Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holidays and Holy Days in Our Homeschool

It's been a while since I updated this blog. I got sick last month, and since then, our homeschool schedule has been absolutely irregular (well, our daily schedule in general, to be honest!) I've also officially resigned from my old "job" (I like to see it as a calling more than a job), and now have a new one, which still allows me to work from home most days (more on my new job in another post) - starting next year.

Although we've been on "holiday" mode for quite some time now (I'm ashamed to say, since way before  Advent even started!), I do hope that the kids have learned a few things from our (somewhat) daily routine of:
- Morning prayers
- Reading the Bible or Bible stories together (these days, the kids have mostly been doing this with their Papa, since he's been on leave from work) - including the stories from our Advent Calendar book set
After reading each mini-book from "The Story of Christmas" the kids hang it on our "Advent" tree.
- Free play

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thank GOD for our (locally-made) Jesse Tree! ;-)

In the Philippines, the Jesse Tree is not such a commonly-known Advent Tradition. (If we weren't homeschooling, I'd probably still not know about it now! hehe! Yet another reason why I'm grateful to be homeschooling, esp. after all my realizations after our TV interview)! ;-)

Since we wanted to include the Jesse Tree in our family's Christmas preparations this year, I thought I'd ask my friend and fellow Catholic pro-life and breastfeeding / babywearing advocate Buding about a locally-made version of the Tree that she and her friends were promoting last year. However, I never got around to asking her, and only posted a question about the Tree on Bistro 3846's Facebook page, which is where I first saw it last year.

I got a reply to call the Everest Academy, the first (and only, I think) Catholic International School in the Philippines, but didn't get to do so. Also, I thought the Tree might be out of our budget, which is, as you already may know, very, very tight (with hubby and I being lay missionaries and all :-).

BUT LO AND BEHOLD! ;-) God knows my heart's desires, even the seemingly "insignificant" or "petty" ones!

Out of the blue, Buding says she might be able to get me a Jesse Tree kit by the Mano Amiga mothers FOR FREE! ;-)

We just got it a few hours earlier (thank You Lord for Buding's generosity - she even had it sent to our apartment!) - AND I AM SOOOOO EXCITED TO USE IT!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! ;-) *squeals in delight*

Check out our fabulous JESSE TREE, proudly made in the Philippines! ;-)

The Jesse Tree kit by Mano Amiga mothers
 The kit is COMPLETE and a perfect gift for any family / individual - it has the "tree" (a tree branch nicely painted in gold, and "planted" in "silver" sand!); a box of 27 hand-crafted felt ornaments; and, a Jesse Tree Devotional Booklet, containing detailed instructions and a daily Bible reading / activity guide. ;-)



The ornaments are arranged by week (weeks 1 to 4) and labelled at the back per day ;-) 

All 27 Jesse Tree ornaments! ;-) Yey, no need for me to make our own! ;-) Day 28 and 29 have no ornaments thought; families are encouraged to hang a family photo, etc.

More photos here. :-) It's not too late to get your own Tree! ;-) Blessed Advent to all!

*Jesse Tree Advent devotional sets are now available for sale in Everest Academy Manila. All 27 handmade ornaments were crafted by moms of Mano Amiga as a livelihood program who are the beneficiary of this yearly project. Please call Everest Academy Manila for more information +632-8824981 :-) It is truly a Gift of Love!* - from the Bistro 3846 page. I received the Tree as a gift from Buding, who is part of the Mano Amiga team. 
:-) She did ask me to blog about it, but I told her that I'd blog about it anyway even if she didn't give me a kit. ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Remembering St. Cecilia in our own little way

Yesterday, November 22, was the Feast Day of St. Cecilia. It was a Tuesday, so I had to report to the office. (Although my dream to be a fulltime, stay-at-home mom is not financially feasible for us at this time, I am still blessed to have a work-at-home arrangement that requires me to go to the office at least 2x a week - thanks to my dear elders at Couples for Christ, who are so supportive).
St. Cecilia<br>Third Century
St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians
So anyway, I left some activities for Tim and Rysse to do with their Ate* (yes, we have a helper now!). She has been a HUGE help and blessing, so yes, I'm not the "do-everything-by-myself-supermom" you may think I am! Still, I am AMAZED at the many homeschool moms out there who keep their homes, teach their kids and blog/work on the side WITHOUT any help whatsoever - hats off to you!

Back to the reason for this post. Hehe! I wanted Tim (and Rysse) to celebrate even in a simple way, St. Cecilia's special day. So what did we do before our regular storytime / booktime?

Play "Guess What Musical Instrument"!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating Advent: Preparing for His Coming!

Advent is upon us! But what exactly is this blessed season all about? Let's take a look at just ONE of the definitions of Advent, from Catholic.org:


The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking and we have therefore been robbed of much of the true meaning of this season.
During Advent we recall the history of God's people and reflect on how the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This gives us a background for the present. Today we can reflect on the past track record of God and so begin to understand what it means to us now for the sake of what is to come, in our own future and that of our world.
© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent - A Quality Storecupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
And what better way to prepare for His coming than starting (or for some families, continuing) our own Advent family traditions? 
Here in the Rodriguez home, we're excited to do the following:
First up is the Advent Calendar from the Story of Christmas book set I bought at Fully Booked in Gateway Mall (I don't usually buy new, expensive books but I made an exception for this one!) 
The Story of Christmas: Story Book Set & Advent Calendar
You can also buy this on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Timely Reminder About READING from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (and a Freebie!)

I receive regular e-mails from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (TOSH), and this most recent one helped me remember why we are homeschooling. I'm having one of those weeks when I am questioning our homeschool journey, and feel like I'm not doing "enough," and am half-tempted to enroll Tim in one of the local Catholic progressive preschools! 

Thank God too for fellow ROCKERs mom Maricel of Medela Moms, who was very assuring and encouraging too during our online conversation yesterday!

This is JUST what I needed, Lord! Thank YOU! ;-)

P.S. Don't forget to scroll down for a freebie especially for TOSH subscribers! If you aren't one yet, it's super easy to subscribe! Click here for more details.

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At what age do children learn to read? It depends . . . your 5-year-old may read sooner than your 7-year-old and some kids don't read until they're 11 or 12. Kids are different and not everyone learns at the same speed. For example, we've probably used a different phonics program for every kid. What works for one doesn't always work for another. Some kids are ready to read in kindergarten; some kids aren't ready to read until later. Homeschool isn't a factory where we turn out cookie-cutter students (grin).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Advanced Happy New Year from My Masterpiece Movement! (Free creative play group sessions! for 2012)

If you're a regular reader of my blogs, you've probably read about My Masterpiece Movement (MMM) before (I attended their Creativity Workshop for Mompreneurs last year, organized by Mommy Mundo, and have posted about some of their events, as well as their FREE enriching Wonder Wednesdays sessions for adults as a way to enrich one's self).

More recently, God used MMM founder and head-teacher Anna and her team to bless our new homeschool group with a free, fun-filled, fabulous workshop, which the kids (and parents) thoroughly enjoyed! (Now, whenever we get ready for ROCKERs meetings, Tim always asks me "Will the teachers who told the nice stories be there?" - referring to the MMM team of course!)

Recently, Anna posted this on my Facebook wall:


I have been praying that God will make a way for the kids to have a regular session where creativity is encouraged! Actually, ever since attending MMM's Creativity Workshop last year, I have been wanting to enroll the kids, but, to be brutally honest, we just can't afford it right now! (Believe me though, we are blessed to be missionaries!)

So when I saw this, of course I immediately asked Anna to reserve 2 slots for Tim and Rysse! Thank YOU Lord for answering my prayers! ;-)

Slots are limited only, so reserve yours now*! ;-) Contact Teacher Anna at 0915-4327439You can also send an e-mail to mymasterpiece@me.com * Or better yet, like MMM on Facebook or follow MMM on Twitter for regular updates. 
Sorry for the pixelation. ;-) This was from MMM's FB page. ;-)
*Super Saturday sessions will be held at 10am every Second Saturday of the month starting January 2012. 



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Helping Your Child To Love Reading

*Note: This article is a re-post from Babycenter.com.ph. Remember, a love for LEARNING begins with a love for reading ;-) Take advantage of the long weekend (here in the Philippines) - spend some time reading books to your kids! ;-)
Image from weheartbooks.com


Helping your child to love reading


There are lots of fun ways to help your little one learn to love books and stories. And, surprisingly, not all of them involve sitting down with an actual book. 

Use books to bond 

It's not all about reading the words. At this age, it's more about enjoying the interaction with Mom or Dad. When your child sits in your lap as you read aloud, she doesn't just enjoy books, she also enjoys the security of your undivided attention. 

Set up a ritual 

A regular reading time establishes a calming routine young children love -- that's why the bedtime story is a time-honored tradition. But don't forget that many other daily events also provide good reading opportunities. Once in a while try establishing a new ritual with a breakfast story, a bathtime story, a just-home-from-nursery story or even an "on the potty" story. Some toddlers (and older children) who are heavy sleepers are much better able to face the day when their parents "read them awake" rather than hustle them out of bed. 

Choose appropriate books 

Toddlers love board books, bath books and pop-up books -- any type they can hold easily and manipulate themselves. They love stories accompanied by bright, clear realistic pictures. And, of course, they love rhymes. That's not to say your 2-year-old won't appreciate the stories her big brother chooses -- who knows, Harry Potter may end up being her favorite book! Just make sure she has access to simpler books as well. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New post on ROCKERs Philippines!

Just a quick post (actually a link, haha!) about our Catholic homeschool group's All Saints' Day celebration yesterday. Read a bit about it here.

I'll post more about it later on though. In the meantime, you can check out our photos here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Videos of Catholic saints for kids ;-)

Just sharing these.. Found them while looking for stuff to help prepare the kids for celebrating All Saints' Day. Tim is excited to don his "St. George the Dragon-slayer" costume at our homeschool group's All Saints' Day celebration! (Rysse will be an angel; though she can be St. Cecilia too if she decides not wear her angel wings!)



This one was done with Lego! ;-)


A Day in the Life of St. Francis


Saint for Kids video featuring different saints:


Communion of Saints on EWTN (incomplete though):


The Story of St. Perpetua (martyrdom scene):


Our Lady of the Roses appears to San Juan Diego


St. Therese of Lisieux:


More Catholic Cartoons found in this link! Thank You Lord for the Internet! ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

UPDATED! Announcement: ROCKERs November 4 Meet-up / All Saints' Day Celebration

The monthly meeting of ROCKERs for November will be in celebration of ALL SAINTS' DAY.  
We highly encourage the kids (and even parents too, if you like!)  to come 
as your favorite Catholic saint or "icon." 
(For ideas, you can go here).

This is our contribution towards keeping the HALLOW in Halloween. ;-)

The venue for Nov 4 is CONFIRMED to be at our usual meeting place, i.e. 
the MEDELA HOUSE (not Gymboree).
(The complete address of the MH is No. 29, 1st Street, New Manila, QC. 
It's beside 8 Gilmore Place.)

PLEASE COME PROMPTLY AT 3.30 PM. :-)

Below is the program of activities: 
3.30-3.45 pm Arrival/Registration 
3.45-4.00 pm Prayer / Introduction to the program / Brief All Saints’ Day explanation 
4.00-4.30 pm Games 
4.30-4.45 pm Storytelling session with All Saints' Day theme 
4.45-5.15 pm Snacks 
5.15-5.30 pm Time for a short ROCKER parents’ meeting  / Kids Free Play 
5.30-5.40 pm Closing Prayer

IMPORTANT! Things to bring:
- Yourself and your kids dressed up in Saint / Catholic-themed costumes 
- Food to share (pls. see form below) 
- Your own cups, plates and utensils (so we don't need to use disposable stuff) 

Please confirm your attendance for the All Saints' Day Celebration by filling in the form below:

Friday, October 28, 2011

More WONDERFUL All Saints' ideas from Catholic Icing!

I have really got to hand it to Catholic Icing's Lacy - when God created her, He must have breathed an extra dose of Catholic creativity into her soul!
Meet Catholic Icing's Lacy, with her 3 kids Lydia, Julian and Violet! God bless you abundantly for your amazing contribution to Catholic families everywhere! ;-)
*Photo from  http://catholicicing.blogspot.com
Check out her latest posts on making All Saints' Day fun and exciting for everyone, especially the kids!

Ideas for crafting an All Saints' Day bucket (a wonderful alternative to the Halloween pumpkin buckets)

Easy food party ideas for All Saints' Day - something I hope we'll be able to use for our Nov 4 ROCKERs All Saints' Day party

Saintly soda for All Saints' Day - Lacy is totally AMAZING! She thinks of everything! ;-)

Printable All Saints' Day games - I want to do this for Nov 4 too! ;-)

Cutest All Saints' Day cookies - Makes me want to go out and buy an oven so I can try baking these! hehe! ;-)

I really hope and pray that more and more Catholic families would make being Catholic FUN and EXCITING for their kids, especially here in the Philippines! ;-) Thankfully though, God placed Catholic moms like Lacy in the world, who are willing to share their ideas for free on the Net! ;-) God bless her and all other moms like her! ;-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to keep the HALLOW in Halloween AND Ideas for All Saints' Day

This post is inspired by one of my favorite Catholic mom bloggers of all time (Lacy of Catholic Icing and Catholic ABC's preschool curriculum - just got our copy a few days ago, the same day we had our first official field trip to an exhibit on Blessed John Paul II!).
That's me holding our copy of Catholic ABC's! Yahoo! Praise GOD after 1 month plus of waiting!  ;-)
Halloween is just around the corner, and I hope to be celebrating it with our kids in a more meaningful way, compared to last year.
Last year we celebrated Halloween for the first time in the Philippines and the kids went trick or treat-ing at Valle Verde 1, where hubby's aunt lives. ;-) 
Tim was dressed as a knight (I kept telling him he was St. George, but  he didn't quite appreciate it. This year though, he is excited to be dressed up as the dragon-slaying saint, so we'll just be recycling his costume and adding a few more touches. Like a sword and shield maybe.
Rysse was dressed as an angel upon the request of her aunt, hubby's sister (she bought everything!). :-) Don't know if she'll be the same this year BUT if I have my way, I want to dress her up as one of those saints who were royalty. She is after all very fond of princesses now. If not, I would love to have her dressed up as her patron saint, St. Therese of Lisieux!
Borrowing from one of Lacy's posts about Halloween, let's check out what the word HALLOW really means:

Definition of Hallow: Hallow is a word usually used as a verb, meaning "to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate".[1]  The adjective form hallowed, as used in The Lord's Prayer, means holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered.[2] In modern English usage, the noun hallow appears mostly in compounds in Halloween and Hallowmas. Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is a shortened form of All Hallow Even, meaning "All Hallow's Eve" or "All Saints' Eve".[3] Hallowmas, the day after Halloween, is shortened from Hallow's mass, and is also known as "All Hallow's Day" or "All Saints' Day".[4]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preparing for our "official" first field trip - “Beatus: Embracing the Holiness of John Paul II" Exhibit

I was so psyched when my friend and officemate Ate Alma (who also happens to be a food blogger) told me about this ongoing exhibit at the Gateway Mall in Cubao, featuring Blessed John Paul II. Entitled “Beatus: Embracing the Holiness of John Paul II" it features photos and certain relics of the late Pope, probably one of the most well-loved Popes of all time!


The exhibit opened on October 9 and will run until October 21 at the Gateway Mall Activity Area. Organized by the Diocese of Cubao and the Smart Araneta Center, it is part of the preparation for the celebration of the FIRST Feast Day of Blessed John Paul on October 22. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Teresa (Therese) of Avila

Today (Oct 15) is St. Teresa of Avila's Feast Day. She was a Carmelite nun, like St. Therese of Lisieux. However, based on her biographies like this one from Catholic.org, unlike St. Therese, she did not have a fervent desire to serve God at an early age:

"..she led a fairly ordinary life, though she was convinced that she was a horrible sinner. As a teenager, she cared only about boys and clothes and flirting and rebelling -- like other teenagers throughout the ages."

(I see she and I had A LOT in common when we were younger, haha!) Nevertheless, despite all her faults and struggles, God blessed her immensely, and truly shaped her to be holy and a saint (something we all hope to be one day, right?)

To celebrate her Feast Day today, here is a round-up of ideas from other fabulous, creative Catholic moms, mostly homeschoolers:

1. Make a St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Bookmark from Paper Dali

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Confessions of A Guilty Teacher Mama

Warning: This is a true confession. If you don't want your opinion of me to be untarnished, DON'T read this. But the truth sets us free, and I really need to be free right now. So I'm confessing publicly all my sins, though I'll be doing so privately to a priest soon too - through the amazing Sacrament of Reconciliation! Lord, have mercy on me!
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I just read this article about "Why Nagging Doesn't Work" (which I will re-post below) and realized that I have been doing A LOT more nagging than I should be.

People who read my blogs (this one and my main mommy blog) and posts on Facebook, and who see the "outer me" and my "outer life" probably think that I am a good example of how young moms should be - working at home (3x a week), homeschooling, breastfeeding, serving fulltime in a Catholic community, advocating several things, etc, etc.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ROCKERs Philippines October 7 "Workshop" with My Masterpiece Movement

Thank You Lord for the wonderful teacher-artists from My Masterpiece Movement, especially Mommy Anna, who offered to hold an interactive multi-arts storytelling workshop/performance for our small group of Catholic homeschoolers (ROCKERs!) We all had so much fun - praise God too for the generous Medela Moms Beng and Maricel, who hosted the activity (again!) at the Medela House.

The kids and I (and Ate Lyn!) went early so we could prepare the place. We rode the FX and LRT to Gilmore station and walked to the Medela House. It was pretty tiring because I was carrying a backpack with my not-so-light laptop in it, plus wearing Rysse in front with my Next 9 pouch (I SO love the convenience of babywearing! hehe!).

Anyway, we had fun setting up. I am/we are trying to teach the kids consistently about the concept of service / serving others by helping out, doing chores, etc.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Oct 7)

This year's Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary also falls on the First Friday of October - a double reason to celebrate! I am SO excited for our monthly ROCKERs meeting later at the Medela House! We will be treated to an interactive multi-arts and storytelling/ sing and dance along session c/o our friends at My Masterpiece Movement. Yipeee! Praise GOD ;-)

The kids and I will be going to New Manila by taking the FX to the LRT station, then we'll go by LRT (Light Rail Transit, or train in other countries, hehe) to Gilmore St. and walk to Medela House (the Medela Moms Beng and Maricel are Catholic homeschoolers! Awesome!). I'm sure we'll have lots of learning experiences along the way! ;-)

Since it's the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, we will also go to Mass at St. Pio Shrine (at least I am hoping we can!) and try to do one or two of the following activities (which you may want to do too, and don't forget to scroll down for some helpful videos):

- For TeacherMama: read and apply this article on "Exploring Mary and Motherhood"

- Do coloring of the Rosary / Mama Mary pages. The mom behind Family Feast and Feria has taken the time to scan coloring pages of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries here, and provides the link to the Luminous Mysteries too, which you can go to directly here. There is also a coloring page from Domestic Church here. You can also take a look at the one recommended by Catholic Mom here, Waltzing Matilda here. (Lightbulb moment! We can do this while praying the Rosary too! hehe).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Play Pilipinas: International Conference to Tackle Issues on Children’s Play and Development this October 21 to 23


kids playing(I have posted about Play Pilipinas before here. I think it would be a great event to attend if we had the extra cash for it! hehe ;-) Anyway, I am sharing this article about it from Smart Parenting's website for those who are interested. You can also go directly to the Play Pilipinas website here.)
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Academic experts and child advocates will present the latest developments on the study of play as it relates to child welfare during a three-day international conference, Play Pilipinas, set from October 21 to 23 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Organization and consistency at the Kingdom-seekers Academy

If you've been following our homeschool daily lessons blog (Kingdom Seekers Academy), you'll see that I/we have been pretty inconsistent in recording our daily activities (my bad! huhuhu!) So in an attempt to be consistent starting this October, I've tried taking photos to record our activities.




Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Updated with NEW CARTOON VIDEOS!)

When I was younger, especially when I was still a single missionary for Youth for Christ, one of my "idol" saints was St. Francis of Assisi. Perhaps because I could relate to his "troubled" and sinful life as a youth, and later on, as a missionary who gave his all to God, not caring about the material things in life. (Much like one of my other "idols,"  Filipino lay preacher Bo Sanchez!)

However, I have realized since then that what matters most to God is my poverty in spirit and detachment from the material world, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich, if it is for the right reasons, and to glorify God by helping others. This is especially true if one has a family - there's nothing wrong with wanting to provide for one's kids right?

Anyway, St. Francis celebrates his Feast Day today so here is a round-up of ideas on how to celebrate:

1. Watch videos about his life - Watchknowlearn.org has a good list of videos here. Below is one of the videos, hopefully Tim won't be TOO bored with it as it's meant for 8 year olds and up. hehe! ;-)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk70JUT-QAU]

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux (delayed I know! haha) and the Feast of the Guardian Angels

I was supposed to post these ideas for St. Therese's feast day yesterday but didn't get to as my mom and I went to visit my cousin who just gave birth, and give some breastfeeding support to her. After that, we went grocery shopping with the kids. It was a very rainy Saturday in Manila yesterday, and I hope everyone's coping with the typhoon well. Let's keep praying for those badly affected though, and still in flooded areas!

Anyway, here are some ideas for St. Therese's Feast Day, as re-posted from other wonderful Catholic moms' blogs and Catholic websites! (It's never too late to celebrate and teach our kids about St. Therese, who is one of my personal favorites, as we sought her intercession when I was pregnant with our 2 kids on mission! That's why we named our first daughter, Alyssa Therese :-) hehe.)

P.S. Please also keep reading to the end for ideas on celebrating the Feast of the Guardian Angels (Oct 2)! :-)

Homeschooling A Reluctant Learner

What a beautiful inspiring post from one of my favorite homeschool sites: Simple Homeschool! :-) This Sunday morning, I am led to reflect more on why we are homeschooling and what I am doing "wrong" which may be more harmful than helpful to Tim (and Rysse)! :-)

Thank You Lord for articles like these, which help bring me back to the right path! I am sharing it below for you all. :-) You may also find these activities helpful: http://webmama-blog.blogspot.com/2010/05/activities-for-relunctant-learners.html. God bless us and Mama Mary, please continue to pray for us!

Teaching a Reluctant Learner

by TONI on SEPTEMBER 30, 2011
Post image for Teaching a Reluctant Learner
Ihave a child who hates school.
This is hard for me to admit because it feels like I failed. I failed my son, my family, and the homeschool community.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Feast Day St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael!

I started off this day with a reflection about St. Joseph and Mama Mary, which was inspired by some videos I watched with the kids. What a fitting way to start the day!
The Three Archangels with Tobias by Francesco Botticini from
friendsofart.net
Today, on Michaelmas, besides celebrating the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, along with Saints Gabriel and Raphael, the other archangels, in various ways, let's pray for our families, and all families everywhere. Let us especially pray for protection from the evil one and for stronger families built on the ROCK of Christ.

Here are some prayers to get us started from a website about St. Michael:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz

It is St. Lorenzo Ruiz's Feast Day today (Sept 28). Since it is still flooded outside due to Typhoon Pedring (which seems to have "calmed down" a bit, thank you for joining us in prayer!) I thought I'd try to come up with a post on how to celebrate his Feast Day. (Since I can't find one on Google! haha!)

But first, here is some information about the St. Lorenzo, or San Lorenzo Ruiz, as he is fondly called by Filipinos everywhere:

Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint. He is also the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith. Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman, married, and had two sons and a daughter. Born in Binondo, Manila, about 1600's, he was educated in the school of the Dominicans there. He served as an altar boy and later was a helper and clerk-sacristan in the church of Binondo. He was a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ideas for Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Padre Pio (Sept 23)

St. Padre Pio has a special place in our family's heart now because we believe that it was through his intercession that my sister got pregnant, after waiting for almost ELEVEN years! (I wrote about that on Philstar.com here.)

Today (Sept 23) is his feast day, and here are some great ideas for celebrating it from Catholic Icing. (Forgive me, but I'll just copy and paste Lacy's post below, hehe). Thank you St. Pio for praying for us! Happy Feast Day!

Pray, hope and don't worry. - St. Pio of Petrelcina


Note: The Philippine Center for St. Pio has an official website here. It is a wonderful, solemn place to visit and celebrate the Eucharist. The chapel is located at E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave (C5). You can view the directions/map going there here.
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St. Padre Pio has a feast day coming up on September 23. If I were to rank St. Padre Pio on a popularity scale from 1-10, I would give him a 10! He sure seems to be a 'crowd pleaser', and there's no question as to why if you read about St. Padre Pio. The most famous thing about him is his stigmata. Well, that and his fist fights with demons and levitating and all kinds of crazy cool stuff :-) Anyway, here are some feast day ideas for celebrating with your kids:


Ok, call me crazy, but I love these Stigmata Rice Krispie Treats
from Family at the Foot of the Cross
My Little Flower made a St. Padre Pio Lapbook.
over on Catholic Online.
Waltzing Matilda has 2 St. Padre Pio Coloring Sheets!
These were colored by Keeper of the Keys
Find a St. Padre Pio Spoon Craft over on 
Cottage Blessings. He's standing with St. Francis here.

Catholic Lesson Plans for Preschoolers and Kindergartners


I am so amazed by the wonderful Catholic moms who take such time and effort into posting free stuff for other Catholic families to use! ;-) Aside from my favorite crafty Catholic mom Lacy's Catholic Icing blog, "Amazing Grace's" The Catholic Toolbox blog  is a great resource too!

Here are her lesson plans for PreK-K. :-) Hope this helps you! God bless you abundantly, and God bless moms like Lacy and Grace, who are such blessings to homeschoolers like me! ;-)

Lesson Plans: Pre K - K


I have made several Pre K - K lesson plans. Here is a list of the ones I have done so far. Each lesson plan consists of: Objectives, Word Wall, Bible Story with questions, Songs and/or Finger Plays, Activities, Crafts, Games, Snacks, Coloring/Puzzles, etc.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Raising smart savers is a Catholic thing to do!

Ever since hubby and I attended free financial education lectures last year, we have been more conscious about how we spend and invest our money. We have also been trying to teach our kids about the value of money, even if they are JUST almost 5 and 2 years old respectively. We believe that raising our kids to be good Catholics also means raising them to be good stewards of the resources and blessings we receive from the Lord. This includes being "smart savers."
Photo from familybudgetideas.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ideas for celebrating "Michaelmas" - Feast Day of St. Michael and all the Archangels (Sept 29)

The Feast Day of all the Archangels - St. Michael, also known as "Michaelmas," falls on September 29. Two other archangels, Gabriel and Raphael, are also honored on this day. (To know more about "Michaelmas" please go to the articles on these sites: Women for Faith and Family, Catholic Culture, Catholic.org)

For ideas on activities, crafts and the like, check out my favorite Catholic crafty homeschool mom Lacy's suggestions, which I am re-posting below:
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Michaelmas comes every year on September 29. It is the feast day of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and well- basically the Archangels :-) When getting ready to celebrate Michaelmas with your kids, think "tough angels". Because that's what archangels are. Save your "fluffy angel" ideas for the feast of Guardian Angels in October.

I love this Angel Mobile Craft from Bountiful Blessings.
If you're not crafts enough to cut the pieces out like she did,

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our homeschool "theme song": Seek ye first the kingdom of God

We've been trying to teach Tim (and Rysse) this since we started homeschooling 2 weeks ago :-) One day, I hope to be able to post a video of them singing it, like the kids in the video (who I am assuming to be Filipino, hehe). ;-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom


mom
Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom (the original post can be found on Simple Homeschool.)
Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at the Heart of the Matter virtual homeschooling conference. My topic? Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom.
The talk went well, and afterward I had the idea to turn it into a series for you here. So over the next few Mondays, I’ll share tips that set a homeschooling mama (or papa!) up for success in the homeschooling lifestyle.
When I use the word “secrets,” I don’t mean they are necessarily earth-shattering ideas or principles you’ve never heard of before. In many areas of life, often the most profound truths are also the most simple.
I’ve called them secrets because they encompass ideas I wish I would have known at the beginning of my homeschooling journey–ideas I’ve had to figure out and stumble across along the way. If I would have known these from the beginning, I think it would have helped me approach homeschooling in a more relaxed, pressure-free way.

Teachermama Tina writes about

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