Saturday, April 25, 2020

Saint George and the Dragon

This year, in addition to making our Saint George and the Dragon Veggie Platter, the girls also tried making A Dragon Scone for Good St. George for dessert! We actually haven't grocery shopped in over three weeks now, but I managed to grab some fresh produce when I ran into Pilgrim's for our birthday burgers on Monday. All the fresh fruit and veggies were such a treat and both dragons were quickly devoured along with the pot of stew I had made for dinner!

Saint George & the Dragon by Jim Forest • Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges



Here is an inspiring story from Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year (1963 Edition):

Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness. The lady stands for God's holy truth. St. George was a brave martyr who was victorious over the devil.

He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor's favorite solders. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy of the Christians. He put to death every Christian he could find. George was a brave Christian, a real soldier of Christ. Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel. Then he gave up his position in the Roman army. For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.

So boldly daring and so cheerful was St. George in declaring his Faith and in dying for it that Christians felt courage when they heard about it. Many songs and poems were written about this martyr. Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him.

We all have some "dragon" we have to conquer. It might be pride or anger or laziness or greediness or something else. Let us make sure we fight against these "dragons," with God's help. Then we can call ourselves real soldiers of Christ.

St. George from Naturally Catholic was discovered in one of this year's Easter Baskets

Heroic Catholic soldier and defender of your Faith, you dared to criticize a tyrannical Emperor and were subjected to horrible torture. You could have occupied a high military position but you preferred to die for your Lord. Obtain for us the great grace of heroic Christian courage that should mark soldiers of Christ. Amen.

St. George, ora pro nobis! 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Happy 15th Birthday

I have always loved trying to make our children’s birthdays extra special.

It’s been much harder to do the last few years due to our last two babies (sleepless nights/babies in your late 30s and 40s is HARD), our big out-of-state move, and just way less energy than I had when I was younger... Last year one of our daughters’ birthdays fell on Holy Saturday and I said “next year I’ll throw you a big party with friends!” That next birthday was this past Monday.

Between the quarantine and Easter I had not made any plans, other than the gifts that I had bought previously and tucked away in my closet.. I was too tired to even stay up and wrap them on Sunday night let alone bake a cake or pull together any other decorations. When I woke up in the morning it brought tears to my eyes when I walked out to the kitchen and discovered beautiful thank you cards scattered on the counter for every member of the family from the birthday girl. Each card had a sweet and personalized message on the back. I love her so much! She is so beautiful both inside and out and I’m grateful for the gift of being her mother!


I was still determined, despite the circumstances, to still make her day as special as possible! As our children have gotten older it's become more about spending quality time with them instead of fun and creative birthday themes. The birthday girl had a Latin Exam to complete for her online class first thing on Monday morning, but after that we took the rest of the day off! While she was getting her exam done I wrapped her birthday gifts, made cake decorations, and came up with a fun plan for the day. 

The birthday girl loved the Cookies & Creamery Ice Cream cake that "Rose" had for her birthday last December, so I was going to try and pick one up while we were out. 

I wasn't sure what size I'd be able to get so I made two toppers just in case. That ended up being a good thing since we arrived back home to the two year old covered saying "I ATE CHOT-LIT!!!" with the remnants all over her mouth... At least she only ate one of them and the bigger design just fit on the smaller cake size I had brought home! 

Anyway, it had been over five weeks since our girls had left the home with the exception of enjoying our property or neighborhood walks! (In fact we shut off the liability insurance a month ago, keeping comprehensive only to cover parked cars, on all except my husband's car in order to save as much as possible while I've been laid off work.) We joked that this year she was going to get an "ESCAPE... the Little House on the Prairie" themed birthday. (She had a Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party four years ago.) Sean and the boys agreed to watch the little ones while the three older girls and I got OUT of the house for the afternoon! 


Armed with hand sanitizer, and handkerchiefs to use as face masks if needed, we got in the car and everyone held their breath to see if  Mom could still remember how to drive. ;) 


The last place the girls had been was to Sunday Mass on March 15th. Our parish actually continued to have Mass through that following Friday, but between a virus that hit some more of the children on Monday morning and then our college boys flying home on the 17th (after spending their spring break and then "second spring break" with a friend in NJ/NYC) our quarantine started early... We still don't have public Mass yet, but as of last week the church is now open for visits so that was our first stop. 


Next up was Dutch Bros! We drove through for her birthday drink. Blended Chai is her favorite! 
The girls in the back shared a Snickers Freeze. I stuck with a small breve, no flavor but still a treat. 

Idaho currently allows hiking as long as we "recreate responsibly" and maintain social distancing from those who are not immediate family/household members. I ran in to a store to pick up lunch (Arugula Balsamic Grass-Fed Burgers from Pilgrims!!!) and then we headed to Tubbs Hill to hike. 


Last spring we hiked Tubbs with friends every week and WE MISS THAT SO MUCH!

Next we headed over to walk the boardwalk. At 3,300 feet (nearly 3/4 mile) long and 12 ft wide, the Coeur d'Alene Resort Floating Boardwalk is the longest floating boardwalk in the world and encircles the marina on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

This was actually the first time we've walked the full length of the boardwalk! We started to during the road trip I took these three girls on back in 2014, but it was so windy we stopped at the bridge. 

Look at them!!! 

I actually took Sean back yesterday and he and I walked it again. So peaceful!  


On the way home I ran into Cold Stone and thankfully had just enough charge left on my cellphone to order cake(s). They didn't have a huge selection and I wasn't able to get the large Cookies & Creamery Cake we were hoping for. The large cakes were all chocolate glazed, which wouldn't exactly work with my homemade decoration... sooo, I got two! A large Peanut Butter Playground with "Happy 15th Birthday" written on top and a small Cookies & Creamery that I was able to scrape the decorations off and decorate myself.

With everyone home, the cakes didn't last long! Everyone had a small piece of each on her birthday and then they finished the second half of the large cake after dinner last night. Such a treat! 

For starting the day without any plans it all came together beautifully. 
I guess the nearly 20 years of practice... and boxes of past decorations... is paying off! 

After I dropped the girls (and frozen cakes) off at home I ran over to Papa Murphy's to pick up our pizza order, along with some roses and a gallon of milk (which we had been out of for over a week) at the grocery store. There wasn't much to choose from in the floral section, but when I saw this bouquet of roses I knew they were perfect for her. 



Birthday gifts were next and included a new swimsuit, a beautiful Tolkien throw blanket from Tea with Tolkien, an Oregon sweatshirt, ChromaCat, and a new backpack style purse... She was recently diagnosed with scoliosis and her doctor recommended backpacks over totes. The one we picked out is technically a "mini diaper bag" but super cute and filled with lots of awesome pockets. It's the same platinum color as her favorite tote/purse and I have a membership to Freshly Picked so was able to get it at a great price. 

Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl! We love you dearly!