“A” is for Apples, Altar, St. Aloysius, and Archangels!

by | Sep 29, 2012 | All About Reading, Alphabet Path, Alphabet Path (2012-2013), Angels, Playing Mass, St. Aloysius | 19 comments

Why did I even question whether I would do the Alphabet Path with Snuggles or not?  We have been having SO. MUCH. FUN!  The Alphabet Path is definitely one of the highlights of our days, and all the big kids are really enjoying watching and helping their little brother – who is always such a character!  (And Rose is joining in, wherever she can!  Even Bud is intrigued!!)  Here is some of what we Accomplished for the letter Aa…

*Warning!  This is a really long post!  Practically the equivalent of 10 posts in one… Maybe I need to break up these “Alphabet Path” posts?  Hmmmm…. Hope you all don’t mind!
.: Letter Introduction & Formation :. 

“AAaaaahhhhh!!!  It’s the A-A-Angry A!  ‘Cause someone pulled her ponytail!”
(Yep!  Those little stories from Primary Arts of Language:Writing are sticking! It’s so fun to hear Snuggles talk about the letters as he is practicing writing them!)

A green Alligator with super Awesome googly eyes
 Snuggles colored this picture from My Book of Letters last school year (along with B-E)…

I pulled out the rest of the activity pages for the letter A…

… including An Apple Tree with Painted Apples for lowercase a…

… Adding the pictures that begin with “a”…

… circling All the A’s and then looking through a magazine (we used a Leaflet Catalog) for pictures that begin with a – like Advent Wreath, Angels, Archangels, Apples to Apples, Aaron, St. Augustine, St. Anne, and St. Anthony!

Snuggles apparently isn’t too crazy about Modeling Wax (maybe later in the year we will try again) but the Wikki Sticks were a huge hit!

.: A, B… Seas & Storybook Science :.

A is for Aqua 

Snuggles will be making an A, B… Seas Ocean Box this year!  The first thing we did was find a box and cover it with construction paper.   Since we had just finished learning about the different zones – the  sunlit zone, the twillight zone, and the midnight zone – he insisted on using light blue, dark blue, and black paper!

A is for Anenome

Sea Life Alphabet Coloring Book
(and of course we had to rent Finding Nemo for our family movie night!)

A is for Apples :: Apples with Appeal

The suggested expierement in Apples, Bubbles and Crystals: Your Science ABCs was all about apples!
We also read a bunch of books about Apples, including the following:   

Pressing Apples

During our field trip to a “farm” earlier this week the kids picked apples and made Apple Cider!  Snuggles especially loved turning the wheel on the Apple Press!  (And how Appropriate for A week!)

.: Arts, Crafts & Additional Activities :. 

A is for Angel of God
I posted the instructions and additional pictures from this craft here: Angel Art for A Week.

Assemble Aircraft

I also had been saving a little aircraft lego set for Snuggles to Assemble…
(Bud always has a smile for his Momma!  Oooh, I love him!!) 

… with a very Attentive Audience!

.: My Catholic Faith :.

A is for Angel

In addition to St. Anne, St. Anthony, and our little Guardian Angel, a couple of our Archangels have been making Appearances around the house!  We’ve also been reading a few of our favorite picture books about angels including:  

Pascual and the Kitchen Angels
My Guardian Dear
Angels, Angels Everywhere
Angel in the Waters
Angels: God’s Messengers and Our Helpers

A is for Angel our Guardian so bright:
Say to him, 
“Angel dear, help me do right.”
God’s Alphabet

A is for Altar

Captain helped me teach Snuggles a little about the Altar and a few additional Items Used at Mass using the First Presentation from the lesson book that came with his (Captain’s) Miniature Mass Kit.  
The Mass Kit is expensive, but such a lovely set!  We purchased ours years ago for the big boys and were given a second set (which is Rascal’s) from friends.    

I’d love to eventually get Snuggles his own set as well.   In the meantime his big brothers are more than happy to share and are hoping they can start teaching him to serve Mass with them soon!

A is for Always Ask

I am so excited to be using Writing ABC’s on Little Hearts by Pondered In My Heart with Snuggles!   He has already enjoyed coloring the cover page and Always Ask for the letter A.
Snuggles:  “See, Rose, we should Always Ask Mom when we want something…”
Rose:  Well… Mom needs to have some Compassion and get me dressed Already this AM! 😉 

I had ordered a few 8.5″x11″ blank books from Rainbow Resource (Amazon has them too, just more expensive at the moment) and am using a few of them for the Alphabet Path.   They contain 14 pages – 28 back and front – which is just perfect for the 26 letters of the Alphabet!

After gluing the cover page on, we laminated the cover with like we did for our “Wisdom of the Saints” Journals.  We skipped the first page, front and back (saving it for a title page and index), adding Always Ask to page 3.

A is for St. Aloysius
He is also going to make “My Picture Book of Saints” using a saint (of choice) coloring page for each letter!

Since Snuggles was born on the feast of St. Aloysius, and since my Grandfather was named (middle name) after St. Aloysius, we decided to include it in his name as well!  Our little Snuggles, with two middle names, has quite the long name – and he is very proud of it!

He asked for a St. Aloysius coloring page.  I wasn’t able to find one, so I made my own by converting the image from Picture Book of Saints into a Pencil Sketch and adding text.

Here is the link to our document if anyone would like a copy:  

Note:  I’ve actually been completely amazed at Snuggles interest in coloring!  I really didn’t think he’d want to color much, but has really been enjoying it!  Yay!!

In addition to reading about St. Anne (An Alphabet of Catholic Saints) and St. Anthony (An Alphabet of Saints and S is for Saints)  we also read about Saint Aloysius from A Picture Book of Saints.

.: A to Z Recipes :.

Oatmeal Sparkling Cider Pancakes 
with Homemade Apple Cider Syrup
We started Aa with an Applicious breakfast!  I love homeschooling and being able to enjoy yummy meals on Monday mornings!  

Oatmeal Sparkling Cider Pancakes
2 cups pancake and waffle mix
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup sparkling cider

In a medium bowl, blend together all ingredients using a wire whisk. For thicker pancakes, allow batter to sit for 5 minutes. Cook on a hot griddle. Serve with Apple Cider Syrup.

Apple Cider Syrup
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup (I used honey)
2 T butter
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm.

Ants in My Applesauce
We made Ants in my Applesauce from My A to Z Recipe Box: An Alphabet of Recipes for Kids.
A is for Apple Pie
After reading How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World we used the recipe in the back to make our Apple Pie, substituting refrigerated pie dough for the crust.  Super easy and so much fun for Snuggles!  (And the girls kept saying… “Oh!!! Remember when….”)
Yep, Snuggles thinks this Alphabet Adventure is AAA-wesome!  
We will Begin Bb on Monday… In the meantime, everyone is Bouncing off the walls as we wait for Daddy to get home tonight, after 16 days away!   
I hope you all have a Beautiful and Blessed weekend! 


  1. Erika

    I love that apple pie! So charming.

    Thank you for the St. Aloysius coloring page. That will come in handy. 🙂

  2. Sue

    Beautiful post! I love all of your photos. I did my own version of the Alphabet Path with my littlest guy last year, and we had so much fun. This year I have still been loosely having a letter each week, but this post makes me want to do more with it again – so fun!

    Just a little factoid… I was surprised when I first came to Japan that they soak their apple slices in salt water (just toss them into a bowl with water and a little salt while cutting then drain well)to keep them from turning brown. It works very well, and is good for those who prefer a very slight salty flavor over a sour one. :o)

  3. Mama Bear, JD

    Seriously, wow. I feel like I get a lot done but WOW this post blew me away! A is for Awesome.

  4. Krista

    Amazing! Such wonderful ideas to learn the alphabet!

    How do you join Scribd? It just takes me to a Facebook link and then nothing happens. I can't print the colorings pages/other uploads – it gets all scrambled up.

    And LOVE the Sopwith Lego plane!!! They also have a Sopwith for the older set – in the "exclusives" – it's expensive, but your older boys may like the challenge with that build! I think it's 14+, but with both of them, I bet they could do it!

  5. Jessica Gordon

    I know, I love the Sopwith Camel Lego set! The mini plane was actually a "free gift with purchase" when I bought the larger version! It's stashed in my closet to give to one of the big boys for Christmas!! The other will be getting this set – also already stashed away. 🙂 Now if I can just figure out gifts for the rest of the kids… I'm really thinking about the Mass Kit for Snuggles… or maybe the Baptismal set… I don't know!

    Oh, and Scribd… You should be able to create an account without it being linked to Facebook, I know I did… I think I need to start looking into different document hosting sites… So many seem to have trouble with Scribd. If you ever really want something and can't get Scribd to work, just shoot me an email and I'll forward the documents.

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Ooh, thank's for sharing! We will have to give that a try!

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Awww, thanks! I always have to finally just stop myself when it comes to the alphabet path… there are just too many ideas to do it All – though I do try! 😉 And it really was nice spending a couple weeks on the letter rather than trying to cram it all into one like I did with the older girls… With all the projects the big kids have it would just be impossible.

    And I do have help this time around! There is always someone willing to help with a craft or read a couple picture books to the little ones!! 🙂

  8. Jessica Gordon

    It's a simple coloring page – not nearly as nice as some of the other beautiful ones out there – but it worked for our purpose! Sure wish I was good at drawing, but that is definitely not one of my gifts! lol

  9. Krista

    Oh, thanks for the Scribd info – I'll have to see if I can do something to get an account. I often want to print Charlotte's sketches for coloring and the text is always jumbled up or doesn't even appear on the print-out…

    SOOO COOL about the Sopwith Camel for your Christmas "stash" and Lord of the Rings, too! I actually got my daughter some "starter" Star Wars builds for her birthday earlier this month – I put them together mostly. She loves playing with them, but they "break" rather easily – she's not used to the "big kid" toys enough yet! Funny, I also got her the "My Mass Kit" – I have "stashed" away, too. I wanted to get it to help reinforce her understanding of the Mass and what goes on, especially as she will be studying for First Communion for next year. Right now, I"m just trying to get her to learn her Latin Mass settings so she can "hopefully" sing for a future Schola!

    Can't wait to see the Christmas pictures of the Sopwith Camel build!!!! 🙂

    Happy Michaelmas Day!

  10. Krista

    Wanted to ask – what program did you use to create the St. Aloysius coloring page? Photoshop doesn't have anything good enough to use for coloring, unfortunately – at least that I saw.

  11. Marie

    I'd also love to hear how you made that coloring page! A tutorial, maybe? So cool!

  12. Maggie

    As usual, I am so amazed at all you do with your kids…taking notes for my 4.5 year old 🙂

  13. Collette

    Awesome A week 🙂 Love your idea for using the bound books for organizing the different sets of coloring pages…I think we will be "borrowing" that idea too. 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    I meant to reply to this forever ago, but my kids keep getting up early and I have no time to steal some blogging time! Snuggles is getting so big and I just adore his funny little expressions. He is so precious, but all your kids are!

  15. JenniferM

    Great post, Jessica!
    A rather random question… do you ever encourage your kids to color things "normal" colors or do they eventually do that on their own? I let mine do their own thing with coloring, but far from coloring a tree green or a sky blue, they're more inclined to color everything in stripes so as to include all their favorite colors! : ) I'll color alongside them to see if they pick up on my "boring" normal colors, but it doesn't seem to phase them. LOL He's six and she's five now, so I'm wondering if I should find a nice way to nudge them away from their Picaso art.

  16. Jessica Gordon

    It really depends on what they are coloring. If it is just any coloring page I let them choose how they'd like to color it on their own (like the Virtue coloring page/cover in this post). If the page has any instructions I read them the instructions first. (This week he had to color his "b" worksheet and it said to have the child "color the sky gray and the b their favorite color" – he also insisted on coloring the bat black and the tree trunk brown to complete the picture, oh and the moon white, as well! I'm thinking this one tends to be a bit of a perfectionist. It also took two afternoons to complete the picture.) With the St. Aloysius picture above, I had to stop myself from asking him if he wanted to keep using all that yellow, instead of switching back to the blue, but I didn't say anything.

    Some of my kids are more inclined to use as many colors as they can, like one of the girls did on the fairy wings for Z week. Others, not so much.

    For these younger children, I think they see their older siblings artwork so often that they are inspired to color using the "normal" colors… I don't think that was the case when the oldest two were first starting to color… I think the thing that helped me nudge those older children the most was by adding "Picture Studies" and "Art Appreciation" to our school work, and during that time they had to try and imitate the colors. The rest of the time I would leave it up to them. And I think it's fun to look back at all that Picaso style art! 🙂

  17. JenniferM

    Thanks, Jessica!
    These two are my oldest, so I might just let them do their own thing for awhile longer. I might miss the pink trees with orange stripes someday. : )

  18. Kirsten

    Oh Jessica, Thank you so much for sharing all of this!!! You have given me some great ideas for my little ones. Amelia and John Paul are my 6th and 7th child to do K with, it is always nice to get some fresh ideas. I clicked on some of your book links and ordered the recipe box and some of the other books. Looking forward to receiving them!! Again, thank you for taking the time to post and share.
    God bless you,

  19. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for posting your journey Along the Alphabet Path! I LOVE it! I just wanted to share something my little daughter and I came up with for our path this week. As we worked in the kitchen chopping apples for our "A"pple pancakes and "A"pple cider syrup, I started singing, "Don't sit under the 'A'pple tree with 'A'nyone else but me…" by the "A"ndrews Sisters. Which led to bringing it up on YouTube, which led to creating a whole playlist of "A" songs! The whole family had a great time coming up with them and even singing along. I'm sure our "A" song list is not what everyone would choose for their "A" song list (I have quite an assortment of tastes in my family!) but if anyone wants some ideas for this really fun addition to the Alphabet Path, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL41IYGl_Qe_EuRfoRVdK7lPHO84cFRR7N&feature=mh_lolz Oh, and if you find the other letter song lists we've started, they're not really the song lists yet. My 16-year-old has started them and I will be weeding through them before they're all set for my 4-year-old! lol


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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