Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Little Artist

 Put a marker in her hand and she's golden.  Her favorite color? 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Building Shapes

I found a great idea for working with shapes at Shannon's Tot School.  If you're looking for great ideas for crafts and activities for kids, her blog is a goldmine.  What's even better is that she gives "from the trenches" reviews, giving her impressions, safety and cleanliness tips, the reception of the crafts by her children, and a rating for the activity.

I tweaked the activity only slightly, using different colored popsicle sticks for each shape.  I traced the sticks in each shape on plain white paper, then wrote the name of the shape in the middle, matching the color to the sticks.  (For durability for repeated use I would laminate the paper.)

On each stick I wrote the name of the shape it would be used to make and a drawing of the shape on each end of the stick. I then mixed them all together then laid them out for her to pick through.

Addie had a great time with this activity, and was very pleased with the shapes she was able to make.  

Activities that involve some tracing on my part and then matching on theirs seem to go over very well.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sisterly Love

Ana came downstairs after her nap and Addie immediately scooted over to make room to cuddle.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Moment of the Day

At Mass:

Fr: "The Lord be with you."
Gabe: "WITH YOU!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

You can find information about St Valentine here

The kids came downstairs this morning to find some special decorations.

The garland was made using an idea from Family Fun magazine.  Toilet paper tubes were painted (inside and out) with red paint and allowed to dry.  I then flattened the tubes to form creases and cut each tube in 4 pieces, making 1 inch circles.  If you push the top crease on the circles down it forms a heart! I then strung them with beads to form the simple garland. 

 Each of our downstairs windows has one of these heart snowflakes.  The snowflakes were cut from coffee filters and then glued onto tissue paper. On a window it has a nice stained glass effect.

For breakfast we feasted on special pancakes and strawberry milk while watching the Veggie Tales
 Silly Little Thing Called Love.

We will be delivering some Valentines today as well.  Addie had a great time coloring the hearts and using glitter glue, tracing her hand for the I Love You sign, putting on stickers, and dropping candies in between the layers.

We also made some special bouquets for their grandmothers!  This process was a little more involved and I'm hoping to get up a post about how to make them soon. The girls had a fantastic time with this, too.

The story of Saint Valentine is a legend, it is true.

But legends are delightful and very lovely, too.

The legend says Saint Valentine, imprisoned in a cell,

was thinking of his little flock he had always loved so well.

He wanted to assure them of his friendship and his love,

so he picked a bunch of violets and sent them by a dove.

And on the violet's velvet leaves he pierced these lines divine...

they simply said "I Love You and I'm your Valentine."

So through the years that followed, from that day unto this,

folks still send messages of love and seal them with a kiss.

Because a Saint in prison reached outside his bars one day

and picked a bunch of violets and sent them out to say

that Faith and Love can triumph no matter where you are,

for Faith and Love are greater than the strongest prison bar.

~ Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"When the day came to purify them according to the law Of Moses, the couple brought him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord "Every first-born male shall Be consecrated to the Lord."  -Luke 2:22-23

It was Simeon to whom Mary presented Jesus, and in his prophecy to her, he told Mary her heart would be pierced with a sword, a prophecy found in the second chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke 2:34-35:
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.
Now, before Simeon gave this prophecy to Our Lady, he referred to her Infant Son as the Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and because of this, light and candles play an important role before and during the Mass, hence the most common name for this Feast -- "Candlemas."  
(*This is a brief excerpt from Fish Eaters' wonderful explanation of this feast day.)

Our craft for today was making candles!  We painted toilet paper rolls, used construction paper, tissue paper, and foam heart stickers for the flames, and put glitter glue, or "Spah-ker-les" as Addie would say, all over everything; silver for the candle and gold for the flame.

Lord God, you are the source of everlasting light.
Your son, our beloved Lord Jesus
was presented in the temple 40 days after his birth.
He was recognized by Simeon and Anna,
and welcomed as the promised Messiah.
May we like them, behold the glory of the Lord Jesus.
Grant that we may stand before you
with hearts cleansed by your forgiving love.
May we serve you all our days
and make your name known
as we worship you as our Lord.
So may we come by your grace
to eternal life .

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Celebrating St. Brigid

Today is the feast of St. Brigid, one of the patron saints of Ireland, and a woman of extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity, and compassion for others.  There's a wonderful background about her here, and several books about her here.

Our day started with a cup of Irish tea and a fresh loaf of St. Brigid's Oaten Bread.  (Which is really wonderful, I have a love of all things soda bread.)

We also made some St. Brigid's crosses

 out of pipe cleaners using this tutorial.  Addie really had a wonderful time making them, being able to do most of it herself.

St. Brigid, brilliant star of sanctity in the early days of Irish faith and love for the omnipotent God Who has never forsaken us, we look up to you now in earnest, hopeful prayer. By your glorious sacrifice of earthly riches, joys and affections obtain for us grace to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice" with constant trust in His fatherly care. By your life of laborious charity to the poor, the sick, the many seekers for light and comfort, obtain for us grace to be God's helpers to the utmost of our power during our stay on earth, looking forward, as you did, to our life with Him during eternity. By the sanctified peace of your death-bed, obtain for us that we may receive the fullness of pardon and peace when the hour comes that will summon us to the judgment seat of our just and most merciful Lord. Amen.