Bible & Saint stories

In addition to our daily story book, we also read a Bible or saint story every day.  We read through the bedtime Bible book that I had initially selected in the fall, and rather than start over I began looking for something different to borrow from the library.  The bedtime book was a great general overview, but didn’t focus much on Jesus’ ministry and teachings, so the first books I got for us to read were Mary Hoffman and Jackie Morris’ Miracles and Parables:

These books were perfect for teaching the kids more about Jesus’ ministry.  Each contains about seven or eight stories, with citations showing what book and chapters of the Bible the story came from.

Now that we’ve finished these two, we’re moving on to saint stories.  I’m planning to use Carole Armstrong’s Lives and Legends of the Saints:

I like how she has associated each story with a piece of great artwork – it will not only expose Little T and Mr. S to the stories of Catholic saints, but will also have the added benefit of giving them a glimpse of some significant works of art.

In my research, I’ve found several great books that I just don’t think we’ll have time to get to during this school year, but I wanted to record them here for posterity’s sake!  Ruth Sanderson’s Saints: Lives and Illuminations and More Saints: Lives and Illuminations are two that I hope to use next year.


And two stories of specific saints that I also hope to use in the future are Kathleen Norris’ The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica (illustrated by Tomie de Paola) and Bryce Milligan’s Brigid’s Cloak (illustrated by Helen Cann):

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St. Lucy Day

This was our first year celebrating St. Lucy Day, and I sort of threw it together at the last minute – but the kids enjoyed it, and I will definitely put a little more planning into it next year!

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and traditionally they are supposed to be served to the family by the oldest daughter wearing a crown of greenery with candles in it on her head, a white robe, and a red sash.  There is no way we were putting anything with candles in it on Little T’s head, so we made a crown of green construction paper with four construction paper candles instead.  Next year I’ll work on the robe and sash part.

According to my Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions, boys can wear a blue hat with yellow stars on St. Lucy Day – so I made one of those for Mr. S.

The hats lasted past breakfast, much to my amazement!  I don’t think they’ll make it through the day, though – but I’m glad the kids enjoyed this new tradition, and I hope to make it more meaningful in the years to come.

All Souls’ Day

“No one’s death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness.” – Hermann Broch

Today is All Souls’ Day – a day set aside to honor the memory of our beloved dead.  For me, it is especially poignant because it is the anniversary of my father’s death – seven years ago today, just five short weeks after he walked me down the aisle at my wedding, my father passed away unexpectedly.  He had suffered from heart disease for many years, but we didn’t expect him to be gone so soon.  I still feel his absence so deeply, and it saddens me tremendously that my children will never get to know him.

Of course, his is not the only death I remember today.  I recall with fondness memories of my grandparents; I mourn with my sister for the loss of her husband, who passed away last October from cancer; and of course, I hold dear the memory of my friend who died just a few weeks ago.  It was incredibly difficult to write her name on our parish’s Scroll of Remembrance, and to realize she is truly gone.

I try to remember the happy times and not just dwell on the sadness of not having these people here with me anymore.  I can keep their memories alive by showing my children pictures and telling them stories of things that were done and said during their time on earth.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.

Costumes!

We have two sets of costumes this year – first we have the traditional Halloween costumes, which the kids wore to the Halloween Hike  at the Chattahoochee Nature Center last Saturday and which they will be wearing again to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night.  This year, Mr. S is a monkey and little T is a cowgirl:

This was the first year we did saint costumes as well.  We went to the homeschool co-op’s All Saints Day party this morning, and Mr. S dressed up as St. Francis and little T was St. Clare:

They were so cute sitting through mass in their costumes!  Thank goodness it was a short mass today, usually I take candy in my purse to entice them into silence, but I forgot today and had to hope for good behavior.  They held up well for a three and four year old!

The saints costumes will be used again in future years – I bought them both on eBay and they are way too large for the kids, so I pinned the hem and the sleeves up this year.  Next year we can reuse the costume with different saint names 🙂

Happy Halloween weekend, everyone!

I’m a Catholic mother!

That’s not exactly news, but I am excited to have a new button on my sidebar.  I’ve joined Catholic Mothers Online, a blog and blogroll featuring Catholic mothers who blog on a wide variety of topics.  If you are a Catholic mom, or just want to see what Catholic moms are blogging about, check them out!

Stay tuned for updates on Zoo Week – we’re reading books about going to the zoo and making zoo animal crafts in preparation for our planned trip to Zoo Atlanta on Thursday!  I’m probably more excited than Mr. S at this point, I just love the new Sun Bear exhibit.