Thursday, April 28, 2011

Holy Saturday - 2011

On Holy Saturday, we dyed Easter eggs, of course!

Did I mention we were sick?  ;o)

Again, quiet day, not a lot of fuss.  We tried our hand at natural dye this year.  It was a lot of fun and I really love the colors we came out with.  

We basically put our eggs in pans, covered them with water, threw in the dying agent and a splash of vinegar , and boiled/simmered them for 15 mins.  This didn't make for very bright colors, so we took them off the heat and let them sit in the pans for awhile afterward.
 there are eggs under there!

 red cabbage

 beets (I thought these would be pink!)

 a can of cherry pie filling

 instant coffee granules

 frozen grape juice concentrate

 spinach (*the spinach was not giving us any color and I got impatient.  I cheated on this one, there were 3 drops of green food color in with the spinach)

 carrot tops

 we also used chili powder (light orange) and curry powder (yellow)

 aren't they pretty?

These are the eggs we hide once the children are in bed.  They hunt for them, along with their baskets, on Easter morning.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Friday - 2011

Once again, we were sick on Good Friday.  In fact, what had been a pretty classic flu for the rest of us, has developed into pneumonia for Isaac.  No wonder he spent Easter weekend in a lifeless little heap.  He's on antibiotics now, and hopefully the road to recovery too.  Prayers for my little sweetness are appreciated!

So on Good Friday Mr. Smith just worked in the morning, since we were all planning on going to the Stations of the Cross at church.  Once it became clear that we wouldn't all be going, Mr. Smith insisted that I go alone.  He knew how much I had been looking forward to it.  As I was walking out the door, Oliver decided he wanted to go with me, and I was so glad!

Our parish does a beautiful service of the Stations at noon on Good Friday, with reflections and music, and the kids from the youth group act out the Stations as we pray through them.  It's quite beautiful and moving, and I can't help but tear up every year.

We had Hot Cross buns, for lunch rather than breakfast, since I didn't start making the dough until 10:00 am or so :o).  They were delicious either way.  I'm still conflicted about having such a treat on a day of fasting and abstinence, but a tradition is a tradition.  The children enjoy them, and they're exempt from fasting anyway, and it's a good lesson for us grown-ups to only eat one instead of the three or four I would have liked to have eaten ;o).
We had a simple lentil soup and bread for dinner.

We also started the Divine Mercy Novena as a family.

Mr. Smith and I always watch The Passion on Good Friday evening, and this year was no exception.  However, with all the ups and downs of The-Week-of-Illness, I was wiped out, and am sorry to say I didn't even make it to the scourging.  Sleep was calling, and I gave in.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Holy Thursday - 2011

Despite lots of sick children, and not being able to go to Mass, we had a really nice Holy Thursday dinner.
I combined some of the things I've done in the past with some of the symbolic foods that Jessica does, and it made for a very enjoyable meal.

See all of my little sickie-faces?
 We had:
  • a loaf of bread with dipping oil
  • a small bunch of grapes for every plate
  • sparkling "wine"
  • a rotisserie chicken (for the cock that crowed after Peter's denials)
  • pitas (unleavened bread)
  • baby spinach (to represent the bitter herbs of a traditional Seder)
  • small, round crackers (Judas' 30 pieces of silver)
  • strawberries (Judas' kiss)
  • white tic tacs (Peter's tears)
  • fig newtons (Gethsemane figs)
We made sandwiches by stuffing the pita halves with chicken and spinach and drizzling the flavored dipping oil over them.  Really yummy!  It was a very simple meal to prepare, and appropriate for our family, as these are all foods we enjoy.

(That's Lacy's Last Supper craft in the center.)
Mr. Smith read the appropriate passages from the bible before we ate, and we had quite a nice conversation about the significance of Holy Thursday during the meal.
Overall, it was a sweet and peaceful night.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Divine Mercy Craft

 Lacy, over at Catholic Icing, has this simple little Divine Mercy craft available to print for free.
 I was planning on having my kids do it anyway, but I started thinking about how I could use this little guy (who's glued onto a toilet paper roll) to help us in saying the Divine Mercy Novena (which began yesterday, on Good Friday).

We had also made Lacy's Last Supper craft on Thursday, which she designed to use egg cartons as the base.  Since we were done with that craft... -- Okay, here's where I admit something... I don't save things.  I am not sentimental.  I know it isn't realistic to keep every little piece of shaped clay and glitter-glued paper craft/project/artwork that all of my children create from now until the end of I keep almost nothing.  We do it, we enjoy it for what it is, we take pictures, and then we pitch it.  I'm sorry if that is appalling to anyone, it's just me, and I'm not likely to change soon. -- Anyhow, we were done with the Last Supper craft (it was a teaching tool, a craft we all worked on together, and our centerpiece at dinner), so I dismantled it and used a portion of the egg cartons to get nine cups in a row. 
 Still using it upside down, I used a knife to cut a slit in the top of each cup and inserted a craft stick into each one.
 Since the Divine Mercy Jesus is on a roll, he can sit right over the craft stick and rest on the egg cup.
Then I cut a piece of card stock in half and folded both halves and taped them together.  I wrote out the days of the Novena across the front of the card stock, in front of the corresponding sticks.  As we say each day's Novena prayers, we can move Jesus right along with us, all the way to Divine Mercy Sunday.  A great way to keep track of the days on our Novena!
 Thanks, Lacy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Lent-ish Lent

Dear Mr. Smith,

I'm feeling... deflated.

This is the 7th straight day of sickness in the house.  Seven days of fevers, runny noses, coughing, complaining, lethargy.  Cleaning up unmentionable yuckiness when someone didn't make to where they should, cleaning it up again, and again.  Administering medication, ginger ale, cold washcloths, and love.  Seven days of waiting for the other shoe to drop, then watching the first one drop again, and then both shoes dropping over and over again.  Day seven of hoping this is the last of it, then realizing it isn't, and coming to terms with the long road ahead.  And it seems there was hardly a reprieve from the last round.

Many bodies make for long recoveries.

All this illness has made for an interesting Lent.

I had visions of reflective prayer, self-examination and diligent work, which all would have resulted in a deeper spiritual reality... and a super clean house, to welcome Jesus again at Easter.

Oh I've been praying alright.  It's just that it's been less of the rosary-in-the-peaceful-quiet-of-the-adoration-chapel variety, and more of the Lord-please-help-me-get-through-this-day variety.

Which, come to think of it, is actually kind of Lent-ish, isn't it?

I mean, what is Lent?  It's a period of fasting and penance.  A chance to prepare for the Crucifixion, and Resurrection, of our Lord.  A time to take up our cross, to test our strength and our faith.  To unite our suffering with Christ's.  To pray, to abstain, to give; and in the process, remember how much we need Him.

I've done that.

So maybe this Lent has been just what it should be.

Thoughtfully Yours,
Mrs. Smith