Saturday, November 30, 2013

Felt Advent Wreaths

My kids and I developed this craft for my daughter's second-grade class. Younger kids will need a little extra help, and to be honest, a hot glue gun works better for gluing the leaves to the styrofoam wreath than craft glue, but I worry about burning little fingers.


Supply list for Dec. 1-7

Here is the supply list for the suggested activities for next week, December 1-7. Feel free to improvise or to adjust activities to fit your family's preferences, skills and time allotment.

Sunday: Aluminum sheets, notepad, scissors, dull pencils, permanent markers, string or yarn.

Tuesday: Rice (basmati or jasmine), olive oil, yellow onion, curry powder, plain Greek yogurt, cream, kosher salt, black pepper, diced tomatoes, 1 roasted chicken (buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for a great shortcut), cilantro; fresh or frozen green beans.

Friday: Scrapbook paper (small patterns work best; Christmas themes are a nice touch, allow ½ of a 8.5x11 sheet per child), flat decorative plastic buttons (sold in scrapbooking aisle of craft store) empty cereal boxes or similar containers made of light cardboard, glue sticks, scissors, this template, and chocolate coins covered in gold foil (as many per child as you wish). 

November 30: Saint Andrew

St. Andrew the Apostle
by Francisco de Zurbaran


Saint Andrew was Saint Peter’s brother. They were both fisherman. Andrew became a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, but when John announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God, Andrew chose to follow Jesus, the first of the 12 Apostles. Initially, Andrew and Peter kept fishing, but then Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men” so they left their boats and stayed with the Lord.


Here’s a fisherman snack to enjoy today. All you need are fish-shaped crackers, small stick-shaped pretzels and either peanut butter or a soft cheese (like cream cheese). Scatter the crackers on a plate (or on a sheet of blue construction paper to look like the ocean).  Add a small spoonful of peanut butter or cheese. Now take one of your fishing poles (the pretzels!), dip the end in the peanut butter or cheese and “catch” a fish to eat.

Saint Andrew the Apostle, pray for us!

More reading for parents

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29: Saint Brendan of Birr

St. Brendan's Church, Birr, Ireland
Photo by Andreas Borchert


Saint Brendan of Birr was a monk who lived in Ireland a long, long time ago. Everybody knew that he was a very spiritual man who welcomed people into his home. He was respected by everyone because he was so close to Jesus.


Today is know as “Black Friday” in the U.S. because a lot of stores offer special sales to get people to start their Christmas shopping. However, since Christmas is about the birth of Christ, why not take a little time today to go to church and pray? Plan on spending a half hour or so. You can pray the Rosary or other devotions you like, or you can just stay silent and listen for God, the way Saint Brendan did.

Saint Brendan of Birr, pray for us!

More reading for parents:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28: Saint Catherine Labouré

St. Catherine Labouré

Special Note: It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S.! Don’t forget to thank God for all your blessings today. 


The Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Catherine Labouré in 1830. The first time, Sister Catherine was told that she would be given a mission. The second time, Saint Mary showed her the Miraculous Medal, and asked her to have it made. Sister Catherine only revealed this to the priest who was her spiritual director, then she went back to her humble life in the convent. After the priest and the bishop had the medals made, the Miraculous Medal became one of the most popular devotions in the Church. But Sister Catherine was so humble, even most of her own sisters had no idea that she had received the visions until after she died.


Do you have a miraculous medal? Use this template to print one out on card stock (print on both sides of the card). Color it, cut it out and then hang it in your room. (This is a great activity to keep the kids occupied before Thanksgiving dinner!)

Saint Catherine Labouré, pray for us!

More reading for parents:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27: Saint James Intercisus

Russian Icon of St. James Intercisus


James lived in Persia about 1700 years ago, when Yezdigerd I was king. James was a Christian, but he was quiet about it. When King Yezdigerd started persecuting Christians, James stopped worshiping Jesus because he was scared. After King Yezdigerd died and King Bahram took his place, James' family pointed out how he had given up Christ to save himself. He realized that he had done the wrong thing. He told King Bahram he was a Christian, even though it meant he was sentenced to death.


Most of us are luck enough to live as Christians without anybody threatening us. But there are still times we want to hide our faith, maybe so we won’t be teased, maybe so we won’t be embarrassed. Today, pray that God will help you always be courageous about your faith in Jesus.

Saint James Intercisus, pray for us!

More reading for parents: