Monday, March 18, 2013

Birthdays and St. Joseph Feast Day Celebrations!

This past weekend was busy full of birthday celebrations and 3 soccer games!  My younger sister's birthday was last week and my hubby's birthday was this past Saturday.  We celebrated both my sister's birthday and husband's this past weekend.  It was a treat to visit with my sister since she lives out of town.

Here's my family with some of my husband's birthday gifts at my parent's house for birthday lunch.  I'm holding the #1 DAD "sportula" and my daughter is holding a N.C. State big checkers game (my husband and I both graduated from NC State- Go Wolfpack!)

My husband and sister (on the right) are holding up their trick birthday candles.  My kids were amused by the candles :)

My husband has a fraternal twin brother and this is one of my favorite pictures of the cuties that I like to post and share especially when their birthdays come around each year.   My husband (on the right) and my husband's fraternal twin brother (on the left).  They were stylin' with their suits! :) This picture always makes me laugh!

And here they are all grown up.  They switched places with my hubby on the left side in the red shirt.  Saturday night we spent time at my in-laws celebrating  their birthdays.  They are holding knives because it's a Smith tradition to "throw" a knife into the cake before cutting it.  It's more like tossing a knife carefully (with everyone not too close) vs. throwing it! 

On Sunday morning after Mass, we met my sister at the finish line at a popular local race where she completed a half-marathon!  She did a great job and her sister-in-law ran her first marathon! Way to go ladies!

It was last year at this same race that I ran my first half-marathon, but this year I'm racing to the finish line with my pregnancy instead!  I was 20 weeks pregnant this past Saturday...half-way there! 

Today my cupcakes and I prepared an Italian bread dough because we met at another homeschool families home to bake bread in honor of Saint Joseph's Feast Day, which we celebrate each year in the Catholic Church on March 19th (tomorrow).  Breadmaking for our St. Joseph altars has been an annual tradition in our homeschool group for awhile now and everyone loves the tradition (and the warm, freshly-baked bread samples are always a hit!) 

You can check out some of our homeschool group's very creative and decorative breads and read about our breadmaking day for St. Joseph altars from 2011 HERE.

And HERE our breadmaking day for St. Joseph altars from 2012 shows even more fun and creativity!
 You can read about our 2011 St. Joseph celebration HERE that has a detailed explanation and photos of the feast day, including wonderful black and white photos from when my father celebrated this feast day as a little boy!  

And then last year, we celebrated St. Joseph's Feast Day with our homeschool families where I blogged all about it HERE.  This year, due to especially hectic schedules for everyone, we just met to bake the bread so families could take it home to make their own altars. 

Before the kids shaped their bread dough, J.H. gave a brief explanation of the history of St. Joseph altars and we also prayed a Litany of St. Joseph

Here are some pictures from our fun day today: 
 J.H., who always hosts the St. Joseph celebration (and does an awesome job hosting!), set up a beautiful "mini" altar and the picture on the bottom left corner shows the little bags she handed out to everyone that included a St. Joseph prayer card, religious medal, and a fava bean.  She also made homemade traditional St. Joseph cookies that she bagged and gave to each family.  Thank you J.H.!

Each family brought homemade bread dough after it's first rising so that the kids could shape the dough into shapes of all kinds, but especially religious symbols.

Let the fun begin!  

Some of this year's creations before baking

And here are some finished products that families got to take home and some of the baked bread were delicious samples served hot with butter and honey that doesn't last long with our group!
Saint Joseph, pray for us! 
Have a blessed St. Joseph Feast Day!


Chris said...

What an exciting weekend, Tracy!
Great post....the pic of your hubby with his bro is priceless!! (My Dad was also a fraternal twin and I have fraternal twin brothers!! LOL---I'm youngest of 5)
Love the activities you do with your HS group! You guys are so lucky to have them. That reminds me of the HS group we used to belong to. We were all very active and met frequently to celebrate events within the liturgical year with food, fun, crafts.....The group got very very big ( a good thing) but the ensuing growth and clash of personalities though was eventually the cause of us leaving. I always love yuor HS group activity posts though...brings back lovely memories for me from when my kids were younger too....:)
Thanks Tra...Keep feeling great these days...I wish we were closer so we could chat over coffee (hey, decaf for you!) while the kids played!
Great pix of the race this weekend too!

LeAnn said...

I have always enjoyed reading about your Catholic religious observances. I loved the bread creations.
Lots of fun pictures of your celebrations. I especially was surprised about the knive throw on the cake that is quite the tradition.

Happy Birthday to your soul mate:) You are doing well with your pregnancy I still can't see much of a bump:) I always enjoy seeing the bread creations your group comes up with. So impressive. Voted for you today

Wow!! Busy lady! I'm also a homeschooler...with 2 left at home and 3 out in the world. Now a grandma to 2 and another on the way! I've just 'blog'scovered you through the wonderful No Ordinary Blog Hop site and have signed on to follow you and see what you and yours are up to!

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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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