Baptism Dinner 2016

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 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!


My Favorite Place, DC

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

Well that was interesting…..Another Lent Survived

So this year, I may have bit off more than I could chew. I always seem to struggle with Lent and Advent. I’m not sure if its the depression/thyroid or I just don’t like being told I HAVE to do something. Its probably a mixture of the two. I keep telling myself it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, really it takes 66 days. I don’t say this to discourage. I say this as a reminder that there’s Lent then Easter and if you make it through both, you are golden. I’m starting to think I set too many goals. Maybe next year I will limit myself to two. A book and a personal vice.
Wins: I read all of the Depression book. I did some of the journal entries. We made it to Ash Wed, Good Friday, penance & Easter Masses or services. We spent loads of family time together. We started out good with the St. Therese book. I went to confession. I didn’t get a cold/flu.
Defeats: I did not read St. Faustina book. I didn’t meet some of my other personal goals. I didn’t go to Stations at all. I Slipped up and ate meat on one Friday. We did not finish up the St. Therese book. I was lazy about school most days.
So there is it. Me being honest about how Lent went.I didn’t keep all of my Lenten promises but I think I gained alot from what I did do. My favorite being the much needed family time. Maybe one day I will be able to reach expert level for Lent. I would love to hear about your experiences with your Lenten promises. Did you keep them? Did you do better than me? Did you form any good new habits? Are you feeling like a shiny new person?
Happy Easter!!!

Lent 2015: Another year to try and get it right

It’s that time of year again. The time when we eat fish instead of other meats and try to get ourselves back on track. So I’m going to be very honest in saying that Advent didn’t go so well. We didn’t do the Advent wreath everyday and the Christmas Angels didn’t make an attempt to visit either. I just didn’t have it in me. I am trying to be hopeful that Lent will be better.

As a family we will be going through Bringing Lent Home with St. Therese of Lisieux. It includes a parent reflection, family prayer, a story of St. Therese’s life, Fasting, Almsgiving, and prayer for each day. It’s kinda like the prayers and readings for Advent. We bought it last year at our local Pauline Sisters book & media store. I just ordered a Mother Teresa version for $2 at Ave Maria Press. I will save it for next year. They also have a Pope Francis  and  St. JPII editions. I am excited to see if we can make this work better for us this year.

With that said I will also be doing some personal reading and growing. The first book I will be reading is the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.  I don’t know much of anything about St. Faustina but I have heard lots of good things. The kids and I pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on a pretty regular basis. It’s a beautiful prayer especially in song.

I will also be going through Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach with companion journal. I bought this as a set on sale in the fall. As someone who deals with depression from time to time I thought this would be helpful. I have also been dealing with some depression tendencies.  Maybe this set will keep me from going down a rabbit hole.

I will also be trying to fight off some of my own vices. Not because it’s Lent but because I should. No, I can’t just go to confession and that’s that. I have to work hard at doing the right thing just like everybody else. It’s never an easy battle but very much worthwhile.

I wish you all luck in your Lenten goals this year. I honestly think even the effort counts. The road to Sainthood isn’t easy. So even if you break a Lenten promise I say just try again. Life is hard and we are all sinners trying to do the right thing and earn our spot in heaven.

Baptism Dinner 2015

This year we celebrated our Baptism dinner a couple of weeks later than the last. We were excited about Pope Francis’ visit to the USA. We also wanted to make sure that the grandparents to celebrate with us.

The kids love having Grandma and Grandpa come visit. It made their Baptism dinner even more special. I bet you are surprised when I say the kids requested lasagna again this year. I spent most the the afternoon talking to Mom and making lasagna. The kids spent time with Grandpa and Dad as well as finishing up schoolwork. (I have figured out this being our 6th year of homeschooling that my kids can’t handle long breaks from school.)After I got the lasagna in the oven I started working on our banana split pie desert. This year there was no real meaning in our dessert other than the kids wanted it and it was something even someone with allergies could eat. My sister-in-law made this dish for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Everybody loved it. I tend to come up with suggestions of my favorite desserts any chance I get. Oreo truffles, dirt, snickerdoodles, etc.

Anyways, we ate dinner at our usual time. Lasagna and salad with some yummy bread always seems to hit the spot. It’s kind of nice to enjoy the quiet when the kids are eating. Well,that and no one complaining about not liking something. Everyone eats their fill and more.

Grandma brought a special gift for eat of the kiddos. Seeing as how the boys all have fall Birthdays and she’s always finding things for the girls. The kids are always very thankful when Grandma brings them anything. I think they are happier to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa.

Before eating we do our tradition of singing happy birthday to each kiddo. They each get the honor of blowing out their Baptism candle. The banana split pie was delicious. If we hadn’t eaten so much lasagna I’m sure we could have eaten all the dessert too. It was a good meal and a perfect way to celebrate the kids’ Baptism .

I just wanted to add as hard as it is to celebrate the kids’ Baptism without the Godparents they know we are thinking of them everytime. Larry and Jill, we are so blessed to have you as friends as well as our kiddos Godparents.