Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Insta-collage and ideas for Backyard Stations
From top left: practicing letters during his reading lesson, why I hate HEB Plus...it's like Walmart with the toys, swinging at our favorite park, the science film on the sphere at Rockport Science Center.
2nd row: Tommy scared of the big crab "That big dinosaur crab gonna eat me!", Ellie and friends at the Botanical Gardens on Valentines day, walking home from mass on Ash Wednesday, and practicing polyphony.
3rd row: candles for Backyard Stations, bubble bath after that crazy day, Steven enjoying Cabela's, and us on our road trip!
4th row: Austin at night, a print I've had without a frame for too long and looks great on the mantle, girls enjoying our new table, and my yogurt/fruit/greens smoothie this morning.
Someone asked about how we did the Backyard Stations of the Cross. I tried to take photos but realized I have NO IDEA how to take them with my camera at night. They were all fuzzy, even the ones on the "night" dial setting. I probably should've tried my iPhone.
So I first asked for ideas on Facebook. Someone suggested grottos they found on Catholic Icing, but I really loved the idea for a Portable Stations of the Cross. She has a link to downloadable color images of the Stations, which I asked my mom to print and mail to us, because we only have a black and white laser printer. The plan was to laminate them and then nail them to trees around our yard. I didn't think to inquire exactly how long those would take to arrive and assumed they'd make it by Friday afternoon just before our get-together.
Well, the images didn't arrive in the mail and right about that time I also got word that my favorite dining table had just sold to someone else. I kind of had a little breakdown right then. My sweet friend happened to send a text message to ask how she could help right then (thank you, Holy Spirit), and she agreed to help me print the booklets for the Stations since I was a bit overwhelmed with cleaning and cooking, plus the Stations preparations! The booklets we used were from another link I found on Catholic Icing to Family Feast in Feria, which has some great printable Stations cards for kids. I really liked the prayers and thought it was at a good middle level for the ages we would have there.
Meanwhile my husband got a phone call from a frantic wife and himself printed out some black and white images he found online to nail to the trees. These were a good temporary solution, but I hope that the others arrive in the mail so I can laminate them to use in the future. We put the pillar candles on the ground below each Station and blew them out as we sang the hymn and walked to the next Station.
WARNING: I should've realized that anything with candles for kids to blow out turns into a big contest/argument and obsession for the little ones. They all want to blow the candles and the toddlers don't understand. So next time, we'll definitely choose candle-blowers, and maybe candle-holders for each station. Maybe an older child could hold the candle up near the Station image so it would be easier to see, and all the kids wouldn't be hovering to try to blow it out!
So, that's how we prayed the Backyard Stations of the Cross, and then we had a nice potato soup supper and house blessing. We won't be hosting this weekly but I hope to do it again once or twice during Lent, and hopefully I can get photos. This is something that you could do with your own family or a lot of families, and becomes more of a tangible prayer for all of us as we walk the Stations in the dark.