Sunday, March 31, 2013

~The Miracle of the Empty Tomb~

Happy Easter!
JESUS LEAVING TOMB photo JESUSLEAVINGTHETOMB-LARGE.jpg
John 20: 1-18


Friends have a beautiful, memorable Easter Sunday!
~Alleluia~


Back tomorrow with our Triduum activities and birthday celebration!

Until then,

~Chris

Friday, March 29, 2013

Artful Friday: Crucifixion Paintings


Welcome, friends, to my corner of the web today on this Good Friday.
Many of us are keeping online time limited~
This will be a short post with a quick and easy
 but lovely craft idea for this most holy day of our Liturgical Year.

For today's "Artful Friday" post, I'm sharing a craft idea 
for the Triduum that my kids created.
 I was lucky enough to find this   
at one of my favorite blogs, that of  
the always-creative Mom, Nancy, at Do Small Things with Love.
Nancy's creativity and generosity of idea sharing
 just emanates from my laptop when I'm open to her blog!

My kids created their crucifixion art yesterday 
while we boiled eggs for dying and 
finished the final chapter of our favorite Lenten read
And that was it for calm and creativity this week!
Have a crucifix, watercolors and paint pad in the house? 
Of course you do...
Pull   out  the art supplies and take your crucifix down for a few minutes.
 Within half an 
hour from set up to clean up, you're done.
 You'll have beautiful Easter artwork to display!

We did ours a bit differently than Nancy's method.

My little guy created his as such:









~The finished product~


My older son decided to create his with specific coloring on either side of the cross .
He is the narrator  in our parish's living Stations of the Cross,
 which  the 7th graders will  present tonight. 
 The DRE has staged the Blessed Mother on Jesus's left, 
dressed in blue and Mary Magdalene on His right, in red. 
That's how he chose to bring color to his piece.
Also, he painted the paper first before tracing the crucifix.

Here's his artwork:




~The final piece~



Here they are having some fun before heading out into the 
street to play stickball with neighbors.

Their artwork framed as centerpieces on our Good Friday table:


We'll move them onto the counter when we sit to eat.
On the menu: 
tilapia, mixed veggies, rice and Irish soda bread, 
before we head out to church for the Stations.

Thank you again, Nancy, for this fantastic and  beautiful  idea!

 Here are a few recent "Artful Friday" posts, 
in case there is anything from the past  that interests you:
The Arts in Our Homeschool This Week
 ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)
 Lenten, Valentine and Papal Crafts
( Not an "Atful Friday" post, but you will find some creative links to papal studies here. )
Mercy Crosses, Lenten wreaths, Rosary Making, Music Lessons
Strings, Keys, Sketches
Strings for the Beginner
Yeats, Joyce and Watercolor with a Little Vivaldi Thrown in!


Friends, have a blessed and beautiful Good Friday and  happy Easter!


Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious tim 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


      
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


~Chris



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real ~ March 27th



Good morning, friends and welcome to my little spot on the web today!
~Our pretty, our happy, our funny and our real this week~

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ 
Thanks to Like Mother, Like Daughter, for hosting.
round button chicken


~PRETTY~
Only three lessons so far, but he really does sound lovely!
The kids seem to have an 'ear' for music.
I hear tell that Easter baskets may be laden with some violin 'classics' sheet music.
Can't wait!

~HAPPY~
You know it~
 As Boardwalk and Park Place go, so goes the game......
I was not the proud owner of these  lodging establishments.
So, yeah, I lost.

~FUNNY~
What's that, you say?
Pizza is not funny?
A child's homemade pizza that he worked hard to concoct  
and  is excited about sharing?
Not funny?
Well, you weren't here this weekend when we cut into his library cooking class pizza!
Oh my. 
Very funny.
Worst pizza ever!
Good grief, it was bad.
Cut picture though.


~REAL~
Passion Sunday mass procession.
Our choir boy is shockingly, one of the oldest in the children's choir this year.
How did that happen?
He got to lead the procession up the aisle, because he tells me.....
 the director says he 
"knows what's going on."
And yes, the kid's on top of things.
Where would I be without this boy?
Love that. Love our church, our choir director, her hard work and of course,
love our Lord.
Beautiful, moving mass. 
These kids are amazing.


I thank you for stopping in today and I hope that
 wherever the day takes you,  it is peaceful  and happy.
Have a  wonderful day and a blessed Triduum.

 Until next time,

~Chris

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Redesign...

For anyone stopping in  this afternoon, 
I apologize for the mess of my blog!
I'm trying to redesign and margins are all over the place 
with sidebar gadgets disorganized.
Hopefully this will not be the case soon.

Thanks for understanding and for stopping over,
Chris

Wordless Wednesday: Forgiven





~Mercy~

The theme of this week. .....
For all of us.

The mercy of the Lord.
Always forgiving. Never denying.

   Then Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 
Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times,
 but seventy times seven..."  Matt 18:21-22

Although the above shots were taken over three years ago, 
they capture symbolism of this week.
 Of our Faith.
My little guy, receiving his Sacrament of Reconciliation, on, of all days, his birthday.
What a gift.
His 7th birthday in December, 2009.


                                                      Thank you for stopping in today, friends.
I'm happy to link up to  Wordless Wednesday 
hops with these lovely blogs :

Small Things
Wordless Wednesday



Wordless Wednesdays

Have a  wonderful day and a blessed Triduum.

 Until next time,

~Chris


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Try A New Recipe Tuesday: Lemon Poppy Muffins



Good morning friends and welcome to my corner of the web today!
Love Tuesdays!

A few wonderful blog hops brighten our mid week and help me keep 
 my family's homeschooling momentum going! 
Sine this is Holy Week, with the exception of daily read alouds and independent reading, 
piano and violin lessons and the kids' rehearsals at church
 to prepare for the living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday
 and choir hymns at the Easter  vigil, 
I have to say, we're taking a much needed break from routine this week.
We'll be resuming our rigor the day after Easter and plowing through the remainder of this school year's curriculum until we slow things up again around Memorial Day.
Well, that's the plan anyway. 
Then I assess and tackle "what we really need to cover this year but didn't yet"
 and administer their standardized tests.
June's routine is much lighter as we head into summer break.!
Yay!

In fact, I write about balance, checklists, laundry and grace this week
in my column at Catholic Lane.
If you're so inclined, go check it out,  (thank you!) as well as the inspiration found there. 
Seriously, the writers at CL hit one outta the park every time; I wonder how on Earth they publish me alongside these writers with  teeth!
 But they do and I'm honored.
I reprinted my column for my Memoir Monday post yesterday 
( yup, running a bit low on time! )
 Blogger friends, please look into my Memoir Monday hop and consider linking up!
 I'd love it if you shared your stories with us in the hop!
A few of my blogger friends have linked such amazing reflections
 and I am flattered that they did so......

So, my recipe share for this week~
Lemon Poppy Muffins
Our family is getting set for the baseball season, which begins the weekend after Easter. We're a three sport family and very active in our CYO.
 Soccer in Fall; basketball in winter and baseball in spring.
Two boys generate lots of mitts, bats, helmets, mud, dirty uniforms, 
game and practice schedules and yes, cleats...
You know the drill. We're all happily in the same boat!
And so, we need simple, filling and nutritious foods.....
 Since  we're at the field for many hours 
every Saturday from beginning of April  until end of June,  
we've found these muffins to be a great  breakfast/snack staple.
Making our own is easier, cheaper and less time consuming
 than stopping at 7-11 or a deli for a pick-up  breakfast.
 They're tasty and easily stored in the cooler with
 some fruit and water bottles on the hot baseball field.
 We also rely on my hubby's blueberry muffins 
as well as my Irish soda bread recipe, which I'll be sharing soon.

So, here goes;
There are a lot of ingredients, but you know I'm all for simplicity:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (1/2-cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • finely grated zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon, until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Stir in flour mixture; then add  lemon juice and  poppy seeds. 

Pour into muffin tin; place in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or so.

Enjoy!

I'm  happy to link up with my friends who host these awesome blog hops...
Please head over to  Home to 4 Kiddos for Lisa's Try a New Recipe Hop, 
for their In and Out of the Kitchen Hop,  as well as 
for some wonderful treats!
Please  check out their warm, inviting spots on the web,
 as well as the bloggers who've linked their recipes.

                                              Feeding Big                                                                                              



                                                  



Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays                                                        
                                              




(You know, in the "draft," these badges are all laid out beautifully. Then I hit
"publish" and this happens! Yikes)


Thank you  for stopping in !



Have a  wonderful day!



 Until next time,


~Chris

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Memoir Monday: Gratitude and Grace


                                                       


Good morning, friends!
Welcome to my corner of the web AND welcome back to another Memoir Monday!  This post, About Memoir Monday,  will fill you in on the details of the link up and contains links to previous Memoir Monday posts. 

As we step  into Holy Week and turn the page into spring and the last three months of the school year, I began pondering all things 'balance.'  And so I reflect:

Activity versus stillness. Sound versus silence. Society versus solitude. I still, now for fleeting moments, still, have a measure of control over the feeling, the tenor, the rhythm of my children's
days.As the mother of two lively boys, athletic boys, theater-loving boys, exploring boys, immersed-in-everything boys, I am forever seeking. Forever balancing. Forever juggling. Forever discerning.  





                                                                                        There is a distinct, absolute, tangible widening between my vision of a harmonious family life and our real life day-to-day journey. The ebb and flow of home-comings and goings. The hectic pace required to meet volunteer commitments, timely arrival at rehearsals, practices and team events. In our homeschooling journey, we are truly blessed to spend much of our life’s journey, many of our days, together. Living, learning, immersed in our shared schedules. Yet, as the boys grow ever more independent, the actual time we spend together, be it involved in academic or leisure pursuits, inevitably shrinks. Maintaining a balance becomes ever more vital. And ever more challenging.
We, Moms, are efficiency experts. Checklists abound. Deadlines are met; daily and, yes, yearly educational goals are accomplished; volunteer work is done; dinner is served. Yet, we, Moms, also strive for a quality in our lives that has nothing to do with checklists and goals met.
We know that none of this could be embarked upon without guidance. We cannot do it alone. We are not meant to do it alone. We need our Lord and Savior. We need to know Him. To seek Him. And blessed us! His omnipresence is reassuring and revitalizing. And redemptive.
All we need do is whisper a quiet prayer. A few words of gratitude. A few words seeking patience. A few words offering a burden to a soul in purgatory; a soul who has no one. A few words which will envelop us in peace, in comfort, in the softness of the Lord’s love. A few words which will allow us to continue in our daily work, our daily graces, in our vocation of motherhood.



For we know we are blessed. We are grace-filled. During this season of repentance. During any season of our lives.
The above is my most recent column posted at  Catholic Lane  Please head over to this beautiful site for Catholic inspiration and information.

I am gratefully linking this to the 
Catholic Bloggers Network link up blitz.

Now, friends, it's your turn:
Please link up your stories, your reflections, your memories, your thoughts. You have no idea how inspirational you can be! I just ask that you link back to my blog. Feel free to  grab my button for your post or your sidebar.







Friday, March 22, 2013

Artful Friday: Yeats, Joyce and Watercolor with a Little Vivaldi Thrown In!

Well, hello there!    I hope all is well with you, friends......

As you know, I've been devoting my Friday blogging to The Arts in our homeschool.  Here are a few recent "Artful Friday" posts, in case there is anything from the past  that interests you:
The Arts in Our Homeschool This Week
 ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)
 Lenten, Valentine and Papal Crafts
( Not an "Atful Friday" post, but you will find some creative links to papal studies here. )
Mercy Crosses, Lenten wreaths, Rosary Making, Music Lessons
Strings, Keys, Sketches
Strings for the Beginner
                                               
Poetry in Watercolor~
Around St Patrick's Day, we always read and live  snippets of literary pieces by Irish poets....James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Davis and William Allingham.  We are an Irish family, you know! Okay, half Irish.... <sniff> my poor kids are only half Irish......   <sniff>  

Anyway, as it turns out there are a few poets which really grabbed the boys, specifically Yeats and Joyce. We copied "favorite" lines, discussed literary elements such as metaphor, similes, alliteration and learned about the lives and influences of these colorful Irish writers.

Within this wonderful collection, which we read all throughout the year, not just around St Patty's Day,  works from well known Irish writers can be discovered:
                                                         

Our focus for the  projects were these poems,  by Joyce and Yeats specifically:

All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters

All day I hear the noise of waters
Making moan,
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going
Forth alone,
He hears the winds cry to the water's
Monotone.

The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing
Where I go.
I hear the noise of many waters
Far below.
All day, all night, I hear them flowing
To and fro.  
~James Joyce
Cute. 

I guess.

 Maybe the first 38  times or so. 

Anyway, the story is "The Boarding House" and  since its theme revolves around an illicit affair and the family's focus on trickery around trapping a boarder into marriage rather than on Polly's honor, well, we skipped this one, For now, anyway. We did  enjoy a few passages from the stream of consciousness classic, Finnegan's Wake! The whole concept of 'Finnegan' was a hoot to them!

                                                 
Warercolor Fun~
  A few other watercolor tips, tricks and sites we stumbled upon this week that you might enjoy.........
1. This site explains easily and simply a few  watercolor texture techniques to make working with this medium a bit richer and more fun, if you so desire.

 2.  A fun video that your kids will be sure to spend time enjoying...The artist who produced this adorable video also keeps a blog where she shares awesome creations.


As well as my son's  rendition of the watercolor pug. Didn't he do a great job? 






His fave stuffed animal ever is his pug and so this is especially cute!

                                                    
And while the reading and painting was underway, we largely focused on  Antonio Vivaldi, his life and times, his influences and his compositions.  This site details biographical info on the Baroque composers; I think you'll find it a nice complement to the atmosphere as your kids soak up his genius while this plays.  We learned a tremendous amount about this man whose works, but not his life story, are so well known. Mike Venezia also wrote  a bio on Vivaldi in his Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series.

These titles are fun  as well:

Vivaldi's Four Seasons  







I Vivaldi
        

                         


Now, my kids just began violin lessons last month..... ( and here is a post which includes the resources that their teacher is using with them )    But I could not resists picking this up for them this week when we were on our Vivaldi kick. Something to aspire to after the exercises of their weekly lessons, right?

                                                


I'm happy to link this to the #BloggingHomeschoolers
monthly link up at Teach Beside Me!
Please click over for some awesome, informative 
homeschool ideas!

Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


      
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,



~Chris