Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Twelve Chosen Ones

Lent Link-Up

Each year during Lent we try to review again, and find out more about the 12 Apostles, those who were handpicked and chosen by Jesus himself, those who remained closest to him during his entry into Jerusalem and beyond sent to go forth and spread the "Good News".

We tend to lean towards repeated learning with a nifty mix of witty crafting sporadically scheduled during our days within our Lenten journey.

We like to re-watch our "Jesus of Nazareth" VHS videos, always managing to snicker slightly over the portrayal of St. Peter's temperament, his hot head at times - mainly because some in our family can relate to how easy he flips out.

One of our favorite books on the 12 Apostles

We like to reread our book called "The Twelve Apostles" by Marianna Mayer, always appreciating the beautiful plethora of exquisite artwork throughout its hard covers. One feels as though they know each chosen apostle more and more each year, even just for a review of the men, their backgrounds and where they were when called by Jesus himself.

We love to reference their geographical journeys, where they went to evangelize the gospels, using our fingers (and soon to have story disks below) for geography work on our biblical outline maps.

Spectacular and beautiful
artwork graces every other page!

Oh yes, this is such exciting and oh so - "real life" learning folks. The reality of remembering this is a TRUE story, a story about twelve men which certainly gives me goosebumps each year, even just to remember this is a small blip within our rich historical spiritual heritage. It's similar to perusing through the family album upon occasion, knowing, wondering and beholding all the memories represented there.

To enjoy such an endeavor with our children is special to me, even at my age, it never grows old because although I'm supposed to know all this stuff by now, I catch a new wisdom nugget every year. I find these liturgical studies so very rewarding as we continue to review, repeat and rewatch and add to our favorite tradition of learning more on the lives of these twelve chosen ones.

Saint Symbol Stickers and Apostle Symbols

This year we are working on recollecting not only the names and symbols of the 12 (and other usual and newly highlighted Saints over the year) we are going to use our Illuminated Ink's stickers to create our very own "story disks" after all the coloring is complete and the laminator heats up. These will become known as our own "Saint Symbol Story Disks" from now on.

Somehow we weren't all in agreements over what color to use as backgrounds, thinking at first red for martyrdom, but we ended up choosing a mossy green color in the end. The reason? Easy. The Saint symbol stickers from Illuminated Ink featured many Saints and not just Apostles' for year round liturgical fun. (Oh can you just imagine how we can use our story disks for these???? Ohhh la la).

Using the color green can encompass days in ordinary time on the liturgical calendar, or maybe another thought was to layer another larger punched color using a larger hole punch for highlighting what time during the liturgical year OR historical timeline period these Saints feast days occurred in or when they lived on earth.

My cogs are turning round and round.
What are you thinking out there?
Send me your thoughts please... smile

Our collection of paper doll templates are spread out, and our twelve apostle paper dolls for our historical/liturgical collection are coming along just fine.

I just love the one paper doll featured above because my young daughter couldn't find a proper light gray and used a light blue for hair. So fun!

Saint Symbol Story Disks in progress

One son's chosen project was to also create "Saint Symbols Story Disks"for each of the 12 Apostles, including St. Paul as he is the Pope's chosen Saint for the universal church this year. He wanted to work on white circular story disks, drawing an outline of a shield and symbol inside of them, just like those in our Apostle Symbol cards (found on eBay many years ago, believe it or not) and try to replicate their individual symbols from them onto his disks himself.

It's also a work in progress, tedious he says, from working on such small circles. But just you wait until everything is laminated in my handy dandy laminating machine and we get to see a finished product.

Tedious work on small circular disks

The twelve Apostles and Saint Paul truly go together in a wonderful way, at least I think so. I found this below and it all clicked for me...
What amazes you seems quite natural to me. God has sought you out right in the middle of your work. That is how he sought the first, Peter and Andrew, John and James, beside their nets, and Matthew, sitting in the customhouse.

And wonder of wonders - Paul, in his eagerness to destroy the seeds of Christianity!
Actually, as pokey as our Lenten review has been happening for us this year, I am excited to work with the younger children and their craft projects, observe them while they produce works of art and add to the family liturgical treasures.

In the end, our Lenten observances have seen our share of emotions as a family, and hopefully rewards will be many for at least attempting to keep the holy in the mundane day by day.

As our crafty work periods continue and remain in progress during our Lenten learning days, no doubt when each project is complete, it will be time to celebrate as we will be, yet again, lucky new owners of more liturgical manipulatives to use again and again during the years to come.

Just as our older adult children have reaped the rewards each year of revisiting their projects from the past during liturgical time periods, so too will this younger bunch have that ability.

Certainly if time permits, we may just double up our efforts and make another set for a young hopechest treasures, liturgical items to bring with them into the future, no matter what their vocations will be. Single or married callings, they will still celebrate the liturgical year, right?

And just for your information if you are so inclined to add this type of project to your homes, here is a WEBSITE with similar information to our Apostle Symbol cards above, out of print long ago.

If you can print off the information there in its entirety and you are currently including Montessori learning into your learning, these make great two part learning cards for matching name and symbol together. Have fun and don't forget to share your thoughts and ideas with me, okay?

God Bless your Lent.
~ Renee

P.S. You can read about our progress on this lenten project by clicking to another blog post HERE - The twelve chosen ones...progress

Check out the Lent linking party over at Catholic Icing to find many wonderful ideas on Lenten ideas and projects.