Last Friday, November 11th we celebrated the feast of St. Martin. We have celebrated this feast for several years by reading the story of St. Martin and the Cloak and baking German Weckmann. If you want to look back at the last few years you can find more information for 2010 and 2009. This year took some creativity on my part to come up with a plan to make our Weckmann, since I needed to make them gluten free. Unlike regular doughs gluten free doughs are like thick cake batter, not something you can shape by hand, so I needed a pan to make them shaped like little men. I came across this gingerbread man pan and thought I would give it a try. I then went searching the internet for a sweet bread recipe and came across this recipe. I was very pleased the kids still got to be involved in making them and they turned out very yummy. I think next year we will try to decorate with some dried fruit again. We enjoyed these with our first cups of hot cocoa for the year.
I have mentioned in a few of my previous posts and on my schedule that in the morning we have faith and virtues time, so I thought I would post a little more about what we do during this time. We gather for this time after breakfast before we start our other lessons for the day. We gather on the couch and start with this wake up prayer: “The sun is up and I am too. I say good morning God to you. Lord, Jesus Christ, be with me today, and help me in all I think, and do, and say.” Then we say another prayer, I change this monthly, this month we are saying the Hail Mary. We then have a reading or other activity on our virtue for that month or our saint for that day.
The kids help me set up our prayer shelf for the month. Here is our current prayer shelf for the month. We have green fabric covering our shelf for the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. We also have two laminated cards one has the quotes about our virtue of the month and the other has definition of our virtue. This month our virtue is perseverance. We have this Rosary book, which we will use this month since this month is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. We always have our Crucifix, Living Faith Kids, a Mary statue and the candle we use for our bedtime prayers. We also add holy cards or saint books throughout the month.
I also wanted to share how I create my plans for the month for our faith and virtues time. I start by printing out a monthly calendar from Catholic Culture and I also read the monthly overview. This calendar goes into the binder I set up, which is divided up by the months of the the year. Then with the information about the liturgical feasts and and highlights for the month I write out lessons plan on this weekly lesson plan form. For a saints feast day I list what books we are going to read, any craft or coloring activity, videos we plan to use, or special meal or dessert we plan to make. In addition to the information on the Catholic Culture website, I also use the Catholic Icing and Catholic Cuisine websites and the book The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions. Most days are very simple and we read about the saints from Saints for Young Readers Everyday. Our weekly lesson plans also include stories and activities for our virtue of the month from P.A.C.E. Program for Achieving Character Education.
I am really enjoying the discussions the kids and I have during this time together. I think learning about saints and virtues, in addition to morning prayers, has been a great way to focus ourselves at the start of our day.
We celebrated the feast of the Birth of Mary on September 8th but I thought I would include it on this weeks post. We celebrated it like we did last year and prayed a Hail Mary for each candle. Annika drew a picture of Mary and helped me decorate the cake.
I won, I won! I won The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook in a giveaway at Emmanuel Books. This book had been on my wish list for the year. I have always been interested in making lapbooks, I think the kids will really enjoy making them. I already had a couple of the Faith Folder Ebooks from Emmanuel Books on my wishlist.
Jude and Harley Bear doing their spelling lesson together.
Our first nature walk of the school year. It was nice to get to wear our jackets 🙂
Annika and her bunny Sweetheart on the nature walk.
Zane and his hedge apples.
Painting Caterpillars for “C” Week
Annika’s purple caterpillar
The past few years I have wanted to celebrate the feast of St. Lucy (December 13th) with the kids and this year I planned a few simple activities to celebrate this day. The boys made star boy hats, I forgot to get pictures of them. Annika colored a cardstock template of a wreath with candles. I made some simple sweet rolls in my bread machine and Annika dressed in white with a red ribbon to serve these rolls at snack time. We were using some the Swedish traditions for St. Lucy’s day. We also talked about St. Lucy and read a little about her from one of our books of saints.
Here are pictures of Annika serving the sweet rolls, she loved doing this!
A little late on posting but here are our pictures from St. Nicholas Day. The kids left their shoes out and were surprised with books and chocolates. Zane was very excited about the chocolate. Jude, Annika, and I made this Peppernut recipe and enjoyed these with hot cocoa. We also enjoyed reading about St. Nicholas and watching Nicholas The Boy Who Became Santa.
We made Weckmann today for St. Martin’s day. The recipe is here, we also colored and made little booklets about St. Martin and the legend of the cloak. The kids look forward to making the Weckmann every year. Zane occupied himself licking the dough on the spoon while Jude and Annika kneaded the dough. We enjoyed them in the afternoon with some hot cocoa. I enjoyed watching Zane eat his Weckmann, he had an interesting approach of not picking it up and eating it on the table. I also loved everyones posing with their Weckmann photos 🙂