Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bag 1 - Medicine Cabinet

I'm participating in 40 Bags in 40 Days again this year, which is basically my way of "spring cleaning", preparing my heart and home for Easter, and getting rid of crap in my life that distracts me from my family and time with God.

Last week my kids were sick, and my head wanted to explode when I realized half the medicines in my medicine cabinet were expired. I started to pull everything out to evaluate what I had before heading to the store. 

Broken glasses and thermometer?  Check. ACTUAL rusty metal blades within my children's reach for who knows how long?!?!?  Check. (Seriously). Bottle of cough syrup that was not months (or years) past it's expiration date?  Nope. 

I re-organized the cabinet, got rid of a grocery sized bag o' crap, and saved my children from tetanus all in one go. Yay for cleaning!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Heart Kolaches: Double Duty for St. Valentine and Sts. Cyril andMethodius

I had an idea to make a treat that would honor both St. Valentine, the infamous Roman martyr who performed marriages for Christians in secret, and the OTHER saints of the day, who always seem to get left behind. St. Cyril and St. Methodius were two Greek brothers who spent their life evangelizing and ministering to the Slavonic nations.  Kolache is pretty popular in that area, so I decided to attempt some heart shaped versions as a double duty snack. They didn't stay in their heart shape as much as I hoped, but it still worked out pretty well!  What's more, with only 2 ingredients, they are SUPER easy to make!

Frozen yeast-style dinner rolls
jelly or jam

Let your frozen rolls thaw and rise according to package directions.  Place them in a round pie dish, and create a well in the center with a spoon.  Add the jelly, and push down on the tops to make the rolls more heart-shaped.  Then cook according to package directions.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Lenten Plans 2016

This year we are trying to keep our Lenten plans as simple as possible.  I tend to suffer from do-it-all-itis when it comes to liturgical living, often to the detriment of my poor family!

Lenten Board

Years ago, I made and Advent board to help us more easily incorporate various traditions in our day to day family life.  I decided to do the same thing this year.  I simply purchased a trifold display board from the dollar store and used some printables to make it.

1. A list of pray, fast, give ideas and a chart of all the people to pray for each day.
2. Laminated pray, fast, give cards to write what we are doing each day.
3. Our daily countdown from Catholic Icing, laminated so that we can cross off days with a dry erase marker as we go.

Our Cross of Mercy.  Each time the kids perform a work of mercy, we will tape a seed to the tree.  On Easter morning, the seeds will have transformed to beautiful flowers.

Jesus Tree.  During Advent, we use a Jesse Tree to read all of the Old Testament leading up to Jesus' birth.  Our Jesus Tree is the same idea, except that we read all of the New Testament leading up to Jesus' resurrection.  We use the plan from Shower of Roses.

Daily Reflections

We use Lent for Children and Welcome Risen Jesus each day.  We read the short reflection, and if I am really motivated, I will use the daily rhyme in Lent for Children as copywork.

Lent Activity Folder

I have printed out a ton of coloring pages, worksheets, copywork, etc. and placed them in a folder for each kid.  As we travel through lent, they can continue to learn and reflect on lent through the activities in the book.

Family Practices
We are returning to our practice of praying a decade of the rosary every night and stations of the cross on Fridays.

As a family, we are also reducing our TV consumption (other than the occasional religious movie), eating out (other than for the two birthdays we have during Lent), and putting a freeze on any frivolous spending.

We will be trying to eat out of our pantry and freezer as much as possible, and donating the extra money saved at the end of Lent.  The kids will also choose a few non-perishable items every time we go shopping.  By the end of Lent we should have a nice big box to donate to our local food pantry.  The kids are also doing this cute almsgiving activity thanks to my dear friend who prepared them for us!

I joined 2 lenten bible studies, and have made a commitment to start each morning with prayer.

I am trying my hardest to leave my phone charging most of the day and limit my social media.  My goodness, we are one day in and it is already hard!  I'm also doing 40 bags in 40 days again to clear my house of all the junk that keeps me from a simpler, more intentionally lived day-to-day life.

I am focusing on the Works of Mercy this year, both in and out of my family.  Bearing Wrongs Patiently looks like the one I'll struggle with the most with these kiddos of mine!

What do you do during lent?  Thanks for reading!

Catholic Valentine Roundup

Along with St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day is one of those Catholic feast days that has been completely overwhelmed by the secular world.  If you'd like to infuse a bit more of your faith into the Valentine cards your child hands out, I've got you covered!  Also, don't forget to take a look at my February saint post for links on celebrating this feast day as a family.

saint valentine printable pack
Catholic Icing has an adorable pack free for subscribers that includes both print-and-go (all your child has to do is sign) and coloring page style (the child colors the whole card).  There is also a toilet paper roll candy holder that can be given as a valentine or as a special treat for your child.

Waltzing Matilda shared a fun idea for a valentine with a prayer card attached.  This might be a nice treat to give to your kids if giving them something is one of your family traditions.

There is a cute St. Valentine matchbox candy holder at Paper Dali.

Catholic Inspired has an inspiring fold up printable valentine that reminds us what true love is.

Free Printable Bible Verse Valentines for Kids
A cute set of printable bible verse valentines can be found at Real Life at Home.

Shower of Roses has a set of printable tags to attach to a box of conversation hearts.

I LOVE these sweet Mary valentine cards from Shower of Roses.  In fact, I may put together a set to give my Little Flowers at our meeting on the day after Valentine's Day.
Another cute from Shower of Roses. (Can you tell I love her stuff?!?!)

I love any project involving the adorable Happy Saints images.  This great idea comes from Equipping Catholic Families.

There are so many Raisins why Jesus loves you FREE Printable Valentine at Happy Home Fairy!!
Happy Home Fairy is not a Catholic blogger, but has some great christian valentines including this relatively healthy one.

I love the idea of giving Spiritual Bouquets for Valentine's Day.  Basically a spiritual bouquet is a promise to pray for someone attached to a physical bouquet.  Catholic Icing has a nice roundup of examples.

How about this cute smore valentine from Abbie Grace Designs?

There are a ton of versions of this John 3:16 valentine, but here is a great free printable version at Sweet Blessings.

Catholic All Year has a great set of printable valentines with saint quotes that you could print at quarter size.

Looking for a great way to share the love of Jesus this Valentine's Day? These FREE scripture valentine printables are perfect! Plus they are simple and frugal. It's exactly what you need this year!
There are 5 various printable scripture valentines at Not Consumed, including some boy friendly ones that tend to be a little hard to find!

That's it for now!  I'm sure there are a ton more out there, but I'll have to find them next year.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Ultimate Family Lent Link List

Special Days in Lent
Mardi Gras
Family Mardi Gras @ Our Sunday Visitor
Mardi Gras Masks @ Catholic All Year
King Cake Game @ DLTK Kids
Mardi Gras Pancake Bowl @ Family at the Foot of the Cross
Mardi Gras Cupcakes @ Catholic Culture
Mardi Gras Beignets @ Catholic Culture
Pre-Ash Wednesday Dust Cake @ Catholic Culture
Pre-Lenten Treats from Around the World @ Mental Floss
Mardi Gras Pancakes @ Catholic Icing
Red Beans and Rice for Mardi Gras @ Homeschool Is Where the Heart Is

Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday Coloring Page @ Paper Dali
Ash Wednesday Coloring Page @ Herald Entertainment
Ash Wednesday Ash Craft @ Catholic Inspired
Ash Wednesday Beans @ Catholic Cuisine
Ash Wednesday Lesson Plan @ The Catholic Toolbox (preK, 1st and up)
Ashes Art @ Of Green Tables
Ash Wednesday Booklet @ Teachers Pay Teachers
Ash Wednesday Activities @ Eyes on Heaven

Holy Week & Triduum
Triduum Coloring Page @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Resurrection Eggs @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Holy Week Printables and Activities @ Catholic All Year
Triduum Craft @ Catholic Inspired
Triduum Gardens @ Catholic Inspired
Holy Week Notebooking Pages @ Catholic Icing
Holy Week Sequencing Cards @ Tired, Needs Sleep
Holy Week Calendar @ The Domestic Notebook
Holy Week Banner @ The Diary of a Sower
Holy Week Mobile @ Drawn 2B Creative
Holy Week Minibook & Planning Calendar @ Homeschool Is Where the Heart Is
Holy Week Meditations @ Kids and Glitter
Triduum Bracelet @ Loyola Press
Holy Week Activities @ Eyes on Heaven (Part 1 and Part 2)
Holy Week Day by Day with Jesus @ Eyes on Heaven
Holy Week Wood Countdown @ Joyful Mama's Place

Palm Sunday
10 Things to do with Palms @ Catholic Icing
How to Fold a Palm Cross @ Catholic Icing
Palm Sunday Craft @ Catholic Icing

Holy Thursday
Passover Coloring Page @ Catholic Playground
Unleavened Bread @ Catholic Icing
Holy Thursday Meal @ Catholic Cuisine
Holy Thursday Bible Study @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Seven Churches Visitation @ Building Cathedrals
Agony in the Garden Craft @ Catholic Inspired
Holy Thursday Tea @ Shower of Roses
Holy Thursday Learning Pack @ Eyes on Heaven
Last Supper Craft @ Catholic Icing

Good Friday
By His Stripes Craft @ Lord, Make Me a Saint
Good Friday Watercolor Craft @ Catholic Inspired
Calvary Paperplate Craft @ Catholic Inspired
Toothpick Crosses @ Catholic Inspired
Crown of Thorns Bread @ Catholic Icing
Calvary Sandwiches @ Catholic Icing
Symbolic Lunch for Good Friday @ Catholic Icing
Hot Crossed Buns @ Catholic Cuisine
Good Friday Traditions @ Catholic Icing
Good Friday Learning Pack @ Eyes on Heaven
Good Friday Nature Walk @ The Unlikely Homeschool

Holy Saturday
Easter Story Cookies @ Catholic Icing
Paschal Candle @ Family in Feast and Feria

Lent starts next week!  Are you ready?  Make sure to check out my Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday posts to help you kick off Lent properly.

Decoration and Preparing the Home
Decorating for Lent @ Kitchen Stewardship
Lenten Sacrifice Tree @ Catholic Inspired
Lenten Candles @ Catholic Icing
Pray, Fast, Give Alms Wreath @ Campfires and Cleats
Lent Basket or Prayer Table @ Peanut Butter and Grace

Learning Activities and Printables
Lenten Crossword Puzzle @ Drawn 2B Creative
Jesus in the Desert Coloring Page @ Drawn 2B Creative
Lent Coloring Page @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Lent Word Cloud @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Lent Notes Foldable @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
On the Road to Easter Word Search @ Real Life at Home
Lent Coloring Page @ Ministry to Children
Pray, Fast, Give Craft @ Catholic Icing
Lent Journal and Activity Book @ Life of a Homeschool Mom
Lent Art Appreciation @ Eyes on Heaven
Lent Coloring Pages @ Eyes on Heaven
Mid Lent Reflections @ Eyes on Heaven

Planning for Lent @ Real Life at Home
Lenten Prayer @ Herald Entertainment
Lenten Plan Worksheet @ With a Faithful Heart
Pray, Fast, Almsgiving Tags @ Team Whitaker (and blank)
Lenten Planning Pages @ Catholic Icing
Lent Planning Printables @ Peanut Butter and Grace

Countdowns, Calendars, Trackers, and Planners:
Lenten Calendar @ Catholic Icing
Lent Calendar @ Pondered in My Heart
Lenten Calendar for Children @ The Kids’ Bulletin
40 Days of Lent Cross @ Catholic Playground
Lent Caterpillar Countdown @ These Forty Days
Lamb Countdown Calendar @ Wee Little Miracles
Lenten Countdown Spiral @ Wee Little Miracles
Pretzel Calendar @ A Living Garden
Family Lent Chart @ Catholic Culture
Lenten Calendar @ Shower of Roses
My Lenten Chart @ Eyes on Heaven

Lenten Activity Ideas
40 Lenten Ideas for Catholic Families @ Real Life at Home
Outside the Box @ Catholic All Year
Lent Countdown Chain @ Drawn 2B Creative
40 Days of Mercy Lent Calendar @ USCCB
10 Lent and Holy Week Activities @ Real Life at Home
Lenten Ideas for Kids and Teens @ Peanut Butter and Grace

A Chain of People Prayer List @ Catholic Inspired
Prayer Box and Cards @ Drawn 2B Creative (Box, Cards 1, Cards 2)
Prayer Dice @ Drawn 2B Creative
Family Prayer Jar @ Wee Little Miracles
Prayer Jar Petition Strips @ Catholic Mom
Listen to a Lenten Song List @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Watch a series of Lenten Videos @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Lent for Children – A Thought a Day @ Family in Feast and Feria
Jesus Tree @ Shower of Roses (full list w/ coloring pages here)
Printable Jesus Tree Ornaments @ St. Brigid’s Academy
Stepping Stones Through Jesus’ Life @ Equipping Catholic Families
Litany of Humility @ Catholic Company

Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross Coloring Booklet @ Catholic Playground
Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages @ Drawn 2B Creative
Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages @ St. John the Baptist Coloring Pages
Stations of the Cross Coloring Pages @ Family in Feast and Feria
Stations of the Cross Lift the Flap Notebook Page @ Catholic Inspired
Stations of the Cross Minibook of Prayers @ Drawn 2B Creative
Stations of the Cross for Children @ Family in Feast and Feria
Stations of the Cross Prayer Gems @ Diary of a Sower
Stations of the Cross Eggs @ Catholic Icing
Stations of the Cross Eggs @ Catholic Sistas
Stations of the Cross Box @ A Knotted Life
Stations of the Cross Art Project @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Stations of the Cross Art Appreciation @ 4 Real Forums
Stations of the Cross Walk @ St. Anthony Messenger
Engaging Children in Stations of the Cross @ Catholic Mom

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
Sorrowful Mysteries Coloring Page @ Catholic Inspired
Sorrowful Mysteries Mini Booklet @ Drawn 2B Creative

Sacrifice Dice @ Drawn 2B Creative
Bury the Alleluia @ Three Sided Wheel
Sacrifice Box @ Catholic Icing
Give Up/Take Up Notebooking Page @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
40 Bags in 40 Days @ Three Sided Wheel (and a great reflection on this practice @ Catholic Icing)

Almsgiving Box @ Drawn 2B Creative
Sacrifice Jar @ Three Sided Wheel and Farmish Momma
Pantry Almsgiving @ Three Sided Wheel
Coin Cross @ Catholic Icing
CRS Rice Bowl @ CRS
The Giving Jar @ Peanut Butter and Grace
Works of Mercy Cross @ Pondered in my Heart
Stations of the Cross Works of Charity @ Look to Him and Be Radiant
Crown of Thorns @ Catholic United for the Faith (& transformation to Easter Basket @ Catholic Icing)
Lenten Prayer Chain @ Catholic Inspired
Lenten Prayer Postcards @ A Spritz of Sis
Pantry Meal Challenge @ Homeschool Is Where the Heart Is (Coming Soon)
Almsgiving Worksheet @ Drawn 2B Creative
Almsgiving Notebooking Page @ Drawn 2B Creative
Almsgiving Cross Puzzle@ Drawn 2B Creative
40 Days of Prayer @ Homeschool Is Where the Heart Is (Coming Soon)

Pope Francis’ Lenten Message @ Vatican
Do Sundays Count?  @ Team Whitaker
Lent: You’re Doing It Wrong @ Team Whitaker
I Don’t Like Lent @ Pondered in My Heart

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Presentation of Our Lord Snack

I put together a fun snack today in honor of the Presentation of Our Lord. I was inspired by this lovely tea.

Warm Milk 
The white symbolizes Mary and Joseph's purity.

Simeon's arms folded in prayer.

Cheese Dove 
The doves Joseph brought in offering at the temple.

Black represents Anna as a widow.

Represents Jesus being "a light of revelation to the Gentiles".

Strawberry Heart With Toothpick
Mary's heart pierced with sorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 1, 2016

St. Brigid Irish Soda Bread

My friend shared her delicious Irish soda bread recipe with me for the feast of St. Brigid and is graciously allowing me to share it here.  It is sweeter than some of the more traditional recipes, but that is how we like it!  I halved the original recipe and cooked it in a round cake pan to make it more like scones (original version below).

Irish Soda Bread
2c flour
3/4c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 c raisins
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 egg
1 c buttermilk (or 1T lemon juice w/ milk to equal 1c)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

Whisk dry ingredients together, and wet ingredients together seperately.  Mix together.  Dough will be sticky.  Place in pan and bake at 375 for 25-30m in pie tin or baking sheet, or 45-50 in loaf pan.

Thanks for reading!