Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tiny Saints

I recently won an on-line raffle and received five Tiny Saints charms. I received St. Joseph, St. Michael the Archangel, Mary the Blessed Mother, Padre Pio, and one additional that one of my kiddos has claimed for their own.These adorable little charms are meant to serve as a daily reminder of our patron saints.

Each package comes with a short summary of the saint's life on the back. Just enough to hep you determine if this saint relates to your life. The clasp allows you to attach the Tiny Saints to zipper pulls, key chains or backpacks. With around 80 different charms to chose from, there is sure to be one perfect for you.

My one criticism of the charms is that they are not as sturdy as I would like. Especially if they might be used by children. Our Padre Pio charm fell off the clasp almost immediately. They are, however, incredibly affordable at only $5 per charm and very adorable.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mass Books for Kids

How do you answer that age old question of what to do with the young children during Mass? I know we've gone through many different ways of managing young kids and seem to have settled on you just expect them to learn to be quiet and bring as few distractions as possible. Because there are few things as annoying as an older child dragging in a toy store or a Happy Meal or a tablet loaded with movies to Mass. Seriously, that sort of thing really bugs me.

One of the few things we will allow our kids to have during Mass are kid friendly Mass books. But how do you know which ones are worth the money? Today I am sharing my views on the books by  Catholic Icing and Holy Heroes.
The booklet by Holy Heroes is really two books in one. On one side, you have the prayers of the Mass. Flip the book over and you'll find a collection of Best Loved Catholic Prayers.  You can also purchase an audio CD to go along with this book with the Holy Heroes kids leading your children through all of the prayers.

The Holy Heroes book does, however, lack pictures. It has a very simply layout that focuses almost exclusively on the words of the various prayers. This allows for more information but means the book is best suited for an older child. The audio CD that can be purchased with the book is great for using in the car to help your kids memorize prayers or during family prayer time. This section of the book includes prayers such as the Angelus, Memorare, the St Michel Prayer, and several common prayers in both English and Latin.  I love this book for the middle kids in the family.
The Mass book by Catholic  Icing is called A Picture Book of the Mass. This book focuses exclusively on the prayers of the Mass. I love this one because of the amazing pictures. The booklet is illustrated using old masters paintings. With at least one picture on every page, it keeps the attention of younger kids. Older kids also enjoy the paintings but this one is my go to book to grab for the toddlers. Even if they can't read the words, they are captivated by paintings in the book.

Price wise, both books are just about the same. Both companies also offer bulk discounts so these would be great books to buy for religious ed classes or homeschooling groups or vbs or just to donate to your parish. They are both soft cover booklets so if yours live in the diaper bag like mine do, they will show wear and tear after a while. But the affordable price makes them easy to replace.  As nice as the hardcover formal books many of us received  as First Communion gifts are, these books are a little more convenient for younger children or larger families. You also know that your purchase is supporting a small at home Catholic business. Which is a win-win situation for everyone.

All opinions in this post are entirely my own. I was not compensated in anyway for my review. Just sharing one Mom's opinion.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Baby on the Way

Baby number 12 is officially on the way. Life is going to get super crazy and fun around here.  We are asking for prayers as it appears the little one on the way has a cleft lip and palette and will obviously need surgery. This is one of those cases where we are thankful to be able to plan ahead of time and have access to the proper medical care. It will be an interesting few months for everyone. Please keep our little one in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stations of the Cross Candles

This is a project I have intended to do for the past several years. This year I finally got around to actually buying the materials. I think I just couldn't resist the $1 bottles of lodge podge at Target and needed a reason to justify buying some.

This would be wonderful project to do with your kids and then use every week as your family says stations together. Of course, I did the project myself and we have been attending stations as a family at a local parish. The Knights there love having our boys on hand to carry the cross because other than our family, it has almost always been elderly folks. But the kids have enjoyed looking at the candles anyway.

You can find I instructions and printable for your own candles all over the place. I got my printables .here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Family Rosary Time

Attempts at the family rosary usually don't last long around here. I just don't think the yelling and fighting and craziness that ensues is at all inspiring. A near occasion of sin would be more like it. But I am going to attempt it again for Lent. I'm trying to work the younger ones up to a full rosary. What have I learned tonight? I need to work on basic prayers with the younger ones. The Hail Mary according to the younger ones is as follows:

    ~Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with me.~

Gotta love it. And check out these awesome roses made by Grandma to help the kids pray. They were so cool looking that even Gabe wanted to participate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Handwriting Prayer Practice

I'm finding so many things to love lately over at Catholic Icing.  I recently printed out these prayer handwriting sheets for the younger children. The perfect combo: handwriting practice plus learning some necessary Catholic prayers. I also printed out these poster type versions of the prayers to hang up in the house to help with the learning thing. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Whipped Strawberry Butter

Ok folks. We all know that real maple syrup is much better for us than the imitation stuff. Much better. Most of the bottled stuff basically comes down to high fructose corn syrup mixed with artificial colors and flavors. Which is just not the best thing to pour into your body first thing in the morning.  (Yes, I get the irony as I often am found downing a Dr. Pepper in the morning. I'm a work in progress and I'm hoping for my kids to be healthier than I am.) Truthfully, I don't think I'd ever tasted the real stuff until we moved here and I started prioritizing buying more real foods. Seriously, the stuff is awesomely delicious but oh so stinking expensive. Especially if your kids pour the way mine do. Yikes. So sometimes you need something else to put on those waffles. Again, ignore the fact that said children just might be eating frozen waffles this week because only one of our waffle makers still works, I am currently solo parenting, and sometimes you just decide to let something slide.

Anyway, this week we will have both homemade pumpkin butter (so easy to make if you have a crockpot) and whipped strawberry butter to top the waffles because they are yummy. And cheaper than maple syrup.

If you want a REAL recipe, here's the one I looked up. If you want to know what I really did, keep reading.

I grabbed a quart sized bag of strawberries from the freezer, defrosted them, drained them, then dumped them in a mixing bowl and sort of mashed them a bit. Added in two sticks of butter and turned the mixer on. After a while, I decided it needed more butter so I tossed a stick of butter into the microwave to soften it, dumped it in the with rest of the stuff and mixed some more. Yummy. Easy. No strange ingredients. And seriously, strawberries are sweet enough without adding sugar, I promise.  Give it a try.