Monday, March 29, 2010

A Christian Seder Supper ~

A Catholic family can enter more deeply into the Passion of Christ by having a seder meal, similar to the Passover, or Last Supper that Jesus would have celebrated with his Apostles. With the knowledge that Christ has come and redeemed the world, we can incorporate a Christian attitude during the seder meal. At the beginning of the seder meal, a traditional Jewish blessing that also explains the origin of the seder meal and its history. Included here is the blessing with Christian meditations.


All gather around the table and stand quietly. The mother, or chosen hostess, lights a candle, since it is the Jewish mother''s privilege to light the Sabbath candles.

MOTHER OR HOSTESS: The traditional prayer of the mother in the Jewish family as she lights the feast day candle before the meal is this:

Blessed art thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments and hast commanded us to kindle the festival lights. Blessed art thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who hast kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season. May our home be consecrated O God, by the light of thy countenance shining upon us in the blessing and bringing us peace.

FATHER OR LEADER: This is Holy Week, a time that joins for us the Old and the New Covenant. At this season the Jewish people celebrate the feast of the Passover or Pasch. More than 1,400 years before the time of Christ, the chosen people were suffering in slavery in Egypt. God raised up Moses as their leader and Moses tried to secure their release from captivity. Despite the hardships of nine successive plagues which God sent to them, the Egyptians still refused the pleas of Moses. Then an angel of the Lord was sent to strike down the first born son of every family; but at God's command, each Jewish family had sacrificed a lamb and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts. And the angel, seeing the blood, passed over their homes and their children were spared.

Then, finally, Pharaoh permitted the Jews to leave. They fled in haste, to wander amid the hardships in the desert for forty years before coming to the promised land. And God commanded Moses that the Jews should make a remembrance of their day of deliverance (Exodus 12:14-28). Thus the Passover became the great feast of sacrifice, of deliverance and of thanksgiving. Each Passover meal revolves around the retelling (the Haggadah) of this Providential act.

We who are the followers of Christ see the working of God's concern for His people. As God sent Moses to rescue the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, so He lovingly sent His Son to redeem fallen man from slavery to sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Christ opened the gates of heaven to us.

At this time Christians and Jews celebrate their own feasts in their own ways and we can see in these celebrations the common bond of the symbolism of the Exodus. Jesus was a Jew and today we wish to draw upon the traditional Jewish Seder and the words of the New Testament to help us more fully appreciate Jesus'' observance of His Jewish heritage, whose laws He kept.

Matthew's, Mark's and Luke's accounts of Christ's sacrifice for us each begin with His celebration of the paschal meal:

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ''Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?" (Matt. 26:17) (see also Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:7-9)

(Activity Source: Passover Meal, The by Arleen Hynes, Paulist Press, 1972
Taken from Catholic Culture)

Holy Thursday Meal Menu

For Christian families remembering Christ's heritage, celebrating a meal on Holy Thursday in memory of the Last Supper is a great tradition.


Seder Meal Preparation

The room is prepared for a truly festive occasion. The table or tables are set with the best silver, dishes, linen and flowers. The children may make large banners on shelf paper of the Paschal lamb, breads on a platter, the Last Supper, phrases from the scriptures, chalices, loaves and fishes, brick walls to symbolize the slavery of the Jews, and marked doorposts or any other gaily colored symbolic pictures of their own making. In this way the children can enjoy a creative experience, decorate the home or hall and learn through symbolism. A wine glass (or grape juice for the young children) is set before each place.

The centerpiece is a white frosted cake, molded in the shape of a lamb, or an angel food cake whose circular shape symbolizes eternal life. A candle is placed at the head of the table.

The food for the meal is carefully prepared and served, announcing to all present that this is indeed a special feast. If possible, the menu contains the symbolic foods which are required for the feast of the Passover.

The Seder Plate

Jewish custom arranges on one plate the symbolic food used during the service. If the ecumenical gathering of family and friends is large, small bowls of these foods will also be placed at intervals in easy reach of all. On the Seder plate or tray are arranged several items.

The bone from the roasted leg of lamb is always at the Jewish table and may be on ours. It symbolizes the sacrificial lamb offered by the Israelites and was eaten on the eve of their departure from Egypt. Whether we actually eat lamb at this meal or not, Christians have retained the symbolism of the Lamb of God. (I haven’t gotten lamb yet – so I use chicken)

Matzos, in memory of the unleavened bread which the Jews ate when they were freed from Egypt. (If you cannot obtain Matzos use white crackers or pita bread, placing the whole sheet on the table so that portions may be broken or torn off.)

As part of our celebration, I put questions in front of the plates for the children to ask.

“Why are we eating unleavened bread, or matzah, tonight?”

I pick up the matzah, a flat cracker of bread, striped with narrow lines, and pierced with small holes. And I answer in the only way I know how, “Because tonight we remember Jesus. By whose stripes we are healed. Yeast leavens, or puffs up, as pride and sin inflates our hearts. Tonight we eat unleavened bread, bread without yeast, to remember Jesus who was without sin.”

I break the matzah in half and whisper, “Just like He was broken for us.”

Why are we eating bitter herbs?”

Lifting a small, silver spoonful of horseradish, I trace time’s prints back. “For on that long ago night, that night of Passover for the children of Israel, God said that ‘bitter herbs they shall eat’ (Ex. 12:8) and so we do too. To remember the bitterness of the cruel slavery of the Israelites to Pharaoh, to recall the bitterness of our relentless, ugly bondage to sin.”

My husband breaks off a corner of the matzah, topping it with the spoonful of horseradish and offers it to Hope. “But we eat the bitter herbs with the matzah to remember how Jesus, our Bread of Life, has paid the price and absorbed our bitter sins.”

“Why tonight do we dip our herbs twice?”

“Our fathers dipped hyssop branches into the blood of the Passover lamb, that they might mark their doorposts.”

He dips a parsley sprig into the salt water and continues. “As they wept salty tears for their life of slavery, they, in faith, painted the door lintels with the blood, that the Angel of Death may pass over. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

He dips the parsley again, this time into a small glass dish of apple and raisins. “But now we have hope. Because of the blood shed by the thorns piercing Jesus’ brow. Because of the blood from the wounds of the nails, that we, in faith, mark on the door of our hearts. Now we wipe away our tears, for we have glorious, endless new life in Christ. We have been rebirthed into His hope.” (From A Holy Experience)

Bitter herbs, for the bitterness of slavery. Horseradish or spring radishes may be used. Haroses, a food made of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine, chopped and mixed together to look like the mortar which the Hebrew slaves used in their servitude. (I use applesauce)

Greens, parsley or watercress, used as a token of gratitude to God for the products of the earth. (Catholic Culture)

Water with salt added in another small dish is needed into which to dip the greens and bitter herbs. Recipe Source: Passover Meal, The by Arleen Hynes, Paulist Press, 1972
Taken from Catholic Culture.

The Lamb was killed so that the blood could mark the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites. When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorpost he would pass over that house and not kill the first born child. Jesus is our Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

(Taken from this site)

When you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death, until He comes again.

I Corinthians 11:26

This round cake symbolizes the sweetness of Eternal Life. The white color reminds us that we must strive for purity to attain it and the candles remind us of God’s presence.

This is a special time for us all.  The kids always ask can we do this again next year!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Blessed Womans Daybook

Outside my window ~ Spring is here ! :)

Around the house ~ Back to cleaning, straightening, re-vamping things after a sickly couple of weeks.

I'm thinking - how daily Mass is God's gift to us and the devil doesn't want you to know about it!

Look mom ~

I lost my first tooth!

Buck loves PMK!

Weight Watcher's the last two weeks ~ Well, I haven't stuck to the plan, exactly, but I was down .6 yesterday?! :)  It's hard to stay on track while traveling.  Although, I do see how attending the meetings and staying aware of what I'm putting in my mouth is making a difference.  It's all about living a healthy lifestyle!

I'm happy for ~ Buck.  He's finally getting to go to ball practice today!

I'm praying for ~ children with cancer...and their families.

My picture ~

Homeschool Conference shopping goodies :)

Visit Peggy for more daybook inspiration.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was blessed to be able to travel to a homeschool conference this past weekend with The House Cat, a good friend, and her teenage daughter.  It was a long, exhausting trip that was so worth it!

Now that we are back, it's time to regroup.

First things first - Looked up the daily Mass schedule.  It's time to put God FIRST in our day!  8:30 am Mass here we come!  Thanks Mary ~ your friendship is such a blessing! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

fun, fun

Zithromax - this makes 6 scripts now:( and test preps for the CATs.

Hoping to have more energy soon.....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Around the house...

Buck's tracing race cars and has his armory ready to go.  I love the weapon on the right!
This morning Snuggle Bug read some library books to Honeybee.  I picked up lots of the Let's Read and Find Out Science Series the other day.
Honeybee's now enjoying a cut and collage craft that I still had from some activity bags our book group made.

Last night we caught up on our Jesus Tree readings and added the symbols to the tree.  Life continues to happen and we keep getting behind!  We continue to practice perseverance.  I've figured out that's how we learn virtue - PRACTICE!
Thorns are being removed from Jesus' crown. 
The House Cat read this quote to me from The Family Manager Takes Charge :
"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children.  Each member of the family has to become in a special way, the servant of the others." -  Pope John Paul II
Lots of work waiting on us....

We need to finish our Fire Safety lap books.
and I have a ton of good things waiting on me... I got my new project manger in the mail this week.  It's time to put it to use!
Let's see... Home Management Binder, Project Feeder Watch, Family Liturgical Binder, Sewing with St. Anne, Tea and Cake with the Saints to review (Literature for the Young Lady), Weight Watchers points to write, CATs to open and give, my notebook to update, Honeybee's Alaphabet Path (purple notebook) to update, the list goes on and on :)  I'm really trying to incorporate some of Jennifer's great notebooking/organizational skills into my life.

This afternoon the older girls are sketching the wildflowers, or maybe weeds, I picked a couple of days ago.  I've requested some more books from the library to help us in identifying them.
It looks like good work is being done even with sick kids in the house and a tired mom who feels like she's not being very productive!  All done for God's glory :)  Hope you are all well!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Blessed Woman's Daybook

Outside my window ~ The weather is warm and beautiful.  Too bad the kids are stuck inside with bronchitis.  I noticed the wildflowers or maybe weeds are starting to bloom.  I picked a few for us to study.  God is so incredible!

I'm hoping ~  Everyone's well soon.  We are anxious to spend time with family!

Weight Watchers this week ~  Down 2 lbs this week!  Thats a total of 11.4!  Yay!  I feel soooo much better physically and spiritually.

Recipe of the week ~ Spinach Lasagna Rolls.  These were so good and easier to assemble than your standard lasagna, in my opinion.  I used more sauce than shown :)

I'm listening to ~ The House Cat's CD - Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia.  Lots of good inspirational music.

I'm enjoying ~ My guitar lessons.  The House Cat is a good teacher!  Right now I'm learning Beautiful and Let your light shine by Bethany Dillion.  It's interesting how we came to listen to her.... She sings the song Dreamer from that movie.  We really liked her voice so we checked into her music.  I was thrilled to find out that she's a Christian artist!  She's definitely one of our favs!

Lenten cleaning from week two ~ I know it's a little late but, I've been busy! :)  Weekly focus was bedrooms.  We spent a lot of time cleaning out closets, going through clothing and doing a little re-decorating.  We took down drapes, scrubbed baseboards and I tried to clean the edges of the carpet that the vacuum doesn't quite get.  Still not perfect but better than before :)
The girls room
Snuggle Bug and I found this precious little bird house lamp for $3 on Sat.  We had some mother-daughter time and enjoyed shopping at one of our favorite stores, Mission Possible Thrift Store.  Proceeds there benefit a local homeless shelter.
We also found this great book shelf for only 8 bucks!

The House Cat was happy with her new CD rack for $2!

And I just love this painting of The Holy Family, given to Honeybee by her Godparents, surrounded by SB and HCs First Holy Communion dishes and El Divino Nino.

My room...

Do you remember Jessica's what's on your nightstand post?  On mine now is a special little book stand made by Buck and his Dad.  There stand some of my favorite books, our wedding photo and my special Good Shepherd picture.

I finally framed a painting by The House Cat that had been leaning in between the wall and my nightstand.  I just love it!

Buck and Honeybee's room...

Toys were sorted and stored in plastic bins.

Shoes were sorted and hung.  If you look closely you will see a door hanger made by HC for prayer time.  She made one for each of us this Lent.

Lenten Cleaning week three ~ Lets see....  Sick kids...  spraying Lysol.  Had the air conditioning guy come and clean the air duct intake.  Smells soooo much better now!  I hope killing that mold and mildew will help with Snuggle Bug's allergies.

Still trying to convince the sugar ants to find a new home.... 

Keeping an eye out on craigslist etc. for an Entertainment armoire.  Our entertainment center has seen its better day.  I'd love to be able to close the doors and hide all of the stereo equiptment etc.  Also watching out for matching twin comforters for Buck and Honeybee's Bunk bed.

Plans for next week ~ Hope to start on the big kitchen project.  I'm sure it'll take at least two weeks.  It needs a head to toe cleaning!  We are looking into updating the cabinets a little with wainscoting and paint.  I also plan to take everything out of the cabinets and pantry, replace shelving paper, and pass along items that haven't been used in a year.  I've asked my honey for a 5 gallon bucket of white paint - semi -gloss at least!  Must be able to wipe down frequently! :)

40 bags ~ We've been filling up lots of bags.  I need to ask hubby what the count is.  It feels so good to go through things, make a home for what you use and give away the rest!

My picture thought ~

Honeybee's new apron... a special gift from her Godmother.

Visit Peggy for more daybook inspiration.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Snuggle Bug's Bluebird

I thought I'd share with you one of Snuggle Bug's pages from the Bird Notebook she's working on.

I found some great print-outs at Enchanted Learning .  They have soooo many wonderful things to choose from.  Definitely worth spending $20 a year for the full sized printing capability! 

The cute sticker in the bottom corner came from  the  Beginning Birdwatcher's Book, a birthday gift from Honeybee :)
She choose this pretty notebooking page to copy The Bluebird poem from Our Birds and Their Nestlings
 I just LOVE reading this book with her! 
By the way, she also memorized the poem and can recite it beautifully.
I stumbled upon this book at Amazon.  It is such a treasure!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Blessed Woman's Daybook

Outside my window ~ Big, beautiful snowflakes this morning.  Now just rain :(

I'm thinking of ~ The Mass offered for our homeschool group by our dear Bishop on Sunday.  His homily was so touching.  He was so supportive of what we are trying to do. What's that?  Getting our children and ourselves to heaven, of course!

I'm creating ~ March, Literature for the Young Lady schedule with Snuggle Bug.  She'll continue reading Anne of Green Gables.  She has started a notebook for unfamiliar words she comes across.  She writes down the  words as she reads.  Then, we look them up together. She reads the sentence again to make sure she now understands the meaning and then writes down the definition. 

Shakespeare studies ~ The House Cat and I are continuing with Hamlet.  When I went out to the website for our nearest Shakespeare festival, guess what tickets had just gone on sale?  Why, Hamlet of course!  She and I are looking forward to taking in our first Shakespeare play and some qualitity mother/daughter time :)

Speaking of Shakespeare, I really like the Shakespeare Can Be Fun series!  Check it out when you have a sec.  Also, Poetry for Young People, William Shakespeare is good.  I just ordered a copy from Amazon :)  New copy/memory work assignment - To be or not to be; that is the question.....

Weight Watchers this week ~ down .8 ~ total loss 9.4.  I'm trying a new snack as we speak or should I say as I type :)  Creole Popcorn.  1 single serve 100 calorie pack of popcorn, popped, fat free Parkay spray and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning sprinkled on top.  Yummy!  2 points!

I'm reading ~ or will be this week - Part 4, She Provides Tasks for Her Maidens from Graced and Gifted by Kimberley Hahn. 

I'm hoping to ~ Make it to book group to discuss the chapter and to spend some time with some remarkable ladies!

We're playing ~ Staetris, after reading this post.  Please pray for Noah, Donna's nephew, and his family.

I'm praying for ~ God's will to be done in our lives.  Especially in my parent's new home acquisition.

My Picture thought ~
Never fear ~ The Marshall is here!

Visit Peggy for more daybook inspiration.

Praying the Rosary keeps us close to Jesus