Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Prayer Notebook: Catholic Edition

It's about to get personal up in here.  This is how I go about praying.  For my mind, I need prayer to be organized.  During the week I wake up at 6am to have a full hour to myself before the kids get up.  During this time I do my 30 minutes of prayer.  I used to have use a bible, a spiritual book and a journal.  I would open up my bible to whatever page, read a little bit, then read a little from a spiritual book, then quite honestly fall asleep on the couch until the kids got up.  I was not inspired, and prayer really felt more like another chore. I knew I needed a change and when I need ideas I always turn to Pinterest and Youtube.  I found a couple Youtube videos of a couple ladies describing their prayer notebooks.  Here is a great one by a lady named Gina and another by a lady named Jill.  I recommend watching those videos as well.  I used ideas from both ladies to make my own.

I used a 1.5", 3-ring binder with pockets on the inside and a clear pocket on the front.  I personalized it with some scrapbook paper, and I can swap it out when I need a change.

On the inside pocket I have a paper that has a 3 months-at-a-glance sheet in it. I use it to keep track of certain things to pray for that only happen rarely.  For example, if one of my friends or family members are travelling, I write it down.  If someone is having a birthday, I pray for special blessings for them on that day, etc.  I also keep track of novena's or special days on the Catholic calendar. Whenever I open my binder I look at this paper first to see if anyone needs a prayer for safe travel, or special blessings, or to remember to do my novena prayer if I happen to be saying one. 

On the other side I have a pencil case specially made for a binder.  I have a pen, a post-it notepad and some stickers in it.  I don't use the stickers anymore but just keep them there just in case and also 'cause they're cute.

Here is a plastic pocket thingy (official term, I believe).  I have scrap paper to write out my confessional list.  The washi tape on the bottom right hand corner is to keep track of when I last went to confession.  I like giving an accurate date of when my last confession was to the priest.  And it also helps me to remember around what date to go again. 

I separated my journal into eight sections.  One "Daily", and then one for each day of the week.  I used the re-positionable tabs that have a sticky backing.  I added washi tape to make them purdy.  

Each tab is placed on a clear page protector that has cardstock in it to make it sturdy.  I also added some labels for the cardstock pages, but that was overkill since I only use the tabs to help me find the section I need.

The first section is the "Daily" section.  These are prayers I pray on a daily basis.  I added the acronym "ACTS" which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  For adoration, I used to think of God's creation, like the weather, earth and all it's creatures.  But I felt that wasn't enough, I was missing a whole bunch'o'stuff.  I turned to the internet again and found a great page found here.  I just look at the day it is and then think of THAT aspect of God's greatness to be praised.   For example, day 13: A Personal God.  I do my Examination of Conscience next, but I go into detail about that later.  Then I pray for what I'm thankful.  After that I move on to my supplication prayers found on the following pages.

The next page holds all of my "daily offerings".  In the Catholic faith, we believe we can offer up our sufferings on behalf of someone.  Kind of like a physical prayer.  For instance on the 19th day of the month I offer up my sufferings for those thinking of committing suicide.  I have a ring on my middle finger on my right hand that reminds me of this. For example, let's say I have to get up in the middle of doing something (such as writing this blog post) to go bring my toddler to the bathroom and I really don't feel like it.  I get up without complaining and offer that inconvenience for a soul who wants to give up.  I blocked out the first 7 days because they're family member's names.

The next page is a printout for "prayers for our home" found here.

"Daily prayers for your children" found on Inspired to Action.  I also pray the daily prayers from this page for our god children and our sponsored child.  I've personalized it as you can see.

"Daily prayers for your husband" also found on Inspired to Action.  Also personalized.

This page has got to be the best prayers I have found for a mother.  Short, and to the point.  Brilliant.  You can find it here.  For this page, I just pray what I feel I need more help with, which is usually patience and wisdom.

I may take this page out of the binder.  I found a few prayers on pinterest and even made one, myself, then printed them off.  This was before I found that last awesome page.  Here is the spiritual communion I designed on Pic monkey that you can copy and print off it you'd like.

Next comes some bible reading.  I needed structure and so I found this bible reading plan.  The Book of Common Prayer Daily Office found here.  It doesn't look like you can print it off anymore but you can have it delivered daily to your phone or email.   There are also some other daily prayer devotion plans that you can print off on that site.  I keep track of where I'm at by using a sticky arrow note thing.  I've fallen behind on my readings and I'm not on the day it says I should be on.  So that's why I use the arrow.

This page is for the afternoon.  I  first say the noontime Angelus, then the Anima Christi which is my favourite prayer.  I couldn't find a picture on Pinterest with the version I'm used to saying so I designed my own using Picmonkey again.  I have my Examination of Conscience questions here.  These questions are my personal questions I use to examine my own conscience.  You can use the same ones if you like.  The point is to make questions to target what you struggle with in the day-to-day and resolve to do better on those points.  Lately I've been doing my examination during the "C" of ACTS in the morning.

Now on to each day of the week.  After doing all the "Daily" prayers I then turn to the day of the week that it is.

Mondays:  My husband and myself.  I like to use prompt words instead of long sentences.  It's just a personal preference.  For example, for myself I wrote, "good example" and "spend time".  Which for me means to pray that I live as a good example for my children and I also pray for the motivation and desire to spend time with my children.  Sounds bad I know, but I struggle with this.

Tuesdays: Us as a family, my marriage, and child #1.

Wednesdays: On the left-hand side of the page is child #2 and the right is my In-laws and my side of the family, each by name.  Now I don't pray for each family member each week but I do have them listed out.  I then use the sticky arrow thing that I mentioned earlier, to keep track of where I am at on the list of family members.  A picture to show you this is found below.

Thursdays: Child #3 on the left, and all my friends by name on the right.

Fridays:  Child #4 on the left and all my neighbours by name on the right.

Saturdays: Child #5 & soon to be 6 on the left and then a list of those in need on the right. It's almost a copy of my daily offerings.

And finally Sundays:  My Godchildren, sponsored child and future children to enter our family such as grandchildren (a looong way away) and future spouses of my kids, should that be the path God chooses for them.  Then, on the right as you can see, the Catholic church, the Pope, the parish I attend and those in it, and finally the city I live in.

That's it.  I've been doing this organized prayer system for a few months now and it's just perfect for me.  I hope this helps you out if you are struggling like I was or maybe just need a change of pace.  I'm actually excited to wake up each morning to my prayer time.  This usually takes my around 30 min to complete.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Year in Review and a Look Ahead

Happy New Year!

We're a little more than a week into the new year.  Have any resolutions?  I have set some and it's going well.  But first, to know where you're going you gotta know where you've been.

I dubbed last year as "The Year of Order".  Did I accomplish this?  Well, yes.  After purchasing Alejandra's Power of Productivity Course I managed to order my day, week, month and year.  That was a huge task, and so worth it because it helped me tackle quite a few organizing projects in the home.

The kids bathroom:

Kids Lego Storage:

The Linen Closet:

My Sewing Room:

Including the Craft Paint Storage (which I've recently updated.  More on that later):

Scripture Organizer:

And a Kids School Board:

There are still a few areas that I've organized which I haven't shared yet.   Our entry way is organized, as well as some routines with the kids.  I hope to share some of that with you later this year.  I've also revamped and organized my prayer life into a prayer notebook.  I will go into detail about that in the next post.

With that said, there are many areas, that I have yet to tackle. 

Back to 2015.  I have dubbed it "The Year to Take the Plunge".  Here are a few of my goals:

I have talked, and talked and thought and over-thought for many years to enter a farmers market to sell some of my crafts.  I came close last year and bought a white tent and tables as well as make some display items to showcase my creations.  I had some set backs and didn't enter last year.  But this is THE year!  I really need to work on building my inventory.

I had bought an electric Piano a couple years ago in hopes of playing, but it ended up becoming a fancy side table for stuff.  I want to at least play one FULL song on it.

I also want to juggle.  Not figuratively, I'm already juggling five, soon to be six children, and a husband and a home.  But literally!  Don't know why.  I guess I want to be able to say "yes", if someone ever asks "do you have a hidden talent?". 

Those are just a few of the "bigger" goals I have this year.  So I'm taking the plunge. 

Here is how I've set my goals and how I'm keeping track. A simple little notebook that I covered with washi tape.

The first page I've have written all the things I hope to accomplish in 2015.

Here is a look at January.  I highlighted the background for the month in washi tape.  I've broken down my goals into three categories.

Sewing Goals : Or crafting, such as crochet, paper, drawing, or painting a little something.

House Goals:  This includes organizing projects, paint projects, etc.

Personal Goals:  This is anything that I want to do to improve myself as a mom, wife, person, daughter of God, etc.  My goal to juggle would go here.

As you can see, on the side I have little squares labelled 1-31.  This is where I check off what I've accomplished for my personal goal that day.  In this case I have two things to do each day.  When I have accomplished my goals in one of the other categories, I'll highlight it, then give a big red check mark beside the goal.

The last square labelled "To Remember" is just to jot down milestones in my kids life, like losing a tooth, or a funny thing my daughter said like when my four year-old saw Knights of Columbus for the first time and called them "pirates!",  anything that I want to remember (hence the name).

So that's it.  Have a great 2015.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Four years in the Making

About four years ago I started this little gem.  Four years! I finally finished it last night and laid it on my sleeping daughter to surprise her in the morning when she woke up.

It was my first time working with triangles, and after cutting some of them wonky, I stalled.  For three years!  Then this past summer I resolved to finish this quilt THIS year.  I fixed the wonky triangles and finished cutting up the rest of the fabric I set aside.

Then, when I laid everything out I realized I made a whopper in miscalculation.  I intended on zigzagging the entire quilt horizontally but I came up short.  I realized I only had enough zigzags that got me half-way down the quilt.

I flipped it 180 and made a big border around what I had instead.  Since this was for my oldest I had her pick out the fabric for the border. I'm glad for the pattern on the border as it hides all the puckers where the fabric gathered as I sewed.
Once the top was pieced, then sandwiched, I echo-quilted every other zigzag, and some straight lines on the borders.

Well it's done, and I'm glad.  I've realized I'm a small project kinda gal.  I prefer something that can be finished from start to finish in like 5 hours tops.

A pretty loud quilt huh?

Now I need to go and finish that quilt I started for my son three years ago... 

Noticing a pattern here?


Friday, October 17, 2014

Scripture Organizer

So I've been memorizing scripture for a while now.  I went and bought this black mesh index card holder from Staples a couple years ago.  

I tried decorating it with colourful scrapbook brads.  Then the lid fell off.  And there it sat, on my dresser since.  It was sad looking.  Looking at that sad, dark index box was not inspiring to me. 

I kept at memorizing scripture however and I accumulated enough scriptures to organize them "Charlotte Mason style".  This gave me enough motivation to give this little box a makeover.

First step was to spray paint it chrome.  After that dried, I painted the accents pink with acrylic paint free-handed.  Next, I put a final coat of Mod-podge just to give the pink a bit of shine and protection.  Finally, I had my husband glue the lid back on with whatever glue he uses to do that sort of thing.

Now, here it sits on my dresser.  Much better, and more inspiring I'd say.

My daily scripture is in front. And the ones that I know, but are still relatively new are in the Mon-Sat tabs (I take Sunday "off" since I get in a lot of scripture at mass).

The ones that I know pretty well are in the 1-31 tabs.  Right now, I only have enough for 18 but as I learn more they will get filled.  Since the box came with only 12 tabbed cards I made my own with index cards and some Scotch Expression tape.

And the final tab is "To Learn" which is self explanatory.  I also store all the extra cards behind this one.

There you have it.  Each day I review my daily scripture card, the card behind that day of the week, and also the day of the month it is that day.  


Friday, September 19, 2014

Kitchen Cabinets

Hi All,

This summer I got at least one major project done.  I finally finished painting our kitchen cabinets!  Whew, that was quite a doozy.

I started in June.  And finally finished last week.  No, I have not been painting non-stop since June.  I started in June, with some time off in between.  Since we didn't have a whole lot of room, I decided to break this project into three phases.  It would have been too much to take off ALL the cabinet doors at once.  The major reason being we don't have enough room to do that.  So, due to lack of room, three phases is what it took.

Here's a look at what I started off with:  Basic 90's oak.


I wanted to brighten up the space, but did not what stark white.  I opted for Behr Linen white, and some new hardware. I started with oil-based primer (stinky stuff).

First phase was the top cabinets. Just a note; don't start with the cabinets you see most often, up close and in your face, unless you're a pro and this is not your first go 'round.  I can see all the little flaws in these, that I was able to iron out with a bit of practice.

Progress Pic:

Second phase was the bottom cabinets by the sink and to the left of the stove, after a long reprieve for some family and 10 year wedding anniversary celebrations for my hubby and I.

Sorry, no progress pic for that.

Last was around the fridge and the drawers next to the stove.

Ta Da!:

  Boy am I glad that's over. But I still have three bathroom vanities to get to.  Also that nice oak trim you see around the pantry?  Ya, that has to be painted white.  And I plan on painting ALL the trim in the house.  Let me tell you, that is A LOT of trim.  I'm taking a break for now though. 

One last look.

Some great blogs that explain the process here and here.


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