Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seven Sorrows

For today's feast of Our Lady of Sorrows we did a prayer meditation and a craft. Normally I'd be gung-ho to make a treat, but we just did that for The Nativity of Mary, and I did not want more sweets around this week! PLUS it's a SORROWFUL day, not a YUMMY kind of day. So we rejoice in our suffering but rather than rejoicing through a physical feast...we did a spiritual feast. The feast of eating of the fruit of suffering as Our Lady did throughout her life which was entwined with her Son's.

I searched for Seven Sorrows of Mary and found a lovely one with children's meditations.
I slightly adapted some of the wording to suit our family's needs. The kids are not all of the wording is at their level. However it was easily adapted.

For our craft we made the Immaculate Heart and poked it seven times with seven toothpicks as each sorrow was read. The kids did this and hearing myself say "now poke Mary's heart" was quite a vivid moment for me as I heard the tearing of the paper and thought of the agony of a mother crying out as her son's flesh is torn. It was a wonderful exercise for us.

Here is what you need:
The paper is scrapbooking paper with roses printed on it, but you could make tissue paper roses or use rose petals. OR stickers. I punched out holes in the top to string our yarn through. I use a 3 hole punch but you could also simply cut slits in the corners.
Also a bit of yarn if you'd like to hang it on your statue or from a candle. I used some yarn from an wooden cross I had and thought it was very symbolic. The piece of an old cross tied to the sorrowful heart of Our Lady...her heart is heavy with the pain of her Son.


May your Feast be blessed. Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Lady's Birthday Week

What a glorious week for us! Homeschooling was a joy as always, but we had some extra special fun with Our Lady's Nativity and the impromptu science activity!
My Kindergartener asked about the wax melting after prayer time (watching candles is a favorite activity). I explained about how heat changes the wax into a liquid and when it cools off it is a solid. We talked about this and she decided to put a cup of water in the freezer (without asking). So this spun us into a learning day of freezing and thawing water. The kids really enjoyed this activity and putting the cup in the middle of the hot backyard was so fun for them.
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We also enjoyed a little lizard watching this week and the kids were especially enthralled with watching this lizard that decided to take his nap on our statue of the Blessed Mother. I captured a few fun pictures so the kids could remember this day. We also did some more wasp watching and I managed to get one on camera...don't know if you can see him well but he's there! Where's the wasp??? :)

My girl also decided to "teach" her stuffed animals math.
She pulled out these old fish beads and used them for a counting activity to teach her stuffed lamb how to count, add, and subtract. It was quite an adorable thing to watch. I'm certain all kindergarteners truly enjoy a day of pretending and acting out roles. My girl enjoyed her time as teacher!

Here they are hiding from daddy as he arrived home from work after our outdoor time. The kids love yelling surprise and running to hug him when he arrives!

It was a lovely week and I thoroughly enjoyed the impromptu fun we had together! The best part of homeschooling is the learning activities that the student takes the initiative on...I am amazed at how readily she finds her own learning activities!
Happy Birthday to Our Lady as well! We had donut cupcakes with buttercream icing. The large cupcake represents Our Lady with the moon under feet and the 12 icing stars represent her crown of 12 stars. Each cupcake has the Marian symbol and her color, blue. We sang the Hail Holy Queen after our school song and read a short bit about her birth and dedication during our Religion time.

I hope everyone had a blessed feast and a reflective Sept. 11th! May God abundantly bless you each day!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ladder to Heaven

For our Religion Lesson this week in the Who Am I? curriculm we learned about the 10 commandments. The kids had a blast with this craft and they love the stories about Moses! My dear Kindergartener is quite fascinated with the Baby in a basket beginnings of this great man of God. Soooo in the scripture story about him climbing the mountain to talk with God they were both in awe of him attached to the side of this massive rock.
I love this story. I used to have so many frustrated concerns about the commandments and how to live them out, but now I feel like a child relearning these lessons. These commandments really are like a parent's guide to keep their child safe. Each one is a kiss of love from my Father God in Heaven. A way to keep his beloved children from getting run over by sin and the pain that comes immediately after such a crash. What an amazing God to give us this "Ladder to Heaven". I took this craft directly from the text in the teacher's guide...soooo no credit to me...other than we made it really BIG!
We hung these in their rooms...don't you love Mr. Incredible right next to our 10 commandments? So funny. My Bug-A-Boo loves hanging pictures on his walls and so does she! I am treasuring the crazy taped up walls. I know this will not last forever and once we will be long gone. So for now I adore and rejoice in the unprofessional crafty look we are sporting!
AND the crayon-drawn walls...also somewhat endearing...but mostly a bad memory. LOL! I tried toothpaste but we have these gritty walls and all that did was take the paint off too. Le sigh. Eventually...we will paint.
I took about 93 pictures this week soooo I know there are a lot could have much more extensive! I decided to split this week into two posts. So much fun in our homeschooling world this week! I am in love with this new lifestyle and God is touching my life in the midst of it. I feel abundantly blessed to be here with my children holding them, learning with them. Just a bucket full of grace. This life, His gift to gift back to Him.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reflections and STRIPES!

I am bursting! I have rarely worn stripes...or if I did I felt like a giant sign was hanging around my neck saying, "LOOK, look how big this girl is and look at these stripes making her bigger." The funny thing is that I probably felt this way even when I was close to this size in college, but SOMETHING in me has changed. More than just my size.

Now after losing 54 (yes I lost one more last week) pounds I finally feel comfortable ( just seems sooo strange typing this) in stripes. CUTE even. I had no idea I could look at a striped shirt and say..."Hello, I think you might be my new favorite!"

There are so many things I want to write down and reflect on here and there. I want to write about it in my journal but that is mostly for prayers and spirituality, and now this which is wound so tightly to my spiritual life has really revealed what I had lost somewhere in there. Not just an understanding of myself but a realization of what I am made for in this world and the next. We are made for God of course, but also made to move toward that which think we cannot be...toward perfection. I of myself will never be perfection, but Christ in me...acting within can perfect me in places I didn't even know I had to dig up and place at the foot of the cross. AND there staring up at Him pouring His life over me I realize how much I miss and how much I need. Christ my life giving me life again and again and making up for all I lack.
I've always been a perfectionist, and perhaps that's where this calling speaks so strongly to my heart. It feels right to me. It is right to seek what is true, what is perfect, what is holy. Oh dear brothers and sisters in Christ let us strive after it until all that we are and do and say reflects HIM who is perfect.
And somehow this weightloss process has stripped away, not just pounds, but misconceptions about WHO I am and WHAT has kept me from seeking HIS PERFECT LIFE. For some reason the eating and laziness were the things that tore me from HIS ARMS and left me empty inside and out. And now, the less I eat, the more I exercise and care for myself and my family in a healthy and active way...the more I see clearly Christ's plan for my life. And, dear friends, for that...I am a; fall on my knees and cry, kind of grateful.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bug Hunters and Book Making!!

What a WEEK! It has been much less ordered with the car in the shop and mommy not attending daily mass! I think something about that pushes me to move faster and get more done in the mornings! Later starts to my day makes me feel out of whack. BUT everything we needed to do was accomplished! Praise the Lord for that!

Here's a sampler of Week 3!
We finished her "Allergies" book...a safety project for her to learn how to stay safe and what she is allergic to (SO MANY THINGS!) along with printed pics of each thing and different ways it might be packaged or offered. PHEW! It took a while, but I know it's important to learn it. I'm sure she hasn't memorized it yet, but at least we are working toward that. Maybe we'll start that next week! :)
This is the cover for her "Days of the Week" learning book. We wrote (sometimes she did, but mostly I did) what she does on that day or what happens.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket Not much for we put storytime.PhotobucketPhotobucket We also made up a little song to sing, but it is VERY basic. She was able to remember them this week on Friday! I was very proud! It's fun to see your child accomplish something you've been practicing together!
We also attended our first clubs meeting which was exciting! She got to wear her Little Flowers sash and have school/clubs with the other homeschool kids. I love our group! PLUS she did adoration with the girls and one of the older girls mentored her (which I also love...). It's nice tht mommy's not the only one who emphasizes being near Jesus in the Eucharist. PhotobucketPhotobucket Working, working, working! My dear preschool guy finished EVERY LAST MAZE in the Kindergarten workbook...sooooo no more mazes until mommy buys a new one! He also did all of the math exercises in her book. Apparently he's more gung-ho to sit and work beside us than I initially expected! Good, but leaves us with not much for Week 4! :)

We learned about being made in the image of God and reviewed adding by one and basic addition with her math blocks. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
Also my Preschool guy spent hours rubbing glue off of his hands...LOL Photobucket

We had an impromptu science Kindergartener made perfume! Photobucket

Finally...BUG HUNTING! I bought these cheap bug hunter kits at the dollar store and the kids had a blast hunting for bugs on our nature walk this week! They also found bugs in the house...gotta love that! Just an earwig...but still...ewwww.
My guy takes bug hunting VERY seriously! :)

Hope your week was blessed!