Sunday, November 12, 2017

Our 2017 All Saints Day Party


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This year we celebrated our annual All Saints Day party the weekend after All Saints Day on November 5th and another homeschool family hosted it on a Sunday afternoon so that Dads could attend vs. on a weekday when many Dads may be working.

Here are some highlights from our special celebration to honor the Saints that pray for us and support us in our life's journey.


In the morning of All Saints Day on November 1, I had our Feast of All Saints banner hung up.

I made this banner a few years ago from Jessica's blog at Shower of Roses.


HAPPY FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

 

The centerpiece on our kitchen table were all the peg dolls that I received a few years ago at a Saint peg doll exchange and the various Shining Light dolls we have collected through the years. 


At the party we had some Saint themed food...








And speaking of food, we had many Saint themed jars and this year instead of guessing how many treats were in each jar, we just learned about why that particular treat represented the Saint. 








We had a few new Saint themed jars this year that our hostess thought of with her children.  For some more details about most of these jars, be sure to visit my last year's All Saints Day post with more information. 

This year my two youngest daughters dressed up as Mary, Queen of Heaven, and St. Rafqa, which is a new Saint we learned about last year.  My daughter, whose name is Rebekah, wanted to be Saint Rebekah, but I didn't know if there was a Saint Rebekah.  When we did some research, we found out that there was a St. Rafqa, who was born in Lebanon on June 29, 1832.  St. Rafqa means "Rebecca",  so my Rebekah has been intrigued by her story.  My children definitely remember the part of the story where St. Rafqa went in for eye surgery due to headaches and eye pain. On the operating table, she refused anesthesia and her eye fell onto the floor. "Sister Rafqa, instead of panicking, blessed the doctor, saying "For Christ's passion, god bless your hands and may God repay you."  Read more about this fascinating Saint!



It was another beautiful All Saints Day and it's always a blessing to celebrate these holy heroes with family and friends! 

All the angels and Saints, pray for us! 








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Celebrating the Feast of Saint John Paul II on Oct. 22 with Pizza!


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On October 22, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Saint John Paul II, who was canonized as a Saint on April 27, 2014We enjoyed celebrating his first feast day on October 22, 2014 with lapbooks and videos of this great successor of St. Peter singing "Ave Maria" in 1976 and "Dynamite"!

A few years ago I posted 7 ways to celebrate the feast day of Saint John Paul II.

This year, I set up our kitchen table honoring Saint John Paul II using various resources that I have of him and we had some Papa Johns Pizza!





I recently bought the book Pope John Paul II: A Tribute from our parish's small Catholic store for a great price.  It is a beautiful book filled with photos of his childhood through adulthood with interesting captions and information about his life.  It was a great way to learn more about this Saint with my children.
 
We also own a copy of LIFE Pope John Paul II also filled with beautiful photos.

A new book we read this year was A Boy Who Became Pope. 


The painted peg doll of Saint JPII that I displayed is from the peg doll exchange that I participated last year in November 2015. 

We also love to display and admire this pencil drawing (Yes! A PENCIL drawing) of Saint JPII that Cameron Smith drew {did I mention drew with a PENCIL!?!}  (no relation to me, but he and his wife are our 5th child's Godparents)  This "Portrait of a Saint", pencil on paper, was completed in 2001 by Cameron Smith.   Be sure to visit Smith Catholic Art!  What talent!



In our home we also have a certificate that we received as a wedding gift on July 12, 1997 that states that "The Holy Father John Paul II paternally imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of divine graces to Tracy and Anthony Smith on the occasion of their wedding" with the location of our wedding and our wedding date.  It is a treasured gift and blessing!   


We can learn so many lessons from Saint John Paul II ! I enjoyed this post 7 Lessons from Pope John Paul II from Saints365.

Enjoy this beautiful short video titled "The Gift of Pope John Paul II" that I found on YouTube from Theology of the Body Institute.

Enjoy this animated GIF from EpicPew:


via GIPHY













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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy 16th Birthday to our Son!



16 years ago today, you blessed our family, friends, and all those you met with your adorable personality, beautiful smile, dark curly hair, and above all, the special way you nurtured and loved all of God's creations!  Here are a few photos that are my favorite to celebrate you!


 
You love your Mom! (and your Dad and siblings too! )
 
You love to laugh, but sometimes you say you don't love your curly hair :(

You love being outside and dirt!

You love playing/watching sports, especially soccer, flag football, and football!

You love special outings with Dad!  Go NC State Wolfpack!
 
You love to smile! :)

You love serving God and we hope and pray you always will!


You love your little sister who was born on 7/30/13.
 
You love ALL your sisters!
You love learning from Dad, a super and special role model and father!
You don't always love when I ask you to take pictures, but you do it because you love to make others happy! :)

You love nature!

You love being taller than your sisters, especially your older sister.

You love being taller than me even when I have heels on!
You love your faith and serving the Church and Dad and I pray you always will!  This was at your Confirmation in May 2017.

You love to look forward to your exciting future ahead and we are blessed to walk your life journey with you.  

Happy 16th Birthday to our favorite (and only) son! :)  We love you!

Love, 
Mom









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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima!



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A few years ago we celebrated the "Miracle of the Sun" on October 13 for the first time.  Our Lady of Fatima's feast day is celebrated on May 13 and you can read how our Blessed Mother first appeared to three children on May 13, 1917 near the town of Fatima, in Portugal.


May 13, 2017 marked 100 years since the first Marian apparition in Fatima on the May 13, 1917 date.  We celebrated the 100th year with "100 cupcakes".

One of the children, Lucia, asked the woman (who appeared to the children holding a rosary), "Who are you? What do you want?"  She answered, " I am from heaven.  Come hear on the thirteenth of each month for five months.  On October 13, I will give a sign that will make everyone believe."   

On October 13, 1917, 70,000 people came to witness the miracle that Mary had promised.   The rain suddenly stopped and Mary appeared to the children.  The clouds parted and the sun came out quickly drying the soaked ground.  The crowds saw the sun spinning and shooting out flames with all the colors of the rainbow.

October 13, 2017 was the 100th Anniversary of the "Miracle of Sun" at Fatima! Such an exciting time to live during!  


This is how I decorated our kitchen table in the morning to celebrate this miraculous event.



To celebrate this miracle of the sun, we had our spinning sun fruit platter that I've made for the past few years now. I was inspired to make this fun and festive fruit tray when I saw it on Tiffany's blog post at Family at the Foot of the Cross.  Here is a photo from a few years ago where I used watermelon for the red part.  This year I used cut up strawberries instead.


I hung this small banner up in front of the table.  I took a photo of a 100th Anniversary display that is at our parish and printed the picture.  Then I love this photo of the 3 shepherd children Mary appeared to.

The open book I displayed is Visions of Mary that highlights various Marian apparitions, including Our Lady of Fatima.  Below the book are the adorable Our Lady of Fatima, Saint Jacinta and Saint Francisco My Catholic Saint Magnets.  You can get a new Saint magnet mailed to you each month with a one time low subscription cost!

We also watched CCC of America's DVD again titled "The Day the Sun Danced: The True Story of Fatima".  

We have the Fatima Shining Light Doll for this special celebration. I love these little vinyl figures.  We already have Saint Nicholas and Our Lady of Guadalupe Shining Light Dolls that are enjoyed by our family.  We recently added another doll to our collection, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, one of our newest Saints in the Church.

This year to commemorate the 100th Anniversary, I purchased the Glory Stories "Secrets from Heaven" CD and the Fatima Family Handbook from Holy Heroes.  The CD is excellent and the Family Handbook has so much great information and photos about Fatima.  


The Lady of Fatima statue on our table is actually a borrowed one from our parish.  This statue visits parishioners homes each week where families commit to inviting Mary into their homes and hearts and pray the rosary.  I volunteered back in September to have the statue visit our home during the October 13 week as another way to remember this 100th anniversary miracle.

Isn't she beautiful?  We loved having her in our home and although the statue has traveled to another home, we always have Mary in our hearts and home if we invite her.


In the evening we had a few homeschool families come over for a potluck dinner where we prayed the rosary and then had food and fellowship.  It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful, historic day!

Here are some great posts I came across about Fatima and the miracle of the sun:

An eyewitness account of the spinning sun miracle:



Fatima: 4 great lessons from the “Miracle of the Sun"

How the Miracle of the Sun dazzled the sceptics

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!








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