7QTs {reading, 4 months, and Lent convos from the kids}

Oh, you know, just popping in for a few little quick takes. I found this in my drafts folder from about a month back, so apparently I started writing it and then forgot about it. So…..



…I guess the reason for lack of “content”-posts is that I clearly do not plan my reading very well….. I’ve been good in that I haven’t actually started more than one book, but I whoops got out two “real” (i.e. paper and ink) books from the library with in days of each other. Then I had two books become available on the eZone (one audio and the other a regular ebook) plus I had an audio version of Les Mis checked out since it has worked out to be easier to “read” that way…. and anyways, yeah, majorly disorganized over here in the reading department.

It did work a little better for the first half of the month, but not so much now.

So, hoping to just buckle down and get these books read super-duper quick before they expire.

Anyways…. moving on from books…


I can’t decide if I like the kindle or real book better. Kindle for sure for the classics, which are usually big books, but mostly I like it for the instant access to the dictionary! I don’t however like that if I want to read before bed (and that specific book is on the kindle) then I have to look at a screen.

(That was totally not moving on…)


I know for sure that I don’t like kindle for children’s picture books. WAY too small to see the words. Even if I turn it on edge. Plus I usually end up with pictures that don’t format exactly right. So… I’ll stick to “real” books for the kids.

(Neither was that…)


Katherine is finally getting excited about reading!!! I really think it has to do with us reading real books together (which works out to about her reading half the words and me reading half the words). I should have listened when I heard that you should have your child read real books from the beginning….


Baby turned 4 months!


Let’s see…. He has his 4-month appointment next week, so I’ll have all the juicy details on weight, height, etc…

But for now:
Clothes size – 12 mo.
Mobility – none
Holding head up – check
Rolling over – trying to
Eating – ALL. THE. TIME. “boobie milk” (as termed by his siblings) and oatmeal cereal a little bit a day.
Sleeping through the night – yeah. right.
Teething – got one trying to come through
Loves – people holding him, watching his brothers and sister, eating, watching
Hates – being alone. (Seriously, the second he can’t see anyone, he melts down)

Kids and Lent

Johnny: Katherine, I want to play dollhouse
Katherine: {in whiny voice} Johnny, no-oooo… You can’t play dollhouse, I gave up the dollhouse for Lent {which, BTW she didn’t, either that or she has a very loose definition of “give up”… like the kind where you give it up only if you don’t want your younger brothers to play with it, but you reserve the right to play with it on your own time whenever you want}
Johnny: But I didn’t give up the dollhouse for Lent…

Kids and Lent some more

{after seeing some cookies on the baking soda box}
Johnny: mommy, can you make some chocolate chip cookies?
Me: Not right now, honey, it’s Lent
Johnny: When is Lent done?
Me: Let’s go check the calendar and count the days (thinking something along the lines of “teaching moment”)
{check the calendar… count the days left}
Me: We have to get all the way here and then Lent will be over and it will be Easter!
Johnny: {with a huge grin} Then you can make chocolate chip cookies.


Linking with Quick Takes at Kelly’s

just some this and that {p,h,f,r}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Just jumping in here to share a few photos from the past week.

{pretty} phfr (5 of 4)

I really get tired of hearing things and things and more things about the weather… but that is pretty much a huge part of what we’re doing right now.

It was a little melty yesterday, and I’m kinda a sucker for reflection photos, so while the kids climbed on the piles of snow I took this shot.

In continuing good news on the weather front, it looks like the highs for the next few days will get out of the teens, so yay! Spring will come. Although we jokingly brought up the idea of spending next winter in Georgia (that was just before the first blizzard that was weeks ago).. the continued snowstorms made it much less joke-like.


phfr (3 of 4)

Last Friday I let the kids stand on the window so I could take some pictures for my Black and White weekend post (this post over on the photography blog)

To say they had fun, and were happy about that was an understatement. And as usually happens when I start taking pictures of them, I relax, become happier too and good times are had by all 🙂


phfr (2 of 4)

On account of the weather the kids have been inside way more often then they like (I would and do honestly let them play outdoors in the cold, but really have to draw the line when the temperature or windchill is in the single digits…) Anyways, they’re rally, REALLY into crafting. Like markers, scissors, paper and tape. All day. Every day. All over the place.

While I totally love their desire to create, it’s quite a process to get them to clean it up. And we’ve been working on the “clean up your projects” thing for…. months…. So, as soon as it warms up slightly I’m thinking about putting all the things away and making them a “special treat”.

On the plus side of this, Katherine’s writing skills have improved by leaps and bounds!


phfr (1 of 1)

in-home-non-TV-entertainment ~ making trains out of dining room chairs.

phfr (4 of 4)

so glad these finally disappeared yesterday 🙂 again… spring is coming, eventually (I will ignore the snowfall that just “showed up” this AM)


And shameless plug for my photography blog:

I have been doing a 365 Project (just passed the 70 day mark!!! only 295 days to go) and posting at least a photo daily on my other blog (Ruth Anne Holloway Photography ~ there’s also a button on the side bar). If you’d like more photographic daily life/randomness feel free to click over.

I decided not to put it on this blog because… so many posts….


Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter (link up top)

Kitchen Notes: eating together

candles with s&p grindersPM

Just a few thoughts on eating together…

1. Time Together
During the week, especially if Jared works, it’s just about the only time he really gets to see the kids since his work schedule is such that he usually leaves before 7:00 AM and doesn’t get home until around 4:30. The kids are usually in bed by 7:00 PM (on definitely on their way by about 6:30 PM) so, there’s not a ton of time that we can all spend together.

2. Meals Simplified
I don’t have to make two dinners. I know people do, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone has the time or energy to make more than one dinner a day… Dinner prep already is one of my least favorite things to do, so there’s no way I’m adding to my dinner prep if I don’t have to.

3.Teaching moments
Because I don’t make special meals for the kids, they’re required to eat what we eat, even if they don’t like it. I’ve found though, if I’m not at the table, the kids don’t eat unless they like it. So in order to teach them to eat the “new” foods we have to be right there.

4. Conversation
We go back and forth with letting the kids talk and having them be quiet during meal times. If we’ve had an especially crazy day, I’ll usually try to light a candle and call the kids to the table a few minutes before we eat and do a “favorite things of the day” thing just to try and change the direction things are going. Which does provide a nice little connecting time (plus I usually get asked to say my favorite thing so I’m forced to refocus myself too!)
Most times though Katherine has minimal talking time during the actual eating because she usually won’t. stop. talking…….

5. Reading
In the mornings after I’m done with breakfast I’ve been doing the daily Mass readings and a little poem with the kids. I’ve tried to do this at other times of the day, but it just is so much easier to read while they’re already gathered in one spot and relatively quiet.

*bonus thought* At the table
We always eat at the table. Mostly because it keeps the mess down. But I also don’t see any benefit to sitting in front of the TV while we eat; it basically undermines all the above. So unless it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon and we’re watching Star Wars and eating pizza, (or we have a good portion of my family over – we total over 20 if we’re all together) we eat at the table.

  So now that I’ve told you some “whys” here’s what we’re eating this week, enjoy. Like always, if you’d like to know how I prepare something just leave a comment 🙂

Sunday {today}
I ended up inviting my parents to come over, and I hadn’t originally intended to have two extra people and the rate at which my husband and children (and my dad) eat tacos means that what I had originally planned won’t be enough…. so I still had an extra pound of meat, but no seasoning packets…

Found this recipe for Taco Seasoning (and I have all the ingredients) so I’ll be making that to put on the meat that I didn’t buy season packets for… and if it turns out good (which I’m sure it will), I may start using that instead of the packets because you know healthier and all…

Oh. And. leftover birthday cake for dessert because Sunday’s in Lent = feast day!!!!

Rice and Beans

Chili (using leftover beans and some leftover spaghetti sauce and meatballs from the other day)

Pork Roast something.

Nachos. (using leftover chili on top of tortilla chips, all topped with cheese)

Fish something. I have the fish, but haven’t quite decided what to make with it. I’m thinking something breaded and pan fried… We’ll see 🙂

There you have it. Linking up with Nell for week eats!

Book Review: 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserable by Bob Welch


52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables by Bob Welch is about life lessons one is able to find in Victor Hugo’s massive piece of classic French literature. Lesson 6: “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”; Lesson 26: “The Past Can Be a Springboard to the Future” and Lesson 40: “Self-Pity Morphs Into Selfishness” are just a small sampling of the lessons touched on in this book.
Generally each lesson begins with a short quote from the original. It then continues talking about a particular scene, moves on into a “real life” example and scriptural reference, and concludes with a thought provoking question or final thought.
There are several things I really liked about this book. One, the length of the chapters (most are only a few pages) make it totally manageable to pick up and read for a few minutes and set down. Although, to be noted: even though you *could* blow through the chapters one after the other, the homily-like lessons have so much excellent thought-provoking content that’s it well worth it to stop and reflect before moving on.

The other thing was the “real life” stories and parallels that are drawn continuously throughout the book. The makes the lessons so much more relatable to our own lives today and really underscores the lessons from the original

When I first picked up the book I hadn’t begun to read the original,  but this book gave me the push and excitement I needed to get going on that. It also helped to provide a framework for me to hang the story on.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Lent: for my little ones

Lent for my little ones

Right, folks. Lent. Just two days away. I knew it was early this year, I think I just chose to ignore thinking about it.

If we’re being honest here, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of *doing* something more for Lent. But, at the same time I’m strongly feeling that I need to be intentional about making sure the kids start to get a better understanding of it because it’s something that hasn’t really been made all that clear.

And they “got” so much during Advent, I know they can totally get it, so it’s not their lack of understanding. It’s more my lack of being intentional about teaching.

For one, I don’t want to just do something without explaining why, but there’s a part of me that feels very unsure of myself in explaining the “why we do ___”. Maybe because my own knowledge still feels so new.

Alright so, Lent is a time of Prayer, Fasting and Charity… What I’ve come up with as for “goals” so far (and this will probably be it because I feel like we’ve just got somewhat settled in the last month after the craziness of the months before that…)

We’re going to be doing evening prayers (vespers) from


Liturgy of the Hours (4-Volume Set)

Now, I actually have the book set (have yet to learn to use it…. maybe that should be *my* Lenten resolution?), but we use the Laudate app. We’ve done this twice so far. But we’re going to make an effort to do this every evening during Lent.

Apart from the mandatory Friday meat fast, we’ll be doing all sweets/desserts fasts too. In past years, I’ve done this for myself personally, but I’ve never required the kids to do it.

For myself… ummm… I haven’t thought of something I’ll be fasting personally. I am still breastfeeding Baby Z. and can just barely keep up with the calories I need to do that, so giving up a food thing isn’t really an option. (Unhealthy food though, is an option, so I’ll probably just do that with the kids.) I’ll try to think of something in the next day to fast from instead.

I also am going to try to cook as much out of our pantry as I can.

Usually the hardest things for me. Probably because I equate charity with money (which I know is not necessarily the case) and there is basically no extra floating around over here…  We don’t even use cash, so it’s hard to say just put all the change into the rice bowl…

So, I’ve been trying to think of other ways to show charity…

I think we’re going to make (tomorrow, since… you know? #lastminute) and do a Lenten Sacrifice Jar.

And maybe have them help with a little decluttering. 😉

An interesting tidbit I picked up according to an official definition of charity:

:  lenient judgment of others
I will work on that…

~Other things~
The Stations of the Cross, with a sensory box, we’ve done this before, but I think I tried to do it too often, so I’m going to limit it to a Friday thing.

So, here goes… Lent for them… and for me


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