Archive for Books

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.

Print Friendly

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.

Print Friendly

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.

Print Friendly

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.

Print Friendly

Heart’s Made Whole {Book Review}

I love historical fiction and I have lived on one of the Great Lakes my whole life. I am a “collector” of lighthouses and so when the opportunity to review Hearts Made Whole came up, I was pretty stoked. I mean several of my favorite things all wrapped up in one book? Yes please!


Hearts Made Whole is the story of a woman who is running a lighthouse on Lake St. Clare after the death of her father. Because of her infirm sister and 3 siblings, she is desperate to keep the job. The head lighthouse guy hates her being there so after the war, the job is given to another man. Despite his many failings and struggles, she grows to love him.

I wish I could say I loved this newest novel by Jody Hedlund. The setting and her description of it were spot on. A few things bothered me though. First, it felt like her friend, who ends up playing a kind of important piece at the end, wasn’t introduced soon enough or often enough. Such a dear & important friend should have had a bit bigger role.

Also, the sheer number of not so nice things happening and her practically nonexistent response to them until there was literally a knife in someone’s side was a little irritating. Even then, she didn’t have much backbone but was desperate to do whatever she had to in order to sacrifice for her family. But I can’t believe she had no options anywhere. Obviously, she had friends.

I think the most annoying thing was her attitude toward the new lighthouse keeper. I’m not opposed to mercy, but this dude had problems. Big ones! And she had 4 siblings to take care of. Practically speaking, he was a loser who needed to clean up his act before he was a fit husband. Don’t get me wrong. Underneath, you could tell he was a good man. He had some demons to address, though, and she wasn’t in a good place to be able to focus on helping him with that without endangering others.

I got the impression that had the events been different, she still would have married him & all his baggage. She was willing to do all sorts of dumb things to care for her siblings, but wasn’t likely to do the ONE smart one (stay away from him). I prefer a strong, smart lead woman and she just didn’t fit that bill for me.

*   *   *

Don’t miss Jody Hedlund’s new book, Hearts Made Whole, a story of loss, forgiveness, hope, and true love set in 1865 Michigan. When Ryan’s failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Can Caroline forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?

Celebrate the release of Hearts Made Whole by entering to win an Afternoon at the Beach prize pack and RSVPing to Jody’s June 23rd author chat party!

hearts made whole - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:

One second-place winner will receive:

One third-place winner will receive:

hearts made whole - prize colalge

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 23rd.Winner will be announced June 23rd at Jody’s Facebook partyRSVP here!

hearts made whole - enter banner


If you read Hearts Made Whole and disagree (like everyone else on GoodReads :D), I’d love your take on the lead male/female relationship. Leave me a comment!

Jen S.

Print Friendly