History, Tomatoes, and Books Books Books! {7 Quick Takes}

Friday, July 31, 2020

It has been AGES since I did 7 Quick Takes with Kelly, but I have a lot of fun things I want to share with you, so here goes!


Are you homeschooling this year? I'm getting our book lists finalized and realized that I have way too much scheduled for the K-4th grade bunch... But then I realized that a lot of the excess is because I'm planning for a 2-year cycle, so it's really okay that I've got a ton of books already. It just means I won't buy as many next year! Or will I?

We'll start school in late August, and it only just occurred to me that everybody's actually moving up a grade... It takes a while for my brain to switch over! John Paul (11) is moving on to 6th grade, which means he'll be doing most of his work independently and he is SO excited. I'm going to have to do a lot of pre-reading because all of these books are new to me, and I can't let him slack on the narration front...

The other kids are going into 4th (Cecilia), 2nd (Mary Claire and Elizabeth), and K (Peter, who has been chomping at the bit since he was 3, and demonstrated today that he has a better pencil grip than one of his older sisters, and also writes his numbers more neatly than ALL his older sisters, so I suppose maybe he's ready). I'm keeping them all grouped together for core subjects, but I didn't want to rehash all the American history studies we did during our first cycle, so I'm cobbling together a bunch of other resources for American history in order to incorporate more history from before 1492, as well as more stories from the different indigenous tribes throughout North America & the enslaved people who were brought to what ultimately became the United States. Would it be helpful to see our book list? Or are you happy with what you've gathered yourself?

(Also, how pretty is that planner?? Keep an eye out for pre-orders in August from Catholic Mothers!)


Our garden is full of adorable little melons and also gigantic honking weeds, and once again we're at the point of the summer where I'm guaranteed to lose produce solely because I can't find it amongst all the weeds... I'm tempted to put the melons I find inside little boxes just so I don't lose them? Would that work? Or on top of cardboard or wooden platforms? I don't know...


Tomato season is in full swing! Yesterday I sent the kids out to the garden with baskets and buckets, instructing them not to come in until they had filled their buckets or picked for at least 15 minutes. They came in with SO many tomatoes, and I guarantee there's at least another half-bushel out there... This easy sauce will definitely be on our menu soon, and we still haven't reached the mouth-hurting-because-of-the-acid level of tomato consumption yet, so either we're not eating as many as usual or my quest to plant mostly low-acid varieties has finally succeeded!


Sophia Institute Press sent us four of their new titles and y'all, they're on FIRE. We adore graphic novels, so obviously this Maximilian Kolbe book was a huge hit! It's larger than many of our collections, but only a little over 50 pages, so each page has plenty on it. Their Family Consecration to Jesus through Mary looks like such a treasure! I've done a consecration with de Montfort's original book (which was... intense) as well as Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory (definitely more readable, but not quite as intense as I would have liked?) and this seems like a happy medium. I think it would be perfect in conjunction with the picture book in the next take!

If your kids love coloring books as much as mine do, I think you will love the Day-by-Day Coloring Book of Saints (both volumes!). These are thick coloring books, since both volumes combined span the entire year, with 180+ saints in each book, as well as their accompanying stories. Surprisingly, my kids very happily shared the books with each other so that each had plenty of turns coloring their favorite saints. The readers squirreled the books away whenever they could so that they could read their favorite stories over and over. I wish they had these available in non-coloring book format as well, because I'm not sure these will hold up to the heavy use they're going to get in our house! Maybe we'll just need to keep replacing them as needed.

Sophia Institute Press is hosting a coloring contest to celebrate the release of these new books - check out this post for more information and make sure to enter by August 8!

This post contains affiliate links

You can order Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz on Amazon or Sophia Institute Press. Find Family Consecration to Jesus through Mary on Amazon or Sophia Institute Press. Find Day-by-Day Coloring Book of Saints on Amazon (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and Sophia Institute Press (Volume 1 and Volume 2).


I've been watching by friend Rebecca's progress as she illustrates a new book on Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children (now available for preorder!) and am so excited to read it when it arrives! We're on the launch team and the kids cannot WAIT to see all of the beautiful artwork inside. It's been a few years since we completed a Marian Consecration, and I think fall would be great timing for renewing it. Check out Rebecca's other artwork here!


My friend Sarah is incredibly creative and artistic, and she sent us her Latin Mass Lap Book. (I loved it so much but complained that we don't have a printer and she just mailed it to me because she's amazing! You can download and print it though, because you are a normal person who has a printer. Now we do too, actually, because this is what convinced me that I was being ridiculous in not owning a printer!) Anyway, how cool is this?? She also has a really sweet First Holy Communion set, and I think both would work for non-Latin mass families as well, since a lot of the components are basically what you'll see at any more traditional parish! You can use the code LOVETHETLM for $1 off :)


My friend Jen's new book just came out, Make Every Day Blessed - you can order it on Amazon here (currently in stock) or through Our Sunday Visitor (backordered). It's a journal & study geared towards women, but even if you're not a journaler (I'm not!) I think you could glean a lot from her wisdom. A lot of families will be cultivating new rhythms this year, especially all you new homeschoolers! What better time to start observing the liturgical year than right now? Jen gently guides you through what it means to observe the liturgical year, how you can ease yourself into observing those age-old traditions of the Church that have fallen out of practice, and how to manage it all without getting overwhelmed at the sheer number of possibilities! I think this book would be perfect to pick up now and read through in the fall, and then you can start really trying to implement the ideas starting in Advent. Thanks to Our Sunday Visitor for sending this my way!

Wow this ended up being a long post!! Check out Kelly's for more reading material.


  1. Replies
    1. Wellllll it would be helpful if I could ever finish it, I keep adding more 😂

  2. Not a homeschooler, but I was geeking out over your booklist.

    Dotted journals are the best. Mine is an Archer & Olive that I got myself for my 40th (!!!) birthday this year.

    1. I'm hopeful that this will help me stick to the reading that I need to be doing!!

  3. I could use the book list—I’m a little overwhelmed with the US history bit and was turned off by reviews of “This Land of Ours”.


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