Sunday, June 23, 2013

Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) Starts This Week with Assorted Saints!

Tomorrow, June 24, our local Catholic Church will be having our annual Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) week and I'm so excited to be able to lead the 1st grade group!  Last year was the first year our church used an authentic Catholic program created by Catholic families for Catholic families/parishes by Growing with the Saints.   We used the Vatican Express program and my posts HERE and HERE tell all about our memorable week!  It was a great faith-filled and fun week and I anticipate the same experience this week!

This year, our children will be exploring assorted saints' lives and the virtues of faith, hope, and love using once again the GWTS program! 

As one of the leaders of the 1st grade group, I will be reading from The Assorted Saints and the Virtues storybook which highlights the lives of 5 wonderful saints from around the world! 

Day 1:  Juan Diego-A Humble and Faithful Servant
Day 2:  Saint Brigid of Ireland-The Saint Who Never Gave Up Hope
Day 3:  Saint Martin De Porres-Martin the Charitable
Day 4:  Saint Nicholas of Myra-The Cheerful Giver
Day 5:  Saint Kateri Tekakwitha-Lily of the Mohawks

If you would like to see an overview of all that we will be doing this week, go HERE.

Not only is the GWTS program fun and exciting for the adults and children, but I love how it teaches about our Catholic faith!  There are so many treasures about Catholicism and I love that GWTS fully embraces the richness of our faith and has organized a program to pass on our faith in such a fun way!  

I just love the mission statement of the Growing with the Saints program....

"Growing with the Saints, Inc. is committed to handing down the Catholic Faith received from Jesus and the apostles. The Holy Spirit is our unseen ever present guide as we prayerfully impart the Catholic faith with its rich tradition. We utilize Sacred Scripture, tradition, and the lives of the saints to accomplish our purpose. We are dedicated to inspire young children to fall in love with Jesus and his Church. GWTS is committed to preserving the memory of the holy saints and calling children to “holiness” by imitating the lives of the saints, our true faith heroes and heroines."

Besides my own review of Vatican Express HERE, you can also read more reviews from many others HERE!  They love GWTS as much as our parish does! 

I hope you will check back on my blog later in the week when I give a recap and post a review of our Catholic Kidz Camp experience!  


Monday, June 17, 2013

Cupcake #3 Birthday Celebration and Father's Day

 One of my favorite family pictures on our Cupcake #3's birthday!  

Recently, I posted that our third Cupcake turned 9 years old and my tribute post to 9 blessed years with our daughter is HERE.

Last week we had a small, simple, yet fun arts and crafts party for her to celebrate her special 9th birthday.  

The cake that I made was made from scratch including the homemade cream cheese icing! Mmm...

The yellow circle was white cake, while the cupcakes were chocolate.  I used the chocolate cake recipe off the back of the Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa can. It's a really good recipe and easy!   I dyed the cream cheese icing for the colors on the flower and put M&M's in the center.  My daughter was very excited to help make and decorate her cake and I was grateful for her help, since being 33 weeks pregnant is a bit tiring and cake decorating motivation was a bit of a challenge. :)

We did a few arts and crafts activities and one of the most fun and challenging activities was making Duct Tape change purse wallets!  I had my friend, R.S., come and help with this project since she has made several Duct Tape projects, including American Girl clothes!  R.S. has some serious creative skills and I was very grateful for her help!

We used these 3 colors that I bought at Wal-Mart which are about $1 cheaper/roll compared to the   popular craft stores in our area.

Lots of rolling out the tape and cutting strips with an X-acto knife and using the strips to build the little change purses.  I didn't take step-by-step pictures, but I hear You Tube has lots of videos on how to make Duct Tape projects and of course, there are books to show you how.  
Here are some of the finished change purses that use the top of the Ziplock Gallon size bags to close the purses from the inside.    The girls loved them!
 And here is the one I made for myself complete with a "T" for Tracy :) 
This past weekend we celebrated Father's Day with my family and my parents at their neighborhood pool.  It was a beautiful and fun day to relax and have fun.  Here is my hubby goofin' around with the "goggle crew".  :) 

Here are my parents with my children enjoying the refreshing water. 
Our family with Baby #5 enjoying the pool in my womb :) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday to Cupcake #3!

Dear Cupcake #3,
It's hard to believe that 9 years ago today you were born!  You were loved from the start with your head full of beautiful dark hair!  We were in awe of you, God's blessing, and we couldn't believe the amount of hair God blessed you with!  You looked like you had a wig on!  Your big sister is wearing a pink t-shirt that says "I'm the BIG Sister" and your big brother is wearing a blue t-shirt that says "I'm the BIG Brother" in the photo.  I made these shirts for your siblings and wrapped them up for your brother's 2nd birthday.  At his party, they each opened the t-shirts and this is how we told family and friends I was pregnant with you!  It was very exciting to share our joyful news in this way!

Your big sister and brother loved peeking into your bassinet to watch you sleep peacefully!  They loved giving you lots of hugs and kisses!

This picture was taken just before your first mass visit.  You looked so beautiful with your pink and white lace outfit. It was a lovely day to bring you to our church for the first time!

Here you are at 41/2 months old, our Little Pumpkin.  You even had a pumpkin stem!  :)

Here you are at 9 months old with your brother and sister  and you still have a head full of beautiful dark hair!  I had to put bows in your hair at 9 weeks old and since you never lost your hair, as many people thought you would, we continued to keep the hair out of your eyes with pretty bows!

You have always been a big helper as you helped paint our new house!
You love being silly with your siblings!

You are such a great big sister!

I love how you surprise me with sweet notes!  You have such a tender and loving heart!

 I love how you surprise me with silly photos that you take on my phone without me knowing!  :-)

Happy Birthday sweet girl! You bring so much joy and love to our lives!  We are so blessed to have you in our family! 


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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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