Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy All Hallows Eve

It is the beginning of our celebration of all the holy men and women who have gone before us, the Church at Rest.  Halloween has taken a turn toward the scary and unholy, but is still a valid to remember the dead.  It has been such a crazy week that I am scrambling to pull together some activities for a get together with some great friends later.  So, I thought I would share a bit of our plans.

The children are dressing up, but I do not let them dress up as anything scary, inappropriate, or "bad" influences like pirates, devils, and the like.  I think dressing up fuels the imagination, so I'm fine with it as long as it is pushing the children in a positive direction. Usually, we also have saints costumes for All Saints Day, but it seems October flew by without me thinking about that. I may just get the kids to pull something together from their dress up bin, tomorrow. Last All Souls Day, we walked the cemetery and prayed the Divine Mercy chapter. I am hoping to do that again this weekend.

Here are some links for All Saints resources, Have a very blessed weekend and God rest the souls of all the faithfully departed.

  • As always, Jessica at Shower of Roses is chock full of amazing ideas.  I am going to attempt to pull together a couple of guessing jars and her saintly scavenger hunt.  Find her All  Saints resources here.
  • Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda also has some beautiful games. We are going to do her saintly symbols scavenger hunt. You can find her posts here.
  • Holy Heroes has a wonderful post on celebrating All Souls with children. You can find it here.
  • We are going to pray the Litany of Saints today at the party, you can find it on the Pray More Novenas site, here.
  • Lastly, we are going to make some saintly decorations to add some extra holiness to our home and share stories of our favorite saints with our friends. I'm making copies of a blank paper doll for each child to fill in and share.  (Paper Dali saints is a great place to find ready to color paper dolls if you don't want to make your own) There are so many projects that can be done, but being short on time and money, paper dolls is where we are at. However, check out my pinterest boards for more ideas.
God bless you, all! How are you celebrating this weekend of feasts?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pretty Happy Funny Real: The It's been Crazy Around Here Edition

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I last posted. It hasn't been for lack of wanting to. So, here I am, and hopeful that I can get the ball rolling again. Linking up with Auntie Leila and offering you a peak at our week.


I quickly snapped this picture of Little Man's godsister after Mass on Sunday. I wish I could have gotten closer but I didn't want her to know I was taking it. She was so eagerly and obviously praying, with her little lips moving as she whispered to Jesus. I still owe that little one a birthday gift, so come back next week for a tutorial on what I am making. Her mother and I both said, this little glimpse of Heaven should be in a magazine somewhere.


Everyone was happy at the barn this week. Little Man was rolling in the dirt which made him happy as a pig in mud. He is falling in love with the horses and tried running into the arena for a closer look several times.

Buddy was happy to get a lesson in, which hasn't happened in a couple of months for various reasons. He was not happy that I tried to take his picture on his way back to the barn.  For Buddy, when he wants his picture taken, he is a ham, but when he feels like the photo is interrupting something important he wants nothing to do with it.

Cowgirl was happy to be back in the saddle again--does that expression work when you ride bareback?  With lots of rain the past two weeks and me being very ill last week, this was the first time we had been to the barn since the beginning of October.  She was also happy to try put her new boots. I was very happy to have found them at a consignment store for only $9. I had been praying for a breakthrough in finding boots because we have had some unexpected expenses recently but I discovered that both the kids were wearing boots that were two sizes too small. I searched and searched for a good deal but couldn't find one, I wasn't sure what to do, then a blessing fell in our lap. Thank the LORD. Buddy is wearing Cowgirl's old boots and everyone's toes are happier.

So, we have a few projects we are trying to wrap up before winter. Since, we are hosting our Teams of Our Lady group in two weeks, I am trying to set that as the deadline for finishing. I feel a bit guilty because we just learned about humility and letting go of the fear of what others think. I know that my wonderful teammates will not even be moved one way or another by the state of our home, they are such lovely Catholics, but it is a good motivator to organize the troops.

One of the projects at the top of the list was replacing the kitchen floor. When we moved in almost 10 years ago, I laid a vinyl tile floor in the kitchen during Cowgirl's naps. I really liked that floor and had no desire to redo it, except that it was popping up all over and tripping us. Buddy even cut his foot on a portion of popped up tile.  We originally planned on replacing it with linoleum, but in will spare you the details of that ordeal. So, after sending my husband the picture below and telling him how much I needed a functioning kitchen, I headed out to see what flooring I could find.  We headed to the closest large town that has just about everything and began our search. The kids and I managed to hit three stores in two hours, including a closeout store where I found Shaw laminate flooring for $1 a square foot. Cowgirl helped me load eight boxes into two carts and we headed to the checkout before the snack I had purchased to keep everyone happy ran out.

When we returned to the car with the eight boxes and four bags of other items we purchased for other projects, I realized I still had to fit it all in the car. It is actually a godsend that my husband was working late
 He wouldn't have fit in the car, it was doubtful that my stroller would fit after I loaded the boxes, forgetting that Little Man was still sitting in it. I pulled out a few boxes, out the baby in the car, wedged in the stroller, replaced the boxes and put everything else in the passenger side seat. I then sent my husband the photo below with the caption, "We all survived and I fit it in the car, too!"

Having our all purpose room out of commission has been a real challenge. The counters are full of all the pantry items from our hutch.  The table is askew and missing chairs, the refrigerator is in the middle of the room, and there are tools everywhere. Still I am starting to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel-- although I have chosen to delay a couple of other projects just because I need to keep school going for the time being.  Little Man's Godfather has been helping us out with the floor. They have enjoyed seeing each other.

Although they have been working on a lot this past week, like the flat tire I got in Little Man's Godparents' driveway on Saturday.  It's Funny how in the midst of Real chaos, there is a Pretty easy way to be Happy; surround yourself with great, God-loving people!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Teaching Vocations: The Mass Kit

Here is a quick Favorite 5 list of Mass kits for kids.  I planned a longer post but am fighting something fierce and can only make it through a quick one, so bear with me.  More to come soon.

This is a truly exquisite set from Our Father's House. If you have the means to purchase on, it is a true treasure.

This is the Mass Kit that I bought for Buddy. Not as fancy but still beautiful. I like how it includes the stoles to match the liturgical seasons. You can find it here on etsy. 

Speaking of etsy, this is a new find there. What I like best about this set is that the variables are also included (including white, which is lacking in the set above) and since everything is felt it is extremely durable. You can purchase this set here.

For the very young, there is this stuffed set.  I have been admiring it for Little Man for quiet some time. We have purchased a few of the rice filled saints dolls for boo-boos, and I also like the fabric books! Check out the shop here!

If you have never visited Catholic Icing, you must. Lacy has a beautiful plan for a homemade Mass Kit for only a small fraction of the cost of any others.  She also has a plan for a mini-travel Mass Kit here.  I plan on making some of these items to round out our own collection.

So, that's my very fast post.  Later this week, I will be posting a very inexpensive diy baptism set. Come back and join us, soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

We Have a Winner!!

Congratulations to Elizabeth Be. !!! Thank you to all who entered. The link will be open until October 28th for Christmas shopping or something special for yourself. Please shop through the link so that Mary's Meals will earn donations. Thanks, again. Happy Saturday

Friday, October 17, 2014

Giveaways Galore in 7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday to bring you some fabulous giveaways, before beginning my new series on vocations next week.

First, in looking to link up with Auntie Leila for pretty-funny-Happy-Real yesterday, I stumbled upon another blog names Like Mother, Like Daughter that not only has some delicious recipes but is offering a $300 PayPal giveaway! This is huge, so it had to come first:) What would you do with $300?


Don't forget about the giveaway that is ending at midnight right here on Veils and Vocations. Enter to win your choice of loveliness from Lilla Rose.


Michelle at My Domestic Monastary is giving away her book Faith Beginnings. Hurry and enter the contest ends at midnight.

Have you visited Catholic Deals before? It's a great resource for finding family and religious minded sales online. It also hosts some wonderful giveaways. Check out their post of beautiful, saintly doll clothes to help your Little girl get her best friend ready for that All Saints party. These also make sweet Christmas gifts. While you are there, enter to win a rose crown and crucifix necklace for your favorite doll.


If you have never visited Holy Heroes, please do. My children have enjoyed so many of their products and go to sleep most nights listening to one of the five Glory Stories they own. Holy Heroes has a bunch of freebies going on. First, you can try out volume one of Glory Stories and receive a free prayer card of your choice for just the cost of shipping. They make wonderful stocking stuffers.  Also, sign up for their free Mass prep emails that contain an entertaining video lesson on the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday, printable coloring pages, and more. Did I mention, it's free? We watch the Mass prep video every Friday during Morning Meeting. Don't forget to sign up for the Advent Adventure before you leave Holy Heroes, another fine, free tradition. My kids can't wait for it to begin.

House Unseen, Life Unscripted is one of my new favorite blogs.  Dwija is a funny, down to earth, real Mom.  She recently moved to a house that had been seen, but that's another story. She and Babyganics are sponsoring a cleaning products plus $100 giveaway.  Be sure to enter even if you don't like to clean;)

Brandon Vogt is having a giveaway for the new American Catholic Almanac. He sponsors a giveaway every Friday. Hop over to enter, now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pretty Happy Funny Real: The Giveways to Giddy Up Edition

Once again linking up with Auntie Leila for {p,h,f,r}.

First off, I have figured out how to center text on my Kindle, yay! But if you are looking for pretty hair jewelry, check out my Lilla Rose link. There is a very special 72 hour sale going on right now and for every order, $1 will be donated to Mary's Meals. All new customers win big because they can still get the buy 3 get one free offer on top of the sale prices. Also, make sure to enter the giveaway for your choice of Lilla Rose prettiness.


Little Man appears to be as horse-crazy as Cowgirl.  He is constantly clicking his lounge and bouncing up and down, pretending to ride. He even says horse, which sounds more like "gorgk" but he gets his point across, and he cries every time we have to leave the horses after riding lessons.  We brought home, from my mother-in-law's, Cowgirl's first rocking horse that she got at the age of about 18 months.  She honestly played with it up until recently because since it has flip up and down wheels, she would tie a rope to it and drag the horse around pretending she was, well, a cowgirl.  Let's just say that everyone is enjoying having Cinnamon at home.  Little Man likes to rock on him and practice his "posting."  The big kids are having a ball taking him on "pony rides" around the house. Yup, we will be spending a lot of time at the barn for years to come!

This year at our co-op, I am teaching a preschool art class.  We are exploring different artists and making our own versions of some of their famous masterpieces.  This week we learned about Picasso and the girl with the ponytail. To get the children to explore seeing faces differently and ignite their creative juices, I had each child bring in a photocopy of a black and white headshot of themselves. They then were instructed to cut the picture apart however they wished and use the pieces to create a new picture by gluing it onto construction paper and coloring with bright colors.  I was impressed by how seriously and thoughtfully they completed this task.

Now, Buddy is "auditing" this class.  It is technically for five and under, but since he has no class during its time slot, he tags along and participates in the project.  He is my read-all-the-instructions-and-never-color-outside-the-lines child.  This is how he interpreted my instructions.

His response, "If it doesn't look real, Mom, it isn't worth anything." ...sigh!


Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, so I lit two candles. One was for all the tiny saints, including mine, who are loved but lost too soon.  The other was my special Ave Maria candle that I light in memory of my daughter, Ashley, on her born in to Heaven and due date anniversaries.  Praying for all the lost little ones and the mother and fathers who love them with very full hearts despite their empty arms. God bless you all!

Coming Soon, A New Series: Teaching Vocations

So, my real passion and desire is to create a treasure chest of resources for leading little ones to vocations.  I am working on a series of posts for both boys and girls to do just that. My hope is to eventually write a book for children about the different orders, something that would have fascinated me as a child and even now.  I started this blog after searching for years to find these resources but never finding what I really wanted. So, please return in the next few days to see the start of this series--just in time for the Year of Consecrated Life starting this Advent.

I apologize for the lack of good graphics lately, my computer is being serviced by a dear friend, so maybe soon, I can get back to using Paint and a real keyboard. :)

If you have not done so already, please enter the Lilla Rose giveaway!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Lilla Rose Review and Giveaway in 7 Quick Takes!!!!!


Christine at Memories of a Catholic Wife and  Mother generously offered to sponsor a giveaway if Cowgirl and I would try out and review one of Lilla Rose 's products.  We had fun "window shopping for a few days. So many clips, so little time!!  Fairies, horses, flowers, sparkles, oh, my!  It was almost impossible to choose just one. Cowgirl finally bit the bullet and chose the Turquoise Tranquility. She also has a short wishlist for Christmas. (Linking up with Conversion Diary)

Ok, so this may sound silly, but Cowgirl was very excited by the decorative envelope clip packaging.  She admired it, described it in detail to me, then proceeded to embellish it with markers and pens. This all brought back memories of her third birthday when she opened a bag of craft supplies from her Godmother and then proceeded to create elaborate mixed media collages with all of the gift wrappings...completely ignoring the toys inside.  She loves packaging, tissue paper, glitter, pom poms, ribbons, and glue.  But, I digress...


Once the thrill of the classy packaging passed, we began playing with the clip. We pulled her hair back, twisted it up, made a bun, tried a messy updos...on and on. In fact, as I type, she is still experimenting. Cowgirl has invented three new hairdos since I began this post.  The versatility of the flexi-clip is a definite plus.  One clip, endless possibilities.  I'm hoping to catch a picture of her "twirly-bun-with-half-a-ponytail"

Now, Cowgirl inherited my hair, she looks just like her father but has my hair. As a child, the barrettes would literally slide out of my hair before your very eyes.  So getting anything to stay in her hair is a thrill. The clip was a little too heavy to hold in just a ponytail, although I think a smaller clip would work fine. However, it stayed beautifully in all the other updos all by itself. Usually to keep Cowgirl's hair in a twist or bun, I need to pull it into a ponytail with a hairtie, then use at least 6 bobby pins to pin down the style, spray it with hairspray and hope it will hold for more than an hour. With buns, I usually put an additional hairtie around the outside of the bun.  She enjoyed having so little in her hair and no hair pulled by plastics nor bobby pins poking into her scalp. In fact, the only thing that shook the clip lose was her second change at co-op when she went from ballet clothes back to her regular outfit.  She has worn the clip everyday this week and has only taken it out when she decides to do more experimenting with hair styles. Normally, I would spend time doing her hair only to see it out twenty minutes later because either the hair didn't stay or she couldn't stand everything that was holding her hair in place and pulled it out herself.  In fact, the only negative I have to share is I wish these clips weren't made in China.

Cowgirl and I have wanted to do a fundraiser for Mary's Meals. So, for every new fan of Veils and Vocations, we will donate $0.25 which will feed five hungry children.  For every order, we will donate $1 to feed twenty children.  So it is a win win for you, me, and Mary's Meals.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!  Make shopping easy for the girls and ladies on your list and buy one of these beautiful, functional clips. Use this link, so that I can keep track of how many orders.  Christine is offering a buy three, get one free sale to all new customers. You could have shopping in the bag in no time.

The take you have been waiting for, a giveaway of any clip of your choice (up to $16 value) for one of my blessed readers.  Enter in the raffelcopter below! Please note, you MUST complete the first option on the Rafflecopter to enter, thanks. Best wishes!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real: The School Progress Edition

My blogging time has been limited with our busy school schedule, and lacking an actual computer has made posting even more difficult.  However, I am getting better at using the Kindle (Don't you think!) So, I decided it was time to link up with Auntie Leila once more and and update how our school plans are panning out, while sharing some unrelated photos, because who doesn't like cute pictures??


Our Little Oratory has been a welcome edition to our home and school.  By beginning our day there, everything has gone so much more smoothly. Don't get me wrong, homeschooling is still hard, especially with an incredibly busy toddler, but it is so much easier when we start by offering our day to God.

Our Morning Meeting has been a blessing. We are finally getting to many of the things I have wanted to incorporate but never managed to until now.I also have been gradually adding instead of starting with everything and then having this or that fall by the wayside.  One of our favorite parts has been the read aloud. When I was 8, my aunt and uncle gave me an illustrated copy of Little Women which I tried several times to read on my own but never finished. We are now half way through and it has been a lovely undertaking to complete with my children. My happiest surprise while reading was the chapter that describes the "little oratory" that Aunt March 's maid sets up for Amy. Ok, God, I got it! Thanks:)


We are happy to report that we are all enjoying Latin, which has become a "car subject".  We use a portable DVD player to watch the lesson once a week and then listen to the song CD and Gregorian Chant for Kids two or three times a week. We are currently focusing on the Chants from the Mass as our monthly Latin Mass has been reinstated.  Deo Gratis! My children are thoroughly enjoying learning the Latin and they are really learning.

So, the "car subjects" has been a recent development but I'm wondering why I never thought of it before. Living 25-45 minutes from everywhere we need to go, provides an awful lot of time in the car.  We spend at least two hours in the car just to go to riding lessons. So, along with the DVD player and Latin CD 's, we have moved our composer study to the car using these CD 's. We are also getting in extra reading comprehension and literature study by using audio books. We are currently studying Secret Garden.  At least once a week, math moves to the car as well.  I even have Catechism, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and some saint biographies to help us fit in our religious ed.  My husband says that I am getting so much school done in the car that he may just buy me a van instead of building a classroom in the backyard.( A dream of mine for a few years now)

Keeping up with the Afternoon Loop is still challenging.  Friday's are IEW Writing Intensive class with our good friends, we are all enjoying that. However, we have only gotten in one science lesson and are beginning to fall behind in history.  To alleviate this, I am moving history to the Morning Meeting time and one-on-one time with mom. That still leaves science. We are trying a real hands on approach this year, but I'm not succeeding at finding the time it needs.  I've contemplated moving science to Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon.  Need to try that this weekend. I did discover that Apologia makes audio versions of their texts which they recommend for studying in the car...So science may become a car subject, too. Just hard to do experiments on the road. Then again, there is that van with the pop up! Just kidding.

How is your school year shaping up?  Come back tomorrow for a Lilla Rose review and giveaway!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gluten Free Cornbread Goodness

This is just a short post to announce that I believe that I have perfected my gluten free corn bread recipe.  I miss the crumbly traditional cornbread, but this is quite delicious especially with butter. So, here it is...

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp honey
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups milk
1.5 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 can corn kernels
1 can creamed corn
1 egg

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease square baking dish, and preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until knife placed in center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy.

Do you have any great gluten free recipes to share?

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Cry of the Orphan

Though a mother forsake her child, the LORD will never forsake you.

It is difficult to think of a mother forsaking her child, but children are forsaken for many reasons. Some are for selfless preservation as in the one-child policy China or a very young mother who is unable to care for her child but loves him too much to keep him, so she makes the ultimate sacrifice.  Orphans are created through war, disease, famine, and oppression. Worldwide, there are an estimated 153 million orphans waiting for a home.  That number is staggering, but considering that there are an estimated 133 million housing units in the United States alone, it is not an insurmountable problem, if secularist fond a way to cut through the barriers and get the waiting children to eager families.

The cost of adoptions and governmental red tape leaves most orphans without a forever family.  That is the sad reality.  An adoption can cost as much as $70,000 after years of waiting and paperwork. I have always hoped to adopt but the shear cost of doing so has never permitted it.  So, I continue to support charities like Show Hope and pray that my turn will come.

More disturbing, though, than the children who have been abandoned by desperate or dying parents, are the emotional orphans who are not cherished as the gifts they are.  The availability and acceptance of artificial birth control and abortion has created generations of would be parents who think they should be able to have it all their way, like Burger King's catch-phrase "Have it Your Way."  However, parenthood and life in general does not work that way.  We are now facing a crisis of children emotionally abandoned because they did not fit their parents' ideal or willfully killed so they do not interfere with well laid plans.  This is true poverty of spirit.

Parenthood requires sacrifice, a true dying to self.  It is not for the faint of heart, yet we are all born with the capacity to become a parent.  It is through daily letting go of your wants for another that the beauty of parenthood is revealed.  God designed marriage to bear the fruit of children not only to sustain the population and allow us a brief glimpse of the intimate, creative workings of God, but more importantly as a path to sainthood, a development of our deepest self.  Marriage is a vocation, because just as the consecrated do, we lay down our lives at the altar rail and rise up a new person, with a new mission, and name.

We must find a way to teach the next generations the power of sacrifice, how in giving it is that we receive.  Yes, life is easier and seems happier when you get all that you want when you want it, but it is also intensely shallow.  True beauty and peace comes from a relinquishing of earthly desires for an eternal reward.  Let us all pray that the art and joy of devoted parenting will be resurrected in our home, parishes, and world at large.

If you are looking for a read-aloud this month, let me suggest The Secret Garden, which is about a young girl who is emotionally abandoned by her parents, then orphaned, but through love and trust unlocks the keys to a garden of happiness for her adoptive family. Let us all commit to praying for future parents and families that they may be filled with grace and joy. Let us also strive to teach our children the beauty of a family and the gift of sacrificial love.  God bless!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear

Today is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.  It is a good time to get reacquainted with your Divine appointed guardian.  Throughout my life there have been times that my Angel has been so close I could physically feel him.  I suppose that our angels are always close, we just aren't attuned to their presence.  When I was twenty years old, I was in a bad car accident.  The exact details of what happened, I don't remember. What I do remember is that I was bit by some type of insect while driving and then I was barreling toward a telephone pole. The pole snapped when I hit it, sprung up and then came through the windshield. It landed in the passenger seat. My friend, Lucy, was supposed to be in that seat, she changed her mind about joining me at the last minute.  I never touched the brakes nor panicked. The irony is that I had just had the brakes replaced the day before. As my car headed straight for the telephone pole, I remember thinking, "I'm going to crash into that pole, but it will be alright."  I remember something else, too, someone behind me, with arms wrapped around my chest, holding me still. My head never hit the steering wheel, and though the glass completely shattered, I received no cuts or damage to my face and arms.  In fact my only injury was a small cut that I received sliding out of my seat over a shard of glass. It only required two stitches.  My car was beyond repair.

The feeling of those arms has never left me. When I told people that my head had not moved, they did not believe me. I was told that things happen so quickly in an accident we are unable to process them. However, I know I saw the entire accident and never flinched. Those arms were my Angel and once again I realized, God had a bigger purpose for my life. My time and tasks were not complete.  I am still praying for that purpose, to discover my divine vocation.  Perhaps writing this post is it, I suppose I will never know my true purpose this side of Heaven.

Today, we read The Angels God's Messengers and Our Helpers by Father Lovasik, S.V.D.  At the end, Cowgirl remarked, " There are four angels right here in this room!" I told her there are probably more, we are surrounded by the holy presence of His messengers and guardians.  Then I began to think of the guardian angels who lose their post through this culture of death, how sad a turn of events for them; but how comforting to think that even those who are unloved, abused, abandoned, disposed of, rejected, and forgotten pass through their trials wrapped in the attentive, affectionate arms of their Angel. No one is ever truly alone.

We will be adding the Guardian Angel Prayer to our Morning Meeting.  Do you have any Angel stories to share?