Welcome to the LittleWays – finding ways to celebrate our love of Jesus and our faith in all the little ways daily as inspired by St. Therese!

I love being Catholic –there are so many reasons to rejoice and celebrate all the time. Now that my children are getting a bit older feast days have become a time of great joy and celebration for us in a whole new way. You can find a reason to celebrate almost every day as a Catholic from liturgical seasons, to feast days – life is such a blessing! I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of the ways we are rejoicing and celebrating in our faith.

I always love finding new ideas to do with my kids. My son loves to eat and my daughter loves crafts so it’s always easy to generate excitement in our house hold! Welcome to my new blog The LittleWays – finding ways to celebrate our love of Jesus and our faith in all the little ways daily as inspired by St. Therese!

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Free Advent Sight Word Activities and Games

advent_calendar During Advent I know a lot of parents are asking for activities to help teach their children the real meaning of Christmas. There are great Jesse Tree Ornaments to be made and lots of other wonderful activities. But I came across something a little different than I wanted to share.

There is a new sweet website called SightWords.com. It has free tools to help parents and educators teach sight words to kids from Pre-K to 4th Grade. With in this website there is a Christmas section with games and activities with a choice of sacred words for everyone of their activities! (http://www.sightwords.com/sight-words/christmas/)

These are great to do with the kids if your homeschooling, to supplement their education over school holidays or fun to put on the table as place mat activities for Christmas day! There are also some nice colouring pages and fun games for the kids too!

 

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The Bible Amigos: Great Bible Series for kids!

bible-amigos-jonah-_1cvrOne things my kids love is books. But they don’t just like anything. Each child has their own preference for topics, writing style, and their own favourites.  With an age range of three to nine, finding a book they all enjoy can be a challenge at times. But one thing they all love is animals and bible stories.

So when Frank Fraser the author of The Bible Amigos Bible Series for kids contacted me to ask if I would like a copy of his two new books to read, I was very interested. Animals, a bible story and a valuable lesson all in one – it sounded a little too good to be true.

The day the books arrived my nine year old daughter had a friend over – everyone loves receiving something new in the mail. So they were both excited to look over the new books. Both girls really enjoyed the books – especially the illustrations. My daughter’s friend said “these are cool for big kids too!”. My nine year old said ” these books have a lot of activity in them and they teach a good lesson”. Being the little artist that she is she added “I REALLY like the drawings”.

bible-amigos-jonah-_6When I read these books to my boys – which I have to admit I have now read them a lot. On the one occasion my son said “It is fun to read. I love it.” My three year old whom enjoys reading but not as much as my older kids whom are book worms, can’t get enough of these books. He has only ever had a handful of books that he wanted to read repetitively – well he wants to read them at bedtime and during the day. He doesn’t want to read one he wants to read both! Although my favorite of the two is Jonah and the Bear!

These stories are well written, with catchy little phrases, they share a bible story and end with a good moral message!

When my friend a mother of three babysat the one evening she had to read the books when she put my little guy to bed. First thing she wanted to know was where she could buy these books because she wanted them for her kids. So if your looking a book that is fun, has a good strong biblical message, one that can speak to varying ages. Then I recommend getting a copy of these lovely books. They are available for purchase at amazon.ca or amazon.com.

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Divine Mercy Craft and Activities

sacrifice-beads-divine-mercyMy husband and I have a special devotion to the Divine Mercy. I just love praying this chaplet. I try to pray it every day. The thought of our Lord showering all His grace, love and mercy on me and the whole world is just so beautiful and amazing. I love praying this prayer each evening with my children when they are little as I nurse them and then nightly as they transition to a big kid bed and then to help settle them as they grow into their preschool years.

It is just a devotion I love. It is simple and easy to learn my kids have learned the chaplet and its prayers at a young age. It seems easier to memorize then the rosary and requires less time so it is easier for them to pray it.

Excepts from St. Faustina’s Diary

“Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope.
Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy.
I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy.
I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy….”
“….When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior”.

When my daughter was preparing for her Holy First Communion we would go on Mother-Daughter dates and  work on making her scrapbook. We would create pages together after each lesson, to help reinforce her learning as we went along. After we had gone through her preparation, we started to add pages with prayers and devotions. I had created this simple Divine Mercy craft when I was helping to teach a three and four year old catechism class. So we decided to incorporate it into her scrapbook too.

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Divine Mercy Chaplet Craft:

What you will need:

  • Print out of Divine Mercy Colouring Page
  • Red & Blue Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pens, Markers or Crayons
  • If available Gold marker or crayons

Step 1 - Print out of this wonderful Divine Mercy colouring page from the Oblates of Divine Mercy’s website

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Step 2 – Cut out a red and a blue triangle. Helpful tip-First cut out the red triangle and then trace it on the blue paper so that they come out the same size.

Step 3 - Glue the Red Triangle on to Jesus’ Right and the Blue Triangle on to Jesus’ Left side.

Step 4 – Draw more rays of light coming from Jesus heart as well as add light around his head (gold, yellow & white work best)

Step 5 – Decorate as desired

There is also a great Divine Mercy word search and other colouring pages available at the Oblates of Divine Mercy’s website.

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Learn how to make an easy Divine Mercy Chaplet with your child in my previous post

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Feast of our Lady of the Rosary

Today we celebrate the feast of our Lady of the Rosary. The month of October is traditionally celebrated as the month of the Holy Rosary! So the craft below is perfect to use any day in the month of October or May or anytime you wish to help your child learn how to pray the rosary.

My son has really taken to the rosary during the past few weeks. He is happy to pray the rosary where ever he might be – in the car, in bed, etc. But he keeps forgetting which prayers to say on which beads. So I thought we could make this craft to put on the wall beside his bed so that he can look at it when he forgets what comes next and start to learn it by heart. I have been eagerly waiting to use these beautiful images of The Virgin Mary from Around the World since the first time I saw them at Shining Light Dolls! So I was very excited we finally were able to use them today!

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Learning the Rosary Craft!
Here is a PDF Instruction Sheet you can print for the Rosary Craft

What you will need:

  • scissors
  • glue
  • 3 pages printed out
  • markers, crayons or pencil crayons

Step 1 Print out this beautiful image of The Virgin Mary Around the World  from Shining Light Dolls- copy the image and paste it into a word document then print it centered and at the top of your page.

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Step 2 Select an image of Mary that you would like to use for the bottom portion of your craft – We used Our Lady of China but there are so many other beautiful options to use from Shining Light Dolls too. Again using word you want to paste or insert the image. I used four Mary’s per a page. So you could even choose a different image of Mary for each child.

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 Step 3 Print this cute Rosary Page from Pinterest or for the full document visit Teachers pay Teachers. I printed two per a page.

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Step 4 – Cut the sheets and place them in each child’s spot so that each child has one of each sheet.

Step 5 – Explain the feast of the rosary, talk about the Mary that you selected to use and then discuss the rosary asking questions as you go.

Step 6 -
A) Explain the Sign of the cross, have your child colour it and underline the words the Sign of the Cross in the same colour.

B) Explain when you pray the Our Father – have your child select a new colour and colour the two hearts in this colour and then underline the words Our Father in this same colour.

C) Explain when you pray the Hail Mary- have your child select a new colour  and colour the Hail Mary Beads in this colour and then underline the words Hail Mary in this same colour (I also wrote 3 & 10 to let them know the number of times it is said).

D) Explain when you pray the Glory Be- have your child select a new colour  and draw a circle to show when this is done. Write the words Glory Be  in this same colour or write them in Black and underline them in the colour if you prefer;)

Step 7 – Glue the Cute Craft Sheet and Mary image below the Image of Our Lady from Around the World.

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If you have time pray a decade or the rosary with your child now to reinforce their learning!

 

 

 

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St Faustina – Free Daily Email Reflections from her Diary.

imageThis year I signed up for a great free email service the Divine Mercy Daily reflections from St. Faustina’s Diary. Many Catholic’s own the wonderful diary by St. Faustina. But upon speaking with people about the book I soon discovered that most people have not actually read the book from start to finish. I know a handful of people whom have actually read the whole book. I personally have tried a few times but have not yet accomplished this goal. So when a friend told me about theses daily emails I signed up for them. I am eager to finally read the entire diary in a year!

Each day I receive a nice short excerpt, as well as a prayer response. It is really a lovely addition to my daily routine.

If you have ever wanted to read St Faustina’s diary – I highly recommend that you sign up for this lovely free service from Flocknote!

Here is a sample of what you receive:

Meditation:

Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances or events will ever be able to upset you. Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like. Do not make excuses for yourself, it will do you no harm (Diary, 1685) .

My Prayer Response:

Lord Jesus, help me to entrust every thing to You and do nothing on my own, so I will always have great freedom of spirit.

*Diary passages with bolded words are Jesus speaking

 
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Holy Guardian Angels Feast

angel-craft-3 Happy feast of the Holy Guardian Angels! Today we have a great opportunity to help our children  develop a  deeper relationship, understanding and appreciation of angels.

What is an Angel

An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’. For more information about angels see my previous post Feast of the Holy Angels.

My kids are super excited to have another tea party followed by crafts this afternoon. Each year for this special feast we have made lots of angels which we have used to decorate our home by hanging them off our dinning room light and displaying them on the wall.

Last year the kids made three to four angels each. They made St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabriel and an angel to represent their guardian angel. They used a sword with St. Michael and came up with other symbols to represent the different angels.  We then glued prayers onto some of the angels.

This craft is super easy to make and personalized as each child gets to trace and use their hands as the angels wings. The kids love tracing their hands hence why they each wanted to keep making more angels. I can’t think of a year when the kids only made one angel each. Here is my ANGEL Craft post with instructions.

Here are some prayers that you can include on the angels:

PRAYER TO your Guardian AngelIMG_0216

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen.

 

PRAYER TO Saint Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

PRAYER TO Saint Gabriel

Blessed Saint Gabriel, Archangel We beseech you to intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy:
As you announced the mystery of the Incarnation to Mary,
so through your prayers may we receive strength of faith and courage of spirit,
and thus find favor with God and redemption through Christ Our Lord.
May we sing the praise of God our Savior with the angels and saints in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

 

Other Fun Crafts for the Feast of the Holy Angels:

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List of sites with free printable or great easy ideas for crafts to do with kids on the feast of the angels:

Catholic Icing has 10 great ideas to help celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels

Cute Hand Print Angel Craft

Free Printable Angel for Preschools in Colour or Black & White

Easy Stand-up Angel

Nice Peppermint Angel Craft – Makes a nice Christmas gift too!

Nice Full Colour Old Fashion Stand-Up Angels

 

 

angels

 

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Happy Feast of St Therese!

Today is just such a beautiful and special day. It is a day to celebrate an incredible women and soul. One who inspires me continuously to strive to do everything with more love, more joy and more smiles. St. Therese may have lived for 24 years but her example and love will live on forever.

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Feast days are always such a fun way to bring joy and love into your home. Whom doesn’t love to celebrate – especially children? So today after school we will pull out our fancy fine china tea cups, our beautiful teapot from my sister and a delicious baked good (still need to make this lol).  We will gather around talk about St Therese beautiful life, her example and how we can show love more in all that we do. Then after enjoying our goodies we will make some new crafts that I found for us.

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Celery Rose Painting

Who doesn’t love pinterest – at the click of a few buttons you find so much inspiration. I found this adorable simple and fun painting to make – you simply need white paper, green & paint for the roses (red, purple, pink, yellow, and/or blue) paint, celery, scissors, and your imagination.  You could even use coloured construction paper and use white paint instead for white roses. We will have a lot of fun making different variations with this idea. It is also a great craft from preschoolers to adulthood.

Here are some of the paintings we made at our tea party today after school!

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St Therese Greeting and Prayer Cards

I found wonderful website this week that I just have to share its called Shining Light Dolls. This wonderful website offers lots of free cute and colourful Catholic Saint and Mary printable. These images will come in handy throughout the year – with all saints day coming up, birthdays, feasts. My head is just whirling with ideas to use these cute images with.

In past years 0ne craft that the kids and I have enjoyed making on the feast of St Therese is greeting cards which we mail out to grandparents, great grandparents, godparents and some aunts. After finding this lovely image of St Therese I know we will have to send this beautiful image out without greeting cards to family members with a special love of St Therese. We will print the image, print out beautiful quotes by St Therese and then glue them on coloured paper and personalize the cards.

One of my favourite quotes is: Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.  Story of a Soul, Chapter VIII

If you looking for a cute or special gift for a baptism or birthday Shining Light Dolls have adorable little dolls, charms and prayers cards too!

Saint Therese of LisieuxLovely St Therese Paper Doll

Another craft ideas is this adorable free St Therese paper doll. Paper Dali offers this free, cute printable, she even has a page of accessories with roses, a cross and the holy face of Jesus. I would recommend printing this on card stock if possible if not, I would colour the doll, then glue it to construction paper, let it dry and then cut out the doll so that it is stronger and lasts longer for your little girl!

 

 

 

 

sacrifice-beads-coloursSt Therese Good Deed/Sacrifice Beads

A fun and wonderful activity to make for the feast of St. Therese, advent, lent, preparing for 1st Holy Communion, as a baptism gift or a catechism group activity is the St. Therese Good Deed/Sacrifice Beads. You can find instructions on how to Make the Good Deed/Sacrifice Beads here. What better way to teach the children how to offer up little acts of love throughout the day then by following little St. Therese own example as she did as a child. st-therese-and-lisieux-page-sm To the right is a picture of the beads used by St Therese when she was little. She used her beads faithfully each day as she prepared for her holy communion. What I love about St. Therese is that she offered Jesus the good too – ie she would eat her dinner and she would tell Jesus that the dessert was for him, she offered up her joy, not only her suffering. I think that this is an important step towards making your entire day and act of prayer and love as she strived to do daily.

Here is a link to an older post when we made a beautiful 3D Rose craft to celebrate the feast of St Therese.

If you have other craft ideas please share them in the comments below!

Whatever you do today, wherever you go, may you spread love and joy!

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Amazing Saint Craft & Gift!

Every now and then you fall in love with something that is just so amazing that you have to share it! Well a few weeks ago Catholic Icing came out with this beautiful A-Z full color Saint Set - it is just gorgeous! I fell in love and purchased the set right away it was on sale for $6 at the time but is still only $8. I had it printed in glossy card stock paper so that we didn’t have to wait for 26 toilet roll holders. Let me tell you they printed beautifully. They are so beautiful we couldn’t keep them to ourselves  so we printed them and have given them as a little surprise gift to our godchildren as well as some close friends. Everyone whom has received them has glowed as they received them!

saint-therese-printable-craft

There is so many ways you can use these too:

  • cut them and use them as decorations to reinforce feast days or letters of the alphabet
  • paper dolls
  • great craft for a catechism class or classroom
  • Makes a great gift!
  • link together as a banner in a room
  • cut and tape side by side to use as wall paper
  • cut the saints out and glue them on to cards for name days, baptisms, birthdays

I am sure people have even better ideas then I do – so if you do please share them on the comments below!

saints

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Happy Feast of the Archangels!

A couple weeks ago I was apart of a little discussion on Facebook. Another women had asked ‘how do you celebrate the feast of St. Michael”, to which I replied a craft, prayers and a tea party. I laughed as I posted it and it turned out my post caused much laughter as people thought about brave St. Michael being celebrated in such a way. But I was not alone in celebrating the feast with tea and angel food cake. My kids love celebrating feast days – we are blessed with a faith that has so many wonderful saints and traditions to celebrate. You could celebrate everyday is you wanted to really with the list of saints. We are just so blessed.

May your family have a blessed and joy filled feast of the Archangels!

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St. Michael the Archangel means ‘Who is like God’ - whom is referred to as the ‘prince’ of the heavenly hosts and whom can be seen in the book of Revelations. (Jude 1:9)  Free St. Michael the Archangel Colouring Page by Matilda

Angel Gabriel -means ‘Strength of God’ -who is best  known for the Annunciation to Mary, that she would be the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38) – Nice St. Gabriel Colouring Page by Matilda

Angel Raphael – means ‘Medicine of God’ -whom we see in the book of Tobas Free St. Raphael Colouring Page by Matilda

angels

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Free St. Valentines Printable Cards and Crafts!

Valentines Day seems to have started early in our house hold – my kids are busy making beautiful personalized Valentine’s Day cards for family and friends. We printed a nice little message, got some big foam hearts, small foam hearts and stickers from the dollar store and with their imagination they have created endless beautiful cards they can’t wait to give with love on the feast of St. Valentines! They have spend hours already and still have many hours to go to create a special message of love for everyone on their list! Who can blame their wonderful excitement – their joy if just contagious – the count down is one to celebrate this feast of love!

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Easy Valentines Day Heart Crown!

If you have a special princess of prince in your life you might consider making a special heart crown for them – just cut out hearts about 3 – 4″ high all the same size and glue them in a circle to fit their heads and you have a beautiful crown of hearts!

About St. Valentine - from Happy Saints

‘Love One Another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ John 13:34

St. Valentine was a holy priest who lived during a time when Christians were not welcomed in the Roman Empire. He helped many who were imprisoned or were hiding from Roman soldiers. In the end, St. Valentine himself was captured and killed for his faith. He died on February 14, which became known as St. Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine’s Day became a lovers’ holiday because it was said that St. Valentine was killed for marrying Christian couples. Another tale had him writing letters of encouragement to the jailer’s daughter when he was in prison. What is important is that St. Valentine loved as Jesus loves. Jesus loves us so much He sacrificed His Life to save us. Likewise, St. Valentine risked and lost his life while helping others through selfless love. Let us love each other as Jesus loves us!

st valentine
Click here to download the above free St. Valentines Day Card  PDF (Can be used free for personal and non-commercial use only!)

If you like this free resource and want some more than visit the Happy Saints project where you can download a couple more free printable or you can purchase printable ebooks from Happy Saints to learn more about Happy Saints visit my precious post on them.

Free St. Valentines Day Scripture Count Down

I used this lovely craft with my own family last year and this year as part of a Catechism lesson for 3 & 4 year olds. We talked about how God has written us Love Letters and after the lesson they each completed this craft to have their own love letters from God to read each day with their families as they count down to the feast of St. Valentine! They loved making this craft -(with lots of help;)) We just glued the first scripture verse to teh top heart by folding it in half and then continued the chain down to save on using the pipe cleaners.  You can download this wonderful free resource from Catholic Icing

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Sweet Printable Count Down Scripture Cards for Valentines Day from A Happy Home Fairy

As an alternative to doing a chain you might prefer making these sweet reusable countdown cards which could also be doubled up as valentines cards – by writing a personal message on the back!

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Sweet brown paper sewn heart valentine from I can Teach My Child

If you have access to a sewing machine, brown paper and some treats this might be the right valentines craft for you. I would add a sweet little message to the front – like Love is patient, Love is Kind, Happy, Happy St. Valentines!

sewn heart valentine

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