Thursday, July 11, 2019

Books, Brews and Crux S. Patris Benedicti Pizza on the Feast of Saint Benedict

Happy Feast of St. Benedict! 🍻

"In the ordinary form of the Roman rite, the feast of St. Benedict of Nusia is today, the date on which his relics are believed to have been translated to Fleury Abbey in St. Benoît-sur-Loire in France. In the traditional or extraordinary form of the Roman rite, his feast day is March 21, the day of his heavenly birthday. We don't blame you for wanting to celebrate the founder of Western monasticism twice in one year. After all, given all the drinks the Benedictines developed, you'll need far more than one sitting to appreciate them." 

While we were in Oregon this past weekend, for my little sister's wedding, we were able to stop back by Benedictine Brewery to purchase a couple more glasses and some more of their great beer. Unfortunately our options were pretty limited following the 4th of July rush!

Pale Ale

The pale counterpart to Black Habit, best described as a Belgian pale with Northwest influence. Aroma is fresh and slightly spicy, and the mouthfeel is silky and effervescent. Tropical fruit flavors lead to a noticeably hoppy finish. Designed to go with meals. ABV about 6.7%. 

Farmhouse Ale

A session ale in the farmhouse tradition, this beer gets its name because it was first brewed on March 21 and first served on July 11, the two annual feasts of St. Benedict. Bears the fresh aroma of yeast. Complex flavor for a lighter beer, with a slightly tart and peppery finish. Stands well as a cold beverage on a summer day. ABV about 4.7%.

Perfect to go along with the Benedictine Pizza, shared by Tiffany back in 2012, over on my Catholic Cuisine website!


Super easy to make with a couple family size pizzas (cheese and pepperoni) from Papa Murphy's and a couple cans of black olives. Thankfully most of my kids love olives! 

Crux S. Patris Benedicti 
(The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict)

You can learn more about the Meaning of the Cross of St. Benedict Medal here

Our favorite picture book about St. Benedict is The Life of Saint Benedict by John McKenzie, O.S.B.

The book is based on his biography by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, and told by a Benedictine monk living today in Italy at the birthplace of Benedict. 


Speaking of the Monks of Norcia... Through marriage I ended up blessed with three FSSP priests as brother-in-laws and my little sister ended up with a Benedictine Monk, Brother Evagrius, as a brother-in-law! It was great to meet him this past weekend at Peter & JoAnn's wedding! 

A Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Benedict

Raise up in your Church, O Lord, 
the spirit with which our holy father Saint Benedict was animated, 
so that filled with the same spirit, 
we may strive to love what he loved and to practice what he taught. 
Through Christ our Lord, 

Saint Benedict, Ora Pro Nobis! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Wedding Reception Activity Book for Children

My little sister got married on Saturday! 

Being one of the youngest in our large family, with no children of her own yet, I don't think she quite understands how hard it can be to get a family of ten ready for a road trip, especially at 33/34 weeks pregnant, without the help of the teens who all have summer jobs!

I had planned to spend last Wednesday getting my hair cut and highlighted and then packing and loading the cars (with the 4th of July on Thursday and leaving by 5am on Friday) but instead of packing two of my girls and I spent the afternoon and evening crafting...

Tuesday night the bride-to-be called and asked if I could come up with activities for the 40+ children that were going to be at the wedding reception.... Ummm, sure? I probably should have said no, but I already had to say no to both her Bachelorette Weekend in Tahoe and her Bridal Shower in Portland. Coming up with activities for kids at the last minute... Now THAT was something I could do!  

I did some searching online and found this darling printable wedding activity book for kids.  

When our seven year old saw the books he cracked me up when he started singing
"I do, I do, I do, do do do do do do doo
Yeah, I do, I do, I do, do do do do do do doo"

Wedding Activity Book for Children: 
  • Printable Pages - 2 pages, front and back for each book (I used Costco's premium 24 weight 97 bright copy paper - nicer than plain copy paper, but also cheaper and easier to work with than card stock) 
  • X-acto Knife (for punching holes in spine of book for the twine to thread through) 
  • Twine (approx 16-18" per book) 
  • Scissors & Ruler

Personalized Crayon Packets: 
I had almost everything I needed to make these already, we just had to buy crayons.  

You'd think that the large packs of crayons would be the cheapest way to buy a lot of crayons (I needed around 400 crayons) but that wasn't the case, at least not at Walmart: 
  • 120 Crayola Colors = 5.8 cents each
  • 96 Crayola Colors = 5.2 cents each
  • 64 Crayola Colors = 4.6 cents each
  • 32 Crayola Colors = 5.5 cents each
  • 8 Crayola Colors = 10.9 cents each

Winner:  24 Crayola Colors @ $0.50 per box = only 2 cents each
(I spotted them hiding on the top shelf and I asked someone to help get them down for me.) 

We price checked the Cra-Z-Art Crayons too: 
  • 96 Crayons = 4.1 cents per crayon
  • 64 Crayons = 2.6 cents per crayon (getting better!) 

But the 24 Packs (only had a few left) were just $0.33 per box or a mere 1.3 cents per crayon! 

We ended up purchasing a mix of 24 Packs of Crayola Crayons (with the new Bluetiful color, perfect for a bride/wedding) and 24 packs of the Cra-z-art Crayons. 

Two of my girls took care of packaging up all the crayons while I assembled the activity books!


Each 4x6" treat bag would hold 11 crayons, so they would pull out two crayons from each 24 count box (different colors each time to make additional mixed color sets) and then divide the rest between two bags.

I was really pleased with how it all turned out, and so was my sister! 

I was also excited to see so many of the children using them at the reception as well. 
They were a hit! In fact there weren't any leftover by the end of the night.  


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Puppy Paw-ty

Twice the giggles! Double the fun!
It's time to celebrate YOU because you're turning TWO!! 

Our baby girl turned TWO a couple weeks ago and this year we celebrated with a puppy themed pawty! We have never had a dog, but one of her favorite things this past year has been "Doggies!" She will often round up all the stuffed dog animals from around the house to carry around in a basket or tuck into her bed. Her brother bought her a little plush dog house with five puppies for Christmas and it is still one of her favorite toys. The puppy theme was pawsitively perfect for her! ;)

We dressed her up in favorite hand-me-downs from her now fourteen year old sister and I was able to finish decorating her cake while she took her afternoon nap.

We have never been able to get her to sleep in a crib (or rather our pack-n-play since we never replaced our crib - plus she is so strong she can scale the sides of anything and throw herself out!) but she does love her DockATot Grand for naps. Who wouldn't?! It looks so comfy! 


The girls and I had fun coming up with ideas for the party menu! 

Paw Print Cupcakes (Gluten Free)


Fetch (Pretzel Sticks) • Puppy Kisses

Pretzel Bark • Bark Thins


Puppy Chow • Ruff-age

Hot Dogs

Pawsta Salad 


The Chocolate Lab was her favorite! She LOVES "Chotlit!" and berries (and dipping things!) and being able to combine it all was so much fun! ;)



I made her cake with 3 - 6" round cakes, cutting the domes off of each, and then just decorated it with various colors of frosting. It was really simple to make and turned out pretty cute! 


We picked out two doggies - Charlotte the Dog and Noah the Dog - from Cuddle + Kind along with a white Strolley made by Ollie Ella for the birthday girl! The hand-knit dolls came with a couple free prints that I added to the birthday banner (reused from our Sound of Music birthday) for decorations. 

I hid her gifts in my bathroom closet but she managed to find them before I had a chance to wrap them up for her. She didn't care and was so excited!  


Her eldest brother/Godfather also had a gift for her when he got back home from work. He wanted to give her one of his childhood favorite things... Blues Clues! The card he made her was so sweet too.


We decorated with our collection of stuffed dogs Ostheimer dogs, adding a few new wooden dogs to our collection. She was so cute walking her doggies around the coffee table before bedtime.   


In addition to the Masses she had offered for her by her uncles who are priests, she was also blessed with a double rainbow outside our home following the rain!

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow." ― G. K. Chesterton


Father had been stuck at the airport overnight, after his second flight back was cancelled due to mechanical issues, but his flight finally arrived and Sean picked him up just in time to join us for the birthday girl to blow out her candles on his way back to the parish!


Happy 2nd Birthday!