Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Catholic Children's Bible Review

The Catholic Children's Bible (paperback)
St. Mary's Press
Recently I was given a complimentary copy of The Catholic Children's Bible from St. Mary's Press to review.  It has exactly 2,000 pages of bright and informative pages of highlights woven throughout the books of the bible.  It is P.E.R.F.E.C.T. for children.  Each book is color coded and the text is large for easier reading.  The beginning of the bible has a section titled "The Bible is Like a Bookshelf" where it outlines the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  It explains how the books are set up in the bible and compares it to a bookshelf.  The idea is that the different books of the bible are divided up into sections yet are part of the whole bible.  For visual learners, it's a good tool to conceptualize how the bible is organized. For young children who do not know the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament, this is a great visual aid.  It categorized the books into color coded sections such as "Pentateuch", "Historical", "Wisdom", "Books of the Prophets" in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, they are "Gospels and Acts" and "Letters".

A few pages later, the reader will find an explanation of the Old Testament and then the book description follows.  It's a type of summary of what to expect in that book.  (The same can be found in the New Testament.) The first page of each book begins with an explanation of how the reader can relate to the book.  It helps set up the book and then lists the "Featured Stories" with the page numbers.  I think for young children, this will aid comprehension and help to imprint it in their memories.  On succeeding pages, the reader will find the Featured Story broken down in a relatable way.  It also includes definitions of some words the reader may not be familiar with, a "Understand It!" section, a "Live It!" section and ends with a "Tell It!" section. The featured story uses brightly colored images to tell the story and to break it down into manageable parts. These extra sections are necessary for young readers which is why it's a 2,000 page bible.  The last few pages have a Prayer and Bible Helps section which has beautiful pictures, a Bible Timeline, maps, Catholic practices and prayers, and ends with Bible Passages for Special Times.

For a struggling reader who is reading the bible, it can be intimidating and frustrating.  The Catholic Children's Bible makes it less daunting by featuring the main stories within each book. Even for the youngest of readers, they can look at the pictures to assist in reading comprehension. To be honest, teenagers and adults could learn from this bible too.  If an adult Catholic bible is intimidating, then pick up the children's version.  I would even recommend Catholic Schools have this bible in their classrooms.  Their students will be drawn to colorful pictures and larger text.

I'm going to make a bold statement here.  Every Catholic family should have this bible.  Let's face it.  Many Catholics of my generation are bible illiterate and were poorly catechized.  The Catholic Children's Bible is just what is needed so the younger generation grows up knowing their bible.  This will help in their faith formation and draw them closer to God.  You can find more information about this children's bible and other great resources at St. Mary's Press.  Besides their store, they have a Resource Center with tons of information about the liturgical calendar, assessments, and Catholic news.  Go HERE to check it out for personal or professional use.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our Greatest Evil

I'm reading a book written by Fr. Thaddeus Dajczer called The Gift of Faith.  
Certain quotes seem to leap off the page at me.
Here is one of them.
I used this picture because I felt that she displays a radical not a lukewarm faith in Jesus.

"There can be various kinds of sin.  
There are sins committed and sins of negligence.  
And the sins of negligence are the worst.  
Among these is the sin of abandonment - 
you abandon Christ, leave Him and give Him only a small corner in your heart.

This is your greatest evil.

This compromise and lack of radicalism shows that Christ does not represent the greatest value in your life, that to you He is not everything, that your faith is always lukewarm." 
 By Fr. Thaddeus's Dajczer in his book The Gift of Faith


Monday, May 20, 2013

Bedtime Stories and Prayers Children's Book Review

Little Blessings: Bedtime Stories and Prayers  -     
        By: Kathleen Long Bostrom
I received a complimentary copy of Bedtime Stories and Prayers by Dandi Daley Mackall and Kathleen Long Bostrom from Tyndale House Publishers to review as part of their Tyndale Kids program.  It is part of the Little Blessings book series by Kathleen Long Bostrom.  It has a soft cover that is ideal for little hands and the immediate impact is visual.  Very sweet watercolor style illustrations all throughout the book.  Perfect for little ones.

Bedtime Stories and Prayers is constructed to include four different stories with each one having it's own theme.  They are all relevant to children and they should hear it from a very young age.  It begins with "God Makes Nighttime Too."  Next is "Thank You God!" The third story is "Blessings Everywhere" and ends with "God Loves You Just As You Are".  All are essential themes for faith formation for children everywhere.  The themes are repeated throughout the story to imprint it's message on the children.

The only problem I had was with the rhythmic structure of the text.  At times, it felt awkward when reading aloud and I found myself attempting to repeat it several times for clarification. I read through it a few times and experienced the same choppiness in certain areas of the book.  It was intentionally written in simple sentence format to rhyme which is ideal for young children yet it became choppy in some areas.  Overall, Bedtime Stories and Prayers is a sweet book with wonderful messages about God that children and even adults need to hear!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rainbow Jello

For almost every family function, I am asked to make Rainbow Jello.
If I feel I have the time to do it, then I happily will make it.
But boy, it does take in hours.
Looks wonderful though when done.
I only have pictures of the Jello still in the mold.
I made it for my nephew's First Communion Party and once it was taken out of the mold, 
it was dinner time.

It's a mix of 4 different colors in two shades each.
Each flavor is used twice.  First time as is, then the next layer with sour cream.

Here's how I do it:

Blue is the first color for this mold and the first layer is regular blue.
Then I add a bit of sour cream to the second blue layer to lighten its color.
Next color is regular yellow.
Then I add a bit of sour cream to the second layer of yellow....etc.
Each layer has to set in the fridge for about 25-30 minutes.
If you try to make it shorter and add a layer before it's ready, then they will blend together.
Tastes just as good but the look is off.

The recipe I used can be found HERE.
It calls for five different flavors (10 layers) but my mold holds four different flavors (8 layers).
You can make it in a 13X9 pan and use all five flavors.

You can play with any color combination you like or even just use one color and repeat the steps.
I've done blue and yellow for a scout event; red, white and blue for the 4th of July...etc.

My mold is not spiked like this one but it gives you the idea of how it looks 
when popped out of the mold.
By the way, the Tupperware mold I use above works beautifully when removing it.


If you've never made it before, it's best to make it the day before your event.
It takes a good 4 hours or so to make it.
My family does enjoy it so it's worth it!

I've linked up to Lisa's Try a New Recipe Tuesday.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

It's that time again when we join RAnn from Sunday Snippetts--A Catholic Carnival 
each Sunday to share our posts.  Thank you RAnn! 
This week I am sharing:

Happy Mothers Day to all!!!!!!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit

The Novena starts today ~ May 10th and ends on Pentecost Saturday, May 18th.

On Ascension Day begins the nine days of waiting and preparing, together with the Apostles and Mary, the coming of the Holy Spirit. These are the days when families should discuss the "Gifts of the Holy Ghost" and the "Fruits of the Holy Ghost" evening after evening.
We can either focus on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Day 1   Gift of Knowledge
Day 2   Gift of Understanding
Day 3   Gift of Counsel
Day 4   Gift of Fortitude
Day 5   Gift of Piety
Day 6   Gift of the Fear of the Lord
Day 7   Gift of Wisdom
Day 8   Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Day 9   Meditate on Veni, Sancte Spiritus and Veni, Creator Spiritus.

Find additional information at Catholic Culture.

Or we can pray the following scripture:

Friday -  You Will Receive Power    Acts 1:8
Saturday -  Jesus' Promise of the Advocate    John 16:13
Sunday -  The Need to be Born of the Spirit    John 3:5
Monday -  The Spirit Gives Life To Dry Bones    Ezekiel 37:5
Tuesday -  Life Through His Spirit    Romans 8:11
Wednesday -  Understanding Comes Through the Spirit    1 Corinthians 2:12
Thursday -  One Spirit, Many Gifts    Corinthians 12:4-6
Friday -  The Fruit of the Spirit    Galatians 5:22-23
Saturday -  The Outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost    Acts 2:3-4

Novena Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your love.
Set our lives aflame with your gifts.
Grant us wisdom to choose what is good and true;
understanding to embrace your plan of salvation;
right judgment to act according to your will;
courage to share our faith with others;
knowledge to live as disciples of Jesus Christ;
reverence to respond faithfully to your grace each day;
and wonder and awe in your presence.
Inspire us with enthusiasm for our Catholic faith.
Grant us boldness to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ,
and help us to bring the transforming power of the gospel to our world.
We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Totally Catholic!

I posted my book review on this new resource called Totally Catholic! A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers over at Catholic Bloggers Network.

Totally Catholic!: A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers

You can read about it HERE.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

It's that time of week again where I'm linking up with RAnn at her Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.
This time I am sharing the following posts:

Thank you RAnn for hosting each week and giving Catholic bloggers a chance to meet and share posts!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Jericho March

Please keep us in your prayers today.
I am participating in a Jericho March at one of our local abortion clinics.
It has been closed for 5 weeks for "remodeling" and we're praying it won't reopen!

Our group had a Jericho March a few years ago around another local abortion clinic, 
and our prayers were heard and answered!  
That place of death, shut down!  
May God reach the hearts of the doctors, nurses and staff who work at this clinic,
 and remove the scales from their eyes! 
 May their hearts be converted!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Mail

Recently, I won a giveaway from Natalie at Detail-Oriented Diva
 She hosted a Chevron Wall Art Giveaway earlier this month.  
She creates these amazing color combinations of chevron art with your family information.

Here is what she custom made for me:

(I'm thinking I may need a darker frame.)

Natalie is amazing to work with. 
Quick to give ideas and to respond to questions.
To her followers, she offers a free printable section with the cutest graphics.

If she isn't a graphic designer by trade, she should be.
She's fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Natalie!!!!!!!