Monday, March 31, 2008

Starting our Garden Indoors

We started growing some tomatoes and mini bell peppers last Thursday. We can hardly wait for spring to actually show its face. This year is very different from every other year I have lived as a married woman. We have a backyard and room to grow a little garden. On the weekend, we went and priced lumber to build ourselves some square foot garden boxes. To get an idea of what I mean, follow this link. I have heard that it is difficult to grow a garden in Calgary soil. I don't know if this is true or not, but I think a square foot garden looks a little more compact and will fit in our backyard.

Here are some pictures of the kids planting tomatoe and pepper seeds. It snowed off and on all weekend and a little green would definitely lift my spirits.

 
 

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

HAPPY EASTER
It always seems that on holidays and major Feast days I am too busy celebrating to wish everyone a Happy... Thankfully, they still call today Easter. I want to take the time now to wish everyone a Happy Easter. We had a wonderful Easter Sunday. With no close family around, one might think that our Easter was a quiet one. It truly wasn't and it was of the nicest Easter Sundays that I have ever had. We had company over, had some great food to eat and a pot of coffee or two and most of all, we had a great time. I wanted to call my grandma's house to wish everyone a Happy Easter, but by the time I called my grandmother, everyone had gone home. I guess that is how it goes sometimes. Nonetheless, I was thinking about everyone.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Eleventh Station of the Cross

PREPARATORY PRAYER
Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider that Jesus, after being thrown on the Cross, extended His hands, and offered to His Eternal Father the Sacrifice of His life for our salvation. These barbarians fastened Him with nails, and then, raising the Cross, left Him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

My Jesus, loaded with contempt, nail my heart to Thy feet, that it may ever remain there to love Thee and never quit Thee again.

I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradtion.org

The Tenth Station of the Cross

PREPARATORY PRAYER
Jesus is stripped of His Garments.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the violence with which the executioners stripped Jesus. His inner garments adhered to His torn flesh, and they dragged them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Compassionate your Savior thus cruelly treated, and say to Him:

My innocent Jesus, by the merits of the torment which Thou has felt, help me to strip myself of all affection to things of earth, in order that I may place all my love in Thee, Who art so worthy of my love. I love Thee, my beloved Jesus with my whole heart; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

Feast Day of Saint Joseph

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful role model for all husbands and fathers. Today we honour him for his unconditional love to Mary and Jesus, for all that he has done for them to protect and care for them.

"Holy God, you chose Saint Joseph to care for Mary and Jesus because his holiness and love for You was great, his compassion for others was outstanding, and his desire to protect and provide for his family was honorable. I ask Saint Joseph to intercede for all the men in my family. May they become fully the husbands and fathers You have called them to be in family leadership. Help them to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength, wisdom, and guidance, just as Saint Joseph did. Teach them the glory of serving one's family with humility and protect them from the influences of the world. Saint Joseph, pray for us. Amen."

Prayer by Terry Ann Modica

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day


Today is the Feastday of St. Patrick. He is a well loved Saint in both the religious and secular world. There are many legends, but the following is a true story about St. Patrick from Father Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D. First Book of Saints.

Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 387. At sixteen he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a chief in Ireland. While tending sheep in the mountains, he prayed much.

After six years, a voice from heaven told him to go back to his own country. But first he went to Rome, where he became a priest. He was then sent to England, but after some time he begged the Pope to send him to Ireland. The Pope made him a bishop and then sent him as a missionary to Ireland.

One of the pagan kings of Ireland arrested Patrick. When he saw the miracles worked by Patrick, he said, "Tell us about your God. He has given you great power."

"There is but one God," answered Patrick, "in three Persons: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit." Picking up a green shamrock he said, "Even as there are three leaves on this one stem, so there are three Persons in one God." After that he was allowed to preach the new Faith everywhere in Ireland. His missionaries later brought the Christian Faith to many parts of Europe.


The kids are busy working on lots of St. Patrick's Day Math and Language Arts activities from the Enchanted Learning website.

St. Patrick on Catholic Online

Free St. Patrick's Day ecards

Colouring Pages for St. Patrick's Day

We wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day. We will be with you through this Holy Week publishing things that we think are important and some interesting finds for you and your family.

“Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me”

(from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”)

Ninth Station of the Cross

PREPARATORY PRAYER
Jesus falls the Third Time.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of His executioners excessive, who tried to hasten His steps when He had scarcely strength to move.

Ah, my outraged Jesus, by the merits of the weakness that Thou didst suffer in going to Calvary, give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect and all my wicked passions, which have led me to despise Thy friendship. I love Thee, Jesus, with my whole heart, and I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

Eighth Station of the Cross

PREPATORY PRAYER  The Women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider that those women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in so pitiable a state, streaming with blood. as He walked along. But Jesus said to them, "Weep not for Me, but for thy children."

My Jesus, laden with sorrows, I weep for the offenses that I have committed against Thee, because of the pains which they have deserved, and still more because of the displeasure which thy have caused Thee, Who hast loved me so much. It is Thy love, more than the fear of Hell, which causes me to weep for my sins. I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

The Seventh Station of the Cross

PREPATORY PRAYER
Jesus falls the Second Time.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross, a fall which renews the pains of all the wounds of the Head and members of our afflicted Lord.

My most gentle Jesus, how many times Thou hast pardoned me, and how many times have I fallen again, and begun again to offend Thee! Oh, by the merits of this new fall, give me the necessary helps tp persevere in Thy grace until death. Grant that in all temptations which assail me I may always commend myself to Thee.

I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee with my whole heart; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Rosary for Children

I was reading a pamphlet called "How to Pray the Rosary for Children" that I had picked up a long time ago. I love praying the Rosary with my children. Sometimes, there are squabbles on who gets to lead, or who gets to read the reflections and then it turns out not very "Mary-like" in the end. But for the most part, our family Rosary is a calming, reflective part of the day with little or no distraction, where we can bond together as a family. I know that my children are young and it isn't that hard to get everyone rounded up to say the Rosary together and the times will come when soccer games or a night out with the friends will make it more difficult. I hope and strive to build a strong family unit and our faith is the foundation. Praying the Rosary and reflecting on the life of Jesus Christ often brings our daily struggles into perspective. I ask myself, why didn't we pray this at home while we were growing up? Would my life have been different? I want to instill a great faith in my children. I am not invincible and I don't have all the answers. But God does. Staying close to him means never straying far from the path. Of course, we all make mistakes and sin. Who doesn't? But God is always waiting with open arms for us to come back to him. The Rosary keeps me close to God. When we neglect to say it on a daily basis, I feel that something is missing. Things are not kept in perspective and I am impatient and less compassionate. I encourage everyone to say the Rosary. Read what the late Pope John Paul II wrote in his "Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae" and especially what he said about praying the Rosary with Children:

... and children

42. It is also beautiful and fruitful to entrust to this prayer the growth and development of children. Does the Rosary not follow the life of Christ, from his conception to his death, and then to his Resurrection and his glory? Parents are finding it ever more difficult to follow the lives of their children as they grow to maturity. In a society of advanced technology, of mass communications and globalization, everything has become hurried, and the cultural distance between generations is growing ever greater. The most diverse messages and the most unpredictable experiences rapidly make their way into the lives of children and adolescents, and parents can become quite anxious about the dangers their children face. At times parents suffer acute disappointment at the failure of their children to resist the seductions of the drug culture, the lure of an unbridled hedonism, the temptation to violence, and the manifold expressions of meaninglessness and despair.

To pray the Rosary for children, and even more, with children, training them from their earliest years to experience this daily “pause for prayer” with the family, is admittedly not the solution to every problem, but it is a spiritual aid which should not be underestimated. It could be objected that the Rosary seems hardly suited to the taste of children and young people of today. But perhaps the objection is directed to an impoverished method of praying it. Furthermore, without prejudice to the Rosary's basic structure, there is nothing to stop children and young people from praying it – either within the family or in groups – with appropriate symbolic and practical aids to understanding and appreciation. Why not try it? With God's help, a pastoral approach to youth which is positive, impassioned and creative – as shown by the World Youth Days! – is capable of achieving quite remarkable results. If the Rosary is well presented, I am sure that young people will once more surprise adults by the way they make this prayer their own and recite it with the enthusiasm typical of their age group.
(From Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae)

The Sixth Station of the Cross

PREPATORY PRAYER
Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider that the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so afflicted and His Face bathed in sweat and blood, presented Him with a towel, with which He wiped His adorable Face, leaving on It the impression of His Holy Countenance.

My most beloved Jesus. Thy Face was beautiful before, but in this journey it has lost all its beauty, and wounds and blood have disfugured it. Alas! My soul also was once beautiful, when it received Thy grace in Baptism, but I have disgigured it since by my sins. Thou alone, my Redeemer, canst restore it to its former beauty. Do this, by Thy Passion, O Jesus.

I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fifth Station of the Cross

PREPATORY PRAYER
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His Cross.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee,
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider that the Jews, seeing that at each step Jesus, from weakness, was on the point of expiring, and fearing that He would die on the way, when they wished Him to die the ignominious death of the Cross, sonstrained Simon the Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind Our Lord.

My most sweet Jesus, I will not refuse the cross as the Cyrenian did. I accept it, I embrace it. I accept in particular the death that Thou hast destined for me, with all the pains which may accompany it. I unite it to Thy death; I offer it to Thee. Thou hast died for love of me!

I will die for love of Thee, and to please Thee. Help me by Thy grace. I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Source: catholictradition.org

Feast Day of Saint Seraphina

Saint Seraphina
Feast Day: March 12

Seraphina was born in San Gimignano, Italy, to a poor family. She was known for her self denial and acts of penance as a young girl. A mysterious illness left this beautiful girl unattractive; her eyes, feet, and hands became deformed and eventually Seraphina was paralyzed. Her mother and father both died while she was young. She was devoted to St. Gregory the Great. She died on the feast of St. Gregory, exactly as she had been warned by Gregory in a dream. Seraphina was a very helpful child around the family home. She did many of the chores and helped her mother spin and sew.

Prayer from: Daily Prayers with the Saints for the New Millennium
Divine Father, Saint Seraphina was the victim of disease and neglegt and suffered continuously. I ask her to intercede for the disabled and handicapped people of my church, neighborhood, family and friends, including both the physically challenged and the emotionally wounded. Remind us to offer up our sufferings for the healing and conversion of others. I place our hearts upon the Cross of Christ, so that our pain will unite us to Him and His redemption. Teach us to endure pain with both dignity and the joy that comes from experiencing the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Saint Seraphina, pray for us. Amen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Home School Facilitator Second Visit

Our Facilitator came to assess Noah's progress on Monday. I was pleased with the visit for the most part. Noah is on track, but we have neglected to cover some areas. Now it is up to me to meet the requirements by the end of the year. That shouldn't be a problem, but I have a lot of things to research online. Noah's math text doesn't cover some concepts that are expected by the Alberta government. I have to google things like "transformational geometry" and "graphic organizers". Don't ask me what these things are, but Noah needs to know them in "GRADE 1". I have a list of things to google, then plan lessons around them etc., etc. I am not too happy about this because I need to spend a lot of time online looking for things relevant to his age. The things I have found relate to grade 6 and up. I might have to call the facilitator for help. At least we don't have a lot to cover. Four months is more than enough time. I have to help Noah conduct some surveys and help him make graphs to show the results. He is only in grade one, but that is how it goes nowadays. While I was doing my research, I came across this poetry generator. It helped Noah compose the following poems:

Mom and Me (based on the syllables of our telephone number)
Noah
He likes cars
He likes really fast and cool cars
Mom
Is the best mom in the world
I love my mom a lot
We like playing board games



Springtime
Rain
Rain brings
Rain brings yellow
Rain brings yellow daffodils



The Mouse and the Spider (variations on "Itsy Bitsy Spider")
The itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up a wall
Down came the mouse
And took a great fall
Out came the cat
And the mouse ran back up
And the itsy bitsy spider ran to a mat

Saturday, March 1, 2008

First Eucharist Retreat

Today was our parish's First Eucharist Retreat for all the First Communicants of 2008. It's purpose was to familiarize the children with the different parts of the church and to allow the children to try the bread and the wine. The children were taught how to genuflect in front of the tabernacle. Noah just rolled his eyes and said, "Da-ad, they taught me how to genuflect." In the sacristy, the kids passed around a chalice. One of the little girls loves gold and didn't want to pass it on to the next child and she was sure to get a hold of it again to pass it to one of the Catechists. We had to chuckle again as the we watched the children tried the wine. Most of the kids made funny faces and one even acted as if he drank poison. He was pretty grossed out. Noah never shows a lot of emotion, but when he came back to the pew, he had to admit that it was pretty strong. Our lefthander prefers to receive communion right handed. I never really thought about it before and wanted to correct him, but he was quite comfortable receiving right-handed. We watched a short-film called "Grandma's Bread". It really reminded us of Germany. The Grandma in the film baked an Easter Wreath and promised to make one for her grandson on his First Communion Day. She passed away on Good Friday and the grandson's Communion was a month later. Unfortunately, no one buy Nona new how to bake this bread. The mother tried to find the recipe, but with no luck. The boy had salvaged some of Nona's baking things from the pile that was supposed to go to St. Vincent de Paul's. The recipe was in there and the boy got this special bread for his First Communion Day. What I forgot to mention was that the father was always busy and didn't have time for the "old traditions". So in the end they were a happy family. I promised Noah to bake him an Easter Wreath Bread for his First Communion Day. It is also tradional in Germany, not just Italy where the family in the film was from. If I get a chance I will translate and post the recipe in English.

After the retreat, we went to ToysR'Us and bought Owen his own little potty chair. He has been going on the toilet off and on for a while, but has fallen in a few times. He doesn't like the baby seats for on the big toilet. His foot fell in once, too. lol He has been running around bottom down naked all afternoon. If I get some pictures of Owen on his throne, I will post them. He is usually on and off so fast that our camera hasn't even a chance to warm up. By the way, a funny thing did happen. He peed on the back patio door and the dog licked it off. I didn't even see the pee on the window. I saw it on the floor, but the dog saw it on the window. While I was writing this, Owen screams "DONE!" and we looked and what to our suprise... he had a huge sausage on the rim. Yeah! I have been waiting to do this for a long time. He never does his big job on the toilet. It wasn't in, but at least on the potty. This has been quite a day. Now I am going to enjoy a nice supper with the kids.

God Bless two year olds! God Bless everyone.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...