Thursday, April 28, 2011


Karate First Day

My kids have entered their first week of American Karate. Little did we know, our new nextdoor neighbor is the owner and teacher! Wondered why a young, single guy had such a nice big place. Such a surprise, and these two guy teachers are spectacular. I am looking forward to my 3 oldest learning new skills, focus and respect - and get a workout while doing it!

Sabrina (3 1/2) missed her first lesson because she was sick. But Jonathan acted as if he was ready to take her place!! He's going all around the yard kicking soccer balls and rocks saying hi-yah! Sabrina impressed us all at her interview lesson.

Karate First Day

Aren't they just the cutest?! Tonight I'm sewing on their official patches! Next week they get their white belts.

Keeping Quiet in the Pew

    Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
    "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
    Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door?  They're hushers."

   My kids are very antsy and sometimes loud during Mass. I'm sure many moms have something in their purse or perhaps a lineup of activity bags in the pew. Or perhaps you have a strict behavior policy your children adhere to well? I must say, I feel at peace during the first half of The Mass and The Children's Liturgy of the Word, where the young ones go out to learn in their own way. But when they return or sometime around The Consecration, it's "All Hands on Deck!"

   **Every young child has a point when they can't sit quietly any longer. I'd like us to share what we do to keep our children quiet or busy at Church. Read my ideas below, then link to or comment on yours!


Keep your set in a Quiet in the Pew Bag! Read more on my craft blog, Modest Mommies

Catholic Mass Seek and Find cards w/ Mass Bingo

   Because I am crafty, I made a set of Catholic Mass Seek and Find cards. These cards include the parts of the Mass, objects within the church, and for kids who can read – finding phrases during Mass. This centers the focus of their attention on what's going on at Mass, not other activities.

A newly designed version is available for purchase at as a printable file. Buy once and print as often as you need to replace or give as gifts.  Includes several cards with things you can look for during Mass. Also includes a Bonus Mass Bingo set.
  I decided to publish my first draft version here for FREE. Simply print on card stock or business card paper. Have your kids sift through the cards to find the items or parts of Mass as pictured.

Catholic Mass Cards sampleCatholic Mass Cards sample2

The Soul Diet: For Kids
   Free Printable Booklet about having a satisfying faith life. Children can match, write and color about prayer, virtues, scripture and Sacraments.

The Soul Diet 4kids bookSoul Diet 4 Kids sample

ABCs of our Catholic Faith
  Print these 4x6 Cards and add to a photo sleeve book. Used glue and clear laminate to add cover to photo book.

My Catholic ABC Book CoverBaptism Edward Joseph
BaptismImmaculate Mary

   Sometimes the little ones need something to hold onto. I lean towards plush objects for my toddlers. Nothing that will make a noise or zoom from one end of the pew into another parishioner's purse.
  •  We bought the soft My Mass Kit by Wee Believers when it first came out, paying top dollar. So I'm not inclined to bring it outside of our home and be potentially lost or dirtied. But it is a wonderful idea to consider!
  •  Wee Believers have their My Quiet Church which is on my wish list! They also have plush dolls with books, a nun and a priest. Go to their FAITH FORT for games, activities and printables!  The Let's Go to Church playset and sacramental accessories are available at a few online stores including St. Patrick's Guild.
  •  Shining Light Dolls are vinyl dolls that are a perfect addition to your church bag. It's quiet, no batteries, indestructible, and easy to wash.
  • My Little Felt Friends and Saintly Silver have wonderful felt saint dolls you can purchase, or be inspired to make your own! 
  • Wooden Saint Dolls found at St. Annes Pixies as well as St. Luke's Brush are reminders of those Saints who lived their lives yearning for more time with God. Some of us have ventured to make our own. Though against wooden pews, these could be a loud toy. A set for the non-crafter can be easily made using a great printout and decoupage from Catholic Icing!
   I have a few versions of books for my children to follow along with the Mass, and multiple other Catholic Readers of sorts. Only problem is only 1 of 4 can read, so I need ideas for my little ones - the ones who can't read or sit still for more than 10 minutes! Books I carry in my bag are full of pictures, and many have a handle. They like that.

   Many mom's have expressed that Lap-Books are excellent for any quiet time. It is easy to find ideas online to create them. These are great for the car ride to church, or instead of Sunday cartoons while you get yourself ready to go.

Catholic Kids Bulletin by Is There Zucchini in This (blog)
Today's Gospel Activity Sheets by
Mass Worksheets for ages 7-14 by

Catholic Focused COLORING PAGES and Other Printables
Celebrating the Mass Lesson Plans by The Catholic Toolbox (1st Gr+)
Divine Mercy Jesus by
Great Saints Coloring Book by Relevant Radio
Saint Coloring Pages by Waltzing Matilda
Plenty of Enrichment Ideas at Catholic Icing
Many links also found at

STORES - Visit one near you, or shop online!
The Catholic Company
Catholic Supply
St. Patrick's Guild
Christian Book
Catholic Family Gifts

   Go online to see there is much to be said about this subject. Here's a printable list of hints I found at King of Peace.  Rather well said.

   Fr. Saunders comments on Appropriate Behavior in Church. He writes "Jesus loves and welcomes children, but they do need our help." This is an excellent article for all ages of churchgoers. After all "Manners, whether at Mass or in other situations, reveal the value we place on each other and God. "

   You might read this article about "Avoiding Mass Hysteria." She approaches the situation by not "packing their picnic baskets-activity bags for church"  but helping the children focus on each part of the Mass. "Children are fast learners. The key is consistency." I agree that too many parents are allowing handheld games, tempting snacks and other ridiculous options to enter The Lord's House! She suggests:
*Until a child is 3 years old, he is a lap-sitter. His feet simply do not touch the ground. The child is held lovingly, but firmly, with no exceptions. If he puts up a struggle, he is promptly removed.

   Thanks to Catholic Icing's post, I found a worksheet at website. You can print a chart for children about Behavior at Mass.

   There is a beautiful article on the subject at that says "A challenging child in church forces everyone -- parents and other parishioners -- to confront whether we value compliance over compassion." She had a son with attention disorders, but her parish saw him as an opportunity to spread Christ's love.

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church.  The plaque was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning Alex."
     "Good morning pastor," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque.
     "Pastor McGhee, what is this?" Alex asked.
     "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."
     Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 8:30 or the 11:00?"

   All these wonderful resources and yet, they'd rather ask if they get donuts afterwards. I teach them their religion well, but their focus is easily strayed. All this research has really given me a second chance to start over in this area of discipline. I hope you've found it helpful too!

Send me more ideas, links, articles…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Peek at our Easter


Easter Vigil was spent with Tom's parents, a non-traditional menu, a movie and lighting our candles. I painted my toes lime green for sandals the next day. Looked like Easter Eggs. {What was that, oh I mean Spring Spheres! j/k}
Easter Sunday, we made our Easter Paschal Candle, surrounded by a colorful crown without thorns and easy tissue paper flowers. The kids and I had so much fun with this one craft time.
I made a Marshmallow Massacre or Rice Krispie Bars made with leftover marshmallow peeps, coconut, slivered almonds and m&m minis!
Next year I gotta try this one from

The coat closet ledge got its quick makeover.
The opening of the baskets and egg hunt commenced.100_3722100_3723Easter 2011
Note: I let them pick the items this year. Umbrellas, 3D chalk, stickers, notebooks, Shaun the Sheep dvds and Ikea kids kitchen toys. I added some gel window clings for a surprise. I shopped Target the day after for 50% off deals for next year.
"Waaaaeh" translated, I want my picture taken too!100_3718
And off to a beautiful Mass celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus! Well, that was until all the crayons spilled, Jonathan screamed if Tom didn't wear Sabrina's pink bonnet, the chit chat behind us, Jonathan's escape, and I couldn't sit or kneel down due to the spread of books, color sheets and quiet toys. (just breathe) OH THE GRACES obtained during a Mass! ;-)
100_3727 Not bad for the wear.
We went to my parents home for the fun and food, which was scrumptious. Mom makes every holiday fun and great fellowship.
Once home, we read scriptures from our Easter Tree in our pjs.
Slept like a lamb, or a chick in its egg.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nap time


Jonathan Bruce with Bruce the Moose. Both around 2yo.

First he curled up next to his sister who was sick, insisted on giving her a kiss. Fell asleep next to her, then shifted to cuddle with the moose.


Back to craft time.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Christian Crafts for Holy Week

I made some additions to old posts, with pictures and some printables!

Stations of The Cross Coloring Sheets I made as found on Our Holy Week

We are making our Offering boxes and SONcatchers today, as seen on our LMNOPreschool post.

Last night I put together our Resurrection Story puppet show. It turned out quite cute. The printable characters are available at Catholic Icing's blog -where else!?
I used an envelope box, which fits perfectly all you create. I used fasteners (brads), for the nails on the cross and to swivel the rock on the tomb. The cloudy fluff is stuffing for making toys. Wrap the characters around cardboard tubes, or if you print them on cardstock, they'll hold their own. Yes, I laminated it all to last for years ahead.
I hope you enjoy making these crafts with your kiddos as do we.

May God Bless your Holy Week
and a Happy Easter to Christians everywhere!


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