Monday, January 27, 2014

Celtic Saints! February bed time book list

  Two good books I recommend for Irish Saints are Holy Crocodile and Wisdom of the Celtic Saints
 The blog for the author, Caroline Cory, of Holy Crocodile is here. She pretty much shows you all her illustrations on that blog and it's very very good if you want a preview. There is also an audio link  to a book Dessi wrote on a famous Celtic Saint down there St. Mudomnoc. We also like Fin McCoul- he's a great legend for kids. Also Neumann Press has a nice book about St. Colum and St Brigid.  They were on sale on Amazon for really really cheap last week. I had a post about it, but the html code wouldn't display for some reason. Also there is the tradition with St. Brigid's feast day you can read about here.

My sister has been hosting a St. Patrick's day dinner for the last two or three years, and our family always attends the parade together. Here's my daughter and son dressed up as St. Brigid and St. Patrick for the Saint Patrick's day Parade last year.

Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
Brenden the Navigator
The Voyage of Saint Brenden- translated from Latin

St. Findbarr or Bairre Feast Day Sept. 25th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

St. Samathann (Safan) Feast Day Dec. 19th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

St. Ethne and Fedelm of Connacht  Feast Day Jan. 11th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

St. Ita  Feast day  Jan. 15th
Widsom of the Celtic Saints

St. Canair   Feast Day Jan 28th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

St. Maedoc  (Aiden or Mogue) Feast Day Jan. 31st
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

February (let the Irish Saint celebrating begin)

Wisdom of the Celtic Saints
A Child's Book of Celtic Prayers- pretty pictures

St. Brigid   Feast Day  Feb. 1 (my daughter was her in a parade- see picture here)
St. Brigid and the Cows- Neumann Press check wtih Tan. Several Reprints- I have the old- don't pay more than $30 for a book
The Life of St. Brigid, Abbess of Kildaire
Brigid's Cloak
Saints Lives and Illuminations
Holy Crocodile
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

The Presentation of Our Lord   Feast Day Feb. 2
Feasts of Jesus- Lovasik

St. Ia   Feast Day Feb. 3rd
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

St. Jane Valois  Feast Day Feb. 5
Saint pictorial of this saint in my CHC Liturgical book.

St. Dorothy/ St. Vedast    Feast Day Feb. 6
Saints Lives and Illuminations
Once Upon a Time Saints
Miracles of the Saints

St. Apollonia   Feast Day  Feb. 9
Saints for Girls sticker book

St. Scholastica   Feast Day Feb. 10
Saints Lives and Illuminations
The Holy Twins-Paola
Miniature stories of the Saints  book 4

Our Lady of Lourdes  Feast Day Feb. 11
Check the Lourdes, France website. We visit the Grotto at St. Anthony's Parish.
St. Bernadette The little Girl from Lourdes- these Magnificat books are always at the Catholic Family  There is a whole set of saints.
Book of Saints or buy the series books
Our Lady of Lourdes- Lovasik
Saints for Girls sticker book

St. Mudomnoc  Feast Day Feb. 13
Here's an audio link for the book by Dessi.
The Saint and his bees- Dessi
Holy Crocodile

St. Valentine  Feast Day Feb. 14
Saint Valentine
make special Sacred Heart cookies- we used a Catholic Icing recipe here

St. Bernadette  Feast Day  Feb. 18 (in France)
St. Bernadette The little Girl from Lourdes- these Magnificat books are always at the Catholic Family  There is a whole set of saints.
Book of Saints or buy the series books
Our Lady of Lourdes- Lovasik
Saints for Girls sticker book

St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother   Feast Day Feb. 27

St. Non of Wales  Feast Day Mar. 3rd

St. Cuthbert Feast Day Mar. 20th
Holy Crocodile

St. Kevin Feast Day June 3rd
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints
St. Kevin  Feast Day June 3
Holy Crocodile
Saints Lives and Illuminations

St. Columcille, or Columba Feast Day June 9th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints-has a loch ness monster story and story about the crane too
St. Columba or Columcille, or Colum Feast Day June 9
Across a dark and wild Sea 
St. Colum and the Crane (Neumann Press reprint book)

St. Ciaran Feast Day Sept. 9th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints
St. Ciaran   Feast Day Sept 9
Holy Crocodile

St. Brendan Feast Day /May 16th
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints-lots on St. Brendan

St. Aidan  FeastDay Aug 31st
Wisdom of the Celtic Saints

Friday, January 24, 2014

Making Valentine's Day cards

Yes, we are early on making cards. I figured out last year, it takes about 5 hours to make all our cards with three kids, so the earlier I start the better. And then I am always out of envelopes, so that takes another day to get around to Walmart and buy the right size envelopes. We don't like to bend up our cards- these are more precious than gold ;) And then of course, we decorate the envelopes, and that takes another hour or two, depending on if we bust out the stamp collection or just keep it to stickers. And by then another week went by and we have postage...I have to go and figure out postage. So you see by the time they get into the mail, it's arriving for grandparents and friends to enjoy just before the Feast of St. Valentine. 
  My awesome mother-in-law makes cards, you should see her crafty stuff she owns. She has bestowed on our family a lot of her unused things and then is also nice enough to send us paper, stickers, punches, glue dots, stamps, scissors, you name it. We have dug into our box of goodies and found many an art item, gadget, or tool that we would have needed to go out and buy. Somehow it's always in that box- makes me wonder how it all happens to be in there. But we never seem to not have what we need. Sort of like a magic box of supplies. Anyway, she always takes the time to do lots and lots of punches, I am sure she has very strong hands because we get a hundred punched doily like hearts from her every year. They are beautiful and we used them to make our cards. Me and the kids hit Hobby Lobby's post Valentine's Day sale last year, and we bought everything! I found hearts and roses for all sorts of uses for feast days and card making. We will need a little less this year, but plan on shopping it again. Have a good time viewing our cards we have done so far, we may have been getting a little slap happy towards the end...perhaps it's their age? The Elmer's Glue? aww..who they are- smoochy faces!

inside of Genna's cards above

backside of Genna's cards above

Genna's cards were purple above and no I didn't have her write all that 7 times- I had her write it once and I photo copied it. It's hard enough to get them to do more than 2 cards, and they have less motivation if they aren't having fun. Handwriting is not fun for a 4 year old. I had her trace my handwriting and we erased the pencil marks, then we photo copied it. And then she got straight to decorating. She got through a few stickers and felt hearts and had to take few breaks to play and come back. I did the same with Knox. There is no point to making them miserable making cards- we can't enjoy it together. It's hard enough to keep them going decorating them.

We printed off St. Valentine's picture and "Pray for Us" on the back of Knox's cards.

Inside of Knox's above.

Okay, still acting weird!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Free download for Lent and other coloring pages from fellow blogger.

Just thought I might bring this to your attention, if you're looking for coloring pages for Lent. Mary Fifer sent me a link to her website here. It's a PDF download and I added it to the Lent List. 

Mary has some awesome free printouts you should check out, they are part of some bigger copy books you can order. There are copy work printouts for prayers, First Communion, and Confirmation. There are many more free coloring pages you can download, and check out her Rosary pages too. Lot of little treasures on that website. Thanks so much for sharing Mary!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

haha! HOMESCHOOL Barbie!

Suggestions and Ideas for Lent, Holy Week and Easter- it's a long season and these help keep you going.

Think this post is a bit early? I think there are just over 40 days till we start a new season. It's cold with no snow here, I have nothing else to talk about at the moment. I want to provide some ideas that we have tried and loved, but they take a little preparation. Lent starts March 5th, 2014. Easter is April 20th, 2014. February is a short month, so it's not a bad idea to start thinking ahead.

1. Sign up for Holy Heroes Lent Adventure. Same concept as the Advent Adventure! This will be our second year in it. We loved it last year and we have also done two Advent Adventures now and a Summer Adventure, it's been perfect! You can buy their Lent Adventure CD too if you want or just do the free one with the email.

2. For sure get the kids to wear sacrifice beads. Once you get the swing of it (takes a week or two) man you will have helpers and good deed do'ers fighting to help you rather than running away. It works perfect with the concept of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. Buy them at Holy Heroes.

3. Stations of the Cross Stickers and coloring books! (see #6 for another use for stickers)

4. Make a "Good Deed" crown of thorns. (It cost me about $6, Rit Dye- I think I used black, toothpicks, and a grapevine wreath from Walmart for around $3). Soak toothpicks and wreath in a bucket in the dye- for a long time! and then let it air dry on some cardboard- wear old clothes. You can also spray paint the wreath and toothpicks if that's more your style. Just do it outside please in the grass! Pull a thorn from Jesus' crown when you're kids do good deeds. Yes there is a possibility you will pull out all the thorns because we all have more than one child, start over again and keep reusing the toothpicks. Use the Sacrifice Beads to count and keep track during the day.

Dye the grapevine and toothpicks. Stick the toothpicks in at random.

When Easter is here, change it into candy bird's nest.

5. Make a Lent Calender- sort of like an Advent Calendar. I had to make mine from scratch.  I laminated it and made little "stickers" with Crosses and Saint Icon's for Feast Days.

I cut little rectangles out of penitent purple card stock. I used these beautiful cross stickers from Walmart and the little foam sticker pad to raise them up to look 3d.

Laminated poster board and we just glue dotted the "stickers" to each day. They removed easily and didn't tear after Lent was over.

My very young and wise daughter explaining Lent and the Lent calender, you can see the completed Calender it's about 2 mins or so. So precious!

6. Make Stations of the Cross, or here, or here, or here. Go to Stations of the Cross at your Church, Listen to Holy Heroes Stations of the Cross every night (JP II did, and he's up for canonization if you hadn't heard). Oh the Holy Heroes CD about JP II is awesome! Listen to that one during Lent as well. Go ahead and buy your kids their own Stations of the Cross books too. My son and daughter each have a Lovasik book, they loved them last year and were faithful using them I was so impressed with how they wanted to do Stations each week. Another good one is Children's' Stations of the Cross by Susan Brindle. We have added these awesome books, with real art work to our collection, Children's Stations of the Cross and ABC Life of Christ. Use the stickers maybe on tea lights with baby food jars?

My sister and her husband Kale crafted the popsicle stick portions and we had a short rock gluing party and I finished them at home later. They turned out beautiful. I think we might stain them this year. 

7. Put up decorations, like the Last Supper, I found a nice one at the Goodwill this last Fall for        $2.49!

And I got this for Christmas!

You can cut and color one from Catholic Icing's blog, she hand draws hers! Give you kids a little art lesson too. They are meant to stick onto an egg carton! How fun!

Teach your kids who is in the painting and what their gesture's mean.

8. On Easter Sunday, have a "rock tomb" ready for the kids to come out and see with their Easter baskets. Mine was two chairs with crumbled brown paper bags and a dark brown blanket thrown over the top. I got this idea from my sister Mary- I think a FOCUS friend of hers blogged about it.

9. Make Resurrection Rolls for Easter Day. They taste like honey!! SOO GOOOOD! One Peep per Pillsbury Crescent Roll. Wrap them tight, they expand and leak sticky sticky! Also line your cookie sheet with parchment, it's a mess if they leak the marshmallow.

10. Make Holy Week Eggs, or Resurrection Eggs, they are called a lot of different things on the internet. My mom went nuts when she saw these and my kids explained to her what they were. She loved them! Kids love them because it's little bitty things that are fun to hold in their hands.

I basically followed what CatholicIcing had content wise. I see Protestant eggs too on blogs have them too. If you do the bible verses, make sure your translation is a Catholic translation.

11. Visit Catholic ToolBox and make all the Lent and Easter related file folder games. There are so many! My kids love love them! We learned more in playing one game than I could teach them just sitting and listening!

12. Give alms to the poor (teach your kids the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, Give Food to the Hungry, Drink to the Thirsty etc.., there is a song we learned from Holy Heroes last year we will sing on these). Those Rice Boxes that you can get at Church are a great tool to use. Make your own Lenten Alms jar.

13.  Make a Sacrifice Box for a toy or two to be placed in and "forgotten" during Lent. For younger kids who maybe are ready to do a sacrifice but can't really give up a favorite food yet. Make sure and put it out of sight. You want them to succeed and feel proud, but if they have to stare at the box, they may not be so successful.

16. How about making pretzels for Lent on Ash Wednesday? Here's a great recipe and cute prayer card. It's a traditional food for Lent, I had no idea where pretzel's came from or why they were made before.

17. I saw free printable Easter calendars in which kids can color the road map of the 40 days of Easter and all the events after Christ's Resurrection. We used one from Catholic Icing last year, I wish I would have been able to enlarge it, at the time I don't think I had a good printer/scanner.

18. Free Lent coloring book on this link. Mary Fifer at St. Anne's Helper sent me a photo and a link of the nice coloring book she has as a free download in PDF format. There is a lot of nice pages in there your kids can take their time and color throughout the Lenten season. You can bind it up, put yarn through it or put it in a three ring binder. Use it to color during Stations of the Cross or have the kids color it while you say a family Rosary or listen to a Holy Heroes CD.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Catholic Missionary homeschooling family in need of prayers and support

I went to hear a missionary family talk tonight at St. Jude- the Bailey family! The Bailey's 

had 12 children and grew up alongside our family at St. Jude. One of their sons, Donovan 

married a beautiful girl named Blair and they have 4 kids now. They truly get Pope Francis' 

message to the world. Before the Pope's new Evangelli Gaudium came out they were 

praying for their family's mission to be revealed not even realizing this was on their radar. 

This family truly is an example for everyone to hear about! 

One thing that Blair spoke about is being unburdened and giving it all to God, I get it, 

sounds so wonderful! (ie like worrying about a house payment, or how to find a doctor, or

whether or not there is hot water-cause there is not hot water!) They are off to fortify the

Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has need of missionaries everywhere. One wonders

why is some normal American family off doing this? Because there are no others to be sent!

 They need donations but mostly prayers. 

People don't realize there are so so many countries with a good Catholic foundation- but 

they are not catechized completely. Basically in blunt terms, the other 

organization's missionaries come in and water down the faith and teachings and 

pretty soon have 10 different faiths and everyones confused on the truth. 

Please pray for them and please pray for the foothold the

 Catholic Church established long before to be built on by good Catholic missionaries.

This is their blog if you want to read up on how they homeschool 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Testament to Homeschooling- Deo Gratias! I am doing the happy dance!

   Last fall (2013) a parent who I knew in passing from my church got a hold of me. She had a child in Knox's preschool class and remembered she had heard through the grapevine we were going to be homeschooling when I pulled Knox out the year before at the end of the fall semester (2012). Anyway, we spoke for a bit on the phone and she visited this blog and had been reading up on homeschooling. She was  being brought into homeschooling world from the dilemma brought on by Common Core being introduced in the Catholic schools here locally (and of course we all have a personal list of reasons we homeschool, multiple reasons of course.)
  Anyway, I am so happy to say she is now homeschooling. I am thrilled for her kids and her and her husband!  She was brave enough to go forward, I remember her hesitancy in worrying this could be too much to take on, and of course validly would it drive her crazy. She was clear on the phone to me that she knew she could pick up in the middle of the semester no problem with her kids! (that's more than I can say I would be able to do- when I pulled Knox out it was just pre-school).
  AND! there is more, she has already noticed how much happier her kids are-HOW COOL IS THAT, SHE IS ALREADY SEEING BENEFITS! AMAZING! She said she loved being immersed in the Catholic education she's providing! DEO GRATIAS!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I noticed while making the last post

-These Neumann Press reprints popped up. They were reprints from the 1950s, and then Neumann Press went out of business and Tan Publisher bought Neumann Press and thankfully the press is rolling again and these books are available. I collected these over a year ago, but now I see the newer ones which are being reprinted by Tan publisher who bought Neumann Press. And they are coming up for sale way less than the cost of a new one too. This is great! That means you can save some money! We have read all of them. They are lengthier but both Genna and Knox loved them because of the pictures, they are full of pictures. Hope you love them as much as we do.

Our family's Patron Saint this year is....

St. Francis of Assisi, Feast Day October 4th.

Here's some of the books we are reading this year (yes some are on the Christmas and Advent list) and we hope to collect more and have a Feast Day party! We couldn't go wrong with a Francis- as we now have Pope Francis, and we love love St. Anthony still and we felt like we needed to keep with the Franciscans. Funny how in tune my kids were to poverty and Franciscan monk theme.  We got our St. Francis holy medals blessed with our Epiphany chalk. We also happen to love going to St. Francis of Assisi Church here in town, so that just makes going to mass there even more special for us.