Monday, April 23, 2018

SaintCards on the Feast of St. George

"Look, Mom! I found St. George!" 

Happy Feast of St. George! Did you do anything special to celebrate?

On top of schoolwork, our day was packed full with dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments, catching up at the office, and then golf and soccer practice, so we didn't get around to making a Dragon Veggie Platter, Dragon Cake, or Sugar Cookie Story Quilt...

However, we received a prototype review packet of SaintCards in the mail today and have been playing ALL evening. The kids keep asking to play "just one more game!"

SaintCards is a game, and educational tool, that makes learning facts about the lives of the Saints fun!


According to our 17 year old son, "It's kind of like UNO, but faith based and SO MUCH BETTER!"

I love that there is so much information packed into each card - each of the 11 different colors symbolizes something about the saint, the 12 different symbols represent the various months of the liturgical year in which the saints feast days fall, they all list the centuries in which the saints lived and each saints patronage as well - and with all the beautiful images and symbols the little ones can play along too, with just a little help reading the names of each saint!

SaintCards isn't available to purchase just yet, but you CAN back the project over at Kickstarter! Even if you can't back the project at this time, please consider sharing the link so they can hopefully reach their funding goals by the May 13th deadline. I'd love to see this available to give as gifts!

Well, I'm off to tuck in the little ones and read them a bedtime story before they fall asleep...

St. George, ora pro nobis! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day 2018


Happy #npltd18 from our little cutie! 💗 
#fromthemomentofcreation #exceptionfree 
#prolifegeneration #100percentprolife

There are still a few hours left to enter the contest here.

P.S. You can save get a discount on the shirt with coupon code ROSES20! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Easter Dresses

I've had some emails asking about the girls' Easter dresses since posting our family Easter photo. Instead of responding to each individually, I thought I would just share the links here on the blog.

Last year I bought a couple Alfani Lace Fit & Flare Dresses from Macy's (watch for coupon codes and sales - I paid around $50) online for our 14 year old. They come in small enough sizes that the women's size 2 or 4 currently fit her and still fall nicely below her knees. We ended up going with the size 4s giving her plenty of room to grow. She wore the white dress with this Red 3/4 Sleeve Cropped Cardigan for her Confirmation and then again for Christmas. For Easter we ended up ordering the same cardigan in Peach. It is such a great cardigan and she also has it in white for with her other Alfani Lace Fit & Flare Dress (light bluish green "tear drop" color which I'm not seeing available any longer).

For our soon-to-be 13 year old (her birthday is this week!) I ended up ordering a couple dresses made by Trish Scully over at Zulily. The size 14 Bella Estrella Dress & Belt Set in Silver Grey Sky was just $32.99 over at Zulily! I also ordered her the Callie Dress & Belt Set in Mustard (which no longer seems to be available at Zulily) and she loves both of the dresses so much!

Our eight year old was also wearing one of her new Trish Scully dresses.

To go along with their dresses the girls were also wearing their new Easter polishes (Paschal pictured above, CaritasPalm and Guardian Angel) from Lisieux.

I know how hard it can be to find beautiful and modest clothing for teens. If you have any new favorites I would love to here about them in the comments! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Easter Peacock

Christians have used peacocks as a symbol of immortality. This came from an ancient legend that the flesh of the peacock never corrupts, and so the peacock is also associated with the resurrection of Christ. The peacock is often depicted in Christian art such as in Fra Angelico’s Adoration of the Magi and other Nativity scenes as well as in the catacombs. You can even spot one in the Last Supper by Domenico Ghirlandaio which is used as the header over at Catholic Cuisine

Hape Lacing Peacock from our 2016 Easter Baskets and pulled out again for this Easter season

We've made Peacock Cupcakes, Peacock Candy, Peacock Chocolates and Peacock Pizzas in the past but this year we'll have to try a Peacock Fruit Platter

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Additions to Our Book Baskets + Giveaway

As we continue celebrating the Easter season, I have some really great giveaways to host, both here on the blog and over on Instagram, starting with this one sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press.

I get excited about each and every book that St. Augustine Academy Press republishes and am very happy to be able to share the latest three releases with you all. I don't have them in my hands yet, but they will be coming soon and the the publisher has generously offered to send a set of the three new books to one of you too!

Here's a peek at the new covers and the original pages: 

The Rhymed Life of St. Patrick

“…in lively recitative ballad verse, Katharine Tynan tells the entire story of St. Patrick, without missing a single incident of any significance or importance. The book consists of thirty-two large folio pages, where 'a rivulet' of large, opulent type 'meanders through a meadow of margin,' set off by artistic illustrations. If Blessed Patrick and sweet St. Bride only respond to the prayer of the Envoy, and 'Bless this book and scatter it wide,' old and young may easily acquire and retain a comprehensive, if not complete, knowledge of all that is to be known of Ireland’s patron saint."

--from a review in The Catholic World, December 1907

I've never seen this book before and can't wait to read it with our children! 

+   +   +

A Child's Rule of Life
“It is not every one that can keep his childhood. Father Benson has, and speaks to children bout the great, big eternal things in a child’s way. The little ones will be delighted to learn these verses by heart, and thus almost unconsciously gain a deep knowledge of Christian doctrine, and a love and habit of Catholic practice.

The Rule takes the little child from the moment it awakes…through his morning prayers; going to church; hearing Mass; saying grace; reciting lessons; practicing obedience; confessing his sins; receiving Holy Communion; evening prayers, and bed. Round them all Father Benson has put the fragrance of verse that will make them sweet and delightful to the child mind.”
--from a review in The Catholic World, May 1913

We have an out of print copy of the Neumann Press edition and I'm so happy to see this back in print again! 

+   +   +

Old Testament Rhymes

“A book intended to give to children a general idea of the course of Old Testament history from the Fall to the Redemption, especially of those incidents and personages that point to Christ. The rhymes are designedly simple and colloquial, as the book is meant for smaller children only, and the narrative may be thought very sketchy; but it is hoped that the book will form a kind of “thread,” easily discernible, on which the child may learn to connect his more explicit and detailed lessons.”

(taken from an advertisement for the book by its original publisher in 1913, Longmans, Green & Co.)

We have an out of print copy of the Neumann Press edition and I'm so happy to see this back in print again! 

.: Giveaway :. 

The publisher has generously offered to send a set of all three books - The Rhymed Life of St. Patrick, A Child's Rule of Life and Old Testament Rhymes - to one of my visitors!
(Giveaway closes on April 24th. Winner will be announced in this post on April 25, 2018)

Click here to visit St. Augustine Academy Press 

I'm also giving away a set over on Instagram so make sure and enter over there too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a Blessed and Joyous Easter Season! 

After spending most of Holy Saturday preparing for an unexpected road trip and trying to quickly finish up our tax returns, we somehow managed to fill all the Easter baskets, get an hour and a half of sleep, and finally get a family picture of all ten of us while at my parents home for brunch after the early morning Easter Sunday Mass! We are currently on the road, but when we get home again I'll try and share a few more pictures from Easter. I'm so glad that Easter is a season!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

Picture Books on the drive to Church 🙏🏻  Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb

O my dying Jesus, I kiss devoutly the cross on which Thou didst die for love of me. I have merited by my sins to die a miserable death, but Thy death is my hope. Ah, by the merits of Thy death, give me grace to die, embracing Thy feet and burning with love for Thee. I commit my soul into Thy hands. I love Thee with my whole heart; I repent of ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt. - Jesus, Make Me Worthy

Good Friday Stations of the Cross ❤️ {I had to take her out a couple times, but she did love watching Father from the back of the church}

Good Friday 2018 🙏🏻💙 #afterstations #distractedmama #shessocutethough

Hot Cross Buns from a Local Bakery 

One last picture that I have to share from yesterday of our tiny baby girl 💙 

Could I ask you all to pray for one more special intention?
My mother-in-law is back in the hospital for the second time this month and has received last rites with apostolic blessing. Would you please offer a prayer for her? We are currently trying to figure out our options for getting down there to see her as soon as possible.

Update: She is recovering and home again. Deo Gratias! 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Holy Thursday Lenten Dinner

We missed our annual Lenten Dinners the last two years, due to a road trip over Holy Week/Easter the year before last and then trying to survive Hyperemesis Gravidarum last year, and honestly I came very close to skipping it all together again this year. This has been a difficult lent (the whole past year feels a bit like one long lent...) and I just haven't had the energy to do much extra at home on a regular basis. However, when it was time to start making dinner tonight, the girls and I decided to try and pull it together. I'm so glad we did! We had to make a few substitutions, but over all it came together nicely and ended up being mostly AIP/Paleo too. We took a few pictures while we were preparing everything, but completely forgot to take a family picture after everyone else was back from Mass. 

~ Palm on the Road ~

Baked Hearts of Palm
I sliced up a jar of Hearts of Palm from Trader Joes, dipped them in a gelatin "egg" substitute, and then in some Cassava flour, before baking at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Yum! 

"And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields." Mk. 11:8

~ Costly Oil ~

I love love love my oils from Bozzano Olive Ranch. I get a shipment every few months. 

"And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." Mk. 14:9

~ Thirty Pieces of Silver ~

Finally found shiny Silver Chocolate Coins this year! I actually picked them up just after Christmas on clearance. 70% Dark Chocolate Coins from Divine. Not all the kids are fans of Dark Chocolate... Specifically a certain 6 year old, but he loved using the wrappers to create armor for himself! 

Sacred Art Series - The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John

"Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What will you give me if I deliver him to you?' And they paid him thirty pieces of silver." Mt. 25: 14-15

~ Unleavened Bread ~

This year's "Unleavened Bread" was my pizza crust recipe from The Healing Kitchen.  It's definitely one of my AIP favorites and I make it at least once a week, but it's usually covered with toppings! 

"And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to Him, 'Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?'" Mk. 14:12

~ The Mount of Olives ~

This year's Mount of Olives was a couple cans of Black Olives.

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Mk. 14:26

~ The Cock Crows Twice ~

Teriyaki Chicken (AIP/Paleo) also from The Healing Kitchen. We didn't have enough Coconut Aminos so the sauce was thinner than usual, but still yummy.  

"And Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.'" Mk. 14:30

~ Gethsemane Figs ~

Mmmm... Instead of Fig Newtons, one of the girls made a batch of the Lemon-Ginger Energy Balls from The Healing Kitchen since they are made with Figs. I usually keep a container of these in the fridge for on-the-go snacks. So good! 

"And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I pray.'" Mk. 14:32

~ Sleepy Apostles ~ 

Sleepytime Tea after dinner

"And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep?  Could you not watch one hour?" Mk. 14:37

~ Judas' Kiss ~

Skipped the Hershey's Kisses this year... Didn't have them and couldn't think up a substitute, but we read the bible versus just the same. 

"And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, 'Master!' And he kissed him." Mk. 14:45

~ The Clouds of Heaven ~

I think the children preferred the whipped cream we've had in the past, but the Riced Cauliflower was really good and went perfectly with our Teriyaki Chicken :) 

"And Jesus said, 'I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" Mk. 14:62

~ Peter's Tears ~

Salted Almonds for Peter's Tears

"And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, 'Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.' And he broke down and wept." Mk. 14:72

During dinner we read through the corresponding passages in the Gospel of Mark. 

I used the little card stock signs from the last time we had this dinner - Palm Sunday 2015

Wishing you all a Blessed Triduum!