Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) Parade Around The Our Father

Last week our local Catholic parish finished up our annual Catholic Kidz camp (VBS) week using the Parade Around the Our Father program.  In my post HERE I introduced this program that we used.

This is the third year our church has used the Growing with the Saints (GWTS) programs created by Catholics for Catholics.  Our Catholic faith is so rich with history, traditions, saints, beauty, and faith.  GWTS programs understand how incredible our Catholic faith is and their commitment to pass down our Catholic faith in such fun and blessed ways to our children makes these programs the best fit for Catholic parishes everywhere, I believe!  

You can read my review of our Vatican Express Catholic Kidz Camp experience in the summer 2012 HERE.

You can read my review of  Assorted Saints and the Virtues Catholic Kidz Camp experience in the summer of 2013 HERE. 

It was another faith-filled, fun, and busy week as many children and adults explored the "Our Father" prayer in depth through God's Word, songs, crafts, games, smiles, laughter and fellowship!

I was one of the adult leaders for the rising 1st graders.  As a leader, I read from St. Joseph of Cupertino (pronounced "Cooper-tino"), which is a beautifully written and illustrated book about this humble and fascinating saint!  We read one page each day and the children and adults looked forward to how Joseph's story unfolded.
My two older children volunteered their time helping with games and snacks for the week while my rising 5th grade daughter and rising 1st grade daughter were campers.  Here's a brief summary of some of our fun!

Day 1...God Listens (Prayer)
The lesson was about prayer, which is talking to God.  As we pray God listens anytime, anywhere!  In the storybook we learned how God blessed Joseph.  We talked about the meaning of the beginning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." 
Memory Verse for Day 1 for PreK-2:  "Praise the God of heaven."  (Psalms 136:26)
We love Ms. Anne (dressed in red), the leader of this Our Father Parade!  My 6 year old is not pictured since she rode with friends to the first day of Catholic Kidz Camp.

Ms. Anne clowning around with the campers and Brother Brown teaching the kids about prayer! 

We were entertained and grateful for all the teens animals (Hippo, Monkey, (Clown) Leopard, Zebra)  that helped make the Parade Around the Our Father Camp a fun time!

I took a picture of "THE PHOTOGRAPHER" for the week.  She does a great job capturing the moments and memories and puts the pictures in a slide show for the kids and parents to watch at the closing on Friday.  Here is my 1st grade group learning the music and hand motions for the songs for the week.  All the kids loved singing the fun songs all week with our high school and college-aged young adult volunteers! 

Learning about God's Word in the Bible Bandwagon.  Ms. Coon and her daughters did a great job teaching fun and interesting Bible stories all week long! 

"Flying Friar" tamborine craft that the K-2 groups made and enjoyed!

Day 2...God Provides (Eucharist)
The lesson was about how God provides for us spiritually and physically with the great gift of the Eucharist.   In the storybook we learned what happened to Joseph at the monastery.  We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Give us this day our daily bread..."
Memory Verse for Day 2 for PreK-2:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart"  (Proverbs 3:5)

Ms. Mary Jo was the co-leader for our 1st grade group and here she is reading the beginning part of Saint Joseph of Cupertino's story.  Mary Jo and I make a great team, I think.  I just love working with her each year!  
 My youngest hung out with my group all week long and I must say she enjoyed watching all the skits, music, children, crafts and all my 1st graders wanted to hold her all the time :) 
Face Painting! 

Brother Brown shows our group the cross necklace around his neck.

 Bible Activity:  Learning the memory verse for the day and playing fun games!

 The crafts are creative and cool! 

Day 3...God Forgives (Forgiveness)
The lesson was about how God forgives us through the sacrament of Reconciliation, one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.   In the storybook we learned which job Joseph was given.  We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

 Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "Treat people the way you want to be treated" 
Adapted (Matthew 7:12)

 On Day 3 we heard the story of Zacchaeus and how Jesus forgave him.

Zealous zebras learning about our Catholic faith to spread it to the whole world! 

Day 4...God Guides (Obedience)
The lesson was about how God guides us to make good choices.   In the storybook we learned about Joseph's favorite prayer, which is The Litany of the Mother of God.   We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..."
Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "All things are possible with God." 
Adapted (Matthew 19:26)

The campers had fun with this relay race game where they filled a can with water by squeezing a wet sponge!

The craft for today for our 1st graders was to decorate a priest stole and write a big thank you card for our priests.  
 The Bible Story was about the temptation of Jesus.

And here's a short clip of our campers singing the theme song, "One True God."

"All creation shouts your name...Shouts your name! You are God, one True God, you are God, you never change!" 

Day 5...Priests Serve God (Be a Missionary)
The lesson was about how God calls some men to serve God through the priesthood.  Priests serve God by helping and guiding us to follow Jesus.  In the storybook we learned why Joseph was so happy.   We talked about the end of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Amen" means "I believe!"
Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 
(John 20:21)

The last day of Catholic Kidz Camp happened to fall on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The leader of the Bible Stories for the week lit this Sacred Heart candle and told the children about how much Jesus' Sacred Heart loves each one of us.  

{You can go HERE to see how my family celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus at home with edible artwork.}

We were blessed to be able to first have the kids color a monstrance sun catcher during craft time, then there was adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our church's chapel so our Bible Story teacher brought our group to kneel in prayer in front of Jesus.  This was beautiful to witness!
We also got to see our newly ordained priest, Father Michael, do the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as he reverently placed Jesus back inside the tabernacle at the altar of the church. 

At the end of the camp parents were invited to hear all that was learned during the week.  Each group did a short performance by singing a song with hand motions from the Parade Around The Our Father CD and/or reciting the Bible verses that everyone learned during the week.  It's always a fun way to end such a great week with lots of smiles and joy! 

I highly recommend this program or any Growing with the Saints programs for your parish!  I loved Vatican Express from Summer 2012 and Assorted Saints and the Virtues from Summer 2013 and Parade Around the Our Father for this summer was just as faith-filled and fun as the previous two programs!    It was such a joy to share my love for our beautiful Catholic faith with the children, volunteers and families that attended this year's Catholic Kidz Camp! 

Our Director of Children's Ministry, Ms. Anne, does an awesome job organizing and planning the camps each year and she puts in many, many, many hours making them successful!  We are blessed with Ms. Anne!

Our church and volunteers are already looking forward to next year's Catholic Kidz Camp!  

Friday, June 27, 2014

We {Heart} Jesus' Sacred Heart with Edible Art, Painting, and Book

This post contains affiliate links. 

Sacred Heart Of Jesus Christ Pictures, Images and Photos

Today the Catholic Church around the world celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When our family first started homeschooling in 2005, our neighbors had a large statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their backyard so we named our homeschool Sacred Heart Academy.  To be honest, I didn't know much about the devotion of Jesus' Sacred Heart back when I started homeschooling and to this day, I'm still learning about my Catholic faith, including beautiful devotions like the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  

To celebrate this special day, we were able to go to Mass this morning before the last day of our Catholic Kidz Camp.   In the afternoon, we made this edible Sacred Heart art that was inspired by Jennifer at Catholic Inspired.  Thanks Jennifer for the great idea!   Here are some pictures I took of what we made today.

And for another edible way to celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, followed by the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which is celebrated tomorrow), be sure to check out Tiffany's veggie and fruit heart platters HERE.  Beautiful and nutritious too! 

I love this painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus created by Catholic artist, Cameron Smith. (no relation to me, but he and his wife are the Godparents to our 5th baby)  We have both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary prints hanging in our home.  You can view and order this print HERE by visiting Cameron's art website.  

If you are looking for a great children's book for ages 10 and up (I have also enjoyed reading it aloud to my kids) about the holy French nun who first saw visions of Jesus' Sacred Heart, be sure to read St. Margaret Mary: And the Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

May you have a blessed weekend!  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Parade Around the Our Father" Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) Has Begun!

This week I'm very excited to be a part of our Church's Catholic Kidz Camp (also more well known as VBS) and lead 10 rising 1st graders through Parade Around the Our Father! 

For the past 2 years our parish has used Growing with the Saints Catholic VBS programs and kids and adults have loved the programs so much!  I love that they are authentically Catholic programs made by Catholics for Catholics! 

In June 2012, we used Vatican Express and you can read all about our fun week HERE.

and you can read about our faith-filled week HERE.

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

"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."

HERE are some reviews from others that have used Growing with the Saints programs and loved them!

If you would like to see an overview of what we will be exploring this week check out this link HERE!

Day 1 of Catholic Kidz Camp this year was quite a success and fun as we learned a little about the "Flying Friar".  Stay tuned as I will be reviewing our parade week and posting more about the fun at the end of the week!    I want to thank our Director of Children's Ministry, Ms. Anne, for ordering and organizing such a wonderful and faith-filled program!  


Thursday, June 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes: 7 Reasons Why I Haven't Posted in 7 Days 
So my last post was last week when I posted about my 10 year old daughter turning 10 on June 10th!  Before that post I was busy blogging about our memories during our Disney Days. So reason #1 why I haven't posted in 7 days??  I'm just now getting over "blogger burnout", meaning after my Disney posts and my daughter's birthday post tribute, I felt compelled to take a breather from updating my little corner in blog land. :)
Speaking of my daughter's birthday, the 2nd reason I haven't posted in awhile is because we were busy celebrating her special day!  On her birthday, my mom and sister (who was visiting from out of town) took my daughter to horse back riding lessons where she got to groom the horse also.  Then at night we played a family game of bowling with my sister and parents and went out to eat.  

A few days before the birthday celebrations, I was able to attend my first priest ordination Mass for a young man who was ordained at our church.  It was a beautiful Mass!  The picture above shows how the line of priests goes up to the newly ordained priests and exchanges a hug of congratulations and welcoming into the priesthood.
As mentioned above, my younger sister visited last week and she brought her sweet baby boy.  It was so fun hanging out with my little sis who is now a Mom!  This was the first time we met the new addition to the family and we snapped some cute photos of my little girl giving her new cousin hugs and kisses and acting unsure about what to do with the little guy!  It was alot of fun to watch her around him! :)  
Reason #5 I haven't posted in awhile...Father's Day was last week and I was busy celebrating this special day with my Dad and the fabulous Father of my fab five!  We cooled down and relaxed at my parent's neighborhood pool for Father's Day. 

Beach or blogging???  Hmmm...let's just say it's been so difficult to sit down to blog during the day while enjoying the hot sun, surf, and sand and then I'm too tired at night to actually sit in front of the computer to blog.  This picture of our littlest one was taken last week during a soccer tournament on the beach that my son and one of my daughter's played in over the weekend. 

And finally reason #7 for my blogging break...we finally had a birthday party with some of her friends for my 10 year old turning 10!  It was on the beach and she didn't want a cake made for her this year.  Rather, she wanted to make ice cream sundaes with a few of her friends.  It was great time to swim and celebrate with our daughter who hit the double digits!

For more Quick Takes visit Conversion Diary.

Have a blessed weekend! 


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