Sunday, February 26, 2017

LEGO Ideas :: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century Bavarian palace on a rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people (6,000 per day in the summer!) visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king".

A few weeks ago, inspired by his previous Metal Earth Neuschwanstein Castle (available here) and his sister's 3D Puzzle of this Fairytale Castle (available here), Ranger decided to try and create a micro LEGO version of Neuschwanstein Castle using LEGO from his collection. He amazes me!

He hasn't posted it over at LEGO Ideas yet, but plans to soon.  (You can find his profile here, and vote on his current projects, although it will require you to create a free account and/or log in.) 


Here are the links to some of his past original LEGO creations including: 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pro-Life Prints :: Praying for Others

Pro-Life Prints is a brilliant addition to the Culture of Life Studies Program. It has been a fun and engaging hands-on way to teach our little ones more about the dignity of every human life!

We worked through the four lessons the last week of January (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) following the presidential inauguration and leading up to this year's annual March for Life, but our youngest ended up coming down with a virus on Day 4 so we finished the final lesson in shifts. It was the first thing he wanted to do as soon as he was feeling better again the following Monday, but it's taken me nearly a month to get back to sharing the photos with you all!

This fourth and final lesson focused on Praying for Others. We talked about the importance of praying for friends, family, and even strangers. The lesson also included a special tip to help us remember everyone for whom we need to pray, including ourselves.

.: Pray for the World :.

The whole world needs our prayers. 

"Yet, Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay and You are the Potter: we are all the work of Your hand." - Isaiah 64:7

My Life with God by Father Lovasik

.: Praying for Others :.

Use your finger to remember who to pray for. 

I loved the explanations used in the lesson! In summary, the thumb is for family and those closest to you, the index finger is for teachers and all those who instruct you, the middle/tallest finger is for all those in authority, the ring finger (which is the weakest finger) is for unborn babies and all of the weakest members of our society, and finally the pinkie is a reminder to pray for ourselves last. After praying for all the others we will be better able to pray for ourselves and ask God for what we truly need.

"Pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful." - James 5:16

Manner's in God's House: First Prayers and First Missal

.: Cover Page :.

.: Additional Picture Books :.

I pulled out some picture books from our collection to incorporate into the lesson: 
Prayers for Everyday by Father Lovasik

And from our collection of Father Lovasik books:

My Family from Naturally CatholicFavorite Prayers for Catholic Children

Culture of Life Studies is offering 25% off Pro-Life Prints for Shower of Roses visitors with coupon code: ROSES25
(offer valid until Ash Wednesday - March 1, 2017)

Friday, February 24, 2017

On Saint Valentine's Day {and Baby Update}

May the Pure Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Ours & Enlighten the World this St. Valentine's Day

I started this post last week and it's taken me a whole week to get back to finishing it. Anyway...

My girls were the creative ones this year, with their Little Way Valentines and Nutter Butter Heart Cookie Valentines! Here's a picture of my simple contribution to this year's St. Valentine's Day celebration with friends. I love our collection of bundt pans. (This particular heart pan is currently 48% off!) They made cake decorating so easy when I'm low on time. I had hoped to add lots of red berries, like I did for our daughter's When Calls the Heart birthday cake, but was never able to get to the store so I simply topped it with a holy card.

Meanwhile our little ones colored a couple St. Valentine coloring pages. Someone couldn't find anything red to wear so he decided that green was the next best option, after all St. Patrick's day is coming up soon! ;)

He asked me to take a picture of his coloring page to show his Godmother, the illustrator.  St. Valentine got to wear green this year too! 

While our kids were at the party I had another ultrasound followed by another appointment with my doctor to check on the baby.  Despite the never-ending nausea our little girl is healthy and well! 

Feb 4th: As of this weekend we've made it to 20 weeks! I still get sick and am nauseous on a daily basis (though not anywhere near as bad as the first trimester - those St. Nicholas Day letters/prayers from the kids did the trick!) and I have to be very careful to keep cramping to a minimum, especially with my history of pre-term labor, but it will all be worth it. Halfway there and so excited to meet our new baby girl this summer! Thank you all for the prayers. They are appreciated more than you know! #hyperemesisgravidarum #lowlyingplacenta #20weekspregnant

Feb 14th: I'm so very grateful for all the extra prayers, they are making such a difference! I was blessed with another little peek at our baby girl today... She is doing well and my placenta has also moved up a few centimeters over the last two weeks to just above the low-lying/problem area! My next appointment isn't for a month! Deo gratias! #21andahalfweekspregnant

As of tomorrow, Feb 25th, our baby girl will be 23 weeks!


Here are a couple pictures taken last week, as I was helping the girls with their hair before they headed out the door to a hockey game with their dad and brothers. The first thing our little guy does in the morning and the last thing he does before bed is say good morning and goodnight to his baby sister. He talks to her all day long too, trying to feel her move, telling her little things about our day, or asking her what she is doing. Before leaving he ran back to give her a hug and tell her something... Then he came back to give her a kiss goodbye. I can hardly wait until he gets to hold her for the first time! #bigbrotherbabysister #unexpectedblessings #countingthedaystojune24

Still enjoying the beautiful St. Valentine's Day roses from my husband. 

"The good God does not need years to accomplish His work of love in a soul; one ray from His heart can, in an instant, make His flower bloom for eternity..." ~ St. Therese

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Little Way Valentines

Your Little Way Brightens My Day

Our oldest daughter finished creating these rose heart covered pretzels and chocolates last night for today's St. Valentine feast day party while I made up some labels for the treat bags! We all had to be extra creative this year, using stuff we already had in our pantry and decorating stash since I haven't been able to get to the store, and she did such a great job!

Rose Hearts Pretzel Supplies: 

Rose Lollipop Supplies: 

Here is the link to our free printable documents with the Little Way labels. The quote was inspired by these cute Saint Valentines available from Salutare. 

These treats would also make a great Little Flowers craft or favor for upcoming Little Flowers Girls' Club tea parties this spring!

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Nutter Butter Heart Cookie Valentines

"We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become." 
~ St. Clare of Assisi

Inspired by these Simplified Nutter Butter Hearts, one of the girls spent some time making Nutter Butter Cookie Heart Valentines this past weekend in preparation for a St. Valentine's party and card exchange tomorrow afternoon. They were so easy to make and turned out darling! 

All she needed to make them was some Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (we had some left over from her older brother's recent Ski themed birthday - I posted his Ski Cake but still need to post the rest of the pictures!), Light Cocoa Candy Melts, and Valentine Sprinkles from our stash. We created some labels with a quote from one of her patron saints to attach to the top of each little treat bag. You are welcome to download our document if you'd like to use it too.

I spent a little time this past weekend transferring some of our past St. Valentine's Day printables from Scribd to Dropbox and updated the links in the posts: 

(Includes Crossword and Word Search)