Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival

I was invited earlier this week to participate in a new-to-me link-up. It’s held over at This That and the Other Thing, details on the link up can be found right here.

The question of the week is: What do you like best about your parish? Our current parish is the first parish I attended on a regular basis. (I’m a convert). It’s not the closest to our house, but it definitely feels the most homey to me. The priest is wonderful. We’ve been attending for nearly two years, and I’m making some very nice friendships. Katherine (daughter) is too. I look forward to having Baby Z baptized there in the next few months.

On the blog this week:

A Photo Post with some snaps from last weekend. A Photo/Contentment Post for {p,h,f,r which is held over at Like Mother, Like Daughter}. A 7QT post full of just the most random things. An author interview/book giveaway post (will be open through Thursday 9th, if you’d like to enter). And finally one more Silent Sunday photo post.

Photo taking has been very relaxing these last few weeks, hence the numerous posts.

Thanks for stopping in, hope you enjoy!

~Ruth Anne


Back-to-School Blog Tour ~ Interview with author Britt Leigh {and giveaway}

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Good morning everyone! A few weeks back I was contacted by Cathy at Pauline Books asking if I would be interested in participating in their Back-to-School Blog Tour. I was very surprised to say the least because I don’t consider myself a “big-time” blogger, but I decided to go ahead and participate as the books looked very interesting.

I was given the opportunity to interview author Britt Leigh about her new book Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean. I haven’t had the chance to finish reading yet, but what I’ve read so far has been great! If you have a young teen girl, or will at some point in the future, I’d recommend looking into this book. I can honestly say, that even though my daughter is currently 5-years-old, I’ve already contemplated her going through those teen years and I’d love for her to have a wonderful resource to walk along with her.

Giveaway Details:
Pauline Books has graciously offered to give away two autographed copies of Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean to my readers. Please leave a comment on this post; I’ll use to pick the numbers and that number comment will be the winner. Giveaway will remain open through Thursday, October 9th and winners will be chosen Friday, October 10th.

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1) Could you tell us a little about yourself? What’s your background in religion and writing?

Hello! I’ve been Catholic all my life, but I really started owning my faith in college. I’ve also been a writer all my life, but again, didn’t get serious about the craft until I was an adult. I love learning, especially learning through reading, so I absorbed as much as I could. Part of my creative process is to constantly learn–I’ve earned a certificate in catechesis, received an MFA in Writing for Children, became trained as a chastity speaker, and occasionally blog for young women. Though some foundational principles and values of the faith—love, hope, faith—have always informed my writing, it was a few years into both “vocations” that I really put my writing and faith together.

2) You’ve recently published your first novel, congratulations! But you’ve also done some other writings geared towards teens, how did you first become interested in writing specifically for young women?

Thank you! I once heard that authors are continually writing the same story over and over again–exploring the different angles, deepening their understanding of it. If that’s true, my story is love. And the teen years are when we all get some start in exploring and deepening our understanding of the different aspects of love–whether it be romantic love, family love, friend love or loving and valuing yourself. Plus, teen voices, while very diverse, have pure heart and emotion at their core, which is really fun to write out.

 3) I find it fascinating that you are able to bring up concepts of ToB and make it manageable for young people. What prompted you to tackle such a complex topic and weave it into this book?

I believe that ToB and the principles of Love and Responsibility (written by Saint John Paul II before his papacy) are incredibly important illuminations on what the Church teaches and why. I also believe that they can be made accessible to the people who need it most—teens. Growing up, I read widely, but never came across anything that championed the values I knew to be important. We’re fortunate now to have writers and speakers like Jason Everet, Leah Darrow, Chris Stefanick, and Sarah Swafford. There’s also a catechetical program–ToB for Teens, but there are very few fiction novels that really touch on these issues from a positive, Catholic perspective. And teens love novels. So I wrote one!

 4) Put aside for a moment that you’re the author of the book, tell us one reason you would recommend Ten Commandments of Kissing Gloria Jean to young women and/or their parents?

#1: The world is trying to tell our daughters (and sons!) that lust is love, but as we all know, it’s not. The teenage years are the best time for them to form the correct understanding of authentic love and why Catholics believe what we do about the dignity of the human person, sex, and relationships.

 5) Do you have any suggestions for further reading on this topic—either for the young women or their parents?

For teen girls, I recommend they follow the blogs of Sarah Swafford, Jackie Angel (Francois), and Maura Byrne of Made in His Image Ministry.  LifeTeen and feature some good articles and Q&As about topics teens either hear about from friends or on the news/social media. If your teen or tween isn’t dealing with these topics yet, you are their greatest resource. I don’t have specific book titles to name, but I can offer suggestions for what to look for: evaluate their novels’ content. Is the dignity of the human person upheld? Does it respect Catholic teaching on love, sex, and relationships? Does it avoid tackling too much, too fast and too soon?

For parents, I suggest Edward Sri’s Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. I also strongly recommend any resource that aids in understanding Love and Responsibility, if not the text itself. This work is the driving force in my work. Dr. Richard Spinello’s Understanding Love and Responsibility: A Companion to Karol Wojtyla’s Classic Work will help them unpack the sometimes dense language and interestingly constructed passages of the original. I also encourage parents to be aware of what their teens are reading/watching/saying/hearing and to have conversations about it all.

Finally, for the whole family, keep up your faith practice: Mass, the sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, and study of Catholic teaching.

Author Bio:

Britt Leigh is the author of the teen novel Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean and the foreword for Teens Share the Mission. Both books are published by Pauline Books & Media. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting into College, and She holds a Certificate of Catechesis from the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (Boston) and a certificate in chastity/abstinence training through the Center for Relationship Education. She blogs at and for young women at


Thanks so much to Britt for doing the interview! ***Don’t forget*** Leave a comment for your chance to win one of two autographed copies of Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean.

~Ruth Anne

7QTs – link to giveaway, birthday photos, kids quotes, and randomness

{Totally not relevant info, I just copied this post from the last QT, wrote it, published it, and didn’t change the title… so if you were confused, I’m so sorry}

I know, this is just a tad bit early for QT, but I had a little bit of time, and motivation to write this evening, so here they are, nice and early :). I’ll jump back on in the AM and link up all things needing to be linked.

~1~ First ever AUTHOR INTERVIEW {and giveaway}

I feel like I have ventured into the world of “big-blogs”. I have my first ever author interview/sponsored post/giveaway/participation in a blog tour up on the blog tomorrow in the AM! You can check out that post right here!. But, in the meantime, I’m super excited because I’ve never done something like this before 😀

~2~ I promised a few birthday pictures from last week’s epic party

Johnny cake

It should be noted that he told me that he needed a real cake and then he would be 4. (His actual birthday was several days before the party)


Katherine cake

So a few final thoughts on this whole combined birthday party thing… This’ll be the last year we attempt such an event. Especially if we continue to have themed birthday parties with lots of trimming. I didn’t even feel like we invited so many people, but once we had all my family (who live very close by), plus just a few family friends plus a few friends for of the kids’ we must have had close to 30 people and for some reason our house just doesn’t seem to accommodate that many. Or maybe it was just me bumping into things with my watermelon sized belly…

Either way, no more combined parties.

~ 3 ~ Kidizen

Does anyone else do Kidizen? I started one a few weeks back (just received an email that my “shop” has a web presence now: can be found here or you can find the items on the shop’s pinterest board). And I did sell one item, but wondering if anyone has any tips for selling more? Or getting more traffic to the site? Or maybe I’m overpricing things? I mean it seems like a good idea. Of course only some of our clothing makes it past the kids and is still in sell-able condition.

Maybe you could do me a favor, pop over and leave me some feedback here?

~4~ Kid Quotes of the past few weeks:

Me: Karl, where’s the biscuits?
Karl: They outside in the goiden {garden}. They asleep.

Karl: Mommy. Look. Took it out of the goiden {holds up tiny, dark object}
Me: What is it?
Karl: It’s a…. It’s a…. sing {thing}

{discussion about a cousin’s birthday}
Katherine: Can we see L…?
Me: no honey, they live in Texas
Katherine: Oh. I thought they lived in Pawtucket
{in hindsight this is funnier when you know where we live, which is about 10 min from Pawtucket… and 2 days driving from Texas}

Katherine:  Mommy, what did you make?
Me: Coffee Cake
Katherine: For breakfast?
Me: Yes…
Katherine: Oh, so we don’t have to go to grandma’s for breakfast?

Me: Karl, eat!
Karl: Mom, I wanna look at ’em….

~ 5 ~ Proud mama moment of the week:

Johnny wrote his name. I didn’t even know he could (and I know, I shared the photo on Instagram), but I was so surprised when he did:

And dare I jinx it by saying something? Both boys have been doing very well with their night time potty training. Maybe, finally we’re coming to the end of this (I mean, with these two anyway).

~ 6 ~  Baby Update

At the midwife’s visit this morning, I was informed that Baby Z. is “engaged”. Seeing as how this is my 4th baby, I must have run across that term before, but never bothered to understand what it meant. Guess it means baby has settled into the narrower part of the pubic cavity (but not quite the birth canal)… so that’s great. Except it doesn’t mean anything in terms of how close he is to making his appearance, and it means a whole lot in terms of being able to sit comfortably. But…. I’m trying to not complain and to keep distracting myself by doing other things.

~ 7 ~ Other going’s on

The other things I’ve been doing today, which I suppose could be considered “nesting”: is rearranging our wall hangings… complete with dragging chairs and finding hammers and nails and such. I considered trying to find the impact driver so I could rehang the curtains in the boy’s room, but figured Jared had those at work since he was on site today and usually has all his tools with him. {Update: I asked him when he got home if he had it at the house, and he said “nope”.}

And we’re one step closer to having Katherine’s room done. Wall is all prepped, and I’ve got it on good authority that tomorrow is the actual painting day.


~Ruth Anne

Linking up over at Conversion Diary

Fall and Contentment

And here we are: another edition of {p,h,f,r}. It’s definitely felt more fall like the last few days. The kids have been excitedly bringing me “colored leaves”. We’ve started finding sweatshirts to go on outings, although flip-flops are still on our feet (that it totally me, I’ll continue wearing them until it actually gets really cold out, and then I’ll drag it out just a little longer by putting socks with them… a New England thing, or so I’ve been told).





I like fall… well, actually I like all the seasons in their own way. What I like about fall is the colors. There was a random late blooming flower (I don’t know what it was exactly – top photo) under our porch. I can’t imagine how it survived because there is very little sun at that part of the house. But it was pretty to see :).

There’s also an air of melancholy. I mean, as much as I love the colors right now, I can’t really escape the fact that soon things will be dark and cold.





Ummmm, yes, I do realize that the photo of the dishes doesn’t exactly fit with the unintentional nature theme I have going here. But, I was extremely happy to see the dishes done by hubby while I got the kids ready for bed 🙂

Also, happy to see little mums just getting their flowers going. So hopeful. So brave.



We must pause here for pregnant-lady snack. This is leftover blueberry cobble from Michaelmas (I didn’t have blackberries so we couldn’t do it “authentic”) along with chocolate ice cream. I’ve been slowly eating this with vanilla, but as soon as I tasted it with chocolate….. oh my! Wow!

Anyways, BabyZ. is well. Tomorrow is a midwife appointment, which begins the go-every-week schedule. So, we are getting there! Yay! We did some minor things around the house today. Set up the pack-n-play in the living room so BabyZ has somewhere to sleep while we’re all downstairs (I have this thing for the baby being on the same floor as I am, especially since I the baby monitor I own has rarely been used). Got the boppys out and washed. And managed to get the baby clothes out of the attic and into the clothes shelves designated for the little guy. The kids have been loving “helping” and going through the clothes and socks and shoes. Although, I heard today “we can feed baby Zachary grapes!”, ummmm…. still some work to do with them 😉




Cooler weather has meant that the spiders are making their ways back towards the house. For some reason we have a good number of resident spiders come winter time. Mostly they don’t do anything, just make a little web and hibernate (or something? … lotta good my Biology degree is doing me right this second….)

This one wasn’t exactly in the house, it was technically right outside the window. I didn’t think it was alive until I opened the window and discovered that it was indeed alive and crawling. The boys freaked out a little when it started moving… screaming things like “IS IT COMING IN THE HOUSE!?!?” (They aren’t terribly fond of spiders).

Been trying to work my self into being content right now where I’m at. For the most part I think I am, but I realized this evening that sometimes I don’t exactly express it that way. Getting out of the house for 3 minutes this evening amidst the rain to take these photos actually helped me to realize that.


Linking up to {p,h,f,r} at Like Mother, Like Daughter and Black and White Wednesday