Monday, May 11, 2015

Our Super Sleepover

It is that time of year when things are getting busy, busy, busy!!  Also time for our Little Flowers group to get together for our annual sleepover in the church hall.  The weather was perfect and we had lots of exhausting fun!!

As always, we started off with a pizza dinner and then go into the church for a short prayer.  The girls are so excited to get started with the festivities, but I remind them that we need to give thanks to God before everything else. 

This year, we had a talent show to help the girls with their confidence which was this month's virtue.  It was fantastic.  We even had some moms get up and show off their talents.  It was truly a hit.  It was really neat to see the girls get up and show a part of themselves that perhaps we had never seen before.  We had instruments played, a dancer, a jump roper, a poem reciter and book readers, an balloon animal maker, a singer and even a girl show off the earrings that she makes.  We have decided that it was such a hit that we will continue to do this each year.  You could just see the smiles from the girls when they finished their talent.  What a wonderful confidence booster.  During the evening, we also heard the girls complimenting each other.  It was fantastic.

The weather was so nice that we spent the rest of the evening playing outdoors.  Since usually our meetings are so structured, and the girls don't get a lot of time to just play, that's we let them do.  We have a beautiful grassy area for them to just run around.  I also bought bubbles and glow sticks.  It doesn't take much to keep them happy for hours.

Once it was quite dark,and we could tell that some of the girls were getting tuckered out, we came in for our sundae bar.  Certainly a delicious treat to help cool down after all the running around.  Lots of toppings to choose from!!

Once that was all cleaned up, we had the girls get ready for bed.  I read them a story and then let them giggle and talk for quite a bit longer.  Finally around 11:30 or so, we told them it was time to quiet down and go to sleep.  I think by midnight they were actually all sleeping.  We also told them that they could get up early but needed to stay quiet and in bed until 7:00 am.  It worked!!

Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast at 8 am.  Everyone just brings something and we have a feast.  Then we go over to the church and pray the Rosary together and end our sleepover with a craft.

This year, I thought the craft went well with the virtue, Confidence.  I found it over at Brave Girls Club. I had the girls pick their faces ahead of time and then had the pictures printed out over at Staples.  The girls got to pick all the different colors and trinkets that they wanted.  I asked the moms to help them with this project and it was wonderful to see the mothers and daughters working together.  This project took a couple of hours and that was speeding up the drying time with hair dryers.  We would not have been able to do it during a regular meeting.  I somehow missed one the portraits but I love how each one is unique just like our girls.

It was a great way to end our time together.  Everyone helped put the hall together and then it was time to go home and probably get some rest.

Confidence - Wreath IV

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this month's meeting so there aren't a lot of notes.  

1. We talked about confidence - what it means, how the girls express it, how they can build it up, how you 
can differentiate between pride and confidence.  
2. I segued to talking about the saint - Clelia Barbieri and how she expressed confidence. If you need a brief
backstory about the saint ---- In the mid 1800's, Clelia was born near Bologna, Italy (we didn't mention the 
country too much as it was covered at the last meeting for St. Gianna). Her mother came from a rich and
prominent family and her dad was dirt poor - a servant. They fell in love and her mom gave up everything to
be w/him. Life was hard for them, and got harder when Clelia's dad died of cholera when she was 8. She and
 her family moved to a better home offered by her uncle. To  help the family, Clelia took to sewing, knitting,
making wool, etc. To make the time go quicker as she did all these things, she focused on God and her faith
and knowledge became so vast that she started teaching others. Her pastor asked her to be a catechist at
the young age of 14. She turned her attentions to the poor and joined a group with that particular
apostolate. At the age of 20/21, she founded a religious order - Sisters Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows. She
became the youngest person ever to found an order - even until this day. Two years after this, she died of
tuberculosis. Shortly before her death, she made a prophecy that she would always be with the religious
sisters and their order would grow, and that came true. She also had the gift of discerning souls. I told one
story of when someone came to visit the sisters, she brought apples. St. Clelia separated the apples, keeping
the ones she knew were gotten honestly and refusing the others because she knew the visitor had stolen
them. She also healed people. On the first anniversary of her death, the sisters were singing and heard a
voice they recognized as St. Clelia's. The voice sang with them. When the sisters moved to the church, the
voice followed and would say prayers with them. To this day, people have reported hearing St. Clelia in any
house or church she visited.
3. I talked at length about Our Lady of Sorrows - why St. Clelia liked that name so much and what the title
means. We listed the 7 sorrows and Gianna passed out a prayer for the families to pray in relation to this. 
4. For the craft, as St. Clelia worked w/textile arts, the girls made cards
using yarn, glue, buttons and jewels. Very simple. 

"A Gift from God" Baby Shower

During the month of May to honor Mary, we have our annual baby shower to benefit our local pregnancy center.  We set up a pack-n-play at the back of church and throughout the month of May, we ask parishioners to bring in baby stuff to donate.  By the end of May, the crib will be overflowing and we will deliver all the gifts to the pregnancy center.

This is such an easy project for Little Flowers to do and it's a good way to talk to the girls about what it means to be Pro-Life.