Wednesday, June 13, 2018

23/52: Cherry Picking

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Night Musings {7QT}

Well, the kids are in bed, Andrew and John Paul are at a baseball game, and I've done all the gardening I can manage for the night... How about some quick takes?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

22/52: Our May Crowning

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Rosary We Couldn't Break

Here's the thing: I can't manage to keep a rosary without breaking it. Fancy ones, cheap ones, anything but knotted ones (we haven't broken ANY of those but sometimes you want beads)... They're in pieces, or in one LONG piece but no longer shaped like a rosary. Or tangled together in our rosary basket, left in a giant clump every time we pray a family rosary. Mostly I just use my fingers.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Plant a Mary Garden!

My kids love to pick flowers and present the blooms to me. But they also adore presenting those flowers to the Blessed Virgin! Having vases in the house around any Marian statues or paintings is a wonderful way to encourage Marian devotion (after all, what better way to grow closer to Jesus than through His mother?). If you have the outdoor space, creating an entire Mary garden with your family will provide years of memories! Here's how to get started:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

21/52: Puffy Sleeves and Peonies

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

20/52: Garden Helpers

Thursday, May 17, 2018

19/52: High Fives and May Crownings

Friday, May 11, 2018

Small House Living, Standardized Testing, and Belly Banishers (7QT}

 We live in a 3-bedroom house. With 6 kids. It should probably feel tighter than it is, and it actually *does* start to feel pretty tight during the winter when I can't get the kids outside as often as I'd like. But people have asked how we make it work, so here's how!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

18/52: If You Give a Mom a Camera

She'll take way too many pictures of her kids...

I noticed the dogwood trees had started blooming in town, so I packed the kids up and we headed to our local arboretum, where there's a gorgeous lane full of dogwood trees, lined with rock walls on either side. It's GORGEOUS but I was sad there weren't any pink dogwoods blooming! Maybe they all died? I know that's a common issue with dogwoods, and it's pretty sad.

First we had to head over to the little picnic area, because they like to pretend that the giant yew trees are their houses. It was so sweet, Edith could actually "climb" these on her own, and she LOVED it! There were a few older women leaving, and they remarked about how amazing it was that the kids came to the arboretum and immediately started playing in the trees! They said it looked like they were having a great childhood, which definitely boosted my confidence. We get VERY different reactions to our family size out here in the country versus when we lived in the suburbs closer to DC!

Then we walked down the dogwood lane, Peter whining all the way, and Edith yanking on my hair from her position in the carrier. It was magical, as you can see. And no, I didn't really get any good pictures. But we had fun!

We headed over to the pollinator garden to see what was blooming and to ogle the gorgeous irises - they have a TON of different varieties and everyone had a different favorite. Irises are my favorite flower! And the twins were especially enchanted by the bleeding hearts.

After we walked down the dogwood lane, we went to sit in the grass in the little amphitheater and the kids decided to put on an impromptu play. It. Was. Amazing. John Paul marched out on the stage and started out lamenting, "Alas! Alas... My love... Has... Gone away... And deserted me..." Then Cecilia was his scornful lover, and in the middle of a very tense scene the twins entered the stage as...

Dancing penguins.

You wish you had been there.

The play went on for QUITE some time, and I finally had to call it over because I was tired of sitting in the sun watching them not really do anything because there was really no plot (except, apparently, for the penguins). 

Edith is really getting astonishingly big. She kept wanting to walk on her own (and keeping up with us!), pick up rocks, dig in the dirt... She spent a while in the head garden just entertaining herself by picking up rocks and putting them on the wall. I'm still calling her a baby though, and you're not allowed to correct me!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

17/52: Spring Blooms

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Mother's Day Gift Guide {7QT}

Growing up, my mom always HATED Mother's Day. She thought it was ridiculous and over-commercialized, so we were instructed to abhor it and ignore it. Then there was the year she changed her mind without telling us, and got really angry that we didn't get her anything... Whoops?

You've probably got a lot of mothers in your life to think about - your mother, your children's godmothers, aunts or close friends who are like mothers to you/your children, maybe you're even in charge of buying yourself a Mother's Day gift (no shame, some of us would rather shop for ourselves and let our husbands know how thoughtful they were). If you're looking for ideas, here's a wide variety to inspire you! Some are Amazon-prime-able, some are from my favorite artisan friends who are so blessed by your support when you purchase from their small shops, and (if you order now) all should arrive in time for Mother's Day gifting!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

16/52: Pigtails and Mary Gardens

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Not Holy Enough

I was hugely pregnant, trapped in an MRI machine while they scanned our baby to see if the large mass in her lung was life-threatening or not. The "calming" ocean sounds they piped in through the ear buds didn't do a thing to mask the loud beeps & clunks emanating from the machine. I'm not generally claustrophobic, but being stuck in such a small space certainly made me feel like it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Best Vocation

It's Good Shepherd Sunday, and by an accident of circumstances we ended up going to a different Mass than usual, and I'm glad we did! Today especially we pray for vocations, and Father discussed what that really means in his homily, which echoed a lot of the sentiments I feel when it comes to my children and their vocations.

I went about it all wrong at first, I think. Our oldest has always had a keen interest in the liturgy, and started "playing" Mass at a very young age. We encouraged this, talking about how he would be a priest when he grew up, and maybe even a bishop! Or a pope! I hated when he got older and expressed a desire to get married... My little priest! By golly, we're a Good Catholic Family and we're going to show it by having THE MOST VOCATIONS TO THE RELIGIOUS LIFE!!!

Oh wait.

That's not the point of vocations.

Friday, April 20, 2018

7 Reasons to Start a Garden!

Well, if it ever warms up, we'll be in the swing of things for garden season! People keep asking what we're planting this year, and I think it might be better for me to tell them what we *aren't* planting... We aren't planting: sweet potatoes, turnips, or kohlrabi. There are probably other things too, but not many!

I find gardening really fulfilling, and I think it's something anyone can do, even if you think you have a black thumb. Here are 7 reasons why:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Stacks: Volume 1

Goodreads just emailed me congratulating me on my progress towards my 2018 reading goal, and I was surprised to see I had read 15 books already this year! Then I realized that I was about to finish two more, and that two others hadn't gotten counted... So 19 books so far! I figured we're a third of the way through the year, so it might be worth sharing what I've read (and what the kids have read) and enjoyed so far, because doing just one big summary at the end of the year means I won't remember anything I read at the beginning...

We'll see how frequent these "Book Stacks" posts become, but I think it'll be a good way to organize what we're reading! So without further adieu... Here's what we've read!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

15/52: National Siblings Day

Friday, April 13, 2018

7 Quick Takes on the State of the Blog

You wanted to see how we decorate for different liturgical seasons... We don't do much. We clean off the buffet that was covered with junk for the past month, though!


First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who filled out the reader survey that I posted! Your responses are super-helpful - I know a lot of people read without commenting (which is totally fine! It's so hard to find time to comment, so I totally get it), which often means I don't really know what posts people actually find interesting and which ones are total flops.

For instance: My "Week by Week" posts seem to be statistically the ones that people enjoy reading the most, but they get far fewer views than, pretty much any other posts, which made me think nobody cared (although I didn't care about that, because they're the posts my kids will be interested to look back on).

Anyway, lots of people said they wished I would write more about homesteading & homeschooling & teaching the kids about the faith. And one reason I don't write much on those is...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

13/52: Holy Week Penance

Sunday, April 1, 2018

My Sunday Best, Volume 100: Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is risen, alleluia!

And happy final weekly edition of My Sunday Best—it's been fun! Maybe I'll replace it with a different weekly link-up? We'll see.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

My Sunday Best, Volume 99: Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday! Easter's almost here! I'm just about done compiling goodies for our baskets - last minute ideas here if you need inspiration. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

7 Easter Basket Fillers for the Whole Family

Well, we've got a good... Eight days until Easter? So of course I'm scrambling to figure out what's going in the Easter baskets. Obviously there are things that matter a lot more, and that's why I'm just now sitting down and realizing I don't have much for the kids. Right? Right.

(But wait! Books! Check! Some gifts from small businesses! Check! I'm not that behind...)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

11/52/2018: Garden Working

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Sunday Best, Volume 98: Passiontide!

Happy 5th Sunday of Lent! Otherwise known as Passion Sunday, which begins Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent. We veiled all our sacred images, which is a great reminder that we're in the home stretch of Lent! It makes Easter even more special, when the statues and icons that were veiled for the past two weeks are unveiled on Easter morning (Andrew unveils them when he gets home from the Vigil Mass). This article explains the practice more fully, if you're curious.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

10/52/2018: Who Needs Toys When You've Got Firewood?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Sunday Best, Volume 97: Laetare Savings Time

Laetare Sunday! We got some pink in the mix!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

9/52/2018: Dirt Eaters and Fashion Lovers

Maybe the Best Giveaway Ever?

Okay fine, I could be exaggerating... But only all the giveaways I've ever done, THIS is the one I seriously wish I could win!! It's over on Instagram, so enter there, then check out the prize descriptions below!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

My Sunday Best, Volume 96: Clothing Judgment

Happy Sunday! Less than a month until Easter!

John Paul sang in the choir this morning, so I took Peter, Mary Claire, and Cecilia to Mass. I wish I had gotten a picture of John Paul's outfit, he was QUITE proud of it.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

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