Sunday, March 1, 2015

Liturgical Living for Beginners: A St. Patrick's Day Tea Party Play Date, with help from me and CCC

 This is a sponsored post. See my disclosure policy.

It's March! Spring is in sight (at least in California), we are mostly in the swing of Lent (however much that's possible, anyway), and around the Tierney gaff, it's time to get super excited for the upcoming feasts this month.

Because if there's anything better than a feast day, it's a feast day that falls during Lent. Amirite?

Getting started with liturgical living in the home can feel like a really daunting task. It did for me, anyway. But if you're just starting out, Lent is the perfect time to give it a go. We're all in this one together, after all. Lent is a great time to share a fast or a feast with family or friends or neighbors.

We throw a HUGE Saint Patrick's Day party every year . . . but I know that's not for everyone. And I didn't start out throwing huge parties for everyone we know. Before that I threw dinner parties, and barbeques, and . . . liturgically-themed play dates. Just a couple other moms, their kids . . . a couple of snacks, an activity, and a book or movie about the saint. If you've never done ANY liturgical living in the home, this is a GREAT way to start.


I'm going to talk you through it step by step.

- the guests -

Probably, you're going to want people to come to your party. So, you're going to want to invite them. I've done play dates like this for as few as three and as many as thirty kids. I think ideal is around six to ten kids. Evite is great for keeping track of people, but for something like this, I find a good old-fashioned email is just as good, maybe better. You can just type up the what, when, where and send it, or, if you're feeling fancy, you can make your own invitation image in Picmonkey, and email that.

Or you can use this one . . .


If you right click on it, and save the image to your computer, you can then pull it up in Picmonkey and type in the text you want to add, save it again, then email it out.

Or ya know, just print it out, write on it with a pen, and hand it to people. Up to you.

- the craft -

I like to have a little craft available to do as families are arriving. It can be a simple coloring page and some crayons . . .

found here

Or something a little more involved. Sarah at Two Os Plus More featured a very cute Trinity Shamrock craft last year, that would be perfect . . . 


and Kristen at Drawn2BCreative has a great printable interactive St. Patrick paper doll, with snakes and everything!

- the snacks -

Kids like snacks. Everyone likes snacks. In fact, the food is where I'm always tempted to get carried away. There are always so many cute ideas out there. But too many choices is overwhelming for little kids, and a lot of work for hostesses. Usually one beverage choice plus water, and three to four food choices is plenty.

For St. Patrick's Day, I always like to serve tea, since it's so very Irish. And in our house, not to mention in Ireland, tea is not just for girls. Boys can drink tea, too.

found here
My own kids drink quite a lot of tea, but for their friends it's usually a fun novelty. I usually choose two different types of decaf tea, in flavors kids would recognize (like mint and lemon), and put them in two tea pots. If I'm feeling particularly brave, I serve the kids in real tea cups, or sometimes we ask guests to bring a cup and saucer from home. Sometimes we just serve our guests in sturdy disposable cups.

Sugar cubes and cream are always a big hit.

Of course, you could always go with limeade, or any green beverage, instead. Although that would make it rather less like a tea party.

For the food, I make Irish Soda Bread, from a recipe my mother in law gave me . . .

It's very similar to this recipe from King Aurthur Flour.
And shamrock-shaped tea sandwiches . . . 

found here
Most of my kids actually LIKE cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. But I'd probably make some pb&j versions as well.

And some fruit-kebab rainbows . . . 

found here
And a pot of gold(fish crackers) . . . 


That's what *I* would do. But if you read my blog with any regularity, you'll know I am nothing if not an over-doer of things.

Green juice, goldfish crackers, maybe some grapes . . . would totally get the job done. Kids would love it. Give my kids store-bought shamrock cookies and they'd love you forever.

- the entertainment -

After snack time, I like to have some sort of saint-themed entertainment for the kids. We have quite a few of CCC of America's Saints and Heroes animated films, and Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle was the very first one we ever owned. The CCC films present kids with the stories of the saints in a fun, accessible way. Letting my kids watch these shows has been a really easy way to help them become familiar with the lives of the saints. St. Patrick's story uses a mix of history and legend to teach kids about the kidnapped boy, who grew up to become a bishop and missionary in the land of his former captivity. 

It also features a ridiculously catchy song over the end credits that my kids sing to themselves for days afterwards anytime we watch it. Also . . . me. I'm singing it right now.


And, at thirty minutes, Patrick is the perfect length to hold the attention of even the littlest kids, who may be slightly hopped up on sugar cubes.

Update: I also put together a Spotify playlist of all our favorite Irish Folk music!

AND, because CCC of America is so very generous, they are offering all of my readers a pretty great giveaway.



ALL of you can use the code ALLYEAR40 to get Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle (or any other DVD in their collection) for 40% off the normal price, from now through St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. Just put the DVD in your cart as usual, and input the code at checkout.


And ONE lucky reader is going to win the complete eleven DVD Saints and Heroes Collection!

THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED



The Saints & Heroes Collection includes these films:
  • The Day Sun Danced: The True Story of Fatima
  • Francis: The Knight of Assisi
  • Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa
  • Bernadette: Princess of Lourdes
  • Columbus: Adventures to the Edge of the World
  • Ben Hur: A Race to Glory
  • Odyssey: A Journey Back Home
  • Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure
  • Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle
  • My Secret Friend: A Guardian Angel Story
  • Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe

And all you have to do to win is leave a comment here on this blog post telling me one way in which you plan to live the liturgical year in your home this month.

I'll announce the winner Monday March 9th.

Good luck, and a big thank you to CCC of America for sponsoring this post and lovely giveaway. These are movies I bought myself, long before I had a blog, and many kids over many years have enjoyed them. I'm really pleased to get the opportunity to share them with you guys!

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more St. Patrick's Day movie recommendations, a BUNCH of free printables, and, of course, a recap of the Hooley at the Tierneys 2015. I can only assume it will be great. We'll also be celebrating St. Joseph's Day and the Annunciation. I hope you will be, too.


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189 comments:

  1. I love this idea and am tempted to take it on…or maybe I can forward it to Grandma and she can host since she loves celebrating St. Patrick's Day ;) We often have a big family dinner for the occasion. We like to use St. Joseph's Day as a day to honor my husband so meals, prayers, and special treats for him as the "St. Joseph" of our family. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  2. Thanks for the chane to win! We live liturgically this month by hanging up the stations of the cross in our home and gathering on Fridays to pray them.

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  3. I grew up watching the CCC videos on saints- love them! This year, I made a book list with books to focus on for the liturgical year with my kids.

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  4. Our children are young (3 and almost 1) but our daughter is using her Lent calendar and sacrifices jar. We are also hosting a St. Patrick's Day play date. It's incredible how much she understands about our faith at this young age! Your blog is filled with so many wonderful ideas. Thank you!

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  5. We'll celebrate the liturgical year this month by going to the big St. Patrick's Day Mass at my Alma Mater and the brunch that follows. It's a double dip with my dad's birthday on the same day!

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  6. Such a cute idea. This is a great way to start introducing my little one to the faith, but in a fun and exciting way (pot of gold goldfish... brilliant!) My only problem... we don't have any friends who are Catholic :/

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    1. That's what the new evangelization is FOR. :D

      But seriously, the nice thing about the more cultural feast days, like St. Valentine's day and St. Patrick's Day is that most non-Catholic don't seem to mind celebrating them. Maybe you'd get some takers anyway.

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  7. We do the Station of the Cross with candles on Friday. We also have a crown of thorns (toothpicks) for sacrifices. I love the fruit kabobs! Definitely will be making those this year.

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  8. I love the CCC videos - my youngest siblings (aged 4-10) still watch them! I'm actually very excited about the St. Patrick's party my mother and I are pulling together for her neighborhood gang/my siblings; we used to have small gatherings for major feast days when I was younger, and are trying to reinstate the practice together this year now that I have children of my ow.

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  9. I remember watching these videos as a kid! I am a teacher in a Catholic school, and would love to have the CCC videos to show my students. We are working hard to incorporate Lent into the classroom. At the end of every day we have a lent reflection journal to write in, and we do the stations every Friday. Our school is named after St. Joseph, so I am excited to celebrate that feast day!

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  10. Well, with a new baby in the house we aren't having any parties. But we will be saying the St. Joseph novena along with stations on Fridays. I grew up watch many of the videos and would love to share them with my kids!

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  11. We will celebrate St. Patrick's day and St. Joseph's feast day. St. Joseph is my husbands patron saint so we do a big celebration including a traditional St. Joseph alter.

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  12. We played the CCC Nicholas movie at Lucia's St Nicholas themed birthday party and even the adults got into it! I was talking to David yesterday about doing a St Patrick's day party this year but he seemed a little reticent so maybe a play date party while he's at work will go over better.

    I honestly haven't looked at or thought much about the liturgical calendar this month yet, but we will do something for St Patrick and St Joseph if nothing else.

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  13. I, personally, am going to seek out and purchase a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, so I, too, can serve shamrock tea sandwiches. :-) We always do corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, and since it's my husband's favorite dinner and his birthday happens to be the very next day that works out nicely. This year we're also going to do SOMEthing for the Feast of St. Joseph, as we've adopted him as our family's patron saint for this year...but I don't know what yet! Any ideas?

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    1. Have a building block (carpentry) party and make some traditional St. Jospeh's day food--you can find plenty online! If your kids are older, make some origami lilies and do real wood working projects. :)

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    2. We do this crazy eat pasta with your hands thing for St. Joseph's Day. It's really easy and the kids get a kick out of it.

      Pasta un Gobbola Tabola: The Most Fun You Can Have on St. Joseph's Day

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    3. I'm not sure where the tradition originated, but cream puffs are very appropriate for St Joseph's feast! And so delicious.

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  14. Love this!! Maybe we will host a at patricks party of our own using these ideas! We are also continuing with stations of the cross during lent and also going to celebrate at Joseph's feast day!

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  15. Oh thank you for such good ideas!! I am so excited! We have the Patrick CCC of America video and my kids (and I ) love the song too! I am hoping to win the whole set!! Thanks!

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  16. This is so great! We've rented the CCC videos before, but I don't think my kids have seen Patrick before. Back in the day, my baby sister watched Bernadette every.single.day and even now, I can repeat it word for word! For my own kids, I've made a big circle calendar, divided by months, and you turn it so the current month is on top. I've listed saints, seasons, and holidays so we can plan crafts or reading books for the upcoming month. It's also a nice way for the kids to see the big picture of the entire year.

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  17. I am going to buy the movie for my kids and then hope to win the rest. I've watched them with my students at (Catholic) school and they're fantastic. I think we will start making pretzels this year. (My oldest is three...)

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  18. In anticipation of Easter we have planted a Resurecction Garden. It's on our kitchen counter and each day in Lent the kids water it and pray a quick prayer. We hope it will sprout about Easter Time to represent the new life in Christ's resurrection. We'd love to win these DVDs! Thanks!

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  19. and I just ordered the st. patrick dvd...you got me! My husband's family is from Dublin so you better believe we'll be living "liturgically" with Guiness :) Now at least there's something for Maggie to do!

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  20. Very clever idea, I'll have to bookmark this! I wish we were home for St. Patrick's day but my husband and I will still be in Anaheim for the REC. We usually have divine desserts for other solemnities, though. And my kids will be thrilled to be able to watch a show or two on non-Sunday days for St. Joe & Annunciation :)

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  21. We do the stations of the cross at home as a family on Fridays during Lent. We have a box with tangible symbols for each station for the younger kids to hold. And the kids are counting down the days to the Solemnity of St. Joseph!

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  22. Thanks for the brilliant ideas! I think I might muster up some courage to throw a party this year... we will definitely celebrate St. Patrick's Day as a family (me being quite Irish!) and the feast of St. Joseph (patron saint of our oldest child). He'll get to choose the meal and dessert for that day, which is a BIG DEAL. We'll also continue to celebrate Lent (paper chain, and follow along on a map of the Stational Churches in Rome, etc.). Oh! And the Annunciation. So much celebrating! Grateful to Holy Mother Church for the liturgical year!

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  23. Thank you for this post! What great ideas! We are praying the stations of the cross and the rosary together this lent. I know my kiddos would love the videos.

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  24. We talk about lent and use a crown of thorns to talk about sacrifice. We'll be reading books about St. Patrick. The videos look really neat!

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  25. We are going to Mass during the week as a family this Lent.

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  26. I would love to win these! I think this month we'll continue our Lenten prayer. We pray one of the Stations of the Cross a night from our set from Jesse Tree treasures. They are so lovely!

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  27. Henry and I are using the rice bowl we picked up at church to talk about the poor and introduce him to Lenten sacrifice.

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  28. We do St. Patrick's Day pretty big here too. I think it is our family's favorite holiday besides Christmas and Easter!

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  29. We are celebrating several feast days this month including St. Patrick, St. Joseph and St. Katharine Drexel by making yummy dishes from their cultures.

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  30. We'll definitely be celebrating St. Patrick's feast. We took a page out of your book and invited another family over for Mardi Gras (just one for now), and it was so fun! I was afraid I'd be overwhelmed with where we're at in life right now, but I'm so glad we did it. So we may do something similar for St. Patrick's Day. Maybe we'll get brave and host a few families instead of just one.

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    1. Yay! Even though we have a big family now, and I keep thinking we have plenty of people who live in this house to fill out a party, it's still really meaningful to my kids when we have people over.

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  31. We celebrate with corned beef and cabbage meal. Is that secular? ;) I haven't heard of those videos before, clearly, I need all the help I can get in evangelizing my kiddos. I hope we win!

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    1. It's not secular, but it IS American, since they don't traditionally eat beef in Ireland. But that's what we'll be eating too!

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  32. My kids are all very young still (5, 3, and 2) so I think that limits us a bit, but we celebrated Fat Tuesday, we attended mass on Ash Wednesday, we abstain from meat on Fridays and talk about WHY we are doing that, and we did a big toy purge at the beginning of Lent as well. We always have a huge family celebration at my in-law's house for Easter, and we watch a faith-based movie for Friday night movie night during Lent (sometimes..when Mommy doesn't forget and stops at Redbox on the way home..oops.) That's about it for us, but I look forward to adding to our traditions as the kids get older.

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  33. We're super new to involving liturgical living in our home. Not that my husband and I haven't always been involved in the life of the church, we're just seeing it as more important to bring into our home now that our older daughter can start appreciating it. She's only two, but I think one way that we might help her see that Lent is a different time is take her to adoration for the first time. She needs to practice on sitting still and being quiet anyway and we're trying to teach her that she can talk to Jesus about anything, and I figure Lent is a good time to do that :D

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  34. The kids and I are doing one decade of the rosary each morning with the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure!

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  35. My youngest son shares his name day with St Patrick so I love your ideas! We will be trying your trinity shamrock craft idea for sure.

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  36. We celebrate all of our children's feast days but our Patrick Joseph is born a few days before St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day so we have a big (extended) family dinner full of corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread and some Italian cookies and whatever Italian cuisine we can whip up (spaghetti is a hit with kids!) Satisfies all of the Irish and Italian relatives! We also read the Tomie de Poala St. Patrick book. Lots of fun for all the leprechauns--big and small!

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  37. We'll be celebrating St Joseph's Day in our house, as he's my son's patron. Since he's still young, I'll let him play with his hammer and peg pounding bench. :) We'll also have Italian food and fig cookies, remembering my family's Sicilian background and tradition of the St Joseph's altar!

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  38. Currently we are doing an Easter/Lent tree and Stations of the cross. I am hoping to celebrate St Patrick's Day using food since we will be in the middle of moving. You have provided some great ideas here.

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  39. We will celebrate St. Joseph's feast with a novena counted by homemade lilies in a vase and then decorating the day of with carpentry tools on our prayer table.

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  40. I think I'll host a St. Patrick's day play date. Last year we had some friends over for dinner, but having friends over for dinner on a week day is difficult for us. A play date would be the perfect way to celebrate with our boys. Thanks for the extra nudge to host :)

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  41. I come from a BIG Irish family- oldest of seven and also have lots and lots of cousins and we all go to the grandparents house for a big corn beef and cabbage feast, Irish music and drinks! It's always so much fun!
    Also my oldest son's name is Joseph ( and he missed being born on the feast by a day!) so the feast of St. Joseph is always special for us too. We read the story of St. Joseph, do an easy craft(he's only 3) and have a big Italian feast and cannolis for dessert! March is a good month in our house!

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  42. I would love to win this collection! We plan to celebrate the feast days with our cousins and atrium friends.

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  43. this month the local catholic mom's group is having an event where each person makes a liturgical living plan for a feast day (food, activity, etc) and then we all get together and swap copies of them. instant liturgical living binder! woo!

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  44. Our main focus is on "celebrating" or rather observing Lent, as that takes so much to accomplish right now as it is. We do always have corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day. St. Joseph's is one I want to focus on more, too. I find family life so often dictates how much we are able to celebrate feasts. :-(

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    1. Yes! All the sports practices my big kids have in the evenings are killing my special dinners. But we manage by moving dinner time around, or even sliding days a bit if necessary.

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  45. Never heard of these videos before, but they look great! We are celebrating the liturgical year this month by going to Stations of the Cross as a family. Our oldest (3 years) is doing a sacrifice jar and we've been trying to include her in a weekly rosary. And now that I have some easy ideas for St. Pat's... :)

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  46. Wow...childhood memories. My little sisters used to watch that St. Patrick movie over and over until the song was stuck in all our heads. :)
    I think we'll be celebrating St. Joseph's day in style this year with some traditional Italian food and zeppole. Since my husband is a woodworker, we'll be doing some special woodworking projects in St. J's honor as well.
    Not that St. Patrick will be ignored. Basically I take any excuse for a feast I can get during Lent. :)

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  47. For liturgical living, we hosted a family fish dinner and candlelight rosary for some of our friends. It was lovely, and even the kids (11 under 12) had a nice time. Oh, and my 2 and 4 year olds love singing the Lent song.

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  48. With a toddler and a baby, we are slowly adding the liturgical year to our home. I did some purple decorations and centerpiece as a start! I'm sure our 2yo would love the DVDs, we don't watch a lot of TV with her so it would be a treat and mommy approved!

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  49. This is a fantastic giveaway. We only have two of the videos! I want to win so badly! Ahh. We are going to celebrate all the big feast days this month, but also St. Katharine Drexel on the 3rd. She is one of our patrons. We have a beginning reader's chapter book on her and some coloring pages. And some sort of dessert, probably with an Indian tie in. Simple but enough. Thanks for hosting!

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  50. In our family we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Feast Day this month! Also, we decorated our house for Lent for the very first time this year (grapevine wreaths, purple cloth, etc.) and love how it has really gotten us into the Lenten mood! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  51. I'm the only Catholic in my home so far, but I am the homeschool teacher! I am observing Lent, but for my kiddos, I have been using the USCCB daily readings for Bible lessons and journals with the kids. For memory work, they learned the Our a Father, and next up is the Apostles Creed. Preparing the field in hopes God will bring my family with me to the Church!

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    1. That's really inspiring, Camilla. Keep it up. I'll pray for you.

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  52. We're living the liturgical year this month by praying the stations of the cross and celebrating St. Patrick, St. Joseph and the Annunciation.

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  53. I'm taking my 3 year old to soup and stations at Church. And I think we need a St. Pat's Party.

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  54. We are celebrating the liturgical year by attending Soup/Stations at church on Fridays and we pray one decade of the Rosary every Sunday on the way to Mass.

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  55. We're going to do up St Joseph's day and the Annunciation with dessert and Joyful Mysteries instead of Sorrowful, but other than that I'm waiting for your suggestions ;)

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    1. We celebrate the Annunciation Swedish-style, as Waffle Day Breakfast for dinner. Easy on moms, blows kids' minds. :)

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  56. We'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with green food for dinner.

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  57. We're celebrating the feast of St. Katharine Drexel on March 3, with corn casserole and squash in honor of her work with Native Americans!

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  58. Since we are preparing to welcome two permanent foster children, we will celebrate St Joseph's feast in a big way this year!

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  59. This year I am making mantel runners that will be changed out to correspond with the liturgical year of the Catholic Church. I will start with purple, green, white and red.

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  60. We will be welcoming a new baby into our family any day now, so we made our Irish Soda bread last week and put it in the freezer, so as to not miss our traditional start to St. Patrick's Day. While we most likely won't be hosting a party this year, there will be corn beef & cabbage for dinner. We also like to celebrate St. Joseph's feast day by making cards & special prayers throughout the day for my husband. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

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  61. Um. I'm going to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by coming to your house for a party. Does that count?

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  62. We celebrate St. Patrick's day every year, b/c he's my confirmation saint, so I figure that earns the whole family a day off from Lenten sacrifices. I can hardly wait for the soda bread!

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  63. we have a name day feast this month - St. Joseph day! we have a Joseph and he is my husband's patron, so wel will be celebrating in style! and by style i mean ice cream ;)

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  64. We're attending Soup & Stations every Friday during Lent. I'm attempting my first brisket and cabbage meal on the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. And in the car I'm trying to do a Chaplet or Rosary depending on length of the trip. --Naomi

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  65. Love the tea party idea. And I LOVE the ccc videos so much. LOVE them. We only have st. Nick so far. They are so cheesy but so good. One thing we've started doing is lighting a candle during our family rosary which we try to do on Saturdays and Sundays. We change the candle color according to the season so right now it is a leftover purple candle from the advent wreath.

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  66. I love your idea of a liturgical play dare/ tea party! We celebrate St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread.

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  67. We love to make cream puffs for St Joseph's feast day! He's a big deal in our house :)

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  68. We are going to make shells and breadcrumbs with zepolli for the feast of St. Joseph!

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  69. I would LOVE to win the DVDs to use in my classroom and as a DRE at my parish. We are liturgically living with my 5th graders right now with a sacrifice crown of thorns, simply decorated classroom, crafting (and praying) the Stations of the Cross, and gearing up for a big St. Joseph's Day celebration (he is our patron)!

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  70. What a great giveaway! As a convert, I didn't really grow up with a lot of saint stories unfortunately, and I'm looking forward to living vicariously through my kids :) First is one and second is due to arrive in May. We usually celebrate St. Patrick's day at a friend's house. The husband generously makes the most amazing corned beef for everyone. Yum!

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  71. So, are we the only family who thinks that St Patrick windsurfing at the beginning of the video is just odd?

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    1. No. We all think that's pretty odd. But the Druids part is pretty cool. And the wolf!

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  72. These are some great ideas. We usually travel to see family for St. Patrick's Day but we are hoping they can come up to see us this year instead. We observe Lent by praying the Stations on Fridays and trying to be more consistent with a family Rosary.

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  73. We have implemented Lenten Sacrifice beans for the first time this year. My children have eagerly embraced this new tradition and are super excited for the Easter Bunny to work his magic on Easter day. It's been a great way to discuss "sacrifice" with them. Love the ideas in this post as well. The DVD about St. Patrick looks wonderful for small children!

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  74. Thanks for offering yet another great giveaway! We will definitely be celebrating St. Patricks Day with green shamrock cookies, irish soda bread, and who knows, maybe a play date!

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  75. We are using your noodles on the table idea for Saint Joseph's feast day, which is my husband's patron Saint. I am also looking on pinterest to plan our Saint Patrick's day celebration. I love your playdate idea, but not sure if we have enough little Catholic friends yet to make it a happening party!

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  76. I like your idea of a St. Patrick's playdate party and will most likely be using it. Thanks for the resource!

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  77. I am going to try to do a St. Patrick's playdate tea - what a fun idea!

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  78. We are doing a calendar of lent activities. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  79. We'll be going to Mass on the Feasts of St. Joseph (my husband's name day in particular) and the Annunciation. We're also praying the seven Sundays novena to St. Joseph.

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  80. I would love these videos for my kiddos! We just moved, so a St.Patrick's day celebration is definitely in the works to lift our homesick spirits...it also happens to be my bday, so kinda partial to this feast day :)

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  81. Thank you for the 50% off deal! We like tea parties in our home so I think we will use your idea to have one for St. Patrick's feast day this year. We will have corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I hope to pray the novena to St. Joseph for the first time this year.

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  82. I just ordered our first CCC dvd last week for my daughter's Easter basket (baby due in a week so I'm planning suuuuper ahead)! This month, we have a special holy hour planned for the Anunciation, and we're really going to be hitting the Holy Heroes stations of the cross pretty hard throughout March in hopes the toddler has finished learning Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be by Easter Sunday :-)

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    1. YAY! & Congratulations on the little one!

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  83. We are doing children's station of the cross on Fridays. We will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with extra treats (my son's feast day!) I love your blog. Thank you!!

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  84. Oh wow! We would LOVE those DVDs! We have borrowed several from our church loaner library, and it's always a sad day when we have to return them.

    So we have 2 family feast days during lent - St Matilda on March 14, and St Joseph on March 19. We celebrate namesake saint days like birthdays, so there will be treats! And presents! And the red "You Are Special Today" plate!

    Thanks for the great deal on the St Patrick DVD!

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  85. My husband teaches engineering at a Catholic college, so we're planning to bake some treats with my girls to take into his students on St. Joseph's day (he's the patron saint of engineers).

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  86. Oh what an awesome giveaway! I grew up with these movies and would love to share them with my children.

    In my family St Patrick's Day is when we eat corned beef and drink good beer, either with my parents or some friends.

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  87. I always want to get these videos, you are one of many who have recommended them, thanks

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  88. We will definitely be celebrating St Joseph's Day since we have two Josephs in our family and this year a 1 st birthday on the feast of the Annuciation! We just watched Pollyanna and I have been dreaming of one of the cakes from the bazaar, hopefully I will make that happen.

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  89. I'm still working on how, but we'll be celebrating St. Joseph, the Annunication, and St. Longinus (March 15) as those are patron/name days for our family. We'll also be continuing a small family group Stations of the Cross on Fridays.

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  90. We are new to celebrating the liturgical year, that's why I first started reading your blog. We try to celebrate a saint or feast day a month...my boys love it when they get to help prep treats. This month may be tricky as we're expecting our fourth baby right around St Patrick's or St Joseph's day, but we will try to do something a little special, even if it's just ice cream sundaes! Thanks for your great blog!

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    1. We are in the same boat as you. We celebrate a feast day a month. I think this year we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Shamrock Shakes and some crafts. This Lent is even more special because my oldest is making his First Communion this year and has his first Reconciliation on Sunday.

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  91. We will be continuing our Lenten crown craft this month (each morning she puts a sticker on the crown and we read a passage from the Bible together that corresponds to the day - a Sunday school activity that was sent home). In addition, I plan to throw our own St. Patrick's Day party with festive food, decorations, a Saint story (or two since this is a well-known Saint), and probably a craft. Would love to win this give-away!

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  92. Not sure if my previous comment worked...we started Stations just as you recommend. It was amazing how much fun we had!

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  93. When I first clicked on the link for this post I was worried that this "tea party" might be totally overwhelming. I love the step by step! Reduced this mamas anxiety for sure! I'll definitely be trying the soda bread, tea, and rainbow fruit out for St. Patrick's Day this year!

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  94. For St. Patrick's Day I was thinking of comparing the Trinity to water and have Ice, Water (for lemonade), and the tea kettle going and how all three have different names and different shapes, but they're all water. We live in 'da nort' and would probably go with hot chocolate over tea this time of year. Would love to share the St. Patrick movie as well that day. Oh, and I think I'm going to dye my hair red for the day... that is, if I can get 10 minutes alone in the bathroom.

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  95. March is a pretty big month. We will definitely celebrate St. Patrick's Day, The Feast of Saint Joseph and the Annunciation with Mass and themed dinners. For Saint Patrick's day we usually do Lamb stew and soda bread but I'm not sure about the other days yet.
    I love all your ideas for a themed play date. Home school keeps our days pretty busy so we've been out of the loop play group wise, but Saint Patrick's is a pretty special day.

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  96. We're doing minimalist lent this year. Purple pillar candle on the dining room table surrounded by a bare wooden wreath. My kid is too young to do crafts but she can join in the singing of lenten hymns!

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  97. We love corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's day and wearing o' the green. I'd love this set for the kiddos!

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  98. We love to go all out on St. Patricks day since it is my husband's birthday! Can't get enough of Feast days during Lent! Since I just had number 4, we will probably just color a shamrock for daddy, talk about St. Patrick, and eat some good food!

    Would truly appreciate the videos. Thank you Kendra, and hope you feel better soon!

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  99. Heading home for a visit and celebrating St. Patty's day with lots of cousins we've been missing. Also planning a special meal for St. Thomas Aquinas Feast March 7th, he is my sons patron saint!! :)

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  100. I grew up watching the CCC videos. They taught me so much!
    My husband is Italian, so ever since we've been married, I have prepared the traditional Italian St. Joseph's Table. I make a number of vegetarian and fish-based dishes, as well as the "zeppole", the traditional custardy pastries, and I set a statue of St. Joseph on the table. A couple years ago we started inviting other families to join in. Last year, my daughter was born on March 12, and we had her baptized on the feast of St. Joseph, a week later, so now we will be celebrating her baptismal day in addition to St. Joseph's Day every year!

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  101. Your post has inspired me. I usually work outside my home but I'm on maternity leave so I'm going to host a St. Patrick's day playdate!! (sidenote, I love getting to be a real stay at home mom while I'm on leave) thanks for all the ideas!

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  102. We are having a small St. Patrick's Party. My husband is 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Italian- so we love a good party! His Irish grandparents love St. Pat so we borrowed some traditional Irish decor. I think its going to be fun! :)

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  103. Just wanted to chime in and encourage people to get the awesome CCC videos if they don't already have them - I grew up on them and they are a great way to teach kids some of our Catholic cultural stories without shoving a dry "Lives of the Saints" book under their noses. Plus they are presented in such a way that it's easy for parents to point things out and help kids understand the significance of what they just saw. (*)

    (*) Example: in the Bernadette video, Mary reveals her identity to Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." When Bernadette, who has NO idea what that means, repeats this to her local priest, this serves to "authenticate" the apparition as legitimate. The rest of the background is that the Lourdes apparition happened not too long after the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was established, so a small-town priest would probably have only just gotten the news himself that the Immaculate Conception was even a Thing. Which only underscores the fact that Bernadette, a peasant girl who had zero time to study her catechism, could only have heard that term from the source herself. That story makes me shiver just thinking about it!

    (I don't need to be entered into the giveaway - my kids watch them all when they visit my parents!)

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    1. that's a really cool detail!

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    2. Athena, Thank you so much for your kind words!! That is really uplifting and it encourages us to keep working as hard as ever!

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  104. We are lighting our lenten centerpiece every night at dinner. Or at least every night I remember. :)

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  105. We are eating very simply during Lent (a lot of beans, rice, bread, and lentils). We will also be celebrating our name days this year. St. Michael the Archangel, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, and St. Thomas the Apostle.

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  106. Well now I am hosting a St. Patrick's Day playdate, thanks to you! It's about time for me to invite a few moms over for another play date, so why not make it saint-themed?? Thank you for the ideas!

    This month, we plan to celebrate St. Joseph's feast day (one of my son's patron saints) and the Annunciation (when I will renew my consecration to Jesus through Mary) with Mass and themed-food. We will also continue our nightly prayer time with the kids, reading a Bible passage and coloring a picture, throughout Lent. Ok, that was more than one way, but I'm just so excited about all these things! This Lent has been a great time for me to refocus on and recommit to my relationship with the Lord and also continue to teach my kids (3, 3 and under) about our faith!

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  107. We will be doing our backyard stations and a St Joseph celebration to honor the hubs! that st patricks playdate looks like fun. I'll have to see about tackling that as well!

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  108. Our family attends Stations of the Cross on Fridays. For St. Patrick's Day we have green foods & drinks or something Irish. I love the tea party idea! We belong to a Catholic Homeschool group and this would be fabulous to do with all the kids. Thanks! ;)

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  109. Love this! We like Stations of the Cross and will be celebrating St Patrick with your ideas!

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  110. we love CCC ... especially in the minivan on those rough afternoons. We're planning a big St. Paddy's day bash and something for St. Joseph's feast day, too. Probably involving lots of beer and baked goods.

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  111. I'm working on my Lenten bulletin board! What a terrific giveaway! Thanks for the fun!

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  112. We are currently returning to our faith and this would be a great addition for our son. I love your blog and find it really helpful and encouraging. For the lenten season, we are all "giving up" something....my son claims he's giving up a messy room! We are also very blessed to have our congregation's vocation angel this week and are praying daily for vocations. We plan to also celebrate St-Patrick's day in order to pay tribute to our Irish heritage.

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  113. What a giveaway! We will be praying the stations of the cross and coloring our Lenten calendar this month.

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  114. Cool giveaway! We'll be trying to read about a saint before bedtime once a week. We have a book, Saints for the Season, and it's nice to pick a saint whose feast day is that week.

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  115. I love the tea idea! We'll be doing that after school on St. Patrick's day. We are reading a lot of Saint Stories around here (I took your suggestion and I've been gradually adding to our collection with each major feast day) and using the Catholic Icing Lenten calendar. We colored every day purple except feast days and the kids are very excited about the non-purple squares. We are having a belated feast day for St. Patrick with our son's Godparents/our God Daughter's family. (We do this with birthdays, so I'm going out on a limb and doing it for a feast day too. Rookie Catholic error?) For St. Joseph's feast day we are doing the pasta on the table thing (I need to look up your post again) and reading about and praying to St. Joseph. The annunciation is still too far our for any planning yet.

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  116. A tea party sounds perfect! we will definitely be celebrating st Patrick's day bc he's my favorite saint. Also, my daughter turns one on the 18th, but we decided to celebrate it the Sunday before bc lent... and it also happens to be her name day (St. Louise de Marillac)!! this way we get to celebrate both with one big party :)

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    1. Hey, I've got a Louise, too. I've got to get that down on our calendar!

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  117. I'm putting together a stations of the cross box to help my two-year-old engage in praying the stations!

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  118. A tea party is such a cool idea! I like it! Thank you for such a cool blog; I love the Liturgical year, and living liturgically is fantastic. Even though we don't have children yet, we love learning about new cool traditions to implement in our home, that we can hopefully share with our kids someday. So, I am always excited when I come across wonderful blogs and websites with such fantastic ideas :)

    My husband and I are a little late on this since Lent already started, but we just found out about a cool Crown of Thorns centerpiece (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=1298) which we are hoping to make in a few days. Whenever you make an extra sacrifice, you pull a "thorn" out of the crown, so that by Easter Vigil, you hopefully have a thorn-free crown that you can decorate as an Easter centerpiece! :)
    God bless! Happy Lent!!!
    ~AnneMarie Miller

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  119. Thanks for the great suggestions! We are borrowing your idea of the "Lent mantle" with crown of thorns, purple and cactus. And we are also in the process of cutting out and making our Lent calendar for the little ones to understand the length of time!

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  120. I love this post! It is so great. I want to win so badly because I would buy the dvd with the 50% off code, but I gave up buying anything but food during Lent. So, no dvd buying for me. I guess that my participation in Lent is my way of celebrating the liturgical year this month. I am doing a capsule wardrobe for Lent to cut out most of my clothes and not allowing myself to buy anything besides food. We are also using your bean jar idea with my 3 year old.

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  121. We'll be celebrating St. Joseph's day. He is the patron saint of our parish, so his feast gets a lot of attention. This is only our second year, though, so I'm not quite sure what we'll do yet!

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  122. Those videos look amazing! Does general Lenten stuff count as participating in the liturgical year? Our toddler is only one-and-a-half right now, and I'm pregnant, so we're not taking on too much right now. Perhaps some treats for St. Patrick's Day, though, and your pasta feast for St. Joseph's day looks so fun!

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  123. We love these DVDs! We are singing Irish songs at a nursing home and making Holy Trinity St Patrick's Day crafts. :)

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  124. Hi Kendra! I started lurking on your blog a short while ago. I thinking I might be a Catholic revert, thanks to blogs like yours (and of course others, there is quite the selection!) Being of Irish descent we always make corn beef hash and cabbage on St. Patricks Day. But I am all over your suggestion of having a tea party play date. Sounds so fulfilling for me and my girls!

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  125. I was going to keep March simple for my little kids: just our lenten Crown of Thorns and coloring our Lenten calendars every day. But my oldest (age 6) is learning about St. Patrick at her school so now we are going to set up a little table with pictures of St. Patrick and information about his life (and yes, shamrocks).

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  126. Love this! We're moving just a few days after St. Patrick's Day, so I think eating a shepherd's pie I made and froze a few weeks ago might be about the best we can do. But it still totally counts, right?

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  127. Fun! I've never heard of those DVDs. (Convert alert!) We're watching the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure stuff, trying to do a sacrifice jar (which I find to be IMMENSELY irritating - we either forget all about it or the kids are wanting to put beans in for the dumbest things - then again, I'm a legalist, so maybe I just have issues), attending an extra Mass each week (which, score, is followed by free soup!), and, you know, maybe having this baby. If that isn't Lenten, I don't know what is.

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    1. It's pretty motivational for my kids. But I do keep having to remind them that saying "Okay Mama" in response to me answering a question that they ask me does not merit a bean. (Especially when the question is, "Do I get a bean for . . .?")

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  128. We celebrate St Josephs feast day as Fathers Day in Honduras. We will be having a potluck dinner on the 19th!

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  129. Mary Margaret 'Sawczyn' Burckel
    March 1 at 7:38am
    Couldn't get the blog com box to work so I'm posting here - hope that's ok!! We love the CCC videos!! We have a few and would love to add to our collection / give the rest as gifts! We host a monthly potluck with other Catholic families, and these ideas will be awesome for our March one! Your family is totally invited, if you ever find yourselves in Alabama :)

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  130. I host a saint picture book club every month on my blog and this month is for St. Patrick. We will be reading those, St. Joseph books and doing the March SaintMail package.

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  131. We love the CCC videos. We have a couple, so we would keep a few and share a few. We try to live the liturgical year by picking a couple of saints to celebrate each month. We'll probably do something special for St. Patricks day and a feast for my husband on St. Joseph's day.

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  132. Fun ideas! Last year I made soda bread and dyed-green apple juice for our playgroup, and I will probably be doing that again this year. But I would love to add the movie and coloring pages!

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  133. We started a Lenten sacrifice jar (with varying levels of success) and coloring pages to introduce Lent to our boys (4, almost 3, and 5 months, although the baby doesn't care a whole lot!). I love the ideas on this blog and Carrots for Michaelmas as we start to live liturgically!

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  134. We celebrated the feast of Katherine Drexel at Mass with the Archbishop!

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  135. I'm scheduled to deliver my son on March 19, so he will be named Joseph in honor of St. Joseph's feast day! It's not much, but that's what season of life we're in right now! Oh, and I guess we are also hosting our annual Lenten seafood dinner at our house this Friday. It started when it just got annoying to go out with friends and try to find a seafood restaurant that didn't have an hour-long wait on Friday!

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  136. We are absolutely having a St. Patrick's Day party and this tea seems like such fun! We don't have tea parties (with four boys its just too girly!) so this is a great reason to do it! We're also having a St. Joseph's alter on his day in our neighborhood. The boys and I gave up screen time and treats for Lent this year so we are really looking forward to our two feast days. We'll top it off with the Irish/Italian Parade in a neighboring town on Saturday followed by Mass that evening with a real Irish band (you know, from Ireland!) and bagpipers. Then outside for the Irish/Italian festival: crafts for kids, beer races, Guiness on tap, lots of cabbage and huge meatballs served in an ice cream cone. Not too shabby for South Mississippi!

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  137. We will make Resurrection Rolls to celebrate Easter!

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  138. I would love to add a Saint Patrick's Day celebration to honor my Irish heritage.

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  139. We are having a St. Patrick's Day feast day party after Mass on next Sunday. It will be a 7 families plus our priest. I'm having going to attempt to make a snake piñata for the children.

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    1. A snake pinata is brilliant! I may have to use that sometime.

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  140. My family is celebrating St. Patrick's Day as usual with corned beef & cabbage and probably some beef and stout stew. I'm also being confirmed at an evening mass on the 27th with a late celebration dinner afterward.

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  141. We are going to have a St Patricks Day party with our friends! Great idea!

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  142. We made a paper chain for lent with each link having a prayer intention for the day. It's a great visual for the kids to see how many days of lent are left

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  143. We are using Ann Voskamp's son's lent wreath with forty candles to maintain our focus throughout the forty days. We light a candle every night at dinner to guide our gaze to Jesus.

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  144. Your tea party sounds like such fun! I'd love to have the CCC videos. I have fond memories of watching "The Day the Sun Danced" in elementary school.
    Besides our Lenten observances, we'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day (my Irish husband's confirmation saint and the day after his birthday!) with Guinness (for him), Irish soda bread, and maybe some corned beef and cabbage. For St. Joseph's Day (also Italian Father's Day!), I think I'm going to try to make zeppole for the first time.

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    1. Dear Elizabeth! thank you so much for your kind words about our videos! You can always sign up for our monthly special and get those discounts at cccofamerica.com

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  145. We are trying to celebrate lent by prayer- kid friendly stations of the cross with props, fasting- bean jar for sacrifices, and almsgiving- money jar to earn for the poor when extra chores are done. I've been wanting to build a CCC movie collection for a while now. Thanks for the code!

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    1. If you sign up for CCC of Americas Newsletter, you receive special discounts every month! You should try it!

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  146. Green waffles! Because waffles are our favourite treat right now, and hey, they'll look great in green. :) [My husband and I met at an engineering school where the beer was green and the streets were painted green and snakes were beaten with shillelaghs... but I think we'll stick with green waffles for the kids this year.]

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  147. I'm seriously considering doing this playdate thing, even though I just had a baby and just moved into a new house. It sounds like so much fun!

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    1. Oh, wow! Same here, we had a baby in Nov, and moved just last month as well! Congrats and party on! :)

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  148. Love these movies! WE will absolutely be celebrating the feasts this month, ST Patrick, st Joseph and the Annunciation, and the kids are loving putting beans in the sacrifice jar.

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  149. St. Joseph feast day party and sacrifice beans!

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  150. Hi Kendra! Thanks for this opportunity. The videos would be a huge blessing. We like to celebrate the Annunciation in three ways. At the start of the day we wear our "yes" buttons. These are just construction paper circles safety pinned to our shirts. They have big letters spelling YES and the kids color them. Whenever someone inquires about it we tell them it is exactly nine months until Christmas and it is a reminder to say "yes" to God's will just as Mary did in Luke's gospel when the Angel Gabriel visited her. We also use this day to begin reciting a prayer written by Archbishop Fulton Sheen in order to spiritually adopt a baby who is in danger of abortion. The goal is to say it every day for nine months. You can find that prayer at spiritualadoption.org Lastly, we seek out a mom-to-be in our community and bless her with a meal or diapers. The kids color pictures and my oldest usually crochets a baby hat to throw in the mix. We have made some really great friends this way. So, Happy Lent and thanks for keeping things practical and real, not to mention fun!

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  151. We're watching the Lenten Adventure videos, going to a friend's St. Patrick's Day party, and celebrating St. Joseph.

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  152. Hi Kendra!
    I'm so excited about your St. Patrick's Day tea party idea! My kids love having tea parties and we will have family visiting us that week so I'm thinking this is what we'll be doing now. :) That and playing your Irish pub songs all day. haha! There will, of course, be some catechesis in the mix. St. Joseph's feast day will be a little trickier because we've never actually celebrated this one. I'm just now learning about the St. Joseph's altars and the devotion Italians have for him (similar to the devotion Irish have for St. Patrick). Still mulling ideas on that one. Anyway, got my fingers crossed for the give away. What a great give away, too!!

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  153. we observe the penitential season of lent as austere as possible with the exception of solemnities. we will hold a small celebration in our home for st. patrick's day since it is a first class feast day in our diocese. the annunciation is "yes" day in our home. st. joseph's feast day will also be celebrated this month with mass and a st. joseph's altar.

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  154. We are celebrating 3 of our kids birthdays plus our 15th anniversary this month! (All the Lenten feasting sometimes feels odd so I was grateful for your thoughtful post on the subject.)

    To that we hope to add a little party for St Patrick (though not sure if the Cuban and Colombian grandmothers can pronounce "Hooley"!) and something for St Joseph, plus Annunciation Waffles (my kids thank you!).

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  155. We used to live in Austria where we couldn't take the kids to the parish to do Stations (because they were in German), so we posted them around our house. We still do Stations around our house. I love your Stations custom, but in Wyoming it can be pretty penitential to be outdoors after dark on a Friday in March.
    We also always make cream puffs for the feast of St. Joseph. I don't know why, but it's the custom in France, Italy, and Malta (!). When our first baby was born we lived in Rome near a Maltese bakery, and we have never forgotten the cream puffs!

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  156. We are living the Liturgical year in a few ways this Lent...the bean jar for good deeds that will turn to jelly beans on Easter, a St. Patrick's Day brunch (using many of your ideas here!), and we have started a Simple Supper during Fridays during Lent for young families at our parish. One family brings soup and one family brings bread and oranges. The planner brings the water and paper products. Easy! Great way to get to know other families and then go to Stations right after. :)

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  157. Our Church (St Josephs) is having a special Mass and family life dinner after; we also try to make at least one Stations of the Cross as a family, and Reconciliation.

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  158. We celebrate St. Patrick's Day by reading our favorite St. Patty's book, "Patrick: Patton Saint of Ireland" by Tomie dePaola. We also wear green clothes, eat green food, and will be doing a shamrock/ Trinity craft.

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  159. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  160. We will be decorating for St Patrick's day with shamrocks (and discussing the trinity) we will read the Tomi DePaola book about St Patrick. Our neighborhood has a parade and a neighboring parish has a big party with live Irish music :)

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  161. We do the Stations and prepare corned beef and cabbage. I love the goldfish and grapes idea! Thanks for the chance!

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