Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Merry Christmas, Pope Francis!

While it might seem a little early to be wishing Pope Francis a Merry Christmas,if you are going to do it by mail, you have to start early.

All the Little Flowers looked their best and wore their aprons so that we could send a picture in the card.  It's so hard to get them all settled and looking in one direction, but when I promised they could make some silly faces after a good one, they did it!

I ordered a beautiful card from Treat .  It's was a pretty card and I added their nice pose on the front in sepia.  Then on the inside, I added one of their silly poses.  Pope Francis just seems so down to earth, I figured if he saw the card, he would get a chuckle.  I added that we loved him and were praying for him.  I'm just waiting for it to be delivered to me and I'll be sending it off.  Treat doesn't deliver overseas, but it should be in the mail by the end of the week.  Below are the mailing addresses that I found for the Pope.

His Holiness, Pope Francis PP.
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano 


His Holiness Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace


His Holiness Pope Francis
Vatican City State, 00120

I have heard that Pope Benedict used to answer some of the Christmas cards.  Wouldn't it be awesome to get a response?  No matter what, the girls were so excited to think that they were sending their Pope a card. 

Now back to Thanksgiving!! 

UPDATE:   The card was mailed off to the Vatican and postage was $1.10 for a regular Christmas card envelope.   It was mailed from Pennsylvania.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Stocking for Jesus

With Christmas music already playing in stores, I thought it would be good to get the girls to focus on preparing for Jesus instead of making their lists for Santa.  There is a sweet little book called, "A Stocking for Jesus".  Here's what the book looks like because I can't even remember where I got it from.

In the story, the little girl is helping her family decorate for Christmas.  She notices stockings for everyone in the family, including the cat, but no stocking for Jesus.  Her and her mom go out and buy a beautiful stocking for Jesus.  Then throughout Advent, they write out what gifts they give to Jesus.  They visit someone in the nursing home, pray for the sick and donate their old clothes.  Then they wrap up all their papers in little boxes and put them in Jesus' stocking.

After the story, I encouraged the girls and moms to think about what they can do for Jesus for his birthday.  We went around the room with the girls calling out ideas.  Afterwards it was time to make our own stockings for Jesus which the girls will fill with their gifts to Jesus.

A few weeks ago, Joann Fabrics had a sale on their felt.  I bought some white and using my pinking shears, cut out stockings.  I used red thread and just did a quick stitch to sew them.  At the top, I added a little ribbon loop so that the girls could hang them up.  

I kept the supplies simple as it could get expensive to go to fancy.  The buttons came from a fabric outlet.  I attempted to dye them but Pinterest failed me.  I wound up spray painting them red.  I printed out "Jesus" onto the fabric ahead of time and sewed them onto the hearts for each girl.  The girls got to pick their buttons and ribbons.  It's so neat how each one of them was unique.

Here are some pictures of a few of them.


We continued our discussion on friendliness this evening.  It is nice to have a second meeting each month to sometimes continue discussions.   I know there are several girls in our group that really struggle with being shy.  My daughter is one of them.  I really wanted to give the girls some good tips that they could use to help them be friendly.

- First I let them know that it might not be comfortable but to try it anyways!!  Like any virtue, it takes practice to become friendly.  I shared that I struggled when I was growing up with being shy and that I still struggle.  It's not always easy for me to talk start conversations with people, but I know that I have to work on it.

- Next, start with a simple hello.  It doesn't have to be a long, drawn out conversation.  They can simply say hello, but make sure to say it with a smile and eye contact.  I had a couple of girls try this out and it was really tough.  Making eye contact when you are shy takes a lot of practice.

- Be focused on the person.  Don't be on a phone or playing a video game.  Show the person that you are interested in what they have to say.

- Never forget to pray about it.  Ask Jesus for help.  I shared that when we first moved to this town, I asked God to help me make some Catholic friends.  The next thing I knew, I was being led to start a moms' group at church which also led to starting Little Flowers.  God answered my prayer.  Of course I pointed out that He didn't just drop the friends in my lap.  I had to leave my comfort zone, but He truly blessed me.   I have some very wonderful friends now.

They were all given a homework assignment to work on this week.  Go up to at least one person that they don't usually talk to and say hello. Perfect way to get started on being friendly

I gave the girls time at the end of the meeting to practice .  They were encouraged to pick a friend that they might not know very well, and visit with them.  They spread out around the room and sat face to face.  It was great to see.  Even my very shy daughter came home all excited.  She shared that she had made a new friend!!  We are off to a good start.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Friendliness - Wreath III

If there is one thing that I really learned from this last meeting is that the girls love to play games.  They LOVED the games this month.

There is a lot of helpful information in the leader’s manual to help with planning.   Jessica started the lesson by explaining the virtue of friendliness.  She made sure to point out that there is a difference between friendship and friendliness.  Friendliness is about being warm and kind to all, not just our friends.

The saints of the month are Ruth and Naomi.  Jessica read us their story.   Since we have talked about Ruth and Naomi before, the older girls knew the story.  It's wonderful that these stories and saints are being reinforced time and time again.

After talking about the saints, the girls gathered to hear the story, "The Selfish Giant", by Oscar Wilde.  I think this was a new book for all of us which was surprising since this isn't a new book.    This was one of the activities the girls could do to help earn their badge for the month.  YAY!!  

We did one more activity before the games.  Jessica had the girls do a heart activity.  The girls were given construction paper and then draw a large heart.   After that, they wrote down all the friends that came to mind.   Each name was given a certain amount of points depending on the relationship.  The point of the exercise was to have the girls look at all the different people in their lives who are their friends (other Little Flowers, classmates, siblings, parents, grandparents, ourselves, cousins, our Guardian Angel, Jesus).   Let me tell you, it was sort of funny because they were getting a little confused and focused too much on adding up the points which of course was not the point of the exercise.  I did see quite a few light bulbs going off as a new group of people were called out.

Then it was game time!!  These games were found at

The Human Knot

Best played in groups of six to 10, this game involves the cooperation of the entire group. All the members of the game stand in a circle and grab the hand of someone in the circle, but it cannot be the person to their right or left. Once everyone has grabbed hands, they must untangle themselves without letting go of their companion's hands. The participants must communicate and plan how they are going to break the knot. Some of the players may end facing outward, which is okay, as long as no one lets go.

I'm Your Friend

This game encourages children to learn to recognize their friend's voices. One child is chosen to be "it." The child who is "it" sits in front of the rest of the children, her eyes closed. One of the children in the group quietly walks up behind the chosen child and says, "I'm your friend," and then returns to his original seat. The child who is "it" must then guess who it was. It's important that the children who are not "it" do not trade places and that they speak in their normal voices, to assure a fair game.

The girls were so disappointed when the meeting came to a close.  I had to promise that we would have time in the coming meetings to keep playing.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Feast of All Souls

I made myself a rosary today, in memory of my very best friend, Kacy.  It has been over 10 years since she passed away, but she is still in my thoughts all the time.  She loved turtles so when I saw these beads, I knew they would be perfect. 

So on this day, the Feast of All Souls, I pray for Kacy and all the precious souls who have gone before me. 

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, 
and let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, 
rest in peace.