Indoor Tea Party Picnic!

So, yesterday morning my sweet little boy asked me if he could have a pajama day. We had no plans to go anywhere, so how could I refuse?! πŸ™‚ As he was playing, I decided to give him a little surprise and put together a little tea party for lunch!

All I did was throw a blanket on the floor, put the lunch down on it and told Andrew to grab a couple of books. We cuddled on the floor, read, ate and just spent a wonderful hour or so together.

tea partytea party2

Of course, no tea party is complete without cookies! I happen to have some girl scout cookies on hand, so that’s what I served. (FYI, we don’t buy girl scout cookies anymore due to their support of abortion.)

tea cookie

tea cookies

The tea party was such a little thing, and yet it made Andrew so happy! It just proves that you don’t need tons of money or do “great things” to make memories. πŸ™‚

WFMW – Mom, I’m bored! Edition

works for me Wednesday

This week on Works For Me Wednesday, we are encouraged to offer tips and ideas for keeping our kids occupied and happy during the summer. I can’t wait to read what others have to say; but, in the meantime, here’s a few of the things I am going to do:

In my situation, IΒ  home-school and also work from home; so, for me, except for the heat, there won’t be a huge difference in what I do – with some exceptions, of course! In my experience, a balance between structured time and free time works best; as does a lot of flexibility!

1. Modified Homeschooling. Andrew is learning to read and loves doing “math.” I don’t want to lose that momentum, so I plan to continue homeschooling at least three days a week. What I will probably do is alternate reading one day and math the next. I’ve also been tapping America: The Story of Us and a few shows on the Discovery Channel for him to watch once in a while.

If you don’t home-school, it might be a good idea to set apart some time each day for the children to read or practice their math skills. If I’m not mistaken, some schools now send kids home with work to do over the summer. If so, schedule time each day for them to work on it so they aren’t trying to do it all right before school starts.

2. Day trips. Obviously, the summer is the time to get outside! You can do something as simple as a day or afternoon at the park or something as extravagant as a trip to an amusement park or zoo. Day trips don’t have to be expensive either. You can often find coupons or deals online and even free ideas, like here.

3. Crafts: I plan to spend time several times a week on crafts/activities. You can find lots of craft ideas online, but I love the book “365 Ways to a Smarter Preschooler.” Andrew has a lot of fun doing the activities in this book and can stay engaged for a long while, once he’s set up. This is were I got the peanut butter play dough recipe from, that Andrew just loves!

4. Quiet Time. I am a big proponent of quiet time. Even if your child doesn’t nap, it’s a good idea to implement a rest period. Heat and humidity can wear on everyone’s nerves, and when the kids get cranky, it can wear down the best of moms!

The best time for naps would be in the early afternoon when the sun is at its most strong. It would be a good idea to do the outdoor activities earlier in the morning or later in the day. Of course, do what works best for you!

5. Don’t forget free time! Part of the fun of summer is the freedom to NOT be scheduled, so don’t forget to plan time just to “be”! Summer is the time to lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by, get an ice cream cone and catch some fireflies. In a word, take time to just enjoy your family, let kids be kids and HAVE FUN!

Celebrating Trinity Sunday

Last week, when I was looking for activities do with Andrew in preparation for the feast of the Trinity, I was shocked about the lack of activities out there (or no one else could think of anything to do either!). All I could find was a suggestion to make Napoleon ice cream sundaes and a couple of coloring pages (here and here).

So, for three days prior the feast day we prayed a modified version of the Angelic Trisagion, had several interesting conversations about the Trinity (explaining the Trinity to a five-year old is no easy feat!), did the coloring pages, and tried to mark the day as special.

On Saturday, after going to confession, we decided to stay for mass. On our way home, my husband surprised me and said HE was going to make breakfast in the morning!

Since he was making breakfast, my planned menu went out the window, but that’s okay! He decided on poached eggs, english muffins, and corned beef hash, instead. πŸ™‚

Here’s some “proof” that my husband cooked!

mbrkfas2

And here are a few pictures of our breakfast fun!

being sillymy men

The rest of the day we enjoyed each others company and a couple of Andrew’s friends came over to play for a while.

I didn’t come up for anything “Trinitarian”, but we had a nice supper of baked chicken, roasted potatoes and veggies and asparagus. For dessert we had leftover brownies from Andrew’s first sleepover. πŸ™‚ I failed to get pics of our dinner fun, though.

Next year, hopefully, I’ll be better prepared ahead of time so that I can come up with more creative ideas!

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day

I hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t forget to say a prayer of thanks for all those who lost their lives for our freedom!

God bless our all our military men and women.

(P.S. Today is also the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through her intercession, we pray for the safety and well-being of all our soldiers who are serving our country now or who are scheduled to be deployed soon.)

Menu Madness: May 30 – June 5th (Share Your Ideas!)

menu madness

Alas, I’m not as consistent with menu planning as much as I would like. I do know that when I take the time to make up a menu plan each week (or sometimes every two weeks) I’m more organized, we eat at a reasonable time and we don’t waste money eating out.

As a motivational tactic to keep me consistent, I will be posting my (usually boring!) menus each Friday for the following week. (My menu week goes from Sunday-Saturday.) Hopefully, it will give you some motivation to make up your own menus and give you some new meal ideals.

I should warn you, as much as I try to serve healthy, balanced meals, I’m far from perfect. My hubby has clear likes and dislikes that I try to cater to when possible; and, even though I try to cook from scratch as much as possible, we do (gasp!) eat some processed foods. Oh, and my husband is pure-bred Italian, so expect to see a lot of Italian dishes. πŸ™‚

Breakfasts:

Sunday: Poached eggs, hash browns, bacon (It’s Trinity Sunday!)
Monday: French toast, fruit
Tuesday: Cereal with milk and raisins
Wednesday: Nutmeg toast and yogurt
Thursday: Granola bars, fruit
Friday: Apple and cinnamon oatmeal
Saturday: Waffles

Lunches:

Sunday: We usually eat breakfast late, and dinner early, so we skip lunch
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches, sweet pepper sticks
Wednesday: Tuna salad on crackers, celery sticks
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, sugar snap peas
Saturday: None (See above Sunday’sΒ  note)

Suppers:

Sunday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, chocolate pudding pie
Monday: Chili dogs with sauerkraut, baked beans, green salad, ice cream sandwiches
Tuesday: Pork chops, rice, mixed veggies, apple sauce
Wednesday: Baked fish, broccoli, pasta salad
Thursday: Chicken & mushrooms, salad, rolls
Friday: Egg balls (sounds funky, but tastes so good), Italian bread
Saturday: Baked Ziti, salad, leftover Easter Candy (yes, we still have candy from Easter – quite a bit left!)

So there you have it. I’d love to hear your menu ideas. What willΒ  you be serving next week? Leave your menu or suggestions in the comments! Thanks!

Saint Philip Neri – A Day Late :)

I love learning about the saints. Do you? In raising my son, and wanting him to know and love the traditions of the Church, I’ve been getting to know more about the Saints then I ever have!

St. Philip Neri is case in point. (Yes, I know this is a day late!) I never knew anything about him until now. According to my daily missal, he is called the “saint of joy.” Who knew?! If you want to get to know him -and you should!- you can go here or here.

Let me just share with you the beautiful opening prayer from yesterday’s liturgy:

Father,
you continually raise up your faithful to the glory of holiness.
InΒ  your love, kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled
the heart of Philip Neri.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who
lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Peanut Butter Playdough

One of the activity books I have been using with Andrew is 365 Ways to a Smarter Preschooler. It has a lot of great activities and most of the stuff you need for the activities are things you already have around the house or can get cheaply. One of his favorite activities from the book is the peanut butter play dough.

Andrew loves peanut butter and would eat it three times a day if I let him, which makes this activity right up his alley! The best part is that the dough is edible, so he gets to eat and play with his food at the same time! I will make a batch of this a few times a month for his lunch, put him at the table and he’ll stay there eating/playing for an hour (or more, if he could!). Here’s the super-simple recipe:

Peanut butter Playdough

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter; 1/2 cup powdered milk; 1/2 teaspoon honey (Can you tell that I use a lot of no-name brand foods! LOL!)

ingredients

β†’Measure ingredients into a bowl and using clean, dry hands, kneed them into a dough-like consistency. if the dough is too sticky, add more powdered milk.Β  (I usually have Andrew measure out the ingredients & knead the dough himself.) Once the dough is malleable, the child can play to his/her heart’s content. πŸ™‚

pdmixedup

Of course, don’t forget to provide measuring cups, spoons, cookie cutters and/or a rolling pin for extra fun. I also provide other edibles to round out the meal such as raisins, carrot and/or celery sticks, M&Ms (occasionally), fruit or whatever else I have at hand.

***For easier clean up, I have him play on a large cutting board. That way, all I have to do is bring the board to the sink to clean up.Β  πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

(This recipe is linked to the Offering Hospitality Recipe Swap and Recipe Roundtable.)

Other recipes you might like:

Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes

Peas and Macaroni

Corn Pone

Celebrating Pentecost

My son Andrew and I had a lot of fun preparing for Pentecost. We used some of the ideas that I found on the Shower of Roses website.

First we made our version of a windsock. I didn’t have ribbon so I used yarn instead. Also, my son wanted it hung up on the wall, so that’s what we did!

windsock

While I was cutting out the flames, he colored a picture of the Apostles. (The shapes were a bit too complicated for him to cut out.)

Then we cut out more flames and wrote the fruits of the spirit on them and posted the flames on the wall, along with his Apostles picture and another flame he colored.

fruits of the spirit

Here’s Andrew on fire with the spirit. πŸ™‚

Aonfire

Here is a picture of our breakfast table setting with Andrew’s “flame-less” candle.

Andrewscandle2

For dinner we had Cornish hens, rice, salad and cranberry sauce. I don’t have a picture of dinner, but for dessert we had red velvet cake with vanilla icing. Yum!

Pentecostcake

All in all it was a wonderful day. The best part of the day for me, though, was in the morning: Andrew and I crawled up together and prayed and talked for a good while. Not an easy feat for a very active, and antsy five year old!

God bless you!

Answering the call

For a long time it has been in my heart to begin a blog. However, up until now, the timing wasn’t right. So here I am finally writing my first post. πŸ™‚ I hope that my writings will be a blessing to others, especially to other Catholic home-keepers like me.

As you can see, the appearance of the blog still needs to be tweaked and added to, so please bear with me as I get everything in order. I really wanted to launch the this today (Pentecost Sunday), so I will continue to to tweak the appearance as I begin writing.Β  (Just FYI, I won’t be regularly blogging on Sundays, as one of the ways I honor the Lord’s Day is not working on the computer. As a matter of fact, I am actually writing this post Saturday night. πŸ™‚ )

Tomorrow (Monday), I will share some pictures of our preparation/celebration of Pentecost. Other things that will be discussed/shared here will be our Catholic faith, womanly issues, homemaking, being a help-meet to our husbands, raising/homeschooling our children and whatever else the Lord puts in my heart.

To learn more about me you can go here or to learn more about the purpose of this blog here. Have a question or comment? Don’t hesitate to email me at carol (at) simplecatholicliving (dot) com or fill in the form on the contact page.

Happy reading and God bless you!