Friday, August 29, 2014

Ideas for September Feast Days

Here are some of our favorite traditions for the month of September. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather it's my way of creating a resource that I plan to revisit each year for myself! I hope you can find it beneficial as well!

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Other Ideas
September 5th: Bl. Mother Teresa

Other Ideas
*I'm thinking about doing a 5 finger gospel craft (listen to the glory story if you don't know what I'm talking about). Trace the kids' hands and write "You did it to me" the fingers? Shouldn't be hard. I'll post a pic later.

Other Ideas
  • Prayer: Hail Mary, Memorare, Hail Holy Queen, the rosary...
  • Craft: Make a rosary
  • Food: Make a birthday cake for Mary!
  • Decorations: Blue balloons, streamer, etc. 
  • Radio Show: CAT Chat: Mary Leads me Closer to Jesus
September 14th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (2010) (My 2nd post ever! Wow, I've come a long way :)

Just to clarify:
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion.

However the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened. Excerpt taken from CNA

Other Ideas
September 15th: Our Lady of Sorrows

See ideas at the beginning of this post.
September 29th: Feast of the Archangels

Other Ideas
  • Prayer: St. Michael the Archangel
  • Crafts: 
    • Draw and Tell Saints (Click on the "Look Inside" feature. How to draw an Archangel is the free preview :)
  • Coloring Pages: Waltzing Matilda
  • Activity Book: The Great Battle for Heaven
  • Food: (um, the amount of food traditions for this feast is a bit out of control)
    • Angel food cake
    • Devil food cake - with St. Michael defeating it (see above)
    • Deviled eggs
    • Gnocchi (traditional in Italy): Catholic Cuisine
    • Blackberries (tradition holds that they are no good after this feast day because the devil spat on them on his way from heaven to hell)
    • Roast Goose (Polish tradition)
    • Gaufres (St. Michael's Waffles - French tradition)
    • St. Michael Bannok: Catholic Culture
  • Radio Show: CAT Chat: Amazing Angels and Saints
Be saints, it's worth it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Baby and Her Graham Crackers

This ones for you grandma.

My poor baby was apparently hungry and started eating grass.

So I gave her a graham cracker because clearly she is deprived of food.

But one 1/2 of a graham cracker was simply not enough.

There we go, that's better.

Be saints, it's worth it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Edition 37

- 1 -

Check this out...

What, you can't read that? Neither can I, but it's Kevin's 1st book... translated into Korean! So. Stinkin. Cool.

The only words I can read in the book are "FOCUS" and "", which can be found in his bio. If you ever need it, the red part in the middle is "Kevin Cotter" in Korean. Hey, you never know, that might come in handy one day.

Isn't it pretty? I want my english copy to have pink flowers on the bottom of each page.

- 2 -

And while we are on the topic of Kevin's books, he recently turned in the manuscript for his next book, A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis. It'll be out in November, so head to Amazon and place a pre-order!

Because inquiring minds want to know (okay, nobody has asked me this), here is what writing a book looks like.

Five screens are completely necessary, but the donut is a bonus.

- 3 -

On the same day that Kevin's newly translated book arrive, my talent copy of Symbolon arrived. I played a very small role in this amazing new series on the Catholic faith. (Dr. Sri interviews me for about 10 minutes in episode 5.)

Every parish needs to offer this adult education program. It's catechetical and practical... and incredibly well done... and will serve as a homeschool theology class for my children in high school. Go to their website, then send your priest there and make some adult formation magic happen at your parish.

- 4 - 

Can I just say that if it weren't for FOCUS we wouldn't be in a position to do so many of the cool things that we get to do? The above are all works of the Holy Spirit and Kevin and I feel so blessed to be along for the ride.

- 5 -

Back to school!

I'm homeschooling a kindergartner and 3rd grader with a 10 month old this year. Oh, you'll be hearing all about it on the bloggy-blog-Mcblogerson. I'll be posting our Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year plans on the Classically Catholic Memory tab every two weeks (ish).

- 6 -

If you didn't click on the back to school link, here is the tangent that you missed.

Pal lost his first tooth during the homily at mass! It's over, he's now an actual big kid.

- 7 -

Tonight we had a portion of Kevin's team over for dinner. Over the next few weeks I'll be introducing them to you in Mission Monday posts. It's going to be a great year!

Linking up at Conversion Diary!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

1st Day of School 2014

Back to school photos by a tree!

It's just what you do.

Bean - 3rd Grade
Or at least it's just what we do.

Pal - Kindergarten

Look at that! Pal lost his first tooth yesterday... during the homily at mass.

Pal: "Here mom."

Mom: "Yes... wait what's that? Ew, gross. I don't want your bloody tooth."

He told Father about it after mass and Father gave him a dollar. I have a feeling that from here on out Pal will save his teeth pulling for mass.

And then there is this picture.

Every kid loves taking "funny face" pictures... I think.

The first day of school is an interesting thing when you homeschool because you don't go anywhere... you just start changing out of your pajamas before noon... on most days.

To commemorate the day we took pictures, went to mass, and ate lunch at McDonalds.

The homeschool fairy (okay, I made that up, it's actually me) also leaves out new school supplies, panda cookies (it's a tradition), and a small gift for each kid.

She also makes cute pendant banners because she really likes making banners. She was also sensitive to the fact that a blank space needed to be filled in the new school nook.

Our hope in homeschooling our children is to teach them to recognized and fight for goodness, truth, and beauty. Hopefully the little banner can be a little reminder of that.

Homeschooling with a mobile baby, here I come!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Assumption 2014

I've always enjoyed the Solemnity of the Assumption. The event itself must have been so peaceful. I've always imagined Mother Mary, surrounded by those who love her Son, laying peacefully in her bed and then, much to everyones wonder, rising into heaven. What an incredibly joyous celebration must have followed there. There might have been balloons, but I can't say for sure. 

A ballon launch for Mary's Assumption. More on that later.
I decided that it was about time for Baby Peanut to get more involved in liturgical events, seeing as she is 9 months and has been slacking in this department with her lack of fine motor skills. So we made her a cloud to play with for the Assumption.

It was love at first squish.

Later in the kitchen we made more clouds for the Assumption party were headed to that evening. Ours aren't nearly as pretty as the ones at Catholic Cuisine, but they were made with 8 year old love!

I also snuck in a favorite tradition of incorporating fruit and herbs on this Solemnity because it's a traditional day for blessing your fruit and herb harvest. Having no homegrown fruit or herbs to claim as my own, I bought raspberry lemonade and threw some mint into it.

That evening we headed to some friends' house for an Assumption party! I am extremely thankful for our liturgical nerd friends. Without them our children would know we are odd. (Thank you to 39 week pregnant Sarah for hosting! I can't wait to light my birth blessing candle for you!)

The pentacle of the party was the Assumption balloon launch, which reminded us of Mary's rising into heaven.

At first there were oohs and ahhs as they watched the balloons drift off.

Then there were tears from the little ones when they realized that their balloons weren't coming back.

I imagine it was the same way for Jesus' disciples. They probably marveled at Mary being assumed and then cried tears as they realized that their time with her on earth had come to and end.

Be saints, it's worth it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Journey Across America: Maine

This post is part of a 50 state Journey Across America. For information on the basics of this project check out this post.

The Books:
We began by reading L is for Lobster and then Bean used the information she learned to make a notebook page for her United States scrapbook.

There are so many great Maine picture books, we just had to read them all! Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue, The Sea Chest (this one made me cry, which is no small feat), Keep the Lights Burning Abbie, and Birdie's Lighthouse all focused on... wait for it... Lighthouses!

And of course we relished in the Robert McCloskey's award winning books set in Maine. One Morning in Maine, Time of Wonder, and Blueberries for Sal. My kids love these stories and could read them over and over again.

Blueberries for Sal is a classic and a Before FIAR book, so you can find boatloads of story time ideas over at Pinterest.

We also taught the kids about Maine using the Our United States of America: Catholic Social Studies textbook.

The Food:
After reading Blueberries for Sal and because the wild blueberry is the official fruit of the state, we made blueberry muffins using this recipe from

The Craft:
And after all of those lighthouse books, we made our own little lighthouses. We used directions from to create them out of plastic cups, and then the kids took it a step further and added their own landscapes. Pal's is still sitting on top of the fridge. We made these a few months ago. I'm behind in blogging.

After spending a week in the most northeastern corner of our country, we are now head to the middle with Missouri up next.

Be saints, it's worth it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Last Hurrah of Summer: A Trip to the Mountains

Kevin's parents were in town for the weekend and we all headed up to the mountains for a final goodbye to summer vacation before school starts next Monday! (Warning: This is a vacation post, if you don't enjoy slideshows of other's vacations, you can skip this post... it's for my family memories!)

The big outing of the weekend was a REAL mine tour. (Grammy and baby Peanut sat this one out. Thanks Grammy, Peanut would have spent the entire time trying to eat rocks and crawl around on the damp ground.)

For a long time Pal has been on a mine kick, so naturally he was very excited about this excursion.

We learned all about the dangerous, laborious, and repetitive work that miners actually did and by the end of the tour his face in this next picture describes his enthusiasm about becoming a miner.

Needless to say, the dark, cold mine lost it's appeal.

It was still the highlight of his weekend and he had a fantastic time playing around outside the mine.

Panning for real gold was a definite winner. (Nope, didn't find any.)

My favorite fact about the mine is that there is an estimated $50 million worth of gold that has yet to be mined. However, with strict safety regulations these days, it would take $75 million to get it out.

Back at the house later that day I took an unnecessary amount of photos of Peanut with wildflowers. She's the baby.

And Pal was delighted to find the largest lego blocks he has ever seen. They are there to protect the electrical boxes, which are at the end of a steep gravel road. And the turtle on his hand... that was Pal's BFF for the weekend.

The house itself belongs to some friends of Grammy and Pop Pop and is called a "leggo" house. Both inside and out it was made of grooved planks. Very mountain vacation homey.

We stayed at the top of a peak just a few minutes away from the free gondola, which we rode in down to town. Free entertainment, who doesn't love that!

For lunch we went to Crepes A La Cart and it happened to be National S'mores Day (yep, that exists), and the kids happened to get s'mores crepes!

And the night before, we happened to make s'mores, for National S'mores Day Eve.

Doesn't Bean look proper roasting marshmallows in her church clothes?

Other than that it was a lot of hanging around the house, playing games, hiking (for the kids and Pop Pop that is), and using the hot tub as a swimming pool. We were spoiled.

Well summer break, it's been real, see you next spring!

Be saints, it's worth it!