Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


April 2011

And they found the stone rolled back…

Luke 24

1  And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared.

2  And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre.

3  And going in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

4  And it came to pass, as they were astonished in their mind at this, behold, two men stood by them, in shining apparel.

5  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their countenance towards the ground, they said unto them: Why seek you the living with the dead?

6  He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spoke unto you, when he was in Galilee,

7  Saying: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

8  And they remembered his words…


Happy Easter,

Eggs-cellent fun…

A repost to jump start your egg coloring fun:

A few years ago, a very dear friend introduced our family to cascarones, or confetti eggs…a super-fun, and very messy way to conclude an Easter egg hunt.

Assembling the cascarones is not at all difficult. A few weeks prior to Easter, I begin saving eggshells. I make a lot of scrambled eggs and simply use a butter knife to “tap” a small opening in the top of the egg. After dumping the contents, I carefully rinse each eggshell and place it, hole side down, in a carton to dry, to be decorated and filled later.

There are more than a few ways to decorate and fill the cascarones, but this is how we do ours, and it couldn’t be easier! We simply fill each egg with confetti or grass seed (I prefer grass seed for obvious reasons!), carefully gluing a small disk of tissue paper over the opening and then decorate with magic markers. That’s it…no dye, no drying…the cascarones are ready to be hid with the other Easter eggs!

And what fun! Once found, the children take great delight in cracking them over one another’s heads or pelting mom and dad with them…I’ve saved two dozen eggs, so far, and the children are delighted that we will be hiding cascarones this Easter!

Another nifty use for your emptied eggshells: roll up a small scroll of paper with directions leading the “finder” to a “treasure,” and place inside the egg. These surprise eggs are a lot of fun and can be marked with a “?” to differentiate them from the cascarones or traditional decorated Easter eggs.

More empty eggshell excitement: try your hand at pysanky. These eggs are magnificent…I purchased a kit last year for my father from Ukrainian Gift Shop…I can’t wait to see what he comes up with! Decorating Easter eggs is a favorite family tradition, in case you haven’t guessed!

How about coloring your traditional Easter eggs using things you may have around the house? By using the following items, you can achieve nearly every color in the spectrum:

Lavender Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Violet Blue Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Blue Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
Green Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Yellow Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Brown Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Orange Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Pink Beets
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Red Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)

Eggs. So much fun, in such a small package…


A camera in his hands…

confirmation and daffodils 042

…and his world is revealed in the lens.

confirmation and daffodils 082

It is a world of natural beauty.

confirmation and daffodils 052

His eleven year old eyes rest upon flowers…

confirmation and daffodils 041

confirmation and daffodils 032

confirmation and daffodils 020

feathered friends and felines.

confirmation and daffodils 096

confirmation and daffodils 094

Photos reveal a good deal about the soul of the photographer, don’t you think? There is such innocence, such purity of vision in the young! Nothing pleases me more than to hand my camera to my children, that I might see as they do…the wonder of the world all around.


Hands to work…

“Zeal for your house consumes me…”

chicks and church 064

Within a roughly measured 30′ x 30′ square, we worked for hours, pulling thousands of staples, hundreds of nails…scraping the remnants of decades of hardened glue and plywood.  The restoration project at St. John’s has begun in earnest, and like the working class families who pitched in to build it so many years ago, many are coming forward to put their own “hands to work and hearts to God.”

chicks and church 071

chicks and church 069

chicks and church 041

chicks and church 050

chicks and church 035

chicks and church 040

If you have read this post, and were able to contribute even the smallest amount to this worthy endeavor, may God bless you!

If you have prayed for the success of this project, may God bless you!

If you have picked up a hammer, staple puller, scraper, etc…and incurred blisters, splinters and a sense of pride in time well spent, may God bless you!

If you are considering contributing in some way…time, talent or treasure…may God bless and encourage you!

There is so much to be done, and many “coins of the realm” are needed to restore this Church to its former glory.  May the Holy Infant of Prague, restored to the sanctuary of St. John’s  on the 356th Anniversary of the Coronation of the Holy Infant, bring blessing and success to this precious parish…

chicks and church 045

If God so moves you to contribute, please forward to either addresses.  Be sure to indicate that your contribution is towards the restoration of St. John’s…may God bless you for your kindness and generosity!

Holy Family Catholic Church
584 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215

The Jubilee Museum & Catholic Cultural Center
Administrative Office
584 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215


Let’s play…

We live in the country.  Steady breezes blow across the plains, an endless expanse of sky stretches broad and blue, and woody groves beckon young and old alike.  We awake to the cackle of chickens, the mewing of a half dozen barn cats and the melodic strains of  birdsong.  The great outdoors are rather like another room in the home and during milder weather we spend the majority of our time in that “room.”  The children engage in outdoor play and all sorts of shenanigans…the small piles of dust and dirt that I regularly sweep out of my kitchen give testimony to their antics in God’s Playground…

But it’s not idyllic, though it might seem so.  There are no paved paths for skating, scooters or bikes.  Popped tires from gravel and rocky dirt trails are a regular annoyance.  There’s no concrete, no basketball or tennis courts…and we do miss those things we took for granted for the many years that we resided in a more urban setting.  Still…we wouldn’t go back.  As a wise man once said:  “A day in the country is worth a month in the city…”

But I do have an active group of children…and while none of them are interested in playing team sports, all of them desire to learn.  We are big basketball fans (Go, Wildcats!) and although all of my young ones enjoy watching the game, none of them have ever done more than dribble a ball and shoot a few hoops with friends.  So we signed up for a homeschool gym class at one of the local (actually not so very local!) recreational centers.  On activity sign up day, I perused the list, found a gym class that would fit our schedule and accommodate ALL of the children and promptly enrolled them.  They were excited…none of them has participated in a group gym class since our co-op days in Kentucky.  They were looking forward to meeting other homeschoolers and were enthusiastic about learning a few new things.

So you can imagine our surprise when we showed up for our first class and discovered that we were the only family who had signed up for that particular hour!  Our instructor, Thomas, told us that a large group of homeschoolers met on another day and we were welcome to change to that day if we wanted to…but then he said:  “Hey…you’re here.  Let’s go play!”  The children proceeded uncertainly towards the auditorium, as the gym had just been mopped and waxed.  Thomas quickly set up a couple goals and proceeded to teach the children the fine art of floor hockey.  He’s an amazing instructor!  And the children loved him so much, they begged to stay at our current hour so they can have his undivided attention.  One of my older boys calls him our very own personal trainer and Thomas seems to enjoy his small class!   I thought they’d miss the company of other children, but I’ve never seen them behave more cooperatively with one another.  It’s worth everything.  And it affirms my feelings that most of the time it’s my perception, not theirs, that they want to be with other kids all the time.  They do enjoy company and relish opportunities to interact with friends.  But they seem to understand that it’s a real privilege to have the focused attention of an instructor and they seem to understand how much more they learn with real one-on-one instruction.

basketball 026
"Okay, kids...say hi to Mom!" - Thomas, our gym instructor teaching the crew the finer points of basketball

And that, my friends, is the beauty of home education!   Focused attention and one-on-one instruction…it makes a world of difference to our children and they are smart enough to know it!


Blog at

Up ↑