Saturday, January 29, 2011

To Celebrate Candlemas

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Simon Vouet, 1641 Lumen ad revelationem gentium! “Light for revelation to the Gentiles” When Joseph & Mary brought Jesus to the Temple, the prophet Simeon proclaimed upon seeing him: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which your have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32 Candlemas is celebrated on February 2nd, 40 days following the Nativity of the Lord on December 25th. This day honors two connected feasts, The Presentation of the Lord (the fourth joyful mystery of the Holy Rosary) and The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother. By Old Jewish Law both of these ritual events occur ed in the temple forty days after the birth of the firstborn male child because the child belonged to God and the parents had to buy him back by making an offering of "a pair of turtledoves." At this time the mother who was thought unclean unclean for seven days following the birth and who was to remain 33 days "in the blood of her purification" was ritually purified.
this feast day was originally called candle mass because their was a large procession with lighted candles into mass representing Christ as the "Light for revelation to the Gentiles.”
adapted from New Advent Prayer
Prayer for Candlemas Lord God, you are the source of everlasting light. Your son, our beloved Lord Jesus was presented in the temple 40 days after his birth. He was recognised by Simeon and Anna, and welcomed as the promised Messiah. May we like them, behold the glory of the Lord Jesus. Grant that we may stand before you with hearts cleansed by your forgiving love. May we serve you all our days and make your name known as we worship you as our Lord. So may we come by your grace to eternal life . Amen.
Attend daily mass for the Feast of Candlemas and have your priest bless one or all of your family's candles
Read from the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40, about the Presentation of Our Lord.
Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, making special note of the fourth mystery - The Presentation of the Lord Read this lovely homily by Pope John Paul II from Candlemas mass in 1998 (I came across this link in reading about stuff for Candlemas from someone's blog, but am not sure who to give credit to now) Crafts & Activities
Make (another great make tutorial) or buy beeswax candles
Have a family Candlemas Procession with your candles I love Dawn's seashell candle craft
Make this mosaic candle toilet paper roll craft (or omit mosaics to simplify)
Point out to your children the details from scripture in this and this classical painting this and this icon of The Presentation of the Lord
Food & Treats
Make edible candles with large pretzel sticks as here but you could use instead a dollop of white or yellow icing or a white dip on top
Make Candlemas crepes, a traditional food for this feast day For other food ideas, visit Catholic Cuisine

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple 1623, Guercino

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I love this little ballerina

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Baby Bumble Bee Turned One

Sweet Pea just turned ONE, and we celebrated the first year of our sweet baby girl with a bumble bee theme - as we have always affectionately sang the "Baby Bumble Bee" song to her. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I love children's birthday parties and I go overboard usually, just a little. But how can you not for a little baby this cute...
Invitation
I used this bumble bee template at zazzle.com which you can custom edit to whatever wording you choose. In the picture above I scribbled out the personal information. It's hard to see in this picture, but it says:
She's as cute as can BEE,
and as sweet as honey.
Buzz on over for some fun,
our little bumble bee is turning ONE.
Please join us for a
BEE-day party for
Sweet Pea
On the back of the invitation, I had a cute picture of her from Halloween dressed as a bumble bee and her full name and BIRTH day information.
Adorable Outfits
I got Sweet Pea's bumblebee dress and Peaches' Hello Kitty bumble bee dress from the adorable and inexpensive Polka Dottie Ottie etsy shop.
I got this embroidered bumble bee party hat from Stell & Livi etsy shop. It actually arrived right as the pary was ending, but i was able to get a few pictures with it on.
Decorations of yellow and black balloons EVERYWHERE, yellow and black streamers, stuffed bumble bees and bumble bee toys and books books, yellow flowers. I had her baby book out to show her wonderful year of growing into such a sweet little one year old girl.
I found this cute bumblebee and honeycomb teapot and thought it was perfect for coffee at the party. I really am wishing I could get the other pieces now.
Food
These little no-bake peanut butter bumble bee cookies (I used this recipe except I used chocolate icing that I had leftover from the cake) were one of my favorites. I saw these at Catholic Cuisine for the Feast of St. Ambrose and thought they were perfect our bumble bee theme.
Lots of yellow and honey-themed foods including: Peanut Butter and Honey Honeycomb sandwiches that I made with this honeycomb cookie cutter (sorry my picture of these sandwiches just didn't turn out right), field green salad with a homemade honey balsamic Dijon vinaigrette, honeydew melon, yellow buttered popcorn, yellow and black candies, peanut butter bumble bee cookies, my mother-in-law's delicious chicken salad on croissants and lemonade.
Bumble Bee Cake
For the sitting up 3-D bumble bee cake, I used this Wilton stand-up teddy bear cake pan and trimmed off the ears. I used black licorice for the antennae and white rolled fondant cut into the shapes of wings affixed to the back with a toothpick. I blurred it out for posting here but it said her name underneath Happy Birthday.
For the cupcakes I just iced with white icing and drew a little bee with yellow and chocolate icing. She had so much fun licking icing off her fingers and "learning to eat a cupcake" by watching how her big brother picked it up. First she tried to put it to her face by bringing her head down to it, then she realized she could pick it up with her hands and bring it to mouth.
What a yummy victory!!!
Favors
Fun
The birthday gift we got Sweet Pea (and her siblings) was the KidKraft Large Kitchen, that is big enough to fit all their favorite Melissa & Doug cooking toys (cookies, cutting food, etc.).
She loved opening all her presents and waving around the tissue paper.
Happy Birthday my sweet little baby bumble bee!!
...maybe I'll just have to change her blog name now.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

March On...

oops. just realized this posted a day late...
"Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
- President Ronald Reagan, 1982
Please pray for all unborn children today and their mothers and for all those marching for the right to Life for the unborn today on the 38th anniversary of Roe v Wade.

We couldn't make it to DC but we marched in our local March for Life last week.

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

This prayer was written by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director Priests for Life

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Precious Year

This year has been nothing but pure joy as you are nothing short of a pure angel. I love...
your cute little wiggle and giggle, your big open mouth kisses, your snuggles when I read you a book, the warmth of you resting in my arms, the feel of your soft cheeks on my face when I sing you a song at night, just YOU.

I miss your tiny-tininess when you were born, but I am soaking up each day and treasuring each morning when I get to pick you up and do it all again. Thank you for the joy you have brought to us. We love you our little Sweet Pea.

Happy First Birthday!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Days

What a treat we have had with a Winter Wonderland the past couple days. I finished the Winter & Snow themed book basket just in time.
We have been playing in the snow so much. My son has spent almot every hour possible outside.
And he is now a sledding expert. Turns out there are some great sledding hills on the golf course near our new house.
Even Sweet Pea loved the snow and sledding.
She spent a lot of time looking out the window at her big brother and sister playing in the snow. Everyione loved snow icecream...
...except the baby. "How dare you out such stuff in my mouth?"
We drank hot cocoa and made a fun wintry snack.
Snowman Sandwich Snack
Cut bread into the shape of a snoman with a cookie cutter or with circles stacked on each other. Spread cream cheese on the body and peanut butter for a hat. Use raisins, cheese, carrots or whatever for eyes, nose and buttons.
Peaches decorating her snowman
Pumpkin's Snowman
(He really likes raisins)
There are so many fun winter crafts, but this one was simple and easy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

An Amazing Man

What an amzing man with a true understanding of the gift of human life.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Epiphany Feasting

For the feast of the epiphany, I made a couple symbolic things for dinner. The first for the children was macaroni and cheese stars. I used star silicone baking molds and made them little mini mac 'n cheeses to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. They look orange in the picture but were really more really resembling a star.
Since foods with spices are traditional for the Feast of the Epiphany, I made a honey spice bread that was delicious. The recipe is below and is from Breaking Bread with Father Dominic.
Honey Spice Bread
Bread Machine Instructions Yield: 1 (1 1/2-pound) loaf
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons FLEISCHMANN's Bread Machine Yeast Add milk, butter, honey, salt, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, flour andyeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select basic cycle; medium/color settings. from Breaking Bread with Father Dominic

Save Those Christmas Cards for Crafts

I save all the beautiful religious Christmas cards we get because they are great for easy crafts with children. This is the quick craft we did for the Feast of the Epiphany. It's a great visual way for children to see the event. You can tell the story while they cut and glue, or play Christmas carols in the background.

We also did a little painting with a star sponge.

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