Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ahhhh Advent ...and projects.. Little Flowers St. Clare

Advent is always exciting, well so is Ordinary time, Lent and just about every other Liturgical cycle change around here. Something we are changing a little around here, is our sacrifice manger, we got the big paper one from Holy Heroes and we bought their Advent books this year too, even Brenden is doing a book.
Zoe sits and grabs at all our stuff laying out on the floor and then flops over and cries if we don't give her our pencils or crayons or the computer! She loves watching the Holy Heroes kids- she never paid attention to the TV/computer screen before, but I think it's because they are children talking to you, so it's fun for her to see them.

  In addition to their fun Advent calendars with Playmobil we like to use, I also ordered these cute $.99 felt advent wreaths for the kids to put in their rooms and altar tables and even on the piano.  They came from Autom- I think they were a clearance item, but they came in a 4 pack I think- which is how many we needed. We also ordered some new Advent books and St. Nicholas feast day gifts- which I need to go and look at again and make sure everyone has something. 

 Also last year I started putting together a Nativity Peg doll set for the kids. I went around looking for a stable or something I could make a stable from. I found these cute moss covered creches at Walmart for around $11. At that time, I wasn't sure if I wanted that particular style, but after searching more, it ended up being the best and sturdiest and cheapest! When I went back they were sold out, and weren't available on line. So I waited till this year, and snagged one back in November before they disappeared.

I just need to paint the wise men and 2 shepherds now, maybe one will be a shepherd boy. My dad made the animals last year for us for Christmas, the kids love them. I need a sheep though. I might try and find a sheep pattern for him to cut out for me.

Really $11 is a good deal for all the materials and time involved in making my own. I don't think I could do it that cheap and it would be time consuming.

I finished the peg dolls faces tonight- see below. I posted about those pegs back in October. Now I need to find two crochet projects for Knox and Genna to do this winter, a hat and a scarf combo maybe, it's dual purpose is to enter it into the county fair for 4-H.

Speaking of 4-H

Knox had a couple of county awards this past week at the 4-H banquet. He had an award for best 4-H story (two kids received it), and then received certificates for 3 KAPs and a pin for his KAP in poultry. 

We were very proud of him for his achievements!

And now speaking of poultry, we have lost 3 hens in the past two weeks from possums. WE ARE INFESTED WITH POSSUMS here in our neighborhood apparently some must have had some babies- it's been two years and this is the first time we have had problems. We keep catching them. We have moved them far away from here- 6 miles at least, but more keep showing up, I am hoping we get rid of them soon.  Two possums in one night Sunday- me and Knox caught them by hand and raking them into the cages chasing them around our chicken pen. My oldest is no wuss- he's a pretty tough young man already. I have tons of funny possum videos and pictures from my trail cam. My parents apparently have a mountain lion living up near them (they are 5 mins from here) and my mom heard a roaring like a jungle cat a few Fridays ago around midnight. She could hear it through their closed windows and went and opened a window to get a better listen. She was a bit unsettled afterward. 

Also Genna's Little Flowers meeting was canceled last month, the girls we do with it were sick and then poor Maureen got sick on top of that. So we just decided to do the project and virtue at home and meet for the next virtue after craziness slows down. This month's saint was St. Clare of Assisi.

We decided embroidering little St. Clare dolls would be fun, did you know she is the patron of needleworkers and embroiders? We are moving up in difficulty on projects, Genna really loved this one though. She is ready to start another doll. Knox is also sewing one. I plan on having them enter their dolls into the fair for 4-H art projects.

Genna finished her St. Clare doll-which was the craft for the month. It really was a lot of fun.

Pretty soon here I will be starting Genna's quilt.  Next week both girls have their birthdays. And I promised Genna I would have her quilt done by then, it isn't even cut out yet. It will be late or for Christmas. I have a few projects I am going to finally get to though that have been put off because of all the commitments I got myself into. And I am looking forward to being deep in them!

And I always love visiting Brad with the kids when he is working, at home, he drives a pretty nice truck, and at work he sometimes gets a nice sports car to drive. 

So what do your kids do to keep themselves entertained when you go shoe shopping?

Happy Feast of St. Andrew!  We enjoyed singing St. Peter Damian's hymn to St. Andrew with Conditor Alme Siderum, and ate red peppermint Oreos (for his martyrdom) and hot chocolate in his honor while watching Holy Heroes Advent Adventure of course.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

hurry Amazon code for books: $10 off a purchase of $25!

Hey this is a great deal on Amazon books. $10 off $25 book order using the code HOLIDAYBOOK at check out time.  (It expires on 11/28/16)  A lot of children's Christmas books are already marked down for the weekend sales, and if you use your Amazon Prime option you already have free shipping, this really is a great deal for those Advent and Christmas books and St. Nicholas' feast day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Feast of Christ the King cookies

It's almost the end of the liturgical year! We celebrated the Feast of Christ the King this past Sunday and have been enjoying some sugar cookies to celebrate it.

The shapes are pretty self explanatory right?

We hadn't used our crown cookie cutter yet, and it was cool to see how they turned out.

Me and the kids each did a plateful. The crowns were by far the funnest to decorate. We have been so busy lately, its been hard to squeeze in feast day partying for us.

One of the few things this past week we have worked on was "eradicating" the pest(s) that have killed a few of our hens. Meet the two suspects, we caught them in the act via trail cam. And we even used our old dead Rhode Island Red as bait- she certainly served us well and her friends by helping us figure out what was wrong.

"let me just climb this bush, they won't even see me"

They didn't even play dead. I have one more to catch I think- a smaller "baby" that was on its own. It has been a few weeks since we have seen it- I think we scared it off just by our presence and my kids chasing it.

Anyway, hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day! We have much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More chasubles, cassocks and surplices with repairs

So what do you do on a Saturday night? Me- Wash these things!

We made it to mass tonight and dropped of the chasubles on the way in. Then of course afterward we took all most the rest. There were the black ones and a few other random ones we left behind, they looked pretty clean.  
  Want to know how chasubles smell? Well at least in our church's closet- a bit like old smoke, they needed airing out. The fancier purple and red ones definitely weren't dirty but just needed a really good rinsing and airing.

So here is my house again full of clean chasubles and stolls. I ended up doing the fancy Sunday ones- with the satin and gold stitching (I hear sometimes its real) in the sink as well. I tested the purple (darkest color) one first to see how it dried and whether or not the fabric changed. It didn't change the glossiness of the satin at all! I did not throw those fancy ones in the dryer. They are hanging on the backs of the doors over tile and towels to drip dry through the night.

 And I also tested one of father's regular not so fancy but valuble Vietnamese chasubles in the washer on a gentle cycle. It came out great as well. I spun one down to get excess sink water out of it in our washer too. Then they all went in the dryer.

Tomorrow we might get to the altar boy's stuff...that closet was very full. I might need more then one trip for them.  At least those all can be done in the washing machine.
 The fancy ones were still a little wet at the bottom (from gravity) in the morning- so I hung them up on the shower curtain rod and let the fan blow on them all morning- they were dry by early afternoon.


Today we dropped off the garments you see listed above, and then picked up the "old fashioned black cassocks and white surplices. I didn't even get to the hooded white albs the altar boys use with the rope waists yet. These traditional black cassocks and white surplices are probably as old as I am, or older. The necklines on some of them were yellow from neglect. 

So this afternoon I washed 14 surplices and 15 cassocks. 
 OF THOSE 15 cassocks: One cassock is non repairable, 4 black buttons are missing off the rest (I will search the closet floors for them when we get back), 4 cassocks needed 5 arm pits repairs, or 1 neckline or a sleeve sewn, shoulder hole, or velcro sewn.

This one obviously was unusable- it was ripped when the altar server jerked the snaps open and never got repaired. Now it has been resurrected.

It's not pretty, but no one will ever be able to tell unless you are 6 inches from the servers neck.

The pile of surplices you see below- they were washed twice, first time air dried so I could see what stains were left, and then treated for stains and thrown back in.

5 arm pit repairs later and 1 neck line....seriously hard use on these things, they have had a nice long life at St. Anthony's. I was sort of giggling to myself at all the burn holes in the surplices! Guess that's a hazard in altar boy job world.

I already had my sewing machine ready to go.

Big blown arm pit! Yikes!

So tomorrow we will bring home the white hoodie albs and get them cleaned up and see what needs repair on them.  I really hasn't taken too long for the repairs and cleaning. Then hopefully I will be done! Everyone will be smelling ERA and Purex Crystals fresh up there on the altar for a little while!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

hand washing chasubles in the bathroom sink

Although this isn't a terrible exciting post in terms of creativity and homeschooling or a fun feast day party, none the less, some of you might find it interesting. How often do we think about how dirty our priest's chasuble's are? Today, while prepping mass, the lady I worked, with figured out our priest's chasubles and albs were looking a bit dingy. We tried to think back to when someone offered to go get them dry cleaned and it's been at least a year ;) But with so many layers of clothes underneath you would think going a year is probably okay but the collar of those chasuble's and albs get sweaty I imagine.

It was decided I would take them to be dry cleaned since the cleaners was in my side of town.
I didn't even take half of what was in the closet, because I needed to find time in the Liturgical Calendar when he DIDN'T need certain colors, but I took enough to keep me busy all the same.

And what ended up happening was a bit of an experiment. I started wondering if the chasubles were even washable- made from polyester blend or another non shrinkable fabric. Our priest's vestments all came from Vietnam so I was a bit worried about replacement value- sentimental and such. With all the fancy stitching on them, I wondered if it might get "pilly or fuzzy" from a machine. So I ended up spray treating them and dunking them in a sink. 

Shout "Spray in Wash" is a good friend of mine, probably yours too.

Yea, that's a dirty collar...poor Father! When you are wearing it you don't tend to notice how bad it is- since it's a gradual build up of gunk.

And oh there's a bathroom sink.

And that's the same collar after the sink. When I compared my photos, I was pleased. It's hard to tell sometimes how dark stains are as they gradually disappear, especially on a garment I don't even own- not being one to regularly inspect it. I found some fine pink pencil marks or something that made pink stains towards the lower front left, but couldn't get them out- not even scrubbing with a toothbrush. I am pretty sure Father won't stress at all though, no one can see them except me.

Well,  what could possibly be ashes, old spit up from baby holding? or coffee? 

In goes the Ordinary Time, this is a weekday vestment- not the nice Sunday one.  (I will need to get those on a Sunday and wash them through the week)

And not it's not really gone looking at these photos. But when it dried it was...weird! Whew that sink washing works just fine.

So while I was working through these I was waiting on them to drip dry a bit and then planned to throw them in the dryer. It was taking so long and it was so messy with the slick tile floor (lets face it I don't have all day, I don't even have 30 minute time blocks most the time to dedicate to one project)

So it got wrapped up in towels and squeezed out and then thrown in the dryer.

The last one so go was the heavy red chasuble. It was a weird mystery fabric and it was the only one that wrinkled in the dryer but didn't shrink though thankfully. I am pretty sure since it's used less, it wasn't as dirty. I actually tried to iron it out on the hottest setting, and it sort of helped, but not completely. But once I hung it up, it seemed to straighten out. It looked fine. The alb for visiting priests was thrown into the wash- it was cruddy looking for some reason, but cleaned up nice.  And that's the "special" toothbrush I scrubbed the necks with.

Since Knox serves frequently, I see how very very dirty all the altar boy surplices are, so those will be coming home on Sunday with me after we meet in the church for violin practice. Since we have no mass on Mondays- so I can wash them then and bring them back Tuesday. Good thing I have a big washing machine, cause that closet is full of them. I am sort of scared how many hangers I have to pull out, I am thinking I will just fill up my large laundry basket. Don't worry I will post about it too, for your amusement. Until then....hopefully this will hold you over for a giggle.

Here's a great photo of my husband! Tough guys can wear sparkle band aids- thank you nurse! LOL! He is smiling- you can see it peeking out, when I told him to pull up his sleeve he cracked a smile!