Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 23: Feast Day of Saint George and the (Veggie) Dragon



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It's been awhile since I last posted here, not because I haven't wanted to, but because life is, well, life and sometimes blogging gets set aside when there are many other things to juggle. I'm sure you understand, right?  But, when I do get to write here in my corner of blog land, it's always fun and a blessing and I hope anyone following my blog enjoys my blog posts as well!

*Just a little side note: In case you are interested in how we have celebrated liturgical feast days in the past through the years you can always visit my A Slice of Liturgical Life page where I have compiled all my feast day posts onto one page. :)

Last weekend on Saturday, April 23, it was the feast day of Saint George.  Our family had a very busy soccer tournament weekend out of town over the weekend so our family celebrated St. George's feast day this past week on Monday night.

This is the second year we have celebrated Saint George's feast day with the reading of Saint George and the Dragon and we also read about Saint George in Picture Book of Saints.  Saint George was put into prison and tortured for being a Christian, but he never denounced his faith in Christ.  He was beheaded about the year 303.

Here's a great short video about Saint George:



With a cucumber, carrots, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and 2 lettuce leaves a veggie dragon can be created. I first saw the creative, easy and nutritious veggie dragon idea from Jessica at Shower of Roses. And why is St. George associated with fighting dragons?  Find out more about St. George and the dragon with this Catholic Online link.


It's always an extra blessing when my husband's work schedule allows him to celebrate liturgical feast days with us. Since we celebrated Saint George in the evening at dinner time, he was home and read the book to our family.  It was great to discuss how St. George is a great role model to follow because he never gave up his Christian faith even when it was the cause of his persecution and ultimate violent death.  I placed a plastic lace tablecloth down with a red plastic tablecloth as a table runner to represent that Saint George was a martyr and shed his blood rather than deny truth and faith in Christ. 

Martianne over at Training Happy Hearts had a beautiful feast day celebration for Saint George this year filled with delicious symbolic food and she even gives great ideas to incorporate different subject areas to go with the Saint George theme.  Her table is set so beautifully and I love how she has the little plastic swords around the dragon fighting the evil dragon.  It seems her children and friends liked fighting with the little swords too! :)   Love it!  Be sure to check out her post with more details!

 

Prayer for St. George

St. George,
Heroic Catholic soldier and defender of your Faith, you dared to criticize a tyrannical Emperor and were subjected to horrible torture. You could have occupied a high military position but you preferred to die for your Lord.  Obtain for us the great grace of heroic Christian courage that should mark soldiers of Christ.  Amen


 
Monday, April 11, 2016

Feast of the Annunciation: 2016



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This past Monday, April 4, 2016 the Feast of the Annunciation was celebrated.  The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she would conceive Jesus, and the conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1: 26-38)  Normally this feast day is celebrated each year on the liturgical calendar on March 25 because March 25 is exactly 9 months before December 25 when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

   Source: Saints and Angels by Claire Llewellyn

So why did the Feast of the Annunciation get moved?  March 25 this year fell on Good Friday. Celebrating a feast day like the Feast of the Annunciation is one of the Solemnities on our liturgical Church calendar and it's a big deal and a time for celebrating and feasting.  Good Friday is not a time for feasting, but rather fasting (to put it simply), so the Feast of the Annunciation got moved to the day after Divine Mercy Sunday this year.  Did you know this convergence of a big fast day (Good Friday) and a big feast day (Feast of the Annunciation) won't happen for another 141 years?!!!?

"From the year 1900 until this year, the Annunciation and Good Friday have converged only five times, 1910, 1921, 1932, 2005 and will happen again this year.  After this year, however, these two holy days will not converge again for another 141 years.  This is the longest stretch of time where those two holy days will not converge since at least as far back as the year 1700.  While the stretch of time may not be of any consequence, it is interesting to think about, especially considering these two feasts will not coincide again within our lifetimes..."  Read More

In 2011, we celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation with coloring pagesIn 2014, we did this fun coloring activity and last year in 2015 we made megaphones to "announce" the Angelus prayer and ate waffles and fruit for dinner!   This is how we celebrated this year....


We had a busy evening of soccer practices, so we celebrated with a special themed lunch.  I put on our plastic blue tablecloth and then a plastic "lace" tablecloth to make it "fancy".  In the center of the table I lit a white candle and hid a Baby Jesus in a little space that I carved out of the candle.  I displayed Mary: The Mother of Jesus by Tomie DePaola behind the candle that gave information on the Annunciation.   The artwork on the right side of the Annunciation was painted by my oldest daughter several years ago.  On the left side of the table is the stack of "megaphones" I created last year to "announce" the Angelus prayer. We prayed the Angelus with our megaphones.  However, since April 4 this year was technically in the Easter season, we should have prayed the Regina Caeli vs. the Angelus.  We ate waffles, fruit  homemade whipped cream, and bacon for lunch because there is an interesting connection between waffles and the Annunciation. Yum!



The Catholic faith reminds me of a bottomless treasure chest...the more I learn and love about the faith, the more I realize how much I don't know!   Blogging allows me to share about our faith's rich history and traditions, family and homeschooling and I hope to inspire others through my little corner of the blogosphere. 


 
Photo Source:  Training Happy Hearts

With that being said, it looks like by me posting about our Annunciation themed lunch on my Instagram and Facebook page, it inspired a fellow blogger, Martianne at Training Happy Hearts, to have an Annunciation celebration with her family also.  Her post sums up perfectly why I love blogging so much as I love to share our Catholic faith to bring my family joy and inspire others, Catholic or not! I just love how beautiful hers turned out and her post goes into great detail about the symbolism behind each item on her table.  Be sure to visit, When Celebrating the Liturgical Year Goes Viral , and be inspired!

And I'll conclude this post all about the Annunciation with this beautiful song and images about the Angel Gabriel visiting Mary.



This post is linked at #48 at New Evangelists Monthly-May 2016, Issue #41





Saturday, April 9, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday 2016



Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter Sunday.  So this year Divine Mercy Sunday was celebrated on Sunday, April 3, 2016.  Last year I wrote a post on 7 Ways to Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with Children (and Adults too!)  Don't know much about Divine Mercy Sunday?  No worries!  I'm still learning about this devotion myself with our family and we just started celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday in 2014 and 2015 and now this year.

To read more about Divine Mercy Sunday, this Jesus and the Divine Mercy post is a great post to read. 

On Divine Mercy Sunday this year, we went to our parish at 3:00 PM to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and then the priest offered confession and then there was a closing prayer.  After praying the chaplet, I went to a baby shower for one of my friends who is expecting her 2nd baby.  2 of my daughters came to celebrate this new life too! I brought my Divine Mercy fruit platter I've made in the past and this year I added homemade whipped cream to the fruit "rays".  My daughter made the whipped cream which is really easy and fast to make.  I don't think I'll every buy Cool Whip again!

Here's the recipe for homemade whipped cream that we like to use:
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients in a mixer until cream thickens.

My friend, Karen, who hosted the baby shower, made this adorable baby shower cake and cupcakes that had the Divine Mercy theme as she made pink and blue feet "rays" with chocolate red hearts.  The inside of the cake was pink and blue.


Later in the evening when we came home my children that didn't have delicious cake at the baby shower made themselves some Divine Mercy "Sundaes", a tradition we started a few years ago.  I like to make the heart out of strawberries by cutting a strawberry in half and then take a paring knife to cut a "V" out of the top of the berry. 

+Jesus, I Trust in You+ 
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. 

Did you read about the Divine Mercy miracle that happened this year in Greenville, SC?  Check out this post and the pictures.  What do you think?  

And if you are looking for even more information on Divine Mercy be sure to visit The Divine Mercy webiste and also Catholic Mommy Blogs has a great post on How to Prepare Yourself and Teach Your Children About Divine Mercy.  
 




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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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