Monday, January 25, 2016

Catholic Schools Week 2016

It's almost Catholic Schools Week! To all Catholic educators, administrators, parents, volunteers, parish staff, students, and any whose lives are touched by Catholic education... thank you!  It is a blessing to be a member of this family.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." 
~Proverbs 22:6

Here are a couple of previous posts I have about CSW:
Catholic Schools Week Thank You Card (printable)
Catholic Schools Week 2015 (bulletin board)

Catholic Schools Week 2014 (bulletin board & Fulton Sheen quote printable)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Spiritual Adoption Prayer Coloring Page & Pro Life Video Playlist

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of a good government." ~Thomas Jefferson

Today, on the 43rd anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade, thousands will march in Washington D.C. showing their opposition to the decision which disregards the needs of the smallest among us.  My 5th graders and I won't be marching, but we will be praying.  I hope you'll join us!

Click on the image for a coloring page with Fulton Sheen's Spiritual Adoption Prayer:

I've also been working on pulling together a playlist of my favorite pro life videos.  Some are old favorites that I have used/watched/cried over countless times for various Bible Studies and Youth Group lessons (ahem, 99 Balloons), and some are some new treasures.  Most of the videos fall into the anti abortion category, but there are also some about the dignity of the human person in general- special needs, loving our enemies, etc.  I am on the lookout for some good videos about the gift of the elderly, but haven't found anything great yet.  I would love to hear your suggestions for any well made videos out there that help spread a pro life mentality.  Click on the image below to check out the playlist:

You might also like:
Spiritual Adoption Bookmarks
Spiritual Adoption- Youth Group Lesson, discussion questions, and more
Spiritual Adoption Update Postcards
Touch of Life Fetal Models

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Peg Doll Nativity

I love love love kids' nativities!  I mean, I love grown-up nativities too, but who can resist all the cute little characters in kid sized awesomeness ready to be played with by tiny hands?  While I was making this set of peg doll saints and church, I decided to make my niece Violet a nativity for her first birthday, which is just a week before Christmas.

I included Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three Wisemen, a shepherd family, three angels, and a chunky star.  I also painted the inside of a wooden box with a lid to look like a stable and a night sky, which makes a fun place to play and then a good place to store all the pieces.

She has loved it!  My sister says that it has been one of her favorite toys for the past month.  So far, she enjoys:
-banging them on hard surfaces to make noise (there's something about heavy wooden toys that kids love)
-crawling with people in her hands- they are just the right size for little hands
-transferring the characters from one box to another and then back
-chewing on their heads, especially one lucky little shepherd boy (good thing I used non toxic paint, right?)
-putting all the people in her shopping cart and walking them around the house
-and the latest is wrapping them up in newspaper- my sister's family is moving to a new house, and after watching us wrap and pack all day, apparently Violet decided she would pack her nativity too!

I hope that this is a toy she continues to love, and eventually becomes a natural way for the grownups in her life to help her know the story of Christ's birth.  But for now, chewing and banging and wrapping are pretty fun too. ;)

Here you can see the people a little closer.  Baby Jesus needs a little manger to sleep in, but honestly, right now he is a choking hazard for my niece.  Maybe he'll get to come back next Christmas :).  I am planning on adding the sheep, camels, oxen, and donkey to her set next year, and by then she'll have to share with her baby brother, who will be here in March!

This little mini holy family was a special gift for my other sister, who is expecting her first baby in April, also a boy.  He'll get his own nativity next Christmas! :)

You can check out Monday's post about the ten Saint Peg Dolls I painted, as well as the church, vestments, and Mass kit to go along with them!

If you are interested in making your own peg dolls, I looked for supplies on several sites and at local stores, and made several purchases. These have been my favorites, and the ones I reordered as I plan to start working on the Nativity for my nephew!

In case you want to do some creating of your own:
These are the basic pegs that I worked with for both the nativity and Saints.  I was impressed with the quality, and they were a good value after I comparison shopped.  When I reordered them, I noticed the price had dropped a couple of dollars, so now might be a great time to shop!
Wood Doll Bodies - Woman 3-1/2 inch - Bag of 10
Wood Doll Bodies - Man 3-9/16 inch - Bag of 10

This time I also ordered some wooden eggs and cubes to make animals for the nativity:
Wood Blocks 1.5 Inches 
Wood Eggs 2-1/2"
2 inch wood cubes

So, have you made any peg doll projects?  What are your favorite kid friendly nativities?

Monday, January 18, 2016

I jumped on the peg doll band wagon...

So, this Christmas, I jumped on the peg doll band wagon...

and I loved it!  I made a collection of Saints and a Mass set for my Goddaughter and her siblings, and made my niece a nativity (post here).

While I think that the best way to build up a collection of peg dolls is to do an exchange (you make 10 or 20 of the same doll, then exchange with 10 or 20 other people who did the same thing= collection of many and you only had to learn how to paint one!) or to use Catholic Icing's printable peg dolls (=amazing), I really really enjoyed getting to make these one by one for kiddos I care about.

So, a forewarning, this post is much less of a how to and more of a "look at this! I love how it turned out!" post.  :)

I made each kid in this family two Saints to play with (and share!) based on their first and middle names.

Here are the ladies:
From L-R= Lydia, Anne, Mother Teresa, and the BVM.

And the gentlemen:
From L-R= Benedict, Mark, James, Fulton Sheen, Peter, and Joseph.

I tried to use colors and symbols that matched the Saint's lives.  You know, always a chance to catechize. :) Like the little chalkboard with a JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) with Fulton Sheen!

And I made little vestments and altar cloths for all the liturgical seasons...

And used a little box for the altar, and made candlesticks, a lectionary/prayer book, a chalice, a paten, and a sanctuary lamp. 

Then I used a wooden box to make the inside of a church! On this front view, I used the side and lid depth to give the impression of a high altar and added tabernacle doors. I also painted some navy and gold arches and mod podged on a Mary and Joseph statue (cut out from a catalogue). The crucifix in the center is actually wood and metal and is hot glued to the front. 

I also painted in some simple stained glass windows on the left and right sides...

And in the back are a set of painted doors and mod podged Stations of the Cross (also cut out from a catalogue).

Here it all is, set up for the Saints to celebrate Mass!  Everything fits inside the church for easy storage. 

Because this was a group gift for a set of siblings, I wanted them all to still have something to open, so I packaged up the sets of dolls for each kid. 

Not surprisingly, I do like to make a lot of my own gifts, but this was one of my favorite projects... In a long time. Check here to see pictures of the peg doll nativity I made for my niece!

And, in case you were wondering...
These are the basic pegs that I worked with for both the nativity and Saints.  I was impressed with the quality, and they were a good value after I comparison shopped.  When I reordered them, I noticed the price had dropped a couple of dollars, so now might be a great time to shop! (disclosure- affiliate links, meaning if you click through and purchase, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for supporting the blog!)
Wood Doll Bodies - Woman 3-1/2 inch - Bag of 10
Wood Doll Bodies - Man 3-9/16 inch - Bag of 10

***If you'd like a more specifics about making your mini Mass set, check out this new post:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What Ordinary Time Looks Like

Today marks the beginning of a short stretch of Ordinary Time.  In the Liturgical Year, Ordinary Time occurs:
-From the Baptism of the Lord (3rd Sunday after Christmas) to the first Sunday of Lent
-And from Trinity Sunday (Sunday after Pentecost) to Christ the King (Sunday before Advent)

During Ordinary Time, we focus especially on the Life of Christ and growing in our relationships with the Lord.  Click on the printable above for some of the signs and symbols of this Liturgical Season.

You might also like these posts:
What Advent Looks Like
What Christmas Looks Like
What Lent Looks Like
What Easter Looks Like