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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 …
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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…

Observing Lent with Kids

"O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day. In union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. In reparation for my sins and for the intentions offered this month by our Holy Father." - Daily Offering Prayer

My intention this lent was to bring our family closer to the cross, closer to the sufferings of Jesus through His Mother Mary.

Last year, I made a Stations of the Cross for Toddlers. The girls loved having something to hold while we sat and prayed together. It kept their little hands busy and squiggly bodies occupied.

Recognizing their fascination with the hands-on stations, I wanted to incorporate more visuals and tactile items this year. A crown of thorns, woven palms, nails, purple cloth; having these things around our home at little arms' reach helped our children reflect and meditate on the Passion of Our Lord.  Their young hearts were ready to learn and their love was pure and…

St. John Marie Vianney: The Holy Curé of Ars

The plan was to write this book review after Easter, but I just couldn't resist. As soon as it arrived in my mailbox, I eagerly revealed the "quiet time surprise" to my four year old and we found a warm, sunny spot on the couch and read the story together.

It's a challenge to find good, solid, children's books that are rich with the traditions of our faith. Unfortunately, a large majority of material out there is watered down, the content simplified or vague, and the artwork is terrible. How can we expect our kids to get excited about the Communion of Saints and the Mysteries of our faith if all they see is hippie Jesus walking with the butterflies?

The good news is that, in the past eights years, there's been a revival of catholic picture books. These books portray the Church in all it's beauty and wonder.

This book, John Mary Vianney: The Holy Curé of Ars is from the series "The Life of a Saint" published by Ignatius Press. We have another boo…

Feast of St. Valentine 2018

Coincidentally,  St. Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year so we moved our valentine feasting and sweet eating to Fat Tuesday.  It has not been our custom to take the kids to Mass on Ash Wednesday, since it's not considered a holy day of obligation. However, we do try to keep things low key and prayerful to help us enter into the season of Lent.



Our children have not reached the age requirement for fasting and abstaining, but we encourage them to offer up little sacrifices (ex. going to bed without a stuffed animal for one night, letting a sibling pick which Netflix show to watch, or skipping the Mc D's fries when out and about running errands.) So far, so good! They have willingly (no whining or pouting) given up their favorites, their treasures, and their comforts for Our Lord. What pure hearts, those children have. If only we could learn to love as a child loves!

Since Ash Wednesday holds precedence over the feast of St. Valentine, we focused on making crafts…

Under the Sea Party

Birthday time! I'm excited to share another playful party with you. Get ready to dive under the sea with the mermaids and fishies!

During the weeks leading up to the party, I reserved a bunch of children's picture books from our local library about ocean life. I was excited to immerse the girls in this new topic and teach them about the wonders of the sea. They now recognize the names of several sea creatures, where they live, and what they eat. 
Our favorites include:  The Usborne Big Book of Sea Creatures,  Has large fold-out pages and realistic illustrations of the ocean life.Little Sea Turtle. A tiny finger puppet board book with a short story about the life of a sea turtle.The Secrets of the Seashore , From the "Shine a Light" series of Usborne books. The kids loved holding the pages up to the window to find the hidden creatures living in their habitats.What Will I Be? Peek under each flap to see how the butterfly, polar bear, turtle, frog, and bird develop. 
Ins…

Home Holy Water Font

One of the ways our family builds and nurtures our domestic church is by teaching our children about the importance of sacramentals. Sacramentals are "sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them, men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1667).
Our house is sprinkled with sacramentals. Rosaries are kept (at little arms reach) on our home oratory, scapulars are worn around our necks and blessed palms can be spotted tucked behind a crucifix and framed religious artwork throughout the home.
We received a beautiful white-stone holy water font featuring the Holy Family as a house warming/blessing gift when we moved into our house. It hangs next to our front door and is a reminder to us of our baptismal promise. We hung a second font at kid-…