Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden of the Good Shepherd Week One

This year as part of our celebration of Easter as a season, we've been using the Garden of the Good Shepherd by Peter Mazar and illustrated by Tomie DePaola (I bought mine here for $6 or Waltzing Matilda also has free printables for those who didn't order the sticker book in time!). This large laminated scene with stickers serves as a calendar with a scripture passage and devotion for each day.

The first week's theme centers around the Jesus as the Good Shepherd, where we learn how Jesus promises to watch over us as a Shepherd does for his lambs and many other references to sheep in the Book of John.

Week Two we gather around the Table, reading Scriptures from the Old Testament of hospitality and feasting that evoke the Last Supper, the Emmaus Meal, the Eucharist, and our heavenly banquet. We continue throughout the 50 days of Easter to read Scripture of the sky, the sea, the garden and tree, the city and the animals. Each week helps us to see God's gifts all around us, the world "charged with the grandeur of God."

To help this fit with the celebratory tone of the Easter season, we are having a special treat and sometimes a craft or picture book to go along with the Scripture Reading. The kids have loved it and I'm so glad we have something to make this time memorable. The style of the devotions has been a refreshing change and have given me much food for thought during the week as the theme built.

This week as part of our Scripture memory and hymn study we worked on memorizing and singing Psalm 23, also with Keith Green's version and this new one.

We decorated our "altar" for the theme of the Good Shepherd with the children's Good Shepherd icon, a gift at their baptism last year, and lamb figurines we've picked up over the years at Easter.

On Easter Monday, we had breadsticks shaped as crooks and dipped in cinnamon sugar for breakfast! On Easter Tuesday, we ate popcorn to represent sheep and watched a movie on the Story of Jesus. On Easter Wednesday, we made these little treats to represent the gate of the sheepfold:

On Easter Thursday, we ate these lamb chocolates and made ewes and rams with cotton balls.

On Easter Friday, we had so much fun with Miss G's special friend making these sweet lamb cupcakes. The girls both 5 were able to decorate all by themselves!

On Easter Saturday, we had wolf paws to go along with John 10:11-12! Little Man dipped them in the chocolate and I made the claws with white icing. The favorite of the week to be sure!

 All of my ideas have come straight from Waltzing Matilda and Shower of Roses, so I claim no creativity in this project and when you see their pictures, not much skill either! Both of these lovely ladies have now set-up a party for each week with food themed for all of the lessons which seems like a great idea for those who would like to use the devotional each day but only do the crafts and food once a week. I think this is where we'll be by the last few weeks of Easter Season but for now the daily is working for us!

They are also hosting a link-up at Catholic Cuisine for more ideas; go check it out!


Jennifer said...

great creative ideas!

Party of Nine said...

Love the picture of your little guy eating the lamby candy :) What a great party!

Sarah said...

Lovely job incorporating all the elements of the calendar ... and adding your own ideas ... and spreading out the treats/crafts throughout the week!

JOYfilled Family said...

wonderful job. i too am so thankful for the sharing of jessica and charlote.

Pax Christi - lena

Kelly said...

I think it's great that you can space out each symbol throughout the week or group them all at the end of each week. It's great to have the flexiblity when you have littles in the house. :)

Great job!

Thanks for sharing and God bless!

Amy said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. We have been blessed by such a welcoming community and inspired to read of all your parties this week. I've been surprised to how much these verses and symbols are sinking in to my own life and helping me each day.

Jessica said...

You did a wonderful job Amy! Thanks for sharing your pictures and ideas!

Gae said...

Dear Amy,
I have loved reading your blog and the Good Shepherd post.
I really wanted to do this with our family this year but still haven't got around to it.
I love that we can be inspired by others to encourage us in our faith journey and heping our children also.


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