"The whole trouble is that -- literally -- we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness, and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has His plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help Him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it: We cannot improve on God's plans." This Tremendous Lover, M. Eugene Boylan, O.C.R.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Classroom Rules and Expectations

This week I am starting to prepare classroom materials as well as prepare for our parent-teacher meeting that will be in just a few weeks. I am sharing today with you the poster that I made to convey the classroom rules for our group this year.

The actual rules came from The Catholic Tool Box, a resource that I recently shared with you. I put the poster together with stickers in the $1 bin at Walmart I found this week, then colorful markers.

I also decided to include pictures of each of the concepts below the written rules. I have quite a few pre-readers this year in my classes, so I wanted to be sure they had a visual for the rules as well.You can print the images that I used HERE as well.

I love that the rules are painted in a positive light: What we WILL do, instead of what we will NOT do. I am so easily bogged down in "no's" when I discipline, so this is a great reminder for me to stay positive, even while correcting behavior.

More to come on setting up your school year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sharing a great resource

Just a quick post to share a great resource that you may not have seen before: The Catholic Tool Box!

This is a fantastic source of information for your Catholic Classroom. Most resources are of the Latin-variety, but there is plenty that can be used for our Eastern perspective. This website is truly amazing!

Right now, she is gathering links for Catholic websites and blogs...hopefully more resources will be listed soon!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Feast of the Transfiguration

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration! Our church will celebrate tomorrow at Sunday Liturgy, but I wanted to share a couple tips to help you celebrate this feast with your family. Don't forget to get a basket of grapes ready to be blessed at your Liturgy!

1. Read the story from your Bible in Matthew 17: 1-9 as a family.

2. Want to keep things super simple? Here is a beautiful coloring page to print.

3. Feeling ambitious? Try out this craft, an idea from Happy Catholic Mom. Print out Jesus HERE. Have the children color Jesus, and glue him to a piece of construction paper. Next, paint a thin layer of glue over Jesus and around him. Sprinkle glitter over the glue, dust off the extra and you're all set! Now Jesus will shine just as He did in the story. (I did this with glitter Mod Podge instead of loose glitter...I am a total type A mom and hate the mess! LOL) We also drew a cloud and wrote from the scripture "This is my beloved Son, of whom I am well pleased; Listen to Him."

4. Purchase and use the Transfiguration learning kit from Orthodox Christian Supply. We have some of their other kits and they have been a big hit with the kids.

5. Make a card for your parish priest. Fold a sheet of card stock in half. Have your children dip their thumbs into purple paint and press them on the page to form the bunch of grapes. Cut out felt leaves for dimension and glue them on. Inside, write an encouraging message of appreciation.

6. Sing the troparion for the day as a family. "You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, showing your Disciples as much of your glory as they could hold. Let your eternal light shine also upon us sinners, through the prayers of the Mother of God. O Giver of Light, glory to You."

7. At dinner, have a discussion about the Feast. Need some help with what to say? Look HERE. Show the children the icon for the Feast.

8. Buy as many colors of grapes as you can and have the children help you wash them and arrange them in a basket for Liturgy.

9. One more cute grape craft made from egg cartons...check it out HERE! This would be great with little ones.

10. After returning from Liturgy, share your blessed grapes with your neighbors. What a great way to witness to our friends!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday School Enrollment!

Dear Parishioners, Family, and Friends in the Phoenix metro area,

Christ is among us!

It is time for Children's Religious Education enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year at St. John of the Desert Melkite Catholic Church. The enrollment deadline this year is August 31, 2011. I have linked below to three documents with all the information that you will need to enroll your children. Please note that registration is not limited solely to parishioners, so please feel free to pass along this information to your extended family and friends. We would love to see our enrollment grow this year!

Please leave a comment below if you have additional questions. I am here to help!

Registration Letter

Important Dates

Registration Form