Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Queenship of Mary

Last week, we celebrated the feast day of the Queenship of Mary on August 22. It followed the Assumption of Mary by a week. The girls made these footprint/handprint Mary pictures as an arts and crafts activity. I saw the idea here at Catholic Icing and thought it would be great for this feast day and had been saving the idea. After stamping their foot and handprints, the girls used markers to draw in the details once the paint was dry. Then they used some stick-on sequins to decorate their work further.

Here's Cecilia working on hers.

For those who might be curious as to why Catholics consider Mary to be "Queen," here's a basic explanation: it is not because we worship her as we worship Christ the King, but rather because in the time of King David, the queen was always the king's mother. Giving Mary the title of "Queen" shows our respect for her important role in bringing Christ into the world as his mother.
We made a queen's crown cake the day before the feast day. Daddy was going out of town the next morning, so we wanted him to have at least one piece of the cake that night before he left! I made some cut-out cookies and then the girls decorated them with some Trader Joe's gummies as jewels... these would make the sides of the crown.

Here it is, all assembled! I made a basic chocolate cake and covered it with a buttery white frosting... mmm. Then I attached each cookie to surround the cake to form the crown.

In addition to these activities, this month we have been learning the hymn Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above. We also prayed the fifth Glorious Mystery at our family evening prayer time, which is the Coronation of Mary.

The cake was enjoyed by all!

The stuff nightmares are made of...

Oh, well, the nice old man tried his best to draw a smiley face upon request...

Noah's Ark

We are studying Old Testament stories this year, as well as doing My First Timeline, which gives a very basic introduction to several historical figures and where they fit chronologically into history. It happened to work out perfectly that Noah was our story both in the Old Testament and on the timeline during the same week! We spent some extra time on these activities relating to the story of Noah and the flood:

Noah's Ark Snack

one tortilla, cut in half
melted butter
cinnamon sugar
graham crackers, one whole and one cut in half diagonally
animal crackers

I spread the tortilla halves with butter and then sprinkled on a bot of cinnamon and sugar. Then I put them in the oven for a few minutes to get them a little toasted. Next, the kids placed the graham crackers on top of the "boat" and then arranged some animal crackers (my favorite ones from Trader Joe's!!) however they wanted in their arks.

They used a few bunny crackers as well...

Then they ate them up!

Yummy and simple!

We also made a mural of Noah's ark using this Jan Brett resource. First, we did a watercolor wash on the background and let it dry.

Here's how it looked after the girls colored all the animal pairs and taped them to the mural!

We also read several books about Noah's Ark over the course of a couple weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trip to Nashville

We took a trip to Nashville abut a week ago to visit Chris's family and celebrate some birthdays. First we stopped at Shelby Park, where both Chris and his parents had played as children. There is a railroad bridge there that goes over the river, and the girls were excited to get to see a train cross it!

on the boat ramp by the river

We visited Great granny, and she got out some old costume jewelry for the girls to play with!

How fancy!

Great Granny with Cecilia

The next day, we got to go swimming in Great Granny's neighborhood pool! It was such a nice morning, and being in the pool felt great to this pregnant lady! ;)

Gran and Cecilia

Caroline and her cousin

Caroline swimming underwater... she has gotten pretty good at this!

three cousins about to jump in together while Great Granny watches

one... two...


The funny thing was how they never could get their timing quite right... at least, not while I was taking a photo! This time, the girls jumped in ahead of their cousin...

...and here, he jumped in before Caroline! They were basically yanking each other into the water, whoever happened to jump first...

Cecilia had decided she was done with the jumping for now... she was very brave to jump in holding only her cousin's and sister's hands. Lately she would only jump to an adult while holding their hands. I think she's forgotten that she would jump into the pool alone, no hand-holding, when she was 18 months old!

They almost jumped at the same instant this time!

Caroline jumping in on her own

In the afternoon, we got to see more family... Chris's Uncle and Aunt along with Papa and Margaret came over for birthday cake! Caroline and Cecilia got them to play My Little Ponies!

Everybody played outside awhile...

Here is one of their favorite things to do outside: ride in the wagon behind the lawnmower. They pretend the lawnmower is a horse and they are riding in a carriage. They each got a turn to drive, too!

And believe it or not, this is not our last mini-vacation before the baby is born in three weeks... we'll be in Atlanta for one night in a few days, and then, we are done for awhile!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Clare

Last week, the day before St. Clare's feast day, we had some friends over to do a craft and play! St. Clare of Assisi is known for starting a group of nuns called the Poor Clares after the model of St. Francis of Assisi. The monstrance is one of the symbols associated with her, because she held up a monstrance containing Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and enemies who were invading the town turned and fled. So, we had some coloring sheets of St. Clare along with a monstrance craft.

I found this craft here at Catholic Icing and bought the supplies, thinking it would be an easy one for Cecilia to do at some point, and then I had the idea to use it as a craft that is associated with St. Clare.

This was easy for the three year olds to do... they just glued a gold paper doily onto another paper and then glued a white circle of cardstock (for the Eucharist) in the middle. Then they used stick-on jewels that I found in the craft store dollar bins to decorate all around their monstrances however they wished. I made the stands for the monstrance by drawing them on gold cardstock, and then the kids cut them out and glued them on first, so the doily was on top.

After doing the craft, I turned on the St. Clare Glory Stories CD for them to listen to... although my kids ignored it since they've heard it enough that they go around reciting parts of it...

Caroline and her friends wanted to make a pattern with their jewels.

For a snack, I decided to make something Polish for the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast day was coming up that weekend. Part of the reason for wanting to do this is that I am a quarter Polish myself! These are yummy Polish cookies called Kiffel... mostly butter so of course they are yummy! They are also filled with ground walnuts, so there is some redeeming health value in them. ;) I only made a quarter of the recipe but could see making the whole batch for Christmas treat-baking!

The three year olds eating their snack outside... I just thought this was such a cute photo of them!

Here are my girls with their finished monstrances... I forgot to get a photo of everyone with their finished work! Cecilia wanted to cut hers out... probably trying to get the most mileage out of the forbidden scissors, which she hadn't used since the unfortunate alterations she made to some dress-up clothes...

St. Clare, pray for us!

Monday, August 15, 2011


We went bowling about a week ago as a Sunday afternoon family fun outing... it has been so hot that this was perfect! The girls got free bowling passes from the local library's summer reading program, so we used them as a way to beat the heat!

Cecilia could actually lift the ball somehow!

This ramp is neat... little kids can use it to roll the ball down if they can't actually roll it well themselves. Not sure that it leaves much of a point to the game, but Cecilia enjoyed it!

Caroline could roll the ball somewhat, but it is still a long way to the pins!

And a few more of Cecilia lugging the ball around...