Keeping Holy Week Holy…

Hi All,

Welcome to my one and only during this beautiful Holy Week.

Yesterday was Palm or Passion Sunday.  I watched The Passion of the Christ for the first time yesterday. Marque has been wanting to see it, so I thought – ok, 50 is old enough. I’ve got this. Oh ya’ll was it ever worse than I thought. The noises and the angst on Mary’s Face and the Devil and Our Lord. I was a sobbing mess. I literally vomited (you’re welcome). If you are like me, I think it is enough to know and read the stories. I deeply regret watching this movie. NOT because it isn’t the most blessed event in our History. It is! We should Celebrate The Passion and BEG for forgiveness. We should honor and revere Easter more than Christmas.

Our Lord was born to die for us and this week represents the events leading up to His death AND His miraculous rising from the dead. There is never going to be anything I can do that is good enough to make up for the pain I cause Our Lord. That He died for my sins after the brutality of His death. Oh how I weep!

I was stressing about blogging this week. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. I’ve decided that Holy Week is a time for Silent Reflection. It is with that in mind, I provided you the link above. There will be no veiling series, no Small Successes, no book reviews… but I’ll be thinking of you.

Further, if you are in the DFW Area and want to celebrate any of the Triduum, please come to our Parish.

seas easter triduim

Here are a few other pictures….



Amen I say – set yourself on the right path and follow Jesus.



This week is a great time to pray for people who are lost and who could use the extra nudge to come home to Our Lord and Our Faith.


This is just a reminder. For me and for you.



Many Blessings during this week.

Praying for you all!


Our Lady’s Image: Veiling – Melanie’s Veiling Story


Happy Tuesday Everyone.

Today we celebrate Saint Julie Billiart. What an amazing story. She was paralyzed for decades and then walked later in life. We read about her in school this year (we use Catholic Curriculum in our Homeschool).

Today we have school, teeth cleaning and social skills group for the boy! Two more sleeps till hubby comes home. I’m not going to say I slept well – but I have a little energy. Thank you for your prayers. Here is one I received in an email this morning. God is so good:

“O Holy Mary! My Mother; into thy blessed trust and special custody, and into the bosom of thy mercy, I this day, and every day, and in the hour of my death, commend my soul and body. To thee I commit all my anxieties and sorrows, my life and the end of my life, that by thy most holy intercession, and by thy merits, all my actions may be directed and governed by thy will and that of thy Son. “
– St. Aloysius Gonzaga

I hope that you are all enjoying your Lent. I am learning a lot as God works through me. I pray the same for you!

I hope and pray you are enjoying the veiling series as much as the ladies are enjoying writing their stories, and as much as I enjoy reading them all. I think the benefit to stories from all over the U.S. and hopefully world (that would be cool) is to show the differences and similarities in our Veiling Devotion. It’s so unique and beautiful to each of our hearts. I hope and pray you are touched by them all.

Today marks the 5th Tuesday of sharing the devotions. Our Author today is Melanie. Enjoy her story…


melanie veil

Melanie’s Veiling Story - Embracing Tradition 

I struggle to put into words what veiling has meant to me, and why I have taken up the mantle, so to speak. Since it is no longer a mandatory action, it has become a deeply personal one for those of us who practice. Coming to the decision to do so can happen so slowly, so gradually, that you are almost unaware of the path that brought you to it. This is where I sit.

I converted to Catholicism, the faith of my husband and his family, 2 years after we were married and as a mother to a newborn, on Easter 2007. My road to the faith had taken me from my family’s roots in Lutheranism, through a dangerous foray into the occult and witchcraft, and finally into the full embrace of the Church. Throughout it all, I know now, Mary was at my side, protecting me and gently but firmly urging me towards her son and his true Church (though that’s a story for another day). Suffice it to say that I had put myself on her radar and she was not going to let me go!

As many other converts will attest to, when you enter a Church that has been around for 2000 years and is full of traditions both written and unwritten, it is extremely intimidating and confusing. It is also beautiful, there is so much to learn and so many ways to reach out to God and to show him your reverence and obedience. I have a deep love for the traditional and the ritual, both of which the Church excels at. My fellow converts may also agree with me that as a newcomer, you are desperate to steep yourself in these traditions, and to seek out those things that will allow you to feel most “catholic”.

So you take up things that you think of as unique to the Church: the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, Daily Mass, Confession, Lenten fasting. Or at least, you try to. For me, one of these beautiful traditions was veiling. I didn’t take it up right away, no one else wore one and I feared looking like the “holier-than-thou” convert. The same fears that kept me from correcting cradle Catholics on Church teaching kept me from adopting a practice they did not themselves use.

My fascination with it didn’t cease, though, and I found myself continually researching it. What had it meant before? What made the Church change i’s teaching? HAD they really? What were the different colors for? What styles were acceptable? I became convinced that, really, we were never meant to stop veiling, so I needn’t fear how it would look if I took it up.

I even went a step further, and began researching covering full-time. I dabbled in this, buying several simple cloth coverings and wearing them most of the time, including to mass. And it felt good, really good. When I covered, I found that my demeanor lost its rough edges, I found that my focus in Church could easily go from handling my growing and very active son back to a connection with God. I felt uniquely and completely feminine.

I don’t really know why I stopped, and still to this day I wonder if I shouldn’t take up full-time veiling again, just as our Lady Mother did. I know it’s odd for a Catholic, but there are those out there who do. For the mean time, I know one thing: I must veil at Mass.

I understand so much now. After having two children which I later learned were miracles given a health condition that meant I shouldn’t have been able to have any without fertility treatments, I have a special understanding of how sacred a woman is as the source through which God brings forth his dearest creations. We, unlike men, have the potential to house not just our soul, but the soul of another until it is ready to meet the world. When I look around the Church, I see other very sacred items veiled to show reverence for the blessing that they are, for the deep connection to God that they bear, and I know, I just know. As one such sacred creature, I must be veiled as well.

Do I still feel self-conscious? Yes! Especially if I attend mass at a more contemporary parish. I just try very hard to remind myself that it’s not for them or about them, it’s about me and God and his will for me. I am so blessed to have found the Church, and her beautiful traditions like veiling, which help me to truly know God and to worship him completely.



BIO: Melanie lives and writes in Iowa City, IA, where she lives with her husband, Ben, and her children, 7-year-old John and 2-year-old Elizabeth. She converted to the Catholic Church in 2007, sharing the journey with her re-verting husband. Melanie has a deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who she believes shielded her from harm as an occult practitioner, and to the Divine Mercy Chaplet. She hopes to someday put her degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies to use, but for now prefers to be a full-time mother and part-time towing dispatcher. She dabbles in blogging at 

Meandering Transcripts…


Em’s Daybook – Vol. 10

Happy Monday Night.

I hope your day was good. We had school, laundry, visit with a friend (we had to get outside and it was great). I’m going to skip my normal intro since the day is almost done, and get on with my post.

Today, I’m Linking Up With…

Jenny @ Plain Grace for Moments of Grace
Elizabeth @ Yes They Are All Ours for Marriage Monday
Jenna, Mary & Anna Cate @ A Mama Collective for Currently

These link ups have become a blessing in my week.  I also love Try A New Recipe Tuesday on Home to 4 Kiddos, but Marque’s not home, so I’m not trying new things. HA! But seriously great sight for new recipes.

A Little School News…

To be honest, I feel like it’s a lot of catching up because I can’t get my student to concentrate. Pray for me. I’d love to do more fun things. But we have real work that needs to get done. Sigh.  Pray for us.  I guess we all have weeks like this.

A Little Wifing News…

Today’s Wifing post is about being a Trustworthy Wife. It hits home. There was a time I’d buy craft things and hide them. I never even had to hide them. It’s idiotic really!  Immaturity. But those days are long gone.  In the beginning we both made silly mistakes. But now – I’m sure I’m a great wife… and definitely trustworthy!

Does your husband trust you? Can he tell you secrets? Do you build him up? Do you spend all his money and lie about it? Do you hide things from him?

Elizabeth challenges you to discern if you are a trustworthy wife.  Here is one of the things a trustworthy wife does:

A trustworthy wife always has her husband’s best interests in mind. She has his back!  She treats him well, comforts and encourages him, and according to verse 12, she does her husband good all the days of her life.  Have you ever really thought about that verse?  Can you be counted on to do your husband goodevery single day of your life?  

Go read her Marriage Monday post. It’s awesome.

A Little Parenting News…

It is hard to always make the right decision. But after much consideration we pulled Christopher from baseball. He had an AWFUL coach. Just an awful person. He put his hands on my child. Told me his son bossed the other kids around because he was the assistant coach. Left the games to walk out and smoke and come back on the field. Just a jerk with a capital J. Anyway – once I talked to him about how he acted, he benched my child. A  bully through and through.  He did the same to a friend’s child during the All Star season, so he’s got quite the reputation. It’s sad really. We have found a different league starting in May. We’re hopeful. The child loves baseball. Praying.

And those of you wondering – yes, I pray for this man because he clearly has problems.  Please pray for him too.

From My Kitchen…

Later this week, I will make a chocolate cake. Marque loves chocolate cake AND he’ll be home Thursday late. Won’t he be happy when he wakes up Friday morning and there is a cake.

Friday dinner is going to be fish.  Saturday will be steaks. All Holy week is fish or meatless.  On the menu are:

  • Beans & Rice
  • Shrimp Tacos
  • Salmon Patties
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Grilled fish & Veggies
  • Cheese Ravioli & Salad
  • Veggie Lasagna

Come on over. Dinner is around 5:30 – 6pm.

Additionally Marque has to make a few mini-trips (within a couple hours) before Easter so we will be here for Easter. He is so exhausted, he says he just wants it to be us. So there will be a lot of Church and a lot of just us. He may take Good Friday and the Monday after Easter off – and take a long weekend.


ezra gift

This is a picture of a Pocket Rosary for a friend’s son’s upcoming 1st Holy Communion. You have to check out a shop on Etsy called FaithBeads. I found the Dominic Savio Medal in another Etsy Shop. And contacted her to say “hey, I love your work, can you make something out of it?” And she said “Yes”. Her name is Erin. Anyway – this is what she made. And she included the Prayer Cards. How precious is that?

I also bought one for Christopher, Marque and I – for our Easter Baskets. Um – yes, yes we do get Easter Baskets.

And this…


The baby rabbits were having so much fun in our grass before we had it mowed. Thankfully our neighbor did it. It took him three hours. God bless his heart.

Internet Find…

DAILY BREAD - by one of my favorite Catholic Mamas. I forgot about it last week, but I’m on it. All printed out and catching up. xx oo

Thinking About…

Shaking the blues. I’ve been very blue this past week or so. I’ll spare you the details. Just an every-now-and-then thing. I’m sure I’m too hard on myself. Sigh. Kinda “Blah”. Pray for me?!


Thankful For…

Praying For…

  • My sanity. No really. I’ve been down.
  • My health and that of my family.
  • Family finances.
  • For stick-to-it-iveness – for all those who lack it.
  • For all who suffer Chronic and fatal illness.
  • Jennifer & Cecelia Trapuzzano, The Lewis Family – and those who suffer loss of spouse/children!
  • America – that we Christians can combat the LGBT Mafia-like people who are desperately trying to take all of our rights away.
  • Our World – that Christians will stand strong against persecution.
  • For young marrieds. Marriage is hard. We must pray God be the center of all Marriage.
  • For those who have told me their intentions.
  • Those who have no one to pray for them.

Blessings ALL!

More soon…


Unsolicited Advice – Vol. 5 – Pray The Rosary


Armed with the Rosary, we are unstoppable! This is one of my favorite blog posts from last year.

I’m not a big “re-blogger”. But I think this bears repeating.

I hope you will enjoy it too.



Originally posted on Em's Estuary:


Happy Thursday All!

My unsolicited advice today – PRAY THE ROSARY!

I have a special relationship with Mary. She has always been with me, since we met long ago. I needed a mother and she stepped in. Praise God!  And – Because I have an affinity with Mary, I love to pray the Rosary.  It helps that my birthday month celebrates praying the Holy Rosary. How lucky am I?

What is The Rosary?  Below is the explanation found HERE.


The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, “The rosary, of course.” We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of the old woman fingering her beads; the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the…

View original 878 more words


Our Lady’s Image: Veiling – Lily’s Veiling Story

Happy Tuesday All!

Today’s Saint of the Day is St. Hugh of Grenoble. The first sentence in the write up is “Today’s saint could be a patron for those of us who feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the world that we don’t know where to begin.” Sigh, boy can I understand that.

Before Lily shares her story, I wanted to share this with you. It kind of fits. I receive a daily email called Catholic Spiritual Direction. I get a lot of Catholic emails, and I read what I can. But this one caught my eye. It’s called The Value of Obedience. Honestly I could type a whole blog series on why we need to be more obedient. We teach our children to be obedient. Obey first, and then ask questions. Right?  So – we need to work on this as adults… Just a thought for those who are considering veiling.

Have a blessed week. Enjoy Lily’s story!


Our guest Author today is Lily Beck Wilson of  Veils by Lily.  She has some beautiful posts about veiling on her blog. However, she has come up with some new parts of her story for us. She calls it The Untold Story of Veils by Lily and Divine Providence. 

The Veil

I started wearing a veil to Mass in January of 2010, right around the time I rediscovered the awe-inspiring reality of the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I was so in love with the idea of having an external sign to show Jesus my love for Him that I wanted other women to be inspired to this beautiful devotion, as well. When I looked for veils online, though, it wasn’t until I found one I loved and could see myself wearing that I finally decided to go for it.

Soon after that, I started looking for laces to One of Lily's first veilsmake a new veil and I did – with a trim completely hand-stitched. Having made one, I bought a cheap sewing machine to see if I could manage a few stitches, and I was very surprised to learn I could!

At the time, I was still working from home – the same job I’d had since freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis. While many people thought it was an ideal arrangement, it was extremely hard. Like I told Dan, family life was non-existent. My husband would get home from work, I would lock myself in our room to work, and I would miss out on family dinner and bedtime every night, often with little hands banging on the door, crying to be let in.

I often wondered, if we were supposed to be open to life, how was God going to figure this out for us? It was already hard to do this with three children… but more? It would be impossible.

Nothing is impossible for God

A month after I put up my website, I was so busy I couldn’t keep both making veils and working my part-time job. My friend Debbie, who is one of the people most in love with Jesus that I know, encouraged me to quit my job and commit to making veils. My husband, though, didn’t think it would be a good idea until I at least broke even after my initial expenses. I told this to Debbie, who at the time was going through a rough recovery after cancer surgery.

“How much do you need to break even?” she asked, as I sat at her bedside.

“A hundred dollars,” I said. I watched her reach over to her nightstand and when her hand came back, I saw that she held five $20 bills.

“You just broke even…quit your job,” she said.

Amazed at God’s working my life, I did just that. It was September 2010.

Family life, Rediscovered

In the midst of all this, we started eating dinner as a family for the first time since my husband and I married in 2004, and I made a commitment to start keeping the Lord’s Day holy.

Orders came in fast and kept increasing in number, but every time time I started to feel overwhelmed with the work load, I came back to the knowledge that God’s will for me was to be a wife and a mother first. No matter how holy other endeavors, nothing could interfere with my primary vocation.

By the time April came around, I knew it was time to hire a permanent seamstress. There was no more room in the little corner of our house to keep the bolts of lace, so I knew we had to look for another space.

Entrusting Ourselves to Jesus

Full of faith, I asked Jesus to help me find an office space that could serve as our new workshop. I knew that, if it was His will for us to keep doing this, He would find us the perfect space.

I looked at commercial real estate listings, considered buying a small building, and drove around town trying to brainstorm other ideas. Everything was too expensive for me to afford, and nothing seemed right…until I happened to find a listing for office space in the same building as Liguori Publications.

Liguori, MissouriIt was a beautiful campus – they had a convent, a monastery, a nursing home for retired Redemptorist priests, and a beautiful cemetery with a life-like stone depiction of the Crucifixion. I loved it.


I toured the office space they had for rent and knew that was it. It was affordable and exactly what we needed.

The Veils by Lily workshop at Liguori

Best of all, as a sign from Our Lord that He had taken care of everything, was the realization that there was a chapel just down the hall from our office. The Blessed Sacrament, the entire reason for why we do what we do, was reserved in the tabernacle.

Crucifix at the Liguori chapelMy heart was so full of joy and gratitude that I thanked Jesus not only for pouring out His blessings on our humble mission, but for making it known to us that He was pleased with it.

Today, I’m still mostly at home with my now five children, but every so often we go to Liguori to pick up veils. When we do, we stop by the chapel – even if just for a second – to adore Jesus and to tell Him we love Him.

If it wasn’t for Him, none of this would have been possible. Our Lady, too, knows that nothing is impossible for God, if we will simply, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Lily is a cradle Catholic and full-time mother of five with a special love for veiling in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. After being exposed to many different cultures living in Chile, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Japan, Lily came to the United States in 2001 on a scholarship to the liberal Washington University in St. Louis. Surprised to discover for herself the truth of her Catholic faith, in 2003 Lily embraced the folly of the Cross in stark contrast to the wisdom of the world. Looking to promote a deeper reverence to the Blessed Sacrament, Lily founded Veils by Lily in August 2010 and now spends most of her spare time filling orders and returning inquiries about veiling. If you are on the fence about veiling, Lily hopes you will consider this.

Meandering Transcripts – Evening Edition


Em’s Daybook – Vol. 10

Happy Monday Evening All! I normally have this post up on Monday mornings, but I have to be honest, I just didn’t have time this weekend. And I’m ok with it. I hope you are too.

Today we went down to visit a friend and her children. It was a great visit. I helped a little with school. We had lunch. We chatted. I love seeing this family. I wish they lived around the corner. They might tire of us… but I hope not. HA!  I always feel so blessed when I leave there – because they are a great bunch of folks.  The little ones are especially special to me. And the youngest is now turning three this week. Um – could someone tell him to stop!

Sigh… on to my post.

Today, I’m Linking Up With…

Jenny @ Plain Grace for Moments of Grace
Elizabeth @ Yes They Are All Ours for Marriage Monday
Jenna, Mary & Anna Cate @ A Mama Collective for Currently

These link ups have become a blessing in my week.  I also love Try A New Recipe Tuesday on Home to 4 Kiddos, but Marque’s not home, so I’m not trying new things. HA! But seriously great sight for new recipes.

A Little School News…

We are done with the book report. WOOHOO!! Tomorrow I send in all the 2nd quarter work. Third quarter is going well. Thank you very much.

I do think my student has a sinus infection.

A Little Wifing News…

So far, in the Godly Wife series,  Elizabeth has gone over these:

Today she asks which of these we are most like. Sigh. I don’t know. What I do know is that they are all inside me. And from time to time, I pull from each of the Godly Wife characteristics. I think we all do. No one is EVERYTHING all the time, except for God. And so I submit, I am a little bit of each and always in search of more of each!

For example… the other day my husband calls. He says, “I’ve got something to tell you that you won’t like”. The good news is, there is not another woman (ha). The bad news is, he may be back for two days and have to ship out again during Holy Week, no less. Sigh. I’m shattered. And I wasn’t very nice about it. He’s been gone for more than two months with only a week between trips. I miss him and I want him home. Let’s just say, my first reaction was less than supportive. BUT the grateful wife in me, who is so grateful he has a job, FaceTimed him back and apologized. He said I didn’t need to, but I did.  And there is the humble wife. You see what I mean? We are all a little of all those and in need of more of each at different times.

I love being a wife. And I know you do too! Sometimes it is easy and, well, sometimes it is not. Pray without ceasing (best advice ever).

From My Kitchen…

Well, I did make a nice chicken last night. I sautéed it over basil, onions & garlic, browned both sides and then baked it. That is about as fancy as I’ve gotten. But we are making due.

A Snapshot I Love…


Fred hangs out in the office with me at the end of the day. That is Christopher’s school chair. He just hops up and makes himself at home. I’m not sure what he was looking at. Silly old Cat!

new veils


These are my new veils. The black is from Lily @ Veils by Lily and the other two are from Karen @ Silver Hill Treasures.  My favorite is the black and purple. It allows me to ease into color… I love them All.!

Internet Find…

Honestly I love love love Mozart’s Lullaby Radio on Pandora. Did I tell you I love it? It’s “folky” and pleasant.

Thoughts I Have…

I am really enjoying all our various Lenten Readings. They are all over the house and it’s fun to see the different concepts. I was sent a little pamphlet called 40 Days of Hope & Healing. Titles of late… The Value of a Promise, Defusing the Bomb, A Holy Masterpiece, Disarming a know-it-all, The Value of Un-Parenting and Surviving a Hurt Attack… now – at first glance you think “how on earth is that about Lent?” But when you read these quick reads, it’s about learning to deal with life and learning to pray for strength when pain invades your family or your heart; when you need to be knocked off your soap box; praying for understanding of others, etc… It’s very heartfelt!

Today’s is about Surviving a Hurt Attack. Here is an excerpt:

No matter what we’re going through, the trouble is not here to stay. A failed relationship, layoff notice, bankruptcy, terrifying medical diagnosis, or the death of a loved one backs us up against the wall. It’s ok to admit we are suffering and angry with God.

So when we’re raw, hurt and bleeding, how do we find the gift of really living again?  Like the royal official in the Gospel, turn it over to Jesus and say, “I need help!” This is where healing begins — when we quit depending on ourselves and welcome assistance.

Work With Your Hands: Make a hurt attack survival basket for a friend facing difficulties. Fill it with flowers, positive quotes, poems, Bible verses or cartoons. Don’t forget to include your phone number.

Prayer: Jesus, ever now and then life will throw me a curve. With you to help catch me, it’s easier to bounce back. Amen!

There is more to it, but is that not great. Just a reminder to turn to God and always be there to help others. What a blessing!


At this point, I feel I should write – what am I not reading?! Too much. I’m playing catch up.

Thankful For…

  • My husband, son & father… Great men!
  • My friends – even when I am lonely, I know I am loved.
  • Spring. Thank you Jesus. Our tree has little green buds…
  • Fia. I got to see my buddy Fia today. Well I got to see her mama and her siblings too. But that Fia… let’s just say, she has a pink cast. She had me sign it. HA I drew a kitty on it. (she loves hello kitty).
  • Music. It heals my soul. I love all kinds. I love to sing. LOVE to dance. So thankful for Music through my life.
  • So much more…
  • And YOU!

Praying For…

  • Friends with Cancer.
  • Friends with chronic illness.
  • World Peace. I am. I’m serious. And you should be too.
  • For Closure for the Family/Friends of the recent Mudslide and Malaysian Air disaster. Peace be with them!
  • My little family and our health/finances.
  • My extended family for various reasons.
  • For the Mentally Ill.
  • For those who have no one to pray for them.
  • For YOU! No – seriously, I am!

Have a great rest of your Monday ladies & gents.

Blessings to you all,



Noah and Nativity Stones…

Happy Saturday All.

I am admittedly tired this morning and my tummy hurts, but I have priorities right? lol MY BLOG – which I really need to step up my posts on. I know I know.

I wanted to touch on a few things.

1. Plain Grace  - Saturdays with Mary. Always a great devotion. Check it out.

2. Noah – The Movie. Oh the Hoopla of it all.

I do not like violent movies. And since this is inappropriate for children, I’ll likely not see it. My husband can not wait to see it. But he is a man (duh!) AND they are thankfully different from me.

I have to say – I prefer my Bible Story Book over something like this. But – if you want to see the movie, just know what you are walking into. There is no reason to be disappointed or irritated because this is nothing like the stories told to us our whole lives. Be informed. Read the reviews.

3. Nativity Stones. A nice gentleman sent me an email asking me to review a product called Nativity Stone Jewelry. The company has been around since the 60′s.

nativity stones

The product comes packaged beautifully and it is a beautiful necklace.  There is a certificate of authenticity and a book that explains the history of the product.  Further, if you go to their website Nativity Stone Collection you can read their  Story and see them in The News and look into The Charities they give to.

Here is a little excerpt from their site:

The Nativity Stones were excavated in 1963 from the Manger Room of the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They were the only stones ever authorized to be removed from this sacred site. The Nativity Stones are a rare and beautiful piece of Christian history that witnessed the birth of Jesus Christ. Rare and limited in number, Nativity Stones are an heirloom for the faithful to enjoy now and for generations to come.The Nativity Stones were certified by Elias B. Bandak, Mayor of Bethlehem, and Father Economies George Bandak, high priest of the Church of the Nativity. In the year 2000 the Nativity Stones were honored with a plaque placed in the Vatican(there is a clip on the website)  further validating their authenticity and ensuring you and your family are in possession of a truly special part of history.

Full disclosure, I had not heard of this company before. I went on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) page and this company is not registered. Honestly, I do not think they are required to be. There are no complaints registered against them. I only bring this up because I know sometimes people don’t believe things. So I checked it out. This seems like a legitimate company with a great product.

I have to tell you,  it is a blessing to have even this small piece of the cave where Jesus was born. Like all of us who cherish our Lord, anything that may have touched the Holy Family is sacred. And I really love this little piece of history I have. Plus – it’s BEAUTIFUL!

Here is their shop – Nativity Stones Collection Shop.  The piece I have on in the picture is the Petite Nativity Cross. It’s really beautiful.

I hope you will check into the company. Their products and story are equally beautiful.

AND – as a special bonus, they are offering any of my readers a special discount. You will get 15% off  if you type in the coupon code:  HEART15!

How great is that? Have a great Saturday All.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,


7 Quick Takes Friday – Surviving

Happy Happy Friday.

If we don’t get rained out, we have a baseball game tonight.  Marque is sad he is missing it all. So – I went out and bought the CUTEST little digital video camera for the game tonight. No seriously – I know techy things are not cute. But it fits into my hand. Which is about the size of an average 10 year old’s hand. I’m not a big/tall person (chubby – yes, big – no).  Therefore, I dub it cute. You’re welcome.  It’s a Sony PJ340 and it does cool things Marque will like, but is simple for the tech-challenged – Like me!

Happy Saint Day to St. Catherine of Bologna.

Catharine wrote a book on the seven spiritual weapons to be used against temptation. “Jesus Christ gave up his life that we might live,” she said. “Therefore, whoever wishes to carry the cross for his sake must take up the proper weapons for the contest, especially those mentioned here. First, diligence; second, distrust of self; third, confidence in God; fourth, remembrance of the Passion; fifth, mindfulness of one’s own death; sixth, remembrance of God’s glory; seventh, the injunctions of Sacred Scripture following the example of Jesus Christ in the desert” (On the Seven Spiritual Weapons).

Amen St. Catherine. WOW… what a beautiful soul! Pray for us!


So – I’m late getting this posted. I intended it to be up this morning BUT we had to run errands between storms.  I’m linking up with Jen & the Gang (it’s kinda like Cool & The Gang, only BETTER) for 7 Quick Takes Friday.  Very little of her post is something I wouldn’t say this week. Ok – I’m not an author, yet, BUT the plane thing – ALL ME (but way better written because it’s her).

Today marks the third week of Marque being in Israel. He had been gone for two weeks in Jersey. Came home for a week and then left again. We have two more weeks. So – for the better part of two months, I’ve been without my spouse. It’s NOT my first time. He has always traveled and was in Iraq on and off for the better part of two years. But people – this has been hard on us. We’re older, closer, we need each other more. I know – so sweet. But I’m serious. I need him home.

Anyway – here’s a few pieces of advice from me to you…

-1- Ditch the Schedule. Not in it’s entirety. But the first couple of days after Marque leaves… if it is a school day, let’s say we do part of a day. Christopher is a bear for a couple of days. Well – more bear than normal. HA  Plus he’s emotional.  Then, I really make an effort to lighten up. This can both work and back-fire, so you really have to find your groove with it. But – be patient. Note – I did not say Pray for patience. This can also backfire. Just saying!

When dad is gone, Christopher gets a little extra electronics time. Not much, but a little.  He said I should mention this just in case you were wavering if your spouse traveled. HA!

-2- Don’t Give Up Chocolate for Lent.  If your spouse is gone for Lent and your secret pick-me-up is chocolate, do yourself a favor and don’t give it up.

Make sure you have a stash of good chocolate around. You think I’m kidding, but a little goes a long way to a pick-me-up ladies. TRUST ME. Take the bar below. It’s really big and it has 16 or 18 squares. You really only need one or two, so it lasts. AND it’s just the right amount of sugar/salt. Plus – it is Belgian Chocolate… If you know BC I don’t need to say more. Anywhooo… this is my go to treat. It’s in the freezer (don’t tell anyone).


-3- Stay Busy. Honestly – Spring Cleaning. Board games. Park visits. Whatever it is – do something. Don’t sit and get restless. I have plans for various projects.

-4- Meds. You may think it’s week, but lots of military children and spouses have anxiety issues. We pride ourselves on being strong and I am one strong woman. But sometimes I need Xanax. Now – if you are reading this and have a natural remedy I’m all ears. Just to put it into perspective here… I get a 30 day prescription filled probably twice/year. But if I need it, I take it. PERIOD.

-5- Don’t Forget to Exercise. Get out and walk. Run (ok – confession, if you see me running, please run too…. because someone or something bad is right behind me!). My Point – do something. Get outside and breath the air.

-6- Visit Friends. Take friends up on a visit. Whether it is to walk, to visit a park or whatever…  I used to be the person who “didn’t want to bother others”. Not anymore. HA… My child and I need to be around others.

-7- Pray. Most importantly don’t forget your morning devotions. Start your day off right. Coffee and a devotion (or tea…). In fact, pray all day.  This is not a judgment statement, but I do not know how people who don’t pray and center themselves with prayer stay sane – especially if  one spouse travels.   I’m so blessed to have my faith.

Christopher reads to me about Saints (which he loves). We read about Lent and doing great things. We stay focused… and on days we aren’t – it shows.

I leave you with a shot of my son pitching the other night. He’s so focused.



Happy Friday ALL!



Small Success Thursday – Ocean Clouds

SST – 2014 – Vol. 12

Happy Happy Thursday.  I hope and pray you are enjoying your Lent. Ours has been pretty good. I’m not going to say I haven’t faltered because I have.   Today is the day that several ladies link up with for Small Success Thursday.  Mine this week are super SMALL. But I’m counting them dangit… lol My successes may indeed be small. But I’m still sane and have two more weeks to go of parenting by myself. This is perhaps the biggest success. In some ways, I am just getting through.. I miss my husband. To top it off, we are not allowed to text, per his company, because they don’t want to pay for it. He is only allowed to call once a week for five minutes. But I am thankful for the couple of times/day that we are able to FaceTime. Before I list my small success, I’d like to share this with you… I woke up to this email this morning. Father Barron’s Lenten Series has been such a blessing to me. It is easy to read and stick to (Bonus Small Success).

Lent Day 23 – The One Who Fully Heals What exactly is sin? To answer that we should first make a simple observation: we are all unhappy. By this I do not mean that we are all psychologically depressed. I mean that we are all, at a fundamental level, unsatisfied. And more to the point, we know it: “People are much sadder than they seem,” concluded St. John Vianney. Our minds are hungry for truth and want it in great waves. But they get it, if it all, only in small doses and tiny drops. Likewise, our hearts hunger for goodness, and they get it, if at all, in dribs and drabs. We seem to know what to do, and what to be, but we seem fundamentally incapable of realizing it. There just seems to be something “broken” in all of us, something not as it should be. Even worse, we know in our more honest moments that there is nothing we can do about it. Our minds are flawed, and we can’t think them back into health; our wills are weak and we can’t will them back into strength. I realize how difficult this is for us to accept. Optimism and a can-do attitude belongs to the mythology of America, a country born of Enlightenment rationalism and confidence. But whenever we as individuals or nations try to lift ourselves up out of this problem, we make matters worse. Whenever we listen to a guru, a demagogue, a dictator, or a self-help psychologist, who tell us that all will be well either through economic, political, cultural, or interior reform, we make matters worse. This is our misery, but it is also, in an odd way, our greatness. We are broken, but since we are made in the image and likeness of God, he can fix us. One of the most important spiritual tasks then, especially in our time, is to awaken to the fact of sin–and to acknowledge our need for a savior. “Those who are healthy do not need a physician,” Jesus claimed, “but the sick do.” Only when we recognize our deep brokenness and dissatisfaction, neither of which we can heal on our own, can we encounter the One who fully heals.

And this is from an email I get daily (Franciscan Media) with a reflection… PERFECT:

Get Back Up Oh, Father, too often I see the same patterns of sin in my life and repeated over and over. I stumble and fall, confess my stubbornness and pride to you, obtain forgiveness—only to fall into the same thing again. I thank you for your patience toward the Israelites, and toward me! — from Lenten Reflections

#1 – I have been more focused this week. This is a success I tell you.  Ok admittedly I stay behind. But I’m more caught up than normal. This is good – right? Right? RIGHT???!!

#2 – I made my son sleep in his room most nights. This is a HUGE success. When Marque travels and the wind is howling (Spring is extra windy in North Texas) certain little people like to sleep with the mama. But Mama needs to sleep not listen to moans or be kicked by the traveling child… If I can sleep all night at least every third night, I’m good. SIGH!

#3 – We are almost done with the book report. If you know Seton…. you know the dread in this. For my child, the anti writer, it’s like PENANCE! ha  But there are no electronics until it’s done. We are three weeks into the next quarter. He needed MOTIVATING!

#4 – We made it to group. With three baseball games this week and a couple of practices, it is hard to get a lot of other stuff done. But Christopher needs to go to group and I need him to learn social skills …. so it’s a win-win.

#5 – I stood up to a bully (baseball related).  It is hard to do this the right way. I tried to talk to the person. That did not work. So I emailed him. That was not successful. I have now explained that I won’t be bullied and hope/pray things get better. They are for me – as I got it off my chest in an appropriate manner. No name calling, no yelling. This is big for me… mama bear is not always the nicest person.

My house is clean. My laundry is done. We are safe and sane.  We are alive and reasonably healthy… and I feel blessed. I hope you do too and I hope you will link up and share your small successes with everyone.

I took some beautiful pictures of Ocean Clouds (ok, they are not called that – but they look like the ocean). God is good.

ocean clouds 2 ocean clouds


Oh #2 – and p.s. I won a book @ – enter their weekly book giveaways. It’s so fantastic to WIN!   AND – I won an ebay auction for a card game I played in my youth called Mille Bornes. Do any of you know it? I loved it… and I am so excited to get it here.  It reminded me of rare happy family time of my youth. This is indeed a success.

Have a great day. Blessings, Em

Wednesday’s Wonderings…

or wanderings – whatever.

Happy Happy Wednesday ! Happy Saint of The Day to Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz. He was a man “of slow mind” but was blessed with the gift of great speech. He touched everyone who heard him. I admit, I do not know much else about him. Yet another great Saint I need to learn more about.

First I’d like to say – Hi ladies and gents. Thank you for all the great response to the veiling series. If you like it, I hope you will share it, twitter it, pin it, etc. Pretty Please. lol  I really enjoyed Karen’s Story and Mae Lacey’s Too.

Secondly… You all know how I love to talk about slashing the budget and all things budget-related. Well, I’m happy to point you to my 2nd post in the series called Slash Your Budget One Item At A Time. This month’s installment is about Grocery Shopping. Check it out over at the Frugal Homeschool Family Blog.  If you homeschool, you should read her blogs anyway – because there are always great ideas and deals. Just saying!

Thirdly —  I love this. It made me giggle.



Lastly – Did you ever have slight fever and nausea for a few days and then a burst of energy… well that is me today. I gave up my tickets to the Pirate play because I was sure I was sick, but it turns out I may have just been super tired. Who’d have thunk it!?!

Anywhooo I’m off to pick up a friend’s children at school. It’s rainy and perfect here.  I will see you all LATER!

Love, Hugs & Blessings,