Thursday, February 11, 2010

Celebrating Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is the anniversary of the first day that the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl named Bernadette near Lourdes, France. Mary told Bernadette to dig in the grotto where she appeared, and a spring bubbled up there. People travel to this same spring today hoping to be cured of their ailments. Our lady also requested that a church be built at the site, which it was.

To remember this day, we built our own grotto... out of rice krispie treats! I saw the idea here.

I have actually never made rice krispie treats myself... isn't that weird? We melted half a stick of butter with a bag of mini marshmallows... plus a few large marshmallows, because the bag of minis had already been opened and a few had been eaten... Did you know that Wal-Mart brand marshmallows have no blue #40 in them? What, you didn't know marshmallows usually had blue #40 in them? That is why I rarely bought them before... until discovering that the Wal-Mart brand doesn't have any dyes. They still aren't good for you; I'm not deceiving myself here... but it is one less icky ingredient in them. As a side note, our homemade marshmallows tasted great and were pretty easy, but I stuck with store-bought today.

I did vary the recipe a bit... I did not use Rice Krispies, nor did I use any Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles. I used puffed brown rice. Yes, I am a party-pooper. But hey, the marshmallows were plenty sweet already! So, they had a different consistency than the traditional recipe, but they still tasted good.

While they set in the pan, I read a page out of a Marian book to Caroline about Our Lady of Lourdes. Caroline wanted to act it out. I love her initiative on this kind of thing... she creates her own extension activities!

She built a grotto out of a blanket, and then she draped a playsilk over her head and tied a blue "feather boa" around her waist and picked up a rosary... and she was Our Lady of Lourdes! She wanted me to be Our Lady first while she was Bernadette, then we switched. The white fabric in the cave is the water.

"Cecilia is one of the people who came to see Mary after Bernadette told them," said Caroline. I think Snoopy and Rag Doll came for healing in the waters of the spring. ;)

Here's how we built the grotto. What it doesn't show is how I let them sit too long, and they were too hard to be pliable. If anyone else ever has this problem, I will tell you that a hairdryer works wonders. They were pliable and moldable again instantly! The project was saved! We put a little wooden Our Lady of Lourdes figure that I had painted inside the grotto and had a nice centerpiece. I like how the puffed rice looks... somewhat like actual rocks. I also used about a half cup of puffed millet, just to give a bit of variety. Upon telling this to Chris, he said, "Wow, you really take your grotto-building seriously!"

Caroline built another, non-edible grotto using wooden blocks.

Cecilia got caught up in the festivities as well, and walked around saying, "I'm Mary!" for a while before lunch. She said Snoopy was "Baby Jesus."

Up next... preparing for Lent. I can't believe Ash Wednesday is next week! We have a few things to prepare before then. I plan to make a Lenten calendar and maybe a few other ideas, and I know Caroline will be excited that we'll be pulling out the Stations of the Cross Box again!


mel said...

Wow, the grotto came out great! I think the puffed rice probably looked better than the other stuff. At first glance I wouldn't have even been able to tell it was cereal, it looks almost like little pebbles or something!

Tiny Actions said...

What fun! I love your painted doll. Good job mommy!

Paul and Annie said...

LOL! I LOVE the Rice Krispies Grotto!!! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

Maureen said...

I love the first picture, it is very cute...and when you look at it closely (or when you click it and it fills the page) you can see static in Cecilia's hair!! Beautiful girls!!

Erin said...

Yeah, they both had static-hair under that blanket, ha ha!

ViolinMama said...


I've had one heck of a week, but catching up to say I've been lurking and love all you've been doing. These pics are great. As we recover from the "stomach BUG" (AHH!) I'm making our Lenten plans. Thanks for listing yours. Maybe I'll get around to doing the same as my energy returns.

Much love!