Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Picture Book for Our November Book Basket: The All Saints' Day Party {Giveaway}

All Saints' Day is just around the corner and I still haven't decided if I'm up for trying to host our annual All Hallows' Eve party - it may end up just being a small/family party this year - but I DO have a fun new book to add to our October and our November Book Baskets!

"Maggie and Max can't wait for the All Saints' Day party: there will be games and candles and treats . . . and costumes! There's just one problem: they can't decide which saint to dress up as . . . and the party is just a week away! The siblings turn to their friends and family for help, and get introduced to six saints, each of whom had his or her own way of being holy: St. Martin de Porres, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joseph, St. Josephine Bakhita, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Which saint will they be? It's a surprise--you'll have to read the story to see! Join Maggie and Max as they learn about what it takes to be a saint...and how each of us is called to be one."

You can preview the whole book over at Gracewatch Media.  The All Saints' Day Party is available in either paperback or hardcover from Amazon {aff link} and Gracewatch Media.

Gracewatch Media has generously offered to send one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses a copy of the hardcover edition of The All Saints' Day Party!

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find our complete list of saint books for the months of October and November here:

Looking for party ideas? You can find all sorts of All Saints' and All Souls' Printable Decorations, Games and Activities in the archives! 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun

"The world waited for October 13, the day of the great miracle that the Lady had promised would take place..."

This year we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and the Miracle of the Sun. Here are seven ways to commemorate this special anniversary with children:

1 – Picture Books

Here is the list of the books that are pictured on our book cart above:

The Rosary for Little Catholics (reprint of the original 1952 edition)

The Children of Fatima

** Also, a print edition of this beautiful brand new graphic novel will be released soon and I look forward to adding it to our collection! **

2 – Coloring Pages

I love the beautiful coloring page from Catholic Playground: Our Lady of Fatima Coloring Page. It's the one that we printed out to color this year.

Here is a Rosary Diagram coloring page from St. Anne's Helper. You can also find coloring pages for all the mysteries of the rosary on their website too

Download and Print these Our Lady of Fatima Holy Cards and Coloring Page from my friend Aleesa's Etsy shop. 

You can find many more options through an online search. 

 – Our Lady's Rosary Craft

When we made rosaries for a service project a few years ago, my friend Aleesa sent us extra supplies to make one for each of the kids to keep as well. After making thirty-five to giveaway we never did get to those extras... I pulled the supplies out to the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun! It was a perfect craft for the anniversary of the apparitions this year.


4 – Audio + Video

The Day the Sun Danced DVD - one of my own childhood favorites!
This film accurately portrays the story of Our Lady's appearances to the three children in 1917. From the angel's appearance to the Miracle of the Sun, the full story is so captivatingly presented that young viewers will want to watch it again and again.

Secrets from Heaven: The Story of the Children of Fatima (Glory Stories: Volume XIII) is available from Holy Heroes

The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima DVD

5 – Catholic Cuisine

Mary Machado, one of my contributors over at Catholic Cuisine, kindly took the time to compile all the past posts for easy reference! We decided to make her Spinning Sun Cake for our family celebration, spinning it on our Cake Turntable/Rotating Cake Stand.

6 – Favorite Dolls

Our Lady of Fatima from Shining Light Dolls

Grimms Stacking Blocks • Our Lady of Fatima from Naturally Catholic 

7 – Pray the Rosary

Our Lady of Fatima, Ora Pro Nobis!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Our Lady's Rosary

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee. Amen.
- Prayer taught by the Angel of Peace to the three children during his first apparition

The Rosary is a special prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary that recalls events in the Life of Christ and of His Blessed Mother. The use of a string of Rosary beads helps to pray the Apostles Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father. On each large bead we say an Our Father and on each small bead a Hail Mary. The Our Father and ten Hail Mary’s is followed by the Glory Be and together referred to as a decade of the Rosary. While reciting these prayers, we think of Our Blessed Lord and look at Him through Our Blessed Mother’s eyes to understand Him with our heart. We should try our best to pray Our Lady’s Rosary, bringing our mind back to the mysteries if our mind wanders or we get distracted. Families that pray the rosary together daily are especially blessed by God.

In 1571, Pope St. Pius V urged all of Christendom to implore Our Lady by means of the rosary in defense against an advancing Moslem Turkish force that threatened the Mediterranean and the West. The outnumbered Christian fleet prevailed at the Battle of Lepanto and, attributing this victory to the praying of the Rosary, the Feast of the Holy Rosary was established the following year on October 7. Such importance is the value of the rosary in the life of the Christian that in 1858 Our Lady appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France each time holding a Rosary in her hands and imploring us to meditate on its mysteries, to help her save souls. Then in 1917, the Blessed Virgin appeared again to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal asking for penance and prayer, and for the Rosary to be said daily and devoutly for the peace of the world. At the last apparition on October 13, 1917 she said that she wanted to be called Our Lady of the Rosary while warning the faithful to amend their lives, ask pardon for their sins, and that “they must say the Rosary."

Supplies For Each Rosary:
  • Pre knotted string
  • 53 Hail Mary beads
  • 6 Our Father beads
  • Crucifix
  • Copper rose center bead (or other bead of choice)
  • Small beads for on either size of the Our Father beads
  • Small bead to connect the crucifix


1. Take the pre-knotted string and start by threading a small bead, an Our Father bead, then another small bead, followed by 3 Hail Mary beads, then once again with a small bead, Our Father bead, and another small bead.

2. Add the rose center bead followed by 10 Hail Mary beads. Then a small bead, Our Father bead, small bead, and 10 Hail Mary beads again. Repeat this pattern until you have all 5 decades on the string.

3. Now take the string end and feed it back through the copper rose center bead. Pull until tight. Split the string and tie a few knots around the center string.

4. Add the small clear bead and crucifix to the other end of the string and feed the string end through the small bead. Tie off like the center.

5. After you have tied all the knots trim the strings to about ¼-½”.

6. Have an adult take a lighter and melt the trimmed ends.

7. As Our Lady of Fatima instructed Sister Lucia, “Continue to pray the Rosary every day.”



{It's taken a few years to get around to sharing the pictures from this craft/service project, but on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in December of 2014, we spent the afternoon (and late into the night!) assembling thirty-five rosaries (five each - the older boys and I helped the younger ones finish theirs) to send to children at an orphanage in Nigeria for Christmas that year.  This project was coordinated by my friend Aleesa and her business donated all the supplies. Aleesa's pastor was from Nigeria, going back for Christmas, and had requested 70 rosaries to give to all the children.} 


O JESUS, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings, all that this day may bring, be they good or bad: for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Fatima Morning Offering

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Four Months

My baby girl! She is four months old now and weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds 11 ounces at her appointment this morning. 

Our little "Grace" is doing so well! She is still (by far) our fussiest baby ever, but she's usually happy for at least half of each day now. She will sleep for one 3-4 hour stretch each night, which is so much better than waking up hourly around the clock like she did for her first 2-3 months. We're so grateful that she is healthy, growing, and that we haven't had any more scares.

She has started rolling over, from both her back to her tummy, and then from her tummy to her back again. She smiles, loves babbling, reaches for whatever she can, and is just starting to giggle when I'm playing with her. During her fussiest times (in the evening) I can usually cheer her up with a warm bath.  She loves spending time in her baby carrier, but the buckle broke on our recent road trip and I'm waiting for the replacement to arrive (she's still too small for the rest of my carriers)... She has been such a blessing and we love her to pieces! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Constellation Pies, Spanish Cocoa and Stargazing

"Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, 
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels." 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

New mugs for the boys featuring their Confirmation saints: 


Stargazing and Spanish Cocoa on Columbus Day ☕️✨ It's (still) tradition!