Holy Week, Ain’t No Lie

I’m keeping an even lighter blogging schedule this week so I can focus on the important stuff for Holy Week, like trying to buy stuff for my kids’ Easter baskets without them seeing and without giving in to the temptation to eat some of it myself. Stay strong! It’s the home stretch!!!! 

I will leave you with some great links for this week and promise to come back to a full schedule after Sunday.

If you need help in the Easter basket department, Kendra’s got you covered.

We’ve been working on this Last Supper craft by Catholic Icing. Check out all her Holy Week Crafts here. 

And coloring pages!  All the holy coloring pages please.

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I’d like to make another Paschal candle this year, and like Jessica, I’ve used Illuminated Ink kits in the past, however, I like her idea to make one from scratch or Our Domestic Church shows it can be done with paint. Worst case, we’ll be pressing Wiki Stix onto a dollar store pillar.

Otherwise, this week will find us at Mass more frequently, plus Stations of the Cross and Tenebrae services. All the religious pictures and statues in our house are covered with purple cloth, and on Friday, we try to observe as much silence as possible between 12 and 3 p.m.; the hours our Lord hung on the cross. (Yes, this is mostly impossible.) If I get ambitious, I might try this, put no promises, because it will probably make me curse under my breath more that appropriate. (Less frustrating is this post right back at Catholic Icing.)

Happy Holy Week!

HolyWeek

 

***PS I’m aware that my home page is “dead”, meaning many of the links do not work. My husband, the software engineer, is as stumped as I and we’re trying to fix the problem. However, the links do work from the individual blog pages, so please use those to navigate my site in the mean time. If anyone has resolved a similar issue on an individually hosted WordPress site, please email me ( kellymantoan(at) gmail (dot) com) with your brilliant ideas. Sorry to suck at technology. ***

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I Got A Lobster!

Questions, questions, questions. Kendra’s on a nosey streak, and A. Thimons generously bestowed a Lobster Award on me. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten a lobster in the past, but truth be told, I don’t think I actually answered the questions. So here’s some answers for y’all,  in reparation for past lobsters and because I’ve been kinda sick for a couple of days (so nothing funny strikes me. Unless you want to hear how in a fever induced delirium I keep thinking I NEEDED to help Sarah learn the ‘Let It Go’ song for her upcoming delivery. No? Random questions it is!)

First from Ann Marie:

1.What are you wearing at this very moment?

Footed pajamas, because I write early in the morning and I haven’t changed.

2. What the oldest thing you have in your fridge? When did it expire?

I have an ancient jar of Hoisin sauce, but I was assured by some TV celebrity that stuff never goes bad. I also have a jar of pumpkin butter from when we went apple picking in 2012. It doesn’t have an expiration date on it so maybe I’ll feed it to the kids for breakfast to find out if it’s still good? Just kidding. I’ll totally send it to work with my husband.

3. If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be and why?

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to thank him.

4. Random something that makes you happy?

The beach. Heck, just the smell of salt air and the cackle of gulls puts a smile on my face. If I’m eating a tub of frozen yogurt on the boardwalk, I’m pretty much catatonic with happiness.

And now from Kendra

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?

I prefer the 8:30 a.m. Mass but we can rarely get going in time for it. This is despite the fact that we live only fifteen minutes from church.

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Too hot!!!! Heat doesn’t bother me but when I’m cold, I can never get warm. I’ve been a huge baby this winter.

3. How many brothers and/or sisters do you have?

One younger sister.

4. If you were faced with a boggart, what would it turn into?

A convicted, unrepentant pedophile bent on abducting my children. (Thanks for that cheerful question!I’ll be looking back over my shoulder all day now.)

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thumbs up. At present, my daughters have twenty some dolls, mostly my younger daughter’s, and they’ve constructed a huge house for them using boxes and books. My sister and I played Barbies growing up as well, so my daughters get to play with all the awesome dolls from the 80’s and early 90’s when they visit Grammy. So far, the only body image issues my girls have developed stem from me threatening to brush their hair and telling them to wear clothes that match for Mass so we don’t look like a family of freaks.

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?

Tell your kids you’re sorry when you make a mistake and always admit your mistakes to them.

I’ll be linking this bad boy up at Kendra’s on Sunday and as for nominating other Lobster recipients….um…if you have a blog, and your last name starts with any letter between G and P, you’re up. Five questions:

Favorite creamer for your coffee.

Favorite cartoon show from your childhood.

Your go to meal on Fridays in Lent.

Blogger you’d like to meet in person (besides me, obviously.)

A book everyone else raves about that you can’t stand.

I look forward to reading your answers because you’re awesome.

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Incredible! Amazing! Fool Proof! Guaranteed To Work!

Has the title intrigued you? Have you come here seek a quick and easy answer to what ails you? Have you become so desperate that you’ve turned to the search bar on Pinterest to soothe your nerves? Was the claim just so bold and so ridiculous, you had to take the chance and read to find out for yourself??

Let me explain.

I love Pinterest. Love. It. But last night as I was scrolling through the sea of pictures crowding my feed I passed several absolutely ridiculous pins that my friends saw fit to save to their boards. I wondered why otherwise intelligent women were saving tips on “how to clean their skin with banana peels” or “designer toilet paper roll artwork”.

I’m pretty sure there is a conspiracy among some female bloggers to see who can do, write and pin the most outlandish pins and yet earn the most repins. What amazes me is that other Pinterest users actually see fit to save these pins to their own boards! In response, I’ve created several pins that I’ll be uploading to Pinterest just to spice up my followers feeds. I invite you to pick your favorite(s) and do the same. All will link back to this post. I’d like to think they’re like the Wierd Al Yankovic of pins.

If you actually followed my pin back here in search of some real advice, rather than just blindly saving it to one of your boards, I’m sorry. Consider this your intervention.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wow! I wouldn’t have believed it but my stats are through the roof! And it didn’t take any time at all! Now to monetize!

I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you have an ugly layout, poor grammar, boring content and horrible pictures, there’s nothing Pinterest can do for you.

Differentialequations

I thought we’d have to wait to high school to tackle this stuff but the kids are begging to keep reading! My son fell asleep reading #12 last night!

Finally a booklist I can actually use and will check frequently through out the school year! …said no mom ever.

preschoolmosaic

So many great ideas! I never would have given grout to my four year old before reading this, but the results speak for themselves!!! Great fine motor activity!

Preschoolers don’t need crafts. Why anyone would want to torture themselves this way is beyond me. Toss some playdough and popsicle sticks at them and they’ll be content for at least thirty minutes.

eggshellstip

My husband can’t believe how smooth my feet are! I’ll be rocking the flip flops this summer! And the shells were so easy to clean out of my boots; no one suspected my secret!

I seriously did not even know the lengths some women would go through to get their feet smooth. Am I the only one with ugly feet on the planet?

toiletpapertip

So easy! Why did I not think of this before! #revolutionizedmybathroom

Seem like common sense??? Better make a pin and share it on Pinterest just to be sure, because there might be one or two people that need this!!!!

What surprising pins show up in your feed?

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New Web Design Services!

With all the extra time I’m gained this Lent by scaling back on Facebook, I decided to start my own web design business…as opposed to say, spending more time with my kids. A few of my online blogging buddies decided to update their sites and I think everyone is please with the new results.

First up was Mary, from Better Than Eden. She’s known for her clean home page and equally spotless white house. However, we decided to freshen things up with a  bright and hip graffiti theme and fun new font.

Better Than Eden

Then Michaela, from the blog formerly known as California to Korea, told me she want to add a more Cali feel to her heavily Korean influenced header. I updated it with some pictures of things California is known for (drought, traffic and earthquakes) while changing the name of her blog to reflect her street thug roots.

California to Korea

Lastly, Cari from Clan Donaldson emailed and told that while she loved her current blog design, she had finally outgrown the Futura font she’s known for and wanted to make the switch to Comic Sans. I was happy to oblige.

CLAN DONALDSON

 

And this is just my part-time gig! Although I think with results like this, I’m sure to grow exponentially through word of mouth referrals. If you want to update your blog or website, drop me an email and lets see what we can work out.

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{SQT} I’m Number One In Searches That Have Nothing To Do With My Blog

Writing up some early quick takes and hoping one of my west coast bloggy pals who know my name, email and how to cut and paste a web address will link me up at Jen’s upon the appointed hour. (Use the pic from #2 please.) Otherwise, I’ll be owning that coveted #214 slot Saturday morning.

And what better way to rejoin the cult of CD than with a look at some of my most unusual search result hits to date. Bottom of the barrel post?…yes, definitely so, but funny none the less. If you’re a blogger, leave the weirdest search engine term that brought a reader to your site and the blogger with the strangest term will win a prize.

1. “t shirt of virgin of guadalupe as skeleton with tea cup says tea time”

Does someone actually make and sell this, because I’ll take two…or is that blasphemous?….I meant to burn…I’ll take two to burn. Or is that worse? Why is there not an entry in the Compendium for this?!

2. “taxidermy pencil sharpener”

This also sounded like something I needed so I googled it and to my surprise, I’m the first link listed. Numbers two and three were deer butt electric pencil sharpeners.

Now is when you’ll be glad you have that Amazon Wish List button installed on your browser.

3. “anything you want to fat oily chick”

This is number three because I got three hits from this phrase. THREE. This fat oily chick wants you to take your creepy searching elsewhere.

4. “ginormous pumpkin dropped in pool”

I searched for a pumpkin harness to help you with that, but all I found was this, and apparently it costs $640 in jumbo size. Nobody liked swimming in that pool anyway. Let the algae reclaim it.

 

 

5. “everyone for himself in this desert of selfishness which is called life”

 

Hopefully, this insignificant speck of a blog floating aimlessly amidst the cosmos of the internet brought a happy sneer to your face.

6. “groove shakers music catholic”

Never. gets. old. How’d you wind up on  my blog when this is exists? Not ever close.

7. “butt stick out sma”

I’m all for spreading awareness but I draw the line at using my backside to solicit donations.

So now before swinging back to the Diary of Conversions, leave your funniest search result hit in the comments. The prize winner will be selected by a crack team of judges riding a ‘Sunday in Lent’ sugar high. Prize to be determined  by scavenging the back seat of my van.

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How To Plan a Robin Hood Unit Study Your Kids Will Complain About

As we school year round, this is our last week before taking April off. In an attempt to be a “cool” mom, I thought that rather than do just our normal school work, we’d have a fun week filled with Robin Hood themed games and activities. We were already set to cover the classic as part  of our history readings so, Sunday night and Monday morning I quickly compiled some other material to incorporate. In doing so, I clicked through numerous other blogs showing happy kids working on and medieval inspired crafts, gleefully coloring pages for their notebook and overall, just squealing with unbridled enthusiasm.

 

Holy crap we get to do MORE Robin Hood activities???!!??! I can’t stand it!!!!

I was so excited to share all I found with my kids.

Robin Hood US button

However, any school work, regardless of whether it related to Robin Hood or, I don’t know, Mao Zedong is still school work as far as my kids are concerned, and their response was somewhere between apathy and downright hostility. So I thought I’d share all my findings here just in case you wanted to torture your poor children or, on the off-chance your child actually wants 4,697 writing prompts about Robin Hood.

First, I said we’d be listening to J. Walker McSpadden’s version of Robin Hood, via Libra Vox, during our Literature time. What a mistake. How dare I make them all sit still together and be quiet for 21 minutes!

“What did you think?”

“That was boring.”

“What?! What about the archery tournament?”

“Well, that was okay. Now what?”

Well, since that sucked I guess not the list of discussion questions I found by the Core Knowledge Foundation. I wouldn’t want to make you relive the horror of that period in your lives children.

For spelling, they ditched their books and were allowed to select Robin Hood lists on Spelling City and play spelling games. This seemed to be going fine until I realized Edie was trying to use Addie’s sixth grade list and was getting very upset at the difficulty. “No, no, no! This is supposed to be fun! FUN! Not frustrating!”

I also invited them to select any pages they’d want to color or complete from a free Robin Hood Unit Study/Lapbook  pack I found on Homeschool Share. I didn’t say “lapbook” or they’d instantly think I was making them cut and paste a whole bunch of flaps and tabs. I tried to be subtle like, “I have coloring pages and crosswords and some things to make if you want to learn about weapons.” I mean, weapons, who doesn’t want to learn about weapons????? My son actually asked to write two paragraphs about something other than Robin Hood. Fine. Whatever. I didn’t want to help you study battle axes anyway.

I was so deflated that I didn’t even get around to suggesting some of the Robin Hood themed games I found on a birthday party website.  We’re having friends over today, so maybe when they start trashing the house, I can send them outside to “tax some peasantry” or something or other.

If I’m feeling really ambition/crazy I might consider letting the whole lot construct weaponry. The downside being someone is sure to get hurt, the upside being everyone will sleep soundly tonight. Potential eye stabbers include:

Or perhaps this model:

You can’t forget the bows and arrows.

These seem slightly less threatening.

And if I’m feeling really careless, I could show them some videos on how to fight with a quarterstaff, then set them loose with a few old broom handles. Note to self: remind friend to bring all her kids insurance cards.

And will Fulton or Teddy wear this, if I lovingly construct it for them? Hell no.

It didn’t help that the library was checked out of one of my favorite Robin Hood picture books, ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood by Marcia Williams.

Thankfully, we did manage to snag Robin Hood by Margaret Early.


Not that anyone has picked it up to look at it.

Of course my kids usually love movies, and when it comes to Robin Hood, there’s no shortage. While the Men In Tights version is my personal favorite, I don’t know if its very…uh….”academic”. There’s Disney’s classic, Errol Flynn’s old standard from 1938 and if you have Amazon Prime you can watch the 1922 black and white silent version of Robin Hood for free. I always like free, however, I’m sure my kids would get suspicious that I was making them read the dialogue.”Wait, this is, educational!” You can also watch complete episodes of the classic TV show, ‘The Adventure of Robin Hood’ on Hulu.com for free.

At this point, a marathon of Robin Hood movies followed by copious amounts of trampoline time with foam swords sounds delightful. Next time I’m moved to try doing something “different” again, someone smack me with a quarterstaff please.

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My Childhood Love of Velociraptors was a Lie

For the Feast of St. Joseph, my husband took off work and thought it’d be a great day to visit an animatronic dinosaur exhibit at a museum where our family has a memberships. (I know, animatronic dinosaurs are the first thing I think of too for St. Joe’s day. We also hit Mass so we’re not complete wackos.)

I’m going to share some disturbing photos of our visit in an effort to warn you that everything you know about dinosaurs is wrong!

If you’re like me, you had a love of dinosaurs as a child, went through a period of dreaming to be a paleontologist, then quickly replaced that dream when you realized it required hours of digging at bones in the hot sun and not drilling dinosaur DNA from petrified amber. Because

 

 

JURASSIC PARK!

Okay, so maybe I had already outgrown my dinosaur love when this movie was released in 1993, but still, it shaped my ideas of dinosaurs for years. To quickly summarize my views as I approached yesterday’s exhibit:

  • Velociraptors are about the size of a man and will chase people for sport.
  • T-Rex’s are the biggest, baddest dudes on the planet.
  • Dinosaurs are cold-blooded, lizards with hard scaly skin.
  • Dinosaurs are cool.

Then as I’m wandering through the display either steering a wheelchair, covering Fulton’s ears or yelling ‘No you can’t touch it!” or “It’s activated by motion sensors!” I come across this monstrosity.

photo 1 (9)

This thing, which looks like it ran right out of a Temple Run game, is what people are being told a Velociraptor looks like. Fur, feathers and apparently, now velociraptor are believed to be between the size of a large turkey and great dane. I mean, can you even imagine watching Jurassic Park if velociraptors were the size of a dog and looked like this?!

Yeah, it would be THIS awesome. I was really just looking for some way, anyway, I could slip this graphic in my post.

While I was reeling from the sting of my childhood being unmasked as a lie, I walked up to this picture.

photo 2 (9)

That big, angry chicken covered with paint? It’s a T-Rex! The poster board goes on to basically establish all new “facts” about the Tyrannosaurus and other dinosaurs: they were  born covered with feathers, they were probably warm-blooded like birds, and the T-Rex had fur….FUR…and walked with his body perpendicular to the ground, rather than upright.

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“Everything you knew about me was wrong! My twenty year old animatronic frame has been modified with a dingy brown shag carpet to reveal the latest in SCIENCE!”

I could tell my husband and I were not the only ones confused by the exhibit. Other parents read the boards suspiciously, then quietly guided their children to the interactive iPad games or Triceratops display, which thankfully was fur and feather free…for now.

Don’t ever change Triceratops. I love you just the way you are.

Tony’s description, “It’s like some boy’s kid sister got a hold of some of his dinosaurs and dressed them up.” I believe he also used the term ‘”tarred and feathered.” Plus I think he’s going to take pleasure in telling everyone we’re raising dinosaurs in our backyard. Free range eggs prices are going to go through. the. roof. 

I know that birds are believed to be the descendants of dinosaurs, but I didn’t realize that modern paleontology seems to believe that dinosaurs are more like birds than reptiles. So where my generation, and all previous, will remember dinosaurs as such:

 

 

AKA: Pure AWESOME.

My children will remember them as more like birds. I weep for them, and their entire mislead generation.

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Shake a tail feather Velociraptor! You’re ready for your Broadway debut!

That only leaves one to wonder, what will my grandchildren believe about dinosaurs?

“Scientists have found fossilized remains of what appears to be buttons. We now believe dinosaurs wore clothes. This indicates a higher level brain function than previously thought. It is quite possible that these warm-blooded mammals had a fully developed culture and civilization. In fact, we believe that humans may have evolved from dinosaurs rather than apes due to tiny tissue samples we’ve carefully removed and studied by throwing them at a wall and seeing what sticks.”

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Makin’ A Statement Thanks To Jenna

Y’all know Jenna from Call Her Happy right? She’s like this crazy embroidery diva. She just started her Stitch-a-Long with a free succulent pattern.  Last week she wrote up and shared another pattern for Lent at CatholicMom.com.  And if all this leaves your fingers cramping because embroidery sounds hard and impossible, she even has a tutorial up to walk you through the whole process. 

She’s got talent that far outshines my finger knitting skills. So when a package arrived from her last week, I was so giddy, because I knew she was getting ready to launch an Etsy shop full of cute mini embroidery hoop charms. Guys, it was better than anything I could have imagined!

photo 1 (8)

How did Jenna know I needed a new statement necklace?! She’s a mind reader folks! Paired with my house slippers and my puffy vest, I’m pretty sure I look like I stepped straight out of an Usher music video.

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Here’s a off-color close up of the pendant. Now don’t worry. If you’re not into large necklaces, Jenna has more petite designs as well. AND she’s running a giveaway on Instagram right this very second to celebrate the opening of her shop. Do swing by and enter and if on the off-chance you can’t find something in your style, she’s all over your custom order too.

Thanks again Jenna! Hopefully I’ll be rocking this at Edel since otherwise, someone(s) doesn’t want to be seen in public with me wearing it coughcoughWHOLEFAMILYcoughcough. But I’m storing it on the wall in my dining room, surrounded by family pictures where it makes everyone do a double take so, that’s pretty awesome too.

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