Thursday, October 30, 2014

a good book a day- 7 favorite spiritual books

1. Introduction to a Devout Life- by St Francis de Sales
2. On Marriage and Family Life- by St John Chrysostom
3. 101 Questions & Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches by Edward Faulk
4. When the Church was Young: Voices of the Church Fathers by Marcellino d'Ambrosio
5. The Joy in Living- Mother Theresa of Calcutta
6. The Sunday Sermons of the Church Fathers
7. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Hunt

check out the post below for my little ones announcing the winner of the 'Angel in the Waters' book giveaway!

& we have a winner! ~Angel in the Waters giveaway~

Friday, October 24, 2014

a good book a day and giveaway via Sophia Institute Press- Angel in the Waters

Angel in the Waters written by Regina Doman with illustrations by Ben Hatke is one of those read-aloud books. You, mama, will be innocently reading it as a bedtime story to your little ones and then get that lump in your throat. You cough a bit, hoping they don't notice. You continue reading. Then a little something in your eye makes you wipe it. You read on in a slightly wobbly voice.

And then the oldest little one, usually about seven, pipes up: "What's wrong, mama? Are you crying?"
Why yes, beloved son, I am.

"In its mother’s womb, a tiny baby grows, explores the waters, and talks with the angel who is there. These gentle illustrations and wise words tell the story of that baby and the angel in the waters — a story that will delight all young children because the journey from conception to birth is their story, too." (from SIPress)
buy it now from the above affiliate link, through Sophia Institute Press and/or enter the giveaway!
To enter giveaway- answer me this in the comment box below (anonymous comments are possible, but you will need a name to identify yourself and an email to contact you by):
Which book makes you laugh or cry aloud....really?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

a good book a day- seven really quick takes

1. We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) is a complete delight. Mo Willems is an amazing artist and writer. I promise you will not get tired of reading these. Be sure to use voices.
2.The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin is an engaging resource that every Christian home should have on their bookshelf. The Church Fathers really did (and do) know best! I am constantly amazed with how modern they seem, but I suppose the same evil then is here now.
3. The Tolkien Reader with The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight boxset will delight the LOTR and Hobbit fan in your home. 
4. Faeries, Elves and Goblins: The Old Stories is reminiscent of the Andrew Lang-edited fairy tales...beautiful and perfect for this time of the year when the nights get longer.
5.The Action Bible will keep a boy interested in what happens next. It is not for the faint of heart, but it really is full of 'action' that brings Bible history to life. Buy the hardbound version; I think that a Kindle version is not advisable. A not-so-young, not-too-visually-sensitve reader needs to see the pictures well and physically page by page.
6. Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever! (Giant Little Golden Book) This is the 'best storybook ever!' I just adore the varying artistic styles and lengths of the stories included. You will have time to read three stories to the little ones before bedtime.
7. Black as Night: A Fairy Tale Retold by Regina Doman is part of her fairy tales retold series. My girls (15 and 14 now!) have enjoyed them and re-read them. They are holding off on the rapunzel book, but even the others have dark story lines. But good and bad are contrasted and following God's commandments is what saves the primary characters. I was reprimanded by my Catholic homeschooling group for recommending them- but I didn't tell teens to go out and buy them, I told the mothers they should consider the books.....and I certainly did not mention Harry Potter!
come back on Friday for another Sophia Institute Press giveaway! Write a comment- win a book!
fyi- these are affiliate links- if you click and then go on to buy something on amazon, you support this blog. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

a silly song...

now, if we wrote a song from our texts, it wouldn't be half as fun!

Can u be home by 6:15 so I can take big girls to class?
so you can get A from tae kwan do at 545?
I guess you aren't coming home because you have a house blessing soon
yes- finished with first thing, then return to office and will call
R u coming home or staying
speaking with K and then I come home
Hi- how's work
fine- I keep moving
 Coming home yet?
yes right now
in meeting
meeting. home soon
where are you?
still in meeting. wrapping up soon
how was your eval?
meh. maybe okay.
can you get big girls after Shakespeare?
si claro
in meeting. Can you get girls from Shakespeare? sorry
that's ok- home for dinner?

and it goes on and on!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

giveaway winner- Pilgrims9!!!

....and uh-oh....your name doesn't click onto an email address.....I hope you check back here!...I am going to have to figure out this giveaway thing better

You won- 'A Mother's Rule of Life'
email me at

Thursday, October 9, 2014

being 'church sick,' cute kittens, precious puppies and other quick takes

1. What is 'church sick' you ask? It is the same as homesick. I miss our church, the mission my husband was pastor of for 12 years. We, poor and miniscule Romanian Byzantine Catholics, worshiped at the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic proto-cathedral. A new priest replaced my husband on Palm Sunday 2014, and two Sundays ago was the first time we went back to visit. The icon screen was a breath of fresh air for me.
2. Now, we have only one mission. We are blessed to have Divine Liturgy at a Roman-rite Catholic chapel; we also have four life-size portable icons to 'simulate' a proper icon screen. it is beautiful, and Jesus is there; it is still not the same.
3. Last Sunday, we visited a Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic parish three hours away and witnessed the consecration of the icon screen and altar. As a visiting priest, my husband got to witness the ritual close-up. In almost 3 years as a deacon and 12 years as a priest, he had never seen it. It was beautiful, and I again felt comfortable. These are my people. (the photo below doesn't show the visiting priests or the bishop- and the 4 darling altar boys aren't there because I am not going to publish minors that aren't family on this blog- there were big boys of 4, 5 and 7 years old serving plus a 2 year old in a matching vestment sitting in the front with his mother)
 4. Too sad? here's a kitten...
5. Not a cat person and my 'church-sickness' is still depressing/confusing you? Here's a dog...look at those eyes!

6. If you read one blog post this week: read this one titled: "Why I am not going to take my own life." It is a story of a woman's battle with brain cancer and her faith in Christ and His Church.

7. Some may have noticed that I am doing a little series on books for the mega-link up 31 days from the Nester. Click on this blog post, write a comment answering "What book/books are you reading now?" and be in the running to win A Mother's Rule of Life from Sophia Institute Press. (Comment on yesterday's post for the giveaway)

a good book a day for 31 days and a giveaway - A Mother's Rule of Life

A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul, published by Sophia Institute Press, inspires. Women are doing more and more these days. Many mothers work outside the home, have their children involved in outside activities, work in volunteer roles and even take responsibility for their children's education through homeschooling. If the reader is willing to be led and taught, this book will help bring order, peace, and happiness to the chaos. Sophia Institute Press' new printing of the book has a fresh new cover with an inviting illustration. It is a book that should be on every Catholic mother's bookshelf to be read and re-read for those days when we need inspiration, concrete help, and a glimpse of hope beyond diapers and dishes.
"On January 1, 2000, Holly Pierlot pounded her fist on the kitchen table and yelled at her husband, I can't take it anymore!
Motherhood and homeschooling had overwhelmed her. The house was dirty, the laundry undone. Holly felt frustrated, discouraged, and alone. She couldn't find time to snuggle and have fun with her five children or to go out with her husband. Yes, she loved Philip and she did love God, but she had come to resent Philip's freedom and she almost never found time for prayer.
Today, everything's better.
Holly still homeschools, but the house is cleaner, she gets more done, and the kids are happier. There's less stress, less strife, and less housework. Holly's been healed of past wounds that troubled her soul and her marriage. Best of all, she spends at least an hour each day in prayer and time each evening with Philip.
Holly brought about these changes with what she calls her Mother's Rule of Life, a pattern for living that combines the spiritual wisdom of the monastery with the practical wisdom of motherhood.
Her Rule is not just another set of schedules; it's a way for Christian mothers to answer God's call to holiness. With the help of your own Rule, you can get control of your own household, grow closer to God, come to love your husband more, and raise up good Christian children. In these wise and practical pages, Holly shows you how.
With your own Mother's Rule of Life, you ll transform motherhood and its burdens into the joyful vocation it's meant to be. Learn how to craft a Rule that's right for you and your family. Then use that Rule to help God draw you, your husband, and each of your children into Heaven!" (Sophia Institute Press) 
when to read this book: when you know you are juggling too much and need some concrete ides for peace at home
what is special about this book: even though the author says that every 'mother's rule' will look different, she gives her 'rule' and schedule- it is helpful to have specifics and not just philosophy
Win a copy of this book by leaving a comment below- The winner, who will need to email a mailing address via the blog's email, ( will be announced on this blog on Monday, October 13th.  
Comment to win: What book/books are you reading now? 

Monday, October 6, 2014

a good book a day for 31 days- The Thurber Carnival

...Do you ever actually 'LOL' when you type 'LOL'? Well...when I read James Thurber's Thurber Carnival I really LOL and even ROLFLMFannyO...he is brilliant. There are short stories on an old dog, the night the bed fell on grandpa, secret lives, hamburgers and mechanical failure, and my favorite short story ever, the catbird seat...there is something perfect with the manner Thurber develops characters primarily through the words they speak without a lot of specific physical description.
"Sitting in his apartment, drinking a glass of milk, Mr. Martin reviewed his case against Mrs. Ulgine Barrows, as he had every night for seven nights. He began at the beginning. Her quacking voice and braying laugh had first profaned the halls of F & S on March 7, 1941 (Mr. Martin had a head for dates). Old Roberts, the personnel chief, had introduced her as the newly appointed special adviser to the president of the firm, Mr. Fitweiler. The woman had appalled Mr. Martin instantly, but he hadn’t shown it. He had given her his dry hand, a look of studious concentration, and a faint smile.”Well,” she had said, looking at the papers on his desk, “are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch?” As Mr. Martin recalled that moment, over his milk, he squirmed slightly. He must keep his mind on her crimes as a special adviser, not on her peccadillos as a personality. This he found difficult to do, in spite of entering an objection and sustaining it. The faults of the woman as a woman kept chattering on in his mind like an unruly witness. She had, for almost two years now, baited him. In the halls, in the elevator, even in his own office, into which she romped now and then like a circus horse, she was constantly shouting these silly questions at him.”Are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch? Are you hollering down the rain barrel? Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel? Are you sitting in the catbird seat?” from full reads- The Catbird Seat
and then, hilarity ensues... just read it! If you love funny, dry, intelligent, and absurd, The Thurber Carnival is for you.
when to read this book: when you are down in the dumps; when you finished reading twain and Keillor and need more homey humor
why this book is special: it is a perfect collection of Thurber's lifetime of writing
coming soon...a book giveaway from Sophia Institute Press!
What's a favorite humor book of yours?

a good book a day for 31 days- Happy Are You Poor

Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom is another good book that I want to share with you. This short book by Fr. Thomas Dubay will open your eyes to Our Lord's words from the Beatitudes and help you to understand was Christian poverty is . . . and is not. To the modern mind, the concept of poverty is often confused with destitution. But destitution emphatically is not the Gospel ideal. A love-filled sharing frugality is the message, and Happy Are You Poor explains the meaning of this beatitude lived and taught by Jesus himself. This isn't a very 'American-style' theology...
"But isn't simplicity in lifestyle meant only for nuns and priests? Are not all of us to enjoy the goodness and beauties of our magnificent creation? Are parents to be frugal with the children they love so much? The renowned spiritual writer Dubay gives surprising replies to these questions. He explains how material things are like extensions of our persons and thus of our love. If everyone lived this love, there would be no destitution. After presenting the richness of the Gospel message, more beautiful than any other world view, he explains how Gospel frugality is lived in each state of life." (
when to read this book: when you need some inspiration when money is tight; when you wonder if the 'prosperity Gospel' is Biblical
what's special about this book:  I love the explanations of how spiritual poverty can look for different states of life and different stages of life.
coming soon....a book giveaway courtesy of Sophia Institute Press!