Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Blessed Thanksgiving, and my love language

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action." Mother Teresa

I've been in Thanksgiving preparation mode for over a week now. My downstairs got the deep clean and I was gathering all of my supplies for decorative tables and a big meal.

I don't know if I've ever explained, but since one of my brothers lives in Maryland, and my aunt and uncle (who are like my big brother and sister) live in Cincinnati, my home in Columbus is sort of the hub of the wheel. I have another brother in California, but he doesn't make the trip home. And even though another brother and my mother are in Columbus, my house is the only one that holds all the gang, so all holiday celebrations are at my house. I often, like yesterday, wish I didn't always have to host. I'd love to take a dish to someone else's house. But, that's not the way it is, so no point wishing.

And I could make life easy and serve on paper plates, but that's not me. If you come to my house, you get a dinner from scratch and a nice table setting. It's my love language.

This was the grown-up table, or maybe I should call it the parent table, since all but one child is technically a grown up. It's made up with my mother's china, my mother-in-law's silverware, and my linens. I have a sore throat and a cold right now (not great timing) so I opted out of setting the good crystal (because it all needed to be washed to put it out and I was still polishing silver Thanksgiving morning).

The centerpiece is my old cornucopia with new fresh fruit in it. The old one was looking pretty bedraggled, as my mom handed it down to me. So I pulled everything out and replaced it with fresh fruit and placed it on a silver platter.

The kids' table made up with my mixed-color Fiestaware, gold candles and Tom Turkey in the center. We had all the windows thrown wide open because it was so hot in the kitchen. About 15 degrees cooler outside would have been nice.

Because I'm always in the thick of things when we're getting ready to serve and everyone sits down to dinner, I borrowed someone else's phone pics for these memories.

My sister-in-law and I as I was ready to carve the turkey. Lest you think my turkey looks rather skeletal, I'll let you in on my secret (or not-so-secret trick) trick -- I roast it breast side down. It doesn't make for a beautiful presentation, but I don't present my turkey until it's carved and ready to eat. The breast stays so moist roasting it this way. I roasted another turkey in my electric roaster, so we had plenty of meat.

Faith and my nephew Sean.

The kids' table -- almost all really big kids now.

Today is a day of catch up and a little rest (and eating dinner out!). There are some more serving dishes to store away, and Thanksgiving decorations to take down. It's almost time for Advent! Tomorrow the gang will be back for more chow, and either a maudlin evening or one of celebration -- it's the day of the Ohio State vs Michigan game. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Yarn Along -- a wip and a finished project

I guess all I have time for these days is a Yarn Along post once a week. I was busy getting St. Andrew chaplets in my shop, and have three more commissioned chaplets to make before the beginning of Advent next Sunday. After that, I have to clean and cook for a whole lot of people next week. Doug and I celebrated our 30-year anniversary on Monday and his birthday is on Friday. Crazy times!

I finished the blue blanket I had on the needles last week. Faith and I watched We Bought A Zoo (very cute -- a few bad words, but nothing my kids don't hear while I'm cooking dinner) on Saturday night and I got quite a few inches added. 

Yesterday evening, I cast on a pink hat, because I was headed to parent observation night at dance, and I can't sit still without something in my hands. Bad habit! I did watch her dance, but there's quite a bit of down time -- do I really need to watch her stretch?

I am still previewing a book for a friend, but I admit that not much reading got done this week -- my eyelids are heavy by the time I hit the bedroom.

Join Ginny for more -- especially if you're hunting for a good book.

And for a chance to win one of these darling handknit animals, with a gift to a great adoption charity, go to Jenny's blog.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yarn Along

I've been desperately trying to write a real blog post (ok, maybe it wasn't desperate, but it was close), but our days are completely filled and homeschooling this one child this year has been exhausting. I know that those of you who homeschool more than one child (like a bunch!) are laughing or scoffing at me right now. But eighth grade and being enrolled in Seton for the first time for Faith is kicking both of our butts. A more distractible child I have never met, and three out of four of my kids have ADD, so I know distraction when I see it. We're going to be seeing the doctor because her attention issues are definitely affecting her school work this year, and no amount of redirecting and reprimanding (or even rewards!) is working. God help me get through this year.

Anyway, this isn't a real blog post, but it's a different post anyway. I mailed away the entire baby layette on Monday (plus the quilt that grandma wanted as well). I should have taken a photo. It was an enormous amount of hand-knits, I'll tell you that. Most babies are lucky to have a hat and booties, much less four hats, four pairs of booties, four bibs, and eight sweaters. I was happy to say "bye-bye baby!" Of course, I promptly cast on a baby blanket. But this is relaxing (almost boring) knitting, and it's not pink, purple, white or ivory! And I have no deadline. Yay!

I am previewing a book for a friend, so I can't share my book, but I will share a few good flicks/series that I watched while I was knitting the layette. They are "grown-up" viewing, but not scandalous.

Monroe -- a sort of British Dr. House, but he's much nicer.

Twinsters -- a documentary about the amazing story of twins separated at birth who find each other on the internet -- the kids can watch this one

Morning Glory -- a very cute flick and if you're a Harrison Ford fan, even better

That's all for now. Join Ginny and friends for more.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

St. Andrew Chaplets

Now that I have the huge knitting project finished, I'm working on creating some more rosaries and chaplets for my Etsy shop. It's looking pretty sparse. I just added some St. Andrew chaplets, if you have a need, and a couple of twine rosaries. I'll be adding some bronze St. Andrew chaplets this week.

The Chaplet of St. Andrew is traditionally prayed during Advent, from the Feast of St. Andrew on November 30, until Christmas. The prayer is prayed fifteen times a day, and the fifteen beads help you keep track.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother. Amen. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Happy All Saints Day!

I can't remember the last time All Saints Day landed on a Sunday, but it almost feels like Christmas today. Our parish is going to have a procession of relics and chant the Litany of Saints. I can't wait.

If you have been around this blog long, you've probably seen my All Saints Day and All Souls Day vigil candle decorations, but here are photos again if you needed a reminder.

On All Saints Day we use all our Holy Cards (I use these all year, with each month's saints only, but for All Saints Day we pretty much just use our favorites).

On All Souls Day we use our family's and friend's funeral cards, to remember and pray for all those who have gone before us.

Happy All Saints Day! And don't forget that tomorrow is Soul Cake day.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Four Rosary Giveaway

Four rosaries -- two blue, two teal, all with Sorrowful Mother medals, all with different crucifixes. Just for clarity, if you can't see them, clockwise from the top left blue, the crucifixes are a scrolled style, a Celtic crucifix, a pretty one with filigreed edges, and a San Damiano crucifix (taken).

The names I chose from all those entered are pictured below. The first person (top name) can choose her rosary first, and then the second and so on. I'll be in contact with you, so email me back and let me know which one you'd like (I'll email you in order, after the person before you picks -- sorry this seems more complicated than it did in my head). If you won, leave a comment if you haven't heard from me.

I'm going to get some of these in my Etsy shop. I also have red and black twine, so if you want one and have a color preference, let me know.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Yarn Along Layette

I had to wait until today to get photos of my knitting -- yesterday was a lovely, dark, rainy day, but too dark for photography.

I'm working on the last sweater of the layette. After I finish it, I just have to knit an ivory bib and then I'm finished -- eight sweaters, four pairs of booties, four hats and four bibs. Whew.

Never again, unless it's for my own grandchild, and even then I think eight sweaters is a bit more than most babies can wear.

Top photo is the sweater I'm currently knitting, along with my trusty Kindle. I just started An American Heiress. No comment yet. I finished A Fall of Marigolds and would definitely recommend it.

The photo below is for those of you who wanted to see the entire layette. If you want info about patterns and yarn, just leave a comment. 

See what I mean about a lot of hand-knits? Definitely double click to see it all up-close.

Go see Ginny if you want to see more than baby knits!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Month of the Holy Rosary Giveaway

"The rosary is the 
weapon for these times."
St. Padre Pio

During this month of the Holy Rosary I usually have a rosary giveaway. This year, I wanted to give away a couple of my most-used rosaries.

Mine is a different color of twine, but this is the style of rosary I sleep with. It has been so helpful during my times of anxiety. Every night I fall asleep praying it, and every morning it's on the sheets in between my husband and me (except for the nights I can't sleep and then I carry it around until I can settle and that's where it is in the morning).

The twine rosaries are perfect to sleep with, because they can't break. They even go through the wash just fine if you happen to forget to grab it off the bed when you pull the sheets off to wash. They also make great pocket rosaries (or purse rosaries) for the same reason -- unbreakable.

 This twine is a mix of blues. I'll giveaway two rosaries made with this twine and two made in a green/blue mix.

Each will have a Sorrowful Mother medal attached at the center knot.

To enter the giveaway, leave your name in the comment box, or send me an email -- marydevotions@gmail.com. Make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win.

I'll pick a name next Saturday -- the last day of October, at noon. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday Daybook

"The LORD is good to those who trust in him, 
                      to the one that seeks him"
                                                                  Lamentations 3:25

In the garden...
...gold and red and orange and green. The trees all around the house are beautiful. We are just about at our peak color right now and it hasn't rained in weeks, so most of the trees are full of colorful leaves. I'd give my left arm for a rainy day, though. You know I love my rainy days. And some rain would make it a lot easier to get some spring bulbs in the ground.

I'm thinking about...
...blogging, but never actually doing it. I think this was the longest hiatus I've had since I started blogging over eight years ago. It wasn't intentional, but school (and my daughter) has been kicking my behind this fall. I could say a lot more, but I better stop with just that.

I am wearing...
...a denim skirt and an orange v-neck t-shirt. It's Indian summer around here. I even have sandals on.

I am reading....
...A Fall of Marigolds. I am almost finished. I've enjoyed this book, though it's taken me a while to finish it. 

I had a revelation of sorts while I was reading it, though it had nothing to do with the book. I have a "guilt for pleasure" habit.  I have a really difficult time just sitting and reading. It's worse than difficult -- it's virtually impossible. I can't just sit and watch a movie or tv either. I can't just sit and not do anything. I have to have busy hands or I feel guilty. I'm not certain when I became this way, but it's a really bad habit I need to break. 

I am creating...
...a layette of hand knits. I think I mentioned this project several months ago, but I'm still working on it. I have two sweaters, booties, a hat and bib finished in three of the colors (pink, white and wisteria purple). I am working on the ivory set now, and I so regret agreeing to do it. No more commissioned hand knits. EVER. I am being paid pennies by the hour, and in all honesty, there is not an amount of money I would agree to in order to do this again. 

I haven't made a rosary in months. Nothing for sheer pleasure. It's depressing. Let's not talk about it.

I will talk about creating some twine rosaries to give away. Check back this weekend and we'll talk about a giveaway for the month of October -- the month of the rosary.

In the kitchen...
...lots of meals, but nothing really worth writing about. The kids are still coming every Sunday, but I'm wearing myself out making huge Sunday dinners and dessert. I think we need to throw in a couple of dinners out every few months. This Sunday is Geoffrey's 26th birthday -- his golden year, 26 on the 26th. We're having Asian ribs on the grill, rice and sweet and spicy sesame green beans, all at his request, with Better Than Everything cake for dessert.

At the school table...
...see above comment. No more on this subject.

Around the house...
...lots of laundry, as usual. I have a hard time this time of year because you might put one thing on in the morning and get hot by three and need to change. Seems like the loads pile up quicker. Everything is fairly clean, just don't come over with white gloves. ;-)

Plans for the rest of the week...
...well, there's not much to the rest of the week, is there? I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow (more on that another day), and I'd like to get out on Saturday to get some nature pics. Noah took the one up top at Dawes Arboretum last weekend. I think he's pretty good. I'm going to frame that one.

A few of my favorite things...
...chilly nights
...longer evenings
...fresh apples
...pumpkin desserts

Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers

Remember to pop back over the weekend for a rosary giveaway.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Baby Hat Yarn Along

When I knit what I consider to be a complicated pattern, I like to knit it again, just to make sure I get two identical items. When my kids are doing math I tell them if they are not sure they are doing it right, do it until you get the same answer twice. I guess that's what knitting the same hat twice is.

This wasn't a really complicated pattern, but it was different enough from what I'm used to that I wasn't sure. I also think the pattern was written in a way that made me question myself -- especially about the short rows, because I have never knit them the way they were knit for this pattern. They turned out identical, though, so I guess its all good. 

They are both for my shop, but only the vinca-colored one is there so far. And now that I have this huge layette to knit, that's all that will be there for a while.

My book is A Fall of Marigolds, and it's the first actual paper book I've read for myself in quite a while (I'm embarrassed to admit). I just started it this week, though, so no opinions yet.

Pop over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is knitting and reading.