Category - Faith

Ash Wednesday
Epiphany 2014
A Month of Instagram – June
First Communion, Bip’s Turn
Bip’s First Communion Banner
Big Sacrament Weekend
Lent is Coming!
Merry Christmas!
Saint Kateri

Ash Wednesday

How is it March already?  I think January and February speed by the fastest of all the months, which is sad for me because I love winter. I’m just glad that this year, Lent and Easter have held off until February was over.

Last year, Bip and I started a Lent Lapbook.  If you’re a homeschooler, you are probably at least vaguely family with lapbooks as a good hands-on way to teach material on one central topic.  Even though Lent has begun, it isn’t too late to start a lapbook.  I do not possess the organizational skills to actually create one from scratch, so I purchased mine as a download from this site: Lapbooks for Catholics -Lent.   The printable file is $10, which isn’t a bad deal, considering how many pages and activities it comes with.  Most of the activities have multiple options to meet the abilities of a range of children.

Lent Lap BookLent Lap Book 2There is so many activities included that we didn’t even get close to finishing last year.  I chose the things that were most important that Bip learn as a 2nd grader. Now we’re going to add more to it this year and build on what he knows.  This could turn into a multi-year study of Lent for us!

Another good resource for Lent is by my friend Jen over at The Polka Dot Posie.  She has created a free printable worksheet to go along with the popular 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge.  She also has some good ideas for making the challenge more about serving others.  Tell her I sent you! The Polka Dot Posie 40 Bags Printable

40Days Printable

Epiphany 2014

three-king_1388657815Here we are at Epiphany already!  I hope your Christmas season was a good one.

We will be blessing our house once again this year.  We use the following simple blessing. We’ll probably do this on Sunday because we get too busy during the week, but the actual date of the Feast of the Epiphany is Monday, January 6.

Epiphany Blessing

All make the Sign of the Cross.

Head of Household: “Peace be to this house and to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things come to be through him, and without him nothing came to be….. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Above the entryway to your house, write with chalk:

20 + C + M + B + 14

(This is the initials of the three magi -Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – with the numerals of the new year surrounding them. C, M, B can also be interpreted as the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “Christ bless this house”.)

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Month of Instagram – June

June Collage 2

1.  I guess the box was better than the toy inside.

2. and 3.  First s’mores of the season

4.  Playing Mr. Potato Head with daddy

5.  Selfie with baby.  No duck lips.

6. Mr Potato is all set for Disneyland

7.  Helping Boo do pushups

8.  What kind of person would draw a mustache on the baby?!?

9.  Bip and Pipsqueak watching videos in Bip’s iPad nook.

First Communion, Bip’s Turn

Last month it was Bip’s turn to receive his First Holy Communion. Our sweet, funny little guy was a bit nervous and excited – just like his mama!  He seems so much smaller than Boo was at his first communion, but Bip wore Boo’s old suit, so apparently they are the same size.

He didn’t really want to wear a suit at all.  But after much glaring and threatening…er, sympathetic nods and patient understanding…he agreed.  He felt better when he saw that some of the other boys in his class wore suits, too.


It was Pentecost Sunday, so the church was still bedecked in red from Confirmation two days before.  Funny enough, I made my first communion on Pentecost, too, all those years ago.BipAndFatherCommunion

Here we are at the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at our church. Let us focus on how nice we all look, and not on the fact that Pumpkin is taller than me.


Bip’s First Communion Banner

Now, before I tell you about Bip’s First Communion, I should show you his First Communion Banner.

We showed Bip many examples of banners from all over the internet.  He chose the elements he liked best, those things that he felt most expressed his faith.

Now here’s a little story of how God takes care of all the little details.  Bip’s banner is significantly smaller than Boo’s and Pumpkin Girl’s, due to the fact that at our current church the banners are hung from the side of the pews instead on the walls.  That means that the big bucket o’ foam letters that we have were too big to fit Bip’s real, very long first name onto the banner.  So when I went to the craft store for the felt, I was also keeping my eye out for something, anything, that I could use for his name that wouldn’t require me to cut out 8 teeny, tiny letters.  And whatever it was would preferably be green, Bip’s favorite color.  And I found one lone package of pre-cut (!), one inch (!!), felt letters in green(!!!).  Not one other package of those letters were left on the shelf.  I think I actually said, “Thank you, God!” aloud, right there in the store.  It was Hobby Lobby though, so if anyone had heard me I probably would have gotten an “amen”!

Ok, where were we?  Oh yes, making the banner.

So I drew the figures that Bip wanted onto the felt and cut them out.  He glued them down.


And here it is!BipBanner2


Our Big Sacrament Weekend was a success.  Nobody else got sick, the weather was nice, nobody melted down.

Boo was Confirmed on Friday evening.  My feelings on this matter are a mixture of pride and nostalgia as that little boy who seemed to be in a constant time-out is growing into fine young man with a mature faith.  We even made him shave the four hairs on his chin for the event.

Earlier in the year he was one of four Confirmation candidates chosen to speak at our parish renewal weekend. His assigned topic was “What the Eucharist Means to Me” and he needed to fill 10 minutes.  Ten minutes is a long time when one is 14 years old and this is your first public speaking event.  He came up with a good solid 5 minutes worth of material and then turned to his constant companion, Pumpkin Girl.  Those two have such a funny relationship.  I can’t even scratch the surface here, but I think it would be fair to say that they are best friends.

So Pumpkin Girl did a little research on the history of the Eucharist which Boo used as a lead in to his main topic and the whole thing turned out rather nicely.  He gave his speech in March and even now, someone will come up to him and ask if he was the young man who had given the talk.

Boo chose King David as his Confirmation saint.  David was a man who struggled in many ways but always had a heart for the Lord.  Boo came up with him on his own and his choice surprised me since most kids chose more recent saints.  But King David is an excellent choice and suits Boo well.  Did make it hard to get him a statue or holy medal, though.

And so the time came and Boo got himself all spiffy for the event.  His sponsor, one of our fellow Catholic homeschoolers from when we were stationed in DC, was able to be here for the day. I got the moment on camera.


In typical Boo fashion, as he returned to the pew after being Confirmed, he flashed a big grin and gave us a thumbs up.  I wasn’t expecting that, so I don’t have a picture.  We couldn’t help but laugh.  It was just so very Boo.  I hope his enthusiasm for God stays with him for the rest of his life.


(Great oogly moogly, I just noticed that he wore his survival bracelet.  Sigh.)

Big Sacrament Weekend

So. I had the worst Mother’s Day ever. Well, the one worst one for me,at least.

To put it bluntly, I got a new toothbrush.

There’s a story here, of course. I got a new toothbrush because that’s what I do every time I get so sick that I find myself moaning over my aching stomach. And when my stomach hurts that much, there’s pretty much only one way out of it. Oh yes. On my knees in the wee hours of the morning, thanking the Good Lord above that the drop-in toilet thingy is doing its job because my face is about to up close and personal with the porcelain throne.

Stomach properly emptied, I returned to bed and slept pretty much most of the rest of the day.

Less than twenty-four hours later I felt much better, keeping food down and my fever was gone. Poor Phil went down about that time, though he didn’t get it nearly as bad.

But what, what, WHAT does this have to do with the title of this post?

I’ll tell you. Two of my boys are receiving sacraments this weekend. We’ve got houseguests coming. The boys can NOT get sick.

It’s been two days since Phil got sick and all the kids seem fine.

But if you could spare a prayer, could you say one that my kids stay healthy?

Thanks, I owe you one!

Lent is Coming!

Good grief, Lent starts on February 13th this year! Get OUT!

Ok, I’m done freaking out.

Two of toughest things in life are that both Girl Scout cookies and Shamrock Shakes are only available during Lent.  Fortunately, at least one McDonald’s in town already has Shamrock Shakes, so we can gobble some up this week.  And GS cookies are freezable.  Just sayin’.

In a completely unrelated event, I was searching for lap books to do with Bip in school and I found a website selling lap books for the Catholic faith.  I just finished printing out the pieces of the Lent book so we can get started on it right away.  A few of the projects should be completed before Ash Wednesday to get the most out of them.  What? Oh yes, a link.  Here you go: Catholic Faith Folders.  I prefer to buy these kind of things and just print them out instead of trying to find all the same information for free and making it fit and look pretty and all that.

And since I’m going on and on about Lent, Jennifer over at Family in Feast and Feria has printable Stations of the Cross. She has lots of different options for printing, including cards to punch holes in and put on a ring and booklets in both small sizes and full page.  Each option comes in color or in black and white.  I like them because the text is simple for children without being babyish and the pictures are real artwork, not cartoons.  I’m not fond of the kids Stations books that our church uses.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at the Mac and Cheese house.  We woke to beautiful, freshly fallen snow and it has just started snowing again. I have tried to say something pithy here about love and loss and grief and hope, but nothing sounds right.  So instead, I will share with you my favorite non-carol Christmas song. Merry Christmas!

Saint Kateri

Several people were canonized today and among them was Kateri Tekakwitha.   I don’t always follow Catholic news, so I just found out a couple of months ago that this was going to happen.  Pumpkin Girl was so excited because she has been praying for Kateri to get that last miracle.  She wanted to use Kateri as her Confirmation name and wasn’t sure she would be able to if Kateri was not yet canonized.  And with her Confirmation just 2 1/2 years away, she was running out of time.

But it turns out the miracle that Pumpkin had been praying for occurred in 2006, so the Lord was already answering her prayers.  And I can’t help but think of this day as a special little present for Pumpkin Girl, a way for her to experience God’s love for her.  It is always a good thing when God tells you “yes”.  Not, “no” or even “not yet.”  But a resounding “yes”.

Saint Kateri, pray for us.

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