Thursday, July 30, 2015

{p, h, f, r} Choo Choo Look Who's Two!

I have to warn you, this is a bit of a photo dump, but my Little Man turned 2 so I had to share.

It was a beautiful but hot day for the party--hottest all summer!  I made a couple of simple decorations and then the big kids decided to help make a couple more. We had a very simple party but it was very cute!
The banner says "Choo Choo I'm Two" but it wouldn't come out in any of the pictures.

Buddy's decoration

Cowgirl's decoration

A train centerpiece with "snack" car.  I had planned on making three cars to hold the dry snacks (pretzels, corn chips, and popcorn) but was only able to hunt down one box.


I really wanted a special outfit for Little Man.  They grow so quickly, I might as well get the cutsy thing in while I can.  I scoured Etsy for just the right thing, and came very close to finding it, but the cost was more than I could justify.  So, I took matters into my own hands.  I found a very nice romper on ebay for $18 with shipping.  Then, I created an applique out of felt to add some personalization.  It came out pretty good, but don't look too closely at my stitches.  It took until I was sewing the last wheel on to figure out that if I unsnapped the crotch, I could actually fit my hand inside comfortably to sew....sigh.

I was happy that I found an economical outfit because it gave me a little room to splurge on the cake.  I visited a local bakery.  (I should say the only local bakery for miles around, but if you are only going to have one, it helps when it's the best!) I had planned on purchasing 50 cupcakes with blue and green sprinkles, then making them into the shape of a number 2, adding licorice laces for track and placing the train I bought Little Man on the tracks.  The problem was, I couldn't find licorice laces anywhere.  The bakery was my last hope as they sell Dutch specialties, too.  I asked the cashier, after ordering my cupcakes, if they sold licorice laces because I planned on using them for track.  I told her about my vision for the cupcakes.  She told me they didn't, but she could have the baker make the cupcakes into a 2,  frost the whole thing, and pipe a track on it to boot.  I was sold.  It cost a little bit more, but with a heat index of 105 degrees, there was no way I was turning on my oven to make 50+ cupcakes, and the big kids were doing a Polar bear Swim Challenge each morning EARLY, then had afternoon swim lessons.  My time was short and I realized it.  The cake turned out even better than I could have imagined and I was so happy I left this job to the professionals, even though I normally bake all the birthday cakes myself.


This little guy is funny, it is so hard to get a picture of him.  Nine times out of ten, i can only catch one if he is eating.  I sat him on the bench and asked him to smile so I could take his picture.  Of course, he made this crazy face that made him look half drunk.  I asked for a nice smile, and got the top picture--then I realized he wasn't wearing his birthday outfit yet.  I had wanted a nice picture to get made up for family...alas this is what I have!

I can't believe my little roley poley baby boy has grown so much!  Where did the time go?

I must learn to stop blinking, already!!!

How has your week been?  Hop over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Meal: Ham and Black Beans and more

Dwija is having a recipe link up.  I don't have any pictures, but wanted to jump on the bandwagon.  My slow cooker is my right arm, my favorite household tool.  It's like my own personal chef.  I dump it all in the in the morning and have dinner ready for me at night.  I have a collection of slow cookers, three to be exact....maybe I should photograph that!?!

Anyway, this is my favorite easy recipe and my family gobbles it up.  it just may be the easiest recipe I have.  I like the dump and walk away technique of slow cooking.  If a recipe has multiple steps, requires extensive prep or asks to precook portions of the ingredients, I usually walk away.  My one exception is the fact that I have a slow cooker plate that works with my Kitchen Kraft pots.  I can start something on the stove and then add the rest of the ingredients before placing on the plate.  My traditional round slow cooker with removable crock is what I use for side dishes like sweet potatoes or beets.  I also use it for desserts like pumpkin pudding. 

Without further adieu, here is my recipe:

  • One hambone with some ham still attached (If you like a lot of ham, add some mre in, if not put in just the bone)

  • One pound dry black beans

  • One box beef stock

  • 2 cups of water

Optional add ins:
A shot or two of Worcheshire sauce
One chopped onion
A shot of soy sauce

Place ham bone in slow cooker, pour remaining ingredients over top.  Make sure that the beans are completely covered with liquid.  Turn it on and walk away.  It has to cook at least 6-8 hours but tastes even better when it goes a little longer.  We serve it over rice, baked potatoes, or just straight up in a bowl.  Makes great quesadilla filling when left over.  We often add hot sauce to left overs and mix it with some gluten free pasta and shredded cheese for an easy Chili Mac dinner.  We can seriously get at least 4-5 meals out of one pot of black beans and ham, and my children are all very big eaters.  We just keep reusing, re-purposing, and adding a little of this or that to stretch the beans.

This recipe makes a really generous portion and I usually have more than we can eat in a couple of meals.  I freeze a large Pyrex container for another night when I don't have time to cook, and I have my slow cooker do the work of getting it heated up as well.  I simply place the frozen portion in the crock and set on low, with in 5-6 hours it is piping hot and delicious!

So, as I write this, I am feeling inspired to share, let's make this a Five Fave post and link up with Jenna, too.


Crockpot Chicken
This is the most versitle and easy recipe out there and again makes extras for left overs.

  • One "family" package chicken leg quarters (if frozen start on high and then switch to low 2 hours in)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • One spring rosemary
Put chicken in the crock pot, drizzle over oil, top with rosemary.  Cook until you are ready for dinner (6+ hours) on low.   What's that you say? No fresh rosemary?  No problem.  Season the chicken anyway you like--salt and pepper; celery seed, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt; Seasoned salt and paprika; or onion powder and oregano.  Really anything you want.  We use the left over chicken in salads, soups, and pasta dishes.  I save the broth made by slow cooking and use it in place of water to make tasty rice or a delicious, hearty soup the next day.


Lemon Chicken
  • One whole chicken with gizzard bag removed  
  • One whole lemon
  • salt and pepper
Place lemon inside chicken cavity, put chicken in crock pot, season with salt and pepper.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  That's it. 


"Mole" Chili

My youngest son is allergic to tomatoes, that has changed our diet quiet a bit. One thing we missed the most was chili.  I develped this tomato free chili to fill that void.  Best of all, it is so easy!
  • One bag of beans (We like to use pinto or black beans but you can use any bean you like)
  • One onion chopped
  • One small jar pickled jalepeno slices
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 3 Tbsp unprocessed cocoa powder (The kind for baking not hot chocolate.) 
  • 2 Tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (optional--but adds some body)
  • 2 baked sweet potatoes with skins removed, mashed (optional--again adds body to sauce.  I have been known to cheat and use sweet potato baby food)
  • One pound ground meat, browned (optional--If you don't have time to brown the meat, just have a meatless chili, we eat it both ways.)
Add first 8 ingredients to slow cooker along with meat and sweet potatoes, if desired.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours on low until beans are tender.  Add cocoa and chocolate and cook on low an additional hour.  Serve with sour cream.


Spinach and Rice "Quiche"

This isn't a slow cooker meal, but it is a family favorite and so easy to make.
  • 1 serving brown rice (I use minute rice or left over)
  • 1 box frozen spinach at least partially defrosted
  • 6-8 eggs beaten
  • garlic salt
  • grated cheese
In a rectangular baking dish (mine is about 6 x 10) spread rice on the bottom.  Top with spinach. Sprinkle on garlic salt and grated cheese to taste, I only use a very little Parmesan cheese.  Pour beaten eggs over top so that they fill the pan and cover the rice and spinach.  Bake at 350 until middle is set.  Cut into squares and serve.

Any great recipes that you have to share?  Post them in the comments, please.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grand Opening Coupon and Giveaway!

Today is the day I picked to do a Grand Re-Opening of my Etsy shopJessica and I must have been on the same wave length, because she posted a review and giveaway of my items.  Please hop over to her site and check it out.  For all my readers, I also have a special coupon code, GRANDOPENING15 for 10% off any order.  Thank you!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Let's Get Planning: Early American History

Two Seven Quick Takes in one week.  I'm on a role and have actually met my goal of four posts in one week. (My next Catholic 365 article will be published on August 4th).  Here are our history plans for the year.  We are mainly focusing on American history this year after doing a lot of world history the past three years.  We will be picking up at pre-revolutionary times and finishing up pre-Civil War.

Land of Our Lady History Series (Set of 5)
After months of researching and a flurry of emails back and forth to Jessica, I decided to purchase the Land of Our Lady series as our history anchor text last spring.  We have really been enjoying it.  It is well written and highlights Catholic achievements that most books skip.  No textbook is completely comprehensive, so we still supplement.  However, I feel that this series is the most comprehensive of the history textbooks I have previewed.  Next year, we will be working in Leaders of Freedom.
We have been collecting the American Adventure series for a few years now.  We finally have enough in a row to use it as a continuous read in history.  These books could be a complete history study in themselves, I decided to continue to use Land of Our Lady so we get a Catholic perspectives as well.  Although I have not found anything anti-Catholic in the series, it is not a Catholic series so adding a Catholic touch make a more complete curricula.  We hope to read from volume #1 through volume #15. 
Famous Men of Modern Times
One of my favorite genres is biographies.  The Famous Men series is well presented with full color illustrations.  We will be using the Famous Men of Modern Times to highlight some of the men that shaped our history.  I wish there were a Famous Women series that includes only women who worked for good.  I have been trying to find a companion to this but all of the famous women sources I have found include women that I would rather not celebrate--maybe I'll have to write my own.  We will be starting at Henry of Navarre and reading through the rest of the book.  This will bring us back aways before the revolution but I think it will help the children understand what was going on that fueled the creation of a new country.
Holy Friends: Thirty Saints and Blesseds of the Americas: Amadeo, Diana M., Lombardo, Irina, Curreli, Augusta
This is by far one of my very favorite saint books.  My children enjoy it as well.  We have read through Holy Friends a few times already, but it has been awhile since we did it cover to cover.  This year we will highlight Blessed Laura Vicuna, Saint Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Blessed Junipero Serra, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, Saint Theodore Guerin, and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. 
Liberty's Kids: The Complete Series, 4-DVD Set   -
I think that Liberty's Kids is the best cartoon series ever!  I really wish they would decide to do another series on the Civil War or another historical time period.  My children were pretty much addicted to this series a few years ago when it was on Netflix.  When it was discontinued, there was near panic here.  However, I found the complete series on DVD through CBD for only $4.99.  Right now, it is priced at $7.49, which is still a deal. 
Adventures in Odyssey ® For God & Country  -
In addition, I also purchased  Adventures in Odyssey For God & Country.  Individual tracks of the series can be purchased as downloads for only $1.99 each here.
I am excited to dig into this book this year.  I do not know how far we will make it with all the other reading we are doing, but the fact that it shows Washington praying on the cover makes me think that whatever we read will be worth it.  My children really like history so they will gladly continue reading this over the summer. 
Lastly, I am hoping to create a timeline with the kids starting at the landing of the pilgrims and ending at the civil war.  I will need to figure out where to hand this, as wall space is very limited.  As we study famous people and saints we can add in their details as well.  A book timeline may be a better option.  When I decide and we begin working I will post pictures.
How are your plans coming along?  Any American history resources to recommend?

{p, h, f, r} It's been Quite a Week!

We've had a very full week.  Here are the highlights, linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter.

It was a beautiful day for our annual swim meet.  Hubby even got to come for the first time, ever.  A little icing on the cake...both kids won gold!

Mom, just take the picture so we can go play with our friends!

Cowgirl and I were happy to get out to the drive-in and see the movie Inside-Out.  It's so hard to find good movies and this one was really good!  We rolled back into the house at 11PM on a Wednesday night.  Lots of partying going on this week, but that's what summer vacation is all about!
Buddy is happy that he can now ride a two wheeler without training wheels! I tried getting a better picture but he was too busy zooming around and didn't want to slow down for the camera.
So the little guy deserves a little press time, too.  What is funnier than a toddler, right!  He has figured out that when they ring the bell at the beach it means ice cream is for sale.  He runs over and stands in line with all the big kids, so of course, ice cream is now called "ding, ding".  I only let him get it once a week, but it makes his day.  He looked like he was doing such a great job when I was snapping some pictures, then I walked to the other side of the table, where he was sitting and realized he had a stream of ice cream running down his front.  OOPS!  He's still cute!
There are no pictures for this, although I might start taking them to show my son when he grows up why I have so many gray hairs.  This is Buddy's injury roster for the week:
Sunday: Ran into art cabinet, stubbed four toes at once.  Tripped over step stool and scrapped shin.
Monday: Cut ankle on a twig while working on his tree house.  Got into a hornet's nest and got stung over twenty times.  Received several deep scratches from thorns as he tried to escape the hornets.
Tuesday: Cut shin working on tree house. Tripped over a shopping bag and twisted ankle.
Wednesday: Stepped on an earring while playing in the sand, puncture wound treated by life guards.
Thursday: Rides directly into my aunt's car bumper trying out for the first time the Mongoose bike I won when I was pregnant for him, bruises his thigh, dents the bumper. Cuts other shin on a rock during tree house construction, then slices open palm with a hammer (?).
Friday:  The day is still young but he just asked for his saw...LORD have mercy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Let's Get Planning: Our Fabulous Fifty States

I'm doing a Seven Quick Takes post today, but will link it up on Friday once Kelly has the link-up going.  Here is the second unit study--please be advised, I am going in no particular order.

We picked up, somewhere along the way, a states and capitals bingo game.  I wasn't able to find the exact one, but this is very similar.  Seems like a fun way to learn them, and I could use a refresher anyway.
 U.S. States and Capitals Bingo (CDPCD8913) Category: Educational Games

This set is a bit pricey at $34, however I found a number of design your own bingo cards sites, like this one and this one, if you prefer to DIY it.
How the States Got Their Shapes 
Netflix is a tool that I often over look when lesson planning, but I discovered the series "How the States Got their Shapes" through one of their ad banners and decided I had to use it for our unit study.  I have watched most of season 1 and it is so interesting and entertaining, at the same time, I am learning more than I ever knew about state boundaries and how our history shaped them.  If you don't have Netflix, you can watch full episodes right on the History channel website.  There are even bonus features.  I don't know that all the episodes are there, but there is still a ton of good information.  Barnes & Nobles carries the book upon which the series is based.  Regardless of where you watch, check out Krazy Kuehner Days blog for worksheets corresponding to each episode.
We are going to eat our way across the USA!  I started doing this with the kids a few years ago, but well, things got complicated and we never got very far.  I'm hoping to make it all the way through this year.  I will have to do some adapting to meet all our food allergy requirements, but as I do, I will post the modifications.  Another great resource, and my inspiration for doing this the first time, is Jessica's State by State Study collection of yummy recipes.
States & Capitals, Twin Sisters
I picked up a few audio cassettes from Twin Sisters at the homeschool conference.  What better way to learn than listening as you motor along to this place and that.  I'm excited to see that iTunes has the albums available for download, since we only have a tape player in the car.  I am going to add it to the kids mp3 player playlist.  I normally only allow audiobooks on there, but this is for school so it's all good. 
For the written portion of this unit study, I am going to purchase and print Catholic Inspired's One Nation Under God notebooking collection.  I really like that Jennifer created a great research project about our country with a Catholic twist.  Check out her other printables, too, so much good stuff!  I'm hoping I am able to get a printer and set it up before school starts up again.
50 States (Fandex Family Field Guides)
To help in completing the notebooking pages, I have assembled a collection of fun fact resources.  First, I have the 50 States Fandex, these are always so much fun to use.  We are also going to use Exploring the States by the Clever Factory, Travel the Great States by School Zone, All About America Sticker Book, and the Discover America State by State alphabet books.  I was unable to find a link to the sticker book we have (it's been around for awhile) but I discovered this Dover sticker book and think I will pick one up as well.
Finally, we are going to have a license plate scavenger hunt.  We did this a few years ago and found every state except Hawaii.  There are many different versions of this and I actually plan on using two printables for this activity.  Mom's Minivan has a simple printout of all the state's names.  We are going to use it to keep a tally of how many we see of each state--our home state not withstanding--and then graph it at the end of the year.  iMom has a very nice version of the license plate game that I am so excited to find.  It is great because it has a picture of each license plate that the kids mark off as they spot them.  This is great because at least we know what we are searching for while zooming down the interstate.
That's our geography plan in a nutshell.  Any great state study resources I missed?


Monday, July 20, 2015

Etsy Shop Grand Opening Soon!

How is your summer going?  Mine is flying by!  Seems that the weeks are passing in a blink of an eye.  One of my summer project is to get my Etsy shop back up and running.  So that is my main task for this week.  I will be having a grand re-opening early next week.  Stop back for coupon codes.  Have a blessed day.
By the way, what do you  think of the new blog format?  I've been working at cleaning it up and upgrading it's appearance a bit.  I would love some feedback.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

{p, h, f, r} The Beautiful Doll Edition

I was recently asked to do a post about a new doll company and thought, "Why not make it into a {p, h, f, r} post?"  I am a doll lover!!! ( I know, technically, I cannot love a doll because it is incapable of sharing emotions, but the English language is so limited in this capacity).  So I am pleased to introduce Dolls from Heaven and their heavenly dolls.


The picture speaks for itself as far as beauty, but let me add a little information.  This is the first prototype doll.  She is St Therese.  Who doesn't love St Therese?  (Yes, I know I used the same word, and this time it was genuine, lets come up with a new, useful word to add to our lexicon instead of all these texting abbreviations, please!) She is gorgeous.  Her habit is well designed with much attention to detail.  At $100, she easily competes with those other 18" dolls that are quickly loosing their appeal in my opinion.  This is a doll that can be treasured for many years and speak to a child's heart!


  I am happy that the company has designed a second outfit for the doll as well as lovely accessories.  The second outfit, which is so beautiful, is only $28.  That is a bargain compared to many doll clothes on the market and so much more appealing. I really appreciate dolls that inspire imagination, who lead girls away from the everyday and to a kinder, gentler place.  I also really appreciate that she comes with a book, a story to bring the dolls to life.


My daughter has been systematically giving away all of her doll collection--not that she was ever much of a doll aficionado.  She had a couple, but they were mostly just around to ride the toy horses, which were the main attraction.  I am pining to own one of these beautiful dolls and searching for a reason that I must buy one!  Every time I see I beautiful, Catholic, doll accessory or outfit, I try very hard to talk Cowgirl into reconsidering her position on playing with dolls.  It isn't working.  BUT, I see that there are some male saint dolls in the works as well.  I'm thinking that Little Man will need one of these at some point--whether he wants it or not!  LOL!   Unless an 18" doll is an appropriate gift for a blogger turning 40 in less than a year--not that I know any bloggers turning 40, I'm only 29.  My husband can attest to it ;)  (I'm hoping St Peter can overlook that little white lie.) 


Without your support, this faithfilled and beautiful venture will not get off the ground.  Please consider pre-ordering a doll or book or even just donating a bit of money to help this family fulfill their dream.   Go to their Indegogo campaign page and do your part in bringing light into this dark world for our children.  Thank you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Shelter the Homeless

The statistics on homelessness is staggering--while it is hard to get an accurate number, all told it is in the millions just in the United States.  Sadly, the fasting growing population of homeless is children.  Here are five ways that you and your family can help in five really quick bites.

Support Habitat for Humanity.  It is an incredible organization, changing the lives of homeless people and families, one simple house at a time.  In high school, I did a lot of fundraising and publicity for Habitat for Humanity.  At that point, it was not as well known as today.  I have never gotten to actually work on a Habitat house, but I think I am going to try to find a project near by that Buddy and I can support with a little elbow grease.  He loves to build and I miss getting to, wood shop was my favorite class in middle school. Even if you can't swing a hammer, you can help out and save money at the same time.  Check out one of their Re-Store thrift shops selling all kind of household goods and building supplies. We have one about an hour away that I plan on visiting for our next home improvement project.

 Want to help those in your community and in the most need but don't know how to find them?  Check out this database of homeless shelters and call to find out their greatest need.  

Not all of the homeless are sleeping on the streets of the nearest city--millions live in orphanages, longing for a forever home.  I have always wanted to adopt and pray that some day I will get the opportunity.  Whether you are in the position to welcome another child into your home or not, you can help by supporting organizations like Show Hope.  Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, Show Hope works to assist families in adopting children from over sea and domestically.  Through financial and emotional support, it is changing lives.  Show Hope also runs Maria's Big House of Hope, named for the Chapman's daughter who was tragically killed at the age of five.  Maria's Big House of Hope offers medical care to waiting orphans in China, including life saving surgeries that they would otherwise not receive.  I cannot say enough about this organization.  When international adoption rates dropped recently, Show Hope began domestic adoption assistant programs in all the home countries they service.  This provides a waiting child with a loving family, and waiting parents with the family they desire.  Simply remarkable!

Orphans in China and Nigeria are not the only children waiting for a home.  Some children need temporary homes to love them through difficult times.  The foster care system in America is bursting at the seams.  While, we boast that there are no orphanages in America, we have thousands upon thousands children in group homes or being shuttled between temporary houses for years.  If you are willing and able, the need is great.  To find out more about how you can help, check out Cry of the Orphan to learn about fostering, adopting, and other means of support.

   Lastly, try to bring the wayward Catholics home.  So many have fallen away or just stopped coming to Mass.  Reach out to those that you know and encourage them to rediscover their faith.  Evangelization must start with those who have already been catechized, even if it was poorly, to rebuild our Catholic communities. Pray for the conversion of your loved ones, your neighbors, our country at large, and especially our enemies.  God wishes that none should perish, help to lead as many as you can to their eternal home.

Linking up with Jenna at Call Her Happy.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Let's Get Planning: First Confession Preparation

I have been working really hard to catch up in the planning department before our insanely busy August hits. (Why does summer break never seem to be relaxing?)  Here is the first in my series of unit studies that we are using next year.  I am taking more of a topical approach and moving away from so many textbooks and workbooks.  It really is closer to how we had been homeschooling before Little Man appeared on the scene and life got crazy crazier with my mom's advancing illness.  However, this is the most out of the box curriculum I have designed yet--it looks good on paper:)  I have decided I will need an extra tall glass of water and some good reading glass with me at all times, this curriculum is heavy on read-alouds, however, if you choose, the child could read independently.  We are just a read-aloud loving family.


This book I picked up second hand but in like new condition.  It is published by Our Sunday Visitor. A workbook of sorts, it is more reading than answering questions and filled with colorful pictures.  I see on the website that there are a number of resources to go with this book, however, it could definitely be used as a stand alone, and that is what I intend to do.

I know that I have sung the praises of Holy Heroes in the past, but they truly are one of my favorite Catholic companies.  My children have so enjoyed their Glory Stories.  This CD is volume 2 in the Altar Gang series, a very engaging series!  We have already been listening to this and it has surely joined the ranks of favorites.  By the way, if you order this CD, be sure to order your free copy of Volume 1 Glory Stories which included Blessed Imelda the patroness of First Communicants.


Jessica at Shower of Roses is one of my most favorite homeschooling moms.  I love her not only for her amazing ideas, but for the beautiful person she is inside and out.  For a hands on part of our preparation, I plan on using her Ten Commandments lapbook.  I want to add a pocket for the little prayer card that was handed out in Church with the Act of Contrition printed on it.  I would also like to come up with a child friendly examination of conscience to include.  I will post pictures when we finish.


We discovered Brother Francis at VBS a couple of years ago.  Well done and entertaining, every episode is a gem.  I plan to purchase this episode to add to our collection.


These St Joseph picture books are so wonderful and very affordable, usually around $2.  Do not let their little size fool you, they are packed with information and solid catechism.  This book does have an examination of conscience that I may just type up and include in the lapbook so that Buddy can refer to it easily.


Susan Brindle and her sisters have created my favorite sacrament books of all time.  We are blessed to have the entire set in one volume.  I have read it cover to cover at least three times with the children, every time they are in tears when it was over, begging for more.  These books are out of print, but if you can find one, please buy it.  You will not be disappointed!


Jennifer at Catholic Inspired is another homeschooling mom that you must meet.  I have been following her blog since it was called "Craftolic" and have enjoyed everything she has had to offer.  A truly talented mom with many talented kids, Jennifer knows how to make Catechism come alive without watering it down.  Her Journey's End Game is a perfect example.  Be sure to check out Jennifer's site for even more exciting ideas for the sacraments.

Linking up with Bonnie because Kelly is at Edel.  Have a great time, Kelly!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Let's Get Planning!

Homeschool moms, how is your planning coming along?  I have to be honest, I am way behind usual.  I am a planner. I started planning Christmas 2015 in November, 2014.  Yet, I'm having trouble getting this year together.  With all that has happened in my personal life and the world at large this past year, I'm feeling unfocused and a little lost. 

SO, to kick me into gear, I am starting a series of posts on the unit studies I am designing for next year.  I am going to try to keep up with my Wednesday Works of Mercy Bouquet posts, and run this series on Fridays as Seven Quick Takes posts.  I hope that makes sense.

Here is the list of units I plan on developing:

First Confession Prep
First Communion Prep
Confirmation Prep
Early America through the Civil War
The Constitution and Bill of Rights
Farmer Boy Study
Equine Studies Curriculum
"On the Road" Homeschooling
Our Fabulous Fifty States

That should take us right through the summer!  With us preparing for three sacraments at once, I keep thinking we just need a Baptism to throw in there to make next spring really interesting. ;)  I hope that you will come back this Friday to see my First Confession Prep plans.  Thank you and God bless!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Praise Be to You, LORD of Creation--on Laudato Si'

If you have come to Veils and Vocations looking for this post, I apologize, but I am working on rewriting it for the third time.  I went in to edit one thing and Blogger erased it on me again.  This is the second time this has happened on the same post--it has never happened before.  I am very sorry and hope to have it back up again, soon.  Thank you.

{P, H, F, R} VBS, the Beach, and a Horse Show, Oh, My!

Linking up with Auntie Leila, again, this week.  Now, it is time for me to be honest.  My children tell me that I always make it seems like we are having so much fun but really all I care about is school work and chores.  They work night and day, no fun is ever had by anyone--EVER.  It is always winter and never Christmas. So, I freely admit, I am not the mother you may think I am.  To prove it, I have posted evidence in this week's Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  Whew!  I feel so much better getting that confession out of the way.


The horse show


Vacation Bible School Wilderness Adventure Camp
A week of games, crafts, stories, skits, snacks, and lots of music. In four days the children learned and performed ELEVEN songs to praise GOD!  A minor miracle.

The beach--sun, sand, tug of war, ice cream, hot dogs, games, races, crafts, and a playground.  I only allow them to stay a meager six hours a day--it's funny that they all get so tanned in that small snippet of time.

Now, just in case you are still laboring under the delusion that my children are entertained in the very least, I have more pictures to prove you wrong.  The fact is that they spend their days working their fingers to the bone in the fields and slaving over hot stoves. I know, I know--a huge disappointment for you all.  My readership just plummeted.  Just keeping it REAL here, folks.


Hope you are having just as boring of a week as my kids!
God bless.