Shower of Roses

Friday, October 1, 2021

Pray for the Carmelites

Please read these recent news articles and keep the Carmelites in your prayers: 


"I urge my brother Bishops, priests, and above all the faithful laity to raise their voices against the destruction of Convents of contemplative life and traditional religious Communities. It is necessary to give not only spiritual and moral support, but also material and media support to the victims of an attack that has been getting worse in recent weeks after the promulgation of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, so that the persecuted religious sisters may be defended and those who are responsible for this persecution that is hateful in the eyes of God and the entire ecclesial community may be exposed."
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
October 1, 2021

God bless and protect Archbishop Viganò! 

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, ora pro nobis! 🌹

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

End-of-School Interviews

I started this post when our school year ended back in May, but it's taken me until now to finish it up.  At the end of May, "Rose" and I flew back to Virginia to make the long road trip home from Christendom College with the older boys. The rest of the summer was a whirlwind of activities, birthdays, summer jobs, summer camps, hosting a family reunion and then a graduation party, not to mention all the college transitions and preparations! It was such a wonderful summer and I sure treasure those months we have each year with everyone home. 

I've been reminiscing a lot lately, thinking back to when I started this blog nearly fifteen years ago as an overwhelmed young home educating mother still in my twenties. Our oldest was six at the time and I was pregnant with number five. Now those first five children of ours are all in high school and college! I can't keep the tears from falling every time we put them on a plane or drop them off at school, but it is also so exciting to see them growing up and following God's plan for their lives. As a dear friend of mine recently said, "It's like reading a good book and you can't wait to turn the page and see what happens next!" 

December 12, 2020 - On their way to a Youth Group Christmas Party!
I didn't spend time blogging over the summer, maybe I'll get the opportunity this fall to go back and share a few things, but first I wanted to finish up this post with their annual End of School Interviews!  

Here are this past year's interviews (revised with blog nicknames):

Photo taken at Mount Rushmore on their road trip to college last fall:

When your son sends you a bathroom selfie in the guys' dorm on his way to class 
... with a broken front tooth and the toilet seat up... 
it's hard to resist using it for his end-of-year photo! 
My favorite part is that he doesn't even mind. I love his confidence! 

His tooth was a soccer injury, re-broken from when he was younger
It's currently glued back together again and looks better than it did before. We'll see if it holds...
No more soccer games without a mouth guard! 

Oh, I sure miss our sweet girl! She flew home for the weekend and it was so hard to take her back to the airport early Monday morning. It was such a fun weekend! 

She got to go on a second "Nun Run" this year and took some great pictures! 
I need to see if I can get her to share about her trip on the blog. 
It's been really hard on her with her sister/best friend off to college... 
Hoping we can make that visit to UMary happen soon!

Now that he's in high school, and not a brand new baby, I really need to change his blog nickname from "Snuggles".... It's just so confusing to change it with the old nickname all over the archives! 
He's not a fan of "Scout" (too boy scout sounding he said) and "Sergeant outranks Captain"... so we are considering "Sniper"... He liked that one.  How is it even possible that he is in high school already?! 

We'll go back to calling her "Grace"... but for today her name is "Lola Dutch!" 

Favorite Book: Lola Dutch

Favorite Book: You Are My Little Cupcake 
Favorite Toy: Bunny

I'm realizing now that I messed up on a few of the favorite book titles in the images. I don't have time to go back and fix them all right now, but the links should all be correct. :) 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Fourteen Holy Helpers

Have you seen the lovely new book by Allison Lunsford and Illustrated by Joan Bennett

As we kick off our new school year, I have three copies to of The Fourteen Holy Helpers to give away, one copy here on the blog and two more over at Instagram!

"The fourteen saints presented in this book were classified as the "Holy Helpers" during the scourge of the Black Plague in the 1300s. Today, it seems there has never been a better time to re-introduce the Holy Helpers to the Catholic world and to society as a whole."

This beautifully illustrated book, filled with captivating accounts of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, paints the images of the saints so well both in art and words. Readers of all ages will be inspired by these incredible saints!

.: Giveaway :. 

Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Fourteen Holy Helpers in the Rafflecopter box below. Click over to Instagram for an additional chance to win a copy and one for a friend too!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Back to School :: 2021-2022

Blessed Mother, as you so humbly and graciously accepted God's will to bear and raise His only son, and to guide him in wisdom and virtue, help me in the instruction and education of my children. Pray to your Heavenly Son to grant me the grace and strength to assist in their learning, overcoming tiredness and discouragement. Assist me in the management of my home, so that I may be able to keep order and peace, despite the challenges of schooling within it. Intercede for me, imploring Our Heavenly Father to bestow upon me wisdom, not for my own sake, but so that I may form my children's minds and hearts, so that they may grow into strong adults, helping to shape the world for His glory, and ultimately inheriting the kingdom of heaven. Call upon your heavenly angels to stand by my side, with their great intelligence, to help me understand that which I am instructing, and assist my children in learning of same. We humbly ask this through you beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

We are off to Mass to celebrate our Blessed Mother’s birthday and the beginning of our new school year!

I shared the following over on Instagram but wanted to record it here too:

After a whirlwind road trip on Friday, move-in day Saturday, and New Student Mass and Brunch today (Sunday), I’m heading back home and leaving a big chunk of my heart in North Dakota. How is it even possible that we have three young adults in college already?!?  Please remember them, and all students, in your prayers! Love you so much @captain_faramir @celtickittens @rangerrascal and I will be praying and fasting for a blessed and fruitful semester for you all at @universityofmary!

I keep having the sweetest pictures pop up in my memories this week... Click here for a flash back to ten years ago! So much has changed and yet so much is still the same. I’m so grateful for all the blessings we have been given and excited to start this new school year with our youngest six still at home! 

God is good!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Small Things with Great Love

“Not all of us can do great things. 
But we can do small things with great love."
-Mother Teresa

Chai Cupcakes baked and decorated on Sunday by our 16 year old! She even found the printable cupcakes wrappers and toppers I made years ago to download, print and use for her cupcakes. 


I hadn’t remembered that it was the feast of Mother Teresa until I walked in the door late Sunday night, following my flights home, and saw a plate of leftover cupcakes sitting on the table. She went above and beyond, as usual, while I was out of town dropping our oldest three off at college.

Saint Goals Tee from Annunciation Designs • Mother Teresa Mug from The Little Rose Shop

"Do something beautiful for God.
Do it with your life. Do it every day. 
Do it in your own way. But do it!"

Sunday, July 25, 2021

‘Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry’

Read Cardinal Burke's Statement on the Moto Proprio.

Photo Credits: Marc Salvatore, Southern Oregon Latin Mass Society

(We had a one month old when our older boys served for Cardinal Burke at the Sacred Liturgy Conference back in 2017. Such a special privilege and blessing. God bless Cardinal Burke!)

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. 
God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
- St. Padre Pio

Monday, July 19, 2021

Ignatius Critical Editions {Review & Giveaway}

We have been utilizing the Ignatius Critical Editions in our home school curriculum for years now. They are always my top pick when searching for classic literature selections for our high-schoolers to read. Each edition contains a captivating introduction, the full text of the work, and then ends with an excellent selection of critical essays. 

This year our 9th grader will be reading Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear, while simultaneously completing the corresponding recorded classes offered by Joseph Pearce, who is one of their favorite literature instructors over at Homeschool Connections.  As the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions series, he does such an amazing job of making the literature come to life for the students, deepening their appreciation for these great classics. 

From the about page: "The Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism." 

P.S.  Jane Eyre might not be a favorite assignment for 10th grade boys. ;) 

There are so many wonderful books to choose from in the series!  I asked our first four to share their favorites... Our eldest son loved reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Hamlet in high school.  Our next son really enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Confessions, Frankenstein and Hamlet.  Our eldest daughter loves all things Austen and she loved Jane Eyre! Our next daughter really enjoyed Julius Caesar and Mansfield Park

.: Giveaway :. 

This week I get to give away a “starter set” of this great series.
The winner will receive 5 BOOKS of their choice directly from Ignatius Press!  
Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below: 

I also have a coupon code to share with all of you! 
Save 25% on all books in the series with coupon code: ROSES25
(Coupon code expires July 28, 2021) 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Celebrating the 4th of July

Sunday Mass, American Heroes parade, brunch at a favorite restaurant overlooking the river, family time at home, homemade Red, White & Blueberry Triple Chocolate Brownies, then back downtown to watch the fireworks over the lake... Such a great day celebrating our beautiful country! 



Prayer for the Church and for the Civil Authorities
Composed by Archbishop Carroll, 1791

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his Excellency, the governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

May God bless the United States of America!