Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teaching Easter and Spring

Go to HOLY WEEK 2012:


We’re preparing for Easter and Spring. The season and religious celebration got smooshed together at some point in time, so I wanted to talk to the kids tonight about the uniqueness of each, and what makes them blend so perfectly.

Many of us have heard that Spring is about new life, and that is just what Jesus gave us when he died on the cross and rose from the dead. He made all things new, and gave us hope of a new life with Him.

We used these foam bunnies, crosses and lilies along with cotton balls, jelly beans and puff paint to create a visual of the combination of Spring and Easter. They turned out quite well for an impromptu craft! (with a little help from mommy)


(Please note all the GREAT links are underlined!)
Start with the Rabbit
Add the Cross
and talk about Jesus’ Passion.
Add the Lilies
and read about His Resurrection!
Copyright, Answers in Genesis.Copyright, Answers in Genesis.
Copyright, Answers in Genesis.Copyright, Answers in Genesis.
After Eden by team member Answers in Genesis (artist: Dan Lietha)
Glue on a pink Jelly Bean nose
and discuss the sweetness of God’s Mercy.
Fluff 3 cotton balls,
and talk about how Jesus
opened the Gates of Heaven for us
so we can be with Him for all eternity!

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Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Holy Thursday – The Last Supper….
go to Mass and receive in remembrance!

Good Friday – Jesus Died on the Cross for YOU…
go to Mass, it’s the least you can do for Him
and the Best you can do for yourself!

Easter Sunday – victory over sin and death…
go to Mass and celebrate!

Hate going to the clinic!

I have a mild paranoia of going to the local clinic. It’s kept clean and all that, but I fear that going for a visit, well or ill, I’ll come home with something I didn’t go in with. Such is the case for Jonathan.

We avoided the clinic during flu season, so we skipped his 4 month visit. When we caught up at 6 and 8 months, we went in and got the usual vaccines. My kids have NEVER had reactions aside from tired, crabby, loss of appetite and maybe a little swelling.

So besides finding out he has an ear infection, which *compliments his teething so well.* One of the vaccines gave him a RARE rash called:

Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome

It’s extremely rare, generally not itchy  - just bumps. He has them on the top of his thighs. There is no treatment except to increase fluids. It lasts 15-60 days. Only get it once– thank goodness.

On top of that, I’ve begun weaning him from the breast and our bed. It is not fun at all.  I just feel so sorry for the little guy, but he is such a happy boy you’d never know he is battling so much. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Family Update

Here are the kids during a fun computer lesson. It’s an old Crayola coloring program, one of several CD Roms my parents gave us that used to be Michael and Annie’s when they were little. They just love playing on here since we set it up “just for them.” They are still working on conning me into telling them the password! It’s kinda cute.

I bought a vintage desk for our kids’ computer, because they needed just a tad more space than they had, and Sabrina needed her own desk. I found this beautiful black solid wood desk that matches the rest of my main floor decor. I found it on Craigslist like all our other desks, for an awesome deal. Tom’s only comment was, “You’re done buying desks, right?” Well, yes that should do it… I bought 2, got 1 free, and 2 hand-me-downs. But that doesn’t stop my fascination with finding great deals on usually expensive items. Next on my list.. buying a basketball hoop.

I also bought my first outdoor Mary statue. Something I’ve been wanting for a LONG time. I found it 30% off at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts. Had to put some fake foliage behind it so you could actually see it! It’s not the one I really wanted, but it was more important that my guests and neighbors see we are devoted Catholics sooner than later. That’s what I assume when I see one at someone’s home, my kind of people. But for some reason it wasn’t enough to convince the local Baptist who put a flyer in our door handle.


St. Francis has taken center stage in our tree garden. This year I decided to mulch with cocoa bean shells instead of cedar chips. The aroma is amazing and it covers more beautifully. See our tulips coming up for their second season!? It’s so exciting!


Today’s news is a little revealing. Tom apparently has NEVER been in a car accident before involving another vehicle… until today. I feel like listing the top 10 reasons why I hate Walmart, and this is at the top of my list… The traffic sucks!

People are always rushing and pushing. The drive around the lot like maniacs, not caring who has the right of way. And in today’s case, the lanes are so narrow, they are notorious for accidents. Tom and this other guy backed out at the same time resulting in this MINOR fender-bender. No one was hurt, just startled at the sound of cracking plastic and a soft jolt.

Here’s our van.  A huge, cracked dent, scraped car side and tail light. Some can be buffed out, but that dent will be a complete replacement.

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Here’s there car, a broken tail light cover and a small dent.

Luckily this wasn’t your typical encounter at Walmart. Because these three guys with heavy accents were just as oblivious to it all as us. We swapped info, no finger pointing, took pics and went on our way. Geico and Progressive are left to battle out the details next week.

Would you believe we went to Walmart ( a rare happening for us ), to buy The Passion of The Christ on blu-ray! What a way to start our holy week!

Hope yours is going well!

Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Melissa & Tom
Mikayla, Stanley, Sabrina, Jonathan

Jonathan’s growing up

8.5 months old – sitting and rolling everywhere. Teething too.

I love my mommy time.
What do you mean, you’re weaning me off????
Isn’t there a vote or something???
I demand a recount!

You want some?
Just kidding, this is for me!
What do you taste like?
Man, backed myself in!
      100_0576Yea, big sister came to rescue me! 

Working on the forward motion…

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not much time to rest

I wake up in the morning, just a few hours after Tom has gone to bed. Within minutes, my spot is overtaken by someone – be it Jonathan or the whole circus I call my children.

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Sometimes they let Tom finish sleeping, sometimes he gives in and gets up. Yes, he wears earplugs some mornings. We’re working on this new routine. We should have it down by the time he’s done working nights! ;-)

Mikayla is having a fabulous time riding her bike without training wheels. It’s like a whole new her, and it’s transferred into her waking up earlier and getting her school done before lunch! She’s my oldest, preparing to make her First Holy Communion in just a few more weeks!

Mommy got a new bike, Mikayla’s riding a lot, Stanley’s brave to ride with us, and Tom drug his bike out of the shed (almost 9 years since he’s ridden) – and we are all syked for a bike ride…. but what about Sabrina and Jonathan you ask??

They got a new ride too! This thing rocks!


This is our new “Burley” which was clearanced out at Erik’s Bike Shop, and it came with so many great features the others didn’t have (it pays to do research) … we knew it would be the perfect fit for our kiddos. Jonathan falls asleep every time we take it with us for a walk. It glides like a dream, keeps them warm and dry and has room to spare. I highly recommend these if you want to walk or bike with your little ones.

Well, now that it’s over, I can say a little bit… My sister, Annaleah, had surgery on her heart on St. Patrick’s Day. Tom stayed home with the kids and played outside in the sunshine and ate these green icing cinnamon rolls. Jonathan and I joined my family at the hospital from 6am-3pm while my sister went in for some exploratory surgery to see why her heart had been racing so often. Did I mention she’s only 21?  She was so brave. Thank the Lord they fixed her up and she seems to be doing very well, sore but good. [Don’t worry Annie – no pictures.]

So today we started spring cleaning. Washing up the floors was on the top of the to do list. Everyone helped! Also took down the last of the snowmen decor.  HAPPY SPRING!!!!!


Today Tom began making tool boxes for the kids in honor of St. Joseph’s feast day today. Pics and details soon!

What a week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baby Sling Suffocations

Baby Sling Suffocations: Consumer Product Safety Commission Urges Parents' Caution - ABC News

My mother shared this article with me regarding the Infantino baby slings. I used it maybe twice with my 2nd child and didn't like the way it squished him and swayed away from my body when bending over.
Little Stanley in the sling

Sadly, some mothers still use these, and are now warned! Read this article and watch the video!!!

I recommend a baby wrap (maya wrap) like I use now - just fabulous, safe and secure.

God Bless you and yours!

HT: ABC News via my grandma!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Eyes

While my mother may be Patricia, and our homeschool’s patron saint may be St. Brigid of Kildare…. we are not an Irish family. We’re actually just your typical Minnesotans with mostly German ancestry. (Ya shure ya bettcha!) With a hint of Polish, French Indian, Sweedish and Czech.

Our celebration of the feast of St. Patrick may include wearing the only green t-shirts we own, a sip of beer (the ones at the back of the fridge since Super Bowl), corned beef sandwiches (or corned beef hash), a lesson on Ireland and a wish for good luck… but we mostly focus on St. Patrick’s beautiful life.

The obvious symbol of this feast day is the Shamrock. While a four leaf clover may be a rare find, the story of the three leaf clover is about a mystifying truth. St. Patrick used it to create a visual of the Blessed Trinity – the three Persons in one God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I’ve never considered a clover a lucky thing to behold, but I am lucky to behold the knowledge of The Blessed Trinity!


Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes; but more importantly, it is said that Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol to explain the Trinity to Unbelievers, i.e., how God is One God in Three Persons. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge his hearers, "Is it one leaf or three?" "It is both one leaf and three," was their reply. "And so it is with God," he would conclude. "19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of Him from The Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). Of course, doctrines such as the Trinity or the Divinity of Jesus Christ can only be received by willing hearts, who have committed themselves to obey whatever the Spirit reveals from the Scriptures. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17). St. Patrick, no doubt, was careful not to confuse pagan idolaters with the idea of Polytheism, i.e., the false notion that there are many separate gods; but, his dependence upon the Holy Spirit to give him the illustration of the shamrock to illustrate the Trinity, gave him success in preaching the Gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).  Thank God for the testimony of Patrick of Ireland!

Go to this Toy Maker’s website for delightful paper crafts including these:
dancingfairy Treasurechest

A plethora of Irish Catholic ideas for families can be found at Catholic Icing.

Don’t forget – Saint Brigid – is the female patron saint of Ireland!!!!

StBrigidsAcademy Logo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Crosses We Bear

20 days of Lent remain. It has certainly been a walk up Calvary Hill. This morning I was awoken by thunder as rain washed away all the dirty snow outside. There was a certain gloom in those grey skies, and I just knew I’d have one of “those days.”…And this too shall pass.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0005

Our Sacrifice Bean jar has found a new spot near our crucifix. We “go to the foot of the cross” literally to offer our sacrifices/good deeds. It’s not full by any means, but we’re working on it.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0004

Last night we prayed The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, which my 2 and almost 6 year old are trying to grasp. But they still did it willingly, and a shorter version of 1 Hail Mary per decade. Because of their questions about Jesus’ cross, today I bought each of the kids a wooden cross for them to carry. In the past we’ve done this with a popsicle stick cross, but this seemed more hefty and significant.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_00032010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0009

They are about $1.50 each at Crafts Direct. What the children are asked to do is carry this cross with them for the remainder of Lent. At times it will be hard or bothersome. It may get worn, dented, scratched or colored on. And when I ask them to do something, they take their “cross” with them and offer it up. When they are wondering if they should do something questionable, such as watch a tv program, they need to ask themselves - “Would Jesus want to do this with me?” If the answer is no, then stop.

At Easter, we will take a good look at our crosses and talk about it. Then we will grab bright paints, painting our crosses to look bright and new as Jesus’ body on Easter morning when he rose from the dead. I plan to attach hooks near the bottom so we can use these as rosary hangers in our Sitting Room.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0008

In our Kitchen, where we spend a lot of time, I made a simple cross on our bifold doors. On the cross is a Lenten Calendar (similar to this one and this one) our church gave us with daily suggestions of things we can do to bring us closer to God through our community. The words written on the cross are the sinful acts we are trying hard not to commit, but have in the past. Hanging there for everyone to see. Again, we put them at the foot of the cross and ask forgiveness. Then, on Easter Morning we will cover each sin with a bright heart and written on the heart is the good act we will now do, or the grace received after reconciliation.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0001
This is our new prayer center, where we can stop and reflect in prayer. While at the craft store looking for an Easter tree, I came upon this beautiful display. I decided to make my own prelit Easter Tree! It’s comprised of a prelit white tree, silk flower petals fitted over each light, put in a vase filled with glittery eggs and wooden crosses. On the jar is a vinyl word “Easter.” This jar would also do good filled with Jelly Beans! But we all know Sabrina could never keep her hands off those. Overall cost is around $35? I may add some ribbon bows and ornaments later.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0002

Some meditational songs of the season….


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