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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Happiness is… (vol 26)

2016-05-03 17.23.04 - smallerBeing nearly-2 and loving looking at the world through a different perspective. This girl. She gets me every time.

We have been having a full sort of month here…

I’m very excited to announce that St. Patrick’s parish will be one of two parishes in the city to be opening a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program in the fall!! I received an official ‘Yes’ from our pastor last week and am so excited to be on this journey.

I’m also starting a book club for the book Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle, and I’m super excited for this opportunity to get together with some other moms while the kids run fancy-free outside and we talk about our walk of faith with each other. Huzzah!

And I’m in the process of revamping my business, Mama Knows Best, to launch something new and exciting in October. Deets to come, but I’m in my experimenting phase right now and loving it.

2016-05-02 14.24.59 - smallerAnd school is going as school usually does. Spencer is such an ace at learning to read – I’m so very amazed at how quickly he remembers some things (except the word ‘on’ for some reason). I anticipated a lot more repetition in order to remember, but perhaps I’m thinking that’s what it takes for adults to learn? If I was learning a language the way he is, but at my age, I’d be needing a whole lot of practice to remember what he remembers the next day, or even the next week without practice. And we’re doing some basic maths, which he enjoys quite a bit. He just finished a season of fencing, which heĀ adored. He’s still going to Beavers and I just told him that they break for the summer and he was reasonably sad about it, having just told me he wished Beavers was every day except Sunday and Saturday. He just loves it so much.

Andy and I received our first summer flu (technically spring, but weather is summer). It was most disappointing to not be able to start planting my garden over the past couple of days due to lack of energy. And Andy has been napping tons and foregoing making beer (shock! that never happens!). Hopefully it passes soon.

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Loving the mask hooked on her braids…

Spencer and Cassia went to the dentist and Cassia totally took home a truck load of goodies. Apparently the dental hygienist really liked her or something, cause she got a mask, a pink glove (not pictured), and a mirror-for-the-mouth thing (Denise, I’ll bet you know that terminology). That was in addition to the glowing toothbrush and water-squirt guns they both got. Spencer has been jealous of Cassia’s plunder, but he got teeth cleaned and hers were just checked, so, fair’s fair?

Lastly, today we started getting the haze from the wildfires in Alberta (possibly Saskatchewan too?). Prayers to all those affected by the evacuations. This is a tough time for those having to worry about what might happen to their livelihood.

Happy weekending!

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