Friday, December 12, 2008

Caution: Craft not for human consumption!

I just wanted to pass on a heads-up from a customer who warned me that the craft in the first year of Blue Knights has a suggestion to use fishing weights to weigh down the front end of the spear. Some fishing weights may contain lead, so if you are uneasy about using them, you might try to use steel ball bearings instead. We used them because we had them around the house for a science experiment on the viscosity of glycerin (huh?) and so we used them instead of the lead and they worked fine. We picked them up at the hardware store.

If you use the lead fishing weights, make sure not to get them mixed up with your snack (same goes for the steel ball bearings, too, for that matter!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Year, New Club

I've noticed a trend over the last few years of Little Flowers and Blue Knights clubs starting in January rather than September. This has some definite advantages. January is typically a slow month without a whole lot going on. Since it is the start of a new year, a new beginning for a club falls right in line with a new resolution to learn and teach virtues in our families. Since the clubs are flexible, you can start wherever and whenever you want. You can still do one virtue a month, work through the summer and finish by September. Or, you can really dive into the material and make the study last longer. Whatever works for you will be fine for the children involved, I'm sure. 

So if you've been hesitating in starting a club, now's the time to start! Just to give you a little more incentive, EHP will offer a 10% discount on all orders placed from now until December 31, 2008. Just type in the discount code: CLUB09  Orders must be placed online at the website: 
Have a Holy Advent!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


If you have the old AOL address bookmarked, please updtae it to:

AOL has completely erased all member websites and we are unable to forward to the new site. Thanks!

Friday, September 5, 2008

To copy or not to copy

Please remember that our small family owned business/apostolate depends on you to survive and grow. We strive to make the materials reasonably priced for large families on a tight budget. As a mom of ten who has seen tight times myself, I understand the need to squeeze as much as possible out of every penny.Because of this, we ask you to respect the copyrights of our materials and not to photocopy pages from the books. This includes member's guides and the art and activity books. They are the heart of the program and each child deserves their own. At $4.50 for each member guide and $3.50 for each art and activity book, they are more than reasonably priced for each child. We have to have these made up by the thousands, so each time they are photocopied rather than purchased, it prevents us from developing more items for Little Flowers and Blue Knights and stifles the growth of all the clubs.Thanks for your cooperation and God bless! --EHP

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scabbard from a Sock

Need a fast scabbard? A lost sock will do the trick!

My son Liam has discovered the Star Wars series. (At last, our geek genes are showing true!) Like Count Grievous, he's collected for himself a rather large collection of light sabers, and one day, he wanted to take them all to a friend's house. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough scabbards to hang them off his belt. We do have plenty of orphan socks, however.

Two minutes, an orphan sock and some scissor work later, he'd made himself this handy scabbard. I thought I'd share his genius with you:

Find a volunteer sock. Smaller ones are better, especially since they stretch.

Cut an inch or two off the top. Discard the rest or use as dusting rags. (My favorite use for the unmatched.) (Liam also likes to do this to make wrist guards.)

Cut about 3/4 of the way through.

If the hole is too big for the saber or sword, you can tie a half-knot to make it smaller.

Thread the belt through and voila! A universal sword scabbard.

Here's Liam modeling the scabbard and wristband.

If you want to read more about our adventures with orphan socks, check out

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Changes in Blue Knights "uniforms"

Beginning this fall, we will be changing what we will be offering for Blue Knights uniforms. Previously, we had offered vests and breastplates in a light blue with a dark blue trim. The boys quickly outgrew the breastplates and many didn't think they looked "knightly." So our new breastplates will be slightly larger, made of a heavier gray canvas material with a large red cross on the front, trimmed in dark blue. We will also be offering a detachable cape that flows from the shoulders of the breastplate. It can be removed for games and activities, or worn for more solemn ceremonies and occasions. The capes can be changed each year in a "bridging ceremony." The colors of the capes will correspond with the colors of the badges and books: Year One; blue: Year Two; green: Year Three; red: and Year Four; gold. We should have these new items up on the website by the first week of August.

Year Four Shield Patches are also now available. They'll be on the website in a couple of weeks, or you can call toll free: 1-866-305-8362 if you'd like to order them right away. They are $10/set patches.

Monday, June 16, 2008

See you in Michigan!

Hi all,

Ecce Homo Press will be in Lansing, Michigan for the Catholic homeschool conference this weekend, June 20-21st. Stop by and say "hi" to my summer intern, Julia Fahy while you're there. I'm staying home with my feet up for the last few weeks before baby arrives.
Stop by and ask Julia about our new products, especially the Little Women Hospitality Program. She'll have samples of the manuals and charms, too.

Don't forget to get your supplies for the coming year. Buy them at the conference and not only will you save on shipping, you'll get an extra 15% off the retail price! It will be worth the trip...even with today's gas prices!

If you are looking to supply your Blue Knights Boys' Club for the coming year, this is a great opportunity to do so. If you could just drop me a line and let me know what kind of supplies you may need, I'll be sure to pack them for the conference. Thanks!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

See you in Indy!

I'll be in Indianapolis for the Catholic Homeschool Conference June 7th. Stop by and see our new Hospitality Program, the beautiful charms, and just to say "HI!"

Also, get all your Blue Knights Boys' Club materials for the fall and save shipping AND an additional 15% off your entire order when buy it at the conference!

If you plan on doing that, shoot me a quick email ( and I'll make sure I'll bring enough for your needs. Thanks! See you there!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Come see us!

Ecce Homo Press will be a vendor at the following midwest conferences:

Dayton, OH: May 16-17
Indianapolis, IN: June 7
Lansing, MI: June 20-21

Look for us and come by and say "HI!" We have some special conference surprises for attendees. 15% off your entire order and a preview of new and exciting products! This is a great time to get a jump start and SAVE on next fall's school year.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Writers! the Catholic Writers Conference Online Registration Ends Friday

Thought the writer dads and moms would like to know:

Just a reminder that the Catholic Writers Conference Online registration ends FRIDAY! This is a free conference, with speakers from all areas of Catholic publishing--from the writer to the publisher--covering all areas of writing--from idea generation to query to contract and beyond. Sign up at

Here's a list of presenters and their presentations.

Ami McConnell: Trends In Fiction
Audrey Shaffer: Branding and Your Marketing Platform
Barry Michaels: Feature Article--Ideas and Queries
Bert Ghezzi: Ins and Outs of Publishing
Brian St Paul--Crisis & InsiderCatholic: Meet the Editors of InsiderCatholic
Carolyn Howard-Johnson: 10 Ways to Let Agents Know You are an Amateur
Carolyn Howard-Johnson: Marketing Basics (with Karina)
Colleen Drippe: Driving Writers Crazy--The Editor
Heidi Hess Saxton: The Good Writer
Heidi Hess Saxton: Meet the Editor of Canticle Magazine
Hope Clark: Shy Writer
Hope Clark: Funds for Writers
Karina Fabian: Worldbuilding
Karina Fabian: Marketing Basics (with Carolyn)
Karina Fabian: Virtual Book Tours
Karina, Michelle Buckman, Terry Burns: Contract Essentials
Lea Schizas: Writing the Short Story
Mark Shea: How Faith Connects to Everything
Maya Bohnhoff: Show Me, Don't Tell Me--Character and Dialog
Maya Bohnhoff: Plotting Through Writer's Block
Melenie Rigney: Ethics of Memoir Writing
Melenie Rigney: Book Modeling
Meredith Gould: Self-Publishing as a First Resort
Michelle Buckman: Writing For Teens
Michelle Buckman: The Right Details
Patrice MacArthur: Art of Blogging
Patricia Punt: Writing for the Inspirational Market
Patti Armstrong--Ascension Press: Hooking Your Reader
Pete Vere: Canon Law and the Catholic Writer
Sister Maria Grace-Pauline Books: Pitch Session--Pauline Books
Steve Saffel: Working With a Book Editor
Steve Saffel: Using E-Media to Promote
Sylvia Dohram: Character Development and Dialogue
Terry Burns--agent: Pitching and Working With Agents
Tim Drake: So You Want to Write a Book?
Tim Powers: SFF and Catholicism
Tom Grace: Crafting the Catholic Thriller
Vinita Wright: Making Friends With the Creative/Spiritual Process
Woodenee Koenig Bricker: Writing With Faith But Without Bias

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cardboard Box Bird Feeder

Spring is in the air! In Minot, North Dakota, that means that the temperature is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and folks are putting away the winter jackets and putting on the shorts.
It's also time for birds to return. Here's a nifty little bird feeder my son Alex (9) put together.

One thing I love about Alex is that if I leave him alone long enough, he'll grab some spare stuff, make up a project and put it together himself. He did this one to fulfill a boy scout requirement.

Get a thick cardboard box--Capri Sun boxes work very well.
Cut a door about 3 inches tall by 4 inches wide in the top for putting the food in. (Alex gave it a bend to make it easier to open.
Cut a slot about three inches from the bottom. Slot should be 2 inches tall by 3 inches wide.
Put two eyelets into the area below the slot, about half an inch in from the sides. Feed a dowel through the eyelets.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Peoria's Blue Knights Boys' Club

Many, many thanks to Bill Berlinger for sharing some ideas about how he and his co-leader, Dave Ruppert, run their Blue Knights Boys' Club. Ecce Homo Press will be publishing Bill and Dave's ideas in an upcoming game book. In the mean time, Bill has agreed to share his ideas with you. I'll be posting his ideas over several days, but the'll be saved in the archives. Feel free to comment on the posts to let Bill know what you think of them.

Bill says, "Here's an outline of a typical day (about 2 hours). Because of the process of designing and creating the games and to maintain a quality level, we've found it important to do the meetings at one of two houses, ours or David's. That seems to be a good balance to share the burden of building the games and hosting the meeting. We had seen a local Blue Knight club fail from lack of structure and maintaining interest of both boys and their dads. We recognized that dads have a high level of attention deficit disorder themselves. So, the ladies of the household help get coffee and popcorn ready as the dads roll in on a Saturday morning with their knights. We've developed a communication style that evokes a medieval atmosphere. We refer to the boys as "Sir Matthew" or "Sir Johnny" or "Sir Paul". Dads are "Lord Daddy" and moms are "Lady Mom". Sometimes, if the last name is interesting we'll have a "Lady Conley", or David Rupert is referred to as "Lord of the Game". Younger siblings are encouraged to participate. When they're old enough to sit through a meeting, we allow them to play the game and be referred to as "Squire"...a Knight in training. My monthly email reminder is the week before the meeting and is called the, "Proclamation from the Realm". It is brought to the Lord's, Ladies and Knight via "cyber carrier pidgeon". I guess you get the idea...the boys love it. A copy of each communication is sent to our parish assistant pastor, who is our spiritual director. The dads really get into the play acting, as well. The most remarkable thing to me is how both the dads and boys have becoming very good friends although we come from very diverse cultures and financial means." be con'd.....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Craft Book by Ann Ball!

Here's a new book by EHP author Ann Ball that would be a great resource for Blue Knights Boys' Club Leaders looking for some supplemental crafts. Click on the book for ordering information from Our Sunday Visitor. For some great exerpts from the book, go to Ann Ball's website.

Ann wrote Jose Finds the King, a Blessed Miguel Pro Story which is part of the Glory of America Series. This is a great children's story about Ann's favorite saint. This is also a great First Communion story perfect for boys. Click here for ordering information.

Monday, March 17, 2008

For You Writers: Free Online Conference

Catholic Writers to Hold Online Conference

World Wide Web--Writers, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals from around the world are gearing up for the first annual Catholic Writers’ Conference Online, which will be held May 2-9, 2008, and is sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and Canticle magazine. The online conference is free of charge and open to writers of all levels for those who register by April 25.
Tim Drake, veteran journalist who will be presenting at the conference, says he thinks the conference is worthwhile for all faith-based writers. “I think writers of every stripe, from beginners to seasoned veterans, can always stand to learn something new. This conference provides an opportunity to learn a few tricks of the trade, without having to spend an arm and a leg to get there.”
Author and editor Carolyn Howard-Johnson, who with conference chair Karina Fabian will be conducting seminars designed to help authors put their “Best Book Forward,” concurs. “It's never too early to learn more about what we love…. When we put ourselves out there, the universe seems to bring us exactly what we need. When we close down on opportunity for whatever reason, we miss getting what we should.”
New seminar and chat topics are being added constantly, including seminars on character and dialogue development, virtual book tours, how to get grants and other money with your writing, trends in fiction, world building, and connecting with a secular audience. Presenters and chat hosts include Vinita Wright (Loyola Press), Maya Bohnhoff, Tim Powers, Mark Shea (Catholic Answers), Hope Clark (Funds for Writers), Sr. Madonna Radcliff (Pauline Books & Media), Bert Ghezzi (Word Among Us), and Brian Saint-Paul (Crisis/Inside Catholic).
“We’re very happy with the caliber of publishing professionals who have volunteered to participate in this first conference,” says event co-chair Heidi Hess Saxton, editor of Canticle magazine. “There is a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as book and magazine publishing represented here. Something for everyone … and you can’t beat the price!” Although the conference is offered free of charge, donations are accepted; proceeds will go toward future conferences.
Hope Clark, author of “Funds for Writers” is also optimistic about the event’s success. “I see writers … unable to run from conference to conference, seated before a computer soaking up information, taking notes, excited about finding answers to questions they didn't even know they had. I see writers walking away from this conference excited again about being writers.”
Early registration is recommended, as some courses will have limited openings that will be filled on a first-come, first serve basis. To register or for more information, go to

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Catholic Magazine for Kids

[St. Mary's Messenger, A new Catholic magazine for children!]

My kids love My Friend Magazine by the Daughters of St. Paul and really missed it when it ceased publication last year. So I was thrilled to learn of this new project. At present, they are gauging interest to present possible subscription numbers to publishers. If you have a minute, click on the banner above and fill out the interest form. There is no obligation and no money involved. I'm sure they could also use your prayers for a successful apostolate!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Intro: Karina Fabian

Hello! Joan was kind enough to invite me to join this blog. As most you of probably know, I wrote the Little Flowers and Blue Knights Craft books. I did this mainly as a fun project to share with my kids, and the illustrations you see in the books are done by them. (My seven-year-old likes to brag to his friends at school that he's a famous model on the cover of a book!)

What you may not know is that this was a an enjoyable sideline in my writing career. For many years, I wrote articles on parenting and pregnancy and in 2003, made the decision to devote my efforts to fiction. Currently, I have a Catholic anthology of science fiction out. Infinite Space, Infinite God won the 2007 EPPIE for best sci-fi and has garnered great reviews in magazines like St. Anthony Messenger and SFRevu. I've had many people comment on the thought-provoking nature of the stories and one homeschooling mom say that she thinks it’s a must for Catholic teens to read because of the issues presented. I'm working on a study guide for it now and should have it up in April. Check it out at

Also on the SF-side, I have Leaps of Faith, an anthology of Christian sci-fi, and the contract for Infinite Space, Infinite God II. (Are you w writer? We're looking for stories. Find guidelines at In addition, I'm working on novels and stories about my order of nuns who perform search and rescue operations in space. I have several Rescue Sisters stories in our anthologies and a novel in the works. (No contract yet, alas.)

On the fantasy side, I have a lot of fun with my noir-style dragon detective, Vern of DragonEye, PI. He's a down-and-out professional problem solver on the wrong side of the Interdimensiaonal Gap working off a geas by St. George by serving God and His creatures through the Faerie Catholic Church. With his partner, Sister Grace, he solves crimes, find missing objects, saves the world...whatever pays. Check out his website at

Finally, I'm involved in several writing groups, most especially the Catholic Writers Guild, where I am president. I also present workshops at online conferences. In fact, I'll blog next week about the Catholic Writers Conference Online. In the meantime, if you're interested, check out

I'm toying with the idea of a trivia game for Little Flowers. Right now, Joan and I are trying to figure out the art and the board. More as things develop!

If you'd like to know more about me or my work, or want to contact me, go to

Karina Fabian

Monday, February 25, 2008

Greetings From Big Sky Country

I am Dan McGuire - the author of the Blue Knights Boys Club series of Guides. First, I want to provide a word of thanks to all who have contributed to the success of the Blue Knights. When I first started the program I had no idea it would take off the way it has. I am grateful to Ecce Homo Press and so many others who took my initial product and made it what it is today. I hoped that people would run with the idea and improve it. That aspect of my vision has succeeded beyond my expectations. The people running the clubs and making changes while staying true to the core of the Blue Knights has been humbling. Thank-you all.

I remember the second time I did year 1. I decided to make the Breastplate of Justice out of aluminum mesh rather than nylon (more like real chain mail I thought). In short order I had several young lads walking about my garage saying "ow!" "ow!" and holding their arms akimbo. Seems the sharp edges were poking them all over. Not a good idea. Thankfully most of you have been more prudent.

I'd also like to update you on what I've been doing since I wrote the Blue Knights (and why I've been away from active participation for so long.) I retired from the Marines in 2003 and attended Marquette University to get my PhD in Theology. I am now an Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Great Falls in Montana. My 13 yr old son Patrick is getting ready to run a Year 1 Blue Knights Club for the local homeschoolers. I'm still a little busy with the demands of a "rookie" professor, but he has stepped up to the plate in my stead.

I hope to post soon on ideas for getting busy (or disinterested) Dads more involved. My biggest disappointment with the Blue Knights is how many clubs are not being supported by the Dads out there. No offense to the Moms who make this thing work, but I really hoped to provide some "clandestine catechises" for Dads. The fact that so many men are abdicating their role in passing on the faith is a real problem - one that even made it into my dissertation. So look for more on that front. I'd encourage any other Dads out there to share their insights on this topic as well. We've got the boys interested, how do we get more Dads?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lent Craft

Here's a great craft for Lent from the BKBC craft book by Karina Fabian!
Clothespin Cross * * *
Blue Knights Boys’ Club Craft Companion
(Year I)

Great addition to your Blue Knights Boys’ Club! Fantastic for busy dads on
the go! Complete with material list, prep time, craft time, pictures, diagrams
and alternative ideas. Great companion for Year One Blue Knights! Five crafts
for each virtue plus five general crafts.
By Karina L. Fabian.

Tremble Before God, all the Earth/Say among nations, “The Lord is King.”
--Ps 96:9,10
Preparation Time: 5-20 minutes, depending on how much you simplify

Craft Time: 20-30 minutes, depending on how much you simplified

Materials: Per boy:
Cross pattern and 8 ½” x 11” piece of cardboard OR cardboard cross
7 clothespins OR 14 clothespin pieces (NOTE: These clothespins are the
kind that “pinch” and have a metal spring in between two wood
Small metal hook for holding up frames
Hot glue
Construction paper, markers, small pieces of fabric (optional)

Tools: Scissors
Hot glue gun
Pocket knives

Preparation: If simplifying, do one or more of the following:
--Cut out crosses from cardboard using pattern provided.
--Pull apart clothespins and discard the metal pieces
--Cut two pieces of one clothespin 1 ½” from bottom. Discard top piece.

Craft: Depending on how much you’ve simplified, follow these steps.
--Cut out the crosses according to the pattern.
--Pull apart the clothespins and discard the metal pieces.
--Cut two pieces of one clothespin 1 ½” from the bottom and discard the tops.
Glue two pieces flat sides together and set aside to dry. On its side, it looks like a body, and will become the body of Jesus.
Next, glue or hot glue the clothespins flat to cover the cardboard. Start with the vertical part of the cross first and put two pieces side by side. It looks better if you use the flatter side on top and line the “furrows” up. Next, do the horizontal part, again with two side by side.
Hot glue the body to the cross with the head about two inches from the top of the cross. (The clothespins will be on their sides so both are seen and the head is the rounded part of the clothespin.)
The 1 ½” pieces are the arms of Christ. Hot glue these at the shoulder point of the body, with the curves pointing down.
Simplify: See Preparation.

Embellish: Use construction paper to make a plaque with “INRI” for the top of the cross. Use the fabric to drape over the body. The boys could also use markers or paint to color their cross or add nail marks, a loincloth, or whatever.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Welcome to the new Blue Knights Boys' Club tm blog! Our goal is to share ideas and tips on running your own Blue Knights Boys' Club. Watch also for announcements, new products, messages from the creator of Blue Knights Boys' Club and much, much more! Check back often and enjoy!