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Printable Catholic Saints Paper Dolls

I enjoy looking for free printable cartoon coloring pages, but my real passion lies in finding homeschooling and religious education free printables. I remember my early teaching and homeschooling career, sans computer. I must have made thousands of lessons. Alas, I am woefully inept as an artist, so those that required drawing skills...lacked. But now, with the beauty of the Internet, we have access to free printable lesson plans, coloring pages, cut and paste crafts, games and activities. Here are printable Catholic paper dolls for Advent and Christmas. Free Printable Catholic Saints Paper Dolls and Coloring Page Activities

Budget Christmas Shopping Tips for Big Families

I shop for about 30 people at Christmas, including kids' giving tree gifts. I'm also a tightwad mom. As a Catholic Christian, I don't feel right buying lavish gifts I can't afford. Kind of spoils the real reason for the holiday. Here are penny pincher shopping tips to save money, keep costs low and buy meaningful gifts for everyone.  Tightwad Mama's Common Sense Christmas Shopping Tips

Chris VanAllsburg, Polar Express, Herpolsheimers' Grand Rapids Connections

I have a lot of hobbies and interests. One is incunabula, particularly collecting children's literature. I'm not au currant in modern adult fiction, but juvenilia I speak fluently. A favorite author/illustrator is Chris VanAllsburg--of Jumanji, The Polar Express (books, then movies) fame. When I was in college and a new teacher, VanAllsburg was writing and illustrating some of his best works. My favorite is a little-remembered volume of M.C. Escher-ish pictures with intriguing captions "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick." I used that extensively in creative writing with my Montessori students in the 80s. And I just discovered a neat connection. VanAllsburg is from my hometown Grand Rapids. I think the train he used for the Polar Express was modeled on Herpolsheimer's Santa Express--a little train that went around the top of the store, that all us kids rode years ago.  Oh, and here's a free printable Polar Express party kit perfect for children's Christmas festivities or birthday parties. Read more. Chris VanAllsburg is from My Hometown

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