I always start planning for our special dinner by asking the kids what they would like to eat. Jem will always ask for Lasagna with a few of the kids agreeing. Thankfully this year Bubbles and Pippi had other ideas. Bubbles first thought was ribs. This kid defintely takes after her Dad. She is the one who will order ribs when we go to a steak house or bbq restuarant. It doesn’t take much to get Duke on board. Then I had to come up with another meat that the rest of us could enjoy. I’m a huge fan of bbq chicken. I also thought it would be an easy thing to cook. Pippi’s big request was homemade crockpot macaroni and cheese. I also thought it might be nice to have some fresh corn on the cob. We also like to take the chance to try out a new recipe or two.
We came up with a full menu:
Mac and Cheese
Corn on the cob
Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars
The thing I love most about this meal is that it’s become a family tradition in a couple of ways. Yes, We sing Happy Birthday to each kid and they blow out their Baptism candle. Yes, we celebrate in August/September because there aren’t any major holidays. But my favorite is that most of us work together to cook the meal. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like a big deal to most. I have 3 girls who are more than capable of cooking/baking and they love to do it.
A couple days before our dinner we came up with a plan:
Jem: Make Chocolate PB Dream Bars Saturday morning, 4pm cook green beans, 4pm Help Mom shuck and cook corn on the cob
Pippi: 2-3 hours before 5pm put Macaroni and Cheese in the crockpot, 11am put BBQ Chicken in crockpot (it’s so nice to have 2 crockpots)
Bubbles: Make Pretzel Bites with Mom Friday Night, Help Dad make Ribs 2-3 hours before 5pm
This plan worked out really well. The girls are becoming really good cooks/bakers. It really helps on those days when I’m feeling really bad. The girls are great to step in and cook dinner.
We invited our friend Leslie and her girls over to enjoy the fruits of our labor and to see what a Montee tradition looks like. The food was delicious. The girls and George did a great job. The Pretzel Bites were very popular. The kids had a great time running around and playing. I am very thankful we were able to share such a fun and special tradition with our amazing new friends.
If you are interested in any of the recipes please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This has been the most successful Lent for me in a couple of years. I feel like I was finally able to fully let go and let God. This Lent felt different. I started out pessimistic about meeting any goals or guilt ridden from all the things I was doing wrong. It’s hard to explain but Lent happened when I needed it to even though I didn’t want it to.
As a family we gave up eating out. We made a special provision that if we found ourselves in a situation of needing quick food it had to come from a grocery store. You never realize how much you take eating out for granted until you give it up. Eating out is a convince for those times when I don’t feel like cooking and not always as a special treat. We did save some money but it was more than that. It was realizing that taking the time to make lunch before we went out for the day was worth it. Putting dinner in the crockpot earlier in the day when we have plans for the day became a must. It made me re-access my diet and the things I really shouldn’t eat. It was a good reminder of how blessed I am to have great kiddos who love to help make dinner.
We did not successfully finish the Mother Teresa book. It just got too hard to make sure we were doing everything. It just doesn’t fit our family. I think for us it works better to have 1 main family goal and everyone has their own personal goal. Next year we will try Lentopoly and see how that goes.
Resisting Happiness is what made my Lent so successful. It hits on the hard realities in a way that makes you want to try. They are easy tips that we all know but fight. It’s a video and a chapter in the book. There is also a study guide if you want more. I think I’ll use the study guide next time. It was that little push that I needed to do the things I keep saying I need to do. It also made me take inventory of things. The things I should do more and the ones I should do less. It got me to reach out to a friend I haven’t talked to much. I can’t even begin to express the many blessing I got from her emails. Her words were what I needed to hear. It was like I was finally listening to what God had been trying to get me to hear. I shed many tears but they helped me to heal and see things the way I once did. I was able to see what I needed to do more clearly. Thank you again Dear Friend!
We also made a point to go to confession as a family. It was one of those things that I had been missing. Carrying all my guilt as well as all the emotions from trying to be a good friend can sometimes be a lot to carry. Don’t think for a second that I will ever give up trying to help others. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying sometimes I let myself feel too much hurt and I need some extra help carrying the load. I’m very blessed to have people open their hearts to me. I was happiest to get rid of the guilt. It was really holding me back.
The other amazing thing that reading Resisting Happiness did for me was to help me to see the Facebook was holding me down. It was wasting too much of my time, causing too much hurt, and making me worry too much about what people thought of me. I am very happy to say that there is a way to download all of your Facebook data. I can still use Facebook chat and I am already a much happier person after a week of my account being deactivated. I have all the memories I was so worried about losing and if someone on Facebook still wants to contact me they can. I know that some people will try to remind me of the things I am missing but those things aren’t worth the damage they were doing. Because of letting Facebook go I can spend alot more focused time on revamping the blog as well as the other things that keep me grounded.
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It’s that time of year when my feelings of guilt run high and the anxiety of not being able to achieve my Lenten goals seem to get the best of me.This year we will be following the guidance of one of our favorite saints, Mother Teresa. We will be using the book Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Last year we used the St. Therese of Liseux version of the book.
We have also decided to give up eating out. This means delivery and carry out too. I think it will be harder than I can imagine. It will do good for us to appreciate being able to eat out as well as each other for making dinner. We will also be looking for a project to do in our area to help others. We have found our new parish but it will take us a little time to get to know everyone and find our places. I know there is something we can do to help others, we just have to find it.
The final thing I have decided to do is to sign up for the Best Lent Ever. It’s a video based email program by Matthew Kelly that’s FREE. Matthew Kelly is one of my favorite Catholic authors. My favorite so far is The Rhythm of Life: Living Everyday with Passion & Purpose. The Best Lent Ever program is on Matthew Kelly’s book Resisting Happiness. While attending Mass at a Church during our hunt for our new Parish I received a coveted copy of Resisting Happiness. When I started making my plan for Lent I knew this has to be part of it. So I will be watching the videos, reading, and praying for the Best Lent Ever.
Well wishes and prayers as you begin planning for Lent. Remember that Lent isn’t just about giving something up something but about making improvements so that you can better serve God and his people. Happy Wednesday!
This year was our Baptism Dinner was made even more special by the canonization of our favorite saints. Mother Teresa has always held a very special place in our hearts and her cannonization made our dinner seem alot more special. The night before the Pippi, Jem, and Bubbles altar served while the rest of us did our best to participate and enjoy Mass. We also signed up to serve our Parish by setting up and cleaning up for Meet & Greet. We wanted to all serve our Parish in a way that would make Mother Teresa proud. The girls did a great job as usual altar serving and the boys weren’t too bad during Mass. We also enjoyed talking to some friends and ate a little snack before cleaning up and heading home.
The next morning we got up excited to watch Mother Teresa’s canonization. We really do appreciate that EWTN and Catholic TV are available via the Internet. Before the canonization we watched an animated video about Mother Teresa. The canonization was beautiful. I love the cross that they had made to carry her relic. So beautiful and simple. It really was a powerful moment to hear her called Saint Mother Teresa.
This year Jem was in charge of the lasagna and Pippi was in charge of dessert. Jem did a really good job cooking the noodles just right. The layering also seemed to be something that she could do pretty easily. I really love that she is coming into cooking/baking. This year it was made without ricotta and there was very little leftover. There was no talking at the table as the kids were really enjoying their special lasagna.
Pippi on the other hand decided to go a very untraditional route. She decided to make a sort of ice cream cake. I found this recipe on Sortedfood.com. The recipe is a few ingredients and easy directions. It was so easy my 11 year old pulled it off. Make sure to check out their YouTube channel for more great recipes. The kids happily enjoyed their delicious treat after singing happy birthday to each one. I think that’s most of the kids favorite part.
It was another great celebration. I love that we have decided not only to celebrate the day they were physically born but also the day that they were all forgiven of original sin and welcomed into the Catholic Faith. Plus for me it’s a great way to break up the end of summer before Halloween and All Saints Day. Please feel free to email your suggestion for next years Baptism Dinner as well as any Baptism Dinner stories you would like to share. Happy Wednesday!
We have traveled a lot and had many adventures since our move to DC. In our almost 4 years here I have come to love one place in particular. There is one special place I would visit 100 more times if I could. We have taken the kids here a few times but I enjoy visiting without them more. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is an amazing place.
If you have never been to the Basilica, I will give a little explanation of what it is. It is a church were Mass is offered on a regular schedule every day/week. We haven’t attended Mass at the Shrine for various reasons but I’ve heard the Mass with the choir is a treat to hear. Throughout the Basilica there are different size shrines to the different miracles/names of Our Lady. Fellow Catholics are welcome to bring flowers, light candles and pray among their favorite of the many shrines honoring Mother Mary.
We don’t worship Mary we ask her to pray for us. Think about it this way you really need advice and you ask a friend to pray for you. How much more powerful do you think the prayers of Jesus’s own Mother? Mother Mary please pray for us.
We have visited the Shrine on at least 4 different occasions. Our last visit was Palm Sunday. George has humored me the past couple of years when I ask for a date and suggest the Basilica. The best way I can explain the way it makes me feel when I’m there is like Mother Mary has her arms wrapped around me. Nothing can happen to me while I’m in this place. It’s peace and comfort and peace that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. I guess it would make sense that I would want to go back for that warm and fuzzy feeling.
I don’t just love it for the warm feelings. The art work wows me every time. The love and time that was put into each piece of tile to make such beautiful mosaic art is amazing. I insist on seeing everything no matter the fact that I have see most of it 4 times. I can’t do the art justice with meager words like beautiful and amazing. It really does take my breath away.
It’s hard to choose a favorite shrine at the Basilica. I will say I always stop to pray at the shrine for Our Lady of Fatima. My patron saint and the one who brought me to it. I also have a spot in my heart for Our Lady of Mount Caramel. Scapular wearers will understand. My other favorite part of the shrine is seeing the amazing statue of Mother Teresa. She was such a wonderful example of how to love everyone and God. I am very excited about her canonization coming up this fall. It really is a powerful thing for me (as I shed a few tears typing this). She has been a leading force in the great examples of how I want to live my life. I am happy to say my girls love her too. They even wrote Pope Francis requesting that she be canonized. Mother Teresa please pray for us.
Well there it is my favorite place in DC. I hope you enjoyed. If you have any questions about the Catholic Faith feel free to email me at Adventureswithsix@gmail.com