Thursday, February 28, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Trip and Farewell to Pope Benedict XVI

I'll never forget February 11, 2013, not only because it was on that Monday that our family was on a 2 day family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte/Concord, NC, but because Pope Benedict XVI  made the announcement of his resignation and it of course hit the media airwaves and social networking sites.  I found out through a friend's Facebook status about this historic day and like most of the world, was shocked.  Here are some pictures from our fun trip and then I am posting some great papal resources that I have collected from various sites and bloggers:

 Here's our family sporting the GWL bracelets we wore during our 2 day stay

GWL was a cozy, fun, family-friendly vacation spot.  It had indoor water slides, pools, and various water activities.  Our family enjoyed playing a competitive game of water basketball in one of the pools as we tried to shoot the rubber basketballs in the hoops that were set up.  I didn't get many pictures of the kids playing because I was too busy having fun with all the water play myself! :) 

Here are my 3 older children (don't know the little girl on the far right) as they get a lot of water dumped on them!  

Here's a video my husband took of the water coming down on our oldest 3! I was in the Kiddie Pool with our 5 year old! They loved all the water fun!  :)

So not only was our GWL trip memorable because of the fun memories we made as a family during our short stay there, but like I mentioned above during our last day at the indoor water park, news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was announced to the world.  This is one of the posts I wrote on my Facebook page on Feb. 11: "According to The Drew Mariani Show Facebook page: The last time a Pope resigned was in 1415....598 years ago! The Holy Spirit didn't fail us then as our Church continues to thrive the good times and bad and we have faith that the Holy Spirit will not let us down now! Continue to have faith in this Year of Faith!"

It was a blessing today to watch history in the making with my children and I'm so glad to share this historic day with them as a homeschooling family.  Today we watched Live coverage on our computer on EWTN (Global Catholic Network) of Pope Benedict speaking to the Cardinals and unfortunately we missed him leaving the Vatican, but we did see his helicopter flying out to Castel Gandolfo, where he will live for two months as the Vatican finishes work on his permanent residence at a monastery within the Vatican. Here are a few pictures I took with my phone as we heard and witnessed Pope Benedict's final blessing in his papacy.  

For the past 2 weeks I have been gathering papal resources on my "Catholic Kid Stuff" Pinterest board HERE. Now there is no telling if I'll actually get to any of the activities, although there are some I would like to do with my cupcakes!  I wanted to highlight a few Papal resource links below for my own reference and for any readers who may want to see just how wonderfully creative some bloggers are when it comes to celebrating this historic time in our Church.

First, I recommend praying for our Cardinals who will be voting on our new Pope. Our family just "adopted" a Cardinal to pray for so that through the power of our prayers the Holy Spirit may guide, protect and enlighten our Cardinals when they determine the next successor of St. Peter.  We were given Jean-Louis Tauran, from France, born 5.4.1943.
He's been a Cardinal since 21.10.2003 and his function is: Protodeacon, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Papal Resources from Chris @ Campfires and Cleats

The Primacy of Peter: Papal Lapbook from Jessica @ Shower of Roses

Lacy @ Catholic Icing has a comprehensive list of papal resources and activities HERE
Learning about the Election of a New Pope (Reading Comprehension and a Craft) from Jennifer @ Catholic Inspired  (Yay! I actually did this one! See photo below)

Here's a picture of my children with their completed smokestacks from Jennifer's activity and craft from Catholic Inspired.  My daughter kept saying over and over again, "White smoke we have a new Pope!"   Thanks Jennifer for the fun and learning! :) 

I'll close this rather long (but hopefully helpful) post with these videos that explain more about the process of becoming a Pope that I have shared with my own children.  We all learned alot from them!

Thanks Chris @ Campfire and Cleats for sharing this one: 

Learning About the Election of a New Pope {Reading comprehension & a craft} - See more at:

Learning About the Election of a New Pope {Reading comprehension & a craft} - See more at:

My kids and I also enjoyed this video:

Learning About the Election of a New Pope {Reading comprehension & a craft} - See more at:

I also love this 62 page e-book from the Vatican paying homage to Pope Benedict XVI. Check it out! 

And a post about saying goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI wouldn't be complete without this beautiful thanksgiving video of the life and ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. 

Pope Benedict said his good-byes today when he tweeted: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives". Pope Benedict XVI


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing a photo of your sweet cupcakes with the smoke craft. I love it! Thanks for the videos, too. I shared those with my kids! My *almost* 2 year old kept saying "pope, again!" after he watching the cartoon one! He loved that one and he just kept watching it! Thanks so much!

Chris said...

Thanks for such an informative post! And I have to say I'm thrilled that you are getting back to blogging after feeling awful for so long!
And thank you for the link to my post:) I am updating my psot so that it inc the awesome stuff you have here!)
Great info it.
Have a great day, Tracy..


Mom2Seven said...

Hi Tracy! Hope you are feeling well. I am going to have to look into that water park since it is so close to us. You know I love these types of posts... teaching/sharing our beautiful faith... and you always do such a good job of it! Happy weekend! Love, Annita +JMJ+

LeAnn said...

I always enjoy learning more about the Catholic faith. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this post. I always liked to learn what other faiths are teaching and doing.
It sad that Pope XVI retired. However, the process that will elect another Pope will be interesting.
Blessings to you!

LeAnn said...

It looks like you had a lovely family adventure.
I do enjoy reading about your thoughts on the Pope retiring and other information. This was insightful.

Melissa N. said...

I always learn so much when I swing by your blog! We are lovers of GWL here also...Pocono location for us!


Angela said...

Hi Tracy,

Congrats girlfriend! You're blog is this week's blog of the week over on Blog Mommas. Hope you are doing well!

Angela :]

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