Saturday, January 21, 2017

White House Cookie Kit on Inauguration Day

I purchased this White House Cookie Kit for just a few dollars on clearance from Trader Joe's at the end of summer. I planned to incorporate it into our U.S. Elections Unit Study this school year and then completely forgot I had it up on the top shelf of the pantry.

I've been having yet another relapse of this never-ending cold/flu and spent yesterday afternoon at the doctor's office. It was just my routine visit and another ultrasound, but it does look like I have developed both ear and sinus infections... Anyway, before my husband drove me to town for my appointments, I had one of the older boys get the White House Cookie Kit down while I handed the girls my camera. They did the rest while we were gone!

From the Archives:

Prayer for the Nation
(condensed version of this prayer which we've been praying here at home) 

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Birthday Blessings

Beautiful birthday roses from my husband this morning!

The girls baked and decorated this gorgeous and 100% AIP Raspberry Cake!
(Update: They used this recipe from Autoimmune Wellness, substituting applesauce for the apple puree.) 

They also made AIP Raspberry Lemon Gummies adapted from the Cherry Lime Gummies in The Healing Kitchen!

They were able to fit all 39 candles on the 6" cake!
... and I was able to blow them all out before they melted.


My family all spoiled me today with beautiful cards, thoughtful gifts, special meals, and even Masses offered for me by my brother-in-laws! I've been so blessed! 


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Stacks of Books on Epiphany {Little Christmas}

The past few years we have been giving our children stacks of books on Christmas morning. This year, between the morning sickness and the virus I caught a couple weeks before Christmas, I never got around to ordering the last of the books. I had more than enough books for a few of the children but not even one for a couple of them... I ended up deciding to save the books for Epiphany (Little Christmas) instead, giving myself plenty of time to find a few more.  However, the weather got really bad and some of my shipments didn't even arrive by Epiphany.  I ended up simplifying some of the stacks, to make them a little more even, and saving some of the extra books to give as Easter and Birthday gifts later this year.

Most of the children didn't mind at all that their stacks were smaller, but our nine year old commented, "Now that I actually like books, my stack is so much smaller than usual!" A few years ago he was the one who, as he was opening the last book in his stack, was overheard saying, "Please don't be a book, please don't be a book, pleeeeassse don't be a book... Oh NO! It is a BOOK! And it's a bad one... There is a FAIRY in it!"

Here is the list of books that did make it under the tree this year. 
{Note: All links to Amazon and St. Augustine Academy Press are affiliate links.} 

Captain (age 16) received two additional books from the series he was given last year by Rev. Henry S Spalding S.J. The Marks of the Bear Claws and The Race for Copper Island.  Also available directly from St. Augustine Academy Press.

Ranger (age 14) received Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 3: Build Siege Weapons of the Dark Ages along with Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction Targets: 100+ Tear-Out Targets, Plus 5 New Mini Weapons

The older boys were also given a copy of the brand new book by John Flanagan, The Battle of Packham Heath to add to their collection of Ranger's Apprentice books, the inspiration behind the Ranger's Apprentice Birthday Party a couple years ago.

Twinkle Toes (age 13) has been reading through the Nancy Drew books again and asked for Book 1 in the series to add to the collection she has from my childhood. She received The Secret of the Old Clock as well as Color the Classics: Anne of Green Gables: A Coloring Book Visit to Prince Edward Island.

Chiquita (age 11) received God and the General's Daughter as well as The Chronicles of Narnia Official Coloring Book. She has been loving her writing class this year using Following Narnia Volume 1: The Lion's Song and has already requested a Narnia themed birthday!

Snuggles (age 9) received Strangers at the Manger, as well as three books from the Matt Christopher Sport Series: The Hockey Machine, Ice Magic, and Body Check. (Thank you for the suggestion, Debbie, he has read all three of them already and looks forward to reading more in the series!)

Rose (age 7) ended up receiving (and has been loving!) the Jingle Bells Christmas Carol Coloring I had gotten at a discount with purchase at Barnes and Noble, a copy of I am Therese (to go along with the Doll she received for Christmas, and The Story of the Snow Children. She was one of the ones whose books didn't arrive in time, but I now have some gorgeous fairy tales stashed away for her Easter basket!

Bud (age 5) received Ollie's Ski TripFavorite Thornton Burgess Animal Stories Boxed Set and Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Celebrating Epiphany

January 6, 2017 - Epiphany of the Lord

And behold the star, which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. - Matt. II, 9, 10 #epiphanyofthelord #wheredidweputtheblessedchalk #hopefullywecangetmoreaftermassonsunday

Manger Scene and Three Kings from Naturally Catholic

The Three Wise Men left a stack of Epiphany gifts under the tree!

Last Sunday, after Mass for the Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany, Father blessed some chalk for our Blessing of the Home on the Feast of the Epiphany.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. (source)

The word Epiphany means “manifestation.” As such, the object of the Church on this feast is not only to commemorate the historical arrival of the Magi with their gifts for the new-born King, but moreover to adore the same Christ Who continues to reveal Himself to us today.

It is an ancient custom to bless the home on Epiphany followed by a festive meal. The current year and the legendary initials of the three Magi (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar) are marked above the outside doorway with blessed chalk; crosses are placed between the initials and year: 

20 + C + M + B + 17

The initials C-M-B are also interpreted as the Latin phrase “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” which means “Christ bless this home!”

Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Dolls' Christmas

Rose has been playing with her new Fairy Tale Cottage Dollhouse at the base of our Christmas tree and even her dolls have their Nativity set displayed! We just took down our tree and miss it already...