Katherine’s First Communion

Breaking blogging silence to bring you…. a photo dump…

Yesterday Katherine made her first communion! Honestly, up until day of it didn’t hit me exactly how HUGE of a deal this is. 1st communion

She had a lot of fun picking out her dress and veil. And she seemed to enjoy going to the class, most of the time. I had pretty much just been caught up in the details of getting things done for the past few weeks…

 

But…. Somewhere between wrangling little ones and finding seats in a super full Mass

{Seriously, guys, I didn’t know there were about 45 kids making their first communion!!!..}1st communion-4

and grabbing a few pictures of Kat and a special friend…

I managed to settle into the beauty and the solemnity of the moment.

Seeing Katherine receive Jesus for the first time, was…. I don’t even know how to describe it. And, if it’s possible, I felt even more emotional today when she received right in front of me. I think it had to do with her being not only the first of our kids to receive, but also the first in our extended family as well (as neither Jared or I grew up Catholic).

It was just beautiful. A beautiful moment.

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Religious Education… in the home {mostly} // {a JEI post}

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The ladies from The Zelie Group are chatting about religious education today, and I thought I’d join in.

First off, let me state: my background in RE? Absolutely none. I wasn’t raised Catholic, didn’t go to Catholic school, nada. So, the whole teach your child your religion thing was a little intimidating when it first appeared on my radar.

I have found though, that it’s gotten easier. When we first joined the Church (my really, super, long winded Conversion story starts here if you want to read…) our oldest was 3 1/2. At the time there were tons and tons (and tons) of Catholic mommy blogs sharing “ways to bring your faith into the home” sorts of posts. Now, I’m not saying they were bad, no, by all means they were great. But… I wasn’t ready for them. I was still trying to wrap my head around what  was supposed to be/do/say/etc.. and I had no idea how I was supposed to teach ALL THAT to these little kids, and I ended up just very overwhelmed.

{Here’s where I start answering this week’s questions…}

1. Do your children attend your parish’s religious education program? 

Yes and No

Katherine is in 2nd Year First Communion with the parish. So, in that sense, obviously “Yes, we DO use the parish’s RE program”.

But, so far, only for the “Sacrament” Years. The parish offers RE from Kinder through Confirmation (which I think is 10th grade for them). And while it’s highly recommended (and I can totally see the reasoning), we decided not to attend when we started first grade (homeschool) last year. Jared graduated from Seton (Catholic homeschool) and loved their religion program, so I thought, how hard could it be? And we ended up going with that. The other reasons we didn’t go were time commitment and cost.

I have been glad for Katherine to be going this year. Not so much for “new content”, but I’m noticing that she’s picking up on things in a new way from her teacher there. She’s been way more chatty about topics of Faith – maybe to the extent of showing off to her younger brothers – but that’s opened up times of discussion.

We’re still doing a partial religion program at home this year, and I’ve noticed a lot of progress in her understanding (we’re still in the basics here, but still… progress!) Maybe it’s just her age, maybe that whole “Age of Reason” thing really does play into it. But regardless, she’s starting to remember stuff, she’s starting to think things through, and she’s asking SOOOOO MANY QUESTIONS (ohmygoodness… so many questions). But, it’s all good. It’s helping me too 😉

2. Do you or have you ever taught religious education? Tell us about it.

Only with the kiddos at home.
I still feel like too much of a baby Catholic, although it’s been nearly four years, so I guess I’m not so much “baby” any more. Maybe pre-schooler… I don’t know how comfortable I’d be teaching other people’s children.

3. What are your favourite religious education resources for kids?
For the little kiddos (maybe 5 and under?) I think the best thing you can do is just to live your faith. Attend Mass. Pray together. Read Bible stories.

I linked to this post the other day, but this book list is a picture book list for the Jesse Tree, which, in a nutshell, gives an overview of history of Jesus, from creation to his birth. Anyway, she has some really great picture book recommendations for Bible stories, and my kids love listening to them.

For parts of our school work we’re using the resources from Mater Amabilis (we’re in Level 1A). This link is to the General Lesson plans for that level, but the religion section is the first item (after the “General Instruction” section). We have substituted their catechism for the Seton Religion program (it’s there, on that link, that’s just the entire 2nd grade curriculum), but other than that I’ve really been enjoying the book recommendations they’ve put up (on the M.A. site).

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I think that’s all for this evening folks. It’s suddenly than I thought. And I’ve been really REALLY trying to be off electronics for at least a little while before bed. Also, books won’t read themselves 😉

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My Sunday Best {6}

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Ootd…

Blue top

Brown skirt

Fake pearl necklace with coordinating fake pearl earrings

… And sweat… And a newly turned 5-month old (not pictured)…

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Ok, so I know this wasn’t the Gospel reading today, but maybe it was from a few weeks (months?) back? I dunno. Anyways, I’m thinking of the Mary and Martha passage (Luke 10) and to be honest, I’ve never really “gotten” it. I’ve always felt Martha got the snub end of the deal because there really ARE things that need to be done in life, and I’ve never really been able to reconcile the things that NEED to be done vs. sitting and BEING with Jesus.

The other way I’ve never really felt I’ve “gotten” it, is, say I actually do get a chance to just sit and be with Jesus. What am I supposed to do? Especially if my chance to sit and be still comes while I’m at home? I mean, if I sit down on the couch and close my eyes and just BE with him, I fall asleep. (Hey, just being honest).

But, I was outside with the two little boys a few weeks back, Z was traipsing all over the yard and I was holding Nicholas. Z was happy, N was happy, I was thinking “Oh, I need my phone so I can take a picture”. I almost got up and got it, but didn’t want to disturb N’s contented looking around.

Well, I guess I don’t NEED to document every single happy moment of them playing outside… I guess I could just BE outside with them…

It hit me then. My kids are a big part of my vocation; they’re a big part, if not the main way, I am serving God right now, in my day to day, moment to moment life. I got a taste, probably a very small little teeny tiny taste, of what it means to be a “Mary”, of what it means to just sit and be… to just sit and listen.

And…

It was so peaceful…

No, I won’t have a photograph to document the climbing in and out of the little tykes car or the baby staring intently at the brick walkway, but I did feel God showing me HIS truth just a little bit more.

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Linking with Rosie for Sunday Best

My Sunday Best {5}

 

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Used the self-timer for this super not in focus photo 🙂

15-year-old black skirt and top (from a grab bag…)

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Have been thinking of the idea of Sunday’s as a “Day of Rest” for a good long time now. Ever since I had to pick something up from a neighbor’s and I walked in and everyone, except the toddler, was reading a book on the couch. I made a comment to the extent of “rest time?” and the dad replied something like “yep. Sunday. Day of Rest. We try to actually rest all day.” That kinda just floored my 18 year old self. At the time I didn’t really consider it something that needed to happen, but once I had kids I think I really understood it more. 🙂

Since I realized it was something I actually needed, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make it happen. At the moment though, I’m a cloth diapering mama to five littles who need to eat and sometimes make just crazy amounts of messes. So at this time in my life my “day of rest” looks pretty much just like every other day of the week.

I do however try (huge EMPHASIS on TRY) to at the very least not do laundry. I mean, we have plenty of articles of clothing so there really is no need for me to rush get all the laundry done the moment it gets into the dirty clothes pile. But this does mean that I have to be extra intentional about getting most of it done Saturday or else I spend ALL of Monday trying to catch up. I also sometimes just have to wash the diapers. I mean, I try and get a load going on Saturday, but, we’re at a stage right now where I don’t really have enough diapers to last more than 36 hours so I have to wash all the time, and sometimes the “time” comes on Sunday.

But regardless, that’s my one thing I try to do.

The other thing I thought of, and first did this past Sunday, was to make sure I spent time working on one of my fun projects. For example: yesterday everyone watched Lord of the Rings (extended version… so… 3-4 hours?) and after a bit I just sat down and worked on my crochet blanket instead of trying to make sure things were clean.

So those are my little things I try to do to make Sundays just the tiniest bit different.

Thoughts for making Sunday more restful?

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Linking with Rosie’s for “My Sunday Best”

My Sunday Best {4}

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So, I went through the rest of my non-maternity clothes in the attic and found this skirt. I totally forgot I had it. It’s one of my favorites. I mean, the attached slip part is a little “off”, but I still like it a lot.

I’m really thinking of looking into getting some more maxis because I definitely prefer them, especially for church.

Anyway, like always my outfit it totally and completely pieced together from Savers 🙂 (I think). Honestly I rarely get “new” clothes for myself and it’s been so long, so I don’t remember where they’re from 😉

I wish I could remember even the main point from the homily, but I got lost when Father brought up a story of a widow in a former parish (of his) who had lost her son and how that must be the greatest fear of all mothers…. and yup… I rabbit trailed after that because it is probably one of my biggest deep down fears.

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But in other Mass news, a few weeks back the kids got rosaries in children’s Liturgy. So of course they spent all the rest of the Prayers not so quietly opening and holding (and dropping and swinging, etc…) them. We were getting back into the pew after Communion and I realized Karl didn’t have his (visibly) in his hands and it wasn’t on the seat or the floor. So I thought “great, lost it already”, I asked him where it was as he was sitting down and he checked his pockets, the pew the floor. No rosary. Then he pulled up his shirt and saw it dangling out of his pants. Pulled it out triumphantly and said “here it is!”….

I still think Katherine knocking the heater off the wall during the all solemn, nearly silent Good Friday service was the best though. {Seriously, how do they manage?}

What stories do you have about your kiddos in Mass?

Linking with Rosie’s for “My Sunday Best