Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lent in our Home

We're still pulling out of a illness that was full-family-take-down, so we're a little late in getting some things started for Lent.

Aside from doing calendars this year, we're taking moments during our day to talk about doing things to show Jesus we love Him.  I think they're still a little young to understand the whole sacrifice thing (at least sacrificing joyfully, anyway) so we've been encouraging behavior like cleaning up messes we didn't make and sharing.

I'm also trying to do Stations of the Cross with the kids on Fridays. I printed out a kids version that has great images and a short prayer after the reflections (which are a little too old for them.)  I laminated them and put them on a ring so the kids can flip through them.

The kids are really enjoying the countdown calendars.  One of them is a printout from Catholic Icing that they color on each day, and has cute drawings to depict Holy Days.  Lacy's blog always has wonderful ideas for celebrating our faith with kids! We're also going to start her idea for an Alms-giving Box.  I love this simple, visible, tangible way kids can participate and see what giving to others means.

Our other calendar comes from These Forty Days.  I didn't have any purple poster board so I simply glued purple cardstock onto a piece of cardboard (diaper boxes have many unusual uses.)

I love the trans formative nature of this calendar; after placing caterpillars on leaves during each day of Lent,

the kids will come down Easter morning to see that they have all transformed into butterflies!  I think I'm going to hang them in some fashion resembling a mobile; it should be beautiful!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remember, You Are Dust

And to dust you shall return.

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen
St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sun Catcher Art

I came across an idea on Pinterest the other day; letting your kids paint on windows.  I mixed washable tempura paint with clear Dawn dish soap, about a 50-50 mix. The soap thins the paint so it lasts longer and also makes it super easy to clean off. 
I put down some drop cloths, dressed each child in a smock, set them at their own windows, and gave them each a palette of sorts.   I cut an 18 egg carton into thirds so each child had a 6 well container.  I filled the cups with red, yellow, and blue (2 cups for each color), and let them mix them as they pleased.

I also gave them very thin brushes so it would take them longer to paint and hopefully cut down on large drips and splashes.   To say they enjoyed this is an understatement.  They spent almost as much time making custom colors as they did painting.
  This is a messy activity, no getting around it, but the mix of washable paint and dish soap eliminates any hard scrubbing or stains. 
The end result is really beautiful; colors back-lit by sun streaming in the windows.  This is Juliana's masterpiece:
I think it would be fun to make some black paint and paint intersecting lines over the whole window, then have them fill each section with a different color. Custom "stained glass!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Aunt Jenny!

The kids made a birthday banner for one of their beloved Aunts today. We wish we could have given it to you in person! Much love from us all!!