Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

VBS – Vacation Bible School

Last week we had our own VBS right here at home. While I know it’s typically enjoyed as a day camp type of experience, we couldn’t afford our church’s VBS this year. So we opted for Holy Heroes online version. It’s called Summer Faith Adventure and you can click on the title to find out more about it. I believe they’re offering it for another week or two. These aren’t affiliate links, I just enjoyed what the kids and I did last week, so I thought I’d share. Also, I love to be able to support small, family-owned, Christian businesses whenever I can.

Anyway… This program consisted of a daily email for the five days. In each email was a link to the day’s activities; which included video lessons, crafts, games, and snacks. There were also audio links to daily songs, a decade of the Rosary, and the Angelus. Also within the link was a pdf file of the suggested order of the day, questions for the Biblical instruction, song lyrics, recipes, and instructions for the games and crafts. For older kids, there was a section with a list of Bible passages for them to read and determine the main theme.

The message for the week centered around the Kingdom of David; both the original one and the new one established by Jesus. We discussed the the Old Testament stories of Jesse, Samuel’s anointing of David, and more. Then the children learned what Jesus did and how it mirrored or was related to the Old Testament. Throughout the course of the week, the children were introduced to the sacraments and taught how Jesus instituted them for us. They were able to see how each one came directly from the Bible.

On Monday, we discussed the “Keys of the Kingdom” and the “Master of the palace.” The children learned about the role of the master of the palace in Old Testament times and how Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, making him the master of the palace here on earth. Our craft of the day was to make a Papal Miter, similar to the one described in the book of Exodus.

Ya never know – could be a future Pope…

Our snack that day was to take sugar cookie dough and make crowns and keys. Well, these aren’t popular cookie cutter shapes, so we did get some interesting cookies (though I forgot to to a picture of how they turned out).

On Tuesday, they made stained glass windows. One of the things they learned was that originally, stained glass windows were used to help those who couldn’t read to better understand the Bible. These windows told stories.

See the cross?

This is supposed to be a dove, but she said it looked more like a duck when she was done!

Another craft we did was a prayer book. The pdf file had a couple of pages of prayers typed out for us. All we had to do was cut them out. The kids made small booklets out of colored paper, and stapled the spines. Then they took their prayers and glued one to each page. Diva even used some fancy scissors to make hers more decorative (she is her mother’s daughter!). Then they had the option of illustrating each page. Both of them did a cover page for their book. Now they have a small-sized prayer book to help them learn and remember some prayers they may not have known before. It’s a convenient size to take anywhere!

Obviously I didn’t include everything that they did this week – this post would be way too long! But if you like what you see, hop on over to the Summer Faith Adventure and sign up for one of the remaining weeks! Did I mention that the online version is offered at no charge?

How was your Vacation Bible School this year?

* This post is being linked to Women Living Well WednesdaysBuilding Our Homes Together with Jesus, Women in the Word Wednsedays, and Thankful Thursdays.  Please click on over and see what other ladies are doing in their homes!

Thrive90 – Half Way Point

I have officially completed six of the twelve weeks of Thrive90! This means I have two more weeks of Phase Two and then four weeks of Phase Three.

Phase Two has definitely been more challenging than Phase One, but that’s a good thing. I am doing more; challenging myself. My muscles may not like it at first, but I know it’s working.

For example, in one of the new videos I had to do two sets of walking lunges. Now I had never done these before, and I had to do two sets of 20 each. The first part was ok, but it really burned toward the end of each set. The next day, I felt like my muscles were on fire! Fast forward to this week when I had to do the same thing again. They were still difficult to do toward the end, but the next day there were fewer fires to put out! Progress.

The other new thing in Phase Two is Power Yoga. Now I was a bit leary of yoga given its association with Hinduism and Buddhism. And being Catholic, I was not interested in the spiritual aspect of this form of exercise. But I remembered that either Dustin or Tony (co-creators of Thrive90 and FitMarriage) had emphasized that  they were making use of the fitness aspect of these moves only as they were Christians themselves. So I put my “pre-conceived” notions aside and gave it a try. It turned out to be a great workout! I got my heart rate up a bit, broke a sweat, and worked my whole body. Even the next day, though my muscles were still a little sore, I felt more rested than I had in a while. This has turned into one of my favorite videos to do.

** Links to  Thrive90 and FitMarriage are affiliate links.

Media and Me

Today Courtney over at Women Living Well is beginning a series called Media Mondays. The topic this week is Media and Our Walk With God.

I will admit that there are times that I have rationalized to myself that I am walking with God while I am on the internet. How, you may ask? Well, I subscribe to faith-filled blogs; I read articles on social justice issues and their Biblical implications; and I blog about my faith (sometimes). However, as Courtney points out, there are always chimes that call my attention away from what I’m doing, or should be doing. Those chimes do come in the form of sounds, but they also (at least for me) come in the form of colors and pictures and more articles. Sometimes I can find myself following rabbit trails for hours if I allow myself.

But that’s not the only reason that my time on the internet is not really time with God. Many times, what I am reading is someone else’s opinion, explanation, or theory. Yes, many of these people are more qualified than I am to interpret certain passages; however, they are not an adequate substitute for actually reading the Bible myself. The internet is not a substitute for quiet-time or prayer-time.

I also have to think about the behavior I’m modeling for my children. If I am on the computer all day, what am I teaching them? Let’s see, I could be teaching them that:

  • the computer is more important than they are;
  • the computer is more important the God and prayer-time;
  • the computer is more interesting;
  • this is how a wife and mother is supposed to behave;
  • they are an inconvenience or a burden when they ask me to do something.

I’m sure there’s more, but I think that’s bad enough. I’ll admit that I’ve passed more than one of those messages to my children at one point or another.

While my walk with God is important for me, I also have to realize that it’s important to my family. I need to model the behavior that I want to see from them. In order for me to raise children who love God and love to serve Him, I need to demonstrate that in my own life.

So there are many things – and inherently none of them are bad. The problem lies when I let the things I do compete with and surpass the needs of my family; and more importantly, my Walk with God.

I cannot seem to get the button to work! So this post is being linked to Media Mondays. Please hop over and check out what the other ladies have to say about Media and their Walk with God.

This post is also linked to Prairie Flower Farm’s Building Our Homes Together with Jesus. Hop on over to Linda’s place and find out we’re all doing!

Come Home

I may be one of the few Catholics out there who has only heard Father John Corapi speak, via EWTN, once (didn’t have cable/satellite access for a few years). For that I am now sorry. I have been paying attention to all the drama surrounding his situation and am deeply saddened. I am not interested in debating guilt or innocence; the system: whether it’s broken or not; there are plenty of bloggers (most of them more educated than I) doing that.

However, I came across this video today and it really tugged at my heart-strings. These men speak from their hearts. They speak of the Divine and of human needs & emotions. It is a true outpouring of love; and that’s why I re-post it.

Father Corapi, I don’t know you and you don’t me. I haven’t heard you speak, but once. But I know Jesus Christ, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and the importance of the priesthood. I know that Jesus needs you to be His Hands and Feet here on earth. We need your prayers. We need you to hear our confessions; and we need you to Consecrate the Eucharist. We need you to continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once a priest, always a priest.

Thrive90 – Week Two Update

Wow! Thanks for all the visits yesterday – it was the most visits I’ve had since starting this blog! A special thanks goes out to Dustin, one of the co-creators of Thrive90, who gave me a shout-out on both Facebook and Twitter! Dustin has his own website called Engaged Marriage, in addition to Fit Marriage, where he talks all things marriage from a Catholic Christian standpoint. There are some great practical things there, so go take a look.

I am now halfway through Week Two and I’m doing well. My hamstrings are not as sore as they used to be, and I did the HIIT Squat Walks again today. I am making it through all eight walks, but it’s still difficult. Right now I am proud that I can make it through the whole thing. Yesterday, when I completed the Core Blast for the second time, I found that I had improved in some areas, but stayed the same on others. That’s OK. At least there were some noticeable improvements. I could hold the Static Pike a couple of seconds longer. I made it through the whole 30 seconds of jumping jacks. I know that sounds easy, but it wasn’t for me last week. Still can’t hold that boat pose though – something to keep working on!

My nutrition is making improvements as well. I am finding that I can get through periods of slight hunger without running to a handful of chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, I have also found that I can just eat 3-4 kisses instead of 10-15. Progress, not perfection is an important motto for me to have right now. I made another chicken salad last night and added some red to my green in the form of tomatoes and red peppers.

Nighttime is still my most difficult period. I can get most of my computer stuff done only after the kids (and hubby) go to bed; and that’s the time I feel the most tempted to splurge. So, when I decide I’m going to allow myself a little chocolate, instead of bringing out a whole bag or box, I only take out the amount I’m going to allow. That way, I don’t absent-mindedly take another bite or handful. I have found that once I’ve settled in for some computer time, I don’t want to get up. If the food is in the other room, then it’s not as likely that I will go get it. It seems to be working.

And so, I keep plugging away – one day at a time. I would love to hear from any of you who have done, or are doing, the Thrive90 program – thanks for stopping by!

* Disclaimer – as previously stated, the links to Thrive90 and Fit Marriage are affiliate links, in an attempt to help with household expenses. The links to other websites are just links. I have not been paid or compensated to write these posts. I purchased the program and the opinions are solely mine.

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