Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday

"And as they were eating He took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them and said, 'Take, this is my body.' And He took a cup and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them and they drank all of it and He said to them, 'This is my blood of the New Covenant which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.'"

"He rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist... when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." John 13


Both Mari and Gloria were very interested in our family prayer time tonight. They are such Catholic kitties!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jesus and the Twelve Apostles

Just in time for Holy Week.... I FINALLY finished my Jesus and Apostles peg dolls. This is a project I've wanted to complete for a few years. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. In addition to using them for telling Bible stories, I'm hoping to use them as part of an apostle unit study with the boys this summer or in the fall.

As you can see in the pictures below, on the back of each doll I attached the apostle's name and symbol (which I found in a coloring book). I used the pictures in Father Lovasik's books to help make each apostle look different. Those faces are really challenging! I think a few of them ended up looking Asian. I meant to make Judas (far left) look angry, but some of the others do as well. It's just really tricky to get those mustaches right.

Anyway, I just thought I'd show them off a bit here. Now I need a "Last Supper" table. Hmmmm.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Week

Lent seems to have flown by and already we're into Holy Week! We'll be participating in a special Holy Hour and attending our parish school's Living Stations of the Cross.
Although our Lenten Tree got derailed by the cats mid-Lent, we've continued with our lapbooks and other prayers. This week we're using a symbolic ribbon that we made in a playgroup several years ago ---

Right now it only has the palm branch, but we'll add the other symbols as the week progresses.
Inspired by our parish and some friends, the boys and I went out and purchased some purple fabric on Sunday. We used it to drape all of our icons and religious decorations. The shrouds will remain in place throughout Holy Week until our celebration of Easter.

As always, it's a challenge to focus on prayer and our religious observances when we're also preparing for Easter celebrations/meals/baskets. We've got fun Easter activities to do in our school time. And when we go to the store we see -------

The boys refused to let me take their picture with the Easter Bunny! So I made them take mine. They were embarrassed. ;) Check out the looks on the little girls' faces!

May this week be faith-filled and holy for us all.


The calendar says it's Spring.
Easter's almost here.
Yet this is what we've got in Central Ohio ---

We're discouraged.... so ready for warm weather and sunshine!
But we'll wait a little longer
with expectant hearts searching for signs of change.

And we'll work hard now
so we can go play when we finally see the sun!

New Look

Well, what do you think? I am so happy about the new design for my blog! The redesign is courtesy of a sweet, very talented, and shy friend..... whose initials are JB! ;) I told her my ideas and she made it happen like magic!

I love the picture of the mirror reflecting the crucifix! That really captures the idea of "Being Mirrors." I strive (humbly, falteringly) to reflect God's love rather than draw attention to myself. That's the heart of our Christian vocation... to shine God's love in the world and journey together closer and closer to Jesus.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Helping the Easter Bunny

We've enjoyed spending several Lenten Fridays this year with some dear friends. This Friday, instead of going to a fish fry, we got together for some cheese and veggie pizza and then we did a fun little service project.

We decided to help the Easter Bunny reach people who may be in shelters or on the streets. We decorated some goody bags and filled them with some basic necessities as well as some treats.

Miss E. (on the right) was our awesome leader... explaining the directions.

Decorating the bags was lots of fun!
After decorating each bag, the children had fun placing one of each item inside (along with some Easter grass of course).
We even got Jon to take a break from taxes to join in the fun.
Our happy little workers posing with their 24 completed Easter treat bags!
Our friends will take the bags to a Catholic agency who will distribute them. This was such a perfect project for our kids. They really enjoyed it and were able to do the work themselves. We're very thankful that our friends invited us to help!

Future Architects?

Two happy boys and some building projects from this week ----

Ray calls this "A Dude Holding a (Lego) Dude"

Adam at Bosco Boys Club on the Feast of Saint Joseph

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lenten Fridays....

... are best spent at fabulous fish fries with fun friends!

Ray's First Reconciliation

Today was the day for the second graders at our parish to make their First Reconciliation. Ray was very well prepared, but just a bit nervous. We've been preparing for quite a while of course.
A few days ago, after we practiced the procedures and prayers for the umpteenth time, Ray reminded me that we needed to do "that heart check thing" (aka "Examination of Conscience). As we worked on his examination of conscience, he wrote a list of his sins. He took it with him and I think he just read them to the priest.
He told me that he "nailed the Act of Contrition." Although he had planned to kneel behind the screen, he ended up going face-to-face. I guess I shouldn't post a complete play-by-play of his Confession here... ;) ..... but I am so proud of him. All of a sudden he is so grown up!
Afterwards, I asked him if he felt God's love and forgiveness and if he felt happy and free. He said, "Well, I pretty much feel the same. But it was fun. I want to go back everytime they have Confession at Church."  I'm so glad he understands that Confession is an important part of the life of Faith.
The BEFORE picture ----

Getting a little pre-Confession encouragement from the Holy Family ---

The AFTER picture----

The post-Confession ice cream celebration ----

Thank you God for the gift of the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation. Grant us the humility to return to it often so that we may continue our journey with and to you. You are loving and forgiving and we are your thankful, ever-learning children. We praise you, adore you, and return over and over again to your tender embrace. Amen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bear Necessities!

While the rest of the world was glued to the television awaiting the announcement of our new Pope, we were at a class at the zoo. I just knew that was going to happen. Almost immediately after the class began my phone began to buzz with messages about the white smoke. I was trying to follow the news on my phone.... and I didn't end up learning a thing about bears!
As it turned out, when my mom finally called and told me about Pope Francis I was trying to distract my boys from the polar bears mating right in front of us. Memorable, huh? Somehow I think that will always be what I remember from the beginning of this papacy. ("Where were you when.....?")
Fortunately, the boys were paying much better attention to the class. This month's topic was "Bear Necessities." We had "necessities" as our word of the day in preparation for our lesson. ;) Here are some pictures from our class and the exhibits we visited before class. Did I mention that it was FREEZING cold today? Brrr.....

These langurs put on quite a show for us!

Adam touching some kind of snake

Ray displaying an actual piece of polar bear fur.

Adam showing the actual size of polar bear paws!

Ray took this lovely shot of me glued to my phone.
Yes, mom, I know you love my goofy hat!

It's hard to believe that we only have one more zoo class left. We've really enjoyed them.... even in the freezing cold!

Habemus Papem!

Praise God! We have a Pope!

Thank you Holy Spirit! You obviously are at work among us.

 Pope Francis
Formerly Cardinal Jorje Mario Bergoglio of Argentina
First Latin American Pope
First Jesuit Pope

A man of humility and simplicity, devoted to orthodoxy and social justice. His authenticity and love are evident at first glance.
I have great confidence in this choice. Just as God asked Saint Francis of Assisi to build His Church, God will work through Pope Francis to re-build and renew today's Church.
In his introduction to the world, Pope Francis asked for OUR prayers.... and even bowed to receive them. Beautiful! And he's definitely got fervent prayers and good wishes from me and from so many around the world.

***And, yes, Adam loves the fact that his middle name is Mario! ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Dinosaur-Themed Book Club Meeting

We had a "ROARING" good time at today's book club meeting! It was all about dinosaurs.... and nonfiction. The boys did nonfiction book reports to share.
We sorted this big bunch of dinosaur books into fiction and nonfiction works. We learned the differences between fiction and nonfiction and the features of nonfiction texts. The boys did a little hunt through some books to find examples of table of contents, glossary, index, captions, maps, graphs, etc.

We also played a dinosaur trivia game and learned about the meanings of some dinosaur names.

Our meeting ended with the boys inventing their own dinosaurs. We even had some fun dinosaur games and prizes.

Somehow my camera was on a weird setting and most of my pictures we're blurry.... but the other great part of today's meeting was that the girls book club made lunch for all of us ... a delicious stone soup!

We just love reading and learning with our friends!


Yes! The first crocuses are blooming in our yard... thanks to a sunny 70 degree day on Sunday!!!! So what if we're back to wacky Ohio Ping-Pong weather. Rainy on Monday. Cold on Tuesday. Possible snow on Wednesday.

We've seen a glimpse of Spring. It's so close.... popping out all around us. We can make it!