Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Week of Celebrating


This is quite the week for celebrating feasts in the Church, isn't it?! We started with Michaelmas yesterday, today is the feast of St. Jerome, and we also will be celebrating St. Therese, the Holy Guardian Angels, and St. Francis as well! (Click the links to see our plans.)

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Jerome. St. Jerome is one of the great "Fathers of the Church." He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, called the Vulgate (meaning "common language of the people"). It is historically the most important vernacular edition of the Holy Scriptures. He was a brilliant man, and St. Augustine has been quoted to say, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no man has ever known."

Last night, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I noticed our cupcake stand was still more than half full (Dinner was so yummy and filling, that my children were hardly able to eat one cupcake each.). I remembered the lion cupcakes we made for the feast of St. Mark. It wouldn't be hard to turn those leftover cupcakes into lions! (Jenn was thinking along the same lines!)

So, after lunch today, the kids and I made some caramel corn -- this recipe from Mary is sooooo easy and delicious!-- and then the kids decorated the cupcakes to enjoy as they colored and listened to a couple stories about St. Jerome.


I was so excited to find a inexpensive copy of Margaret Hodges, St. Jerome and the Lion a few months back. It is out of print, but so worth keeping your eyes open for a used copy. We also read the story of St. Jerome found in another great book, Legends of Saints and Beasts.


Other than that, we just stuck with a couple core subjects today (Math, Language Arts and Religion), and have spent the rest of the time enjoying having hubby/daddy back home! :)

Happy Feast of St. Jerome!

Plans for the Feast of St. Therese


The Feast of St. Therese is coming up!!! It is celebrated on October 1st on the New Calendar, and on October 3rd on the Traditional Calendar. I am still trying to finalize our own plans, but I thought I would take a minute to share a few ideas with you all...

Prayer:

We will finish up our novena, and then Pray the Rosary with St. Therese.

A MORNING PRAYER WRITTEN BY ST. THERESE

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity. Amen.

Food/Snacks:

Last year we made little éclairs, since they were St. Therese's favorite treat. I think we will make these again for an afternoon snack.

I am also planning on making the Rose Petal Coconut Cake suggested in My Nameday, Come for Dessert for dessert, and serving it with a Rosy Punch, suggested in The Cook's Blessings, for my hubby and I, and a non-alcoholic version for my children.

Another fun idea, if you happen to have a rose shaped pan, would be to use a Strawberry Cake Mix to make mini rose shaped cupcakes. Marci made these this past summer, and they were a hit! I should really try it out sometime since I have this awesome pan, and have yet to use it!

I have heard it suggested to serve French Food today in her honor. We will probably have French Toast for breakfast if I have a chance to pick up French bread, but if not, we will be making crepes.

If you are looking for more inspiration, Barbara also has a yummy looking recipe for St. Therese Cupcakes and these Rose Basket Cupcakes are super cute as well. Also, here is an instructional video on how to make marzipan roses. Catholic Culture also suggests a Rose Leaf Jam.


Reading, Audio and Video:

You can check out a whole bunch of great books about St. Therese here.

We will be reading:
During our craft time, the children will listen to "God's Little Flower: The True Story of St. Therese of Lisieux."

Hubby and I may watch the movie Therese, but we will definitely all be watching Miracle of St. Therese. It is excellent and I highly recommend it!!!


Copywork:

We will probably use one of her quotes found here.


Craft/Activity:
*We will not be doing all of these, it is just a list of ideas!


"You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them."

St. Therese ~ Pray for Us!


Novena to Saint Thérèse ~ Day Nine

(January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897)
Novena to Saint Thérèse

O St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were -- to that Queen of Heaven “who smiled on you at the dawn of life” Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment...and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Thérèse of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.

DAY NINE

O St. Thérèse, seraphic virgin, beloved spouse of our Crucified Lord, you who on earth did burn with a love so intense toward your God and my God, and now glow with a bright and purer flame in paradise, obtain for me, I beseech you, a spark of that same holy fire which shall help me to put things of the world in their proper place and live my life always conscious of the presence of God. As I conclude my novena I also beg of you to secure for me the special favor I seek at this time...

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Celebrating Michaelmas

Dinner consisted of Apple Chicken, Steamed Carrots, and Angel Hair Pasta, with Sparkling Apple Cider to drink.



For Dessert the children pierced the devil right out of the Devil's food cupcakes with the help of some playmobil swords.



A few of my angels




Snuggles loved the cake this time!



"Yum!! Even my clothes taste good!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Artwork on Michaelmas

The Great Battle for Heaven
by Captain


St. Michael the Archangel
by Rascal


The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ Sep 29th


FOR TODAY : September 29th, 2008, the Feast of Michaelmas

Outside my Window... it is smoky and still smells like skunk. I'll be keeping the windows closed today!

I am thinking... about the movie Albert & Victoria. I just finished watching it, and I really enjoyed it.

From the learning room... lots of angel and rose crafts this week. The girls will be continuing "A" week and learning about Colors and Angels with Little Saints.

I am thankful... that hubby is coming home this morning!!!! They released him a few days early, and we will actually be able to have dinner as a family tonight for the first time in 18 days.

From the kitchen... Gaufres with Blackberry Jam for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and a big feast for dinner including Apple Chicken, Steamed Carrots, Garlic Angel Hair Pasta and Sparkling Apple Cider, followed by Devil's Food Cupcakes for dessert.

I am creating...plans for the feast of St. Therese.

I am going... to try and get caught up on sleep now that hubby will be home.

I am wearing...an apron.

I am reading... all the great posts shared in this weeks From Thy Bounty Fair: Feasting with the Angels. I am so excited that Catholic Cuisine has been such a success and is turning into such a wonderful resource thanks to all the great contributors.

I am hoping... that I don't get too sick.. I am coming down with a sore throat, and have a mild fever. I better start loading up on the Vitamins.

I am hearing... the children playing St. Michael in the other room. Dressed up with wings and swords and all! They are having a blast!

Around the house... Roses from hubby in the living room and a vase of Michaelmas Daisies on the kitchen table.

One of my favorite things... Fresh cut Flowers!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
  • The tutor is only coming today, and then we are taking the rest of the week off. We'll still be doing school, but a light load for the week, so we can enjoy hubby's days off.
  • Celebrate Michaelmas!
  • Celebrate the feast of St. Therese!
  • Celebrate our 9th Anniversary and the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels!
  • Mass and Benediction on Friday, followed by lunch with Father.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing:


I had a standoff with a skunk last night. At about midnight I remembered that I left a trash bag just outside the kitchen door, and went to pull it back inside till morning. He beat me to it, and did not want to give it up. After banging on the door he backed up a little bit and then just stared at me. I went to get my camera and inched the door open to take the picture. I had to bang on the door for about 5 minutes before he ran back up the hill and I was able to grab the trash bag. :S

It took me all day to get around to finishing this post, a few seconds at a time! :) To see more Daybook entry's, click here.

I hope you all have a simply wonderful week!

Novena to Saint Thérèse ~ Day Eight


Novena to Saint Thérèse

O St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were -- to that Queen of Heaven “who smiled on you at the dawn of life” Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment...and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Thérèse of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.

DAY EIGHT

O glorious St. Thérèse, who, burning with the desire of increasing the glory of God, invariably attended to the sanctification of your soul by the constant practice of prayer and charity so that, becoming in the Church a model of holiness, you are now in Heaven the protector of all those who have recourse to you in faith, look down upon me who invokes your powerful patronage and join your petition to mine that I be granted the favor I seek in this novena...

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plans for the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels


Shortly after Michaelmas, on October 2nd, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.

"Every person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation. Angelical guardianship begins at the moment of birth; prior to this, the child is protected by the mother's guardian angel. It continues throughout our whole life and ceases only when our probation on earth ends, namely, at the moment of death. Our guardian angel accompanies the soul to purgatory or heaven, and becomes our coheir in the heavenly kingdom." ~ Catholic Culture

Here are a few of our plans for this special feast.

Prayer:
Before dinner, we will pray the following table blessing:
Table Blessing for the Feast of the Guardian Angels
Source: Table Blessings: Mealtime Prayers Throughout the Year

Reading: They come, God's messengers of love, they come from realms of peace above, from homes of never-fading light, from blessful mansions ever bright. Lord, to us the zeal of angels give, with love to serve you while we live; To us an angel-guard supply, when on the bed of death we lie. (Robert Campbell)

Responsory Verse: God gave his angels charge over us,

Response:
to protect us in all our ways.

The Lord's Prayer

Blessing: Almighty God, our creator, we unite with the choir of angels to sing your praises daily. And today, we give you thanks for giving the angels to us, as messengers of your mysteries and as protectors of our bodies and souls. Grant us to share this meal in peace, joy, and thanksgiving, being always mindful of the unfailing protection of our guardian angels. We ask you this, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

We will also pray the Angel of God, The Angelus, and I will pray my personal favorite, A Mother's Prayer to the Guardian Angels of her children:

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly Friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company. Amen.


Food/Snacks:
I still haven't decided on a recipe for dinner yet, though it will most likely be a dish made with Angel Hair pasta.

But for dessert, in contrast to the "Devil's Food" cupcakes that we made for the feast of St. Michael, I plan on making an "Angel Food" cake for this feast day. I will serve it with of fluffy whipping cream clouds!

In fact, I may buy a ready made angel food cake, and make a trifle. It's super easy and very yummy. Just tear the cake up into bite sized pieces, and layer them alternately with fresh strawberries or raspberries and whipped cream. I would use my favorite trifle bowl, but any bowl will do.

And for an afternoon treat, the children will each receive an Angel Lollipop Favor that was sent home from the Autumn Festival we attended last week. A very talented mom made these for all the children out of card stock! I love them!

 


Reading:


Crafts:

  • Make Rainbow Angels! We are still on "a" (for Angels!) week (I am switching to a letter every 2 weeks -- with everything else, one per week is just too much!) and since we will be learning about both Colors and Angels this week in Little Saints!
  • Angel of God Craft provided in Little Saints
  • Color Charlotte's adorable coloring page to add to our notebooks along with our copywork.

Copywork:

Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear,
to whom His love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and to guard,
to rule and guide. Amen.


O my dear Angel Guardian, preserve me from the misfortune of offending God.

Plans for Michaelmas

Painting of St. Michael that we were given as a gift,
and was painted by a dear friend.

The feast of St. Michael the Archangel, also known as Michaelmas, is celebrated on September 29th.

"The name of this Archangel means "who is like unto God?" In the Old Covenant he is made known to us as the "great prince," the protector of the children of Israel (Dan. 12, 1). Through the New Testament the Church continues this patronage of Michael (Apoc. 12, 7) and has always venerated him as the guardian angel of the kingdom of Christ on earth, as the heavenly leader in the fight against all enemies of God. For this reason he was the special patron of Christian soldiers fighting against pagan armies. In the fierce battles of the imperial troops against the heathen Magyars in Bavaria (933 and 955) Saint Michael’s help was invoked by all fighters with prayer and song and battle cry, and the victory was gratefully attributed to him." ~ Catholic Culture

Here is what we will be doing to celebrate the feast of this great Saint:

Prayer:

Our family will be celebrating a nameday on this feast and so we will be saying the following prayer found in My Nameday, Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin. (I believe that this book is out of print, but I was able to find an inexpensive copy on Amazon, and it is also available online here.)
Father: The Lord, King of archangels.

All: Come, let us adore, alleluia.

Father: I looked up and saw a man standing there clad all in linen and his girdle was of fine gold. Clear as a topaz his body was, like the play of lightning shone his face; and like burning crossets his eyes; arms and legs of him had the sheen of bronze, and when he spoke, it was like the murmur of a throng.

All: He bestows favors on those nations who honor him, and his prayer leads them to the kingdom of heaven, alleluia.

Father: The angel Michael, chief in paradise, to whom the angelic citizens pay honor.

All: Most glorious prince, archangel Michael, be mindful of us here and everywhere; pray ever for us to the Son of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Father: From the writings of Pope St. Gregory the Great:

Michael means "Who is like God!" When any work of remarkable power is to be done, we are told it is Michael who is sent, that from both his action and his name we may understand that none can accomplish what God in His might accomplishes.

All: Salvation belongs to our God, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who ordained the services of angels and men in wonderful order, be pleased to grant that our life on earth may be guarded by those who stand always ready to serve You in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Food/Snacks:

In her book Cooking for Christ, Florence Berger shares the tradition of making waffles baked in a Guafrette Iron for Michaelmas Day. She says, "Our family has not yet invested in a true French Gaufrier, but we use a waffle iron to make an American version of St. Michael's Gaufres. The recipe is like that of waffles." I think I will follow her lead and do the same! :)

GAUFRES
(St. Michael's Waffles)
from Cooking for Christ

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4-1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Blend eggs and sugar. Add flour and milk alternately. Beat hard. Add butter and vanilla. The mixture is thin and should spread evenly on the preheated iron. If Gaufres tend to stick, butter both sides of the iron. Serve hot or cold.

We will be topping our breakfast "Gaufres" with Blackberry Syrup. Doesn't that sound yummy? In A Book of Feasts and Seasons, the author, Joanna Bogle, says that "It is a tradition that blackberries are no good to eat after September 29th because 'the Devil spat on them when he was cast out of Heaven into Hell on Michaelmas'! So the days just before Michaelmas are your last chance for bottling blackberries and making blackberry jam." I had hoped to take the children blackberry picking, but we just haven't had the chance. However, I was able to pick some up from the market! ;) I love blackberries!

Now for dinner... I read on Fisheaters, that "geese were, at least at one time, plentiful during this time of year, so roast goose dinners are traditional (eating them on this day is said to protect against financial hardship, according to Irish and English folk belief). It was also the time (at least in Ireland) when the fishing season ended, the hunting season began, and apples were harvested, so eating apples today with that goose would be a nice touch." I have no idea where I can find us a goose, so instead, I will be making one of our favorite dishes, Apple Chicken and serving it with steamed baby carrots and angel hair pasta.

Apple Chicken

6 skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup dijon mustard
3 apples -- unpeeled, cored & sliced 1/2" thick
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in large skillet. Brown chicken over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Combine apple juice and mustard; pour over chicken. Cover; cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Add apples, raisins and green onions. Cover; Cook 5-10 minutes longer. Place chicken and apples on a serving platter; keep warm. Gradually stir combined cornstarch and water into cider liquid. Cook and stir until thickened. Serve sauce over chicken and apples.
(I usually double this recipe for our family.)

For dessert I *LOVED* the idea of making devil's food cake and letting the children stab it with little swords! I can't remember where I first saw this idea (most likely from Mary or Jenn), but I know my children, especially my boys, will be in heaven. ;)

To keep it simple I purchased a boxed cake mix and made devil's food cupcakes with chocolate frosting and placed them on our cupcake rack. Now if I could just find those little cocktail swords I bought... I guess we can always break out the box of playmobil!


I was so excited that this little statue of St. Michael from my
Mother-in-law fit perfectly at the top of the stand.


There are so many wonderful traditions and recipes linked to this feast! I am looking forward to trying out more recipes and ideas in the future, and if you would like some more inspiration, don't miss the post at Catholic Cuisine!


Reading:

Craft/Activity:
  • I hope to paint a "St. Michael" to add to our Alphabet of Saints.
  • Make an angel Spoon Saint.
  • My children just colored these beautiful coloring pages on Friday at our homeschool groups Autumn Festival, and so now my boys have been inspired to draw their own St. Michael as well. They are working on them right now, in fact!
  • Another craft we did on Friday, was making apple prints. When you cut the apples in half, cross wise, don't forget to show your children how the 5 seeds inside the 5-pointed star found inside represent the Five Wounds of Christ!


Copywork:

What would be more fitting than the St. Michael prayer? This prayer was written by Pope Leo XIII after he had a vision of the battle between the "Woman clothed with the sun" and the great dragon who tried to devour her child at birth, in the Book of Revelation.

I downloaded this pdf (thanks Jenn!) for the children to color, and then copy (or cut & paste for my younger ones) the St. Michael prayer onto. It's perfect! They will each add it to their Liturgical Year Notebooks.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the Divine Power of God - cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


I hope you all have a very wonderful Michaelmas!!

St. Michael ~ Pray for us!