Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feast of the Archangels

The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are celebrated in the Church today and consequently the Cotter home. We decided to celebrate each Angel in a different way.

Because St. Michael is often depicted defeating the devil, as he does in the book of Revelation, we decided to make a devil's food cake for our St. Michael (painted by Bean) to defeat, hence him standing on top of the cake. He makes it look so easy, although conquering a cake probably isn't as difficult as conquering satan. 

I asked Bean why St. Michael was blue, and she said
"because he is a boy and blue is a boy color".
I've decided that the safe alternative to licking the beaters is eating the crumbs
from the bottom of the pan after the cake has been baked, the kids were okay with that one.

For Gabriel we pulled out the nativity puppet set and puppet theater made by my mom, who is quite a talented seamstress. Bean and Pal put on a lovely rendition of the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary at the Annunciation. For our family rosary tonight we meditated on the Annunciation.

Pal was Mary, his lines were "I'm Mary" and "Yes".
The theater fell on them as I was taking this picture.
Finally for Raphael we took a journey, like Raphael took a journey with Tobias, but we went to a park, not to the home of a relative where Pal found his spouse. For the full story read the book of Tobit.

Happy Feast day, 1 down 4 to go over the next 6 days, plus Pal's 2nd Birthday and the anniversary of my Dad's entrance into eternal life... big week!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We "Finished" the Basement!

The finished basement!
Over the past few months I began to notice that the kids toys, particularly large plastic toys like little people buildings, were taking over my living room, so I began to brainstorm my options.

1. I could get rid of the toys... but then I pictured my kids sitting on the couch in the middle of winter with sad faces and nothing to do.
2. I could commission my husband to finish the basement... but then I pictured my husband (not handy) spending his weekends staring at tools and not knowing what to do.
3. I could hire a professional to finish the basement... but then I pictured myself on the phone all day talking to contractors and then at home all day while they worked and my kids didn't nap.
4. I could "finish" the basement myself in my typical thrifty manor with at $250 budget in one weekend... but... well, nothing, it was the perfect solution.

So, here is what I did:

First I measured the wall space that I would be covering (we split the basement in half, the other half is for laundry and storage), then I bought flannel fabric from Joannes when it was 50% off for $78.53. I then cut the fabric, hemmed it and made a loop for a pole to go through.

Next, I went to Walmart with my measurements and bought skinny curtain poles and mug hooks ($42.18) to hang the fabric with. We (okay, Kevin did this one, isn't he handy?) screwed the hooks into the beams of the unfinished ceiling and hung the poles with the fabric on them.

Finally we found some new carpet and a pad on craigslist for $100.00, then cut it to fit the area we needed and volia! we had about 200 new square feet for the kids to play that didn't require my living room to pose as a plastic wear house for a grand total of $220.17... about $30 under budget!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Living liturgically (living with the cycles and celebrations of the Church) is one of my favorite things about being Catholic. I've found it teaches our kids three main things:
1. It teaches them about the faith and what we believe
2. It teaches them to love the faith, Jesus and his family
3. It teaches them the natural cycles of highs and lows in life

We try to highlight special feast days in our home with thematic activities, food and prayers. Today's feast is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the day in which we remember that the Holy Cross is the instrument of our salvation. To celebrate we made and decorated cross sugar cookies, prayed the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary and FINALLY hung up a crucifix in the kids room.

"For inasmuch as our first parents sinned beneath the shadow of a tree, God has deigned to accomplish our redemption on the wood of the Cross" In Conversation with God