Wednesday, December 10, 2014

St. Nick and the Giveaway Winner

On Saturday we woke up to some small treats from St. Nicholas...

The Maze Runner and candy

A hummer and candy

Sports cars and candy

She was not pleased that she got a nightgown and not a toy.  Drama!!

On Sunday, we went to our school's Breakfast with St. Nick:

And to top it off, all Maggie wants for Christmas is her two...

...front teeth!

She also chose the winner of her favorite book:

Congrats to Jenny!  

(I think Maggie felt your daughter's pain of being the only girl!)

Email me at collmart at gmail dot com, with your full name and address, and we'll have the book sent along.  Thanks!

Friday, December 5, 2014

It's Friday! And a Giveaway!

Joining up with Jen  who is passing the torch to Kelly on this fine Friday morning...


Basketball season is well underway for my CYO playing boys this year.  It seems like their team is really good, and basketball is very fun and exciting to watch.  After soccer season, this feels much easier to handle!  Maggie and Eamon will start their town team in January.

I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller...


Phil and I are the kind of parents who don't give their kids money.  We don't do allowances and they have to complete a really big chore to get some compensation (usually in the form of eating out) but otherwise we expect them to help out around the house.  

We've had the same attitudes for grades.  We expect their best work, and when they get good report cards, we go out for Happy Meals (it works when they're little!). that J-P is in middle school, we have been discussing a new approach for rewarding good grades/giving additional incentive to a kid that needs it, and I've talked to some moms who have wonderful kids older than ours, and we have decided to start paying him for good grades on his report card.

Who are we?

I never thought we would do this, but we had to reevaluate what wasn't working for him, and decided that once our kids reach middle school, they can get paid $3 for every A in a main subject on their report card.  

But here's the kicker...they have to pay us $2 for every B, and if there's any C the whole deal is null and void.  He has 6 "main subjects" and has the potential to earn $18 on each trimester's report card.  This first trimester, he owed us $2 :)


My sister-in-law sent up DIY Advent Beeswax candles, and they are so cool!  Even though I'm the least bit crafty, there is something so rewarding about making something yourself.


Eamon had his First Reconciliation last night!  

He was so nervous and kept asking me questions like:

 "What if I can't remember all my sins?" (God forgives all your sins, but you have to tell everything you can remember, and He knows the rest!)

"What if I forget the Act of Contrition?" (The priest will be more than happy to help you!)

"What if I only have four sins?" (Then you're awesome! Haha!)

We went to the Latin Mass before his sacrament, and after Mass I told him to examine his conscience, and snuck a photo of him doing just that:

Gosh I love him so.

Then we went out for ice cream afterwards!  It was a Clean Soul Partayyyy :)


What was I thinking letting him order that?

Like mother, like sons.


Phil and I have been eating this combination for lunch a few times a week - it's so easy to grab and bring to work:




John-Paul has picked a topic for the science fair that looks relatively easy - phew!  It's how to turn dirty water into drinkable water just by letting the sun do it's work:

Pretty cool, right?


And now for the giveaway! 

 Emily Ortega, author of the Bernadette book series, is graciously giving away a copy of her newest book, Christmas with Bernadette to one lucky reader!  

These are Maggie's favorite books, and such wonderful stories of a Catholic family.  There are so few fiction books out there that I feel comfortable letting her read, but Emily's books are perfect in every way - funny, entertaining, appropriate and have great messages.  I hope she writes twenty more!

To win your copy just leave me a comment, telling me what's on your Christmas wishlist!  

I'll let Maggie pick the winner on December 10th, so you'll have time to receive the book by Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Tale Three Years Old

Once upon a time, a husband and wife were preparing for the arrival of their fifth child.  The couple prayed and decided to ask a friend, who was a priest, to be the unborn baby's godfather.  The priest, Fr. Jay Mello, graciously accepted the role and they waited for the arrival of the baby.  Alexander was born, a big boy with an easy-going personality, and he was loved by all.   

A hurricane swept through on the day of his Baptism.  It was such a hot, sweltering day outside, and they were in an old church with no air conditioning.  

Fans were set up all around the altar to help provide a cool breeze on the special day.  During the Baptism, the godfather had only one light the Baptismal candle. Yet every time he tried to light it, the fans would blow it out.  

Everybody laughed and Alexander grew up.

Into the couple's most challenging toddler ever.

Fr. Jay would often confide to the parents that the reason for Alexander's naughtiness was because the candle was never lit properly at his Baptism.  To which his parents would point the accusatory finger and say "Fix it!"

Just yesterday, three loooooong years since the Candle That Wouldn't Stay Lit Fiasco, Fr. Jay finally did something about it.  The new Bishop of our Diocese came to say Mass at our parish on the parish's feast day:

After the Mass, Fr. Jay asked the Bishop to give Alexander the Naughty a special blessing:

And now he's Alexander the Nice.

Unless he has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Which happens often when you're named Alexander.