Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Holy Week and Easter Plans 2012

Here is this year's line up of activities (besides Mass) for our Holy Week. I'm happy to add a few new ideas and pass on the ones that I thought were awesome and the kids had other thoughts. I have just a few moments to put this together since I sent the kids outside for a much needed break. I hope it helps inspire you! Many ideas are for elementary ages, but there are some good ideas and book suggestions below teens/adults shouldn't miss.


> Spirit4Teens has a good article about almsgiving with ideas for all ages. For those who gave up candy, coffee, etc for Lent they suggest giving the money you would have spend on those items to charity.
> Catholic Youth discusses Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Alms being not just money… it's sharing our Time, Talents and Treasure. How much of your time can you give to service in your church and community? God gave us hands for more than helping ourselves!
> had these great ideas:
  • Help someone in need, even if it means washing feet, dishes, clothes, etc.
  • Join or start a club that provides community service. Help beautify by planting trees, picking up garbage, or doing something that your community needs.
  • Start an Easter food drive. Easter is about the resurrection - "He is risen!" What better opportunity to uplift the lives of those in need! Usually food drives are done at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But there are people who need food throughout the year. You can donate food to a local charity organization or shelter.
  • "Resurrect" - that is, uplift! - the thoughts and actions of those around you: refuse to take offense or be brought "down" by someone's comments or attitude. Instead, lift up the general atmosphere by loving your neighbor!
O is for Offering Box

Catholic Icing idea - Palm and Foot Sunday Poster


Unleavened Bread Meal & Bible Time
Have Dad or older kids read the gospel story.

I'll probably pull out My Mass Kit by Wee Believers to demonstrate more slowly the Eucharistic Celebration to our children.
Jesus Serving Massmass kit wee believers

Catholic Icing idea: Passion Playset

Movies: The Passion of The Christ, The Animated Passion, Twas the Night Before Easter, Easter Carol


Stations Matchup

Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages (Please go to the top link for access to this printable)

Stations of the Cross with Mini Picture - Made by Our Kids

- Familia Catolica's Stations using these images are a great idea I suggest you check out! Olivas used these images I found at The link above is my redrawing of them to be colored. I have since shrunk them into the sizes below so you can make the project she thoughtfully created!

She took the ressurrected Jesus and replaced all her images with these on Easter Sunday, along with white ribbons. That info below with Easter Activities.

Sorrowful Mysteries - Crosses We Bear Rosary Hangers
2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0003Rosary Hangers
  Ask your children to carry a wooden 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. When asked 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. Attach hooks near the bottom and use these as
rosary hangers.

" When you carry a Rosary, Satan has a headache.
When you use it, he collapses.
When he sees you praying it, he faints."


Our World and the Eternal-p1
Discussion: Where am I headed and how do I get there from here?
Helping children learn about Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and Earth is difficult if you don't understand it yourself. While there are no definite answers, here is my interpretation of what I've learned. Click and Print each page to read. Below are also more links to enrichment activities and resources.
Our World and the Eternal-p2Our World and the Eternal-p3Our World and the Eternal-p4

Childrens Books:

Adult Books:
  • After this Life: What Catholics Believe About What Happens Next by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
  • The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  • Hungry Souls by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg
  • The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
  • The Visions of the Children by Janice Connell

Movies (parental discretion):
  • What Dreams May Come (1998)
  • Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Where Narnia Meets Faith
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • Heart and Souls (1993)

Life Links:
Read more about visionaries who have seen Purgatory.

EASTER SUNDAY has a lot to say about "resurrecting" or "restoring life to" ourselves spiritually and emotionally. Decide now what old thoughts do we have to purge about ourselves that don't reflect the beautiful life God gave us? What fruitful activities can we do daily to spiritually restore us? What can we do for others to help them become resurrected? Click here to read more and get great ideas: Resurrection Month: Make a Difference

Paschal Candle with Crown of Thorns changed into a King's Crown!
If you made a salt-dough crown of thorns, Easter is the perfect time to paint it up bright for a centerpiece. We added tissue paper lilies and a paschal candle.

50 Days of Easter Tree
Plastic eggs hang from Our Forever Tree, numbered 1-50 and holding scriptures. Treats no longer inside because little ones figured it out and raided the eggs.

Resurrected Crosses
Just as Olivas at Familia Catolica designed the Stations of the Cross using my printouts, here are the resurrected Jesus images as she requested to change over the crosses to Easter Crosses with white ribbons.

We Light up our Easter Tree
2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0002
This is made from a light up tree, adding silk flowers on the ends for a cherry blossom look. Conceal cord in the vase with faux eggs and embellish vase with vinyl stickers.

We also do Easter Baskets & An Egg Hunt
Copyright, Answers in Genesis.Copyright, Answers in Genesis.
Copyright, Answers in Genesis.Copyright, Answers in Genesis.

So many more great ideas for Celebrating Easter with children at Many we hope to do in the coming years!

Fine Art Study

McNaughton Fine Artist - Jon

If you are wanting to study current fine art, consider this talented artist: Jon McNaughton. His website features incredible paintings of Christian, religious, political, nature and other subjects. Full descriptions, details and zoom of each painting.



McNaughton Fine Art - 1Nation under God

One Nation Under God


jmOneNationUnderSocialism 001jmBound 002

One Nation Under Socialism & Wake Up America


Previous File: jmChildOfMine_1_6.psd
'Child Of Mine'

Child of Mine (a pre-Pieta)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Things are NOT peachy keen here

I'm sitting here, reflecting on the past few weeks of struggles in our home life. Having a newborn is like cutting off my hands for a year, and depending upon the kids to pick up the slack. Tom's working 60 hour weeks (M-Sat), so my spare hands are gone.
I pray about it, attempt little things I can do with my hands full, and pray some more. The stress of nursing and homeschooling and housekeeping and activities and more is taking its toll on my body and my mind. There are good moments, but they are getting less and less. That's NOT how it should be, right? A family of 7 is more than a larger table or van.

We are so blessed AND so stressed!

Crazy Days
The kids are trying to do school, but it is getting interrupted too often with gorgeous weather, antsy little ones, and being my helpers. It certainly has been stressful on them too. So we are in the process of applying for Charter Schools for Fall 2012. Public school is not an option and the nearest acceptable Catholic school is too expensive and too far away. Homeschooling seems to be a lost cause for our stressed out family life. It was good while it lasted, but it's not for everyone. We're leaving it in God's hands now, upon acceptance at the school. The weight is off my shoulders at last.

In the meantime, I'm working on cleaning up the messes around here. Such as, another can of food dumped in the fish tank, erasing artwork from furniture, and trying not to step on the toys that layer the floors.
Crazy DaysCrazy Days
So others in blog-land realize that staying at home doesn't mean your house is always sparkly clean. This is considered semi-clean for us and it does bother me for it to be this way. It's usually much worse. Too much visual clutter for my taste.
This Messy House
This Messy House

This time out turned into a much needed naptime. Praise God.
Crazy Days

A good day…
That 80 degree day was a piece of heaven. Eddie got his first exposure to direct sunlight, and loved it! We just love that boost of serotonin the sun gives while we have lunch on the deck, go for a walk, play out back, or color chalk on the driveway.
Edwards First Sunshiny Day
And the kids and I drew up plans for a future garden. (ya right)
Garden PlaningGarden Planing
I didn't know you could grow steaks and eggs in a garden? Or pineapples and bananas in Minnesota? Below is my MN correct garden with foods I'd actually like to grow.
Garden Planing

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness

A little about our current family life:

March has come in like a lamb…


Dear God, thank you for my loving family. Amen.

EddieEddie's New seat


And seems to be going out like a lion…

Iron Man Jonathan 

"Pew-Pew-I'm Iron Man!"

Did you know that Iron Man stays at our place from time to time? Along with Bumble Bee (Transformers), and other super heroes.

Sat Morning Cartoons



There was that snowstorm that turned into a melted mess in just days. Tom and my brother helped make a 5gal pail snowfort that was so awesome, and is looking more like swiss cheese today.


The long un-anticipated trip to the dentist. No cavities! Great first time and return patients.

Kids DentistKids DentistKids DentistKids Dentist

In the Dentist's arcade and theatre waiting room, Tom got the call to go back to work the next day. Long days and longer weeks. Good for the income, sad for ending our fun and productive days together with Daddy.

Kids DentistKids Dentist


Adding a few dozen sewing projects to my list to start up my NEW ETSY SHOP:

MM Blog topper1 copy

sewing projects

With only one free arm to do anything with.

Melissa Multitasks

So for my local friends and family, *hint*

       my kids would love a play date!

             And I would love a nap.



Thank goodness for helpful family, especially Grandma, who doesn't mind holding the baby and loves to play with our sometimes wild children.



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