Saturday, September 29, 2012

Liam's Birthday

I think Liam had his best birthday yet.  Six years old is a big deal and I can tell he's reaching a new level of awareness as he nears the age of reason.  It's a magical time of childhood.  He is a such a sweet boy and such a good example for his siblings- who follow his cues like lemmings. 

 He says he stayed up all night waiting for his birthday, but I am only aware of the fact he didn't go to sleep until late and came in my bedroom at an ungodly hour in the morning to toss and turn in my bed.  The lack of sleep didn't deter this boy from having a very wonderful day.

We had my husband's parents over for the birthday and my mother in law brought a cooked dinner and a cake.  What a treat for this busy, pregnant mamma!! I really needed a break and was thankful for the gesture of kindness.

Then it was time for cake!

He played all day with his new marble run. He was given a starter set by my husband and I, and three other add-on sets by his grandparents on both sides and Godparents.  What a great gift- no buttons and no batteries!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clay Rosary Giveaway!!

My fellow F.U.S. alumni, Katie from Blessed with Full Hands,  is having a fundraiser for the virtual Little Flowers marathon she is running. It's a wonderful cause and something that is very dear to her heart.  To help her fundraiser go well, I'm giving away a rosary on her blog. You have to enter on her blog for your chance to win. You get to pick any of my rosaries if you win.

So head on over to her blog for the specifics and your chance to win!

Good Luck!

STAINS: How did this happen?? (laundry advice please))

So pretty much everything my kids own, from pj's to regular ole clothes (with the exception of maybe ONE church outfit) has stains on it.  Everything they pick out of their drawers is stained in some way or another.  It is so frustrating.

Even my husband has had to recently throw out three nice button down shirts due to stains that will not come out.  I don't ever remember this problem happening quite to this extent. It's not like I let my dirty laundry sit for weeks- I usually clean things in the next few days- not usually the day of, but not longer than three days.  I am really starting to wonder what I am doing wrong because I am sick of buying new clothes for everyone, only to get a stain on it a week later that won't budge. Even bleach doesn't get these stains out!

I'm thinking it's got to be one of these things- please help me out here. It's either:

a. I need to wash stains the day of- maybe the minute of, and pretreat it. But who wants to do that much laundry??

b. My washing machine stinks. It came with the house, so I don't know how old it is. It's not a front a front loader and I hold that against it.

c. The homemade laundry detergent we've been using is not up to par. It had great reviews, but I don't remember having this problem before we used it...

d The stains are from foods that don't come out of clothes out easily- like oils/fats, chocolate, blueberries and beets. We pretty much have a vegetable beet juice every morning with inevitable falls down the fronts of tiny shirts. And the animal fat intake around here has increased 10 fold since the name, Weston A. Price, came into our vocabulary.

What do you laundry machine, right? haha! I have visions of throwing my laundry machine off a cliff, but I'm not sure it would sure it would help.

Any advice is appreciated!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Official First Day of Homeschooling (today, actually)

 A little late, but that's ok. I had to get my shop up first! Now that my shop is up and running, I can concentrate on some serious schooling.

I can't believe my first is in 1st grade this year.  He's a young first grader, so I'm ok with him not catching on right away. Repeating is not beneath me and he will never know the difference.  However, I do have goals for him- in the realm of reading and math and writing. 

He did pretty good for his first day, and my daughter did well with her preschoolish things as well.  My toddler, however, was a nightmare!  Every other day, he takes a 2-3 hour nap and wakes up happy.  Today, of all days, he decides to wake up after only an hour and turn into Monster Baby for the rest of the day.  This is due to the fact we were talking outside his room where we were homeschooling. I'm not sure how to remedy this except to take our homeschooling to the basement or kitchen- neither is an ideal location. sigh.

Oh well, today was a light day of homeschooling. I want the kids to spend more time outside while they can. In the winter, we can set aside more time for homeschooling while we are cooped up inside.

We are also doing Aquinas Learning again this year and it's going fabulous.  We have been going over the those lessons since it started two weeks ago, so some homeschooling has been going on before today.

 This year's cycle is ancient history (it goes on a three year cycle, so Liam will be learning the same things three year from now). I love that we are starting on this now on a basic level so that three year from now, when we go back to ancient history, we can discover things on a more abstract level since he will be 8 then and we would have covered the basics.  Classical learning is so wonderful! And can I just say that I LOVE Mr. Andrew Pudewa. I went to another one of his talks a month ago- this time on Classical Education and it was so inspirational.  I went away feeling like I'm on the right track. Always good feeling!

gotta go- Monster Baby on the rampage. Let's try this nap thing over again, shall we?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Store Open

My shop is now open!  Thank you all for your patience.

Here are some of the new things in my shop.  Click on the name below the picture to view item in my shop. Thanks for looking.
Compass Rosary

Shabby Chic Bracelet
St. Therese Necklace

Rooster Rosary

The Rooster Collection

Multi-Bead Rosary with Black beads

St. Andrew Chaplet

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Butterfly Bead

Taken from
The Butterfly Christian Symbol represents and symbolizes the Resurrection. The butterfly has three phases during its life:
  1. The caterpillar - The caterpillar which just eats symbolises normal earthly life where people are preoccupied with taking care of their physical needs.
  2. The chrysalis or cocoon  - The chrysalis or cocoon resembles the tomb.
  3. The butterfly  - The butterfly represents the resurrection into a glorious new life free of material restrictions.
Reference to Related Bible VersesThe Butterfly symbolizing the Resurrection:
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
Showing three stages in one picture: 1. make different shades of orange  2. use orange clay to make bulls-eye bead  3. shape round bead into tear drops

Step 4: Shape tear drop canes into butterfly wings.
Step 5: Add white dots 
Step 6: Add background and Roll out.
 For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52b)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Food Connection

Yesterday, we went up to Amish Country (Lancaster County, PA) to visit the farm where we get our milk, eggs and other great products from an Amish farmer who delivers to our area.

My friend and her son joined us on our adventure. It was a beautiful drive up the back roads through the windy, hilly roads of the Pennsylvania countryside. 

The farm was modest and we were amazed how his farm, plus his son's could produce all things our group orders from him.   Even his house, where he is raising his 10 kids was more modest than most houses we see that have many less people living in them.  The yard was immaculate, as were the all the members of the family.  We were also impressed at how cordial and conversational he and his family were. Not at all the stiff necked people we stereotyped Amish to be.  The lesson I came away with from the visit was that we have a lot to learn from these simple people about life.  

We feel very lucky to be able to say: "We know were our milk comes from and have met the farmer and seen the chickens who lay our eggs".  The farmer is a very responsible steward of the earth.   He treats the animals and the land the way they were meant to be treated.  The cows are grassfed, hens are not cooped up all day and barns are only used when necessary.    No need for sewage pits, huge barns, gigantic machinery or chemicals.  They know how to work with the land and not against it. 

 Such a difference from the farms I am used to seeing in the Midwest.   The question is, can all farmers practice this, or is the need for food too great?  And is it really the need for food that is too great or is it companies who have become too greedy that make it hard for farmers to go back to the way it used to be?  Maybe if we all used these practices and weren't so reliant on corn and soybeans and other grains for feeding livestock, we would have more land for people food.   Sure, it's pretty to see rows of corn fields and soybeans, but as I drove through my hometown in Minnesota last month, I wondered, where are the cows?  Why aren't these fields used for grazing?  The cows are stuck in small manure covered pens- mostly inside, and are given grains to get fat.  Cows are meant to eat grass- not grains.   I don't know all the answers, but I do like knowing I support a sustainable, responsible farmer. 

I hope my children will keep the memory of that place until we get to visit again.  Knowing where food comes from is important to me- especially in the day in age of processed food and industrialized farming.   Food has come so far from it's original source and the way it's meant to be grown that I think we have lost the connection with our food.  "If it's on the grocery store shelf, it's ok for me and my children," is not the way I live anymore.  I think a healthy mistrust of food ingredients is needed in our society.  No longer can we trust corporations to nourish us when the only thing they care about is money.  It's shocking what they call food now a days. What exactly are we putting in our mouths?  The big companies don't care as long as it's making them money.  

Enough of my tangent!  All I'm saying is that it's nice to say to be able to have a glass of untreated, unprocessed milk and know exactly how it got in my hands. The occasional little feathers left on my eggs are a sweet reminder too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Preview of Beads While I Wait for Clay

Butterfly and Grape Beads

I'm waiting on a shipment of clay to finish these beads off so I can open my store. As you can tell, I need to put some background color on them- any opinion on background clay colors?

I apologize for the delay in getting my shop open.  If you've been keep up with all my new beads, you know how hard I've been at work this summer.  I hope you will be happy you waited so long!