Friday, November 16, 2018

A Homeschooler's Guide to Thanksgiving!

Hello friends!!!  Happy Fall!!  This is one of my favorite seasons and I am so excited that Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  How about you?

I was making a list of things for our family to do to prepare for this Thanksgiving Day when I thought to share a list with you too!  Aside from the usual house cleaning chores, here are ways a homeschooler can help their family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1.   Clean your room.  Sometimes, the bedroom doors get closed when company comes over, but sometimes we need the extra space of a bedroom or playroom to play with the kids.  It's a great idea to keep your room clean even a week before Thanksgiving prep so that when your mom asks you to clean your room, it's already done!  You never know when you'll have extra surprise company who will need to stay in your room either.  This is a great task to do well before the crazy food prep begins.

2.   Make place cards and festive decorations.  This is another fun task to do well in advance because you may be busy helping in other areas the week of Thanksgiving.  You can even get all your siblings involved in this one.  You can come up with fun designs of your own or find adorable and free printables on the internet!  (Like this one!)

3.   Be available to run errands.  Do you have your driver's license?  If so, that's great!  I'm sure your parents would love if you're available to make a last minute run to the grocery store.  Even if you're already out and about with your own plans, try to check and see if they need anything before you head home.  

4.   Wash and press table linens.  This is something I forget about.  If you have some free time, it would be great to wash and iron a tablecloth that's been folded and wrinkled in a box or drawer.  This is a quick task that can enhance the look of your Thanksgiving table by another degree!

5.   Find things for the kids to do.  Because my sister and I are often helping my mom in the kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes the visiting children are left to their own devices in the playroom.  Try to find and set out a few things they can stay occupied with such as board games, coloring pages, and activities.  For bonus points, create a fun game or craft that is Thanksgiving themed!  (There are lots of great ideas and quick printables on Pinterest.)  One other fun thing to have is a paper tablecloth on the kids' table.  Put some crayons in a cup and let them create a fun, festive, fall, design!

6.   Put together a Thanksgiving music playlist.  If you don't listen to Christmas music this early, put together a playlist on your iPod, Spotify, or find a station on the radio to play in the background during the evening.  

7.   Give Thanks and be charitable.  The holidays can be a stressful and hectic time but let's try to do our best to be helpful and charitable.  A lesson I learned many years ago in the Little Flowers Girls Group was to complete assigned chores and tasks cheerfully, promptly, and completely.  Let's try to do all our chores this way for the love of God and in thanksgiving for all the blessings we've received. 

8.   Finally, have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!


If you'd like to find more festive and fun Thanksgiving ideas, please check out my Pinterest board here:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Books, Books, and Even More Books!

So a long, long, long time ago, I set up a poll to see which draft posts you would all like me to finish.  This post received the most votes!!  Thank you all for voting on the poll!  It is probably one of my earliest drafts that I've been putting off.  I'm not sure where or who it came from, but I know it made its rounds in the blogging world!

So without further ado, I give you...

The Bookshelf Tag~

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from:  

I have to say, before starting this post, that my bookshelf in my room is a work in progress.  I grew out of my bookshelf long ago, but haven't gotten a new one yet, so I actually have two, my sister's old one and mine! πŸ˜„  Because they are so small, I've had to remove some of my childhood or family favorites that I might otherwise have kept on the shelves.  Most of my books are also double stacked.  My bookshelves are beautiful dollhouse shaped with windows on the sides and are painted with green and pink accents on a white background.

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books?

Overall, my books are separated by subject and then organized by height.  The top shelf of my green bookshelf is nick-nacks, statues, and other items.  Then, the next shelf holds most of my Catholic, Saint, and Life of Faith series books.  The third shelf holds some of my favorite books and series including Anne of Green Gables, Narnia, books written by Jane Austen, and other girly novels. 😊  The bottom shelf is all of my tall books, magazines, yearbooks, old paper dolls, and such.  My pink bookshelf has journals and notebooks on the top shelf.  The second shelf has devotionals, the Little House on the Prairie series, and my folded AoGG book.  The third shelf holds miscellaneous books and folders.

What's the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf?

My Christian Prayer book (The Liturgy of the Hours) has 2080 pages.

What's the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf?

I have a small booklet on St. Therese called With Child-like Trust: The Spiritual Childhood of the Little Flower which has 23 pages.

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

I received Downright Dencey for my 16th birthday.

What's the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

A small booklet titled How to Choose Your Vocation in Life measures 5½" tall and 3⅜" wide with 24 pages.

What's the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

Therese and Lisieux measures 11⅜" tall, 9 and 3/16" wide, 1" binding, and 336 pages.

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

The Dominican Rosary Novena Book

Most expensive book?

My Christian Prayer book.

The last book you read on your shelf?

An Unexpected Role, by Leslea Wahl.  You can find my review here.

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?

Oh, I have no idea. πŸ˜ΆπŸ™Š

Do you have more than one copy of a book?

Yes, haha.  I have 2 copies of  The Catholic Girls Guide, Great Expectations, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Rainbow Valley, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Do you have the complete series of any book series?

Yes, I only have one complete series on my shelves right now.  I completed collecting my Anne of Green Gables series a while ago.

What's the newest addition to your shelf?

Most recently, I received An Unexpected Role.  The most recent book I've purchased is Emily's Quest at the thrift store a few months ago.  Since it's the third book in the trilogy, It'll probably be a while before I get to read this.

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER?

Probably some of my childhood Saint books.  The small tan one on the right in the picture below might be the oldest currently on my shelf.  It's a book of Saints for Girls. πŸ’• (Oh, maybe The Most Important Story Bible is the oldest.  I was around 5 or younger when we got that. πŸ’• It's pictured below with Great Expectations.)

What's the most recently published book on your shelf?

An Unexpected Role was published in 2016.  The next most recent (since I've used that book in 3 answers now) is Moments of Grace by the Carmelite Sisters, copyright 2014.

The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)?

I can't tell for sure since many old books are only printed with the original copyright date, but I believe the oldest book I have is Month of Mary: Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament by St. Peter Julian Eymard.  The copyright is 1903 and the author is called Fr. Eymard so this copy is presumably from before his canonization (1962).

A book you won?

40 Days for Life - Discover What God Has Done...Imagine What He Can Do

A book you'd hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)?

I've let many people borrow dear books so I wouldn't say I'm overly protective of any books.  However, I use my copy of The Catholic Girls Guide so much that I don't think I would be able to loan it out for an extended period of time.  I do highly recommend getting your own copy to every girl and young woman!!

Most beat up book?

My first copy of Anne of Avonlea, which I bought at a small thrift store in Washington State, was pretty well loved when I bought it and I have since read it a few times and loaned it to my grandma, so it's been very well loved.

Most pristine book?

The Imitation of Christ.  Isn't it pretty?!  I received it for my Confirmation and it is a great book, but since I read a lot of excerpts from it in my Manual for Total Consecration to Mary, I haven't used this copy as much, but I certainly want to read it in full soon.

A book from your childhood?

St. Angela Merici: Leading People to God.

A book that's not actually your book?

He is my Heaven: The Life of Elizabeth of the Trinity is actually a book I bought for my sister who, after reading it, insisted that I read it.  I kept it on my shelf ever since.

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)?

Great Expectations (Also, The Imitation of Christ above.)

A book that is your favorite color?

The Duck Commander Devotional

Book that's been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven't read?

I've had Kathleen's Shaken Dreams for a long, long time now.

Any signed books?

An Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl!  Ha!  I (sort of) won it in a giveaway.

If you still have time, Movie Critic tagged me for the Book Tag! (again, so sorry it's taken me sooo long...)

The rules:
1. You must be honest.
2. You must answer every question.
3. You must tag at least 4 people.

1.) What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Probably The Most Important Story Bible (as mentioned above).

2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next? 

Currently reading: The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of LisieuxThe Catholic Girl's Guide: Counsels & Devotions for Girls in the Ordinary Walks of LifeJesus, King of Love by Fr.  Mateo Crawley-Boevey, and Tuning In to God's Call.

Last read: The Austen Escapeby Katherine Reay.

Next read: Maybe In This House of Brede by Rumor Godden  (Here's my whole TBR shelf link.)

4.) What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?  

I can't say for sure, but probably Jane Austen's Charlotte: Her Fragment of a Last Novel, Completed, by Julia Barrett.  I checked it out at the library months ago and still haven't read it.  I'm probably just going to end up returning it.

5.) What book are you saving for retirement?

Retirement?!?!  I've never ever thought that far ahead, girlie! πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ  

6.) Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?   

Definitely wait 'till the end!  I do not like spoilers.  I'm especially glad I waited to go looking at Pinterest or read part of the end of Emma because it's written like a mystery and the book unfolded ever so nicely before my eyes as I read. πŸ’–

7.) Acknowledgment: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

It depends on how long it is.  It's never really crossed my mind that those (or any other pages) could be considered a waste of ink and paper.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with?  

Again!  I can't choose!!  Anne of Green Gables, firstly.  Maybe Emma, Molly from Young Pioneers, or I'm sure there's another book character I'm forgetting. 🀷

9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)  

Place: My first copy of Anne of Green Gables reminds me of the first chiropractic office my family went to.  I always loved reading it while waiting in the waiting room and telling the receptionist about it.

Time: Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio reminds me of the time in my life when I first wanted to become a sister.  St. Mary Mazzarello was just a small part of St. John Bosco's story, but I liked reading about her and she was a great inspiration to me.

Person: The books that my grandmother gave me always remind me of her, even when I just glance at them.  I love you, Granny!πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

10.) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.  

I can't think of anything super strange.

11.) Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Recently I gave two friends my last two copies of The Story of a Soul because we were talking about St. Therese, Carmelites, and simplicity.  I had originally purchased 5 copies to try and start a book club with girls in my Little Flowers group, but it never panned out so over the years I've slowly given them away.  I'm so happy I'm able to share them with friends and share the "Little Way" of St. Therese.
12.) Which book has been with you most places?

The Catholic Girl's Guide: Counsels & Devotions for Girls in the Ordinary Walks of Life  I take it all sorts of places to use it as a prayer book.   My first copy is so small that I can take it anywhere in a purse!

13.) Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?  

If I don't like a book (hate is a strong word), I don't pick it up later.  Books like Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton and Beorn the Proud by Madeline A. Polland were some I just couldn't read.  My sister, however, really liked them and finished them.

14.) Used or brand new?

I love both!  Please don't make me choose.  Used books have a charm and a look that they've been loved.  New books often act like a magnet.  They sit there on the shelf all new and pretty just begging to be cracked open, read, and worn.

15.) Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?   

I can't think of one right now.  I always appreciate a movie that's really well done.  Maybe you could count The Hobbit as it was a little boring when I tried reading it but I like the movies.

16.) Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

One didn't come to mind right away, but now that I think about it, A Little Princess has beautiful descriptions of food that I'd love to eat!

17.) Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

I mostly judge for myself although I love recommendations from many people.  I don't think there is any one person though.  My mom and sister are probably the ones who help me choose most of my books.

18.) Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?  

Maybe The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.  I'm not a fantasy, futuristic, or SiFi person, but I really enjoyed The Time Machine in every aspect.

I tag those who have ever read 5 or more of the books I have mentioned in this post!  You can do 1 or even both tags!

I hope you enjoyed reading this super long post!  Have you read any of the books I've mentioned?  Let me know in the comments.  God bless!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Some of my favorite quotes from the 2018 March for Life

Another draft post here today!!  
I was blessed to attend my first March for Life in Washington D.C. with my family this year.  We got to listen to many incredible speakers who shared their personal life stories.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the 2018 March for life.

"More than two-hundred and forty years ago, our founders wrote words that have echoed through the ages. They declared these truths to be self-evident.  That we are, each of us, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.  And that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  ~Vice President of the United States, Michael R. Pence

"It was such a small thing, this loving exchange, and the impact reaches into eternity.  You man not see the impact of your love, but God sees it.  The love of your heart is totally unique to you and only you can give it.  Your love saves lives."  ~Sr. Bethany Madonna, Sisters of Life

"Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in The Declaration of Independence and that is the right to life." ~President of the United States, Donald J. Trump

"We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society.  But this movement can only succeed with the heart and the soul and the prayer of the people." ~President of the United States, Donald J. Trump

"...And most importantly of all, it is the gift of life itself.  That is why we march.  That is why we pray.  And that is why we declare that America's future will be filled with goodness, peace, joy, dignity, and life for every child of God." ~President of the United States, Donald J. Trump

"Life is winning in America because love saves lives." ~Vice President of the United States, Michael R. Pence

"..This is a movement that is on the rise.  And do you know why the pro-life movement is on the rise?  Because truth is on our side!  Life begins at conception.  You know why the pro-life movement is on the rise?  Because science is on our side! ... And most importantly, the pro-life movement is on the rise because love is on our side.  We believe every person is worthy of love and dignity.  That is why the pro-life movement is on the rise." ~House Speaker Paul Ryan

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Catholic Tag

Hello dear friends!!  I was indirectly tagged (so to speak) for the Catholic Tag by Maddi Elaine @ Short and Sweet Style!  This looked like a very fun tag about my Faith that is so very dear to my heart.   (This is one of the draft posts I've been meaning to finish for forever, so here you go!!)

What is your rite?

It's the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Photo Credit: Patrick Craig


Cradle Catholic

Year You Were Baptized?


Year You Received Your First Communion?


Confirmation Saint?

St. Mariam Bouardy and St. Therese of Liseux

Name of Current Parish?

St. Bridget of Ireland

Photo credit: Mr. Evaristo

Parish Groups You Belong To?

I don't belong to any groups at present, but I have been a member of our Schola Cantorum/Choir for years.  I also hope to start a Young Adult group.

Prayers You Say Every Day?

The Morning Offering, an Ave Maria for my vocation, sometimes morning prayer from the Divine Office,  and the rosary.

Morning Offering

Religious Items You Travel With?

My rosary, holy water, my veil for Mass, The Catholic Girls' Guide, my miraculous medal, St. Benedict medal bracelet, and Saint bracelet.  Most of the time I have a spiritual reading book in my bag as well.

Do You Go To Adoration?

Yes, my family and I used to go to weekly Children's Adoration, but now I am going occasionally by myself.

Last Time You Went To Confession?

First Friday Mass

Color of Your Favorite Rosary?

My favorite rosary that I like to use is actually Jerusalem wood.

Convert That Helped Your Faith?

Tim Staples and my Confirmation sponsor.

Cradle Catholic That Helped Your Faith?

Well, my mom and dad, of course.  I'm not sure if he is a cradle Catholic, but I met this priest a couple of times at a conference, Fr. Christopher Bernabe, and he has been very influential in my vocation discernment.

Weirdest Thing About Being Catholic?

It's really a small world when you're a Catholic.  Even more so when you're a Catholic who attends the TLM.  Everybody seems to know everybody!!

Best Thing About Being Catholic?

I loved Maddi Elaine's answer.  There are so many things.  Honestly, I want to say the best thing about being Catholic is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The fact that we can receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ at Mass.  I love being able to commune with Him in the silent moments after I receive Him.  I also love having Mary as my spiritual Mother!

Let me live and die, O My Jesus, in the kiss of Your Love!

Your Patron Saints?

St. Rose of Lima, St. Barbara, St. Mariam Bouardy, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Genisius, St. Cecilia, and St. Gregory.

Favorite Saint?

How can I name just one?!?!  All my patron Saints, St. John Bosco, St. Edith Stein, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Mary Mazzarello.  I also enjoy St. Louis Marie de Montfort, and St. Catherine of Sienna.  A few venerables are also worth mentioning here; Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Ven. Maria Teresa of Jesus, and Ven. Mother Luisita.

Favorite Parable?

Well, I think I would say the parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Matt. 13:44-46) and The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13).

Favorite Psalm?

Psalm 65 Thanksgiving for God's Blessings

Favorite Religious Order?

Carmelites, definitely.

Favorite Catholic Singer/Band?

There are so many!!  The Priests, The Benedictine Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles, and The Annie Moses Band.

Favorite Spiritual Author?

Fr. Lasance, St. Therese, St. Louis Marie de Montfort, and Fr. Laux.

Favorite Prayer?

Prayers of St. Thomas Aquinas before and after Holy Communion, The Saint Andrew's Christmas Novena, and this Sigh to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament:

"O Jesus, sweetest Love, come Thou to me; Come down in all Thy beauty unto me; Thou Who didst die for longing love of me, And never, never more depart from me."

Favorite Marian Devotion?

The Rosary and Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort.

Favorite Pope?

I'm not really sure.  There are many who did great things.

Favorite Biblical Character?

Aside from Mary, maybe Job and Jeremiah.  They are both characters with sad stories but are inspiring to me in my faith.  They stayed strong and trusted in the Lord even in terribly hard times.

Favorite Catholic Movie?

The Miracle of Marcelino (1955), Therese (2004) and Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love

Favorite Catholic Song?

Dormi Jesu and Herzliebster Jesu.  Each song relates a beautiful and pivotal moment in our redemption history.  Dormi Jesu from the nativity of Our Lord, and Herzliebster Jesu from His passion and death.  Oh!  And then there's Sicut Cervus, one of my all-time favorites. 😊

Favorite Encyclical?

I haven't read many full encyclicals, but I did read Humanae Vitae and loved it.

Favorite Marian Hymn?

Ave Maria

Favorite Book Written By A Saint?

"Story of A Soul" by St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Favorite Catholic Meme?

Favorite Liturgical Season?

Christmas!  But to be honest with you, Lent really grew on me this year.  It really helped me to grow as a person and in my discernment.

Favorite Feast Day?

St. Therese's feast day!

Favorite Part of Mass?

The consecration of the host and the chalice.  It's the most important part of the Mass y'all.  It is the moment that Heaven is opened and Jesus becomes present on the altar.  It is the unbloodied re-presentation of Jesus' once and for all sacrifice on Calvary.  When the priest elevates the host and chalice, you are seeing Jesus lifted up on the cross on Calvary.

Photo credit: Patrick Craig

Favorite Sacred Hymn?

Ok, what's the difference between a song and a hymn?  One of my favorite sacred hymns might be God of Mercy and Compassion.  There's also O Come and Mourn with Me a While.  (I'm sorry, I can't find a good YouTube video for it.)  I'm sure there are others, but the Lenten ones move me so very much and even stay in my head throughout the year.

Favorite Gospel?

I want to say Luke, but I don't remember why.

Favorite Martyr?

St. Cecilia and St. Edith Stein.

Favorite (approved) Title of Our Lady?

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Favorite Bible Translation?

The Douay Rheims

Religious Life of Married?

Whatever God wants.  Right now, I do believe I'm leaning towards the religious life.

Homeschooling or Catholic School?


G.K. Chesterton or C.S. Lewis?

I haven't read much of either (shame on me) but since I did enjoy Narnia as a kid, I'll say C.S. Lewis.

St. Paul or St. Peter?

St. Paul

St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine?

St. Thomas Aquinas.  I've read more of his work.

Wow!!  That was a lot of fun!  Thank you all so much for reading!  It's always wonderful to examine your Faith "personality," so to speak. πŸ˜‰  If you'd like, please go ahead and complete the tag yourself!  May God bless you always!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Favorite Hairstyles For You

Hello friends,

Today I wanted to share with you a fantastic blog dedicated to pretty and feminine hairstyles, tips, and tutorials!  It all started when two Seton homeschooled, high school girls (who live over 9,437 miles apart) were obsessed with hairstyling, but they needed an outlet to share their ideas.  Seton Girls' Hairstyles blog was born and now you can find tons of cute hairstyle tutorials and more on this wonderful website!!

It is always so great when homeschoolers who use the same curriculum are able to connect, sometimes across the globe!  Thanks to online classes and discussion forums, homeschoolers like these girls and myself have been able to make great friends and find common interests.

I would love to share 5 of my favorite hairstyles they've posted, but don't stop there.  Once you've seen my favorites, please go check out their Hairstyle Gallery for all of the step-by-step tutorials they've done and then pick your own favorites to try!

Dutch Braided Updo for Short Hair

Aren't these ladies sooo talented?!?!  And their hair is super gorgeous. <3 Their photography is always fantastic as well.  Which hairstyles are your favorite?  I hope you enjoy!  Please go visit their blog for more great tutorials!!

God bless,