Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day...Visiting & Remembering

Memorial Day on the Feast of the Visitation
We are visiting and remembering...
It is said that a visitation is something more than a simple visit but an encounter that carries an exceptional meaning.  I am reflecting on this exceptional meeting between Our Blessed Mother and her cousin Elizabeth...
And since it is Memorial Day we were also visiting.  Though our visit was not an exceptional meeting, it was an encounter with something meaningful, beyond ourselves.  Visiting the hallowed graves of those who have sacrificed their lives was the least we could do in thanksgiving for our many freedoms. 
Listening to soldiers speak of honor, duty, and their faith in God was a blessing today.  God was certainly front and center of their lives!
~Dear hubby served in the Marines so he enjoyed speaking to a Naval Veteran~
We are grateful for all who serve our country...past, present, and future!
*Keeping my brother and his family close at heart, who are currently serving in the Army*
Several generations share in this day of remembrance...I always cry a river when they play Taps!
Our family loves the red, white & blue! (How can they NOT when both Hubby & I wore combat boots!)
~Our Country's Flag...One Nation Under God
(Oldest and youngest placing their gratitude flags...)
Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all...~
Eternal rest grant them O' Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.
And a special remembrance of my late husband Chris who served his country proudly...
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."~John 15:13~

This is my new favorite quote:
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." ~Mother Teresa~
~God Bless America
My Home, sweet home~
And the red, white, & blue poured out over our meals with this 
Patriotic Fruit Salad & Cake!
"Thank God!  Give him the praise and the glory.  Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song."~Tobit 12:6~

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Holy Trinity~ A Tri-Celebration!

 Holy Trinity Blessings!
I was so excited to use this Fleur-de-Lis Cookie Cutter that I found for sixty cents at a cooking outlet store.  It was perfect for this weekend and our Tri-Celebration! (The Holy Trinity, St. Joan of Arc, and the closing of Mary's Month of May)  I love the many meanings depicted by this symbol.  My wheels are turning with other ways and days to use this fun cookie cutter!
Trinity Pizza
Made by Mama Mary
~I picked up this pizza crust at the grocery store, not paying attention to the brand name until I got home. WHOA!... I nearly jumped out of my shoes when I looked down and saw "Mama Mary's" name on the pizza crust.  Gotta love it!  Not to endorse a particular "brand" but I think I'll be buying this one again.  It was another perfect way to send off the Mary Month of May~
I must admit that I got a kick out of announcing that "Mama Mary" made our pizza for dinner!
This was my "attempt" at cutting out a clover to make Trinity Pizza...Not so good.
I think some of my kids could have done a better job!  But hey, it's the thought that counts, right? 
Mama Mary's Pizza Crust
~A Canvas for your heart's desire~
Add Pizza Sauce and Cheese....Voila!
~We also had a Tri-Colored Green Salad And
Trinity Brownies this weekend~
(Note finger pokes from 2-year old Angel Baby)
Like many of you, I have often taught my children the mystery of the Trinity using St. Patrick's Clover.  Recently, I heard of people using an egg as the 3 parts in 1 body....The shell, egg white & egg yoke=3 parts to 1 egg.  We had this discussion over a family favorite...Egg Boats! (We prefer this name over "deviled" eggs) 
Here are some other photos of things we've used in the past and for St. Patrick's Day...Also serving as my record-keeper!
Banana Trinity Treats
[Spread graham crackers with peanut butter and toss sliced bananas with green food coloring to top the graham crackers] And it's(fairly)healthy too!
Strawberry Surprise
~Trinity craft we made last summer~
Links about Fleur-de-Lis
And another HERE

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Devotion & Strawberry Rose Surprise!

I thought of this EASY dessert idea awhile back but didn't have a chance to try it with all of our other goodies going on!  We have an awesome fresh strawberry field and stand less than a mile from our house.  Our family LOVES strawberries and we are so blessed to have such a wonderful supply so close by.  I am always trying to think of new ways to use them....So here we go!  Today, as a Saturday Devotion, seemed to be the perfect time to give this idea a whirl.   The kids saw me putting these together and and inquisitively asked:  "Mom, what is that?"  This was my reply:
Strawberry Rose Surprise!
~These are in honor of Our Lady as a Saturday Devotion~

The rose as the queen of flowers is a privileged symbol for Mary, Queen of heaven and earth.

3 Ingredients:
2-Whipped Cream
I don't think this photo(above) did the roses much justice but at least you get the idea of the beautiful possibilities that you can create, even better than these!  
~Since tomorrow is Trinity Sunday, we placed a few in the shape of a clover, representing Father, Son & Holy Spirit, as St. Patrick taught us~
We also thought this was fitting as we close out the Mary Month of May on Monday.  I just loved this beautiful prayer.  You can find it at the link below:
May God look with favor upon our world,
the rose he created, that it may more and more expand its petals and so glorify him, our Creator and Father, in imitation of the rose of Nazareth, Mary, the Servant of the Lord.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday St. Padre Pio & Happy Anniversary, Dear Father!

Happy Birthday Padre Pio!
"Fear not because God is with you."
~Padre Pio~
Today we are stopping for a moment to remember the birthday of one of our family's favorite saints.  My boys, especially, have a deep admiration for this heroic man who had been given the great gift of the stigmata.  We made these poignant Rice Krispy Treats for a little snack in remembrance of St. Padre Pio....AND in celebration of a dear priest we know. 

We are praying for, remembering, and thanking God for a special priest today as he celebrates the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood.  Happy Anniversary, dear Father!  It is quite fitting that his Ordination took place on the birthday of Padre Pio.  This is certainly no coincidence.  In fact, as a dear friend from our parish would say..."It's just a little God-incidence."  Yes, it is definitely a God-incidence!  I had the privilege of meeting this particular special priest during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje.  I was so inspired by his deep faith and devotion to the sacraments.  His favorite thing to do is to hear confessions.  And this is where he spent most of his time on the pilgrimage!  Hmmmm, I think Padre Pio definitely had a hand in this.

After talking with Father a few days ago, I was struck by the amount of Masses he has said since his Ordination.  Over the last 25 years he has only missed about 2, due to illness.  Overall, he's brought the Body of Christ to his flock over 12,600 times.  This is absolutely amazing.  It's enough to bring you to your knees in thanksgiving for all of our priests that we are so blessed to have.

"Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer.  And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray.  Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers."
~St. Pio of Pietrelcina~

We are feeling especially thankful for the priesthood today!  God Bless you, dear Father.  
St. Padre Pio, please pray for us! 
 Soldier boy (age 11) as St. Padre Pio
~All Saint's Day 2009~ 

"Pray, hope, and don't worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and will hear your prayer."
~St. Padre Pio~
Picture drawn by Princess (Age 7) for our Spiritual Bouquet to Father
Thank a Priest with a Spiritual Bouquet

Snack Note:
The kids are so excited about these Stigmata Hand Krispies...We will definitely make them again in September for Padre Pio's Feast Day.  We used a hand-shaped cookie cutter for the Rice Krispy treats and a little bit of red frosting for the stigmata...Easy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Come, Spirit, Come!

Happy Pentecost & Happy Birthday to the Church!
~The Holy Spirit is alive and well today...And for this we are thankful~
It has been a day for celebration!
This is how we started our morning, before Holy Mass...
~These are Holy Spirit Pancakes, cut out from a cookie cutter and sprinkled with powdered sugar~
(We used fresh raspberries for the tongues of fire)
Angel Baby was a good helper!
Isn't this what Fire Fighters do best....Handle flames?
After Mass we made these Church Birthday crowns!
~These are actually Burger King crowns and we added flames of fire (to the tips) and the Holy Spirit dove to represent how the spirit descended upon the heads of the apostles on the Feast of Pentecost~
~These were easy little Gifts of the Holy Spirit candle covers (made on the computer) for 7 votive candles on the dinner table~ This made for great discussion as we read the meaning of each gift as we lit the candles~
You could even make these candles a little fancier but I just had time for basic!
These Holy Spirit Cupcakes were dessert!
Our dinner table set with the Pentecost Placemats we made on Friday and a white table cloth for "White Sunday"
~Three red roses (from our yard), representing the Trinity, now complete by the presence of the Holy Spirit~
Our Pentecost Dinner Menu:
"Flames of Fire" BBQ Hamburgers
Pentecost (Sweet Potato) Fries
12 Fruits of the Spirit Salad
Holy Spirit Cupcakes
Pentecost Red Fruit Juice
We used food coloring in the mayonnaise to give it the orange"Pentecost" flame color~The sweet potato fries were a natural flame color...And they're healthy too:)
12 Fruits of the Spirit Salad
(Tangerines, apples, blueberries, raspberries, green grapes, purple grapes, pomegranate, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, raisins)
We served drinks that were Pentecost Red (In Color)
Holy Spirit Cupcakes
Happy Pentecost!
We had an early dinner since hubby leads youth group for Mer-man (oldest son)
Now for clean-up...I am here blogging instead (wink)
Come, Spirit, Come!
~May the Holy Spirit bless and guide you and your families today and always!~
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