Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sponsor Love: Quarterly Update & Current Specials

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to all of my new (and returning!) sponsors here at Shower of Roses. The new school year is right around the corner and many of my sponsors are offering some great back to school specials! You can find the links and coupon codes listed below.

Please welcome my new sponsors by visiting their websites:

Ave Maria University
About one-third of students at Ave Maria University were homeschooled all the way through high school. In fact, many of our most successful students come from a home education background. Homeschool students love Ave Maria because they find the rigor of academics challenging, engaging, and truly useful. Parents appreciate that the moral climate on our campus respects and supports the values which they have instilled at home. Our pro-family culture is welcoming, and it’s not uncommon for siblings to attend university side by side or one after another. We are proudly Catholic, rooted in our faith, and open to engagement with the world. We believe very strongly that students must grow virtue in freedom and our job is to create an environment that encourages the flourishing of faith and a spiritual, emotional and social maturity that will last a lifetime.

Christ 101
The Christ 101 program is the first complete, full-blown, semester long, multimedia course specifically made to address the problem of using reason and evidence to establish the truth of Christianity. Made by a homeschooler with other homeschoolers in mind, Christ 101 helps teens and adults intelligently articulate a reasonable defense of Christianity in opposition to skeptics and atheists. The course comes with 28 video lessons and a manual, and teaches students things like why religion is important, what faith really is, how there can be a true religion, why the Gospels should be taken as historically reliable, why there are good reasons to think Jesus was in fact the divine being he claimed to be, and why an act of Christian faith is, at the end of the day, more rational than to not believe. Combining entertaining video lessons and helpful graphics with academically solid information, Christ 101 is the perfect choice for parents who want to make sure the faith of their children is as solid as it can be.

The Christ 101 course is taught by Scott M. Sullivan PhD with contributions from other top scholars such as Peter Kreeft PhD, Scott Hahn PhD, Gary Habermas PhD, Michael Licona PhD, Craig Evans PhD and a host of others.

Save $50 with coupon code "ROSES"

Harvey House Publishing
The mission of Harvey House Publishing is to provide exceptional reading for children that celebrates the Catholic Faith, modesty, the gift of life, and a wholesome childhood. All reading material is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.The pre-teen/early teen novel, The Gate, won first place for Best Novel at the Catholic Press Association Book Awards in June. The Gate is Nancy Carabio Belanger's latest and third award-winning novel for Catholic 'tweens. The Gate tells the story of a struggling thirteen-year-old boy who discovers God's calling for him and his life as a young Catholic. The novel also celebrates the dignity of the priesthood. The Gate has been endorsed by Fr. Brett Brannen of the Archdiocese of Savannah, GA, author of To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide to Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood.

Nancy is also the author of Olivia and the Little Way and its pro-life sequel, Olivia's Gift. Since 2008, she has been visiting Catholic schools, homeschooling groups, and book clubs to talk about writing, the lives of the saints, and to encourage children not only to live their Catholic faith to the fullest, but to love and cherish it, too. Free discussion guides are available for all three books.

More information can be found at, which offers free standard shipping and author personalization.

Behold Publications, LLC
Behold Publications, LLC is more than just a publisher! Family owned and operated since its founding in 1999, we have developed great Catholic clubs like the Little Flowers Girls' Club and Blue Knights Catholic Boys' Clubs for Catholic girls and boys ages 5 and up. What makes these clubs unique is that they are at their core faithfully Catholic. We don't "tack on" Catholic identity as other clubs might, but begin and end with a Catholic world view. We also believe that local clubs best operate the way they see fit, so there is no national organization, policies, registration or dues. Groups can easily adjust the program to fit their local needs. Behold Publications also produce a line of historical fiction based on American history and American saints for ages 7-15.

Behold Publications will be hosting a Mary's Garden Party retreat/camp for Little Flowers August 22-24, 2014 at Sandy Cove in North East, MD!  You can find more information here

Discounts are not given during the busy fall season, but if you order TODAY (July 31, 2014) you can receive FREE SHIPPING and 10% OFF with coupon code JULYEARLY.

Please visit my returning sponsors:


Holy Heroes offers great back-to-school resources, such as our Life of Jesus (Rosary) Coloring books, Glory Stories, and DIY VBS!

Prayer Pillowcases offers such beautiful products! Our children love all their Prayer Pillowcases and you can see our teenage son heading home from summer camp with his here.


Catholic Embroidery is now offering a new line of rosaries handmade by a Benedictine Monk! They are pleased to carry three styles and are offering them as sets too, with our embroidered rosary cases including the beautiful Divine Mercy Rosary/Chaplet with the matching Divine Mercy Tapestry Pouch. Coupon Code: MONK in the checkout coupon box will give FREE SHIPPING to all orders $25 or more until August 2nd.

Mama's Notebooks is offering 10% OFF ALL PRODUCTS for the Month of August!


Jesse Tree Treasures creates beautiful handcrafted gifts for the liturgical seasons. Now is a perfect time to order a Custom Set of Jesse Tree Ornaments to use with your family this upcoming Advent!

Gail Giron Designs is currently away at a trade show until August 3rd, but she'll be open again soon and will be listing many lovely new items in her shop!


Catholic Child is the perfect place to find inspiring gifts for Catholic youth - from toddlers to teens!

Holy Heroes is currently offering a free copy of Glory Stories CD vol 1: The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini & The Story of St. Juan Diego.  You can order the FREE CD here.

Sacred Heart Books & Gifts is offering one more round of FREE SHIPPING before the school year starts! All orders totaling $40.00 or more placed between Friday, August 1st, and Monday, August 4th, will not be charged a shipping fee with coupon code JMJ595.

Holy Learning knows that August and the back to school time is costly for most families. For the month of August Lindy is offering 50% off all orders with the code "backtoschool". All products qualify. This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on curriculum supplements or try just one item if you've never created a lapbook before!

Sew Sweet by Shannon offers a wide variety of handmade accessories and clothing for children.

Saints 365 is a Catholic blog by Debbie Gaudino, a happily married, homeschooling Mom of 2 children who is currently studying theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The subtitle of the blog is "Striving for the heights of holiness in the trenches of everyday life". Visit Saints 365 for down-to-earth reflections which draw from the scriptures, the wisdom of the saints and church teachings and join us as we all strive together to live out the "universal call to holiness".

Bridgie & Green is founded on the belief that everyone can incorporate a little bit of their Catholic heritage into their everyday accessories. A homemaker and homeschooling mother to six, she handcrafts affordably priced gorgeous little things for like-minded people who want to show the world who their friends are while standing out from the Catholic crowd. She also, life allowing, knits and crochets adorable items for babies and kids. Give her a try with coupon code "SHOWER10" for 10% off your first order.

Catholic Cuisine offers beautiful embroidered aprons for sale, shipped directly from Catholic Embroidery. You can find all the Catholic Aprons available here, including my favorite "Living the Little Way" apron in honor of St. Therese!

Our family is very grateful for the support of both my sponsors and visitors!
If you are interested in advertising at Shower of Roses,

The Annual August Online Curriculum Sale link up will be posted tomorrow! 
 (For details you can find the May 5-15, 2014 link up here.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Feasts & Seasons :: Our August Book Basket

At the beginning of each month I fill a basket with books featuring the the various saints whose feast days will be celebrated during the month and place it in the living room. Throughout the month I will find the children curled up on the couch reading books they have chosen from the basket, either on their own or to their younger siblings.  I also choose books from the basket for some of our afternoon family read-alouds. Our collection started very small and we have continued adding additional books over the years which we have either purchased or have been given as gifts. Some are picture books, some are chapter books, and some are collections of saint stories. This post is a work in progress and I will continue adding links as I sort through our collection.

August 2nd, Our Lady of the Angels (Hist.):

Juanita and Our Lady of the Angels by Elizabeth Loch

August 4th, St. John Vianney (New) (Trad. – Aug. 8th ):

John Mary Vianney: The Holy Cure of Ars - I just love all our books in The Life of a Saint series from Ignatius, which also includes Therese, Bernadette, and Francis!

August 8th, St. Dominic (New) (Trad. – Aug. 4th ):

Saint Dominic from Saints for Boys

August 8th, St. Hormisdas:

August 9th, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein):

August 10th, St. Lawrence (New, Trad.):

August 11th, St. Philomena (Historical):

August 11th, St. Clare of Assisi (New) (Trad. – Aug. 12th ):

August 11th, St. Xystus:

August 14th, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (New):

August 15th, St. Tarcisius (Hist.):
  • Saint Tarcisius by Mary R. Berardi (Whenever I hear St. Tarcisius mentioned, this beautiful book from my childhood comes to mind. My mom gave me this copy, along with the book about St. Agnes, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with our children.)

August 15th, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven (New, Trad.):

August 16th, St. Roch (Hist.):

Saint Roch and the Dog from Legends of Saints and Beasts

August 17th, St. Hyacinth (Trad.):

August 18th, St. Helena (Trad./some places):

Saint Helena from Saints for Girls

August 20th, St Bernard of Clairvaux (New, Trad.):

August 21st, St. Our Lady of Knock (Hist.):

August 21st, St. Pius X (New) (Trad. – Sep. 3rd):

August 22nd, The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (New) (Trad. – May 31st) and Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Trad) (New – Saturday following 2nd Sunday after Pentecost):

Vintage 1960 edition of Jesus, Make Me Worthy

August 23rd, St. Rose of Lima (New) (Trad. – Aug. 30th):

St. Rose of Lima from Lives of the Saints: An Illustrated History for Children

August 24th, St. Bartholomew (New, Trad.):

August 25th, St. Louis IX of France (New, Trad.):

August 26th, Our Lady of Czestochowa (Hist.):

August 27th, St. Monica (New) (Trad. – May 4th):

August 28th, St. Moses the Black:

August 28th, St. Augustine (New, Trad.)

August 29th, The Passion (Beheading) of St. John the Baptist (New, Trad.):

August 30th, Sts. Felix and Adauctus (Trad.):

August 30th – St. Rose of Lima (Trad.)
(See Aug. 23rd)

Other Links for August:

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Daybook :: July 28, 2014

A beautiful picture my husband took and emailed me recently while working "In the Woods" 

Outside my window...
Fire season is in full force in our area.  Sean spent Saturday on an engine, and then left early yesterday morning for a wildfire assignment in Central Oregon. Today he called to say hello (and that he was still alive!) following a morning spent strapped and harnessed into an open helicopter, flying over the fire searching for hotspots with his infrared detector. Fun! :/

I am thinking...
that my husband sure hasn't been home much this month!  Between long work days, his eight-day trip to Idaho with the older boys, and now this fire assignment, he will have had a total of three days home all month - the weekend of our Latin Mass on the 5th-6th, and last Sunday, which was our oldest son's 14th birthday. It's "survival mode" for me.

I am thankful... 
for the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and support that has been shown to our friends. Deo Gratias! Our local newspaper had an article about the success of the fundraiser on the front page of the Sunday paper. Thank you all for your help, prayers, and generosity! Please continue to keep the Snodgrass family in your prayers.

Learning all the time
We are getting closer to completing the Saints Joachim & Anne Lap Books we've been working on this month, but a few of the children still have some pictures to add once a replacement ink cartridge for my printer arrives. I ran out! :)

Celebrating the liturgical year...
I wanted to bake the Bacon and Chocolate madeleines in We Love Madeleines for the feast of St. James, which is our oldest son's a certain bacon lover's name day. . .

… but July 25th fell on a Friday this year, so I opted for the (meatless, but not at all penitential) Chocolate-Hazelnut recipe instead. I think I'll bake the Bacon and Chocolate madeleines for his baptismal anniversary on July 31st!

From the kitchen... 
I also made an Anna Torte (Gateau Sainte-Anne) for the feast of St. Anne on July 26th, adapting the recipe from Cooking with the Saints. I'll have to post both of these recipes over at Catholic Cuisine soon, or at least schedule the posts for next July.

I am creating...
interesting meals from the random ingredients in the freezer and pantry. Must grocery shop soon...

I am going...
to be staying home most of this week, but I did add a new St. Therese Glass Tile to my key chain which I recently ordered from Bridgie & Green. I love it!

I am hoping...
to take the older boys to meet their new cousin. They were away at summer camp when she was born.

I am praying...

… for the Snodgrass family.

… for the repose of the soul of Sarah Harkins, The Clay Rosary Girl, who passed away following her baby Cecilia in the womb, and for her family and friends. May she rest in peace+

… for Christine who recently miscarried her baby, and all other mothers who are currently suffering following the loss of a child.

… for my husband's safety while he is away fighting wildfires.

… a novena with my husband, to St. Rita "Helper of the Hopeless," for a special intention for our family. God's will be done.

I am reading…
Blessed are they that Mourn by Mother Mary Loyola. Such a beautiful, beautiful book, filled with encouraging and comforting words that I've really needed to hear this past month.

I've also been skimming through Legends and Stories of Italy by Amy Steedman, which I ordered at the same time as Blessed are they that Mourn (My goal is to eventually purchase all the books re-published by St. Augustine Academy Press! They are all excellent!) I'm trying to decide whether I should just go ahead and start reading this with the children now as our next read aloud, or if I can wait and save it as a Christmas gift for one of the girls. I'll probably wait... and read it myself in the meantime! ;)

Pondering these words...
from Mother Mary Loyola in Blessed are they that Mourn:

"Yes, you can. With God's help you can make that little move towards Him which will open the way to further grace. Try. He will meet you more than half way. Try-and you will find the wall between you and Him crumbling down; your heart softening; His grace entering; courage returning. Then will come the brave resolve to set yourself loyally on His side by meek acceptance of His Will, patience, and trust."

I am listening... 
to The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow. The boys pulled out their audio version of the book to listen to once again while organizing their bedroom.

Around the house...
we are all working on deep cleaning the bedrooms this week. I promised the children a surprise outing if we can get through them all and fill up the back of the van with items to donate. Probably not the best goal to set while in "survival mode" but I just can't put it off any longer.

Random picture from earlier this month. 

One of my favorite things...  
the precious pocket rosary which Jennifer Anne sent me following my miscarriage last month. I haven't added my little baby's picture to it yet, but will soon.  Thank you sweet friend!

This week's plans
I'll be hosting another Online Curriculum Sale Blog Hop from August 1st-7th, so be sure to get your books and posts ready to go!

A little peek at my day...
I never know what I'm going to see when my husband sends me one of his "In the Woods" emails. Sometimes it's a beautiful picture like the one at the top of this post, sometimes it's pictures of all the wildlife, and lately it's been a lot of pictures of all the salvage logging he has been working on following last summer's wildfires...