"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy will." ~ Luke 1:38

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 2014: Surprises {phfr} style



Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for some pretty, happy, funny, and real family fun!

{pretty}
Little Lamb surprised me with this pretty nativity set she made.

{happy}


Conductor and I will surprise the altar boys with this modest gift for the altar boys of our parish.
{funny}

This is the outcome of two photographers trying to get a pic of one another; Surprise!

{real}


























The old ones have worn...St. Nicholas' feast day is the perfect time to 'surprise' them with a new set.



Go to Like Mother, Like Daughter to find more contentment...


Like Mother, Like Daughter

Advent 2014: Week Three

+ Preparing our souls to receive Christ worthily +
"We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, since they harm themselves and do us good, and adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory."

                               -St. Anthony Zaccaria

With our parochial vicar's prompting, my son and I have been working on gifting our altar boys & acolytes, with a modest 'thank you' gift, for all the wonderful service they have given to our church.  Every year our pastor has gifted them a little treat, which they always appreciate.  


I think they will like this year's treat, as well.

Preparing for the Celebration
I woke up to find, on my desk, a wooden peg nativity set.  It was lovingly colored by my Little Lamb.  We are all looking forward to the coming of Our Lord.


A bonus was the mini-celebration of our Papa Francis ( who shares my confirmation name sake).  Son Dulce de leche was in order, as was a splash of Frangelico.  I will have to re-purpose this bottle after its contents have been used...



The Jesuscaritaest blog reinvigorated me to pull out our Ero Cras O Antiphon House; which we were inspired to make many years ago.  Even though I brought it out on time, we have not had a moment to do the readings with all the other activities going on:  from choir to ice skating to a trip to the ER...  

My children took this picture on their own, to thank me for their gift...I think they were happy with their slippers/socks.



                                             Sharing Family traditions, reflections, activities & crafts over at 
                                                                             Catholic Bloggers Advent Link up



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Papa Francis

Fresh eggs from the coop...just what I need to bake a simple cake for such an occasion.  It seems that Dulce de Leche is one of Pope Francis' favorite desserts.  An Argentinian delight, I found a recipe in a cake version - Dulce de Leche Layer Cake with Frangelico liqueur.  Perfecto!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

St. Lucy's Cookie Dough ~ White Chocolate Truffles

St. Lucy or St. Lucia is the patron saint for the blind & those with eye disorders.  


Her name means "light".  

She was born in Syracuse, Sicily, and was from a wealthy family.
She was persecuted while defending the Faith.  Lucia is often depicted holding her eyes on a golden plate, because her eyes were gouged out before she was executed. She was a young courageous Christian woman, filled with the love of God.  Read more about St. Lucy here.

  



Find the quick and easy recipe for Cookie Dough White Chocolate Truffles here.


St. Lucia, ora pro nobis!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Advent 2014: Week Two

ADVENT:  WEEK TWO

+ Preparing our souls to receive Christ worthily +


"No one heals himself by wounding another."  ~ St. John Chrysostom

Celebrating Feast Days:
St. Nicholas is always a fun feast day to celebrate...no matter what your age.  It was also a great opportunity to gift everyone slippers since the weather is finally cold (& wet).  I like the idea of the sock slippers for my girls.


On December 8th we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  This year we attended Mass at our Cathedral.  Our bishop gave another awesome homily.  I didn't realize that about the same year the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was being defined by the bishops, before Pope Pius IX officially declared it on the 8th of December, 1854...the California Gold Rush (49ers) was in full swing.  It is very interesting, when you put events on a timeline, what world history was being made.  


(l) Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; (r) Conductor serving as Episcopal Server.

Preparing for the Celebration:
We do not put Baby Jesus out until Christmas Eve, and we are slowly preparing our home for the great Feast & Celebration of Christ's birth...I usually put up our Christmas Tree for Gaudete Sunday...I will see how things play out this year - I've got my wreaths up and in place though!  This year we bought some wreaths through Conductor's Trail Life group fundraiser to help support some of their activities.  Win-Win.   I was going to hang the wreaths outside, however, I found they make beautiful centerpieces and advent wreaths...besides,  I love the smell of fresh pine in my home.



Week Three Advent Activities:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day - December 12 (Mexican Hot Chocolate, Chicken with Mole)
The Memorial of St. Lucia - December 13 (Cookie Dough Truffles, Lussekattor)
St. John of the Cross Feast Day & Gaudete Sunday - December 14 (Gazpacho)
St. Mary di Rosa, St. Maximinus,...St. Valerian Feast Day - December 15
St. Valentine Feast Day - December 16

ADVENT:  WEEK ONE


Sharing Family traditions, reflections, activities & crafts over at 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent 2014: Week One

Sharing Family Traditions, reflections, activities & crafts over at 


~ + ~ THE LORD IS COMING ~ + ~



SPIRITUAL READING

+ Books on Saints for Elementary Grades +
Traditionally we have read books from the Lives of Saints whose Feasts days land during the Advent season.  We have tons of books to choose from, so, I will fill our baskets with those that pertain to the month of December.

+ Books for High School +
These are books that I am considering:
Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections  (Franciscan Media)
Advent with the Saints:  Daily Reflections (St. Anthony Messenger Press)

+ Books for the Mama! +
A Mary Christmas (Franciscan Media) 
Advent Meditations with Fulton J. Sheen - 28 reflections (Liguori Publications)


ADVENT FOOD PREP

+ St. Nicholas +
Last year, at our First Friday Mass we had several activities after Mass and Devotions.  However, at home, we celebrate with Hot Chocolate and Gold Coins.

FAMILY & CHURCH TRADITIONS

St. Nicholas Feast Day is December 6th

+ Jesse Tree +
I have been very happy with our (now retired) Jesse Tree ornaments, which I originally created using the Paper Dali templates.  After my children colored the ornaments, we laminated them and added a purple ribbon.  I guess they are now, priceless. 





+ Advent Calendar +
We have 2 Advent calendars that we enjoy...here is a favorite of ours:

+ Advent Candles +
Both a family and church tradition...





+ Nativity Scene +
Our nativity scenes make their appearance, but we cover Baby Jesus until Christmas Eve.



ADVENT ACTIVITIES:

+ St. Nicholas +
Last year, after our monthly First Friday Mass, I organized several St. Nicholas Games & Activities such as:
St. Nicholas Coin Toss
Chocolate St. Nicholas Craft
Nutter Butter St. Nicholas Cookie Decorating
St. Nicholas Guessing Game (adapted from Catholic Inspired)
Apple St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas Roll-Up
Coloring Table of St. Nicholas, St. Lucia & Our Lady of Guadalupe
St. Nicholas Story Time

The next First Friday gathering for our home-school group is coming up quickly...I'd better get to work!























+ ADVENTures +
Last year we participated in the fun Adventures hosted by Jennifer...I recommend this activity for your family, too!  Week One, post Two, post Three, post Four

COMING SOON - WEEK TWO ADVENT IDEAS

+ Cookie Exchange & Rosary Night +
Week Two...

+ Parish Advent Retreat +
Week Two...can't wait!

 




You can find more Family Traditions, reflections, activities & crafts over at