Saturday, November 30, 2013

St. Andrew the Patron Saint of Scotland...little bagpipe fer ya

Fer all ya patriotic Scottish descendants out there here's a little Scottish bag piping for ya! (Say it in your Scottish accent to yourself mate).  Ya know St. Andrew's feast day is huge in Scotland. And don't forget yer St. Andrew's Novena tonight. Aw and the rest of ya, ya can listen too, we know yer wannabes, you can be honorary Scotts tonight ;)

Did you all get your free WSO tickets for December 10th yet?

Don't forget to take your family to this free concert! Don't forget to donate some canned goods when your heading out the door. Just reminding you that this act of charity is a great lesson for your kids- feeding the hunger, a Corporal Work of Mercy ;)  We learned two really cool songs for the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy last year, and yes I didn't even have them memorized- it's been awhile since I was in school, but my kids did. And guess where we learned it? On Holy Heroes- it was free in their videos they email you! Wouldn't you rather hear your kids sing the Corporal and Spiritual Work of Mercy song rather than the latest Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus song? Just saying... sign up ;)

St. Andrew Christmas Novena starts today Nov. 30th

Sorry I have been out with the flu for a couple days. We were literally in the middle of our dinner and it hit both my husband and I. But hey, we made it to the table to give thanks and enjoy the meal with our kids. 
  Here are 4 Advent reminders. 

1. The St. Andrew Novena starts today- Today is St. Andrew's Feast Day, November 30th. A short meditative prayer that is said 15 times a day to help us prepare for His coming.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, 
[here mention your request]

through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

2. Sign up for the Advent Adventure, it's not to late! They send out lots of good discounts and codes and the whole program is free! Even if you miss a night (which you wont want to once you start) you can still pick it up from where you start again.

3. Advent calenders- you can probably purchase them after Mass- seems like they do that around here. Also we always find them at our World Market store.

4. Advent Wreath. Do you need new candles like we did? Run out there and get them, I am sure Hobby Lobby and all the Catholic book stores have them. 

   Pick something new to do- try adding a tradition to help keep the focus on our Lord's coming. Here's are some other suggestions.

Here's our December book list for Christmas and Advent.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! From our little Catholic tribe!

We made Brenden his first little St. Kateri costume today. Well Genna did anyway, she is such a good big sister. Here's our little hams! (Guess I need to work on getting some pilgrims around here next year). 

We just love that silly turkey!

Brenden loves to cheese for the camera, he loves having his photo taken.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A little Thanksgiving update for you that are curious about our flu. YOU ARE NOT SAFE AFTER 24 hours.

  Hopefully I won't repulse any of you. This flu was passed onto us last Thursday at the Fr. Philip talk I suspect, as my friend Cheryl's kids got it too (well one of them for sure).  We got sick early Saturday morning (thankfully with empty stomachs). Anyway, after comparing symptoms with Cheryl early Monday morning I found out that we were not clear of it- according to Cheryl. It apparently comes back ;) after 24 hours.  That's right, just when you think they are done throwing strikes again!
   And right after I hung up the phone with Cheryl- immediately like perfect timing, Genna let her rip if you know what I mean. Knox never did really eat so I didn't have any more problems with him, he is just withering away right now. We have been trying the BRAT diet but they haven't even felt up to that. They just eat one bite and drink.
  Anyway, Brenden got sick Sunday morning in my bed, he only threw up all day long every few hours, I was able to keep him hydrated. He was better yesterday all day and then this morning at 3 am he had the explosion from the back end and then right after that he threw up. SO since then, he has been having Montezuma's revenge from both sides. His little bottom is really red I feel so bad for him. I did have my bed lined with towels because I learned from Cheryl and Genna that it came back. Boy that saved my bed!
  So yes we do have Thanksgiving planned but here at home not with relatives this year. I have a turkey brining right now. I made 2 pumpkin pies on Monday, pumpkin bars and I have the sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry/orange sauce done. Bread dough is ready to pop in oven and the green bean casserole is max ten mins to make. I will make the mashed potatoes and gravy tomorrow morning. We got it under control since we started early! And my house is clean. I am very thankful today for my Hoover Steamvac! It was ranked #1 by Consumer Reports when I purchased it in 2011 and it is outstanding. I bought my mom a brand new one in a garage sale last summer for $50!  I am grateful for much more actually.
    If it hadn't been for the flu I would not have been able to have the opportunity to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for my family. This is actually our first Thanksgiving here in our home, my kids first Thanksgiving in their own home in 5 years. It really is a blessing to be able to have it here in our own home for the first time, when you're dealt lemons make lemonade. Deo Gratias!

I put a Facebook page up.

I am not crazy about Facebook, but I went ahead and put up a page. Spread the news!  It's at Homeschooling Papist. I am not sure if you need more than that to find it, but it's there! Lets just hope I can figure out how to use it. There's the link...I have no idea if it's working.

It's not to late to sign up for the free Advent Adventure with Holy Heroes my own construction paper Jesse Tree post

You know even there are some of you out there curious about this Jesse Tree stuff. If you don't think you have time, just sign up anyway and look it over. Its an email and you can just delete them and unsubscribe if you decide not to do it. BUT I guarantee you will want to after you see what I am talking about. Holy Heroes has free printable ornaments for you to color and cut out with your kids..yes, it's all there, just click print. Let them color while you listen to their short family skit and songs on the computer. It's such a small amount of your time in the evenings and your family will reap huge spiritual benefits. Why am I so stuck on this Holy Heroes Advent Adventure? Because it's free! Did I mention that yet?

If your interested in other things for Advent here are a few posts that might help you out. There is a paper Jesse Tree post down there too! If you have questions please comment I will get back asap!

Jesse Tree Ornaments  #1 post and #2 post- if you have some time this Advent to make felt ones
O Antiphons song with some Catholic flavor

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A decade of crocheted roses.

I saw this cool shop on Esty called the Fig and Thimble, they are quite a talented family! I purchased a set of their roses for counting Hail Mary's and my kids went crazy for them. They also sent some beautiful hand drawn and painted bookmarks- I have them on display by our family altar. I decided to take up crocheting just so I could make these, I figured I will probably start giving them as gifts for baby showers or a Baptism or Christmas or birthdays. After I followed a video on You Tube twice I was able to memorize how to make these roses. Now I am no speed queen, but I was able to get it done working on it in the evenings. For those who aren't quite as brave as me, go check out their Etsy store!
I was teased by my older  good looking husband that I was an old lady now because I learned to crochet ;) ha..ha... Then he had the nerve to ask for a hat! My kids want hats now and my mom randomly picked a few off Pinterest for me to try! I am actually really excited to do it though. My mom's birthday is coming up so I will do her's first- I hope. It's probably a LOT harder than the roses. Anyway, there are ten pink roses to say Hail Mary's on, and one white rose for the Glory Be and Fatima Prayer and Our Father.  The kids use them to keep their little hands busy while you say your family Rosary. What better way to honor our Mother than with a bouquet of roses? The Rosary or "Rosarium" in Latin means "Crown of Roses" by the way ;)

Two authors you will probably like to collect for your Catholic Saint Book library

Demi and Brian Wildsmith are awesome illustrators. The pictures keep my attention! LOL They keep my kids too ;)

All Brian Wildsmith Books are awesome- there are quite a few! They are water colored.

Demi's Books.  She has a lot of historical figures and a lot of tales with moral lessons. I assume most of them are all very good. Her books are longer so save them for when they are around 5. Here's just a few.
Mary- longer book for older children 
Joan of Arc- good for 5 year old and up
Mother Teresa- longer book, for older children
Empty Pot- you should read it often to your kids- any age! 3+

Please check out the bigger list on my Bedtime Catholic Saint book list page (look at the tabs under the ocean picture).  I know it's long but at the bottom there are some non montlhy suggestions you may also like

Monday, November 25, 2013

April and May Catholic Saint Book List

Please check out the bigger list on my Bedtime Catholic Saint book list page (look at the tabs under the ocean picture).  I will put links up to books that are unique and not the repeating ones you keep seeing for multiple reference so you can print easier in black and white.
Please feel free to print my list for your personal use or reference if you blog ;) just give credit this took a whole evening with a sick baby :) 
Print for easy use at bedtime for reading to our little ones.
April Book List

St. Mary of Egypt    Feast Day April 2
Saints Lives and Illuminations

St. Richard   Feast Day April 3
An Alphabet of Saints

St. Benedict of Fradello   Feast Day April 4
Once Upon a Time Saints

St. Mary of Egypt  Feast Day April  9
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4

Pope St. Leo the Great Feast Day April 11
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 3

St. Bernadette Soubirous  Feast Day April 16
Saints for Girls- sticker book
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4

St. George   Feast Day April 23  (my boys were these for All Hallow's Eve)
St. George and the Dragon
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 1

St. Zita   Feast Day April 27
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4
An Alphabet of Saints

St. Theodora Feast Day April 28
Saints Lives and Illuminations

St. Catherine of Sienna  Feast Day April 29
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4
Saints for Girls- stickers

May Book List
Dedicated to Mary

St. Monica  Feast Day May 4
Saints Live and Illuminations
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4

St. Comgall  Feast Day May 10
Once upon a time Saints

St. Pachome/ St. Dymphna  Feast Day May 15
Holy Crocodile
Saints for Girls- stickers

St. Brendan  Feast Day May 16
Letters from Heaven
St. Brendan and the voyage before Columbus

St. Pascual    Feast Day May 17
Pascual and the Kitchen Angels

St. Dunstan/ St. Yves  Feast Day May 19
Saints Lives and Illuminations
An Alphabet of Saints

St. Rita   Feast Day May 22
Saints for Girls- stickers
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 2

St. Julia  Feast Day May 23
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 2

St. Philip Neri   Feast Day May 26
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 3
An Alphabet of Saints

St. Bede   Feast Day May 27
Saints Lives and Illuminations

St. Joan of Arc/ St. Felix Of Nola    Feast Day May 30
Joan of Arc- Demi
Saints for Girls- stickers
A Story of Saint Joan of Arc- Brother Ernest
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 
St. Felix (Nola)  Feast Day Jan. 14- click on this one, feast day has a conflict from back of the book Once Upon a Time Saints
Once upon a Time Saints

St. Angela  Feast Day May 31
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4

Our Jesse Tree Ornaments arrived today admid the flu chaos

Sign up for a free Advent Adventure with FREE printable colorable Jesse Tree Ornaments here.

Although we are scrambling around cleaning up after the flu and now the wee one has it, he can't tell us when he is throwing up, he's sort of like a little bomb that goes off randomly everywhere in the house. We received a great deal of happiness today when we got a package in the mail from Karen! It's our Jesse Tree ornaments. I made three sets- it was a marathon, but it was worth it! Hopefully I can give my sister Mary her set before Friday this week. I have a little something extra for her that I have been working on. The kids were ooouuuing and awwwwing and it was certainly fun to open. We will do another swap next year if we have the opportunity. Karen actually did two swaps and when I talked to her last Saturday on the phone she sounded worn out. She went the extra mile after 4 people backed out and made those extra ornaments herself! Way to go Karen! Here is her photo collage of the ornaments if you want a close up of what we received in Swap #1 and Swap #2.

Wow! 3 bags!

 Examinating the contents of  swap #1 bag and unwrapping a few of them that were wrapped in tissue.

Wow! There were some impressive ornaments in there! 

Ok, now swap #2 bag.

How do you think they made that mom?

If you are interested in making some last minute Jesse Tree ornaments I have a few tutorials and pics up here. Also check out my suggestions for some very simple Advent traditions to help strengthen your Faith during Advent.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our favorite board games (with math and counting) so far this semester. Including our Number Jail game.

Have you tried teaching place value yet? Do your kids enjoy the challenge of reading large numbers? It is fun for kids, especially when we go grocery shopping and do some couponing. Knox loves to tell me the numbers he reads on the shelves.
I made up a game called "Number Jail"- ha ha go figure huh. My kids are very competitive about it, and what's funny is there is really no way to win. You put up a box black bars and numbers inside of the box on your dry erase board. Then make your place value columns, like a Hundred's column, Ten's column, One's column. Then have the kids take turns picking a number and telling you where the digits in the number belong. Have them read you the number left to right. Then when you start with the place value, they read the ones column to your first. This will come in handy later in math reading the number backwards for place value. But they think it's a cool game and request it all the time.

I found this awesome game at Exploration Place during their Dinosaur exhibit called Dino Tracks. It teaches place value and you can adjust the game to suit different levels of math. We haven't used it except up to 100's, we are going to start 1000's. And then we should be able to move on to the more technical math cards that came with it.

We play Money Bingo, I found money bingo boards off another blog somewhere, I stuck them into clear plastic sleeves and we grab money from a little purple bucket. We actually practice counting change according to the date we are in the month. So if it's November 30th, we count $.30. I was surprised at how quickly they caught on to counting money.

Some other good counting games we play, Chutes and Ladders, Honeycomb Hike, and we love Monopoly Junior. Now that Knox is doing addition it should be a lot more fun. Genna is even picking up on the addition a little bit. It uses play money that is at a kindergarten/1st grade level so I think it's a good investment for that age.

**Honeycomb Hike drives the kids nuts too. I am not really sure why. I didn't realize it but I guess it must be hard to get, I saw one on Amazon this morning. If it's not there keep searching around I find it hard to believe a game that good would not be made anymore.

One math lesson we are constantly working on involves the weather observations each day. At the end of the year, Knox will take the data he collected and learn to make some sort of graph with it.

I do reward my kids I feel like they work harder for me and it motivates them a lot to have a prize bin to go to. Even Brenden gets a little surprise out of there so he can be included. Think of all the places you go that your kids don't have to do jack squat and they get a silly "prize". Like going to the bank..they get a sucker- wow! That was hard work balancing the check book huh?? lol
  Don't feel guilty for rewarding them. You can chose how often and how big your prizes are, and you can throw Catholic themed prizes in there too. I know our prize bin has statues of glow in the dark Saints in it and Holy Cards for their Holy Card collection and saint pencils and stickers..etc.. When you're homeschooling you just get it done and prizes will help do that ;).

Our sorting trays- keeping toddlers and kids busy

Here's our sorting trays I told you about yesterday.  I basically threw "poof balls" (craft balls), beads shaped like animals, mini erasers, mini Tupperware containers, stickers..just random ity bity things. It never gets old. They sort into jello molds (like this free one I got for Christmas with coupons), ice cube trays are great too! Any little thing will be great. Even at a year old Brenden can sort things- no he can do it all himself as he watches the older two.

random tray of small things

No the picture isn't staged, he sorts things alone

Genna sorting soup beans by color into a tray. You can add tweezers  (she set hers down by the cup)  and they learn to pick up the beans and develop fine motor skills.

Sorting never gets old!

For searches only* Montessori activity

Today's Feast Day Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

Today is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, and it's the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Remember next Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent. Do you have some Advent plans? It's not to late to pick up some new traditions. Here's 15 suggestions for you and your family to do. They are simple. There are many Novenas and beautiful prayers you can find during the Advent Season, like the The St. Andrew's Christmas NovenaExpectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Loreto, (For those who have traveled to Loreto, Italy, they have moved the house in which Mary conceived Jesus, there are numerous miracles, even a recent one with the Pope in 1962 with the statue smiling- and it was photographed) and A Jesse Tree Litany.  There are several Saint Feast days you can celebrate too. Check out the booklists for suggestions on reading. Hope you all find a way to deepen your faith this Advent. Please pray for me and my special intentions if you remember and I will pray for your's too. Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

18 suggestions for keeping little ones busy during homeschool hours.

I created a list of things I thought would benefit my kids and I while we are "in homeschool hours".  I will be putting up links where I found the things so you can try them too without having to search too much. There is a lot of ideas out there, check Pinterest too.

1) Make a rice bin

2) make flash cards easily accessible- flashcards of every kind, put them in a box they can reach.

3) sand letters- get cookie sheets with raised edges at the Goodwill and pour some fine sand into it. We brought sand back from our Siesta Key, Florida, vacation! I will try and get a picture up soon.

4) lacing cards, Melissa and Doug here and here, and another  2 sets from Lauri Dot-2-Dot we have boys and girls

5) rhyming basket and rhyming cards

6) movable Montessori alphabet, we also have an alphabet puzzle like this one. We used the puzzle until I bought the Montessori alphabet. I really didn't need it, it was an extra want ;) I bought my puzzle as a closeout on Ebay. They are sort of pricey. I paid $30 with shipping.

7) puzzle box easily accessible- get good puzzles, get one of the United States- let them learn this way.

8) Lego Duplos always in classroom in huge bin- we collect them from consignment sales.

9) Pattern cards and number cards, and shapes, I found for free online and downloaded and laminated for Lego Duplos. Put them in bag for portable fun- Busy Bag

10) Melissa and Doug magnetic alphabet set- has good lower case letters. You should teach your kids lower case first, as almost everything they read is in lower case the rest of their lives. Put a cookie sheet with it for them to sit at the table and stick the magnets too. Have them put the letters in order.

11) my dry erase cards with Saints and pictures, draw in numbers

12) dry erase board- Brenden loves that! (See at the bottom)

13) play dough and cookie cutters- designated for the homeschool room

14) sorting tray- I will show you ours, they love this! it is a Montessori like activity.

15) magnetic numbers

16) Leap Frog DVD's, yup, they can watch these, Letter Factory, Number Circus, Talking Words Factory. Also these "Holy Baby" and "Holy Baby Jesus Loves me, He is the Bread of Life" dvds

17) Put a high chair in your homeschool room. So the wee one can sit at the same table with your students and feel like they are participating.

Brenden with his dry erase board and high chair

18) I can't believe I just remembered I didn't put this one down. Melissa and Doug wood pattern blocks. All three of them love the pattern blocks and make their own pictures.

Basically the idea is to keep things where the kids can get to them. Back in "My Craigslist Homeschool room" I showed you all those shelves with books and art supplies and the rainbow drawers. This is where I keep these items- I labeled the shelves mostly for the sake of my husband and my mom or anyone else that comes over. The kids know where their scrap paper is they can cut and draw on, they know which drawers and shelves things belong. And it helps the reading book shelf and toy room is right down the hallway and not upstairs. The spinny thing on the middle of the table has their supplies right there so they can draw. Keep the things that you wouldn't want to leave them alone with up higher and put away, like permanent markers for instance.  All these things probably seem like easy duh things to seasoned homeschoolers, but I didn't have a clue when I started.  There are millions of ideas! And I still have things I want to try! Good luck!

How to keep your little ones and toddlers busy while you homeschool or while the older ones have the flu

This post can really apply to things beyond homeschooling and keeping little ones occupied. Today, my littlest guy is the only one WITH OUT the flu. So while his older siblings lay and watch reruns on the computer of Wild Kratts and Word World and Holy Heroes cds half alive, he is enjoying his trucks in the rice bin (they are also called sensory bins).
   A rice bin is a bin of rice ;)  I bought a seven pound bag of white rice at Walmart and dumped it into a plastic container. I know some people do smaller boxes and bins but I prefer the big one they have to reach into. 
  Yup, it gets on the floor (hey I am not afraid of a mess, let me tell you about my kids and Montezuma's Revenge sometime- rice is easy compared to vomit), but they are all learning the rules as they do it. They have learned there are a set of rules and orderliness that comes with playing with the rice bin. I don't mind it at all. When they are done, the kids have a little dust pan and hand broom they attempt to clean the best they can. It's a babysitter in a box ;) I get 30 mins or more sometimes while they entertain themselves with the rice bin. I prefer one person at a time, but they generally do place nice when using it. I tape it shut when I need to close it up or when we have had it out too much. It's special if it's a limited access toy. And you will find it keeps them busier longer. 
 Some people do themes to follow holidays or seasons, I just put in toy trucks and dishes and cups and funnels. They are very happy with that. It's used as a reward too. Fifteen minutes alone in the rice bin is a good prize for good behavior. 

Be sure to check the link below for my other post

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving count down! I love turkey!

Let the Thanksgiving Day count down begin!  

We made this sign from Catholic Icing's instructions last year, we also made one for Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving last year too, hopefully since she saved it she remembered to hang it on her fireplace mantle again this year. Since we live in do-daw we had plenty of fields to gather our bounty for the sign, sorghum, corn stalks, milo, acorns, leaves etc... Notice our silly stuffed turkey made another appearance!  Here's some of our pictures from last year. We also made Indian costumes to remind us of the newly cannonized Saint Kateri Tekawitha last year. 
Knox and Genna took the time to make their cousin Augustine a costume as well and presented it to him on Thanksgiving. We will make new ones this year I think. Grandma hoarded our costumes last year so I have no way to telling if they will still fit, and Brenden will need one now that he is big enough.

2012-A surprise for Grandma! 

2012-My little tribe of Catholics with a cousin on Thanksgiving.

2012- In honor of the newly cannonized Saint Kateri (last year newly cannonized).

2012- Grandma Fisher and her little tribe of Catholics.

How to make your own Sacrifice Beads inspired by St. Therese of Lisieux

Back on my post 15 Simple Advent Traditions you can do with your family, I suggested using Sacrifice Beads on #5.  Use them to count your good deeds through out the day for Advent. So at the end of the day you can add straw to the creche. You can order some from Holy Heroes under their Unique Gifts tab.  You can also make you own. We have ordered them but we were breaking them and replacing them was more expensive than just buying the supplies at that point for us. You know which Doctor of the Church practiced her faith using sacrifice beads right? St. Therese of Lisieux. Her feast day is October 1st.


Get some pony beads at Hobby Lobby. I see them B1G1 free every once in awhile.
Your favorite Saint's Holy Medal
A Crucifix (usually find those in the Rosary supply area of the religious good's store)
Also you will need to burn the ends of you shoes lace rope- to a lighter or a match - BE VERY CAREFUL short story on bad fire safety below..
A needle and thread that matches your cord
Snap link that matches

Cut your Craft Cord about 25 inches. Burn the ends- keep the ends pliable so don't toast them. You will still need to feed it through your beads.

Thread your Holy Medal through the cord to the middle and tie a knot.  **just a suggestion, typically the little round circle that your cross or holy medal has on it will work it's self loose and you will lose your cross or medal. I suggest sewing them into the cord. It helps retain them a lot longer!  I have learned the hard way with two kids.**

Thread one bead onto one of the cords. Pull the bead to the bottom where the knot is. Pinch the cord around the bead like this.

You want the cord taught so there is room inside the bead to push the other cord through the opposite direction. This is why you don't want the ends of you cord toasted too badly where it makes it hard to push the end of the cord through the bead. If your ends are bad, just cut a that little end off and reburn it, but lightly singe the ends.

Keep threading, till all ten pony beads are on. Put the Crucifix on and then tie off the cords, burn the ends gently- be careful don't drop the match on your table runner like I did in front of your kids ;) Then your 5 year old will tell Daddy on you. Add your snap link.

 **just a suggestion, typically the little round circle that your cross or holy medal has on it will work it's self loose and you will lose your cross or medal. I suggest sewing them into the cord. It helps retain them a lot longer!  I have learned the hard way with two kids, we are on our third set of beads this year.**

Use them all year long or Advent and Lent to encourage little acts of love for Jesus!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make a popsicle stick manger..Advent project to do with the kids #6 on the 15 things to do for Advent list.

Have some time off around Thanksgiving with your kids? Here's a something to do with the cold weather and wind outside that involves being warm inside. This by no means is my original idea, this idea has been out there for a very long time, I think I remember my siblings doing this in grade school. Enjoy the pics ;)

Back on my post of 15 Simple Advent Traditions I listed making a manger or creche for Jesus with your kids to fill with "straw" by doing good deeds. The idea is each day your kids place a piece of straw or crinkled piece of construction paper straw, or yellow yarn into the manger. By the end of Advent, you have a manger full of fluffy hay for baby Jesus to lay in Christmas Eve.
    This is the tutorial on how to make this simple popsicle stick manger. You will need 16 popsicle sticks, I used the normal sized ones, not the jumbo ones. You can find them all at Walmart in the craft section, or Hobby Lobby.


16 popsicle sticks (colored brown with magic marker optional)
glue- we just used regular Tacky Glue
Glue Dots- these will support your legs at an awkward angle while you run glue down the sides (it makes sense once you see the photo) But trust me you will want them.
And Baby Jesus. (I found them at the Goodwill with Christmas decor, I found a glow in the dark one Brenden can't quit carrying around and kissing at Sacred Heart Gifts for $.60 and also at Sacred Heart this beautiful one for around $7.)

Now one to building a creche.

After they color their popsicle sticks brown (we used out Dot Markers)

Glue the legs together- make X's

Glue 5 popsicles sticks together for each side.

 Cut your two single popsicle sticks in half (at the top of this photo below)

Glue the halves as support pieces onto the sides.

Glue dot the legs to the side now. The glue dots keep the legs in place while you run a line of glue down the edges. Then you don't need to worry about propping up the legs with something with support while they dry. The glue dots keep the legs upright themselves.

See the glue dot in the above picture? Now stick those legs to you creche sides. And run glue down the edges. Don't forget to have something hold the whole thing on the table so it doesn't fall on the floor in case it is unbalanced. The legs will support themselves though with the glue dots while your line of glue dries.

Glue your other side the same way.

Fill the creche with a piece of straw for each good dead. You could use yellow yarn too or strips of kinked yellow paper. Use your Sacrifice Beads to help them count their good deeds throughout the day so during Jesse Tree time they can place their straw in the creche.  In the end motivate your children to make a nice soft bed for Jesus by Christmas Eve where He can lay His sleepy head.