Super Girls and Halos

This post contains affiliate links. I received this book free of charge, for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Superheros are pretty popular in this house. The kids love reading about them and watching all of the movies. I know not even a fraction of the superhero trivia that my children know, in fact I kind of can’t even keep straight who is who. But I like saints and saint trivia! So when I had the opportunity to review the new book Super Girls and Halos by Maria Morera Johnson, I was thrilled!

Johnson talks all about real life superheros and concurs with Edna Modes opinion that superheros don’t need capes. Johnson pulls our her favorite superhero saints and compares them with scores of your favorite fictional superheros. This book is a really fun comparison of virtue and vice – two things we all have, whether we are saints, sinners, or superheros.

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I love that Johnson not only makes these  comparisons, but breaks down some of the virtues and gives really lovely explanations of what, exactly these virtues comprise. In her chapter on fortitude, she points out that, beyond just courage, fortitude fights for the good. She compares Hermione Granger’s fortitude in facing Voldimort with saintly fortitude in facing persecution.

The author does a great job of pulling a few lesser known saints, as well. I definitely learned a few new names and tales as I read. Not all of her superheros are the caped variety, either. As an X-Files fan, it was fun to see Dana Scully make an appearance alongside St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross!

We are told all of the time to look to the saints for inspiration. But it was a fun twist to think that these virtues can also be found in so many modern day superheros, as well. Give your kids the saints, but give them superheros, as well! Teach them to look deeper and see virtues everywhere.

Super Girls and Halos was a really fun, inspiring, and intriguing read. It’s geared mostly to females, just in that the saints and heroes are all women. I plan to tuck my copy into a stocking, come Christmas. I am sure my superhero loving teenager will enjoy this little book!

Hop on over to Reconciled to You for more posts and to enter a giveaway!

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Handmade, Catholic Gift Guide

Every year, I dream of completing my Christmas shopping before the start of Advent. This year, that date is December 3. We are running out of time, folks!

Last year’s gift guide was hugely popular, so I thought I’d make a few more guides this season. Today guide is all about the handmade and the faith based. (This post contains affiliate links!)

I am a HUGE fan of shopping small and buying handmade. Not only do I find handmade more beautiful, long lasting, and meaningful, but I love to know that my dollars are going to good families and hard working mamas, instead of some huge corporation.

All of these items are beautiful, faith based, and well made!

Relics By Rose

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If you’re looking for unique, faith inspired jewelry combining remnants, relics, or styles from bygone eras with stylish, modern designs, this is your place! Her work is beautiful. All of her work is beautiful, particularly this Miraculous Medal!

Christmas Order Cutoff is December 5.

Hairbows for Life 

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Hairbows for Life is a small business that makes hair bows such as Saint bows, Blessed Mother bows, Pro-life bows, Ballet bows, and simple yet sweet bows. They are 100% pro-life and donated a % back into the pro-life community.

Christmas Order Cutoff: December 6

Telos Art

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Telos Art creates religious jewelry, art, and liturgical calendars. The liturgical calendars include seasonal liturgical colors, daily readings, feast days, and sacred art by current and classical artists. A lunar gardening calendar will launch in December 2017.

Christmas order cut of is December 15.

AshCraft Creative

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Beautiful, hand tooled leather items.

Christmas Order Cutoff: Nov 30

Little Praying Hands

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At Little Praying Hands, we bring Catholic inspired teethers to the little people in our lives. Not only can babies and toddlers teethe on RosaryChews and RosaryRingChews they get used to having this important part of our Catholic faith close at hand.

Our new baby will be receiving on of these rosaries in his/her stocking this year and it is SO CUTE!

Christmas Order Cutoff: RosaryChews: 12/10/17. RosaryRingChews: 12/14/17

Come Holy Spirit Rosaries

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Come Holy Spirit makes Catholic rosaries, chaplets, and jewelry for my shop Come Holy Spirit Rosaries.  All pieces are handmade, most with semi-precious stones and solid bronze parts or silver-filled jewelry wire.  Many pieces are ready made, and always welcome custom orders.

Christmas Order Cutoff: December 17

Sweet Little Ones

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The mission of Sweet Little Ones Shop is to help Catholic women decorate their homes in a meaningful, faith-filled way on a budget. We offer wall art printables that aim to serve as beautiful visual reminders that will inspire a deepening of the Catholic faith in our everyday lives

Christmas Order Cutoff: For the majority of my shop, which are instant downloads, there is no deadline. For custom orders, the deadline for Christmas is December 8

Apple And Azalea

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These creative and unique Morris Code Necklaces are the perfect gift for any guy in your life! I love how masculine they are, while carrying a subtle message.

Little Faithful Friends

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Peg dolls are so popular with kids! Dolls from Little Faithful Friends bring the saints right into your kiddos hands. And the Ingalls Family! So cute!

Happy Nest Home Goods

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Happy Nest Home Goods offers hand embroidered jewelry & wall decor, Catholic diffuser jewelry, and sacrifice beads all lovingly crafted to bring a little more joy into your every day. I have a pair of Theresa’s diffuser earrings and they’re just lovely!

Christmas Order Cutoff: Embroidered items: December 1 Beaded items: December 15

Other Gift Guides:

Toyless Gift Guide

Game Edition

Books!

Books! A Christmas Gift Guide

We love to read and nothing is cozier in those quiet Christmas days than snuggling up with a book, a warm fire, and a hot drink. We love to tuck books under the tree, so the kids have new reads to entertain them over Christmas break. Most of these recommendations came from my kids, so there’s your endorsement!

(This post contains affiliate links)

Younger Children

Penguin Cha Cha

I love reading aloud this sweet book about a little girl named Julia and her steadfast determination to dance with the penguins at the zoo! It was a library pick that became a must buy favorite.

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures

I promise I really love this book and I’m not just including it because the author is my brother. It’s a delight to read aloud and the pictures are beautiful. Our copy is so read that it is in tatters!

The Animals of Farmer Jones

This is Kateri’s favorite book and she insisted that it be included on the list!

Strega Nona

a classic favorite. Is there any better lesson than the ones we learn from Strega Nona and Big Anthony?

Bigger Kids (10+)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

if your kids like fantasy and adventure, this is a great one for them. It’s a series and my big kids have enjoys all of them.

The Hound of the Baskerville

Sherlock Holmes is all the rage right now. Why not have the kids read the original works? We have a copy of the complete works and, while huge, it’s been a popular one to pick up and read here and there.

Biggest Kids (14+)

Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow

This science fiction novel enthralled my kids from about sixth grade on. It’s intense, so maybe not the best for the sensitive kiddos.

A Girl of the Limberlost

This tale of a girl and her love for the swamp where she grows up is charming and sweet.

The Graveyard Book

I’ll preface this by saying that not all book by Neil Gaiman are suitable for kids, but this one is aimed to young teen / teen crowd. Spooky, intriguing, suspenseful; this one will keep the pages turning!

Graphic Novels 

Graphic Novels are perfect for a range of ages. I’ve seen them turn reluctant readers into ravenous readers and the proficient readers keep coming back to them!

Zita the Spacegirl

This is one the kids keep coming back to this trilogy about an adventurous girl and her intergalactic journeys.

Sister and Smile

My brother stop by this summer, with a merry troupe of traveling artists. Afterwards, Raina gifted us a set of her books. My kids quickly devoured these fun autobiographical tales of Raina and her family.

TinTin

Satire, adventure, and a fun quirky read. This is a series, so it can keep you going for quite a while! My boys, especially, enjoy TinTin adventures.

One Dead Spy

These books by Nathan Hale are a fun way for kids to learn a bit of history, while reading an adventurous story. One Dead Spy is actually about the original Nathan Hale and is a house favorite. We’ve read quite a few and I think the historical references are pretty accurate and stories and graphics are enjoyed by the kids.

Ugly Cry Inducing (My teens love a good book cry!)

Of Mice and Men – a classic, no doubt. Hand this over with discretion. We deemed it the saddest book ever written.

Where the Red Fern Grows – another sad one! But my kids have all loved this classic little tale.

The Bridge to Terabithia

 

This is a tear jerker I remember fondly. It’s such a sweet story of friendship and imagination!

Add your favorite books to read or gift, in the comments! Other gift guides to check out: Toyless Gift Guide (2016) and Game Edition

Christmas Gift Guide – Game Edition

We love family game night! Sometimes it’s tough to find games that fit a broad spectrum of ages and abilities. In our house, often big kids and adults will team up with the littles, so that everyone can play and have fun. (This post contains affiliate links)

I can’t take credit for a lot of these great game finds. My mom and my husband are masters at sniffing out quality games. And that’s not always an easy feat!

Chicken Cha Cha Cha

This one is mostly for the younger set, but DON’T BE FOOLED. Our nine year old will smoke you. It’s a twist on the old memory game and quite entertaining!

Happy Salmon

This simple, but rousing game is fun for everyone. Even the four year old plays along! It’s loud and wild, but hilarious!

Bird Bingo

Here’s another one the kids love. It’s not my personal favorite, but once they can read, they can play independently. With a little help, the younger set (4ish) can play along, too. You’re budding ornithologist will love it. It also comes in other animals like Dog Bingo and Bug Bingo.  And bonus – you can totally count this as educational!

Farkle

Here’s one to challenge the math skills. As in, my own math skills! This is a simple dice game, but lots of fun. We picked it up on a camping trip and it proved to be a great little travel game.

Stratego

Here’s a classic strategy game that still holds the attention of kids (8+) and grown ups alike. My husband loves to challenge the kids and we’ve had adult friends challenge the kids to a game, as well. It’s a two player game, but the others love to stand around and cheer on the players.

Five Crowns

 

Here’s a game that my mom found, but we loved it so much we got our own set! It’s a rummy style card game that builds and changes as the game moves on. It’s a great game for age 7 to adult to play together.

Multi-Pack of Playing Cards

 

Lastly, we love to play regular old cards. Our big kids have finally mastered our favorite game of Euchre. But we always seem a few cards short of a full deck (literally and not so literally). This would solve our problems, at least for a bit!

What are your favorite family board games? I always love to hear new suggestions and ideas. Leave your faves in the comments!

For more gift ideas, hop over to last years Toyless Gift Guide. Also, be sure to follow the blog for a few more gift guides that I’ll post in the next week or so.

I write, God laughs

Hey, remember this post?  When NFP Doesn’t Work

It pretty much blew up my quiet little corner of the internet.

And did you hear God laughing when I hit the “publish” button? It was uproarious, I am sure.

We speak and God says “Hold My Beer.” If I’m going to send words out into the blogosphere, embracing this wild big family life, surely God will hear my words and up the ante a bit.

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a newborn!

I’m sure you can see where this is going. And you’d be correct. After nearly five years of no sweet baby snuggles, long sleepless nights, cloth diapers ,and baby onsies we are overjoyed to welcome a new little one into our fold.

This child will probably be spoiled rotten, but (s)he will never feel unloved or unwanted. The kids, especially, are so so excited.

You know all those arguments you hear for NOT adding to your family?  “We don’t have enough money”  I don’t have enough energy to give them what they need”  “How could I love so many enough?”  Kids don’t see that.  They wouldn’t even think of making an argument such as that.  They only see the joy: the newborn belly laughs, the sweet smelling hair, and the heartbreakingly beautiful smiles.  Where I may see sleepless nights, they only see sweet snuggles.

And so it is.  Sweet newborn snuggles, smiles, and belly laughs will ring through our home again.  The kids are right – it is worth every ounce of sacrifice.  We are over joyed with the blessings we’ve been given.

Miscarriage and Infant Loss Month Giveaway

October is Infant Loss and Miscarriage month.

Every month seems to have a laundry list of assignments these days. We tend to skim over them, until they apply to our own lives. Since this one touches our family this year, I thought I’d take a moment to recognize it.

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A while back, a sweet artisan reached out to me offering a really lovely giveaway for my readers. She creates all sorts of sewn and embroidered goods, but one really shines above the rest. These sweet little memorial blankets are a lovely tribute to your little one.

One of the hard parts of losing a child to miscarriage is that there is so little in the way of memories. It’s a huge loss of something that you had for only a moment. Anne’s little blankets are a sweet, tangible reminder.

She worked with me, tossing ideas back and forth, listening to my ideas and adding great ones of her own. It was a joy to work with Anne.

Anne has generously offered one of her sweet blankets to one of my readers! There are a few ways to enter. Hop on over to Anne’s site and sign up for her email list. Then jump to her facebook and give her a follow. After you’ve done that, follow this blog and leave a comment that you’ve done it all! Each step will give you one entry.

I’ll announce our winner on October 15!

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Our winner is Beth! Congrats and prayers for all of the mama’s and their babes in heaven. Beth, Anne will contact you shortly!

Mary’s Divine Wisdom

This post is a part of a Marian Virtue Series, running every Wednesday and Friday. It will conclude on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. If you are just joining the series now and want to learn more you can start here: Introduction to Marian Virtue Series.

Previous Blog Article: Angelic Sweetness by Reconciled to You

Next Blog Article: Increasing Marian Devotion by The Lion of Design

Guadalupe Doll

 

This post features a giveaway from Marek Made keep reading to find out more!

Divine Wisdom. That sounds lofty. And it is, really. How can I ever attain that?

Mary was created perfectly and preserved from the stains of original sin. It stands to reason, then, that she would be filled with virtues that the rest of us might have some trouble attaining!

Wisdom is a virtue we all desire. Divine Wisdom teaches us to seek that which is beyond the here and now. It is the desire to seek the divine. Mary’s life was a constant dialogue with God and so this Divine Wisdom was a strong virtue in her.

James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

This virtue gave her the strength and the faith to accept the will of God. As James says, her Divine Wisdom gave her the ability to submit to God’s will. When the angel appeared to her, she was fearful. But her virtue, her Divine Wisdom, her deeply cultivated desire for all that is beyond this world, filled her with the strength to overcome this fear.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom

Our Blessed Mother has many, many titles. These titles are a wonderful gift from the Church, because through them, she becomes relatable to each and every one of us. Surely with in the long list, you’ll find one that strikes you. One such title is Mary, Seat of Wisdom.

There can be so many interpretations and nuances in this title. We know she was filled with the virtue of Divine Wisdom from the beginning. Being spared the residual effects of original sin, she had a special, uninhibited relationship with God. Her constant prayer filled her with virtue.

And then, her womb was filled with the Holy Spirit and she carried within her the Son of God. She was truly and tangibly a Seat of Wisdom.

As any mother knows, she is constantly a seat for her child. When was the last time you sat on the couch and didn’t have your lap immediately filled with a small child (or two)? Now imagine having a seat to rest and your lap being filled with the God-Child! Truly, she was a seat for wisdom.

Her life was a constant example of trust in the will of God. Her Divine Wisdom gave her such a great submission to that will that is sometimes hard for us to understand. She exemplified this virtue.

Divine Wisdom is not a virtue preserved only for the Mother of God. It is a gift God has waiting for each of us. Through prayer, study, and simply asking, God freely hands forth each of His virtues to all us. We need only ask.

Giveaway!

Guadalupe Doll

One lucky reader will win an Our Lady of Guadalupe Soft Linen Doll – Limited Edition soft doll celebrating Mary as the Empress of the Americas Made by Erin the owner of Marek Made.

Erin is an Artist, Mum, and wife to a handsome Californian. Created to create – She views her vocation as an artist as an immense gift and responsibility to bring more beauty into the world. Erin and her husband are trying to raise up their kids with a love for the Communion of Saints by passing the stories and miracles of the great men and women of our faith on to the next generation.

Please support this amazing Catholic Shop and continue to join us in this Marian Virtue Series.  

 Click through to enter!

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