This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 75


If you’re new around these parts. TWM is the weekly wrap-up at Carrots, complete with my favorite links from around the web, quotes from my weird/awesome kids, book chats, backyard chicken updates, liturgical year ideas, and the obligatory cute baby photo.


Somebody is really digging the Christmas tree. And now we know what all the night waking was about last week. She was getting ready to crawl! Welcome to mobility, sweet Gwen Stellamaris. Life is a little more awesome and a lot more complicated for me since I have to raise the bar on my housekeeping a tad (AKA clear the floors of all the old raisins that are strewn about the house by the big kids and sweep under the couches for the piles of LEGO that are hiding there.) What can I say? I run a tight ship. On a related note, I think she’s just the precious-est baby ever.

Also of note, this is the one and only time I’ll be included in an “honorable mention” list with Pope Francis….or rather, any list at all with Pope Francis. Daniel says that since he occasionally writes for Carrots, he will now consider himself the 11th best Catholic of the internets. Fair enough.

In the Liturgical Year:


We got to enjoy Gaudete Sunday Mass with our bishop at a local Spanish mission site where they have rebuilt a church modeled after the original from the 1500s in the same spot. I know they aren’t the same walls the Spanish settlers and Apalachee Indians worshipped in together, but standing on the same ground waiting for Christmas is truly amazing. Especially since the first Christmas celebrated in the New World is believed to have occurred in our town. They only do Mass there once a year when the bishop comes and OH MY HEAVENS, he is the tallest man! I’d never seen him before. He has to be almost 7ft tall and with the mitre he looked 3 feet taller than anyone else in the room.

And as for Advent Unplugged, so sorry that I didn’t post the link up this week, I’ve actually been getting pretty good at being unplugged and totally forgot! So on Monday I’ll post the final link-up and you can add whatever Advent Unplugged posts you’ve written for weeks 3 and 4.

On the Homestead:


The good news is that Daniel came up with an awesome plan for the next planting season. The bad news is that our sick chicken didn’t make it. Benjamin was a little bummed because he loves our little flock of chickens, but it wasn’t a big traumatic event.



(Gettin’ his Katniss Everdeen on after Mass at the Spanish Mission. Kid got a bull’s eye!)

The Quotable Benjamin:

Benjamin emerging from the kids’ room long after bedtime to give us the emergency news that: “Lucy is thinking about having ham for lunch tomorrow.


Me: “Tell me exactly what happened.”
Benjamin: “Well….I guess you could say that somehow Lucy’s fingers got accidentally in my mouth and I needed to close my mouth so….they might have gotten accidentally stuck in there.”


Me: “How’s that egg-in-a-hole I made you?
Benjamin: “Well….it would probably be better cooked in gravy.
(What jammies do you want to wear, Lucy? STWIPES!)
The Quotable Lucy:
Me: “You’re going to have to sit down if you’re going to nurse that wise man so you don’t drop him.”
Lucy: “No! I nursing Mary!“Oh, just a typical day with the nativity scene.
Can I watch the Star Wars? Is that Garth Vader?
So……I let my kids dress themselves. Sometimes the result is respectable. Sometimes I end up with a Crazy Cat Lady and Mr. Statement Gloves. But, hey, I never said I was a fashion blogger. I’ll leave that to Grace and other moms whose kids don’t look like they stumbled out of Miss Hannigan’s Orphanage to find Annie.


I wrote a piece for Catholic Exchange this week about how I’m terrified to pray for holiness.

At Carrots this week, this post about Pope Francis and Breastfeeding in Public struck a chord. Around the web, I loved these posts:

Getting to Know Your Mother: More Like Mary–More Like Me (Great post of resources: books and ideas for learning about Our Lady.)

Four Things I (A Protestant) Love About the Catholic Church: Becoming Peculiar

Kindred Spirits: A Juxtaposition of Dante and Dickens: Through a Glass Brightly (Oh my heavens, I LOVE Kathryn’s blog and I wanna sit and drink coffee and talk books with her for days. Books for days!)

Five Favourite Classic Christmas Movies: fountains of home (Just more evidence Christy and I would be best friends IRL. Also, she spells it “favourite” because she’s an adorable Canadian.)

Area Catholic Offended by the Phrase “Merry Christmas”: Eye of the Tiber (I died laughing. P.S. this is a satirical site, like the Onion)

And did you see that you can pre-order Kendra’s book: A Little Book About Confession for Children? And you can pre-order Jen’s book: Something Other Than God?

And Karen Edmisten gave a short review of our book Feast!  And Haley at Home to Catholicism wrote one, too! You can still order the print version of our liturgical year real food cookbook before Christmas from Amazon if you specify one-day shipping! (And of course, you can still order the ebook PDF version for $7.99.)

Speaking of Amazon. If you’re doing last-minute Amazon shopping, you can go through my Amazon affiliate link and I will receive a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you!) It really helps keep the lights on over here and I appreciate it tons! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has done their Christmas shopping through my link and to everyone who has bought our book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is an amazing blessing to our family that I get to do something I love to do (write and connect with amazing people!) from my living room couch after the kids go to bed and during naptime and help ends meet at the same time. If you bought our book this year, you helped make it possible for me to work at home and homeschool my kids and I truly cannot express my gratefulness. Thank you!

And a big shout out to my wonderful Carrots sponsors: Usborne books (can’t wait to share a great giveaway with you coming soon!) and Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. By the way, until December 31st, you will receive a 15% discount coupon when you spend $50 or more at Toadily Handmade. This coupon will be valid during 2014 on any one purchase. To receive this offer, type the code 2014 into the comments box at checkout. Yay candles!

Wishing you a wonderful last few days of Advent!

Lots of love,


You Can Follow Me…

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  1. says

    I had to laugh when you mentioned that you lost a chicken. I grew up on a farm and we were always joking about “and then it died”. It wasn’t a huge thing for us to have an animal die because it just happens sometimes when you have a lot of them.

    And Miss Gwen has the sweetest little face ever! Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    off to read about your fear of holiness….i fear the same!
    ever pray the litany of humility? terrifying.

    your blog is a refreshing discovery for me, that baby of yours is adorable and you have really awesome hair.

    have a merry mighty Christmas!

  3. says

    I started following you a few months ago, and wanted to say thank you! I love it, especially your NFP series. I’ve even introduced to my non-Catholic non-NFP user friends, I think it’s friendly enough that I’m not jamming it down their throats or annoying them. And they actually get to see the beauty of it without feeling like I’m judging them.
    Also Gwen is a doll. I cannot imagine too much time passes without you kissing those cute cheeks.

  4. says

    Love the “ham sandwich” anecdote. This morning Ruby came into our room urgently yelping, “Oh! Mom! There’s something white on Max’s pack-n-play! Come quick!” and went on thusly until I dispatched my patient hubby to go and see. Turned out to be the remnant of a sticker. Kids…

  5. Becky says

    Love seeing pics of the kids. And hey, I let my boys dress themselves all the time. It’s one less thing that I have to worry about. Yeah, sometimes they wear red pants with orange shirts…but hey, they’re comfy and if we’re not going anywhere, big whoop. :) Kudos to you! You gave me a smile when I needed one.

    • Haley says

      Yes! One less thing for me to do. It is so awesome when a kid gets old enough to: A) put on pants and B) buckle his/her own car seat. Ahhhh. :)

  6. says

    I don’t know what I love more, your kids’ quotes or that you were featured on that list of links! How very awesome Haley. Proud to know you! :)

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