Sunday, December 21, 2014

Living Our Faith in Our Home With Older Kids

I get plenty of questions about how to introduce our Catholic faith to preschoolers and little kids, but so far, none about how to help guide older children as, hopefully, their faith matures and becomes something that they take some initiative for themselves.

So maybe no one is thinking that far ahead? Or maybe everyone's got it sorted already? But for us, it's something we really try to be mindful about.


With kids past the age of reason (about seven), we focus on the sacraments, the lives of the saints, the rosary, and the Gospel.

We attend Sunday Mass with the kids, of course, and we also go to daily Mass once a week. We bring the kids to confession during Advent and Lent, and also every couple months the rest of the year. To help them prepare for their first confession, and to get ready for each subsequent confession after that, we use a book we're all quite partial to, as I wrote it. My kids seem to really benefit from having a little write-on checklist, to jog their memories as they do an examination of conscience, and to bring into the confessional with them, so they don't freeze up in there and forget what they wanted to say. The checklist part didn't make it into the final version of the book, but I had some printed up, based on an early draft, and we use those with our kids. There's a printable version here.


We keep books on the lives of the saints in our home. As part of the kids' homeschool curriculum, they do occasional saint reports. And we, as a family, celebrate the major feasts of the liturgical year, and our family name saints, and some other favorites. We have a special meal, and a dessert, and talk about the saint over dinner. But the older kids also are given the opportunity to do a saint report on their own, for any other saint day. Someone does a saint report, we all get dessert. It's quite motivational.

We have lots of great picture books and children's books of saints, but for older kids you can't go wrong with the classic Butler's Lives of the Saints. It's an investment, but it's a fascinating read for kids and adults alike.

For something slightly less overwhelming in size (but still pretty big) I've had my eye on this anthology: Saints: A Year in Faith and Art


My chapter book reading crowd also enjoys the novel-length saints lives found in the Vision Books Series.

We have just a regular old church wall calendar hanging up on the wall, but there are many saints' days that don't make it onto that. So for very dedicated saint researchers/dessert enjoyers, I also keep a detailed Catholic planner on hand, which has at least one saint for nearly every day of the year.


I've written on how we manage a family rosary before, but I've recently found a great new addition to our family rosary, which is especially helpful for older kids. For the little ones, it's enough to try to get them to sit still and speak up and not break their rosaries. For the older kids, we'd like them to try to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary while saying the prayers, but, as we grownups know, that's easier said than done. Having something to look at, and remind us all of what we're supposed to be thinking about as we recite our Our Fathers and Hail Marys, we have found to be a good way to stay focused.



Finally, we encourage our kids to read the Gospel in their afternoon quiet time. As part of our morning prayers before we begin our school day, we read a passage from our Children's Bible, which I think is a good one, but older kids who are independent readers are ready for something a bit more sophisticated. But perhaps not quite so sophisticated as a standard Bible, with its many annotations and verse numbers, which can be distracting. I'd never seen anything that really bridged that gap, until now.

We recently received this illustrated reading Bible version of the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, and it really is perfect for the eight to twelve year olds in this house.


And that's what we do.

And now . . . for my last Advent giveaway, how about we give away most of those things I just mentioned, to help you ring in 2015 with meaningful sacraments, organized liturgical living, and a fighting chance at making the rosary and the Bible accessible to your kids?

Here are the details on what you'll win . . .

1. A copy of my book: A Little Book about Confession for Children, which is an overview of everything kids and parents need to know before making their confession, in an accessible question and answer format, with sweet illustrations by my friend Maria. It includes detailed information about the whys and hows of confession, plus an examination of conscience just for kids. You'll also get a notepad of write-on checklists to go with the book.

2. Either a printed and bound copy, or a printable PDF download of this Catholic planner. Is 2015 the year you'd like to start living the liturgical year in your home? Or maybe just not miss so many doctor's appointments? Amanda from Planning On It has created an awesome 2015 Catholic Family Planner that can help.


Just some of its great features include . . .


* Contacts Pages
* All the liturgical dates for both Novus Ordo (Ordinary/New) and Latin (Extraordinary/Traditional) Catholics
* 12 Articles from Catholic bloggers and families on living out the liturgical year, getting to church with kids, and growing in our personal Catholic faith!


* 12 Monthly Planning Pages for sketching ideas on which feast days you’d like to celebrate, monthly goals, events and activities, anniversaries and birthdays, and seasonal notes.
* 12 Dated and Labeled 2-page Monthly Calendar Spreads {Jan 2015-Dec 2015}
* Vertical Lined Weekly Planner Pages {for Jan 2015 - Dec 2015}
* 2015 Year at a Glance Calendar Page
* Lined Notes Pages


And, hey, one of those Catholic bloggers featured in the planner . . . is me! I contributed an original, never before seen article about attending Mass with kids for May. Each month has its own tree, I think mine is my favorite.

You can order a downloadable pdf of the whole thing here, for $5.99. Or a printed, bound copy for $27.00.

One lucky winner will get her pick of the printed or downloadable version!

3. A 4x5 rosary flip book, and a copy of the Illustrated Gospels of St. Luke and St. John. William R. Bloomfield at Sacred Art Series is creating beautiful products that really fill a void in homes that are striving towards bringing a true and vibrant picture of our Catholic faith to our children.

First, he created a beautiful great works of art stand up rosary flip book. It stands there on the table, and, as you start each new mystery of the rosary, you flip to a new page and see a new sixteenth century painting. Great for keeping kids' wandering little minds focused on the rosary. Also good for grownups.


Next, he has created a reading Bible, beginning with the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John. It bridges the gap for older children, or adults, who don't want to be stuck with a story time children's Bible, but who struggle to read adult Bibles, cluttered as they are with verse numbers and footnotes.

His translation is a slightly modernized (no thees and thous) Douay Rheims, and features:
· The actual text of the Gospels presented story-by-story with large font;
· Sacred art from the greatest masters of Christendom, including Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Titian, Duccio, Giotto, and Caravaggio;
· Beautiful binding with leatherette cover, gilded pages, and a ribbon.


It really is a beautiful book, and would make a beautiful gift. Mr. Bloomfield has set up a discount code just for my readers: CATHYEAR to be good until December 31. It will get you 15% off any one product (Gospel or Rosary book) or 20% off any 3 or more.

If you order TODAY, and have Amazon Prime, you could have your own copy in time for Christmas, but someone will WIN a 4x5 Rosary Flip Book AND a copy of The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John.

To win, please leave a comment letting me know how you'd put these items to use in your home.

I'll ship my book internationally, and an international reader could win the pdf version of the planner, but you have to be in the US to win the other items.

The Netflix Subscription giveaway is still going as well. I'll announce the winners of both giveaways early next week. Then I plan to take a bit of a sabbatical which I meant to use to write another book, but which I might end up using to watch Netflix and feel barfy, because this new baby combined with a fierce head cold is kicking my butt.


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108 comments:

  1. Wow! I saw that Gospels book at LMLD last week and it looks amazing. There is such a void in Bibles for the preteen crowd. I think my son would love that. And the rosary book would be REALLY helpful for our night prayers. At least, we'd try :) The Confession book would be really helpful for the examination, I think. And the planner...well, right now I use a plain old notebook that has everything about everything in it combined with a fridge calendar. So maybe it's time I get something a little more fancy and adult-like :) Thanks, Kendra!

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  2. Great giveaway! I'd use these items to help myself and my family learn more about the saints, and to encourage us to pray the rosary together more! The visual aid is a brilliant idea. Also, your book has been on my amazon wish list for a while now. :)

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  3. What a great giveaway. My 3rd daughter is making her First Confession in January, so I'd use your book with her first. The Rosary flip book would hopefully encourage me to FINALLY be consistent with praying the Rosary. The planner would hopefully encourage me to FINALLY be consistent with celebrating feast days:)

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  4. Yay this is awesome! My eldest is making his first confession in the spring, so obviously I'm clueless in that area and need your book. The rosary flip book looks gorgeous and I can totally see that helping both little and big people in my house focus. The gospel of Luke is my favorite and the illustrated gospel sounds awesome and I have never used a planner but 2015 is the year to start I guess. :). I So so so hope I win! Thanks kendra!

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  5. My family is small and young yet (under one) but I think these are great resources to have to start building a routine, and the planner makes my little nerdy heart sing!

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  6. I think we would use these during our own family rosary and I LOVE a good planner, but really my husband would probably steal this stuff for his middle school religion classroom.

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  7. I'd use them to help my older children - who have moved on to high school from their Catholic elementary school - to stay on track with their faith.
    I'm sorry that you're not feeling well. I hope your cold gets better and the pregnancy related ickiness passes soon!

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  8. I would use them to supplement the religion classes my kids get at their parochial school. I love beautiful books!

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  9. These books look amazing. I would use them to keep my household focused on God, which seems to be a daily problem for us. And I would love a good planner!!!

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  10. We would definitely use the confession book as my oldest daughter just turned 7. We also pray a decade of the rosary as a family at night during Advent so that rosary book would be wonderful! And I'm always looking for a good planner.

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  11. We don't have any big kids, so I probably wouldn't keep them if I won but gift them to my husband's cousin who has an 8 year old who will be doing her First Communion in May and a 10 year old. I might keep the planner for myself though :) I was originally going to contribute to it too but had to back out. It looks like it turned out lovely!

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  12. I love the rosary flip book! I'm a grownup, but have only been Catholic for five years, so I still struggle a lot to keep my mind from wandering from the mysteries. And I love that planner too!! The others I'd gift to friends with littles :)

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  13. Now that my hubby is in RCIA (i.e., more invested in faith matters) I'm looking for ways to do "more" as a FAMILY. All of these things would help us!

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  14. We don't have big kiddos yet, but these are all lovely.

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  15. These would all be a great addition to our routine for my 9 and 10 year olds!

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  16. The Sacred Art series items are beautiful. The gospels would be great for homeschool use.

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  17. We'd love to incorporate some of these items into our homeschool Religion time!

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  18. I would give the Gospels to my third, super visual child, use the book on confession for myself as I (hopefully) prepare for my first confession, and use the rosary flip book as a great motivation to begin the Rosary with my children. :-) Thanks for offering these!

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  19. OH my goodness--I LOVE the flip book. I have been looking for something like that for years. It is getting ordered right now. We have the saints in art book and my children do love it, but the cover fell off in no time--it is small and VERY think and the binding just can't keep it all together through very frequent flipping.

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    1. Oh no! What a bummer, I've had it in my Amazon cart for a while, but I was waiting until after Advent to buy it. I still probably will, but maybe we'll put it on the high bookshelf for big kids.

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    2. I should add, Kendra, that even though the cover has come off, the binding HAS largely stayed together--we're not losing pages all over the place. So even though it isn't of ideal quality, it could be worse. If/when it falls apart, I'm sure we can come up with some cool craft to use all the lovely images for!

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    3. And thank you! I love your blog (and you and your family) so much :)

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    4. I've had that saints in art book for several years with no issues with the cover or binding. Though it doesn't sit in my book basket--stays on a shelf. So, I wonder if KC just got a faulty one?

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  20. Hi Kendra,

    Our three sons are on the older side now (15, 13, 9) and this post is GOLD! I could and would use any one of these in our home! Thank you so much for all of these great ideas. Winner or not, I hope to invest in all of these items that you have so kindly shared.

    Joyous Chrismas to you and your family. +JMJ+

    ~Kim, Oakdale, CA

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  21. Kendra,

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway of my Sacred Art Series. And thanks to your readers for their kind comments and encouraging words.

    I also ask for your reader's support: The Sacred Art Series is an exciting new way to evangelize through beauty; I have more products planned, but I need sales so that these future projects can become a reality. So please buy for your family and friends, and please share this information through social media and other means. And although the Book of the Gospels was designed with children in mind, adults who have been away from the faith or who simply do not read scripture as much as they should, will find that this volume is an easy and beautiful re-introduction to scripture. My hope is that once re-introduced to the daily reading of scripture, they will delve deeper!

    God bless you and thank you for your support.

    Sincerely,

    Will Bloomfield
    Bloomfield Books
    www.SacredArtSeries.com

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    1. Thanks Will! I'm really picky about what I will recommend on this blog, but your books were a very easy call. These are really beautiful products, I'm very glad to be able to introduce them to people. Good luck!

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  22. That gospels book would be great for my older daughter.

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  23. So coming from an Anglican/Episcopalian background I am trying to find something to replace The Book of Common Prayer. All the readers in the family have their own BCP which I had flagged with the prayers, lectionary and short form of Morning Prayer. I've looked at several missals and don't see anything designed for use in families like that. Is there something I'm missing or should we just do portions of Lauds?...K

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    1. I'm not familiar with the Book of Common Prayer, but I looked it up on Wikipedia, and I have a couple ideas that might work for you, that we use in our own home. The first is a book called Handbook of PrayersIt's got prayers for various occasions, and times of day, including special yearly novenas, meditations no the mysteries of the rosary, and the stations of the cross, and various blessings for different circumstances. We find it very useful.

      Another good resource is the Magnificat. It's a monthly subscription, and comes in the mail. For each day, it has the daily readings, morning and evening prayers, and meditations. There's also all of the parts of the Mass, and an art appreciation lesson in each issue, which I always find interesting. My kids get Magnifikid, which helps them follow along with Mass each Sunday.

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  24. I got your book for our nephew/godson for his first confession, and will totally get another for my oldest daughter when it's her turn. Love it!

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  25. The rosary flip book is especially amazing...we are in the process of putting together a little prayer corner, and these all would be great additions.

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  26. What a great giveaway! We'd use these books to grow in faith as a family for years -- as our first child gets older and hopefully future siblings come along!

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  27. A planner would be so helpful. I've got pregnancy brain like crazy right now and can't remember anything if it's not written down.

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  28. Great giveaway! Love the idea of the sacred art flip book to help everyone focus during a family rosary. Your book is also going to need to be added to our collection soon as my eldest is now 7, and I feel as a new Catholic, I'm not even sure how if broach this Sacrament with him.

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  29. These are all great, and I want every single one! I saw both the illustrated gospel and rosary book on LMLD.  And your book, of course, has been a top choice for confession prep.  My oldest is five, so I have been thinking about some of the faith development you mention.  And that planner looks pretty great!   I have the Saints art book. Concur about the binding.  I sit with the littles to look at it together.

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  30. What an amazing giveaway! As a convert to the Church, I am at a loss as to how to introduce my child to the faith in a way that will keep him engaged and an active apart of the Church. I think many of these items would help me, especially the Rosary Flip book and the Confession book (when the time comes). For me, I am most excited abou the planner, since I work out of the home as a teacher.

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  31. I didn't know you wrote the confession book! I bought it at our little Catholic store for my daughter! We love it! She's getting ready for First Communion this spring, so I'm loving all of your ideas! Most of them would be great gifts for her (or me!) 😀

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  32. Wow..that's a lot of really great stuff that would really help me in my prayerful planning to bring the church further into our home. I think I could benefit from the flip book in my own personal rosary.

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    1. ....and...I couldn't wait...I bought the flip book...BUT I know someone I could give one to :)

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  33. Your book would go to my niece who will be having first reconciliation this spring. The calendar I would keep so that I could better prepare for celebrating feast days (instead of scrambling a day or so before). Would love to win these give away items!!

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  34. My kids love to look at/fight over the mysteries of the Rosary paper, so I might have to go buy the flip book right now. We're getting all liturgical over here! Good luck on the book and I hope the baby goes easy on you.

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  35. What a grest giveaway! We would love to win these books. I definitely think the Rosary flip book would be super helpful, and my daughter is not far from preparing for her First Confession too. Thanks Kendra!

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  36. I love those Sacred Art series products. I have been looking for a book of beautiful art to correspond with the liturgical year, and haven't found what I have in mind. The rosary flip book is the closest to what I'm thinking of. The Bible looks gorgeous. We would use both of these items in our family! I already have your confession book, and love the thorough but appropriate tenor that it brings. As for the planner, I always love a good planner. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  37. We would use the rosary flip book to help hold our almost three year olds interest when we pray. He loves holding the "rose-a-ee" and we always pray a decade on our way to mass. (When our mouths are praying, it keeps us from bickering...maybe it's just us but Sunday mornings are not our forte). ;)

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  38. Any one of these would be a wonderful addition to our home. I've been trying to focus our days more on Scripture and incorporating the saints into our daily life. Practically, however, I would have to say that the Rosary Flip book looks amazing. I'd be putting it mildly if I said it was a challenge to get everyone to sit still and say the Rosary together. Something to focus their attention on would be fantastic!
    What a great giveaway.

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  39. Great giveaway! Right now the planner and the rosary flip book would get the most use. My oldest is six so confession is coming up soon.

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  40. Oh thank you for the giveaway! I have had my eye on those rosary books for a while ... we haven't yet made the family rosary part of our routine and I really want to this year.

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  41. Our oldest is only 3 , but we try to make feast days big deals already and the planner (and the others as well) will help encourage this!

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  42. Thanks for the giveaway! We are a relatively new homeschooling family of an 11 and 9 year old. I have had them home about a year now. This school year I have been trying to incorporate more of our Catholic faith and celebrating the beauty of the Liturgical year in our home as well as study on the saints. Any of these resources would simply be a fantastic addition to our school! Thanks again, and hope you feel better!

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  43. Oh boy this is awesome! Our eldest of four is 7 and we have been discussing his first reconciliation a lot this year so the book would be very helpful. Family rosaries are a challenge but having a visual would help ALL of us stay more focused during "daily decades". And anything that would allow the Saints to become the main role models in our lives is tops with me:)

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  44. The Rosary flip book looks awesome. We say a decade every night with our kids- oldest only 6, but have been looking for a way to introduce all the mysteries without it being overwhelming and confusin

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  45. We've been working on family rosary, with my oldest at 6, the flip book would be perfect. And the book of Gospels sounds great to read to them at this point but definitely a must as soon as we conquer reading!

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  46. You are right! With a 2-year-old and an infant, I haven't thought that far ahead, so I really appreciate these kind of posts. A Little Book about Confession for Children would be great for us as my toddler loves to read and is also starting to ask questions about the Catholic faith. I think it would also be great for my husband who is Protestant...AND I'm sure it would be helpful for me too!

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  47. The Rosary flipbook is STUNNING and what a great idea! I would for sure use these in my home with my older and younger children, we can all use a way to stay focused. That said, I can see these as gifts for first communicants...friends...godchildren....it may have opened a can of worms! How amazingly beautiful! (I LOVE the Gospels too, my 10 year old will probably be getting one of these for her next birthday...)

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  48. Holy giveaway, Batman!

    Your book would go to my little sister, who has had her first reconciliation but still needs some guidance. I'd give the planner to my momma; hers is currently falling apart, and I know she'd love the Catholic additions! Finally, I'd put the flipbook in my dorm room so my friends and I could use it in praying our rosary.

    Thanks for the awesome post!

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  49. Hi Kendra, that's for this great post. Not sure if you remember, but I'm the Karen who was emailing you in the fall about homeschool. We're almost there. I'm also wondering if you might keep our parish in your prayers? We are part of St James, Redondo Beach where the terrible accident happened last Wednesday. We are a large but close knit parish with wonderful priests, and the whole parish is grieving and moving forward together but the people and especially the priests could really use everyone's prayers. We feel them, the church building is a real place of peace for us. Thank you

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    1. I'm so sorry Karen. You and your parish will be in my prayers. And let me know if you need any more encouragement on the homeschool front!

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  50. I love love all of these. I've been eyeing that rosary flip book for awhile now as a way of helping the younger set stay focused. But honestly, also to help me stay on track. I usually purchase a wall calendar that has all the saints days on it (vs the free calendar from church which just has the big ones). I think one that I could carry around might be better (instead of realizing after I put the kids to bed that it is so-and-so's feast day). :)

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  51. It would be great to have the rosary flipbook to help us make family rosary a more concrete thing.

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  52. You always do such fantastic give aways!

    I would use these items just as you do - catchesis for older kiddos. :)

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  53. I already own your book, but I know a couple of first communion candidates who would love it. The flip book woupd be great for keeping the little ones focused on the rosary and the bible we woould put to good use once my oldest graduates from the children's bible.

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  54. My children are getting older so those older resources would be great for them! And I could be a lot more organized with a planner...

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  55. We are just getting started with incorporating the liturgical year into our family life, so the planner would really help with that. The other resources would be good for when my kids are older. Thank you for the recommendations for saints books - I was looking for one to buy for our family for Christmas.

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  56. I would love to use the planner and confession boom with our homeschooling!

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  57. This is great Kendra! And all very doable and doesn't seem overwhelming. I would really like to win the Gospels and the rosary booklet. I would use them for family prayer time and I know my preschooler would love the pictures!

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  58. what beautiful items! we are homeschooling year 1, with my 6 and 3.5 year olds, and have an infant too. As they grow I'll need all the help I can get - and I've already seen that teaching them inspires ME to grow in my faith - so this REALLY big kid will be blessed too! :)

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  59. These are great resources! I would love to have them for my family! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!

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  60. This is a great topic and giveaway! Even though my oldest is just 5, I am trying to arm my arsenal of information on how to keep her (and the other two) passionate about their faith!

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  61. Oh my goodness...our family would love to win! The Confession book will such a gem for us to have, I could use the planner in my homeschooling, and even my husband would be thrilled to win the rosary flip book and book of Gospels. Thanks for another giveaway!!!

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  62. Wow - what a great giveaway! These are all incredible items! At first, I was thinking the Confession book would be hard to use (my kids are still little), but then remembered that just last week, my 3 year old was asking a TON of questions about confession (because we went). The planner would be nice so I wouldn't have to hunt down a parish that gives out liturgical calendars to use in addition to a planner - it would all be in one! And I LOVE sacred art, so being able to use it in praying the rosary (or "just" for display) or along with reading the gospels aloud to kids would be awesome. Hope the rest of everyone's Advent goes well!

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  63. Right now, we've only got a one year old, but his parents could always use some helpful reminders for their own spiritual lives! And, he won't be one forever, so I would love to start building our collection of books and other spiritual reminders to have on hand as he (and any siblings!) grows up.

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  64. I'd love any of these! I have one getting ready for his sacraments and some older ones who'd use the Gospels. The planner looks great! Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas!

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  65. Thanks again for the wonderful recommendations! My kids are a bit young but my son is probably read to read something a bit meatier than the Berenstain Bears Bible Storybook. : ) And we'll get to the rest!

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  66. We have a 6 month old and hopefully another one on the way (we find out for sure in the next few days)! All of these gifts would be so great to have in the home as they grow up. My husband is currently going through RCIA and we are planning to start living the liturgical year in 2015. All of these items would really help both of us set great examples for our kids. :-D

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  67. I would put that planner to GOOD USE finally organizing ideas for living the liturgical year in our home. The reading Bible and Rosary flip book are stunning; I would love to have these in our home to help with prayer.

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  68. Wow! What a great giveaway! The rosary book would be fabulous for helping us all focus during the rosary. I've had my eye on that confession book for our kids.

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  69. I was recently toying with the idea of cutting up Seton's Art 5 book to make a rosary book for the squirmier of my kids, so I love the idea of the flip book - made beautifully by someone else! Hope I win - fingers crossed!

    Feel much better very soon!

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  70. That rosary flip book is genius! We have our kids stacked in big floor-to-ceiling bunk beds and could just put the flip book across the room where they could all see it at once during our nightly decade of the rosary. The planner would help this new convert be able to plan simple meals to make feast days a bit more special for us. And we already have one copy of your excellent book about confession, but my kids could use another copy so they don't have to sit together to do their examination of conscience (see second kid quote on my blog here: http://blissfule.me/kiddo-quotes-vol-14/) - and the notepad checklist would be great, too!

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  71. Wow!!! So many amazing tools for teaching the faith!!! We are instituting the no dessert except feast days rule on the new year & the calendar would be great for that, along with the planner portion - who doesn't need a planner!?! My almost 6 year old would love the flip book and I would too. I think she's ready to start reading more complex passages too, so the Bible is great to keep as a future purchase and your book about confession is already on my list of things to buy when she's starts CCD

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  72. These are such wonderful suggestions. The flip book is gorgeous and would be such a help to have something for myself and the kids to meditate on while saying the rosary.

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  73. What perfect timing! I so badly need this formation, not only for myself but for my 11 yr old boy. We are coming into that preteen era and the more resources the better as we journey through this unchartered territory together. Thanks for the blogpost and all the great links!

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  74. For years we have focused on prayer and catechesis after dinner. While most nights we try to say Vespers, we try to vary what else we do. These guides would be wonderful tools.

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  75. Oooo. I want it all. That Rosary Flip book is such a great idea. I love the old masterpieces to focus on. They are so inspiring. We would use that everyday during our Rosary. My kids would love it. That planner is great too. I haven't gotten a new one for next year yet. And that book of the Gospels of St Luke and St John. So pretty. I like that it's based on the Douay Rheims. Flow of language is so critical and much more enjoyable if poetic and beautiful in pictures.

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  76. This was such a timely read. My eldest is 9 and her brother is turning 7 this week with the others much younger. My daughter loves to read and my son loves art and would be the best to benefit from a more grownup Bible that still had good art to help in the comprehension. I clicked through to your Family Rosary post and LOVED it. We've tried a decade at a time for awhile, but then it goes by the wayside. My eldest actually would like to bring it back, so the rosary flipbook would help spur that on. Thanks for the post. Good way to start the day!

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  77. The Gospel book looks amazing! We'd love it for our home school.

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  78. I'd especially love the rosary pictures for our little oratory!

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  79. Such a great post! Leo just turned six, and as he is the oldest, I'm getting into uncharted territory. That rosary flip book looks fantastic! I know that would really benefit my family of visual learners. The planner also looks great. I had a small one that I lost, so a full sized would be awesome and hard to lose. I hope your Advent is going well. It seems like Christmas rushed up on me again. I think the anticipation is my favorite part making me somewhat too relaxed about prepping for Christmas.

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  81. I love the rosary flip book and the illustrated gospels! I am a new reader to your blog and I am really enjoying it! I particularly loved your post about Happy Holidays. I read it to my husband and sent it to my friend. You really shifted my paradigm on Happy Holidays!

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  82. Our boys are still pretty young 3 & 1, but there is nothing like teaching them young. Don't laugh but I think your book would be helpful to my husband who is currently going through RCIA and will be preparing for his first confession during Lent. Both the Rosary and Gospel book would be great for all of us. Lastly, the planner would be helpful for this very unorganized mom!

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  83. We do some of the things you describe. The planner would be a help for planning Saint days and the rosary book is beautiful and my kids would love to look at it during our family rosary. My daughter is doing her first communion this year and her first reconciliation is in February. Your book would help us prepare her for this. I love your idea of them reading the Gospels during quiet time and that Bible looks perfect for that.

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  84. Yeah....I couldn't wait, actually and I never win giveaways, so I just had to tell you that I ended up ordering the large Rosary flip book for a family gift this Christmas, it should arrive just in time!
    Thank you for bringing these beautiful tools to light, Kendra. Your blog is one of my favorites because I think we have a similar family (size and culture wise) but you have greater insights to these excellent resources. I really am very grateful.

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  85. My husband is a Catholic missionary for an organization called FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). I would like to celebrate feast days and recognize special saints days when we have his fellow missionaries over but always seem to find out about them too late. The planner would be awesome. Also the book of gospels would be sweet.

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    1. Grace,

      My sister Emily Ortega and her husband Shane Ortega were FOCUS missionaries. Please share the Sacred Art Series with FOCUS. I think the Book of Gospels could be very helpful for (often under-catechized) college students who are looking to form good habits of faith or who are returning to scripture after years of neglect.

      Sincerely,

      Will Bloomfield
      Bloomfield Books
      www.SacredArtSeries.com

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  86. I am all about creating good habits and all of your giveaways would help me do so in different ways! Thanks for sharing how you do it... so helpful!!

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  87. I hope Our family wins these pretty but practical items. They are all great tools for continuing to grow our Catholicity.

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  88. No big kids yet (oldest is 19 months), but I would LOVE to gift your confession book to my nephew who makes his first reconciliation this year. *I* could definitely benefit from the rosary flip book! I am a very visual learner, so I often look up images on Google for each mystery of the rosary. Each time I do that I think, "There's gotta be a book for this..." I would probably hold onto the illustrated Gospels for our kids instead of gifting it because I am an avid appreciator of fine art, particularly historical religious art. Thanks for all the awesome giveaways even if I never win them!

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  89. Would love that Gospel book for my family! May gift some of the other books to Catholic friends :)

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  90. It makes me so happy to see people making beautiful things to celebrate our faith, rather than feeling that kids need everything to be neon and dumbed down. We would definitely use these in our family.

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  91. We have a built in bookshelf that has a bench size shelf in it. We are going to make it our prayer center or oratory. This is where I would put these items.

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  92. We would use the Rosary flip book as a way to help our entire family visualize the mysteries of the Rosary. It would also be nice to have the Gospels in the format presented to keep things simple for our children.

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  93. We would use these as we homeschool. Love these books and prayer aids!

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  94. Oh, this is great! My boys are (almost) 8 and 10. They attend a Catholic school where I am the librarian. :) This year it is my goal to live a liturgical year and strengthen my family's faith. I would use your book--which I will buy if I don't win--for my 8 year old, who will receive the sacrament of reconciliation this year. The gospel is perfect for my son, and the rosary books we can use as a family. Thank you!

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  95. Hey now! How come now is the first I've seen any of you post about this AMAZING planner?! ;) Seriously, though, it looks great. I'll have to get the pdf, b/c I already bought a hard-back planner for next year.

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  96. I think the planner would be awesome! I'm horrible at remembering feast days of the saints and hopefully this will help me incorporate my faith into my day-to-day life a little more. I would prefer a physical copy over a PDF. And your Confession book is already in my Amazon cart to get for my goddaughter, who has yet to learn how to talk. :)

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  97. I have been eyeing the flip book for a while, I'm really hoping to start a nightly decade of the rosary with my family this year!!

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  98. The rosary flip book would be awesome. We have 3 little ones under 5 so distraction during the rosary is constant. We're still at a decade every few nights and we're desperately seeing the need to improve to nightly and expand from there. The planner is breathtaking! Home run!

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