party, just resolve to do one Saint Day Feast Day party- you will love it and probably want to do more. Ours was St. Anthony- I really would like to do a repeat this year! lol

6. Find out every one's Baptism dates and have a little Baptism party for each family member. (we even included my husband- who was Baptised Methodist in on this one). Let that member chose the meal and give them a little holy item or book for a gift. Invite the Godparents over too! Find that Baptism candle and white garment if it's around.

7. Do the Epiphany Blessing! I posted about it here!

8. Resolve to start saying a rosary 3x a week and join the Rosary Confraternity. Some kind person left a pamphlet out at my Holy Hour and I joined several years ago. I was able to spread it in my own extended family. And it's lead to daily rosaries said between all my siblings and our parents..how awesome is that?! And start wearing that Scapular again!  Use these to help your kids pray. Get the Holy Heroes Rosary Mysteries CDs..your family with love them! (We still need the Sorrowful Mysteries and Luminous Mysteries.)

9. Resolve to make at least one extra Mass a week- we started out with one. Try First Friday Devotions or Saturdays. And if you have dedicated your family to a Saint- pick out the local Church with that Saint as their Patron and attend Mass there weekly if possibly.

10. Decide now to dress like Saints for Halloween. Start collecting items for your costumes. Take back the REAL ALL HALLOW'S EVE! We have All Hallow's because of a Feast day you know ;) Why not trying to promote good things, instead of trying to keep up the worldly culture of death where we glorify death of our earthly bodies and mock death. Try keeping up with the Spiritual Christian Culture of Life by Celebrating All Saints day and All Souls Day instead.

11. Know ahead of time what you're going to do with your kids for Lent- don't let Ash Wednesday sneak up on you next year without a Lenten plan.

12.  Join Holy Heroes for the regular Sunday Gospel videos and coloring pictures. It helps prepare mom and dad and all the kids. They send the video out in the beginning of the week and you have all week to watch it.

13. Learn all the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Teach them to your kids. There is a neato song we learned on Holy Heroes for them, we'll have to sing for everyone sometime. Start praying for the "Living and the Dead" at family prayer time- like at dinner prayer or bed time prayer. "May the Souls of the Faithfully Departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen" We must pray for those in Purgatory. Instill this in your children. Point out when your kids to a work of Mercy and tell them to offer it up to Jesus.

14. Have trouble kneeling for bedtime pray? Make these cushy kneelers out of garden supplies and puffy paints/ glitter. My kids love them and use them every night. Brenden seems to be in charge or getting them out and putting them away. My little one year old enforces where the older two kneel. It's hilarious. (another great idea from Catholic Icing)



15. Start reading about the Saint of the Day. You can buy a book (I am book crazy so we have around 3 to read from) or just sign up for an email delivered daily from here. (Scroll down almost half way) I had to laugh at my husband not to long ago. The kids were complaining we needed to do a Feast Day party instead of homeschooling for the day. And Brad say's 'well seems like you guys get to have Feast Day parties a lot, seems like everyday is a feast day for something' ;)!! HAHA!

16. Make it your job to get to Confession ONCE A MONTH. This is harder to do but not impossible- I admit I am not perfect at it, but I hope to be someday, and if your making first Friday's than you SHOULD be doing confession- since you read about the promises ;) Print off those local confession schedules now and get to know them. Write it on a calender and tell your kids ahead of time, so they can remind you too- accountability.

17. Try and visit each Church in your area once in the next year. Go and visit all the pretty local "older churches". Maybe you will discover a hidden treasure in visiting one and it will become your favorite daily mass spot.

18.  Make a pilgrimage. There are shrines close by. Why not try a day trip. The spiritual benefits are worth the gas money ;)

19. Commit to a Eucharistic Adoration hour. I held one for a number of years from high school up to with two kids at different intervals. We attend Mass now instead since our lifestyle needs some flexibility. But if you have the ability to commit to one go for it! Your prayers will get answered. And your allowing your Guardian Angel to do what they want to do the most- praise and Adore God. What better way to treat your Angel and allow them to fulfill their duty to you? My kids who are 5, 4 and 1, still remember their adoration hour, and they talk about it- they were so little! So it left a huge impression on them. I remember as a highschooler the peace I felt and how badly I missed it when our mom changed the holy hour. It was so much easier to stay focused too, my head felt uncluttered. Amazing that I can look back at the stage of life and recognize the benefit still.

20.  Pick a Mission to send money to. Need a few ideas? Well the Rosary Confraternity is run by Dominicans, that's one place you can send some money. The Saint you chose for your family to be dedicated to- find out that Saint's order they belonged to and Google Search that same Order and send money to them. Have them offer a Mass for your special intentions- try and arrange it on the Saint's Feast Day.


I hope these inspire you to improve life spiritually for your family. Sometimes we get too caught up in the worldly resolutions and forget we need these kind of  spiritual resolutions in our lives too.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Two Wisemen and a Crusader. Why all you Catholic Mom's need to visit Catholic Toolbox's blog

I love my laminator, if you didn't read my earlier post on laminating- there is it. One of my biggest favoritest blogs is The Catholic Toolbox. Just click on it real quick and scan and come back here and finish reading.....I am waiting...go ahead.

 Anyway, see what I mean? Did you see the Catholic Games tab? There are amazing homemade folder games you can print off. They are complete with instructions and a game board and cards. I made a ton of them last fall and had them all laminated in time for Easter. My kids never really get tired of them. We have lots of regular games too...but these are very very special. I am relearning stuff I have forgotten, (there is a game on manners too btw). There is a great great variety of game for Holy Week. Get started now printing and laminating so they are ready by Lent. It will take some time.


Genna's favorite game.


Two Wisemen and a Crusader


Some of our games


Yup it takes time to print and laminate and cut stuff out. But we have had hours of fun! It's soo soo worth it. Print on card stock, laminate, and use glue dots to stick them into a plastic file folder. You can take them too the Parent Teacher Resource Center and laminate them a lot faster than you can at home probably, but it's up to you. They have game supplies at the center, like dice. 


Hide and Seek with Mary and Baby Jesus.

Here's some photos of a fun little Advent game today.  As we were heading outside today Knox grabbed our $.25 Mary and baby Jesus. We decided to play a little hide and seek with the little figures. I sent them behind the fence and hid the figures in the front yard. They all came around and searched for them. Once Brenden found both of them! I was so proud of him!  And they didn't get sick of it, we played it a lot, each taking turns.  Now Genna likes to blab- she's a lot like her mother, and I had her go in the garage while we searched after she hid. Otherwise she would tell us where they were. We really enjoyed eating our California Clementines too! I keep a box of them in my minivan- and it smells so good in there. YUM!


Their self built pretend camp fire (THIS IS NOT MY YARD- it is a field..not my grass ;))












































found them!


where are they hiding?


Oh what fun!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pocket Chart of O Antiphons for your homeschool room.

  So the kids and I were sitting around eating dinner last night, lighting the Advent Wreath and it came to me. I needed to make O Antiphon calender cards for our family to slip into the pocket chart wall calender. So I came up made a Google document really fast of O Antiphons in Latin. (They can learn the English by heart on this one since it's one word and I want them to spell/pronounce the Latin correctly.)
  Each day they can put the correct O Antiphon in the pocket chart when the do the date and day of the week. This is their first year memorizing them, so it will take some practice. I borrowed an "Illuminated O" from Google Images to make them prettier and printed them on colored paper and of course I laminated them! (I am telling you- get the laminator, once you have one you will want to laminate everything.)



  You can even do double sided O Antiphons, to save paper and laminating sheets, put one on each side, or put an English translation on one side too. It's just another fun way to help keep the focus on Advent and NOT on Christmas celebrating. (I digress-I am not trying to sound like I am poo pooing people's Christmas cheer- we put our tree up this weekend.  We all have various valid reasons for when we put up decorations and do parties, but we really should strive to keep the focus on Advent and penitence and preparation, not celebration yet. Try and delay those activities- it really does change the perspective on Advent and Jesus' coming when you do. I am witness to that in our own family. Last year I sent Christmas cards after the 25th ;) )

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Other not as well known O Antiphons- if you want more.

I found a document online that gives history on the O Antiphons if you are interested in reading up on them. They were said to be written by Pope Gregory the Great...big surpise, right? You know what he did for the music right? Just a small thing called Gregorian Chant.  There are a few other O Antiphons, dating way way back. It's all very interesting. Read it for yourself ;)

Starting O Antiphons this week December 17th- something extra with a riddle for your Advent Wreath lighting

Today is the 3rd week of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, where we lit the rose colored candle in Mass. December 17th marks the start of O Antiphons, we say/sing them until December 23rd- the evening before the Vigil. There are seven O Antiphons. What's an O Antiphon? I think the easiest way to explain is- you know that song O Come O Come Emmanuel?  An O Antiphon is the "O Come Emmanuel", "O Key of David", etc.. from that song. The song is written about the O Antiphons. 

  The O Antiphons are like little messages, we address our Lord with beautiful titles and retell the prophecies from the Old Testament (I think mostly from Isaiah as I have learned), we ask Him to come to us. They are short and beautiful little prayers. You can sing a verse of the O Come O Come Emmanuel song each night during your Advent Wreath service at dinner. 
  
Here's the order if you want to print it off. I will add the Latin in there and soon you can start singing O Come O Come Emmanuel in Latin because you will have memorized these- they are really easy. You will be surprised! (Oh by the way Gaudete Sunday means rejoice in Latin, and that is also part of O Come O Come Emmanuel. So see you already have half the song memorized because we repeat "Gaude Gaude Emmanuel," over and over in the song)

Read all the way through and see what the secret message of the O Antiphons is...I am not joking...lol reminds me of a riddle.

Here's more info if you want history and lesser known O Antiphons.

Make a pocket chart of O Antiphons, just need a printer.

  December 17th  O Sapientia  or  O Wisdom- comes from Eternity and the Word of God
       
       Veni, O Sapientia,                   O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high
       Quae hic disponis omnia,        and order all things far and nigh;
       Veni, viam prudentiae             to us the path of knowledge show,
       Ut doceas et gloriae.               and teach us in her ways to go.


       Refrain
       Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
       Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 18th  O Adonai - the time and law of Moses





Veni, veni, Adonai,          O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
qui populo in Sinai           who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
legem dedisti vertice        in ancient times did give the law,
in maiestate gloriae.         in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
       
       Refrain
       Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
       Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 19th  O Radix Jesse or  O Root of Jesse - Prophecies from the Line of King David





Veni, O Iesse virgula,     O come, Thou Rod of Jesse's stem,
ex hostis tuos ungula,      from ev'ry foe deliver them
de specu tuos tartari        that trust Thy mighty power to save,
educ et antro barathri      and give them vict'ry o'er the grave.





Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 20th  O Clavis David or  O Key of David - Prophecies from the Line of King David





Veni, Clavis Davidica,        O come, Thou Key of David, come,
regna reclude caelica,          and open wide our heav'nly home,
fac iter tutum superum,         make safe the way that leads on high,
et claude vias inferum          that we no more have cause to sigh.


      Refrain
      Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
      Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 21st  O Oriens or  O Dawn of the East - look for a rising star in the East
  (Although part of this isn't necessarily Nativity related-  also don't forget the prophecy from Ezekiel Ch. 11- read that also, then think about about Jesus re-entering Jerusalem and the lowly creature he was on and the direction from which he came- WOW how everything ties together huh?)





Veni, veni O Oriens,             O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
solare nos adveniens,            and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
noctis depelle nebulas,          disperse the gloomy clouds of night
dirasque mortis tenebras.      and death's dark shadow put to flight.

      Refrain
      Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel       Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
      Nascetur pro te, Israel.           Shall come to thee O Israel.

December 22nd- O Rex Gentium or O King of the Gentiles- prophecy that He is a King for all Nations





Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,       O come, Desire of the nations, bind
veni, Redemptor omnium,      in one the hearts of all mankind;
ut salvas tuos famulos            bid every strife and quarrel cease
peccati sibi conscios.            and fill the world with heaven's peace.

Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel      Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel, 
Nascetur pro te, Israel.          Shall come to thee O Israel.


December 23rd O Emmanuel, it means God is with us.





Veni veni, Emmanuel       O Come O Come Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,      And Ransom Captive Isael
qui gemit in exsilio,         That mourns in lonley exile here
privatus Dei Filio            Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel      Rejoice Rejoice! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.          Shall come to thee O Israel.


Take all of the Messianic Titles and put the first letter them in order like this- ERO CRAS, meaning, "Tomorrow, I will come."  December 24th.  How clever is that?!


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Friday, December 13, 2013

A message about Love Good Music Blog.

  My friend Michelle wrote a note to share with you all. If you have some time to look into it, it would be greatly appreciated.
 Thank you!
  Shannon

I wanted to share with you a neat opportunity to join a growing
movement working to evangelize culture through music.  The movement is
called Love Good Music.

It wouldn’t take much to establish the fact that our culture has
little respect for truth or goodness.  Beauty, however, is different.
In a world where truth has become individualized and being good is
often viewed as being weak, beauty knows no enemy.  If you’ve ever
been in the presence of true beauty, be it a person, a work of art, a
musical masterpiece, or the majesty of the heights and depths of
creation, you know that beauty is both striking and timeless.  It
bypasses the intellect and pierces straight to the heart.  And beauty
that is true always leads us to the Good.  So much of what today’s
world celebrates is not real Beauty, but a counterfeit, which is why
for example, radio singles never last more than a few months at a
time.  If we could mobilize the Church’s faithful to support
mainstream artists that keep true Beauty at the center of their art,
then we will evangelize culture with a Beauty that endures, instead of
a counterfeit that never satisfies.

For centuries, Church leaders and wealthy individuals have been the
great patrons of art.  It is because of their patronage that the world
has masterpieces like Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Handel’s “Messiah.”
Most of don’t have the means to commission symphonies, but a lot of us
do have a few bucks a month we could spare for a good cause.

Love Good Music is a community of artists and patrons working to
evangelize culture through beauty.  For just $10 a month, you can
become a patron of Love Good Music.  Your patronage helps support
artists who are as talented as they are faithful in writing,
recording, and performing good music across genres.  In return for
your patronage, you receive a brand new CD each month, weeks before it
hits the market.  These artists are truly top-notch; they would give
any artist on the radio today a run for their money.  It really is as
simple as it sounds.  No gimmicks.  No hassle.  And if you don’t love
it, you can cancel at any time, for any reason.  The influx of good
music each month is a wonderful opportunity to expose your children to
a variety of music in a safe way, and it’s pretty awesome to be part
of a movement working to rebuild authentic culture.

For more information, to listen to sample music, or to sign to become
a patron, you can visit our webpage at
http://lovegoodmusic.com/wichita  Please prayerfully consider joining
the movement to reclaim the soundtrack of American culture.

St. Lucy's Feast Day celebration pictures

Here's a few pictures of today's celebration. We are a 3rd shift family, my husband works late, so it's actually his sleeping time now- he happened to decide to wake up and walk upstairs as we were getting ready to go downstairs (he's didn't get the memo to stay in bed!! lol) So then after that surprise, we got everyone back downstairs and were able to serve daddy coffee and donuts.


St. Lucy!


Star Boys!


bright and early before our 1st breakfast


right before going into re-awake Daddy


tea lights on the tray of drinks and donuts