Sunday, April 30, 2017

Catholic T-Shirt Club {An Early Confirmation Gift}

Our older boys love Catholic T-Shirts and they each have a few personal favorites that they received over the last couple years in their Easter Baskets. They are currently preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation this year and one of their gifts is a subscription to the Catholic T-Shirt Club!  They recently received their first box and this month's T-Shirt focused on St. John Paul II and Divine Mercy. Jesus, I Trust in You.

Rather than having duplicate T-Shirts (there is an option for double of everything, but they prefer having their own styles/shirts) they are getting the "Bishop Box" which comes with an exclusive Catholic T-Shirt each month, as well as sacramentals and holy cards that tie into the monthly theme. This month Ranger kept the T-shirt and Captain kept the rosary and they spilt up the rest.

This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity's destiny.
- St. John Paul II 

I just finished putting together a gift for one of our Godsons' First Holy Communions next weekend... (you can see more First Holy Communion Gift Ideas here)
...but I'm still looking for a couple more Confirmation gifts for our boys.

I'd love to hear about any of your favorite Confirmation gifts to give and/or receive! 

Baking Emoji Shortbread Sugar Cookies

Trying out their new Kids' Cookie Baking Set, an Easter gift from an online friend, to bake some Emoji Shortbread Sugar Cookies! 😋 Thank you, Annette

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Brunch on Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls with maple frosting, whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries, scrambled eggs, roasted golden potatoes and onions, applewood smoked bacon, coffee and hot cocoa, and some AIP sweet potato hash, fruit and roasted dandelion root tea for me!

This year, instead of using store bought cinnamon rolls, I used the leftover half of Pioneer Woman's "Cinnamon Roll Dough" to make our Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls!

"Mom! Are you making a cinnamon roll scroll?!?!" - Bud (5)
It sure looked like it from his viewpoint over at the counter. 

It worked out wonderfully! After rolling out the dough (30"x10") and covering it in softened butter (I think it's a little easier to work with softened instead of melted as she suggests) along with sugar and cinnamon, I rolled both sides until they met in the middle, sliced and then pinched the bottom to create the point of the heart. 

Meanwhile the girls washed the berries and made scrambled eggs and bacon.  They all liked the Orange Marmalade Rolls we made for the recent Narnia birthday party, but apparently nothing compares to the original Maple Frosting covered version! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls

I love shaping cinnamon rolls into all sorts of shapes for our children including Shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day and Turkeys for Thanksgiving! Last year I ended up shaping our cinnamon rolls into hearts and serving them with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries for Divine Mercy Sunday.

I happen to have some leftover "Cinnamon Roll Dough" from the Orange Marmalade Rolls I made for our daughter's Narnia themed birthday a couple days ago so I'm planning to use it to make Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls again this year!  You can find the directions over at Catholic Cuisine.

O Blood and Water, 
which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus 
as a fount of mercy for us, 
I trust in You.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Chronicles of Narnia Birthday Party

"This is the land of Narnia," said the Faun, "where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea…”

This year we celebrated Chiquita's birthday with a Narnia theme! 

.: Decorations :.

The lamp-post, the one decoration I had ordered specifically for her birthday arrived damaged the day before her birthday, but I was able to remove the broken glass from one side and use it anyway... 

When Adam’s flesh and Adam’s bone
Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,
The evil time will be over and done.

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

One of the older boys clipped some branches from one of our cedar trees, our oldest daughter gathered some of our Narnia-ish wooden figures (Princesses, Prince, Dwarves and Deer - some of Rose's gifts from her Snow White & Rose Red Birthday Party last year) and a blue play silk (representing the sea) to decorate with as well, and I printed out some quotes and images from the books while the Castle cake was baking.  We also pulled out the Medieval Birthday Banner to hang on the wall. 

When I was making plans for this year's Easter Baskets, I decided to get Rose and Bud a few more wooden figures that could double as party decorations! The Lion (Aslan) and Fox showed up in Bud's Easter basket and the King (Peter) arrived in Rose's basket.  The beavers, badger, mouse, and hedgehog were new birthday surprises to finish the decorations! 

.: Mrs. Beaver's Marmalade Rolls :.

Mrs. Beaver brought unexpectedly out of the oven a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll, steaming hot, and at the same time moved the kettle onto the fire, so that when they had finished the marmalade roll the tea was made and ready to be poured out.

I stayed up late baking "a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll" as a special treat for the birthday girl! I used this Orange-Marmalade Rolls recipe with St. Dalfour Orange Marmalade.

From Instagram: Instead of frying up some "new-caught fish" we opted for bacon and fruit to go along with the potatoes and marmalade rolls. I also served a "jug of creamy milk for the children (Mr. Beaver stuck to beer)..." #akahotchocolate #chroniclesofnarnia #lionthewitchandthewardrobe #adaywiththebeavers #orangemarmaladerolls #birthdaybrunch
Now to figure out how I'm going to talk my kids into "sardines on toast" for teatime! 😉

.: Turned into Stone :.

The sun came out Thursday afternoon and they all dressed up and headed outside to play... I loved seeing all their reenactments of the White Witch turning them into stone! Who wants to play a game of freeze tag?! 

The birthday girl also pulled out the Bow & Arrows she received last year for her birthday

.: Tea with Mr. Tumnus :.

And it really was a wonderful tea. There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then a sugar-topped cake.

Next it was time for tea. Our tea was inspired by Lucy's "wonderful tea" with Mr. Tumnus. 

Our children had never tried sardines before. I picked some up at Natural Grocers but was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to talk the little ones into trying them so I ended up making some "sardines" out of white and grayish candy melts as well. 

The older boys LOVED the sardines and the rest loved the candy options.  Our oldest actually requested that we have sardines for his birthday too! lol

In addition to the sardines, I made a pot of tea, hard boiled eggs in our Instant Pot (can't believe how much easier they are to peel when steamed versus boiling them like I always have in the past), and served plenty of toast, butter, and honey in this cute little pot. Instead of a "sugar-topped cake" there was Vanilla Meringues, Coconut Macaroons, and Strawberries. 

.: Birthday Gifts :.

Her one birthday wish was "new books!" She received her own set of The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Tales of the Texas Panhandle Series: The Wind Blows Free, The Wide Horizon, and The Good Land. She also received an eeboo Birthday Book!

Her next gift was a new outfit...  Beaver themed! #GoBeavs!

... Along with a new purse and wallet... complete with a couple $5 gift cards! 

And finally, a new basket filled with a sketchbook, journal, watercolor crayons and water brushes. 

.: Cair Paravel Castle Cake :.

The castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them; before them were the sands, with rocks and little pools of salt water, and seaweed, and the smell of the sea and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking for ever and ever on the beach.

Happy 12th Birthday!