Book Review: Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story


I know! Three months until Christmas and already I’m going to start talking about Christmas books. Because you all know I totally have a soft spot for children’s Christmas books. Actually, it’s pretty much an addiction, but… that’s another blog post ūüėČ

Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story by Geraldine Ann Marshall and illustrated by Rebecca Sorge was an absolutely beautiful story. As much as I love picture books (Christmas ones even more so), I rarely will have pieces of the story keep popping into my head for weeks after I read it. Not so with this story.

It’s set in the stable and tells the Nativity story from the vantage point of three friends; a cricket, a honeybee, and a spider. Each is contemplating a gift they will give to the new baby, but Spider can’t think of anything.

Then she hears one of the wise men say:

God can make miracles when gifts are given with love.

An opportunity presents itself, and Spider is able to use the only gift she can think of, her ordinary web, as a gift to save the newborn Baby Jesus.

A bit fanciful? Maybe. But I think the message it tells is solid. We are able to give our ordinary everyday gifts to Jesus and he can in turn use them to bring about miracles. And that the message I keep find floating around in my head, even weeks after I’ve read this book.


I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

My Sunday Best {7?} // JEI {2}

My Sunday Best – mommy
My Sunday Best – Kat

You know those times you just show up at Mass? Those times where the mornings don’t quite go as planned? And there are moments of pure frustration? This was one of those mornings.

I kneeled down before we began and was definitely questioning the “why’s” of making the effort. When the processional started and I realized the words…

“Here I am to worship // here I am to bow down // here am I to say that you’re my God”

I felt like God had definitely made Himself heard (by me) loud and clear.


Switching gears a little, I’m answering this week’s “Just Enough Info” questions…

What is your mom beverage of choice? 

Well…. If we’re talking alcoholic beverage (?) then I really don’t drink, so…. I’m leaving that one blank.

If we’re talking¬†other beverage…


Hands Down.

If it was possible I would live off coffee. And it’s not the caffeine buzz that does it for me (I really don’t get much of a buzz) nor the popular mommy¬†cliche “I’m so tired, I just need coffee to survive” (I’d rather just have the sleep thankyouverymuch) I just, really, REALLY, love coffee.

What do you do to relax? 

Read or Crochet. Listen to Podcasts. Drink Coffee.

When was the last time you got away with girlfriends or alone (and the grocery store does NOT count)?



I went to Cape Cod with Jared for our anniversary a few weeks ago, but… we took Nicholas, so that’s not really “alone”.

Before that, I seriously have no idea.

One thing I did realize while we were at the Cape was that I was seriously exhausted. Not necessarily in a “need more actual sleep” kind of way, but of being hands on mom every minute of the day. Yes, having Nicholas there meant I was still doing mom stuff all the time, but it was just him. I don’t think I had realized just how much mental time and energy I had been spending doing all the mom stuff that needs doing. And what I took away from that is that I’m pretty sure I need to have some more built in away time.

I think awareness is the first step in correcting that, but beyond that I don’t know how to implement it. Because I think it goes beyond needing just a couple of hours to myself. I feel like I might need more like an entire day and logistically I don’t know how that’s supposed to work right now.¬†I do have some ideas, but baby N. complicates it. Prayers?


Here’s the link up for this week’s JEI over at Sweeping Up Joy¬†and for My Sunday Best at A Blog for My Mom


Project 366: Week 38 {262-268}

Hello again 366-ers. According to my posts it’s been eight whole weeks since I last joined this fun linky.¬†I was working my way through this and was thinking how fun it was, and how much I miss just going back through the week and picking photos to share.

Moving forward…

Week 38 18 September to 24 September {262-268}

262 ~ She absolutely LOVES holding him.
263 ~ {Skipped, totally accidentally of course}
264 ~¬†They didn’t exactly say anything, but I think they were kinda wanting to join the ballet class too.
265 ~¬†Playing at “getting stuck under the bed”, during which time Baby N can actually move about and Miss K really does get stuck.
266 ~ Learning to read. We’ve been off and on starting and stopping the past month or so, but we got on a bit of a roll this past week and he seems to be picking things up quickly. (He managed to figure out quite a bit on his own before I even attempted formal teaching, so with a little direction he’s getting the hang of things quickly.)
267 ~ This is Z. He started reading books like this a few days ago.
268 ~ We had our yearly epic double birthday party for John. and Miss K. J’s birthday was yesterday (Hello 6!) and Kat’s is next week (*gulp* 7…).


Real camera photos this week: 1

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky


This is a blog hop

Click here¬†to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Five Minute Friday : Five


We have officially said goodbye to “Five” today. Today, you turned Six! My biggest boy! So much growing up in this last year. You’ve become so much less shy, so much more of a leader. And, if today is any indication you may finally be fighting back against your very aggressive younger brother (it’s ok, he needs it sometimes).

Just a few weeks ago we started officially learning how to read. In a matter of days you’ve managed to figure it out. There may have been some self-teaching before now, but still…. I’m actually rather impressed. (Don’t tell Kat, but you picked it up quicker than she did.) I think you could learn anything if only it can be taught in an indirect way. (This is also how you learned math on your own… ).

I can’t wait to see how you grow in this coming year. I worry sometimes that I don’t know how to teach you, not just academically, but in life. You’re so silly and goofy, really a prankster, and you have such a big heart, I pray it stays that way and that I can keep up with it.¬†‚ô•


Words written in just over five minutes…. Picture took an additional twenty minutes to edit and get “just so”… Oh well…

JEI {1} : Chores

And continuing in the “let’s join in new link ups this weekend” theme….

I heard about this link up, The Zelie Group : Just Enough Info a few weeks ago, by the internet/blog randomness that sometimes happens, and I tend to love these kids of things because there are a few questions,  easy to answer, and you get to have my take on various motherhood things.

This week the talk is about Chores

1. What chore should you be doing now instead of answering this question?
Well, interesting that I’m writing this on Sunday…. because normally I try to leave Sunday free from any unnecessary chores. It doesn’t always work, but I at least aim for that. {I wrote about it a little tiny bit a few weeks¬†months¬†back over here}.

Anyways, things I need to do that I forgot about: Pay bills, empty bathroom trash can, empty recycle bin… I guess, technically none of those will suffer if I wait until tomorrow to do them, except for the fact that both the trash and recycle bins are full. to. the. top. So….

I also have a tendency to forget about chores I need to do “tomorrow”, by which I mean if I don’t do them “right this second” I will guaranteed forget about them. I could always make a list of them, but then I have a to do list that takes me almost as long to write up as to just do the chore so I don’t do that either…. Anyways


2. Do your kids have chores? If yes, what’s your chore system?

Yes. Yes they do.

They are responsible for:

  • Cleaning up 97% of the toys, books, and general random stuff all over the house.
  • Cleaning their rooms
  • Setting the table on rotating days (most of the time)
  • Clearing off the table after meals (Johny and Karl)
  • Sweeping the dining room floor three times a day as needed (Katherine – it usually happens less often than once a day)
  • Washing the breakfast and lunch dishes on alternating days (Kat and Johny)
  • Putting away clean dishes on specific days (Karl)
  • Helping with other household cleaning as they’re called upon, including but not limited to: mopping, vacuuming, cleaning or at least tiding the bathroom)
  • We’ve made a half hearted attempt at helping with laundry, but it isn’t very consistent yet. Kat will randomly decide she needs to have a specific piece of clothing right away and then do a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold) to get it.

By the way, my kids are nearly 7 (Kat), nearly 6 (Johny), and 4.5 (Karl)… so they’re more than capable of taking care of things that need to be done. Other than the sweeping I try to keep it limited to once or twice a week.

I don’t know if that system has a name per se, but that’s what we do, it’s mostly on a flexible list in my head ūüėČ

I try to remember something that was told to me, which apparently originated with my mom (but was told me by someone else):

If they’re old enough to make the mess, they’re old enough to clean it up.

3. If someone gifted you a housekeeping service, would you use it?

Absolutely! I know this for a fact because over the winter I had a girl come and help out with some cleaning. It wasn’t anything crazy (like spring cleaning), but it was so, so nice to know that all the nooks and crannies in the bathrooms got taken care of and the floor was mopped to the point where all the sticky spots were actually cleaned.

So, yes. I will take all the help. I have no shame in admitting I’m a pretty lax housekeeper, and there have been more times than I’d care to admit that my husband has showed me how some things are supposed to be clean – *cough* bathtub *cough*…

The one thing I DO like doing? Decluttering and throwing stuff away. Oh and laundry. Love getting the laundry done (just not the folding part ūüėČ ).

I would like to be a better housecleaner, but…. there’s just so much¬†other¬†stuff to do. I mean, someone’s gotta take cute pictures of the kids, and those books aren’t gonna read themselves….


Here’s the link up for this week’s JEI over at Sweeping Up Joy