Whale of a Tale

It’s no secret we’re deep in an underwater creature phase here.  It’s all about whales, squids and everything in between.  While I missing digging out some good fiction books, I do love the amount of fact that he’s devouring right now.

These are a few of our favorites that keep coming back from the library.
If you would like a four year to explain the subject material for you … in depth… I might have a deal for you.  😉

Minimizing the Mess {even when your house is messy}

I don’t know about you, but my house is messy.  It just is.  I won’t lie that I choose an extra cuddle at bedtime over the dishes just about every night.

While we make a choice not to fuss too much over the state of our house there are things we do to keep it from getting out of hand.

1)  Mess and clutter is different that dirty.  We’ll never have a dirty house.  Clutter we can live with; not knowing what that smell is is not.

2) There area lot of things you don’t need.  This is just true, you don’t need as much as you think.  You don’t need as many clothes.  Your kids don’t need as many toys.  You just don’t need most of it and if you don’t have it you don’t have to clean it, care for it or repair it.

3) It’s okay to say good-bye.  I’m still learning this one, I attach sentimental value to things a lot so it takes time for me to purge items.  But I do know, deep down that these are just things.  It’s good to pass on the things we don’t use before they just can’t be used at all.

4) Invest in quality over quantity.  Whether it’s your clothes or your kids toys or the pans in your kitchen.  This wins out.  When things last longer you don’t need to go to the stores and get sucked into the new style or attachments.  Keeping an eye on quality will, in the long run, keep you out of the cycle.  When quality isn’t needed – go used and second hand.  If you’re getting something because it’s trendy or a passing interest of your children’s don’t sink tons of money into it; most likely someone else already has and passed it on to a thrift store for you.

Our house might not always be spic and span, but there’s a rhyme and reason to it.

If you’d like to work out your own rhyme and reason I’d highly recommend my friend Rachel’s e-book “Minimizing the Mess”.  She offers succinct, down to earth, realistic advice about taming the beast inside your home.

Now that it’s spring we’ve been slowly purging things from our house, and I think Rachel’s printables are just the thing to inspire that jump.

Her ebook is a steal at $2.99 and you can get it 25% thru the 22nd with code “LAUNCH”.  Find the book here.

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Introducing The Credo Project

There’s been a lot of talk recently in certain channels about what we can do to be better stewards of our faith here on the internet.  There are many of our followers to whom we might be the only Catholics they know and what they experience through us, in seeing how we live our faith through our lives is so important.
As Archbishop Fulton Sheen says:

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

We want to give our readers the chance to explore our faith, fix misconceptions they may have and direct them towards answers they made need.  So we’ve created “The Credo Project”.  Kendra from Catholic All Year was nice enough to make this lovely button, Bonnie from A Knotted Life found us Catholics Come Home (we’re not in partnership with them, we just really love their site) and I just get to claim being the person who asked them for help

This is “The Credo Project”. We are a group of bloggers who love the richness and fullness of our Catholic Faith . We want to help our readers grow in their own walk with God and share our own journeys and experiences. Below are buttons you can use, linked to Catholics Come Home, to share the love of your Catholic Faith with your readers.

The Credo Project isn’t big and fancy.  There won’t be newsletters or websites; it’s simply an initiative to get us to be more open about our faith online.  To give friends and visitors the chance to explore and investigate on their own when something we say or do peaks their interest.  Use our buttons, or make your own!  The Credo Project is just about inspiring us to take that step.

Below are three sizes of buttons you can use on a Blogger blog (or anything that runs HTML).
Copy the html text below the size picture you need and copy it into a HTML widget on your blog and bam, you’re another member of “The Credo Project”.


Credo Project 

200 x 200

Credo Project 

300 x 300
Credo Project 

I’m a little clueless when it comes to Javascript for WordPress, so if anyone can help me out there I’d appreciate it!

Enjoy and feel free to share “The Credo Project” on your own blog!

Mother’s Day

This little boy made me a mother.
His three saintly siblings taught me what being a mother really means.
So much of motherhood I never expected and so much I could never have imagined, good or bad.
Thank you to all of you – Mothers of many or few, Bereaved Mothers, Infertile Mothers, Spiritual Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers, friends who are like Mothers, Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, Foster Mothers. It is not an easy mission we’ve been given, but I’m glad to be surrounded by so many amazing women.
This week has been hard, really hard.  Too many dates lining up in unfortunate ways.  I don’t feel like Mother’s Day is for me this year.  It feels foreign, and I my mind tells me I have no claim to it.  It’s for women whose bodies work the right way.  It’s for women who spend their days surrounded by diapers and difficult food budget.  My experience as a Mother seems both too easy and not enough.  I feel like I’ll get my Mother’s Day card and on it will be a big stamp “RETURN TO SENDER: RECIPIENT DOES NOT YET QUALIFY”.
Monday will be easier I’m sure, but I wish I could sleep through tomorrow.

The Books That Run My Life

Do you have books that you come back to over and over again?  Books that you reach for whenever you have a question or a problem you just can’t figure out on your own?  These are the books that run my life behind the scenes.  I could probably (and should probably) get rid of the rest and could probably rely quite easily on this small selection for quite a while.
In the kitchen I could probably survive a good long time with Simply in Season and More-With-Less Cookbook.  They’re the perfect combination of good, healthy,  easy to make meals.
In the Parenting sector I keep going back to Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising almost Perfect Kids, The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten and Today I Feel Like a Warm Fuzzy.  The Discipline Book covers it all.  Parenting with Grace ties it back to Faith and “why” I should makes certain choices and Warm Fuzzy helps me explain thing in a way a small child can really understand.
All New Square Foot Gardening is my go to gardening book, so far it’s had all I need for the amount of veggie gardening I do.
The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics is pretty self explanatory, it’s just what it is (the Vatican website, with it’s catechism and other documents, is on the top of my list, but alas it’s not a book).  
The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day is simple and practical ways to approach faith in the home (I’d include The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, but I don’t have my own copy of that yet so I just get it out of the library on a regular basis).
And Anne of Green Gables?  Anne is there as a reminder of the beautiful things in life.  It reminds me to slow down, take a step outside and take time for what’s important in life.

What are the books that run your life?

Out and Around

Not much has been going on around here, except that it’s spring and spring means being out and away.  Hiking, soccer, nature classes, gardening; just being out of the house in any way we can.

I’m always surprised at how messy my house can get even when I feel like I’m barely inside.

The garden is growing right along and all the hostas have finally poked up.  Still waiting for the flower seeds I planted to start to germinate though.

The piano is finally tuned and being put to good use and practice.

Thanks to our citywide garage sale this weekend we’re the happy owners of a poker table (this was not my idea), a sewing machine (my idea), a new carseat (a Britax Frontier for only $50) and a huge box of playmobil (a steal at only $8!!!).

Thanks to my inlaws garage we’re also the owners of a new recliner and …. a headboard for our bed!!!  We’ve been headboardless for…. I think 95% of our marriage and it feels good to see it looking like a real bed (also how random that my inlaws actually just happened to have a Cali King headboard just hanging out in their garage!?)  Taking stock of our house, I think the only things we own that didn’t belong to someone else beforehand are two plywood bookcases in Henry’s room and my husbands desk.  I do really love how our home is filling up with things loved by our family before us (and some really good consignment deals 😉 )