Feast of St. Peter {Saint Picture Book Club}

So today (June 29) is the feast of St. Peter (and St. Paul). As usual, I chose a picture book for the saint picture book club that is easy to get via Amazon. I didn’t get this up in time for you to order it last minute, but you may want it anyway.

Saint Peter Books Activities & Recipes

Books about Saint Peter

Peter, Apostle of Jesus, is another joint offering between Ignatius & Magnificat. They are beautiful books and buying this one has caused me to add the rest of the series to my Amazon cart MULTIPLE times.

From the series, The Life of a Saint, this story of Saint Peter is divided into 3 parts. The first is the story of how Jesus called him, the second is the story of Jesus & Peter before and after the crucifixion, and the last is about Pentacost and the early church.


The pictures are beautifully illustrated and the story is masterfully told. It doesn’t feel like the story as told in the bible, but as a beloved children’s story, even telling s bit of Peter’s childhood. It’s lovely and approachable. It really helps me to know Peter’s story as being separate from the rest of the Apostles.

If you are interested in knowing more about St. Peter, the book Our Holy Father, the Pope, has a lot of information about Saint Peter, the Popes & the Papacy. It is also a joint Ignatius/Magnificat offering. Honestly, you just can’t go wrong with them.


If you are looking for an easy summer activity to help cement the story of Saint Peter & the Papacy, try one of these:

Prayer Rock

If you have older children, go to a beach or stream and find a smooth rock to keep in your pocket. Use it as a reminder to pray whenever you touch it. Feeling crafty? Paint it! What does this have to do with St. Peter? “You shall be called Peter (Latin for rock) and on this rock I will build my church.”


Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade before Christ called him to be a fisher of men. Go fishing and experience the frustration of being up empty nets or the excitement of having them filled.

Popes cover

Pope Guess Who

Monica @ Arma Dei has catholic-ified a ton of games. If you are into games, try her version of Guess Who using images of the popes. It’s free if you join her email list. $5, if you’d rather fork up some cash :).


Personally, my favorite way to celebrate saints days is food-inspired because I have to feed them at least 16 times a day anyway:). These three ideas are at the top of my list from easy to divine!

Easy – St. Peter’s Fishing Net Chex Mix @ Catholic Inspired
Quick & Easy Fish @ Kitchen Stewardship

Divine – Polish Papal Cream Cake

This was apparently Pope St. JPII’s favorite food and it looks crazy easy. Puff pastry, a homemade custard & powdered sugar. I wish I would have bought the pastry I saw Saturday. Never ignore the urge to buy puff pastry in the store; it could be a nudge from the Holy Spirit! :).


Are you going to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul? Do you have any favorite traditions?


Jen S.

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Summer Book Basket

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support!


It’s been awhile since I’ve shared our book basket selections. With the kids playing outside so much, our read-aloud time has dwindled. As it should!

But it’s really my favorite way to reconnect with them so we do a “tea time” in mid-morning or mid-afternoon (or both!). We have a snack, read & pray before going back to work & play.

summer book basket

This summer, we have been reading a few things. Keep in mind that I don’t read every book every day. We usually get to 3 or 4 before the snack has been consumed & the natives are restless. They are 7, 4, and 2.

Catholic Resources


The Story of the Bible – Old Testament
We received this to review from TAN Homeschool and we have been enjoying it. It’s a nice mix of bible story with Catholic commentary on the significance of the story. It’s intended for older children, but the accompanying teacher’s guide has extra activities. We haven’t done any yet, but it’s summer. I did pre-order the full New Testament set, though.

saints for young readers cover

Saints for Young Readers – Vol 1 (Jan-June)
Our oldest reads a saint profile to us at least once a week or so. It’s good practice and she reads aloud better than some 20 year olds :).

jesus calling cover

Jesus Calling for Little Ones
This was so awesome, I bought Jesus Calling for me. Great little book! But short. We already finished it :).


Growing With Jesus
Still plodding through this one. We really do like it, but since we don’t do it daily…


book house vol 2

My Book House – Vol. 2

This gets great reviews at the Read-Aloud Revival FB group and it turns out, I had it. Well, most of it. I hadn’t cracked one open though, but we are loving the stories & poems. Fun stuff!

linguistic development cover

Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization

This one I dug out because the girls were waxing poetic one day about swinging. I started to recite they part I knew and my younger daughter instantly ran inside to get one of our picture books with the poem. I decided to try having them memorize it and both enthusiastically agreed. Who knew?


safety comics cover

KidPower Safety Comics
I’m so worthless about teaching them safety stuff but my middle child loves this book. Summer is a great time to concentrate on safe people, getting help & tricky adults.

laying rails children

Laying Down the Rails for Children

So I’ve gone back to CM/classical homeschooling and am frustrated beyond belief with being a broken record / slave. I was able to listen to Sonya Shafer’s talk on this from the state convention and jumped for joy when I heard they published a “reader” of sorts to go with the character training. I bought it that day and dug out the book. Her talk really made it click with me and we are starting with Obedience for the remainder of summer :).



So those are the mom picks for read-aloud time this summer. They are the more educational and/or less twaddle-y ones that they would not pick up on their own, but enjoy nonetheless :).

Do you pick books, let them pick, or both for your read-aloud time?

Jen S.

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Jesus Calling For Kids {Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway}

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support!


I don’t know about you, but I always grew up assuming God loved me, but it hasn’t been until recently that I started to feel like there was a relationship there.

Jesus Calling for Little Ones Giveaway

I know I am no saint so when Tommy Mommy sent me Jesus Calling for Little Ones, I was really excited to have a devotional written as if God is actually talking to them.  And shows them a bible verse they can read or memorize that shows them that.

This was my first encounter with a Jesus Calling book and it’s vague enough to apply to a lot of things but specific enough to get to your heart.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I loved these devotions so much that I bought the original one for me and a big kid version for my older daughter.


Jesus Calling for Little Ones is a padded board book with 13 devotions and is appropriate for ages 0-4, but I would guess that 3-5 might get it more.  It would be ideal for early exposure, though.  If you’ve never seen a Jesus Calling book, I really recommend them.  They are simply beautiful!

If you’d like one for a child in you life, use the widget below!

Please note that a comment answering the question is mandatory.  Thanks for you for your integrity folks!

Good luck!

Jen S.

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Noah’s Noisy Zoo – a Cut-Out Board Book {Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway}

Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!


This month, I received two really cute board books from Tommy Mommy. The first is Noah’s Noisy Zoo .


When I had kids two and three, I started collecting fun board books for littles that had some touch friendly element to them. This book is unlike any I’ve ever seen. Noah’s Noisy Zoo has cut outs and bump-outs that fit together so the book doesn’t LOOK any bigger than normal, but it has interesting features for the littlest bookworm.

noah's noisy zoo inside texture

This is a thick page board book and features bright illustrations and very few words making it ideal for the super young. It’s super easy to interact with older children by having them make the animal sounds. My two year old really enjoys it!

This is one of those books making the short list for any baby gifts I need to buy. Very cute and appropriate for a baptism.

noah's noisy zoo

Want a copy of Noah’s Noisy Zoo for a baby you know? Use the widget below to enter!

Please note that a comment answering the question is mandatory. Thanks for you for your integrity folks!

Good luck!

Jen S.

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6 Simple Summer Systems

Everyone wants to be outside enjoying summer, but all play and no work makes for a huge mess. And a crazy mommy, too.

The key to surviving the summer without being stuck indoors is to create a few simple summer systems.

1. Toy Lock Out

As in, try a toy closet or put most of the toys in an place where they can’t get them out. In the summer, we have outside toys, books and basic art supplies. If there is a rainy spell, we will bring out one item, but otherwise kids are to go outside or read. Better yet, do both :).

Doing this will make a whole house pick up 10 minutes. Seriously.

2. Self Service Swimming

Now that my kids are finally big enough to do things for themselves, I’m making swimming a self service affair.

Swim Bags

For trips to the beach (or pool), the kids are required to carry their own bags. Those freebie backpacks work great for holding towels, goggles, snacks, water, and your clothes when you get there. If they want beach chairs or toys, they must carry them or the can’t have them.

Post-Swim System

Whether we swim at home or away, we have a system for dealing with swimwear (and other wet items). They go straight in the washer. Even the two year old can put his in with help. You can even have them take your towels & run it.

I like to do the laundry right away so that we have clean swimsuits & towels ready for the next jaunt. If you prefer to do laundry another time, you can make your system to hang items on the clothesline outside or other designated area. Then do it. every. single. time.

Time saved?  Hours if you aren’t looking for clean towels & swimsuits on your way out the door :)

6 simple summer systems

3. Go Bags

Yours may look different based on the ages of your kids, but we have a park go bag & a picnic kit. Our park bag contains diapers/wipes, a simple first aid kit, and a towel to wipe down wet playground equipment. Our picnic kit varies slightly by year, but has most of these contents.

Time saved — 10 minutes per park date.

4. Summer Stock Up

Before the summer starts, I usually go through the bathroom closet and check expiration dates. Once that is done, I take an inventory of essentials for the things we may need this summer. This would include things like:

  • Sunblock
  • Sun burn relief
  • Bug spray
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Benadryl
  • Pain reliever
  • First aid cream
  • Bandages

Whether you use natural or store bought products, chances are you will use many of these over the summer months.

Time saved.  At least an hour.  Have you ever had a “quick stop” at a store for real?

5. Summer Staples

The last thing I want to do on a beautiful day is go to the store. Our local Meijer’s needs to be investigated for temporal anomalies. I swear I could walk in the door, turn around and walk out and 3 hours have passed.

Auto-ship = best friend.

While this is true for any time of year for me, if you’ve never tried it, this would be a great time to try it. I use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program for things like toilet paper, dishwasher tabs, and various other pantry staples like granola bars or applesauce pouches that we use while on the go. ePantry is my go to source for green cleaning. I get cleaners, detergent, hand soap & bar soap that way. (You get $10 off your first order if you click on the link above.)

By using auto-ship, I can really cut down on the amount of time spent shopping during summer.

It depends how much you buy but the time savings can be huge.

6. Summer Routines

Finally, create an enjoyable summer routine. I am a huge fan of letting kids “be bored.” Because of this, I limit our outside fun to 1 or 2 days a week.

I also hate being pestered about when we are going to do this, that & the other so the kids know that Monday we clean up from the weekend, Tuesday is Library day and Friday is shopping day.



These are six summer systems we have in place so that we get things done AND have the opportunity to take advantage of summer fun, too. None of these are our master, but more of a guide. In fact, many times, I will check the weather forecast for the week and juggle to days to take advantage of good/bad weather and write the changes to our normal schedule on the fridge, so everyone knows the tentative plan.

Do you have a system that helps you take advantage of summer fun? I’d love to hear about it!

Jen S.

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