Thursday, September 21, 2017

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows: September 15

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September 15th is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

What is the devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady?  I'll let explain about this memorial:

"This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance. May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our salvation; with which tears Thou, O God, art able to wash away the sins of the whole world.
As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:"

  1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
  2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
  3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
  4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
  5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
  6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
  7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
There is so much to ponder when thinking about the grief and sorrow our Blessed Mother endured while being a mother to Jesus. We can look to Mary to show us how to endure suffering with great faith, hope and love.

For the first time a few years ago, we did the Seven Sorrows of Mary Activity for Children from Catholic All Year.

We did the same activity, but with lemons this year, and it was a blessing to spend time with my family reading about the Seven Sorrows of Mary.  We first read from the book, Mary: The Mother of Jesus, (that is opened in photo).  There was a page about Mary's sorrow.  Then using the Catholic All Year printable (that I laminated a few years ago), we read each of the Seven Sorrows and the scripture that went with each one. After each one, my children ate some slices of lemon (instead of Lemonhead candy or sour Skittles.)

Some of my kids' reactions to the sour lemon slices were photo worthy. :)

We didn't get a chance to color this coloring page from Vicki Shuck, one of the artists behind the Be Yourself! Journal for Catholic Girls, but I'll share it for future reference for myself and others.  

 Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us! 

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Celebrate Mary’s Birthday with Doughnuts, Cake, and Candles! (My Post at Peanut Butter & Grace)

The day before my parents' big 50th wedding anniversary party on September 9, 2017, (blog post on the big celebration coming soon!)  we had a small celebration with our family and my sister and her family for our Blessed Mother's birthday on the morning of September 8th.

In year's past we have celebrated this special day with other families in our homeschool group, but this year with so much going on with my family's festivities, we decided to celebrate with just our family.

In the morning, I laid out our traditional doughnut rosary (that we have done for several years now) with a vase of roses and our Marian statue holding a rosary.  We prayed a decade of the rosary and then everyone had doughnuts for breakfast.  I bought 60 munchkins and a dozen doughnuts to make the rosary. (actually we used 53 munchkins and 6 glazed doughnuts total for the rosary)

Here is what our rosary looked like this year:

I wrote a post at Peanut Butter & Grace titled Celebrate Mary's Birthday with Doughnuts, Cake, and Candles!

In the post, I include photos of all the yummy, edible rosaries we have made in the past with our homeschool group for our Blessed Mother's birthday.

Did you celebrate Mary's birthday this year?  If so, how did you celebrate? With doughnuts, cake and candles? Or maybe you had cupcakes?

Happy Birthday Mother Mary!

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8 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Teresa of Calcutta’s Feast Day: September 5 (My Post at Peanut Butter & Grace)

It's been awhile since I last posted with my St. Rose of Lima Simple Celebration post on August 23.

Life for the Smith family has been a blessed whirlwind as we prepared and celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, September 9, 2017.  It took many, many hours of planning, preparing and lots of team work with my mom, sister and friends for the big party with about 150 family and friends gathered to celebrate and honor my parents beautiful accomplishment. Then my sister and her husband baptized their second baby the Sunday after the anniversary party.  Then last week my parents, siblings and their families spent a week together for a beach vacation as a way to continue the anniversary celebration and make more memories with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. 19 family members in a big enough beach house for all of us creates some fun memories! :)  I am so grateful everything worked out beautifully and Hurricane Irma stayed away, although we felt how powerful the storm was for a few days at the beach with high winds and waves crashing on what little beach was left.   Then the skies cleared and the fierce waves settled down for much of the week.

I hope to post photos of the anniversary party and our family's beach vacation soon.  I'm still trying to catch my breath and catch up with laundry and life. :)

In other news, I've been a contributor for the blog Peanut Butter & Grace for a few months now and I have written several posts so far for them.  I love their Misson statement and vision....

"The mission of Peanut Butter & Grace is to help Catholic parents raise children to be saints—that is, people who love Christ and his Church and take action to continue Christ’s mission in the world today.
We do this by providing digital and print resources that assist parents in forming their children in the faith within the daily life of their family. All of our products are made for Catholic parents—either to use themselves (think of 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids), or to hand to their kids (think of the Illuminated Rosary prayer books)."

For St. Teresa of Calcutta's feast day on September 5, I wrote 8 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Teresa of Calcutta's Feast Day on Peanut Butter & Grace. I know her feast day has passed, but perhaps you can pin it and save it for next year's celebration?  

If you haven't "Liked" Peanut Butter & Grace's Facebook page yet, please do and share our posts with friends/family who many enjoy our content.  Once you like the page, invite your friends/family to "Like" the page too. :)

Also, be sure to subscribe to Peanut Butter & Grace's email subscription since we send out weekly newsletters filled with informative posts and links about upcoming feast days and the upcoming Sunday Mass readings and reflections.  You can find the email subscription fill-in box on the home page at top right. 

St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

St. Rose of Lima Feast Day: August 23: Our Simple Celebration

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On August 23rd, the Catholic Church celebrates another beautiful saint, Saint Rose of Lima.  She is the first person born in the Western Hemisphere to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and she is the patron Saint of Peru and all of South America.

Since one of our daughter's middle name is Rose, named after Saint Rose of Lima, we celebrated our daughter's "Name Day" in honor of St. Rose of Lima in a few simple ways.

Before I go into how we celebrated this Saint and our daughter, be sure to watch this beautiful video about her life from Catholic Online

In the morning of August 23, I set up and read from the Saints and Angels book that gave a brief summary of St. Rose's life along with the Saint Rose peg doll that I received last year in the wooden Saint doll exchange that I participated in.  I also went outside and clipped a few roses off our rose bushes that are planted outside our kitchen windows.

Our daughter, who loves her middle name, "Rose", ate off the "You are special today" plate at breakfast.  I try to remember to have my children use this plate on their 3 special days: their birthday, baptism anniversary and their "Name Day", which means the day we celebrate the Saint they were named after.  Each of my 5 children have a biblical first name and then we used Saint names for their middle names.

We didn't do a craft like last year, but everyone enjoyed the strawberries I cut into roses and the pancake and bacon breakfast. :)

We also listened to St. Rose of Lima Glory Stories CD.

In years past we have read from Saint Rose of Lima chapter book to learn more about our daughter's patron Saint. 
And recently I just picked up this book, Saint Rose of Lima: Patroness of the Americas, at a local library book sale for a great price.  Maybe when my daughter gets older she will enjoy reading this version. 
Summer 2016 we made a stop at The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton during our family vacation.  Inside the beautiful shrine there were stain glass windows and our little "Rose" spotted the stain glass of Saint Rose of Lima really quickly! (And there were many stain glass windows to view!) I hope and pray our daughter will always look up to Saint Rose as a holy hero and role model as she grows older and more mature in her Catholic faith. 
Celebrating St. Rose of Lima and our daughter's special day was another way our family tries to incorporate the liturgical year in our daily lives and grow to understand and embrace the truth, beauty and goodness of our Catholic faith. For other ways we have celebrated the liturgical year, be sure to visit my page A Slice of Liturgical Life.  Maybe one of my posts will inspire you in some way. 

God our Father, for love of You,
St. Rose gave up everything
to devote herself to a life of penance.
By the help of her prayers may we imitate
her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy
the fullness of Your blessings in heaven.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Another (Home) School Year Begins with Traditions: 2017-2018

We started our homeschool year this year on Monday, August 14 and I'm just getting around to posting about our new school year traditions since the past 2 weeks have been busy with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, the Solar Eclipse T-shirt and cookie making and savoring memories of the actual solar eclipse day!  And in case you missed our curriculum choices for this year, be sure to visit Our 2017-2018 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum.  

Cake Tradition 
On our first day we decorated and ate our traditional cross cake that represents the name of our school, Sacred Heart Academy!

First Day Photos
We also took our new school year photos with grade signs.  I can't believe my oldest is a senior this year!  A few years ago I stumbled upon 13 Free Printable First Day of School Signs that I have been using.  I don't think I have taken first day of school photos every year since I started homeschooling in 2005, but when I remember to do so, I think it's a great way to start the year.  

All About Me Sheets
We also filled out great Back to School Fun Pack free printables from Not Consumed that included Scripture coloring pages, All About Me and a Scavenger Hunt.  My kids enjoyed these!  You can get these printables for free by registering your email and getting the The Ultimate Homeschool Printable Collection downloaded to you.

Paper T-shirts
Our children enjoy filling out their annual paper T-shirts to add to our "We've Had a Tee-rific Summer" clothes line.  My kids draw or write some of their summertime memories from this past summer on the shirts.  They always love to compare their drawings from previous years that we leave hanging up through the years.  I got the pattern from a teacher resource book, but HERE is a link to a similar t-shirt pattern you can use if you would like.  As they use their creativity and draw pictures and write words about their summer fun, it's always interesting to hear some of the memories they have had over the summer.  Even my big kids do this simple activity! 

Charting Growth
My kids also enjoy seeing how tall they have grown each year so each August we measure their height and record it on the door frame in our classroom.  Our son grew the most of all the kids.  He grew 3 inches! 

Do you have any new school year traditions? Please comment and share!

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary: August 15th

On August 15th, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.  For more information and history about what this feast day is about, be sure to read my post at Peanut Butter & Grace blog titled, Celebrate the Assumption with Some History and Crafts. (I am now one of many contributing writers at Peanut Butter & Grace.  If you aren't familiar with them, be sure to visit their site and "Like" and follow Peanut Butter & Grace Facebook page.)

Here's how we celebrated the Assumption this year:

Our family went to morning Mass (and not only because it was a Holy Day of Obligation) and it was wonderful that my husband was able to attend with us and get to work a little late.  We sang beautiful Marian hymns and as always, it was a gift to receive the Eucharist at Mass and pray as a family and parish community.

After Mass our family headed over to Duck Donuts for a feast day treat.  Yes, those are maple glazed donuts with real bacon on top that my son chose to eat. Our dozen donuts didn't last long!

Then my younger 3 daughters did an Assumption craft with a printout from Holy Heroes.  I even got in on the fun this time and made my own picture.  Can you guess which one is mine? ;)

To close I wanted to share this absolutely beautiful and encouraging post from Ginny at Not So Formulaic titled 15 Marian Quotes Perfect for Catholic Mothers.  Thank you Ginny for this wonderful list of wisdom and inspiration!  I especially like the quote from St. Therese of Lisieux! :)

Motherhood isn't easy, and Satan loves to steal our joy. When you feel lonely, burdened, and worthless in your vocation, run to your Mother Mary. Here are 15 quotes perfect for Catholic moms.
 Photo Credit: Not So Formulaic

It was another beautiful, blessed feast day in the Church and the best part about it was that I was able to spend it with my family as we honored our Blessed Mother.

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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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