Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

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.
Amen.

Books

Activities

Lapbook or Notebook Entries

Day 1

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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

Activities

  • 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

Read-Aloud

  • 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

Activity

  • 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!

Christmas and Thank You!

January 1, 2011

I really wanted to thank all those people who sent Christmas gifts to us this year.   We really appreciate your help and thoughtfulness.  Thank you to Mom, Mary Lou & Al, Ann & Nick, Sue, Laura, Marilyn, Sr. Mary, Brendan, Ellen, Homer & Marie, and Jeff.  Also a huge thank you to our “secret Santa” who made a return visit for the second year in a row.  I’m sure Santa was quite surprised that Sunday to find that people were home here.  (A few of the children were sick that day.) The next day John found a big box of gifts. 

Here are just a few pictures from the day…

This year one of the highlights was Veronica!  She has just come to the age where she appreciates what is happening a little.  When we decorated, every box we opened, she just gasped!  We really do thank God for our house full of little ones.  What a blessing and a great gift God has given us!  We hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.

2009 Pictures – A Little Late

March 14, 2010

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

  

 

John turned 13!!!  Aunt Sue sent a camera.  (Thank you!!!)

   

We took a day trip down to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

   

 

Treats from Joe’s cousin, Sr. Mary.  (Thank you!!!)

We went to a wonderful Christmas party this year.  Santa Claus was outstanding. 

   

   

 

 

Aunt Marie and Uncle Homer sent a box full of gifts. (Thank you!!!)  The children opened them on Christmas Eve.

   

   

   

Here are some pictures from Christmas morning…

   

   

The present from cousin Laura.  (Thank you!!!!)  They didn’t want to open it too fast because they really, really liked the wrapping paper. 

Ready for Mass.  The had lasted about 2 minutes!

We hope you had a happy November and December!

Christmas

January 10, 2009

We had a lovely Christmas.  The children awoke before 4 am!  What a way to wake up!  They enjoyed opening presents and finding the baby Jesus in the manger.  The manger is taken out at the beginning of Advent.  Pieces of yarn representing straw are placed in the manger one at a time for every good deed that is done so that Jesus will have a nice soft bed on His birthday.  christmas-08-1

We went to the Extraordinary form of the Mass and John and Kevin served.  It was a beautiful Mass.  Of course, this was Veronica’s first Christmas.  In what is becoming a family tradition, she wore the dress that her sisters wore for their first Christmas’s as did their cousin 18 years ago.  veronica-first-christmas

Thank you, Aunt Sue, Uncle Tom, & Tarin!!

January 30, 2008

Well, Tom finally made it home longer than a few hours.  It was like Christmas in February.  There were presents from Aunt Sue, Uncle Tom & Tarin, and Aunt Carolann, Uncle Lee, Lee, & Dale (but they don’t read the blog, so can’t thank them here.)  Tom made a wonderful waffle and french toast breakfast complete with grape juice.  After breakfast it was present time. 

 The children love the presents, especially the big CARS truck!  The girls love their dolls, and Charlotte especially likes to let her cabbage patch kid walk off the edge of the table so she can catch it. 

ut-christmas-jan-08-1.jpg   uy-christmas-jan-08.jpg   ut-christmas-jan-08.jpg

One more Christmas Photo

December 27, 2007

I almost forgot to post this.  The girls got dolls for Christmas and wanted to get their pictures taken with them.  Here are the results…

christmas-dolls-1.jpg     christmas-dolls-2.jpg

Christmas 2007, part 2

December 25, 2007

This day has really been most relaxing and quiet, well as quiet as it can be with 5 children running around.  The boys had their daily does of football.  Kevin received a new football helmet, so now they all have one.    Joe went down and took some footage of the horses and the children going down thier favorite hill on a little plastic wagon that we have.  While they were near the barn I went down to go see the horses.  When it is getting near dark and they see me, I don’t even need oats and they come over!  After that it was off to the house to make dinner.  Dinner was spicy salmon, soba noodles, quick radish pickles, and boiled broccoli.   Nothing fancy, but when the children came in and saw the table, they all made exclaimations about the feast!  Ahh, what a red table cloth and placemats that are off-white with gold can do!  We also have our Advent wreath on the table, but instead of a pink and purple candles, it now has 4 white.  I wish we had taken a picture of the nice table.  At dinner we realized we still had some presents that had not been opened yet.  The children decided they should be opened immediately after dinner.  Somewhere in the middle of dinner, Charlotte conked out!  In the stocking was plenty of candy (no dairy and not refined sugar, of course, but still candy!)  Every time I saw that child today she had some in her mouth.  Well, it finally caught up with her and she was out cold!  She missed the presents, but the others didn’t.

Thank you Aunt Ann, Uncle Nick, Jim, & Mike!  The cars are a big hit and I know the airplane books will be too very soon.  MaryEllen loves her dress and the little dress up doll with the real material and her own glue! 

 presents1.jpg    presents2.jpg    presents4.jpg

Thank you, Laura!  Joe opened the package.  The boys love to read about Pompeii!  Joe opened the book while I was doing dishes and all I heard was MaryEllen yelling, “Turn the page, turn the page!”  I looked out and all the boys had stopped playing with thier cars long enough to see the next several pages.  The book is beautiful.  Where did you find that card?  It is hilarious!  Joe said there was something else as well, so thank you.   I’ll get to look later.  I just wanted to finish dishes and I am looking forward to bed time tonight!

presents3.jpg

MaryEllen had to go to bed because she said her leg hurt because she was too tired.  While the girls are sleeping, you can here the hum of remote controled cars all over.  James just said, “I just did a donut, Mom.”  With that I’lll close and wish everyone once again Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2007

Another busy week has come and gone.  First of all, Thank You to everyone who has sent cards and pictures.  We love hearing from you!  Our walls are filled with festive greetings and they are all so much fun to look at. 

On Tuesday evening (one week ago today), I went to my very first Christmas cookie exchange.  It was so much fun!  Thank you, Laurie, for putting it all together.  There was wonderful food (although I was a bit queezy that night and couldn’t eat much!), wonderful games, and lots of laughter with a wonderful bunch of women and a few wonderful teens! 

On Thursday our neighbor helped us to get the horses.  We were all so excited, now it is finally a farm.  We changed the name again.  We could not even remember what we had named the place before.  It just didn’t seem to stick in our minds.  Joe came up with Ten Gates Farm.  We have 10 large cattle gates here and it sounds catchy.  I have even remembered it for many days now!  The horses seem to like their new surroundings, so that is good.

horses1.jpg  (Click on the picture for a larger image.)

Christmas Eve – We went out to eat at our favorite resturant.  Yum!  Then we had to get back home in time to get ready for the 4:30 pm Children’s Mass.   Kevin was in the chior and John was serving.  The chior sounded very nice and John got to hold the Baby Jesus and put Him in the manger on the alter.  We came home, had some tea, and the boys and I went back to church for 9:00 pm Mass.  They not only had the organ, but a trumpet and flutes playing.  The adult chior sounded lovely as well.  James served for the first time, so that was very special.  I thought he was going to make his First Communion, but Father remembered just before he gave it to James.  We were all pretty tired when we got home.  The boys went to bed and Joe and I readied the place for Santa’s arrival. 

stockingings-hung-07.jpg    tree-07.jpg

The children seem to be very happy with thier gifts which is always nice.  There were pancakes for breakfast after the horses were tended to, and Mom and Dad got to take a nap!  My stomach is very much queezy today, but I am ever so grateful for that feeling.   (I know what you are thinking, and you are probably right!  So say a little prayer that this one is born alive and well!)  The weather is a bit chilly, but still nice.  It was very bright out this morning, but the clouds are rolling in.  They say there may be a few rain showers today. 

charlotte-chirstmas-07.jpg    christmas-07.jpg    maryellen-chistmas-07.jpg

I hope you are having a Blessed Christmas and may 2008 bring you many graces and blessings!

It Has Been so Very Busy Here…

December 13, 2007

Well, I posted that the party went well.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a wonderful time.  The next day was cleanup and Joe worked on the furnace room.  Tuesday we started with Mass and then ran a few errands in one town, then had to go 20 miles to the next town.  After that we settled at home.  Tuesday evening was Mom’s Night Out!  Oh how I love this one night a month.  There is good company and lots of laughter.  Naturally we closed the place, but this time I did not stay out talking in the parking lot!  Wednesday was a chiropractor’s appointment at 11 am.  Well, due to 2 tractor tralier accidents they closed the interstate, which I wasn’t on, but it still caused a major backup.  I called the office while sitting stand still in traffic and they rescheduled me for 2 pm.  I made it near the office by noon.  We went and did other errands and went out to lunch, but we were in the car for 2 1/2 hours.  Luckily when I heard from the radio that the interstate was closed we stopped for a potty break.  That was a good move because I don’t think any of us could have made it!  We arrived home sometime late that evening because we did a little shopping after the chiropractor.  For the first time I went into a  Lifeway Christian store as I was looking for some more Christmas cards.  Well, the cards were buy one get one free and I found a few Thanksgiving decorations at 75% off!  Yee Haa!    Today was spent getting caught up on dishes, laundry and other house work that needed to be done.  I also wrote out Christmas cards to our seminarians from the Diocese of Nashville.  Then it was time to goto the post office and have a playday with a few other friends.  We were suppose to goto Huntsville to the library, but that didn’t happen since I forgot my cell phone and the library books.  We have to goto the library because our cards are going to expire on Saturday and I don’t want to pay for a bunch of overdue books!  Tomorrow is the Christmas craft party.  I don’t know if we’re going to be providing the craft for a reindeer puppet or a stand up christmas tree, it depends on what the store has on hand for supplies.  But, what ever we do, we’re going to Huntsville after that.  The library books are already in the van!

 One more thing that I forgot, we took pictures for the Chirstmas cards today.  I’ll post a few here that we are not using for the cards. 

07christmas2.jpg    07chirstmas1.jpg If you click on these they will enlarge.  Notice James’s face in the first photo.

Loveliness of Christmas Fair

January 1, 2007

Drop  by O Night Divine and check out the Loveliness of Christmas fair that is set to be posted January 2.  Enjoy!