These ideas were developed by me for my local group and are not a part of the official Little Flowers Girls Club ® created by Rachel Watkins. To purchase the excellent materials and begin your own local group, please visit www.beholdpublications.com
First of all, I begged God to not send so much wind this time, and that prayer was answered. It was a beautiful, sunny day, a little hot but tolerable! We opened with prayer, as usual. I think it might soon be time to teach them another opening song, since they have all mastered Mother Mary very well!
As I got the girls settled, I gave another little presentation on Faith and St. Catherine of Siena to elaborate on what we started last time. We started by processing the Blindfolded Obstacle Course we did last week. I asked the girls how it felt to lead, how it felt to follow, and what it had to do with Faith. Their answers were amazing, from the four-year-olds to the eleven-year-olds!
Then, we talked about things we cannot see. I talked about rocks on the moon and asked the girls how they know they are there, loosely basing it on this idea - http://www.kidssundayschool.com/Gradeschool/Activities/1activity01a.php. I also held up the book Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss and asked for a summary of the story and how Horton knows there is a town on the clover when he cannot see it.
Next, we discussed things we cannot understand. A little out of order, I followed the following lesson - http://www.sermons4kids.com/understand.html. I thought this did a great job of demonstrating the concept of believing while not understanding until after the meeting one little five-year-old and one little six-year-old told me separately she could explain to me how a flashlight works. LOL! Of course, I connected all of this to how we cannot see God and we cannot fully understand God, but we still must believe.
We talked about how it is not always easy to have faith in God, and I read a story about St. Catherine from William Bennett's Book of Virtues that demonstrated what God can do with our small acts of faith. The story is about how she gave an old, worn, tiny silver cross she had to a poor man who needed food, because it was all she had. Later, while praying, she had a vision of Jesus in a room of treasures and in His hand was the tiny silver cross changed into gold and surrounded by jewels.
I had intended to also talk about sin and how it can keep us from faith and how the world around us is full of temptation, but the natives were restless. So, I saved that for another day, and we went straight into our craft. This was a success, I thought!
The idea came from a thread on the Little Flowers Leader's yahoo group and was to make a plaque out of Popsicle sticks to hang somewhere to remind you of your faith. I printed pictures of St. Catherine and St. Therese, as well as the Act of Faith and Scripture verse we are memorizing for Faith, off the computer in color on card stick. Then, the girls glued together the sticks, added a picture, prayer, and/or verse, and decorated with glitter glue, fabric paint, stickers, and markers. We also glued a ribbon to the top for hanging.
The smallest girls, ages four and five, instead decorated paper mache plaques I found at Michael's. I thought the gluing of the Popsicle sticks might frustrate them, and they had a great time decorating the plaques! Both projects turned out great, and now they have something to put in their room. My daughter has hung her St. Therese plaque on her bed, and tonight I caught her kneeling before it with her hands folded. My heart sighed.
Snack break was next. The girls then split back up into their rose groups and went away from the pavilion with their leader moms. I gave them the M&M Questions below. Basically, each girl picks so many M&Ms. Then, they answer the questions that correspond to the colors of their M&Ms. The youngest group did one, and the oldest group did four. It looked like it went well, although I was unable to ask the leaders at the end.
Since the younger girls finished first, I was ready with the Scripture verse song from the Little Flowers CD. As the groups finished, they came over and practiced singing the verse. This was the first time we did this, and the girls really caught on fast. I had a poster board where I had put the words to the verse. We held it up and sang until all four rose groups were finished and sang it two more times for the last group.
I explained to the girls that the patches would be handed out in a few weeks for those who have completed their Faith Patch Projects. Several girls turned in completed sheets. Many moms told me their daughters wanted to do more than the mom would have expected, mine included. I asked her to pick three to five things, and she filled all twelve lines on the page. This week and next, we will see what we can get done. She has done three or four already, I think.
Finally, we closed in prayer and recited the longer Act of Faith in the Leader's Manual that I had put on a poster board, as well. That was nice. It is working really well for the girls to write down their own prayer intentions. I need to remind the leaders of the youngest rose group to ask the girls for prayers, since they cannot yet write on their own.
We are going to start having a Water Mom in addition to a Snack Mom and a Drink Mom, because it is getting warmer. The girls were thirsty before the meeting ever started, but I knew if we gave them the juice for snack time, they would be really thirsty at snack time. I am also starting to look for an indoor meeting location, so we can continue to meet through some of the summer. Several of the mothers told me they hope we only take a short break, so that is my plan.
I am learning that there is very little for our children to do here during the summer, mostly because of the heat, but also because some families go away for most of the summer. I hope the Little Flowers meetings will be something for those who do stay to look forward to attending.
When I see the girls at Mass or at Park, they seem very excited to be a part of Little Flowers and often come share something with me. I also hear that they are enjoying the opportunities to talk with their mothers and fathers at home about their faith while working on their Patch Projects. Praise God! May He help me in my unbelief and strengthen my faith through these precious children!