Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten things about Liam

  1. Very busy little boy, runs almost everywhere he goes (including down the block), likes playing with the water table but not sliding into the wading pool.
  2. Swimming lessons wraps up this week, and he enjoys them but (like his sister at the same age) shows no interest in blowing bubbles.
  3. A very good eater; current faves are pickles, lasagna, and popsicles. Newest skill: peeling an egg with just a bit of help from Mommy/Daddy
  4. Will hopefully start speech therapy in the next week (provided I can ever stop playing phone tag with the therapist).  Understanding more and more, but still not much of a talker.
  5. Unfortunate favorite new activities: staring at the contents of the refrigerator,  and playing in the toilet! 
  6. In general we have definitely hit the stage of amazing havoc when one looks away 'for just a minute'.
  7. Yellow horse is a favorite bedtime companion along with his musical seahorse.
  8. A great hugger, he loves to hang out on my lap unless it is the weekend ~ than it's all about Daddy! Kisses are still opened-mouth and verges on nipping at times.
  9. More and more interested in books at bedtime and in the car.  Can do the hand/body gestures to "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes".
  10. Is all about the slides at the playground as well as kicking and tossing balls.  Pretending to drive the car also ranks high when spending time outside.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fun with the Holy Family: a review

Fun with the Holy Family
(2012) Pauline Kids  

   A 64 page activity/coloring book which tell the story of the Holy Family beginning with introducing Mary's parents through the family's life in Nazareth following their Passover trip to Jerusalem when Jesus becomes lost.  There is also a section about special names and places associated with the Holy Family in the back.  I'm not sure what age the book is aimed at but I would guess 4-7 years old; my four year old can definitely have fun coloring the pages and following along with the story but many of the activity sheets were beyond her (one asked you to follow a path using only even numbers) but given the pages for coloring alternated with the activity sheets this was not a problem ~ if she did not understand the activity sheet she simply turned the page to the next coloring picture.
   I liked that at the bottom of many of the coloring/story pages there were present day applications or simply prayers suggestions.  Overall I found it to be a lovely coloring book and fun way to introduce some of the early events in the marriage of Mary and Joseph and the life of Jesus.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Fun with the Holy Family. This is also a great Catholic gift store for all your seasonal shopping needs, such as Christian wedding gifts and Catholic Garden Gifts.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quick Takes 109: Belgian Style

In honor of Belgium National Day tomorrow ~ A Quick 7 about Belgium
  1. About the size of Maryland, Belgium rest in western Europe above France and below the Netherlands. Luxembourg and Germany sits on the eastern border.
  2. My sister and mom are there now having attended the wedding of a cousin last weekend.  I'm loving all the FB updates and can't wait to see the pictures when they get back.  While I never lived there; having visited many times and knowing that it is the homeland of much of my family (my mother's whole family, she was the only one of her siblings to stay here permanently) it has always felt familiar and dear.
  3. The food is amazing with frites (french fries), chocolate, beer and waffles forming the four most commonly recognized cornerstones.  Other national favorites include mussels, rabbit, salad liegeoise, and tomato stuffed with shrimp salad.
  4. Officially bilingual with Flemish spoken mostly in the north and French spoke mostly in the south.  My mom grew up in the capital Brussels which is in the south and so my mom's primary language is french, though all of my cousins also learned flemish in school.
5. Bruge, a canal city often called the Venice of the West, and Antwerp are other wonderful cities to            visit in addition to Brussels if your sight-seeing preference runs to cities.
6. There is also forty miles of beautiful seacoast, the Ardenne (the hill country) in the west and the Waterloo Memorial to check out.
7. Happy Belgian Day, to those celebrating and Good Weekend to the rest!!

Please visit Conversion Diary hosted by Jen to enjoy the rest of the week's Quick Takes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday: July 19th

  1. A wonderful weekend spent with good friends.
  2. Safe travels, happy little travelers.
  3. Fresh tomatoes grown at home.
  4. Work for the day, rest for the night.
What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Crayola Factory: An Outing

  Recently journeyed with the kids to the Crayola Factory.  I was using a family pass otherwise Liam would have been free being under two which I feel is fair since most of the 'factory' attractions were beyond him.  He did enjoy the modeling clay (Model Magic) area and sidewalk chalk area; there is also a toddler area with balls and puzzles that both kids enjoyed.
   Lisbeth was certainly better able to enjoy the various stations for crayons, markers, and really enjoyed a computer/camera station that lets a computer picture of yourself be printed out the some favorite characters (when we were there it was Cinderella and Cars, I don't know if they rotate).  Though interestingly her favorite station was also the modeling clay.  There is a history overview exhibit and a film about how crayons are made though we didn't do either.
    There is an area set-up with tables and chairs for eating though no food is sold there.  The factory is in a converted warehouse in a town square so there are several restaurants within easy walking distance, and a municipal parking garage right across the street.  Overall it was a very enjoyable outing and one we will definitely do again.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Real Women, Real Saints: a review

   Gina Loehr's book Real Women, Real Saints collects short biographies of 100 women saints, divided according to the seven cardinal virtues: women of hope, faith, temperance, etc. By selecting women from throughout Christian history, and highlighting how their lives demonstrate a particular virtue well-lived, Ms. Loehr helps us to discover these virtues in our lives. However, given that the author emphasizes so much the ordinary beginnings of these women, I do wish that there had been room in the synopses for more discussions of how conflicts were faced and overcome, for example Saint Monica's arranged marriage to a non-Christian, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's early widowhood, or Saint Therese of Lisieux's debilitating illness. Such stories of courage in the face of adversity can be as valuable as examples of virtue perfected.
     I also really liked her review of the stages of canonization; while most biographies are of canonized saints, women whose causes are at stages from servant of God to venerable to beatified are included. This reminds us of the process through which we recognize saints today, and helps us to see their virtue grounded in the everyday world.  A page and half biography is not long enough for more than a brief overview of these remarkable women's lives. However, the book could serve as a helpful springboard for those choosing their confirmation saint or patron for a new baby, as well as those seeking inspiration or guidance on prayer for a particular intercession. The collection is potentially also useful for someone wishing to focus their reflection on a particular virtue, as it has 10-15 examples of how others sought to live out each cardinal virtue.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to anyone seeking to learn more about some of the diverse women included in the Church's calendar of saints.

I wrote this review of Real Women, Real Saints for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Birthday America!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Love Song Playlist

Hallie Lord of Betty Beguiles is hosting a link-ups of favorite long songs ~ and here are some of mine:
Peter, Paul & Mary; The Wedding Song

John Denver: Annie's Song

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill; I Need You

Emerson, Lake and Palmer; I'll Watch Over You

Allison Krause: You Say It Best When You Say Nothing at All