Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy All Hallows' Eve!

.: Our 2012 Saint-O-Lanterns :.

St. Patrick's Celtic Cross
by Captain and Mom

Catholic Crusader's Shield
by Rascal and Dad
(hand drawn illustration for "template")

Praying After My First Holy Communion
by Twinkle Toes, Chiquita and Mom

If you carve a "Saint-O-Lantern" this year, be sure to share pictures at 

Carving our Saint-O-Lanterns ~ 2012

Carving our Saint-O-Lanterns at Uncle Brian's house this year!
I loved that we could make the mess outside this year, instead of in the dining room!  ;) 
Captain choose a Celtic Cross Pattern for his Pumpkin
Rascal choose to illustrate his own Crusader Shield
The girls took a "break" and let mom finish carving their pumpkin after it was cleaned out...
Captain let mom help finish his too, this year.   There were just too many distractions (uncles) around! 
Thankfully we didn't decide to carve one for each of our children this year! ;)
Twinkle Toes and Chiquita's "Praying after my First Holy Communion" Saint-O-Lantern
Captain's Celtic Cross
Rascal's Crusader Shield

or scroll through all our past Saint-O-Lanterns in the archives.  

All Saints Scavenger Hunt {A Printable Party Game!}

One of the games I made last night, for our party this evening, is an All Saints Scavenger Hunt. Last year we used Charlotte's printable Search for the Saints, and the kids loved it, but I wanted to offer something a little different this year. I have printed 16 saint cards which I will hand out to 16 of the adults. The children will each receive the following list of clues, and they will need to match each clue to the correct saint. Once the child thinks he knows who it is, he will ask the person representing (holding the picture of) the saint. If he is correct the "saint" signs the line next to the correct clue on his child's clue sheet. Here are the clues that my husband and I came up for our game:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Daybook :: Oct 30, 2012

Outside my window... 
I hear the leaf blower as my husband cleans up the yard for our party tomorrow night!

I am thinking...        
about everything that still needs to be done... So much (that I'd like) to do and so little time!   (And yet here I am sitting at the computer... Everyone needs a break every once in awhile, right?)

I am thankful... 
that we were able to squeeze in a trip to the pumpkin patch this past weekend.   It was a whirlwind of activities all weekend long, but we had a blast!

Learning all the time & Celebrating the liturgical year... We have a light school week this week, as we wrap up our first quarter, so we can focus on celebrating the liturgical year.  We'll be learning lots about the saints, attending mass on Thursday for the feast of All Saints, and the boys will be serving Mass at the Cemetery as always for the Feast of All Souls.

From the kitchen... 
dinner is simmering in the crock pot, Chicken with Marinara and Artichoke Hearts to serve over spaghetti with Parmesan Cheese, Dinner Rolls, and Salad.   After dinner I am going to start the Pumpkin Cupcakes for tomorrow!

I am working on... 
carving this year's Saint-O-Lanterns!  After going to the Pumpkin Patch on Sunday with four of my siblings, aunt, uncle, sister-in-law, and niece, we headed over to my brother Brian's house to eat dinner and carve pumpkins!   Since we weren't at home, and there were aunts and uncles to visit with, my kids weren't nearly as focused on carving this year so we only completed three. I have one more all ready to carve and Snuggles and I are hoping to finish it tonight after dinner.

While we were working on our Saint-O-Lanterns my brother cracked me up with his "Pumpkin Head Tiki Torch!"  While the tiki torch pumpkin was totally creepy, I loved his carving of a candle for his daughter!  I'll be back to post pictures of our completed carvings later. 

I am creating... 
a couple games and a banner for our All Hallows' Eve / All Saints' Party!

I am going... 
to try and get back to answering emails soon!   It has been awhile and I am really really behind (some have been waiting a year or more).   I do read every email, but it is impossible for me to respond to them all, as much as I do try.   (Often times I am reading on my cellphone and have to wait until I'm on the computer to respond.)  FYI:  I usually work on answering comments on the blog first, followed by Facebook, emails from friends and family, and then other emails are usually last.

I am hoping... 
for the Hadley's! We attended the 5th Annual Harvest of Hope Dinner, an annual fundraiser for the Hadley Hope Fund, this past Saturday night.  Here is an update on their beautiful family and a few pictures from the dinner.

2012 Hadley Hope Dinner © Marc Salvatore
Bud, me and my sister-in-law Meagan (You can also see my Dad just over Meagan's shoulder)   © Marc Salvatore
Kristin & Ann-Marie (dear friends that I grew up with, Kristin was my Confirmation sponsor and is Rascal's Godmother and Ann-Marie was one of my bridesmaids), Amy (who is losing weight like crazy and looking amazing) and Me (not looking my best!) :)
© Marc Salvatore 

I am praying... 
for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, for the soul of Barbara Curtis, for my sister-in-law Melissa who will be delivering another baby soon, for my little sister Jamie Jo who just celebrated her anniversary and birthday yesterday and the day before, and for Emily!  Oh, and that it doesn't rain here tomorrow night!

I am (still) reading... 
the saint quotes and short paragraphs that my children have come up with to share with everyone tomorrow evening.   I will have an extra treat for any of the children that come dressed as a saint or biblical character and have something to share with everyone.   (A short paragraph, quote, or even just a coloring page for the little ones.)

Pondering these words...
spoken by St. Joan of Arc, which Chiquita found (all on her own) in her copy of The Pocket Daring Book for Girls and is planning on sharing at our party tomorrow:

"One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying."

I am listening...  
to Prince Caspian, as we continue working our way through the 7 Volume Unabridged Audio Set of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Around the house... 
I've done over 20 loads of laundry yesterday and today and am almost caught up!  I've also sorted through half the kids clothing, boxing up everything that is too small and pulling out all the summer clothes.  What was I thinking starting this project before our All Hallows' Eve party?

One of my favorite things...  
pictures at the Pumpkin Patch! I will be posting this year's soon.

This week's plans...
  • Lego Robotics Classes for the older boys (Tues & Thurs)
  • All Hallows' Eve Party
  • Mass on All Saints Day, Tutor in the Afternoon
  • Annual Mass at the Cemetery for the Feast of All Souls 

A little peek at my day...

Captain lost his very last baby tooth last night! {sniff, sniff} Considering that his orthodontist wanted to have it pulled if it didn't fall out within a month, the tooth fairy left an extra fun surprise for all his extra work on getting it out {6 lego mini figures packages}... Apparently "the tooth fairy is much better than mom at picking out mini figures!!" We had a very excited boy this morning!

Our Parish All Saints' Party and Costume Contest

A week ago, after hearing that our parish was encouraging saint or biblical costumes this year (you had to come dressed as one to be entered in the costume contest), and after our pastor told our children that both he and the assistant priest would be dressing up, we decided to take the kids's this year to the All Saints Party which was held this past Friday night.

Some of the kids decided to wear the costumes they will be wearing for our party tomorrow night, and a couple decided to use the opportunity to wear a different saint costume!   Even though we only had about an hour to get ready for the party they all came together so nicely, and I was glad I didn't have to choose a favorite!

.:  St. Francis of Assisi :.

Costume passed down from my brothers, with homemade tonsure, and bird & animal finger puppets pinned to shoulder and hem.  
(Note: if you need a last minute costume, adult size t-shirts make great habits for little ones!) 

.: St. Therese of Lisieux :.

Costume from Our Coats of Many Colors 
(all from our ever growing Saints Costume collection!)

.: St. Nicholas :.

Costume/Vestments from Our Father's House 
(no longer sold, but they do carry patterns)

.: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta :. 

Costume from Our Coats of Many Colors with Crucifix

.: St. Catherine of Laboure :. 

Costume Homemade and passed down from my sisters
I kept trying and just could not get that headpiece right... In the meantime I forgot to take a picture of just TT before leaving for the party.   These pictures were taken a couple weeks ago when we were trying out the costume.  She also wore a miraculous medal.  

.: St. Isaac Jogues :. 

Costume from Our Coats of Many Colors with Crucifix and Bible
(Can you believe how well his lip has healed, and how quickly!?!  His teeth are looking good, but still bothering him, some.  Thank you for all the prayers!) 

.: St. Paul the Apostle :. 

 Costume from Our Coats of Many Colors, with Yellow Turban, Grey Beard and Sword

I love this picture with four of my boys best friends dressed as Moses, Lazarus, St. Juan Diego, and St, Maximilian Koble, as well as our Pastor and Parochial Vicar dressed as Blessed John Paul II and Venerable Futon Sheen!

The Youth Ministry Coordinator was dressed as St. Teresa of Avila.  I loved her costume!  
(Sorry for the blurry picture...) 

The parish hall was set up with all sorts of games for the children, very similar to our past All Saints' Parties, and I keep thinking how NICE it was to have such a great party without ALL the work!  ;) 

On top of all the treats the kids were given while playing games, Snuggles also won 3 bags of candy for placing 1st in the costume contest!  When I told Father, while juggling the bags, that we were now set for our upcoming party, he handed me another bag, since he had just won 1st place in the 12 & older group! lol  We ended up coming home with over 20 pounds of candy...  Yikes!!

This was our first time attending, but we are so glad we took all our little "saints."  It was so much fun and ended up being their best turnout yet!  I really hope this becomes an annual event.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

{This Moment}

St. Nicholas (aka Snuggles) and Blessed John Paul II (aka our Pastor!)

These two were the first place winners for each category (11 & under and 12 & up) at our Parish's All Saints Costume Contest last night!   I'll be back with more pictures soon.  We had such a great time!

Friday, October 26, 2012

All Saints' Day Party Games :: A Saintly Jigsaw Puzzle Race!

My kids are getting so excited!   All Saints' Day is coming up next week, which means our Annual All Hallows' Eve Party is just around the corner. Last year our family decided to host a "small" party at our home, instead of the carnival style party at the parish hall, and it was such a blast!   Despite feeling slightly (okay, very!) overwhelmed with everything that needs to still be done, I keep reminding myself that it actually was pretty easy to host and I already have so much ready, left over from last year!   I just need to work on cleaning up the house... ;)

This year, in addition to the All Saints Bingo, St. Isidore's Pumpkin Roasting, and an Outdoor Flashlight Scavenger/Treasure Hunt that a friend is helping coordinate, I've been trying to come up with a couple more new games.   Since the Cupcake Puzzle Race was such a hit at our Little Flowers Tea Party, I thought it would be perfect!

My goal was to find a couple 100 piece puzzles representing either saints or biblical figures.  I ran across some made by EuroGraphics and decide to go with Jesus the Fisherman (with the apostles!) and David & Goliath.   (Other options included Daniel and the Lions and Moses.)

I opened up the boxes and was very pleased with the quality - the puzzle pieces are very durable and should be able to withstand many little fingers!  At the party we will probably break the kids that are interested in playing into groups of 4, but this afternoon my four oldest broke into two teams to give it a try.

They each choose a puzzle and I set the timer.  I couldn't believe that, 18 minutes and 24 seconds later, it was a TIE!  (I think at the Little Flowers Tea Party, with more people working on the puzzles, we completed them in about 12-15 minutes.) They had so much fun and are looking forward to playing again with their friends!

If you want to try this out, and don't want it to take quite so long, any 24 Piece Puzzle set would work as well.  I've also pulled out a few of our simple Catholic Puzzles for the younger children, or to have quick timed races.

You can find some of our past Saintly Games in the archives or listed in this post.