Friday, November 7, 2014

The jeans quilt: an update

Just a quick peak at the completed top of the jeans quilt. I'm absolutely in love with the weight and soft feel of it.

The plan is to get it pin-basted by the end of the month for my November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I think it will be quite lovely all quilted up!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Teaching children to pray the rosary

One of the things we started doing this summer was working on our family prayer life. When my mom-in-law was scheduled to go in for surgery, I spotted the perfect opportunity to start family rosary time with the kids.

Sounds impressive, but I should tell you that it wasn't until just this year that I started praying the rosary every night. It took me my entire life to learn the rosary... and I'm a life-long Catholic!

It's never too late to get started, right? (How To Pray the Rosary Everyday is a great place to learn more if you're curious, even if you aren't Catholic.)

I thought we'd kick off our family rosary time with a special intention for my mom-in-law, who was scheduled to go in for surgery a few days later. After saying one decade each day, we'd make a tissue paper flower for each set of prayers we said for her. I had it all planned out, so everything would go perfectly:
  1. Line the children up at Miss C.'s bed, everyone kneeling quietly.
  2. Prayerfully say one decade of the rosary together each day.
  3. Pat myself on the back for being Super Mama.
Here's what really happened:
  1. Attempt to line up kids in a row at Miss C.'s bed. 
  2. Stress out internally (and try not to snap at the kids) as Miss C. does a kneel/flop combo over and over, Master W. squirms and whines about having to say even one Hail Mary, and Little Miss C. flops on the bed while snatching rosaries and swinging them wildly about.
  3. Pray every night for patience and grace, and thank God when each day gets a little bit easier.
In the end, it wasn't the perfect prayerful exercise I had envisioned in my head, but my two older kids were super proud of themselves when we finished. And now that we've been doing it daily for a few months, everyone is in the routine and morning rosary time goes quite smoothly most days. Now:
  1. Miss C. kneels quietly and starts us with an opening prayer.
  2. Master W. kneels quietly and proudly prays the entire decade.
  3. Little Miss C. still wildly swings the rosaries sometimes, but mostly seems content to take my extra rosary in and out of our little rosary bags.
Success! It's been a great way to help my children develop their relationship with Jesus and I just love that we start each day with a special devotion to the Blessed Mother.
As to our tissue paper flower bouquet, it turned out to be a great project! My original inspiration for the project came from Call Her Happy, where I found a link to some very easy tutorials. Miss C. wrote each set of prayers on the leaves, arranged the bouquet and picked a ribbon for the vase. My mom-in-law was very touched and still has the bouquet on display in her kitchen several months later.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Squirrelly!

This year, we had a little gray squirrel join us for trick-or-treating. Isn't she just the cutest?

Miss C. has a deep love for all things squirrel, so it was no surprise that she wanted to be one this year for Halloween. The costume was pretty easy to put together, thanks to a gray hooded sweatshirt and matching sweatpants found in the boys department at Wal Mart, and a yard of coordinating faux fur from JoAnn's.
Sewing the tail and ears mainly consisted of me winging it... and one evening later I had the perfect squirrel costume!

This was my only handmade costume this year, since Master W. found all the parts to his Batman costume in our dress-up box and Little Miss C. wore the honeybee costume worn by Miss C. several years back. Maybe next year!