3.30.2015

Why You Shouldn't Wait

I was thinking the other day how some people wait to share the good news about a new addition to their family. I was the same way. I normally didn't tell people until I was 12 weeks or so in case the little one died. However, with Joan's passing I am not sure I am going to wait to tell people because you never know how long you are going to have with your child.


It might be 8 weeks in the womb, 16 weeks in the womb, 42 weeks in the womb or even a few hours on this earth. That child that you are carrying in your womb is a person with an immortal soul from the moment of their conception. They are your child, they are someones brother or sister, they are someone niece or nephew, they are someones grandchild or great-grandchild. Just because they only lived for 10 weeks in your womb doesn't mean they are any less a child because they didn't take a breath on this earth.


I completely understand the not wanting to tell people that you are having a child, losing that child and then having to go back and tell all those people that your child died. I really do. I was the same way. I had to do that exact thing 42 weeks after conception.


Does that mean if I get pregnant again I shouldn't tell anyone for fear that it will all happen again? No, it actually makes me what to tell people as soon as I get the positive pregnancy test. I want to share the news and let his/her siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents rejoice with us even if it is for a short time.


If God calls you to endure the greatest thing He can ask of a parent, then give your child a name and celebrate every year their entrance into heaven. You now not only have a child, but you have a little saint in heaven who is praying for you and waiting for you.



I know it is hard. It is really hard. There are still nights I cry myself to sleep for little Joan, but it does get better. As I said before once you realize that she not only died, but she also lived you will find greater peace in your heart.


Your baby is your baby at the moment of conception. Your baby has been your baby for two to three weeks even before you get your positive pregnancy test. Let us let the culture of life shine by letting everyone share in the joy of that life. Even if that life only last for a short time in your womb, it is still a life and worth celebrating.

If you have lost a child before it took a breath on this earth always remember that when you reach your heavenly home, you will find your child waiting there with a bouquet of flowers and saying "Thank you mom and dad for the gift of life."


3.25.2015

Passion Play for Kids & My 5 Favorite Lenten Activities


I have a treat for you today or at least I hope one person finds it helpful. I was thinking of doing a Passion Play with my kids, but when I did a quick Google search, I realized that someone hasn't taken a gospel and write it up in play form. I at least couldn't find one so I decided to do it myself. 

I used The Catholic Children's Bible by St. Mary's Press. It isn't the best translation (in my opinion), but it does use language that makes it easy for the younger kids to understand and remember. I took the gospel of Matthew and prepared it in three ways.  

First, I took Matthew gospel concerning the Passion and wrote it out exactly. There are 13 speaking parts and most is read by the narrator. It would be good if you had a group of readers that wanted to read the Passion, but not actually act it out. 


Second, I took the Matthew gospel concerning the Passion and wrote it in form play. There are 14 scenes (including Easter), a list of speaking parts, a list of non-speaking parts and a list of items (props) needed. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. Most of the props you will probably already have around your house. If you had a really large family, a couple of families or a homeschool group, this one would work great. You could cut down speaking parts to make it more manageable to memorize or let the kids read their parts from cards. You could even have kids act it out with their stuffed animals, peg people or Lego men. You could do a big production or something simple.

A Passion Play for Kids (Long Form)
As you will probably figure it out, the words that are italicized are acting directions and not supposed to be read.

Third, I took the above Long Form Passion Play, deleted some scenes and cut down some of the speaking parts. This would be good when you only have really little kids.

A Passion Play for Kids (Short Form)
As you will probably figure it out, the words that are italicized are acting directions and not supposed to be read.

I plan on using the Short Form play for my kids and actually might have to cut it down a little more since all my kids are under 7. We will see how it goes. I plan on setting up a little stage for them out on the deck. I will also let them make some scenery with old cardboard boxes. For costumes, I plan of putting some of Hubby's shirts on the kids and tie a sash around their waist. 

As I come up with ideas, I will try to post them here in case you are going to do your own Passion Play and need ideas. If you use any of the plays, I am going to create a link up next week for you to share it so please come back and share it with us.  

Please feel free to use and share the plays as much as possible. All I ask is if you somehow become a millionaire because of this play, you remember me and buy me a fancy coffee. :)

*If you notice any spelling errors or can't access the files, please let me know!

My Five Favorite Lenten Activities that You Can Do Next Year

I forgot to post these pictures at the beginning of Lent, but I thought I would go ahead and do it now in case you needed ideas for next year. 

1.
This is our centerpiece for the kitchen table. A wooden cross stuck in some clay, with nails and candles for each Sunday. The kids take turns blowing out the candles. 

2.
This idea was from Kendra @ Catholic All Year. It was posted near the kitchen table so I could go over it with them every time we sat down to eat. 

3.
This is Our Journey through Lent board. Each day had some sort of activities to do. Some was to say a prayers for someone in particular, to do a certain sacrifice, pray the Stations, and on feast days I wrote something that would be fun like to do a craft or get to go to the park. The kids also took turns to color in the box so they knew how many days we have until Easter. The kids really like it so I think this is going to be a yearly thing. 

4.
We keep all the Lent and Easter books out in a special place and try to read one every night. 

5.
I also got this idea from Kendra @ Catholic All Year. BEST IDEA EVER! For every good deed, every quick response to a chore, every act of kindness, every sacrifice, every time you say your prayers without hitting your sibling with the rosary, etc...you get to put a bean in the jar. On Easter Sunday, all those beans turn into Jelly Beans and there is great rejoicing in our house. 

*Bonus - Something for the Easter Season

I was thinking of doing some sort of Journey through Easter board since Easter is 50 days and so we will be celebrating for 50 days, but when I was on Amazon the other night I noticed this sticker calendar "The Garden of the Good Shepherd" by Tomie de Paola and ordered it on the spot.


It is a large laminated garden with reusable stickers. 

Then it comes with a booklet. Each day has a a bible verse to read along with an explanation for the sticker you are going to put on the board that day. 

Awesome, awesome!

Have a great rest of the week and remember if you plan to do the Passion Play come back next week to link-up so we can see everyone's play. 

3.20.2015

7 Quick Takes - Spring is Here


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Joining Kelly for 7 Quick Takes

Linking up with I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday and Whole Parenting Family for Weekly Eats (go down to What's for Dinner?"). 
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1.


ReadingThe Liberal Arts Tradition and By Fire into Light. It seems like I have been on these books for awhile. I need to spend more time reading.


Eating: I need more ideas for meatless meals that don't include pasta or beans. Any ideas besides fish?


Listening: So I have an old laptop that broke around 8 years ago or something crazy like that and recently my Hubby got it working again. Well, guess what I found on it...a TON of music! I mean hundreds and hundreds of songs. I didn't even remember having that much music on it, but I guess I did. Anyway, I have been having fun listening to all the "new" music I have now.


Wearing: Flip flops!!! It has finally warmed up over here. I am happy.

 
Praying: For some special intentions.


2.


I am not really sure what has been going on around here, but kids playing outside and me trying to keep up with the laundry. 

3.


Boy, is it hard to teach a first grader when spring weather has come and all she wants to do is play outside. Thankfully, I think playing is more important than "book learning" at her age so she spends most of the day outside. For the last few weeks she seem to be doing  Circle Time, math and phonics.

Some days call for crowns and wands. 

4.

These kids keep trying to get in the house. :)

5.


What I Want You To Know

50 Shades of pain: sterile sex and the problem with porn

The lonely mission of motherhood

What I Keep in My Commonplace Book

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

6.


Sunday: Roast Beef, roasted potatoes and carrots, and salad
Monday: Date Night! The kids ate roasted chicken, leftover potatoes, and salad
Tuesday: Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, salad, and cheesecake brownies for dessert
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Spaghetti with sausage, salad, and cream puffs for dessert
Friday: It is Frank's baptism day so he has requested fish sticks, mac and cheese, and salad
Saturday: Burritos with leftover roast, beans and salad
Sunday: Roasted chicken, roasted broccoli, and salad

I made some Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread and it was a big hit with the kids.

7.


This was our garden at the end of February. 

Now when we go outside we are starting to see this...

Garlic!

The daffodils are starting to come up too. 

We planted a cover crop of rye in the fall so I have been clearing the beds out to start planting the peas and carrots. 

I have some things growing in our greenhouse and you can't see them in this picture, but they are starting to sprout. The labels where made with wooden markers and the wood burner.

Frank was born to be outside. He likes to help cleaning small trees in the woods. 


See the leaves ripped from that plant...let's just say we recently had to call poison control. Thankfully, no one was harmed. 



8. Bonus - Some Pictures of Instagram

Frank lost a tooth.

I forgot to change the clocks, but we still managed to get to church on time. 

Date night! Can you guess where we are?

My student left when I had my back turned. She told me the woods were calling her. 

Measuring things with a tape measure is always more fun. 

This is why I am washing all the time. 

We going to have some dapper boys come Easter time. 

Have a great weekend!


3.19.2015

pretty, happy, funny, real - A Parade of Cuteness

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter

{pretty}
I love Virginia in the spring. Grass is starting to turn green and flowers are starting to bloom.

Edith and Greta were taking the parade into the woods. 


{happy}
These pictures of Harriet pretty much sum up her personality. We call her Happy Harriet. 






{funny}
The kids found all the flags in the house and had a parade down the driveway. 





{real}
Where is my baby and who is this little boy? I can't believe he will be two in a couple of months. He is bigger than Harriet and already has a good size vocabulary. 




{bonus}
Here is a series of pictures that I call "The Many Faces of Greta." I am amazed at how many different expressions Greta has in a 20 second continuous shot. 













Have a great Feast of St. Joseph! We will be feasting on pasta and cream puffs this evening!
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