March 19th is a glorious day on the Catholic calendar ~ the Feast of St. Joseph, a most beloved saint, spouse of Our Blessed Mother, and most importantly, the foster-father of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
We've had much fun celebrating Good St. Joseph in little ways throughout the day. To begin with, we made donuts, a traditional feast food, for breakfast. They were oh-so-easy to make - no hot oil, no deep fryer - we just baked them in a special donut pan, which by the way, is currently on sale at The Baker's Catalogue. (Have I mentioned before how much I love this company?). This morning we made plain cake donuts; they were not too sweet, but soft and spongy and rather biscuit-like in taste - with just a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon for kick.
While the donuts were still warm from the oven, I made a simple icing from confectioner's sugar and milk. These would be nice with a maple or chocolate glaze, and quite festive at Easter with white chocolate and pastel sprinkles. Next time (probably Sunday after Mass) I will finish them with a light cinnamon-sugar dusting. Yum!
We shared some with Nana, too, when she came over to watch Crackerjack and Bookworm while I took Earlybird to speech. Normally I take all the kids with me, but CJ was sick overnight, so Mum popped over to babysit. Just before she arrived, I pulled the pan from the oven and pressed "grind" on the Cuisinart. The coffee was just right with the donuts!
(Btw, CJ, still feeling poorly, passed on the donuts, but was well enough by lunch to eat not one, but two pb&j sandwiches, lol!)
After noontime, the boys got to work on their crafts ...
Thanks to some terrific liturgical resources, we had plenty of fun easy crafts to choose from today. We decided to make St. Joseph's stained glass windows (Seton Art 1 for Young Catholics), do a coloring page (St. Joseph Virtual Altar) along with the words to "Dear St. Joseph" (a song from We Sing and Listen), and turn a shoebox into a rather humble St. Joseph altar (a variation on a theme discussed at 4Real).
As you can see our "classroom" windows were well-adorned by the end of the day. :)
CJ decorated his coloring page with carpentry stickers, in honor of St. Joseph's trade. Bookworm wrote out the words to "Dear St. Joseph" in his newly acquired cursive penmanship. EB's coloring page is on the lower left. He got overly busy with peeling the crayons, so his picture is only half-finished. The stained glass - to be perfectly honest - was mostly me. Cutting those tiny holes in the black paper (and first the template) proved a bit too fussy for the boys. CJ did the picture of St. Joseph in the middle, though.
At the bottom you see a few of the books we are reading this week. I am very upset with myself because I waited way too long to order The Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi, and I had so wanted to read it to the boys today. This lovely old book is this week's Catholic Mosaic selection, and a perfect read aloud for St. Joseph's Day (more on the legend here). I did place an order, and it should be here by the end of the week, so we will just have to content ourselves with a new and similarly lovely book about swallows ~ The Easter Swallows (pictured above). I picked this up at our local Catholic gift shop, after a quick read through told me it was a beautiful story for this special time of year - especially for Holy Week. Have you seen this book yet? I believe it is new this year. Pretty illustrations, and a sweet, meaningful story.
(And would you know, I found the dearest little swallow bird at Amazon ... yes, he found his way into my cart ... I can't wait to hear what he sounds like!)
Finally, we made up our St. Joseph's Altar, a very simple take on a beautiful tradition. We started with a shoebox, some stickers and a photocopied prayer from A Year with God. I covered the box in white construction paper and let the boys decorate it. The fruit stickers symbolize the foods that would adorn a traditional altar, the lily stickers represent one of the familiar symbols of St. Joseph. (Do you know the legend of the lilies?) Finally, we pasted the prayer on the front of the box, and I placed our Holy Family set at the top.
This is the song we used for copywork today:
"Dear St. Joseph, kind and true, I have lessons I must do.
They are for your Foster Son. Help me till the work is done.
You who taught our Lord a trade, Showed Him how a chair is made,
Do not fail to answer me, Dearest Saint, my helper-be."
A lovely prayer for my home-learning boys! :)
And speaking of lovely, stay tuned for The Loveliness of St. Joseph Altars, hosted by my friend Jenn this Thursday, March 22nd. In the meantime, I wish you a good week and a blessed good night!