One of the most beloved authors of our time is C.S. Lewis. Millions of us, as children and adults, have been transported to the wondrous land of Narnia. We have been challenged by Uncle Screwtape and inspired by works such as Mere Christianity and Till We Have Faces. Lewis was a prolific author whose works continue to touch the souls of his readers.
Throughout his life, Lewis maintained a robust correspondence. However, there was one correspondent who would change his life. Patti Callahan Henry’s recent novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis,chronicles the unlikely relationship between Joy Davidman and C.S. “Jack” Lewis. While much has been written about Lewis, Joy has enjoyed less notoriety. Henry’s novel illuminates their deep friendship and marriage that would transform both of their lives.
There is something wonderful about the ability to build, to create. Day after day I listen my children craft wondrous stories, tales of adventure and rescue, of Batman, the Joker and Rapunzel all rolled into one. They create castles, tunnels, airports and now, even the Nativity scene! Our family was so blessed by the generous people at Our Picnic Tree with a set of Scripture Stackers.
Scripture Stackers are a work of genius. In their words:
Scripture Stackers are building block sets (compatible with all major brands, by the way) that bring your favorite Scripture Heroes and stories to life! Engage, play and teach your family about their lives, their triumphs and their faith! Our Premier Collection includes assorted Mini-Figures from the Bible & a 140 Piece Nativity Set!
These stackers are great! The kids jumped on them as soon as they came out of the box. The stackers are the same size and scale to Legos, of which we have many. Though the individual mini-figures (like Moses and the burning bush, King Solomon and his throne, Noah and his sheep etc.) do not come with specific directions, there are only a few pieces for each figure and their completed pictures are on the bags they come in. It was a nice challenge for John. He saw the finished product and had to figure out how to build it with the pieces available to him. The Nativity scene, which is much larger, has step-by-step instructions.
It has been fun to have the kids recreate the Bible stories of the figures, and even expand upon them. Since Goliath is on his own, frequently Joseph is standing in for David when they tell the story. Then, Goliath serves as Potiphar and Pharaoh when they tell Joseph’s story. All the animals from the Nativity always end up surrounding Noah and King Solomon is typically found at the foot of the manger.
With Advent fast approaching (yikes!) what better way to celebrate the season but with a new Nativity scene that the kids can build, customize and and create. The Nativity scene is constructed in 23 steps, plus constructing the people. You could build the Nativity one day at a time starting Dec. 1 so that come Christmas everything is ready for Jesus!
As I said, Betsy and Melissa at Our Picnic Tree are so generous with their Scripture Stackers. They have even provided a coupon code just for my blog readers.
Be sure to use FAITH25 when you checkout to receive a 25% discount on your whole order!
We love our set. Here are some pictures of the kids when we first got them.
***Make sure you read all the way down for the discount and giveaway***
You may recall if you’ve been around the blog a while that back in Lent (I know, so long ago and at the same time, what? Advent is in a month?!), I shared a few times about the wonders and joys of a new box that we had arrive at the house. This is a brand new subscription box that will revolutionize the way that your family approaches the Mass and certainly did for us this Lent.
Aptly named The Mass Box, this box arrived at our house just before Lent started. It contained not just really creative ideas for crafts with my kids, it had everything we needed to actually DO the crafts! How many times has Pintrest or blog done that for you? Each craft is thoughtfully made to be engaging for ages approximately 3-7 and as they are getting ready to officially launch the program they even offer the option for boxes that will have duplicates if you have more than one child in that age range. Plus, there are copies of Magnifikid, the kids version of the Magnificat.Plus more, each week this awesome family is producing youtube videos (Catholic Crafts with Clare) that feature their daughter Clare working through the week’s craft and talking about the reading/theme for the upcoming Sunday.
Lent was amazing. The kids looked forward to a new video being revealed each week and immediately wanted to plunge into the craft. They made Ash Wednesday faces, a felt picture of Jesus in the desert and even their own paschal candle. They were so proud of what they had accomplished. Kids are very tactile and I think, at least for my kids, if we talk about something while they are working on a project that aligns, their retention skyrockets. So, when we got to Mass on the Sunday where we heard the reading about Jesus being tempted in the desert, John whispered to me “Mommy, it’s just like the Jesus we have on the refrigerator! He’s going to tell the devil to go away, right Mommy?” Couldn’t have been prouder.
There are two things that I especially loved about The Mass Box besides just the awesome crafts and age appropriate preparation for Mass.
The creators took the time to select crafts that would work for the Gospel for each week. Now before you say, Duh, of course they did, consider this. Depending on your parish and your RCIA program, the third, fourth and fifth Sunday of Lent could have different readings than the regular Gospel reading because of the Scrutinies. This means they took the time to check both readings and come up with crafts that could work for either reading. Liturgical awareness and knowledge – check! This also gives me confidence that the crafts they have chosen were selected with care and thought, not just thrown together based on the “theme” for the Sunday.
Not everything was a craft! Don’t get me wrong, I love crafts. But some days I’m not so into it. There was one Sunday where all that was provided was a gallon bag. We talked about how there are those who have less than we do and it is part of our responsibility as children of God and members of the community to reach out and help take care of them. The kids went through the pantry and chose non-perishable items (applesauce pouches, oreos, fruit snacks, popcorn and cans of fruit) to put in our “Blessing Bag” which we carried in the car with us until we found an opportunity to give it to someone in need. This is where The Mass Box really takes off for me. It’s about more than just preparing the kids for Mass. It is capable of engaging the faith of the parents as well. Very smart and a unique catechetical tool for sure.
I’m so excited to share that The Mass Box‘s trial run for Lent was a huge success and they are ready to officially launch the program for Advent and will continue beyond the season. A box will arrive once a month with everything you need for crafts and activities, the Magnifikids and coloring sheets that correspond to the readings. The December box will have a bonus craft for the first Sunday of Advent which is on Nov. 27 (stop frantically shopping for Advent candles for your wreath, The Mass Box has you covered).
I’m very proud to be an affiliate with The Mass Box and if you decide to subscribe for your family you can use the coupon code
You will receive 10% off your first month. As an affiliate, I will also receive a small kickback which will go to support this blog ministry.
Also, as an affiliate, the Mass Box has offered and exciting opportunity. From now until Nov. 11 you can enter a raffle to win one FREE Mass Box (even free shipping!). That means you will have crafts for all of Advent! Get clicking folks, this is a super opportunity that will enhance the way your family celebrates all of Advent. Follow the link below to submit your entries.