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Monday, March 27, 2017

Adventuring We will Go: The Oldest Church in Nevada

We recently took a little road trip to a family wedding in Virginia City, NV. It was a windy steep drive up into the mountains. We were rewarded though, with a wonderful family gathering in a beautiful church and being able to step back in time as we walked around the charming old city.
St. Mary's In the Mountains is the oldest active Catholic church in Nevada and it is simply beautiful! I really wanted to just hang out and soak in all the beauty. A magnificent carved altar sits under intricate gothic wood arches.

The height and splendor lift your heart and mind upwards to God. This is the purpose of Sacred Art, and it is so evident in beautiful old churches where they have employed the craftsmanship of the masters. A house of the Lord deserves the best, something set aside for the praise and glory of God should be splendid and not ordinary.  It is just a stunning church. You can find more information and beautiful pictures on the church's facebook page.

Masterfully painted Stations of the Cross and gorgeous statues adorn the inside. Check out that beautiful baptismal font and all the intricate carving!  
I think perhaps my favorite work of Sacred Art in the church was this moving statue of the Pieta!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Building an Igloo with Math and FREE Printables

Earlier in the winter, I thought we would make math fun by building an igloo in all our snow and sneak in some simple geometry. Well, we started on the igloo and were unable to finish due to a severe winter storm we had that piled loads of snow on us. Then the snow all melted away. But, today it's snowing again and so I thought I would post this story anyway even though it's Spring because some of you out there may still be getting snow!

We only built two levels of our igloo and spray painted them orange with food coloring in a spray bottle. So our grand plans of a palatial igloo were dashed and we ended up with a bright snow fort for a few days instead. However, it was so much fun and that was the point!

Supplies you will need:
         Ski poles or some kind of stakes
         Block form(s) ( this could be a rectangle plastic bin or you can buy a snow brick form)
         Spray bottle & food coloring (to paint your igloo or snow fort)

Before you dive into the instructions below are links for some saints who loved Mathematics:
                                                               St. Christopher Clavius
                                                         Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno
                                                           Blessed Herman the Cripple

Here are some detailed instructions and a couple printables to turn this outdoor adventure into a math lesson. To print theses out click on them and save the image, then you can easily print them out.

Monday, March 6, 2017

5 Minute Meditation on the Stations of the Cross & Free Profile Pictures

I love the Stations of the Cross and one of my favorite things is making the Stations of the Cross and singing the Sabat Mater. It is perhaps one of the most moving things for my soul! I look forward with great anticipation each Lent for this. I sing it by myself through out the year often, but there is something special about making the stations and singing with others inside the church.

"At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus at the last,
Through her soul, of joy bereavèd,
bowed with anguish, deeply grievèd,
now at length the sword hath passed."
The English Hymnal, 1906.

I have made a series of Stations of the Cross profile pictures that you can use for facebook. Just save the image, then you can upload it as your profile picture. These have a traditional image with an overlay of purple and the words Pray, Fast, & Give Alms. They are also numbered with the Station in Roman Numerals. Which station moves you most?

For a quick 5 minute mediation on the Stations, play the beautiful music above while going through the stations listed below. Ask our Blessed Mother to walk you through them and try to imagine each station as if you were there walking to Calvary along side them.

First Station
Jesus is condemned to death

Second Station
Jesus carries His cross

Third Station
Jesus falls the first time

Fourth Station
Jesus meets his mother

Fifth Station
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

Sixth Station
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Seventh Station
Jesus falls the second time

Eight Station
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Ninth Station
Jesus falls a third time

Tenth Station
Jesus’ clothes are taken away

Eleventh Station
Jesus is nailed to the cross

Twelfth Station
Jesus dies on the cross

Thirteenth Station
The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

Fourteenth Station
Jesus is laid in the tomb

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Paddy and the Wolves: Encouraging Little Ones to Pray and Praise the Lord (A Book Review & Giveaway)

I would love to share with all of you this great new children's book about St. Patrick titled Paddy and the Wolves written by Steve Nagel and illustrated by Jen Norton. I have been given a copy of this book and it's companion coloring book to by Gracewatch Media to review. I hope you get as excited about it as we are!

I never thought I would scour the world over for St. Patrick's Day celebration ideas before I married into a very Irish family. The McCarthy's take feasting on this day to a whole new level, one which was completely foreign to me. And it all circled around the food: corned beef & cabbage and loaves upon loaves of great Nanna's Irish soda bread. Now my little ones look forward to celebrating St. Patrick's feast day with great delight.

I am so thrilled to have been introduced to Paddy and the Wolves. It is a delightful children's book with gorgeous illustrations and will be a treasure for our collection for years to come. The best part of this book is that it encourages little ones to praise the Lord in a special way. If you want to breath new life into how you celebrate St. Patrick's day this year pick up a copy of this great book and it's coloring companion. There is also a great FREE printable board game that we will being playing after we read the book as a family. The kids had so much fun putting the board game together!

This book and coloring companion have just about everything you need to put on a great St. Patrick's Day celebration because in the back of the book there are activity suggestions, more information about the life of St. Patrick, and prayers!

What are some ways you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

And now for that cool St. Patrick Rosary Giveaway: A beautiful green stone rosary with Celtic crucifix and a St. Patrick center! The giveaway opens today 3/5/17 and will end next Sunday 3/12/17 Open to residents of the US and Canada.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Northwest Catholic Women's Conference

I am so excited to share with you an amazing Catholic Women's conference coming up this summer. Registration opens March 6th and the conference is June 23-24th in beautiful Central Oregon!

The theme of the conference is 'Abundant Life in Christ" An opportunity to gather with other Catholic Women from across the beautiful northwest to experience God's grace and true fellowship.

The conference is $50 (includes meals) and lodging is just $15 per night. I don't know about you but that s an amazing price. Although the conference is ending Sat you have the option to purchase an extra night lodging and more meals if you want to stay and soak up the peaceful serenity of Powell Butte Retreat Center.

There are some amazing speakers lined up: Heather Renshaw, Kelly Wahlquist, Most Rev Liam Cary, Bishop of Baker and Sr. Maria Gemma from the Dominican Sister of Mary Mother of the Eucharist! There will be Mass & Adoration in the lovely chapel and opportunities for confession. Also on site will be a vendor hall where you can pick up copies of all the speakers books and some sweet Catholic swag!

The lodging at the retreat center is bunk style in glamping cabins that sleep 8 with private bath! You have to bring your own bedding and towel but it is pretty lux for retreat accomodations in my opinion. There is also right next door Brasada Ranch a beautiful luxury resort and cabins if you want to step it up a notch.

Take a little look around the retreat center with photos courtesy of Marc Salvatore from AV Create

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Love More this Lent and FREE Printables

Well these past couple months have been a little rough between sickness, house issues, and tragedy I feel like I have had a jump start on prepping for Lent. Anything I give up or do more of seems like it will just be a piece of cake compared to what I have been through since Christmas!

So I have decided to just LOVE more this Lent. I am going to try and love Jesus a little more by  doing the following things:

1. Love my maker more by spending a little extra time in prayer & spiritual reading.
2. Love my hubby more by doing the little things that make his life easier.
3. Love my children more by listening intently to them as they talk and giving more time to them.
4. Love my home more by joyfully cleaning & decluttering.

Here is a printable you can use to write out your own list of ways you can love more this Lent too!

I thought it would be nice to layout all the days during Lent in an artistic calendar. While this may not be practical at all it is supper pretty and at a glance you can see if there is a particular saint being celebrated on a given day.