Monday, November 29, 2010

Preparing for Advent ~ Week One

The First Sunday of Advent follows Thanksgiving.  It's a good idea to begin preparing the week before Thanksgiving, if life allows it.  If not, try to give yourself as much time as you can.  It really makes getting things ready much more enjoyable. 

~ First, you want to make sure and buy your Advent candles.  Check out your parish gift shop if you have one.  You can try to make your own if you are feeling adventurous.

~ Next, pull out your Advent bin and remind yourself of it's contents. 

~Set up your Advent calendar.

~ Gather your books using this amazing resource and add the ones you want to use for the first week to your morning basket.

~  Make sure you have enough copies of O Come, O Come Emmanuel to share during your family prayer time.

~ Think of ways to spread HOPE everywhere you go.  One way to do this is to go through your things and share some items with others.  This is a great time to encourage the kids to share some of their toys with kids who are less fourtunate than themselves!

This year I think we are going to attempt to add this Jesse Tree, Jesus' family tree, to our family prayer time.  We've done others before but, this one will be one to keep and use year.

We'll definitely be reading from this book each day ~

The Jesse Tree

Have a blessed first week of Advent!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day Fun

These Oreo Turkey cookies were fun to make while the turkey baked.  Notice how Buck gave his' wings?  :)
How about a little bowling?
Who says you can't play with your food on Thanksgiving?
These oreo turkeys were a strike!

Hope your day was filled with family fun.
Thank you Lord for so many blessings!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Prayer Rhythm and Materials

I try to begin my day with the Magnificat.  It is a wonderful little book that has morning prayers, the daily Mass readings, evening prayers and much more.  I pick up a copy at our local Catholic bookstore. 
 Then I look for a coloring/activity sheet that follows with the message of the day and include the link in the tab at the top of my blog.

Next I use this amazing resource to see who's the saint of the day.  The list starts with Jan 1 and lists various resources you can use to read about the saint of the day. 

If you read this and you are the hard working person who compiled this list, please let me know so I can give you the praise you deserve! 

Some of the books included on the list are ~
Our Sunday Visitor's Treasury of Catholic Stories    

New Picture Book of Saints: Illustrated Lives of the Saints for Young and Old, Saint Joseph Edition

Saints and Feast Days: Lives of the Saints

Cooking With the Saints

The "Times" Book of Saints

The Book Of Saints And Heroes

Saints Who Raise the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles

Saints In Verse

Saints: Lives and Illuminations

Lives and Legends of the Saints: With Paintings from the Great Art Museums of the World


I also organized a list of stories by month of the saints from the Once Upon a Time Saint stories series.  We also include this story in our daily rhythm.  Feel free to print and use it if you'd like :)

Once upon a Time Saints

Around the Year Once upon a Time Saints

More Once upon a Time Saints

Sometimes I check out Faith Filled Days to see if there is a coloring sheet of the Saint for that day, a craft idea, or a recipe we might want to try. This is a great resource! Filled with lots of ideas for living the liturgical year.

 I also check out the Catholic Mosaic booklist for the day/month, to see if I need to order something from the library. You can also find this link on my sidebar :)

Other times, I take out our St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism and corresponding Angel Food for Boys and Girls book. Jennifer over at Wildflowers and Marbles has put together a wonderful lesson plan that links these two resources together beautifully! The stories in the Angel Food series really help the religion lessons "come to life" for the little ones. Thanks Jenn for sharing this!

You can also create a copy work sheet using Writing Wizard also found on my side bar.

 We also try to watch the Liturgy of the Word on EWTN (channel 370 if you have Direct TV).   This is aired at 7:00am , 11:00am, 6:00 pm, and 11:00pm.
Lately we've been watching at 6:00pm so that dad can watch with us.  During the homily, I let Buck and Honeybee color the picture I've found correponding to the daily Mass reading, the saint of the day or trace "something they heard" during the readings.

Waltzing Matilda generously shares her wonderful saint drawings to print and color. Thanks so much, Charlotte!

Prayers For Each Day
(These are prayers I pray sometime during the day)

Prayer For Our Husbands
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 trials 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.
(Taken from Your Vocation of Love. Agnes Penny)

Parent's Prayer for Our Children
O Good God, we thank You, that You have given us children, made them heirs of heaven by Holy Baptism, and entrusted their training to us. Fill us with a sense of our responsibility; assist us in the care of their health, but especially on the preservation of their innocence and purity of heart. Grant that we may teach them early on to know and serve You, and to love You with their whole heart. May You in Your generosity, see fit to grant to at least one of our children the grace of a vocation in religion. Grant that we ourselves may carefully avoid all that we must forbid them, and may faithfully practice all that we should teach them. Help us to further at home by example the work of the priest and religious. Give us the spirit of sacrifice to study with our children. Never allow us to grow soft nor to make life too easy for our sons and daughters. Help us teach them the eternal value of self discipline. We commend them, O God to Your paternal care, to the motherly protection of the Virgin Mary, and to the guardianship of Your holy angels. Bless our efforts, O heavenly Father, and let our children advance in wisdom and age and grace before You and everyone. Amen.
(Taken from The Mother Love prayerbook)

Daily Prayer For The Children

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin and Sorrowful Mother, commend our beloved children to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Who refuses nothing to His Mother.

Holy Guardian Angels ~  pray for them.
Saint Joseph, Powerful Patron  ~ pray for them.
Saint John, beloved disciple of the heart of Jesus ~ pray for them.
Saint Augustine ~ pray for them.
Saint Anthony ~ pray for them.
Saint Aloysius ~ pray for them.
Saint Anne, Mother of Mary ~ pray for them.
Saint Elizabeth ~ pray for them.
Saint Monica ~ pray for them.

In the evenings we have family prayer time.
This varies depending on where we are in the liturgical season.

We also love watching movies about the Saints and movies that inspire us to be what God has created us to be. 

Our days are far from perfect.  But, we are trying :)  When we fail,  we remember that tomorrow is a new day ~ fresh with no mistakes in it!

God Bless you.  Please pray for us!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Today is my honey's birthday.  

 The kids started off the day painting a banner for him.

Then we wrapped his presents and made cards.

Next, it was time to make his cake  dessert,
Lemon Lush.
The crust was made first. (1 stick of margarine, 1 cup self rising flour, 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Mix, press into 9x13 pan, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 min.  Once that has cooled, you're ready for step 2)

Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar,
1 cup of Cool Whip, and an 8 oz pkg of cream cheese (room temp).  Spread over layer one.

Next, mix together 2 pkgs of Jello Instant Lemon Pudding Mix with 2 cups milk and layer over cream cheese layer.
Smooth that out and add a top layer of Cool Whip.
Chill and enjoy.

We love you!  Thanks for working so hard to take care of us!
May God Bless you Richly throughout the upcoming year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

HSLDA Special Offer

Do you homeschool?  If so, do you belong to Home School Legal Defense
If not, now's the time to join.  In this day and age, we need the added security of legal protection!  HSDLA has got a great special going on up until Nov.22, 2010.  Buy one year and get the next free!  That's a savings of $115. 

I just wanted to pass this along to those of you who may be thinking of joining.  The peace of mind is definitely worth the cost!

Praying the Rosary keeps us close to Jesus