Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Worldless Wednesday: My Son's Block Football Stadium and Nominations for the Homeschool Blog Awards!

My 12 year old son took a break from the books one morning in late September and came up with this creation.  He's ready for some football and has it on his mind as he and his siblings watch football games or highlights quite a bit!  




#HSBA2014 NOMINATIONS 
Have you heard?  It's that time of year again for the Nominations for the Homeschool Blog Awards hosted by The Homeschool Post!  You can nominate your favorite Homeschool blogs in 20 different categories until October 20th at midnight (PST). Voting won’t begin until November 3rd!

Go HERE to read more information and nominate your favorite homeschool blogs!   Have fun!  I know I loved nominating my favorite homeschool blogs!  

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Our Lady of Fatima and Miracle of the Sun {Fruit Platter}

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This past Saturday, my 2 older children and the baby and I and other pro-lifers, stood prayerfully at the corner of a busy street where an entrance to an abortion clinic was located.  We prayed the Joyful Mysteries and other prayers to ask for Our Lady's intercession for our country and our world.  My son and his friend held one of the banners from America Needs Fatima.  It was a hot, but beautiful day, as God sent a cool breeze every now and then and even a beautiful monarch butterfly landed on the dozen roses that were in a vase in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  

This past weekend's peaceful and blessed prayer vigil was a wonderful way to prepare to celebrate today's feast day, our Lady of Fatima and the miracle of the sun.  

To continue my "A Slice of Liturgical Life" posts for October,  I'm very excited to celebrate October 13, with the  Miracle of the Sun fruit platter with my children. I first saw this festive and healthy idea at Tiffany's blog post HERE at Family At The Foot of the Cross and loved it!  The miracle of the sun is a fascinating and wonderful part of Our Lady of Fatima's feast day.


Our Lady of Fatima's feast day is celebrated on May 13 and you can read HERE  how our Blessed Mother first appeared to three children on May 13, 1917 near the town of Fatima, in Portugal.

One of the children, Lucia, asked the woman (who appeared to the children holding a rosary), "Who are you? What do you want?"  She answered, " I am from heaven.  Come hear on the thirteenth of each month for five months.  On October 13, I will give a sign that will make everyone believe."   

On October 13, 1917, 70,000 people came to witness the miracle that Mary had promised.   The rain suddenly stopped and Mary appeared to the children.  The clouds parted and the sun came out.  The crowds saw the sun spinning and shooting out flames with all the colors of the rainbow.

The platter has all the colors in the rainbow in the correct order: Red (watermelon or you could use strawberry slices), Orange (oranges), Yellow (pineapple), Green (grapes), Blue (blueberries), Violet (grapes) 

We will enjoy our spinning sun fruit platter as we watch the DVD, "The Day the Sun Danced~The True Story of Fatima" produced by CCC of America.  This is a great children's animation movie about this miraculous story! We love all of CCC of America's DVDs that share our beautiful faith!


I loved this spinning sun drawing idea from Jennifer at Catholic Inspired!  I would love to get to this if I have the time.

Lacy's Miracle of the Sun Spinner craft at Catholic Icing looks like another fun way to celebrate this special day!

May your day be blessed!





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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Slice of Liturgical Life: Celebrating a Few October Feast Days

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As we enter a new Fall season on our calendars, I've been thinking a lot about another type of calendar: the liturgical Catholic calendar . Similar to our traditional calendars that are marked with four seasons, 12 months, 365 days, holidays and celebrations, the liturgical year is also marked with special seasons and feast days.

However, the difference between our traditional 12 month calendar and the liturgical Catholic calendar is summed up well  HERE at cyberfaith.com, "The purpose of the Liturgical Year Calendar is not to mark the passage of time, but to celebrate and understand more fully the entire mystery of Jesus Christ, from his incarnation and birth until his ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of his return in glory. During the course of a year, the paschal mystery—the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus—is viewed from different angles, in different lights."

I hope one day to be more organized with the celebrations and feast days in our family's life and here on my blog.  I especially love how Nicole at Just Like Mary organizes her blog with the Liturgical Year icons and tabs!  Hmmmm...that gets me thinking on even more changes I want to make to my corner of blog land here!


Here are a few October feast days we have celebrated in our home in hopes that we can make these celebrations a yearly tradition.  

October 1: Feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux (one my favorite Saints and we named our 5th child after St. Therese) 

This was the first year I made small homemade chocolate cupcake "roses" with my children.  We whipped up some homemade cream cheese icing and swirled a little red food coloring in them to get the flower effect.  They were delicious! 


 

Here is a simple art project my 10 year old and 6 year old daughters made for this feast day that I saw Patty do with her children from Reasons for Chocolate. Thank you Patty for the inspiration!
Our guardian angels lighting and guarding and ruling and guiding to celebrate this Feast Day of our Guardian Angels! They work over time in our house. :)   
Angel of God,
My guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day,
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.
Amen.

October 4:  Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi

I really enjoyed reading The Good Man of Assisi to my 6 year old to celebrate this Saint who loved all of God's creatures, great and small! 

October 7: Our Lady of the Rosary

I first saw this idea with chocolate chips and M&M's on Kendra's blog at Catholic All Year and it inspired me to try it this year for the first time.  We used 2 pretzel sticks with a dab of peanut butter to keep the pretzels together for the cross.  Each of my children said a decade of the rosary and as they said each prayer they ate the candy piece.  I must say I had a difficult time not eating the entire decade all at once, just like my children!  :)

I found a Facebook link from Word on Fire Catholic Ministries about this feast day.  Click HERE as "Father Steve Grunow explains the unexpected origins of this feast of our Blessed Mother and how we are to understand the invocation of Our Lady in the midst of conflict."  


One of the many reasons I love being Catholic is that we have feast days and celebrations throughout the entire year!  It is my hope that by remembering special Saints like Saint Therese, Saint Francis of Assisi and our Blessed Mother in the Holy Rosary, our family will grow in our faith with many liturgical year celebrations and traditions!

How do you celebrate the liturgical year?  I'm always ready to learn how other families celebrate the Church calendar in so many fun and creative ways!

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Seek and Find the {minor} Changes on My Blog :)


All right, so it's 11:30 PM on a Sunday night and I should be in bed like 2 hours ago since I really want/need to get up early to try to get a good run in before my Cupcakes wake up, but I've been busy making some minor changes to my corner of blog land so I haven't had time to put up a real blog post.  Sorry for the run on sentence! 

So if you are a regular visitor, what changes can you spot on my blog?  Put your answers in the comments :)

And if you are a first time visitor, WELCOME!, and know that I'm always trying to tweak/update/improve my blog, so just keep visiting and you might see another update or two :)

I would like to give a SHOUT OUT to Bonnie over at A Knotted Life for her help, advice and tips to make "A Slice of Smith Life" a better place to visit!  :)  Thanks Bonnie!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Family Photo Shoot of our Blessed Beach Week

I blogged about our blessed beach week that I took with my family recently HERE.  This post has some of the pictures my Dad's friend took for our family on the beach. Thank you Mark Steelman Photography for such wonderful pictures of our family!  They will be treasured always to remember our family reunion!

I am glad to introduce you to a bigger slice of "A Slice of Smith Life" with these fun family photos...

My Dad and Mom

 older brother,  younger sister, Dad, Mom, me and older brother

 The whole crew with our families



My siblings and I with our significant others 

 My older brother's family

My other brother's family 

So sweet!  

Smith family
My younger sister's family 

 My best friend, husband and awesome Dad of our 5 cupcakes

I'm not sure what we are doing here.  My husband thought we would try to do something different and this is what we came up with :)

 Grandparents taking a stroll with their 8 grandchildren 



 Getting ready to jump

Jumping for joy!


 Cousins are cool! 

Wheeee!!! Photo shoot is over! :) 

It was such a blessed afternoon taking these photos!  I hope you have enjoyed seeing a little bigger slice of "A Slice of Smith Life"!  :) 

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Blessed Beach Week with Family

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So it's been a little while since my last post where I said I was going to be taking a blog break in order to enjoy a family beach vacation.  Last week I spent no time on my blog.  Rather, I savored the time with my own children and husband, my parents, my brother and his family who live in Australia, my other brother and family who live in NY and my sister, her husband and baby who live in PA. So we all came together for the first time since my sister's wedding almost 2 years ago !

Since my sister's wedding, our family has added 3 new babies to our family, my own and my niece.  I got to meet my Australian niece for the first time and my parents were able to be surrounded by all 8 of their grandchildren for the first time.  There were lots of first for the week! :)

Here are my proud and grateful parents :)

Here are a few pictures from our beautiful beach week filled with great weather, memories, family and fun...

Leah staring at my oldest brother and cousins meeting for the first time.
3

My niece (in the pink stripe pjs below) is my brother's little girl and she is 3 months older than my youngest.   My niece likes to form her mouth into an "O" shape.  It is adorable!  I was trying to get her to make the cute "O" face in the pictures below with me, but she wasn't cooperating :)    The picture on the far right is one of my older brothers with my husband, who is in the red "State" shirt.

Beach and pool time all at the same time...

Game time (Blokus, Jenga, family foosball, miniature golf to name a few) So fun!

Eating time!  One of the many meals we shared together during the week!

Arts and Crafts time...Each of the grandkids painted their handprints or footprints and made a design with them.  We compiled all the creations into a book for my parents to save as another memory of our week.  

It was great to go walking and running with my sister during the week.  My Dad enjoyed loving on all the grandbabies and the big grandkids. :)

More cousin love, though my 14 mo. old daughter got a bit tired of all the hugs and kisses from her cousin. :)

During the week, one of my Dad's friends photographed our families.  We all wore khaki and white.  I snapped this photo as we were heading to the beach for the photo shoot.  I'm hoping to be able to post the photo shoot pictures soon. 

My Dad's 70th birthday is this week, but since our entire family was all together we surprised him with a cake during our vacation.  

Here is the entire group of us and then a picture of my husband and "cupcakes" taken the last evening of our vacation.

It was such a blessed week that will be treasured always! It makes me sad that my siblings live so far away, especially my older brother in Australia, but it was so good to visit with our entire family!  

Have a blessed week! 

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