Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm a Guest Blogger on Crunchy Catholic Momma!

As mentioned on Tuesday's post, Tricia over at Crunchy Catholic Momma is celebrating her 2 year blogiversary in a big and fun way!  Congrats Tricia on blogging for 2 years!

She is having giveaways all week so be sure to check them out and enter to win!  Another way Tricia is celebrating her blogging milestone is by inviting guest bloggers to post on her blog this week.  I am thrilled that Tricia has included me as one of the guest bloggers today!  So hop on over to see what I said and enjoy reading Tricia's blog!  Her talents and family life amaze me!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award and each post will be an entry to a great giveaway!  Click below for details!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Blogiversary to Crunchy Catholic Momma!


 (Picture of amazing felt cake by Silvia Leite) 

I just want to get the word out that Tricia over at Crunchy Catholic Momma is celebrating her 2 year blogiversary in a big and fun way!  Congrats Tricia on blogging for 2 years! 

All this week she is having giveaways like these adorable 100% wool Mary Jane slippers that Tricia handmade!  Tricia is so talented and raises a beautiful large family. I'm amazed of all the handmade items she makes on her Crunchy Crochet shop at Etsy!  


Another way Tricia is celebrating her blogging milestone is by inviting guest bloggers to post on her blog this week.  I am thrilled that Tricia has included me as one of the guest bloggers so check back here on Thursday or at Crunchy Catholic Momma to see my guest post :) 

I first "met" Tricia when she had a giveaway for the LEGO rosaries she makes. . My name was randomly chosen as the winner!  
You can see this rosary and Tricia's other handmade items at prudenceandvirtue.etsy.com
We are looking forward to receiving our rosary, like the one pictured above, that Tricia is designing just for our family! (I was able to pick the colors out for our rosary.)   I can't wait to show it on my blog when I receive such a special gift!  My children think that a LEGO rosary is so "cool!"  Thanks Tricia!

So hop on over to Crunchy Catholic Momma, be blessed, and wish Tricia a congrats! Join in on her giveaways too and you just might be one of her winners!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award and each post will be an entry to a great giveaway!  Click below for details!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday's Meatless Meal: Seafood Spaghetti

On Ash Wednesday and during all Fridays during Lent, Catholics abstain from eating meat as a form of fasting and penance.  For more information about the history of Lent, I would encourage you to read What are the origins of Lent? Did the Church always have this time before Easter? 
In the article I learned something new when it stated, "The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words lencten, meaning "Spring," and lenctentid, which literally means not only "Springtide" but also was the word for "March," the month in which the majority of Lent falls."

I wanted to share this very easy and yummy dish that we often eat, especially on Fridays during Lent.  This meal, Seafood Spaghetti, is what I brought to the St. Joseph Feast Day celebration that I recently blogged about.  My Aunt gave my family the recipe and it's always a hit!
Here are the ingredients:
1 or 2 cans of tiny shrimp
1 pound of spaghetti or linguine
2 cans of Progresso White Clam Sauce 
(I find the white clam sauce cans near the spaghetti sauces in the store)
1 can minced clams


Here's what you do:
Cook noodles as directed on package
Drain and clean shrimp
Mix shrimp, clams, white clam sauce together and heat.
Pour over cooked noodles

That's it!  This is one of the quickest recipes I have and it's one of my family's favorites!
Let me know if you try it and how like it :)

I linked this post to 2015 Lenten Meal Plan-Week 1 hosted by Beth Anne's Best


Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award.



Friday, March 25, 2011

The Feast of the Annunciation Coloring Page!

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she has been called to carry and give birth to God's son and name him Jesus.  (Luke 1: 26-38) Nine months from today, we will be celebrating the birth of our Saviour!
I just found the above coloring page from a link at Catholic Icing and then from that link I found  lots of Catholic Coloring Pages !
This morning I went to Mass with my children where our bishop concelebrated the Mass with a local priest.  It was beautiful and such a special way to remember that Mary's trust and courage to say "yes" to God's will changed the whole world!  I am now in the process of making homemade pretzels (the dough is rising). I got the recipe off of Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure for today.  Happy Feast Day!



Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award and each post will be an entry to a great giveaway!  Click below for details!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

LEGO Link Up and Art Showcase!

My 6 year old daughter made this LEGO hair salon today.  "I made it because I like hair salons.  The person with the yellow brush is the worker.  The girl sitting down in the red chair is getting her hair done.  She is looking into the white mirror."


I'm linking this LEGO creation to Melissa's LEGO Mania Party
 and to 

Kimberly over at Happy Hearts Academy has an Art Showcase each Friday where you can share your children's art work.  
Here is some artwork from a few of my children that I am linking up to the Art Showcase:

My 6 year old daughter traced this horse.

My 9 year old son traced this T-Rex.

Guess what my children use to trace on?  Tracing paper?  Well, sometimes, but have you ever thought of using parchment paper?  


Yep, I buy rolls of parchment paper. You know it's not just for baking :)
Tracing paper is expensive in art supply stores, but I have found that parchment paper works just as easily once you roll sheets out and cut it to size.  I don't know how big of a cost difference there is, but I know there seems to be more paper on a parchment paper roll than in a little booklet of tracing paper.   Have you ever used this to trace on?

Do you have any artwork to link up to Kimberly's Art Showcase?  We would love to see it!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award and each post will be an entry to a great giveaway!  Click below for details!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Perigee Moon


This past Saturday night, our family headed down to the beach with some friends to watch the super "perigee moon"- the biggest in almost 20 years.  It was a windy and cold evening. We joined the crowded beach to watch the moon rise over the horizon.  Everyone in our group thought the super moon was beautiful, but thought it was going to look bigger than it did.  Here are some pictures that my hubby took to document history!
 

I see the moon, the moon sees me, 
God bless the moon and God bless me!

Hallelujah!  Praise the LORD from the heavens; give praise in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon; give praise, all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens, you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the LORD'S name; for the LORD commanded and they were created
Psalm 148: 1-5 


Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). We are having a giveaway this month so join the fun! Click button below for details!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Joseph Feast Day Celebration!


Last month our homeschool group made these decorative breads to prepare for the St. Joseph celebration that we had today.   Saint Joseph is the the foster-father of Jesus and St. Joseph's feast day is celebrated each year on March 19th.  For the past 8 years our homeschool group has celebrated this special feast day and it is a blessed time to have our families and friends come together to honor the man who was called by God to raise Jesus here on earth.
It is a tradition to prepare a St. Joseph altar in a home where the decorative breads, food, and desserts are placed.  The altar has 3 levels to symbolize the Blessed Trinity-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Here are a couple of pictures from our altar today at the host families home:

Behind the Easter lily plant is the rest of the altar which had many types of food and breads.  Here are pictures from the backside of the altar.  The altar has the 3 levels to symbolize the Blessed Trinity.
In the background behind the breads that spell "ST. JOSEPH" there is a carpenter square that belonged to our friend's father who has passed on.  St. Joseph was a carpenter and a hard working man who provided so much for his holy family.  At the feet of the St. Joseph statue there is an old rolling pin that once belonged to my friend's aunt.  The aunt used the rolling pin to make food for the St. Joseph altars in Louisiana. 

A History of the Altar

The people of Sicily prayed.  For too long there had been no rain to nourish the crops that sustained life for most on the island.  The dried out wheat stalks cracked beneath the feet of the poor farmers as they walked through the barren fields.  Only a sea of dust and withered vines remained from what had once been row upon row of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
And so the people prayed.
They pleaded to St. Joseph, their patron, for relief from the terrible famine that gripped the island.  At last the skies opened, sending down the life-giving water.  The people rejoiced!  Some time later, to show their gratitude, they prepared a table with a special assortment of foods they had harvested.  After paying honor to St. Joseph, they distributed the food to the less fortunate.  
The first St. Joseph Altar set up on the Island of Sicily was a small one, of course.  But as time went on and the tradition took hold, the flamboyant nature and creative spirit of the Italians caused the altars to grow larger and more ornate.
Today, the artistic quality of breads, cookies and pastries, which are baked in such shapes as chalices, staffs and pyramids, often rivals the exquisite flavor of these food offerings.  
Though Sicilian immigrants introduced the custom to America, the celebration is not confined to any nationality.  Rather, it has become a public event which its devoted participants embrace for a host of private and personal reasons. The feast is alternately a source of petition and thanksgiving. 

The homeschool family that hosted today's St. Joseph celebration told a little bit of history of St. Joseph's Feast Day by displaying this map to show where Sicily is located.  Our friend's great grandparents (their wedding photo is in the above picture) were from Italy and when they moved to Louisiana they started the St. Joseph altar tradition in the state of Louisiana. The dish in front of the framed photo is a plate of fava beans and during the famine in Sicily, families lived off of these types of beans until the famine ended. 

During the Middle Ages, people would abstain from eating meat throughout the entire season of Lent. (Now Catholics abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent). In the past,  people would eat local grown vegetables, bread, seafood.  Since St. Joseph's Feast Day falls during Lent each year, our altars have all meatless dishes just like the altars had so long ago: pastas, fruit, bread, vegetable dishes, salads, pastries, cookies. Also, St. Joseph's Feast Day is a Solemnity, or a celebration of a holy day, so anyone who gave up certain foods (like sweets) can partake in all the goodies for this special day! 

Before we enjoyed all the feasting and fellowship, our homeschool group invited a local priest to give a blessing and everyone prayed a Litany of St. Joseph.  It is interesting to note that our priest friend is Polish and he had never celebrated St. Joseph's feast day himself.  He was very happy to take part in such a wonderful celebration that our homeschool group opened up to our families, friends, and community.

Here are some traditional dishes on St. Joseph altars that everyone today enjoyed eating:
My Dad makes this dish each year, "pasta con Mudica”, which is a dish with pasta and breadcrumbs.  The breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust in St. Joseph’s carpenter shop.  In the background a family made a vegetable lasagna.
In the background the colored cookies are fig cookies or cuccidatas.  These are very popular Italian cookies. These are a labor of love made by my friend's mother who is from Louisiana.  Thank you Mrs. J! As always the cuccidatas were so delicious and beautiful!  The cookies in the front of the photos are seed cookies.  These are also delicious!

Here are some non-traditional St. Joseph Fig Newton cookies that some of our upper elementary children carved to decorate the St. Joseph altar. :)  Someone carved a fish, chalice and a cross in the cookie.

This was a beautiful cross cake made with Italy's flag colors. This cake was made by a 4th grade boy in our group.  Great job A.S. !

I made these Cappuccino Bon Bons (I renamed them Cappuccino Cakes).  I got the recipe out of the Country Italian Cookbook.

A family made a beautiful crown of thorns out of pretzels and melted chocolate.  All the young children loved this sweet and symbolic treat!

We were blessed to share this special feast day with my parents who attend each year.  My father's grandparents are from Sicily.  My father's grandmother's cousin (got all that?) had a daughter who had polio and she was very sick.  The family prayed for St. Joseph's protection and intercession and the parents of the sick girl vowed to honor St. Joseph in a special way if their daughter got well.  The young girl did get well and her parent's began the tradition of St. Joseph Altars in East Boston where my father is from.  This couple kept the tradition of the altars going for 28 years.
My father has many fond memories of celebrating St. Joseph's Feast Day with his family and here are some photos of their altars:
My father is the young boy on the left closest to the altar.  He is standing beside his faternal twin brother.  Also, pictured are my father's parents and his sister.  The altar in this photo is much more elaborate than ours today, but oh so beautiful! Don't you think?

Here is a close-up of the St. Joseph Altar.  It is difficult to see here, but hanging around the altar are decorative breads.  On the altar there are various statues, including the Holy Infant Child and candles.

This is my now deceased grandfather (my father's father) placing an angel statue on the altar.  

This was a long post, but a very special one to write.  Thank you for reading about St. Joseph's Feast Day!  It was another wonderful celebration to honor St. Joseph and we are grateful for all the family and friends who came together to remember who God called to be the leader of the Holy Family!
 We had over 60 adults and children celebrate this blessed day!

I am linking this post to The Virtual St. Joseph Altar Blog . Just click button below to see other beautiful St. Joseph Altars!


Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for March's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of March. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award and each post will be an entry to a great giveaway!  Click below for details!


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