Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pop Up Something Yummy: Home Made Pop Tart Recipe

My kiddos like Pop Tarts, but the only time we ever buy them is when we'll be cooped up in the van for an all day (or two) road trip. Convenient and tasty treats hand-held treats, nutritionally the commercial variety can leave a bit to be desired. So, when I stumbled across a recipe 5 years ago I thought I'd try my hand at making home made pop tarts. However, those that know me know I don't cook. My kitchen skills consist of cookies, brownies and a rare cake; therefore, it has taken 5 years for me to actually give the recipe a turn in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Stranger's Gift and Adam's Lasting Memory

Eleven o'clock on a Saturday, I found myself doubling back through the church parking lot in a frantic attempt to secure a spot for our big family van. Anticipating sparse attendance, I had left home with a bare minimum of time to spare, but from the looks of the overflowing lot my assumption had been wrong. Conceding a legitimate space was no where to be found, I stopped the engine beside a landscaping bed and ushered my children out.

Seconds after we'd crossed the social hall, someone swung open the heavy church door allowing the music to escape. Like a punch to the gut, the cantor's familiar

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Teaching Children to Make Healthy Choices

Teaching Kids Smart Choices Raleigh Moms Blog Feature Image

Wide eyed, my sons would drift down the cereal aisle. Enamored with the brightly colored boxes and cartoon characters, they’d point their chubby fingers and ask, “Can we get this one? How ’bout that one?” Much to their disappointment, when our oldest were little ones my husband was adamant that we not buy those sugary treats passed off as breakfast cereal. Trained as a chef, he taught them how to read labels and discern the better options, but that didn’t completely curb their desire for those off-limits brands wrapped in enticing packages with promises of prizes inside.

As so often happens when you’ve been parenting numerous children for more than a decade, we’ve made some concessions along the way. My husband still prides himself on providing us healthy choices and nutrient rich meals, but he’s allowed a few ‘fun’ options into the wobbly-wheeled grocery cart. In order to satisfy the kids and uphold a standard, he got creative...

Read the rest of this post HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog were I'm a contributing author.

Monday, February 16, 2015

3 Simple, Kid-Friendly Ideas To Make This Your Best Lent Ever

With Lent starting this coming Ash Wednesday, I was brainstorming some creative ways to help my brood focus during this penitent season. As of late, it seems we're all a bit off-track in our household so Lent offers us a renewed opportunity to recommit our minds and hearts to serving Christ. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Join me at the Catholic Conference 4 Moms
"What are you doing for Lent?" she asked just after the van door rolled shut. Last night was Moms' Night Out and I was transporting a few of my favorite ladies from one location to another when I overheard the question. Too focused on driving through the rain in the dark, I didn't exert too much mental energy on the topic. But this morning seemed a better time to revisit the query with greater intention.

There were the years I tried to give up chocolate which were certainly sacrificial for me (and everyone who was unfortunate enough to cross my path during those moments). Maybe coffee? I do like my decaf every morning, but it probably wouldn't hurt much to exchange it for tea. As a family we cut back on our media consumption last year, but that worked so well that I would hardly notice a blank TV screen and trying to grow a blog without social media would be akin to quitting your job while hoping to get a promotion.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Now That You Know the Facts on Birth Control, What's the Next Step? Part 6 of 6

children are a gift from God

In part 1 of this discussion on rethinking your birth control, I defined what it means to be a woman. Not just a modern woman, but a whole woman according to God's design. Part 2 detailed attributes of her feminine genius in the form of female fertility. The cyclic ebb and flow of her fertile and infertile phases and the means by which she is able to read her own body language. The next two installments detailed how contraceptives help fracture womanhood into parts, many attacking female health by suppressing natural hormones and inducing early abortions. Uncovered also was the dishonesty of pharmaceutical companies and the pressure placed on women by medical providers. Fear being a major factor for couples new to Natural Family Planning, I spoke about the need for couples to address their concerns in part 5. Knowledge is power, as they say, and I think (if you've been following along) I've covered a fair amount of ground so where do we go from here?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pulling Back the Veil and Exposing Your Genuine Fears: Part 5 of 6

As far back as I can remember, heights have posed an unwelcomed challenge. I was the kid who scaled the jungle-gym only to become paralyzed at the summit and tearfully beg for rescue. Ferris wheels are totally off-limits and even today escalators require a mental strategy. So, I never dreamed of spending my days balancing atop an extension ladder, but the chipped and peeling exterior of our house begged for my attention.

After repainting the easy-to-reach portions, my three-step ladder quickly became insufficient. Lacking the superhero trait of Mr. Fantastic, I had to engage some problem solving skills and a ladder seemed my next best option. It took a little self-hypnosis of sorts to talk myself up that first ladder, but work awaited and time was fleeting. I let go a little and convinced myself that a fall from a standard ladder couldn't inflict too much damage.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 March for Life: Why I Hate Marching But I Must

Thursday morning started out way too early. By the faint light of the moon, we rose at 4am and began the task of getting ten people woken up, bundled up, filled up and buckled up. Spirits were high, though still a bit groggy, when our big van rounded the driveway in route for a long journey.

Friday, January 23, 2015

If Your Food Is Organic, Your Family Planning Should Be Too: The Nitty Gritty of Birth Control Part 4 of 6

We no longer drink diet soda, eat a growing variety of sweets or chew gum because of artificial sweeteners. My husband switched us to tooth polish without fluoride and soap without antibacterial agents. Our eggs come free-ranged, our bread whole grain, and our produce organic. Attending home school functions nowadays, we have to be mindful of gluten, nuts and food dyes in whatever we bring to share.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pope Francis Said What? On Rabbits and Responsible Parenthood

I'm taking a brief detour from my post series on birth control to address the recent comments made by our Holy Father.

Drifting down the aisle at Sam's Club, my brood and I were busy absorbing all the sights as we awaited our pizza. Having just persuaded the seven of them (the baby was in the cart) to leave the books behind, we were absent-mindedly milling about when a man halted our parade. The stranger (an apparent nursery rhyme aficionado) began reciting, “There was an old lady who lived in a shoe, had so many children she didn't know what to do” Seeing as my children were quite well-behaved (thankfully they generally are in public), I was baffled as to the reason for this unwarranted serenade.

Knowledge Is Power: How Doctors and Big Pharma Profit From Ignorance Part 3 of 6

Cramming the pillow I'd brought from home a little more to my left, I attempted to placate the cramp that was forming in my back. After years of slumbering on a waterbed, this rock hard hospital bed felt like a torture rack. There I was trying to create a bit of comfort and counting down the minutes until I could scoop up my newest bundle and check-out when my midwife slid a chair beside me.

Having just given birth to my fourth child several hours prior, I figured she was stopping in to assess my rate of recovery since I'd made it clear that I wouldn't stay a minute longer than the required twenty-four hours. She made a bit of small talk and then she looked me straight in the eyes and asked what kind of birth control prescription I wanted to take home with me so, “I wouldn't have to do this again in nine months.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

I've Been Nominated!

I am excited to say that thanks to YOU my blog has been nominated for the Sheenazing Award in two categories.

Bonnie at A Knotted Life is hosting this award in memory of "Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, who was amazing at using the newest forms of media to communicate the beauty of the Catholic Church and his love of Christ to the world. These awards are a fun way to celebrate the excellence of the Catholic blogosphere and honor Venerable Sheen."

My blog Blessings In Brelinskyville has been nominated under Most Inspiring Blog and 
Best Under-Appreciated Blog.


The winner and runner-up in each category earn a virtual hand-shake, exposure and the pride in knowing their hard work has affected others on the world-wide web. Additionally, the exposure might just one day lead to a real paying gig as a writer or speaker (fingers crossed, prayers ascending).

So, if you've ever been inspired, confirmed, challenged, educated, entertained or encouraged by my writing, please take a few minutes and
VOTE for
Blessings In Brelinskyville HERE
then simply scroll down to find my blog

For details and rules look HERE

Thank you so very much for your support,

p.s. if you feel so inclined, be sure to pass this on and encourage others to read my blog and vote. Oh, and be sure to check out some of the other great blogs listed, there's lots of good stuff out there.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Demystified: How the Female Fertility Cycle Works Part 2 of 6

Springtime in my fourth grade year, they lined us up, boys on one side, girls on the other. The boys got shuffled off into one classroom, while we girls got ushered into another. Giddy and curious, we whispered and fidgeted while the teacher set-up her materials. That was the day I first heard about periods. By the end of the lesson, I knew enough to utilize a maxi-pad and understood the general gist of the fact that my body could one day grow a baby.

Over the years, my knowledge pool would grow (I'd graduate to tampons, discover Motrin for cramps and get myself put on contraceptives). But aside from the basic facts of menstruation and the understanding that I was fertile, the extent of my education hadn't increased far beyond that fourth grade lesson. No worries though, my annual trips to the gynecologist were enough to leave me feeling confident that I had it all under control.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Sheenazing Awards for Your Favorite Catholic Blogs

Nominations are OPEN for the 2015 Sheenazing Awards

Have you read something inspiring here? Did a post touch your heart, encourage your faith or challenge you to think a little deeper? If so, let the whole of blogosphere know that Blessings In Brelinskyville is a Catholic blog home worth visiting. 

Bonnie over at A Knotted Life just opened nominations for the 2015 Sheenazing Awards. What's that you ask? Well, here's how Bonnie sums it up, "The Sheenazing Blogger Awards are named for Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Sheen was amazing at using the newest forms of media to communicate the beauty of the Catholic Church and his love of Christ to the world. I'm positive that Sheen would be a blogger were he alive today and that he is in Heaven, totally approving of this award."                                                                                    What's involved, you want to know. Well, it's simple just head on over the A Knotted Life and vote HERE. You can nominate up to two Catholic blogs per category (there's also a category for you favorite Non-Papist blog). All that you need to vote is the title and url of your favorite blog.                                                                                                                                                  Blogging is hard work y'all and this is an easy, fun way to let the bloggers who inspire you know that you appreciate their talent.     

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Reclaiming Womanhood: Why It's Time to Rethink Your Birth Control Plan Part 1 of 6

The Virgins by Gustav Klimt 1913
 It's happening again, article after article appearing in my news feed. The theme is the same, although each has a slightly different slant to offer. Just as last year, I pour over each one, nodding all the while as my eyes scan the screen. The topic is birth control and each post does a good job at lifting the veil and sparking interest. However, I'm usually left thinking that there are a few more dots to be connected if the author's aim is to cast a wide net.

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