Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Slice of Liturgical Life: Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th

Yesterday on October 7, we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Did you know that this feast day was formally called "Our Lady of Victory" and "it takes place in honor of a 16th century naval victory which secured Europe againstTurkish invasion. Pope St. Pius V attributed the victory to theintercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was invoked on the day ofthe battle through a campaign to pray the Rosary throughout Europe."  Fascinating and miraculous history that you may not have read about in your history texts!

There are so many beautiful Marian feast days in the liturgical Church calendar, besides the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Some of our favorites are the Solemnity of Mary on January 1, Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11, Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, Feast of the Annunciation on August 15, Our Blessed Mother's birthday on September 8, Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15, Our Lady of Fatima on October 13, Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12.  Whew! Celebrating our Blessed Mother throughout the year vs. just at Christmas time is really a wonderful way to honor such a special and important blessed Lady!  

Last year, I saw this cute idea on how to celebrate this feast day.

Celebrating the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary this year involved candy corn (that my oldest daughter thought would make a fun rosary), chocolate chips, M&Ms, pretzel sticks and a dab of peanut butter to hold together the pretzel crosses.  We set up our rosaries and then prayed a decade of the rosary before anyone could eat some of their edible rosaries.

I think I caught my son with a mouth full of pretzels and chocolate, hence the strange looking face :)

My 7 year old wanted to make just a rosary with 1 decade and she made a horse with the extra candy corn.  My 2 year old got a few pretzels, peanut butter and chocolate chips and tried to make a rosary before she gobbled up the sweet treats.

We hope to continue with this tradition each year on October 7 in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary!

And have you entered the The Story of the Bible giveaway I'm hosting on my blog this week?  If not, go read all the details and enter!  Giveaway ends this Friday, Oct. 9 at midnight!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Slice of Liturgical Life: Feast Day of Saint Faustina

This post contains affiliate links.

Yesterday, Oct. 5, was the feast day of Saint Faustina Kowalska.

Our family reads about the Saints' lives each morning during our Couch Catechism time and sometimes we recognize certain Saints in the liturgical calendar with a gathering of friends and a special activity.  There is no way our family could celebrate all the Saints and feast days since there are soooo many great Saints and feast days in the liturgical calendar and celebrating all of them would be a monumental feat.  But, this year we decided to have a small gathering and do an activity with a few friends to remember Saint Faustina.  This was the first time we celebrated Saint Faustina with friends.   

I'm just beginning to learn more about Saint Faustina and I'm learning to appreciate her love for the Lord and the message of Divine Mercy that Jesus Himself gave to her starting on February 22, 1931.  Saint Faustina had only 3 years of simple education, so the fact that she was able to write down all that Jesus told her was  miraculous in and of itself for this simple Polish nun.  She wrote down all of Jesus' mercy messages in Diary: Divine Mercy in a Soul.

Yesterday a few of our friends gathered at our home to honor Saint Faustina and remember Jesus' Divine Mercy.   We had boys present too, but they were more interested in running outside in the rain with my son.  :) 

The first thing we did was watch a cute animated children's movie about the Divine Mercy Chaplet from EWTN.  The movie explained about Saint Faustina and Jesus' Divine Mercy and then all of us prayed a Divine Mercy chaplet along with the movie using rosary beads. 

After the movie was over the girls gathered around our kitchen table and they glued the Divine Mercy image onto construction paper.  The image is from a 2010 Divine Mercy Calendar that is no longer being sold.  Each month had the same image of Divine Mercy and my friend Karen called the company several years ago and had about 100 calendars sent to her so the Divine Mercy image could be shared.  On the back of the construction paper the girls glued information typed out by Karen about the Divine Mercy devotion.

The images are now going to be given to local priests to share with people they visit in prison, to Eucharistic ministers who visit the sick in the hospital, and to nursing homes where they can display the image in their rooms.

After the movie and quick craft we then had our Divine Mercy snack of strawberries and blueberries, which I made the past few years on Divine Mercy Sunday.  And I didn't realize I was wearing the Divine Mercy colors of red and blue until one of my daughters took the photo. :) 

It was another fun feast day!

And coming up tomorrow, October 7th, is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.   We will be making these edible rosaries to celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary.

I have organized all the posts I've done for the liturgical seasons and feast days on my page A Slice of Liturgical Life.  This page helps me organize the liturgical calendar and our celebrations and I can now easily refer to this page for future feast day celebrations vs. me having to search all over my blog for each post.  Maybe it will useful for my blog visitors too!  Hope so!

And have you entered the The Story of the Bible giveaway I'm hosting on my blog this week?  If not, go read all the details and enter!  Giveaway ends this Friday, Oct. 9!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Slice of Liturgical Life: Celebrating Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

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Today, October 4, we celebrate another wonderful feast day, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

You know you are thinking about A Slice of Liturgical Life too much when you think to grab a bag of animal crackers at the grocery as a simple way to remember St. Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals.   :)

We read a little about Saint Francis from Saints and Angels and read his story in Saint Francis of Assisi by Father Lovasik while we snacked on the animal crackers. It's always amazing to read about another Saint, like St. Francis, that had the wounds of Christ on his hands, feet, and side (stigmata). We also watched Francis, The Knight of Assisi from CCC of America that I blogged about before Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. last week

The statue of St. Francis was given to our family as a gift several years ago and I have it displayed in our home year round. 

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 

to be understood as to understand; 
to be loved as to love; 
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Slice of Liturgical Life: Feast of the Guardian Angels

This post contains affiliate links. 

This has been a busy week of feast day celebrations with Michaelmas, feast of the Archangels on September 29 and then yesterday, October 1, we celebrated the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Today, October 2, the Catholic Church remembers our special friends called guardian angels with the Feast of the Guardian Angels.

Today we went to First Friday morning mass and our priest gave a great homily all about angels, what they are and what they aren't. Then in the afternoon we read from Saints and Angels which included a page about guardian angels.  I happened to pick up this book this morning at our library book sale for a few dollars and it fit perfectly with today's feast day!

We also watched CCC of America's My Secret Friend, A Guardian Angel Story.  My children have grown up with these DVDs from CCC of America's Saints and Heroes series and they are enjoyed by all!

For a simple (but messy) art project I printed out a guardian angel coloring page onto white cardstock and then my children used glue and glitter to decorate their angel.

On this feast day of the Guardian Angels, I'm reminded how blessed we are to have our spiritual protectors, how creative and angelic my children can be working on an art project and why I don't do many glitter projects! I love the way glitter pictures look, but I hate that glitter gets everywhere! 

Last year, we made a guardian angel project with our handprints which was fun and easy. 

For another guardian angel craft project, be sure to check out Jen's Guardian Angel Kids Craft at Faith and Fabric! So adorable! 
 Lacy at Catholic Icing has 10 Ways to Celebrate the Feast Day of Guardian Angels.   

Angel of God, my Guardian Dear, 
to whom God's love commits me here, 
ever this day be at my side, 
to light and guard, to rule and guide.

All Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us!

Be sure to click on over to The Story of the Bible giveaway I'm hosting until next Friday, October 9 and enter to win! 


7 Quick Takes: The Story of the Bible Review and Giveaway!

Our family just celebrated  Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangels  on September 29th and St. Therese of Lisieux on October 1st.  It is a big month for several popular and fun feast days in the Catholic Church so why not add to the celebrations with a review and giveaway? 

This week's 7 Quick Takes hosted by Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum is my review and a giveaway of The Story of the Bible published by TAN Homeschool.   

Here is a short summary from TAN Homeschool about The Story of the Bible:

"In The Story of the Bible young readers will discover not only the sanctity and wisdom, but the excitement of the stories and events that shaped human history and brought about our salvation. This groundbreaking Bible History series from TAN Books includes Text Books, Activity Books, Teacher’s Manuals, Test Books, Dramatized Audio Books chock-full of music and sound effects, and Video Lecture Series crafted to illuminate the Biblical lessons encountered in your child’s
I first heard of The Story of the Bible at the Edel Gathering I attended in July 2015, where TAN Homeschool had a table set up with this Bible history series.  



I usually read from The Old Testament Text Book to my children or we listen to the Dramatized Audio Book after lunch once a week when my toddler is taking a nap.  My children prefer listening to the stories on the CD vs. listening to me read it out loud.  The stories, that highlight major Old Testament events, are easy to understand for all ages, yet at the same time they don't lose their authenticity.  The audio book has been a great resource at home or in the car if we are "road-schooling".  The CDs keep all my children's attention, from teen down to toddler.
After we finish each chapter, I give my children the test from the Test Book for the corresponding chapterThe tests contain quizzes made up of multiple choice and matching sections.  As a parent who is juggling the schooling of different grade levels, I am grateful  that there is an answer key at the back of the book for easy and quick grading to see how well my children comprehended each story.
My children told me that they enjoy listening to the Dramatized Audio Book because the sound effects and narrator's voice keeps their attention and it helps them stay engaged during the entire chapter.  I remember in the first chapter about creation, there was a baby crying on the CD and my children were laughing and wanting to replay that part over and over again, especially my 7 year old daughter.  As a homeschool mom, I'm always on the look out for curriculum that I can use across many grade and age levels The Story of the Bible can definitely be used with a wide range of ages.  

You can purchase The Old Testament Complete Set that includes the Text Book, Test Book, Teacher's Manual, Activity Book, Dramatized Audio Book, and the DVD lectures or purchase each of these separately. 

After you use The Story of the Bible-Old Testament then you can move into the New Testament, but you can start with whichever set you like.  The New Testament Complete Set includes the Text Book, Test Book, Teacher's Manual, Activity Book, Dramatized Audio Book, and the DVD lectures and like the Old Testament resources, the New Testament set can be purchased separately, as well.

I look forward to using the New Testament resources as soon as we complete the Old Testament. 

Now that I got you interested in TAN Homeschool's The Story of the Bible series (I hope), TAN Homeschool is giving two of my readers a chance to win an Old Testament Dramatized Audio Book or a New Testament Dramatized Audio Book!  The Audio Books are CDs that can be listened to at home or on the road. 

This giveaway will be open from Friday, October 2 through Friday, October 9, ending at midnight on October 9.  I will contact and announce the winners on this post on October 10.  

I will choose 2 winners, one for the Old Testament Audio Book and one for the New Testament Audio Book.  

I will have my children choose the 2 winners randomly from the entries in the comments on this post. 

Since Rafflecopter is not downloading for me to gather entries, I'll have to collect entries old school :)  You will have up to 5 ways to enter giveaway.
To Enter:

Do the following mandatory entry:

Leave a comment on this post and let me know which Audio Book you would like to win, Old Testament or New Testament.  Please make sure to leave your email address in the comment if you do not have an attached profile account where your email is listed.  This will be how I contact you if you are chosen as one of the winners. 

After you leave the mandatory comment you may do any or all of the following entries and leave a separate comment for each entry you do.

Visit TAN Homeschool on Facebook and "Like" their page.   Leave a separate comment on this post that you "Liked" TAN Homeschool's Facebook page.  

Visit my blog Facebook page, A Slice of Smith Life, and "Like" my page.  Leave a separate comment on this post that you "Liked" A Slice of Smith Life's Facebook page.

Pin this giveaway on one of your boards on Pinterest.  Leave a separate comment that you did pin this post and leave the link where you pinned it. 

Subscribe to my blog via emailYou can add your email address in the box that is located on my right side margin under my profile photo.  Leave a separate comment that you subscribed to my blog via email. 

And that's it.  :)   

I hope you will enjoy The Story of the Bible from TAN Homeschool as much as our family has this year! 

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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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