Saturday, December 14, 2013

Catechism Can Be Fun!

Last night we went to the store to walk up and down the aisles so the boys could make their Christmas want lists. Their choices for what they put on their lists really reflected their personalities. With Jacob anything went didn't matter how big or how small, from a laptop to toys from the dollar bin; mainly action figures or additions to sets he already has. He's putting a lot of faith into Santa can bring him just about anything his heart desires. Joey who is also still a believe in the jolly old guy, chose things that just so happened to have sale tags, even though some of the sale prices we well over $100. He chose a lot of games and things to use for make believe games. Jordan who has things figured out was also considerate of mom's wallet and looked for some of the less pricey things. He has a bunch of computer and video games on his wish list along with to my surprise workout equipment.

Yesterday Joey also brought home a progress report (Jacob claims he did not receive his, although he usually has pretty decent grades anyways) and he is doing awesome this year. He has managed to pull up all his grades and is at honor roll standing as of now. Joey has not had a honor roll qualified report card/progress report since maybe first grade. To acknowledge how proud I was of just how well he has been doing and how hard he has been trying, I gave him a DVD that I had put away from Christmas that he has been wanting to see since this past summer.

What our poinsettia craft should
 look like when it finished.
Using pencils to help attach tissue
 paper to the Advent wreaths.
Today was another fun filled day around here. We started off a bit bumpy but quickly found our groove. Waking up late, then locating the van under several inches of snow and finally racing off to catechism for a family workshop. Being new to the parish I wasn't sure what the workshop was all about. We started off with a short service, then spilt off into groups for a round robin of crafts. Our first stop was practicing some Christmas carols. The boys sung very loudly which the choir director enjoyed, even though they were completely off key and displayed their lack of rhythm (they inherited from their mother). Then we were headed over to listen to a story a little girl and the first poinsettia, the story took up all of our allotted time and we were given a poinsettia craft we could complete at home. I love the idea they used by having the shape of our home state as the poinsettia pieces, upper peninsula for the green parts and lower peninsula for the red. We made an Advent wreath at our next stop. Even though we are starting the third week of Advent, this a project we will be able to set out next year. The boys almost had their whole wreath completed when it was time to go to our last. I think the last session was my favorite! We learned about the meaning of Posadas. A large part of the congregation is Hispanic which made this very interesting for us. Father explained what Posada was all about and those who knew Spanish and the Posada Song. Half the church sang part and the other half sang the response. Father also explained the religious significance of piñatas.  Then everyone gather in one of the hallways and all the children participated in the piñata game. Those who knew the song sang during the game, sung if for every child. Once the candy was spilled and gather by the excited children, it was time to head home.

Jacob getting ready to
take a whack at the piñata.
(and everyone else waiting
 nicely for their turn)

I am very proud of my boys, after gathering some of the candies, they gave it away to some of the younger children. The candy contained dyes (which we don't do) and they thought the younger ones would enjoy it. They were given some chocolate candies and some praise from the priest. I took a few minutes to ask the Father how I would go about locating a "baby Jesus" for our Rosca de Reyes. Knowing that someone in the congregation had to know, the people at Meijer looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them which aisle they would be in. The church actually had some and offer to give us a few when we attended church later in the evening.

After our family workshop, it was a quick lunch and to watch the new DVD again. After the movie the boys couldn't stay inside anymore knowing there was all that snow outside. After bundling everyone up and getting some friends to join them, they spent an hour outside. They would have stayed out much longer but it was time for evening mass.

I had hoped the fresh air would wear the boys down some so the would be settled for mass, not the case this time. After an hour of all 3 fidgeting and practicing sign language instead of paying attention, I was ready to go home. It just happened that they were serving soup tonight following mass, and Jordan told Deacon we would be glad to join them. I couldn't figure out how to tell Deacon "thanks, but no thanks", so we fellowshipped while we ate soup. I'm glad we did stay as we were able to meet some of our fellow parishioners.

The boys had hoped to play outside again once we were home, but seeing no other kids were out opted for another movie. It was a long and busy day, but we had so much fun. While I had planned to wait until after Christmas to work on our Christmas Around the  World, it worked out well that we were able to learn about Mexico from people who practice the traditions.

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