Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe

It just so happened today that it was 12/12/12. How crazy is that. This event happens every one hundred years . So it will never again happen in our lifetime. It also happened to be the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Everything seemed to fall into place in what I wanted to do with the girls to learn and celebrate about this special day.
The first thing I had gotten them started on was coloring a color sheet of Our Lady. As they were doing that I thought, " What can I do with this project?"  I had seem many projects online for making the tilma with the image of Our Lady of Gudalupe, even some how to make flowers with tissue paper.
The first thing I learned is that finding paper bags is a pretty tough endeavor , not to mention I didn't have a vehicle to go and find any because dad took Marilyn out to do a little shopping.

So I found a really pretty coloring sheet that the girls really enjoyed coloring. I then decided to have them cut out the image they drew and paste it on some construction paper, preferably the bright Mexican colors and to be honest these were a perfect background for their colored pictures. Click this link to go to the coloring page.
Then next they picked out colors such as red, white, yellow, green to paste their picture onto with construction paper.
While we waited for it to dry , luck just had it that we had our Holy Heroes Glory Story come right in the mail today. Talk about fast shipping. I ordered it Monday and I received it today ( Wed).
They had an awesome offer of getting this audio CD free with only paying for shipping. It was well worth the money for the shipping cost. I can honestly say that for sure and the timing was just perfect too.
If you hurry tonight , you can still get this CD for free. It is the 1st in the Glory Stories collection with the story  of  Blessed Imelda Lambertini and St. Juan Diego.  You can also get the free coloring book download on their website that follows the CD story as well.  The girls definitely enjoyed this and I will definitely be getting more of these for them to listen to and to use for my Religious Ed class.  You can go to this link to order the Vol 1 Glory Story,, the offer ends tonight.  Even if you don't have the Glory Story you can easily read the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe here. 

After listening to the story , which I may add my 14 yr old wanted to sit and listen to it as well ( per her request) I thought of the beautiful roses that Juan carried to the Bishop to prove that Mary wanted this church built upon the hill in Mexico.  So I set out to search for some coloring pages that had roses on it and amazingly enough I found a really great coloring page by Crayola. It also lists the different colors of roses and what the colors mean. I told the girls they could color them the different colors, or color them all the same , it was up to them.  And they colored them and did a really great job. You can go to this link to print them out. 

In the end this is what our finished product looked like and they were very proud of what they did. I know the girls loved listening to the story of Juan Diego and learning more about Our Lady of Guadalupe. They learned even a simple person can carry the message of God and do great things. 

Their beautiful pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe turned out great! They were so proud of their work and after we were done taking our picture I hung them up in our living room to remind them of the story. I plan on doing this with my RE class this week as well.
We also wanted to have a Mexican dinner food, but it didn't pan out today because Daddy was more in the mood for spaghetti. So we will have to try it out tomorrow, but this is what we plan on having for dinner tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Count Down to Christmas

This year we are being blessed by having such a mild winter. We've seen a few snow flakes but nothing measureable really , and nothing to speak about. So far in the Northwest its been raining, dreary , but not snowing. All I can say is 'Yay'!  So far we're saving a bundle on our electricity bill ( our main heating source) , we haven't had to buy snow tires, no scraping ice off the van windows and freezing to death while we wait for the heat to kick in when we have to drive somewhere.  Its been a very long time since we've had a winter that has been so mild. Now, with that said  I'm sure I just jinxed us into our next winter storm.

I think the only thing is we're having a tough time with is getting into the Christmas spirit since we're so used to having a million feet of snow on the ground.  So with that said we've been very glad that we've had things to do to prepare and get us into the Christmas spirit mood.

The very first thing we did was make our own Advent wreath. I had scoured the web and looked and looked and either they were overpriced or just not what I liked. So I decided to make one with things I had around the house, and bought some things I didn't have around the house, and voila' an Advent wreath. It literally turned out way better then I thought it was going to turn out.
Then our next adventure was on Dec 6th when we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas.  Though I do have a book about the Saints our book didn't contain any pictures so I read this story and found another online to read to the girls. This was when I truly realized I didn't have any other books about dear old St. Nicholas in our home. So my next investment will be of some picture story books about the grand Saint.
But this was the book we read from:
I will admit it is my favorite book. I like the fact it gives children something to think about before you read into the life of the Saint. Though it doesn't give multiple stories of Saint Nicholas it shares one story about him.
Another thing we need to invest in is some movies. If anything my children enjoy watching a good movie and it usually drives the story home when the watch and see too.

We did read the story from the Book of Saints and I also read them a story from this website : Catholic Heroes of the Faith. That had several other stories as well that I had not heard of before until I read it.

After reading our stories we decided to have some Saint Nicholas fun and Maggie had lots of fun wearing her Saint Nicholas Miter. She actually is still wearing it two days later she really likes it that much.
If your wondering where we got this super cool hat to make just visit this link at Catholic Inspired.
We also had Kids Club at the school so I decided to use the party cupcake toppers that come from the same link and make some Saint Nicholas cupcakes.  These were actually my idea ( and not a Pinterest one) to make and they turned out super cute. So much so the kids at the school really enjoyed having Mrs. Reed's Saint Nicholas cupcakes. 

First I used a vanilla cake mix and made it according to box directions , after getting everything made I split the cake batter into two bowls and added some red food coloring to one. Carefully I put about a tablespoon or so in the cupcake papers and carefully added just a small drizzle of the red. Trust me when I say small. You don't need much and if you put to much in your cupcake will just turn all red.  I used one of my kabob sticks to swirl it. I first went back and forth deep into the mix to get it mixed in with the white, then carefully took the tip of my kabob stick (you could use a toothpick too) and swirled it ever so gently. I found if you immersed the stick that the batter would just stick and you wouldn't get those swirls. Definitely not like making soap swirls that's for sure. 

Next , put in the oven and follow the box directions for making cupcakes and viola' . Red and white cupcakes. As you can see the cupcake , second from the front left is what happens when you add to much of the other color. I really tried fixing that one with adding a little more white. But it didn't help to much and that cupcake ended up being the Kid's Club teacher's because it ended up being the biggest cupcake because I ended up putting more batter in it to try and fix it up. 

 After creating my fun cupcakes I took them over to the school because they have a HUGE kitchen , unlike our postage stamp kitchen I have and was able to move around more and have more room to manipulate the cupcakes for my next step. Not to mention its much easier to travel with unfrosted cupcakes then it is frosted.  So once we got over to the school I was able to lay out our next steps. I had my oldest take candy canes and beat them with the end of our screw driver I brought along with us. You need something very heavy to pound them into little bits like we needed from the cupcakes.  While she was doing that Katie helped open the cake decorating bag so I could scoop in the store bought frosting ( something I don't like doing but didn't have time to make my own before going over that day) and I piped on the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Then I sprinkled the candy cane bits onto the top, and added our St. Nicholas toppers and they turned out great, not to mention tasted amazing!!! They were a sure hit and I had kids coming up asking for more. Sadly the rule was one cupcake ( due to children having after school activities we didn't want them loading up on sweets).  When I got home I was finally able to try one and I had to agree. They tasted super duper great!  
I will say this , the candy cane for toppers doesn't last long. Amazingly enough it melts on top of the frosting. I found this out the next day when I went to snack on another. I'm not sure if it has to do with it being room temperature but if you let them sit out to long in a warm area the candy cane will melt. With that being said, they still tasted pretty darned good.  
Oh yes, and on another note, St. Nicholas stopped at our house and dropped off some pretty neat Angry Bird Match Box Cars to put in the girls' shoes. I didn't get a picture of it though because , me being me, I forgot to grab a picture.  Maybe I won't forget next year. 

So that was the way we spent our St. Nicholas Day this year. Looking forward to seeing how everyone else spent their's.