Friday, March 31, 2017

A Random Collection of Thoughts { 7 Quick Takes }


There are a few random, unrelated thoughts I've been meaning
 to share with you, my friends, 
and so I thought I'd gather 'em all  together into a Quick Take wrap.
Really quick, 'k?
Here goes~

~ 1 ~ 
New, not to be missed book ~


Mom, friend, author, encourager,
 creator of Five Minute Fridayblogger extraordinaire, Lisa Jo Baker
has  NEW book out!
Never Unfriended is her latest and wow, am I proud to be
on the launch team for the already  - bestseller!



In her own unique honest, warm style
Lisa Jo shares personal stories and 
practical tips to help us engage in  powerful relationships in 
this engaging book that I can NOT put down!
More soon on Never Unfriended!
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2
Giveaway news 

Okay, I never actually announced, 
<other than posting a comment in the actual post >
the  giveaway winner!!



My good friend, Emily, of Under Mary's Mantle
can go ahead and watch her sweet son's baseball games in
a War Room t shirt.
Em, thanks for putting up with the late announcement
and thank you to all who entered and shared the giveaway at my
7 movies with Christian theme post!
Yup the giveaway is done, but you can still
catch some great movie ideas, especially now during Lent,
at my movie post!
Enjoy
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3
Sponsors

I've got some fantastic new sponsors
as well as regular favorites on the blog!
Whether you're online shopping at amazon or Target
OR
planning a vacation 
OR just doing some fun homeschool curriculum research,


I have a feeling you'll find something right here!
And thank you!
  
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 ~ 4 ~
Birthday fun!

Yup yesterday marked another trip around for me!
My friends and my boys < hubby and sons >
certainly made me feel very special!


Birthday morning French toast, before my son went to school!
He does make the best French toast around.
Really!



   

Homemade devils food cake by my boys!

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~ 5 ~  
 Cuteness!

Honestly, who knew guinea pigs were just so darn lovable,
cuddly and raging with personality??



       

It's a good thing they're cute, because boy are they messy!
Ha!


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 ~ 6 ~
A to Z Blogging Challenge


I'm actually already getting nervous about the April blogging venture 
and it hasn't even begun yet!
yikes
LAST year  was the first time I took the a to z challenge
 and low and behold.......
I was able to pound out a post for every day!
WOOHOO!
It definitely stretched my writing muscles and

my creativity.
So here we go again.
And if life gets in the way and I just can't finish,
I'm giving myself forgiveness to just throw in the towel.




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I'm happy to join  Kelly's Quick Takes link up!




Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 
Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

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This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Defeat, Endurance, Loss: The Stuff of Lent

Seems life has been hard, really hard,  lately.
I've noticed that my family's not alone in this.
Many seem to be coasting along despite the cracks and the
bumps in the road.
While typically minor and temporary,
I don't know, the rolling mounds have become mountains overnight,
 giving way to jostling, bouncing and 
outright crashing against a brick wall.
Lent is hard...heck, being Catholic's hard enough.
And when life moves along swimmingly, 
we approach Lent with lofty goals, don't we?
Goals both physical..... 
the cleaning, decluttering, freshening of the house...
now that'd be amazing....  
and
spiritual ...the putting on of love, the prayer time carved out......
Really living this liturgical season.
Really spending time with the Lord.
 And at this point, as  the calendar marches toward Easter, 
there's a  battle for Lent, for many of us.
I'm certainly not giving up and  I know many
others waging war.....they're reloading as well.
can say that the  sacrificing of a few treats
during these 40 days? Yeah, that's not even on my radar 
given the loss, the scares, the day to day tough stuff
that life is throwing our way......
A bit of chocolate or  Dr Pepper?
You know what...I'm not avoiding the good stuff as I have
in Lents passed.
We've lived all 7 of them  -  and numerous   times over  too - 
before and during the Lenten season....and while
it probably sounds very unCatholic of me to say so, 
the "bury the dead"  and "visit the sick" edict
is starting to wear a little thin on all of us around here.
Whether or not we want to, whether or not we're able to,
there are just those times when we have to throw off the trappings
of the world and  be transformed by the renewal of our minds 
And really, the only way I'm able to forge ahead is precisely because 
I'm in this battle with fellow soldiers who keep me focused.
My family, my friends.
They remind me through their actions that I can do 
all things through Him who strengthens me.



There are losses this Lenten season and there is difficult news
 but none of it comes without knowing the Lord walks with us as we forge ahead.

Ash Wednesday saw the passing of a favorite Aunt.
And so our season began with tears and memories 
we hadn't thought of in....well, years.
 Aunt Mary, although she was 91 when she died,
means youth, and laughter and silliness and
strong political ideas and resilience.
The best creamed spinach this side of heaven.
The perfect setting of a table for holidays, for any day.
Because whenever family came to The Driscolls' ,
that day was special to Aunt Mary.
There's no one who can create a home, a meal, a table
that is uniquely as welcoming as Aunt Mary.
Before tablescapes were called tablescapes, she had perfected them.
For all occasions and in all themes.
< Aunt Mary and my boys Summer 2009 Florida >

And even if there was really nothing you could do in her kitchen to 'help,"
she'd create a job for you.
She'd have you peeling, beating or wiping, just to be involved,
just to feel part of the preparation.
The young ones as well as the older folks
had this privilege
because there was always room in Aunt Mary's kitchen.


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Aunt Mary had been ill for quite some time.
When we received the
call, we weren't surprised although we were
still saddened, of course.
When someone is young ( ish), is a vital and influential
part of your family's life, knows your history,  shares your history,
when the call comes that is unexpected,
sudden and shocking...it can be truly hard to pick up the pieces..

<  First Holy Communion April 2010 >

Our pastor and friend, Fr Charlie wasn't just a parish priest.
He perfected the art of listening.
Oh, believe me, we didn't  see eye to eye on many issues.
Or even most issues.
He  taught my boys how to
respectfully disagree...in addition to
teaching them how to live the Word.
He funeral mass was tough, but beautiful.
And he'll be missed greatly.

<First Holy Communion April 2008 >

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A few years ago, I received an email from a fellow blogger
asking me to participate in a blog tour for her family's adoption journey.
To be honest, I was not familiar with Mandy's work at that time,
but came to become not only a follower of her writing and a friend
of hers as well as an admirer of her deep devotion to our Lord.

\
I was blessed to know Mandy Kelly, though I never met her
"in person," and honored to have been a small part
of her family's efforts to bring their youngest child home...
ten month old, Judah.
Last Monday evening, only hours after many of us interacted
with Mandy through the blogosphere,
she, her husband Scott and their two youngest, Lizzie and Judah,
perished in a house fire.
It's still so difficult to fathom how and why and to realize that
this world is now without beautiful Mandy.
Please pray for the Kellys'  friends and family as they 
mourn the losses and especially
for the oldest two children, who did survive the fire
as the move on with their lives.
To read the inspiration and love
that guided Mandy please click to her blog~
Worshipful Living

If you feel called to donate to the Kelly family's
tangible necessities, the information on
how to do so is below
 Choose the ‘Kelly fund" from the drop down options
under the GIVE button.
http://www.tbccayce.com




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Struggling with Lenten discipline isn’t failure. 
 Every time we struggle, every time we ask for help
 we see the boundless generosity of God. 

I'm happy to link with Laura for  40 Days of Seeking Him 
at Day by Day in our World
and 
Laura at Awe Filled Homemaker in honor of Mandy
Thank you, ladies, for hosting!


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Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 
Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

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This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cute Critters #WW

Stopping in to introduce the newest members
of the family.:








Names are still undecided, bit really,
are they not the cutest, cuddliest little beings??
I'm sure they'll be featured on the blog quite a bit.
We love "the girls" already.

There's SO much to say and catch up on here.
Life's thrown us a few curveballs which I'll need 
to process and sort through. Unfortunately,
life's gotten in the way of 
my space here but I'm so happy to stop in to connect 
with my favorite people: you!



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Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 
Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Image result for new york city themed blog post dividers
This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.
THANK YOU!

Until next time,

~Chris