Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lenten Season Approaches


2011 LENTEN CRAFTS & COUNTDOWN:
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Mardi Gras we kick off with pancakes in the royal colors, and later we’ll eat up a King’s Cake – basically a large cinnamon bundt cake with sprinkles. We take down all decorations, and stage simply for Lent with purple cloths, stations of the cross, crown of thorns and our Jesus Tree (new this year). Posting more on this later.
Mardi Gras pancakes100_3346

We start a countdown calendar from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. Holy Heroes has an excellent Lenten Adventure we use for coloring and word finds. They also have children friendly videos and audio rosaries said each week.
100_3342LentenAdventureLogo
For SACRIFICES I plan to use the idea of the Crown of Thorns idea I’ve found on many websites. As the thorns (toothpicks) are removed for each sacrifice made, they can SEE how they please God. Added beans if hopefully all the toothpicks are gone early. I like Familia Catolica’s idea to add flowers when each thorn is removed. Hopefully I can get over to Joann’s coupon comotion and get some flowers!
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I try to get the kids to use their sacrifice beads, but they get lost a lot. Maybe when they’re older. We had great success with our Sacrifice Bin last year, so we will do it again. We take a plastic bin, add our favorite things we need to let go of, at least for Lent – and pack it away the whole 40 days.

Holy Thursday will will have our traditional Unleavened Bread meal,
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and watch inspirational portrayals of Jesus in The Passion of The Christ and The Animated Passion.
The Passion of the Christ The Animated Passion The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus
Another excellent choice for kids we found on Netflix instant movies is The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus. Wonderful, life-like claymation with flashbacks and dreams in eye-catching cartoon. My kids really enjoyed seeing so many familiar Bible stories, and I love watching it capture their hearts. However, it is funny to hear the characters speaking in English and Scottish or Irish accents!

We, of course, want to pray the rosary, which hang from the crosses we made in Lent/Easter last year.
Easter
  
>What the children are asked to do is carry this plain wooden cross with them for 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 or decoupage colored tissue paper, painting our crosses to look bright and new as Jesus’ body on Easter morning when he rose from the dead. Then attach hooks near the bottom so we can use these as rosary hangers.

2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0009   Rosary Hanger2

The rosary for our children is more easily done a decade at a time. 5 Decades = Mon-Fri.
 The Rosary for Little Children DVD is available through Netflix!
 The Catholic Company sells wonderful children’s books on the Rosary.
They can also color each bead of a rosary coloring page.

Feeling lucky doesn’t cut it.

Our second semester begins.

Tom is back to work.

Life seems back to normal.

Feeling Blessed.

 

Then I find out my friend lost her 10 year old son this weekend, shortly after his bone marrow transplant, treatments and other emergency surgeries. I’m not just blessed, I’ve got it made! A truly bitter sweet moment. (God bless you and your family Karla.)

 

God works in such mysterious ways. Trusting He knows what He’s doing never gets any easier, but we do Trust in Him.

 

Off to kiss my kiddos.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Curlicues, Cutie Pies and Curriculum

My toddlers are extremely active and energetic. It shows in their hair, all springy with curlicues. Something my husband would have if he let his hair grow.
Curly-cuesCurly-cues
Curly-cuesCurly-cues

To feed their desire to join us for school, I fell in love with Lacy at Catholic Icing’s Catholic ABCs preschool program
Catholic ABC's

It is full of activities for the #1-5 and A-Z, all Catholic lessons complete with a teacher’s script. My children are so excited for this part of the week. I modify each lesson for my children ages 1, 3, 6, 8. It’s mostly about the crafts for them, but they are learning something new… I just know it!

Here are images of our first two lessons.
We believe in ONE God
Catholic ABCs - 2
Noah led the animals on the ark TWO by TWO
Catholic ABCs - 2
Catholic ABCs - 2Catholic ABCs - 2
We just followed her directions, with a little twist. We cut a flap in the boat to open up as the ramp and added a green strip for the grassy path full of animals. We used Mrs. Grossmann’s stickers which were exactly the right number for 3 kids.
Chubby Zoo AnimalsChubby Farm Animals
Zoo and Farm
Also, a great Noah sticker kit at Oriental Trading! Or grab their Ark kit:
Design Your Own! Giant Noah’s Ark-Shaped Sticker Scenes

Catholic ABCs - 2
Thanks Catholic Icing for this fabulous resource! I highly recommend it.

Spring Fever

Valentines 2011

Luckily we had some warmer days, some near 50 degrees, so the kids and I could get outside. We built a snowman and forts one day, they were gone the next, and around 15 inches of snow replaced it all a couple days later. That’s Minnesota for ya!
100_3259 Our deck.
100_3254100_3256 Roughly 15” in 1.5 days.
So we brought the snow inside for some extra playtime fun. We even saved some snowballs for summertime!
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We saw some neat snow sculptures at the local community center, partly melted.
Monticello CC Snow SculpturesMonticello CC Snow Sculptures
A snow seal.
Monticello CC Snow Sculptures
A snow bear.
Monticello CC Snow SculpturesMonticello CC Snow Sculptures
A giant bowling pin and Butterfly on a flower.
All carved from a big block of packed snow around 10 feet high.

At the nature center today, the kids learned about Skulls and Bones! To learn about population changes, they took a quick outdoor break to play a game about Deer and their needs of water, shelter and food. It’s called “Oh Deer!” You can find the directions at this link or here.
Eastman Nature Center-Bones and Skulls
Eastman Nature Center-Bones and SkullsEastman Nature Center-Bones and Skulls

Inside they dissected owl pellets to find mouse and rat bones! Mikayla dug right into it, but Stanley gladly handed his off to me. One heavy breath would blow the mouse fir into the air. Ew. Dissect a virtual owl pellet at this link.
Eastman Nature Center-Bones and Skulls
Eastman Nature Center-Bones and SkullsEastman Nature Center-Bones and Skulls

We saw skulls from MN wildlife, which was interesting. Stanley held a opossum and Mikayla had a coyote.
Eastman Nature Center-Bones and SkullsEastman Nature Center-Bones and SkullsEastman Nature Center-Bones and Skulls

It’s been a fun winter, but we’re ready for spring!

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