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Stories of the Saints, and Costumes!

We are slowly building a collection of picture and chapter books about important figures in church history.  It always amazes me how much children enjoy reading biographies!  Here are a few recommendations from our library: Saint Valentine – A beautifully illustrated story of a Roman Christian saint; on whom our traditions of Valentine’s Day are based.  The illustrations are done in cut paper mosaic and are very lovely. Saint Patrick – One of the many faith-based books from author and illustrator Tomie DePoala. Trial and Triumph – A great compilation of histories of people throughout church history.  Good for older kids.  Be aware there is some mildly anti-Catholic sentiments; but overall an informative and useful book, with stories from the early church through modern times. If you have a look on Amazon, you will find a larger selection of books, including these that look interesting: Brigid’s Cloak Roses in the Snow The Miracle of Saint Nicholas The Prayer of Saint Francis And….if you need some Halloween/Saints Day costumes, be sure to check out Kendra’s posts: 150 …

“Advent is for Making:” Sharing a Gift From Your Family Culture

One of the most meaningful gifts I or my family has ever received came last Christmas from some dear friends of ours.  Their family loves to read; they love a good story, fairy land and tales; and they love beautiful language and pictures. They spent time frequenting library book sales, and put together personalized stacks of books for gifting according to their friend’s and family’s interests.  It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received; but I mostly love it because in sharing a stack of great books, it was clear to me that they were gifting us a slice of their precious family culture. This Advent, why not consider assembling or creating gifts together with your children to give to family and friends?  If you are longing to simplify gift-giving, and avoid the commercialization of the holiday season, working with your children to craft gifts is one way to take the focus off of the things they are wanting, and transfer it to considering what they could create to delight others.  Plus, …

Family Culture and Sunday Tea

Our eldest child is seven now, which doesn’t seem so old, but in today’s society means he will soon be noticing more about the culture, asking us possibly difficult questions, paying more attention to his peers, and seeing how our family is different from others.  The teen years are looming, in the not so distant future, and I have been thinking that now is the time to focus on building a “family culture” to provide a buffer between our family and society at large. What is a “family culture”?  No, it’s not a bad joke about the sharing of bacteria in your house.  A family culture is, simply, how your family differs from every other family.  I appreciate this post from Catholic All Year on this topic. A family culture mostly has to do with preferences: What does your family like?  And matters of discipline: What will you allow/not allow in your home?  And other fun stuff: How do you like to recreate together?  How do you find rest and relaxation together?  Your family is like …

Rogation Prayer Bunting

Amanda had the idea for a prayer bunting to hang in your home, or around your garden, as a way to celebrate the Rogation days in your family.  The first page has a few prayers already included on the flags, and the remaining two pages have room to write your own prayers, and for children of non-writing age to draw their prayers.  Just another visible reminder of our responsibility to pray always for our neighbors, communities, and society at large. Cut the flags and fold them and secure with tape over some kind of string.  Kabob skewers work well to hold the flags in the ground.  We would love to see some of your Rogation buntings as well!  Tag us on Instagram @thehomelyhours. RogationFlags

Our Daily Bread

Yesterday, on Holy Wednesday, the children of our church gathered to make bread that will be used for our Maundy Thursday Holy Communion service (A post on that tomorrow!). We used the following recipe from Bethany Thomso of the food blog, A Spoon Full of Yum.  Bethany is wife to The Farmer, mother of four little ones who she home schools in Tennessee, and a former dietician with a lifelong interest in nutrition. Thank you, Bethany, for your recipe and reflection! In prayer, we express our dependence upon the Lord, drawing sustenance from Him, and, just so, the very act of eating bread should remind us of how utterly dependent we are upon Christ, the Bread of Life.  Jesus taught his disciples to pray that the Father would “give us this day our daily bread” (ESV).  Hearkening back to Proverbs 30:8, we may pray: “…Feed me with the food that is needful” (ESV).   No matter our level of education or socioeconomic status, we will never rise above our basic need for food.  This should …

Homely Moments: Children and Holy Week

We thought it would be fun to launch an inspirational blog link up this week at The Homely Hours.  If you would like to share pictures or ideas of your family celebrating Holy Week, please add your link below.  It will be fun to see how others celebrate!  Alternatively, tag your photos on Instagram or Facebook with #homelyworship.  The invitation to add your link is open through Easter Sunday.  Have a blessed Holy Week. The Triumphal Entry in godly play.  

Prayer Beads for Kids

One of my goals this Lent is to spend more time in prayer.  My husband gifted me a beautiful set of Anglican prayer beads for Christmas, and the practice of using the beads and ages old prayers, in a rhythmic, defined manner, has made prayer more accessible to me.  And so I am much more inclined to spend time doing it! As I’ve been keeping them around on my desk areas for use, my charming and curious children have asked me what they are for, and so I decided to make them some of their own.  I was somewhat surprised that they were interested, but we ran with it, and came up with these simple circlets for their use. These can be made out of anything, and would be a fun Lenten family activity, or perhaps a surprise in their Easter basket?  Use what you have on hand; plastic pony beads in two colors on a piece of yarn would work just fine. The important thing is to place your beads in this form: For …

A Simple Easter Garden

Have you ever heard of the tradition of creating an Easter Garden?  This has become a well-loved custom in our home, that begins on Palm Sunday, and we observe through the difficult Holy Week, to its climax on Easter. It is a lovely and symbolic way to mark the events of Holy Week for children, and the adults quite enjoy it too! Here are some simple steps to create your own Easter Garden: Gather your materials: You will need a container to hold your garden; it is helpful if this container can drain so your garden does not get water-logged.  And of course, a tray to catch the draining water.  Use what you have on hand; ours is a large take-out container with holes poked in the bottom and its plastic lid to catch the drainage. a small terra-cotta pot for the tomb.  This should be relative in size to your container, ours is the smallest size pot you can buy. a large rock to cover your tomb.  Send your children outside to find one! …

Devotional Art: A Lenten Reflection

Our priest’s wife, Sandy Mc Namara, is a teacher and art historian.  She offers this reflection for us in the midst of Lent. Dutch Baroque artist Rembrandt van Rijn over the course of his lifetime painted hundreds of images depicting many Old and New Testament historical events, stories, and parables. Rembrandt is considered a Baroque painter, not only because he lived and painted during the 17th century, but also because his style and technique reflect many major characteristics of that period. Baroque art emphasized the theatrical and dramatic through focused use of strong light/dark contrasts, emotion, and dramatic scenes. One scene of Christ’s earthly ministry that intrigued Rembrandt was the instant when the two disciples who walked the road to Emmaus with Jesus, first realized they were interacting with their Lord after having witnessed his execution and burial. Rembrandt was an artist of human experience who loved to capture the emotional reaction of his subjects at crisis moments. He studied the human face, and attempted to depict the instant of epiphany and realization. This Emmaus …