7 Quick Takes Friday #7QT

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Today we celebrate Mary Magdalene, an amazing woman transformed by an encounter with Jesus. As everyone knows, she had been a prostitute and Jesus kindly brought her towards the light of her actions.

*ahem*

That's what many Christians believe of our dearest Mary Magdalene but YOU ARE WRONG Click To Tweet That’s what many Christians believe of our dearest Mary Magdalene but YOU ARE WRONG. Never has it been recorded in our Scripture that she was a prostitute and it is erroneous to believe this fallacy. Not like, mortal-sin erroneous, but an ignorant-venial sin type error. Please read some articles and history to help understand her prominent role in evangelization. She has received the title ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ for a very very good reason. And, well, Jesus showed up first to her, not the others. So there’s that too. And she was from a wealthy family and likely financially supported Jesus’ ministry. So, she was fairly awesome. Spiffy, even. I bet she’s cringing at those attributes I’m calling her, but she knows I mean well.

2.

Swim lessons started this week and I don’t know how I always forget that the pool is about 50x hotter than outside with 100x the humidity. The essentials: kids love water, mama hates the hot.

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Summer kisses

3.

We have been catching Pokemon with that app that has us Going places. Spencer loves it and is loving going for walks now. I used to fight with him over a presumed idea of walking anywhere, but this game totally has got him asking me every day if we’re going for another walk today or trying to negotiate how the day works out so that we can go play Pokemon.

Spence: Can we go for another walk this afternoon?

Me: probably not; you all have quiet time and I need to get some things done at home

Spence: What if we have short quiet timesĀ  and you can do all the cleaning while we’re in our quiet time?

Me: Who made you boss? This is my kingdom, child.

Or at least, that’s how things tend to go. Sometimes we get out again, sometimes we don’t. Today we go play soccer at the free soccer program in the city instead of playing the game. I think it’ll work out fine.

4.

Our cheap deck umbrella is broken from a wind storm and now I’m reluctant to go outside and fill the kiddie pool without that much-needed shade. Perhaps we should bite the bullet and get another one, but what if it happens again? Does anyone have any longer-term solutions to deck coverage that won’t blow away in the strong wind? Cause it’s always windy to some degree on the prairies.

5.

In line with that thought, I’m debating whether growing hops and trellising it over the deck would work. In the new Food & Drink magazine (now available digital! squee!) I’m told we can harvest the shoots from it and eat them similar to asparagus. And potentially in a couple years we could also harvest hops for our beer…anyone have good thoughts on trellising a deck cover?

6.

Andy starts holidays today at 4:30. I’ll just dance a dancey-dance right now.

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Party at the splash park. With semi-closed eyes. Cause I’m so good with a camera like that.

7.

We bought the kids a bunk bed from IKEA. With the optional trundle bed. We had been planning on making a set of triple bunk beds, but after Andy made his scale-drawings of the beds and the room size and it’s awkwardness, it turns out it’s easiest to buy a standard bunk bed and use a trundle for the third bed.

So all of this means that Andy gets his 2 weeks of vacation back to doing nothing rather than just spending it making beds. Win all around. Happy summer-ing!

Linking up with Kelly

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Weather and Soup

2016.07.11There’s not much to say about getting lots of rain, except that I hope we don’t flood like Estevan did yesterday. At least this week our parish has Vacation Bible School (super yay for Cat.Chat!) so we won’t be cooped up the whole time here and the kids are getting their daily recommended socializing. I have little desire to be outside in rainy, wet weather and less still with three children.

This past weekend we had a bit of a meal making frenzie. It was short (about 3 hours) as it was between having to work on my business stuff Saturday morning and then Saturday Mass at 5pm, but I made chicken stock (hurrah!) and a Veggie-Lentil soup while Andy did something…oh! he made meatballs.

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Le Soup. The best my phone camera could do in a pinch without showing off how insanely disgusting our stove top was by this point.

Sunday I made an absolutely delectable Tortellini Soup and it is my highest recommendation I can give in that department – I seriously don’t believe I’ve made anything more tasty. You can find detailed photographs on the Closet Cooking website. It has tomatoes, parm, spinach, did I mention parm?, tortellini, basil, cream. Soooo good. I ate waaay too much of it yesterday. My girls got picky with the spinach, which set them off and then refuse the rest, but I’m not gonna care cause it leaves much more for me. I’m just gonna claim their share now. Recipe notes:

  • If you collect Parmesan rinds (like we *ahem* might), this is the soup to use them in. I cut the parm in half and used two rinds in the soup (soak them in the soup while cooking, remove before serving)
  • I used the basil pesto option for adding basil and oh.my.
  • Now that I’ve tried the soup basically ‘as is’ I’m definitely going to try just using milk instead of cream. While it’s tantalizingly creamy, I think the milk would be enough to give it that edge.

If you’re looking for a treat of a soup, definitely give this one a go. You’ll love it.

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The Week Long Get-Away in Pictures

2016-06-20 12.47.41 - edit We had a fabulous trip to Mexico (a resort an hour south of Cancun) all thanks to my mom who sponsored us and enjoyed it with us. The most startling news is that Spencer is now willingly putting his face in the water and holding his breath (say what?!), which he hated and freaked out about before. So thank you crystal-clear waters and interesting fish! I’m looking forward to his swim lessons in a week to see how he uses his newfound skills.

2016-06-20 12.50.03 - edit 2016-06-21 07.03.03 - edit 2016-06-21 15.21.43 - editWe sure enjoyed spending so much time at the beach, every morning. 2016-06-22 17.01.55 - edit 2016-06-22 17.07.36 - edit 2016-06-22 17.04.12 - editThe free drinks were a huge plus when we hung out there. I only indulged in a morning drink twice, most of the time it was the afternoon beach laze. Such nice beaches – much much nicer than the place we stayed at in Puerto Vallarta when Spencer was 11 months old. And the water! So blue! So clear!

2016-06-22 16.53.47 - editLoved watching the thundershowers roll by.

While we were taking a tour of Tulum (Mayan ruins) we got hit with not one, but two storms! They both dowsed us very well. The second one was actually the start of a mild tropical storm that continued to get bigger (but amounted to nothing huge by the time it completed it’s course). We watched it from the cliff in the ruins coming at us over the water. It was almost surreal, and beautiful. And so very, very warm. The rain here in Saskatoon is cold and unfriendly, and though Spencer would disagree with me, the rain in Mexico was warm and enjoyable.

IMG_4533 - editHeading into the area of the city

IMG_4536 - editFirst look at the ocean from Tulum. Two storms – one on the left and one on the right. IMG_4544 - editIMG_4541 - editAfter the first soaking, with the Mayan temple in the background. IMG_4549 - editHe’s a fake-smile. He was not pleased with the rain. In fact, he told Andy, “I’m not happy. I used to be happy, but I’m not happy anymore” in regards to how he felt about being in the rain storm. You can see that second tropical storm coming at us in the background. The white waves in the background are a part of a huge reef that protected the shore. The guide was telling us it’s the second-largest reef in the world, but it just seems unlikely since I could see the whole edge of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I can’t seem to find any validating info about that. IMG_4550 - editHello second storm! IMG_4554 - editBut oh! That blue! Worth the storm. Wish we had time to have gone swimming here.

2016-06-23 20.20.14 - editBack at the hotel, they had 6 or 7 restaurants for us to choose from each evening. Andy and I went to a Tapas one for a date night. Andy got the Chicken with Teriyaki foam. He thought they were kidding about the foam. 2016-06-23 18.16.26 - editHappiness wasn’t always a given, though.

2016-06-24 06.3-0.48 - edit2016-06-24 06.50.25 - editEarly one morning Spencer and I headed out to explore while it was quiet and everyone else was sleeping. We observed the fish and then headed across the beach through the other resort to watch the waves crashing in.

2016-06-24 11.19.56 - edit 2016-06-25 12.05.05 - edit 2016-06-25 12.21.36 - editIt’s always a curious occasion when someone says, ‘Here, hold my beer.”

IMG_4511 - edit IMG_4512 - edit2016-06-24 09.40.54 - editThe girls just loved, loved, loved riding the small waves into the beach. I taught Spencer how to predict the waves coming so as to be able to “ride” them (like surfing). He was very good by the end at figuring out when to ride a wave! I was very proud of him!2016-06-24 10.30.00 - editEnjoying all the cervesa he could possibly while we were there.

2016-06-24 19.46.26 - editSomeone got a-hold of Nana’s sunglasses. 2016-06-25 09.49.59 - editAndy’s expression perfectly describes his experience of the heat. If you know Andy, you know he hates the heat. 2016-06-25 19.36.29 - editLast night at the resort this girl and I took an extra long walk back to the room. 2016-06-26 07.45.09 - editThe morning we left I got up extra early and enjoyed some peace and quiet to pray and enjoy coffee. I should have done this every morning I was there, it was so amazing.

2016-06-26 17.18.57 - editSo long, Mexico (picture is part of Cancun). Until we meet again.

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7 Quick Takes Friday

Seven-Quick-Takes-510x510Linking up with Kelly.

1.

2016-06-10 15.10.28 - edit smNap transition. So, all you parents of young’uns have dealt with this…Cassia has a bad combo of being a night-owl and also napping in the afternoon (1.5 hours, roughly). She doesn’t need the nap, as she has a hard time going to bed at bedtime without it – with the nap, she often doesn’t fall asleep until about 10 (so frustrating!). Have you any good tips for transitioning? Currently she has what we call ‘quiet time’ for 1.5 hours in the afternoon, which was initially meant to be either napping or playing by themselves. I would prefer her to play but I always find her curled up at the end. And she’s always a mess when she wakes up. A very unhappy whiny girl. Tips anyone?

2.

We will be heading on vacation soon to happy Mexico! I’m looking forward to the endless drinks, Andy is dreading the heat. So, it’ll be a happy time, right? I’m desperately hoping that I’ll have a batch of homemade sunscreen to bring along for testing purposes. I just can’t get the water-based lotion to set properly with the preservative (*ugh!*) so I’m heading back down my initial path: homogeneous oil-based variety, similar to consistency of the bum cream I make. No separation issues with this, I’ll be sure!

3.

I’m actively procrastinating the writing of the homeschool summary report. It’s due in 5 days. If anyone’s interested in doing it for me, I’m all ears.

4.

Spencer and I are reading The Hobbit as a part of our Kindergarten curriculum and I’m so excited. I think he’s nearly as excited as I am, which just gives me such encouragement. I love that book, and so far he tells me, “I don’t like it. I love it!”

5.

My baby girl turned two last month. And her vocabulary has vastly expanded within the last few weeks. Just today she came up to me after finding a long-lost soother and said, ‘It’s broken’ indicating the rip in it. I had no idea she knew that word. If you haven’t seen her cute interpretation of ‘stinky bum, I encourage you to watch the 10 seconds of it here.

6.

I’ve started writing for The Catholic Hipster blog in addition to Catholic Mom. It feels a little more laid-back and, well, hip. There are some great articles up there so if you have a coffee head over there and check it out. You can even read my first article there.

7.

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene! July 22! About darned tootin’ time. That is all.

St Mary Magdalene mosaic by Lawrence OP (2010) via Flickr.

St Mary Magdalene mosaic by Lawrence OP (2010) via Flickr.

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Divine Mercy for Moms – a book review

I’ve been excited to share this since I received it in the mail a few weeks ago! One of the authors, Michele Faehnle, offered Divine Mercy for Moms for review and I jumped at the chance – it had been on my mind to get this book just previous to this opportunity.

Here’s the thing – if you want a book to challenge you to grow in ways that are achievable while simultaneously increasing your prayer life, then Divine Mercy for Moms is definitely for you!

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Image Credit: Divine Mercy for Moms by Jane Korvemaker (2016)

Each chapter is a story and shared reflection on a theme interspersed with wisdom from St. Faustina’s diary. At the end of each chapter we are given challenges based on the chapter’s contents, in deed, in word, and in prayer. And, my friends, I found how surprised I was at how I could easily incorporate each of the challenges into my day. For instance, at the beginning of next week I will be starting a book club for this very book (squee!). One of the ladies invited just gave birth, and though she’d love to join, it’s not a great time for her. Wanting her to feel included though she can’t attend, I made a printable through the magic of PicMonkey with a phrase that is reflected on at the end of the first chapter. When Andy came home, I popped out of the house and dropped it off. The challenge in word for the chapter was to reach out to a friend in need and share God’s mercy with that person. I know my friend appreciated the image and I look forward to praying for her and her family as they become recluse for awhile. I loved doing this! and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t even have to be this complicated! A simple text, phone call, email is much easier and still is a way of reaching out and connecting. Each chapter contained suggestions for every mom, busy or not, and made them easy to achieve.

Most importantly, this book introduced me into the beauty of the chaplet of Divine Mercy. I had perhaps prayed this chaplet only a few times before reading this book, but have been doing it every day, sometimes multiple times, since starting this book. I have found it to be easy to fit into my schedule (it takes only about 5 minutes) and its short, repetitious prayers as simple and easy to remember. I expect that my kids will be able to pick this up after a short time of introduction, and it is beautiful that it is a deep prayer for mercy that even the littlest in my family can participate in. This prayer has become my go-to prayer whenever I need it or when I offer to say a prayer for someone. It is simple, easy, and helps us to reflect on the saving grace that Jesus offers us through his sorrowful passion.

Divine Mercy for Moms is a great book to challenge and inspire you; I definitely recommend! Huge thanks to Michele for offering the book for review – it has set me on a new exciting path in my prayer life, and the challenges at the end of each chapter can be used day after day for continued growth! I’ll be reaping these benefits for years to come – so should you!

Divine Mercy for Moms is a great book to challenge and inspire you; I definitely recommend! Click To Tweet

For more information about the book, head on over to their website, Divine Mercy for Moms.

I received a free copy of this book, but no other compensation, for the purpose of this review. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.

All the things I don’t have in my garden, it would seem.

Mother’s Day gave me the opportunity to tackle my overrun garden beds, and I successfully got 3 out of the 4 cleared out and ready for planting, which is always really thrilling. Especially when it looks so hopeless to start with. Here’s what they typically look like beforehand:

Garden bed #1

Like my bad splicing? I really wasn’t planning on publishing this… and those are milk jugs in the ground…I used them for watering deep, but I suspect I’ll need to pull them out this year. Legumes will be in this garden.

Overrun with grass and dandelions, mostly. The Perennials always come through, though, I have two garlic chive patches (on the left) with a couple day lilies, two different peonies, a set of regular chives, and lilies. There are tulips interspersed in the back of nearly all the pictures, but they’re not blooming anymore. The perennials are thankfully quite hardy. The rest of the garden looks like crap.

The other three garden beds are looking lovely. It’s so much work to clean them out, but I sure enjoy the feeling of joy when they’re ready for planting. Unless I find an ant hill in one. Which I did. That lessened the joy. But still, I like having everything fresh and new and ready for a new year of growing.

Garden Bed #2

Garden Bed #2 Strawberries in the background, so glad they come back every year. Add in a bell pepper plant and a cherry pepper plant (bottom right). Tomatoes will be here this year too.

We build these next two garden beds last year. And by we, I mean primarily Andy (thanks hon!). I love them.

Garden Bed #3

Garden Bed #3: Marigolds, hollyhocks, sage, petunias and an ant hill (in the section on the right). Eventually my leafy veggies will be here. I hope.

Garden Bed #4

Garden Bed #4: Garlic (!!!!!!!!!), dahlias, marigolds and a rose bush (!!!) my first ever. I hope I don’t kill it. Root veggies will be in this bed.

So thrilled to see what happens this year with the garden. I love getting in the dirt! Are you growing a garden this year?

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