Showing posts from 2015

Season of Advent

As some of you may know, Advent is not quite Christmas, even though you wouldn't guess it by the decorations at the mall and the songs on the radio! We are still preparing for Jesus' arrival on Christmas as a newborn child, born to give hope to mankind.
At Mass we have been singing "Oh come, oh come Emmanuel" and other beautiful Advent hymns. Here are some excerpts from our Mass the past two Sundays, the first and second Sundays of Advent. Our singers range in age from 12-17.

1st Sunday of Advent - Veni, Veni Emanuel:

 2nd Sunday of Advent - Jesu Dulcis Memoria, Sanctus from the Missa de Angelis, and Rorate Caeli:

PS - Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe! I meant to go to the morning greeting to Our Lady, las Mananitas... but sadly I forgot to set my alarm! I will try again for next year. I really would like the girls to have it as a tradition. Maybe when everyone is a little older. :p

DIY Children's Mass Books: Part 4

Well, that was a lovely hiatus on Mass books, wasn't it! I am not sure anyone is using these though, and I haven't gotten any complaints so I am not going to worry about it!

The latest section is the Dominus Vobiscum, Collect and Epistle. As before, save to your desktop and then drag and drop into pages or word to print out.

The translations that they will need to write in by hand are as follows:

Dominus Vobiscum mean The Lord be with you
Et cum spiritu tuo means And with your spirit
Oremus means Let us pray

So all they have to do is fill in the boxes with the translation, color the bubble words, and jazz up the page. They can also color the light bulb. I'll be working on the Gradual, Alleluia and Gospel next!

Homeschooling is Hard

I have been teaching my kids at home for over 4 years now, and there is just one thing I have to say about the whole situation. Homeschooling is hard. Well ok, maybe that's just the first thing I wanted to say. Actually, I have a lot more to say about it. The fact is, I have learned a lot in this little adventure.

Here are a few things I have learned in our personal homeschool journey.

1. Socialization is a non-issue. When I started this journey I was rather unsure if it was the right thing to do. Mainly because (everyone say it together now!) "What about socialization???"  HAHAHA! Little did I realize back then how much of a non-issue socializing a homeschooler actually is in this day and age. I didn't know that I was going to have to STOP attending social events and play dates and all kinds of outings just so I could do what I first intended - schooling at home. Because to homeschool, you do have to actually be at home. Go fig.

And on the topic of socializing homesc…

Via Brasil Las Vegas

My fam and I were invited this past weekend to try out Via Brasil's weekend brunch. Being that I am a brunch-a-holic, I had to accept immediately. And I am so very glad that I did!

Any time we go out with our four kids there is a little bit of trepidation about how they will (not) behave. This is especially heightened when we go anywhere fancier than McDonald's. Via Brasil most definitely falls into the category of "Uh oh..." So my husband expressed his concern and I reassured him by reminding him that we AND our children had been invited. So, off we went.

Right off the bat we were welcomed by a kind hostess who gave our kids each their own coloring book  - to take home! I cannot tell you how much that impressed me. If I cannot bring my kids out to eat, then I am not going to frequent that establishment except for on date nights. And those don't happen very often, so restaurants are missing out on our $$$, because we LOVE to eat out!

I can now tell you that with…

Extraordinary Form Las Vegas - Ave Verum Corpus Mozart

An open letter to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Dear Herr Mozart,

I am your biggest fan. I love your music. I have often obsessed about the beauty of your compositions and have spent hours upon hours listening to your "voice". And if you weren't already in the afterlife I might be tempted to travel to Austria and follow you around until you give me a personal autograph and agree to snap a selfie with me that I can post to Instagram. That's not creepy at all, right?

This weekend our Schola Cantorum at St. Bridget's here in Las Vegas sang your Ave Verum Corpus for the first time. We have some limitations - all our singers, ranging from age 11 to 17, are sopranos and altos. That means we are missing half of the music you composed (tenor and bass parts). We are really sorry about that. And no offense, Maestro, but we also do not have a pianist or organist to accompany us, so we sing everything acapella, including things that should be sung with accompaniment.

Yet, desp…

DIY Children's Mass Books: Part 3

For the next part of our Mass books, let's get into the Kyrie and the Gloria. Going forward I am planning on posting a new Mass part once a week. This time around it took me a while to post again because of having some other commitments this past week.

If you're just popping in, make sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up to where we are.

The Kyrie in the Extraordinary Form is said 3 times rather than twice as in the Ordinary Form.

The recitation of the Kyrie is also known as the Penitential Rite and is an opportunity to ask the Lord for forgiveness. Here, our venial sins are cleansed from us in order to receive Holy Communion worthily.

For our Mass books, the Kyrie can be very simple because, well, it is simple!

This worksheet shows the call and response of the Kyrie. Your child can color the Cantor's part one color and their a different color, or they can color each of the three sets the same... whatever makes sense to them!

By the way, this prayer is not in Latin…

DIY Children's Mass Booklet: Part 2

Are we ready to start this thing?? I hope I have allowed enough time for you to buy your binders and sheet protectors and to finish your cover page. And if you haven't done it yet, giddyup!

So once you have your binders, gather up your markers, crayons, pencils and even scrapbooking supplies or religious stickers you might have. The more stuff the kids can use to decorate and bedazzle, the better! As we did last time, save the images and then drag-drop them into word or pages. You can print them from there.

Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
Catechesis: You may want to read the full exchange between the priest and servers at the foot of the Altar so they can get the full text of what is being said - if, that is, you think they can follow. This will be largely dependent on their ages and attention span. You could also do what I did - a general explanation about the prayers, with descriptions of what it will look like. I did the talking while they worked on their Page 1 activity.


DIY Children's Mass Booklet: Part 1

Some time ago when my family started attending the Novus Ordo in Latin, I had my girls work on making their own Mass book (aka missals) to help them follow along with the Latin prayers. I figured if they had made it, colored it and drew things about the Mass then they would be more engaged. I was right!  They loved working on their Mass books and it gave me a chance to give them a little mini lesson on each part of the Mass.

Since then, however, our Novus Ordo turned into an Extraordinary Form. Still Latin, but there are many silent prayers and it is a lot harder for them to pay attention. We bought them little children's missals but they seem totally disinterested in them. Since I am busy leading the Schola and my husband is busy baby wrangling, their disinterest may be a cause of their inability to find their place in the book without assistance.

Our 6 year old, Violet, is especially disinterested. She is all over the place. She doesn't even stand or kneel at the appropriat…

I am breaking up with you, Hallmark

There is something about old fashioned pen and paper that I just plain love. I love the feeling of laying out a fresh sheet of quality stationary and a good pen, ready to drink some hot tea as I splash some sentimental feelings across the page to a faraway friend. I imagine classical music playing in the background, and I most definitely include raindrops splattering against the window in this mental picture.

And then I remember that I live in Las Vegas, and raindrops only splash against the window pane during monsoon season, and actually its less of a delicate splash and more of a torrential, frightening flash flood-type rain that pounds against the windows.

My point is that I was looking through this website called Minted, and I was dreaming of beautiful stationary. And boy, did I find it. Like this adorable personalized note card.

And something I had not seen before  - this incredibly sweet children's stationary!

 Once I started going down the rabbit hole of awesomeness, I cou…

The Little Prince Birthday Party

This past week was my son PJ's first birthday. In the interest of the public good, I am posting the party details so that if some hapless parent comes along and needs easy ideas for a Little Prince theme, they will stumble upon this blog and be able to use the ideas.

I was that parent a couple weeks ago, and although I went on Pinterest and searched online I only found complex and fancy party ideas that were way out of my league in terms of both time and money.

Here is the bare minimum Little Prince party ideas you can do without too much effort. You'll need a color printer, card stock, blue butcher paper, and a budget of about $50 (less if you have some of these supplies on hand).

First, decorate an entry way or other staging area with a giant themed sign. Voila!

 I used blue wrapping paper because I couldn't find the right shade of butcher paper. The words are Grand Hotel font, and you just use Word or Pages to write out what you want it to say. Then either print on a col…

How to Shop at Costco - Part 2

Hello, my name is Andrea, and I am an official card-carrying member of Costco. There, I said it.

I tried to resist Costco, but I have failed. So here I am. I am ready to do this.

I say ready, but what I really mean is angry.

I prepare myself as best I can, with my most comfortable walking shoes, hair pulled back into a practical ponytail, and a grocery list. Although I do not have a picture of my face as I entered the dreaded Costco warehouse entrance, I can leave it to the better artists of the world to fully express my sentiments as I arrived.

Yup, that just about sums it up.

I only had to take PJ with me since Phillip had taken the girls to ballet, and fortunately he was in a great mood. But the downside was that I lost my grocery list five minutes in. Since it had only been five minutes, I hopefully went back and retraced my steps. But there was absolutely no sign of it.

So now I am just winging it. Even though growing up I used to go with my mom, I wasn't really pay…