Friday, March 10, 2017

#7QT My New Veil- A Review

So, if you have been following my blog at all, you know that I am terribly behind in posts due to a particularly beautiful, Little Lady.  I am finally getting to write a review for a veil that was gifted to me in November.  I'm not receiving any payment for this review, all the opinions are my own and honest.  This is just my way of giving back to small, Catholic businesses because one good turn deserves another.  Linking up with Kelly on this snowy Friday!



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My top reason is that Marsha gave it to me.  It makes me insanely happy to deal with vendors whom I know on a first name basis.  Her shop has been added to my list of places to shop first, because, as per usual, dealing with a person is so much better than dealing with a corporation.  Please, remember to support small, Catholic businesses whenever possible.

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Marsha's shop name is Fleur-de-Lis veils and I have an affinity for all things French.  When I was little, all I wanted was to live in an old boarding house all covered in vines in gay Paris!



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The weight and drape of this veil is beautiful. It has a nice body and is not too stiff, and not too flimsy.  The fabric of this veil is the main reason it is my favorite out of my small collection.

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This veil is a rich black, with a bit of shine.  Black has always been a color that I wasn't too sure about for veils.  I didn't want something that looked frumpy and have seen black veils that are not a true black, but a bit faded.  The color of my new veil is absolutely perfect.



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I enjoy the feeling of how my veil falls on my shoulders.  As I said before, the weight of this is beautiful.  I have had veils that were so light, they could slip off and I would not notice. Part of my favorite parts of veiling is the physical sensation of the devotion.  It draws me into the Mass and payer, helping my mind not to wander.  I don't know if that sounds crazy, but it's the truth.



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My Little Lady enjoys my veil, as well.  She buries her  face in it as I hold her and holds it gently in her hand as she drifts to sleep.  It is such a sweet sight seeing her lovingly cuddled within my veil.

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Lastly, the lace pattern and finished edges are superb.  This veil has such detail and was crafted with exquisite attention to those details.  While there are many veils that look common, this veil is elegant and feminine.  I am already eyeing a veil for Cowgirl, perhaps for Christmas. Oh, and there is that pink, silk veil that would be perfect for Little Lady in a couple of years.

Thank you, Marsha for your sweet generosity!  Your kindness has deeply touched me and I will always treasure your meaningful gift.

Friday, February 24, 2017

SQT: First 12 Days of Nineveh 90

I am linking up with Kelly, a bit late, to share in seven VERY quick takes how the Nineveh 90 is going so far.



1
I needed this!! I really did.  With the crazy year of a new baby and Hubby's employment changes, life has been so busy that my prayer life was barely limping along.  What I learned in these first 12 days is that this challenge is most definitely challenging but also so delightful.  I am thankful to have a jump start on Lenten preparations.  I'm going into Lent aiming in the right direction, that is sure to make it more fruitful.

2
It is nice having the kids do this challenge with me, even though they are doing a modified version.  I enjoy sharing the journey with them and it helps keep me moving forward.  They seem to be enjoying it as well and life is a bit more peaceful in these parts since we have been praying and sacrificing more.  Not that all sibling squabbles have vanished, but in general everyone is trying harder to keep their eyes on Jesus and serve others well.

3
Intense, regular exercise is a relative term.  With three busy kids and a newborn, intense is anything that I can squeeze into my already packed day.  I had high hopes for big exercise plans, and I may just get there, but for now, marching in place for ever increasing amounts of time each morning and taking a walk mid-week has been as much as I can muster.  I do feel the difference in getting my body going and I am more aware of taking even an extra minute to exercise when I can. I am hoping to get a more regular schedule soon, however as my friend, Katie, points out, just making time to do anything while doing so much else is a victory.

4
Being cognoscente of my weaknesses, sin wise, has been an eye opener. It is not that I have never realized that I sin, or that I blatantly ignore it.  It is that I always strove not to sin, this time I am striving to overcome specific sins and it has been very humbling.  Hoping to make it to confession this weekend for February monthly confession.  It's already a busy Saturday, but no time like the present to turn back to God.

5
Spiritual warfare is real and as soon as I took on this challenge I could feel it gathering around me.  I also feel like the general craziness of the world around me has exploded since this challenge began.  We trudge on.  I keep praying and hoping for a conversion of our country, but moreover a conversion of those closest to me.  We could all use a bit of knee bending these day, I am not above it either.

6
For the first time, I am truly driven to pray the Rosary every day.  I have always felt a tug toward doing so and have tried many times, but this is the first time that I feel I have overcome the struggle to get to it being part of my day that I need.  I did miss a rosary when I was sick, fell asleep so early it just didn't happen.  I am trying to do the rosary earlier in the day...sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't, but it is on my radar.  That is a true blessing.

7
God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!!

How's your Nineveh 90 going?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Nineveh 90 for Kids

I have found that the surest way to not get to post something is to put in a previous post when I will be publishing.  It happens every time.  Sorry about that!

The Nineveh 90 began on on Monday.  It may be four days in, but it is never too late to repent and amend your ways, right?



I signed up to follow the program and am finding it challenging, but I need a challenge right now.  I'm truly hoping by the end of the 90 days, this plan has kicked my spiritual life into shape.  After explaining the program and the purpose to the children, they wanted to get on board--well, at least the two older ones.

It's wonderful that they are taking this on, but the requirements are a bit daunting even for an adult and I did not want it to become something I had to police for them.  Nor did I want them to get easily discouraged.  Fasting and praying are vital parts of building a solid faith formation.  It needs to be something that can be met with success to become a life long practice.

So, here is the modified version of the original 10 step plan.  I took out the exercise and sleep requirement because they are getting plenty of each, so there is no need.  However, alter this as you see fit.  The legalistic nature of the program is not the point, being more mindful of our actions and offerings to God is!


I will be posting photos of our prayer bouquets later this week.  For instruction on how to make your own look here.  How is your Nineveh 90 going?




 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy St Valentine's Day!!

I am jumping on here quickly to wish everyone a happy St Valentine's Day.  Little Lady is asleep in her swing and I have lots to do but, I wanted to give you a peak at our annual tea.


A simple one this year because of time and money constraints but everyone enjoyed it and it is always nice to have some family time apart from the normal hustle and bustle.

We signed up for the Ninevah90 yesterday--had I known we were going to, I would have planned this over the weekend instead.  I know we are supposed to be fasting but, St Valentine is a favorite saint of ours, so we are feasting in his honor. Tomorrow back to the fast!!

If you pop back tomorrow, I will have up my modified Ninevah90 that the kids and I designed for them to participate.  I did not want them to be overwhelmed by the requirements, nor me to have to keep on top of them to make sure they are following the plan.  If you have kids, this could be the perfect way for you to join in and still keep your sanity!

Until tomorrow, Little Lady wishes you a good day!

 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Little Lady's Baptism in #7QT

So, it's been awhile, huh?  I never planned on taking such a long break but such is life.  I really wanted to share these last week, but missed the link-up.  I'm linking up with Kelly, who has some fantastic news, for #7QT

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This little lady was baptized on January 22nd.  It was, coincidentally, also the 23rd anniversary of my first date with Hubby.  Hard to believe it has been that long.  

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We asked our dear friends from Teams of Our Lady to be Little Lady's godparents.  They were thrilled beyond belief.  It was such a blessing to have godparents so in love with getting to be godparents. Here is Godmommy getting Little Lady dressed. {Please don't tell anyone, but with every baby, we take over the hospitality room at church.  No one has ever said we can't but I don't think we have ever asked if we could.} 

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Just like for Little Man and Cowgirl, I had a gown made for Little Lady. It was a special one because it highlighted little treasures that had been my grandmother's.  Her bonnet I made from the handkerchief my grandmother carried for my wedding.  The under skirt lace is from my grandmother's curtains.  The vertical lace detail on the skirt is made from two lengths of lace that I found in my grandmother's drawer when cleaning out her house. They were all rolled up neat and proper, the way my grandmother always did things.  I like this gown so much because every time I look at it, I like it even more!  It is beautiful and a wonderful heirloom.

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I added some finishing touches to the gown.  Hubby's aunt visited us about two weeks before the baptism. She brought to me a miraculous medal that had been sent with her by her friend, who just so happens to be the founder of Carrabba's Italian Grill.  Mama Carrabba's pastor had traveled to Rome recently and she asked him to bring her back a box of medals to hand out.  He did even better, he bought the medals and then had them blessed by Pope Francis during a private audience. She sent one with Aunt Kathy for Little Lady and I am so immensely touched.  

I decided to attach it to her under skirt with a pin that my mother had sent me at college.  It had been attached to a card with a "Prayer for My Daughter" printed on it.  On the back of the pin, it says, "God bless you, always!"  This will now be Little Lady's treasure and I can't wait to get to tell her how special it is and how much her Grandma would have loved her.

I also made a little corsage for Little Lady, as I had made boutenierres for the boys' baptisms.  However, I realized half way through the baptism that I forgot to put it on her!  Oh, well!  I'm still going to keep it with her little keepsakes from the baptism.

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It was a beautiful baptism and oh so perfect.  We kept everything simple, partially because it was planned last minute.  We scheduled the baptism on Wednesday afternoon and had it on Sunday afternoon. Not many people could make it, but the most important ones were there--Little Lady, her godparents, and Our LORD.

I was a little disappointed, though, because I had been saving a veil that Marsha had gifted me just for this occasion.  It is a beautiful black veil made of the softest fabric.  However, I had not thought to bring a clip or any bobby pins with me.  After fighting all Mass to have the veil stay on my head--and losing--while I nursed and bounced and tended to Little Man, I had to admit defeat.  I didn't want to be a distraction to the baptism, so I had to remove my veil.  I still had on my everyday covering, but I had so wanted to wear that beautiful veil and it was odd not to have my head fully covered.

I have since ordered sew on clips and will be wearing it again this weekend. I am planning on having Hubby take photos so I can post a full and proper review of the veil. Please stop back, these veils are absolutely wonderful! Thanks, again, Marsha.

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I do wish, sometimes, that I could hire a photographer for events like this.  Pictures never turn out exactly how I would like and there are always one that we miss taking.  But that really is a frivolous luxury, so I am choosing to be content that we have the photos we do.

This is my friend, Marie, who made Little Lady's gown with lots of love and prayers.

7
Well, the best laid plans of Mice and Men....We had planned on just having take out from a diner down the street which has lots of gluten free options with the godparents and their children for supper.  We spent so long thinking and choosing what to order.  Then Hubby called to place the order and the restaurant was closed!!!  CLOSED!  What diner closes by 2 on a Sunday?????

We thankfully found another restaurant to get take out and finally had something to eat.  For dessert, I made an allergy friendly, blueberry pie, and bought some allergen free cookies.  No pictures...just know the pie was delicious!

Welcome to the Church, Little Lady!!





Friday, December 30, 2016

SQT: Our Little Christmas Present

This post has only taken 11 days to write, I don't think it is a record or anything but I thought I would be honest.  Linking up with Kelly this Friday.



1
My last post I highlighted all the activities we had going on this advent.  I kept joking that I had a break on my calendar from the evening of the 18th until the afternoon of the 21st; just enough time to have a baby and make it home from the hospital.  Hubby asked if I had conferences with the baby on that and written it on her agenda.  Everyone laughed, but....

2
The evening of the 17th, I started to feel off.  After a night of contractions and no sleep, I knew labor was on it's way.  We got the kids packed up and the house in order, then headed to Mass. It was Bambinelli Sunday, something the kids look forward to each year.  I gathered up all our bambinos into my purse; but accidentally forgot Little Man's.  He was not happy with me, but I was too distracted to really be upset about it.  As Mass progressed, I knew for sure this was the real thing.

3
After Mass, Hubby asked Father if he would hear confession for me since I had not felt well enough to make it the day before.  (I have been fighting a nasty cold since the 16th, it just won't go away.)  Father agreed, he asked if I was uncomfortable and I said yes. He got nervous and said, "Okay, we'll get this done quickly."

I cried through confession--another sign labor was hitting.  Afterward, Father gave me and the baby a blessing and said that he would be praying for us.  We headed to the car, and I told Hubby it was definitely time to drop off the kids.   

4
We drove the kids to my friend, Mary's house, and then called the midwife.  My contractions were now about 2 minutes apart and building in intensity.  The midwife was already at the hospital so she asked us to come straight there.  We arrived at the hospital at 4:30 pm.  (Three hours after leaving our parish--that was a long car ride!)

Even though the contractions were close and strong, Hubby was right, we had plenty of time.  It was a long day with intensifying labor, and a cold that wouldn't quit. If I wasn't breathing my way through a contraction, I was blowing my nose--sometimes both at once!

By 1:45 am, I was tired and baby still wasn't born.  The midwife tried re-positioning the baby's head and then broke my water.  The contractions became overwhelming.  Just when I thought I couldn't do any more, delivery began.  

5
At 3:04 AM, Cecilia Anne made her arrival into my arms.  She was a little slow to cry because she had swallowed so much fluid, but has since made up for it and has a very strong pair of lungs.  My midwife took pictures, but I don't have them yet.  Here is on from that morning...we were so disoriented from being up all night.
For this blog, she will be known as Little Lady.  Look at those long fingers, perfect for the harp, don't you think?

6
After a very busy two days at the hospital, we finally headed home.  Arrived just in time to get the kids fed, changed, and out the door for Cowgirl's Christmas concert.  Mission accomplished.  

It was a very busy rest of the week adjusting to the baby, getting the kids resettled and gearing up for Christmas.
  Ready to head home, snuggled in the blanket my mom made for my trip home.

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Christmas was quiet but good.  Mass, gifts, Chinese food, and movies.  Little Lady slept through the Mass in her carrier, which was great because we got there a couple minutes late and it was standing room only.  


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
   
 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

SQT: Advent Highlights


Linking up with Kelly to bring you some highlights of what we have been up to the past three weeks.



1
So, I'm a day late and a dollar short (but that's a different post) with my SQT.  I have a good reason though. If you keep reading, you will see where we were last night and I wanted to include that in this post.  We have been BUSY!  I really had hoped for a quiet Advent but, it's been all good things.  I am fully intending on taking off a few weeks around Christmas.  The thing with big kids is that it isn't quite so intensive in  a hands on sort of way like with toddlers and babies, but they have activities, social engagements, ideas, volunteer hours. We really try to keep activities to a manageable level.  If it meets more than once a week or interferes with Mass, we don't do it.  We only play sports that are limited to a game and a practice--not four practices and five games.  However, it still adds up and I have been trying hard to keep up with it all.  (especially when we signed up for four "once a month on Fridays activities" which my pregnant brain was unable to figure out meant we are somewhere every Friday.)

2
St Nicholas Day is always a favorite time.  We had a full day, even though I scaled back a bit.  I really wasn't feeling well that day--very uncomfortable and tired--so there aren't many pictures.  In fact, there are even less that I thought there were.  
  The kids put out the shoes on the hearth, including ours.

 Little Man worked all week making gifts to leave for St Nicholas.  Don't ask me what they are, they were apparently very important.  Thankfully, St Nick was very happy to take them away.

In the morning, the children awakened to treats in their shoes.  There were even treats that they left for Hubby and I.  While I usually do a big breakfast, it didn't happen this year, but the chocolate and oranges disappeared very quickly.


 For lunch we made homemade pizza in the shape of a bishop's miter, or at least that was the plan.  I'm not sure how obvious it is.  We also had homemade hot cocoa.

The day was spent making crafts and gifts as usual.  We usually make gingerbread houses, but this year we made a foam decoration instead. 

For dinner it was cranberry chicken, glazed carrots, sweet potato sacks, biscuits, and cranberry mors to drink.  After dinner, we relaxed by the fire and just enjoyed the warmth. 

3
We had co-op,  Immaculate Conception Mass, book report day, 4-H meeting/Christmas party, a gallery opening, Sunday Mass, and a family cookie party to round out the week.  The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe--a favorite of my children--found us scrambling to try to catch up on house work and school work after a very busy week.  We did have Mexican for dinner. Whew!

4
Next up was the feast of St Lucy.  We celebrated at night because Hubby had to go into work far too early for me to be okay with everyone being awoken.  So we shut off all the light, lit a fire and our St Lucy served us crescent rolls, gingerbread, peanut butter cookies, and tea.



I need to upgrade this wreath next year. While it still looks beautiful, the battery operated candles shorted out and I actually burnt my finger trying to get one closed.  So the candles had no light, but it was still a nice evening. 

5
The next day had us up and out early for orchestra practice, followed by Buddy's recital for chimes choir (like handbells).  We came home just in time to get ready to meet my children's hero, Magnus MacFarlane Barrow, founder of Mary's Meals.
 
Every kid has that hero, the person he would love to meet. The person that when she can get a ticket to even just see their celebrity, she tells everyone she knows for weeks and wears her fan shirt in the hopes of getting it autographed. I can't tell you what it does to our hearts that for our kids, that person is Magnus, founder of Mary's Meals.
School + food= Hope, that is the Mary's Meals Ambassador motto. Through the children's MM Club, over 650 children in Malawi are fed each day at school, just a small percentage of the 1.6 million fed each day by the world wide charity. Over 93% of all donations, go right to the poorest children to not only give them a meal, but to change the world. If you are looking for a charity to support, we can't say enough about Mary's Meals. Meeting the founder was such an inspirational evening.
If anyone has any questions, I know two ambassadors who are more than willing to answer them.
   
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Last night, we traveled down to our friends' parish, a little over an hour away, to visit the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  My children had been looking forward to this for months.
 
Not the best photo, it was very busy.  I was so happy to have a front row seat, though.
 


One of my children's best friends and Buddy's "future bride" helping prepare the incense.

Knights of Columbus color guard
 
 
 My favorite place to be is in front of the Blessed Sacrament in adoration.

Each family was given the opportunity to come up and do a private adoration at the foot of the monstrance.  These are our dear friends.  Wish I had a photo of the children and I praying.  It was a beautiful experience.
 
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 That is the end of my agenda for this month. We have our TEAMS of Our Lady meeting tonight but the weather is still not great so that is up in the air.  My next plans revolve around having this baby and making it to the hospital.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Winter weather is not easy when you have to travel over an hour to a hospital in labor.  I'm praying for an easy drive and delivery.
 
If you are looking for any other Advent ideas, I have three articles posted at Seton Magazine--here, here, and here.
 
How is your Advent going so far?