easter

Into the desert

Lent is almost here again.

I can still feel the pancakes from our EARLY Shrove Tuesday breakfast digesting in my stomach :). Curly sue and Fuzz are finishing theirs off for morning tea while watching an episode of Mister Maker. The elder two Β wish they had not eaten theirs in one sitting :).

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The rain is pouring outside, the wind roaring and whistling down the chimney. It is a bleak day. Autumn is here doing its best to remind us that winter is just around the corner.

And as I take a moment to gather my thoughts, I am struck by the stark beauty of the season upon us.

Lent strips everything back like the stormy wind outside.
It exposes our weaknesses and failings.
It makes us vulnerable and in need of protection.
We find our hearts seeking shelter, seeking the warmth of Gods merciful embrace.

Lent opens our eyes again to the brutal, humbling reality of the Cross

Allowing us to pick up our own with renewed vigor as we walk beside Christ.

Lent is not pretty or comfortable.
It is inconvenient and long.

Through the season of Lent we are painfully, beautifully moulded into a better likeness of Christ.

I have come to LOVE Lent!

As today is the last day before it all begins, I have been making preparations. Below is a list of what our wee family will be doing. Feel free to use any ideas as most of mine are inspired by others πŸ™‚

Lent in our Home

Hubby, Myself, Sunshine (9), Master Luke (6), Curly Sue (4) & Fuzz (2)

– Family prayer table covered with a purple sheet and simplified. Room made for Lenten prayer focuses. Crucifix left uncovered.

– Lenten chain – a paper chain made up of a purple link for each day (a different colour for Sundays) before Holy Week. Each link has something written on it to do. Each day you break open the link for the day and action what it says. I got this idea from a range of pins on Pinterest :), but below is the list I have created for our family πŸ™‚

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  • Ash Wed: Bury Hallelujah (make a sign with the word Hallelujah on it), seal it in a plastic bag and bury it πŸ™‚ You get the symbolism
  • Thurs 6th – Trad feast of St Perpetua & Felicity (watch DVD from Catholic Heroes) and talk about sacrifice and love
  • Frid 7th – Stations of the cross (great colouring in ones online)
  • Sat 8th – Temptation cookies (bake cookies and place them somewhere prominent to cool. Kids can’t eat them until Sunday. Discuss temptation πŸ™‚
  • Sun 9th – Confession and Mass (feast of St Dominic Savio)
  • Mon 10th – Make a tomb scene (pinterest has HEAPS of ideas!… not sure which one we will use yet :))
  • Tues 11th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet (these happen to fall onto the same day for us with our outings!)
  • Wed 12th – Memorise the Act of Faith
  • Thurs 13th -Fill a bag of toys/clothes to donate to SVDP
  • Frid 14th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 15th – Acts of service around home
  • Sun 16th – Confession and Mass
  • Mon 17th – St Patrick’s Day
  • Tues 18th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 19th – St Joseph
  • Thurs 20th – Make a get well parcel for Great Grandma
  • Frid 21st – Decide on and make a meatless meal for the family
  • Sat 22nd – Family Sabbath meal (as a child my family used to have a very simple Sabbath meal each Saturday night to welcome in the Sunday. I’ll post about this closer to the time :))
  • Sun 23rd – Confession & Mass
  • Mon 24th – Trad feast of St Gabriel
  • Tues 25th – Feast of the ANNUNCIATION Β (other activities as well as bring flowers for Mary statue and visit Jesus in Adoration)
  • Wed 26th – Make a salt dough crown of thorns and nails
  • Thurs 27th – Make up a food parcel for SVDP (St Vincent de Paul Society)
  • Frid 28th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 29th – Acts of service at Grandparents home
  • Sun 30th – Confession & Mass
  • Mon 31st – Make stick puppets for Holy Week (stay tuned!)
  • Tues 1st April – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 2nd – Write thank you letters to Priests
  • Thurs 3rd – Visit the local Zoo – talk about the significance of Jesus the Lamb of God and see the donkey’s (weather permitting!!!!) … otherwise we will use toys and books at home πŸ™‚
  • Frid 4th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 5th – Sabbath Meal with friends
  • Sun 6th – Trad PASSION SUNDAY – Confession & Mass (religious pictures/statues put away or covered with purple tissue paper)
  • Mon 7th – Finish making puppets
  • Tues 8th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 9th – Watch an Easter MovieΒ (this is a fave… “the Miracle Maker”… need to find a DVD copy as we don’t have a VCR anymore! :))
  • Thurs 10th – Make prayer cards to give out as gifts on Palm Sunday
  • Frid 11th – Make an Easter parcel for an old lady the children now
  • Sat 12th – Feast of St Gemma Galgani
  • Sun 13th – PALM SUNDAY

– Fasting from meat and only simple meals on Fridays

– Listening toΒ Lent in Ephesus , a BEAUTIFUL CD of music for Lent πŸ™‚ ( I got mine off Itunes)

For me personally I am doing the following:

– No Facebook πŸ™‚
– Skirt/dress a day…. Aghhhh! This one I’ve been unsure about but it would be VERY challenging for pants loving me… So therefore probably very beneficial πŸ™‚
– reading some of St Alphonsus Liguori’s work and A Thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp
– rising before 6am to pray

I pray that this wonderful, graced season will bear much fruit in your life and in the life of your family.

Remember all is naught if there is no charity in our hearts! πŸ™‚

“Do everything in Love!” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Blessings!

Ruth xxx

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Christ has Risen (Matt Maher)

Just thought I would share our favourite Easter song to listen to at the moment! Even the kids join in with “Oh death, where is your sting!”

Blessings

Ruth

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Christ Is Risen

by Matt Maher (from album “Alive Again”)

Let no one caught in sin remain*
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heavens will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he’s alive! he’s alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Rise up from the grave…

(To hear the song click the link to the video below)

Check out this video!

Da Vinci meets Greens

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Actually more just something that happened :)…

After our maths lesson today, Sunshine, Master Luke and I played the card game Snap. Master Luke is finally getting the hang of this game but after one round of playing for matching numbers, we changed it to matching suits. This was a little too much for him and there was much giggling and silliness as he got muddled… I eventually said “Oh stop giggling and keep your eye on the game!”…. to which he face planted, eye glued to the cards!!! πŸ™‚ Still at the literal stage πŸ™‚

RESOURCE OF THE DAY: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

Being a REALLY big fan of Da VInci, I was very excited to see this fantastic resource pinned on Pinterest. Lacy, a fantastic, creative and generous home schooling mum and the lady behind catholicicing.com, has made a fantastic reproducible activity based on Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper painting.

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We have a wonderful set of Fine Art books that I have inherited and Sunshine in particular loves pouring over them on a regular basis. As we are in Holy Week, I thought that this activity would be a great way of mixing a little art history with faith formation πŸ™‚

This is our finished product….

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Sunshine and Curly Sue coloured in the characters and Master Luke helped with constructing the egg box table and sticking everyone on. A lovely team effort and something that will take pride of place over this Easter weekend.

If you want to give it a try yourself or keep it for next year, the link is as follows…

http://catholicicing.com/2010/03/holy-thursday-last-supper-craft/

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Little tip… find a picture of the original painting and get the children to work out which disciple is which and where they go on the table ( you could tell them, but then what’s the fun in that! πŸ™‚ )

Thanks Lacy for another fantastic resource onΒ http://catholicicing.com

MUMMY THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

As I couldn’t find my Magnificat (www.magnificat.com) or prayer journal this morning, I picked up my childhood bible which was closest to me. It opened onto Revelations and as I was an avid highlighter in my earlier days, a bright blue section caught my eye.

Revelations chapter 4 & 5…. John sees heaven…

Being a very visual person, my heart and mind were again swept heavenwards by these powerful and awe inspiring words! This part in particular has stuck with me today and so therefore I wanted to share it…

” They all sang a new song to the Lamb:

You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,

because you were killed;

and with the blood of your death you bought men for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation.

You made them to be a kingdom of priests for our God.

And they will rule on the earth.” Β (Rev 5:9-10)

May God bless you all in these days leading up to Easter with eyes and ears open to his Word!

Ruth