She's 15!!!

Rose turned 15 today, March 29.



 We continue to give thanks to Our Heavenly Father for the graces to say “YES” fifteen years ago. We have not had an easy journey but we’re thankful for His Mercy that has been showered upon us.

Rose brings us much JOY and is a true gift to my husband and I. She is adored by all her little siblings and cousins. She is treasured by her Papa and Nana.

Rose continues to witness to us all with her desire to conform to the will of God. At times she has been persecuted (even by family members) for remaining constant to the convictions placed on her heart to live a life that is pleasing to Our Lord. She has not waivered but instead seeks direction and continues to move forward spiritually.

Her obedience to our family, the entire family is extraordinary. Sure there are times when she responds with a 14 15 year old perspective but not a worldly 15 year old.  She is always willing to be corrected.  She remains chaste in her words and humble in her service.

We pray that she will be open to the graces of Our Heavenly Father and she will continue to follow His call for her, whatever pleasing path He may lead her to.

She opted out of our (new) family tradition of a birthday date night with only mom & dad. She didn't want to pass up our Parish Ceili the weekend before her birthday. She had a blast celebrating with family and friends. What can we say, she's a dancing queen.



Rose and I did manage to complete our Annual Mother-Daughter Birthday Spiritual Retreat. We were not able to get away for a weekend but managed to complete Ignatian Exercises over a 5 week period with an awesome Priest/Retreat Master. I'm so thankful that Rose was able to have a great intro to the Ignatian Exercises. I hope to be able to continue the remainder of the Exercises with her at a later time.

We pray that the fruits received from this retreat will continue to flourish throughout her young life.

 
She received her Birthday (Vigil) Blessing from Father M sometime after Palm Sunday Mass, playing soccer and vespers.


Her Papa surprised her with wonderful Mexican food for dinner when she got home from Mass. She picked out a Costco cake for her dessert.

Today, March 29, her actual birthday was low key in keeping with our past Holy Weeks. She did manage to get a day off school for knitting and some leisure. I’ll have to talk to her Principal about that one. : )

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Here are some pictures of Rose that I dug up from the archives.



Preparation for First Holy Communion

Our Lenten Journey has been filled with simple days of serving Our Lord.  We managed a small celebration for Rose's 15th Birthday.  We have also been preparing Sparkles for her First Holy Communion.
Sparkles opted out of selecting a new dress and kindly asked Rose if she could use her First Communion dress.  This is a picture of Sparkles trying on the dress that their late Great Grandmother made for Rose about six years ago.  Sparkles is thrilled!

Sparkles will have a new veil.  Her Nina (Godmother) is having a custom veil made for her special day.

Our Parish Priests instruct all the children receiving sacraments about 2 months prior to their sacrament day.  This is a great blessing and witness to all families and especially the children.

Below are some resources that we have been using in the home to prepare Sparkles for her First Communion.


Father's First Communion Exam
Page 1     Page 2



(The price is right at Amazon - $1/10pack)




Picture Links: 
Mysteries of the Rosary – Catholic Kids


Sparkles plays the game as a memory game on the table and also uses her wall chart to review The Ten Commandments.  She is to divide the chart into two sides (tablets) and place the appropriate 3 Commandments on the left side and the remaining 7 Commandments on the right side.

This game/supplemental was inspired by Jessica's St. Joseph Matching Game.
She also lists many wonderful additional resources for First Communicants.

I especially like the link to the First Communion Novena.  Sparkles will start the novena on April 29 for her First Communion on May 8.

Margaret so graciously reposted the complete First Communion Novena  here.


first communion gift store
Be sure to enter the First Communion Story Contest.


From Thy Bounty Fair - First Communion Celebrations
...focuses on the celebration following the ultimate celebration of reception of the Eucharist for the first time.

First Communion JOY

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
"A servant of Him who is Love, will never ask why? Mary did not ask this question, neither during the Annunciation, nor at the foot of the Cross of her Son."  (In the Arms of Mary, pg. 148)

On this day we have a tradition of saying "YES" as often as possible to the requests in our home.  The little children find such JOY in this practice.  They cherish this opportunity and are certain to be thoughtful about their requests.

They in turn are to work on their "YES."


Below is some brief info on this Solemnity taken from Catholic Culture.

This feast is very important in the defense of the life of unborn children. Even with small children, this is a good day to begin teaching about the high value God places on human life. He loved us so much that he became one of us, took on our human nature and became an innocent, completely dependent infant.

The children and I will view baby G's sonogram pictures and discuss the gift of life, all life.


This is a Solemnity, so when this feast falls during the Lenten season, our Lenten penance obligations are lifted. We should celebrate by some special food or dinner. This feast day forecasts the blessed event of Christmas, and illustrates how the liturgical year is an endless circle of days.....A perfect symbolic food would be an angel food cake for the archangel Gabriel, baked in a tube pan for the endless circle, decorated with the frosting highlighted with blue for Mary.
 
We will make our favorite blueberry muffins found at Catholic Cuisine and may have waffles for dinner.


Fra Angelico - The Annunciation. Fresco. San Marco, Florence (detail)

Last year's post on the Annunciation
Annunciation & Consecration


Garden of the Good Shepherd

GOD willing, I plan to follow the Garden of the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd's Garden Party that is being hosted by Jessica and Charlotte.

There is also a give-away taking place for 2 copies of The Garden of the Good Shepherd at Become What You Are.

St. Patrick's Day

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY

We will be celebrating as a family on a small scale today.  We plan to continue our celebration on Sunday with our Annual Parish Ceili.

Ceili - is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It originated in Ireland and Scotland.

Have a BLESSED Feast Day!
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation
St. Patrick (ca. 377)





A New Start

There are many things that I give thanks for at this time.  My number one item of thanks is Laetare Sunday, Rejoice, O Jerusalem.
...special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of penance....
I'm filled with JOY that we are given an opportunity for a "new start" to our Lenten journey.  I'm graciously taking this wonderful opportunity to start anew, to recommit myself to the promptings that God has placed on my heart, and to prayerfully re-enter this time of penance.

May the JOY and Peace of Christ fill us all during the remainder of this Lenten Season.


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