Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pentecost Lapbook & Activities

I found this site called Christian Preschool Printables that has a section 
on Fruit of the Spirit Games they offer for free!

I printed a couple of these pages out and used them in a circle activity.  Students took turns and selected a card and read the situation out loud such as,
"while you are in line for snack time, a student comes and cuts in front on you.
How do you show patience?"
Each scenario asks the student to practice a Fruit of the Spirit (i.e. love, gentleness, self-control).

Even though I have first graders, they were able to brainstorm and share ideas
 on how to respond as God would ask them to.

We then worked on our Pentecost Lapbook.
I found the Pentecost picture over at Agape Worldwide.

On the inside, I included a Subway art picture of the Fruits of the Spirit that I found at La Dolce Vita.  
Kacie has created a lovely assortment of them in different colors.  
She offers them for free on her blog!  Thank you Kacie!

 I also made a book of the Symbols of the Holy Spirit which I made off of my computer.  
Nothing fancy but it gets the point across. 

Here's a close up of Kacie's work.

I also made the list of the Gifts of the Spirit and wrote the name on the outside
with an explanation of the gift when you lift the flap.

Under the picture of the Holy Spirit sending his gifts to the apostles,
I included this prayer.

Here's a better view of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

On the back side, I used Monica's beautiful drawing of the Holy Spirit 
she offers for free at Little Jesus and Me blog.  
She is an amazingly talented artist that offers her readers 
printable coloring pages for faith formation.
Thank you Monica!

I also found this Pope Francis trading card at That Resource Site that I gave to my students.
I give it to them in a shape of a book mark and instruct them to use it as such.

My last activity to celebrate Pentecost was an interactive discussion of how the 
symbols represented a Gift of the Holy Spirit.

I found it over at Lacy's Catholic Icing blog and realized it's geared towards 
older students but I thought my first graders would understand it well enough.
Thank you Lacy for the idea and the directions!

This was my last class for the school year.
I will miss my students!!

I sent them home with their Pentecost lapbooks, symbols of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit with the instructions, and the Pentecost cupcake.

I have shared this post over at Monica's Catholic Bloggers Network.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pentecost Dessert

UPDATE:  Check out Jen's Pentecost Flaming Cupcakes at Enter Under My Roof.
Jen's are so creative, festive and fun!

I saw this amazing idea for a Pentecost cupcake over at Catholic Cuisine 
and thought I would give it a go.
I read somewhere that it was tricky trying to get the sprinkles to stick to the mini marshmallows 
so I first checked with a friend for advice.

She said to dab a bit of sugar water onto the cut sticky part of the marshmallow to help it stick.
I also pinched the end of the marshmallow to help give it the shape of a flame.

It worked out well!

I brought them to my first graders so scaled down the amount of flames.
Didn't want to send them home on a major sugar high!

I also found another way to make the flames from melted hard candy.
They recommended butterscotch and cinnamon red hots.

Since it was for my class, I opted for a less strong flavor of Life Savers.

I only used the yellow, orange and red flavors and crushed them with my rolling pin.
Had to smack it a bit as if I was using a hammer.
I sprayed a non stick spray on my tin foil first then placed the crushed candy on top.
Placed it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5-6 minutes until it was completely melted.
It looked like this when it was done.

I broke it up into smaller pieces and placed on my cupcake like this:

I brought a mixed platter of Pentecost flame cupcakes.

Due to the fact that I used so many different flavors in the melted candy, it had a yucky after taste.
I warned my students, but they didn't mind it at all.

It was a fun treat to teach about Pentecost!

I've shared this post at Monica's Catholic Bloggers Network and Lisa's Try a New Recipe Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Will of God and Our Own Will

"The defense mechanism of rationalization is a fortress so strong and difficult to disarm primarily because it is in the subconscious.  How often do we, every one of us, invent some theory to justify our improper behavior?  We say 'After all I must rest; I cannot take care of that; I have to defend myself.'

You can even be very devoted to a so-called love, to the apostolate, to honorable causes, but at the source of this may lie a hidden and subconscious egoism.

It is egoism that causes our spiritual life to keep on going in constant tension between our will and the will of God.

Adherence to Christ and to His will, means that when His will is not in accordance with our will, we accept His ruining our plans.  We accept His foiling them.  The events in the lives of the saints often show us how God foiled human plans so that the human will could unite with the will of God.

These statements are from Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer book called The Gift of Faith.

They are clanging around in my head for my attention.  

They are speaking very loudly to me.

In fact, they almost jumped off the page at me when I first read them.

Will be pondering and praying on this one.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

French Onion Soup

I saw a mix of Cugino's Baked Burgundy French Onion Soup at our local deli and had to try it.

Cuginos Baked Burgundy French Onion Soup

I have a new found love of French Onion Soup but have never made it. 
So, I thought I would do it using this kit.  
It's very easy.
All you have to do is slice up one onion, add water and the mix.
 Cook for 30 minutes.

Add croutons

 Then cheese.  
I didn't have the recommended gruyere or swiss so I used what I had ~ muenster.

Last step is to put it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese.

It was very good!

Linking up with Lisa at Try a New Recipe

On a weird side note, when I googled muenster cheese to see if it would be an appropriate substitute, I found a link to an Illinois man who is charged with trying to steal 42,000 pounds of muenster cheese from a Wisconsin creamery last month.

Who does that?

The report goes on to say that "last year they had news of a "mozzarella mafia" which was smuggling American cheese to Canada and selling it for a third of the price."

Didn't know there was an underground market for cheese.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pentecost Lesson Part 1

I've jumped ahead again in the liturgical calendar for my class since 
I won't have them during the actual feast days.  
I have one more class this coming Sunday and then our classes are finished.
I'm going to miss my sweet class!

We didn't get the chance to fully learn about Pentecost so we'll celebrate
 our church's birthday next week too. 

This is what we've done so far.

After our book work, we viewed a very silly yet informative DVD called 
The Bedbug Bible Gang Pentecost Party!
I found it through my inter library loan network system. 
It's an animated story of the very first Pentecost which includes the 
Fruits of the Spirit, and the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. 
 It's geared towards young children from 3-8 years, so
 it. is. silly. 
 I have a class of 6 & 7 year olds and they loved it. 
 Giggles and giggles and giggles.  
They sang the silly tunes but it worked.  
They were able to recall all the main points.

The Bedbug Bible Gang ®: Pentecost Party! DVD   -

My inspiration for our craft came from Dawn's at By Sun and Candlelight and 
Jessica's from Showers of Roses Pentecost Windsock.  
Thank you Dawn and Jessica!!

It took my students longer than I thought it would to create it.
It was a bit challenging for them in assembling it but it turned out very well 
since they helped each other.

Each flame listed a Fruit of the Spirit.
Jessica offers a free printable of it HERE.
Note:  I had made one hard copy and then shrunk it to 72% on my printer.
Thank you Jessica!!

I prepped the majority of the project and made the mistake of having 
too many color choices of ribbon :)

My students ended up with a rainbow assortment of colors which turned out really cute.
Yet took too much time to select.
I was concerned I didn't have enough red so I brought all I had from home including streamers.

I found these cute free bookmarks at Bible Story Printables.
They have many other cute ideas to teach the Fruits of the Spirit.

 I hope to make these cupcakes for our last class. 
I found then over at Catholic Cuisine.

And I will be spending time looking through Pinterest Pentecost 
for inspiration for next week's class.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

It's time to link up with RAnn at Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, where we gather to share our posts from the week.  Thank you RAnn for bringing us together each week!

I am sharing:

Ascension of Jesus
Broken Wings Book Review
Prayers Needed

Please come and join us over at RAnn's!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Prayers Needed

We are experiencing flooding in our area and prayers are needed!
Personally, we only had puddles in our basements but many others have upwards from 1 inch to 6 feet of water.  Yes, 6 feet of water.
Both rain water and sewage water.
Many streets and roads are closed.
Here are some pictures in my neighborhood.



Photo: The sign says walk your bike under the bridge...


Lots of damage but no reports of injury or death.
Water is still cresting though.
We have another 12 hours before it should reach it's peak.

Please pray for those who are experiencing major flooding and as well as our brothers and sisters in Boston.

God bless,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Children's Books about a Pope

I'm always looking for children's books that teach my students about Our Faith 
but they must be available through the library network.
Here are a few books about Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Are there any other good books, to be found at a library, 
about past Popes in a picture book format?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Broken Wings Book Review

I was given the opportunity by Booksneeze to review the second book in the Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore.  This second book is called Broken Wings.  I had read the first book which made the transition into this one quite smooth.  However, if you didn't read the first book called Angel Eyes, then you'll be confused and lost in the story line.  My first remark about this trilogy is that it's the Christian version of Twilight.  Instead of vampires and werewolves, you have angels and demons of the celestial realm.  If you like this type of genre then it hits the mark.  It was very engaging and suspenseful! 

The reader follows the lives of two specially gifted young adults named Brielle and Jake, who become targets by evil forces.  It's a typical good versus evil plot yet set within two worlds: supernatural and earthly worlds.  Spiritual battle after battle commence over the souls of the two main characters.  It's what a Christian can envision whose familiar with spiritual warfare.  A person's soul being the target and battled for by opposing forces and it takes the will of the person to remain faithful to God.  

Ms. Dittemore organizes each chapter from the perspective of one character.  It took me a bit to get used to this format but after reading a few chapters, it did help me stay on track with the plot. It even helped build tension in the story where I didn't want to put it down because I was compelled to learn what happened.  The reader must have a good imagination to be immersed into this story. Angels who are able to carry their humans around, while wielding a sword to combat demons, seems a bit of a stretch.  Another puzzling aspect was the author's use of angels who didn't seem to know what was going on.  Even St. Michael was brought into this story (which I liked) but he needed to be updated on the status of the battle by a cherubic angel seemed odd.  Their explanation was that God gives them the information they need at the time they need it.  They are not omniscient yet are able to calmly engage in battle with the evil characters.

One element I appreciated was the beauty of how humans and angels worship God.  It sounds magical and beautiful.  This book was not about fear and despair but even through pain there is always hope.  It exemplilfies how God gives special gifts and invites certain people to do his will for the good of others.  We all have a role to play in our own eternal salvation and we must choose to act on it for the good of ourselves and others.

Since there is one more book in the trilogy, the ending leaves the reader hanging.  I wish Ms. Dittemore had added a bit more substance on Brielle and another character called Olivia Holt.  But that must be her strategy. I will have to wait for the third book to be released this August to get the full story.  And read it, I will!

I review for BookSneeze®

I was given a complimentary copy of Broken Wings for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was given.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Ascension of Jesus Lesson

My Religious Education Class has two more sessions after today so I wanted to cover 
the most important celebrations in the church.  
Therefore, we jumped ahead on the liturgical calendar to learn about the Ascension of Jesus.  
This holy day of obligation is 40 days after Easter which falls on Thursday, May 9th 
but the church will celebrate it on Sunday, May 12th.

To enhance our bookwork, we made an Ascension of Jesus craft that I found at Ten Kids and a Dog
 and used a picture of Jesus ascending from Catholic Inspired.  
I didn't have enough staplers to use in my class otherwise we would have done it exactly 
as Jennifer demonstrates in her blog.  
But we did use her idea of a LED tea light and put it in the clouds, behind the picture of Jesus.  
It doesn't light up as great as when using a plastic bag, but it did alright.  
Thank you Joann and Jennifer!

Here is our sample:

 It was front and center on our prayer table but it does kind of blend in with the prayer cloth.

As our treat, I sent them home with this Heavenly Jello. I've seen it several places with different names but the recipe can be found at Anastasia's Palace.  
It doesn't indicate the size of the jello package but I needed to use two 8oz packages.  
It's more than enough but one 8 oz package wasn't enough. 
The blue and white are to represent the sky and clouds:

I found these cute Ascension of Jesus cupcake toppers over at Celebrations in the Catholic Home.

I had intended to attach them to the back of the jello cup but my students 
wanted to use them as a bookmark.

It's a very pretty bookmark!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I am linking up with RAnn this week at Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival where many Catholic Bloggers gather to share their posts from the past week.  I am sharing all three of them:

Prison Ministry Cookies
Divine Mercy Sunday

Whit's End Mealtime Devotions: 90 Faith-Building Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up
Book Review
 Please come and join us and see what the others are contributing this week!  Thank you RAnn for hosting us each week!

God bless,