Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top Ten Post of All Time

Just for fun and because I really should be doing something else...

Over at A Slice of Smith Life, Tracy posted her top 13 posts in 2013. There is a whole bloggy link-up that Monica at Equipping Catholic Families set up. I thought it would be fun to check my stats (which I rarely do), but could not figure out how to see the top 13 in '13. Instead, here are the top ten posts of all time on Just Like Mary, with comments on how each have withstood the test of time in my household.

We have not used this since I first made it, but I think it would be good to get out and do with my 7 and 4 year old again, especially since they are very excited to see Father in different colors more often lately.

#2: Winter Unit Study, Week 1

This study was loads of fun. We tend to do seasonal studies each year, and mix up the activities. I would do this study again in a heartbeat. The kids (and I) loved it!

#3: All Saints Day Party

Our current parish does not hold an All Saints Day party, and honestly, I am ok with that. My feelings toward this kind of party are changing, I think, as I look to simplify our life of faith, though I would not say no to an occasional saint game at home or having the kids dress spontaneously up like a saint.

#4: The Rosary with Kids

The Rosary... Oh, this prayer is so difficult for me, even more so with the kids. I find the Divine Mercy Chaplet so much easier, and yet I keep going round with the Rosary. As far as the kids, praying the Rosary is like a wrestling match (even just a decade). Much of it is timing, lack of support from my husband (in praying the Rosary), and the crazy nature of children at bedtime. Yet, we still try... off and on. Making the Rosary into candy sure does get their attention though! My final thought - keep at it! You will be blessed.

#5: First Holy Communion Notebook Part II (Salvation History)

Skipper just completed this last year, and while we do go through Salvation History annually (during Advent and Lent typically), I have not used this particular post, but will once Critter is ready to complete his First Holy Communion Notebook.

#6: Light One Candle, an Advent Song

(No picture, can you believe it?! People still read posts without pictures!!!)

My kids love, love, love singing this song as we light our Advent wreath. I even caught my six year old humming and singing this throughout Advent this year. It is a simple little addition to your Advent wreath tradition.

#7: Other Advent Traditions
I love Advent, and we still do all of these traditions in some shape or form, though this year it was light and sporadic due to moving and settling in. My favorite family Advent tradition? I don't think I can pick one but I love setting up the nativity (and sometimes purchasing a new piece to go with it), the Advent wreath, and placing baby Jesus in the crib for Christmas morning.

#8: The Jesus Tree for Lent

We do this every Lent. Between the Jesse Tree during Advent and this Jesus Tree, the kids get a good dose of Salvation History year after year, and it does stick with them. What they remember and have reinforced year after year really is amazing. Plus, the kids just love to have their turn at hanging up ornaments. So my suggestion is that if you can do this in some form you should! (We prefer hanging on a tree but there are nice coloring pages too if that's more your style.)

#9: Preparing for Pentecost

I guess this is more proof that celebrating the liturgical year does not have to be difficult or time consuming. I literally did this mobile craft thingy in less than ten minutes (once I gathered the very simple supplies). We tend to do different crafts each year but I definitely can see us doing this easy one again, whether for Pentecost or when learning about the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

#10: Jesus Loves Me Pilgrimage

This activity is a fond memory of my old First Friday group. I still have the pictures and plan on doing this with the kids again. The kids enjoyed it at the time. Part of the reason, no doubt, was being outside and running free on a path in the woods.

Well, those are my top ten posts of all time. It seems pretty clear that a good majority come for kids and faith and how-to's, and that is good. I like to figure out what works at home, keeping it simple but faith-filled, and I hope it helps others. But I like you to visit just to say hi too. :)

Ok, now that I have used time that I should be cleaning and preparing for our annual New Year's party or out shopping for said party, I really have to go! Have a wonderful New Year (but I'll be back later for our 6th day of Christmas).

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