Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sponsor Love :: Quarterly Update & Current Specials

The summer is flying by and the new school year is just around the corner... Our family is headed out of town to try and escape all the smoke, take the girls to summer camp, and also do some house hunting, but first here is an update on all my awesome sponsors here at Shower of Roses. Please remember them while preparing for the new school year or shopping for gifts!

The 8th annual blog hop I host here at Shower of Roses is a great place to sell your used books and it's coming up just as soon as we get back home. It will run from August 15-25th this year. Get your blog posts ready to link up!

Please welcome my new sponsor:

St. Clare Audio
Family Friendly Audiobooks on CD. Wholesome entertainment and education for all ages!

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a one time use 20% Off coupon!

Also be sure to visit St. Clare Heirloom Seeds specializing in Non-GMO, Non-Hybrid, Non-Treated Heirloom and Open Pollinated Vegetable, Flower, and Herb Garden Seeds

And welcome back to this returning sponsor:

Rycraft Cookie Stamps
My favorite Rycraft product is the 2" HEIRLOOM COLLECTION Terra Cotta Cookie Stamp! They are available in eater square or round, are available in colorful glazes in over 400 designs, and come with FREE recipes! The Rycraft Cookie Stamps are not just for cookies. Browse their website for more additional ideas as well!

A special THANK YOU to all my continuing sponsors!

Prayer Pillowcases
August is here and the Church dedicates this month to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Visit our Marian Designs department to see our beautiful Immaculate Heart of Mary designs. They honor Our Lady and make it easy to nurture devotion to her, too. During the month of August we’re happy to offer Shower of Roses friends 20% off their Prayer Pillowcase order! Simply use code: IHM20 when you order. And remember, you can personalize any design!

Send your loved one off to college in the company of the Jesus, Mary & the Saints with a pretty, practical Prayer Pillowcase! Choose their favorite saint or perhaps a new prayer to give them the encouragement they need for the challenges ahead. These popular Morning Offerings would be perfect!

SAVE 20% off your entire order for the month of August with  coupon code: IHM20

+ + +

Culture of Life Studies Program (CLSP)
Show your children the beauty and dignity of people with disabilities with our latest picture book unit study All Shapes and Sizes: Learning about the Beauty and Dignity of People with Disabilities and Other Challenges. Using classic picture books, crafts, and other activities, All Shapes and Sizes helps students understand that the value of every human being exists because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. 

Shower of Roses readers can always save 20% off their entire order using the code: ROSES20

+ + +

Sacred Heart Books & Gifts
We are here to serve your needs for Catholic books, curriculum, and gifts. We offer most of our products at 15% off retail. If you are looking for something and can't find it on our site, please contact us and we will do our best to find it.

Follow Sacred Heart Books & Gifts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and specials! 

+  +  + 

Gail's Designs
Gail's Designs has been creating unique, elegant jewelry and cherished rosaries since 2009. Gail has been an artist for most of her life and is grateful for her faith and being able to make elegant jewelry and cherished rosaries for people of the Catholic faith.


+ + +

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."

Starting a New Club? Don't forget to Register!

+ + +

Peanut Butter & Grace
The mission of Peanut Butter & Grace is to help Catholic parents raise children who know and love Christ and his Church. We do this by providing digital and print resources that assist parents in forming their children in the faith within the daily life of their family. All of our products are made for Catholic parents—either to use themselves, or to hand to their kids.

Engaging, inspirational, and designed to help busy women develop a deeper connection to Jesus...that's the new Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women.

Save 25%-50% when you support our crowdfunding campaign with your pre-order:

+ + +

Kolbe Academy
With salvation as the ultimate goal, Kolbe Academy’s educational programs allow you to tailor the formation of each child in the Catholic tradition, with a classical approach.

All three of our high schoolers are currently enrolled with Kolbe Academy and working towards the Magna Cum Laude Diploma. In addition to all the benefits of enrolling, I really love the flexibility that Kolbe offers and that we can continue tailoring our curriculum to our family's preferences and our children's needs.

In addition to visiting Kolbe Academy's website, you can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates and specials!

+ + +

Lisieux Nail Polish
Lisieux Nail Polish is a young Catholic company with a passion for sacred scripture, church traditions and the New Evangelization. We love our Catholic faith and decided to bottle some of it up so women could always have a holy reminder with them and a new and fun way to share the Catholic faith with others. We chose nail polish because it is the only cosmetic you can enjoy without looking in a mirror. All of our nail polishes are named after Biblical events, saints or Catholic traditions. We also really enjoy celebrating the liturgical year and feast days so, in addition to our regularly stocked polishes, try to have special edition polishes around popular feast days.

Right now you can SAVE 20% with coupon code ROSES

Our polish is 5 Free, Vegan and Cruelty Free. In addition to the website, you can also follow Lisieux on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for updates! 

+ + +

Sleightholm Folk Art
"Welcome to Sleightholm Folk Art, formerly known as Audrey Eclectic, a unique collection of American folk art created in the heart of the Oklahoma prairie. My inspiration comes from faith, folk lore, family and good books." You can read more about Heather's work here.


In addition to the Etsy Shop you can also find Sleightholm Folk Art on Facebook and Instagram!

+ + +

Bring unity to your homeschool by creating a Domestic Catholic Schoolhouse! To support you we have made the chapter art and science books available to you, as well as other resources as we are able. Catholic Schoolhouse goes beyond memory work–it is a comprehensive scope and sequence; a foundation to build a true one-room schoolhouse for your family.

Catholic Schoolhouse is flexible . . . classical . . . accessible . . .you can do it!

+ + +

Almond Rod Toys
Almond Rod Toys makes Saint Blocks that are just the right size for little hands and can be used for imaginative play, building, stacking or collecting. The front has a print of original watercolor artwork. The back has a quote or a prayer chosen to inspire little ones and the one that cleans up behind them. The saint's name, feast day and patronage are also listed; just enough to be a reminder and an inspiration for further learning.

+ + +

Shining Light Dolls
Saints are an amazing part of the Catholic faith; they show us what it means to live the life of Christ no matter who you are, what time in history it is, or where in the world you live. They are our role models!


Have you seen the new dolls yet? They include St. Anthony, St. Anne, St. Valentine, St. Lucy and St. Elizabeth of Hungary❤  

+ + +

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of my sponsors and visitors for your support! May God bless you all!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

For the Birds :: Simple Popsicle Stick Bird Feeders

One day last month, after spending all morning watching the first flights of all the house finch fledglings from their nest on our front porch, we spent the afternoon learning about birds and crafting bird feeders using a bird themed box from AniMail



After hanging them in a couple trees out front, it didn't take the birds long to find the new feeders! 

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." - Henry Van Dyke

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cupcake Forest on the Feast of St. John Gualbert

Patron of Foresters, Forest Workers, Park Rangers and Parks
Feast Day - July 12

St. John Gualbert was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord's holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin." Grace triumphed. A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. "Now," he said, "you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! " He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, July 11, 1073.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

These forest/tree cupcakes were so easy to decorate with some melted green and cocoa candy melts and a couple plastic bags with the corner cut off to squeeze the melted candy onto the wax paper. After the candy trees had hardened we simply placed them on the cupcakes.

Variations of our Deer in the Woods" Birthday Cake and Snowy Mountain Ski Resort Birthday Cake would also be fun for this patron saint of foresters, forest workers, park rangers and parks!

“The just will flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a Lebanon cedar, planted in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.”— Psalm 92:13-14

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Daybook :: Big Changes Ahead

Outside my window...
From my kitchen window I can see the beautiful rose bushes that my husband planted in the garden on Mother's Day a couple years ago. Last year the garden gate was accidentally left open one night and the deer enjoyed all the buds before they had a chance to bloom and gave the bushes a major pruning... I wasn't sure if the bushes would survive the winter, but this year they are covered in the most gorgeous roses.

I am thinking...
We have some very big changes ahead for our family. At the end of May my husband and I were sitting out on the patio, enjoying the lovely spring day, and I said to him that I felt like I could finally breathe... The past two years have been so hard. I'm finally getting a combined total of 5 hours of sleep at night on average each week, up from just 3-4 hours of sleep per day/night on average, the baby is healthy and happier more often each month, and we made it through the hardest school year ever. That peaceful afternoon was just another little calm before the next storm...

The very next week my husband found out that there was a job opening near the area where we had spent years, up through a few years ago anyway, trying to move... My husband has always wanted to live in an area with an Fraternity of St. Peter parish. (All three of my husband's brothers are FSSP priests.) He almost didn't apply for the job but then decided to send in his application and leave it in God's hands. We prayed that if it was God's will for our family to move that he would be offered the job. We asked family, friends, and the dear sisters at Carmel to pray too. A friend suggested we pray to the Holy Face for guidance. On June 1st my husband sent in his application.

“Offer to our Father in Heaven, His Sons Holy Face, and He can refuse nothing to you...”

Towards the end of June we hadn't heard back and started to think that it wasn't going to happen, like all the other times in the past, but then he received the call on June 29th, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and was offered the job! Of the fourteen other foresters from around the country who applied for the job to replace the one and only forester in that office who is retiring after thirty five years, my husband was the most qualified for the job. He accepted the job and will begin on October 1st, the feast of St. Therese! 

I am thankful... 
So very thankful for little consolations from Our Lord... Roses on my bushes (thank you St. Therese!), big changes taking place on special feast days, being able to spend some one-on-one time with my parents, and little notes and phone calls from friends when I've needed them the most. Even though I know the move will be such a great thing for our family, it is still going to be so hard... I spent most of the first week of July crying... and not over a silly hair cut this time... The upcoming months will require so much detachment on my part from my home and extended family... Moving away from my parents will be so hard... I'm very grateful for each consolation, little reminders that God loves us all and that He will send us the strength and graces needed. Please keep us in your prayers!

Celebrating the liturgical year...
The feast of St. John Gualbert, patron of Foresters is coming up on July 12th. I think I'm going to bake and decorate some more cupcakes to celebrate my husband's new job. I haven't shared these here or over at Catholic Cuisine yet, but here are the cupcakes we made last year.

I'll probably make a little something for the feast of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin too. Last year I made a Watchmaker Cake with Cameo in Lace Candy.

From the kitchen...
My kitchen. Why are the kitchens and dining rooms so small in so many homes?! I hope whoever lives here next will love it as much as I have since we finally remodeled it eight years ago.

I am working...
I'm still working part time as the corporate secretary and treasurer for my dad and brother's electrical business. I have loved working these past few years and am especially grateful for all the extra time I've been able to spend with my dad and mom. I'm hoping that I'll be able to continue working remotely for the company once we move. In the meantime I have my work cut out for me as I try to figure out just how I'll accomplish it all and get everything set up.

I am creating...
Lists, lists, lists. If you have any moving tips and suggestions for me I would love to hear them. I have absolutely no experience with this and it is overwhelming to say the least. Thankfully we have a little time.

I am going...
There is a chance that the kids and I are going to be staying here for the upcoming school year. At least that is what we had discussed before my husband even applied for the job. We are keeping all the options open though and it really all depends on how quickly the house sells. The older boys are both getting ready to start their senior year and are really looking forward to hopefully returning to state next spring. Especially after the ordeal we went through this past golf season. Moving out of state complicates things a bit...

I am hoping...
I've been hosting Annual Curriculum Sale Blog Hop for years and am hoping to pull together another one this year. Anyone interested? Hmmm... I wonder just how many thousands of pounds of books we will need to move to our new home. Tons!

I am praying...
the Prayer of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face to the Holy Face:

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows”, I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured feature, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears that thou hast shed so abundantly appear to me as so many precious pearls that I Love together up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine Image, to set me on fire with Thy Love, and to make me worthy to contemplate in Heaven Thy glorious Face. Amen.

I am reading…
The Golden Arrow: The Revelations of Sr. Mary of St. Peter (1816-1848 On Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus) by Sr. Mary of St. Peter which was just given to us from a friend.

Enjoying a quiet(ish) afternoon outside on the patio with a new book from a friend and cup of roasted dandelion root tea... while the baby tries to sneak a bite of my lunch! #thegoldenarrow #holyfaceofjesus #srmaryofstpeter #offeritup #13monthsold #shelovessweetpotatoes 

Pondering these words…
from Divine Intimacy:

"We must not seek the cross in extraordinary sufferings, seldom, if ever encountered; we must look for it in the duties, the life, the difficulties, and the sacrifices of each day and of each moment."

Around the house...
Our home.... Oh how I will miss this home... We have lived here for over eighteen years, by far the longest I've lived in one place. We bought it when I was pregnant and on bed rest with our oldest son. The original "little house with so much potential" has changed so much and grown with our family over the years. I've been searching for new homes online and just can't picture living somewhere new. It will be an exciting adventure, right?

One of my favorite things...
Roses. My husband keeps refilling the vase in the living room with roses from our garden.

Shortly after my husband was offered the job I went to look for a holy card from my closet to use as a bookmark... This Holy Face holy card was loose next to where I keep all the others. So fitting after praying to the Holy Face for weeks. It also happens to be my bil's ordination card and he is the pastor of the parish where we will be moving.

This week's plans...
  • The older boys are over on the east coast this week getting to Experience Christendom! Can't wait to hear all about the camp when the boys get home next weekend! Hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I was a student at Christendom... The girls and I are enjoying looking for the boys in the various videos and photos posted over on Facebook
  • Our oldest daughter is getting her braces off tomorrow morning. She is pretty excited!
  • The little boys will be attending a birthday party for one of their friends.
  • We've all been enjoying summer! Hope you are too!

A little peek at my day...
This blog post was made possible by an afternoon off work and nap time... Shhh!

DockATot Grand • 100% Pro-Life OnesieJellycat Bashful Bunny

Friday, July 6, 2018

From Sea to Shining Sea

“It will be celebrated... with pomp and parade... bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.” - John Adams


While we had a simple celebration out here on the west coast, the older boys spent the 4th of July visiting battlefields with their cousins over on the east coast! One of their uncles was able to drive up from his parish and join them as well! The last time we saw him was last year on the 4th of July when he flew out and baptized our baby girl. The year has flown by!