Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux

“Perfection seems simple to me. I see it is sufficient to recognize one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself as a child into God’s arms.”
-St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1st is the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, "the Little Flower." There are so many wonderful ideas for celebrating her feast day. Here are a few, some of which we are planning to do: Prayer I have this wonderful cd, Praying the Rosary with St. Therese, that I use to pray the rosary when I am in the car, that I will bring inside for us to pray the rosary with. It takes a little longer than usual because between each prayer is a beautiful, inspirational quote by St. Therese. We will be finishing our Rose Novena to St. Therese the day before, so we will say this prayer today.
Prayer to St. Therese O little St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own - speak a word for me to our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were - to that Queen of heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her as the Queen of the heart of Jesus to obtain for me by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment, and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life. Defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.
Books
Saint Therese of Lisieux: And the "Little Way" of Love St. Therese and the Roses I will start reading St. Therese's autobiography, The Story of a Soul, which has been on my book list to read for so long. Food French toast of strawberry crepes (if I am feeling ambitious) for breakfast Make easy chocolate éclairs, which were St. Therese’s favorite For other food ideas for the Feast of St. Therese, visit Catholic Cuisine Activities & Crafts Color either of Charlotte's St. Therese Coloring pages, child and habit Make Sacrifice Beads, a devotion of St. Therese Point out France on a world map, as St. Therese is a patroness of France Maybe in future years we'll try this adorable craft of making chocolate roses for St. Therese Watch the children's DVD My Catholic Family - St. Therese of Lisieux Watch the DVD Miracle of St. Therese
"In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle."
- St. Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Archangel You Tube Videos

I just found these videos on youtube.com for each Archangel that would be neat to show your children today on the Feast of the Archangels. Some of the writings and images in the video are not catholic teachings, but I think that most of the images are great and my children are very young so very visual, so it was worth posting. St. Michael St. Gabriel St. Raphael

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Ever this NIGHT, be at my side..."

The Feast of the Guardian Angels later this week is very appropriate for our family right now, as I am depending on my son's trust in his guardian angel to help him fall asleep. Let me explain, Pumpkin has been having trouble falling asleep this past week, calling for me and crying no matter how long I lay with him after we turned out the lights. Nothing was working and we tried so many things, until I told him that once he goes to sleep, his guardian angel flies down and sits on his bed all night long watching over him and keeping him safe. Instantly and every night since, just saying this has made him lay his head down and rest assured of his safety. I sing him the "Guardian Angel Prayer" song, which he loves. He also loves to hear the song, "Angels Watching Over Me My Lord."
I am just thankful to his guardian angel for keeping him safe and making him feel safe. I am saying a little prayer tonight thanking the Guardian Angels of all my children for keeping them safe. Each of these images made me think of each child and their guardian angel, Pumpkin, Peaches and a precious pea in the pod on the way.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apples crunchy, Apples sweet, Apples are so good to eat

Way up high in an apple tree Two little apples smiled down at me
I shook that tree as hard as I could
Down came the apples
M-m-m-m they were good.
We went apple picking this past weekend in the foothills of the NC mountains. The day was not exactly what we had hoped for in regards to the weather. There was a cloudy drizzle on the drive there, and then right as we had our baskets in hand, it started pouring rain. That didn't stop us though from enjoying the adventure and picking a bushel of apples. Mostly we picked Rome apples, but also some red and golden delicious. We'll be back in a month or so to pick my tarter and sweeter favorites, like the Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples.
The kids didn't mind the rain at all, really they loved it. We bundled up and stayed pretty warm and dry. We were rewarded after our apple picking with hot spiced apple cider, warm apple turnovers and cinnamon sugar apple donuts. We stocked up on some of these treats too and I as I type this I am enjoying a mug of hot spiced apple cider again. I am not sure what all I am going to make with all our apples, but this week we'll be having a Yankee Apple Cobbler (recipe below), which is my husband's favorite.
Yankee Apple Cobbler
5-7 granny smith apples (or any variety you choose),
peeled, sliced thinly and splashed with lemon juice 3 cup old fashioned oats
1 & 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tspn cinnamon
3/4 tspn salt
1 cup butter melted
extra flour, brown sugar and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir extra flour, brown sugar and cinnamon to taste in with apples. Pour into a casserole dish. Mix all other dry ingredients together in bowl and then add melted butter. Stir until combined and then spread on top of apple mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top browns a bit.
A little red apple
Hung high in a tree
I looked up at it
And it looked down at me
"Come down, please" I called
And what do you suppose---
That little red apple
Dropped right on my nose!

Feast of the Archangels

"The liturgy celebrates the feast of these three archangels who are venerated in the tradition of the Church. Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God. He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil. Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, "Hail, full of grace," is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people. Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey."
September 29th is the Feast of the Archangels (Gabriel, Michael & Raphael), We are planning to do a few of these ideas to celebrate this feast day:
- Say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
A Prayer to Saint Michael
Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle.Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.
- St. Michael's feast day is referred to as "Michaelmas" in many countries and traditional foods for this day include waffles and blackberries. Catholic Cuisine has many food suggestions for celebrating Michaelmas. We'll be having waffles with blackberries (from my ample frozen stock) for breakfast.
- I am hoping to make a devils food cake and place a statue of St. Michael on top and give each child a little cocktail sword to stab the cake to symbolize St. Michael throwing the devil out of Heaven. Depending how our day (and the day before) goes, we may or may not get to this one, but I will definitely make it a part of our day once my children are older. - In honor of St. Gabriel, say the Angelus. - Have the children color Charlotte's coloring pages of the Archangels. St. Gabriel St. Michael St. Raphael - For dinner we'll have angel hair pasta with sauce, maybe pesto or marinara depending on my mood. - Use three white candles as the centerpiece on your table, each candle representing one of the Archangels.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Feast of Saint Padre Pio

Today is the feast of St. Padre Pio, and I had not planned on doing anything special today. I was just checking up on my Google Reader and read Charlotte's post for today about St. Padre Pio. I had heard this amazing story once before and forgotten all about it until today. It is worth sharing. Please check it out. She also has coloring pages for this saint on that link. I'll likely print these out and my kids will cover them with various stickers, since that is their current favorite method of art instead of coloring.
God, Giver of all good gifts, you generously endowed your servant, Pio of Pietrelcina,
with the gifts of the Spirit, signing his body as living witness
to the saving Passion and Death of your Son. As many looked upon this reflection of your Crucified Son, Jesus, they experienced anew your saving mercy. As through his ministry, Pio reconciled penitents and invited them to taste Your sweetness in the Holy Eucharist, so enable us through his intercession, to follow his example in prayer and penance
so that we too may follow Our Risen Lord and rejoice in His Kingdom where He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.
Prayer for obtaining the glorification of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, You granted to your humble servant, Padre Pio,
the grace to be a true priest according to the Gospel
and a devoted son of Your Blessed Mother. You also granted him the desire to be in close union with You on the Cross because of his great love of You and the Salvation of all men.
We ask You, therefore, to grant us through his prayers and intercession the grace of ...
(mention your petition)
and thank YOU for the great joy of seeing him raised to the glory of the Saints.
Amen. Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rose Novena to St. Therese

Novena Rose Prayer O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love. O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands...
(mention petitions) St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day.
Amen.
(Say this prayer for nine days from September 22nd to September 30th (the eve of her feast day on october 1st) and St. Therese will send you a rose!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Interview with St. Gianna's Daughter

I enjoyed reading this article about an interview with Laura Molla, St. Gianna Beretta Molla's daughter. It reminds me again what an amazing woman and mother St. Gianna was, and what a great sacrifice and gift she gave in giving her life up so that her unborn child could live.

"Look at the mothers who truly love their children: how many sacrifices they make for them. They are ready for everything, even to give their own blood so that their babies grow up good, healthy and strong".
- Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
“Following the example of Christ, who "having loved his own... loved them to the end" (Jn 13: 1), this holy mother of a family remained heroically faithful to the commitment she made on the day of her marriage. The extreme sacrifice she sealed with her life testifies that only those who have the courage to give of themselves totally to God and to others are able to fulfil themselves.
- From St. Gianna Beretta Molla's canonization homily by Pope John Paul II, May 16, 2004

Funny Prayer Story

I forwarded the below prayer about carrying your crosses that I read on Jessica's blog post about the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to my husband. He has been stressed out recently about his job and the hours away from our family. Prayer and funny response below...

Prayer for all who carry their Cross (from the back of a Holy Card) O my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry. Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to your name while withstanding the burden of its weight. Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering. I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be at my side every step of the way. Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross. I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed, but I trust that your grace is sufficient. Change my heart's troubled cry of - "How long, O Lord?", into words of trust: "However long, O Lord." May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion. Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials a way to greater virtue, a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone. Permit me not to waste my pain, but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others. Lord, when I am weary and I fall, exhausted under the weight of this cross, please give me the courage to press on as you did. Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross, as a share in your own. By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory. I abandon myself totally to your will. Christ Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.
He wrote me back the following:
"I'M SO OVERWHELMED I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR A PRAYER THAT LONG! DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING SHORTER?!?!"
So I wrote him back:
"O my God. Amen."
I thought this was funny enough to share with you. Hope you don't think we're too humor- challenged.

Adorable Idea for Baby Thank You Cards

I read the blog Chasing Cheerios, it has so many wonderful Montessori activity ideas for toddlers and young preschoolers. The writer just had a baby girl and she posted this adorable idea for making handmade thank you cards for newborn baby gifts and well wishes. Just precious, we'll be using this idea in a little under 4 months.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

September 15th is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I am hoping to accomplish the first two of the three ideas below, and possibly the third on my own if our day goes well.
- Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Color Charlotte's coloring page of Our Lady of Sorrows

- Read of the seven sorrows of Mary: 1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) 2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) 3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50) 4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17) 5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30) 6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37) 7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pumpkin's Three Year Portrait

My friend Julie from J. Rae Photography last month to take some pictures for Pumpkin's three year portrait. The pictures are wonderful, Julie is so talented. I was not prepared to be in any pictures myself, nor did I dress Peaches for any pictures, but ours turned out just fine. I have fuzzed out Pumpkin's monogram so don't think he has some weird blue blob on his outfit. Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Adorable Dresses (that I sewed myself)

I was nervous to try sewing this dress because it seemed so easy that I would be setting myself up for disappointment. But I thought the dress was so cute. Here is my version in two different colors (green above and pink below), and they truly did take about only 15 minutes. Be brave and try this, especially those of you with almost no sewing experience. You will be so excited to show off your little darling in this cute dress. I think my dress is a little too long for my 18 month old, so I'll likely hem the bottom. This dress can also be a cute top for older girls.

Prayers for a Murdered Pro-Life Advocate

I doubt this story will attract the national media attention that the recent murder of an abortion doctor did, but please keep Pro-Life advocate Jim Pouillon and his family in your prayers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Loving Greek Food

I just got back from our community's annual Greek Festival held at the local Greek Orthodox church and school. I look forward to this event every year and for weeks can not wait to taste the honey, phyllo, feta, spinach, lamb (not all in one dish of course). Well, I am always embarrassed to say how much I spent on food to take home, but I am now well stocked for a weekend of eating my favorites...

Tiropita (feta cheese baked in phyllo dough)
Galaktoboureko (an egg custard baked in phyllo dough)

Baklava

Loukoumades (fried dough drizzled with honey and sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon)

I didn't even have room for a gyro, so I'll be back later this weekend for that. They have a convenient drive through pick-up on one street side of the festival. I also splurged and bought a recipe book with recipes from all the people in their church who make the best of these delicious treats. I think the first recipe I'll try is the Galaktoboureko. The kids loved the festival too as they got to ride some rides, eat some yummy cookies and listen to traditional Greek music. I also took them in to show them the beautiful church, it always takes my breath away.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

On September 12th, we celebrate the naming of the Blessed Virgin as Mary. I want to do something easy and yummy for the kids to celebrate the name of Mary. I decided blue Jello letters spelling out her name would be an easy, inexpensive way to celebrate that is also fun. The directions are simple. Follow the below instructions for maing Jello Jigglers, letting it set in a large casserole dish or deep cookie sheet. Using letter cookie cutters, cut out the letters "MARY," and carefully with a thin spatula transfer them to your serving platter. I wish I had some sort of rose shaped cookie cutter, but any flower shape will do as a little floral decoration with her name. Place a statue of Mary next to the platter and say a Hail Mary or sing "Ave Maria" before enjoying the treat.
Directions
2-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin
STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan. REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm. DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes using 2-inch cookie cutters, being careful to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift JIGGLERS® from pan. Reserve scraps for snacking. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Happy Birthday Mary

So as I imagined, I did not have time to make a cake for Mary's birthday today. So I opted for my alternate plan of a "waffle cake" for dinner. This was embarrassingly easy, as I didn't even make the waffles, but just used frozen toaster waffles. The kids were having such a fun time at the park, that I decided to let them play longer instead leaving early to get home in time to make the waffles from scratch. To make the "cake," I layered the waffles with whipped cream, finishing with a layer of whipped cream on top. I poured blueberries (defrosted from my large and perfectly frozen collection) all over the top of the cake and then drizzled the entire cake with maple syrup. I had to work fast so the whipped cream didn't melt, but I placed a statue of Mary next to the cake and lit a blue candle on top and we sung "Happy Birthday" to Mary. It was a very sweet dinner, but a dinner and dessert in one. The kids loved it.
Happy Birthday Mary!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Nativity of Mary

September 8th is the Nativity of Mary, or her birthday. We have a busy day tomorrow of appointments and school time, so I am not sure how much we will get done, but I am hoping to make either a cake or a blueberry cheesecake to celebrate. Pumpkin is already excited about singing her Happy Birthday and giving her a flower for her birthday by placing it at the foot of the Mary statue in our backyard. If I don't get the cake or cheesecake made, we will probably have waffles or pancakes with blueberries for dinner. My back-up plan is to layer the pancake or waffle stack with whipped cream and drizzle with syrup and fresh blueberries and that will be our birthday "cake." I'll try to remember to take pictures before we eat to share. We'll say a Hail Mary at dinner in her honor. Happy Birthday Mary!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Feast of Blessed Mother Teresa

September 5th is the memorial of Blessed Mother Teresa. To celebrate this amazing woman and her work as founder of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, we are planning to do at least a few of the following this Saturday.
Have the children color one of these coloring page's of Mother Teresa by Charlotte:
Read them Mother Theresa by Demi
Make a cup of chai tea and enjoy the nice crisp weather we are having.
Use some of that chai tea and make this Banana Chai Bread recipe I got from Charlotte.
Have a snack of Hummus and naan to accompany the chai tea.
Another idea would be to make this Indian Sweet Bread.
For a craft maybe another year in the future, we'll try making a Mother Teresa wooden spoon saint like Jessica and Alice.
We don't have the DVD Mother Teresa: Seeing The Face Of Jesus but I am going to order it for next year.
I have one Glory Stories CD, but plan to order more, including this one - Glory Stories CD Volume 4 - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta The Story of St. Faustina Kowalska. A good purchase to accompany this would be the Blessed Mother Teresa Coloring Book.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prayers Needed

Please pray for the Mitchell family in their time of need following their tragic loss. Our Lady of Sorrows, please pray for them. To contribute to the Bryce Mitchell memorial fund click here.

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