Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teaching about the Triduum

Yesterday, the kids and I were reading their children's Bible called Catholic Bible Stories for Children by Ann Ball with Julianne M. Will.

We talked for quite a bit about the Last Supper and Judas' betrayal. Cian and Zoe were really bothered by the picture of Judas leaving.
 They asked me lots of questions and we talked about God's plan. Then we discussed why Good Friday is called "Good" Friday. Although, it was cute that Cian suggested it be called "Awful Friday" understanding a 6-year-old's idea of the death of someone. So, we talked about Easter and how we will celebrate that Jesus is risen from the dead. I think it "clicked" for Cian what we celebrate in the Triduum cannot be isolated events.
On a side note- Cian was equally excited he can use the "A" word again Sunday. 

I really love this children's Bible and I think the illustrations are so important for kids. They are hearing the Bible and seeing the Bible in pictures. It is very dramatic to see Judas choosing to leave. The kids' response was, "I would NEVER do that to Jesus."

Isn't that our own response, "I would never betray Jesus like that."

With that statement in mind, I was really challenged and inspired by reading these words of Pope Francis today. These are from his homily from Mass this morning.

"Speaking poorly of someone else is equivalent to selling them. Like Judas, who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. "

'The Pope wanted to leave them a thought on the action of Judas, one of Jesus' friends, who did not hesitate to sell him to the chief priests. “Jesus was like a commodity; he was sold. He was sold at that moment”, the Pope emphasized, “and also very frequently sold in the market of history, in the market of life, in the market of our lives. When we opt for thirty pieces of silver, we set Jesus aside”.'

I really stopped when I read this. Of course I have never sold Jesus, but have I? Have I chosen to treat others like a commodity? Have I done all I can to befriend others and make others feel loved? What we do to others we do to Jesus. Some food for though as we prepare to enter the Paschal Triduum tomorrow.

Here is a link to the whole article I read if anyone is interested:

Monday, March 25, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Breastplate Plaque-Ships Today
I've always loved St. Patrick's Day. 

In college, I studied a summer in Ireland and met some of my relatives there.

My husband is actually Irish. As in actually an Irish citizen.

I consider myself Irish decent, but I am an American citizen. My dad and I were having this discussion via facebook the other day. I put this photo on there and the caption was, "authentically 1/2 Irish kids." He said it should say, "100% Irish kids as our family came from Ireland a few generations back. A friend suggested I put 3/4 Irish then. Anyway you put it, these are some cute Irish-American kiddos.

We started our St. Patrick's Day with an American tradition: ADD GREEN FOOD COLORING TO EVERYTHING. LOL. See, it's not just for beer folks! Green milk for the kids cereal. I believe Zoe has asked for green milk about every day since.

I dressed the kiddos in green for Mass that morning. No, they didn't wear the funny headbands in.
Little McCutie & Lucky Charm

That week prior, our Saint for the week (we learn about a different saint each week in our homeschool) was of course, St. Patrick:
Saint Patrick

Brian taught the kids some Irish:

My favorite beer in Ireland, Bulmers Irish Cider, is now sold in the USA as Magners. Same beer, just a long airplane ride and a name change. I found it for the first time St. Patrick's Day weekend. 

I did not get to enjoy one on St. Patrick's Day though as Ellison got sick and spent the evening sleeping on mom. My family seems to be targeting the holidays- Brian was sick on Valentine's Day and Ellison again on St. Patrick's Day. I better be on the look out next weekend since it will be Easter!

Palm Sunday- March Madness

Yep, March Madness, but not the basketball one. March Madness as in it was 4 days into the official start of spring and we got HAMMERED with snow! Total MARCH MADNESS!

Our biggest snow of the "winter" and it happened in spring, March 24th on Palm Sunday.

When we got up Palm Sunday morning we had a few inches of snow. We had heard the weather forecast that we were to get a lot more snow later in the day. Normally, these are never accurate, but this time it was!

We went to Palm Sunday Mass and literally minutes after we got back home it started snowing hard and there was.... A LOT OF SNOW!

Here is a Palm Sunday snow day project we worked on with our palms:

Today, we had fun playing in what the rest of Palm Sunday day and evening left us: a foot of snow!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grace's 9th Birthday

Grace had her birthday celebration two weekends ago with her first hosted slumber party! She has had a friend sleepover or been to sleepovers before, but it was our first time hosting a slumber party. I had her pick out 3 friends and we were so excited they could all come!

The bowling alley we planned to go to was closed and the other one didn't open until 4, so.... what's a bunch of girls to do except get some HAPPY HOUR STEAK 'N' SHAKE MILKSHAKES!!!

After milk shakes, the girls were ready to bowl! Luckily, the other pins were not this big!

Bowling Super Stars! They bowled a 300!! 
(When you add their scores together, lol!)

Waiting for Pizza Hut to bring us their dinner. They had fun playing their charades game while waiting!

When we got home:

The girls put on their matching slipper souvenirs and their PJs and we  

had cookie cake and sang to Grace.

 Then Grace opened her gifts and

and worked on their other souvenir- pillowcases they colored.

Finally, they had a Barbie marathon starting with the new Barbie in the Pink Shoes while wearing their new pink shoes.

A super special birthday for my super special, newly 9 year old.
I love you, Grace!
So happy you had such a fun birthday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi day

Happy Pi Day!

We started our Pi day party on the official pi day start time: 3.14 (March 14th) 1:59 p.m. (the next three digits of pi). Cian asked me when all the people were to arrive, I guess I didn't tell him it was our own party, lol. Maybe next year we'll have to invite some friends over!

We started with some worksheets about circles and talked a little bit about what pi means.
 Then we of course ate some PIE!

Raspberry pie -YUM!

After pie, the kids watched the episode of the Magic School Bus where they get baked in a cake. (I had thought they were baked in a pie which is why I picked it, but at least it was a round cake!)

And for dinner, a PIZZA PIE!
Nothing fancy, just a frozen pizza- but still good!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam!

Habemus Papam! We have a Pope!
Cardinal Bergoglio is chosen to guide and lead the Catholic Church and chooses the name Pope Francis.

After hearing there was white smoke coming out of the Sistine Chapel chimney, Grace, Cian, Zoe and I sat watching excitedly awaiting the announcement of who was chosen to be the new Pope today. Since we homeschool, we turned on the t.v. in the living room and we sat as a family awaiting the announcement. I hope they will remember this special time and how we witnessed it together as a family.

I had just begun Monday teaching them about the College of Cardinals, which Cardinals would be in the  Papal Conclave, and how the election of the Pope would take place. They enjoyed learning more about our Church and Cian has decided he wants to be a Cardinal. (Must be the cool red robes! Lol!) The Conclave began yesterday and today: Habemus Papam!!

Reasons I am excited for our new Pope-

I love that Pope Francis is from Latin America. I pray he will bring great witness and focus to the real issues of our Church and needs of our world. I believe he will be a witness for the poor and marginalized. This is from his first words as the Pope today to the people gathered and those watching all over the world, "And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . "

I love that Pope Francis began with prayer, recited prayers with the people, and asked for our collective prayers to our Lord for him as our new Pope. "And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence. "

I love that Pope Francis chose his name to be Pope Francis. In days to come, I am sure we will hear more about a Jesuit choosing Francis! I have great admiration of St. Francis. His call to repair the Church. His care for all of God's creation. His leaving riches behind. I think his name choice speaks about Pope Francis.
My FAVORITE quote of all time is from St. Francis (in fact I think I should add it on my blog!). "Preach the Gospel always, when necessary, use words. " - St. Francis of Assisi

I love that Pope Francis shows great humility. Hearing and reading the stories today about how Cardinal Bergoglio would take the bus to work. That he chose not live in a fancy house rather an apartment and take the bus instead of being driven by a chauffeur.

What an exciting day!

 Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding the cardinals in selecting our new Pope, Pope Francis.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Valentine's Love

Okay, I know, it's March... and this blog post is about Valentine's Day. It's in February, I know. I really planned to write this in February and my busy life got in the way, lol.

So Valentine's Day. Well, Ellie had the stomach flu the weekend prior. I had the stomach flu 4 days prior and Brian had it on Valentine's Day. However, it was a very special day as I received a gift that brought me to tears....

No, it was not a dozen roses. Yes, I did get them (the hints must have worked, lol!) and even before Valentine's Day instead of the day after! They were beautiful, but it was not them that brought me tears.

It was a simple Hallmark card. Not surprising as I bawl like a baby during their movies and commercials (the only commercials I can actually stand!)

Brian bought me a card for the kids to sign and color in and it said, "For my Teacher: Roses are Red, Violets are Purple, I've got the Very Best Teacher Ever."

So simple, so beautiful, so treasured. I love homeschooling the kids. It has been such a great joy and blessing for us all.