Celebrating the Feast of St. George like Big Kids…

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Why, oh, why have I never figured out things to make for a feast day other than activities for kids?!

Enter the Purple Dragon Martini.

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St. George slayed the dragon.  Celebrate by drinking one.

3oz vodka
1 1/2oz cranberry juice
1/2oz blue Curacao liqueur
1/2oz sweet and sour mix
1/2oz of 7-Up
2-3 ice cubes

Directions
in blender or food processor all ingredients and blitz 20 to 30 seconds on high speed.
Salt the rim of your martini glass.  Pour.  Enjoy.

I’m only bummed I didn’t know about this for the last nine years.

Life Planning Pages for the Catholic Mom

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I don’t know about you, but the weeks following Easter are some of the most difficult.

Energy?  None.

Motivation?  Gone.

Organization?  Non-existent.

I always need a little boost to help me get back on track.

Today I designed some Life Planning Pages for the Catholic Mom that have the following:

  • A spot for the day of the week and the date
  • A spot for what/who that particular day of the week is dedicated to (example:  Monday = Holy Guardian Angels)
  • A To Do List section
  • A section to write down who/what you offered up your day for as a constant reminder
  • A section for planning out meals for the day
  • A list of cleaning goals–one for each day of the week to help you stay on top of things.
  • A section for appointments/events including time slots to help you stay on schedule.
  • A place to cross off how many glasses of water you have drank throughout the day–an incredibly helpful feature especially if you’re pregnant!
  • A section for making a to do list for tomorrow
  • A special section entitled “How Did God Bless Me Today?”  Far too often we focus on the negative things that happen in our lives, especially having kids.  This spot is a reminder for us to look around and find all of the positives and blessings around us.

Print the file below and–if you’re anything like me–start getting your life back on track!

Catholic Mom Planning Pages

 

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Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter!

Wishing you and yours a most blessed Easter!

A moment in Holy Week…

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A moment in Holy Week...

It got awfully quiet in the house, and I found them “saying Mass.”

St. Joan of Arc Academy: Holy Week Sequence Cards

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Yesterday, while trying to think of ideas for the kids to do during Holy Week, I came up with the idea of making some “sequence cards.”

I wrote down a list of the events that took place from Palm Sunday all the way to Ascension, and then I looked for paintings that matched those events.

The result?  Twenty-two paintings and events.  (I’m kicking myself for not ending with Pentecost–it’s on my to do list.)

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How it works:  the kids look through the cards, starting with Palm Sunday, and they have to put the events in the order that they happened.

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I even labeled the backs of the painting cards so the kids could sneak a peek if they were stuck.  I also laminated the cards to protect them for the next few years from tiny hands.

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The end result?  One huge visual timeline that takes the kids through Holy Week up until Ascension.

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I even got the chance to incorporate my favorite artist in the set of cards:  William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

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The verdict?  The boys loved this activity.  They both eagerly put the cards into the visual timeline.  My 3 year-old loved looking through the cards and talking to me about each one, what she liked about it, what was happening, etc.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Holy Week!

Palm Sunday Activities for Kids!

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This entire week, I’ve focused on nothing but Palm Sunday.  Since it is coming up this Sunday, I want the kids to fully understand what is going on, why we celebrate it, etc.

Starting on Monday, I read the Palm Sunday story from the Bible while the kids colored a coloring page.

Tuesday, I read the Palm Sunday story from their Catholic Children’s Bible while they colored two coloring pages:  this one, and then this one.

On Wednesday, we found some various clips of Palm Sunday scenes from different religious movies on Youtube (including the scene from “Jesus of Nazareth”), and the kids loved seeing the story “come to life” on the screen.

Today, the kids are coloring another coloring page of Palm Sunday (here) while we discuss some vocabulary words we keep hearing over and over each time we read the story of Palm Sunday.  I put together a Palm Sunday vocabulary sheet so my 7 year-old could start working with a dictionary, but also so the other two kids could get a good grasp on these words they keep hearing.

Palm Sunday Vocabulary

Tomorrow, we will finish out our week with (you guessed it) another coloring page while talking about Palm Sunday.  P will also work on the wordsearch because he’s pretty big into those at the moment.

We have also read all about Palm Sunday, the history of Palm Sunday celebrations, and what happens during the Mass out of Abbot Gueranger’s “The Liturgical Year.”  We bought these for my husband a couple years ago for Father’s Day or something like that, and I have never cracked them open because I figured they would be too intimidating or–sorry–boring.  After e-mailing back and forth with CeAnne from Sanctus Simplicitus about the Liturgical year, she inspired me to break one open and give it a shot.

Best…decision…ever.

And my apologies to my husband who, for the last few years, has said things like, “Why don’t you just use ‘The Liturgical Year’ when talking to the kids about that?”

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You can find the readings for free here.

 

Another book we have used is “The Life of Our Lord for Children” by Marigold Hunt.  I have to say, I love this book.  The title says it all–it goes through the life of our Lord, but the way in which the author tells the story is just great.

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Another book we pulled out was “The Donkey That No One Could Ride” by Anthony DeStefano.

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So, our dining room is filled with all of their coloring sheets, and they have been very excited to talk about Palm Sunday each day.  E likes to tell me how a colt is a “BABY DONKEY!” and she can tell you the basic story of what happened on Palm Sunday, so something must be clicking.

Happy Thursday!

 

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A Gardening Experiment–that worked!!

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This year’s garden is in the beginning stages.

Since it snowed last year on May 1st, I have no idea when you’re supposed to plant anything anymore, so yes, we’re winging it.

I had saved empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls for a month or so to plant our little seeds.  I had read you can just sit those right in the ground, cover with dirt, and you’re good to go.

The kids and I planted the seeds one afternoon.

P is in charge of watermelon.  (His stomach can’t handle tomatoes right now, so I’m praying we get at least ONE watermelon out of the whole deal so he can say he grew something.  St. Fiacre–pray for us!)

D is in charge of orange tomatoes.   Why orange?  I don’t know, but he is SUPER excited about his orange tomatoes that he’s growing.

E is in charge of flowers.  Guess whose plants sprouted first?  Yes, she’s excited.

To add to the mix, we have planted:

  • cilantro (which never ever grows for me, so I don’t know why I continue to try)
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • cucumbers
  • pink tomatoes
  • yellow tomatoes
  • striped tomatoes

We planted the seeds in the little toilet paper rolls and have been patiently waiting while we baby them indoors and take them out during long stretches of sunshine.

BEFORE we started this whole gardening thing, however, we borrowed a Botany book put out by Apologia.  I made up some “plant notebooking sheets”, and I placed three pinto beans on wet paper towels in separate sandwich baggies and taped them to the kitchen window.  Within a few days, they were sprouting, and the kids drew and labeled the process to help understand what exactly is going on underneath the soil of our plants.

A couple days later,  I was staring at the toilet paper rolls, thinking, “What if they never sprout?  I would be so upset–I mean, the KIDS will be so upset.  Yes, the kids.  That’s what this is about.”

So, perhaps it’s because the husband and I have been binge watching episodes of “The Big Bang Theory,” but suddenly I decided to try an experiment.

Those that know me might know that I don’t do random experiments.

Why?  Because I don’t like to waste materials if it doesn’t work.

And because I kind of don’t like being frustrated or failing.

But I was feeling brave this particular day.  If the beans sprouted in the window baggies, would any OTHER type of seeds sprout?

We had just read in this Botany book by Apologia that seeds actually need sun and water at first–not even soil.

Hmmmm.

An hour later, this was what my kitchen window looked like:

ImageI’m not sayin’ it’s pretty.

But I’m sayn’ it’s…effective!

The experiment worked!

Let’s take a peek over one of the baggies at some yellow tomato plants, shall we?

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And here’s a look at some of the lettuce we’re growing:

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How is our lone cucumber sprout coming along in the toilet paper rolls?

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What about the cucumber seeds I had in the window baggies?

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Forget this growing them in soil thing–next year, I’m hitting up more windows in this house to start the process and then transplant them when they start growing.  And I could start this process so much EARLIER in the year.

The kids are so excited to check the bags every couple of days, and I can’t WAIT to get these in the ground and get this garden going.

Next month, my awesome husband will be building me some raised garden boxes and a cucumber trellis.  We’re looking at 8 cucumber plants–so far.  If the others sprout, we’re going to be in the cucumber farming business, folks.  As for tomatoes, we currently have about ten that have sprouted through the use of baggies.  My hope was to get some going, and if we had an abundance of plants that “took,” we could give some to friends and family because I forget that ten tomato plants will have us choking on tomatoes by the end of the season.

The next few days are supposed to be a LOVELY 70+ degrees with nothing but sunshine, so here’s hoping this is what our toilet paper roll seeds are needing.

 

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