Archive for the ‘Catholic things’ Category

From MaryEllen’s Camera

February 23, 2013

MaryEllen got James’s old camera when he finally saved enough to buy a better one. Unfortunately it does not take the best pictures. Her’s was one of the two that were at Genevieve’s Baptism. So, the quality is not the greatest, but you get the idea.

MaryEllen's 024

MaryEllen's 015

MaryEllen's 009

MaryEllen's 008

MaryEllen's 003

MaryEllen's 006

The pictures are backwards here.  Genevieve screamed until the water was poured over her head.  Then she was so calm. Also, the gown was my grandfathers and from the 1880s (1886, I believe.) My friend Joan re-did the sleeve for us as the original ones were shredding. She did a lovely job. At a later date I’ll post some of the pictures that James took. They are a better quality. It is getting late here and I must go to bed. Enjoy!


Men’s Conference 2013

February 22, 2013

Joe and John attended the men’s conference again this year. Last year the speakers were Deacon Alex Jones and Philip Rivers. This year the speakers were Ambassador Alan Keys and Apologist Tim Staples. John met and talked to both gentleman. He didn’t get a picture with Alan Keys, but got up close and Joe snapped one…

Ambr Alan Keyes

Here is John with Bishop Baker and Tim Staples:

John, Bishop Baker, Tim Staples

Kevin’s Saints

November 8, 2012

Here are Kevin’s Saint peg dolls.  He took the pictures and I found them on my camera!   Enjoy!

St. Anne, St. Charles Boromeo, & St. Helen:

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Cecilia, St. Maximian Kolbe:

St. Michael (now has wings!), St. Pier Georgio Frasatti, St. John the Baptist:

St. Aloysius, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Mary as a child:

Angel of God (now has wings), St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Tarcisius:

St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis, St. Nicholas:

Kevin’s Project for the ABCs

November 8, 2012

When we started the Alphabet Path, I asked one of our resident artists if he would like a project to work on.  He accepted and has started working on little peg people saints.  For the Confirmation at our parish he also made little peg saints for all the confirmandi.  These are a few of the beginning pictures.  Kevin has done several more, but the pictures are not on my computer.



St. George, St. Francis, St. Dominic Savio, St. Charles Borremeo, St. Bernard, little Mary to go with St. Anne, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton hiding behind St. Anne, and St. Helen.

A November Give Away

November 8, 2012

In honor of the poor souls, Sanctus Simplicitus is giving away a purgatian manual.  So, I’m resurrecting this blog for the occasion.  Unfortunately there are only several hours left, but I just found out about it myself.

God bless!


February 20, 2012

John & Philip Rivers 1

John has waiting a long time to meet…(who is that blurry man?)

San Diego Quarter back Philip Rivers.

Last night Joe and John went to hear both Philip Rivers and Deacon Alex Jones speak at a men’s conference.  (Doesn’t John look small there?  He’s actaully taller than me!)  Both John and Joe said that the speakers were excellent.  After the speaking engagement, they hung around to see if they could meet Mr. Rivers.  John didn’t want to “bother” him, so Joe went and asked to get a picture.

As parents, we would like to thank Philip Rivers for being such a wonderful role model, not only football player, but Catholic husband and father.

A Blessed Advent to You

December 1, 2011

In preparation for Advent this year, I started looking through all of the notes that have been collected over the years.  Wow!  Talk about overwhelming!  After 10 years of homeschooling the stuff can really pile up.  What I finally reached for was some gentle plans that my friend Jennifer had given me last year.  She was even kind enough to give me the updated for 2011 version this year.  She has also generously put them up on her blog, Wildflowers and Marbles.  While writing this post I found that Jennifer has a few more advent posts there.  I can’t wait to read them.   My husband printed out Jennifer’s plans in color for me (I only have black and white) and made a sort of scrap-book out of them.  There were some older sketching books lying around just begging to be used!  First the pages with Advent customs were glued in.  After that, all the little boxes for each day were cut out and given two pages.  This allows me to add notes and other things that we might want to add (for example pictures if I can ever remember to take any).  Several saint stickers were added to their corresponding pages.

This year I updated an older St. Nicholas Unit Study and we are using that as well, so the St. Nicholas is titled in red with the readings listed below it.

A tradition we have kept here for several years now is putting out a manger for the Baby Jesus.  It starts out empty and then the children fill it with straw or little pieces of tan-colored yarn whenever they do a good deed (usually secretly.)   We let them include Masses and other prayers to  help build the spiritual crib as well.  On Christmas morning we bring our baby Jesus statue out and put Him in the crib.  (Yes, it has been dropped on the tile floor in the past and has been glued.  But that makes it all the more special.)

One Advent resource that I am so happy to see survived is O Night Divine started by my friend Mary Ellen.  It is a blog that has had wonderful contributors and has a wealth of activities, recipes, and more to follow along with Advent.

One other activity that has been calling me for the past several years is an O Antiphon house.  There was a parade of them a few years ago.  We bought all the materials we need, but have never completed it.  Hopefully this is the year!  Motivation is not lacking this year, not that it has been in years past, either, but this year planning has been done early and I feel ready!  Deo Gratius!  Here is a link to Catholic Culture’s page of instruction for the houses.  I’m hoping some of the artists in our household will do the art work on them.   Here, here, and here are some snapshots from around the internet.

This year we will also pray a novena to St. Andrew with an intention for the parish of Our Lady Help of Christians.  We’ve been in a temporary church for over 3 years now and it would be so nice to be in a permanent place.  Please say a little prayer for that intention if you would.  Thank you.

Hopefully there will be some Advent pictures from our family here in the very near future.  The children have already made paper St. Nicholas’s that stand up and done a few coloring sheets.  We have done many St. Nicholas readings and a few others as well.

The big addition to our Advent this year is the tradition of the Christkindl.  As written in Jennifer’s plans…

‘Christkindl — All the names of the family members are written on small pieces of paper and placed in a hat or a large bowl.  Secretly, each member of the family chooses a name.  The name drawn will be in someone’s special care for the entire season.  This new relationship is called “Christkindl” (Christ Child).  From Around the Year With the Trapp Family:

From this day until Christmas, one has to do as many little favors for him or her as one can.  One has to provide at least one surprise every single day – but without ever being found out.  This creates a wonderful atmosphere of joyful suspense, kindness, and thoughtfulness.  Perhaps you will find that somebody has made your bed or shined your shoes or has informed you, in a disguised handwriting on a holy card, that “a rosary has been said for you today” or a number of sacrifices have been offered up. ~ The person whose name I have drawn and who is under my care becomes for me the helpless little Christ Child in the manger; and as I am performing these many little acts of love and consideration for someone in the family I am really doing them for the Infant of Bethlehem, according to the word, “And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.” ‘

As the family sat around the table one night after dinner, we discussed this tradition and the children were very excited about it.  I don’t even know who has who.  We left it to the older 5 children figuring that the 3-year-old might not get it quite yet.  I’m sure she’ll join in next year.

How are you celebrating Advent this year?

Saints Artist Trading Cards 2011

November 26, 2011

We had so much fun last year participating in Pondered In My Heart‘s ATC saint swap that we were thrilled they were doing it again.  Unlike last year, we made sure we took pictures of everyone’s cards before they went off in the mail.

Below you will find our artists’ works.  First, the process.  We gather a lot of saint books and art supplies and set up at the dining room table.  (John set up in his room.)  Veronica, at 3 years old, was given stickers to keep her busy.  We all went to work for the afternoon.





Now for the cards….(Please remember to click on the pictures for a larger view.)

Veronica’s cards (age 3)

Charlotte’s cards (age 6)

MaryEllen’s cards (age 8 )

James’s cards (age 11)

Kevin’s cards (age 13)

John’s cards (age 14 & eldest child)

Mom’s cards (never mind how old!)

Although I’m not an artist to say the least, it was very relaxing and fun to take the time to create some art.  When we receive our cards, I’ll try my best to get a post up about them.  After all, I still have a half completed post about our trip in May waiting for some attention.  A Mom’s work is never done!

Oh, I almost forgot.  We did take some pictures of Vincent that day.  It is a little challenging to get a good picture of him when  you are holding both the baby and the camera.


A Saint Nicholas Unit Study

November 26, 2011

December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Years ago there was a blog called A Living Education and the author had created a simple unit study. The blog was taken down many years ago, but blessedly I printed this unit out. The reason for this post is not only to share this unit study once more, but to put the links in a convenient place. The original unit lasted 8 days, but I have extended it to last for 9 so as to make a novena out of it. Added to the original unit are a few more books and a novena prayer. Also, the author (God bless her!) originally did this as a Lapbook project.

St. Nicholas Novena

All-praised and all-honored hierarch,
Great wonderworker,
Saint of Christ.
Father Nicholas,
Man of God and faithful servant,
Man of love,
Chosen vessel,
Strong pillar of the Church,
Most-brilliant lamp,
Star that illumines and enlightens the whole world;
Thou art a righteous man
That did flourish like a palm tree
Planted in the courts of the Lord;
Dwelling in Myra thou hast diffused
The fragrance of myrrh,
And thou pourest out the ever-flowing myrrh
Of the grace of god.
By thy presence most-holy Father,
The sea was sanctified
When your most-miraculous relics
Were carried to the city of Bari,
From the East to the West
To praise the name of the Lord.
O most-superb
And most-marvellous wonderworker,
Speedy helper,
Fervent intercessor,
Good shepherd that saveth
The rational flock from all dangers
We glorify and magnify thee
As the hope of all Christians,
A fountain of miracles,
A defender of the faithful,
A most wise teacher,
A feeder of the hungry,
The gladness of those that mourn,
Clothing of the naked,
Healer of the sick,
Pilot of those that sail the sea,
Liberator of prisoners,
Nourisher and protector of widows and orphans,
Guardian of chastity,
Gentle tutor of children,
Support of the aged,
Guide of fasters,
Rest of those that labor,
Abundant riches of the poor and needy.
Hearken unto us
That pray unto thee
And flee to thy protection,
Show thy mediation on our behalf
With the Most High,
And obtain through thy God-pleasing intercessions
All that is useful
For the salvation of our souls and bodies;
Keep this holy habitation (or this temple),
Every city and town,
And every Christian country,
And the people that dwell therein,
From all oppression through thy help;
For we know
That the prayer of a righteous man
Availeth much for good;
And after the most-blessed Virgin Mary,
We have thee as a righteous mediator
With the All-Merciful God,
And to thy fervent intercession
And protection we humbly hasten.
Do thou, as a watchful and good shepherd,
Keep us from all enemies and pestilence,
Earthquake and hail,
Famine, flood and fire,
The sword and invasions,
And in all our misfortunes and affliction
Do thou give us a helping hand
And open the doors of God’s compassion;
For we are unworthy
To look upon the height of heaven
Because of the multitude of our sins;
We are bound by the bonds of sin
And have not done the will of our Creator
Nor kept His commandments.
Wherefore, we bow the knees
Of our broken and humble heart to our Maker,
And we ask thy fatherly intercession with Him;
Lest we perish with our sins,
Deliver us from all evil,
And from every adverse thing,
Direct our minds and strengthen our hearts
In the Orthodox Faith,
Which, through thy mediation and intercession,
Neither wounds, nor threats, nor plague,
Nor the wrath of our Creator shall lessen;
But vouchsafe that we may live a peaceful life here
And see the good things in the land of the living,
Glorifying the Father,
And the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
One God glorified and worshipped in Trinity,
Now and ever,
And unto the ages of ages.



Lapbook or Notebook Entries

Day 1


  • The Real Santa Claus: Legends of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Daughters
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 9-21
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Youth


  • Cut-out figure

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Symbols of St. Nicholas
    • Talk about the different symbols of St. Nicholas and make note of them as you read through the many stories during this unit.
    • Have children draw or cut out symbols and either narrate their significance or create a flap page using them (symbol as the flap with an explanation underneath).

Day 2


  • The Miracle of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Nicholas Ship
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 23-31
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Bishop


  • Make St. Nicholas clay pot figures

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the facts on the country of Turkey. Trace or find a blank map and have the children fill it in
  • Read an explanation of the flag of Turkey and have children dray one or print one out to color
  • Enter any narrations of geography, facts, or flag.

Day 3


  • A Gift from St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Buys a Young Man His Freedom
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 33-40
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Wonderworker


  • Color, cut and assemble pop-up scene

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read various hymns
  • Choose one hymn for copywork
  • Illuminated Manuscripts – Since St. Nicholas was a popular subject in illuminated manuscripts, print out the hymn from the Roman Breviary and the Latin hymn and have children decorate and illustrate the pages. (Print on card stock and they can be painted with Modge Podge or vegetable oil to give a luster when finished. Let dry before adding to lap/notebook.)

Note here that a very good book that deals with illuminated manuscripts is Marguerite Makes A Book by Bruce Robertson.

Day 4


  • St. Nicholas (Tompert)
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Moneybag of Molsch Talpasch
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 43-51
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Traveler


  • Word Search – Level 1

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Timeline on the life of St. Nicholas
    • Read timeline
    • Look at interactive, online timeline
    • Cut out timeline figures and make a timeline using them and include children’s narrations.
  • Map of the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Read about the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Print out map and trace lines of the saint’s travels.

Day 5


  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Russian Icon
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 55-66
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Dreamer


  • Crossword puzzle

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Icon of St. Nicholas
    • Study details of St. Nicholas Icon
    • Try to find the symbols learned on Day 1
    • Color St. Nicholas Icon and brush with Modge Podge or vegetable oil when finished. To make a more authentic Icon, mount on wood when finished. (We ModgePodged the icons right to the wood when we did this.)

Note here that a very good book dealing with icons is Brother Joseph The Painter of Icons by Fr. Augustine DeNoble, O.S.B.

Day 6


  • Saint Nicholas: The Real Story
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Brings it to Light
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 69-75
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Nieuw Amsterdam


  • Color, cut and assemble roll-up figure of St. Nicholas

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the St. Nicholas stories and customs (linked above) from Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 7


  • The Legend of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Stratilates
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 77-85
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Old New York


  • Word Search – level 2

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Russia, Germany, and Poland. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 8

  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Retrieves the Ball
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 87-96
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas and the Children


  • Coloring Sheets

Lapbook/Notebook Entries

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Belgian, Argentina, and Portugal. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 9


  • The Baker’s Dozen
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Finds the Path
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 99-110
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Afterward


  • Feast day baking. Spend the day baking St. Nicholas treats. Recipes can be found at the St. Nicholas Center’s recipe section
  • Watch the CCC movie, Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa.
  • Make a St. Nicholas spoon saint and add it to the children’s lapbook/notebook in an envelope or pocket.

The author of the original St. Nicholas unit study noted that her family planned to continue reading through the many stories of St. Nicholas from The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World throughout the remainder of Advent since 8 days is not enough time to finish this book. Also, I would suggest you check out the rest of the St. Nicholas Center website. There are so many more resources to explore there.

Also, one additional book that we love to look through here is St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas. There are so many wonderful pictures in there. If you have read any others that you loved, please leave me a comment. Also, you can find another novena to St. Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center. Have a very blessed St. Nicholas Day!

Holy Name of Mary

September 12, 2011

Today we celebrate the Holy Name of our most Blessed Virgin Mother.  Since everyone did well on school work today, Mama got baking and we managed to have a tea party.  Oh what fun!  We used some of the suggestions from the book Mondays with Mary by Meredith Henning.  I tried to get a discussion about their names going, but only got short answers from the boys.  Everyone was just too busy eating and drinking.  We had peppermint tea with either rice milk or coconut milk.  For the desserts we had Blueberry Tea Cake and Buttery Tea Cookies.



-1 & 1/2 c. water

-1 & 1/2 tsp. tahini

-1/4 c. corn oil (we used avocado oil)

-1/4 c. barley malt

-1/4 c. pure maple syrup

-2 tsp. pure vanilla

-1 tsp. grated lemon rind (we didn’t have any to use)

-3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

-1 tsp. sea salt

-1 c. blueberries (we used frozen)

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl combine the water, tahini, oil, barley malt, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon rind.  Stir in the flour and salt and mix well.  Add the blueberries and pour into a lightly oiled decorative mold or a small cake pan.  Bake on the center shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes.  Let cake sit in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack or plate to cool further.


-1 & 1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

-2 tsp. arrowroot

-1/4 tsp. sea salt

-1/3 c. corn oil (we used a mix of avocado and coconut oils)

-1/4 c. water

3 T. pure maple syrup

-1/4 tsp. pure vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients; mix well.  Take 1 level measuring tablespoon of batter and roll it between you palms into a ball.  Place it on an unoiled cookie sheet.  With your fingertips flatten it into a 2 & 1/4 inch round.  For a decorative touch, score the top of each cookie with the tines of a fork making a plus sign.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the edges a deeper golden brown.   With a spatula transfer at once to a wire rack or plate to cool.  Makes a baker’s dozen.

After indulging in the treats, we prayed the Litany of the Holy Name of Mary.  We also added Mary, Help of Christians and Mary, Queen of Apostles, two of our favorite Marian devotions.

 Litany of the Holy Name of Mary
For private use only.

Lord, have
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Son of Mary, hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

Heavenly Father, of Whom Mary is the Daughter,

Have mercy on us.
Eternal Word, of Whom Mary is the Mother,
mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, of Whom Mary is the spouse,
Have mercy on us.

Divine Trinity, of Whom Mary is the Handmaid,
Have mercy on us.

Mary , Mother of the Living God, pray for us.
Mary, daughter of the
Light Eternal, pray for us.
Mary, our light, etc.
Mary, our sister,

Mary, flower of Jesse,
Mary , issue of kings,
Mary, chief work of
Mary, the beloved of God,
Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
Mary, all
Mary, light in darkness,
Mary, our sure rest,
Mary, house of
Mary, sanctuary of the Lord,
Mary, altar of the Divinity,
Virgin Mother,
Mary, embracing thy Infant God,
Mary, reposing with
Eternal Wisdom,
Mary, ocean of bitterness,
Mary, Star of the Sea,

Mary, suffering with thine only Son,
Mary, pierced with a sword of
Mary, torn with a cruel wound,
Mary, sorrowful even to death ,

Mary, bereft of all consolation,
Mary, submissive to the law of God,

Mary, standing by the Cross of Jesus,
Mary, Our Lady,
Mary, Our
Mary, Queen of glory ,
Mary, glory of the Church Triumphant,

Mary, Blessed Queen,
Mary, advocate of the Church Militant,
Queen of Mercy,
Mary, consoler of the Church Suffering,
Mary, exalted
above the Angels,
Mary, crowned with twelve stars,
Mary, fair as the
Mary, bright as the sun,
Mary, distinguished above all,
seated at the right hand of Jesus,
Mary, our hope,
Mary, our sweetness,

Mary, glory of Jerusalem ,
Mary, joy of Israel,
Mary, honor of our
Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,
Mary, Our Lady of
the Assumption,
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto,
Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes,

Mary, Our Lady of Fatima,
Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa,
Mary, Our
Lady of the Miraculous Medal,
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Mary, Our
Lady of the Angels,
Mary, Our Lady of Dolors,
Mary, Our Lady of Mercy,

Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary,
Mary, Our Lady of Victory ,
Mary, Our
Lady of La Trappe,
Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence,

Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of
God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on
us, O Lord Jesus.
Son of Mary , hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear
V. I will declare thy name unto my brethren.
R. I will praise thee
in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Us

O Almighty God, Who beholdest Thy servants earnestly
of placing themselves under the shadow of the name and protection

of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee,
that by her
charitable intercession, we may be delivered from all
evil on earth, and may
arrive at everlasting joys in Heaven,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R.

Our table is decorated with some of our statues of Mary and a favorite picture.  Our mantle has big blue letters “AVE MARIA.”  Later today we hope to decorate them with beautiful flower stickers and then decoupage them.  It should be fun!  We hope you are having a beautiful feast day today.   We also want to wish our good friend Tom a very happy Birthday today.