Take a Small Step

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Let’s begin by taking a page from Small Steps for Catholic Moms:


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

– St. Padre Pio


Sweet Jesus, help me to replace the fearful conversation I have inside my head with constant prayer. Whenever I fall into my old habit of worrying interiorly, nudge me. Remind me to put it all in your hands instead.


Copy the quote above and put it in an obvious place where it will remind you not to let worry run around inside your head. Pray! Pray! Pray instead!

This is an excerpt from April, which has a theme of “Courage.”

small steps

That’s a whole page–right there. It truly only takes a minute or two to read and pray–and then resolve to act. And that’s what I love about Small Steps. It’s written by moms for moms; the two moms who wrote this book know what it’s like to be so snowed under by the little things of daily life, so they’ve figured out a way to make a spiritual jump-start possible for every mom, every day.

I am privileged to participate in the Small Steps Blog Tour through CatholicMom.com. I was over the moon when I was “randomly” assigned this date–October 4, the feast of St. Francis. And Padre Pio was a Franciscan. How perfect is it that I get to celebrate this feast day by kicking off a giveaway? Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post. (We’re almost there! I promise!)

But first, I’ve got to say that it very nearly killed me when I read the “randomly” assigned page that I was given to use. I think that out of this whole book–and I’ve read a good chunk of it already–this page is the one that speaks to me most right now. Shivers down the spine, friends! I am a pro at worrying and had never considered that worry is really based in fear. I could chew on this idea for much more than the single day that’s devoted to it…and I hope that by coming to terms with my tendency to worry, I can learn to put it aside and take my fears to prayer, laying them at the feet of the Lord instead of letting them weigh heavy on my soul and my family.

Check out all the other stops on the tour–we’ve all got giveaways of this excellent book of daily prayer prompts.

And don’t miss the Five Minutes Alone contest, hosted at CatholicMom.com! You could win signed copies of ALL SIX CatholicMom.com books:

And now…for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…(thanks for your patience, friends): it’s GIVEAWAY TIME! Here’s how to enter to win a copy of Small Steps for your very own, or to give away to a friend. My favorite part about this book is the quotes from many saints–from the well-known to the new-to-me. Leave a comment telling me which saint you hope to find among the pages of Small Steps!

This giveaway will run through Friday, October 11 at 11:59 PM EDT. A winner will be chosen at random from all entries received prior to that time. You may enter ONCE PER DAY through Friday. Winner will be notified Monday, October 14 via email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen, so be sure the email address you use to leave a comment is one you’ll actually check!

Pax et bonum!

small steps tour

…and they’re back!

We got back yesterday, but it was just too crazy around here for me to write.

I am currently recharging my camera battery so that I can plug the camera into the computer and retrieve my photos. Rechargeable batteries might be more “green” and everything, but the cost of having a second one is prohibitive. I JUST made it through vacation with enough battery life. Next time I guess I’ll have to pack the charger.

For our vacation we went on a 5-day cruise to eastern Canada. The ship stopped at Saint John, New Brunswick as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a little hard to tell where the ship stopped, however, because of the fog. We sailed into the fog sometime Tuesday and spent the next three days listening to the foghorn every two minutes and fifteen seconds. Middle Sister and her friends timed the intervals between foghorn blasts. If you were up on the mini-golf course with Little Brother (who bugged TheDad to take him to mini-golf approximately every two minutes and fifteen seconds), the blasts could practically knock you off your feet. Most of our vacations involve bad weather of one kind or another, so this year’s fog was really no surprise.

Tuesday was my birthday, and waking up on my birthday with an ocean view was pretty terrific. The food, of course, was also terrific, and I’ve given a rundown on the food at my Fridge.

I brought you back a souvenir from vacation! I wish I could have gotten enough for everyone. Since I couldn’t do that, let’s have a contest. The souvenir is a cookbook! To be exact, it’s a church cookbook from Saint John, New Brunswick, titled “Come Join Us in our Maritime Church Kitchen.” Anyone leaving a comment on this post is automatically entered in the drawing for this cookbook. If you’d like two bonus entries, email me with your favorite church-cookbook recipe (not just the title of the recipe–the whole recipe). My email address is available on my links page. The contest deadline is Friday, August 7 at NOON Eastern time.

Win a Rosetta Stone Latin program!

***Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language and has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — and you can WIN the *all new* version 3 Rosetta Stone Homeschool LATIN program… FOR FREE! This is the first year you can get Latin in the brand new Version III update.

This is a $259 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!)This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever! Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress- I love that!), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this most excellent Latin program copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR link to the contest from your facebook page and/OR email the information to your homeschool support group – Then go to the original page http://Jeneralities.com and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post.

And good luck!

I’ve always wanted to learn Latin and this would give my kids the opportunity to learn it as well.

Contest alert!

Michele is hosting a Mother’s Day giveaway! The prize is one of her Catholic Woman’s Planners–any size, with choice of any add-ons (you can add menu planning and lesson planning pages.)

I purchased one of these planners this year and I think it’s excellent. It’s nicely laid out on good sturdy paper. There’s no ink showing through from the other side–and I use a Sharpie pen, not a delicate little ballpoint. The smaller-size planner fits great in most handbags, and it goes with me everywhere.

So enter for your chance to win!

A Call for Family Volunteers

Patjrsmom at Building the Ark is working on an article about families who volunteer together. She’s looking for some good ideas on projects the whole family can do.

And she’s hosting a contest–the best project (voted by site visitors) wins a Pampered Chef bar-cookie pan.

So if your family has participated in a volunteer effort together, why not describe it over at Building the Ark? You might win a prize–but at the very least, you’ll get some other good ideas for ways your family can work together to help others.

And stick around her site–her articles are well worth it.

Ugliest Vestment Contest–Bet you can’t pick just one!

The voting is beginning at The Crescat’s Ugliest Vestment Contest. If you look on the top right of that page, you can go to a link for each of 3 categories: Men’s, Women’s and “Mitres and More.”

I wish it were multiple choice. Some of those things are scary! And the funny titles are not to be missed. My personal favorite in the “Mitres and More” category was #15.

I think the prize should be the opportunity to host a bonfire and burn them all.

H/T to Laura the Crazy Mama for pointing out this contest.

WARNING: Do not attempt to eat or drink anything while viewing the web pages related to this contest. I am not responsible if you spew anything on your computer.

A Beautiful Apron–Anyone Can Win!

The Kitchen Madonna is running a contest–and the prize is this gorgeous apron!

You have until Friday to leave a comment on the Kitchen Madonna’s blog explaining who should win this apron and why. It doesn’t have to be a blogger–it could be you or someone you know.

This apron has a name: Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) which is an honorary title used for the Blessed Mother. Do you know of someone you’d like to bless with a lovely apron like this one?