Friday, June 23, 2017

#7QT: Random facts and a Giveaway

I am linking up with Kelly today to bring you some ramblings.

June is my "off" month.  No school, no activities---just lounging and relaxing bliss! Well, that is how I imagine it each year but it seems every year there is more going on and more to do. I am thankful for no school until I hear the rejoicing of all my tradition school friends when their children go back to school echoing in my head and then I think, "Perhaps it would be good if school were back in session."

Oops, that means I need to teach! Let the free range craziness dotted with organized activities persist!

Teaching a 3 year old to fry his own eggs (under supervision--please don't report me for child endangerment) has it's reward of him learning to be self sufficient and choosing a protein packed breakfast. The downside, you go through a lot of eggs!

This reminds me of when I taught Buddy how to use the apple slicer--apples for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack for all!  These kids keep life interesting.

On the topic of interesting life, Hubby and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary.  What a wild ride.  Seems hard to believe it has been so long, then we look at our growing family and realize just how long we have been at this crazy life.  The kids have provided plenty of material for laughs and deep conversation.  Hubby asked what we would talk about if we didn't have noise...there's always the weather.


Beauty Tuesday is here every Tuesday!  Please, come and link up.  Share your stories of God's goodness, photos of your latest pinterest attempt, funny things your children get the idea. No need for deep philosophical or theological posts.  Just stop by, link up, join the party, and make this little corner of the blogosphere a bit prettier.

I learned this week that our emergency laundry kit actually works.  What is an emergency laundry kit?  Why a bucket and a breathing washer, of course.  I purchased it as part of my emergency preparedness campaign. 

While keeping up with a family of 6 with only a breathing washer and 5 gallon bucket is a bit of work. I was surprised to learn it can be done.  Plus my arms are getting nice and tone for beach season.  I also told Hubby that if "the end of the world as we know it" happens, we have a marketable, post-apocalyptic skill as launderers.  ;)

Speaking of learning, I have a new job.  I am very excited to be a part of the Global Learn Day team. I am doing some blogging and keeping up the Twitter account.  So, stop by and show me some love. We have great events in the works for October 7th.

So, have you read this far just to get to the giveaway?  It's okay, I understand.  I am giving away a $10 gift card to my etsy shop for any item you wish.  More items are being added this weekend, too. Shipping additional.  Please click the link below and join the contest.

Aurelius Cabrini $10 Gift Card Giveaway

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: Beautiful Woman

My Lovie-Lu is six months old today!  Time is going by too quickly.  I know she has always been known as Little Lady on this blog, but Lovie-Lu is her nickname in real life so I may just change that.

Anyway, her half-birthday got me thinking of all kinds of sentiments and ideas.  I hope to do a whole photo shoot with her tomorrow to try to capture some of these most precious days that go by all  too quickly.  As I was musing over my plans for the shoot, I realized that today would have been my great-grandmother's 115th birthday.  It is also just two days after what would have been my grandmother's 96th.  These two women shaped me in way I am still discovering and taught me so much about faith, hard work, and what it means to be a woman.

I thought about my great-grandmother, to whom I was very close, remembered how she was, and what I could glean from how she conducted herself. Nonnie, as I called her, was a lady through and through.  She was dressed impeccably and beautifully every day of her life, whether she was washing dishes or attending a fancy party it made no difference, she was dressed from head to toe.  Nonnie always had her hair fixed, heels on, her outfit starched and pressed, her jewellery flawless.

My great grandmother was an amazing homemaker who could bake anyone under the table, including well-noted, professional bakers.  (Truth be told, her gift to me every birthday was her signature lemon meringue pie. It was my all time favorite, until she stopped baking because no one's has every tasted even close to hers!)  She kept an immaculate but warm home.  Nonnie was a fantastic host, an accomplished crocheter, a phenomenal cook, noteworthy decorator, and prim fashionista.

I began to contemplate what this beloved woman would think of my gaggle of children.  My oldest who shares her first name, my first son with his Italian features and hearty appetite, my little blondie who shares the name of her first son, and my little gem who is her only daughter's namesake. In trying to dream of what she would say, remember how she loved children and the time we spent together, I began to understand the beauty she taught me.  I began to mull over how it was not the clothes she wore than made her beautiful but how well she carried her femininity and lived her vocation that spread light through the world.

In today world, beauty seems to be everything, but it is not true beauty.  What the world sees as beauty is attraction and lust.  What it portrays as love is mere infatuation and unbridled desire.  None of these are beauty, not beauty ordained by God.  True beauty lies in living the expectations of a holy woman and embodying grace to those around you.

Like the Proverbs 31 woman, my great-grandmother was robed in fine linen. She rose early to serve and ensured her family had the best of all that mattered.  She was a gently beam of sunshine and a calming breeze of joy, yet, she was a fierce and tireless worker who was tough as nails where life required.  My Nonnie taught me what a beautiful woman is, not by her designer clothes, svelte figure, and trendy hair and makeup--she possessed none of those. Her beauty was in how she carried the precious gift of being a woman, how she veiled her sacred vessel and kept her lamp lit.

All of this as made me want to dive deeper into exploration of the beauty of woman--not for her physical features or what she does but for how she does it.  Perhaps all of this is but a rambling, I have ideas to share but still no words to express them. My Nonnie was one of my best friends.  I was so blessed to have had her for 15 years, and only appreciate now all that she endeavored to teach me. I long to turn back the clock 25 years and soak up what she was offering.  However, that I cannot do.

Instead, I intend to find out how she built her beautiful castle that I might teach that beauty to my girls and granddaughter, if God grants me any. Without grandmother or great-grandmother, it is my duty to teach them the fineries of feminine life.  I feel so insufficient.  Then I remember the Paraclete, the endless Love of God.  Perhaps this is my fiat.  "Behold the handmaid of the LORD, be it done to me according to Your Will"

The LORD's Will was through a woman, a kind, gentle, light filled woman.  She would not be splashed across the magazines of our time, yet was there ever a more beautiful woman?

Please share your post of beauty and link back to this post.  Let's be a lamp stand for Our LORD!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: The Communion of Saints

Welcome to another Beauty Tuesday.  Please link your post below and remember to link back to this post. Thanks.

We live in a fallen world. Whatever can go wrong will. It is easy to feel alone or discouraged even when we know that God is always with us.

This is the beauty of the saints.  I know that I know that I know that there is a God and He will never fail me, that Christ rose from the dead and He reigns.  However, I am just a humble mom here on earth a little pin prick on the blue planet, a speck of life in human history.

What do I really know of our All Powerful God?  The saints on the other hand, they are amazing but they were just like me.  Many were simple moms, some were very young, others  late bloomers, all were sinners.

The saints chose the better part here on earth and have gained their reward.  Although I feel so deeply flawed, I know it is possible for anyone to become a saint.  I also know those who have obtained the crown of glory, are praying for us still in the trenches.

Calling on a patron saint at any time is a great blessing of our faith.  There is a patron saint for everything and anything.  Did you know St Veronica is the patron of laundry??

The saints and angels surround and pray with us each Mass.  We are incredibly blessed to get to meet Heaven here on earth and have the backing of those who have fought the good fight, know our incredible struggles, and are cheering us into the ever after of eternal rest.

Have you sought the aid of any heavenly friends today?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: My Journey to Veiling

Welcome back to the Beauty Tuesday linkup.  I greatly apologize for the lack of linkup last week.  I was traveling and tried for hours to get into Blogger but my Kindle just wouldn't let me.  Even though, I could get into every other Google account I own.  However, I am here now, and I am glad you stopped by.  Please link up your post below and don't forget to link back to this post.  Thanks.

I am a cradle Catholic, although a much more conservative, orthodox one as an adult than I was raised.  I was always attracted to the beauty and majesty of the Church.  When I was in eighth grade, my family switched from our geographical parish to a small, Polish one. 

This parish was a blend of old and new.  It remained unchanged in appearance since it's inception in the early 1900's, however the Novo Order Mass was celebrated, much to the chagrin of the traditional priest.  He incorporated Latin and tradition wherever he could to keep the Mass in line with the past.

Such a traditional minded priest attracted traditional minded parishioners.  He even served a traditionalist community with Extraordinary Form Masses at he parish, weekly. It dismays me that i never took advantage of that opportunity, but I didn't know what I was missing.

But, I digress.  There were a handful of women who veiled that assisted the regular weekend Masses because Father preserved the communion rail and distributed Holy Communion both standing and kneeling--a practice I sorely miss. 

These women, and their daughter looked so beautiful in their lacy mantillas.  I longed to have one, but my family was not traditional and was happy to be done with the old ways.  I spent my adolescence marveling at this practice and yearning to know more.

Once I was grown, I continued my search, always wondering where these women even bought the veils and not even knowing what they were called.  Here is where the beauty of the Internet has blessed me.  Without it, I would probably still be searching.

After I was married, I began working with the local diocese on mother/daughter programs which inspired my own mother/daughter retreats.  I was in charge of collecting resources to sell and distribute at the event.  in one of my orders, I found the pamphlet, The Veil.  Finally, there were answers to my questions.

It took me nearly a year to get up the courage to order my own mantilla and broach the subject with my husband.  He was thankfully happy with my decision.  I veiled for the first time while we were away, still timid about standing out.

The first few months, maybe even year, I was still self conscious but at peace.  Now, I feel down right naked without a veil. As the years have passed, almost eight years now, I have fallen more and more in love with the devotion.  It is a devotion I choose to share and promote both here on my blog and through my etsy shop.

My simple, but beautiful devotion has brought my heart so much closer to God and our Blessed Mother. 

What is your favorite devotion?  How did you come to it?