Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wouldn't you like to prayer the Rosary LIVE IN PERSON with a huge group of Catholics without leaving your home?

  As I was adding the music after I posted my last post I was thinking I should have done this awhile ago. I really love this Rosary Live thing going on Google Plus. Basically it's a Google hangout doing the Rosary. I don't know technology I just have this Chrome book and I know Google so it works for me. I would compare a hangout to maybe Facetime or Skype? Or one of those other online face to face phone calls you hear about.
  I can't always do it because of bedtimes and schedules but we try and make time when we can. Justin Stroh and his family lead online LIVE Rosaries about once a week around 8 PM central time. We have been able to join in several times now. It's so so cool to hear the intentions from around the world- they are coming in from everywhere! 
  It's amazing to be united in prayer over the computer! He offers reflections throughout the Rosary and modern life for Catholics and he and his wife do an amazing job leading the prayer service. If you have a Google Plus account just add Justin to your circle you will see the reminders. You are online live listening praying the rosary with people from Africa, all U.S. states, Canada, Europe, Middle East everywhere! Talk about a powerful Rosary- think about that one. Check it out sometime!

St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal. Reminder for St. Andrew's Novena which started today.

Thank you Justin Stroh for sending this over. I fogot to ad this. It's a beautiful song about the Miraculous Medal..good to put on when doing this craft.
How many of you have the cute little books Neumann Press published called Catholic Stories for Boys and Girls? (There are 4 volumes- they are hard backs.) In Volume I which we read a few times now, there is a story of little girl named Zoe Laboure and her big sister Mary Louise who live in Burgandy, France. 

Zoe become a sister of Charity after seeing and old priest- St. Vincent in her dream. She doesn't know who he is until she sees his picture in the convent where her older sister Mary Louise is now at. Zoe takes the name Sister Catherine and is visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary (after praying to her through out her life to meet her). The Blessed Mother does come and meet Sister Catherine late a night in the convent chapel, and then later gives Sister Catherine the image of the Miraculous Medal to go and be produced and distributed. Sister Catherine's feast day is November the 28th. 

 The feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is November 27th- the day before. We did a great craft from Catholic Icing's website- it's a free download and it's so easy.  I re-read the particular part of the story where Mary come to visit Sister Catherine as the kids worked on their medal craft. Genna did the backside and Knox did the front side (due to the lettering). Genna and Knox have never tried working with foil before- it was a lot of fun. For once I wasn't having them color!

 I cut the foil out and glued it to the foam. This is Knox's side.

 Genna's side- Little Bebopper loves a photo

He wanted to pose holding the new medal.

Don't forget St. Andrew's Novena which started today. If you want to learn a cool hymn in honor of St. Andrew check out this blog again ;) and sign up for her emails- I would have linked to her blog but I can't find the darn We have never heard the hymn before but of course it already goes to that tune I mentioned last night in my post- Conditor Alme Siderum. So you don't have to chant an new melody- just new words. 

Happy Church New Year!! Are you ready for Advent?

Happy New Year! It's here! Are you ready? We are ready! My kids were tickled to death to get out our Jesse Tree. I hope you are all following along with Holy Heroes Advent Adventure- it's all free you know. There are cute religious coloring pages, Jesse Tree paper ornaments, videos and quizzes, etc..
 Tonight during the opening hymn- the kids finally heard their song we have been practicing now for two fall semesters (finally we went to a mass that sang it- see below). They were also clued in on all the reading thanks to Holy Heroes Sunday Gospel prep videos. I love when Genna looks at me and nods and smiles at the readings.

Thank you Erin McFarland over at Traditional Catholic Living for providing us with a great music program! If you haven't checked her blog out or are in need of a music program please go see her blog. Erin is a super cool mom, she has Legos and chickens ;) And she will visit with your and answer your silly questions about music.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A sweet tea party celebrating the Presentation of Mary

My friend Cheryl- you should know who she is if you read my blog ;) had a very sweet tea party for girls last Friday to celebrate the Presentation of Mary. Everyone came dressed up, and she made this adorable Immaculate Heart dessert from brownies, twizzlers, a pretzel and a strawberry. I so wanted to stay and play tea party...but alas..someone had to take those "non tea drinking" brother's somewhere ;)  We went to Exploration Place and had a great time! And to quote Beatrix Potter so that the, "Dignity and Repose of the Tea Party" would not be disturbed. 

some lovely ladies!

aren't they so cute with their tea cups?

They had a lesson about the feast day and also made a craft. It was perfect!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had another theatrical holiday production 

 Uncle Jon was the only adult who got roped in this time.

The Mayflower full of kids.

Here's how we made the Mayflower

I had a large box I flattened, I didn't think it would work- since it was folded originally

She colored it in with me with oil pastels

Ready to sail to the new world!

We hope you had a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Advent Manger project- get 'er done!

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.
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, or try a hot glue gun to be fast!
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.) Also try Autom's website- they have little baby Jesus for sale perfect for this project.

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. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Early snow- wait...did I say snow? And gingerbread...

Walking out to the coop during the flurry early early this morning..

Well, I can't recall since childhood a snow this early. I recall maybe once or twice snow for Halloween. But it just doesn't snow a lot here....ever. We did get a huge deep mess of it two springs ago and again this last spring, but that was just one storm doing that dumping. WE HAVE LOTS OF COLD WIND AND HOT WIND. But that's really the only guarantee we have most the time- wind.  
But today, our science museum hosted a Gingerbread House event, where you can go make your own little houses and look at some other people's pretty ones. There was snow on the ground and it was such a nostalgic I don't have to buy or supply or clean up ;)  Knox is the only one with any Ginger bread house experience. We really had a lovely afternoon.

our box of supplies

drip!!  Genna's cup of frosting was perfect, nice and thick for sticking. 

  I think Brenden did a good job sticking on his candy- he did eat quite a few but he really had fun.   Genna wanted to make her's a Cathedral- hence the church bell at the top. Two other sets of people who were at our table at different times kept saying, this is the church, here is the steeple... funny how we all were thinking the same thing.

I think we can count today- Sunday- as a homeschool art class day, don't you?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Get inspired celebrating the Saints- make it a New Year's goal

Okay, you all know who Padre Pio is right? (Duh) As a child he grew up in a family who celebrated the Saints feast days through out the year, they also fasted 3 days a week, said daily Rosaries together....yes- now he is in Heaven. He lead an amazing life. 

 Fortunately, we aren't all born mystics- very rarely does God give that gift to a person, and most of us won't ever perform miracles.  But just because we aren't bestowed with that amazing gift doesn't mean we can't imitate Padre Pio's holy life or any other Saint's life for that matter. (I was just using his as an example since he was a recent saint to make my point that Saints are very relevant now!)

 God gave us Jesus- to follow his perfect example of how to get to heaven. BUT God also gives us the Saints to inspire us and to follow in their footsteps- literally. If you know someone is in heaven, wouldn't you want to study their life and figure out how they got there? And then do the same thing, walk a similar path? What's even greater- saints were sinners like us- which very relate-able. The way to heaven is not impossible.

 So maybe you aren't in the habit of saying daily rosaries, or maybe the idea of fasting outside of Lent sounds a bit too hard for now...well how about a Saint party instead? IF it was good enough for Padre Pio's family to celebrate the Saints, why isn't it for your family??? That's easy- and you can plan it way out in advance using your regular old  Parties are really fun! Take that first step and soon you will find yourself wanting to plan another one, your family will soon be on a speeding spiritual train that can't seem to stop. You're kids will love it!

  So now you see why it's important to infuse the Saints into our daily lives? They lead the way- SO WE CAN GO TO HEAVEN TOO! 

This blog I just came across tonight has some cute ideas for celebrating Saints daily- easy if you're homeschooling as we have all day with our children, surely you can fit a few Saint activities in through out the year?  If there are any out there who aren't homeschooling- make the extra effort after your kids get home to celebrate the Saints once in awhile. I have more Feast Day ideas posted here. Buy a Liturgical planning book- they are full of good ideas. (here's some free ones by the Fournier's that you can read on the internet instead of buying) Make it a New Years goal to pick a saint to study in your family for a year, have a Feast day party on that Saint's Feast day- invite friends...hey we will come ;)

Oh by the way, the Church's new year starts at the end of Ordinary time, and begin's with Advent, this year November 30th- Sunday. Why not start off the "real year" our lives should be centered around by celebrating New Year's then? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

update on Christians in Iraq

Aww...the chicken life

  I love my hens- my kids love them too. Today we thought they disappeared. We live along a highway and apparently they got through a hole in the fence and just kept walking down the fence far far away. They weren't able to see their coop. So when we went looking for them they came running! 
  My husband wrapped their coop up in a camo tarp this afternoon and we stuffed their boxes and coop full of hay. We bought them a water warmer- their water has frozen every day this week even during the day. Now- apparently it's supposed to get snowy overnight. He's insulated it with foam earlier this week right before that front came in on Monday evening. One of my hens looks like she started to get frostbite on her comb and the tip felt ice cold where the blackish/bluish tissue was. But we vaselined up their combs and wattles and hopefully that will keep it from happening again and damaging her comb further. 

These hen's used to be some wild ladies at the previous farm they were kept at. They were never held. But since they are Rhode Island Reds- they are very very sweet and tolerant of everything. Including ackward 2 year old boys how try to stuff cabbage in their beaks ;) and then walk around holding them funny. They don't fuss a bit.