Plant a Mary Garden!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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:

21/52: Puffy Sleeves and Peonies

20/52: Garden Helpers

19/52: High Fives and May Crownings

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

 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!

18/52: If You Give a Mom a Camera

Thursday, May 10, 2018

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!

17/52: Spring Blooms

A Mother's Day Gift Guide {7QT}

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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!
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