Monday, September 30, 2013

St. Jerome and the Lion

The oldest two boys are off having fun with their grandma today, watching my youngest brother (both Kevin and David are on college golf teams this year!) compete in one of his college golf tournaments!  My boys have only gotten to watch their uncle golf one other time and they were so excited, and more than willing to get a jump start on their school work for the week yesterday afternoon after Mass!

In the meantime, the girls have been helping me decorate some cupcakes for today's feast of St. Jerome!

"lie-lie!" (aka: lion) 

After the littlest ones are up from their naps we will all read and discuss St. Jerome and the Lion by Margaret Hodges, using Cay's excellent study guide found in Catholic Mosaic and the coloring page in Fenestrae Fidei!

Speaking of Catholic Mosaic, I have a copy to give away! My well-loved copy of Catholic Mosaic is the original spiral bound version, but this full color copy was sent by Krista (who happened to have an extra) for me to pass along to one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses.  Thank you Krista!

If you would like to be entered in this giveaway for a copy of Catholic Mosaic (my copy of St. Jerome and the Lion is not included), just leave a comment on this post, and make sure your email address is either linked on your profile or included in the comment so that I am able to contact you if you win.

I will be hosting a few more giveaways throughout the week, so be sure to check back!  The giveaway will be open through Sunday, October 6th and I will update this post and contact the winner next Monday, October 7th.

Thank you all for participating!

"So valuable to heaven is the dignity of the human soul that every member of the human race has a guardian angel from the moment the person begins to be."
St. Jerome

St. Jerome, Pray for Us! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Celebrating Michaelmas

St. Michael the Archangel Statue

.: Baking Michaelmas Cupcakes :. 

We have been making Devil's Food Cake and/or Cupcakes to celebrate Michaelmas since 2008!  Assisting St. Michael in defeating the Devil by stabbing "the Devil" with a cocktail (or more commonly Playmobil) sword is looked forward to by all the children, especially a certain little boy who celebrates his "name-day" on this feast! 

I had lots of helpers this year, including St. Michael! 
(which Snuggles received for his birthday this year)

Yes, that was me back behind the church in the mud and rain (we currently are having the rainiest September, ever) after Mass, cutting a few blackberry branches to use as decorations! ;)

.: Coloring St. Michael:. 

Thank you, Miss Charlotte, for the Archangel coloring pages

.: Michaelmas Blackberry Cobbler :. 

I ended up making a blackberry cobbler too since, according to tradition (and Joanna Bogle in her Book of Feasts and Seasons), "blackberries are no good to eat after September 29th because 'the Devil spat on them when he was cast out of Heaven into Hell on Michaelmas'!" I just posted the recipe over at Catholic Cuisine

.: Apple Puff Pancakes :. 

We usually make Apple Chicken, Steamed Carrots, and Angel Hair Pasta for Michaelmas, but Snuggles requested Apple Puff Pancakes and breakfast for dinner sounded perfect today! 
(Especially since Sean worked all weekend, trying to get in as many of this pay period's hours in case we do have a government shutdown this coming week... Praying hard for this intention and trying not to worry...)

Once again I had lots of help...

Thankfully I had some big helpers who helped with the dishes and the last of the clean up, so I could take a little break from the kitchen!  

.: A Few More Pictures :. 

And because we look for any excuse to blow out candles in our home... we lit seven candles for Snuggles 7th name-day and everyone took turns blowing them out! :) 

After that it was time to draw the swords! 

Happy Michaelmas! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~

I haven't been feeling very well this week, but had to pop in to say hello and share a few pictures.   Also, in your charity, could you please say a prayer for my husband's Uncle Frank, my father-in-law's brother, who passed away yesterday afternoon. 

 Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. 
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


I've been eyeing these adorable Shining Light Dolls for awhile now and finally ordered a few to save for the girls' stockings this upcoming Christmas!


My mom celebrated her birthday this past weekend and we met her at the Farmer's Market with a smoothie and a gift!  This year we decided to surprise her with a lovely hand-painted bookmark of her Confirmation Saint along with a copy of the Walk with the Saints Journal.  She loved it!  


The kids loved spending some time with their grandma on her birthday and walking along the railroad tracks.  I couldn't resist snapping a couple pictures! 


It seems like nearly every one of my packages has been arriving damaged lately.... ("Damaged Doll Deliveries" wasn't exactly what I had in mind for D week!)  Last week one of these dolls arrived with the package smashed.  I called Amazon and they said they would send another, and to just keep the original.  The second arrived in even worse condition than the first!   I wasn't going to call, since the actual doll inside the box was still okay, but decided to let them know anyways.  This time they insisted on not only refunding the money, they also gave me a $10 promotional credit for the hassle and said to wait a few days before ordering again (if I choose to do so) so that the shipping department could make any necessary adjustments to protect future orders.   Note: That was a few days ago, so if anyone places an order they should arrive in better shape, but I am not making any promises! ;)  However, even with smashed up packaging, they are still just as pretty as can be!  (Oh, and the next day?  That stone I had ordered arrived in three pieces.  Seriously?!)

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Caroline! :: An American Girl Party

At the end of last month we celebrated Twinkle Toes 10th birthday!   Last Christmas she had received Caroline along with a matching dress and had been looking forward to a "Caroline" themed birthday party all year!  Even though I wasn't feeling well that day (which seems to be a theme for birthdays this year!), and had an appointment with my dentist, we still managed to pull off a fun-filled day for our oldest daughter.   I had a few activities planned and Sean took all of the older children on an afternoon outing while my mom came over to help me make dinner.  It wasn't as elaborate as some of the past birthday parties we have had (at least I didn't think so until I started to compile all the pictures in this blog post!) but the birthday girl absolutely loved her special day!

.: Meet Caroline - 1812 :.

a daring, self reliant girl who learns to steer a steady course
 amid the challenges of war

 The first thing Twinkle Toes did when she woke up was put on her Caroline outfit, I curled her hair, and then she came out to the kitchen to see her cake and enjoy and eat breakfast! 

She had requested "Old Fashioned Oatmeal" with cream, brown sugar, and raisins, in addition to mugs of hot cocoa to drink! 

"When Caroline woke, sun was sreaming through the window.  The scent of frying bacon drifted into the bedroom. She tossed the quilt aside and jumped to her feet.  If she didn't hurry, she'd be late for breakfast." 

.: Caroline's Color and Crafts :. 

"Embroidery was considered an important skill for girls. Some girls, like Caroline, enjoyed this work." 
~ Meet Caroline: An American Girl

Even though this Embroidered Pillow Kit was made for Felicity it ties in nicely for Caroline too!  The girls had received these kits last Christmas as well and still hadn't started making them yet.  They got started on the embroidery, but are still working on completing the project.

I had also ordered a copy of Caroline Color & Craft which kept all the kids busy while I ran to town.

.: Racing Hoops :.

"I like racing hoops too," Caroline said.  She blew out the lamp and slid into bed.  "Last year we had hoop races in the village on Independence Day."  It had been great fun to roll big wooden hoops over the grass, while little children practiced nearby." 
~ A Surprise for Caroline

Large hoops are set into motion and the person runs along side it, keeping it rolling with a stick. Hoop-rolling contests can be held to see who can roll their hoop for the longest amount of time or who can roll it the farthest.

.: Inkpot Cookies :.

"Inkpot, her black cat, must have found the carpet comforting, too. He was curled into a ball in a patch of sunlight, fast asleep. Caroline scooped him up and nestled one cheek against his soft fur.  Papa had brought Inkpot home when he was no more than a scruffy stray kitten.  "sailors believe black cats are good luck," he'd told Caroline." 
Meet Caroline: An American Girl

After Racing Hoops the girls came inside and helped bake "Inkpot" Sugar Cookies!  We kept it quick and simple by just using a package of refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough with a cat shaped cookie cutter.

I thought the Wilton Cookie Cutter made a perfect version of Inkpot! 

.: Birthday Feast :.

"Mama and Grandmother had prepared a feast: stuffed whitefish, lima beans, cabbage and apples, carrot pudding, and two desserts - an apple pie and a burnt-sugar cake."
Caroline's Secret Message

It worked out perfectly that my mom (grandmother!) stopped by to help me pull together dinner while Sean was out with all the big kids! When everyone arrived home the Apple Cider was simmering on the stove and we have Sailboat Eggs, whitefish, lima baked beans, cabbage and apples and two desserts all ready! 

"Caroline Abbot leaned over the rail and laughed with delight.  "Isn't this wonderful?" she asked her cousin Lydia. Sailing on Lake Ontario was fun anytime, but being permitted to come aboard the sloop White Gull on its very first voyage was an extra-special treat." 
Meet Caroline: An American Girl

.: Birthday Gifts :.

"After the plates had been cleared away, Caroline received several gifts." 
~ Caroline's Secret Message

"Caroline jumped up so fast, her chair almost fell over.  She ran around the table and hugged Mr. Tate.  "What a wonderful gift," she said.  "Thank you.""

Twinkle Toes received such a fun variety of gifts including Caroline's Birthday Dress and a couple other American girl items from Sean and I, a miniature Saige doll from Grandma & Grandpa for our horse loving freckled girl, a super sweet card and gift from her other grandparents, a couple new pajamas, a bunk bed (to go along with their own new bunk bed!) for her Calico Critters from Chiquita.  

I also gave her a couple books I loved when I was her age - The Secret Garden (she received the version illustrated by Tasha Tudor) and Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.  I also gave her a copy of Caddie Woodlawn!  (I loved that a couple of them matched the cover of A Surprise for Caroline, and tied in Ice Skating to the party, since our original plans to go ice skating were changed when we found out that the rink was closed for their annual deep cleaning.  I'm sure she will loves these as much as I did!

.: Caroline's Bonnet Birthday Cake :. 

I already posted about Caroline' Bonnet Birthday Cake here

And I had to share the following four pictures... I didn't notice what Snuggles and Rose were up to until I uploaded the pictures! Too funny! 

"Caroline heard the murmur of conversation from the next room, where people she loved had gathered to honor her birthday.  She reached for her grandmother's hand.  "Come along," she said.  "Let's go back to the party."

 Happy 10th Birthday Twinkle Toes!