St. Francis is my confirmation saint, so I celebrate today as one of my personal feast days.
Growing up I had a big love for animals. They made more sense to me then the confusing gamut of pre-teen drama. I was homeschooled and just wasn't going to figure out girl code with a few hours a week of interaction with school kids. It's ok - I think I'm better for it.
Being outside with the animals was my element. I volunteered at the zoo, I was in the 4-H poultry project, and had awesome parents who let me take in the unwanted animals from family and friends.
Now we live in a little 2 bedroom apartment with no yard and a ban on pets. :(
It's not forever, but it is for now.
Here's how we celebrate today! Lack of dirt, animals, and all!
The single easiest way to celebrate St. Francis with kids - take a nature walk!
This is also what I do when I *need* to get out of the house, but don't have anywhere to go and don't want to spend any money.
|From that time I took the kids to climb all over lots of big rocks. Also a good example of why I will never be a regular poster of selfies,,,,|
I do a few versions of this, depending on the ages and temperaments of kids:
Sometimes it's a scavenger hunt with lists (can be a photography hunt with older ones.)
Leaf gathering, only taking things that are on the ground not the plant, to bring home and make leaf rubbing art.
Animal Search, Cat Count, Bug Find - we've come up with a lot of nature walk themes, but the point of all of them is to have the kids look at their surroundings in new ways and with a new appreciation.
|And sometimes walks end with sitting in the middle of a farmer's market eating a cookie the size of your head. Appreciation was had!|
Green It Up
The Feast of St. Francis is a good opportunity to do a personal evaluation for some eco-friendly changes for your family. This does not need to be drastic - maybe this is the day you have a chat with your kids about taking shorter showers or eat some leftovers.
|I noticed when looking through my pictures of leftover meals that my response to needing to reuse something normally results in fry it, microwave it, add a sauce, or bake it with cheese.|
I'm ok with this. It's delicious and less waste. Win!
If there is a big change you've been on the fence about making, today is a great day to start!
Put that compost bin in the backyard, switch to cloth napkins, try some of those kinda weird crunchy mom things. I've surprised myself with how well a lot of it jives with my thrifty and busy life.
Have a "Dark Hour"
In line with the concept of being a little greener today, have a Dark Hour!
This is when you turn off all the things that use electricity that could be considered optional (my exception is the fridge/freezer and heat/cooling, in the event of extreme temperatures, because those are safety issues.)
That means no tech and no lights.
Use the dark to have a holy hour! Pray the prayer of St. Francis together, sing songs, read books aloud. Shower of Roses has some great suggestions for books and coloring pages.
I recommend doing your holy hour about 3pm.
Hour of mercy + still daylight + middle of the day when you're running out of things to do but it's too early to cook dinner.
We'll also be celebrating with some extra dessert tonight because it is Therese's Baptism Day!!
Happy 2 years as a Catholic, Therese!