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Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Hello blog! It's been awhile since my last post.  I took a break from blogging in November-January to get through the whirlwind of holidays. But I'm back now, and wanted to post about the day we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

As with every feast day, I found a coloring page for the kids to embellish while I read a short story of St. Francis from our Book of Saints. After coloring, I read them "St. Francis and the Wolf". In the story, St. Francis comes to the aid of the villagers who are terrorized by a terrible wolf. St. Francis teaches the valuable lesson of friendship and to love all God's creatures that walk on the earth, fly in the sky and swim in the sea.

Our snack in honor of St. Francis was "wolf paw" cookies. They were delicious and turned out more wolf-like then I imagined. We used package Iced Almonette cookies for the base. Then added sliced almonds and white baking chips for claws using melted chocolate for glue. I gave each …
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Feast of St. Therese the Little Flower

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I implore and tell Him I will love Him each day more and more.  Amen

"St. Therese loved nature, and often used the imagery of nature to explain how the Divine Presence is everywhere, and how everything is connected in God's loving care and arms. Therese saw herself as "the Little Flower of Jesus" because she was just like the simple wild flowers in forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God. Therese did not see herself as a brilliant rose or an elegant lily, by simply as a small wildflower. This is how she understood herself before the Lord - simple and hidden, but blooming where God had planted her. " - Text taken from the Society of the Little Flower

The girls colored the Little Flower print out while I read them a short story of St. Therese from our Picture Boo…

* * Outer Space Party * *

Only a few shorts weeks after the construction party, and I started to plan for the long awaited for Outer Space birthday celebration for my soon-to-be five year old.

This spherical cake idea looked super cool- I wanted to try it! Making it an ice cream cake was a must because, well... SPACE! With some trial and error (leaving the cake out on the top of our chest freezer, oops) and a bit of improvising, I created the Moon Cake!

Instead of buying a mold, I used a large glass bowl lined with plastic wrap (to prevent ice cream from sticking to the sides of bowl). I layered the ice cream sandwiches putting generous layers of cool whip in between. After freezing overnight, I took the moon cake out of the freezer, popped it out of the bowl and frosted it with the remaining cool whip. Chocolate candy melts were used for craters. It came together better than expected (I was worried the cake wouldn't retain it's round shape) and when we cut into it, the layering of ice cream sandwiches…

Construction Zone Party

We have been following the construction progress of our local library as it under goes a renovation. When I take the kids to return our books, they are excited to watch the builders. Their anticipation grew when they noticed the walls and roof one morning. "Wow Mama, they're almost done!"

Along with the excitement for our new library, our little boy turned two this year! He has been entertaining himself (and his sisters) by making exuberant "Vroom, VrOOM!" noises with everything he holds, whether that's the carrot he is eating for lunch or the tea cup from the play kitchen. How could we NOT  make this boy a construction theme birthday?

I challenged myself with making this party as low cost as possible. It was a fun challenge and I think I did pretty good! Total cost of decorations/props was under $20. Not bad for having only 11 days to plan. These birthday parties creep on me sometimes.  Caution Cones ($2 Dollar Store)Caution Tape ($3.99 Home Depot)Twelve Po…

Honoring Our Lady

"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did." - St. Maximilian Kolbe
April brought several snow showers to WI this year, prolonging the cold and wet days and delaying any hope of growth for the frozen grass and flowers. But that didn't stop us from welcoming spring into our home. The girls and I made paper hyacinths and daffodils to cheer up our dining room. Seeing the bright and lively blooms on our walls helped remind us that spring was on it's way!

We made a mini grotto, complete with foliage and fauna during the month of May in honor of Our Lady. It was a quick and easy activity that we finished in one afternoon. You can find the free "Mary diorama" at the Catholic Sistas blog. We used crayons instead of watercolors and a tissue box (in place of a shoe box) for the grotto. All the pieces fit together nicely. The girls were excited to look for the perfect spot to place our grotto in the backyard.


Thunder Cake

It's been rainy, wet and cold. Low, gray clouds covered the sky for most of the week. As the storms rolled in, we watched and listened to the rumblings of the thunder. Come to think of it, my kids aren't afraid of storms. I've always told them that God sends the rain (and the lighting) to help the plants, flowers and trees grow big and strong. The day after a storm, they like run out to inspect our yard. What do they find? The grass is a brilliant green, flowers have pushed through the dirt and the trees are sprouting leaf buds! Oh, and a worm or two stranded on the pavement. It's such an exciting time for them, watching things grow!

My favorite rainy day book is Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. I promised the girls we would make this delicious cake next time it stormed, and so we did!

Babushka's Thunder Cake recipe is written at the back of the book. I used a slightly different recipe for our cake. Unfortunately, it sat in the oven a bit too long and came out on …

Saints on the Go!

Fast or slow, high or low, saints are always on the go!
This brightly colored book, "Saints on the Go", by Chantal Baros from Shining Light Dolls company, is filled with stories of the saints and their modes of transportation. Short rhymes retell the stories of thirteen saints. From horse drawn carriages and buckboard wagons to trolleys and steam engines, the saints sure did know how to get around! This book has a fun "easter egg"-- hidden on each page is an ichthus (Jesus fish symbol). Our kids try to race each other to be the first to find the fish.

I was excited to see that this book included saints, such as St. Katharine Drexel, St. Maximillian Kolbe, and St. Josemaria Escriva who are written about less frequently in children's books.

Also published by Shining Light Dolls, is the delightful board book, "The Virgin Mary Around the World".  Just like "Saints on the Go", this book is vibrant with color and explains our faith in a fun and p…