Holy Ducklings

Monday, December 31, 2012

A List of Goals for 2013

I thought I'd compile a list of goals for the new year...if they're recorded, I'm more likely to follow them. 

2013 brings on a whole array of new challenges. This fall, I start homeschooling Kindergarten...my first official year (besides preschool stuff). 

We are also thinking of selling our house (we are outgrowing our current shack)...and with this brings various improvements to try to sell. Plus...working part-time as a librarian and mommy to three. So, here it goes...my list to help me keep more organized. 

1. Start preparing and organizing curriculum for Kindergarten. Looking into Our Lady of Victory Traditional Catholic Homeschooling curriculum. Order books and set up classroom. 

2. Update my mommy's survival binder...schedules, homeschooling, meal-planning, etc. 

3. Get rid of the Television. I have wanted to do this for quite some time...I finally have the strength to do it! 

4. Make updates to our house...to get ready to sell :)

5. Get outside more...when winter is over. Have my son participate in one sport this summer (whether it be swimming or T-ball). 

6. Volunteer with the kids this summer. 

7. Organize closets, pantry, garage, garden shed, and toys. Must find better solutions!

I hope at least some of these goals get checked off my list! :) Have a happy, healthy, and merry 2013!

God Bless


Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Beautiful Year :)

I would have to say that this was a great year! But, since 2012 is coming to an end, my fairytale 4 month maternity leave is also coming to a halt.

What a blessing it was to be at home so long with my children full time. To not miss reading stories, playing games, tying their shoes, and taking loads of silly pictures. I pray that I will be able to do this full time again....soon :)

As for now, I'm taking advantage of my last full week as a stay at home mommy. But, grateful to God that I'm only going back to work part-time.

Thank you God for a beautiful 2012 :) God Bless ~Jenny

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

10 Ways To Make Advent Special For Your Little Ducklings :)

"I’m participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little SaintsTruly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Jesus as the Reason for the Christmas season. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”
Hello everyone! I thought I'd compile a list of activities that can make Advent a really special time for you and your family. It's easy to get sucked into the commercialism of it all...so here is a compilation of things to keep it simple and to keep Christ in Christmas...God Bless & Have Fun :)

1. Buy/Make an Advent wreath for your home. 
On the first day of Advent, light the first purple candle on your wreath. Our family sings various traditional Christmas hymns around the wreath such asVeni, Emmanuel and Adeste Fideles. Continue lighting the candles each week for the coming of the Christ Child. The last week, light the purple candle in celebration of the arrival of Jesus.The website Catholic Icing has a super cute advent wreath craft to make with your children :)

2. Read a Verse from Luke 2 Every Night. 
Break it up so that you read a little each night until Christmas. Explain to your Little Ducklings what each verse means and give examples for their understanding. This is very important to help little ones familiarize themselves with the story of Christ's birth. 

3. Print/Hang a Scripture Chain. 
This has more meaning instead of the plain red/green paper ones that signify nothing. The website The Things I Love Most has a wonderful ready-to-print chain. Now, the countdown to Christmas will have meaning :)

4. Emphasize Charitable Acts. 
This should be done year round, but there are so many opportunities this time of year to really GIVE GIVE GIVE. One fun way is to anonymously surprise a neighbor by leaving cookies, a gift, or a card on their doorstep. I know someone that collects change all year long and leaves the jar on a stranger's doorstep.....SO NEAT :) Donating toys or money to charities also teaches young ducklings the beauty of giving.

5. Attend Midnight Mass On Christmas Eve.
If your church offers this, in my opinion, it's got to be one of the most beautiful visions I have ever laid eyes upon; the dark interior church lit by masses of bright candles, the light's reflection of the nativity and life-size crucifix....all surrounded by beautiful pre-lit Christmas trees. Not to mention, the glorious Latin mass sung with Traditional hymns. 

6. Celebrate the Feast of St.Nicholas & St. Lucia
These feasts are quite fun for the little ones during advent....and very important. St.Nicholas's feast lands on December 6th. St. Nicholas, who we now call Santa Clause lived in the third century. It is said that he tossed money into the window of the home of 3 poor sisters who were destitute of dowries. The money landed in their shoes....or stockings they say. To celebrate his feast day each year, we put our own shoes out on December 5th night to awaken the next morning to them full of treats :) 

St. Lucia's feast day is December 13th. She was a martyr born in Sicily. It was said that she brought food to Christians who practiced their faith in dark tunnels to avoid persecution. In order to see in the dark tunnels, she wore a wreath of candles on her head. On her feast day, we celebrate by dressing in white (with a red sash around the waist), wearing a wreath on our head, and making a feast of bread. My site has a tutorial on how to make a Saint Lucia wreath

7. Set Up a Nativity Set & Attend a Live Nativity
What a beautiful way to get ready for the birth of Christ! I encourage you to only set up the animals and the manger right now because Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men haven't arrived yet. Set Mary and Joseph far away from the manger as they are making their long journey to the stable right now. Each day, move them a little closer. On Christmas Day, what a surprise it will be when your young ones wake up and find baby Jesus in the manger. It's up to you, but we also have the Three Wise Men come later and slowly make their journey to the Baby Jesus after Christmas is over. Another way to emphasize the beauty of Christ's birth is to go to a live nativity....this can be one of the most memorable gifts of the season. 

8. Pray the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Every Night as a Family. 
Beautiful novena that keeps Christ's intention for the season close to your heart. Get the beautiful printable novena card from here http://joyfilledfamily.blogspot.com/2011/11/christmas-novena.html

9. Make your presents.
Making your presents can have more meaning.....they aren't bought from a cold Target shelf that has little thought into. I'm not saying buying your presents is all bad, but maybe make a few with your children to teach them about putting their hearts and time into something for somebody. 

10. Have a Birthday Party For Jesus
This is a great way to emphasize to your young ones that this is the day that Christ was born. What better way than a birthday party. Bake a cake and blow up the balloons. Adorn the cake with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS." Have the kids make a present for him and wrap it under the tree. Last year, we did all of this and boy was it special. 
Here are the links to the other blog carnival participants. I hope you'll take the time to visit them and leave a comment on their posts! :) The list will be updated throughout the day, so please do come back and check on them. God bless us all!

 Homeschool Mosaics: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Joy: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Advent Interruptions
The Breadbox Letters: Interrupted by Glory
TwentyTuesdayAfternoons: Keeping Christ in Christmas/ The Season of Giving / A Wee Bit of Beach Holiday Angst
The Learning Basket: Staying With the Nativity
 Story Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Rosary Mom: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Ate Maui: Hoping and Bringing Hope
Written By the Finger of God: 12 Traditions for Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Dominique's Desk: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Felix at Fifty: What Jesus Wants for Christmas
Mommy Bares All: Birthday Cake for the Birthday Boy on Christmas Day
 Between Now and Later: Keeping Christ in Christmas, I am trying...
Lique's Antics: Family Antics: Christmas Reflection
Life of Fortunate Chances: Our First Ever Christmas: Keeping Christ in Christmas
The Mommy Journey: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Roller Coaster Ride: How to Remind Your Kids of Jesus Christ This Christmas
Cymplified: Christ-Centered Christmas: Cymplified!
Mountain Grace: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Touring Kitty: Grown-up Christmas List
Mommy Chinkysoup for the Soul: A Very Special Christmas
City Girl, Country Home: Finding Jesus in a Flurry
 Coffee Moments with Sam: Christmas Unwrapped: 5 Presents Our Kids Truly Deserve
Raising Lifelong Learners: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 The Diary of a Sower: Keeping Christ in Christmas (link not working yet)
Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising (and Teaching) Little Saints: Keeping Christ in Christmas
 Truly Rich Mom: The Greatest Gift of All This Christmas
 Joy-Filled Family: CHRIST in Christmas
Blueberry 010: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Deeper Truth Blog: Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival
Holy Ducklings: 10 Ways to Make Advent Special for Your Little Ducklings

Jesus's Birthday Party!

Today, I rounded up a bunch of ideas from Pinterest for our birthday party for Jesus...which is only 6 days away might I add! I don't know about you, but it came way too fast! Enjoy some of these precious ideas. I can wait to implement them. God Bless ~Jenny

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pipe Cleaner Flower Hair Clip :)

Today, I made some super cute pipe cleaner flower hairclips for last minute stocking stuffers. All the supplies I needed were a short distance away in my craft bin. Thank you Crunchy Catholic Momma for the super cute idea. Visit the link for a full tutorial.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meaningful Christmas Movies for Your Ducklings :)

I find it very dissapointing at Christmas time that there are only a handful of movies that talk about "Jesus" or the "nativity (for your young children)."  One of the few is the classic "The Little Drummer Boy." Not only is this a great rendition of the nativity, but it teaches your young ducklings about the true meaning of Christmas and the beautiful act of charity and giving. Below are some other Christmas movies that I recommend. God Bless ~Jenny


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Dream Playroom!

"Yes, we don't have a basement," is my reply to anyone that has been to my house for the first time. Actually, it's a cool Wizard of Oz type cellar...where you have to go outside to get down into.  My house was built in 1895...that's 17 years before the Titanic sank! Anyway, we remodeled the whole house, but neglected to add a basement...which would have been very spendy. I was just dreaming today what it would be like to have a basement with a playroom and a homeschool area. Here are my ideas....

Source: flickr.com via Jennifer on Pinteres


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If I Was Rich, I'd Still Shop at Thrift Stores!

For those people who know me quite well, they know that the only place I shop is the thrift store ...except for food of course!

There are many reasons I shop at the thrift store:

1. It saves the family money, big time. A $20.00 shirt versus a $1.00 shirt. I'll take the $1.00 shirt and it usually looks just as nice. We also buy wonderful Christmas presents here! And, usually shop on half off week.

2. Most of the proceeds go to charity. I feel happy that my hard earned money is going to a good cause...Haiti. Plus, my kids are getting clothed. I'd rather support thrift stores than put more money on the big Target executive's table.

3. You can get creative with thrift store finds. A different coat of paint on a frame or a blanket turned pillow will spike your creativity!
Vintage 1960's Dress~ Just $2.00

4. For those passionate about vintage, it's a treasure hunt! This is me, I love old things...and decorating with old things...which is nice, because it's also cheap!

5. It's teaches your kids a valuable lesson. Showing your kids that they don't have to have brand name clothes is priceless. Name brands don't matter, as long as your warm and clothed.

I thought I'd share some of my treasures I find here...this week I found this super cute vintage 
60's dress for my daughter!

 Stay tuned for more frugal

                  God Bless

Monday, December 10, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland :)

The snow is finally here.....we have a white Christmas! Sunday we had a mass snowfall...we are talking 10 inches! My kids could hardly contain themselves as they looked out the window that morning....so magical and beautiful! Check out the monster snowman that we all made. My son keeps wondering when it's going to come alive...."He needs his magic hat!" my two-year-old tells him! She promptly named him Frosty! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

5 Ways to Celebrate St. Lucia Day~ December 13th

St. Lucia Day, December 13th is a day that renders close to my heart~ for it is my daughter's name. St. Lucia, a martyr born in Sicily, brought food to Christians who practiced their faith in dark tunnels to avoid persecution. In order to see in the dark tunnels, she wore a wreath of candles on her head. On her feast day, we celebrate by dressing in white (with a red sash around the waist), wearing a wreath on our head, and making a feast of bread. 

Here are 5 ways to commemorate her feast day and make the day unforgettable for your children.

1. Make a Saint Lucia Crown to wear on her feast day. Here is a super easy tutorial on my website on how to make a authentic looking St. Lucia crown.

2. Role play with St. Lucia Paper Dolls. Available from Paper Dali. Show your children how Lucia brought food to Christians so that they may better understand the act of charity. 

3. Dress as Saint Lucia and make braided bread. There is a wonderful braided bread recipe from Catholic Cuisine

4. Pray the Saint Lucia Prayer together. Prayer from Family-Prayer.org. Say this beautiful prayer before eating your braided bread that morning. 

5. Read about the life of Saint Lucy. 
There is an array of books available on this martyr's holy life. Click on the book for more information. 

Our family partook in these activities last year, and it was an unforgettable day! May God Bless


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Saint Nicholas Celebration 2012 :)

           Setting out our shoes the night before. I wonder if he'll leave something in the baby's?

   The kids must have been good :)

                       He did leave something for the baby...too bad he doesn't have any teeth yet :)

                                            Can you see the excitement??? :)

            Thank you Catholicinspired.com for these super cute hats :)

                                                    & Very easy to assemble :)

      Craft Time! Our Saint Nicholas mask turned out fairly well :)

 This one is my 2-year-old's....can you tell? She loves gluing :)

          St. Nicholas books before nap time....what a great day so far :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Nativity From Mary's Perspective

My family just recently watched the movie "The Nativity" together to commemorate the first week of Advent. Every time I watch this movie, I'm flooded with an array of overwhelming emotions...sadness, for the kind of king the people had to deal with in Jesus's time....joyfulness that the savior arrived unharmed in a tiny, unsanitary stable in Bethlehem amidst the threat of evil. 

As I'm filled with these emotions, another fills my heart that is extremely vivid: gratefulness. Grateful that I can have my babies in a safe, sanitary hospital where all I have to do is savor them. Imagine being Mary...what a gift to bore the Christ child....but also imagine her worry.....the threat to this tiny babe. Imagine shortly after having your child having to flee to an unknown country. 

Let us be grateful as mothers for the beautiful gifts that God has bestowed upon us....the gift of motherhood, the gift of holding our little ones, and the gift of the nativity this beautiful Advent season. Let us be grateful that we are so lucky to be living secure with our little ones in a warm sanitary home destitute of threat :)

May God Bless 


                May We Carry Him Close To Our Hearts This Christmas