Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Catching Up: Our Lady of Guadalupe Luncheon!

We have been enjoying celebrating the feasts of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe the past several years.  We have had a fun luncheon with friends for the past few years, and we did it again this year on December11, two days after Juan Diego's feast day and one day before Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day.  This year, our friends brought another Catholic homeschooling family to join in the fun!

When everyone arrived, the children colored pictures depicting the story of Our Lady appearing to Juan Diego while listening to the Juan Diego glory Stories audio CD.  Then they watched part of the St. Juan Diego CCC video.  The copy our friends own had gotten damaged, so I found a partial clip on Youtube and the kids watched it through the Roku on the TV while us moms set up the luncheon!

We had Aztec hot cocoa (aka Mexican hot chocolate), tortilla tilmas filled with ham roses, sombreros made from Pringles and slices of string cheese...

...a guacamole Tepeyac Hill with tortilla chips, a Mexican cheese dip we call "sun dip" to remind us of the "lady who appeared to be clothed with the sun," the "supporting angels" made from fruit leather using a cookie cutter...

...crescent moon cookies to represent the crescent Our Lady appeared to be standing on, Dora Star cereal to represent the stars that covered Mary's mantle, and candy cane bishop's croziers.

While the kids ate their meal, I read our new Our :Lady of Guadalupe pop-up book to them all, and we talked about which foods went along with each part of the story.  I didn't get any photos of that... or of them coloring or watching the video... and here, a little segue from this post to say: I used to be disappointed when we did some fun activity and I didn't manage to document the whole thing in photos.  But here is what I have come to accept and embrace: if I am going to be doing activities with my kids, I will not be able to take photos of everything while also helping the event to run smoothly.  I first noticed this at our Epiphany party last year.  If I am going to be able to enjoy talking to the other adults, reading to the children, helping replenish food, and just being able to be relaxed, I am not going to get photos of everything.  And that is okay.  That is okay, because when I look back at my own childhood photos, my parents did not capture it all.  They didn't have a photo of every part of every event.  And that actually helps to add to the mystery of the memories for me!  The photos jog my memory, and I can still wonder if my memory is perfectly accurate or not, I can still relive the childhood events as my memory allows and not as dictated by exact photos of how things really happened.  And I think I like it better that way!  My own kids will look back and see photos that give glimpses and not a more full story as it appeared visually.  Their memories can fill in the rest!

So, with my philosophizing out of the way, we continue...

After the meal, the adults helped the kids to follow Our lady's request to build a church in her honor!  Of course, ours was a gingerbread, er, graham cracker, church.  After the moms set up the structure of the building, the kids decorated it... a little too well, as it had to be repaired from some caving in of the roof which was heavy with candies!

I think they got the idea that they had to use ALL the candy that was available, ha ha!

The completed church... with the help of the leftover royal icing from our St. Nicholas cookies!

Our Lady's image on the tilma, a  miracle which science has not been able to explain (cactus-fiber tilmas always deteriorate after a short time whereas this one has lasted 500 years!), can still be seen in the church that now stands at this site in Mexico.  I love that this little activity can teach our children of these miracles that occur in our beautiful Catholic faith!!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Pray for Us!

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