Monday, January 25, 2016

Jesus... Stars will fall ART project

Stars will fall like rain at the mention of His name: Jesus.

For the month of January, the kids and I are doing a "Jesus Name Study" (more on that once we've finished in another week or so). Last week the kids and I did an art project, and we all had a lot of fun with it.

Inspired by this Pinterest image, I created something similar:

For the kids, I did something a little different. I had them pose with their arms stretched up. I then messed with the photos on the computer before printing and having the kids cut themselves out for the project.

Mr. A's:

Mr. D's:

Miss L's... My creative one! I helped with the stars, but she added everything else. I think she was inspired by the bunny pjs she was wearing. ;)

And her creativity spilled over to Miss Z's, which both she and I helped her with. Miss Z just had to draw her own "stars" though.

Supplies Needed: cardstock (thicker paper), thin sharpie, picture of child (optional, can draw a person as I did above), watercolors (or other choice of medium)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lent Lapbook

I am so excited to share this resource with you! I had a lot of fun creating this lapbook and plan on using it myself alongside my kids.

Every year, we do our traditional things as a family for Lent - the Jesus Tree, special prayer and giving up something as a family, and counting down until Easter - but this year, I wanted to individualize it more, especially for my two that are post-Communion age. Don't worry, though, I have little ones covered as well as ideas for older teens and adults.

First things first... Supplies...

...file folder - any color but I like purple or black for the season of Lent...

...copies of necessary files (as we go in the post)...





...colored penciles, markers, watercolors, crayons -- your choice...

Next, set up your file folder by opening it up and laying it flat. Then, fold it into thirds by taking the right edge and folding it in until it meets the center, and doing the same on the other side (good visual here if you've never made a lapbook before).

I also created a Lenten Prayers "pocket." It's not a traditional pocket because I thought it would be easier for the kids to get their prayer books out with this format. I used an extra folder and cut a rectangle roughly 1/3 the height of the left flap. If it's a little wide, fold under the left side before stapling. To attach, I stapled the left and bottom sides to the folder, keeping the top and right open to stuff. If you use the prayer resources I did, this pocket is sufficient to hold them and fits snugly.

Other options of course would be to use a traditional pocket, but note that if you use the Stations of the Cross printable I link to, the pocket will not be wide enough to fit. You could also use just one prayer resource and glue into the lapbook as its own little book (maybe the Stations, or a book of blank pages for a journal).

Ok, time to start creating!


I chose a coloring page (my image source) and used my kids' cheap watercolors to paint it. Once dried, I cut it out, glued one half onto the left flap, then carefully cut the right side free, and glued it to the right flap.

The cover is a part of the lapbook you can really make your own. Draw your own cover. Use a different coloring page. Use pictures of artwork or maybe fill it with words. This particular lapbook is meant for one season of Lent as the resources are meant to be written on and used up.

Give Up / Take Up

Here is a space for you to write your Lenten goals of sacrifice. I adapted this pocket foldable Give Up Take Up from Katie at Look to Him and Be Radiant (awesome blog if you haven't seen it before!). The pocket version is nice, but to make it useable for the lapbook, it needed to be bigger and to have the Scripture verse on the inside so that you can glue it onto a flap.

Lenten Prayers

So, you have already made the pocket. Print out a cover online or use colored pencils or crayons to create your own cover.

Inside my pocket, I have four prayers:

Today I Prayed For... This is a blank book for kids to draw, write, or use however they wish.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet... This is actually a full page printable that I folded into sixths. When I go to use it, I do have to open it up. The prayer is meant to be colored as you pray it. Note that the blog owner actually shows you how to fold this into a nice booklet. I missed those instructions.

The Stations of the Cross... There are a number of Stations printables on the web. I chose this one for its simplicity to look at and to put together as well as for its size and because the kids could color as we pray.

The Jelly Bean Prayer... This cute, simple printable I turned into a book with scissors and a stapler. The kids can color as they pray it.

The Countdown & a Surprise

In the middle of the lapbook, I top-stapled a countdown. This particular countdown is from Catholic Icing. As long as it is 8 1/2 x 11, you can you use any countdown you like. For my younger girls, I created a lamb 47 day countdown. You can mark off in different ways - with an x, a do-a-dot marker, stickers, etc.

The Easter Surprise is a closed tomb-shape that will be opened on Easter Sunday to show the story of the Resurrection. I plan on making one for each child's lapbook and secretly putting it in (behind the countdown) once they have made their lapbooks. Naturally, they will discover it and be excited to open the tomb, but they have to wait! 

(If you don't do this part, use the space for personal reflection or an image to gaze upon during prayer.)

This piece requires a bit more explanation so I created a video tutorial - my first, be gentle. 

If you prefer text directions, here you go:

Step 1: Print out the number of pages needed (for one tomb surprise, 2 pages total, on separate sheets, can be cardstock or paper).

Step 2: Cut the tomb shapes around the outside. Glue the stone into your lapbook, behind the countdown. For the "door," fold the bottom tab back and glue door onto tomb shape in the lapbook. Your door should open by folding back and down.

Alternatively, you can cut off the bottom of the door (dotted line down) and have the door loose for the moment, but once all attached, the door would come straight out and away from the tomb at the end.

Step 3: Make your storyline. To do this, cut out three rectangle strips, including the blank rectangular tabs. You will have 2 longer strips and one shorter strip. Put in order, with the "Alleluia" at the bottom and the "50 Days of Easter" at the top. Using the two blank tabs in the middle, glue and attach to the previous tab so that you have one long strip.

Now, fold the bottom blank tab up, towards the "Alleluia" square, and fold the top blank tab back, towards the "50 Days of Easter" square.

Next, accordion fold the storyline, making it so that the "Alleluia" square is face up.

Glue the top tab to the back tomb piece, in the middle. Put glue on your bottom tab and put door in place so that the tab is glued on there. Open it up to dry before closing your tomb.

At this point, your door should open and close, unfolding the Resurrection story as you do so. To finish the tomb piece, place a few pieces of tape around - just enough to seal the tomb, leaving some space to come back on Easter morning to slit it open with a small knife or scissors.

L-E-N-T info book

Here is another piece I reformatted from Katie (the original post here). Katie's is made as a full-page printable. She has a blank format as well as answers filled in.

To make it work for the lapbook, I created a long book format to put on one flap. Each letter opens to answer a question about the season. In the printable I provide, print on separate sheets. Choose which orientation you want (opening from the right or left) and whether or not you want to provide the answers right away or have the kids write them in.

FYI, in my example, I open from the right, but after attaching it on the right flap, I wish the books opened from the left.

If I hadn't made this as an example for you and my children, this would have been a good spot to put personal reflections or other inspiration, whatever you felt led to for this Lent. A place to draw, to write, a book of saint quotes, the Rosary, etc.

Back Cover

This is my individual version of a good deeds chart. For any extra prayer, fasting, almsgiving, etc. you do for Lent, you can color a piece of the picture. I provide the printable above, but other alternatives to this are to have an empty cross and use stickers or colored paper to fill it in; have a different, appropriate coloring page; or have an empty tree that's slowly filled with leaves and flowers. Again, this is a great part of the lapbook to individualize and have the kids really own it.

Alternatives for Younger Kids

For my girls, I am replacing a few pieces above with the following:

In place of Give Up Take Up, they will glue this simple rectangle with lines to write in (or I write in) ideas they have to do for Lent, with help from me of course.

Instead of the Lent Info book on the right flap, the girls will make and glue in two booklets. One, the Lent Song, adapted from Catholic Icing. In the printable, you can choose to use a boy or girl version for the cover.

The other, a Timeline of Lent, where they can check off items as we pass the days. I put this printable and the above sacrifice rectangle together into one printable.

If you end up making a lapbook, please share your pictures! I gain so much inspiration from what others do. Share the love!

May your Lent be fruitful. God bless.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Feast of the Epiphany

Though we celebrated Epiphany in church on Sunday, at home we celebrate on the Traditional feast day of the 6th. It is a culmination of our 12 Days of Christmas. I always plan for extra fun during those days but they never seem to materialize. It's probably a good thing. We still spend time together, relaxing, having fun, with a few parties here and there.

The kids receive a group present to represent the gifts of the three kings. This year it was quarters (gold), scent markers (frankincense), and bubble bath (myrrh).

They also had fun drawing the kings (Miss Z did the star with "snow and humans" on it). Directions to draw the kings.

And took it upon themselves to fix up the Jesse tree...

Set the table... 

I made the "King's Cake" using this gluten-free, allergen-free recipe. It is our absolute favorite cake. My oldest has already requested it as his birthday cake. (We only make this cake for Christ the King and for Epiphany.) 

I was a good girl and didn't partake in the eating - only in the selecting for the bean - as I have started the autoimmune protocol diet. I have started/stopped this diet twice since September but due to external circumstances could not see it through. Third time's a charm, right? (I have had near immediate response so the motivation is definitely there to keep at this.)

The kids also put the Little People Nativity up on our cabinet where our Christmas candles and 12 Days of Christmas ornaments are.

Candles up close. The kids used double sticky tape and glitter. For the Christ candle, I also used glue and glitter to spell out "Christ."

Close-up of our 12 Days... I love how these turned out! I found images I liked, made them 3x3 in Word, glued them onto a cereal box, backed with black cardstock with a raffia loop glued between layers, and to hide the edges, I used glue and glitter.

The kids had fun unwrapping the gifts. Of course. :)

And once again, Mr. D chose the cake piece with the bean in it. He has won every year since we started this tradition!

I hope all of you have had a blessed Christmas season and prayers for a fruitful New Year!