• Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    Celebrating the Feast of St Barbara

    The celebration of traditions are immensely appealing to children and adults alike, the rhythm of Advent is always greatly anticipated. Following the first Sunday of Advent our family is eager to enjoy the Feast of St Barbara.(December 4th) Our St Barbara’s tower was introduced by a friend whose family came from a little Italian village, Zolli in the Avelino Province.  Each year we create a tower to reminding us of St Barbara’s  imprisonment, the red and white lollies remind us of her purity and martyrdom. Over the years the children have been eager to create different designs in a determined effort to create a tower which will be impossible to crack. This year’s tower was tough…

  • Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    St Barbara’s Tower

    For several years now we have enjoyed observing the Feast of St Barbara with a chocolate tower and red and white lollies.  A custom from the Italian village of Zolli in the Avelino Province of Italy.  St Barbara was imprisoned in a tower and the lollies remind us of her purity and martyrdom. This year Carpenter and Michelangelo took over the design and construction and erected a different style to previous years. Our children eagerly anticipate this Feast each Advent. Then who could resist a chocolate piñata?:) An opportunity to eat plenty of chocolate and lollies:) (Ah, yes, I fudged this year and bought only red lollies.)

  • Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    Feast of St Barbara

    Today is the Feast of St Barbara, a couple of years ago our family added a new tradition. This tradition was introduced to us by my friend A, whose family originates from a little Italian village Zolli in the Avellino Province of Italy. Every year the children are excited to make, smash and eat our tower. We make a chocolate tower that represents the tower that St Barbara was imprisoned in, inside are red and white lollies that represent her martyrdom and purity. We made our tower from a large family block of Cadbury. Then we melted cooking chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water and used it to ‘glue’…

  • Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    Feast of St Barbara

    Yesterday was the Feast of St Barbara. We celebrated this Feast by making a ‘Tower’ a tradition we introduced a couple of years ago told to me by my dear friend Anna. Anna has many traditions her family keeps, many of their traditions come from a little Italian village where she spent some of her childhood years. This idea came originally from that Italian village, Zolli in the Avellino Province of Italy. We built a chocolate tower with red lollies in the center. The tower represents the tower St Barbara was locked in, the red lollies the blood of her martyrdom. The children close their eyes/are blindfolded and take turns…

  • Advent/Christmas – Nativity

    The Donkey’s Dream – Barbara Helen Berger An donkey carries on his back a miracle, he carries the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem. Along the way he dreams he is carrying a city, a shio, a fountain and a rose.  He dreamed he was carrying a lady full of heaven, which he was.  So much symbolism, gorgeous illustrations. This book perfectly conveys the beauty, majesty and mystery of the Christ Child’s birth.  5 Star!!   The Way to Bethlehem – Inos Biffi Covering the Christmas Story from the Annunciation to the Return to Nazareth;  and the Saints of the Christmas Season includes Mary to Sts Stephen and Thomas Becket; each page is…

  • Blog,  Home Education,  Home Education - Language Arts,  Home Education - Leaping into Literature,  Learning

    Leap into Literature – Australian History

    (old pic) Last week we focused on Australian history, always a personal favourite of mine, though the children moan they know it all, not true. It was the third last week of the school year and a definite feeling of winding down. However we forged on and managed to continue with maths, independent studies for the older three, a little writing (emphasise little) and reading continued happily. Independent studies included, Church History and Science Matters for Einstein, he loves Science Matters! Lots of maths for Michelangelo, he is trying to finish up a large portion of his maths CD. Princess is loving the freedom to read as much as she…

  • Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    Planning – 1st Week of Advent

    First Sunday of Advent -Purchase Pudding ingredients. -Bake Christmas Pudding. Feast of St Francis Xavier December 3rd Name Day for two of our boys. They have requested a chocolate mud cake. – Purchase mud cake ingredients. – Craft; St Francis Xavier Ornaments -Read St Francis Xavier’s story. Feast of St Barbara December 4th – Celebrate with our Chocolate Tower. – Purchase chocolate,(for St Barbara’s Tower) Red Lollies (for her blood) -Make pinata. – Read St Barbara’s story. Feast of Saint Nicholas December 6th *This year due to the Feast falling on Sunday we will celebrate on the 5th. – Purchase children’s books for their St Nicholas Gifts. – Purcahse purple…

  • Blog,  Liturgical Year - Advent

    Checklist for Advent Preparations – Week One

    For the last few weeks I have been busy planning for Advent. I thought it would be helpful to group some notes together here. For myself primarily and they may be of help to my readers. ETA: This has been sitting in my drafts for several days now, better late than never;) Prior to The First Sunday in Advent – Collect all Christmas titles in the house together and place in the ‘reading baskets’ Reserve Christmas titles from the library. Including Jostein Gaarder’s The Christmas Mystery. – Pull decorations out of storage. Advent wreath ‘skeleton’ Christmas tree and purple decorations (Last year we started decorating the tree purple for advent…