A Prestigious Award and 33 Things About Me

Woo-Hoo! God Bless Pope Francis on his Installation Day and Happy St. Joseph's Day! It's a solemnity, so you have to eat dessert. Seriously. We're planning waffles for breakfast and a YouTube replay of the installation Mass for this morning. To see what we've got planned for tonight, click here.

The Liebster Award seems to be hopping its way through the Catholic Mom Blogosphere bunny trail. I am grateful to have been thought of by Chris from Campfires and Cleats, Monique from Mountains of Grace Homeschooling, and Emily from Glitter Rainbow Happiness Land.

So here goes:

1. Where did you grow up? San Diego

2. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? That's a tough question for me. We have family in Chicago and San Diego, so I would love to be able to live in one of those places. But, I would love to live abroad (especially when I read Jenny's blog!). I also have romantic notions about living on a farm that the husband thinks would probably not be realized by living on an actual farm. (Maybe I should just go visit my cousin.)

3. What is your favorite book? Pride and Prejudice

Unless you are familiar with regency customs,
an annotated edition makes all the difference.

4 Favorite movie?

The Princess Bride

5. Saint who inspires you?
St. Thèrése of Liseux

6. What's your fairy tale wedding like?

7. Why did you begin your blog?

The long answer: As my older kids were getting helpful and my day-to-day became more routine and I had a bit more time to myself, I began to write. First, I wrote a book on Confession for kids, which (now two years after I finished writing it) is supposed to be published by Ignatius Press at some point in the as-yet-to-be-determined future.

Then I decided I would write picture books. I wrote a bunch of manuscripts, picked my favorite couple and started sending them off to publishers and agents. And . . . nothing but a bunch of form letters followed. I received one personal response. (Thank you Stephen Fraser, literary agent.)

So that was disheartening. I still felt like I wanted to write, and I had mulled a blog, but worried about how long-term it felt to start one. I tend to over-do things. But then my church lady was the catalyst and here we are.

AND, I had a very promising weekend, picture-book-wise. So we'll see where that goes too.

8. Hobby?

Sewing baby blankets:

And baking birthday cakes:

9. If you could have dinner with a-n-y-o-n-e, who would that be?
Hmmm . . . it's a three-way tie between my husband, Pope Francis, and Stephen Fraser, literary agent.

10. Louisa May Alcott or Jane Austen?
I heart Jane Austen. Before I met my husband his spot in the above list would have been taken by Mr. Darcy.

11. Best spot for a relaxing dinner with the family?
Bonfire pits at Dockweiler Beach:
1. How long have you home-schooled?
five years
2. What type of curriculum do you use?
Mother of Divine Grace, a classical, Catholic curriculum.
3. Do you have any pets?
Yes, but the husband is allergic to fur, so . . .

4. What is your favorite season?
The fall. Especially when we lived in Chicago, but even here. I love feeling for the change in the weather. And the kids are always so excited about the beginning of a new school year (and ready to be done by about now . . .)
5. What was the best school lesson you have taught?

At Shiloh National Military Park


At Grand Canyon National Park


In Madrid on our trip to Spain and Portugal

It's hard to pick. The trips that we have been able to take with our kids have always been our most memorable lessons.

6. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?

Grammar. I love this book:

I find the lessons useful and charming. I have had some really great discussions with my kids over grammar lessons.

7. Do your kids play any musical instruments? The school age kids all play the piano.

8. Do you school year round or do you follow the school
I follow a traditional school year. I love that the kids (and I) get to have unstructured time during the summer. Maybe this summer I will write that Middle Grade novel I've been mulling. It would be a challenge during the school year.

9. What would be your dream vacation to take with your
I would love to go back to Fiji, where we spent our honeymoon:

10. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip

11. Why did you decide to homeschool?
Because parochial school was so exasperating. (I posted about it here.)


1. If you had to eat one thing or meal all day for a week, what would it be?
Jalapeno cheese bagels

2. When you get to go out by yourself, what do you do? Or what would you want to do?

I always try to bring someone with me when I run errands, even if I could leave them all behind. I find it's a great opportunity to get to interact individually with a kid or two. EXCEPT when I go to the fabric store. I really like to take my time when I'm picking and matching fabrics, and I often do not pay enough attention to how my kids are entertaining themselves. I like to go to the fabric store alone. Ooh, or Anthropologie.

3. Do you find your children have similar temperaments?
My kids are like a box of chocolates. They all look pretty similar on the outside, but on the inside who knows what you'll get? Could be coconut, could be caramel, could be that weird nougat stuff.

4. Sweet or salty?

5. When you are with your husband, who usually drives? What about on longer road trips?
I almost always drive because ever since I started having babies, I get carsick. The husband never gets carsick, so he reads to us.

6. What's a "chore" that you secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy doing (I won't tell anyone)?
I love organizing things like pantries and toy closets.

7. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Both. I am NOT an afternoon person.

8. What was the last book you read & was it any good (this is a selfish q, as I need some suggestions)?
I read a lot and I'm always reading multiple books at one time. But this is Emily's question and I know she shares my love for YA, so I'll recommend Birthmarked (YA dystopia):

A trilogy, but I've only read the first

and one of my all-time favorites (YA steampunk!) Airborn:

I liked all three books in the trilogy

And a (so far) super-great middle grade that my 10-year-old son and I are reading simultaneously called The Mysterious Benedict Society.

The "complete collection" is four books,
but I think one of them is just a book of puzzles.
I'm not quite done with the first one.

I'm planning to post a full review of it once we're finished. Note: here's that review!

9. If you could go on any vacation (expenses paid) with your kids & husband, where would you go? What would you do there?
I would love to spend a few months in a giant RV driving around the country to national parks. We have been, without exception, extraordinarily impressed with the national parks and the people who work there. Thanks, Teddy Roosevelt.

  1. I'm at your house. What would I see?
    Well, right now you'd see me, sitting at the computer while everyone else in the house is sleeping. (And a kitchen that will be getting tidied up as soon as I'm done with this.)