The Good Shepherd’s Garden Party :: Week One

by | Apr 16, 2012 | Good Shepherd's Garden Party | 6 comments

When Israel fled from Egypt’s hand,  the seas split wide to form dry land, 
the mountains leapt like ewes and rams,  the hillsides skipped like playful lambs.  
What makes you leap, O hill and sea? Why, Jordan, do you turn and flee?
O, tremble, earth, your Lord is come to lead all people safely home. 

Like Charlotte’s children, mine also love and look forward to celebrating the 50 days of Easter with the Garden of the Good Shepherd!  They wouldn’t even hear of possibly skipping a year and promised to do whatever they could to help with the daily readings and parties.  🙂

The first week is based on “The Good Shepherd’s Pasture.”  We had our first Good Shepherd’s Garden Party yesterday afternoon, after returning home from Mass, as our Sunday lunch/dinner.  Our little Bud has been extra fussy these past few days (and nights) and I think his ears might be bothering him.  I’m going to be calling his pediatrician this morning and maybe take him in for a check-up.   The poor little guy has been miserable!  Thankfully my big kids were all so much help, as usual, setting the table and creating the recipes from the menu for our party.

~ The Good Shepherd :: Mini Shepherd Pies ~ 

Our children (except for Snuggles) love these mini shepherd pies.   I made a double batch, making a few in ramekins for hubby and I without the crusts.  These were Captain’s favorite part of the meal.   He passes on the desserts in order to have another a 4th!  I am always amazed at how much food our growing boys can eat…

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15
~ The Shepherd’s Crook :: Shepherd’s Crook Breadsticks ~ 

I wasn’t able to find breadstick dough, but pizza dough worked great cut into strips.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; 
 for thou art with me;
 thy rod and thy staff,
 they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me
 in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; 
 my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
 all the days of my life,
 and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
 for ever.” Psalm 23:1-6
~ The Sheepfold :: God’s Sheep and Sheepfold Salad~ 

Popcorn is white and fluffy, like sheep, and when air-popped, sometimes a piece of popcorn comes flying out of the popper and flies across the room, like a lost sheep. Remind the children that, like sheep, we wander astray sometimes. The fence protects the Shepherd’s sheep from straying from him. The bowl is like the fence for the popcorn.

Rascal made the popcorn with the help of Snuggles and Rose a couple little “wolves” ready and waiting to catch any little “sheep” that went astray!

He also made a quick salad, topped with some feta (sheep’s milk) cheese.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.” John 10:1-6 
~ The Gate of the Sheepfold :: Graham Cracker Gates ~ 

While I was busy preparing the Shepherd’s Pies, Twinkle Toes assembled the Graham Cracker Gates.


“So Jesus again said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:7-10 

~ The Ewe & Ram :: Ewe and Ram Cupcakes Chocolates ~
Since we had a special dessert we wanted to make for Divine Mercy Sunday, we decided to skip the cupcakes this year.   Instead we attached some paper horns to one of our lindt lamb chocolates to create our “ram.”   We actually didn’t end up eating the chocolates, but they made a cute decoration. 
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
~ The Lamb :: Lamb’s Wool ~ 

I bought all the ingredients to make our Lamb’s Wool punch, but ran out of time.  Instead I just filled a pitcher with some of the leftover punch ingredients (juice and 7-up) from Easter and Captain decorated the table with some little lambs. 

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” John 1:35-36

~ The Wolf :: Wolf Paw Cookies ~ 

Like always, Captain assembled the Wolf Paw Cookies.  He did a great job!

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” John 10:11-12

~ Divine Mercy Sunday :: Strawberry-Coconut Trifle ~ 

I had bought the ingredients to make this recipe for Easter Sunday, but ran out of time. Since it is red and white I thought it would make an appropriate addition to our menu to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.   Now I just need to figure out what to do with all the leftovers of this dairy filled dessert.  It is just way too tempting sitting in the fridge!

Twinkle Toes set our table with our red tablecloth and white plates, also in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday.   Everything looked so pretty!

Snuggles kept cracking us up with his Shepherd’s Crook breadstick, hanging it on his arm and saying, with his best British accent, “I’m Thomson and Thompson! We must go investigate.  Precisely! Oh, Thompson, he forgot his cane… Oh I forgot my cane!” 
My brother Brian and his family came over Friday for dinner and a game night.   He had us all laughing so hard with some of the stories from our childhood.   Anyhow, it was decided that he needed to pass on his nickname of “Bread Boy” to this picky little nephew.  😉

We are all looking forward to next week’s Garden Party:  Welcome to the Lord’s Table

Don’t forget to head over to Catholic Cuisine to share pictures from your party!


  1. Amy

    Would you adopt me? 😉 Your children are so very blessed!

  2. Unknown

    Beautiful Jessica!! I love how you always find new creative ideas!! I am learning a lot!!

  3. Nicole

    Very nice. And that dairy-filled dessert does look delicious. I took a look just to see how it would be converting it and wow, that thing is chock-full! You need some house guests to come eat it up. 🙂

  4. Colby

    I never cease to be impressed by the level of your energy and organization and talent. Every last detail is picture perfect (both your home and children.) Suffice it to say everything you do looks like a major feat! I should watch some of your cake tutorials. I recently baked my son a birthday cake, and wanted to cry at the way it looked. A castle or a fort it was not. LOL

  5. Party of Eleven

    Aw! I love seeing this! Looks like you all had fun! I just couldn't get it together this year…

  6. Julie

    Amazing! I can't wait for my kids to get a little older and do all these things to share our great faith with them!


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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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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