» » » ‘He Was Lifted Up’ • Family Time!

‘He Was Lifted Up’ • Family Time!

posted in: Family Time! newsletter | 0 |
Reading Time: 15 minutes

May 13-19: Seventh Week of Easter

The Ascension + Our Lady of Fatima + St. Matthias + St. Isidore + St. Brendan + St. Paschal Baylon + St. John I + Blessed Alciun of York

New to Family Time? Sign up to get the newsletter every week by e-mail.


Here’s a fun new way to teach your kids the basics of the faith: Family Moments Minibooks!
Kids love folding their own little books…the perfect size for carrying anywhere.

First up in this new series: The Wisdom of St. Patrick.
With art from Jen Norton, bits to color, prayer prompts, blessings,
and the words of St. Patrick, each of the 10 books in this set
create a little moment for teaching kids about the faith.

Plus, we’ve thrown in two bonus books:
a coloring book and a book with the Lorica of St. Patrick;
the pocket size makes it perfect for memorization work!

Each book folds to 8 pages. Get folding instructions and the download at
the Gracewatch store.

Patrons get our downloads for free.
Become a patron now for $1 a month.



1. Celebrate the Ascension. The Solemnity of the Ascension is one of the oldest and most important feasts in the Church. Do your kids know what it’s all about? Here are explainers and activities for kids of all ages, plus four ways to celebrate the feast day. (Hey, while most of us are celebrating this feast on Sunday, for those of you in the dioceses of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia, the feast is celebrated today, Thursday.)

2. Live out the beauty of your child’s first holy Communion. Now that your child’s  day has come and gone, what should you do next? Cindy Coleman, a veteran catechist, offers three practical and doable suggestions for parents in Everything is Grace. In case you are still awaiting your child’s first holy Communion, here is Coleman’s piece with five strategies for parents to prepare their children for the sacrament.

3. Celebrate Mother’s Day. We wish you a day of sleeping in, a breakfast made by someone else, and a peaceful Mass with your family! We also wish you a moment of quiet for you to check out our readers’ favorite “mom saints.” These holy women are proof that the vocation to motherhood can be a path to holiness.

We’ve got a veritable bouquet of articles for Mother’s Day on Peanut Butter & Grace, including four special women to honor this Mother’s Day and ways that our readers love to celebrate Mother’s Day.

4. Proclaim the Gospel to every nation. In the readings for the Ascension, May 13, Jesus goes back into heaven to get things ready for us. Mark tells us to to go out to the whole world and share the good news of the Resurrection, bringing healing and proof with them of God’s power. Read a family-friendly reflection with discussion questions for you and your kids in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home with Jen Schlameuss-Perry.

5. Plan your kids’ Catholic summer. Here are 101 ideas to get you started…plus: Laura Kizior and Mary Kizior have seven fun pro-life activities for your family to try this summer.

6. Celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima, which is celebrated Sunday, revealed herself to the three young children as Our Lady of the Rosary. Here are ways to mark the feast day with your kids.

7. Visit a local farmer’s market in honor of the feast of St. Isidore. This patron saint of farmers was teased by his peers for showing up late to the fields due to lingering too long in church! He’s also the patron saint of Catholic Rural Life, a national conference that works on behalf of farmers. Click through the link to learn more about St. Isidore and the work they do to promote faith-based ethics and the food system in our country.

8. Get $50 off your Catholic summer camp. Remember our big article on Catholic summer camps? Well, at least one of those camps is offering our readers a discount. Here’s their pitch: “Catholic Youth Camp, MN’s only Catholic resident camp, is celebrating our 71st summer of excellence. Kids 7-17 spend SundayFriday living in cabins, doing fun activities like art, archery, canoeing and swimming, while growing in faith. Visit www.cycamp.org for more information. Use code PBG2018 to take $50 off a one week session of camp.”


We’ll mail your First Communion Journal first class for free through May 31.
Preview it in the Gracewatch store.



Come join our PB & Grace Parents page on Facebook, a closed group to keep threads private. We are sharing ideas on how to help kids learn about the faith, book recommendations for married couples, and much more.



Let’s give them a big round of applause! Patrons have supported the evangelizing work of the Church throughout its history. Want some of that? You can become a patron for $1 a month. Find out how.



Our calendar web app features saints’ feast days and important Church events, with links to more resources, images, a variety of viewing options, and the option to sync with your own calendar.

Lead your children in a special prayer for Mary and for all of their earthly mothers. Begin by saying the Hail, Holy Queen, followed by a Hail Mary.


Sunday, May 13

Mother’s Day

The Ascension of the Lord

Our Lady of Fatima


Monday, May 14

St. Matthias


Tuesday, May 15

St. Isidore 


Wednesday, May 16

St. Brendan


Thursday, May 17

St. Paschal Baylon


Friday, May 18

St. John I


Saturday, May 19

Blessed Alciun of York

« May 2019 » loading...



  • Pentecost Sunday (May 20)
  • Mary, Mother of the Church (May 21)
  • National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea (May 22)
  • Memorial Day (May 28)
  • Religious Freedom Week (June 22-29)



…are listening to the a group of young priests from Nebraska whose Gregorian chant album “Requiem” has topped classical music charts for weeks. Their story was highlighted in this episode of PBS Newshour.

…are checking out Pope Francis: A Man of His Word by Focus Features, which will be in theaters May 18. Lots of hype surrounds the film, check back here for movie reviews once they are available.

…are getting Confirmation gifts from Rakstar Designs, which makes Catholic themed hand-lettered art and jewelry.



In recognition of May as National Foster Care Month, three bishops joined other religious leaders in urging lawmakers to give priority to the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017. The act would protect Catholic Charities and other child welfare organizations from discrimination based on providers’ moral convictions and beliefs. A link to the letter can be found here. A backgrounder on the issue from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops can be found here.



“Joyfully performing works of charity for those who are suffering in mind and body is the most authentic way to live the Gospel.”

— Pope Francis 



Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.



Join us on Facebook @peanutbutterandgrace and on Pinterest. Make sure you don’t miss a Peanut Butter & Grace post on Facebook. Go to our Facebook page, then click on Following, and select See First. 



Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.

Here’s a list of most of our books, ordered by publication date (most recent first).

First Communion Journal
This beautiful First Communion journal is full of fun ways for Catholic kids to prepare for, remember, and live out their First Holy Communion. With its colorful design, prayers, devotions, special activities, and quotes from the saints and Scriptures, the My First Communion Journal can be used both before and after the child’s First Communion day.

The Way of the Cross Journal for Children
In The Way of the Cross Journal for Children, young readers are invited to enter into the story of Jesus’ suffering and death through story, prayer, coloring, and action. Appropriate for ages 5-8; younger children will need adult assistance. 62 pages.

The Stations of the Cross for Children
The Stations of the Cross for Children was designed especially for younger children, with colorful illustrations and simple text that introduces them to the Passion of Jesus Christ on their level. Each station takes about two minutes to complete, including about thirty seconds of silent prayer. Optional prayers and Scripture references for each station offer a variety of ways to adapt and expand The Stations of the Cross for Children for older kids. And the opening and closing prayers place the Passion in the larger context of Jesus’ mission…and every Christian’s call to continue that mission in the world today.

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation
Molly McBride is turning six, and her momma is planning a BIG party. Everyone in Molly’s class is supposed to get an invitation. But should a certain class bully be invited, too? Or would it be better if his were “lost”? Join Molly and friends as they learn that doing acts of charity, while always a good thing, isn’t always a party. It’s Molly McBride and the Party Invitation: A Story About the Virtue of Charity.

The Catholic Family Book of Prayers
Do you want to introduce your kids to the richness of the Christian prayer tradition? The best way to do that is to pray with them, and now there’s a beautiful collection of Catholic prayers and meditations designed just for that purpose: The Catholic Family Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers and Meditations for Families to Pray Together. It’s packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Available in digital, softcover, hardcover, and handcrafted editions.

Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You introduces young people to the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina in a guided journal format. It features a brief, accessible introduction to lectio divina, walking readers through the method step by step, then turns them loose to try the method themselves in eight pre-selected readings. Seven additional blank journal entries provide space for readers to choose their own readings; a list of suggested texts is included. The colorful, beautifully designed interior provides a warm and welcome space for reflection and prayer. Lectio Divina for Teens has received an imprimatur from the Diocese of Winona.

The All Saints’ Day Party
Maggie and Max can’t wait for the All Saints’ Day party. There’s just one problem: they can’t decide which saint to dress up as…and the party is just a week away! Join Maggie and Max as their friends and family tell them about six holy men and women who offer living examples of what it means to be a saint…even if you’re a kid!

Turning Grief Inside Out: Surviving Pregnancy Loss with God’s Help
Drawing on her own personal experience of pregnancy loss, Christine Hendersen offers practical and spiritual advice—as well as a hopeful path forward—for grieving mothers and the people who love them.

Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!” Those words are at the heart of Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls, which is designed to help girls explore their identity and purpose in life in light of the wisdom of the Catholic Church, including half a dozen female saints. Ages 9 and up.

I Can Be Happy, Too: A Book about Attitudes uses simple rhyme accompanied by Scripture verses and sweet, expressive illustrations, to teach children that while we can’t control the bad things that happen to us, we can control how we respond to disappointment and adversity.

Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss invites grieving mothers to let the Blessed Mother accompany them on their journey of grief and healing. Mary not only understands their loss, but wishes to bring mothers to healing through the saving work of her son. For each mystery of the rosary, author Heidi Indahl compassionately shares her own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, offering insights about how those losses are connected to the experience of Jesus and Mary as revealed by the mysteries of the rosary.

In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, our new YA fantasy/adventure novel with a Catholic heart and sensibility; it comes with an accompanying Lesson Plan book that helps parents and kids connect the story to teachings of the Catholic faith.

The Illuminated Rosary hardcover complete set. “I can lead the rosary now!” That’s what we hear kids saying when they have one of the Illuminated Rosary books in their laps. The words of the prayers are printed on every page, opposite a sacred artwork depicting the mystery of the rosary being said. Kids love these books, but so do adults and grandparents! Available in hardcover (allow extra time for shipping) or softcover sets.

The Stations of the Cross for Children. Here’s a downloadable PDF with sacred art depicting each of the Stations of the Cross, along with a simple reflection and prayer, geared for young children.

77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids, now in hardcover from Dynamic Catholic; to celebrate, we’re offering hardcover copies for $12, about 50% off the cover price, while supplies last. Whether you are just getting started with family prayer or wish to broaden your horizons, 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids can help, offering practical, kid-friendly guides to Christian prayer practices both ancient and new. Features include: age-appropriate adaptations for young children, older kids, and teens; articles on a wide range of practices; Talking Points…explanations of prayer practices that kids might have questions about; cross-references to the Catechism, Scripture, and church documents; an appendix containing thirty-three common and useful Catholic prayers; a quick-find index makes it easy to find prayer ideas, and doubles as a checklist to track your progress.

Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. In this book, Molly faces off against the dreaded plaid jumper that she’s going to have to wear when she starts school in the fall. Along with her new friends, Dominic and Fr. Matt, she learns all about uniforms and our true identity in God.

Paddy and the Wolves. Young Paddy can’t sit still during morning prayers, but he’s more than happy to help the shepherd, Barra, watch sheep for the day! But who will watch Paddy when he wanders into the woods? As he explores the wilderness of coastal Britain, Paddy encounters many delights and dangers—and ultimately, the One who watches over him through it all. Available as a hardcover or softcover storybook, or a coloring book with complete text; also available is a downloadable board game. Features the art of Catholic folk artist Jen Norton.

The Children’s Little Advent BookThe Children’s Little Advent Book is designed to help parents with children ages 4-7 on a journey through Advent to Christmas. Each day’s entry includes a brief Scripture reading, a reflection, discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a simple coloring page for children to complete after praying with their families. With The Children’s Little Advent Book, parents have an Advent resource specifically designed for short family prayer services with young children.

Corporal Works of Mercy Cards. Teach a lesson about the Works of Mercy with these downloadable cards and teaching guide.

Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi. “Make me an instrument of your peace.”  The Peace Prayer of St. Francis, beloved by people of all faiths around the world, beautifully captures the spirit of “the poor little man” from Assisi, as well as the aspirations of our time: for hope, for reconciliation, for peace.

Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl. Little Thérèse Martin could be a very stubborn young girl. All too often, if someone wanted her to say “yes,” she wanted to say “no”! But then, as she is preparing for her First Communion, Thérèse discovers a way to turn her everyday trials and tribulations into something beautiful for Jesus. Join Thérèse (and her family) as she learns to “gather roses from amid thorns.” Available in hardcover and softcover editions.

La Florecita de Jesús: Una Parábola de Santa Teresita Del Niño Jesús. This is the Spanish-language edition of The Little Flower. La autora Becky Arganbright ha adoptado las enseñanzas de las orecitas de santa Teresita en esta encantadora parábola para niños. La joven Teresita aprende que aunque es pequeña, con la ayuda de Dios, su pequeñez puede ser una manera de hacer grandes cosas para Dios.  La ilustradora Tracey Arvidson da vida a la joven Teresa Martín, y a sus ores en la parábola, con sus maravillosas ilustraciones.

Molly McBride and the Purple Habit. Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus.

Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Young Catholics to Color. Here are fourteen lively two-minute stories to introduce young Catholics to some of the Church’s most beloved saints. Each story is accompanied by two coloring pages: a gorgeously detailed portrait of the saint, and a scene of the saint in action.

The Gift of Birth: Discerning God’s Presence During Childbirth. Is the process of giving birth a medical problem to be solved, a hurdle to be overcome on the way to motherhood . . . or is it something more? Could it be, as Susan Windley-Daoust proposes, that giving birth is a gift from God, laden with signs that speak to women about their identity, their calling, and their destiny? If so, then learning to read those embodied signs during pregnancy and labor could transform the way women experience childbirth. These signs reveal that God is not only powerfully present in the whole birthing process, but desires to actively work with women to bring forth new life.

Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and WisdomLittle Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux presents brief excerpts from Story of a Soul as a way of introducing those unfamiliar with Thérèse to some of the essential themes of her spirituality. The words of St. Thérèse  are accompanied by the artwork of award-winning watercolorist Jeanine Crowe, a wonderful aid to prayerful meditation on the words and wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux includes twenty-one selections from the words of St. Thérèse, twenty artworks, and ten questions for reflection and discussion.

The Little Flower: A Parable of St. Thérèse of Liseux. Becky Arganbright has adapted St. Thérèse’s lesson of the little flowers into a delightful parable for children. The young Thérèse learns that even though she might be little, with God’s help, her littleness can be a way of doing great things for the Kingdom of God. Illustrator Tracey Arvidson brings the young Thérèse Martin (and the flowers of her parable) to life in gorgeous illustrations.

Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic PrayersSense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers contains thirty traditional Catholic prayers every child should have at hand, each accompanied by a beautiful, hand-drawn illustration to aid in prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the faith.

Sense of the Sacred: A Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. For centuries, the Catholic Church has used art to illuminate the sacred mysteries of the Faith. Now, your child can follow in that tradition by making sacred art with the help of Sense of the Sacred: Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. This book contains 30 hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying Bible verses, drawing on the rich legacy of statues and stained glass in our Catholic Faith.

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

Share your thoughts & ideas