Sunday, June 30, 2019

Praying for Vocations

Some time ago, our local parish began an initiative to pray together for vocations, and, thus, another prayer peg* was set in my life.

Each weekend at Mass, parishioners in our local collaborative pause to pray a beautiful Vocations Prayer from the Knights of Columbus:

Heavenly Father, bless Your Church with an abundance of holy and zealous priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, and lay ministers.
Give those You have called to the married state and those You have chosen to live as single persons in the world the special graces that their lives require.
Form us all in the likeness of Your Son, so that in Him, with Him, and through Him we may love You more deeply and serve You more faithfully, always and everywhere.
With Mary we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Each time I pray this prayer, I am struck by how it touches specifically on each vocation that a person may be called to, petitions for grace and strength, points us right to Jesus, and reminds us to live with love and service.

It is such a wonderful prayer to "peg" into daily or weekly life. I encourage you to consider doing so.

*What's a Prayer Peg?

If you have not caught my prior Prayer Pegs posts, please let me briefly explain what a "prayer peg" is.
Just like one can purposefully peg laundry to a line, so can we attach distinct praise, thanksgiving, petitions, and intercession to regular parts of our lives.

By pairing particular prayers with routine activities, we can form "Holy Habits" that help us respond to St. Paul's exhortation from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing".

Prayer pegs provide and easy and effective way to enrich prayer life.

Does Your Parish Do a Vocation Cross?

Another wonderful tradition to support prayer for vocations is a parish vocation cross.  If your parish does not already partake in such a program, I'd recommend bringing the idea up.

It is a simple, but powerful (because prayer is powerful!) initiative where each week one individual or family is given a cross and prayer cards to take home to pray daily for the week. Then, the next week, the cross and cards are transferred to another person or family at Mass. Thus, prayers for vocations increase and community builds.  Wonderful!

We first hosted our parish's vocation cross two year's ago and are delighted to be doing so again.

As I pray each day this week, I ask for the strength and grace to better live my vocation, for God to clearly illuminate the vocation He has planned for each of my children, and for those around me to be strengthened in their vocations. I also, of course, pray for an increase in vocations to the religious life.

If you'd like some ideas for beautiful vocation prayers, please take a peak at:

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Snippet of Fatherhood

Image may contain: 3 people, including Martianne Stanger, people smiling, child, outdoor, water and nature

"Come in, the water's fine." they said. 

"You'll be okay. It will hold you," they continued. 

But, the water was cold and the kayak's weight limit not quite fitting for Daddy. Still, he listened to the begging of his kiddoes, braved himself for cold and possible sinking, and paddled - with gleeful kids - until the craft was sinking and the kids had to push him - just as gleefully - into shore.


Because of love. 

Love for his children that makes him willing to do uncomfortable things to bring them joy and meet their needs.

Love from his children, which makes them clamber for loads of Daddy time and to relish so many moments when he chooses to be present with them on their terms.

Love between the children and him that has taught so many lessons: 

  • It never hurts to ask. 
  • Helping is a wonderful thing. 
  • Shared experiences mean so much. 
  • You never know what will happen, but you do know we can respond to it. 
  • Love is a choice worth making.

and more.

The love that God put in each of our hearts is meant to be shared and multiplies when it is. I see that so often as I witness my husband and children interact.

I am grateful for the love, commitment, and dedication that my husband shows. I am thankful that his love for his children always stays afloat even when his craft - literal or figurative - fails to.

I am also grateful for my own father who was always an example of love - hard love and fuzzy love, depending on the day and for my father-in-law who loves us dearly and who we love ever so much back.

Moreover, I am grateful for the many men throughout my life - my godfather, spiritual fathers, and more - who chose and continue to choose love.

Father's Day may have passed, but, really, every day is a father's day - an opportunity for every person who plays a fatherly role to extended the love of our Father in Heaven to others, for the fruit of His love passed on through his children to grow each and every day.

Some say, love is not an emotion, but a choice.

To my husband, thank you for making the choice to 
love for our children and for your commitment to our family. 

To all fathers everywhere, thank you for making the choice to love.

May your day filled with the fruit of your choice!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Teach Money Management, Business Building, & Faith Foundations to Kids {A Review and Coupon Code}

When I received word of an opportunity to review The Complete Starter Kit bThe Kingdom Code, I thought, This must a God thing.

The Kingdom Code

For, mere hours before I heard about this Homeschool Review Crew opportunity, I had been chatting with my husband about rekindlying a business focus with our children, and, the day before that, I had been asking in a Facebook group about how others are approaching entrepreneurship with their kids. Thus, I knew I wanted to try The Kingdom Code.

What I did not know was if my children would want to try it.

So, I sat my daughter down with me, and we watched this video about 
The Kingdom Code and read more about The Complete Starter Kit on The Kingdom Code website.

THE KINGDOM CODE from Jordan Buckingham on Vimeo.

Together, my daughter and I decided that we would like to use The Kingdom Code during 1:1's a couple times each week, but, also, that if her brothers took an interest in the program as well, we'd do it together. For, each of my children have had stops and starts with micro-businesses and money management throughout the years, and, after being stalled by a variety of life events and distractions, we are all ready for the children in our home to restart entrepreneurial efforts and personal finance skill development. 

What is The Kingdom Code?

The Kingdom Code is a faith-based program for students in grades four through eight which aims to teach them how to develop entrepreneurial skills and manage money with a Biblical worldviewThroughout 27 lessons, students are presented with opportunities to develop about moral character and work ethic while building financial skills and responsibility, budgeting, marketing, and running a business with Biblical principles.

This program is designed to be used twice per week for 34 weeks with each lesson lasting 45 minutes or so, but can certainly be adapted to other schedules.

It has:

  • a strong Biblical foundation.
  • tools to help students become successful leaders and entrepreneurs at any age.
  • teaching about how to strengthen financial skills and lead a debt-free, faith-filled lifestyle.
  • adaptability to be used by homeschoolers, classroom teachers, and families.
  • cross-curricular learning for economics, math, history, technology, writing, and faith.
  • easy-to-follow lessons that include a separate teacher's guide, worksheets, assessments, flashcards, activities, and a system to track learning.
  • a medieval theme filled with knights, treasure, and more to entice kids to learn.

You can find FREE SAMPLES of it on the Kingdom Code website and use the coupon code 10TKC35 for 10% off purchases!

We Received a Bundle of Goodness!

The Complete Starter Kit, which we received, contains everything you need to get started in teaching your children about money management skills and a Code of Integrity based on Biblical principles. 

We received the full kit, which included the:

Teacher’s Guide  This is 132 hole-punched pages containing lesson plans, answer keys, and everything you need to start teaching The Kingdom Code.

Student Textbook – This is a full-color, glossy-page, 244-page spiral bound book containing Biblical application, budgeting, consumer math, economics, entrepreneurship, history, writing and more to teach young entrepreneurs to live by a Code of Honor and Faith as they build and manage successful businesses.

Student Packet This includes all the consumable materials student use in the program, which are a KCK Receipt Book to be used to keep a record of their customers’ payments; a TKC Treasure Map which is used as a reward system for tracking the completion of 27 lessons; a page of 1/2" Bonus Rewards Stickers to be used with the KCK Treasure Map; a page of six, 3" Label stickers to be placed on six zippered, pencil pockets (not included) for where business income budgeted money will go; three full-color 8.5″ x 11″ posters to use in the KCK student binders (binders not included; flashcards that contain key introductory accounting terms, economic terminology, basic business terms, and some Biblical vocabulary; and 124 full-color pages and four black-and-white forms which help students review and put concepts into action.

This kit is sold separately, too, so if you have more than one child working through the program, each can have their own set.

(The vendor gave the Review Crew permission, for the purposes of the review, to make copies of portions of this consumable Student Pack to use with a second child in our family, but such permissions are not given for general consumers, and as you can see from the above and below pics, the full-color purchased materials are so much more inviting than photocopied ones from home. So, do buy the additional student packs as needed!)

We also received additional bonus items which are available on The Kingdom Code website: the JR Budgeting Kit and The Kingdom Code Coloring Book.

The JR KCK Budget Kit includes a KCK Budget Poster; a sheet of JOEYS stickers (J is for Jesus -10%; O is for Others - 5%; E is for Education -10%; Y is for You - 60%; and S is for Savings -15%); a My KCK Budget Percentages Page; and six colorimg pages. It was created as an economical way to introduce kids too young for the full The Kingdom Code curriculum to budgeting so they can learn how to manage money God's way. 

I set it aside when we first got it and am planning to use it in the fall as a gentle way to re-invite my youngest into the curriculum.

Likewise, I plan to use the 32 page, softcover The Kingdom Code Coloring Book, which features female and male knights, Bible verses, and KCK Budget ideas as another way to re-invite my son to the curriculum in the fall, as I think coloring or watercolor painting its pages while I read the student text to my younger two children will be pleasing for them.  

I also think  that the verses and ideas in the coloring book could be used for copywork.

To use the program as designed, in addition to the plethora of materials which come with it and are described above, you will also need:
  • two 1" 3-ring binders
  • one set of divider tabs
  • one folder with brads and pockets
  • zippered pencil pockets with clear plastic front
  • a sealable bag for the flash cards
  • a red pencil and other writing utensils
  • whatever you want to use for your actual business supplies

Our Up-Down-Up Experience

When our kit came in, my daughter was excited and wanted to dig right in. I made her wait a day or two, though, so I could find time to look over the materials myself.

Then, my daughter, younger son, and I began the program while my older son was within earshot, since I was hoping that he would become intrigued and want to join in!

Sadly, my plan did not work, because both my daughter and younger son - though enticed by the full-color pages and promise of learning about running their own businesses - immediately felt the program was teaching "too much Bible stuff and not enough practical business stuff" while their big brother chimed in that it sounded the same to him and also sounded babyish.

Ugh!  I was not happy with our kick off, since, I honestly think the program has oodles of fantastic learning to offer and does so with beautifully designed materials, so was hoping my two younger children would jump right into it with gusto and my oldest would follow suit.

Disappointed, but rallying, I, then, paused our studies for a moment and paged forward through the student text with my younger two in order to show them that the program is chock full of "business stuff" and to explain that the beginning chapter was just setting a faith-based foundation much like how life is filled with plenty of "stuff", but we need God at its center.

Whew!  That helped.  

Once my younger two realized the program would flow with plenty of practical ideas, they were happy enough to do another portion of it another day.

Unfortunately, the day we did the second portion of the program was a day when my youngest wanted to do anything but write, and, well, I wasn't the best homeschool mama that day and made him write, so, my youngest soured on the program and has not quite gotten over that, as he began associating the program with writing drudgery (a total momma fail not program fail!)

Luckily, I spied some links listed in the teacher's guide for supplemental video clips and related online games and used these with my son during our last lesson with The Kingdom Code, so, I think, after a pause for summer, I will gently be able to re-invite him to benefit from the program using a gentle re-start with the aforementioned bonus materials I have set aside, plenty of the supplementary work (i.e. videos and games) that is listed in the teacher's guide, and a "pass" on much of the worksheet portion of the program.

That way, my younger son will be able to happily glean the good stuff  (of which there is a ton as the Table of Contents pictured below hints at!) without being weighed down by the parts of the program that don't suit him.  (We can do writing with other things.)

Meanwhile, even though her brother stalled out, my daughter has been progressing through the program, doing most parts of the typical lessons with me and seeing the program's value.

The typical lesson includes:

  • Proclamation: a Biblical principal for the student to focus on for the day which students are supposed to stand and proclaim, but which we just read since she and he brother thought the whole proclaiming thing was hokey, not fun or meaningful
  • Check Your Path: worksheets, which we've been doing during our official review period, but will do orally or not at all (with me just chatting through some of the material instead) from now on because that is more my daughter's style
  • Quest for the Clue: a focus of the lesson theme and goals which I, personally, often find interesting
  • Code of Honor: a related Bible verse and a short blurb that connects it
  • On Your Own: activity sheets that we work on together, but which could be done independently by children without dyslexia or other special needs
  • Kingdom Keys: lesson review points and key vocabulary
  • Congratulations: adding a completion sticker to the KCK Treasure Map, which both of my children working on this program liked, and, which seemed odd to me because we are not often a sticker chart sort of family, but, hey, whatever works! It just goes to show the visual appeal of this program's material.
  • Bonus Work: supplemental work that enhances the lesson (like those links to videos and games that my son liked!)

In addition to these, there are some other bits that come up throughout the course, but these are ones we are seeing in most lessons.
All this adds up to a truly complete program that lives up to what it promises on the back of the student boo - "a hands-on approach to equipping future generations with money management skills and a code of integrity".

Sour Notes Yet Serious Success is Happening
As I explained before, my youngest got a bit turned off from the program due to me asking him to complete some of the worksheets.  Thus, when I asked him for his thoughts for this review he said:

I like the links that they give to videos and games, but I don't really like how boring the actual lessons are. I also don't like how early on you have to start your business and the kinds of businesses. A lot of them seem like they wouldn't really work or be possible for kids like me. I would not really recommend this curriculum to people unless they like writing and want to do service businesses.

That said, my son likes the idea of making money and has his dad working for him on a "Can Business" where his Dad collects cans from people at work and, then, he and his dad go return them for money.

Of course, this is not a real business, but it is a seed and seeds can grow.

When I re-invite my son to this program after a summer break, I am planning to ask if he might turn his can idea into a service thing for neighbors - maybe offer to collect and return their cans for them when he's returning his own and then take a percent of the money for the returned cans - or think of another way to grow the can idea.

Meanwhile, my son is also helping with the business his sister settled on for now.

That business is basically a way for my children to help us declutter our home while making some money. Basically, they help me find things in our home we no longer need. Then, they clean and prepare them for sale, I post them on a local Facebook sale page and do the online communications, they greet customers who come to buy things, take money, carry things to customers' cars, record sales, and divvy profits up.

So far, they have greeted customers and made over $200 doing this and helped us purge from our home a large stack of banana boxes filled with stuff and a large self-standing item.  That's a win for us all!

I am sure our "winning" will get even bigger as we learn more with the curriculum, about which my daughter had this to say:

I wanted this curriculum because it is about starting businesses and I want to start one. When it came in, I thought it was nicely packaged, and I thought it was cool how they had the knight theme, but I did not really like how they start off with service businesses. I also don't like quite how many worksheets there are, but that's just me, because I am a person who is more hands-on than worksheet based.  It's just the way I work.

So far, I think it is okay. I want to continue it to see what I learn, but do the worksheets orally from now on. I hope I am able to start a successful business.

I think this curriculum would be good for students in a large group of homeschoolers or classroom students.

As for me, I am happy that my daughter wants to keep using the curriculum, because I think it is rich with practical ideas, cross curricular knowledge and skills, and, of course, plenty of Biblical principles.  am happy that my daughter wants to keep using the curriculum, because I think it is rich with practical ideas, cross curricular knowledge and skills, and, of course, plenty of Biblical principles.

Homeschoolers and Classroom Teachers Can Use The Kingdom Code

The Complete Starter Kit bThe Kingdom Code is a well-designed program that teaches important practical life skills connected to faith, economics, history, math, technology, writing, and more, so I most certainly would say it is worth checking out if you're looking for money management, business building, and Biblical tie ins for your children.

The curriculum is said to be for late elementary through middle school students. Content wise, it most certainly is. In fact, it explores skills and ideas that any child or teen would do well to learn.  However, presentation-wise, I think it is a bit "young" for teens.  The knight theme and the way some materials are introduced just would not appeal to most teens I know - even my 13-year-old history-loving, knight-loving oldest son.  That said, with adaptation, the curriculum would be good even for teens and, certainly, is good for children in later elementary ages, I would say.

The lesson plans, I noticed, are also written for a classroom setting as well as a home one, so I think the program would work wonderfully for a Christian co-op, hybrid school, or private school.

It works for families, too.

If you'd like to see if it might work for you and yours, look at the FREE SAMPLES and use the coupon code 10TKC35 for 10% off purchases!

Connect with The Kingdom Code on Social Media

Fifty Homeschool Review Crew families have been using Kingdom Code. Read or watch their reviews!
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, June 16, 2019

2 Prayer Pegs that Help Me Pray for My Husband Daily

Happy Father's Day!

I am blessed with a husband who truly loves our children and is focused on being an active Daddy and committed spouse.

That said, life is not all love and laughter here. Often enough, life is just plain challenging.

And, that's okay.

No one ever said that life as a married person with children would be perfect. 

Rather, perfection is what awaits us in Heaven one day. 

Until then, here on earth, mess abounds. 

Sometimes it's a beautiful mess. Other times, it is a downright difficult one. Either way, the mess amounts to an opportunity to grow in holiness and to sand down the rough edges and imperfections of ourselves.

When a Husband and Wife Are Holy Sandpaper
Ah, yes, those rough edges and imperfections! I know I am full of them - and, I dare say, my husband might admit he's got a few, too.

Luckily, though, God knows this about us, and, in His divine wisdom, He has made us Holy Sandpaper for one another. 

Indeed, when my husband and I seem rub each other the wrong way, if we remain open to God, He has a way of taking whatever is going awry and righting it. 

So often, He turns our wrong-way rubbing into opportunities to smooth down our jagged corners, stubborn bumps, and rough edges.

He also invites us to pray for one another - especially when things are rough.

And, that is how two simple prayer pegs for my husband came about.

Pray When Receiving Communion

One day, when I was feeling rather raw from the rubbing that can happen in marriage, I talked to a priest about it. He suggested to me that I pray for my husband each time I go up to receive the Eucharist,

What a simple, yet powerful practice! I thought.

Thus, one regular opportunity to pray for my husband got pegged into life each time I went to Mass.

Offer Prayers at the Start of Each Rosary

Another time, when I was praying a rosary after a difficult time with my husband and spoke aloud the words "for faith, hope, and charity" during the initial three Hail Mary's of a rosary, a thought struck me.

Faith, hope, and charity.  That is what I need - and my husband, too.
I recognized an alignment between the ideas of faith, hope, and charity and some petitions that I had been praying about my husband and our marriage: that my husband - and I! -would grow in faith, that our marriage would grow in God's hands, and that my husband and I would both show more charity in our communications. 

From that moment forward, I began adding, "for my husband, our marriage, and our communication" to almost every rosary I prayed. 

Then, later, when my husband had some work issues, I also added intentions for his employment into the same prayer peg, and, now, I often add other small intentions.

Pray Daily for Your Spouse

Between praying for my husband when receiving the Eucharist and praying for him at the beginning of each Rosary, I have become better at specifically praying for him each and every day.

Such prayers, I believe, are part of my vocation or marriage. Undoubtedly, God gave my husband and I to one another so that we would both grow in holiness - and prayer is such an important part of that growth.

On good days, and on challenging ones, prayers of thanksgiving, petition, praise are vital. Do you, too, pray specific prayers at specific times for your spouse?

What's a Prayer Peg?

If you are new here or have not caught my prior Prayer Pegs posts, let me explain that as a busy, distractable Mom, I am not always good at listening to St. Paul's exhortation from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing."

Thus, I have come to establish a number of "prayer pegs" for myself and my children as a way of building "Holy Habits" for us which will
flow naturally, seamlessly, and rhythmically within our lives. 

These "prayer pegs" are simply acts of blessing, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession that we've attached to specific activities in order to form intentional habits of unceasing prayer.  For just like one can purposefully peg laundry to a line, we can attach a distinct form of prayer to a regular part of our lives.

What prayer pegs work for you and yours at other times during your days and weeks? Do share! 

May your husband - or wife - be filled with grace, growing closer to God each and every day!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Study High School Speech Independently {A Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Review}

When we were offered a chance to review one of many helpful offerings from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, I brought the choice to my 13-year-old son: Would you like to do this review, and, if so, which product would you most like? 

With little hesitation, my succinct son said, "Yes. The Speech one."

I had a feeling that would be my son's answer, since, (a) he joined a Speech and Debate club this year and wants to excel at it next year; (b) he has recently been determined to hasten his education by beginning his high school studies early; and (c) he wants more independent studies

So far, he's been happy with his choice.

As soon as our copy of Lightning Lit & Comp 
Speech came in, my son slowly began to pace himself through it, and, the other day, narrated a review of the program as follows.

Recently, I decided to get Lightning Lit & Comp Speech.

I wanted this curriculum for a few reasons: 

  1. I am going into highschool and need high school credits 
  2. I need to learn speech as I am in a speech and debate club. 

 For this review, we received physical copies of Lightning Lit & Comp, Speech Student's Guide and Lightning Literature & Composition Teacher's Guide to the Second Edition of Speech.

We also needed to get Lend Me Your Ears Great Speeches in History by William Safire from our library. 

This book is a necessary part of the curriculum, which uses speeches from the book to teach different speech writing skills.

In the curriculum, there are four units. Each unit has two lessons.

Each lesson follows this basic pattern:

  •  Read specific speeches. 
  • Answer comprehension questions about those speeches.
  • Read about how to write speeches drawing from the speeches you read earlier in the lesson.
  • Complete a choice from given writing exercises. 

Lessons focus on such things as  speech openings, content, research and factual arguments, organization, word choice and style, and more.

In the book, there are suggested schedules for completing the curriculum over the course of a full year or a single semester. At first, I didn’t notice these and I nearly made myself do extra writing exercises. Then, my mom pointed them out to me, I fixed my mistake, and I am now progressing through the semester plan.

The student guide is a 145 page softcover book with an Introduction that tells you how to use the guide. Then, there are the four units followed by appendixes that offer discussion questions, additional reading, and schedules. 

The Teacher Guide is a stapled, 3-holed punch pile of 59 pages. Helpful features in it include grading tips, schedules, answers to the comprehension questions and checklists for writing. 

So far, I have liked two of the speeches in this curriculum: Vice President Spiro Agnew Castigates the Media (which had content I totally agreed with) and General Douglas MacArthur Reminds West oint Cadets of Duty, Honor, Country because I was a powerful speech with a lot of meaning in it. It was moving and inspiring, but not complicated.

The curriculum helps me to write better by giving me multiple examples of powerful speeches, even though some of the people’s perspectives are opposite to mine. So far, I have worked on Openings and Content, learning such things as how to use humor and “bad news and good news”.

I would recommend this curriculum to those who want to earn high school credits and read impressive speeches. I think it is a great tool for those who need to learn speech writing skills and want to earn high school credits with an easy-to-follow independent study.

Back to Mom:

I, too, think it is a well-written curriculum.  I appreciate how it uses real speeches from history that are collated in one volume and helps students study examples of strong Openings, Content, Research and Factual Arguments, Organization, Audience considerations, Words and Sentences, Rhetorical Styles, and Conclusions.

I also like that the curriculum ties in practical speech skills such as looking your best, sounding your best, and using visual aids, asking students to write and give their own speeches.

Further, I love how easy Lightning & Lit Comp Speech makes it for motivated students to progress with independent study while Mom or another mentor or teacher check in using tools such as Checklists, Grading Templates, and Answers to Comprehension Questions.

The curriculum also, of course, could be used for 1:1 study time, large group, or classroom study. It even has Discussion Questions to aid with such partner and group studies.

I would recommend the curriculum to any high school student interested in learning more about Speech - both by reading quality speech examples and also by writing and delivering your own speeches.

My son, although young for the curriculum, is stretching his skills with it, and, I believe, will be a more adept Speech and Debate club member next year due to his Lightning Lit & Comp Speech studies.

Homeschool Review Crew Families had the option of reviewing one of 19 different helpful resources from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources.  Read all the reviews.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Enjoy Pentecost Birthday Cake!

When your daughter turns 12 on Pentecost and already had her meal requests in - including yellow cake and berries- you honor that request, layer on some symbolism, and... ta-da!

Pentecost Birthday Cake!

So easy peasy!

The three berries in the center remind us of our triune God and the fact that when Christ left earth after His death and Resurrection, the Spirit followed.

The large candle in the center represents Christ our Light and His promise to send the Holy Spirit.

The 12 smaller candles represent the Apostles and the tongues of fire which came down on Pentecost.

The 12 berries they are in represent the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

All the berries around the cake represent the people of many nations who were told about Christ, one to another, growing the Church.

Of course, two of the symbols of Pentecost are captured in this Birthday cake - the tongues of fire with the flames of the candle and the wind with the kids blowing out the flames. Red - the color of Pentecost - is also there.

What is not there is a dove - which could easily have been added with a picture of large figurine, if I had thought of it - and symbolic 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This last omission was purposeful.  For, I could have put a ring of seven strawberries into hearts to remind us of the loving 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but one of my children detests strawberries, so I opted not to cover too much of the cake surface in them.

You could do it though!

Because birthday child or not, Pentecost is a wonderful day for a birthday cake as a way to remember the birthday of the Church and our part within it.

Each of us is given 7 Gifts and, using those gifts, the 12 Fruits happen... Our Lord wishes us to continue the work of the Apostles - to spread news of Him.

Today - and every day - may we grow in relationship with our Lord and our neighbors.

Blessed Pentecost to one and all!


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