Teaching my kids to pray

securedownload-1Rough week here in Massachusetts and no doubt across the country as well. My heart aches for the lives lost. I cannot get all those who were injured out of my mind. The pictures online and on tv are a constant reminder. I’ve attempted to shelter my children from the horrors of last week that are heavy on the minds of the adults in this house. What to do? Since becoming a mother over 4 years ago, I have become increasingly reliant on something my own mother taught me as a small child: prayer. My mother prayed openly with us as children. We didn’t do bedtime prayers in a formal way, but every morning before we left for school we paused for a few minutes to pray. She told me many more years later, that it was her way to deal with anxiety she had as I, her oldest child, went off to kindergarten. In my role as a parent, teaching my own children to pray is something I take very seriously. In the past few weeks, both of my kids have become very interested and active participants in our prayer routines. I do believe prayer is something that can and should be done in any form a person feels is right for them. For us, we started with a simple grace at dinner last year that both kids are now able to do. If someone forgets, Manny quickly reminds us. At night, we do bedtime prayers. Over time, the prayer has emerged into a time for us to thank God for the day, the chance to play, for protection through the night and next day, for all those we love, for each other, and for any thing on our hearts. It’s my favorite part of the day. A chance to come together and rest our bodies and our minds, even for just 5 minutes before bed. These two simple set times in our day to pray have become a very important ritual for our family. I feel it has given my kids a way to talk to God and to pray openly with one another. It is my great hope that it is something which will continue with them throughout their lives, growing and changing to meet their needs. I will continue to pray for all those affected by the events in Boston this week.


Target shirt turned dress

Happy Easter!! We enjoyed a pretty quiet day at home with just our family. I wanted to post a few quick pics of a recent dress I made for Sister with some pretty grey fabric and a purple shirt I bought at Target. It was a quick project and an opportunity to try my newly acquired skill of making ruffles (but don’t look too close, they’re far from perfect!) It’s not a step by step tutorial but just a few pictures to show any newbie sewers how I did this in case you’re looking for a fun little project. My favorite kind, quick and easy!

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Snow? Sew what!

Tuesday dumped more snow on us weary New Englanders. Sigh. I hate to complain but I’ve had just about enough of the white stuff for one year. I’m always happy to see it come winter, and even happier to see it go come spring. And spring is here so let’s just get on with it already! I decided to make a bigger version of the tote I made for Manny at Christmas time. This time in a navy blue and white chevron. It was a steal at 4.99 a yard, and another 20% off. I’m pretty happy with how it came out and it holds all of his vast animal collection. After it was finished, Sister walked around saying “Ju Ju bin!”. I guess I know what I’m making next.


This week we’re wrapping up our winter activities, soccer for Manny and music class for Sister. Everyone has enjoyed doing these classes but we’re longing for spring excursions and a more free schedule to head off wherever the day may take us. We’ll get there! Happy Friday all!


Spring skirt for Sister Girl

I’ve had this tutorial from Made pinned for awhile. This weekend I was bit by the sewing bug. So in between a trip to the Ecotarium on Saturday and an Easter egg hunt on Sunday, I whipped up this little skirt for Sister Girl.


It is as promised, super easy and fast. I can see making a bunch in lots of different fabrics. I used a floral with bright colors. I’ve been so into florals lately! I also picked up a few other fabrics that I haven’t quite decided what to do with yet so I’ll keep you posted on what else strikes me over the next couple weeks. This skirt is lightweight and since it’s still just too darn cold for bare legs here in New England, we put a pair of cable knit leggings on under it. She’s being cheeky sitting in the rocking chair in this pic so you can’t totally see the skirt. We’ll make the fashion debut on Wednesday at her music class so maybe I can snap a better picture then. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening, homebodies!



End of winter, clean out your cupboards, Moroccan stew



We’ve been making big efforts to get outside this week! We had a long walk Sunday, and Wednesday we made our first trip of the year to our local park. Half of it was still covered in snow but that didn’t stop us. Swings, fresh air, and even a little sandbox action! Woo-hoo!!

It was much too cold to be outside today, so this afternoon thanks to a little Max and Ruby for Manny and a little nap for Sister,  I cleaned out the fridge, the freezer, then the cupboards containing food. Spring cleaning is underway! Everything was in need of an overhaul. Sadly I had to toss a bunch of stuff that had expired and that’s always annoying because it seems so wasteful, but I did find a bag for the food pantry and it was so good to clean out and organize. I have been wanting to make a recipe I found via Pinterest awhile ago. Today was the perfect day for this recipe! It’s a Moroccan Lentil Stew, originally posted on Vegetarian Times. It’s both veggie (Lenten Friday) and GF (for my husband) so it was perfect for tonight’s dinner. Skip the red pepper flakes if you’re serving it to little kids who are not so into spicy. I neglected to do that so my kids ate yogurt and bagels for dinner. Oops! The original recipe called for 2 cans of lentil soup, which I found to be totally bizarre and unfortunate that a stew recipe called for a canned soup. But I was able to adapt the recipe a bit. It was hearty and delicious, and used mostly things in my cupboard plus the onion and garlic which are staples for this family. It was quick and easy too! Here’s my version:

Moroccan Stew

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2, 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes pureed
  • 1 32 oz. container of veggie stock
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
  • handful of raisins
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

Heat oil in medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes, add garlic, and cook.

Stir in tomatoes, stock, chickpeas, raisins, cinnamon, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat. Continue to cook uncovered until stew is reduced. Stir occassionally. Serve over rice or alone. Top with sour cream if desired.

Serves 6 generous portions.


Daylight savings: A parental trade-off


This morning I’m lifting the eyelids with toothpicks, but this coffee sure tastes good! Daylight savings, you get us every time! I stayed up WAY too late watching Justin Timberlake on SNL. What? I’m not ashamed, I love him. Earlier in the night after dinner, both kids asked for frozen yogurt and I was happy to take them since I love it too. They stayed up late, and I foolishly thought they would sleep in. When, WHEN, will I learn? There was one glorious day over Christmas vacation the year before last when both of my children gave me the greatest gift of all, an extra 1 1/2 hours of sleep. It was magical. And it has not happened again since. But “spring ahead” is a trade off for parents everywhere. Your kids are miserable for a couple days, a week, in exchange for some more daylight and the opportunity to do more outside. First we have to get this snow to melt, but then, yes, more outside!! We blew bubbles on our front porch yesterday because the sun was shining and we were all a little squirrelly. We’re getting there! It may be a few moments of grumpy children and maybe a few more grumpy momma moments, but we’re getting there.

p.s. New blog format, what do you think?