March 29, 2017

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
let it be to me according to thy word."

Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation! Today we celebrate the Incarnation of Our Savior, the Word made flesh in the womb of His mother, Mary. How beautiful is her Fiat, her submission to the Holy Will of God, an example for all of us to follow.

This post is late because I kept wanting to add pictures of my little garden helper, Michael, planting our tomato seed starters. But, we haven't gotten to it because I haven't felt the best due to baby #7 growing. I am just accepting that we won't get to it this year, and we will have something to look forward to next year for the Annunciation. It is a tradition to plant seeds on this day to symbolize the "seed" that was planted in Mary's womb.

We took some help from frozen Eggo Waffles! 😜 Waffles are a traditional food to celebrate today's solemnity.

"Lady Day" or Annunciation, is the only feast of Mary that Sweden still celebrates since the Lutheran faith became the state religion in 1593. In most of Europe, waffles are a traditional feast day food, but on the feast of the Annunciation in Sweden this is THE "Waffle Day" (Vaffeldagen), where waffles are served either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with lingonberries.
Catholic Culture

O God, who willed that your Word should take on the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Catholic Culture

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!

February 28, 2017

Shrove Tuesday

Lent is not an isolated personal affair of our own. The Church avails herself of the whole of the mystery of redemption. We belong to an immense concourse, a great body in which we are united to the whole of humanity which has been redeemed by Christ. The liturgy of this season does not fail to remind us of it.

This, then, is the meaning of Lent for us: a season of deepening spirituality in union with the whole Church which thus prepares to celebrate the Paschal mystery. Each year, following Christ its Head, the whole Christian people takes up with renewed effort its struggle against evil, against Satan and the sinful man that each one of us bears within himself, in order at Easter to draw new life from the very springs of divine life and to continue its progress towards heaven.

Excerpted from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal
Catholic Culture

We made a crown of thorns using the salt dough recipe we have used in the past:

Salt Dough
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. water
  1. Combine all.
  2. Mold into desired shape.
  3. Bake at 200 degrees F for 2-3 hours till hard.
Before baking, I let the kids place the toothpicks. A tip we have learned through trial and error is to wiggle them a bit so they are easier to remove. 

After baking, let it cool and place where it can be seen to remind everyone that we should be making extra efforts to do good. When I see them do something kind for their siblings, if they help extra with laundry or dishes etc., they get to remove a "thorn" from Jesus' "crown."

On Easter Sunday, hopefully all the toothpicks will be gone and (this is the first time we will do this) the kids will paint it gold so symbolize that our King is resurrected!

We did another thing we have in the past, colored free printable Lenten calendars. They can be downloaded here. 

I like these because they get to personalize them. The older two decided they want to color one square per day to help them see how close it is to Easter! 

Pope St. Gregory (d. 604), writing to St. Augustine of Canterbury, issued the following rule: "We abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese, and eggs." These were the fasting rules governing the Church in England; hence, the eating of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

Looking ahead, the easter egg symbolized the resurrection: just as a little chick pecks its way out from the egg shell to emerge to new life, so Christ emerged from the tomb to new and everlasting life.

I scanned the above paragraph to myself and was about to read it aloud to the kids but thought it would be a good idea to ask them what they thought first. I said, "who can guess one reason why Easter eggs are so prominent during Easter time?" Michael responded, "maybe because chicks crack out of the egg like Jesus was resurrected on Easter!" 

I am constantly amazed at the simple, yet profound understanding of the faith children have!

February 22, 2017

Chair of St. Peter

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle

We celebrated the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter by playing musical chairs. We were going to make these...I will tell you why we didn't at the end of this post!

Matthew's drawing of St. Peter. He said "he has a mustache!"
Joseph decided to draw footprints to Heaven since Peter "holds the keys to the kingdom of Heaven."
He said "the feet were too big to get through the gate, though!" 😂
Today is Joseph's baptism day so we celebrated that, too!
We did the prayer service that I provide a link to in this post.
So this is why we didn't get to the store to get pop tarts for the edible chairs and instead played musical chairs. I have been having morning sickness come and go and wanted to stay at home today. This is my seventh pregnancy because we had a miscarriage four years ago and lost our baby, Isaac. 

We feel so blessed. God is good, and God provides!
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