Monday, February 28, 2011

P is for St. Patrick, Pansy Fairy, Penguins, and Patience!

I'm behind in posting stuff, but here are our photos from P week. We are working our way through R week currently!

Here are our themes for the week, all of which went into the Word Box, as usual.

Our P poems for the week from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints and God's Alphabet

~Work Activities~

peg board
There were also plenty of puzzles this week! Cecilia's princess felt storyboard was also used heavily.

~Circle Time~

Caroline brought Piglet for Show and Tell, and the item in the mystery sound pouch was a popsicle mold.

Songs and Rhymes
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Peter Piper
Pease Porridge
Polly and Sukey
The Pancake Song
This Little Piggie

~Foods for P Week~

pita pizzas for lunch...

...and some pigtails!!

pesto tart (it looks great, but it didn't taste as good as it looked to me!)

chicken pot pie - Chris made the crust and put PP on it for pot pie

noodles with pesto

five cheese penne (I leave out the gorgonzola)

pastitso, one of Caroline's all-time favorites

pear crisp - yum!!!

Other foods on the menu: pumpkin fettucine alfredo, pumpkin pancakes, pineapples, pizza, popovers, peas, and probably some other things I can't remember!

~Tea Time~

Okay, so it is not really tea... this is a smoothie called a Purple Cow. Personally, I did not care for it at all. Apparently I don't care for smoothies made with frozen juice concentrate... too sweet for me? Caroline liked it, though! Maybe next time, I will try this one, since it doesn't contain the frozen concentrate!

We read Joseph and Chico, a story about the Pope, while eating painted cookies - shaped like the Pope and the cat in the story!

There is also another book we read this week about the Pope, called Max and Benedict, featuring a bird... so some of our cookies were shaped like birds, too. I got this idea here. Oh, and I used the recipe for pumpkin rollout cookies for the dough!

~Letter Formation~

forming letter Pp using playdough

writing P's in cornmeal

Punch Out the Letter - Capital and Lowercase Pp

~Flower Fairy for Letter P: Pansy~

Caroline's Pansy flower fairy page from the Flower Fairies coloring book

~Saint for Letter P: St. Patrick~

Finished copywork from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints and illustration

~Picture Study: P is for Peacock~

Caroline illustrated this painting, Madonna and Child with Saints. There is a peacock in the tree above them.

~ABC Virtue of the Week: Patience~

Well, the virtue coloring pages I'd been using have run out with letter O. So, since Caroline seems to like them, I attempted to illustrate the rest myself and come up with the virtues. So I chose patience for P and drew a coloring page of kids patiently waiting for a turn on the swing. My drawing isn't as good as the originals, and I haven't drawn much in recent years, so it's nothing fancy, but if anyone has been doing the virtue coloring pages and wants some pre-made for P and on, I would be happy to figure out how to upload them to Google Docs or something. Still reading Caroline a relevant story from this sweet little book full of stories with morals to them to correspond with the virtue coloring pages.

~Activities for P Week~

P is for Painting Pumpkin Pope Cookies

Here are some photos of the girls painting their cookies, as I mentioned above in the Tea Time section.

Max the bird was blue, and Chico the cat was a orange tabby. We also had red for the Pope, although there are a variety of colors in which he could have been dressed! We used a dove cookie cutter, a Halloween cat cookie cutter, and our St. Nicholas cookie cutter.

We left a few plain for the grown-ups! The "paint" is just some powdered sugar mixed with milk and food coloring. The black is a tube of icing.

P is for Parade of Saints

Caroline was playing and decided to make a all the wooden painted saints have a parade through he castle. She took this photo herself.

P is for Penguins

We did various penguin activities, including this craft found here. We also used a word search we found on this site.

They made these penguin potato prints using an idea I came across... you cut a potato in half lengthwise for the body and stamp it using black paint. Then you cut a potato in half crosswise and stamp a white belly on top of the black paint once it has dried. Then the girls glued on details cut from construction paper and painted with watered-down glue to attach squares of white tissue paper for snow and ice.

Here's a cute little penguin that the girls ate for lunch one day!

P is for Puzzle Planks

I found this idea in a Family Fun magazine. Tape seven jumbo craft sticks together and then flip it over. Draw a large picture on the front, then untape it, mix up the sticks, and try to reassemble it as a puzzle. Caroline did a giraffe and a heart.

Cecilia made one as well.

Here's a close-up example. We left them out as a work activity for the rest of the week.

~Cooking Project: P is for Pretzels~

We made whole wheat pretzels and then took them to the park to share with friends while we played!

The girls did lots of rolling, and I helped finish them up and shape them. Yum... and we'll be making more pretzels soon, with Lent beginning in one week!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Feast of the Presentation ~ Feb. 2

A much belated post! We celebrated the Feats of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple, sometimes referred to as Candlemas, because in days of old, people would have their candles blessed on this day by a priest. Some parishes still do this, and we would have asked our priest if he could bless our candles had we seen him after the Mass.

We spent part of the morning making our own candles! We used a beeswax candle rolling kit, which makes it quite easy for kids! Using the sheets of beeswax, we were able to make several taper candles, including some Advent wreath candles (although we're short one purple! ;). You just stick the wick in them and roll them up! They can be cut to make tapers, or just rolled together to make thicker, straight-edged candles.

We wil have several candles now for use throughout the year... if only I could figure out the best candle holders for them! The ones that are a bit thicker than tapers... but not as thick as votives... for now, they are in votive holders, balancing precariously!

We made this red candle with cut-outs of doves on it specifically for Pentecost, but we used it also for this day's feast, as Mary and Joseph offered two turtle doves as a sacrifice.

After making candles, we headed to our parish's daily noon Mass, where we heard the reading from Luke which set the stage for our tea time luncheon. We did a similar luncheon last year, and the idea came from the Liturgical Teas by Alice at the blog Cottage Blessings. I also just read her book, A Haystack Full of Needles, and found it to be full of good ideas that could be useful throughout many years of homeschooling!

We got to use our nice new serving dish set that my brother and his wife gave to us for Christmas. The four sections contain whipped cream, strawberries, hummus, and baby carrots.

On Caroline's plate, you can see the turtle-dove shaped PB&J sandwiches, which I cut out using a dove-shaped cookie cutter. "...and to offer the sacrifice of 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,' in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord." (Luke 2:24)

Strawberries pierced with "sword" toothpicks and dipped in whipped cream - the white whipped cream symbolizes Mary's purity, and the strawberry symbolizes Mary's heart: "Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'" (Luke 2:34-35)

The girls used the "swords" to symbolize Simeon's words regarding Mary being pierced by a sword in the sorrows she would come to endure while watching her son die.

Baby carrots with hummus on the tip: these symbolize candles with a flame, as the day is called Candlemas, and also since Simeon commented about Jesus being a light for the world: "...for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." (Luke 2:30-32)

We were also going to have pretzels, but I forgot to get them out! Their shape can remind us of arms folded in prayer, symbolizing Simeon, who held the infant Jesus in his arms: "Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him." (Luke 2:25)

And for dessert, chocolate fondue! We dipped our homemade marshmallows from M week into it using long wooden skewers, symbolizing Anna, who was also praying in the temple, as she was a very devout and holy woman (the white of the marshmallow), and was also a widow (the "black" of the chocolate): "There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." (Luke 2:36-37)


You can tell they thoroughly enjoyed this part! And the chocolate fondue definitely made the marshmallows taste great - I didn't care for them just plain, personally, although everyone else in the family had been eating them up!