Our Mantle Adorned with Traditions of Lent

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Our Lenten Traditions (from left to right): In the trunk, our “Alleluia” banner is buried until Easter morning, where it will adorn our mantle proclaiming Christ’s Resurrection and the Great Feast of the Church. (During Lent the “alleluia” is no longer proclaimed during the Mass. How great it is on Easter Morning to hear it thundered through the church!!!)

On top of the trunk is a vase for Alms. The children earn this money by doing Charity Chores that are jobs not included in their regular responsibilities but which they can choose to do in order to earn money for the poor.

Next to the trunk is a blessed candle that we light during our family prayer time reminding us of our prayers raising to the throne of God.

Beside that is a vase labeled Works of Mercy with a bowl of beans next to it. When the children perform a Work of Mercy or a good deed, they may place a bean in the jar. On Easter this vase will be filled to the brim with jelly beans symbolizing how Jesus can take what good works we offer him and transform them by His grace into something even sweeter and more beautiful than we can imagine!

In the center is a shadow box with a crucifix and some other mementos. This was a gift I made for my husband’s birthday. It has a great story behind it (which I might share another time).

Wrapped in the purple cloth is our Easter candle with has a holy card with an Agnus Dei sealed to it. It will remain wrapped in this shroud taking on the symbolism of our Lord’s body lying in the tomb until Easter morning when the children wake discovering it unshrouded and blazing with light.

Below the Our Lady of Grace statue (which is always holding a place of honor on the mantle) is a Crown of Thorns made from a grapevine wreath and toothpicks that were dyed with coffee. (If I were to dye these again I would use tea.) This is labeled with the word Penance. As we place the thorns ( toothpicks) in the crown (wreath), we discuss how each one represents our sins and the sins of the whole world. We discuss ways we can make reparation to God for these sins and the sins of others through sacrifice, prayer and by offering the Holy Mass for this purpose. An exceptional book to read to go along with this activity is The Weight of a Mass; A Tale of Faith.

Here is a peek into our home last Easter morning:

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The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

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Yesterday, in honor of Our Lady appearing to St. Bernadette 150 years ago, we visited the Lourdes Marian Center to pray in the grotto and to receive miraculous water from the spring where Our Lady told Bernadette to dig.

After receiving a tour of the center we headed over to the John Paul II Center for a Lourdes storytime and craft. The younger children made these shrines:1dscf1156.jpg

and the older children made these:

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This was a great way to conclude last weeks pilgrimage to Our Lady Lourdes Parish to pray the jubilee prayers after receiving the Sacrament of Confession and attending Mass at Holy Ghost Parish.

Lenten Lessons

 

As we do every year during Lent we focus our learning around the season and prepare our hearts & minds for our Risen Lord. Here is some of what we have planned:

Family Activities

Morning Read Aloud– Alternate between A Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt & An Illustrated Catechism by Inos Biffi

Family Read AloudThe Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Science/Nature StudyGrow bulbs and grass seed in Easter baskets- Contrast the dead looking bulbs & seeds with Christ’s death and the flowers and grass with Christ’s resurrection. Record growth in nature journals.

Bird Study– Put out feeders and record birds spotted. Research different feed for different to attract different birds. Research what is needed to make our yard a welcoming habitat for birds. Hang birdhouses before spring.

Butterflies-Order Painted Lady Caterpillars & Pavilion. (Order Feb. 24 for Easter transformation.) Study metamorphosis. Visit the Butterfly Pavilion. Research what is needed to make our yard a welcoming habitat for butterflies.

Family Project-Create a Rosary Prayer Book-(Religion, History, Grammar, Handwriting, Copy work, Art, Picture Study, Latin, Math for the Littles) – Using the Magnificat Rosary Note Cards & a scrapbook to create a Rosary Prayer Book to be used by the family.

Copy work for the Rosary Book-

Rosie– Apostle’s Creed, Hail Mary, Concluding Prayer

Galadriel– Our Father, Doxology- English & Latin, Hail Holy Queen

Eowyn– Fatima Prayer

Picture StudyRosary Note Cards, Stations of the Cross

Art– Rosary Prayer Book, Nature Journals

Music AppreciationLingua Angelica, Women in Chant, Chant from the Hermitage, Chant

PoetryA Child’s Wish by Abram J. Ryan

GeographyFootprint of God Videos (History& Catechesis), Drive Thru History; Rome If You Want To (History)

Study maps of the Holy Land, Ancient Rome & Greece

Special Devotions-Family Rosary, Friday Stations of the Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes Indulgence, St. Valentine’s Day Tea

Field Trips– Lourdes Marian Center & Lourdes Story time, The Butterfly Pavilion, Little Flower’s Stations of the Cross, Visit the Community of the Beatitudes to learn about our Jewish Roots (Call to schedule.)

Foreign LanguagePrima Latina, Lingua Angelica

Directed Reading/Narration
RosieVictory on the Walls by Frieda C. Hyman

Written Narration- D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths

GaladrielThe First Christians with oral narrations

EowynPhonics Pathways– Review Vowels with games.

Math
RosieMastering Mathematics

GaladrielMastering Mathematics

I’m Back!

It’s been awhile. I’ve been busy with life but after visiting my blog recently I realized the value of it for my personal record of our life and learning. Therefore I will be posting once again, mostly for our family’s personal enjoyment of chronicling our home learning. Hopefully if your reading this, you may find some enjoyment in it too!

Veggie Tales

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Here it is…our raised vegetable garden! Planted in the barren soil are lettuce, radish & zucchini seeds. At the left four bamboo posts are sugar snap peas and runner beans. To the left of the runner beans is an eggplant. The three large plants are tomatoes. In front of the tomatoes are three strawberry plants. The two plants behind the tomatoes are pumpkins. And the three plants on the far right are peppers. Marigolds are interspersed amongst the tomatoes.

Last night we fertilized with fish emulsion and bone meal which is in addition to the many bags of manure already mixed in to the soil. After fertilizing, we gathered for a prayer over the garden and blessed it with holy water. St. Isadore, pray for us!

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now?

Well after all the cleaning and packing, it is finally settled…we are staying put. We’ve decided not to move. Killer (as we not so affectionately called the Rottweiler that moved in next door) has died of natural causes!  Our confirmation that we should stay where we are. Praise God!

Once again, we have a backyard that is safe for the little hobbits to scamper about. And how we’ve been busy back there planting roses and day  lilies, tucking into the ground sunflower seeds that by the end of the summer will reach 15 feet high with morning glories dressing them in their fairy skirts, building a raised cedar bed for an organic vegetable garden and ripping out grass for a beautiful meadow area that will be full of Colorado wildflowers.

It’s great to be home (again)!

I’m still alive!

Just a quick note to let you know I’m still alive. Lent took a turn when it seemed clear that it was time for us to sell our home and move to a different neighborhood. It seems all I’ve done for the past few weeks is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!

I hope you all are having a blessed Easter season! We’ll talk soon!


Rocky Mountain Catholic Home Educator’s Conference

June 21-23, 2007 http://www.rmchec.org/

The Glory of God is man fully alive! -St. Irenaus

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