Friday, May 26, 2017

My week in #7QT

Ok, so I am linking up with Kelly to bring you a little glimpse at the past 8 days at the Veils and Vocations homestead.

Last Friday, Cowgirl spent a day at the Parish Visitors convent.  She had a great time at the "girls day."  What an amazing experience for young girls.  This meant 4 hours in the car but it was well worth it.

The weekend was so busy.  I racked up another 8+ hours in the car those two days.  Good thing we have the van with plenty of room and decent fuel economy! Sunday, the boys had a fishing derby at a friend's farm for Troop of St George.  Everyone needs a friend with a farm.

Monday we tried to just catch our breath after a crazy few days.  I had that travel hang-over you get from long road trips but we were local and home the whole time. I should note that in our neck of the woods anything under an hour is considered local.

Had my first link up on #BeautyTuesday  Did you miss it?  Check it out and please be sure to come back next Tuesday!

There was that little incident with the fire ants,  four ticks, a broken glass, a maimed ceramic bunny, and a slow cooker dinner that finished cooking about 20 mins after we ate a makeshift meal, but hey, all in all, nothing worth noting happened around here.

End of the year recital for our fine arts school took most of our day followed by Buddy's Irish step class.  I truly appreciate that my children have these opportunities but I am so ready for summer vacation.  Eight hours at fine arts school followed by a step class is a REALLY long day with my littles.

Thursday was the type of day made for a warm quilt, a cup of tea, and a good book.  None of those happened but that was the type of day it was--rainy and dark.  

I spent a lot of time setting up social media accounts for my etsy shop and mobilizing the troops to lean up the mess that is trailed throughout the house after so many hectic days.

It's Friday, again.  We are supposed to go to riding but it is still damp and rainy.  However, we are packing up for a road trip adventure to visit family this holiday weekend.  I will probably drive less this weekend on our out of state trip than I did last weekend just staying local.

Say a little prayer for me.  This is my first solo road trip with all four kiddos.  Little Lady's first road trip ever--although she is well acquainted with car rides thanks to her very social and active siblings.

How is your week going?  Any plans for the holiday weekend?

To all my readers who serve or have spouses or children who do, thank you for your service!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: A Link-up

 I decided to add a new tradition to Veils and Vocations.  Each Tuesday, we will be having a link up party where you can share your latest post about the beauty of the world, the Church, your life, etc. 

We are bombarded with darkness everywhere we turn, but God created this world to be filled with beauty, goodness, and joy!  Please link your post below and help spread some light.  

Oh, and don't forget to link back to my post so others can find the collection of lovely posts each week.  Thanks.

Speaking of beauty, in my book there is little more beautiful than women and girls who veil as a devotion to our LORD.  It is a devotion that is close to my heart and part of my inspiration for this blog. 

Next week, I will be sharing my story of how I came to veiling.  However, this week, I want introduce you to something that is very exciting for me. 

In an effort to find ways to encourage and support my readers' journey of faith, I opened my etsy shop.  I will be the first to admit that it has not been very active of late.  Right now, though, I am working on restocking it and am overjoyed to now be carrying Fleur de Lis veils--lovingly, handcrafted by Marsha.

Her veils are true works of art.  I am thankful to have gotten to know Marsha and can tell you that her heart is just as beautiful as her veils. 

As a special gift to my readers, I am offering free shipping in my store through June 30th with the code FREESHIPMAY.  Thank you for being there to read my humble blog.  I know this isn't the fanciest nor most popular blog out there, but when I read the stats of how many visit this little corner of the Internet and how many coutries are represented by my readers, I am truly touched.

You may come here because you like my blog, but really I keep coming back because of all the love and support that has been shown to me by every click on this blogger link.  God bless you all!

Please link up your post below.  Show the blogging world the beauty that surrounds you!

An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, May 19, 2017

#7QT Big Doings

Linking up with Kelly to bring you some coming attractions and, as my mother would have said, "Big doings!"  here at Veils and Vocations.

I have reopened my etsy shop and am stocking it to the brim!  In honor of my grand re-opening, I am offering free shipping for all my readers with coupon code FREESHIPMAY.  So, feel free to cyber mosey over and do some window shopping. ----Are those Fleur de Lis veils in your shop?  Why, yes they are!!

I have wanted, for some time, to write a book for young girls to learn about different Catholic orders complete with activities and trivia.  Seeing as it is a monumental task to just write a blog post, I am working on creating a resource page with links and info on as many orders as I can find.  Eventually there will be activities, too.  Please, keep your eyes open!

Also, in the works is a new mother/daughter program.   It's still very much in the planning stage but will be out next spring.  I know, I am still getting the other one posted.  Please be patient, I am currently typing with three fingers while balancing a curious 5 month old and dodging a raucous 3 year old.  The title of the new retreat is set, " Beauty, Truth, Goodness--Joy!"

I have decided that Veils and Vocations needs a little something.  So, next Tuesday, will be our first weekly link-up called Beauty Tuesday.   Come back here every Tuesday, for a link up to share all that is beautiful in the world as a refreshing little oasis against the hard struggle beating down around us.

Little Lady turned 5 months old--FIVE!  I am so enjoying my little Lovie-Lu but it is time to press the pause button.  Her first year is flying by too quickly.

School year is almost out in our little home academy.  Deo Gratis!!! I need a break.  So looking forward to June, our lazy month of family visits, sleeping in (well, as late as we can with the sun breaking through at 6 AM and a couple of little early birds in the family) and just not having to be anywhere every day.  The amount of energy it takes to get everyone out of the house for all these activities could power a small city!

Planning for next year has begun!  Have you started?  Did you ever stop?  Me, neither.  "Let's Get Planning" posts are right around the corner.  I have lots to share including some great FREE, that's right, FREE resources that just might save your sanity next year.

How is your week going?  Any big news in your neck of the woods?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Homeschool Tips in #7QT

School is almost out over here at the Academy of St Therese for the Glories of God.  It has me thinking quite a bit about next year.  There is so much I want to do, but only so many hours in a day and these kids are growing like weeds!  Here are some tips to keep the homeschool ball rolling AND enjoy your children's childhood.

Linking up with Kelly this fine Friday.

Tip #1 Take time outside the classroom.  We have had a crazy year with the new baby and all so I have felt more guilty than usual taking a day off to do something different.  However, those field trips and projects are still learning.  They are also special memories! 

Tip # 2 Don' be afraid to change the plan. We've all been there.  The year's plan is meticulously done.  You envision a year full of growth and success beyond your wildest dreams, and then it happens.  That perfect book/program/course just isn't working.  Everyone is miserable--but what about the plan?  Man plans, God laughs!  

When it isn't working, be willing to change.  Maybe it needs a different approach.  Perhaps your child needs to jump ahead, or step back a bit.  Whatever it is, be willing to be flexible.  In the end it will be for the best.

Tip #3 When it isn't working read a good book or two!  This one I borrowed from Andrew Pudewa and it is my go to tip.  Books are so much more than reading practice.  Lose yourself in some good literature.  Learn while you spend some quiet time together.  Regroup and move on!

Tip #4 Trust your instinct!  You know your child better than anyone.  Plus,  even the best curricula is written in a one size fits all fashion.  If you know your child could succeed if she only got x, y, and z but your instructions say to do r and q, go with your gut. Wish I could have told that to my homeschooling newbie-self.

Tip #5  Foster your child's interests and his God-given skills.  We all want our child to have a successful and prosperous future.  Let's be honest, though, not everyone is meant to be a lawyer, doctor, or engineer.  God made each of us unique, and that is a blessing. It not only makes the world go around, it keeps life interesting.  Make time and space in your lesson plans for your child to explore what excites him.  Who knows, that could just be his calling?

Tip #6  Let someone else do the teaching!  This has been a huge sanity saver and has also greatly enriched our experience.  I am test driving several online resources for next year, but I also have to give a plug to really good movies. I know, I know--screen time!  

Well, I am one who seriously limits screen time but I use the tie my kids do spend plugged in to enhance their learning.  I am always on the hunt for new videos--especially since my children can pretty much recite the entire script of favorites like Liberty's Kids and Wild Kratts.

Pure Flix has a nice selection of Christian movies, especially education videos that I plan to learn more about.  Check out their suggestions below!

Tip #7  Remember the ultimate goal is leading your child to Heaven, not just graduation! 

Do you have any tips to share?  I'd love to hear them.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Holy Week in #7QT

Hi all, how's your Holy Week going?  Are you anxious for Easter to come and Lent to end?  Or do you still feel like there is too much Lent left to accomplish for Easter to be so soon?  I'm in the latter camp.  I'm linking up with Kelly to have a little chat in #7QT

This has been a strange Lent for me.  I am usually so militant and disciplined.  I can't remember the last Lent where I came to the end and felt like I had not accomplished any of my goals. Any of them!  The resistance has been incredible, I kid you not! My will and self control have been stretched and tested beyond anything I have ever seen before.  

I have been struggling with this.  Feeling like a failure and a fraud.  How can I blog about living a Catholic life and then have such a terrible Lent?  To be honest, I considered abandoning this blog all together about half way through.

However, I see how this struggle has not only tested me but strengthened me as well as delivered a healthy dose of humility.  The Battle may all ready be won, but the war for our souls rages on!

If you are feeling like you hoped to accomplish so much more this Lent, you are not alone!

Palm Sunday....good heavens!!  Little boys can make anything into weapons.  The belt on dress pants is obviously there to hold said weapons.  Is there a way to not allow anyone under the age of 7 to even touch a palm through the long Gospel?  We will just leave it at that.  A definite workout and warm up for the marathon week ahead.

The next day, I went back up the church for Reconciliation Monday.  I don't know how many diocese do this but it is amazing!  The Monday before Christmas and Easter, all churches in the diocese are open from 4pm-9pm for confession.  We often have 3-4 priests hearing confession at the same time in our parish.

It is such a precious experience.  I am so thankful we made it!  

Tuesday of Holy Week is the rehearsal for Children's Stations of the Cross.  It is my yearly penance no matter how my Lent is going.

I left very frustrated but wrapped in the love of Christ all the same.  We have over 3,000 families in our parish (families not people--families!!!) and a preK-8 school.  How many chidlren showed up to participate?  SIX!  SSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!  Oh, and two of them belong to me.

I am so very, very grateful for the ones who showed up and their excitement to walk the steps of Jesus.  These are beautiful, beautiful children.  However, I don't know what to do with this little project.  Every year we have less and less children.  We used to have to draw parts out of a hat to make it fair now we have one boy playing Pontius, Simon, and a roman guard.  He volunteered to be Joseph of Aramethia but we ended up just cutting that part. Owen is incredible but I think three parts is the limit.

St Jude, patron of hopeless causes, please rescue this dying devotion!

Wednesday of Holy Week I decided to catch up with some friends and family that I had not seen in awhile just as Jesus visited Mary and Martha on the Wednesday of the first Holy Week.  Only day not at the parish but a marathon none the less.

Today is Holy Thursday--I'm actually writing this the night before like a good blogger should.  This is my favorite liturgical day of the year!  Truly, I love the Holy Thursday liturgy so very, very much.

We had a field trip in the morning so we had to push our liturgical tea off until dinner.  I pulled it off but had nearly forgotten about the pre-Mass fast. It was the fasted liturgical tea in history.

I am so thankful to have had Cowgirl's help in setting everything out because Little Lady was having a colicky episode and screamed for 2.5 hours straight.  {If you would, please say a quick Hail Mary that we discover what is causing her colic and reflux.  She is on medication, I am on a highly restricted diet, and both are helping but she is still having these episodes of screaming in pain from the acidic reflux that keep choking her.  It is heartbreaking and exhausting for both of us.}

My tea was not picture perfect. My food was nothing fancy.  In fact the only items that we "cooked" at all were the mashed potatoes and a quick soup I threw together of chicken broth, carrots, and gluten free pasta when I realized that our usual menu would not be enough food to be considered dinner.

I say this so that you know that I am just a mom, a sinner, a human just like you!

Tomorrow is Good Friday, our Children's Stations are at noon.   I am praying for the LORD to use our little crew of volunteers to touch the hearts of all who are there. It is a small act of service but done with great love!

If you missed my other posts this week, I am finally getting the talks up from the mother/daughter retreat.  Considering hosting a mini-retreat this summer?  I am working hard to get all the resources I can up to help you do just that. You can find the links for the talks below:

For a more polished look at my week, check out my latest article on Seton Magazine!

How has your week been going?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Am Loved Retreat: I Created You!

I'm getting ready to have our annual Holy Thursday liturgical tea before heading to Mass, but wanted to post the next talk for our retreat.  This talk was inspired by this song.  Blessed Holy Thursday to all!

I created you!
As we have mentioned before, we each have a special purpose.  That purpose is called a vocation.  When I say the word vocation, what comes to mind? We usually think of religious sisters and priests when we talk about vocations.  However, everyone has a vocation.  Your vocation is the state of life that you are called to live.  Some of us are called to be married, some to be single.  Some of us are called to religious life in a monastery or working with those in need. Your vocation is a very special part of who you are.

We are all created to be a part of a family.  That family can look like many different things.  For some, it is a family of a husband, a wife, and children.  For others, their family is a religious community.  A priest is the head of his family and his parishioners are his children.  Whatever it is, we must remember that the family is the building block of God’s plan.  When God created humans, He created a man and a woman who then had children.  They were one of the first families.  The very first family is the Trinity.  We have God the Father, God the Holy Spirit who active love of the Father, and then we have God the Son.  They are a very unique family, and it is hard for us to understand that mystery well, but we can see that Our Father always intended His Kingdom to be based on the love of a family.

Have you ever heard God speak to your heart?(show hands)  Have you ever heard God speak to you in a way that you felt you could actually hear His words? (show of hands) God is always speaking, we just need to take the time and space to listen.  I have had a couple of experiences that I actually felt like I heard someone speaking to me.  It took my breath away.  I have heard little whispers in my heart, too.  However, there are lots of times that life gets busy, or I get cranky and upset, that I stop listening.  Our world is very noisy.  We like to have lots of activity and noise. Everywhere we go there is music playing, televisions on, and people talking.  Getting some quiet can be hard, but it is really necessary.  When we take some time to be quiet it gives our mind and body a break. It’s like a mini vacation.  If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, you probably need a little bit of quiet.

What are some places or some ways that you find a little quiet time?  My favorite place to find quiet is at Adoration.  I also try to go to a Traditional Latin Mass whenever I can, because I find it very peaceful.  However you find your quiet time, make sure to include some time for prayer.  On of my favorite prayers of discernment is , “speak LORD, your servant is listening.”  I pray that whenever I feel confused about what God wants me to do.  Then I sit and listen!  Really listen. It  is hard, and I don’t always do the best job, but really opening your heart and your ears to the words of God will change your life.  Once you have prayed and listened--even if you didn’t hear an answer--wrap up your prayer time with another little prayer, “Not my will, by Your Will be done!”

In finding our vocations, we might be surprised what they are.  We may have a vision of exactly how we want our life to turn out, and then God shows us what He wants.  It can be hard to change our mind, but we have to remember that following God always leads to joy and peace.  Our new pastor was originally an actor and a teacher.  He was engaged to a beautiful, Catholic lady and planned on raising a large family.  However, God kept calling his heart to the priesthood.  It was difficult to change his whole plan for the future, but he knew he had to do it and he is so glad that he did.  Do any of you feel called to a certain vocation? Whatever vocation you are drawn to, remember to take time to discern, which means to decide if this is really what God wants for you.  When my husband and I got engaged, we spent a lot of time praying and studying to decide where God wanted us.  We really wanted to get married and have a family but we wanted for to follow God wherever He led us. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I Am Loved Retreat: The Gift of Love

Yay, I'm posting, again!  Maybe I will finish this series this week. There are so many things I want to write about.  Thanks for stopping by.

 The Gift of Love

We have already talked about how much God loves you.  He loves you more than you can ever imagine.  One way that He loves you is by giving you rules.  He sets up boundaries to give us freedom within the confines of His Love, for our own good. Could you tell me the Ten Commandments,one at a time?

Could anyone share with me what Jesus said was the greatest commandment? By loving God with all we have, loving others as ourselves, loving ourselves, and respecting our bodies, we can live a very happy life without regrets and then enter into the neverending embrace of the LORD.  And when we make mistakes, God is always there to forgive us through the power of Christ’s redemption.  We are never too far gone to start over with God.

St Paul wrote, “ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.”  Does anyone know what “love” stands for in this verse?  This ultimate love is God, Himself.  God is living love and the source of all love here on earth.  

We have probably heard this verse many times, but it is good to read over slowly and think about, because even though it is written about God who is all powerful and perfect, it is a good guide for how we should love.  Jesus asked us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us, so this verse isn’t just about how to treat our family and friends but everyone.

Let’s read it again, slowly.   “ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.”

Love means doing always what is right to another, even when it is hard.  What are some things that your mom does for you that isn’t easy or isn’t fun?  Are there things that your mom asks you to do that maybe you don’t want to, but know you should? Love takes not being happy but taking care of the other person anyway.  Your parents love you immensely.  Think of all these things that aren’t fun, that aren’t easy, and that they might not like, but your parents do them anyway, and even though they make you eat fruit when you would rather have chocolate, go to bed when you would rather stay up, and clean your room when you would rather play; they would never make you do something that is harmful for you. That is true love!

Bishop Barron says, “Love is willing the good of the other for the other’s sake.”  What that means is wanting what is best for the other person, always, for the one you love’s sake, not yours.  Love is a very special emotion, because it is actually an action and a choice.  When we choose to love others we are doing God’s work in the greatest way possible.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I am Loved Retreat: The Royal Treatment

This is the second in a series of talks that go with the I Am Loved retreat how-to.

The Royal Treatment

In the last talk, we heard about loving and respecting our body.  What does that mean, though?  Our bodies are very special. They were designed by God and each of us is wonderfully made in our own unique way.  God designed our bodies perfectly, but we need to take care of them.  

Your body is growing and going through amazing changes, so it needs a little extra TLC.  Be sure to eat healthy foods.  Your body needs foods that are naturally colorful, and have lots of vitamins, protein, and fiber. Junk food, processed food, candy, and fried foods taste good but don’t give your body the fuel it needs.  It’s like filling your gas tank with water, it will fill it up but won’t get you very far.  Make sure to watch how much sugar you are eating and drink plenty of water.  I am sending out an email of resources after this retreat.  It will include ways to pick healthy snacks, articles about good nutrition, and some fun, but healthy recipes!  Remember, you only get one body, so take care of it. Can you name some healthy foods that you enjoy?

Another way to take care of your body is exercise.  Stay active and get plenty of fresh air.  Sunshine is a very important ingredient to a healthy life.  While you are soaking up the sun, take a walk, ride your bike, play a game of catch, go on the swings.  Exercise doesn’t have to be boring.  Playing a sport or running around your backyard is still exercise. Can anyone think of something they like to do that is like exercise but a lot of fun?

Along with your body, you need to nurture your mind.   Try to fill your mind with good things, just like your body.  Choose TV shows and movies where the characters are kind, respectful, and make good choices.  Read great literature.  Listen to music that sings of good, not evil.  Have good conversations. Try to learn something new every day.  Don’t use any drugs or chemicals that affect how your brain works, that includes staying away from artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors in your foods.  

The most important part of you is your soul, it lives on for eternity. If you abuse your body, one day it will fail, but if you abuse your soul the repercussions will never end.  Does anyone know why God made us, it’s the answer to the first question of the Baltimore Catechism?.  What are some ways that we can take care of our soul?

As your body changes, you need to take extra care to have proper hygiene.  Get bathed often, especially after physical activity.  Wash your face everyday.  Wear deodorant daily.   In a little while, we are going to make some special treats to help pamper yourself and give you the royal treatment.

God designed your body perfectly.  You may be wondering why your body is changing or you may not like the changes you are seeing.  These changes are all a part of God’s Plan.  Our bodies were designed to become women and mothers.  Later, we will talk about being grown up and being a mother. However, now I just want you to know that you are designed just as you should be.  Your body is growing so that you can become a woman.  The way you look, how tall you are, what kind of hair you have, even the size of your shoe was all decided before you were born.  In the very instant that you came into being, God decided exactly what you would look like throughout your entire life and what special gifts He would give you.  These directions are written on a special code called DNA.  Sometimes we wish we were taller, or had curly hair, or smaller feet.  You have probably heard the expression the grass is always greener.  Has anyone ever felt that way? (show hands)  It’s important not to think that one person is better than another because of any particular characteristic.  God designed who you are and how you look, and God only make beautiful, wonderful things.  You have a special purpose. Every inch of you is fearfully made. You are a beautiful miracle!

We are going to now watch a short video that shows how special miracles, called babies grow and develop in their mother’s womb.  Scientists just discovered that when a new person is created, there is a remarkable flash of light.  In the instant a new baby is created, a bright flash happens, hidden deep in its mother’s body. No one can see it, but isn’t it amazing?  The light of God is blessing His newest miracle.  He was with you from the very second your life began.

Point out when heart starts beating, how baby seems inquisitive and shows emotions in the womb, etc during video.

After video:  Isn’t that incredible?  Did you see the baby opening and shutting his eyes?  Did you know that babies can see and hear in the womb?  A baby is learning for nine months about the world around him.  Babies, long before they are born, have a nervous system that can feel pain, hot and cold, and even react to tastes that he likes or dislikes.  I once saw an ultrasound that showed the baby’s reaction when mom ate different food.  When she had sour foods, the baby made a “yucky” face and when she had sweet foods he smiled and licked his lips.  It was so funny.


Monday, April 10, 2017

I Am Loved Retreat: The Talks

I know it has been a terribly long time since I promised to post this but, I promise to work on this this week as we are on spring break.  Hope everyone is having a blessed Holy Week.

Have any of you ever wished that you were a princess? (show hands)  Have you ever wanted to live in a big castle? (Show hands)  Well, I have good new, you already are.  You are the best kind of princess, because your Father is the King, of Kings.  As God’s princess, you are worth more than any jewel.  You are the most beautiful creature, not because of how you look on the outside, but because the Holy Spirit is living in your soul. A soul in the state of grace is the most beautiful thing in the world.  You are beautiful and loved.

Does anyone have a special talent or gift? All of our gifts come from God.  Our gifts alone aren’t what make us special.  Everyone's gifts are just as precious.  God made us all unique.  We are special because God made us and loves us more than we could ever understand.  

God has special plans for all of us.  Do you know that he already planned out all your days?  He knew before you were born that you would be here today.  He knew the exact minute you would be born and he knows when He will bring you home.  Along the way, we sometimes make mistakes, but God is ready to forgive us.  

We’ve probably all heard this verse from the Bible, “ For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  Sometimes people take that to mean that God has a plan to give us everything we want, make us very happy, and nothing bad will ever happen to us.  However, I found this version in the Douay-Rheims, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience.”  

God is thinking about you, always.  Isn’t it amazing that He is thinking of all of us at once and no one is forgotten, that is a great mystery, but doesn’t it make you feel good to know the LORD is always thinking about you?  God definitely has a plan for every one of you.  Every person is created to play a completely unique part in His Plan for the world.  If you are following the path of God, you will have peace and joy, even when life is tough, because you will be walking in His grace. And that end that He promises, is eternity in His Kingdom, His princess will be welcomed into her castle.

One of my favorite quotes is from St Catherine of Sienna, “Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.”  Being who you are, who God created you to be, just as He created you, will set the world on fire!  You may not be world famous or make it into the history books--but you might.  When you hear the name Mother Teresa what do think?  She did become famous because of her humble work doing what God designed her to do.  However, greater than that, she became a saint.  Like the song we just heard said, “I am famous in my Father’s Eyes.”  

You are all famous!  It reminds me of a book my mom bought for my siblings and me called, “You are all my favorites.”  Each of us is God’s favorite, God’s special child.  Today we are going to talk about what makes us special, how to take care of the gifts that God gave us, and how to follow the path that He has planned for us.  We are all the most magnificent type of princess, because we already belong to the greatest Kingdom that ever was and ever will be.  When life gets tough, just say to yourself, “I am God’s Princess, and I am LOVED!”

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.  


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.} 


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.


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.


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.


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.

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!!