Saturday, October 29, 2011

Assorted Learning

Here are some of the things we've been doing school-wise in the last six weeks... in somewhat random order!

First, we've been learning that newborns like to be with Mommy, and they sleep and nurse all day. They have short periods of "quiet alert" time in which they will pose for pictures with big sisters! The baby IS the lesson!

The girls made guardian angels with markers and glitter... these are from the Seton Art 1 book. Caroline copied the Guardian Angel Prayer for copywork... this was done around the feast of the Guardian Angels in early October. We also read the book My Guardian Dear.

The feast day of the Triumph of the Cross was just a few days after Lucy was born. I read the above book to the girls, and Caroline illustrated part of the story.

Chris took the bigger girls to the Booth Western Art Museum on free museum day last month. I stayed home and cuddled the baby!

Cecilia sorted some fall pictures and completed patterns with them.

Caroline worked on a "Things I See in Church" lapbook. At some point, I'd like to arrange a tour of our church... maybe our deacon would be able to show the kids various items in the church and explain what they are. Might be a good thing to do in preparation for First Holy Communion next year!

In math, we learned what a right angle is and that "rect" means "right" in German, which is how a rectangle gets its name. We also learned that a square is a special kind of rectangle that has all sides equal. Caroline found examples in magazines and catalogs and glued them on this paper.

We did a craft to go along with the song "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," which we've been singing some in Circle Time... trying to find some preschoolish ways to involve the three year old! We made suncatchers... well as permanent crafts on paper to be filed away and kept.

The whole world craft idea came from this post on Catholic Icing.

We made fall-scented playdough... lots of cinnamon and cloves went into this, and it makes the room smell great - nice, since I doubt I'll get a chance to take out fall-scented candles this year...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

First Smiles!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Lucy's Baptism

Lucy was baptized last Sunday, October 2, which in years when it does not fall on a Sunday is the Feast of the Guardian Angels... it just happened that this date worked best. Truly her guardian angel has been watching over our baby girl! It was also Respect Life Sunday, which falls on the first Sunday of every October. Attending the baptism were both sets of grandparents and my brother Mike and his wife Crystal and their daughter Julianne (and their second daughter Chloe was there in utero, to be born the very next day!).

Caroline narrated her version of the day to me, and I will share her retelling of the events below:

When we went to church, Gran and Grandad were already there, and we weren’t expecting Aunt Crystal to come because baby Chloe was going to be born sometime that week, the next week after that Sunday. And Aunt Crystal did come, and there were some pews reserved because Lucy was getting baptized only that Sunday – there wasn’t another baby being baptized that Sunday, and there were two pews reserved just in case lots of family members came, and Uncle Mike and Aunt Crystal and Julianne and Mommy and Daddy and Lucy was sitting on the pew in front, and Gramma and Grampa and Gran and Grandad and me and Cecilia were sitting on the one behind the one that Mommy and Daddy were sitting on.

When Lucy was going to get baptized when we went up to the front, I got to hold the candle until Deacon Stu was going to light it, and Cecilia held the towel. And Uncle Mike took a video of Lucy being baptized, and Gran and Grandad took some pictures. And Gramma and Grampa took some pictures. And she was asleep when she got baptized, and she woke up for like two seconds or one minute after she got baptized.

Caroline's story to be continued further below... Deacon Stu performed the baptism, as he did for Cecilia too. He is anointing her with the chrism oil above. I love that smell... four days later and I can still smell it on Lucy's head, just barely...

The girls were excited to be able to watch up close!

My mom gave Lucy this baptismal bonnet... it is a handkerchief with ribbons on it and is intended to be carried just as a handkerchief on her wedding day! I sealed it in a baggie and hope maybe it will retain the chrism smell over the years...

Our family in front of the altar after Mass

My parents - Lucy's godparents

everybody all together!

with Chris's parents

Some photos taken by my mom in the narthex after Mass... I wanted a few showing the baptismal dress. This is the same dress that my mother and I were both baptized in, as well as all three of our girls now. My mom thinks her grandmother must have handmade it!! In one of the pictures above, you can see that the back of it has to be fastened with a gold pin... apparently this is what used to be common for closing baby's dresses...

In this one you can see the white garment they placed on Lucy right after the baptism. They didn't do this for Caroline or Cecilia's baptisms for some reason...

You can click on the photo to see the detail of the dress... it is beautiful!
When we got home, I hung the dress and bonnet along with a blanket we'd wrapped around Lucy (it was an unusually cool morning - 40 degrees when we woke up!) so they would be out of the way of the food but still on display.

At home, we had a luncheon party to celebrate! I love celebrating the children's sacraments and like to make a big deal of it as a way to show them how important their faith milestones are... more important than a birthday, so it deserves a big celebration! I hope this makes an impression on the girls as they get older... and it is lots of fun, too - I can't wait to plan a First Communion party! :)

Caroline's narration of the day is continued below, in orange:

For the baptism party, we had some croissants with chicken salad on them, and we had some egg salad with bread, and we had a fruit salad, and Gramma made some pimento cheese. And Gramma got a baptism cake at Publix, and it was big! It was shaped like a cross and it had some pink flowers made of icing and some blue flowers made of icing and some yellow flowers made of icing, and it had some green leaves made of icing on it. And all around the edge, it had a pink line around it that kind of went like a swing: it went up and down and up and down, and on one arm of the cake it said, “God Bless” and on the other arm it said, “Lucy Marie,” and it said “God Bless Lucy Marie.” And she was almost three weeks old when she was baptized. And Mrs. Swinford came, and Aunt Mimi and Uncle Chet came.

I have gotten into the habit of displaying the girls' baptismal candles on baptism days. I need to get my own candle from my parents' house! On the china cabinet, you can see some holy cards displayed: St. Lucy, and not visible are some baptism cards.

Caroline and Cecilia helped me choose shells for this little craft... we will display these baptism scallop shells each baptism anniversary! The shell is a symbol of baptism: a small shell-shaped scoop is used to pour the holy water over the baby's head during the baptism. Each shell has the name and date of the baptism on it and it attached to white ribbon so that it can be hung around the baptismal candle.

caroline and Cecilia colored some baptism pictures and hung them up as decorations.

On the Menu:

Sweet Tea
Coffee Punch

Chicken Salad on Mini Croissants
Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
Homemade Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Homemade Cheese Ball and Crackers
Artichoke Dip and Crackers
Assorted Cheese Cubes
Fruit Salad

Baptism Chocolates: Shells, Crosses, and Bibles
Vanilla Cake

Caroline cut out these water drops with the dove symbol in them to make party picks which we stuck in the cheese cubes. I found these online - if I remember where, I can come back and link to it!

I had fun making these chocolates using a mold and some candy melts from the craft store... note to anyone who hasn't made them before: stick them in the fridge to harden or they don't work!! I made white as the traditional baptism color along with dark chocolate for some variety!

Here's the cake - a beautiful cross cake from Publix! Thanks, Mom!

I also put these dove decorations on the floral centerpiece... our celebration was rich with the symbols of baptism: water, doves, shells, the color white... My mom picked the flowers up before coming, which was helpful because I'd planned to stop and get some on Sunday morning! My parents came up on Saturday afternoon to help get things ready (my dad first checked to make sure we got CBS so he could watch the Gators game, ha ha, which was not worth watching, it turns out! ;). My mom made the chicken salad, pimento cheese, and egg salad, and the next morning she and Chris's mom put the last things together in the kitchen so I wouldn't have to overdo it and could just hold and nurse my precious baby. :)

Cecilia and Caroline opened gifts for Lucy... this sheep was from my Aunt and Uncle, who drove over for the luncheon! We had a wonderful day welcoming Lucy to God's family! She celebrated by sleeping through it all on me and then partying a bit overnight... or maybe that was the extra caffeine I had in all that coffee punch! ;)

God Bless you, Lucy Marie!

Lucy Photos!

Just some photos to share of beautiful baby Lucy in her first three weeks... I love newborn faces, and they don't look like this for very long!