Wednesday, April 29, 2009

St. Catherine of Siena - Pray For Us!

Today is the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena.

Catherine of Siena was one of the greatest women that ever lived. When she was a
little girl, our dear Lord appeared to her. "Please give me your heart," he
asked. She gave it willingly. Jesus gave her His Sacred Heart in return.
(Miniature Stories of the Saints by Rev. Daniel A. Lord, S.J.)

On Shrove Tuesday, 1366, while the citizens of Siena were
keeping carnival, and Catherine was praying in her room, a vision of Christ
appeared, accompanied by His mother and the heavenly host. Taking the girl's
hand, Our Lady held it up to Christ, who placed a ring upon it and espoused her
to Himself, bidding her to be of good courage, for now she was armed with a
faith that could overcome all temptations. To Catherine the ring was always
visible, though invisible to others. The years of solitude and preparation were
ended and soon afterwards she began to mix with her fellow men and learn to
serve them. Like other Dominican tertiaries, she volunteered to nurse the sick
in the city hospitals, choosing those afflicted with loathsome diseases—cases
from which others were apt to shrink. (Taken from Lives of Saints, Published by
John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.)


Today I ask her to pray for all the sick. Especially for Buck who started running fever last night, for my mama, who suffers with chronic pain, and for all of those we've promised to pray for.

Thank you Charlotte for another beautiful coloring sheet.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prayer to St.Joseph For One's Husband


I absolutely LOVE this book! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend doing so. I first read it last year and it changed my life. I'm especially fond of the prayer to St. Joseph for our husbands. I hope she, Agnes Penny, doesn't mind if I share it with you.

O Good St. Joseph, Patron of Fathers and workers, please come to the aid of my husband. Assist him in his daily efforts to provide for our family, and help him to find his work interesting and fulfilling. Also, help him to be a holy husband and father; may he imitate thy patience and gentleness, yet be unafraid to lead our family on the straight and narrow path that will bring us all to heaven. As breadwinner and head of our family, he does not have an easy job, as thou dost well know, St. Joseph, from thy own life time as provider and head of the Holy Family. Pray for and assist my husband, dear St. Joseph, that his courage and perseverance may not fail and that the trails and hardships which he encounters in this life will only serve to strengthen his love for his family and his devotion to our Lord. Amen.

Please keep my dear husband and children in your prayers. I am scheduled for surgery
Thursday morning. May our Lady wrap them all in her loving mantle and as always May God's Will Be Done!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saint Zita Pray For Us

Today is the feast of St. Zita, Virgin. It is said the sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed everyone who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work; but her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers.

She was brought up with the greatest care, in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious sentiments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general corruption of nature, so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother reduced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say, "This is most pleasing to God; this is the divine will"; or, "That would displease God." (Butler's Lives of the Saints)

Proverbs 31:31
Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

This woman was orderly and did not waste.
Saint Zita, you loved the Lord your God
as a servant girl you worked and organized.
Through time people saw your saintliness,
help us through work to sanctify our lives.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Celebrating with Lions


Hi. Just a quick post of a couple of fun things we're doing today in honor of St. Mark. He is sometimes pictured with a lion because his gospel begins with John the Baptist crying out in the desert, like a lion. He is the patron saint of Venice and his gospel is believed to be the first written. He traveled with Saint Peter and was very close to him. So, after confession today we'll decorate some lion cupcakes while dad grills some red meat....ROAR.... a lion's favorite. I'll also make some Risi e Bisi while the kids begin working on some of their geography sheets I printed from Enchanted Learning. I'll read aloud from our saint books and hopefully we'll start reading his gospel tonight with our night prayers. We'll probably take turns reading about a chapter a night. Have a blessed day :)


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tea, Scones, and Shakespeare

Today is the feast of Saint George, patron saint of England. It's also William Shakespeare's birthday. Therefore, we had an English tea this morning. The girls enjoyed setting the table, while Honeybee and Buck helped me prepare scones. As we enjoyed our tea and scones, Snuggle Bug shared some Emily Dickinson and House Cat read some of our favorite Shakespeare Sonnets.

The scones turned out delicious! This is the recipe we used.


Yummy jams and jellies.
Tea Time!

As the House Cat read Sonnet 116, Buck spoke up and said, "Hey that's from Sense and Sensibility!"
Once we were finished in the kitchen, we moved out front for Saint George and the Dragon. Buck was ready with his knights and horses. The dragon is still hiding from us, somewhere...
Oh, and here's a weapon he made while the scones were cooking. How's that for a catapult?
That mean old dragon better watch out!!! (Notice the ball of dough on the handle? It shoots pretty far :)
Saint George was believed to be born in Palestine and was a Roman soldier. He helped spread the Christian faith to modern day Iran. He visited Britain and is most well know for his legendary slaying of a dragon. In 1415 he was named patron saint of England. Crusaders adopted his red cross on a white background and is still part of the British flag today. Enchanted learning has a British flag to print and color with explanations of the colors and crosses used. I didn't realize the flag of the UK is a combination of the flags of England (the cross of St. George), Scotland (the cross of St. Andrew), and Ireland (the cross of St. Patrick). I should have paid better attention in history class :) Another wonderful benefit of homeschooling - learning things you should already know. I love it and my wonderful family! Thank you God.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Blessed Woman's Daybook April 20

Outside my window...
Things are wet after last nights storms. Thankfully no damage here. The suet feeder is empty. We have all been filled with a new sense of wonder since we began bird watching. I need to replace the suet asap - we are hoping to see our new friend again soon. (see pic below)

I am thinking...
Health is something we too often take for granted. Last week was not an easy one for me or my family.

I am thankful for...
A devoted husband, good friends to pray with, our beloved church.

From the learning rooms...
Finish up the CAT with House Cat and Snuggle Bug today. We were in the middle of it last week when I became ill. Try to get my bearings back. I feel so out of sync.

From the kitchen...
A bountiful blessing of food. My honey stocked up the pantry last week. Now I need to go through it all and make a meal list.

I am wearing...
The usual... Comfy pull on pants, t-shirt, cotton pull on jacket, New Balance tennis shoes.

I am reading...
Graced and Gifted by Kimberly Hahn. Lots of Brian Wildsmith books to Buck and Honeybee.

I am hoping...
My mom feels better soon.

I am hearing...
Word World on APT

Around the house...
Flowers from my honey, books -books- and more books, crayons, Divine Mercy coloring sheets by Buck and Honeybee, and my favorite: Our Paschal Candle crafted by dad.

One of my favorite things...
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yum:)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
T-ball practice for dad and Buck , Symphony, Horse Riding Lesson for Snuggle Bug, 10 yr. Check-up for Snuggle Bug , Life on the Rock EWTN, Art Class for House Cat.

Some picture thoughts...
Snuggle Bug's 10th Christian Birthday

Our first baby - Dixie - smiling for her picture.


Snuggle Bug was right: We do have a red headed woodpecker around here!


For more daybook entries visit:
http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

Our Lord’s words to St. Faustina about this requirement to be merciful are very strong and leave no room for misinterpretation:
Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy. … I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it (742).


Thus, to fittingly observe the Feast of Mercy, we should:

1. Celebrate the Feast on the Sunday after Easter;
2. Sincerely repent of all our sins;
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus;
4. Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday;

5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast;
6. Venerate* the Image of The Divine Mercy;
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.

*To venerate a sacred image or statue simply means to perform some act or make
some gesture of deep religious respect toward it because of the person whom it
represents — in this case, our Most Merciful Savior.

On June 29, 2002, in a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the
Holy Father Pope John
Paul II granted a plenary and a partial indulgence to the devout observance of the Second Sunday of Easter,Divine Mercy Sunday.”


The decree offers: a
plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout
prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!");

A
partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart,
pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.

(Taken from John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy )

Jesus I Trust In You

May this always be our prayer! Do not worry about this life and what it holds. Look to Jesus and TRUST in God's plan for us all. Have a blessed day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Easter Story Eggs and Paschal Candle 2009


Buck and Honeybee enjoyed making Easter Story Eggs on Holy Saturday.


First we decorated the empty egg carton. Then I used a Sharpie to number the eggs 1-12. I ended up using these things for our eggs, mainly because we had the things around the house we needed to fill the eggs with.

1.Small Cracker (Last Supper) Mark 14:22
2. Silver coin(s) (Judas' betrayal) Matt 26:14-15
3. Feather (Peter's denial) Matt 26:33-35
4. Thorn (Crowning) Mark 15:17
5. Die or Dice (Lots cast) John 19:23-24
6. Cross (Crucifixion) John 19:17-18
7. Nail (Crucifixion) Matt 27:31
8. Sponge (I Thirst) John 19:29
9. Linen Cloth ( Burial) Matt 27:57-60
10. Whole Clove (Spices for burial) Mark 16:1
11.Rock (Closing the tomb) Matt 27:62-65
12.Empty (He is Risen) Mark 16:5-6


I used a small piece of label to stick the Bible verse into the top of the egg.


Once we were finished, the family gathered and we told the Easter Story with our eggs.



I just LOVE that our egg cartons have this printed in them. So appropriate - Don't you think?


The eggs turned out great!


Dad did a great job on our Paschal Candle!

We are enjoying lighting it with our night prayers. First with Buck and Honeybee while we read and talk about The Garden of the Good Shepherd, and then with The House Cat and Snuggle Bug when we pray from our new night prayer book. We all LOVE IT!!! Thank you Elizabeth for sharing it with us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Blessings to You and Yours


Alleluia! He is Risen! Alleluia! He is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Mark 14:38

How true this is. Good Friday is the one day a year that I truly deny my body of all that it craves. As the day approaches, I know a huge challenge is ahead. I love food and drink. Really love it - especially my coffee in the morning :) However on this day, the coffee pot stands unused. There's n0 breakfast cooking - only leftover pita bread from the night before. Then there's Stations at Noon and Father's Meditations on the Last Seven Words of Our Lord. I take The House Cat and Snuggle Bug with me. We arrive just in time for the First Station. I try my best to focus. My stomach growls. I think of Our Lord and all He suffered for us those last hours of His life. I know it wasn't the Roman soldiers that caused His sufferings but MY SINS.

Father's first meditation "Father, forgive them they know not what they do," is wonderful. We must forgive. It's imperative! When we have difficulties with this we need to look at the crucifix and think of Jesus' example for us.

The second mediation "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise," reminded me of my conversion and all the wonderful people who have shared Jesus with me. I hope to share Him with all those I come in contact with.

By the third meditation, I'm really fading. My spirit wants to stay but, my flesh is weak. The headache is coming and I'm thinking of the drive home. I lean over and ask the girls if they are ready - they want to stay! I'm trying to be a good role model. I want to stay but, I just can't. I tell them I need to leave. They follow me out. I apologize for not staying and The House Cat says, "Don't worry mom, it gives me an opportunity to practice obedience." This is one of those times when my children blow me away!

I ended up making The Hot Cross Buns for supper. They were wonderful! We were so thankful for Our Lord's sacrifice for our souls and for the food in our tummies.

The Divine Mercy Novena





The Divine Mercy Novena started yesterday on Good Friday. I hope you remembered to start it! If not, I'm sure it's not too late to start :)

It's a wonderful and powerful novena. You'll be very blessed by it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Plans for Celebrating the Triduum & Easter


The Easter Triduum begins tomorrow. We've been doing our best to get things ready. Although I still feel as though I could use another week of planning :) Here are a few of our plans to celebrate this most holy time of the year.


Holy Thursday

The Messianic Seder Supper (here) ,or hereMass of the Lord's Supper


Good Friday

Fast (bread and water) for adults, abstain for kids,
Confession, Stations of the Cross,
maybe - Passion & Veneration of the Cross
Watch The Passion of the Christ in the evening after the little ones are in bed.



Holy Saturday

Hot Cross Buns for Breakfast,

Resurrection Rolls and Easter Story Eggs.

Die Easter Eggs,

Decorate Paschal Candle,

Bandaids For Christ's wounds(Crown of Thorns). My plan for this to melt crayon wax over Our Lord's Wound's (the empty holes on our Crown ofThorns). This will serve as bandaids for Christ's wounds. Prepare as much of our Easter meal as possible.

Mass

Prepare Easter baskets


Easter Sunday


8:30 am Mass (My honey has the honor of lectoring :)

Brunch at home, while the kids enjoy their baskets.

Have my parents over for an early Easter supper. Enjoy our time together celebrating this AWESOME HOLYDAY!!

Thank you Jesus for loving us so much!!!! Help us to love others as you have loved us!

Palm Sunday 2009

Holy Week has begun. We had a wonderful Palm Sunday celebration at our parish. That evening we continued the celebration at home in our Domestic Church.

Dad prepared a wonderful supper for us. I just love the palms as the centerpiece.

After supper we continued with our Jesus Tree. Of course we read about Palm Sunday. It was Honeybee's turn to put the symbol (palm branch) on the tree.

Next, we sang All Glory, Laud, and Honor as we processed around the house while dad put the palm branches behind our crucifixes.


The lighting is not so great in this pic but, I had to include it. This is my favorite place in our home. It's so beautiful and peaceful!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Love and Smile

“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” — Mother Teresa.

With every “gift” of service that you give today, give a smile too.
Compliments of Elizabeth

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ash Wed thru March Daily Reading Coloring Sheets


Feb 26 Moses


Mar 2 Ten Commandments
Mar 4 Nineveh Repents

Mar 5 Queen Esther
Mar 5 Do unto others

Mar 10 Sodom on Fire


Mar 13 Parable of the evil vinedressers
Mar 14 Prodigal Son
Mar 15 Jesus cleanses the temple
Mar 15 Ten Commandments
Mar 16 Naaman is healed

Mar 19 Jesus teaches in temple


Mar 29 Grain of Wheat




April Showers.....May Flowers?

We sure are starting off spring with lots of showers. We are having a great time watching spring wake up from it's long winter nap. The girls have started new nature journals. There is so much to choose from right now! I've just finished reading Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola. It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to instill a love of nature study!The House Cat's entry on the Dogwood Tree



Our Flower Adventure:
First, we planted seeds.

Impatiens for Honeybee

Forget Me Not for Snuggle Bug

And Snapdragon for Buck.

Of course, they needed sunlight. Since we don't have a window sill or any other place to put them .... Mom got inventive.

Things were going great until a Downy Woodpecker came to the suet feeder in the Mary Garden
:) or :( I wonder?


The next picture tells the outcome. I would have made a picture of the mess but, of course it happened about 10 minutes before we had to leave for art class.

This is what we are left with.
Will we have May flowers?

Praying the Rosary keeps us close to Jesus