Our Clay Rosaries

IMG_6760A week before Stella was born, my 8 year old suggested that we say a rosary every day for an easy and safe birth.  So every afternoon we’d all grab our rosaries and snuggle up on the sofa.

IMG_6761We said our rosaries every day during that week, and I often had to remind Liam and Jack to move down a bead because they would be staring at a particular bead they liked on their clay rosaries.

IMG_6764These are the rosaries I gave them for their First Communions.  Liam and Jack adore them.  I first found out about the Clay Rosary Girl from the beautiful blog Small Things.

IMG_6762Our final rosary was said on July 27th and Stella was born the next day.  On the same day Stella was born, the beautiful woman who handmade these rosaries and her unborn child passed away.  When I told the boys, they said one rosary for Sarah Harkins and her baby Cecilia.

IMG_6763I was planning on giving these clay rosaries to each of my children for their First Communions, but now I can just be really thankful that we have these two.  We’ll share them and take turns running the beads through our fingers and thinking of the kind soul whose fingers made them.

If you would like to contribute anything you can spare to her four beautiful children, please do so. http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/support-fund-for-the-harkins-children/211371

 

Saint coins, chore charts and a family store

saint coins 005I’ve been asked by enough people about our family store reward system, that I figured it warranted a post.  I’ve tried many variations of chore charts, sticker charts, reward systems, etc, but this by far is the one that has worked best.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m more consistent or the kids just respond really well to it.

I just started with a simple laminated “task chart.”  I had 3 for each kid (morning, afternoon, evening) but it was too much.  I made it extra simple and this seems to work.  The circle is for when it’s her night to set the table and once or twice a week they each have one household chore like take out the trash, vacuum, clean windows, etc.

saint coins 001At the end of the day, my husband looks at their chart.  If they have done all that they should, they get 3 saint coins. (more on how I made them later)  He doles out the coins so he can talk with them about the day they had and what they accomplished and because I will forget every single night if it were up to me.  I give them extra coins throughout the day if I catch them doing a good deed or they were extra attentive in class.  One of my children was having trouble completing his work in a timely manner.  So I now set a timer and if he beats the timer, he gets an extra coin.  He’s starting to beat the timer most days. 🙂

saint coins 002To make the coins, I printed out badges from Happy Saints ebooks at 50% their size.  If you don’t have a Happy Saints ebook, get one!!  We use them for greeting cards, homeschool religion classes, service projects, just tons of stuff.  So I printed out the badges on label paper.  I was able to get about 20 on a page printing them at 50%.  I then cut them out and stuck them on little wooden discs you can get at the craft store.  I forgot the diameter of mine, but it was around 2 inches I think.  Then I sealed the coins with spray modge podge.

saint coins 003A friend asked me to make some for her, and this time I used printable shrinky dink paper.  I printed the badges at 100% size, but I set the color to the lowest intensity so they would be too dark after being cooked. (control p; main tab; under color/intensity, click manual; set intensity all the way to light).  The shrinky dink coin is smaller, but turned out great!  And it saved me a lot more time doing the shrinky dink way!  I was able to make 30 coins with one pack of shrinky dink paper.

saint coins 004Then the kids decorated little boxes for their coins!

saint coins 006Finally, every Friday night, they get to shop in the family store.  The 5 box has small candy, trips the the coffee shop with mom or dad or to a bookstore.  The 10 box has plastic bracelets, bigger candy, and the big hit…microwave popcorn for Friday night movie night.  The 15 box has slinkys, lego minifigures, fancy pencils, and various things found in the Target dollar section.  And extra coins the kids have, they can roll them over to the next week, but they usually spend them all. 🙂

wreath

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We make this Advent Wreath every year.

Wreath blessing (from USCCB):

Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

The blessing may conclude with a verse from
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:

O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.