Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Family Novena before First Communion Day ~

Many of us are preparing children to receive First Holy Communion.  I came across this wonderful novena for families to pray together leading up to that special day.  This is such an exciting time!  I pray you will be blessed by it.

Ninth Day Before

Parents: Jesus, you love (name) very much. You saved (him, her) from sin and death by dying on the cross and rising. Through baptism (he, she) became God's child. In nine days you will come to (name) in communion. Fill (him, her) with thanksgiving for this great gift. Let our prayers help prepare (him, her) to receive you.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Eighth Day Before

Parents: Jesus, you died for our sins. We remember this in the Eucharist. In eight days (name) will receive the sacred bread and wine of communion. This is your body and blood that you gave for us. Keep (name) free from sin and full of grace.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Seventh Day Before

Parents: Jesus, by your death and rising you won everlasting life for us. In seven days (name) will receive you, the risen Lord, in communion. Let (name) always live so that someday (he, she) may be happy with you forever in heaven.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Sixth Day Before

Parents: Jesus, in the Eucharist, you nourish the divine life we received in baptism. In six days, (name) will receive you for the first time in holy communion. Help (him, her) grow in love of you so that (he, she) lives as a true child of God.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Fifth Day Before

Parents: Jesus, in communion you come closer to us than anyone can ever be. As our food and drink you become one with us. In five days, (name) will welcome you in (his, her) heart. May (he, she) come to love you more and more each day.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Fourth Day Before

Parents: Jesus, you want all your followers to be united in love. Through the Eucharist you bind us all together in friendship and love. In four days, (name) will be more closely joined to the church through holy communion. Give (him, her) the grace to be an active member of the church.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Third Day Before

Parents: Jesus, (name) was intitiated into your church at baptism. (He, She) is looking forward to further initiation through the Eucharist. In three days (name) will receive the sacrament of initiation. Make (him, her) a good Catholic Christian, full of faith and love.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

Second Day Before

Parents: Jesus, in the Eucharist you make us more like you. In two days you will come to (name) in communion. Enable (him, her) to be the person of kindness, compassion, wisdom and courage that you were. Increase (his, her) faith, hope and love.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

The Day Before

Parents: Jesus, tomorrow will be a great day of joy. (Name) will receive you in holy communion for the first time. (He, She) will know how much you love us. Bless (name) and make (him, her) a strong, loving Christian. May (name) always long to receive you in the Blessed Sacrament. May (he, she) always appreciate all you have done for us.
Child: Jesus, help me prepare my heart for you.

~ Taken from Whispers of the Soul from "The Gift of Holy Communion" prayers. .

Friday, April 20, 2012

Passion Pita Pizzas ~

Our Good Friday Meal ~

First we took a pita and discussed how the stripes remind us of Our Lord's scourged body and that by His stripes we are healed.
We are also thankful that He gives His body to us in the Holy Eucharist to streghten us along our journey.

We brushed the pita bread with olive oil for He was arrested in the Garden of Olives.
(I bake these at 425 for about 5-8 min to get them crispy)

Next we spread the pizza sauce to represent the blood He shed for us and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

The white cheese and mushrooms were added to represent purity from sin.

We added green bellpepper in the shape of a cross to represent life. 

Black Olives were added for His 5 Wounds.

Onions were added last to represent tears shed.

I sprinkled a little more cheese on the top and baked them for about 10 min., keeping an eye on them so they didn't burn.

They are very symbolic and yummy!

Lord by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free, You are The Savior of the World!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Day in the Life ~

Many people are curious as to what our days as homeschoolers/unschoolers look like.  No two are exactly alike and I like that! 

Here's some of what's keeping us busy today.

:Woke up early for Mass. Everyone was sleepy after a late night celebrating Snuggle Bug's Christian B'day with dear friends. 

:Mass and Miraculous Medal Novena.  Buck is so cute!  He loves holding the chapel door open for Father or just anyone and this morning he handed out the novena books as people arrived for Mass.  He's learning to be a good servant! 

:HC had a driving lesson on the way home.

:Breakfast for mom.  Snacks for the kids.  Ordered lots of books from  A Picture Perfect Childhood from the library for the rest of April.  Noticed today is the anniversary of Paul Revere's Ride.  HC read aloud Longfellow's poem from The Harp and Laurel Wreath and we discussed one if by land and two if by sea.

:HC went upstairs to work on Grammar (180 Daily Teaching Lessons) and Wordly Wise).  SB stayed in the kitchen working on another short story.

:Buck grabbed cardboard on his way upstairs and got started making iphones - I think.
(got frustrated due to the late night...  another talk on self control :)

:Googled "Unschooling Record Keeping" and found this site.
The big girls and I made daily log sheets from her example.  In a "perfect world"  we wouldn't have to keep records....

:Heard Buck and Honeybee playing Reader Rabbit computer game.  (Math, Science)

:SB came down and told me how proud she was of herself for figuring out a math problem on volume in her Life of Fred Pre Alg w/Biology book.

:The kids are in and out of the music room playing piano and guitar getting ready for a talent show at church on Sunday.

:Buck and HB watched Curious George and Martha Speaks.  (Science, Vocabulary)They are educational!!

:Big girls spent some quiet time in their room reading history books.  SB started Fingal's Quest today and says it's good. 

:Printed off more sheets to do with SB for Confirmation lapbook and for B&HB's First Holy Communion.  Both are only a couple of weeks away!  We are using Faith Folders for Catholics and loving them!

Buck and Honeybee are listening to this CD again!  They must really like it :)

:Laundry, dishes, cooking....

:Practice for Talent show tonight.

And whatever else God sees fit to throw our way!

~ May all we do today be pleasing to You and in accordance with Your will! Amen

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Celebrating the Easter Triduum 2012 ~

The Holy Triduum is the longest liturgy in the year.  We begin with the sign of the cross on Holy Thursday and close with the sign of the cross at the end of the Easter Vigil.  It is truly a blessed liturgy leading up to the holiest day of the year!

We were blessed to stay healthy and make it to church each day!

Holy Thursday ~

Today we celebrated The Institution of the Holy Priesthood and the
Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Before we headed out to Mass we had our
Christian Seder.  This is something we all look forward to each year.  I've heard mixed reviews of having a seder.  For us it is a holy experience to see how Our Lord fulfilled the old prophesies.
Each child had a question to ask.  We look at our unleavened bread and remember that by His stripes we are healed.  We talk about Jesus being the Lamb of God and how the Israelites marked their doorpost with the blood of a lamb and were saved from death.  We taste bitter herbs and think of how bitter our sins are.  We dip them in salt water to remember tears wept.  Then we dip the herbs into applesauce and thank God for the sweetness of hope in Christ.

This year we had Angel Food Cake with Cool Whip and talked of the sweetness of Eternal Life and the purity required to get there.  We also discuss the shape of the cake and how it being round reminds us that there is no end to God!

After Mass and the little ones were tucked in, we watched The Passion of the Christ with House Cat and Snuggle Bug before bed. 
What a moving way to prepare for Good Friday!

Good Friday ~

On their own, Buck and Honeybee made these scenes with playdough and Playmobil.
The Scourging at the pillar ~

Our Lord's Crucifixion.

Jesus is placed in the tomb.

Once again they made this craft from the Seton Art1 book.  (I have the original pages filed in my Liturgical Notebook and make copies for them each year.)
Our Lord dies on the cross and is placed in the tomb.

At 3:00 we began praying our Divine Mercy Novena.
Afterwards we went and prayed Stations of the Cross at our parish.

Then we came home and made Passion Pita Pizzas.  (I hope to post those soon.)
Pita ~ Our Lord's Body
Olive Oil ~ Brushed on to remind us of his burial
Sauce ~ His Blood Shed for us
White Cheese ~ Purity
Onion ~ Tears Wept over His Death
Bellpepper ~ New Life
We were all so thankful for food in our tummies after a day of fasting. 

Back to church for Commeration of the Lord's Passion. 
~ The girls sang the most beautiful song with the choir called "My Savior, My Friend."  It was so moving! The refrain says, "On the wood of the cross hung my Savior, my Friend.  Now I come, here I adore and give praise to my Lord without end."
Family Read Aloud ~ Amon's Adventure
We started reading this last year and got busy and didn't finish it.  This year we picked up at Palm Sunday and finished on Easter.  It was wonderful!

Holy Saturday ~

Candy Crosses ~

Easter Eggs ~
Paschal Candle ~
Beautifully painted by The House Cat. 
The five cloves represent His wounds.
We pray ~ 
By His Holy and Glorious Wounds May Christ Our Lord Guard us and Keep us!

My mom came and went to the Easter Vigil Mass with us.  The girls sang with the choir again.  It was a beautiful evening! 
We were so glad to have NaeNae there with us!

Easter Sunday ~

He is Risen!

For breakfast we had Friendship Bread with a precious little butter lamb given by a dear, sweet friend.

Everyone was happy with their Easter Baskets!
Filled with journals, pens, bubbles, playdough...
(notice the bag over the cast :) 
Surprises for Mom and Dad ~
The girls were so sweet to surprise us with these!
Then we were off to have Easter Lunch and Easter Egg Hunt at NaeNae's - made these pics with mama's camera.  Hope to post those soon!

Later that afternoon we came home and finished watching Jesus of Nazareth. 

Thank you Jesus for ALL YOU did for us!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reviewing with The Jesus Tree ~

Yesterday I hung up our Jesus Tree.  In years past we have started this with the beginning of Lent.  That didn't happen this year.  So I had the idea of using it for  a Holy Week  "review!"  Buck, Honeybee and I discussed all of the symbols using the
New Catholic Picture Bible.  I told them the page number, they looked it up, and read aloud the title and the caption under the picture.  They then took turns hanging up the symbols through Palm Sunday.  Aside from hearing them in the daily Mass readings, a lot of these stories are fresh in their minds from watching Jesus of Nazareth our favorite Lenten family movie.

I hope you have a very blessed week!

Praying the Rosary keeps us close to Jesus