Tuesday, September 30, 2014

St. Jerome and the Lion

'God be with me,' he prayed, but still the lion came on, roaring to split the sky, but now his tone seemed to the Saint more hurt than angry; and then he saw this lion limped on three legs, one front paw hung swollen, bleeding, and misery had so furrowed his face that the Saint could see he had not come to devour but to ask for charity.

For three nights and days the lion had not slept.
His flanks were thin, his gold eyes wept
as he wandered in pain and fever, roaring, as if asking why
a lion should suffer. 'A weasel or goat or bad serpent, but i, 
the King of Beasts, to find a thorn such woe!'
(He had fallen into a thicket of thorns a week ago
and one had festered.) All this Saint Jerome seemed to know, 
and laid his hand on the hot snuff-coloured brow. 
'Lord Jesus is the King of Kings,' he said, 'but I shall read you how
He suffered with a hundred thorn wreath pricks.'
The lion listened thoughtfully, gave the hand lion licks
to show his pity, and tried to sink his roaring to a moan.
'Lord Jesus! Then His beast is not alone,'
and he limped up to the convent gate with Saint Jerome. . . 

- Excerpt from St. Jerome and the Lion by Rumer Godden

+ + + + + + +

Just like last year, our leftover Michaelmas Cupcakes turned into a lion for today's feast of St. Jerome. The lion's face is a small 6-inch white cake made with some of the batter I whipped up for tomorrow's St. Therese Cupcakes. I ran out of chocolate frosting and didn't have time to make more, but our children didn't seem to mind at all as they enjoyed eating them while I read aloud the story of St. Jerome and the Lion by Rumer Godden from this month's book basket

Saint Jerome, ora pro nobis! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrating Michaelmas

O Jesus! Life-spring of the soul! 
The Father’s power and glory bright! 
Thee with the angels we extol; 
From Thee they draw their life and light. 

Thy thousand, thousand hosts are spread
Embattled o'er the azure sky; 
But Michael bears Thy standard dread, 
And lifts the mighty Cross on high. 

He in that sign the rebel powers 
Did with their dragon prince expel,
And hurled them from the heaven’s high towers, 
Down like a thunderbolt to hell. 

Grant us with Michael still, O Lord, 
Against the Prince of pride to fight; 
So may a crown be our reward,
Before the Lamb’s pure throne of light. 

To God the Father praise be done, 
Who hath redeemed us through His Son;
Anoints us by the Holy Ghost,
And guards us by the angel-host. Amen.

+ + + + + + + 

The girls and I arrived home last night from our 10-day road trip and I managed to pull together a simple celebration for today's feast! Devil's Food Cake or Cupcakes (served with toy or cocktail swords to help St. Michael defeat the "devil") have been one of our family traditions on this feast for years and I couldn't let the day slip by without making them for dessert. I also had a new "Quis ut Deus"cap for Snuggles, read aloud the story of St. Michael from Heroes of God: Saints for Boys (also available here), and we all listened to The Day the Angles Fell from Regina Martyrum Productions! We had a great time on our trip, and I'll share about it soon, but it is so nice to be home again!

Happy Michaelmas! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Novena to Saint Thérèse

The feast of St. Thérèse is coming up! On the traditional calendar her feast is celebrated October 3rd. (It was moved to October 1st on the new calendar.) Novenas for her intercession can be said anytime, but we will be praying a few different novenas for a special intention this year, beginning today in anticipation of her feast and ending on October 2nd, the eve of her traditional Feast and our 15th wedding anniversary! We will then pray another Novena to St. Therese which begins on her feast day.

You can find additional ways to celebrate the feast of St. Therese here and here.

Rose Novena Prayer

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus
Please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly garden
and send it to me
as a message of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus,
ask God to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
in you hands
( mention your special prayer request here )

St. Therese, help me to always believe
as you did, in God's great love for me,
so that I may imitate your "Little Way" each day. 

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

The Glory Be is said 24 times each day for nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favours given to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus during the 24 years of her life. Start the novena each day with this prayer:

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

A Nine Day Novena to Saint Thérèse

O St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were -- to that Queen of Heaven “who smiled on you at the dawn of life” Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment...and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Thérèse of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.


O Thérèse of the Child Jesus, well beloved and full of charity, in union with you, I reverently adore the majesty of God, and since I rejoice with exceeding joy in the singular gifts of grace bestowed upon you during your life, and your gifts of glory after death, I give Him deepest thanks for them; I beseech you with all my heart’s devotion to be pleased to obtain for me (...mention request here). But if what I ask of you so earnestly does not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do you, I pray, obtain for me that which is more profitable to both these ends. Amen.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, who did will that Blessed Therese, being watered by the heavenly dew of your guiding grace, should bloom in Carmel with the beauty of virginity and patience in suffering, grant that I your servant may go forward in the order of her sweetness an may be found worthy to become a devoted and loyal follower of Christ. Amen.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O Therese of the Child Jesus, lily of purity, ornament and glory of Carmel, I greet you, great saint, seraph of divine love. I rejoice in the favours our Lord so liberally bestowed on you. I humility and confidence I ask you to help me, for I know God has given you love and pity as well as power. Tell Him, now, I beseech you, of the favour I seek in this novena... Your request will crown my petition with success and bring joy to my heart. Remember your promise to do good here on earth. “I shall spend my heaven doing good on the Earth After death I shall let fall a shower of roses.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O Little Flower of Jesus, who at an early age had your heart set on Carmel and in your brief earthly life did become the mirror of angelic purity, of courageous love and of whole hearted surrender to Almighty God, turn your eyes of mercy upon me who trusts in you. Obtain for me the favour I seek in this novena...and the grace to keep my heart and mind pure and clean. O dear saint, grant me to feel in every need the power of your intercession; help to comfort me in all the bitterness of this life and especially at its end, that I may be worth to share eternal happiness with you in heaven. Amen.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O Little Flower of Carmel, Almighty God endowed you, consumed by love for him, with wondrous spiritual strength to follow the way of perfection during the days of your short life. Sickness touched you early but you remained firm in faith and prayer was your life. O pray for me that I may benefit by your intercession and be granted the favour I ask in this novena...

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O Little Flower of Jesus, you have shown yourself so powerful in your intercession, so tender and compassionate toward those who honour you and invoke you in suffering and distress, that I kneel at your feet with perfect confidence and beseech you most humbly and earnestly to take me under your protection in my present necessity and obtain for me the favour I ask in this novena...Vouchsafe to recommend my request to Mary, the merciful Queen of Heaven, that she may plead my cause with you before the throne of Jesus, her divine Son.. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


Therese of the Child Jesus, most loving Saint, in union with you I adore the divine Majesty. My heart is filled with joy at the remembrance of the marvellous favours with which God blessed your life on earth and of the great glory that came to you after death. In union with you, I praise God, and offer him my humble tribute of thanksgiving. I implore you to obtain for me, through your powerful intercession, the greatest of all blessings -- that of living and dying in the state of grace. I also beg of you to secure for me the special favour I seek in this novena...

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O glorious St. Therese, who, burning with the desire of increasing the glory of God, invariably attended to the sanctification of your soul by the constant practice of prayer and charity so that, becoming in the Church a model of holiness, you are now in Heaven the protector of all those who have recourse to you in faith, look down upon me who invokes your powerful patronage and join your petition to mine that I be granted the favour I seek in this novena...

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


O St. Therese, seraphic virgin, beloved spouse of our Crucified Lord, you who on earth did burn with a love so intense toward your God and my God, and now glow with a bright and purer flame in paradise, obtain for me, I beseech you, a spark of that same holy fire which shall help me to put things of the world in their proper place and live my life always conscious of the presence of God. As I conclude my novena I also beg of you to secure for me the special favour I seek at this time...

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Seven Sacraments Stained Glass Window {Catechism Craft with Free Printable!}

"And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14

This year our seven year old is preparing to make his First Confession and First Holy Communion! Earlier this month we spent some time studying the Seven Sacraments and creating a "Seven Sacrament Stained Glass Window."

A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction. This fun and colorful craft provides an excellent opportunity to teach children more about the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ and how they receive their power to give grace from God, through the merits of Christ’s Redemption on the Cross.

Originally I was just going to use a blank cross for this craft and have my son list the Seven Sacraments on the cross, but then I decided to try and add some illustrations for my son to color, and then lines for him to write the names of the sacraments. All of my other children ended up asking to create one too! Here are the links to all the documents I created in the process. You are welcome to download them for your own family/class if you'd like:

  • Black or Dark Blue Card Stock or Construction Paper
  • Yellow Card Stock or Construction Paper (cut into the shape of a stained glass window)
  • Seven Sacraments Cross Printable (additional options can be found listed above)
  • Colored Card Stock or Construction Paper, cut into small one inch shapes 
  • Colored Pencils, Crayons or Markers
  • Pencil or Black Gel Pen
  • Scissors
  • Glue Sticks


1. Write a list of the Seven Sacraments onto the white cross or color the illustrations if you are using the printable. Another option is to have the children copy a bible or saint quote onto the cross.

2.  Have the children glue the yellow window shape to a piece of black or dark blue paper.

3. Glue the cross to the center of the yellow window.

4. Next, have the children glue the small pieces of colored paper to the window shape, creating the "Stained Glass Window."

Additional Reading, Coloring Books, and Songs on the Seven Sacraments: 

The Seven Sacraments by Father Lovasik

We adore Thee O Christ and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jesse Tree Treasures {Sponsored Giveaway}

This year Advent will begin on Sunday, November 30th, which is only just over two months away! Now is a great time to place an order for a set of Jesse Tree Treasures beautiful Jesse Tree or O Antiphon Ornaments. Our family has been using our sets from Jesse Tree Treasures for the past few years now and they are always a beautiful addition to our Advent and Christmas traditions at home.

Jesse Tree Treasures has generously offered to give away one of the rustic O Antiphon sets and one of the new the new 12 Days of Christmas sets (which are now in a circle shape instead of square) to my visitors here at Shower of Roses!

.: O Antiphons :. 

These stunning wooden ornaments reflect the light of Christ coming in the darkest part of winter as an infant in a manger. They are specially created to coordinate perfectly with our Jesse Tree ornament sets. The are extremely durable and scratch, stain, and water resistant.

The "O" Antiphons are a monastic tradition dating back to the 4th century. The antiphons are recited during evening prayer. This makes an excellent family devotion for the week before Christmas, as it helps to build the anticipation of Christ's coming. These antiphons have great significance. Each begins with and "O" and calls Jesus a unique title which comes from the prophecies of Isaiah.

Each set of seven ornaments also comes with a devotional booklet. The antiphons correspond to a verse from the traditional hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". These verses are included in the devotional, as well as the corresponding scripture and a short devotion.

These are sure to become a family treasure and a tradition you love to share with those dear to your heart.

.: 12 Days of CHRISTmas :. 

Christmas is a season! Enter into the full 12 days of Christmas with these fun and faith filled ornaments. They are based on the beloved song "The 12 Days of Christmas" and focus on the faith filled meaning behind each of the gifts.

The cheery tune has been a merry reminder of the joy in our hearts as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. The gifts sound fanciful, but legend has it that each gift represents an aspect of our faith. It has been said that this song was used to teach catechism to children when religious instruction was prohibited.

However the song originated, it is a good reminder that Christmas isn’t over after one day, but spans for 12 days of festivities culminating with the Epiphany. After the anticipation of Christ’s birth in Advent, these help us to celebrate and learn about the newborn king.

We suggest using these ornaments as a tool to mark the season of Christmas and as a way to affirm and teach the faith to children.


Each set includes: 12- 2 3/8" wooden circle ornaments
12 red strings
Divider cards, with descriptions of each ornament and religious meanings
Beautifully Gift Boxed

For your reference, the religious meanings referred to are: (1) Jesus, (2) Testaments, (3) Theological Virtues, (4) Gospels, (5) Books of Moses, (6) Days of Creation, (7) Spiritual Gifts, (8) Beatitudes, (9) Fruits of the Spirit, (10) Commandments, (11) Faithful Apostles, (12) Points of the Apostles Creed.

Two winners will be chosen for this giveaway. The first will receive the O Antiphons set and the second will receive the 12 Days of Christmas Set. 

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below: 

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Conference for Catholic Women in the Pacific Northwest!

 Saturday, September 27, 2014.  

It will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Vancouver, Washington, 
just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.

 Tickets are only $40.00 each with group discounts and scholarships available. In addition to the great speakers, the conference also includes Mass, breakfast, luncheon, Catholic vendors, prizes and more! I just purchased my ticket this past week and hope to meet some of you there! 

For more information or to purchase your ticket visit: 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} :: All Saints' Costumes, New Picture Books, Hockey Lessons, and Super Simplified Back-to-School Schultütes. . .

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~


With the month of October just around the corner, our children have been making plans for our annual All Saints Party!  (You can scroll through all our past "costume" posts here.)  Which saint will they be this year?  Twinkle Toes and Chiquita have asked to dress up as St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Helena. 

When we were over at the coast we happened to see some (way overpriced) costumes that would be perfect for St. Margaret and St. Helena… I happened to find them online at a more affordable price and order two saintly "princess" dresses for the girls. You can find the Victorian Rose Costume here and the Crimson Costume here. Now we just need to go to the craft store for some supplies to make a couple crowns to go with the pretty dresses! Two down… Five more to go! ;)  


New picture books about saints always make me happy!  Did you know that Amy Welborn just came out with a new book about St. Francis. We haven't read it yet, but our copy just arrived and I plan to surprise the children with it on his feast day, which is coming up on October 4th.


Snuggles started learn to skate /learn to play hockey lessons last Saturday! 

The older boys went with me to his lesson and, after seeing their little brother fall again and again, I heard them say, "Poor (Snuggles)! I didn't know he was so bad at skating!"  Yep… It's finally the little guys turn for some lessons! Despite all the falls he had a blast and can't wait until his next lesson this upcoming Saturday. 


With all our camping trips, and everything else that has been going on, I just didn't have time to create our annual Back-to-School Schultütes this year… not even the Simplified Version from last year

A couple weeks before school started I ran across a 12-pack of these Popcornopolis Cones at Costco and decided they looked close enough!

They were a hit! 

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Daybook :: September 16, 2014

Outside my window...
The sky is filled with smoke again and I'm dreaming of going back to the ocean… or anywhere with clear blue skies. I have discovered that the smoke triggers my anxiety/panic attacks. It seems to be affecting our oldest daughter too, who is complaining about chest pain and breathing difficulty this afternoon. Can you please say a little prayer for us? We are continuing to pray for the safety of the firefighters and all those affected by this year's wildfires.

I am thinking...
I've probably gone a little overboard sharing pictures from last week's trip, but I wanted to post them here for my in-law's to see. They aren't on Facebook/Instagram/etc, but they do read the blog - Happy 47th Anniversary you two!!! I promise this will be the last post with pictures from our trip. Next I'll move on to a whole bunch of posts with pictures from Twinkle Toes' birthday party! ;)

I am thankful... 
So thankful that Sean was able to take a few days off work to go camping. I needed to get out of the smoke and we needed some time together with just our family. It was such a great trip!

Learning all the time
I'm also thankful for the ability to home educate our children, or in this case campground educate! ;) We kept up with math lessons at the picnic table...

... and learned history as it was read aloud around the campfire!


We also toured the lighthouse, visited the cheese factory, and so much more!

Celebrating the liturgical year...
We also were blessed to be able to attend a beautiful EF Latin Mass for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!  Afterwards we took Father out to breakfast and then later in the evening he joined us again for dinner at our campsite. He kindly blessed our RV (and the campground), taught the children how to play Yatzee, and we ended the evening with cake!

Just because we were camping didn't mean we couldn't still have birthday cake for Mother Mary, topped with our usual 10 candles representing a decade of the Rosary. I was so pleased when I found this beautiful single layer white cake, complete with a blue rose, at the local grocery store for only $6. It was perfect!

The next morning the boys served another EF Latin Mass on the feast of St. Peter Claver.

This past Sunday we also had our own local EF Latin Mass - it's once every two months and happened to fall on September 14th, the anniversary of the implementation of Summorom Pontificum! I picked up a cake to serve after Mass.

From the kitchen... 
Too. Much. Cake. and. Candy!

I didn't have any trouble passing on the cake, but all the amazing samples at Cranberry Sweets & More (and Face Rock Creamery) were irresistible.

I especially couldn't pass up an opportunity to enjoy a Chocolate Almond Cheesecake truffle. YUM!!!

We brought home a few things to give as gifts, and I am back on my diet.

I am working on... 
The 17 Day Diet and exercising. I've really struggled with my health and weight following my miscarriage and have a lot of weight to lose. Even with a few cheats on Day 15 I still was able to make it through Twinkle Toes' birthday party, the golf tournament, and a few summer BBQs without cheating and drop over 13 pounds during the initial 17 Day Accelerate Cycle! It's a start. I still have plenty to lose to get back to where I need to be and next up is the Activate Cycle.

I am creating...
my to-do list for the next couple days… Is it Friday yet?

I am going...
to Catholic Women Rejoice! I'm so excited to finally meet Danielle Bean! If you live in the Pacific Northwest there is still time to register before tickets sell out. I'd love to meet you there!

I am hoping...
to finally have an opportunity to sort through the pictures from Twinkle Toes' birthday to share with you all. It was so sweet!

I am praying...
for God's guidance as we continue to discern His Will for our family.

I am reading…
Augustus Caesar's World and The Borrowed House (aloud to all the children), The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Julius Caesar (with the younger children), and A Graphic Life of Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar (with the older boys).

Pondering these words…
from Mother Teresa:

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." 

I am listening…
to the air conditioner. We've had to keep it running to filter out some of the smoke that is making it's way into the house.

Around the house RV and Campsite...
Thank you, Miss Charlotte, for recommending Say Anything! Captain received it as a gift on his Bacon Birthday and we played it the for the first time while camping. It was SO MUCH FUN!

"Dad and Mom, come play! THIS one's for YOU Mom!" 

After watching the sunset on our last night at the beach (and showers to wash off ALL that sand) we roasted marshmallows for s'mores!

One of my favorite things...  
I love that my girls love to dress up and wear their "old fashioned" dresses.

You were right, Melanie, this picture is pretty in sepia.

This week's plans
  • Dropped the Sienna off at the mechanics yesterday for service and repairs (I am hoping I get it back tomorrow since I really need a car on Thursday and would rather not take the RV to piano!) 
  • Catholic Digest writing deadline (was Monday and I'm still working on it…) 
  • Tutors on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Piano lessons on Thursday
  • The girls and I leave on a road-trip Friday!!!! (Please keep us in your prayers!)
  • Snuggles has another Learn to Skate/Learn to Play Hockey lesson on Saturday
  • My in-law's 47th Anniversary today and my Mom's birthday on Sunday!

A little peek at my day...
I stopped in town during the five minute drive to our Mission Parish to take this photo of one of the new fires in our area… I mentioned on Instagram that "If the skies fill with smoke again I'm going on another road trip. My anxiety can't handle any more smoke…"  I wasn't kidding!