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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Beauty of Advent Revisited

The manger is ready and waiting to be filled with soft hay each time one of
our children offers a good deed to God during Advent.
"Before Our Lady conceived Our Lord in the flesh,
she conceived Him in the interior silence of her soul."
~ Advent Recollection: Silence ~

Last week, as Advent approached, I listened to this Advent Recollection Series again. If we are quiet, it is because, once again this year, my family and I are focusing on the beauty of Advent and being Christkindls to each other. We are trying to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God bless you with a peaceful, faith-filled, and fruitful Advent!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Violin Recital

On the Feast of St Cecilia, Bernadette and Theresa participated in their fall violin recital. Theresa just started violin lessons in September. She was accompanied by Bernadette as she played Marching Song, Norwegian Folk Song, and Lightly Row.

Bernadette enjoyed playing Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet. She started playing when she was around Theresa's age. Her playing has come a long way.

Thank you to everyone who has placed orders through my Lilla Rose website, mystery hostess parties, review links, and home or online parties since May. You are helping make it possible for my children to continue with/take music lessons.

Lilla Rose is currently having their BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR. In addition to the mystery hostess party that I am hosting, Angela is hosting an online party, Jessica is hosting a review and giveaway, and Kim has an open party. Purchases made through any one of these parties are greatly appreciated.

It's Snowing

The boys don't need to pretend anymore. It really is snowing, and Kieran is very excited. He keeps telling me, "Mommy, it's snowing!" and "Mommy, snow is on the van. We need to clean it." He also commented, "Mommy, the snow is on the flowers." I love my little boy and his wonder and enthusiasm.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Arctic Fun

Snow is rare in our neck of the woods. However, my boys can pretend it is plentiful with their Arctic Snowmobile, Arctic Ice Crawler, Arctic Helicrane, and Arctic Outpost.

Hopefully, the Arctic Base Camp goes on sale because Patrick would really like it. One of the reviews of the base camp on the Lego site gave me a chuckle. The reviewer wrote, among other things, "I found the 'extreme weather conditions' difficult to assemble."

It is great to be a child with a big imagination.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Saint that is Just Me

A friend shared this video and it brought tears streaming down my face. I want nothing more than to become a great saint and bring greater glory to God. However, I know that I have a long way to go. I also know that the only way that I will get there is by the grace of God and with the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry-Pineapple Jello Mold

Several years ago, my friend, Peggy, shared this cranberry-pineapple jello recipe with our local Catholic homeschool group. Since then, we have had it every year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sometimes New Year's Day too.

Cranberry-Pineapple Jello

1 lrg. Pkg. (6 oz) raspberry jello
1 small can (5-6 oz?) crushed pineapple, drained
1 small can whole berry cranberry sauce (16 oz)

Make jello using only the hot water. Add cranberry sauce and pineapple. Stir until cranberry sauce has melted. Pour into mold. Chill for several hours.

We pour the jello mixture into an old Tupperware mold. When the mold is served, the young children at our table delight in seeing the design (star, Christmas tree, or heart) in the jello.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes

After hearing one of my children suggest that we make pumpkin pancakes, I found this recipe. I think that some of us might prefer pumpkin pancakes to our oatmeal pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
6 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
3 cups milk
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons fresh/canned pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons melted butter
3 eggs

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves.
In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and eggs; fold mixture into dry ingredients.
Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour in ice cream scoop of batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with butter and syrup. I like maple syrup.
Makes approximately 30 moist and tasty pancakes.

Adapted from this recipe which was found in 
Martha Stewart Living, October 2006

I apologize that I usually don't have photos with my recipes, but I am not good about taking photos of food. I prefer taking photos of people.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Feeding a Large or Small Family on a Budget

A few years ago, I gave myself a grocery budget challenge. A week or so ago, I received the following from a dear friend:
On my last trip to Winco, I was amazed at how expensive all the meats were. I was walking in circles trying to find some dinner meats that didn't cost at least $12. Anyway, if you write down your dinners, I'll write down mine for you ;)
I am posting my response just in case other mothers find it helpful:

A serving of meat should be no bigger than the palm of a person's hand.

We eat a lot of chicken. I look through all of the ads that we get each week and I buy whole chickens when they are under $1.00 per pound (used to be under $0.70 per pound), stocking up on as many as I can. We have an extra freezer to store meat and other foods. If we run out of chicken and there haven't been any sales, then I will buy it from Costco for $1.19 per pound. We cook 2 chickens at a time. Served with rice, vegetables, and sometimes salad, this usually gives us dinner for 2 nights and lunch for my husband for at least one day.

In addition to whole chickens, we also eat chicken breasts. I buy fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts when they are under $1.70 a pound or frozen from Costco for $2.19 a pound. The Costco chicken breasts are large, so we cut them in half before serving them with vegetables, rice/potato, and sometimes salad.

We throw any left-over chicken, whether from a whole chicken or chicken breasts, into a stir fry with rice, vegetables, and a couple of eggs.

Beef is a treat in our house, served once a week (twice if  we have leftovers). I usually cook a roast in the crock-pot with onions, carrots and garlic. I serve it with potatoes/yams, and sometimes salad. When we were first married, my mom told me to never spend more than $1.50 per pound on beef. Now, I can only buy it if it is under $4.00 a pound. During the summer, we will buy steak occasionally if it is on sale and under $4.00 a pound. Once again, we cut the steak in half when serving (unless we have guests). Two or three times a year, we will have Irish stew.

We used to get ground beef because it was the cheapest beef that we could find, but this is no longer the case. We liked to use it, along with oatmeal, to make meatloaf. I will only buy it for under $3.00 and even then I cringe to pay so much for it.

Costco's hams are a decent price. We don't buy them often, but when we do they last a few days. I freeze the ham bone and use it in beans when needed. As a side note, it is cheaper to buy Costco's black forest ham and slice it up for sandwiches, then it is to buy lunch meat.

Right now, pumpkins and squashes are a good price at Winco, so we are eating those with dinner. I have found that pumpkin is very filling which means we don't need as much meat. 

During Lent and Advent, we try to eat meatless meals on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I have occasionally tried to carry this into Ordinary Time, but eventually I hear balking. Beans, lentilsspinach lasagna, and homemade soup tend to be our staples for meatless meals. Leftover beans from Wednesday or Saturday can have a ham bone thrown into the pot for dinner on Thursday or Sunday. We have added a little ground beef to the spinach lasagna recipe once and it tasted good.

I wish that we could afford fish and other seafood, but, unless I have a fisherman in the house, the cost is prohibitive. I miss the days when I could buy a salmon for $1.99 a pound on sale.

When we lived in _______, the local Safeway used to mark down some of their meats that needed to be sold by that date for quick sale on Wednesday mornings. I would buy what I wanted and freeze what I wasn't going to use that night. This summer, I was in Fred Meyer when they were marking down their whole chickens for a quick sale. I placed every single one of them in my cart. Heather told me that the Safeway she frequents will sell their milk for 50% off on Tuesday nights. You might want to call a couple of local stores and see if they will tell you when they mark down their meat and milk.

If you would like any specific recipes, please let me know.

May God bless you and may Mary keep you close to her Immaculate Heart!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finds

For All the Saints Artist Trading Card Swap
Kimberlee and family are hosting another wonderful For All the Saints artist trading card swap. When I asked my children who would like to participate in the swap this time, my youngest daughter responded, "I do if I can." Of course she can. I hope to participate with her and one or two of my other children. Please visit Pondered in My Heart if you and/or your children would like to participate too.

Doll Habits
My mother-in-law gave a doll in a habit to my oldest daughter when she was around 6. Needless to say, when I saw this doll habit on Jessica's website, I was excited. Visit Jessica's website to enter the giveaway for this habit.

I enjoy Susie Lloyd's books and was happy to learn that she has a new title available. Mrs. Lloyd's latest book is Yes, God!: What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today's Vocation Stories. I am looking forward to hopefully reading this book soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November's Mystery Hostess is...

Are you looking for a unique Christmas present?

Shop Tracy's party

Tracy's party will be open through Saturday, November 15.

Would you like to host a Lilla Rose party?

Please contact me at prettynwrose at gmail dot com.

Would you like to be one of the first to hear about Lilla Rose's next sale?

Please visit my website and "Create a New Account".

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the Mystery Hostess Party a success.

Have a wonderful week!

The graphic was made in anticipation of the snow that Tracy told me they are expecting this week.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Rest in Peace, Kim

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Kim died this morning. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for her.

May Kim rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her. I will always remember Kim's smiling face, sense of humor, zeal for life, and sharp wit. May Our Blessed Mother keep Kim's husband and their children close to her Immaculate Heart!

I love you, Kim!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Finds

Each Friday, I hope to share things of interest that I have found online and elsewhere. If you would like to join me and share your finds, please leave a link to your blog post in my comments. I hope you like some of this week's finds. Enjoy!

Liturgical Calendar
I was happy to see that Fraternity Publications has the FSSP's 2015 liturgical calendar in stock and excited to read that this years theme is The Glories of the Faith. I am looking forward to seeing the calendar and the pictures that have been seen selected.

Fr. Peter Cutouts
Lena shared these Fr. Peter cutouts on pinterest a couple of weeks ago. I am planning on printing the cutouts and then wrapping them up as a Christmas present for Patrick and Finnian.

Advent Calendar
I saw this delightful free Advent calendar on Audrey Eclectic and had to download it. I am fairly certain that Elizabeth will be thrilled with the calendar when I give it to her on November 30, the first Sunday of Advent. The author of Audrey Eclectic, Heather, is a very talented young folk artist. Her blog is an absolute treat. 

Chapel Veils
I lost my favorite chapel veil after Kilian was born, and I have been making do with what I have because I couldn't see buying black lace to make just one chapel veil. I noticed Robin Nest Lane on Jessica's blog and was intrigued by the name, as was one of my sons. When I visited the website, I was even more intrigued. I saw this beautiful infinity veil and wished that it was available in black. I like the brown infinity veil, but I prefer wearing a black mantilla for Mass. Anyway, I soon found that infinity veils were available in black and in white. I purchased the white one for Catherine as a Christmas gift from my father-in-law, and I got the black one as a Christmas gift for myself from my father-in-law (my father-in-law gives me money to purchase Christmas presents from him for all of us). I am anxious to unwrap my gift on Christmas morning.

Lilla Rose
Lilla Rose is having a flash sale through 11:59 p.m. tonight, November 7. 10% off select styles and free shipping on orders over $40. At the same time, I am throwing an online mystery hostess party and all my readers are invited. The party link is If you would like to be one of the first to know when Lilla Rose will be having their next sale, please visit my website and "create a New Account".

Independent Lilla Rose Consultant
In addition to their sale, Lilla Rose is also offering free shipping to consultants on orders over $150. My first priority is God, followed by my family, and then my friends. However, I am finding that I do have a little time between Mass, prayers, homeschooling, cooking, dishes, and laundry to "work at home" and make a little money to pay for some of my children's extra-curricular activities (children's choir and violin lessons). If you want to join my team and make money from home, now is a great time to do so. Anyone who signs up as a consultant on my team this month will receive a "Joy", "Winter Wonder", or December FOTM flexi clip as a little thank you gift from me. Please contact me (prettynwrose at gmail dot com) if you would like more information about becoming an independent Lilla Rose consultant.

I look forward to sharing more finds next Friday. God bless you!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Lilla Rose Mystery Hostess Party and Sale

Sale ends Friday, November 7, at 11:59 PM

During the sale, I am throwing an online mystery hostess partyWhen you place an order through the mystery hostess party link you will automatically be entered 4 times in the drawing to win the hostess rewards. Receive 3 additional entries by letting your friends know about the mystery hostess party. Simply let me know how you shared the mystery hostess party link – on your blog, via email, Facebook, etc. We will draw the winning name on November 8.

If you are a new Lilla Rose customer, buy 3 or more, get 1 free* when you order through the mystery hostess party link. Please do not add the free item (up to $16 value) to your cart. This offer is only good through the party link (please make sure it says Christine). After you place your order, please email me (prettynwrose at gmail dot com) and let me know what you would like for your free item.

Search "snowflake", "joy", "simple drop" "festive poinsettia" and "emerald" to see the sale items. Also click on you-pins, hairbands, and hair sticks in the left-hand sidebar to see other items that are on sale.

The lucky mystery hostess may earn up to $150 in free products, up to 6 half-price items, and a special hostess gift!
(In August, the mystery hostess won $90 in free products, 4 half-price items, & a special hostess gift.)

Please let me know if you have any questions: prettynwrose at gmail dot com

Lilla Rose hair accessories and badge holders make great Christmas gifts.

Shop the Mystery Hostess Party!

If you would like to be notified of sales, please register on my website

*The "buy 3 or more, get 1 free" offer is only available to customers in the USA and excludes FOTMs.

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

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Saints for November 2014 Calendar

I apologize for not posting saint pieces for September and October, and for posting November's calendar pieces so late. Teaching seven children with a baby and toddler at my side is keeping me very busy. I wouldn't have it any other way.

As usual, this month's pieces were made using the calendar published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a guide. If we have made any errors, please don't hesitate to let me know. Their 2015 calendar is now available from Fraternity Publications. This calendar would be a nice Christmas gift.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Saints of the Americas

I found this picture from "The Communion of Saints" by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Pinterest, and my husband cleaned it up a little bit for me. It would be so nice to have this picture as a poster.

Happy All Saints Day!

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