Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sunday Snippets 12/1/13: Art for the Impoverished, Advent Linkies, My 3 Reasons and TOS Review

HI there and welcome back for another Sunday Snippet!
I'm happy to link my Catholic-inspired posts from this week at RAnn's for
her weekly blog carnival!
Please visit RAnn's blog for more !
So, my shares this week are~~~

A Cross Catholic Project

7 Quick Takes 11/29/13

Advent Prep, Linky Love, Awesome Gift Resources, My Giveaway,

 A Real Leader from the 80s, Bloggy Fun & More

Friends, as always, thank you for spending some of
your precious time here at my home on the web!
I look forward to "seeing" you soon.

Today's the last day 
to enter my giveaway..... 
You can  win one of a dozen of  my OLG scapulars.
Good luck!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
You can also join us on Facebook.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly!

Until next time,


3 Reasons I Love Advent

Thank you, friends, for stopping in on 
this gorgeous, but freeeeeeeezing 
day before Advent begins  for ~~~~

Traditions. Traditions. Traditions.
My three reasons.

But seriously....... 
       When I reflect upon, deeply ponder, what I love most about Advent~  the rituals, the "things" of Christmas,  the love that we roll out Thanksgiving weekend in crates of memories, decades of memories......Nativity figures, which my parents were gifted by a close friend for their October 1943 wedding and which Mom gave to us for our first Christmas; perfect, square little boxes I meticulously chose seventeen years ago to house ornament favors I made for our Christmas wedding; garland, wreaths and even maddeningly tangled but sentimental lights; the boys'  painted plaster ornaments from thirteen - and eleven- years of their Christmases;  a  1977 Holly Hobbie ceramic plate...these are some of  them.  As well as the atmosphere of anticipation in which I feel my family wrapped for those four weeks,  well how to narrow my three most favored Advent customs? Not easy, but all focus on family.

     All of my 3 reasons have one in common...and that is uninterrupted, unfettered family time. That living-in -the- white- space, not just in the margins of our lives, but truly carving out time for living in the now. By erasing activities from the calendar and consciously eschewing commitment from the outside that beckons during this season. Unless, of course, it is commitment that, as a family, will enhance our advent, our time of preparation for the Savior's birth.  The world doesn't stop for our liturgical seasons, but that sports and theater, huge things for my kids, are put on hold during December. They're not star athletes and so their seasons (happily) end by Thanksgiving. And as for the shows, as performance dates approach and rehearsal schedules step up, no choice role is worth a hell week in the midst of Advent. We 've learned over time and insanity through years of involvement in community theater. So any show being stage in December or January is not a show for which they audition in October or November. It's looking ahead with realization that heavy stage commitments cannot impose on what is left of our kids' childhood advents. I want them to look back in a decade, three, five and more..... and remember the calm and the introspection of Advent and to create their own as adults.  Calm, not crazy.
So my "3 Reasons" are each different, but each woven with family and with time and with anticipation of the greatest Gift we have ever been given:

 ~ 1 ~
Our Advent wreath




~ 2 ~
Our Jesse Tree

(for more on our Jesse Tree Traditions and super easy
resources and printables, click to my recent post,)


~ 3 ~
Our O Antiphons

For more on the O Antiphons and the ways in which we celebrate each,
you are welcome to visit these posts:
And some  history of the O Antiphons

Some photos of our O Antiphon "studies"

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

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You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


...and BTW:


Post dividers and general cutesies,
courtesy of Shabby Blogs 

Friday, November 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes 11/29/13: Advent Prep, Linky Love, Awesome Gift Resources, My Giveaway, A Real Leader from the 80s, Bloggy Fun & More

Hi there, friends and welcome to 7 Quick Takes!
I've lots of "little" seasonal, advent-y and bloggy things to share with you....
perfect for a QT post!

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

So, let's get started!

~ 1 ~

First of all, I hope you all had a wonderfully memorable Thanksgiving~!
I did not see this gem of a video
until too late to share here on the blog for Thanksgiving Day,
 but it does bear sharing, even "late."
Remember the 80s, when we had a real leader?
I like to call it...:
"How a True Leader Addresses His Country on Thanksgiving Day."

'Nuf said.....

~ 2 ~

Tons of deals abound on this black Friday.
My giveaway is simple and  not terribly popular, 
but I can guarantee you,
it is grace-filled.
Have you entered to win one of a dozen of  my OLG scapulars?
Please click and enter!
Tomorrow's the last day.....
And good luck!

~ 3~
Advent linky love
Please check out ( and if you blog, enter!0
these awesome blog carnivals with an advent spin!
I'll be there and I'm thrilled to participate.
Despite the busy-ness of the season, I know that carving out 
some time to join in these events is part of the calm and 
the openness that will enable me to more fully prepare myself and
 my family for advent and for the birth of our Savior
Here they are:

Miceala's 3 Reasons I Love Advent at
running from today through Christmas.
Miceala has her post up right now;
so head over and say hi and then link up!
Catholic Bloggers' Network's
Keep Christ in Christmas linky
I am one of several bloggers hosting and 
here's my post on the details.
Monica is orchestrating the whole she-bang and 
I know it will prove to be a moving experience!

at Catholic
Begins Dec 9
Thanks to Sarah for organizing this fun event!

~ 4 ~
More on Advent~~
Shamless self promo~!!
My recent column at Catholic Mom: 
How about a simple no frills Jess Tree this advent?
Here's how you can do it frugally and easily:
Here's my post on Jesse Tree Traditions.
along with resources and links to get you set for this Sunday!

I LOVE these blogs for go to easy advent prep...
must share:
Jessica's Shower of Roses.


Just WOW on both.
Everything we need to prep for the season.
Time spent at their sites is time well spent!

~ 5 ~

How each of us can help our impoverished
 brothers and sisters in Honduras:

Please check out my post
which details easy
ways we...and our kids...
can help.
Jen from Catholic Inspired invited a few
Catholic bloggers to help spread the word about Cross Catholic.
needless to say, I am delighted to be a part of the team.

~ 6 ~

Advent is NOT about the gifts...

Practically speaking, we'll be needing to prep for some of the logistics that
the season brings.
To this end, here's my post,

Stuffers for Kids: 35 Educational and Home Made Ideas

Hopefully you'll pick up an idea or two to
make your season a little less stressed and

~ 7 ~
Some fun bloggy stuff!~

Campfire and Cleats is now on Facebook!
And I'd be honored if you click over to
 "like" my new page~
and thank you!!

If you missed my THANK YOU,
then I must express again how very honored and
humbled I am by your votes and support for being named a winner
at the 2013  HS Post Blog Awards!
You. Are. The. Best.
Thank you.

Last, but not least,
SO happy to share the news that I will be joining ...
Drumroll, please~~~:
Can't wait to get started as part pf the team!

Friends, as always, thank you for spending some of
your precious time here at my home on the web!
I look forward to "seeing" you soon.

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly!

Until next time,


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving ~ 2013

...And may it be wonderfully memorable!

I love Norman Rockwell......
Don't you??

I'm blessed to say that I'm thankful for
 many things today..... and every day, really.
But I'm stopping in to thank YOU, readers and friends,
for helping to create a community here that is receptive, warm,
interactive and welcoming!
You've made this past ( almost)one year of blogging
a truly wonderful experience and one which has added
a certain richness to my life.
Thank. You.

Enjoy your day!

And, friends,  if you have not entered my giveaway for one
please do so right here.

Please come back tomorrow for 7 Quick Takes
which detail in one post
 giveaways, deals, 
Cross Catholic's art for the impoverished  
and  advent linky love....
Because I feel like I need to gather all
my recent "preparing for advent, giveaways AND service details" 
in one place to make them more
easily accessible!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The "Art" of Giving~ Part 1 A Cross Catholic Project We Can All Support!

I am honored to be one of several bloggers
 sharing and promoting the mission
 of an amazing organization, 
 as they work to feed, help and support
 poverty stricken families of Honduras.
My friend and fellow blogger, 
Jennifer of Catholic Inspired,
introduced this amazing charity to me and a few other Catholic bloggers
as she continues to share their work.
I'm delighted to be part of a team which includes
these bloggers~
Jennifer from Catholic Inspired 
Birgit from Designs By Birgit
 who are publicizing 
Cross Catholic's  herculean efforts!

Thank you for clicking over to read up on this project,
 to share their work 
and to potentially get involved in this massive effort with your own family! 

~How adorable are these sweet little faces?~

Let me tell you a little about Cross Catholic's project,
The Art of Giving and specifically how we can all support them
in bringing food and necessities to so many more
sweet babies.

How you can  get involved in The Art of Giving:

To easily  help the impoverished of Honduas:
1. Your  kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, class can draw/color/create an art project.
2.  Parents/guardians  take a picture of it (or scan it) and send the image to Cross Catholic right here.:

How we can donate to Cross Catholic:
Once the image is uploaded onto the slideshow, parents, family members and friends can make donations on behalf of the child's artwork to Cross Catholic Outreach. When donating  place the child's name in the comment box. The donations will be used to feed impoverished children and families in El Progreso, Honduras at the Prince of Peace Nutrition Center. 

Who can submit artwork to Cross Catholic?
Art projects will be accepted from kids of all ages - from toddlers to teens! This would really be a great project for teachers and RE teachers, as well as, any homeschooling family! Youth groups may like to do this as a service project, too. 

Viewing the lovely slideshow:
1.View the slideshow at Cross Catholic's site~
Please, keep in mind that this web page is still a work in progress. The information on the page will help you to better understand the event, but the art slideshow may or may not be visible on your computer. Cross Catholic will be adding a link to the page for those who can't view the slideshow. 

2.OR view the slideshow here~
 I've added a link to the slideshow if you'd like to view it right here~

3. And if none of the above works for you, 
just click this  link which  will take you to Flickr to view the slideshow there :

My kids are getting psyched to create and share their work in support
 of  The Art of Giving! 
Please visit next week  when those of us on the blogging team will  be posting our children’s art and inviting all  bloggers  to join in a link-up to share
 the art that their kids have created for this event!
On December 9, the link up will go live!

We look forward to viewing YOUR children's,
 grandchildren's and/or classes' artwork as well,
 as we support the efforts of the
selfless individuals at Cross Catholic
who help our Central American
 brothers and sisters!

As always, thank you, readers and friends,
for the precious time you spend here at my home on the web!

And, friends,  if you have not entered my giveaway for one
please do so right here.

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly!

Until next time,


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine~ Nov/Dec 2013 Issue

HI there  friends,and welcome to my home on the web!
I hope you're enjoying your day!
Thank you for clicking over to check out my latest post~ 
I was recently granted the opportunity to  review
the online version of the
November/December 2013 issue of
And boy. what an opportunity !!
If you homeschool and you're not
 subscribing to, immersed in, living and  loving this 
absolutely free gem,
 which you can subscribe to here
what on Earth are you waiting for?
This issue, in fact, every issue, 
is packed with 
info, tips, encouragement, seasonal goodies
for homeschoolers and families of all ages.

Now, how inviting is this?
The cover photo alone just inspires you to curl up 
 and dive right in,  doesn't it?

I'm really excited to tell you alllllll about it...
truth is, I love chatting about all things 
curricular and homeschool-ish;
so let's get started!
~Apps and Social Media~
First of all, check out TOS magazine's super app page,
which is right here. It's so user friendly
and accessible for the busy homeschool mom.
One can download the issue onto any number of appliances,
scan the QR code 
go right to the online magazine from the app page.
Talk about simple, no-frills.

Next, let's talk social media and TOS and how
super easy it is for 
a multi-taskin' homeschool mama to access TOS 
on facebook,
I had already followed TOS on FB and Twitter
 and through this review. was thrilled to find them
on P, G+ and YT as well!
So, go "like," "follow"
and "subscribe" on all platforms!

~The Nov/Dec Issue of TOS Magazine~

Navigating through the issue online couldn't be more of a breeze.
From the "faculty," ( the contributing writers)
to the "teachers' lounge," (letters from readers)
to "the informed homeschooler"
a column by Dr Ray on homeschool issues,
to "Show and Tell" a focus on one homeschool family's
journey and methods,
to other cleverly titled magazine departments,
there is something to grab each of us.
There's even a pop out menu from the left
for the issue itself,
a search bar and
an icon which takes one to 
Christian to search 
"more than 44,000 homeschool resources."
I absolutely loved the latter feature and spent so much time
clicking around through the resources to check availability 
of items across the curriculum on a couple of different grade levels.

~Favored Feature~
One feature of the magazine that I found
incredibly helpful is the department entitled,
"Vendor Hall."
This month the focus is on All About Learning Press, whose products 
I am currently using with my 10 year old.
 However, I learned more about 
the company and its offerings from this article and my conviction
in  their reputation was solidified.
~A few articles of focus~
Another article I particularly enjoyed, 
an "open article" featured on the cover,
is one entitled,
In my pre-Mommy days, I was a reading specialist and
then a third grade teacher whose focus
was primarily at risk children with learning disabilities.
Currently, in my homeschool, I struggle with needing encouragement
and practical tips for immediate usage, 
however, as my son is dyslexic.
(God certainly knew what He was doing, it
becomes evident to me more each day,
 when He guided me to
focus on a reading and learning
 disabilities Master's degree eons ago....!
My background knowledge has come in handy
as a homeschooler) )
One would presume that an article tackling
frustration around the teaching of reading 
to a child who's struggling would be rather superficial,
given the space constraints.
Rather, I found
Dr Glavach's suggestions in the article section,
compelling. I'm eager to try a few of them this week.
I do think, however, that the title of the article
implies  that its  content is one of
  developing phonic ability and/or enhancing
reading comprehension.
Yet, the focus is on oral reading fluency.
I adjusted my expectations as I read and as I suggested above,
the article did not disappoint
once I did so.
I also found the resources at the link to his site
practical. I would love to implement  a couple of the items sold there, actually,
in my homeschool!
I encourage you to click over 
 to Struggling Readers to check it out
if your kids, too, struggle with any aspect reading fluency,
 comprehension or phonic development.

Lastly, I must share that I thoroughly enjoyed
 and gleaned useful information from
as well as Senior Editor,
Deborah Wuehler's editorial ,
Seven Reasons to Celebrate."

Reviewing The Old Schoolhouse's
Nov/Dec issue was an absolute joy and just plain fun!
I plan to refer back to the issue from time to time as there
 several articles that I'd like to reread and digest more thoroughly.

This review is my trial for the School House Review Crew.
Informative and helpful reviews  aplenty 
can be found here at their very user friendly blog,
Thanks for stopping in to check out my review!
I hope you  will read and enjoy the issue
and find it a solid addition to your library 
of homeschooling resources.

And, friends,  if you have not entered my giveaway for one
please do so right here.

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly!

Until next time,