49/52: Advent-ing

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Saints, Scooters, & Cocoons {7 Quick Takes}

Friday, December 7, 2018

Hooray, Friday! I told the kids we would take things easy for school for Advent and John Paul is NOT pleased that this means he doesn't get to just completely slack off... But hey, we still need to do MOST of our subjects, it's just very likely that science will get dropped soon because I don't feel like reading it by the time we're done with everything else.

How about 7 Quick Takes?

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48/52: Box Day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Edith's Birthday Survey

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Our Twelve Days of Christmas {A Giveaway}

Monday, November 26, 2018

We love to celebrate Christmas all the way through Candlemas (February 2), but after spending Advent really preparing instead of celebrating early, we like to make sure we celebrate each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas! After we finish our Advent books, we shift the focus a little. Here's what we're doing and reading this year:

47/52: Thanksgiving!

It's the Most Pie-ful Time of the Year! {7qt}

Friday, November 23, 2018

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Good morning and happy pie-for-breakfast day! Because let's be real, that's what the day after Thanksgiving is all about. My breakfast pie of choice? Dutch Apple Pie, the most superior of all pies.

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I'm officially in my 3rd trimester, which means I get to eat two pieces of pie for breakfast, right? Right.

Black Friday is a Week-Long Event

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Anybody else notice that big sales for "Black Friday" started on... Monday? I mean, I'm not complaining because I love a bargain! But if you're not the type to scour the internet for deals, I've got some good ones rounded up here!

46/52: November Snow

Monday, November 19, 2018


Peter's Birthday Survey

Thursday, November 15, 2018



Oh sweet Peter! You are so silly and bubbly and crazy and energetic, we love you to pieces! Even when you're angrily shy about having visitors, talking our ears off about everything under the sun, asking for yet ANOTHER breakfast, you're a joy. Happy 4th birthday!


Twin Birthday Survey

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


 Happy birthday to these crazy, sweet, clever, beautiful twins!

Our Book-A-Day Advent Calendar

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Every Advent we set aside quite a few of our school books and replace them with books that will help us prepare for the Incarnation. It makes things beautifully low-key, and I love what a wonderful tradition it has become! In an attempt to actually plan things out this year (instead of the usual fly by the seat of my pants that I do), I'm listing our plans here. Maybe you need ideas? I hope this inspires you! These are some of our absolute favorite books! And while I can pretty much guarantee we won't get to every single thing on this list, I think we can manage most of it.


45/52: Gingko Grove

Monday, November 12, 2018


Book Day: My Favorite Accidental Christmas Tradition

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Every year starting in, oh, about February, I start acquiring used books to give to the kids for birthdays & Christmas. This can end up being rather a ridiculous number of books, because, well there are just a lot of good books that I find at used book sales, used book stores, or from recommendations. Suddenly I've got a large box of books that I've been hoarding, but all the birthday & Christmas presents have already been bought and I still have all these books!!!

44/52: All Saints Day!

43/52: Fall Cozies

2018 Shop Small Gift Guide & Giveaway

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy November! We've got nearly two months until Christmas, but if you're like me, you like to have the bulk of your shopping done early so you're not scrambling at the last minute. The best part of shopping early is that you'll end up with the best deals! And shopping *small* means more of your hard-earned money goes directly towards supporting another person's family.



In this guide, you'll find a wide variety of shops and items to peruse as you make your holiday shopping lists. I highly recommend you "favorite" shops on Etsy so that you can find them again easily, and take advantage of the coupon codes many shop owners are generously offering!

Pay attention to order deadlines so you don't miss out, and make sure you enter the awesome giveaway at the end of this post! And the vast majority of these shops offer multiple types of items, so click around and see what else they have; I had to categorize them somehow, but there are so many gorgeous products across the board!

Advent Prepping! {7QT}

Friday, October 26, 2018

It's October, and already I'm seeing Christmas decorations and Costco, getting started on shopping (so I can relax come December!), and gathering my mental inventory of what we have & need to enter into this coming liturgical season fully.

It doesn't start until December 2 this year! Super-late! But I guarantee it's going to sneak up just the same... Gathering things early means you won't be Amazon-priming come December 1!

This post contains affiliate links

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Grab your devotional! There are tons of wonderful options this year—I'll be working through Rooted in Hope from Take Up & Read.





I was curious as to whether this study would seem to "deja vu" since I worked through it last year, but after having read the whole thing while editing, I honestly didn't remember much from last year! There's a whole extra week added on to the end to carry you through to the new year, plus all the lectio boxes are filled in so it's definitely worth grabbing the new edition!

42/52: Explorers

Baby News, Meal Plans, and Shopping Small {7QT}

Friday, October 19, 2018

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Our procrastination wasn't the *absolute* worst this year, so it only took us until week 22 of the pregnancy to get the 20-week ultrasound, and praise God, everything looks good! I was pretty sure it wasn't twins, but it's always a relief to have that confirmed... And after Edith's medical issues, it was also a big relief that everything looks healthy for this babe!

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So what are we having? It's a...



Instant Pot for Beginners: Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I didn't realize what a complete life saver instant pot mashed potatoes could be until some friends were discussing their Thanksgiving plans. One of them said she makes her mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot, then puts them in to stay warm until she's ready to serve them hours later.

41/52: Potatoes For All!

40/52: Butterflies and Hair Bows

Monday, October 8, 2018


39/52: Tinkering Around

Book Stacks: Volume 2 (with giveaways!)

Monday, October 1, 2018

You know what? I do these book posts infrequently enough, it might be fun to do a giveaway with each one! And this week I have not one, but TWO books to give away—one for adults, one for kids.



So, what have we been reading these past few months? Well, you'll have to check out my Goodreads to see everything, because it's been 40+ books for me... That's what happens when I get pregnant & have insomnia, thus spending lots of time in bed reading on my Kindle. I'm not going to list them all here, just some highlights! Read Volume 1 here.

Here's some of what I've read!

Instant Pot for Beginners: Never Buy Broth Again!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

If someone had told you 15 years ago that there would be a market for fancy, expensive, "artisan" broth, would you have believed them? Because it's a thing. People are paying $8+ for just a couple cups of fancy broth. While I'm sure it's very good for them... It's not that hard to make your own broth. Especially when you own an instant pot!



38/52: Face Painting

Monday, September 24, 2018


Instant Pot for Beginners: How to Cook White Rice

Wednesday, September 19, 2018



Did you buy an Instant Pot on impulse when you saw a great Black Friday or Prime Day deal? Is it just... Sitting in the box gathering dust? I guarantee you're not the only one! It's a daunting prospect, figuring out how to use a new appliance that shoots hot steam out the top if you use it wrong. The first time I used ours, I sprayed liquefied oatmeal onto the kitchen ceiling! 

So. Let's start with the basics, shall we? Rice is a good place to start! And I guarantee it won't end up on your ceiling, unless you throw it up in the air like confetti.


37/52: Babies, Bonnets, and Watermelon

Monday, September 17, 2018


36/52: Melons and Handicrafts

(More) Meal Planning, Recipes, and Music {7qt}

Friday, September 7, 2018





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We've had to turn the air conditioning on every day this week, so I maintain that we're still firmly in the grip of summer. I won't begrudge you your pumpkin decorations (I mean really, pumpkins are so pretty!) but we've reached my least-favorite part of the year:

When you can't trust any baked good *not* to have nasty pumpkin hiding in it. WHY would you ruin a perfectly good chocolate chip cookie by putting pumpkin in it???

35/52: Front Porch Kitchen

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


Ten on Tuesday {Volume 2}

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

This post brought to you by phone blogging, since morning sickness still hasn't disappeared, so I'm doing lots of lying in bed...

34/52: First Week of School

Monday, August 27, 2018

It's back to school time!! We started last week and things went surprisingly smoothly - I even managed to get "school pictures" done! Without further ado...


33/52: The Burlap Sack Restaurant

Friday, August 24, 2018

In the Face of Scandal

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I was 16 when the 2002 scandals broke out. With limited internet access and no newspaper subscription, I was kept blessedly ignorant, for which I'm now thankful. Maybe it saved my faith.

I'd still heard about it, though. I was relieved it hadn't happened in our diocese (although years later I would learn that our diocese wasn't without its own sordid tales). When Jehovah's Witnesses encountered me at home later that year, their eyes lit up when they found out we were a Catholic family.



"So what do you think about the scandals?"

"Well," I answered tritely, "Priests are humans, too. We're all sinners. I think we can extend forgiveness." They never did return, which was probably a wise decision.

Now let's imagine 16-year-old me giving that response to an abuse victim.

32/52: These Are Not My Pictures

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


31/52: Elderberries and Soccer

Easy Peasy Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

Friday, August 3, 2018


30/52: Fort Ticonderoga and Tomatoes

Meal Planning, Tomatoes, and One More Thing {7QT}

Friday, July 27, 2018

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I took to Instagram on Monday, enlisting crowd help for meal planning for the week and it did NOT DISAPPOINT. I actually think I might do this every week because Monday is generally our Aldi day and it's good for me to have meals planned for the week so I don't need any mid-week grocery trips. Anyway, here's what we've eaten/are eating:


29/52: Flowers and Trash Kites

28/52: Balloons and Skateboards

Monday, July 23, 2018


Best Prime Day Deals!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I've been spending prooooobably too much time browsing Amazon Prime Day deals, and had to share some of my findings with you! I've been posting them on Facebook, but I know you're not all on social media, so here's what I think is worth looking into!

Prime Day Hacks!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Woohoo, Amazon Prime Day is on Monday! Some people consider it as good as Black Friday sales, but in July. I tend to agree, but with the added benefit of it happening during the summer when it's too hot to do much of anything but sit in front of the air conditioning and wonder why you were so excited for warm weather...



We've gotten some awesome deals in the past, particularly when it comes to stocking up on Christmas and birthday presents. Just don't over-purchase and then forget what gifts you've already bought...

ThredUp's New Goody Box Service: Treasure or Trainwreck?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I tried ThredUp's new Goody Box service a few months ago... Here's how it went!

27/52: Fireworks!

26/52: When the Cats Are Away

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Childlike Joy and Beauty in the Mundane

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


This post contains affiliate links.

Peter has his own little garden, right by the downspout, carefully cultivated and occasionally mulched. He originally planted dandelions and feathers, but added a marigold, tomato, zinnias, and cosmos after he saw the success of his siblings' gardens.

That feather plant, though. It was beautiful in his eyes. Just like the wonder with which Selina Peake describes the simple, jewel-like fields of cabbages upon viewing the countryside for the first time, we encourage the childlike joy that accompanies each discovery of beauty in the mundane.

I'd like to say that we've raised our children to appreciate beauty, but I don't think we've had anything to do with it. I think that any child seeing a flower, an interesting bug, a majestic tree, is so enchanted by these new experiences that he or she can't contain the joy that such beauty evokes. It bubbles over and must be shared. The parents are only the most obvious recipients.


So while I don't think I caused this intense interest in natural beauty, I do what I can to cultivate it.

Read the rest here. 

Learn more about gardening with kids here.

How we make the world more beautiful.

25/52: Big Helpers

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