Archive for the ‘Advent Christmas’ Category

St. Nick  arrived dutifully on December 6th filling eagerly waiting shoes with goodies and placing this Miter (printed on cream-colored cardstock with each child’s name written on the back of it in gold paint pen..just leave off the treat cup base) in each shoe.  I am sure he found it easier to keep each child’s goodies from falling onto the hearth and I am sure he avoided any hurt feelings over whose chocolate was whose!  Of course he included a new toothbrush with those chocolate coins…he is very practical thinking!

funny thing…he left a scroll of parchment like cardstock hanging from the fireplace with this message:

Dearest Tappclan!  Blessed Feast to you all!!

I know you have all been very good boys and girls this year and I want to give you a very special surprise!  After your chores are dutifully done at day’s end, return to the feasting table for a scavenger hunt!  Your dear Mother and Father will instruct you what to do!  Enjoy this special day…all for the Glory of God!!

….and it was tied with a striped pipecleaner and shaped like a Crozier….how cool is that?!

After dinner Mom placed a pretty basket in the middle of the diningroom table and announced that aaallll of the dishes had to be done quickly and the table washed as the fun was to begin as soon as they were done.  She remarked at how incredibly quickly the work was done and reveled in the first non-complaining night of the season…lol

In the basket were 10 scrolls of parchment-type cardstock.  I numbered them and coded them with a word on the outside so I would know where I needed to hide that one.  Each scroll was rolled and tied with a red and white pipecleaner with the end shaped like a crozier…see a theme here?? 

After the kids finished their chores they all went down into the basement as Mom, Dad and baby hid each clue.  They were then called up and read the “offical words of the game”…

“”Share Ye All Thy Gifts With One Another! ”

Nicholas gave to others because that is what Jesus commanded us to do, but did so anonymously so people would think only that gifts came from God.  Look to God’s sky, under which we all live together and are to care for and help one another”

….They scurried to the boys’ and then the girls’ room where they found the next scroll hanging from the ceiling fan. (The ceiling is painted in both rooms to look like a blue sky with clouds.)  …get the idea??

I went to the Saint Nicholas Center and printed out this story and re-wrote it leaving each paragraph as a clue to lead you to a location for the next parchment.  I hid them in almost plain sight so that the house didn’t get too torn apart….gulp…that would be bad… 

As they found each clue they had to bring it back to the dining room and read it out loud at the table…always TAKING TURNS (we can’t have hurt feelings here) and making sure all of the younger ones “found” at least one clue on their own. 

10, as it turns out was just the perfect number.  It kept their attention just long enough.  The fun part is playing the final prize at the end:  

“Imitate Good St. Nick in his heroic virtues.  You are each called to be a SAINT!  Always be ready to give a good witness.  “Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.”

Begin this new church year preparing your hearts for the Christ Child!  Make a WARM place in your hearts to shelter Him from the COLD and let Him be the FOOD for your Soul!   Ready? SET! Go!

…and the final clue was found in the crisper drawer in the fridge…LOL!

It was also a good time to color in their new St. Nicholas Feast Day Folders that they found under their shoes in the morning.  They had a large assortment of coloring pages, (FWIW these images make great shrinky-dink images to hang on your Christmas tree!!) a word search and a crossword as well as a few paper crafts (already printed out on cardstock) and a story of St. Nick and a personal note from him on the inside….Each younger child had a different colored folder with an icon of St. Nicholas laminated (with clear packing tape) to the outside with the words printed with gold pen on the front as well as their baptisimal name… :

“My St. Nicholas Activity Book”

and on the back:

The Nicene Creed (laminated with packing tape)

Just don’t ask what time Good Ole St. Nick went to bed

…of course he didn’t get this ‘revelation‘ until the night before

…when all through the house, not a creature was stiring…and mom had enough quiet to start to dream…..(which of course my dh calls my “dangerous time”  LOL!!   

Meanwhile…. My 15yo twindds used a St. Nicholas cookie stamp (we got ours from Hillside Education) and made a huge batch of sugar cookies.  I got the idea to print out St. Nicholas wrapping paper which I copied into a word document and edited the properties of the image to make it a watermark…and then printed out the paper so that we could wrap a few cookies in it and place it into the shoes. 

 We may have been low-budget this year, but it was not short of fun on both sides…both from the makers and the receivers. 

Hey!  I held myself back!  I really really wanted to do this….but I will do that next year….into the liturgical year file it goes…..

Read Full Post »

I have just fallen in love with felt projects….more links to follow…but meanwhile… I had to share this one from one of the Montessori email groups…

Wee Felt Nests and Haybales 

Felt is so much fun to play with as an adult.  I am currently collecting wool blankets to felt for projects..some of which I got for free or practically for free from garage sales and thrift stores. I have also found great sources of the other kind of felt from freecycle….gotta love freecycle…it is a great source of many of our art supplies!

and while you are treasure collecting… don’t be so quick to dismiss those cookie and candy tins you see at garage sales and such. They are great for storing felt food and other homemade themed treasures…more to follow…. :o)

Read Full Post »


"I Am the Immaculate Conception."
Happy Feast Day Holy Mother!

Our Lady of Lourdes  ~Hector Garrido

At the National Shrine Mary’s Garden’s dedication on June 10, 2000,  Msgr. Bransfield stated
in his remarks at the dedication:

"The Song of Songs speaks of ‘An Enclosed Garden’, ‘A Fountain Sealed’ – imagery referring to Mary’s fidelity, her immaculate conception, her perpetual virginity.


"May Mary’s Garden, designed with these words in mind, be a constant source of inspiration and renewal
to all who venture there to pray and rest."
Info from mgrdens.org

It would be a good tradition to begin thinking of the plan of your Mary Garden during this great feast.  As the Chrismas holidays draw to a close, contemplate during the dark winter months how you would best like to honor Our Holy Mother in your own Mary Garden next spring!  Contemplate how you would like to create your own space to pray and rest in the arms of so loving a Mother!

Read Full Post »

Did you catch St. Nick visiting Magnum Opus

What a wonderful tradition…to actually SEE him and not just what he leaves behind!

My kids went crazy with the shoes too…had little gold foil alllll over the house …we can’t let any of that yummy chocolate get away from us…the wrappers are another story….LOL

Read Full Post »

If I Were a Rich Man…

Do you remember the song?

Not that it really applies here, but the title is catchy. 

Cuz IF I had the money …(puleeze God?  I got good intentions..:o)…  I would place something like this in my very visable lit front yard.

The Three WIse Men would start in my very visable side yard and slowly move toward the creche….

Now I can really hear my neighbors…WHATis ‘that lady‘ …you know , the wacky one with the 77 children??….What is she up to NOW?!

Read Full Post »

What is She Doing Now?

On the phone to Michaels…

~Hello…do you have purple Christmas lights?
Are you sure you want purple?
~Yes, I am!  Do you have any?
Umm…well, I can check….
~Ok…please do that.

You won’t believe this, but we DO have purple lights in sets of 100! 
Great!  I’ll be right over!

You gotta wonder what that lady was thinking….of course I want purple lights!  Doesn’t everyone?!

Do you want to know what I am doing with purple lights?

Decorating my tree, silly!  I am stringing up the purple and white ones….plug in the purple for Advent, and unplug them and on goes the white ones for Christmas!

Go ahead!  Just ask me what I am doing with these purple BEADS!   LOL

Read Full Post »

Here is a great screensaver if you want to count down until St. Nicholas arrives!

Visit the St. Nicholas Center site for more great info on this saint and saintly traditions, including crafts , songs , and Clip art  and more!

We printed out one of these images on Shrinky dink paper (made for the printer) colored it, made a hole in the top and we have a pretty sun catcher or an ornament to don the tree!!

Read Full Post »