Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: My Son Caught a "Snake!"

Last week, I went to a local park with my Cupcakes and while I was strolling the baby, they rode their bikes through a trail to get to the park.  I spotted a black racer snake on the side of the trail and my son informed me that they are harmless.  My son then went to investigate and caught what looks like a snake, but is a legless lizard.  He knew right away that it was an Eastern Glass Legless Lizard. Here are a few pictures I took with my phone:

Here is a video I took with my phone and on it you can hear me asking again and again and again "What is it? Are you sure it's not a snake?" and then you can hear my sissy squeals :)  Uggh! But, I love my son's love for nature, adventure and God's creatures :) 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday and Canonization of Two Popes!

Today is one of those days that our home, our domestic church, and our universal Church will remember like the day that Pope Francis was chosen.

This day is historic in so many faith-filled ways and I wanted our family to celebrate it and remember it. 

Today is an historic day of 4 Popes. As stated in the link, "Never before have a reigning pope and a retired pope celebrated Mass together in public."

Today we celebrate the canonization of two Popes.  Jessica over at Shower of Roses has a great list of 7 ways to commemorate this joyous day with children.

HERE is a link to miraculous stories by two women who were healed through the intercession of these two popes.   Fascinating for sure!

Saint John XXII and Saint John Paul II, pray for us. 
Photo Credit: John Christenson

Since the canonization Mass in Rome was in the middle of the night our time, here is the Mass on YouTube:

HERE is Pope Francis' beautiful homily from the canonization Mass.|

I showed my family this parody that we all thought was clever and entertaining:

One of our favorite images of (now Saint) John Paul II is this PENCIL drawing by Cameron Smith, who is not related to me, but he and his wife are our 5th child's Godparents.  Does this not look like a photograph to you???  Amazing talent and such sweet, faith-filled friends of our family!

   Image and prints found here:

For lunch we had some Papa John's..Holy Servants, Holy Vicars pizza!  I found the image of the "Papa Johns" floating in Facebook news feeds and I printed it out and taped it on top of our boxes.  

Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday.  Find out more about Divine Mercy devotion HERE.  In this list of 21 Awesome Fact You Didn't Know about JP2, on fact #7 it tells the connection between JP2 and Sister Faustina and the devotion to the Divine Mercy image.

Photo Credit:

We also had some fruit from our "Divine Mercy fruit platter" filled with raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

And for dessert we colored Divine Mercy images that I printed out on card stock and put on top of our Divine Mercy "Sundaes".  Thank you Lacy at Catholic Icing for this fun and festive idea!

After our dessert, my husband led our family in The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.

It has been a blessed day filled with a deeper love and understanding of Christ's universal Church and Jesus' infinite love and mercy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eastertide 2014

This post contains affiliate links.  

After not singing "Alleluia!" during Lent, it's now time to sing this song of praise during the Easter season!  Did you know that Easter is not just a day, but a season called Eastertide?  Eastertide begins on Easter Sunday and ends on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday.  Pentecost commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to every tongue and people and nation.
So since we are still celebrating the joyous resurrection of Jesus Christ, it's still not too late to post some of our family's Easter fun!

Our Easter weekend was busy and blessed, despite the cool, rainy weather!  

On Good Friday we watched my Mom play some Table Tennis for the Senior Games and we had our first annual symbolic Good Friday lunch.

Good Friday afternoon was spent at church and this is the only day of the entire year where Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the world!  More on that HERE!
'Lord, by thy Cross and Resurrection thou hast redeemed the world'

After the church service, the Hispanic parishioners did a live re-creation of our Lord's passion and death.  It was very moving and our family thought it was a memorable experience to be part of the crowd as we followed the actors and actresses to Jesus' crucifixion.

Here's a video of part of the drama.  The actress in the black robe on the left side of the video played the role of Mary.

On Good Friday evening we dyed our Easter eggs...

On Holy Saturday, we turned our salt dough crown of thorns into a beautiful golden crown with jewels.  This is a visual reminder that not even death on a cross can keep the King of Kings and Lord of Lords down in a tomb and our sacrifices during Lent can be turned into something beautiful for ourselves and others! 

On Holy Saturday evening we made our traditional Resurrection Rolls that are hollow after they bake to symbolize the empty tomb on Easter morning.

We also made our annual Resurrection Cookies on Saturday evening that are also hollow after they stay in the oven "sealed tomb" (which is turned off) all during Saturday evening into Easter morning on Sunday. 

We woke up early Sunday morning to start our Easter celebrations!  My Cupcakes found this on the kitchen table before they found their Easter baskets.  The white basket is filled with small chocolate eggs and a "He is Risen" egg.  Our sacrifice beans during Lent turned into a jar of jelly beans and the golden crown that my Cupcakes painted during Holy Week makes a lovely Easter decoration each year.  Can You Find Saints? book is a wonderful picture book filled with tons of great and fun information about Saints.

 Some Easter basket goodies, including some Boogie boards for the surf, sun, and sand this summer.  

After a beautiful Easter Mass, there was a big Easter egg hunt for the little and big kids outside of the church.  It was misty rain and cold, but that didn't stop the fun.  Our son found the "golden egg" for the older kids that had a nice green bill inside.  He was excited to find the big prize! 

My friend, A.C., made the cute chick deviled eggs that she served at the parish breakfast after the egg hunt.

After Mass, the egg hunt, and parish breakfast we took our annual family picture inside the parish hall and not in front of the church's altar as in year's past.

Then we headed to my parents' home for more Easter fun!  My two older kids hid the eggs for my 9 and 6 year old girls and my parents put coins in the eggs instead of candy.  My girls had to count up the change and find the total.  A little Easter math never hurt anyone :)

My kids enjoyed this cute Apple Bunny craft that my Mom found somewhere on the internet.  Using toothpicks, the ears are jelly orange candy, the eyes and nose are jelly beans, and the whiskers are string cheese.  The tail is a white marshmallow.  My kids had fun using their creativity!

While at my parents' house, we got to visit with my older brother and niece on Skype.  My brother and his family live in Australia.  I haven't met my niece yet in person, but we plan to in September!  She is so adorable!  I can't wait to meet her!

 Our little one's first Easter

After we visited my parents, we went to my in-laws home to eat dinner where my girls decorated the annual bunny cake and we had an indoor Easter egg hunt.

It was a blessed Easter 2014 with lots of laughs and memories!

May you have a blessed Easter season!  He is Risen!  Alleluia! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Symbolic Lunch for Good Friday

What a blessed and busy Holy Week we have had so far!  We have started some new Holy Week traditions this year thanks to so many talented and creative bloggers!  To see what we have been up to this Holy Week check out these previous posts:
Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday: Pickle Ball {post 1 of 3}

 Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday: Water Color Crucifix & Growing Easter Grass {post 2 of 3}

Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday: Spy Wednesday and Via Cruces {post 3 of 3} 

This morning we went to watch my Mom play Table Tennis for the Senior Games.  It was great to watch her play Pickle Ball this past Monday and today we got to see her do some awesome Table Tennis games!

Here's a short video of my Mom playing Table Tennis.  She's the one serving.  
She amazes me!

After Table Tennis we then came home and had our special Good Friday lunch.  Lacy over at Catholic Icing recently posted about how she created a Story of the Passion Lunch-Symbolic Lunch for Good Friday.  Gosh, she amazes me (too) and I am so grateful for all she does to share our beautiful and awesome Catholic faith in fun and creative ways for our families!

So I thought we would have our own symbolic lunch for Good Friday using Lacy's post as our guide and it was extra special because my husband was able to come home from work to join us.

Here are pictures from our lunch today:

Lacy did a beautiful job explaining how to incorporate the food with the scripture passages HERE, but here is a quick list of the food and Scripture that goes with it:

Olives:  Jesus' agony in the garden at the Mount of Olives.  We read Luke 22: 39-46

Hershey's Kiss: Kiss of Judas. We read Luke 22: 47-48

Sword with Cheese: Jesus' arrest.  (We used my son's plastic Lego swords)  We read Luke 22: 49-54

Hard-Boiled Egg: Peter's denial.  We read Luke 22: 55-62

Silver Peppermint Patty: Judas' 30 pieces of silver.  We read Matthew 27: 3-8

Ritz cracker with peanut butter and broken pretzel bits on edge: Jesus' crown of thorns on his head.  We read John 19: 1-3

Water:  Pilate washes his hands.  We read Matthew 27: 22-25

Pretzel Rod Cross:  Jesus' crucifixion.  We read John 19: 17-19

Salt and Vinegar Chips:  When Jesus was offered vinegar to drink.  We read John 19: 28-30

We had a moment of silence after I read about Jesus' death. 


Ha!Ha! Here's my husband after eating the salt and vinegar potato chips! 

As I told him, that is a VERY small sacrifice for what Jesus did for us :)
Now we are off to Good Friday service, the only day of the entire year where Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the world!   More on that HERE!
'Lord, by thy Cross and Resurrection thou hast redeemed the world'

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday: Spy Wednesday and Via Cruces {post 3 of 3}

Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday: Pickle Ball {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday: Water Color Crucifix & Growing Easter Grass {post 2 of 3} HERE

I laid out my "plans" for Holy Week in a prior post HERE and on Wednesday we did a new Holy Week tradition that I saw on Kendra's post called "Spy Wednesday."

I read Matthew 26:1-16 to my children where Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.  I used thirty dimes and hid them in 2 rooms in my house.  It was interesting to observe my children grab the coins and my older children were pushing each other out of the way for them (such angels :) )  My 6 year old was in tears because all her older siblings were grabbing faster than she could find.  Eventually, my children combined their coins into one pile as we discussed how easy it is to be greedy and selfish like Judas.

Wednesday morning we went to pray the Stations of the Cross with another homeschool family at "Via Cruces" (Way of the Cross), a meditation garden that was beautifully created by a couple in our parish in their yard. The couple made the garden for anyone to meditate on Jesus' passion, death and resurrection with the Stations of the Cross.  It was an amazing place filled with treasures and gems along the path and I decided to visit it again often, especially during Holy Week.  Here are some pictures from our visit:
 Guest book at the beginning of the Via Cruces with Stations guides at the entrance and along the path
 Beautiful habitat with various flowers and nature

 Several plaques were placed throughout the garden to encourage and inspire

The Ten Commandments were hanging on a tree along the path which is in the bottom left photo

The entire garden was amazing, but I think our children really enjoyed seeing the empty tomb at the end of the path.  What a beautiful experience!  I can't wait to visit again with my family and friends!  
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. T. for this beautiful gift and ministry that you share with friends!

Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday: Pickle Ball {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday: Water Color Crucifix & Growing Easter Grass {post 2 of 3} HERE

May you have a blessed Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday as we anticipate Jesus' joyful resurrection on Easter Sunday!


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