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Wall Calendar Update

I mentioned in my recent “Shop Talk” post that I would know this week if the wall calendar was going to be ready as a liturgical year calendar  (Nov. 30 2014 – Nov. 28, 2015)  or a calendar year (Jan. – Dec. 2015) calendar. Well, it is abundantly clear to me that it is NOT going to be ready for the liturgical year so calendar year it is.

However, since the whole of Advent/Christmas part of the calendar is ready to go, I am going to offer it as a free PDF download to print for anyone who orders the new wall calendar.  I’ll have it listed in the shop by Monday so check there then. I’ll post a reminder here too!

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{pretty, happy, funny, real} ~ Thanksgiving Edition

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

{pretty}

gratitude2My new banner from the wonderfully talented Chris Volpe who is now offering her creations at Banners by Chris. I told her what I was looking for and she created this beautiful banner for me. I am so pleased with how it turned out. We’ve been trying to really focus on gratitude here and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s perfect!

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BellagroupingWe were sick last week (still are a little bit this week too) and didn’t see Bella at all. ALL week. It was terrible. But Kevin brought her over on Saturday and she truly seemed happy to see us. She’s such a joy!

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Heard at the breakfast table yesterday morning: 7 yr. old Maria, “The older boys told Peter that he couldn’t drink 7UP until he was 7 or he would die. Isn’t that TERRIBLE!?” 10 yr. old Matthew,  “Not if you’re a boy. Then it’s just funny.”

{real}

Advent is next Sunday. No not this Sunday, next Sunday (Nov. 30). Which means you still have time to get candles. As soon as you do put them someplace where you will remember to take them with you to church for blessing. Maybe even set a reminder on your phone. These are the things I need to do because otherwise I will not remember until I am actually AT Mass, without my candles.

If you’re up for some Advent activities be sure to check out the Advent category here and over at O Night Divine but please don’t do anything without first reading my take on Advent Guilt!

And if you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner next week be sure to pop over and read Auntie Leila’s “Detailed instructions for how to *really* get ready for Thanksgiving!” right now. Yes, right now. Trust me you won’t be sorry you did.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving friends!

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Shop Talk – An Update

I haven’t posted recently about the goings on in my shop so I thought it was time for an update.

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The current planner –January – December 2015 — is in stock and shipping now.

timeI had a huge influx of orders early on and will be all caught up as the last of those orders go out this evening. This means all orders coming in now will be processed and shipped within a day or two of ordering. They make a great Christmas gift and your order helps support my family. :)

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I announced on my Facebook page a while back that I was working on a full color liturgical wall calendar.

wallcal The plan was to have it ready and shipping by now but it’s not coming along nearly as well as I had hoped. New products always have glitches but the amount of glitches I have encountered with this one has been quite frustrating. It has been months in the making. It seems any time I try and create something connected to the liturgy there’s more than the usual amount of difficulty. But I am SO close to having the kinks worked out and God willing it will be ready to ship early next week. I’ll know within the next few days if that’s going to happen and if so I will list it for sale right away.  If it doesn’t work out I still plan to offer the calendar but rather than it spanning the liturgical year and starting Nov. 30th, it will span the calendar year and start January 1st.

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Speaking of new products I am sad to say I can no longer offer my Pocket Priests™ for sale.

pocketpriests I can’t keep up with the demand and I am woefully behind filling the orders I already have. They are very time consuming and I love making them but just don’t have time. That being said, I do have an idea that I will be putting out there soon, so please stay tuned!

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If you wondered what happened to the Mapping History timeline journals they are no longer available. I’ve had constant printing issues with these due to the thickness of the paper and have decided to discontinue them. The free version is still available though and can be downloaded at the Mater Amabilis site.

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World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.

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In the developed world, children with diabetes have full access to insulin and other components of diabetes care. However for many children around the world there is limited access to insulin, blood glucose monitoring, expert medical care and diabetes education. As a parent of two children with type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes I am truly grateful for the medical necessities that daily save my children’s lives and I pray in solidarity with the parents who do not have access to these things for their children.

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As much as I want a cure –and pray for one– a more urgent need is access to diabetes care for children around the world who do not have it.

The International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas estimates that there are over 497,000 children under 15 years with type 1 diabetes. There is probably a similar number of youth with diabetes aged 15-25. However, the estimates for numbers of children and youth in many developing countries are uncertain due to lack of data. Additionally, type 2 diabetes is on the increase in children and adolescents in all countries irrespective of socio-economic status. It is estimated that 80-100,000 children and youth around the world are in urgent need of assistance.

Lack of access to insulin remains the most common cause of death in a child with diabetes. The estimated life expectancy of a child who has just developed diabetes could be less than a year in some areas (Beran et al, 2005). Many die undiagnosed, others through lack of insulin or lack of expert care. In some countries, expert care is available but resources are limited and so early and serious complications frequently lead to death in young adulthood.

10341622_321192981372054_7576697831138283039_nThe International Diabetes Federation “Life for a Child” Program was established in 2000 to help children with diabetes in developing countries. Contributions from donors go to established diabetes centers enabling them to provide insulin and syringes, blood glucose monitoring equipment, clinical care, HbA1c testing and diabetes education. Please consider donating to help save the life of a child in developing countries.

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Redesign

I redesigned the blog into a “magazine” type format. I think it makes things easier to locate –at least I hope it does. I am highly visual and images make sense to me. If I can scroll along and see what I am looking for, I can find things. I like that.

Not sure what’s what? Let me show you around.

The page you are on is the blog page for reading posts and commenting. Recent posts are to the right, along with a few other sundry items.

If you click on my name up there at the top left you’ll go to the main page. That’s where all the action is! Right below one of my favorite G.K. Chesterton quotes are the two most recent posts with a feature post to the far right. (If you want to go back to the blog page just click on any post or the “BLOG” link at the top right of the page.)

Below that I’ve grouped all my “Recipes, Downloads & Tutorials” for easy access since as we move towards Advent I get lots of traffic looking for the Jesse Tree project , the O Antiphon coloring pages, and O Antiphons printout as well as the  St. Andrew Christmas Novena, and Christmas Candle.

Of course the Printable Liturgical Calendars are always popular and I regularly get questions about whether I will be making one for the new liturgical year. My answer is usually no as I don’t have the time and this year is no exception. But then again, you never know. . .

I am often asked about how I make my Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal so that’s there too as well as a few other “recipes”.

Sewing wise my soft baby shoes pattern and tutorial gets daily hits so I have to make sure it’s easily found or I get desperate e-mails about it. In fact I need to print a new pattern myself as a certain little someone surely needs Grammie made shoes. : )

Further down I have my Liturgical Sewing posts –another thing I get asked about regularly– and my Time Management posts are to the right of those.

Another post is featured at the end and the various blog necessities such as social icons, rss feeds, how to subscribe and as always the reminder to pray for dear Elizabeth DeHority are at the bottom.

Oh yeah and those stars at the very bottom correspond with the links at the very top [right] of the page.

Let me know how you like it and/or if you find any glitches.

One of the things I like about it is that it works well on my mobile devices as well as my desktop without any tweaking.

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Miscellany & Sundry

It’s been almost two months since I posted. Life is full as always and as much as I would like to make posting here a regular habit, I obviously haven’t done so yet. Perhaps I will eventually. For now I will simply content myself with posting a varied collection of odds and ends.

:: I was asked recently about my dining room table upcycle only to find all the images in that post had disappeared! They hadn’t really “disappeared” so much as relocated. A result no doubt of a WordPress or theme upgrade (or both) that I didn’t process properly. In any case it’s fixed now and I figured I would post an update since I am regularly asked how it’s holding up.10676839_592659797528273_733021601_o

Actually it’s holding up quite well considering the number of people who use this table and chairs daily. The paint and finish that is. They have held up beautifully and the wax makes cleaning a breeze. Since I opted for the “distressed” look on the chairs from the beginning, a little natural distressing blends in just fine.

10804561_592670564193863_1688722984_oThe chair covers however have not fared as well and need re-doing. Plus, see that chair sitting back against the wall? Its seat is broken in two.

:: I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is having a grandchild. Seriously. All I can say is that it truly feels like a reward. Oh how we all adore our “Belly”!

:: That’s it for now. I’ll leave you with a photo gallery menagerie from my phone.

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Preparing for Fall

I mentioned in my last post that I am lazy but in truth I just like keeping things as simple as possible and not reinventing the wheel. In other words if someone has already figured out a good plan and you can make it work –do it! Well once again Mary Ellen Barrett has a good idea: A Fall Cleaning List

Much to my slaves’ children’s dismay I got the cleaning bug this afternoon and set everyone to work. The fall cleaning list was exactly the reminder I needed of  all that needs done as we move into fall.*

Thus far I have pulled the cushions off the couches and am washing everything. The window sill are being vacuumed and all the dust that’s settled in from the summer is being sucked up or wiped away as we prepare for fall and winter. Everything that I want needs done won’t get done today but it’s a good start for the weekend. I can tell my kids are just so excited at the thought! :)

So, how are you preparing for fall?

*Mary Ellen and I live in the same part of the country, so much of our list is the same but of course you should adjust as needed.

 

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Meal Planning and Laziness

I like keeping things simple and I admit I am lazy. Meal planning is one of those things that I just don’t like to do. A successful method for me has been to teach my children to cook (a skill my daughter-in-laws are grateful I taught my sons) and let them help plan meals. Some of my children are natural cooks so this is a win-win situation. [Case in point my 14 yr. old daughter called down a few minutes ago and asked if I wanted a warm biscuit from the batch she just made –unprompted. Of course I said yes, with butter please. :) ]

I was happy to see Mary Ellen started a new feature on her blog yesterday called Menu Monday. Go check it out. She’s got some great tips to make it manageable for us lazy moms. Yes she mentions using my menu planner, but even if she didn’t, it would still be a great post and I would still be recommending it!

 

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Tuesday Daybook

:: It’s our first day of “school”. The morning consisted of “orientation” and shopping. We discussed our new daily routine, wake up times, chores and responsibilities, etc. We also went over the proper care and use of the things we have been given (are my kids the only ones that think they have to “decorate” everything??) and then we went to Staples to take advantage of the sales without the crowds –since everyone else in in school. It was a lovely and productive morning and it bought me some still needed planning time this afternoon. You see, yesterday was going to be my day to finish planning but I chose instead to spent the bulk of the day holding my granddaughter. I chose well. :: Insert gratuitous baby picture pinched from son’s Instagram account here ::

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Don’t you just want to kiss those cheeks? I sure do!

:: I’m loving our new schoolroom setup. You can’t tell from the picture up there but my computer is at the other end behind that white board. It’s perfect because I can work and still be accessible to everyone. The two youngest are to my left and right and I can slide right over and help as needed. I’ll do a schoolroom tour post soon and show you around. I’m really grateful for the space we have in this house. The college student on the end (aka Anthony) stopped by after class and decided to do his homework with us.

:: My online break was shorter than I had hoped but still fruitful. I will be implementing my no internet plan for Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting next week. I am looking forward to the imposed restrictions as they have worked well for me in the past.

:: Apparently August and September got confused about the weather. August was unseasonably mild. We barely went to the pool last month at all. Now, it’s as hot as, well, August. The pool is closed for the season.

:: I’m ready for fall and for the days to get cooler (note I said cooler, I did not say cold nor did I mention the “w” word) and yeah, I’m ready for some pumpkin . . . everything. A pumpkin spice latte sounds very good about now –as long as I am sitting in my air conditioned cool house that is– and since I don’t do Starbucks I will be using Mary Ellen’s Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. YUM!

:: I am in a place in my mothering and homeschooling that I have never been before. I am homeschooling four children and I have neither a babe in arms nor in utero. I am not nursing and I have no toddlers. My charges are 7, 10, 12 and 14 years old respectively. I have a reliable vehicle. The possibilities are many.

:: That being said any of my older children reading this need to remember that should you decide to visit, a text or phone call is advisable because there’s a very good chance, if the weather is nice, that we won’t be home. Yes I am talking to you two who were sitting on the patio when we came home today and yes you son who showed up later.

:: Time to finish up. The sky has turned dark and thunder is starting to rumble overhead. I need to round up children from the neighbors and make sure everything outside is secure before what looks like a pretty good storm rolls in.

I’ll leave you with a bit of my meditation from this morning. It struck me as so very apt for the first day back to school: “Teach me, O my God, the prudence which leads to You by the straight path of duty and truth.”

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OK sure, here are some more pictures:

Photo credit Annie Quigley

Photo credit Annie Quigley

 

 

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Sowing the Seeds that Help Your Children Bloom

I’m going offline for the next week or so to catch up on a few things and finish up preparations for the new school year. I hope to be able to blog more regularly in the months to come as I find myself missing the slower, more thoughtful pace here as compared to other places online.

While I’m gone here’s a talk I gave 2 years ago at the [GMCHE] Greater Milwaukee Catholic Home Educators Conference.

I hope it’s encouraging to you as you start your new school year.

 

 

*image: Ludwig Knaus; “Girl in a field”

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A Beautiful Rose

I am beyond excited to announce that my sweet baby granddaughter Isabella Rose was born on Sunday, August 10th!

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I was so happy to be present when she was born. Annie’s mom Amy and I have been friends for a long while and it was really special to be able to welcome our granddaughter into the world together.

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As you can imagine, her aunties and uncles were all pretty excited to hold her.

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Her Pop-Pop Quigley too.

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We are the new “Grammie and Pop-Pop”. We didn’t get to choose our grandparent names, we were assigned them by Kevin, but that’s OK, we don’t mind. GrammieandPopPop

I can’t really express how special it is to become a grandmother, but I will say that it’s truly beautiful to see the way love multiplies. We are so very grateful to God for the gift of this child.

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And then they were three. Kevin, Annie & Isabella