Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prepping for the Epiphany

This year we decided to have an Epiphany party for the group instead of having a Christmas party during Advent.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to teach the girls what the Epiphany was and also keep the celebrating during Christmas, not Advent.

Today I got together with one of the other moms, and sewed all of our stars for the party.  Wow, 12 stars didn't sound like much, but perhaps when we added the 5 kids running around, it took us a little longer than we thought. 

Hopefully this will be a fun activity for them and we won't wind up with rice all over the social hall.  The girls have so much fun just throwing the prayer ball back and forth that we thought making "shooting" stars for them to throw around would be fun.

Got to finish some of the decorations and the little matchboxes for the Epiphany chalk.  We'll be all set for our big party on Monday!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Unselfishness - Complete Lesson Plan

What a perfect virtue for the season.  I think all the moms appreciated having a review of what it means to be unselfish or giving.  It can be easy for kids to get caught up with the "I wants" at Christmas time. 

Shannon lead the group this month and she provided me with all of her notes.  Wow, I wish I could be so organized when I lead meetings!!  I need to take some lessons from her.  Everything is included for the meeting. 

1.        Gather on blanket.  Have unselfish written on board.
a.        What does it mean?
                                                               i.      Thinking only about yourself, not caring or thinking about others
                                                              ii.      Stingy, not generous
                                                            iii.      Egotistical – thinking you’re the best
b.       What are some examples?
c.        What is the opposite of Unselfish?
d.       What are some examples of selfish

2.       Talk about St. Teresa of the Andes (#2)
a.       Map world, maps of Chile/Andes (Why do you think she was called St. Teresa of the Andes?)  Pass out Passport pages.
b.      She was born in Chile, South America
c.      She read St. Therese’s Autobiography, The Story of a Soul – she was so impressed and excited about it, she wanted to become a nun
d.      She used to write letters talking about her life following Christ
e.      She gave up everything to give her life to God – unselfish
f.      She overcame a self-centered personality to become a person who put others before herself

3.       Split up: moms take girls to play telephone (while other mom’s hide boxes).  Telephone sentences:
a.        “I am unselfish when I think of others first.”
b.        “Praying to God will help me be unselfish.”
c.        “St. Teresa of the Andes was born in Chile, South America.”

4.       Sorting find the boxes activity: selfish/unselfish statements cut into strips and each one put into small boxes.  Hide boxes for girls to find –like Easter egg hunt.  Once a team finds a box, they open it, read the statement, decide if it is selfish or unselfish, tape it to correct piece of construction paper (two pieces of construction paper on table labeled “Selfish” and “Unselfish”)  See attached statements.
a.        Find boxes and tape onto correct paper
b.       Work in partners (older girl with younger girl)
c.        Ask girls how they can practice being unselfish while playing this game (letting others find boxes and giving hints to other teams)

5.       Talk about Christmas – a time to be unselfish, keep Jesus first, not focus on just the presents

6.       Unlucky Jim Story (#6)  See attached story
a.        Have moms leave the room
b.       Read story to girls
c.        Have girls draw a picture about the story Unlucky Jim
d.       The girls will share story with mom using the picture they drew

7.       Write a letter to someone (#4) See attached instructions
a.        Have you ever gotten mail in your mailbox?  How does it feel? 
b.       Write a letter, draw a picture, tell someone about St. Teresa or Little Flowers or just that you are thinking about them
c.        Moms can help daughters organize thoughts

8.       On your way home (#5)
a.        Talk with your mom about some ways she has to be unselfish as a mom/grandma and some ways that you have to be unselfish as a kid.  Is being unselfish easy?

Showing Zeal to the World

I'm a little slow with updating this blog.  I had better get caught up before the New Year begins.

For our second meeting in November, we went to the assisted living community.  We are so blessed that one of our religious education teachers volunteers there.  She not only gets us put on the schedule to visit there, she arranges the crafts for us as well.

This month, we did two crafts with the residents.  The first one was a cute little jar with a picture of St. Mary Star of the Sea.  Charlene gave a little talk on why Mary was given such a name and then passed out the jars along with the rest of the supplies.  The girls got to fill the jars with beautiful shells and then mod podge pretty pictures of St. Mary the Cross.  Simple enough for them all to complete on their own.

The second craft was making a paper bag puppet of St. Mary MacKillop.  I shared a little about her with the residents and a refresher for the girls. 

It is so wonderful watching the girls and residents interact.  We had one of the little sisters just steal the show.  She is from Germany and has a sweet little accent.  She was going around to all the residents, absolutely not shy at all and showing great zeal.  She has all the residents smiling which was so great to see.

Unfortunately I have no pictures of their wonderful projects. Something seems to happen once we get home from our meetings.  The girls' projects go into their rooms only to reappear months later.  Perhaps one day  I'll be able to post some pics.