Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday: Spy Wednesday and Via Cruces {post 3 of 3}

Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday {post 2 of 3} HERE

I laid out my "plans" for Holy Week in a prior post HERE and on Wednesday we did a new Holy Week tradition that I saw on Kendra's post called "Spy Wednesday."

I read Matthew 26:1-16 to my children where Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.  I used thirty dimes and hid them in 2 rooms in my house.  It was interesting to observe my children grab the coins and my older children were pushing each other out of the way for them (such angels :) )  My 6 year old was in tears because all her older siblings were grabbing faster than she could find.  Eventually, my children combined their coins into one pile as we discussed how easy it is to be greedy and selfish like Judas.

Wednesday morning we went to pray the Stations of the Cross with another homeschool family at "Via Cruces" (Way of the Cross), a meditation garden that was beautifully created by a couple in our parish in their yard. The couple made the garden for anyone to meditate on Jesus' passion, death and resurrection with the Stations of the Cross.  It was an amazing place filled with treasures and gems along the path and I decided to visit it again often, especially during Holy Week.  Here are some pictures from our visit:
 Guest book at the beginning of the Via Cruces with Stations guides at the entrance and along the path
 Beautiful habitat with various flowers and nature

 Several plaques were placed throughout the garden to encourage and inspire

The Ten Commandments were hanging on a tree along the path which is in the bottom left photo

The entire garden was amazing, but I think our children really enjoyed seeing the empty tomb at the end of the path.  What a beautiful experience!  I can't wait to visit again with my family and friends!  
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. T. for this beautiful gift and ministry that you share with friends!

Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday {post 2 of 3} HERE

May you have a blessed Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday as we anticipate Jesus' joyful resurrection on Easter Sunday!

Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday: Water Color Crucifix & Growing Easter Grass {post 2 of 3}

Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday {post 3 of 3} HERE

I laid out my "plans" for Holy Week in a prior post HERE and on Tuesday, we did some artwork that I saw last year for the first time on Chris' blog at Campfires and Cleats.  I thought her kids did a beautiful job and I made a note to myself that I would try this with my own children this year.

This year, Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross made the Water Color Crucifix with her children and she used Nancy's crucifix printable from Do Small Things with Love to complete her pictures.  So I gave this version a try with my cupcakes and I'm so glad I did!

As instructed in Nancy's post, my kids (and a neighbor friend) first colored over the black crucifix printable with a black or white crayon so the water color paint wouldn't make the black print ink run.

Then they got to work on using their own creativity to make their water color art! 

And this is what they created!  So beautiful, I think!

On Tuesday, we also finally burned dried up palms and planted grass seeds to grow our own Easter grass that we like to do each year.
I was a little late doing this so I doubt I'll have Easter grass like this in time for Easter so it's a good thing the Easter season lasts longer than just one day!

For more of our Holy Week Happenings check out:
Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday {post 1 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday {post 3 of 3} HERE



Holy Week Happenings: Sunday/Monday: Pickle Ball {post 1 of 3}

For more of our Holy Week Happenings check out:
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday {post 2 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday {post 3 of 3} HERE

Our Holy Week started on Palm Sunday as we went to Mass and I took this picture of our church's altar.  Red is the liturgical color for Palm Sunday and the priests' wear red vestments as well.

When we got home, I made this arrangement with our palm branches and the cross palms were made by my Dad who gave them to us when my parents visited Sunday afternoon.  The palm branches are in our sacrifice beans and in the middle of our salt dough crown of thorns.

I laid out my "plans" for Holy Week in a prior post HERE and on Monday we went to see my Mom play Pickle Ball as planned.  My Mom is competing in the Senior Games locally this week so she played Pickle Ball on Monday and will play Table Tennis on Friday.  We had never seen the game played before and it is a cross between tennis and table tennis.  In fact, my Mom said that the athletes that have tennis experience usually do really well with the sport.  I really enjoyed watching my Mom play several matches, both singles and doubles.  Here I am with my Mom and 5 cupcakes after one of her games. 

Below is a video of my Mom playing a doubles match (to give you an idea of Pickle Ball) with her male partner who is 84 years old. My Mom and her partner are in the blue shirts with my Mom on the left side of screen.  They were amazing (and quite funny) to watch.  The man had tendonitis in one of his legs and a hearing aid so my Mom had to speak loudly for him to hear.  They did really well though and won! 


For more of our Holy Week Happenings check out:
Holy Week Happenings: Tuesday {post 2 of 3} HERE
Holy Week Happenings: Wednesday {post 3 of 3} HERE

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Palm Sunday Videos, Easter Triduum, Holy Week Happenings 2014

This week is our Spring Break in our homeschool and it is a very Holy Week as we get closer to commemorate our Lord's passion, death, and resurrection!

Last year I posted information and videos about Palm Sunday, which is tomorrow, and about the 3 holiest days in the Church year, Easter Triduum.  I also reflected on why Holy Week and Easter is such a special time for our family.  You can read all about it HERE.

After we get our palms at the Palm Sunday Mass we traditionally try to make a cross with them.  However, I might try one of these creative braids as posted by Jennifer at Catholic Inspired or one of  these creative ideas as posted by Lacy at Catholic Icing.

Here are our plans for this Holy Week 2014...(IF all goes as planned) :)

Palm Sunday (that's tomorrow!): We will burn last year's blessed palms and plant our Easter grass so it will be ready for Easter Sunday.  You can read about this easy and fun tradition HERE.
Our family is hosting our monthly homeschool family rosary gathering.  Our homeschool families will gather in our home to lift up prayer intentions then recite the Glorious Mysteries.  Then we have a potluck dinner and the kids get to run around while the parents chat.  It is always a blessed time!

Monday:  My kids and I are going to watch my Mom play Pickle Ball as she tries to qualify for the Senior Games.  I have never seen Pickle Ball, but my Mom says it's a fun game.  We are looking forward to cheering my Mom on!  Also, on Monday I hope to make this Holy Week Watercolor Art with my children.  It's just beautiful and looks easy too!

Tuesday:  I plan on taking my children to visit “Via Cruces”, a meditation garden to pray the Stations of the Cross at the home of parishionsers from our parish.  The couple made this garden for anyone for reflection and devotion to our Lord during the remainder of Lent.  I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with my children and some other families in our homeschool group. 

Wednesday: Kendra at Catholic All Year has some great ideas for this day during Holy Week so maybe I'll try her "Spy Wednesday" activities or the other Holy Week ideas she shared HERE.

Photo Credit:
Holy Thursday:  Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.  We attend Mass as a family in the evening.  As my music minister stated in our church bulletin, "On the night before Jesus suffered, He celebrated the Passover with his disciples.  He demonstrated a "new commandment to love one another" by washing their feet, then gave His own Body and Blood for the new Passover mean by instituting the Holy Eucharist.  It is the beginning of the mass, the beginning of the ordained priesthood, and the last night of Jesus' mortal life. "   You can read all about Holy Thursday HERE.  I hope to start a new Holy Thursday tradition this year by making unleavened bread following Lacy's recipe at Catholic Icing.

Good Friday:  The Passion of our Lord. We are going to watch my Mom play table tennis for her Senior Games qualifications.  I am looking forward to watching my Mom do these activities that she loves!  In the afternoon we will attend Good Friday service in the Church that my husband's cousin, Sharon, said was so beautiful on Good Friday before she passed away.  We attend this particular Church as a way to honor and remember Sharon. 

As stated by our music minister, "On this day, the altar is bare and the crucifix is veiled.  The ministers process in silence and lie prostrate on the floor in sorrow and humility.  There is no official "beginning" because on the night before, there was no dismissal.  We hear the Passion narrative and venerate a simple wooden cross.  We receive the Eucharist consecrated the prior evening, and depart in silence." 
After the service, our family plans on attending a live presentation of the Stations of the Cross performed by the Latino parishioners.  We saw this several years ago and it was so well done and so powerful.  My children still have vivid memories of this moving remembrance of Jesus' Passion and Death.  
Holy Saturday: It was Holy Saturday 2006 at the Easter Vigil that my husband and his cousin, Sharon, came into the fullness of the faith and entered the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church instituted by Christ.

On Holy Saturday our family has done these traditions for many years now...

We always enjoy changing our salt dough crown of thorns that we made at the beginning to Lent...

....into a beautiful crown of jewels.  See how we decorate the crown with paint and jewels HERE.  The golden crown makes a great centerpiece along with the pot we plant with rye grass at the beginning of Holy Week filled with soil and burnt palm branches.  You can read how we prepare our real Easter grass and watch it grow HERE.
Our family always looks forward to making and eating resurrection rolls...

We also dye our Easter eggs...

On Holy Saturday evening we usually make Easter story cookies which are easy and delicious and like the resurrection rolls, they symbolize Jesus' empty tomb after He rose from the dead.  You can get the recipe at my post HERE.

And if you need a quick Easter decoration, be sure to check out how my Cupcakes made Easter egg garland HERE

So this brings us to Easter Sunday when we can rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord!  We plan on going to Mass as a family and eat a potluck breakfast at the Church we will be attending, then enjoy a fun Easter egg hunt!  I hope to make these colorful eggs for the potluck breakfast. 

May you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Painting Pottery Field Trip

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about interviews, crazy toddlers, and why my hand is probably going to fall off by the end of the week

Today we took a break from the books and headed to a local pottery paint studio to paint some pieces and take a tour of how the pieces are glazed in the oven.  My children painted small dolphins, a mug for Father's Day, treasure chests, a turtle, and I made a square tile with my baby's handprints to give to my husband for Father's Day.  We were busy! 

As everyone finished painting, we went to where the pieces are finished so that the final product is the nice, shiny look.  Here the worker is showing us a big tub of green goo, which is actually the glaze mixture that dries clear when heated.  
So everyone got to dip their pieces in the green glaze.  Only half of each piece was dipped because you don't want fingerprints on the green stuff.  So the workers will dip the other side later to completely cover the piece. 

You can see an example of how the green glaze covers the entire piece hiding the paint as shown in the bowl above. 

Then each piece is put on a board with nails so that the piece can dry evenly at the bottom as it is being heated in the oven. 

We were then told more about the ovens and how they take many hours to heat up and to cool down.  Temperatures reach 1000 degrees, I think! (At least that is what my daughter remembers the lady saying.) :)  
The white knobs with holes in them helps the ovens cool down.  I can't remember what else she said at this point because I was being distracted with my baby. :) 

I don't have an example of a finished product since I was distracted and had to get home quickly.  We will pick up our creations in about a week and the kids are looking forward to seeing how theirs will turn out!  Maybe if I remember I'll post our creations on my blog.  

I learned a lot about pottery painting on this little field trip and so did my children! 

For more Quick Takes, visit A Conversion Diary.


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