"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Reading - June

After taking a long hiatus from sharing some of the books that we read each month, I decided to try and do so again.

Picture Book Read Alouds

Kieran through Patrick have been enjoying listening to this story over and over again. Patrick finds the "invisible castle" very amusing.

Eloise Wilkin Stories (Little Golden Book Treasury)
We didn't simply read this book; we read it again and again and again. We gave Eloise Wilkin Stories to Kieran for his birthday and he really likes it. At least once a day, he asks one of us to read "Timmy". After we read the story about Timmy, he asks us to read "Daddy buzz like the bees" or "the deer picture". Then he wants "help Mommy". After that, he wants to hear the rest of the book or all of the book, starting with "Timmy".

Elizabeth received this book in her Easter basket. She thoroughly enjoys listening to the stories and looking at the pictures. She even tries to read it herself sometimes. I didn't realize when I bought the book last year that it is a good beginning reader.

Mirette on the Highwire by Emily Arnold McCully
This was one of Catherine's favorite books when she was little. So, I wasn't surprised when Elizabeth saw it on a library shelf and asked me whether she could check it out. Her sister had done the same thing years ago. I was happy to read this book to my children once more and Catherine was happy to see "an old friend" once again.

*If you are looking for picture book ideas for July our 2010 July Picture Book Basket can be found here.

1st/2nd Grade

I Believe: The Creed, Confession and the Ten Commandments for Little Catholics
Finnian received this book in his Easter basket. He likes reading it to himself and with me. Once again, I didn't realize when I purchased this book a year ago that I was buying a great beginning reader for my son. All I knew was that Finnian would be receiving his First Confession this year and that it would be a good book to place in his Easter basket.

Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

3rd Grade

Nate the Great by Marjories Weinman Sharmat

I wish that I could remember who recommended this book because I could just hug her. Patrick received this book for Easter this year and we read it together at his request. Patrick and I learned more about St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. Patrick also liked reading the book with me which was a huge plus.

6th Grade

Downright Dencey by Caroline Dale Snedeker
Joan and Agnes remembered reading this book when they were younger and so I decided that it was worth checking out from the library for Theresa. We have now purchased the book from Bethlehem Books. I don't know why I hadn't done so before.

Father Damien And The Bells by Elizabeth Odell Sheehan
Cecilia read this book and all of the other 30 books in the Vision series. She started reading them around April.

The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden
My daughter enjoyed rereading this book and Elizabeth was happy to listen to it.

The Trolley Car Family by Eleanor Lowenton Clymer

7th/8th Grade

The Shannon Sailors: A Voyage to the Heart of Ireland by Leonard Wibberley

9th Grade

Faces of Holiness: Modern Saints in Photos and Words by Ann Ball
Our pastor reads a story or two from this book during our parish's Confirmation retreat. Our children have all appreciated hearing these stories. This year, we gave this book to our daughter for her baptism anniversary. Even though we had checked this book out from the library previously, she was very happy to receive her own copy and to reread Faces of Holiness.

The Shannon Sailors: A Voyage to the Heart of Ireland> by Leonard Wibberley
The Shannon Sailors is an account of Leonard Wibberley's trip to Ireland with his sons and the amusing adventures that they had.

The Young People's Book of Saints by Hugh Ross Williamson
Bernadette enjoyed rereading this old favorite. I might just borrow it from her for our next morning read aloud.

11th Grade

The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton
My eldest always enjoys reading Chesterton. This book is currently available free for Kindle.

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Although Catherine found this book humorous, she told me that she preferred the old Cheaper By the Dozen movie because in the book God's name is used in vain. There is no swearing in the movie.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth
This book was read a few years ago for a book club and reread this month. My daughter requested that I check out this particular book illustrated by N.C. Wyeth because she remembered liking the illustrations. Wyeth was a talented illustrator. Unfortunately, according to a review on Amazon, the current publication of this book that contains Wyeth's pictures is abridged.

The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton
When Catherine was around 13, she pulled our copy of Father Brown off a shelf and she hasn't stopped reading Chesterton's writings since that time. The Father Brown stories make her laugh out loud. The Man Who Knew Too Much hasn't caused her to laugh, but she is enjoying it. This book is also available free for Kindle.

Victory Over Vice by Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen
I was happy to see our oldest reading this book. I read it a few years ago and it is, as our daughter said, "excellent". I might need to reread it when she is finished.

Personal Reading

The Glories Of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
I started reading this book in May and it is excellent! I love Our Blessed Mother!

Read Alouds

New Catholic Picture Bible by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik
When Catherine was younger, my husband used to read a children's bible to her and eventually her siblings each night. After reading a story, my husband would ask questions. My dad used to delight, when he and my mom visited, in asking Catherine questions about various stories from the bible. She was always able to answer his questions. Somewhere along the way, the nightly bible reading stopped. Well, in February, we decided to start our old tradition again. The children are enjoying listening to their father read the bible after our family rosary each night and they are taking pleasure in answering his questions.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Clothing Advice from my Daughter

Catherine: "Mommy, I really like the skirt that you and Theresa made tonight. I like the style and everything. I would buy a skirt like that, but..."

Me: "What don't you like about it?"

Catherine: "I like everything about it, but I don't think that she can wear it to Mass because I think that it would be too much of a distraction. I know that if I were sitting behind her, I would be looking at it."

I don't know whether or not Theresa will be wearing her skirt to Mass, but I do know that I got a good laugh.

If nothing else, Theresa will wear her skirt, red shirt, and liberty bow flexi clip on the 4th of July. Oh wait, Independence Day falls on First Friday and we will be going to Mass!

At least, she can wear the skirt when she goes camping this summer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, please visit Amanda

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lilla Rose Summer Sale, Mystery Hostess Party and Flexi of the Month

Lilla Rose is having a summer sale
and we are throwing a
4th of July Mystery Hostess Party!

When you place an order through the party link between June 25 and 26, you will save 10% and receive free shipping on orders over $40. You will also automatically be entered in the drawing to win the hostess rewards. We will draw the winning name on Independence Day!

The lucky winner may earn up to $150 in free products and up to 6 half-price items!

You can receive a second entry by letting your friends know about the mystery hostess party. Simply let me know in the comments or via email (prettynwrose at gmail dot com) how you shared the mystery hostess party link – on your blog, via email, Facebook, etc.

In addition, we are offering all new Lilla Rose customers "buy 3, get a 4th clip free"If you are ordering from Lilla Rose for the first time and you or anyone in your household have never redeemed a "Have-1-On-Us" coupon, you are eligible to get a free item of your choice, worth up to $16, when you order 3 or more items! Simply email me (prettynwrose at gmail dot com), telling me the item you would like after you place your order (do not order the 4th item yourself). This offer is only good through the party link (please make sure it says Christine). 

The mystery hostess party will stay open until midnight on Thursday!


Lilla Rose flexi clips work in fine, medium, and thick hair.

If you order the wrong size, Lilla Rose allows you to exchange the flexi clip within 90 days (keep the packaging). Lilla Rose will even pay for the return shipping.

A styling and sizing video is available on my Lilla Rose website.

I am happy to answer questions.

I just have to say that I like July's Flexi Clip of the Month so much that I ordered one for each of my daughters and one for me, plus extras for friends who might want them. I wouldn't be surprised if these clips sold out within a few days.

All those who made a purchase during my grand opening party will automatically be entered into the drawing. We really appreciate your kindness and support. Thank you!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you to everyone who uses them. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


I like seeing Our Lady's crown (a.k.a. 'love in a mist') and Our Lady's pincushion (a.k.a. 'scabiosa') when I step out our front door.


Our little boy was very happy to open his birthday presents. He was even happier to get his own rake, push broom, and angle broom. The brooms are similar in quality to adult brooms only smaller. Finnian and Elizabeth like using them too. We purchased the presents from for small hands. I am happy to have these child-size tools in the house again.

Our son was also very happy that his siblings decorated the sides of his cake with jelly beans. Our little boy saw cupcakes decorated with jelly beans in one of our cookbooks and said that he wanted them for his birthday. However, I wasn't up for making a cake, let alone decorating cupcakes, and so I compromised. We bought a cake and jelly beans, and the children took care of the rest.


Our little boy thought that we could hear and speak with his grandpa on the phone. He also thought that his grandpa could see his birthday card through the phone. "I got a card. See."


No matter what a child is given, the box in which the present arrives is always one of his favorite gifts.

round button chicken

Monday, June 16, 2014

Responding to Questions and Comments about Homeschooling

How do you do it?

I could never homeschool because I don’t have the patience. You must be so patient.

The above question and comment are ones that I have heard over and over again. I always give the same responses.

How do you do it? "I homeschool my children by the Grace of God because without Him, I couldn't do it." This means that I begin each day with a morning offering, followed by praying three Hail Marys for purity, holiness, and happiness (by happiness, I mean eternal happiness) for my husband, my children, and myself. I pray for my husband and each of my children by name. I pray that my husband and children become great saints and bring greater glory to God. I pray that God grants them final perseverance. Over the years, I have learned that prayer is essential to homeschooling. I homeschool by offering my whole day to God and asking Him to help my children and me.

You must be so patient. "Actually, I am learning to be patient." Several years ago, I told a friend, "You are always so full of joy." I think that I will always remember her response. Marty replied, "Thank you. I pray for the virtue of joy each day."  She taught me a very important lesson. If you are lacking in a virtue, pray that God grant you that virtue. Therefore, I try to remember to pray for patience. Recently, Fr. V. told me that patience is a fruit of the virtue of joy. Thanks to Fr. V., I am going to be joining Marty in praying for the virtue of joy.

"Teach children with joy. They will be attracted by joy to the Source of all joy, the heart of Jesus." 
~ St. Katharine Drexel ~

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Prayers Needed

It was with great sadness that I read on Rorate Caeli this morning that Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP had been shot and killed, and that Fr. Joesph Terra, FSSP is in critical condition after an attack by armed burglars. Our assitant pastor mentioned Fr. Walker and his family when he came for dinner on Pentecost Sunday.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP. Also, please pray for the complete recovery of Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP. May Our Blessed Mother, the Mother of Mercy, bring comfort to the families and parishioners of these holy priests. 

Please see the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's prayer request.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


I thought that Theresa's hair looked very pretty on Sunday with the mini Hawaiian Flower flexi clip in it. I know that I have already mentioned this, but I really like these pretty clips. I know that I am not the only one. My friend, Cathy, shared the following after receiving her order:
I'm so excited to tell you that our order arrived today!  I can't believe how quickly it came and I have to tell you that it was packaged beautifully.  It was very secure and the calla lily clip looks stunning in person!  Rebecca is trying new hairstyles as we speak with her new Roman Cross flexi and the color looks great in her brown hair!

Thanks again!
Cathy's comment about the calla lily clip confirms in my mind that the clip would make a great bridesmaid's gift. I also think that it would look pretty in a bride's hair. I hope that my niece and some other young girls who are graduating from high school this year like their gifts from Lilla Rose as much as Rebecca likes the clip that her mom gave to her.


The children were happy to have our assistant pastor over for dinner to help us celebrate Pentecost.

They had fun playing badminton with him.

Fr. V., Finnian, and Patrick took great joy in singing, "Happy Birthday to the Church! Happy Birthday to the Church! Happy Birthday Holy Mother Church!" together.


The children and my wonderful husband thought it was funny to see Fr. V. shoot an egg. I probably would have thought so too, but I was doing dishes. Am I more like Mary or Martha?


Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests. Amen.

round button chicken

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for using them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Violin Recital: Allen's Bar

On Pentecost Sunday, after Mass and before Fr. V. came over to celebrate the birthday of Holy Mother Church with us (I hope to share some photos soon), Bernadette participated in her spring violin recital. This year, she played "Allen's Bar" by Barrage. She told me that the piece was kind of easy for her which may have been good because she seemed to be relaxed while playing. I was thankful that my husband recorded Bernadette's performance, so that I could see it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Best Budgeting Program

Over four years ago, a friend sent an email to our homeschool group, titled, "Budget is Not a Four-Letter Word". She caught my husband's and my attention. She influenced us to purchase YNAB (a.k.a. You Need a Budget). We started taking baby steps towards truly managing our finances and not living paycheck to paycheck.

Over four years later, we are still using YNAB and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thanks to YNAB, we know what we're spending and where our money is going. We know how to give every dollar a job before my husband even receives his paycheck. I am no longer stressing my husband out with my comments concerning money. YNAB has helped us "take control of our finances."

Full disclosure: After recommending YNAB for years simply because I like the program, I am now recommending YNAB not only because I think that it is the best budgeting program available, but also because the YNAB team, in addition to offering $6 off the purchase price of YNAB, is also giving me $6 for everyone who purchases the program through our link. Thank you to anyone who does so.

YNAB is currently offering $6 off when you use this link.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Lilla Rose Grand Opening Party and Flexi Clip of the Month

You are invited to try the most amazing,
comfortable, durable, feminine, flexible,
pretty hair jewelry available!

We are having a Lilla Rose "Grand Opening" Party at my house this month. We would like to invite everyone, but distance and space prevent us from being able to do so. However, Lilla Rose makes it possible for my readers to participate through our online party catalog.

Lilla Rose offers versatile hair jewelry of outstanding quality. The “flexi clip” is our main product, and you will be amazed that it will hold your hair securely and comfortably in many different hairstyles. Flexi clips make great gifts! They also make great scarf clips. We hope you’ll treat yourself! There is no risk, as your satisfaction is guaranteed!  Any item can be returned for a complete refund, or easily exchanged absolutely free (including shipping fees) within 30 days of the purchase date. You can view a sizing video here:

Lilla Rose products make it easy to do your hair quickly and yet look like you spent some time doing it. All we do is slip the flexi clip, hair band or bobby pins into our hair. The Lilla Rose hair jewelry gives our hairstyles that finishing touch.

In addition to hosting our "Grand Opening" Party, we are offering all new Lilla Rose customers "buy 3, get a 4th clip free"If you are ordering from Lilla Rose for the first time and you or anyone in your household have never redeemed a "Have-1-On-Us" coupon, you are eligible to get a free item of your choice, worth up to $16, when you order 3 or more items! Simply email me (prettynwrose at gmail dot com), telling me the item you would like after you place your order (do not order the 4th item yourself). This offer is only good through our party link through June 30. Please make sure that the Lilla Rose website lists "Christine" as your personal consultant.

Lilla Rose does not send emails verifying your order through party links, but I would be happy to confirm your order if you email me after placing it. The "Grand Opening" party link will stay open until Wednesday, July 9. Please remember to select the “Ship to Customer” option so that your order ships to you!

Finally, I am happy to share that Lilla Rose's June flexi clip of the month is the calla lily. It would make a wonderful gift for a bridal shower, bridesmaids, and/or the mother of the bride. I like the fact that the calla lily's religious name is St. Joseph's staff. I can't help, but agree with a friend who said, "The timing is just perfect with Father's Day being in June." She ended up buying a calla lily fexi clip and I am fairly certain that she will be wearing it for Father's Day in honor of St. Joseph.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you to everyone who uses them. My family and I appreciate you doing so.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

It's Almost Summer Daybook

Outside my window, our flowers are blooming and I am enjoying spending time in the garden, marveling at God's world. Over the past few years, I have been trying to get our garden to the point that I don't have to spend much money on it. I am succeeding with the flowers. I wasn't able to divide my perennials earlier in the spring, so they look a little messy, but they are still pretty. In addition, my godetia seeds didn't grow for the first time, so we won't have any "pretty pink flowers" in our garden this year. I don't know if the birds ate the seeds or what happened. Thankfully, the snapdragons (the Infant Jesus' shoes) did grow. My store-bought Shasta daisy and coneflower seeds must have been moved by little feet because these flowers are sprouting in locations that I didn't plant them. 

I am trying to figure out what long-blooming annual or perennial I can grow next to our 'butterfly blue' scabiosas (Our Lady's pincushion). If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I currently have dianthus (Mary's lights) growing near it, but it looks too short. I might just need to find a dianthus that is the right height. Last year, I divided Our Lady's pincushion flowers and I am amazed by how well they are doing this year. I have always appreciated their long bloom time and how pretty they look in little vases all by themselves or with our red roses and alyssum (Mary's flower). Can you tell that I like flowers?

Spring flowers

I am wearing, a homemade red floral skirt, a pink shirt, and my fleur-de-lis flexi clip. Have I mentioned how much I like this clip? The clip makes it so easy to pull my hair back. I am so thankful that I finally decided to buy some Lilla Rose products. I am happy that I decided to "gasp" become a consultant. When Elisa's friend asked me if I wanted to be a consultant, I thought, "Yes, I want to share these pretty clips with my sisters and friends." Now, I also want people to know about the hair bands, bobby pins, and you pins. I like them that much.

In the kitchen, we are making plans for Pentecost. Fr. V. will be coming over for dinner and we will be having tortilla chips with a seven layer dip for an appetizer, a barbecue (assuming the weather is good), a twelve fruit salad, a cake like this one, and homemade strawberry ice cream. Thanks go to Finnian's godmother who had her end of the year Catechesis of the Good Shepherd party on the Feast of Pentecost several years ago (make that 9 years ago). She asked all the mothers to bring a Pentecost related food item and brainstormed ideas with us. One of the children suggested that we make cupcakes with flames inserted on top of them, but we have been enjoying making cakes lately and are looking forward to making another one.

Mother's Day apple crumble cake and Ascension Thursday cake

I am thankful to have a baby in the house again. I spend hours happily holding, smiling at, and playing with Kilian. I am also thankful that reading is starting to click for Elizabeth. I always find it so exciting when my children start to read.

I am hearing Bernadette practicing for her upcoming violin recital. We finally decided on an end-of-the-year gift for her violin teacher. Bernadette is sure that her teacher is going to like it. I am too.

I am praying for my loving, happy, talkative, little boy, Kieran.

Our birthday boy

In the learning rooms Catherine has been continuing to do dissections, much to her chagrin. Once again, some of her siblings have been enjoying observing, encouraging, and helping. As I wrote previously, one of the things that I like about homeschooling is the shared interest and learning among my children.

Frog dissection

When we did frog dissections in high school, I let my lab partner do all the work and I simply wrote down what he told me to write down. Since my children are homeschooled, they are required to actively participate in their science courses. I know that some of them wish that they could do as I did, but they aren't complaining.

I am reading  The Glories Of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori. I started reading this excellent book about Our Blessed Mother in May and I highly recommend it. I am also continuing to read St. Alphonsus Liguori's The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation each month. This month, the book is focused on the virtue of chastity.

I am listening to Modesty, Scandal, Purity & Caring for Our Neighbor (H/T goes to Tracy).

Plans for this week 
  • Mass
  • Lessons
  • Violin recital
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening
  • A Lilla Rose consultation with a friend and her daughter
  • Preparing for Pentecost
A picture thought

My baby sister holding my baby boy

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