Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Birthday Weekend Daybook~ Recipes,Books, Fragrant Laundry, Once Upon a Time, Confirmation Stuff, Liturgical Year Crafts

It's been quite some time since I wrote a daybook.  The wraps/journals 
always help  me organize thoughts and  streamline plans. 
 Because burnout's been my best friend of late and I'm muddling 
through the last few months of the school year, attempting
 to keep  things moving along...well, here we go~~

Outside my window...  It's grey, dull out there. Chirping,
 squawking birds are blessedly  flocking back after the
 long hard winter. Those vast strips of blackish snow in areas of the
 yard that don't see the sun are all  melted now.

I am thinking...  About what still has to be covered curriculum-wise
 this school year. 
*About reorganizing the "schoolroom" so I can rotate books and  
reacquaint myself with all those great resources we have. 
*About my older son's confirmation and the celebration will be very 
small but special dinner here in May. Here's the lovely medal which 
we purchased for him just this week with a sketch of   John Paul the Great.
 What do you think? He's taking the name KAROL! Isn't that wonderful?
*About attacking the laundry piles. And there will be So. Much. More. of it
 this time next week as baseball season is under way....... Can I share
 with you what I've found to be a fantastic product? The folks at Purex  
graciously afforded me  the opportunity to use and review a new
 detergent, Purex Crystals, if I could spare just a tad of space on my
 blog to mention them. Are 
you kidding? Here's a shot of it "in use" ~~
 Here's the thing~ When you have 
preteen and teen boys who comment on the "awesome"  scent of the
 laundry/mudroom  after just one washing with this new product, and
 later in the week, you overhear them comment to each other about how
 "fresh" and "springlike" their sweatshirts are....well....this is laundry I'm 
happy to talk about! Thank you Purex! Your brand is already my fave, 
but you can bet I'll be buying the new Crystals!
*About getting back in the blogging groove! For quite some time, I felt 
my blogging was becoming review and sponsored post central, While I
 am so enriched on so many levels by the friendships and connections
 made within the blogging review communities, such as The
 Old Schoolhouse Review Crew...amazing ladies....simply the most
 selfless and kind people....  I just could not keep devoting time to the
 details of all that even one review entailed. Great new products? Yup
.And for a curriculum junkie such as myself, that aspect  was heaven.  
I was able to use and review a bunch of awesome products...
Glow Eggs, Algebra DVD
Mango Foreign Language.  But I had to regain my time and 
I look forward to blogging simply to record our life, share some projects 
and pictures.

I am thankful... for my family. Yeah, they're driving me nuts this week. 
And probably, I ~ them! The demands and minutiae  of engineering all the 
details of everyone's lives, schedules, schoolwork and general stuff are 
overwhelming. You know the drill......  But what on Earth would I do 
without them? And I realize..... they're my purpose.
...for my older son and his stand on life, his work for the pro life movement
He gets the math, the science, the history right away...he keeps me 
challenged to provide even more enrichment.
...for my younger son, who holds the same value for life, who is the 
most gentle and kind person I know. Really. Eleven years old. Heart bigger
 than Texas. Selfless to a fault.

Learning all the time... Well, quite honestly.  juggling the academics
 of grades 5 and 8 are killing me this week and since one of the many 
reasons I blog is evasion of the stresses of the homeschooling life ...........  
as well as connecting with all of you wonderful readers......  I think
 I'll be brief here in this space around this topic. We're really moving  
through the curriculum, living Lent, studying music, art, 
linear equations, plate tectonics, states of matter,  a whole huge
 bucketful of fractions ...what we're reading of late is all listed a bit further down.....

Celebrating the liturgical year... Resources we rely upon to
 "live Lent" are all right here.
In addition, I'm sharing this wood craft around St Joseph's Day, 
 written by the lovely Jennifer of Catholic Inspired, a bit late......
but file it away or pin it for next March 19, because it's a winner!
  Here are snapshots of my kids' creations based on the activity,
 along with supplies and pictures of our patron saint of 
fathers/workers printed from Jennifer's blog..... 
But click over for the full scoop on the project ~

Lovely finished product, no?

From the kitchen... Easy, easy dishes: pasta, 
broiled meats with light seasonings and/or breadcrumbs, 
sauteed veggies. Since tomorrow's  my birthday and I
 looooove  my hubby's lasagna, we are graced with that 
tasty dish, plus my sister's company today....On my 
actual birthday, I get my little man's friend chicken 
which is to-die-for. Plus we get to break our Lenten 
sacrifice of goodies on my special day with brownies....
you have no idea how happy my kids are ( so are we!)
 that my birthday falls during Lent! 
What else...let's see, my younger son created his own
 potato chip recipe this week!
YUMMY. Here are a few pictures of his super easy 
Left~ the chips are just potato slices baked with a touch
 of salt, that's it
Right~ the finished product:


I am working on... well, re-learning all things high
 level algebra. It's truly not that insanely hard. But you
 math people out there know that! (I am not "mathematically inclined!" )
 Given time, quiet and a resolve to really get it so I can pass
 it along to my boy, the concepts are not too elusive, you know?

I am creating... order, harmony, a peaceful, contemplative Lent in our home. 
Or so I hope.

I am praying... the Padre Pio novena with the kids every 
morning! Sign up here for daily novena emails.

We are reading...
Read aloud with my 13 year old ~ Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyberthieves
Read aloud with my 11 year old ~ Red Pyrmaid: Kane Chronicles #1
My 13 year old's independent reading~ The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
 and Divergent #1. He is heavy into Poe. Heavy. And as for Divergent...loves it.
My 11 year old's independent reading ~  Ramona the Brave 
and Arthur's Mystery Envelope.
Drawn into both titles. Loving them both.  We're not talking 
high quality lit here folks....but can I tell you what a huge 
accomplishment this is? My sweetie is dyslexic, as you know,
 and this time last year, even six months ago, he was not capable of 
reading either of these titles. So, yeah...this is a really big deal...
My own reading... What Alice Forgot. Whoa. Only three chapters in 
and I cannot put it down! I'll be scooping up everything out there by Liane Moriarity!
Looking for amazing book rec and a fantastic blog? Of course you are!
 If you're not already following  Modern Mrs Darcy, you should be. 
Go,  enjoy and say hi to Anne for me! But make sure you click over 
when you have tons of time to visit and read read read!
One more goodread: A sweet Catholic blogger friend of mine, Karee,
 and her husband Manny,  are creating what is sure to be an awesome new book on marriage....So head on over to
 Karee's  blog and  read up on  what is to be included in her new title 
inspired by our amazing John Paul the Great.

I am listening...  To the rhythmic pulse of the dryer. To one kid
 tuning violin, the other doing science with my hubby.

Around the house...I have a  confession to make...Can you 
believe we Just. Took. Our. Tree. Down. This. Week? And that I just 
this morning put away the crates or ornaments as well as the gifts that 
were under the tree since Christmas morning?
I told you homeschooling was doing me in! So yeah, now we 
have our spring flowers up ( silk, from Michael's, of course!) and 
lotsa Easter decor. 
Plus a basket of Lenten reading and this barren looking
 reminder of the season over the fireplace:

One of my favorite things...  Do you watch Once Upon a Time? 
We don't get cable....too expensive. But we do  stream a few shows. 
This fairy tale/reality show is fun, has many redeeming qualities around 
perseverance, good prevailing over evil and so forth. But mainly my kids 
love it because, as budding actors who do community theater here and there,
 Robert Carlyle is their new actor hero...Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold.... 
unbelievable, fantastic acting, I tell ya.
So, my current fave thing? ~~This is it.  The clip is a bit long, but it's
 got the best scenes with Rumple. So enjoy!


And that's it, my wonderful friends!
And tomorrow, on my special day, I will be thankful for you, for adding
 richness to my life through this online medium! THANK YOU!! 
That is a thoughtful gift, indeed, that you have given me!

Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

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,



  1. Thank you so much for mentioning our marriage advice book and blog, Chris! And congratulations on your son picking the confirmation name Karol. Pope John Paul II truly is a great saint, and we love him a lot!

    1. Oh, you're so welcome, Karee!And, yes, we are huge fans of Bl JPII as well!
      Thanks for stopping by

  2. Happy birthday Chris! I hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family!

    We all love lasgane too. Sophie always asks if she can have it for her special birthday dinner. I'd make it more often if I wasn't so lazy. Meat sauce, pasta, cheese sauce... so many layers to put together!

    My girls are reading the Kane Chronicles too. They say the books are very exciting. I haven't read them. Perhaps I should read one of the series out loud like you.

    Your boys sound like such a blessing. I love hearing about them. I bet you are a very proud mother!

    Enjoy your special day. Enjoy being the birthday girl!

    1. Hey Sue~
      Thank you for stopping by, friend~

      Timmy so enjoys the KC far, we're only on book 1....but we enjoy the characters...and it's all about Ancient even better~.

      Yes, making lasagna is a bit time consuming,isn't it!? That's why we only make it on special occasions! And rarely at that!
      Thanks for the bday wishes, friend!

      I look fwd to your A to Z posts beginning this week!!


  3. Fulfilling post! We just went to a short overnight marriage retreat. It was the break we needed.

    1. Thank you, Nita~~ How kind of you to stop by and comment!

      A marriage retreat sounds amazing....good for you! I;ll bet you are truly rejuvenated!

      Have a great day!

  4. We did Purex, too. :) I really like this scent!

    Sounds like a busy weekend! :)

    1. Hi Shecki~
      Funny how laundry soap can start conversations! So happy that I found out about applying to be a Purex Insider! It;s been fun and a savings!

      Thank you for stoppingby!

      Have a lovely day!

  5. Hi, saw your link at Plain Grace. I had to laugh at your Christmas confession. I actually have a big bag of Christmas things that have to be put away in my bedroom. Hopefully you've motivated me to take care of it. ;-) Also, that book "What Alice Forgot." Sounds intriguing. We've been fans of Once Upon A Time, although I have to admit that we started losing interest when the whole Peter Pan storyline seemed to drag. However, Rumple was always my favorite! :-) Have a blessed week!

    1. A fellow OUaT junkie!! How great is that!?

      Thanks Bobbi, for stopping in to say hi and leave a note! Yes, I agree, season 2 was a a bit draggy with the PP Neverland thing happening....but amazing twists, right! Wow, didn't see that coming!
      Heading to your blog to say HI!
      Have a great day,~~

  6. Hi Chris. Your Daybooks are always jammed packed!

    1. Jenny~
      Thanks....I do get carried away~!
      Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  7. Congratulations, Chris! Your blog Campfires and Cleats was drawn as this month's Blog of the Month over on Blog Mommas!! Enjoy!!

    1. Oooh, how exciting!

      Thank you SO much!!

  8. Ha I love that you just took down your tree!! So funny! And I really love that you're creating such a beautiful, contemplative environment for this Lenten season for your family. Truly a gift you're giving them :) Thank you for linking up with us. ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

    1. Aw, jenna
      What a lovely comment! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to say HI! Your kindness is so sweet!
      I so enjoy the other daybooks linked at your weekly hop too!

      Be well and have a great weekend!


  9. Oh wow you have been so busy, thanks for sharing over at the weekend blog hop :)have a lovely weekend ...

    1. Claire~!
      Thanks for stopping over! Always LOVE your visits. You;re so awesome to stop by at all of the posts linked!!

      Enjoy your downtime this weekend!



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