Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby Food Popsicles

One of my favorite times of babyhood is watching a baby explore new foods and textures. This little invention (that I wish I had come up with) is such a fun and safe way for babies to eat and be happily occupied exploring with their mouths, their favorite tool. Put any fruit or vegetable in it. I find it is less messier and lasts a little longer if first chilled in the refrigerator or partially frozen. My favorites are...
bananas, sweet potatoes, cooked baby carrots, canned pumpkin,
strawberries, room temperature ripe peaches, cooked apples or pears
There are so many more foods too that I haven't tried.
Sweet Pea is such a happy baby sucking on her baby banana popsicle.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Pumpkin

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy, not so much a baby anymore.

Newborn Pumpkin

First Birthday Invitation Picture Two Year Portrait
Three Year Portrait
Four year Birthday Party Invitation
I love you more with all my heart.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Small Steps from a Cozy Nook to a Morning Begun

Since reading a beautiful post with a peaceful description of a morning begun...

"I want my children to find me in that room, with a candle lit and the Bible on my lap when they first wake up."
I have been meaning to share how I have been trying to start most of my days recently. After a pet disaster a few months ago necessitated us ripping out our carpet, padding and sub floor in this window alcove, we now have this wonderful and cozy reading nook in our master bedroom. It is the perfect place to pile a couple kids on your lap and read a stack of good books. It is also the perfect place to sit in the morning - listening to the birds chirp outside, reading morning scripture, saying morning prayers, and reading inspirational words to guide you for the day in His footsteps. These inspirational words for me are in a book that deserves its picture on this blog... Look closely on the top of that shelf and you'll see this book - though new to my morning routine, it is irreplaceable - Small Steps for Catholic Moms by Danielle Bean & Elizabeth Foss. This book's Think, Pray, Act daily ponderings are the perfect opportunity for a mom who has limited introspective quiet time to read words that inspire, motivate and encourage a DAY of obedience, kindness and love laced in Faith in Him. I don't make it to this nook every morning, but the ones that where I do tend to be more joyful and fruitful. As I now make this book part of my morning prayer routine, it solidifies that
"A Day Hemmed In Prayer Seldom Unravels"
Here is a favorite excerpt, and there are 365 pages filled with these little nuggets of treasure:
"God hasn't called me to be successful,
He's called me to be faithful."
- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Jesus, help me to remember that it doesn't matter how many things I cross off my to-do list if I am not kind and charitable and gentle as I do them.
Instead of focusing on the outcomes of your activities today, focus simply on your state of soul as you do them. As you work, don't sin.
- February 2nd entry from Small Steps for Catholic Moms

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Here are ideas for celebrating this day with your family. Prayer
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Thou who, with special mercy, look upon those clothed in thy beloved Habit, cast a glance of pity upon me. Fortify my weakness with thy strength; enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom; increase my faith, hope and charity. Assist me during life, console me by thy presence at my death, and present me to the August trinity as thy devoted child, that I may bless thee for all eternity in Paradise.
Finish or begin this novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. Oh, Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother. Our Lady, queen and beauty of Carmel, pray for me and obtain my requests. Sweet Mother, I place this cause into your hands.
Amen. Food & Treats For food, you can keep it simple and yummy for this feast day with vanilla ice cream with warm caramel sauce.
Start your day with a Carmel Iced Coffee for you or hubby and a Carmel Iced Milk for the children. Catholic Cuisine has more delicious ideas including a creative scapular cake.

Crafts & Activities "Have a priest enroll you in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or popularly known as the "Brown Scapular" and begin wearing it as a sign of your love for Our Lady. A priest enrolls people in the Brown Scapular only once. The Scapular can then be replaced afterwards by other scapulars or the scapular medal, which has on one side the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, the image of Mary. The medal needs to be blessed by a priest, but the cloth scapulars do not require a blessing (separate from enrollment)." (from catholicculture.org) Catholic Company has brown scapulars here and scapular medals here.

Watch this youtube.com video about devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Color this coloring picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church .

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Carmel Iced Milks & Coffees

Here is my most recent post at Catholic Cuisine - Carmel Iced Milks and Coffees In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which falls in the heat of the summer, make some easy and yummy refreshing iced drinks for your family for morning or evening. I decided to make these drinks because I wanted to make something special for my husband who faithfully wears his Our Lady of Mount Carmel scapular medal daily. He loves Starbuck's Carmel Frappuccinos, so I decided to make a homemade version for him for to take on his way to work on the morning of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

For the children, make Carmel Ice milks by blending milk, carmel sauce and ice in a blender. Top with whipped cream and carmel sauce. For a refreshing start to your morning make a Carmel Iced Coffee by blending chilled strong coffee (4 times stronger is what I like), milk, carmel sauce, milk and ice. Pour into a glass and for a sweet addition top with whipped cream and carmel sauce. Or make it a Carmel Coffee piping hot with carmel melted in it.

Add a shot of coffee liquor and serve it in a wine glass for an after dinner treat. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Precious Moments...who says only horses sleep standing up?

These are the precious moments that make parenthood worth it all...
This is what happens when a little boy says, "I'm not tired. I don't need a nap." So you let him do puzzles in his room during "quiet time," and he gets so tuckered out that he can't even make it up onto the bed before he falls asleep standing up on the stool to his little bed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cloth Diapers Take Two

I had such wonderful intentions of using cloth diapers with Sweet Pea, but a couple of weeks into our adventure, her baby soft bottom got the most horrendous diaper rash. I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and that was enough to push me back into disposables. So now I am a little more settled and in a good place with my little ones, and I had been thinking about trying again. So I got all my supplies out a few days ago and re-practiced putting them on. And here I am hoping it will work out this time. I don't know what to call our cloth diaper style, it's a hybrid of all the hand-me-downs and little diaper covers my mom bought me. I am using mostly pre-folds in snap covers or pocket one-size snap diapers. Please share any tips and advice you have from washing, to drying, storing to transport and more. Wish me luck, but don't think poorly of me if it doesn't work out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Patriotic Parade

I am pretty late at posting pictures of our July 4th festivities. We decided at the last minute, literally late Friday afternoon, to go to the mountains for the weekend. I bartered a great deal on a place and within a couple hours we were packed and on our way. It was so much cooler and so beautiful. My battery camera ran out, but luckily not before I captured a few precious shots at the Banner Elk July 4th parade. We made so many other wonderful memories - sparklers and fireworks, picking wild raspberries on the side of a mountain off the Parkway and more.
This is the beautiful sunrise I was lucky enough to wake up to see from our porch. That's Grandfather Mountain in the center of the below picture.

Before we left we made these easy and adorable pipe cleaner sparklers Friday morning. The kids held them during the parade, so cute.

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