Saturday, August 28, 2010

The view from my front porch right now...

So this is the not the view from MY front porch, but from that of a gracious friend who generously let our family spend some quality time together in her beautiful mountain home. The sun is slipping behind the hills as I type this. It has been a beautiful day. The time has been infinitely precious and fulfilling. Thank you CO. I hope to share some more pictures soon.
I have been and will be in the near future absent from this little address in cyberspace as we are changing our real address. We are still not sure exactly where we are going and when we will be there, so the past weeks and coming weeks have been and will be just a little bit adventurous. Please pray for us that we find our house and create a home again soon.
more details and pictures to come as we say goodbye to one home and hello to another.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Choosing Life and Accepting God's Will

There is a need for a Pro-Life Bereavement Ministry in every city. I don't even know if mine has one, although I intent to find out. To read more about one courageous mom's story of choosing Life and accepting death, go to Charlotte's blog, and consider donating to help her bury her child. Also say a prayer for this mom and her baby and for all babies and mothers who face the difficulty of a poor prenatal diagnosis, that they may see the beauty in the quality of Life, in the arms of love, rather than in the quantity of life in years, months or even minutes. Charlotte shared a link to this video, Choosing Thomas, and it will break your heart but renew your conviction in the beauty of all human Life.

"...thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven..."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption. Thus he solemnly proclaimed that the belief whereby the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the close of her earthly life, was taken up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven, definitively forms part of the deposit of faith, received from the Apostles. To avoid all that is uncertain the Pope did not state either the manner or the circumstances of time and place in which the Assumption took place — only the fact of the Assumption of Mary, body and soul, into the glory of heaven, is the matter of the definition. The Assumption completes God's work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God's crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.
The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary is celebrated on August 15th, here are some ideas for celebrating this solemnity with your family: Prayer Attend mass as the Solemnity of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation
Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary with your family
Continue to pray this Novena for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary which started on August 7th to finish on August 15th on the Solemnity of the Assumption
Novena for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in heaven by the Holy Trinity. Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate through which I shall pass to your Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven. From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help. I ask for this favor: (Mention your request). When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you. Amen.

Activities Sing Hail Holy Queen or Immaculate Mary

Listen to the chant of Salve Regina Have you children place flowers at a statue of Mary in your home, yard or at your church. Have your children color this Assumption coloring page of this Assumption coloring booklet

View master paintings of the Assumption of Mary listed here

Food Catholic Cuisine has a great post about the Assumption and the traditions and food ideas for celebrating it.

Virgin Mary, Assumed into Heaven, Pray for us

Maximilian Mary Kolbe was born in Poland. He consecrated himself to the Lord in the Franciscan Order. Filled with love for the Virgin, he founded the Militia of the Immaculate Mary and, with his preaching and writing, undertook an intense apostolic mission in Europe and Asia. Imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Second World War, he offered himself in exchange for the father of a large family who was to be executed. He was given a lethal injection when he failed to die fast enough from starvation in the concentration camp. John Paul II proclaimed him the Patron of Our Suffering Century. St. Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of families, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. (from catholicculture.org) The feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe is August 14th, here are some ideas for celebrating with your family:
Prayer
Say a rosary and pray for an end to abortion and all unborn souls, the holocaust of our current day. Pray also for all victims of the Holocaust and those today experiencing racial and social injustice.
Prayer to Maximilian Mary Kolbe
O Lord Jesus Christ who said, "greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends," through the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose life illustrated such love, we beseech You to grant us our petitions .....(mention them here). Through the Knights of the Immaculata movement, which Maximilian founded, he spread a fervent devotion to Our Lady throughout the world. He gave up his life for a total stranger and loved his persecutors, giving us all an example of unselfish love for all men --- a love which was inspired by true devotion to Mary. Grant O Lord Jesus, that we too may give ourselves entirely without reserve to the love and service of our Heavenly Queen in order to better love and serve our fellowman in imitation of your humble servant, Maximilian. Amen. (Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory be....)
Books & Reading
There are many wonderful books about this great saint
Activities
Food
Catholic Cuisine has some great food ideas for this feast day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feast of Saint Clare

St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. Placed by him at the head of a few companions in the small convent of San Damiano, she governed her community for forty-two years thus founding at the gates of Assisi the Order of Poor Clares. Their Rule included austerities hitherto unknown in monasteries of women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, kept perpetual abstinence and made poverty the basis of their lives. St. Clare died on August 11, 1253, and was canonized two years after her death. (from catholicculture.org).
Here are some ideas to celebrate the Feast of Saint Clare on August 11th: Prayer Prayer of St. Clare
God of Mercy, You inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers, may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit and come to the joyful vision of your glory in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Books & Reading
Clare and Francis by Guido Visconti Saint Clare of Assisi: A Light for the World by Marianne Lorraine Trouve Activities
Have your children mimic St. Clare's actions of self-less living as she distributed all her possessions among the poor and lived in absolute poverty by donating food and goods to needy organizations.
Watch the movie Clare and Francis
We are blessed enough to have just had an order of Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration sisters move to our area, so we will be going to mass and making a visit to them. Hopefully we will be bringing them the cookie treat idea I have written below. Food Make cross-shaped sugar cookies using a cookie cutter. Frost with brown chocolate icing to symbolize the brown veil of the Poor Clare sisters. then frost on each cookie one of the four vows of the Poor Clares: obedience, poverty, chastity, and enclosure, the fourth of which the Poor Clares add to the three ordinary vows of religion. "The earthly color of the brown Franciscan habit reminds the nun of the Scripture passage used on Ash Wednesday: "Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return". It also is a remembrance for her that - without Him - she is absolutely nothing." (from The Shrine of The Most Blessed Sacrament)
Asparagus and Scrambled Eggs with Bacon as it is a dish commonly eaten in the area of Assisi.
Catholic Cuisine has a beautiful Saint Clare cheesecake inspired by the image of Saint Clare and the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Saint Clare, Pray for Us.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ready, Set...Vroom Vroom

Last week we had Pumpkin's Fourth Birthday Party. He wanted a race car birthday party as lately he loves all things race car. He even speaks race car sometime, saying "Vroom" or revving "his engine" in place of "Hello" or "I Love You." Here are a few highlights I am so excited to share... Invitation
(obviously personal details edited out)
Kerry at Smiles Across Miles on etsy custom made this adorable invitation of Pumpkin pictured next to his Grandpa's red "race car."
Decorations
I used a black plastic tablecloth roll with white masking tape tick marks for the racetrack up to the house and out to the back yard. My father-in-law was kind enough to let us park his restored red corvette on the driveway next to the race track.
The kids loved seeing "a real race car."
There were checkered flags, red balloons and race cars everywhere.
We made Pumpkin this cute t-shirt (at zazzle.com) that matched his invitation to wear at the party. He loved it.
We had this race car driver photo prop cut out that I got a picture of each child in. This is Peaches.
Cake..well actually cakeS I had originally planned to trim the race car cake to place it in the infield of the track, but it would just have been too big and too busy. So I decided to make two separate cakes, a race car and a race track. I got these cute race car candle holders to be the race cars racing around the track. As Pumpkin would want, the red race car is in the lead.
Activities
The party was a water party with kiddie pools, water slides, water table, and slip 'n slide.
The biggest hit though was the car wash station next to the "racetrack" with the kids washing and bubble painting the ride on cars with sponges and squirt bottles and bubble wash.
Food & Favors
Lunch for the kids was a racing themed meal of...
PB&J race car sandwiches
donut tires
and wheel & axle pretzels (stick and the wagon wheel pretzels).
The take home favor was a Rice Krispie Treat Stoplights made with m&m's

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get a Kleenex...

and watch this...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Read This

story of how a rosary saved this soldier's life...

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