Monday, October 26, 2009

Coming Up: All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, All Souls Day

These are Last Year's (08) Pictures taken by by husband.

My children look forward to All Saints day year round. This weekend, Catholics will celebrate the Communion of the Saints and how we are all connected. To kick things off, we've started reading Father Phillip Tells a Ghost Story, first in Spanish and now in English. On Friday, St. Francis of Assisi Montessori Academy will be doing a great suggested activity from Catholic Mosaic, based on the Communion of the Saints. On All Hallows Eve we will cut open and clean out our pumpkins for carving. That same evening we will be joining our friends at their home for an All Hallows Eve party where we will be carving our pumpkins for the next days, "Saint-O-Lantern" contest. On Sunday, All Saints Day, we will be having an All Saints day party after Mass. Our oldest will be St. Peter Claver and has already memorized this little poem from the book, Peter Claver Patron Saint of Slaves, to share: "Slave of slaves I swear to be, I will not rest until their free!". Son #2 will be Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio or St. Juan Diego, Son #3 be a priest or bishop of some sort, (we have not decided yet, possibly even St. Patrick), son #4 will be St. Michael the Archangel, and little 18 month old flower will be St. Cecilia with lap harp included!
Finally, on Monday, our school group will attend Mass for All Souls day, and then make a visit to the cemetery to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
I'll have to post pictures of all our celebrating once this weekend is over! Stay tuned!

For those of you needing costume ideas for All Saints Day, here are a few websites to help you out: Catholic Childrens Costumes, Our Coats of Many Colors, Shower of Roses.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snack Time Videos!

I just posted a couple of quick videos from today's snack time over at the co-op's blog. The kids are so cute!! Check it out: St. Francis of Assisi Montessori Academy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Catholic Montessori Album/Manual for Homeschoolers!

I am extremely excited to share some great news! Elizabeth Papandrea is now offering Catholic Montessori albums/manuals for homeschoolers! The best part of it for me? She has revised her albums for the lessons to go along with the Extraordinary form of the Mass! Some may refer to this as Tridentine or Latin Mass. I am very excited about this for various reasons. One, is that my family attends the Extraordinary form of the Mass. The second is that since I've been reading "The Child in the Church", and Maria Montessori's, "The Mass Explained to Children", I've often wondered what kind of wonderful lessons she might have come up with based on the the Mass and other aspects of the faith in general. There are some brief explanations of a few lessons in "The Child in the Church", but I wanted more!

At this time, I am not able to take the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training, so this manual will at least help me to implement some ideas at home in the meantime. Elizabeth's manual comes at a very exciting time in the Church, as it seems our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and Bishops across the globe are returning to many wonderful traditions that were once alive and thriving throughout the whole Church. With the Extraordinary form of the Mass popping up all over since the Pope's "Motu Proprio" in 2007, it seems that Catholics are discovering and re-discovering the beauty of this form of the Liturgy. I hope Elizabeth's manual will be of help to you in your quest to educate your children in the faith. I know I am certainly excited to get a copy of my own.

If you'd like to purchase an album, you may do so through Paypal:

Elizabeth Papandrea's Catholic Montessori pdf Album
$30 USD

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Atrium

Movement and Nomenclature

The Altar: Level One

The Altar: Level Two

The Altar: Level Three

The Altar: Level Four (The Tabernacle Genuflection)

Sign of the Cross

Liturgical Calendar

Preparation of the Cruets


Globe and Topographical Map

Puzzle Map

City of Jerusalem


Advent Celebration

Christmas Celebration

Liturgy of the Light

Pentecost Celebration


Prophecy of the Light

Prophecy of the Names

Prophecy of the City

Prophecy of the Mother

Prophecy of the Star

The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

The Found Sheep

The Eucharistic Presence of the Good Shepherd

The Wolf and the Hireling

Parables of the Kingdom

The Mustard Seed

The Pearl of Great Price

The Leaven

The Hidden Treasure

The Wheat Seed

Paschal Parable: The Grain of Wheat

The Infancy Narratives

The Annunciation

The Visitation

The Nativity and Adoration of the Shepherds

The Presentation in the Temple

The Adoration of the Magi


Baptism: Level One- the Light and the White Garment

Baptism: Level Two- the Water and the Word

Baptism: Level Three-the Gestures and the Oils

The Mass

Preparation of the Chalice

The Cenacle

Gestures of Mass: Lavabo

Gestures of Mass: Concecration

Preparation to Hear the Gospel


Psalm 23:1

Psalm 23: 1-3

Hail Mary: Part One

Hail Mary: Part Two

Introduction to the "Our Father"


Friday, October 9, 2009

It's A Big World Baby...

It's a big world baby and you're little for a little while...
My children and I absolutely LOVE this video for Renee & Jeremy's song, "It's a Big World". Check it out, and coming soon will be a giveaway for a free song off their newest CD!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What's for Lunch?

Photo from

Yesterday, I found this awesome website called
I was looking for lunch ideas for my weekly menu to make life easier during the school season. I was so excited to have found Laptop Lunches because they have tons of pictures a.k.a. "eye candy", and the lunches look really easy to modify for less expensive or available ingredients. Today, we had the lunch above, but substituted the papaya for diced nectarines because that is what we had. I don't have a panini press, (but would love to have one!), so I did with what I had there as well. I sliced the ciabatta and spread mayonnaise on each side, then sprinkled a little garlic on them. Meanwhile I had some slices of zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, and chopped parsley with a little bit of salt, sauteing in olive oil. I placed mozzarella cheese on the ciabatta slices and made a sandwich with the veggies. I placed the sandwich on a griddle, then placed a large pan on top and then a kettle full of water on top of that! I then pressed down and voila! I had delicious "panini" sandwiches! (panini grill is going on my wish list!)
I'm going to try my best to pre-make each days lunches with the ideas from Laptop Lunches, so that lunch break is actually a break and not hectic for us. The nice thing about lunch this way is that the children can help. Tonight, my 7 year old cut fresh green beans for us and placed them in a Rubbermaid container for easy lunch assembly later. For Montessori lunch making, you could even layout all of the pre-cut ingredients for a lot of these lunches and have the children assemble their own lunches by looking at a printed picture from the website. For correct nutritional portions, you could have 1 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.. measuring scoops in each ingredients container. I found correct portion sizes listed on the Laptop Lunches website and printed them out so I could start learning what they are.
I noticed that most, (if not all) of the Laptop Lunches pictured were meatless. As Catholics, we keep the custom of not eating meat on Fridays and of course there are days throughout the Liturgical year that call for fast and abstinence. I found this to be a great added bonus!
Besides the Laptop Lunches website, there is also a Laptop Lunches Flickr group where you can find more inspirational ideas for both kid and adult lunches.
Please feel free to leave comments and share if you've got any other great easy meal making systems or ideas!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fun at the State Fair!

We had a blast at the State Fair recently and I just posted some pics on our Montessori co-op's blog. Check it out at St. Francis of Assisi Montessori Academy

those of you who don't know, my husband and I are hosting a 3-6 traditional Catholic Montessori co-op in our home this year! All of the families involved have the hopes of opening up a Catholic Montessori school for the little one's all the way through high school. We have been working toward this goal since the beginning of June this year, and the start of the co-op is a wonderful beginning toward our school. Our group started a blog to document the journey and as time allows,we will post what the kids are up to, special outings, and feast day celebrations! Check it out at the link above!