Friday, December 24, 2010

Vision of the Nativity

St. Luke's Gospel doesn't give us very many details about what really happened on that Holy Night when Jesus was born.  It's always left me wondering how exactly Mary had Jesus and what her and Joseph felt.  I mean, the birth of a baby with all it's labor, pain, and bodily fluids and not a very picturesque way for God to make His appearance on earth.   And how was Jesus as a baby? Did He know that He was God even as a baby? Was he different than any other baby?  These things have always made me wonder until recently, I read the most beautiful description of that Holy Night from a vision of St. Bridget of Sweden.  This is from an alphabet book of saints called, To See the Little Jesus! To See His Blessed Mother! (Available for purchase here).  When I read aloud this excerpt to my son on the day we did the letter B, for St. Bridget, I had to stop reading because it was so moving. 

The background story is that St. Bridget of Sweden makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  When she reaches the place where Jesus was born, she kneels down to kiss the silver star (a star that marks the spot where Jesus was born).  This is when the room disappears and she has this vision:

"When all things were now ready, the Maiden knelt down with great awe and began to pray.  She turned Her back to the manger, but lifted Her face towards Heaven and looked to the East.  And with hands uplifted and Her eyes towards Heaven she knelt without moving, wrapped in divine sweetness.

While She was thus absorbed in prayer, I saw That which was in Her womb move, and in a moment She gave birth to Her Son.  [on other accounts of her vision, I've read that St. Bridget saw a light pass through her womb at the moment Jesus was born. He lay on the ground pure and clean, free of any soil].

And so much light went from Him that the taper in the stone wall no longer gave any light...

But when the Maiden felt that She delivered, She bent Her head and folded Her hands, and with great awe She adored the Child and said to Him: 'Welcome, my God, my Lord, and my Son!"

Then the boy wept and trembled with cold on the hard floor, and stretched out His little hands to His Mother, and She took Him up and laid His cheek against Hers and Him to her breast with joy and great compassion.

And She sat down on the floor and laid Him on Her knees and began to swathe Him first with the linen cloths and then with the woolen pieces, and at last, wound the whole about His little body, legs and arms in one swaddling cloth, and swathed His head in the two woolen pieces that She had brought with Her.

St. Joseph threw himself upon his knees, adoring the Child and weeping for joy.  And in the Virgin there was no weakness as in other women when they are delivered.  She stood up with the Child in Her arms, and She and Joseph laid Him in the manger and adored Him with great joy.  And then I heard wonderful sweet singing of many Angels. 

There are so many things to ponder in this vision, but the thing that really strikes me the sublime holiness and deep adoration of Mary toward her baby, Jesus.  She has a full understanding of how he can be her God and baby and the same time.  It's an amazing and beautiful thing to behold. 

May God give us the gift of Mary's understanding and faith this Christmas.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Free Batteries!

Every year, Staples has this promotion right before Christmas and every year, I wonder why more people don't do this.  Who doesn't need a couple packages of free batteries right before their house is stocked with new toys that need batteries??  The deal is that you can buy two 20 packs per week, but then you get that money back in Staples money to use for future Staples purchases (which is always needed!). You have to sign up for their free rewards program, but it is so worth it.  I was just thinking about how I needed to get some new batteries, and here they are.   Thank you, Staples, for supplying my house with free batteries the whole year through!

Free *Gorgeous* Downloadable Creches!

My friend, Mary, posted this on her blog and they are absolutely gorgeous!  The website is Paper Model Kiosk and the store is Crechemania.  This has quickly become a favorite website of mine.  All the things on this website are like those vintage Victorian cards that have ornate pop-outs, but they are all Catholic items.  Some things you have to pay to download, but some things are free like this one:

I just printed it out on card stock paper and had my son help me cut and fold.  I'll definitely be back to this website for future purchases!  

P.S. You have to register to use this website.  They ask who referred you. My user name is clayrosaries.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Christmas Card Photo Shoot

This was funny. I knew it would be hard to get a good photo of a four year old, a 21 month old and a one month old, so I didn't try anything fancy.  I dressed them and put them on the bed and started taking pictures. LOTS of pictures.  Almost one hundred pictures. None of the pictures below are going to be on the Christmas card, so this is not going to spoil any surprises in the mail.  Out of all the pictures we took, we only got one *almost* great picture.  After all of that, it was good enough for me!

Poor Jude is probably wondering how he ended up with these crazy siblings! I'm pretty sure he is saying, "Mom, SAVE ME!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pin Pricks of Light

I've had this in my head since Mass on Saturday night. The priest gave an analogy about Christ being the Ultimate Light, and everything else is only a pin prick of light- or maybe I just took it as that.  Anyhow, it has been a good meditation for me.  So many things make me happy- some more redeeming than others- but all in all, they are only pin pricks of light compared to joy the Light of the World brings.  I have to keep my focus on Jesus. 

The Christmas season especially is a joyful time of year. There are so many distracting pin pricks of lights that make me happy- the Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas traditions and let's not forget the Christmas gifts!  Even the joy of my children, as wonderful as they are, are only pin pricks of light compared with the Light that Jesus brings.  

This third week of Advent, I am working on getting ready to be blown away by the greatest joy imaginable.  It's Gaudete Sunday (or Joyful Sunday)  because the Light of the world is coming and He's more bright that all the pin pricks in this passing world. "Lord let the light of you face shine us and we shall be saved [and full of joy]." 

Monday, December 13, 2010

NOT Made in China

This adorable sweater was given to me by my husband's mother.   She said it was worn by my husband when he was a baby.  While cleaning out the attic, she found it right before Jude was born.  My husband's grandmother, who passed away last year, knit it from an old sweater that my husband's father owned! Jude's great grandmother was very talented and very thrifty- traits that were definitely passed on to my husband's father.  She never used a pattern or guide, but look at how great this sweater turned out!  I have a few other items that my husband wore when he was a baby and they are so special to use with our children.  I hope I can be that organized to keep a few special items to pass on to my grandchildren.  Maybe this sweater will be worn by the fourth generation of Harkins one day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Fleur de Lis Products

With the new Fleur de Lis bead, I have made some new products.  I have made a rosary, chaplet and bracelet, all featuring the new Fleur de Lis bead.  Follow this link to view the products (link will be available for a limited time).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Miracles of the St. Andrew Novena

Julie Cragon shares some wonderful stories about how the St. Andrew Novena has worked miracles in her family. 
I was first introduced to the Christmas Novena to Saint Andrew in 1987. After a couple of years of trying to conceive, my husband and I found out we were pregnant early in the year. Along with my two sisters and a sister-in-law, I would have a new baby in November. Unfortunately, we lost our child in late April. By October and November, when the other new little ones were born I was beginning to wonder if we would ever have children.
Go to WIM Catholic Blog to read the full story.

Fleur De Lis Bead

The Fleur De Lis is a very popular symbol all over, but for Catholics, it is a symbol of the Holy Trinity and it can also be a symbol for Mary.  I chose this symbol to add to my collection of beads as a symbol of the Trinity. I've always loved the Fleur De Lis so I was excited to learn it was actually Catholic symbol.  In my design, I put three red bands to connect the three petals on this stylized lily- like a double wammy for the "three in one".  Here is my process of making the fleur de lis bead.

I started with mixing a batch of sandy yellow clay for the background color.   Clay manufacturers are not very creative in their color options, so I like to mix my own colors.

Next, I formed the black fleur de lis.  After this, I put on two more layers- a gold one and then another black black for a distinguished look.  Then I made the three red rings that "hold" together the three parts of the lily.

Here is the large cane after the background was added.  Next to this cane, you can also see the burgundy and gold stripes in formation. 
The canes as they are being reduced (below)
The finished product!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Advent Post (finally!)

After reading all the wonderful ideas that other people are doing for advent this year, I can't go on without writing what my family and I are doing this advent. 

One advent tradition that I grew up with, was the Advent wreath.  To me, Advent just wouldn't be the same with out the wreath.  When I got married, it was the first thing we bought at the start of the Advent season.  There's just something about the lighting of the candles after dinner every night and the gentle flicker of the flames that say, "Christ is near."

This year we are added the St. Andrew Novena to our Advent wreath lighting. The kids join us on the nights we have enough time to pray before their bedtimes.  Although it seems like they don't get anything out of hearing my husband and I pray, they really are soaking it all in.  The other night, as my four year old was bouncing around on the couch, he just started saying the entire St. Andrew prayer by heart! He prayed it twice before he stopped and went back to playing.  This prayer has made me think more how the Blessed Mother felt on that night when Jesus was born.  "In piercing cold, at midnight, in Bethlehem..."  Off topic: my friend read a Christmas book to the coop class and the repeating line in the book was Mary saying to Jesus, "Tomorrow you will be King, but tonight you are my baby."  I think watching my own babies grow up makes me understand Mary's sacrifice more and more.  The mothering instinct to protect and keep your children safe is so strong; it's more strong than I could have imagined before I had my own children.  I can see now how much pain it caused Mary to know that her son would have to suffer so much.

I planned on doing the Jesse Tree this year.  I even started planning how I was going to make the ornaments at the beginning of November! At first, I was trying to set up an ornament swap--that didn't work. Then I came up with an idea to put little pictures of the symbols into brooch settings.  I ordered the settings from a dealer on Etsy about four weeks ago and they haven't arrived yet.  I guess the Jesse Tree just wasn't meant to be this year.

One new thing we are doing this Advent is waiting to put the ornaments on the Christmas tree until Christmas day.  We've always put them on right away along with all the other decorations in the house, but I wanted to save something for Christmas day to make it more special.   I didn't anticipate how hard this would be for my son. He asks almost everyday when we can put the ornaments on the tree.  I keep telling him, "When Jesus comes on Christmas."

These are the major things we do for Advent. Other little things like Christmas books, a Christmas felt board, and Christmas crafts also enhance our Advent season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Visit From My Mom

My apologies for not posting anything in awhile.  It's not that nothing was happening over here--on the contrary, I haven't had time among all the commotion! My mom just left from a week long visit to see her new grandson and help me out.  It was so nice to have her, but I immediately missed her when she left.  My house turned from tidy to one big mess in about 15 minutes flat and none of the kids were giving me a moments rest.  Analee was a tornado of terror and Jude wasn't letting me put him down for more than 5 five minutes at a time.  I told Liam if we didn't start cleaning it up, I would lose my sanity.  He said, "sanity?? You don't have any sanity, Mom." Don't I know it!

Other than all the help she gave me, we had all great time together while she was here.  We decorated for Christmas, took Christmas pictures of the kids, saw the Nutcracker ballet, went on the White House Christmas tour, watched movies, drank wine and had our first raw oysters together.   

My mom is THE most hard working, ambitious woman I know. Cooking meals, keeping the house clean and helping me with the kids wasn't enough for her.  She also had to PAINT MY KITCHEN!  The mere thought of painting a room with three young kids stresses me out, but not my mom.  She didn't want leave without tackling a big project.  I'm so glad she did it, because it was one of those things I've wanted to do since we moved in last year.   I love the way it turned out. Thanks, Mom! You're the best!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chaplet Winner!

Thanks to, the lucky number/winner is comment number 5.  Congratulations to Lori of Keeping it Simple Blog.  Lori, I will send your St. Andrew Chaplet as soon as I get you full name and address. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Don't forget, today is the rosary for the Christians in Iraq. Our Lady of Peace, Pray for us!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pray for Persecuted Christians in Iraq

Join Catholics worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 23 as we pray the Rosary for the persecuted Christians in Iraq.  Allison at Why I Am Catholic wrote an excellent blog post promoting this cause.  It is so terrible what Christians are going through right now there.   After the major attack on October 31 where 50 Christians were killed and many were wounded, the Pope urged, "May everyone unite their strengths to end every act of violence!"  Because our strength is in the Lord, praying the rosary together for peace is uniting the height of our strength.  Mary will answer our prayers! Our Lady Queen Victorious, Pray for us.

Last Chance To Enter St. Andrew Chaplet Giveaway

Today is your last chance to enter the St. Andrew Chaplet Giveaway.  I've very much enjoyed reading the comments so far about how you are celebrating Advent.  If you haven't read them, I recommend it.  I will be posting how my family is doing Advent this year at a later date.  It's so great to hear how Catholic families everywhere are reclaiming Advent from the Scrooge of consumerism.  Keep up the good work!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

St. Andrew Chaplet Giveaway!

I apologize for the brevity of this giveaway. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it together with the new baby, but here it is! It will be short-- you will have only 6 days to enter (actually 5 days because I will pick a winner on Tuesday morning).  All you have to do is leave a comment about what you (and your family) are doing to spiritually prepare for Christmas this advent season.  Make sure to leave your email address if you leave an anonymous comment so I can reach you.

On Tuesday, November 23, I will pick a winner  and hopefully have the chaplet shipped in time for the St. Andrew's feast day (the start of the novena).  Make sure to check back on Tuesday so you can give me your address in case you win. I will ship it out via Priority (2-3 day mail) if you live in the U.S. .  If you live in a different country, the chaplet will not arrive in time, but you can still enter to win :)

For more information about this chaplet, please visit my website.  Good Luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back to Business

I am finally starting to feel myself again and I am all ready for Christmas orders.  The shop is back in business! 

St. Andrew's Feast Day is coming up at the end of this month: November 30.  Last Christmas, I learned about this beautiful devotion, so this year, my family will be doing the St. Andrew Novena.  It is a Christmas preparatory prayer that is prayed on a St. Andrew Chaplet.  It begins on the Feast of St. Andrew, so make sure to order your chaplets soon.   The beads are in the traditional shade of purple- the color of waiting for the Advent season.  To learn more about the clay beads used on this chaplet and to order your own, please visit my shop.

Just for fun, here are some pictures of the new guy :)  He is absolutely adored by his brother and sister!
Just so you know- Liam is not sleeping, just looking down on his sweet little brother :)

Analee loves to share her stuffed animals with Jude.  How sweet is that?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby Jude

Baby Jude arrived on Friday, November 5 at 6:45 pm.  He weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. The delivery went well and he is a perfectly healthy baby.  God is good!
The kids were soooo excited to see their baby brother for the first time!
Here's me the night I went to the hospital.  I'm not big into maternity shots, but I thought I should get at least one before Jude was born. I can't believe an 8 pound baby fit in that belly!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All the Way to Ireland

I recently sent off a chaplet to Martin from Ireland (actually I had no idea it was Ireland- I only knew it was in the United Kingdom).  Martin sent me a very nice email when he received his chaplet today:

I received my 1st Communion Chaplet today and i am very pleased with the beads, they are beautiful and they will be treasured by my grand child. Thank you so much. My best wishes to you and God bless you.I discovered you details in the Irish Catholic newspaper where someone had written an article about your beads. I reside in the North of Ireland. Bye for now and i am sure i will order again from you. [reprinted with permission]

And here is the article! I thought it was pretty cool my rosaries/blog ended up in an Irish newspaper. Thanks you, Maria Byrne for the shout out and thank you to Martin for sending this to me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I am featured on How to Pray the Rosary!

The kind people at "How to Pray the Rosary" have asked me if I would like to be their featured rosary promoter for the month of November.  I submitted my interview and you can view it from this link they sent me: has been featured in's "Rosary Promoter of the Month". To see our interview please visit here...

You can even leave comments and make it interactive :)

On a side note, as I pack for my visit to the hospital to delivery my baby tomorrow night, I am reminded of a big packing mistake I made when I delivered my first child.  So for anyone who has yet to have a baby, here's a packing tip for you : 

Don't pack clothes for home that are in anyway smaller than the clothes you are wearing to the hospital.  It will only make you feel like stuffed sausage when you *try* to put them on! 

For some reason, I thought I was going to miraculously lose weight all over my body- not just the big bump around my midsection.  Bad mistake! I ended having to wear those clothes that were a size too small too, because that was the only clean outfit I had left. Boy did I feel like a stuffed sausage! So I learned my lesson and now I pack only clothes that will make me feel great- no matter what size I leave the hospital!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Julie Wants to Know...Whose your Favorite Saint?

Julie Cragon at Hand Me Down Heaven wants to know whose your favorite saint? I said mine was St. Francis of Assisi.  Of course, Mary is everyone's fav, but beyond that, whose your favorite saint? Leave Julie a message and let her know :)

Update on baby: I am being induced on Wednesday night! I can't wait!! Please pray for a safe and swift delivery and a healthy baby. St. Jude, St. Gianna and St. Gerard, pray for us.

Happy All Saints Day!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Praying Pooper

It was one of those rare teachable moments when a teacher soaks up every minute of her pupil's attention.  The young mind was primed and ready to learn after seeing me pray the rosary many times before.  His four year old attention was steadily focused on the rosary for a good 15 minutes.  It was actually the first time he followed along on each every bead from the Apostle's creed to the middle of the third decade.  He helped offer up his intentions for the rosary and seemed to really listen and pay attention to every explanation I had to offer for the different parts of the rosary.  He even chimed in on his interpretation of the Joyful mysteries. 

This is a dream come true, I thought.  For so long- since before he was born, actually, I had dreamt of passing along the Faith to my future children.  I played it out in my head about how I would teach my children my love for our Catholic Faith and how they would sit there, wide eyed, soaking up every word.  Then came the kids... and their energy... and their short, short, short attention spans.  Until recently, Liam seemed to not care about anything other than trains.  Now that his interests are growing, I'm trying to throw in little bits of theology here and there. But never I have I been able to make him sit through any part of the rosary. 

But today was different.  Today I when I told him I was going to pray the rosary, he stayed.  When I brought out the rosary, he reached for it and I went with the flow.  I told him where to hold, how we start and then we began.  He held on to each bead, and I prayed aloud.   We got all the way to the third decade when he finally started to get antsy.  I took the rosary and started praying it on my own while he squirmed around next to me.

Then I smelled it. Liam had been having trouble about going poop and pee in the potty, but it had been several days since he last pooped in his pants.  I checked his pants and sure enough, the little twerp had left a significant brown spot in his underwear.  I sent him off the bathroom to clean up himself as much as he could, but when I went in to help him a few minutes later, the grossness factor went up ten notches.  There was poop everywhere and now I had to clean it all up. 

The irony of it all!  There I was, in a near dream like state, thinking I had finally nailed the teachable moment, when all along my four year old was just pooping in his pants!! God has a sense of humor, and tomorrow, I may think this is funny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bed Rest Week 3

All this bed rest is really paying off! The baby's amniotic fluid levels are staying up and he is growing beautifully.   Now they're talking about possibly inducing me next week.  I am really getting anxious to meet this baby and hold him in my arms.  While looking at him in the ultrasound screen yesterday I caught a glimpse of his beautiful face and had an overwhelming longing to see him for real.  It's hard to believe it's been nine months already!

I sent my sister off this morning to Minnesota.  It was so nice to have her here. It's funny how much more you learn about someone when you actually live with them for a week.  I've learned so much about her that I had never known.  Sure, we're sisters, but we've led very different lives when we graduated from high school.  She stayed close to home, got her associates degree and married a dairy farmer.  I moved far away from home to go to college, and have never had a desire to live in Minnesota's farm country again.   I love living in or near the city where something is always happening.  Julie loves living in the country where the pace is slower and everyone knows you.   I have a culture shock when I go to visit her family on the farm and see them run barefoot through the barn. My kids go crazy for the farm, but there I am, running around after them with hand sanitizer, and making sure they don't step in a pile of manure!  Julie had culture shock here when she went to the grocery store and when she saw all the people that drive past my house everyday. She said where do all these people come from??  And she did not believe me when I said my floor was dirty!

She fit right in as a "second mother".  She had pillow fights with Liam, played all his silly games and came up with many of her own.  She played dress up and tea with Analee and made her giggle every time she changed her diaper.  She also wasn't afraid to lay down the law, which is something I really appreciated from my sister's visit.  She was so good about it, that now Liam is drinking white milk instead of always having to have chocolate milk--and he is drinking it at every meal!  It might seem silly, but it's a big milestone for him.

One thing I've always known about my sister is that her heart is so big.  I am so thankful for the sacrifices she made to come out and thankful for the love she showed my family.  Thank God for sisters!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Creative Person

I always love to see what other like minded people do with their creativity, especially when they use their artsy creativity for the honor and glory of God. Here is one such person I stumbled across...

Patsy who lives in the Philippines makes unique works of art of scraps of paper, stamps and scripture verses. I love her finished products! Her blog is called HeARTworks. This is a link to the picture below which was a tutorial and a giveaway awhile back.

Here is her current work of art:
It's so beautiful and wonderfully unique, I wish she sold them.  It also looks like a neat hobby for someone who needs a creative outlet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bed Rest Week 2

This week has been a wonderfully relaxing week of bed rest.  I can almost say I could get used to this sort of pampering!  Aside from not being able to get out of the house to even go for a walk on these gorgeous fall days, I have very much enjoyed having my Mother in Law take care of the kids, the cooking and the laundry.  She has also pampered the kids so much, I don't think they missed hanging out with mom all day at all!  They've been outside a lot and going to parks and McDonald's for lunch and the play place.  They are loving it.  Analee gladly waves goodbye to me when she's leaving with "Mom Mom"! 

Of course, we've set aside all homeschooling for the time being.  The alphabet can wait.  Liam is still doing little workbook pages here and there as much as he wants- mostly cutting activities and mazes which he can't get enough of!  But we're not doing anything serious until the baby comes- or sometime there after. 

Today my sister comes in town for a week to help out.  We'll see Mom Mom again next week when Julie leaves to go back home.   I can't wait to see Julie...and put her to work ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

To Facebook or to NOT Facebook...that is the question

Last night I had a dream that I was missing out big time by not being on Facebook.   All my friends were on the social network (not an exaggeration real life) and I was feeling majorly left out in my dream.  In real life, I gave up FB back January, or sometime around then.  ALL my friends were on, but the fact is that the majority of them were not really friends anyway. They were friends that I had in Highschool, but that I had never talked to since graduation. There were plenty of those from college too.  It was even to the point that if there were in my high school or college, but I barely knew their last name, they were my facebook friend.  I had no problem being social and telling the events of my life to people that knew me well enough to sincerely care, but it was the hundreds of other people who were getting to know me and didn't care about me- that was bothering me.  If I didn't say anything on FB, and just checked out what everyone else was doing, I felt like a stalker.  If I was social and shared my status often on FB, I felt conscientious of everyone else stalking me.  Plus, let's be honest, when parents and relatives are on FB, it gets kind of weird.  I don't know many people who share the same kinds of things to friends as you do to your great aunt Hilda who you see only on Thanksgiving.

It was true that I was in better contact with my real friends- and even those people who I would call acquaintances, but after awhile I started to wonder if these were real connections.  After moving to a new location, I was lonely and desperate for some real friends in my new neighborhood.  I knew this wouldn't happen overnight, and I knew is very normal and I was expecting these feelings.  But I was growing impatient.   I found myself spending more time on FB, but not feeling like this was ever enough.  What I really wanted was a phone call from the friends who knew my updated FB status to the minute, but had no time to call.  I wanted to see friends and family, not just pictures on FB. 

After I quit Facebook, I suddenly needed a new outlet and started blogging more.  Blogging, however, is very different from FB.  If I write a blog, I know I am writing to a general audience and I don't include personal details and feelings that I wouldn't want a stranger knowing. Another bonus is that I have found other bloggy friends who are not anymore present to me in real life than the people on FB, but because they share their thoughts in the forms of long paragraphs and not one line sentence, I feel more connected.   It was an unexpected surprise.  Not only that, blogging has been great for business!

I can't say if facebook is real socializing or not, and I certainly don't think that blogging is real socializing, but I would say that personal emails are real socializing.   Because I get more email correspondence from people who follow my blog and people whose blog I follow than I ever did from FB friends makes me wonder how "connected" I really was in the social network, FB.  I still get the same amount of phone calls from friends and family, but now instead of saying, "oh, I saw this and that on FB." We say, "how are you doing?"  It feels more genuine to me and that's what's important. 

Now that I have friends in the area, I don't "need" facebook as much as I used to, but I there are times when I wonder how this or that person is doing and what I am missing on FB.  Those are the times, I pick up my phone and have a real conversation, or write an email and wait for a real response- in the form of paragraphs, not one-liners. 

I'm not drawing any conclusions about whether FB is good or bad, and someday, I might go back on (at least for Clay Rosaries business).  But if I do go back on for social reasons, I am going to limit my FB friends to people who I really see, talk to, or know well.

What are you thoughts on Facebook? Are you on the network? Does you think it's real socialization? If you are on FB, are you a stalker or a talker? Please share!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week One of Bed Rest

It's been one week now since I was put on bed rest for baby Jude. I wasn't put on the strictest of bed rest- so I'm still able get up when I need to- thank goodness! This week my husband took off of work to tend to the household needs. It has been a learning and growing experience for everyone. I've had to surrender having this done my way and I can say for a fact that my husband has had to sacrifice a fair share too!  I am now convinced that stay at home moms work just as hard, if not harder than people do at most work places!! I love my work as a stay at home mom, and I would've given anything to help my husband out more this past week, but God had other plans.

I know I got out of bed more than I should have this week because I wanted to get things ready for my mother in law is coming tonight.  I'm sure by next week with her here, I'll be writing about how good I was at staying in bed... Thank goodness for extra help!

BTW, I am still able to make rosaries on bed rest :D

Thank you for all your prayers for me and baby Jude!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Prayers Answered- Thank You!

Thank the Lord that I am at home tonight-- thanks to your prayers and of course, Our Lady's prayers since I KNOW all our rosary petitions were answered on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary yesterday.  My AFI rose 2.5 centimeters in 24 hours.  It's hard for me to understand how bed rest and plenty of water can do that much good in only 24 hours, but it does- and of course prayers helped too! Baby Jude is growing fine except for his abdomen which is on the smaller side.  Other than that, he is moving a lot and has a healthy heart beat.  In additon to prescribed bed rest and plenty of fluids, I am going to be in for appointments 2-3 times a week until the baby is born. Thank goodness I live only a mile and half away from the doctor's office and the hospital!  Bed rest is soooo much easier said than done, but I have to do it as much as possible in order not to end up in the hospital again and cause possible harm to the baby.  I guess I just have to remind myself that this is more important that a clean house, a homemade meal, all my errands done etc.

I am just so thankful to be home and with my family.   Thank you again for all your prayers and words of support and encouragement!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prayers Needed

I am shutting down my shop because I have to be admitted the hospital for monitoring. The baby's amniotic fluid is low and they will be monitoring it tonight.  If it doesn't improve tomorrow, my doctor said I have to stay until the baby is born- my due date is November 7.  This means I may not have my shop open for a few weeks, maybe more...? or it may be open again tomorrow if everyone prays really hard! PLEASE keep me and the baby in your prayers as I do want to stay with my family for the next month and not have to sit in a hospital bed.  Thank you!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Contemporary Artist Who Paints for God

After hearing about so many contemporary artist who profane Mary and Jesus (the latest being in Loveland, CO is enough to make your stomach turn) it is so refreshing to see an artist of our times who has a positive message with his art.  His name is Jon McNaughton and he paints in a unique style called French Barbizon Impressionism.  He is Mormon, but his work definitely reflects someone with a deep love and devotion to God and Jesus.  Praise God! Here is a link to his website where you can see more of his beautiful art. One other thing that is special about his art (that is a lot like mine) is it is full of symbolism.  If you go to his website, he explains the symbolism of his art.  You can move your mouse over the painting and it will tell you want the symbol stands for.  It's very neat.

This You Tube video I saw on Kathleen's blog was so moving, I had to share it here too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How to Pray the Rosary Gadget

If you scroll down the very bottom of this blog, you will find the coolest little widget for learning to pray the rosary.  Try it out! You will want this on your blog when you see how nifty it is!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Musical Inspiration

A perfect song for Sunday, but I've been finding the last part of the song so inspiring when I am working on those mundane tasks around the house...

"such a tiny offering...compared to Calvery...nevertheless, we lay it at your feet.
These words especially remind me to make do my work with joy and love because it is such a small offerering compared to what I get in exchange- eternal life! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Real Home

The other night I watched a thrilling, edge of your seat movie.  I'm refraining from saying the title because I don't want to spoil part of the movie for those who haven't seen it yet.  If you've seen it, you'll know which one I'm talking about.  In the movie, the husband and wife are get lost in their own subconsciousness's and live in the dream world they have built together. They live there for so long that that when it is time to live in the real world, the wife has trouble adjusting and becomes obsessed with the idea that the dream world was the real world.  She is desperate to live there forever and ends up taking her life to "achieve" this goal. While this is a very extreme example of wanting to go to her "real" home, it reminded me of how this world we live in is only a temporary home and how our real home is in heaven.  Her fixation on going to what she thought was the real world, made me want a fraction of that- to keep me grounded in what's really important. 

It made me think of saints and visionaries who have had glimpses of heaven and conversations with Jesus and Mary that have showed them just how ordinary our world is compared to the extraordinary dwelling place of the Father.  After seeing glimpses of another world with the angels and saints, these saints have begged to stay.  Some were granted their request and have been taken to their eternal home at young ages, while others learned to use every moment here on earth preparing for the "ultimate reality" waiting for them in heaven.  It really makes me think of how I would live my life differently if I knew the true joy and love waiting for me in heaven.  I think I would spend less time making myself comfortable here on earth, and more time preparing to be in my eternal home.  I'm sure I would turn every ordinary moment into a grace-filled one so I could store up my treasures in heaven. 

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.

Mathew 19-21
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Point and Click Camera Review

If you are looking to buy a new point and click camera, I have a great recommendation.  After having to put up with my Nikon cool pics for two years, this is such a breath of fresh air! Not that I spilled water on it on purpose, or that I let beach sand ruin the shutter, or let it get beat up by kids and spilled on by leaky sippy cups, but I am so glad to see that thing go!

Aside from being a very affordable camera (with a $40 coupon from Costco to boot) the Canon SD940 Power Shot is so user friendly.  I literally took it out of the box, charged the battery, and started using it without looking at a single direction in the user's manual- and it took great pics.  I love that I can just click a picture and not have to hold down the button for 10 seconds while it thinks about taking a picture (like my Nikon cool pics did).   It also has so many other short cuts that my other camera didn't.  It's small size is another plus. I was surprised to take it out of the box and discover it was even smaller than my old camera.  The only draw back was that it didn't come with a carrying case, but I saved the one that came with my old camera, so I didn't mind.

I am so glad I went with Canon this time!  Not that I am going to pass up my Dad's old Nikon d50 SRL when he's ready to sell it, but as far as compact camera goes, this one's a sure bet. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Boycott Home Depot

Just in case you weren't aware of what Home Depot has become, here's some info. We have been boycotting Home Depot since we first became aware, earlier this summer, of how they enjoy scandalizing children with their lewd gay pride parades and how they have taken the motto "Homo Depot" to heart. Thankfully we have two other hardware stores- Lowes and True Value close by that we can go to instead of Home Depot.  Just to clarify-- my position on this is the same as the Catholic Churchs' - we love the sinner, but hate the sin. The sin being the homosexual behavior.  Having gay tendencies is not a sin- acting out in them is a sin.  Just like having selfish tendencies is not a sin; acting out in selfishness, is a sin.  Allowing our children to become numb to homosexual behaviors is just as bad in my book.  I believe in preserving children's innocence.  Allowing children to see such distorted behavior teaches them that this is ok- whether or not we say so or not.  Boycotting Home Depot may seem like an insignificant act, but any little thing we can do helps.   
American Family Association   Take Action Now

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The Home Depot: See it in their own words

September 27, 2010

The Home Depot's own website shows it embraces the spread of homosexuality, including gay marriage.
On its website, The Home Depot states it "is honored to say we support the following diversity-oriented organizations:" It goes on to list at least three groups which radically support the homosexual marriage agenda in America - The Human Rights Campaign, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates and Diversity Best Practices.
That's not all!
The Home Depot sanctions its very own homosexual employee group, which receives financial backing by the company, The Home Depot Pride (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) employee group. The Home Depot marches in numerous gay pride parades and sets up Kids Workshops at gay pride festival events each year (more photos and list of events are available at
And there is more...
The Home Depot responded to an annual survey by the Human Rights Campaign. Here's what the company offers:
- Full health insurance benefits to homosexual employees and "partners." The Home Depot recognizes two homosexual men who sleep together as "married."
- Insurance for complete sex-change operations.
- Requires some employees to attend diversity (homosexual acceptance) training.

1. If you have not done so, sign the Boycott Pledge at
2. Call your local store manager.
Let the manager know that you will not be shopping at The Home Depot until the company stops supporting the homosexual agenda. You can find the number here. (click "Store Finder").
3. Print the paper petition and distribute it at Sunday School and church.

Take Action NowSign the Boycott Pledge Now!

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.



Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
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