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saintanneshs
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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 5:25pm | IP Logged Quote saintanneshs

Okay, call me crazy (actually, call me nesting ) but I'd like to have a little help pulling together a few ideas for 2007. I have my Catholic Mosaic in hand to help with the specifics of planning religion lessons into our units. I have some books set aside on my Amazon wish list, too. But what I'm looking for is a more OVERALL organization, sort of a yearly scope and sequence of our favorite monthly liturgical activities. I'd love to have one box labeled for each month or season that I can spend the next few months filling up and then filing away, to be pulled out when needed.

Why?

Because it seems like, as a 4Real Learning "beginner," I'm always coming up with these lesson plans I love for units I'm happy to pull together (with much help from these boards ), and then just when things are rolling along smoothly, up pops a feast day that I'm learning about for the first time ever, or a fantastic way to celebrate the liturgical season, and here I am trying to squeeze too much in, once again. The kids end up losing interest because Mom is pushing to do too much (celebrate the feast days and then finish up our unit plans too!) I'm doing crazy things, like staying up until 2am the night before Advent begins to paint the Advent Cubes I stood in line waiting to buy for 35 minutes! (and thank you, Alice for the wonderful idea ...my kids just LOVE them and so do I!!!Totally worth the effort! ) Anyway, I know I'm pushing myself too hard, but I WANT to celebrate the feast days and participate in the liturgical year. I get so excited about the ideas I read about here! Only most of the time, because I can't get time to check the boards every day, I'm grabbing ideas at the last minute and I'm afraid I'll lose the ideas and the enthusiasm if I put the ideas off until "next year." I know I can't do EVERYTHING, but I'm desperate to be more prepared and have at least a few things put aside to pull out each month in an effort to better celebrate the liturgical seasons. I'd just like something condensed for now, maybe a few ideas for each month to get us started.

So here I am, hoping to sort ideas out and help anyone else who's in the same boat I'm in...feast days popping up everywhere and having grown up without celebrating them, I'm totally unprepared! If only we could sneak a peek into each other's houses...The Loveliness Fairs are helping, but I guess I'm just not being patient enough to wait for the whole year's worth of blog photos!

Do you think it would be at all possible for us to take maybe one month that we feel really good about, as far as our efforts go to celebrate the liturgical season, and list some of the things we do or use in our homes, specifically for that month? A few of our favorite things?

I'm thinking:
-home altar arrangements (this is totally new for me and must be for some of the other moms here), including statues, candles, pictures or flowers and their significance
-what about crafts you never miss out on as a family?
-special/favorite books (I'm working on gathering the Catholic Mosaic books and would like to use these and any others at Teatime or Lesson time)
-Foods/recipes you incorporate during the day
-Music
-Art

It would be great to be able to print this thread out and spend a few months gathering my year's worth of supplies BEFORE I need them, instead of always scrambling to get stuff in town, which is 30 min. away or ordering online at the last minute, which almost never arrives on time for our feast day celebrations!

What do you think? Would you mind sharing one month's worth of what's become "routine" for your children with those of us who are just beginning to create liturgical routines?? THANK YOU!!

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 5:31pm | IP Logged Quote saintanneshs

I wanted to add that I do have CHC's A Year With God, and it has a few helpful, basic ideas. I'm looking more for a personal touch, if that makes sense...?

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 7:54pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

Wow! This is a totally great topic. And I'm up to my eyeballs in writing portfolios for college applications that must be finished BEFORE CHRISTMAS (long story). So, please, get all the above questions asnwered and draw up a great plan. I'll be back

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 8:10pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Kristine,

Do you have already your 2007 Catholic calendar and a book of saints? I think you are ready to go. I just use both of those and "step up" from there with foods, crafts and other books.

I plan out our feast/name days, special feast days we must celebrate, baptismal days, Lent activities, Advent activities and outings,etc. This helps me not be overwhelmed and gets me excited to plan and organize my thoughts and ideas ahead of time. Some months we do more than others, but that it is just how it goes some years.

I am trying to come up with a centerpiece which I can use for all the feast days of the twelve apostles. I want to celebrate their days since they began our Church and so many of our traditions stem from them! I am still thinking. Yes, I am craft challenged!!!!

I will try and post a month when I get a chance. I will be away from the computer next week so it will be after that. I don't do as much as many ladies here so it won't be too daunting to follow anything we do!   

Also, we had an altar for two years. My ds didn't gravitate towards it even with help and introducing things. We took it down and set up a mini one in the master bedroom. I am a bit disappointed, but it is what it is. Don't feel badly if you can't do it all...add slowly and let your family help you in what works for you all. Just me advice after hitting my head against the wall a few times.

God bless,

Mb

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:03pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

I would love this too. I feel like I am always one step behind here. If I could just pre-plan ONE THiNG to celebrate per month, I think I would feel so much more prepared. Then if we get around to doing more, great, but at least we will have done that ONE Thing, you know?
For example, december is wrapped up, but if we went month by month, and you had to choose, what would be the one thing to not miss out on in...

January: Epiphany? Most Holy Name of Jesus?
February:Ash Wednesday? Chair of St Peter?
March:St Patrick, St Joseph, Annunciuation?
April:Easter
May: Ascension, Mary of course?
June:Peter and Paul,Pentecost, Corpus Christi, Trinity sunday?
July: James, Ignatius Loyola
August: Assumption,Transfiguration, Augustine?
September: Matthew, Our Lady of Sorrows?
October:St Francis, guardian Angels, All Hallows?
November: All Saints

So many wonderful feasts and celebrations!How does one choose?

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:09pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

lapazfarm wrote:
So many wonderful feasts and celebrations!How does one choose?


Oh, how very, very true. There are so many ways to choose, but, sometimes for me, it's convenience. I'll see gorgeous wooden chairs at the craft store and think, "Hey, the Feast of the Chair of Peter is coming up in February." Sometimes I'll also choose based on what we have done in the past. For example, if last year we had a party for the Feast of St. Lucy, then this year I would emphasized Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I love the idea of discussing all of these things with you creative, but more importantly faith-filled, mothers!

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:10pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

saintanneshs wrote:
I'm doing crazy things, like staying up until 2am the night before Advent begins to paint the Advent Cubes I stood in line waiting to buy for 35 minutes! (and thank you, Alice for the wonderful idea ...my kids just LOVE them and so do I!!!Totally worth the effort! )


P.S. Thank you so much for saying this! I am so extremely glad to know you liked them, although I wish I could have mailed them to you myself!   

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:14pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Timely, timely, timely post...but I don't have the answer! For years I've read and collected books on living the liturgical year, came up with new ideas, wrote about them. I have a young son and gradually adding some of these to our home.

But I am completely awed, amazed, wowed, and yet very overwhelmed at all the fabulous ideas and crafts that so many of you have implemented.

And as I'm trying to take my Christmas decorations out, I was thinking "Where do all these moms put all their stuff?" All those great crafts -- but it's also "stuff" and where do you put it?

I now have Martinmas lanterns, All Saints costumes, Candles for various feast days, books for certain feast days. I was trying to figure out how to store it so it can be easily accessible for the next years.

I try to think simply...and make things that will last for the following years. I like to make sure something is "there" to present, instead of always having to reinvent the wheel. For example, if I had to make my Advent wreath each year, there would be years I wouldn't have one.

Just thoughts in my head right now. I'm a little congested from our real Christmas tree so not thinking too straight. We thought we'd try a real one this year...ds doesn't seem to be allergic, but I am. Just allergic rhinitis, no asthma, but lots of Allergy medicine for the season, I guess.

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:24pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

If Jenn and Alice wrote a book on living the liturgical year we would all be set for life!!!

Ok..ladies...start typing and comparing notes.

I agree with Alice we emphasis different feasts each year while keeping many of our traditions year to year. This is why when people say the Catholic Church is so restrictive I have to laugh and say "oh, yeah we party/feast all year long!"

Great thread!!

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:34pm | IP Logged Quote 5athome

I hope Dawn will chime in -- I think I remember a blog post she had a few months back on rotating file folders with seasonal activities?
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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Looking back over all the years we have been doing this, I would say that our traditions have evolved over time as we have tried new things, adapted ideas, and repeated certain old faithful activities. In the past decade, we have tried about a million different things and come away richer for each and every one, yet we never try to do *everything*.

Over the years, for example, we have enjoyed the amazing Elizabeth Foss Tomie de Paola unit, celebrated practically every feast in December, made about four of five different types of Jesse trees, built an Advent Log, created several different calendars, filled a "Jesus" stocking with sacrifices, lined our manger with straw, learned hymns, hosted huge Advent parties with every theme from Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Lucy, and participated in a host of other activities--yet we have never, ever tried to do all these things at once. One or two a year at the most is enough. Our one constant has been our nightly "Advent Festivities," with the Advent Wreath, our favorite hymns, a happy procession, and a treat of some sort.

This year, we are using the Advent Cubes as a way of pulling in many of the activities we love, visiting friends, and planning a few special "Teas" to highlight the season. [Oh, and I am loving my Advent Log, the new "friend" of 2006, compliments of Rebecca! That is going to be a permanent tradition, for sure.]

I guess, what I am saying though is, as the years go, it is amazing what you can do with just a couple of things here and there. If you are able to add one special thing per month (or every other month), that is plenty. After four years of *one* big thing per month, your children will be familiar with four big things per month. It happens very quickly!

As for where we put our stuff--far too often it is all over the dining room table or piled in the front hall waiting to be stored in the craft closet! The constant battle against clutter, especially this time of year, is a difficult one!

[Marybeth, thank you for your kind words, and most especially for putting me in league with our wonderful friend Jenn!]

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 10:08pm | IP Logged Quote kjohnson

One of my dear friends went to a Catholic homeschooling conference a few years ago and the speaker explained a filing system she had set up in her home for celebrating the liturgical year. I'd love to do it, but haven't yet had the time to put it together.    

You get a filing crate and hang 12 file folders and label one for each month of the year. Then you put regular file folders inside the hanging files and label one for each day of the month. Every time you come across a prayer, tradition, anything for a particular feast, you are supposed to file it away on the appropriate day. (When I get around to putting this together, I would have a file for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter as well.

But the idea is that you eventually have your liturgical year filed in front of you. If you take a look at your files as you're planning your month (or week! ) then you won't be frantically searching on the internet for last minute ideas.

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 10:34pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

Kristine

Although I grew up a cradle Catholic and different feast days and soleminities were stressed in our home by attending Mass and our parish had great music then to enhance the feast day that was it. My mum's idea of celebrating Christmas is to buy tin hamand whack a can of beetroot on the table I kid you not.

So when I started hearing about living the liturgical yearat home a couple of years back I didn;t know where to start. Couple that with being craft challenged and friends who were guiding me but were lapsahead of me I never made it out of the starting gate for years. I could neverdo what they do, still can't. In the end I dived in and here is where I am now dogpaddling

I took out at calendar, if you don;t have a religious one (which can do some of the work for you ) start even with a secular one. First look at January note the saints for January, if not on your calendar google some sites. Write in any name days and baptisimal days as well. To start with, the first year I only choose two saints per month. Trying to do TOO much I never did ANYTHING. Start small, at the second last week of the month I then look at the next month and PLAN what saints we will celebrate and how and then PLAN AHEAD what supplies to get from the shops.

How do I plan what to do? Well back then I used resources like Domestic Church, Catholic Culture and Jennthis was in the days before blogs. Now there is soo much and the trouble is the wonderful bloggers here don't write weeks before the feast, soo disorganising for us I agree

Anyhow that is how I started 'out the gate' haven't made it around the track yet JFYI I haven't even begun to celebrate the name days consistently not the sacramental days other than to say "oh it's your ... today, Happy ...."

I love the month ahead fair idea. Were you thinking January or February?

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 10:37pm | IP Logged Quote KC in TX

kjohnson wrote:
One of my dear friends went to a Catholic homeschooling conference a few years ago and the speaker explained a filing system she had set up in her home for celebrating the liturgical year. I'd love to do it, but haven't yet had the time to put it together.    

You get a filing crate and hang 12 file folders and label one for each month of the year. Then you put regular file folders inside the hanging files and label one for each day of the month. Every time you come across a prayer, tradition, anything for a particular feast, you are supposed to file it away on the appropriate day. (When I get around to putting this together, I would have a file for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter as well.

But the idea is that you eventually have your liturgical year filed in front of you. If you take a look at your files as you're planning your month (or week! ) then you won't be frantically searching on the internet for last minute ideas.


That's a great idea!! It goes almost along the lines of Dawn's filing system. Thanks for posting this. I'm inspired. I have the same problem with feast days coming on me suddenly and unknowingly. Now, I can start a file system. Now, where are my file folders? Still unpacking.

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Posted: Dec 09 2006 at 11:05pm | IP Logged Quote Martha

kjohnson wrote:
You get a filing crate and hang 12 file folders and label one for each month of the year. Then you put regular file folders inside the hanging files and label one for each day of the month. Every time you come across a prayer, tradition, anything for a particular feast, you are supposed to file it away on the appropriate day. (When I get around to putting this together, I would have a file for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter as well.


This is a great idea!

KC in TX wrote:
That's a great idea!! It goes almost along the lines of Dawn's filing system. Thanks for posting this. I'm inspired. I have the same problem with feast days coming on me suddenly and unknowingly. Now, I can start a file system. Now, where are my file folders? Still unpacking.


What is Dawn's system?? Did I miss this somewhere?

I don't think I could handle more than a month ahead.

I'm a calendar kind of gal. My Catholic Planner is the best thing ever. I never throw my old one away until after I've gone through it month by month and transfered information over into the new one. This is a great help. So often I find information too late to use it. But I'll note it in my calendar anyhow, so that next year my mental note is awaiting me.

I would recommend reading Sister Anne's Hands for Martin Luther King Jr. day. It's listed for August in Catholic Mosaic, but this would be another perfect time to pull it out.

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Posted: Dec 10 2006 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote Paula in MN

The file folders are a great idea! I will have to start doing that.
I try to start a calendar in December for the next year and write in all the feast days that I can think of and want to celebrate. Then I go through my A Year With God and I will check Catholic Culture website. Then I make sure I have my January items, books, craft materials, whatever we will need for that month. So I am usually about a month ahead, but I do keep a list on the refrigerator of anything I can think of for future months. That way if there is a big !!sale!! I can purchase what I need.

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Posted: Dec 10 2006 at 7:19am | IP Logged Quote Cheryl

Kristine,
I've been thinking about this lately too. I haven't done much homeschool planning this year. I don't feel bad about it because it's what I needed to do, but I think a new year (usually January, but maybe Advent this year) brings me a desire to get more organized.

I've read about many great ideas on blogs for Feast Days we celebrate simply and ones I've never even heard of. I've missed celebrating a few I've wanted to because I'm too busy with other plans. I too have A Year With God. I'm thinking about choosing one or two days a month to prepare for.

I'd also like to save the ideas I see regularly. I don't know if I should do it in file folders like Katherine described or maybe in a binder...or notes in a notebook. I've already tried saving ideas in folders in My Favorites, but it's messy right now and I don't really want to add to my time online.

Jenn brought up an interesting point too about where to store things you make. We have plenty of room here, but I don't want to spend a lot of time managing 'stuff'.

I can see how this could become a natural part of life as I gain more experience, but for this year I think I want to do some planning ahead.

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Posted: Dec 10 2006 at 9:42am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

What an awesome thread! I've kinda started binders for each month, and so far I've got a bit of January and February, and some for October and November.... incorporating the ideas that I get here and at blogs -- but I'm getting overwhelmed with the bits and pieces I've compiled... there is so much!!! Is anyone feeling the same way?

File folders are great but I find I often don't have enough room, unless I arrange them by week -- yikes, 52 folders?!!

I'd love to be like Alice and have the calendar already in my head, but see, that chair, if I saw it? Would never occur to me about St. Peter's chair.

And I echo Jenn's and Cheryl's question -- WHERE do you put all this stuff??? Should I get 12 boxes together to house all the crafts and materials for each month? May not be a bad idea, just not sure where to put it in the house right now. Most probably the basement.... and then bring up 2 months at a time -- the current month, and the next month's, for planning purposes?

I'm thinking one way of organizing all this info would be on a blog.... yeah, like I need another one -- but perhaps it if it was only a blog with monthly categories and that's it? So instead of having January 2005, January 2006, January 2007, all I'd have is a January category? I guess kinda like Catholic Culture but with links to all the other info/posts that we see here and on 4real Mom's blogs?

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Posted: Dec 10 2006 at 10:22am | IP Logged Quote momwise

stefoodie wrote:
So instead of having January 2005, January 2006, January 2007, all I'd have is a January category? I guess kinda like Catholic Culture but with links to all the other info/posts that we see here and on 4real Mom's blogs?


That's a great idea Stef. I'd love to have something like that to pull up on the 'net; in fact you can do that (without the links to other blogs, etc.) with Catholic Culture and browse by month or recipes or crafts.

First of all, pray to the Holy Spirit. Living the liturgical year as a family becomes sacramental, so let the Holy Spirit guide your family as to what feasts, prayers, etc. to use more than others. For instance, maybe you have a neighbor, relative, friend, etc. who would receive great graces by your celebration of his/her feast day, baptism day, etc. (of course I can't begin to figure out who, what, where, etc. so that's why I say continually pray to the Holy Spirit for guindance).   Joanna Bogle does a great job of explaining this in a great article called Evangelizing with the Calendar

I've already started an Advent/Christmas Album with a 3-ring binder so that's where I'll put all of the recipes, crafts, etc. Now, what about the rest of the year?

Kristine, one thing I like to do is make sure there is a Marian feast regularly. You might want to start there; outside of May, what feasts can you bring out the blue tablecloth and candles for...pray a litany, go to Mass, decorate, do crafts, etc?

Just thinking of this...gals, is Mary the glue that holds your liturgical year together? What feasts link the seasons? O.L. of Guadalupe is our Advent feast, then there's Mary the Mother of God for Christmas, the feast of the Visitation sends out the month of May; we like O.L. of Ransom in Sept. to pray for slaves and those who rescue them; and now I'm drawing a blank on the rest of the year. I'll have to put that down on paper. Thanks for a great topic!!

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Posted: Dec 10 2006 at 10:27am | IP Logged Quote KASB

What a great thread full of such wisdom! I do a combination of 3 of the ideas that have been mentioned. I have a file crate, with dividers for each month and a few general ones ( Advent, Lent, Easter, Christmas). I mainly use the files as a storage place for holding things I print out, write down or clip from magazines. I also keep smaller books in the files, like the Celebrating the Faith in the home series and other little old booklets that I've found. I also have binders for the different seasons, with dividers for months and special days. I put everything into page protectors in there. And then I have Rubbermaid boxes where I keep the decorations and supplies.

This year I have been working on a master list of the resources I have and also making monthly reminder sheets, so I don't forget what resources I have for special days. I also include secular traditions we have -like watching Groundhog Day, reading Paul Revere's Ride on April 18th and watching Henry the Vth on St. Crispin's Day. The key for me has been to check the calendar and my master lists regularly. And to know the date in the MORNING, not realize at 6pm that it's a special day and then try to do all the great activities before bed

Blessings,
Kym
mom to 9 - 8 boys (24,14,10,9,7,4,3,16 mos.) and 1 girl(22)
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