Friday, October 4, 2019

St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds

"And as he went on his way, with great fervour, St Francis lifted up his eyes, and saw on some trees by the wayside a great multitude of birds; and being much surprised, he said to his companions, "Wait for me here by the way, whilst I go and preach to my little sisters the birds"; and entering into the field, he began to preach to the birds which were on the ground, and suddenly all those also on the trees came round him, and all listened while St Francis preached to them, and did not fly away until he had given them his blessing.

And Brother Masseo related afterwards to Brother James of Massa how St Francis went among them and even touched them with his garments, and how none of them moved. Now the substance of the sermon was this:

"My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noe that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favoured you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God."

As he said these words, all the birds began to open their beaks, to stretch their necks, to spread their wings and reverently to bow their heads to the ground, endeavouring by their motions and by their songs to manifest their joy to St Francis. And the saint rejoiced with them. He wondered to see such a multitude of birds, and was charmed with their beautiful variety, with their attention and familiarity, for all which he devoutly gave thanks to the Creator. 

Having finished his sermon, St Francis made the sign of the cross, and gave them leave to fly away. Then all those birds rose up into the air, singing most sweetly; and, following the sign of the cross, which St Francis had made, they divided themselves into four companies. One company flew towards the east, another towards the west, one towards the south, and one towards the north; each company as it went singing most wonderfully; signifying thereby, that as St Francis, the bearer of the Cross of Christ, had preached to them and made upon them the sign of the cross, after which they had divided among themselves the four parts of the world, so the preaching of the Cross of Christ, renewed by St Francis, would be carried by him and by his brethren over all the world, and that the humble friars, like little birds, should posses nothing in this world, but should cast all the care of their lives on the providence of God."

- Excerpt from The Little Flowers of St. Francis
The First English Translation, Revised and Emended by Dom Roger Hudleston. Source

The wooden trees and figures pictured (excluding our St. Francis from Catholic Folk Toys) are all made by Ostheimer. I purchased the Bird Tree, along with a couple birds, from The Wooden Wagon for our daughter's birthday a couple years ago and the tooth fairy has been adding additional birds, one at a time, to her collection ever since!

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Michaelmas Daybook

St. Gabriel, St. Michael, and St. Raphael from Naturally Catholic

Outside my window...
It snowed yesterday, last night, and is snowing again today... I've been told that this is not normal for up here in Northern Idaho and I'm hoping we have some warmer days ahead. I'm not ready for winter yet! The picture below is the view from some of our back windows looking out at the horse pastures. Our property ends at the white fence but we've been admiring all the fall colors on our neighbor's beautiful trees!

I am thankful... 
My mom just had another MRI this past week and there has been no measurable growth on her acoustic neuroma tumor this past year which means she can continue to wait/watch and postpone brain surgery! Such wonderful news!! Deo Gratias!

I am thinking...
I can't believe it has been nearly a year since we signed papers (October 1st), took possession (October 8th) and moved in (October 31st) to this home... and yet so much has changed!

Celebrating the liturgical year...
Michaelmas, St. Jerome, St. Therese, Holy Guardian Angels, St. Francis of Assisi...
So many favorite feast days coming up this week!

From the kitchen...
our annual Michaelmas Cupcakes.

I am working...
on setting up my new laptop! My old laptop was starting to have problems, not to mention the hard drive had been completely full for the past year (I had to go through and sort/delete photos every time I wanted to try and upload more) so maybe now it will be a little easier to blog a little more often? We'll see!

I am creating...
a list of posts that I'd like to go back and add eventually, starting with some recent sacraments and past birthday parties. This blog has always been a family scrapbook of sorts and our kids love going back and looking through the archives.  Bud isn't happy that I've only blogged his first three (of seven) birthdays!

I am going...
out for a quick coffee date with Sean. We didn't get to stay long since the coffee shop was closing in "seven minutes" but it worked out for the best since the baby was cranky by the time we got home. The girls mentioned that it happens to be National Coffee Day!


I am hoping...
to continue recovering from this postpartum depression and start feeling like myself again. I've been making some progress and doing a little better than I was a couple weeks ago. Did you know that wearing your baby may help alleviate postpartum depression? I'm not sure if it does or not, but the baby sure loves being tucked into my Moby Wrap.

Pondering these words…
from St. Frances de Sales:

“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God's loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.”

I am praying...
for the soul of my mother-in-law, for Veronica Cools, for the Hatkes, and for so many others in need of prayer.

I am reading…
a chapter or two from Little House in the Big Woods to my little ones each night after we pray our family rosary. I had been neglecting reading aloud to them this past year and it's nice to be doing it again.

One of my favorite things...
Captain's Instagram stories, Ranger's late night phone calls home, and our family group texting string! We are all counting the days until they come home for a visit.

Around the house... and a little peek at my day... 
I keep spotting St. Michael!

Illuminated Ink Archangel Blank Book from last month's Saints Around the World Box

Just getting started... 

St. Michael Keepsake Box (one of Bud's recent First Holy Communion Gifts from friends!) 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Lisieux Nail Polish {Giveaway}

It is currently snowing ... SNOWING ?!?! ... but it is cozy inside our home and the girls have been painting their nails this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming feast days of St. Therese (both the new and traditional) and the Holy Guardian Angels! 

The girls have such a fun collection of color options! 


"Oooohhhh! Pretty!" 

Little Flower Nail Polish and St. Therese of Lisieux Quote Mug
Dress from Baby My Love Etsy

.: Giveaway :. 

We picked out three favorite colors to give away... One lucky visitor will receive Little Flower, Guardian Angel and Mystical Rose sponsored by Lisieux!

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below: 

Giveaway ends on October 3rd, the traditional feast of St. Therese.
The winner will be announced on October 4th!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Please Continue to Pray for Veronica Cools

Update from Veronica's Dad 🙏

"We are asking family, friends and benefactors to pray to Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen as he needs a miracle for canonization. Of course if it be God’s will."


Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request). I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Please Join Me in Helping a Family in Need

Our girls with Victoria and Veronica Cools

Sometimes it feels like there is just too much suffering... I do hope to go back and share some of the more joyful moments we've had this past month, but first I have another serious prayer request for all my dedicated prayer warriors here at Shower of Roses. 

Shortly after moving from Oregon to Idaho we met Dan Cools and his youngest daughter Victoria at an event at our new parish. Our girls quickly became friends and we learned that his wife and second to youngest daughter, Veronica, were down in Mexico battling cancer... 

"Veronica was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in August of 2018. This aggressive cancer wrapped itself in and around her thigh bone with a high likelihood of mestastasis. Since hearing of the dreadful diagnosis, she has fought for her life. Over the course of an eight month period following diagnosis Veronica underwent extensive treatment, procedures, labs, scans, surgeries, including a full amputation of her leg."

Three months ago this beautiful, sweet and inspiring young lady was able to come home and we were blessed to meet her. Our four teens enjoyed spending time with the Cools girls over the summer and the above picture was taken at our boys' graduation party in July. 

Anyway... Despite all of their own challenges the Cools are so thoughtful and generous and insisted on dropping off dinner for our family the night I was in labor before delivering our little one! We were so glad they could join us the following week for the baby's baptism. At the baptism reception we were discussing plans for getting the girls together to celebrate Veronica's birthday, but unfortunately she received more devastating news the following day:  

"A PET scan was done and it was found that Veronica's cancer has aggressively returned. The cancer has metastasized to both lungs, her liver, some lymph nodes and a rib. The future is uncertain, but the family is holding tight to their faith and hope for a miracle."

Please, please pray for a miracle for this amazing girl...

In addition to our prayers, the Cools are also in need of our financial help and support. If you can help in any way, no matter how small, it would be greatly appreciated. Together we can at least help lighten the financial burden on this dear family.

"Expenses and bills don't stop arriving in the mailbox because of a cancer diagnosis, unfortunately. The Cools are again in addition to living expenses absorbing the cost for gas, lodging, and treatment expenses in Seattle which are coming to about $2400 a week."

Please pray for Veronica, and the whole Cools family, that God may continue to pour His grace upon them during this difficult time. May God reward you abundantly!

Prayer to Saint Peregrine

O great St. Peregrine, you have been called “The Mighty,” “The Wonder-Worker,” because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you.

For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fibre of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favoured with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of Veronica Cools whom we entrust to you. Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, ora pro nobis!
St. Camillus de Lellis, ora pro nobis!
St. Therese of Lisieux, ora pro nobis!
St. Peregrine Laziosi, ora pro nobis!

Update from Veronica's Dad: 
"We are asking family, friends and benefactors to pray to Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen as he needs a miracle for canonization. Of course if it be God’s will."


Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request). I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

+ Requiescat in Pace +

In your charity, would you please offer a prayer for the soul of my dear mother-in-law, Luz Beatriz Gordon, who passed away on Wednesday evening, August 28th, and for our whole Gordon family...

April 2018 - A couple photos from our trip to Arizona to introduce "Grace" to her grandmother.
It's been just over two years since my father-in-law passed away the day before I went into labor.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let 
Perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

On the Traditional Feast of Saint Jane

"If we patiently accept through love all that God allows to happen, then we will begin to taste even here on earth something of the delights the saints experience in heaven. But for this we must serve God willingly and lovingly, seeking to obey the Divine Will rather than to follow our own inclinations and desires. For the perfection of love demands that we desire for ourselves only whatever God wills. Let us implore the good God unceasingly to grant us this grace!" - St. Jane Frances de Chantal

(God's plan is so much better than our own... He knew we needed her!) 

DEAREST Patron, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, 
in baptism I received thy name and was put under thy special care. Oh, teach me to be like thee! Help me to avoid sin and to practice virtue. Be always at my side to guide me and protect me, and bring me safe to Heaven, that I may be ever happy with thee in the presence of God.

(She is such a sweetie! I'm hoping to add her birth and baptism pictures to the blog soon.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


August 6th (and 7th)
Extra Summer Babysitting Money = 
Another Bird Paint-by-Number for her collection! 


My little avocado lover 🥑💗 




August 7th
One of my two baby girls slept through all of Mass earlier this afternoon 💙#despiterepeatkickstotheface

Friday, August 2, 2019

Instagram Recap: DMV, French Toast & Hello Sugar!

August 2, 2019

The women at the Sheriff's/Driver's License Office were trying their best to put me into labor this morning... I thought I arrived prepared right at 8am with my birth certificate, social security card, and proof of residency... I passed the test (barely) but then they sent me back home for a different copy of my birth certificate (apparently the one I brought was not certified) and a second proof of residency before they would give me my temp license... when I got back they realized that they also wanted to see my marriage certificate.... At that point the pregnancy hormones kicked in and the tears started falling... Each trip required signing back in at the end of the line. They came very close to not accepting my copy of our nearly 20 year old marriage certificate (despite the clerk's signature, seal, and number) but eventually got approval from the main office in the capital. After that it was time to head next door (Vehicle Licensing is a whole separate office/waiting list) to start the process of registering all our vehicles (each vehicle had to be present to do that, so musical vehicles began)... After four hours it's all done and we can finally check that off the to do list! Whew!

#37weeks4dayspregnant #dueaug19th2019 #refusedtoputmyfulltermweightonlicense #babywillbeheresoon #tyinguplooseends #movingoutofstateishard

*They actually called us back a few days later saying they needed Sean and I to both COME BACK and sign MORE paperwork! Apparently they forgot to have us sign some tax exempt forms on the vehicles... It's all taken care of and we finally have our new license plates and driver's licenses!

After my crazy morning, I probably should have gone home and put my feet up, but there is so much to be done at home right now I decided to just skip it all and take a couple of my girls shopping instead! 

Look at all the BabyLit Books

We set out searching for a Baby Boutique, but apparently we were spoiled with a few lovely options back in Southern Oregon and there are surprisingly few in our new area... We found a total of one (not counting chain stores like Old Navy, Nordstrom, Target, etc) from Coeur d’Alene all the way over to Spokane!  The store we found didn’t really have much for babies but it was absolutely darling and we did come home with a darling little dolly and swaddle for our soon-to-be born baby girl. 


The cashier suggested we also check out a mini donut place just down the road where we ordered their “Carousel” (one of each flavor) and the Lime Kombucha on Tap from the coffee shop next door. 

We could have easily eaten them all, but the girls each enjoyed two, I had the delicious seasonal “Huckaboo” flavor, and we brought the remaining seven back for the rest of the family, after finally making it to Trader Joe’s to restock the fridge and pantry. Now I’m ready for her to arrive tomorrow, just incase she decides to come 16 days early like our last two!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Saints Around the World :: St. Pio of Pietrelcina {Back-to-School Giveaway}

Have you seen the "Saints Around the World!" subscription boxes yet? Our family was recently sent one to review and not only was I impressed, but it was also a hit with our children!

When our older children were younger I included so many more crafts and activities when it came to celebrating feast days and teaching our children about the saints... I still try to do so, but it's not as frequent as I would like, and definitely harder to fit in to our schedule with a wide family with infants to soon-to-be college students, especially with me working from home on top of homeschooling. During this particular season of motherhood it seems that reading picture books and incorporating Catholic Cuisine is the most I can manage each month...

Featuring a different saint from a new country every two months, this subscription is a perfect way for me to easily incorporate a little more theology and geography for my younger ones with very little effort! Plus my older children were all more than happy to join in and help too.

Oh, and with each box purchased, $4 is donated to the "Culture of Life Studies" program, another one of my favorite resources!

Each box contains a beautiful, kid-friendly, saint statue, a story about the saint's life, various activities related to the saint, and a special fact card about the saint and his/her country or state.

Your first box also comes with a world map to track the saints and a special "Passport."  A certain little seven year old especially loved the map and magnifying glass and had so much fun searching for Italy.

Much to his delight, older brother stopped by for a bit and pointed out a number of other European countries.

Our box came with just one Passport booklet, but you can order additional when subscribing, if you'd like one for each child. I definitely need to get an additional Passport booklet so Rose and Bud each have their own.

The Saints Around the World boxes are shipped every two months. The 2019-2020 boxes are September/October, November/December, January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August etc. The box will arrive in that first week, at the beginning of the two month span. For example, you will receive the September/October box within the first week of September and the next box will be shipped at the beginning of November.

A combination of Theology and Geography in One Box!

.: Giveaway :. 

I'm going to try my best to host a few different giveaways this month leading up to the beginning of the new school year!  To begin, Saints Around the World has generously offered to send one FREE "St. Pio" box to the winner of this giveaway!

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Start your family on this adventurous journey to Heaven, with the Saints as their guides!

**To receive the September/October "St. Pio" box, please subscribe by August 8th!**

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us!