"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy will." ~ Luke 1:38

Thursday, April 10, 2014

~ phfr: Seeing Stars ~

Linking up to Like Mother, Like Daughter to share some pretty, happy, funny and real times...


Birthday flowers for my Fifteen year old...my Butterfly!  She is a gentle and sweet girl.  Correction:  She is a young lady with a gentle heart and sweet soul.  I love you, sweetie!  xoxoxo, mom

My Butterfly celebrated her FIFTEENTH Birthday this month...It was another birthday extravaganza.  On her actual birthday, we celebrated with just our familia.  But on Sunday, we had her teen friends over for lunch and then a movie...

Super moist Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries and a Dark Chocolate Ganache
The recipe for the cake can be found here.  It can be used for a Fourth of July Celebration.  Or, leave the red, white and blue decorations off, for a simply impressive 'plain' Chocolate Cake. 

Then again, you can add some fresh berries to give it an interesting look and exciting texture.  Either way, this cake is amazing.


Little Lamb:  (teasingly) Mom, I'm going to raise Catholic Chickens!

Me:  Huh!???!  (turning, abruptly, to face her)

Little Lamb:  (as she spreads out the 'Catholic' News Paper)  
Ya!  See; So they can read Catholic material.  :o)  Tee-hee

And they actually looked as if they were reading the paper!!!
It was hilarious!


'Sisters' inspired by White Christmas 

Go to Like Mother, Like Daughter to find more contentment...

Linking up to Catholic Bloggers Network's Link-Up Blitz
~ Family Journal ~

Monday, April 7, 2014

~ Moments of Grace ~*~ Daybook 2014 No. Five ~

I'm joining hostess Jenny and Ladies over at Plain Grace

I am thankful...
+ My health
+ My Iron skillets that cook so nicely
+ My children's manners
I am praying for...
+ My children
+ Our priests
+ the focus I need to accomplish today's tasks
I am listening to...
+ birds chirping, washing machine running...
In the kitchen...
+ The lingering scent of turkey bacon...
I am creating/working on...
+ Confession Certificates
I have accomplished...
+ Mopping the kitchen floor...yippee!
Around the house...
+ Everyone working on assignments
A favorite quote for today...
+ From Gracelines:
"Each day look for every possible opportunity to do a kindness for those you do not like. After examining yourself on this matter every morning, decide what you are going to do, and do it faithfully with kindness and humility."           
                                                       - St. John Baptist De La Salle
Following reflection...
+  Who do I dislike?  What kindness will I do for him/her today?  How can I do it with faithfulness, kindness, and humility?
One of my favorite things...
+ Toasted raisin bread with melted coconut butter on top
A healthy meal today...
+ Quinoa made with chicken stock
A healthy activity...
+ Gardening outside early this morning...(also, one of my favorite things!)
A peek into my day...
The remains of Butterfly's Birthday Extravaganza

Go here for more shared Moments of Grace Daybooks...

Monday, March 31, 2014

~ Moments of Grace ~*~ Daybook 2014 No. Four ~

I'm joining hostess Jenny and Ladies over at Plain Grace

I am thankful...
+The sacrament of Confession
+The rain that we have received
+My husband...because, really, I am thankful for that man, everyday.
+Our health insurance
I am praying for...
+My friends intentions
+Continued rain
+The ability to stay focused to my daily tasks, and my primary vocation, being a mother (and teacher) to my children.
I am listening to...
+My dog whining (as she waits for her daily walk)
In the kitchen...
+ A cold oven and stove-top (I'm going to change that soon)
I am wearing...
+Pink fleece jacket, black exercise pants, hair in ponytail w/black mesh fitness cap
I am creating/working on...
+Plan meals for the week, Easter Menu; Easter plans; my eldest daughter's 15th B-day; FIFTEEN!  Fifteen. {sigh}
I am reading...
+The Holy Bible
+The Imitation of Christ
+A Man Cleansed by God
I am hoping...
+To get to all the phone calls I need to return :o(  By the end of this week???
I am looking forward to...
+My husband's Investiture
I am learning...
+To throw away or give away items BEFORE I bring them into the house; or to not accept, buy, or accumulate them to in the first place.
+To refrain from making "piles", which is just another form of procrastination; and from being too 'attached' to 'things'.
Around the house...
+Lots of activity...laundry going, children working, dogs playing, contractor & workers outside working on much needed exterior work...
+Catching up on spelling lessons for my fourth-grader
Inspirational Words for thought & reflection...
(From today's Gracelines)  "Be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.  Be imitators of God as his dear children."
~ Ephesians 4:32
One of my favorite things...
+Caramel Macchiato...I am going to make myself one today.  Sooner than later.
A few plans for the rest of the week...
+Trail Life, AHG, Appointments, First Friday Mass, Stations of the Crosss...
A healthy meal today...

+Although not a meal, it is one of the first things I have in the morning...1 cup water, zapped for 114 seconds, fresh squeeze of lemon (from the garden).  
A healthy activity...
+My 30 minute walk with my youngest daughter & two dogs
A peek into my day...
I still need to organize & simplify (and change bed sheets...) things around me.

Visit Plain Grace for more shared Moments of Grace Day-books...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

~ Backed Blogged - March Feasts & Goings On: p,h,f,r style ~

Linking up to Like Mother, Like Daughter to share some pretty, happy, funny and real times...

March is filled with more wonderful feast days...which fall during the Lenten Season. These feast days tend to be even more celebratory (in our home), because we are in a solemn time, focusing on the "dying to ourselves", so that He can be better known in our hearts and through our works.

Here are several every day happenings in our lives at the Hand-Maid Household:

Celebrating all the feast days makes for a pretty home...
Little Lamb waits patiently while her mother captures the moment via film :P


This typewriter used to belong to my dad when he was in high school.  He gifted it to my eldest daughter, my Butterfly.  She is a freshman in High School, and although she has her own laptop to participate in her online courses, she has always wanted an 'old-fashioned' typewriter.

One of the first things she wrote (on the well-used, ink depleted ribbon) was a thank you letter to her grandfather -my dad- for the typewriter.  
Secondly, she wrote a story, while playing a game she made up of taking turns writing a story with several people.  The first person writes a paragraph, then the next person continues with a paragraph and so forth...It goes like this:

"My Sister Wants a Story, so...here goes.

     Once upon a time (as all fictional stories start) there was a very beautiful princess with red-brown hair that went all the way down to her feet.  Every evening, she would walk in her magical garden which wasn't very magical!
     She was joined by her white unicorn, named Crystal.  Crystal was a very tame unicorn that loved to fly through the clouds and over rainbows.  Her favorite food was marshmallows and cotton candy.  Crystal had brought her friend Amethyst.  Amethyst was a purple unicorn that had just joined the unicorn herd, so Crystal had brought her to meet her favorite human, Princess Guiliana, the only human who was smart enough to be able to talk to unicorns.  One day, a young prince of Pulchra Unus walked besides the garden wall and heard her singing.  Her voice was like angels in choir.  When she sang, the birds would join her and all the animals would stop and listen.
     He asked his manservant who was it that was singing with the heavenly voice.  His manservant (another name for comic relief, sidekick) answered that they must have died and gone to paradise.  Then the Paige replied, "it is Princess Royal, Guiliana of Hardcastle".  The prince insisted that he be gotten an audience with the King of Hardcastle, but there was a large golden gate with a large lock!!!!!!!!! 
     The lock could not be removed, unless one as worthy as to take the princess' hand in marriage came forth.  The Prince was determined to see the Princess, so after he returned from hunting he....(to be continued)."

More happy, the Library Book Sale was this month...So many gems were found!

The growth of the chicks have been amazing.  I could take a picture everyday and see a change...

During Lent, many activities are taking place in our home and within our Parish life.  This is the first year that I am not teaching the First Holy Communion class; however, as the DRE, I continue to organize the Sacraments that our young parishioners receive.  Traditionally, during the Lenten season, the 1st Communion students receive the sacrament of Confession (Penance or Reconciliation).  They also receive a blessed crucifix from the Holy Land.  The candle cross below, represents all those that have made the Sacrament of Penance.

Candles are placed on a small table.  These candles will be lit once each child has made their First Confession.  The flame is taken from the Paschal Candle of last year.   It is a beautiful day...many souls are made clean and pure.

Also, as the years fly by, we turn from all the wonderful activities that we enjoyed while the children were younger and celebrate the feast days with food and books.  That is not to say we do not participate in any activities, but they are not as frequent or as needed.  Here are a few books that we enjoy during the March feasts...

We have enjoyed the traditional St. Joseph's table in the past, and we hope to enjoy it in years to come -

Annual St. Joseph's Table at The Shrine of St. Therese
However, this year, we settled for a day of Holy Mass and quiet prayer.  It was perfect!

Go to Like Mother, Like Daughter to find more contentment...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

~ The Fiat of Mary ~

Mary, you are the New Arc of the Covenant; the New Tabernacle.  Thank you for your fiat...your, Yes!
Her simple words, "I am the hand-maid of the Lord, let it be done to me, according to thy word." would allow for the dual nature of Christ to be fulfilled...He was to become true man and true God.

And so, here in our hand-maid house-hold, we humbly celebrate this most wonderful day.

An extremely easy celebratory meal that is pleasing to the palate, with a dessert that is sweet and simple.

We arranged some fresh flowers so that we can show honor & love to the Mother of God...

It was a beautiful day.  It even rained...a very much needed rain.
Deo gratias!
Luke 1: 26 - 38

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37For with God nothing will be impossible."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


Joining Catholic Bloggers Network Link up Blitz
Family Journal
~ March ~

Thursday, March 20, 2014

~ phfr: Red & Black, Purple & Green ~

Linking up to Like Mother, Like Daughter to share some pretty, happy, funny and real times...


Lent can be pretty


Someone is really happy that they achieved their white/black belt, her eleventh belt and just one belt away from black belt.  I am SO PROUD OF YOU MY SWEET GIRL!
Butterfly went from red/black belt to white/black belt...


This reminds me of the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz when the house dropped on her and only her legs were showing...


My son (and eldest daughter) helped design these tee-shirts for our recent Youth Retreat...
I hope to post some pictures write a post about the retreat before the year is over!  :o)
Our full theme for the retreat was:
Get Connected - Encounter Christ:  To Know, Love, and Live the Faith
Designed by Conductor & Butterfly

Go to Like Mother, Like Daughter to find more contentment...

~ St. Patrick's Feast Day ~

Feast Day:  March 17th
St. Patrick's Feast Day at the Hand-Maid Household 2014

Captured by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland at the age of sixteen.  During his captivity, he had a spiritual conversion...
What a perfect saint story to meditate upon during this Lenten season as we strive for our own spiritual conversion.

St. Patrick certainly lived an extraordinary life, doing much to win souls for Christ.

To read his full story, visit here.

So how did we celebrate St. Patrick's Feast Day?

Well, St. Patrick's Day celebration is not complete without the traditional visit to the Fire-station to have the firemen serve us green pancakes (plus eggs, bacon & juice).  So, on Sunday we visited the Firehouse as we have for the past 12 years.  Everyone looks forward to this event.  I'm so glad the kids haven't tired of it...

Fancy centerpiece decorations:  Fire hose nozzles and boots with balloons attached.
Irish music playing in the background.  It's fun to sit inside the fire station and eat green pancakes.
Don't Forget:

For lunch, we thought we would celebrate St. Patrick's Feast Day by making Reuben (or as we call them, Faux Ruben) sandwiches, with a slight tweak...instead of Swiss cheese, we used pepper-jack.

After dinner, we enjoyed mint ice cream with brownie bits (I added a splash of Carolans Irish Cream on mine).  Little Lamb made some shamrock jigglers and helped to decorate a few festive drinking glasses.

My sister sharing a quick pic of St. Patrick festivities
from her neck of the woods.
We celebrate some feast days a lot differently these days...not a lot of crafts and activities.  It is mostly with special foods and decor and reading.  We really do enjoy celebrating the Church's calendar and feasts.  Everyday is a feast day...

"Christ shield me this day:  Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me"  ~ Quote from The Breastplate of St. Patrick

The Breastplate of St. Patrick full version quote here.

Again, St. Patrick certainly lived an extraordinary life, doing much to win souls for Christ.

To read his full story, visit here.

Family Journal
~ March ~