Thoughts on a Happy New Year!

Or we certainly hope and pray so! Right?

Come the end of every calendar year, we all wish each other a Happy New Year!. Naturally, that truly is our wish for each other, and in fact, ourselves. And damn if it doesn’t feel good, to have that fresh new calendar year ahead of us! A clean slate. A new start, with new hope. 12 months, when all kinds of wonderful things, have the potential to happen!

But the fact is, we all know that life, is just not happy ALL of the time. And it certainly does not come about, with just hopes and wishes.

If we’re human, and I can only assume anyone reading this is, the truth of the matter is that no one ever has a 100% happy year. One free of very difficult unexpected events, failures, losses and rough days that just seem to go all wrong with the little things. Things that can sometimes just pile up and break us down. No, no one has ever had a year free of all of those things. Chances are, not a soul will have one this year, either! And I just feel it on my heart to share my thoughts with you all, a little bit, about that today. Not because I want to bring anyone down, to kick off your new year! Perhaps, so no one is overly disappointed when day 3, or any other brand new day of the new year, seems to go all wrong. 😉   But, more-so, my intention is to bring you some great hope and comfort about the matter!  In my own rambling kind of way, of course.

I’ve just been thinking, how people seem to be hardwired, to [Read more…]

Our Daughter’s Handmade Rosary, & the *Tuesday LINK-UP PARTY*/Features

& FEATURED Linkers !


Happy Tuesday, once again! Unless of course, it’s Monday Eve. Or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Because of course, we leave the party door open for you, hoping you’ll get to coming around at some point through the week, to link-up, and inspire us with your ideas!!  Sometimes, People are just ‘late to the party’. Right? We’ve been there. So we’d hate for you to miss out. Feel free to ‘bring a friend’ to the party anytime, too!  Invite them through Twitter, your blog, or any way you’d like.

I wanted to kick off the features this week, with a project by our very own 14 year old daughter, {A}.

It’s a Rosary, if by chance you didn’t know, because you’re not Catholic as we are.  She made it as a gift for her friend, Fr. Bob Reed.  The Rosary center is a metal of St. Therese of Lisieux, who is Fr. Reed’s favorite saint, also known as ‘St. Therese – The Little Flower’, thus the roses for the Our Father Beads.  Yellow roses, as many of us know, are symbolic of friendship. But yellow is also one of Fr. Reed’s favorite colors, as well as blue, in the Swarovski crystals, which serve as the Hail Mary prayer beads. So suffice it to say, being a Catholic priest, who loves saying the Rosary, Fr. Reed was very happy to receive this gift from {A}, that consisted of so many of his favorite things.  But from a creative standpoint, I am sure many of you can also appreciate the tedious work that went into this project, as well. {A} selected all of the beads, and special pieces of the Rosary in an eclectic manner, through Etsy searches as well as the craft stores, until she had all she needed to begin her project. Then using eye pins and crimping pliers, she created the Rosary.  I was really impressed with not only her handiwork, but her giving heart as well.

Here are our other features this week:

This rustic key holder from Thrifty Decorating, is just what we need around here! Not only do I love the look of it, but I was impressed that Nicole fired up a circular saw and used it, all by herself!  Those things scare the dickens of of me.


Let me tell you why we’re featuring these Banana Bites, from The Prudent Pantry.  Because the kids and I made them rather spontaneously the other day, and they are as gooood as Miss Prudent Pantry says they are. (I’m sorry, but I could not find her first name anywhere on her blog.) As quickly as we made them, and popped them all down, I did take photos along the way. So I’ll be doing a Vittles post on them as well, asap.


Well, you all know how much I love children’s story books. Especially those with fabulous illustrations, and encouraging or value-laden messages for children, through the imagination of great story tellers.  So I was smitten with this kid’s project that Crissy from Crissy’s Crafts linked us up to, inspired by the children’s story book, The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. The story & the craft, come just in time to ease the worries and fears of any little ones you may have, who are a little anxious about going (back) to school this year.


Lastly, are these waaaaayyyyyy coooool tie-dye t-shirts, linked up by ChristyB, from christyB Photography Blog.   Her daughter made these from an easy, no mess kit, and she tells you where you can get it.I want that shirt on the right, in the worst way!!

Incidentally, the kids and I did a wicked cool & wicked fun t-shirt project of our own this week!!  It’s a twist, on the traditional tie-dye shirts.  It’s one of those projects you just want to keep doing. (My kids proved that!).  It’s really so cool, and so easy.  I took loads of photos (which I have not edited yet….yikes!), and that post is coming right up this week. Even if it kills me. And it might with my agenda this week!

That’s a Feature Wrap!

If YOU are ready to party with us, and possibly get featured yourself, grab a button or a link, and LET’S GO!!  We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!




Palm Cross


With Palm Sunday almost upon us once again, we thought we would re-post this tutorial which we had in the Big Picture section last year, on how to make a nice cross for your home, with the blessed palms you bring home from mass on Palm Sunday.  We hope you find the instructions and photos helpful, and the craft enjoyable, in making a beautiful palm cross for the walls of your home.


First, take 3 sets of 2 palms each, and at least one good palm wisp.


In the area the intersection of the cross is, put the ends of one set of palms alternately layered in between 2 of the others, going in the opposite direction of course.


Then takes the last set, and layers those for the other side.


Pinching it all together at the intersection, take one side of the palms and makes a loop with them to the back of your cross.


Securing that with your fingers to the middle as well, and then do the same with the other side.

With the formed cross in hand, take the wisp of palm you had set aside, and start wrapping the intersection of the crossed pieces, to secure them tightly.

The below collage, to be viewed left to right in rows top to bottom, is not every single move. It just gives you a general idea of how it is wrapped around, crisscrossing, and going up and down as well.



When you only have about 2 inches left, turn the cross over,  place it on the table, and holding the wrap tightly, take the remaining end and feed it under the wrap a couple of times, and then just pull it tightly. The front of the middle of the cross then looks like the last square in the above collage.That’s it!


We hope you have a happy and peace filled Palm Sunday !

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Vacation Bible School – Here We Come!


The kids have been waiting for VBS (Vacation Bible School) to come around for months!! Tomorrow morning it starts, and I don’t think they could possibly be more excited!! {J}, {O} and {S} are signed up, and our oldest, {A} is a leader for the week. I’ll be around here and there too, as I am the official photographer, serving our parish. : ) That means I’ll have plenty of photos of such an exciting time for the kids. I wouldn’t put other kids photos on our blog, but I’m sure I’ll get some of mine I can share. I’ll create a slide show for the kids, with all of the photos for the last day of VBS.

The only thing I know will be challenging is getting there on time every morning!! We really enjoy our leisurely mornings around here, and we’re pretty good it! But no doubts — this is going to be worth getting up for everyday. Let the fun begin!

Secret Rosaries in the Dark


Life has continued to be as eventful and busy as ever around here, with all kinds of fun, activities, learning, and work. Our heavier business work loads, that come with this season for us, has continued to use up our blogging time. But we give thanks to God for His ways in providing for our needs, and know you all understand the less frequent postings lately.

This morning, I wanted to take the time to share a humbling moment I experienced as a mother, one night last week. The little ones had been put to bed awhile before, and they weren’t seeming to settle in fast enough for me. I usually don’t mind them talking quietly for a little bit before drifting off to sleep, but I was attempting to get some work done, and was feeling quite distracted by the inaudible rumblings I could still hear coming from their bedroom nearby. Perhaps I was low on patience that night, because I was beyond annoyed as stomped towards their bedroom on a mission, ready to tell them once and for all, to “please ‘shush it’ and go-to-sleep!” But what I heard so clearly now, as I was about to put my hand on that doorknob, was 3 sweet little voices in perfect sync, and it stopped me in my tracks; “.…..Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for our sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee….” Tears welled up in my eyes, as did the jumbled feelings of guilt, shame, and happiness, as I realized they were saying the rosary together, in the dark, and using their fingers to do so. As I took a deep breath, I decided I wouldn’t ask them to ‘shush it’ once and for all, after all, and just stood there and listened for awhile

Mind you, I have heard them pray together in the dark many, many times before. But never the rosary. Where did this come from? I’d love to say from me, or their father, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I think likely they picked up the basics from the Catholic TV channel they watch a bit of every day, and their IRL friend on those shows, Fr. Bob. It just occurred to me now to ask them if they saw that on TV. I don’t really monitor what they are watching exactly, because they pretty much are only allowed to watch that channel (and sometimes EWTN), and after all, Fr. Bob is there! : ) It’s often his show! But I am sure at some point we at least taught them about rosary beads, what they are for, and generally how you use them, when they received some as gifts.

The next day they asked for those beads they had received before, and the day after that as well. They all sit lined up, and begin the rosary together. They’ve actually been all the way through it on their own! Other times it’s just a few decades, which is more than I’ve done in quite a while. Their big sister lent them a book that has 2 prayers in the rosary they do not know by heart yet: The Apostles Creed, and Hail Holy Queen. How convenient they can read so well. I was rather impressed with their discipline and dedication, and felt like I was witnessing a lesson meant just for me.

little kids praying the rosary

While we usually have daily family prayer together, we hadn’t yet attempted the rosary together. I assumed it was rather long for little ones, and maybe not so easy at their age, to mediate on the mysteries. Honestly, even I struggle deeply with an attention span like that. But perhaps we should begin to add the rosary to our family prayer life here and there. Maybe a daily decade would work, as we incorporate and teach the mysteries we are meant to meditate on while we recite the prayers (which would admittedly be an opportunity for us parents, to brush up on our rosary skills). No doubt it would be a spiritually fulfilling experience, and one it appears my little ones are indeed ready for, while the rest of us are long over-due.

little kids praying the rosary