Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kings Crowns and Treasure Seeking

"Hey, Daddy?? Can you get me some d-nuts, pwease?? Pa-wease, daddy??"

Last fall we developed a bit of a {bad} habit of swinging by the local gas station after Mass on Sundays for donuts.  I blame Charlie for this dietary fall out.  Who can say no to a two year old who's all dressed up, hair combed, cheeks rosy, grin adorable perched in his little ol' car seat, rockin' the charm and pleading for a donut?? We can't. We can't. We can't. We can't!

Last Sunday was like no other, two seconds after being buckled in, Charlie's request came forth. The brothers rallied behind him with their unwavering chants of support. Have you seen the first Hobbit movie? The scene where the Hobbits overtake Bilbo's kitchen?? (No?? See clip blow!) That's our boys when someone mentions donuts (or Chipotle or Dairy Queen). They morph into hungry Hobbits.

Anyhoo... just as we were about to make the famous turn toward the quick shop, Andrew spoke up and reminded us that there's really no need for donuts today because tomorrow is Epiphany, and Mom always makes homemade donuts - better known as "Kings Crowns" - on Epiphany.
My heart is secretly happy when the boys remember, without prompting, the little details of our family traditions, ones that honor particular feast days on the liturgical calendar.  Sometimes I feel like there's really an unspoken let down after the Christmas season passes, the weather is cold and dreary and the next major holiday to look forward to is Valentine's Day (which seems forever away).  But, Epiphany, being the finale to Christmas, offers us a little glimpse of goodness, one that reminds us to carry our joy for Jesus into the new year and beyond.
When we celebrate any feast day with treats, the boys NEVER let me forget exactly what to make. I've been sick for the past few days, so thankfully, George volunteered to assemble the donut ingredients for me. He did a great job! 
While I went on a hunt for my camera so that I might photograph the donuts, one of the boys thought it would be funny to put the three wise men around the plate "adoring" the treats.  Gotta love it!!

On Monday, the day we celebrated Epiphany, Ben's school was cancelled due to the weather.  We all had a little bit of cabin fever and wanted to escape the fort, even if just for a little while. Coming up with special hands-on lessons outside of the house to reinforce a particular teaching is one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling.
On a whim, I had an idea that I thought might really bring the lessons surrounding Ephiphany to life. With the boys bundled up, we braved the cold and ventured out to a large antique mall just a few miles from our home. On the way there, we talked with anticipation about what treasures we might find.
When we arrived, each one of us was overwhelmed by the amount of nostalgia layered all around us on shelves and in special display cases.  I'm always immediately drawn to the vintage dishes, books and furniture, but the boys were absolutely enamored with the old historic guns, knives, swords and tools.  

{Hello! This is 2014, may I help you??}
I was thrilled to follow them around, watching the wonder in their expressions as they discovered new old treasures, discussing their findings with one another in detail.
Our adventure to the antique mall was the perfect way to set up a little chat about the deeper meaning of Epiphany.  Once home, over hot cocoa and donuts, we chatted about our favorite discoveries of the day.  Everyone took their turn sharing about the things that were most interesting to them. They recalled an impressive list of valuables, everything from Civil War memorabilia to old model cars. Then, came the most important series of questions....

How old do you think the oldest antique was in the store today??
What makes some of the items in the store more valuable than others??
Will those items last forever, longer than you and me??
Since they will outlast our family on this earth, are they more valuable than we are??
Why not??
{This is where you hope that one child will say that people are more valuable than any material treasure because people have an eternal soul.}
Were the Wise Men treasure-seekers?
They were seeking the greatest treasure ever to dwell on the earth, Jesus Christ.  We are called to be treasure-seekers, too, just like the Wise Men.  Every single day.  We honor Him through the offering of the gift of ourselves, our praise, our prayers, our talents, our struggles, our successes, our failures. And, we receive, in Him, the treasure of His graces, His love, His mercy, His blessings.

Our "day off" from school turned into one of the best "educational" days we've had in a long time. One simple field trip offered us a look into history, science, mathematics, and religion....with a sweet reward at the end, for both the tummy and the heart.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21

Hobbits in the kitchen.  
Our boys strike a remarkable resemblance....Just say donut!


  1. What a wonderful lesson! You make homeschooling sound like so much fun.

    And I love that picture of the wise men adoring the donuts.

    1. Some days it's really fun, but most days, it's just "stick to the task" types of most schools!

  2. Susan, this post just makes me appreciate you even more!!! I love the way you turned a trip to an antique mall as a learning lesson - and not just any learning!!! And, how awesome that George assembled the ingredients for you!! Love the picture of the 3 wise men "worshipping" the donuts!!
    I hope you are feeling better!!

    1. Thanks, Kim! The boys are always doing funny things around here...I just love that! Their sense of humor keeps us all from taking life too seriously! :)

  3. I'm a new reader here and let me just tell you that I love your blog! I can already tell how passionate you are about rearing your children to direct them to Godly ways.

    Although I am not a mama yet, I can't wait to hop on along your family's journey.

    Your boys are already funny I can tell ;)

  4. Welcome, Andrea! I am so excited to have you here, and I hope you find a few things to tuck away in your list of ideas for the time when you have little ones!


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