Conversion Story

conversion main1

Part’s One, Two, and Three are up on the “NEW” blog. Head over there to check them out!

Also, just a reminder as of the end of the month, I’ll no longer be “double posting”, so be sure to follow along on the “NEW” blog so you don’t miss a post!!

Little Holy Days {St. Bartholomew}

Sharing this post I made the other day on the “NEW” blog. A reminder, at the end of the month I’ll be posting exclusively on that blog.

Little Holy Days (Green)

Here’s the link to the post on St. Bartholomew’s Day coming up on August 24.

Please head over there to read the post, and feel free to sign up by email to make sure you receive all new posts!

Blog Move

Hey all,

Just wanted to let everyone know, I’m planning on switching the majority of postings to my other blog. The one that actually has the same blog address as the blog name. Makes it easier to remember right?

The “new” address is hollowayfamilynorth.wordpress.com . I say “new” because Jared started it right after Katherine was born, and it has been updated sporadically since then. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and decided to “Just Do It”. I think I really just like the idea of having the name/address match :).

This blog will be staying “active” and I may from time to time link back to it, but I probably won’t be posting new things. Maybe I’ll link the posts up until the end of the month.

~Ruth Anne

Mama, why do we have to go to Mass?

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Leave it to the kids to ask me a question that I don’t have a ready answer to. Or at least I don’t have a “Real” answer for that question. I mean, I have the “because it’s what we do”, “because we believe it’s the right thing to do”, “because the Bible tells us to”, “because the Church tells us to”, etc… And maybe for a three-year-old, those answers are enough. But the question got me thinking, especially since today I had a hard time paying attention to, lets see, everything that happened at Mass today.

Jared often will “accuse me” (or maybe “call me out” is a nicer way to put it) on things about church, saying “you don’t think things through”. And a lot of times, in many ways he’s right. I get a general idea of something, and then I jump in with both feet. After that I really start to think about the reasons “why?” or “what does it mean?” etc. And I think this is one of those “things”. I have a general idea of why we go to Mass, but truthfully, I’ve never really thought about it in depth.

So, really, why do we go to Mass every week? I turned to my handy dandy personal search engine and found this article (at Catholic Education). I found it very informative.

The author mentions going to Mass…

  • Because Scripture says so (see my above reasons)… Because

“We have a natural duty to worship God in some visible way that expresses a real internal act of devotion”. His closing statement, however is the following quote. 

What will matter above all is that we receive communion. There is no greater privilege than that of being able to participate at an ordinary Mass and receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Such a privilege only adds to the debt we already owe to God, and since an element of our own happiness is the feeling of having a debt that cannot be paid, the more we grow to love the Mass and hunger for the Eucharist, the happier we will become.

It is good for me to be able to read this and think about this for the afternoon and really for always. Especially on days when I personally don’t want to get out of bed and get to Mass. Or when I have the kids and they’re all over and I’m watching them instead of paying attention. Or my mind wanders because of things that are going on in life.

When I sit and think about this after the fact, all that matters is that I received Jesus today, and I have from that fact alone – like a big hug that I can sink into.

Will try to do better next week!

Goodnight all
~Ruth Anne

 

Little Holy Days + Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Little Holy Days (Green)

Little Holy Days

Several of the blogs I follow do “Little Holy Days” things. I really enjoy reading them and it never really occurred to me to do my own until this past Sunday. Father, in addition to talking about Faith, also talked about the Domestic Church, and how we as parents are responsible for being the primary teachers of the Faith to our children. (Wow, hope that sentence made sense, I never really enjoyed my grammar classes!)

It’s something I’ve always known on some level. But it’s not really something I’ve done much about, except maybe if I happen to catch a particular feast day, I’ll read a little about it in the Missal or book of Saints. But I’ve not done much, if anything towards deliberately teaching my kids about the Church, other than take them to Mass on Sunday.

In being so new to the church, and having not observed many of the feasts growing up (we managed the BIG one like Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter – ok, those are more seasons than feasts, but follow me here…) I initially felt so overwhelmed with everything that could be celebrated. The point of the “Little Holy Days” posts are not to be All-Encompassing-Everything-You-Could-Possibly-Do-To-Celebrate-A-Saint posts. To me, they’re aimed at recognizing the Feast, and taking one or two crafts/recipes/activities/etc.. that can fairly easily be incorporated into our daily lives. I know as a not-so-crafty mama to three little ones, I don’t have time to put together extensive or elaborate crafts (and if you are one of those special people, than more power to you!). So little things that I can incorporate. I’m sure over time things will change, but that’s my goal for the time being.

Ok. Enough rambling for one day. Moving on.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

If we’re being all open and honest here, I didn’t actually do much looking into for this feast. One, I didn’t even have the idea to DO something until…. actually, that’s not #1. One, I wasn’t entirely aware this feast solemnity existed until this past Sunday when I realized it was a Holy Day of Obligation. Two, I didn’t have the idea to actually DO something with the kids until I found a craft that seemed doable with my kiddos.

That being said, I hope to be more on top of things for the next feast day. As this one kinda snuck up on me, I’ll just be posting about what we did or are planning.

About this Solemnity {I’m going to throw this out there before I get too involved with these feast days, I’m pretty unoriginal when it comes to writing about stuff that’s already well written about. Did I mention that I also disliked all my English classes? No, well I did. Anyway, I’ll most likely be posting little bits that I find from other sources, and I’ll try to reference them as best I can}

The commemoration of the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Dormition, or falling asleep, as it was known in the East) is known as the Assumption because of the tradition that her body did not decay but that she was raised up, body and soul, into heaven. This tradition was already present in the sixth century; by the beginning of the twentieth century it was widespread (for details, see this article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia); and after consulting the views of bishops all over the world, the Pope formally and infallibly declared the doctrine of the Assumption to be part of the authentic and ancient doctrine of the universal Church.

(From Laudate app for iPhone – I’m sorry I don’t know how to link to apps)

Some further thoughts from the homily today:

Mary is our companion on our journey. She is also an example to us. We can be like her when we say “yes” to God. Saying “yes” to God and His will, leads to salvation. Mary can assist us to be firm, consistent, and courageous in our “yes” to God.

I was filled with peace as I heard this. I know that I would be so grateful to have someone walking beside me and helping me on my journey towards God than to have to go it alone.

To Do:

  • This being a Holy Day of Obligation, attendance at Mass is required. I did make it, but my mom had the kids, so they weren’t with me. However, I did see quite a few mamas there with multiple kids. Alone. At which point the thought crossed my mind, “if they can do it, I guess I could do it” (Baby steps here….)
  • I found an Assumption of Mary Centerpiece at Catholic Inspired. It seems pretty doable with the kids. We’ll see what happens after their nap.
  • Mary is often associated with fruit, so making a fruit cobbler was an idea that came to mind. It became reality after I found this Blueberry-Strawberry Cobbler recipe at Catholic Cuisine. I modified it slightly to use blackberries instead of blueberries and strawberries because that’s the fruit I had available. Plus they were from our garden and were begging to be used in something delicious. 🙂

That’s about all we’re doing for this feast. There are some upcoming feasts that I’ve already found a few ideas for, so look for those soon!

And Happy feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

~Ruth Anne

Blessings from my kiddos {12}

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Things have been pretty much normal for us here these last few weeks. I think I’ve been able to get a better handle on being a full time stay at home mama which has definitely made things easier for all of us.

I went back through my little notes of “Blessings” and realized I had too many for one post, which tells me that I should have done one of these last week. Anywhos… I’ll do another one in a couple days or so.

~ Johnny got breakfast for us all. It was only cereal. But I absolutely love that he did it without being asked. He brought all the cereal boxes out before I even got up from my morning coffee on the couch.

~ Kissing the bunnies goodnight. Don’t know why they get such a big kick out of me giving their bunnies (lovies) a goodnight kiss and hug. But they do. And since I first did it a few weeks ago, they’ve asked almost every night. I keep doing it because they (bunnies) are something they care about very deeply, and I want to show them I care about things they care about.

~ Playing LEGOs on the couch. In the morning. Before coffee was even finished. I normally don’t play much with the kids. But I did. And they loved it. I’m seeing a little pattern here, doing something that pleases them is really beautiful, even if it’s not my favorite to do.

~ Johnny got his shirt on! That’s the last bit of “getting dressed” that he hasn’t mastered. He’s mostly got it. Yay!

~ Kiddos doing instruments at the library. {Picture} I left Katherine up with the group by herself. I think that was the first time I’ve left her somewhere on her own.  A little nerve wracking for me, but good at the same time because it helped me to know that “she’d be fine on her own” and I think it helped her to realize the same thing. We all went up to the group later, and the boys had a great time doing the instruments and songs.

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~ Letting Katherine go to Children’s Liturgy (children’s church/Sunday School). First time I’ve let her do that too. Again, I left her in a class room, without me. That made me even more jumpy than at the library. Maybe because I couldn’t just quietly sneak out and check on her (that’s what happens when you sit up front). Anyways, I’m glad she was able to go. I’m not sure how much she got out of it, since it’s geared for slightly older kids, but she said she liked it.

Think that’s all for this evening.

~Ruth Anne

20 songs to sing with your littles

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I’ve been thinking about this post for a little while now and thought I’d put it together because I’m sure there are other mama’s out there who, like me, couldn’t remember all those nursery rhymes and songs they grew up on.

My kiddos love when I sing with them, especially Karl. Maybe since I’ve done it the most with him. He doesn’t really say many words as of yet, but when he lays down to get his diaper changed he’ll more than likely start “singing”. Usually that means some nondescript sounds to the tune of a song he knows.

Without further ado:

~ Songs to the tune of ABC

  • ABC song (obviously)
  • Twinkle, twinkle little star
  • Baa-Baa black sheep

~ Are you sleeping? (in English or French)

~ Where is thumbkin (to the same tune as above)

~ Row, row, row your boat. There are variations on this one. The ones I’m most familiar with are: Row, row, row your boat/Gently down the stream/If you see a crocodile/Don’t forget to scream (I usually will tickle the kids and gently scream at this part – they love it). Also I know: Row, row, row your boat/Gently to the shore/If you see a lion/Don’t forget to Roar (again, I’ll gently “roar”)

~ The itsy-bitsy spider

~ You are my sunshine

~ Los pollitos dicen (link to Spanish lyrics also includes a translation, and a audio version) Every time the kids see chickies in a book they ask me to “Sing it”.

~ Nursery Rhymes turned into songs

  • Three little kittens have lost their mittens
  • Mary had a little lamb

  • Hickory dickory dock

  • Jack and Jill went up a hill

  • Hey diddle diddle the cat in the fiddle…
  • Lavender’s Blue dilly dilly….

~ The wheels on the bus. (Personally, not one of my favorites, but the kids love it)

~ Old Mac Donald (Again, not one of my favorites, but the kids like it)

~ Happy Birthday (Don’t know why exactly my kids LOVE this song, but they’ve been known to just walk around singing it)

For slightly older kids:

~ Head, shoulders, knees and toes

~ If you’re happy and you know it

 

Anything you would add to the list?

Happy singing! And remember you can start singing to little ones even before they’re born. The more you sing with them the more they love it!

~Ruth Anne