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{pretty, happy, funny, real} The week before Christmas


We finally saw the sun yesterday and today. Not all day by any means but enough to lure us into its light every time it made an appearance from behind the clouds.



It seemed like the perfect time to make cookies.0026

DSC_0023 cookie1web

Mmm, peanut butter cookies!


10 yr. old Matthew told me a few mornings ago that he was “making a movie”.
Apparently it is “just a short film based on my book.” I love this kid!



A virus unfortunately turned into a hospital stay for Matthew because he went into DKA. It’s very scary and very frustrating as I work hard to keep this child well — apparently to no avail. It’s hard not to feel helpless sometimes but I am learning a lot of lessons in trust.

10874249_609018295892423_2095945895_oWe just lit the pink candle this afternoon and I am woefully behind on Christmas shopping.


Rarely does Advent look like I hope it will but I know that in the end there will be plenty of Christmas joy –there always is!

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter this week.


A Giveaway at O Night Divine

In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day is this Friday, December 12th, I am giving away these two planners with Our Lady’s beautiful image on the covers.

Leave a comment over at O Night Divine telling me why you’d like to win a planner (for example: “I need to organize my life!” or “I want to give it as a gift!”) then tick the box on the rafflecopter widget there and you’ll be entered!

Visit the O Night Divine and Catholic Daily Planner Facebook pages for more entries, and share, pin and tweet daily for even more!

I will draw two winners on Friday the 12th at 3PM (EST). One winner for the large planner and one for the small planner. I’ll mail them out to the winners on Monday the 15th*.

Want more info. about The Catholic Daily Planner™? You can find out more here.

* U.S. Addresses only.


Seeking Reviews!

Are you a fan of the Catholic Daily Planner? If so please consider leaving a review on the planner product page. This is a new feature that I just added but I am hoping to get some good feedback.

You’ll need to be logged in to leave a review. If you don’t have an account or don’t know your password you can get help at:


I also have a surprise planned for next week. But I’m not going to talk about that now because it’s a …surprise. :)


A Liturgical Wall Calendar

I am pleased to announce that I finally have the new wall calendar listed in the shop!

The January – December 2015 Liturgical Wall Calendar will ship in time for Christmas!

As a THANK YOU tor all who have been waiting so patiently, I am offering a free download of the month of December 2014 (and one day of Nov. since that’s when the new liturgical year starts) that you can print and use starting on Sunday.

Click here for the free calendar.


A New Year

The Catholic Liturgical Year begins this coming Sunday  –November 30th.

I was able to put together new printable liturgical calendar wheels for the OF and EF over the weekend. They are on the Printable Liturgical Calendar page. There’s also a black and white one with dates only so your children can color them in.*

I’ll be back later with some news and another freebie.

*The calendars as they are shaded do not represent every variable. Optional memorials for example are not shaded as it would be impossible to fit all the options in each small square but you may want to mark an optional memorial if it’s special to your family.


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!


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

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


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!



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!



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.”


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!


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.


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. :)


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.


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!



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.


World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.


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.

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.