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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Reinhard’

Local Author, Sarah Reinhard, Has A New Book: Catholic Family Fun.

Sarah Reinhard has a new book available to help families spend more enjoyable moments with each other, rather than hooked up to telephones, portable tablets, or the internet. The book, Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless, which includes tons of activities and ideas to bring families closer together, was personally tested with Sarah’s own family (you can see two of Sarah’s biggest fans and critics of how fun an activity was in the photo to the left).

With chapters on “Silly Things to Do Together,” “Craft Projects,” and “Outdoor Adventures,” there is something exciting for any personality. Some of the recommended projects are things I remember doing with my sister, Bobbie, when we were kids. Scavenger hunts, puppet shows, and skits (which involved dressing up in elaborate costumes) were among our favorites. I also remember making a “Maundy Thursday Treasure Map” one year when we were bored over spring break.

Sarah also includes fun “Ways to Serve” and “Ways to Pray” to teach children that helping others and talking to God are also avenues to make our spirits soar.

Under the Ways to Serve” page on the web site (click on Chapter 8 along the side bar), Sarah listed several places to have children visit to learn to serve. One thing I noticed was missing was visiting or volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue. Since I am a huge animal person, I had to make sure to mention that children are often especially in tune with animals and visiting a shelter, where they can pet neglected or abandoned animals or walk a dog that has not ever had much attention, can teach very important lessons in kindness and mercy. These visits also provide opportunities for telling stories about Saint Francis of Assisi who treated animals with dignity and respect, preaching the Gospels to the birds and calling animals his brothers and sisters.

If your children are not into cats and dogs, there are rescues and sanctuaries for horses (Last Chance Corral in Athens, Ohio), rabbits (Columbus House Rabbit Society), elephants (The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee), big cats (Noah’s Lost Ark in Berlin Center, Ohio), and any other animal imaginable where they could visit and learn more about that particular species and how compassion creates a better world for animals (and people!). For kids who have not grown up on farms or only know city life, a visit to Sunrise Sanctuary in Marysville, Ohio can allow them to meet cows and goats and chickens. There is even a wild animal hospital in Columbus (The Ohio Wildlife Center) that rehabilitates chipmunks, birds, raccoons, and other animals that often are the victims of careless humans.

For animals in shelters, easy-to-make beds, toys, and even treats can be a way for children to, not only have fun making something, but also learn to help dogs and cats in need. For homemade cat toy instructions, go HERE. For cat beds, go HERE (but you do need to know how to sew!). For dog beds (and some require no sewing!), go HERE. For homemade dog biscuits, go HERE. By making these items and then visiting a shelter to donate them, children can see how their efforts benefit homeless dogs and cats.

There are also tons of plans online for outdoor cat houses to keep kitties warm during cold nights. Many rescue groups that help feral cats would love to have these houses donated to them. Check out some of those houses HERE and HERE.

These are all projects that both Girl and Boy Scout troops could also do with only a small investment of time and money, while providing a great service to animals in need.

There are also other easily constructed crafts for children to make bird feeders and butterfly puddles to help out creatures they can watch from their windows.

Beyond crafts as teaching tools for compassion, there are also many lovely fables for children (and adults) about animals and the Holy Family, which promote kindness to our furry friends. One of my favorite stories involves tabby cats and the Virgin Mary. According to the tales, a cat jumped into the manger with baby Jesus to keep him warm. Mary was so grateful that she touched the little cat’s forehead and left the letter “M” emblazoned in the fur. All tabby cats now have that prominent “M” for Mary (or in other religions for Muhammad, who was supposedly such a cat lover that it is a severe crime in Islam to harm any cat).

In case you didn’t know it, The Pope is also a huge cat lover. In fact, his cat, Chico has penned (pawed?) a children’s book about the Holy Father called, Joseph and Chico.

One of my favorite books is a book of prayers called “For God’s Creatures Great & Small, Prayers for Pets and Other Animals,” which my friend, Monica, bought for me. Monica felt called to start a pet food pantry for people who cannot afford to provide food for their beloved pets. The service, provided through a local church in Plain City (The Vineyard), is part of their Daily Needs Ministry, which also gives items to help people with basic needs and serves a free meal once a month. Taking children to something like this would also be an awesome service opportunity.

But I digress. I was having way too much fun thinking of ways for children to also have fun while learning about and helping animals! Sarah’s book inspired me so much that I’ve spent a lovely morning at the keyboard daydreaming and having my own kind of fun! Thanks, Sarah! I think this is exactly what Catholic Family Fun is meant to do–inspire us all!

Sarah’s book provides a road map to allow families to brainstorm and create their own type of family fun beyond just the activities recorded on the pages (just like I did above). Catholic Family Fun should also come in very handy for Sunday school teachers looking to make lessons and learning joyous, too.

Follow Sarah on her virtual internet book tour HERE. Sarah will be interviewed or guest post about the book on a number of sites.

And “like” Catholic Family Fun’s Facebook page HERE.

Read more about Catholic Family Fun on Sarah’s “My Books” page HERE.

“Welcome Risen Jesus” is Companion Book to Local Author Sarah Reinhard’s “Welcome Baby Jesus.”

I first told you about Sarah Reinhard’s book Welcome Baby Jesus last summer in a blog posting you can access HERE. With the approach of the Lenten and Easter season, Sarah has a new book of reflections for families that focuses on this most holy time of the year. A companion to her Advent and Christmas reflections, Sarah’s Welcome Risen Jesus provides a way for parents and children to pray together and think about the true meaning of the Easter holiday.

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, each day leading up to Easter is given a page that begins with the challenge, “Think,” and explains the meaning of many things that children may not understand about the season and rites within the church. After explaining why certain things are done or why we are called to behave in certain ways, Sarah asks the readers to take action on what they have just read in the “Think” section. With suggestions that are divided up under “Act,” “Fast,” and “Pray,” each day of Lent offers simple ideas that children can do, but which also work well for adults hoping to give this holy time more meaning. The three steps focus upon doing good deeds, sacrificing something of importance, and talking more to God. The suggestions are easily followed. Under “Fast” on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Sarah offers: “Give your dessert–or the favorite part of your snack–to someone else.

Lent has always been one of my favorite times of the year. For some reason, it seemed magical to me with days given strange names: Ash Wednesday, Fat or Shrove Tuesday (also widely known as Mardi Gras–and occurring before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday), Maundy or Holy Thursday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday. Reflecting on the importance of those days can only make the season even more magical and holy. Welcome Risen Jesus will help families also find special meaning for those quiet days without the strange and beautiful names.

To buy your own copy of Welcome Risen Jesus, visit Sarah’s blog, Snoring Scholar HERE.

To read a nice review in the February 19 edition of The Catholic Times, click HERE and scroll down to page 22.

Also just in time for Lent, Sarah has a pamphlet, Do I Really Have to Give Something Up for Lent? that helps to explain why sacrifices can bring us closer to God during this journey toward Easter. My grandpa always liked to joke each year that he was giving up chewing tobacco and watermelon–both things that he didn’t use anyway–making it very easy for him to stick to his Lenten sacrifices.

To buy your copy of the pamphlet, go HERE.

Sarah also has a new book called, Catholic Family Fun, coming out in April. I really like the subtitle to this book: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless. That pretty much describes everybody in our crazy, stress filled world! You can read more about it HERE.

You can also visit Sarah on her Facebook page.

Have a lovely Lenten season.

Welcome Baby Jesus by Local Author Sarah Reinhard.

Joe and I have known Sarah Reinhard for many years–long before she ever put her first words out into the blogosphere. Sarah, from reading her adventures on her blog, is one busy lady and I often wonder how she gets everything done (although, I do know that she took her laptop to the hospital and was blogging shortly after her second daughter was born–talk about dedication to her art!).

Sarah and her husband, Bob, and their three children attend Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church here in Plain City. Saint Joe’s is, of course, our church, too. Sarah, who did not grow up Catholic, fell in love with the religion after her marriage and conversion. She got her feet wet in the writing world by editing and writing most of the weekly Bulletins for Saint Joe’s after she became a member of the parish staff several years ago.

I have known for many years that Sarah shared my passion for writing. After the Saint Joe’s Bulletins, Sarah continued her writing career with a blog that concentrated on her life as a mother and Catholic convert.  She quickly used her blog as a stepping stone that allowed her to progress to writing articles for other Catholic blogs and newspapers.

Her latest endeavor is her very first book called, Welcome Baby Jesus. The book, which offers ideas for families on celebrating Advent, provides reflections and Scripture quotes to make the Christmas season a bit less about toys and gifts and a lot more about the true meaning of the holiday.

Joe and I want to congratulate Sarah on this exciting new step in her life.

To purchase your copy of Welcome Baby Jesus through Amazon.com, go HERE.

To become a fan of Sarah’s, visit her Facebook page HERE or to find out more about her daily life as a Catholic mother and writer, go to her blog, SnoringScholar.com