Monday, March 22, 2010

Celebrating the Easter Season: The Garden of the Good Shepherd

As some of you may have already read, Jessica and I are putting our heads together this year to come up with a new, exciting and, hopefully, easier means of celebrating the 50 days of the Easter Season. For the past couple of years, her family and mine have been using The Garden of the Good Shepherd: A Sticker Calendar and have been coming up with a fun craft, or fun food item to represent that day's sticker. You can see our ideas from years past here.

If there is one thing that Jessica and I agree after two years of visiting the Good Shepherd's Garden is that 50 days is a LONG TIME! So rather than take an every day approach, we came up with the idea of celebrating all of the days at the end of the week with what we are calling a Good Shepherd's Garden Party. Jessica came up with that name! Isn't it adorable? And look at what her talented sister created:

The weekly themes in the sticker calendar are:
1)  The Good Shepherd’s Pasture
2)  Welcome to the Lord’s Table
3)  The Heavens Tell God’s Glory
4)  The Wind and Sea Obey Him
5)  The Gardener Plants Paradise
6)  Oh! What a Beautiful City
7)  The Heavenly Zoo
While the calendar is sold out at Amazon, you can still order one from Liturgy Training Publications and if for some reason, that's not possible, I am working on making printables of symbols based on Tomie dePaola's illustrations. I might be able to post them all at once or week by week, we'll just have to see. They could be glued onto your garden background or turned into stickers by printing them on Avery Sticker Project Paper.

My idea is that you could get a poster board and color it to look like a garden. Here is what Mr. dePaola's looks like empty:
I'll try to draw the city on the hilltop, the fountain and the tree since some of the stickers go on those items. You just worry about the lake, the river, the hills and grass.

As you can tell, we are very excited about this idea and hope that you will decide to join us. Jessica and I will be posting the menus for each garden party well in advance in a printable form with shopping lists and readings for each day included. Each week's menu should contain a plan for a light meal or tea time snack, a drink and a simple decoration. Other than that, our focus is on food, not crafts or activities as much as it was in the past. Our goal is to keep this fun and doable for everyone with things are are easy to find. We plan to post the menus about 2 weeks prior to each party. Our parties will happen on either Friday or Saturday. Beginning April 12th, we will post a Mr. Linky at Catholic Cuisine so that you can share your parties with us! We'd love to see what a Good Shepherd Garden Party looks like in your home. 
Please let us know if you are interested in joining us in the garden! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


  1. I was planning on doing the daily Garden activities (I've raided both your blog and Jessica's :) ). This sounds like it might be quite a bit easier since 500 days *is* a long time. I can't wait to see what you two VERY creative people come up with :)

  2. Fifty days IS a long time! I love the weekly Garden Party idea! I'm so in!

  3. Count us in for the party! We got the Garden sticker book last year, but wasn't consistent with the stickers and activities. I know my kids will love it. Thank you and Jessica for planning :)

  4. Just gone through your blog and enjoyed it very much. Have a great Easter.

  5. You really should start a website dedicated to the Good Shepherd Garden Party.

    Just sayin...

  6. Just wondering about the stickers....We do have the Garden of the Good Shepherd, which is supposed to have reusable stickers. Have you had any problems removing them so as to use them the next year? Some of mine were hard to take off again. Or have you figured out a better way to use the stickers w/out them getting messed up? Thanks so much for your help! I have really enjoyed your blog & Jessica's. You two have inspired me so much to incorporate liturgical year activities in our home. My kids love it! =)

  7. Mary,
    We have tried to reuse them in the past, but the stickers either would lose some of their stickiness or start to curl up. I think the bast thing to do for long term maintenance would be to laminate them. Jessica and I plan on tackling this in a later post. I am thinking that self lamination sheets would be the easiest way. You could stick the sticker right to one side and then peel and stick the other lamination sheet on top. Does that make sense?

    If you wanted to use a heat laminating machine, I would think that you would have to stick them all onto card stock and then cut them out, laminate them and cut them out again.

  8. I just ordered this from LTP ... And am looking forward to participating in this Easter project this year!

  9. I am SO excited to join you in this simpler version this year, since I'm in my last trimester and needing simplicity. In fact, we are going to have a few families get together each week, rotating homes, for the parties, making the planning even easier. Each of us is going to take 2-3 parties to plan and host! Thank you!!!

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