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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to {Home} School Celebrations...(Fun Links to Share)!

{Pinterest links below}
We started back to our homeschooling routine this week!  We kept most of our same 1st day of school "traditions" that we've had for the most part of 9 years now.  AND we added some new fun in the celebrating this year.  Well, that is probably a little bit of an understatement since I kinda went a little nuts with the 1st day fun...Even if you don't homeschool, you may find some fun ideas to help your children start the year with enthusiasm!
What else can I say but that
is worth celebrating!
When you've had deep sorrow to suffer in life, I have found that faith always, always, leads to deeper gratitude and grace.  This is where I am in my stage of celebrating life, not to mention having an older child who left home for college last year!  I have come to appreciate my littles at home all the more:)  
The bread of life continues to sustain me through good times and bad...
Soooo, it is my deepest desire for my children to realize this reliance on God alone.  Serving and receiving Him as much as possible is the goal... But most certainly on the first day of school.  We share in Jesus, the breakfast of champions and then head out for a rare treat...breakfast "out"...
With the Principal:)

Our 9th grader no longer schools at home with us so he missed out on breakfast, bummer for him:(  Thankfully, Mass is early enough so he got to altar serve with the younger sibs on their first day and still "gets the honor", as I say, to altar serve a couple of days a week.  
I had fun making these cute signs for the "home crew!" These clever (and free) chalk board printables can be found at Everyday Party, through Pinterest.  My friend Patty will be so proud of me:)  Did I mention that Pinterest is my newest friend? I just clipped them onto clipboards that I had on hand!
They made a fun first day photo...So easy and super fun!
That banner in the background was also a free printable found at Tatertots and Jello!

It was so cute to drive up in our driveway a few days later and see this hanging in one of our front bedroom windows...Made me smile:)

You may also click on my Back to School Pinterest board for the rest of these cute printable ideas or view the individual links.  Thank you to all of the generous folks out there who share these kind of things!
I don't homeschool that many children, compared to some families I know, but I think this table display would be a good way to make a large group of kids feel special.  Sometimes it's hard to make individual treats since it can be very time consuming for busy Mamas.

This took preparation but not that much in the scheme of things.  It was certainly not very costly, other than the printer ink, and I think it was worth it:) Here's how the overall display turned out!
Somewhere around my 5th or 6th year of homeschooling I decided to splurge and go "no hassle," only buying the sharpened pencils to kick off the school year! Such a little thing and yet a big thing, too:) Some of you might know exactly what I mean!
Love these pencil tags found at eighteen25!
These little printable tags are everywhere on Pinterest and they just brought extra smiles to the first day.

One Charming Party offers these clever tags for highlighters!

Found these fun glue labels at Sissy's Creations:)

Doesn't every kids love fish crackers?  These are adorable and can be printed over at Ivory Bloom.
The cutest water bottle labels are offered at One Lesson At A Time.
Technology rocks. Seriously. offers the most amazing school signs! I printed several out, and placed them in sheet protectors for each child's learning binder.  (And also a beautiful prayer for my teaching binder:) They would be inspiring decor for a school room!
I'm hanging this one up on a clipboard.  Loving the use of clipboards for fun decor!
They also have these colorful bookmarks to print!

And finally the "big hit!..."
These Pencil holders made from Pringles cans.  Genius idea, right?
You could fill them with school supplies, anything.  I filled ours with little fruit snacks and treats.  To add a little faith, I printed out the Patron Saint of student tags that Jessica created at Catholic Cuisine.  Then I added this little prayer on the back.
I was really thrilled with how they turned out!  A big thank you to Not Just A Mommy who gives excellent and detailed instructions!
*It was a fantastic first day, indeed*
Here's our group back-to-school photo with the older boys.  The world is our classroom from Rome to home.
(Big brother recently departed for his Rome semester)
Darn, he wouldn't let me steal away in his suitcase!
Happy New School Year to all of our family and friends!
Don't forget to keep it real:)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Feast Days (June-August)

+Our (Summer) home altar decorated for Ordinary Time+

Since summer is almost over, this one is for the archives and my own records...More often than not, I have to look things up on my own blog to remember what we did!  Hope these simple ideas help some inquiring spirits out there in future summer months:)

To keep our faith alive over the summer, I look ahead and pick a couple of meaningful feast days to celebrate.  Celebration includes reading/studying about the feast, prayer and an extra activity. Here's what we came up with...
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
{June 7-8}
Two Hearts Fruit Pizza
Feast of St. Peter and Paul, Apostles
{June 29th}
Banana boats adapted idea from Catholic Cuisine:)
Month of the Precious Blood
This was an easy paper plate craft that served as our family table center piece and also graced our home altar (above:)
Draw a chalice and cut out, leaving the base to pop up.
Decorate as you wish:) Note: The wider the bask on the bottom, the better.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
{July 16th}
Chocolate Graham Scapulars
Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
{July 31}
Saintly Sword Cupcakes

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
{August 15th}
+Holy Day of Obligation+
Assumption of Mary "Blue"berry Muffins after Mass!

Feast of St. Bernard
{August 20th}
This link has a beautiful prayer card to print out!  We used card stock so it would last longer:)
Summer is over at our house...On to the new school year!

Eat, Pray, and have Hope!

Our hope is in the Lord and He gave us His Mother as a living sign of this hope!
+Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary+

This was an easy feast day breakfast treat to celebrate...
Assumption of Mary "Blue"berry muffins:)
The clouds were just cut out of white paper and we had these stickers on hand...Just taped the clouds to a toothpick!  Kids love the 'visual' effect:)
We are preparing to start school next week so this Mama needs all the hope she can get:)  We often start on the Assumption or the Queenship of Mary but our oldest son's departure to his Rome semester is helping us mix it up this year!
Be back soon:)
Eat(Mass)pray, and have hope!
"She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God.  If you say 'Mary' she says 'God.'~St. Louis de Montfort

Assumption resources:
The Assumption explained...Lifeteen
Catholic Answers
Catholic Culture

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