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Farewell Post

After four and a half years, our ministry here at CAPC has come to an end.

CAPC has truly been a labor of love. I still believe in our mission of supporting Catholic parents who are seeking information and friendship as they try to live an attachment-minded lifestyle with their children. I always had a hard time finding other Catholic parents who were like me, who were figuring out day to day how connect their beliefs about parenting with their faith, who were making counter-cultural choices to prioritize the well-being of their children. My own life has simply become more complicated and my attention is being drawn elsewhere away from this site, particularly to the heart of my home and the relationships within it.

Ah, but all is not lost! You can still find great information and insights about gentle Catholic parenting at my personal gentle Catholic parenting website and we will continue to host our Facebook page, so be sure to visit us there! You can find links to our staff writers’ websites at the end of their bios on our About page.

God bless you and your families! Please pray for me and my family as I will pray for yours.

Kim Cameron-Smith

The Upside of Failure

failYesterday my son’s school celebrated Science Fair day. I didn’t think it was a big deal. The letter that came home a month ago only mentioned that a science fair project was voluntary for kindergarteners. When I asked my son if he wanted to do and present a project, he adamantly said no, and as he’s only in kindergarten, I didn’t push.

But, when I dropped him off at school yesterday morning, I saw a sea of teal blue shirts on kids running around the playground, running to find their morning line, running to grab their backpacks when the bell rang. Teal blue shirts that I quickly realized marked the many, many kids who’d done a project. And there stood my son, in his black Minion shirt (the one with a red cape velcroed on the back so that he looked like a little superhero). And there I stood, beside him in his line, taking in the fact that at that moment I felt like anything but a superhero mom.

My son handled it well, admiring his friends’ t-shirts, and so, though I left feeling disappointed in myself that I didn’t encourage him more to participate, I was comforted that he didn’t seem too upset about it.

Until we attended the Fair together at the end of the school day. We walked hand-in-hand, observing the projects done by so many other kindergarteners. Color shows, and visual explanations of why it’s colder in winter and warmer in summer, and magnetic slime all wowed my son and captivated his attention. At the end, the children who’d participated were awarded medals to boast around their necks. My son watched them earn their medals, and I watched him bravely fight back tears. Of envy. Of regret. Of disappointment.

From my end, my own disappointment from earlier in the day returned as I realized I’d failed. I thought of all the reasons I’d done so. My son being my oldest, I was unaware of what a grand event this school-wide Science Fair was. The letter sent home hadn’t mentioned the shirts and the medals and the fact that most of the kindergarten class typically participates. But, whatever the reasons, I knew yesterday was a “Yep, I failed this one” kind of mom day.

Usually, I’d be hard on myself. I’d not let it go, grumbling to my husband about it after the kids were in bed, turning it over in my mind while trying to fall asleep myself. But, during this past Lent, I learned something beautiful about failure.

On Ash Wednesday, I’d made a commitment to waking up extra early each day to spend time with God. To read some work of a saint, to write, to pray. But, after the first week, I’d only made it up early enough to spend a little extra time with God on two occasions. I continued to struggle until soon enough I figured I’d just give up altogether. I’d already failed. What was the point of going on?

Until early one morning about halfway through Lent, feeling defeated, I forced myself out of bed (why, when I’d missed so many days already?), opened my copy of Divine Intimacy to a random page and began to read about humility. “It is impossible to gain humility,” it said, “without humiliations; for just as studying is the way to acquire knowledge, so it is by the way of humiliation that we attain to humility.”

I paused. I’d been seeing Lent as a chance to become the perfect daughter of Christ by sacrificing my sleep in order to get up early and become better at prayer and conversing with the Lord. But, I believe He wanted to mold me this Lent through another way: through lessons in humility.

Instead of puffing myself up and seeing myself as this great renewed pray-er, I learned during Lent to accept my failures as reminders of my own weakness and imperfections and of my total dependence on God in everything. And this lesson carries over, of course, into my motherhood.

When things go well, I find it’s easy to become prideful. Like when I don’t forget that it’s share day at school, or when I remember to wash my son’s favorite shirt – again – so he can wear it for the third day in a row. When we have these days where we remember it all (gasp!), we’re understandably inclined to pat ourselves on the back. But, let us not forget to thank the Lord for helping our forgetfulness that day, for gifting us these successful moments as encouragement and support to go on.

And let’s thank Him for our failures, too. For neglected Science Fair days, missed deadlines, and unwashed favorite pajamas. For it is the humble, not the proud, who grow closest to the Lord. And if He allows us these lessons in humility, then surely, through them, He wants us to grow closer to Him.

Wise, Humorous Survival Tips from Mother of Nine 9

Baby with cake

The following original tips for parents are child proof, child tested, and  guaranteed to turn any child-created disaster into a comedy in minutes.

  • Kids need time to be bored; that is how creativity is born.
  • Ignore the bad and praise the good.
  • The only thing that could kill you as a mother of a large family is pairing socks.
  • My ceiling is my children’s floor.
  • Don’t get upset over messes. It is just part of the normal routine.
  • More children are easier than less. If you have one or two kids you have to be everything for them but with three, community starts. Babies are preverbal, not idiots.
  • Children help you forget what is not important.

CAPC now on Pinterest. WHEW.

capc header

Now one more way to get the latest on gentle Catholic parenting.

For all you pin-loving mamas out there, CAPC is now on Pinterest.

3 Points to Consider When Talking to Your Kids About Abortion

Today marks the anniversary of Roe versus Wade–41 years since the legalization of abortion in America.

Abortion.

It’s an ugly word, full of secrets, despair, and misinformation.  It’s a term that most of us really don’t like to talk about.

But it’s out there, and our children hear it too.

Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

With all of the conflicting views about abortion that are discussed in the media, our children are likely to experience some confusion, raise questions, or, worse yet, grow accustomed to the topic and regard it as just another part of normal life.

As parents, it is of utmost importance that we serve our children well by forming their consciences according to the laws of God.  This means we don’t ignore tough topics they are starting to learn about, even if they have only heard the issue addressed in the petitions at Sunday Mass.  Parents have to decide for themselves when their child has truly reached an age of reason–an age when he or she is ready to take on some of the more difficult topics of life.  But we must be aware of our job to guard their souls against evil by educating their minds in what lurks about, hoping to ensnare them with the pretty disguises of the devil.

So when the time feels right to you, or your child starts to ask questions, here are three points that I try to take into consideration when discussing difficult topics like abortion with my children.

1.  Be honest.

In clear language that is age appropriate, be honest with your children about what abortion is.  If they are asking the questions, they are ready to handle the answers.  There is no need to be graphic, of course, but they deserve to know the truth, that it is a grave sin, and that it greatly offends God.  We are never called to make light of something so serious.

2.  Emphasize compassion.

While we want our children to understand that abortion is sinful, we also want to encourage them to think the best of those who have engaged in it.  These are early lessons in loving the sinner while hating the sin.  Explain to your children that some people are misinformed, feel they have no other choice, or simply don’t have a very strong presence of God in their lives.  Find your local pregnancy crisis center and take your children with you to drop off a donation.  Drive the point home that we don’t condemn those who see no other way–we show them the way with love.

3.  Explain God’s love and mercy in light of your own unconditional love for your children.

God is all forgiving and ever merciful.  He waits with open arms, full of hope that the lost sheep of His flock will find their way back to their

Shepherd.  Tell your children that God loves them, and you love them, no matter what they do.  Emphasize that even though you don’t like it when they do something bad, you always love them for who they are.  Encourage them to come to you with any problem and convey that you will always be there for them, not to condemn, but to forgive, embrace, and heal.

Let us pray today that God will enlighten those who feel they have no choice, who feel they have been backed into a corner from which they cannot escape.  Let us pray that God will show us and our children how to lead others into the light of God’s merciful love.

Pope Leo XIII’s “Laetitiae Sanctae” (Day 6)

“For hers is the loving kindness which, during the length of years and the vicissitudes of life, has never failed us, and which day by day seems to draw nearer to us than ever, filling our soul with gladness, and strengthening us with a confidence of which the surety is higher than the things of time. It is as if the voice of the heavenly Queen made itself heard to us, at one moment graciously consoling us in the midst of trials; at another guiding us by her counsel in directing the great work of the salvation of souls; at another, urging us to admonish the Christian people to advance in piety and in the practice of every virtue. For us it is once more a joy as well as a duty to respond to her inspirations.”

Dr. Teicher on the Developing Brain

A fantastic video interview with Dr. Teicher by Robbyn Bennet Peters.   How does early stress impact brain development and outcomes for children?  Not to be missed:

Dr. Teicher on the Developing Brain from Robbyn Peters on Vimeo.

When Your Child’s Friend Moves Away

87754436A summer-y kind of mood has come for a long stay here in the Cameron-Smith household:  the outside temp is creeping up, the pool is beckoning, our school activities are winding down, and we are planning our summer camping trip.  This summer begins, however, on a solemn note for my nine-year-old daughter Claire:  one of her best friends is moving away.  Julia leaves in a few weeks with her family to move from California to Boston (one of my favorite places in the world).

Childhood friendships are very real and very important to our children, especially those who are school age and older.  When they lose a friend to a move, it hurts.  I want to protect my Claire from pain, shield her from sorrow, but I can’t.  Her friend is leaving and she will have to face that loss.

Summer is a common time for families to make moves, so some of you may be facing something similar.  What can we do, as empathic, tuned-in parents, to help our children get through this kind of event?  I think our ultimate goal in this situation is to honor our child’s authentic feelings, to help her grow through the human experience of loss and change, and to really bring home to her the Great Lesson:  love endures.  Here are some tips for how to make that happen:

Before the Move:

Mementos/gifts for the friend:  Before the move, involve your child in making a good-bye gift for her friend — perhaps a photo album of their adventures together or a memento of your current town or state.  My daughter loves to make small felt animals and she’s planning to create a special keepsake for her friend to take with her to Boston to remind her of California.

Reassurance:  Because I have ties to the Boston area, it’s possible that Claire will see Julia again some day.  But it won’t be the same, will it?  We have to be honest with our child that things are going to be different after her friend leaves, but that we’ll be there to support her through the change.  We can assure her that she can call, email, or write to her friend and that her friend will never forget her.  Sharing our own similar experiences from our own childhoods is very effective:  it creates an immediate connection and gives us credibility with our child.

Help your child say goodbye:  I grew up in a military family, so I had a lot of goodbyes in my childhood.  But one goodbye didn’t happen as it should have.  I was eight years old and facing a move with my mother and siblings because my step-father was being stationed without us in Thailand.  I was only moving off the base, but it seemed a giant move.  I was leaving behind my best friend Kimberly who lived down the street from me on the base. We were in the same third grade class and attended Brownie Scouts together.  She was also looking at a move with her family.  Before I moved, Kimberly and I had a fight and I never said goodbye to her.  I honestly think we fought because we didn’t want to say goodbye.  I remember that friendship and that loss to this day because Kimberly was my first true childhood friend and the goodbye was never said.  I never told her how I would miss sitting behind my house talking to her, catching frogs with her, pretending to be mommies with our dolls.  I never told her that I would miss her.  And I did.  I missed her for a long time.

Julia was here playing with Claire last week and it didn’t go well. Julia was bored and wanted to go home.  Claire was frustrated.  That night, Claire went to her room and announced she wasn’t coming out for three days and refused to speak anyone: she communicated with notes slipped under the door.  When I talked to her about it the next morning, she said she was upset because her siblings were annoying her.  She listed her grievances.  She was mad at all of them.  I asked her if she was perhaps upset because of the play date with Julia and the move.  She broke down crying and said, yes, she was very sad, but her siblings were still annoying. 🙂 I think there’s some truth to that.  I think she’s feeling sensitive, and Julia is, too, and small irritations are seeming much larger.  I think they will have a hard time saying goodbye and letting go of the every day togetherness they’ve enjoyed.  That moment will be horrible and they don’t want to face it.  So they are separating already, just like Kimberly and I did all those years ago.

I have to help Claire stay in the game, I have to help her deal with the ambivalence that may emerge in  her about Julia.  “I don’t like her anyway.”  “I have other friends who like my games better.”  Those sort of mental gymnastics are very normal, even for grown-ups.  But I want Claire to say goodbye tenderly and kindly to her dear, sweet friend so she has that good moment in her memory as she moves forward without Julia in her every day world.

After the Move:

Merciful discipline:  After the friend moves away, your child may start misbehaving or acting out – perhaps she begins hassling her brother or refusing to follow rules. This is very common.  Often when our children are overwhelmed by an emotion, and they aren’t sure how to process it, they find a way to express it that seems safe and familiar.  So, instead of expressing anger about her friend’s move, she may feel and act angry with siblings or parents. (Obviously this dynamic was at play last week when Claire created her little silent event.)

I am not condoning inappropriate behavior or suggesting we ignore them, but I do think as an act of mercy we can help our child realize that her choices may be influenced by unexpressed anger or sorrow.  Find out what she is feeling:  Is she angry about the move?  Not sure why her friend moved?  Is she fearful she’ll never have another close friend?  Helping our children gain insight into their interior landscape in this way will help them on the road to self-control, self-monitoring, and maturity.

Read books together about great friendships:  Reading books aloud to your child, even an older child, that involves an awesome friendship will open opportunities for your child to reflect and to share her feelings about her friend, to recall the things that she loves about her friend.  Some suggestions:  The Secret Garden, Charlotte’s Web, and To Kill a Mockingbird (for teenagers).

Mentor your child in what friendship is:  Friendships are part of God’s plan for us to live a full, radiant life.  Jesus had close friends; he wants to be our friend, and he wants us to enjoy deep friendships with others.  God can use our friends in many amazing ways on our journey to heaven.  The lessons we learn from our friends stay with us even if the friendship grows apart or if circumstances take us in different directions.  During you prayer time with your child, thank God for the gift of friendship and for her friend who moved away.  Pray for the friend’s well-being, welfare, and God’s continued blessings upon her and her family.

Create opportunities for forging new friendships:    Your child will never replace the friendship she had because that friend was a unique and unrepeatable child of God, and that friendship was a gift to your child.  However, we can ensure our child doesn’t become isolated by affording her opportunities for making new friends or deepening the ones she has through play dates, group activities, and involvement in parish events.

Play therapy:  Kids aren’t wasting time when they’re playing.  They are often working through their feelings and fears through play.  So after the move, it’s important that we are with our kids on occasion when they’re playing so we can be a shoulder for their burdens if they choose to open up.  Sometimes we have to be a little bit of a detective about what’s going on with them.  I’m amazed how much my older children are more likely to open up to me about their feelings when we’re engaged in play – especially something they something they’ve chosen to do with me.

Claire has her tenth birthday party next weekend and Julia will be here.  We’re having a sleepover.  I’m treating the girls to a “pampering hour” where I’ll give them chocolate-oatmeal facials and a rose-water foot soak.  I’m imagining my Claire there next to Julia with cucumbers on their eyes, chocolate slathered on their little faces.  Giggles.  Squealing.  Silliness.  Memories to carry them both into the future, their futures 3000 miles apart, but in some way not completely separate.  Love endures.  The Great Lesson.

Image Credit:  Jupiter Images (photos.com)

John Paul II Says Thanks to Moms

 

Mothers Day Card

Happy Mothers Day

to all of our Mama Readers

from Catholic Attachment Parenting Corner

A Blessing in Disguise

God had a plan for my son Owen on that sunny fall day during his second grade year.  That was the day he came home from school with an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party.  These invitations are a fairly common occurrence when one is in the second grade, but this one was especially enticing as it was being held at the local roller skating rink.

I looked at the invitation and felt my heart sink in the way that only a mother’s heart can when she knows she has to be the one to bring disappointment to her child.  The party was scheduled for September 25, which is my sister Natalie’s birthday.  Tears were shed, and my heart ached for my little boy’s disappointment in something that seems so important in the second grade.  The ache was soon replaced with pride, however, when we came to the conclusion together that it was more important to be with family on Natalie’s birthday and honor her special day.  Owen dried his tears, we put the invitation away, and nothing more was said about his classmate’s party.

You see, my sister Natalie has many special gifts.  She knows how to soften hearts with a single smile and a sparkle in her eye, she knows how to slow down and find joy in the rainbows, flowers, and ever changing sky that God gives us.  She can erase the selfishness from almost anyone she meets and inspire an outburst of generosity and patience, and though she has her stubborn moments, I believe her purity of heart serves as an impenetrable barrier to the threat of temptation or evil.

Some call her state of being “mentally handicapped”, but I call it a fountain of blessings in a very clever disguise.

Natalie and Owen

Natalie and Owen

I’ve witnessed time and again how my sister brings out the best in people.  Complete strangers hold doors for her, wait patiently behind her while she slowly ascends a flight of stairs, and even give her small gifts that make her eyes light up and her fingertips quiver with excitement.  My own children have all held a special affection and respect for her since the time of their birth.  It is by her presence that they find the strength within themselves to exhibit greater self-control, generosity, and love.

So why does society shy away from celebrating people like my sister?  What is it that we fear about possibly having a child like that of our own?  If only we could accept that it is through the vulnerable and the powerless that we receive the greatest power of all:  the power to see our souls stripped of the garments of this world, exposing the virtues and graces that will open the doors to the next.  Some of those virtues will shine brighter than others when put to the test, but it is only by the revelation of our deepest weaknesses that we can ever hope to achieve the level of perfection that heaven requires.  It is only by understanding our own imperfections that we can be filled with the desire to surrender ourselves to God’s mighty hand and allow Him to shape us into who He wants us to be.

There are so many things we can do in our modern age to avoid creating the person that God intended to place in our lives.  As parents, we want to take measures to ensure a healthy child, certainly, but when we veer too far from the way God intended a child to be created (in a loving marriage between a man and a woman through the natural expression of their love in answer to God’s call), perhaps we are setting ourselves up to miss out on one of the greatest blessings of our earthly lives.

If Natalie had not been born when she was, the way that she was, my son would not have had the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson.  He was presented with the opportunity to learn that family comes first, and Natalie’s birthday is just as important and special as anyone else’s.  In a world where some might say her life is worthless, sad, or even easily disposable, he learned that her life is one that deserves to be celebrated.

As a mother, I know it is my mission in life to lead my children along a pathway to heaven.  I pray often that I will be aided in this task by the people God puts in my life.  Who better to walk among us than people like my sister?  She is full of joy, pure of heart, brings out the best in others, and is nearly sinless.  In many ways, my sister is a better teacher for my children than I’ll ever be–simply because she is who she is–the person God created her to be.

Does Natalie feel like a “burden” at times?  Of course!  But, then, so does my two year old as I clean up yet another one of his messes, and so do any number of other people and things that God has given to me when they require me to enter that painful process of growth and change.  We wouldn’t be fully human if we didn’t have those negative thoughts about those we love best creep into our minds and hearts, acting as little reminders that even our best and purest intentions are always vulnerable to temptation.  The truth is, anything or anyone can feel like a burden when we put our own perceived wants and needs before God’s deepest desires for us; and His deepest desire is to shape us into the person we need to become to be received into full communion with Him at the end of our time here on earth.

Natalie with Owen on his first birthday

Natalie with Owen on his first birthday

Embrace your “burdens”, and they will become light with the knowledge of the joy they will bring you.  You might even discover they weren’t such a burden, after all.

We traveled as a family to celebrate Natalie’s birthday, and a fun time was had by all.  The memory of Owen’s party invitation faded away, but the bond of family remains strong.  At the time of Natalie’s birth, and for a long time after, there were many “why’s”.  Maybe she was given to us in part to teach a little boy a valuable lesson, and carry him one step closer to heaven with her.

Pre-Election Reflection

With the Presidential election day fast approaching, I’ve found myself faced with some interesting questions from my young children.  “Who are you going to vote for?  Why?”  “Who will use our country’s money the way he should to make more jobs?”  And the real stinger that arises from our discussion of the two candidates, “What is abortion?”

This last question stops me in my tracks.  How do you explain abortion to three innocent children who only recently saw twelve week sonogram images of their newest sibling? How do you explain that the same baby they saw kicking, twisting, breathing, and waving is not viewed by all as a precious gift from God?  Our culture has become so hardened against the gift of life that instead of exclaiming, “Awww, he’s so cute!” as my six-year-old son did, some new parents only perceive their unborn child as an inconvenience, a burden, or a “mistake.”

I want a way to sugarcoat this issue or to simply avoid it altogether.  But this simply cannot be done.  I cannot downplay or excuse the horrors of abortion without driving a wedge between myself and the virtues that lead me towards God.  And so I take a deep breath and carefully explain the term as simply as I can, realizing that if they are ready to ask the question, then they are ready to hear the answer.  It is in hearing my answer out loud that my heart starts to break with the knowledge of the unraveling of their innocence–that we live in a world that requires such an explanation to be given to such young children in the course of discussing our wonderful right to vote.

I am also acutely aware of how important our family’s values are and the way they manifest themselves in our lifestyle. As we began forming our family mission statement one evening, I asked everyone to think of ways to describe our family.  My eight-year-old son immediately responded,  “We’re Catholic.”  These two simple words summed up perfectly our emphasis on living out Catholic values in every aspect of our lives.  Our prayer habits, the way we treat others, and the values we strive to instill in our children all point to the fact that we are, indeed, first and foremost, Catholic.

As attached parents, we demonstrate daily that bringing new life into the world to care for is worth the sacrifice, hard work, and self donation required.  Our children see my husband and me sacrifice sleep, material possessions, and fancy vacations so we will have the means to answer God’s call when it is time to welcome their new sibling into the world.  They see the amazing ability my body has to be completely turned over to the nourishment of new life within.  And we all made sacrifices when I spent a week in the NICU with our fourth child.

I realize there are many issues to consider when voting, but I hope my children will grow to realize that the basic right to life from the moment of conception to natural death should be a given, and that any candidate who does not support this creates such a chasm between himself and God’s grace that he will find it incredibly difficult to make wise decisions in regards to anything else that affects the common good of our country.

On election day, our children will know that my husband and I voted, and they will know why we voted for a particular candidate.  In their observance of this, we hope to pass on a tradition richer than being loyal to our country or a particular political party.  We will pass on the tradition of voting Catholic.

Ideas for All Saints Day

Editor’s Note:  As you think ahead to All Saints Day, here is an excerpt from Angela Piazza’s article on how she observes the day with her family.  Her full article appears in Tender Tidings Fall 2012, CAPC’s seasonal newsletter.

The first and foremost goal of Christian parenting is leading our children to heaven.  We guide, protect, nurture and comfort.  We assist them in times of need, celebrate their accomplishments, and deeply desire for them to be happy.  It’s up to us to provide the spiritual resources they need to attain heaven, as ultimately, this is where true happiness exists.

In learning about the saints, our children begin to understand what it means to truly love God.  Are they willing to part with their lives as the martyrs were?  Do they trust that God is with them during times of trial, confident that there are reasons for everything?  Do they hope and strive for heaven, knowing that He has already prepared a place for them?  The answer of the saints was an unfaltering, “Yes!”

The stories of the saints are not fairy tales, yet include adventures, princesses, commoners, and the ongoing battle between good and evil.  Discovering the saints’ intense determination to serve God is captivating, and acquainting our children with their courage and heroism will serve them well.  Those who have reached their final, glorious destination are true models of faith, hope and love.

The Forerunners of Christ, Fra Angelico

Forming any friendship requires familiarity, and celebrating the Feast of All Saints is a wonderful place to start making introductions.  The Church has set aside November 1stof each year to commemorate all the souls in heaven.  Preparing your children for this feast day can be as simple or elaborate as you wish.  The key is to engage the children.  Help them to see what incredible role models they have in the saints.

Our family tradition has evolved as our children have grown.  When my older children were quite young, we intersected the sacred with the secular.  In other words, our children dressed up as saints for Halloween.  While trick-or-treating in this manner made sense to us at the time, the result was that our children were more impressed with their accumulation of candy than the incredible stories of the saints they represented.  It was because of this observation that we implemented change. We wanted a celebration worthy of this wonderful feast, one that would not only be awe-inspiring for our children, but also memorable and fun.

Several weeks prior to All Saints’ Day, I ask my children to learn about a saint of their choosing.  I help them research, through books and online sources, and discuss the lives and virtues of their saints.  Each child then designs, in secret, a game or activity which relates to their particular saint, and provides me with a list of necessary supplies.  Over the course of a week or so, the younger children team up with an older sibling, or with me, to work on their projects.

If you’ve attended an All Saints Day party, you’re likely familiar with the carnival-style games and activities I’m referring to.  A few examples of what my children have created include:

  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s basket toss, complete with bread and roses;
  • a game of bowling down 2-liter bottle demons for St. John Vianney;
  • a Bl. Pier-Giorgio inspired Lego board game with skiers as place markers;
  • a modified version of “hot potato” (using a pretend coconut) for St. Damien of Molokai;
  • St. Lucy’s scavenger hunt;
  • Noah’s ark coloring page contest;
  • Bl. Kateri’s cupcake decorating with candy Indian corn and pumpkins;
  • A Communion of Saints wooden stick puppet crafting.

There are many clever ideas available online, but I encourage my children to use their own knowledge, along with their imaginations (rather than an internet search) when designing their activities.

On All Saints’ Day, our celebration begins with each child sharing a bit about the life of his chosen saint.  One by one, each saint-themed activity is unveiled, explained and delighted in.  We learn together, playfully compete with one another, and hopefully recognize that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.