Preciousness of Silence

Preciousness of Silence

"Lord, set a guard over my mouth;  keep watch at the door of my lips." Ps 141:3

"But Jesus was silent." Mt 26:63

The Silence is Meekness.
When you do not defend yourself against offenses;
When you do not claim your rights;
When you let God defend you;
The Silence is Meekness.

The Silence is Mercy.
When you do not reveal the faults of your brothers to others;
When you readily forgive without inquiring into the past;
When you do not judge, but pray in your heart;
The Silence is Mercy.

The Silence is Patience.
When you accept suffering not with grumbling but joyfully;
When you do not look for human consolations;
When you do not become too anxious, but wait in patience for the seed to germinate;
The Silence is Patience.

The Silence is Humility.
When there is no competition;
When you consider the other person to be better than yourself;
When you let your brothers emerge, grow and mature;
When you joyfully abandon all to the Lord;
When your actions may be misinterpreted;
When you leave to others the glory of the enterprise;
The Silence is Humility.

The Silence is Faith.
When you keep quiet because you know that the Lord will act;
When you renounce the voice of the world to remain in the presence of the Lord;
When you do not labour yourself to be understood;
because it is enough for you to know that the Lord understands you;
The Silence is Faith.

The Silence is Adoration.
When you embrace the cross without asking "Why?";
The Silence is Adoration.

"But Jesus was silent."

~MC & LMC Prayer Book

Christmas Novena

Starts on St. Andrew’s Feast Day - November 30 ~ Ends on Christmas Eve - December 24
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
I created a printable novena card.  You may print and share, freely.


Advent Mix-up

week 1 papi

Papi had a bit of a mix up. He was so excited to see the Advent box come in from the garage, that he mistook his Advent wreath for the girls’ St. Lucia Crown.

May we all have Papi’s excitement this Advent as we prepare our hearts for Jesus.

Be Watchful! Be Alert!

“ Be Watchful! Be Alert!…to receive Christ, in whatever form he may come to us…As we know neither the day nor the hour, let us keep our hearts clean and free and ready to meet Jesus when He comes…”

~Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

advent wreath week 1

Let us allow the Virgin Mary, Mother of the God-who-comes and Mother of Hope, to guide us in this waiting.

May She whom we will celebrate as Immaculate in a few days obtain for us that we be found holy and immaculate in love at the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

~Pope Benedict XVI

New Pancakes

The kids needed a break from eggs for breakfast.  Dad and I decided to try three recipes this morning.  We wanted to find a go to pancake recipe for our new family recipe book.

We have a winner!!!


The Best Paleo Pancake Recipe

the best paleo pancake recipe

This was our winning recipe.  The consistency and taste was perfection.


Coconut Flour Pancakes

coconut flour pancakes

This was our second fav.  They were tasty but the consistency was a bit off for us.


Almond Meal Griddle Cakes

almond meal griddle cakes

This was our least favorite recipe.  Perhaps its because we substituted the almond meal with coconut flour.  We couldn’t even cook these babies.  My eldest daughter used this batch for her pie crust.  It worked great as a pie crust.

Little PEACE of Italy

Mom and Dad
we escaped for the weekend in celebration of dad’s birthday.  it was a last minute getaway that came together within four days and managed to stay within our very limited budget.  praise God!
Castillo de Amirosa
we traveled to a near-by getaway that seemed like we were in another country—Castillo de Amorosa in Napa, CA.
it was a first for us, on many levels.  we haven’t taken a weekend getaway (without kids) in 6 six years, first trip to napa as a couple, and first wine tasting.
King and Queen
we were a king and queen for the weekend while rose manned the home front.
Mass at the Castle
our trip started with sun. Mass (in the Extraordinary Form)at the castle’s chapel.
castellodiamorosa collage
then we ventured on for a full tour and wine tasting.  we were blessed to have a semi-private tour.  there was only one other couple in our group.  dad and I did not want to leave the authentic, medieval castle.
napa misc collage
we laid low after our visit to the castle.  we had no plans and winged the rest of the trip with whatever our hearts desired--simple food and relaxed days.
we thoroughly enjoyed discussing our date night questions.
it was a blessed weekend.  we give all thanks and glory to the GOOD LORD!
Dad in the castle
Happy Birthday, my love.  May you continue to seek the intercession of the Holy family and surrender to His will.

Fast Food

Dad and I got away for the weekend.  We ate clean, majority of the time away from home but we did splurge.  We found a drive-in burger stand in St. Helena—Gott’s Roadside.  The line was out to the street so we figured it had to be good. 
It far surpassed our expectations.  Gott’s serves up a mean grass-fed beef burger.
The menu is packed with mouth-watering items but Dad and I craved a juicy burger.

On our visit, (yes, we visited Gott’s more than once), we tried the Cheeseburger and Wisconsin Sourdough.  We also had the sweet potato fries.  I begged for more so Dad took me to their other location in Napa.  I ventured out and tried the Western Bacon Blue King and Dad had the Texas Burger.  We shared the garlic fries.

Healthy Options for Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my sis’s house.  She is very supportive of our new lifestyle change and was very diligent to be certain that we would have options come dinner time.  We brought some of our own dishes to help us with our choices.


Garlic and Herb Mashed Cauliflower

Garlic and Herb Mashed Cauliflower collage

This was a delicious dish once we got the cauliflower to the right consistency.  Rose ended up using the hand-held emulsion blender.  We never missed the mashed potatoes.

Slightly Sweet Cranberry Sauce

Slightly Sweet Cranberry Sauce collage

Dad can’t go without homemade cranberry sauce.  This definitely topped his traditional recipe that was loaded with sugar.  Those who like cranberry sauce, loved this recipe.  I could have used some honey for more sweetness but overall, I enjoyed it.

Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes


This was my favorite side.  It was good hot or cold.  This would be a great snack to have handy in the fridge.

Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

This is a family favorite and it was one of our splurges.  Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to find a suitable substitute.  I did eliminate the Worchester Sauce.

Grain Free Carrot Cake

Grain Free Carrot Cake collage

Yummmmmmmmmmmmm!!!  I’m sure there was a time when I would gawk at the idea of a healthy dessert option, this dessert did away with all my past hang-ups.  We have been eating it non-stop since Thanksgiving Day.  Dragonfly has even led the troops in eating it for breakfast.

Papa’s Turkey

papa's turkey

This was the star of the show.

Another Year Closer to….

…Our Heavenly Father!

Dad celebrated a birthday on Nov. 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

We celebrated Dad’s birthday by fulfilling his simple requests. This included a deviation from our normal diet to accommodate his cake request--Tiramisu Cake. It was delish!

dad's bday collage

He was showered with gifts from our GFG. They gave him slippers, shirt and tie, suit, iPhone accessory, money, and plenty of drawings. Rose also gave Dad, my favorite gift, a weekend of babysitting for the Little’s so that Dad and I could take an overnight trip.

In addition to celebrating Dad and gift giving, I love reflecting on they ways that Dad blesses me. 

I am blessed to…

  • grow in faith with you.
  • have you by my side for constant encouragement and a good laugh.
  • receive your unconditional love.
  • watch you shower our GFG with love and affection.
  • be led by your humble headship of our family.
  • have my needs met by you on a regular basis.
  • serve you.
  • grow old with you.
  • hear from you on a regular basis via phone/text while you're out.
  • have you include me in all of your experiences.
  • witness your ever growing devotion to all that is good and pleasing to Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  • reach a higher level of intimacy with you, year after year.
  • share everything with you.
  • be called your wife!

May the Good Lord continue to lead us closer together so that we can truly become one and give Him glory. 

Our New Italian Dish

O.k., so this dish isn’t really an Italian dish but it is the closest we’ll come to a pasta dish these days. 

It reminded me of a veggie lasagna.  Dad had to acquire a taste for it since I overcooked the zucchini and they were a bit mushy.  My four year old son and six year old daughter, loved it.  In fact, she is still talking about it. (Two of my girls were out the evening we had this dish.)

The meat sauce was divine.



Paleo Spaghetti

JOYJtomatoes in the pot for sauceorganic zucchinizucchini spaghettiSpaghetti Meat Sauce

paleo spaghetti

St. Felicity and Her Seven Sons ~ Self Control


  Saint Felicitas was a widow. She was tried with her seven boys before the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome. She encouraged every one of her sons to shed his blood for the Catholic Faith. She stood by and watched each one of them as he suffered and died. Four months later, on November 23, she was herself beheaded. But it is beautiful to put her in commemoration along with her seven sons on July 10, in the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus.


We did not meet on our regular date, First Saturday, for our third meeting.  I had severe allergies and was on a tight timeframe to move.  Praise God that my move is complete and I was able to meet the second Saturday of November.

There were twenty girls in attendance.  We focused on St. Felicity and Her Seven Sons ~ Self-control. 

Each girl received a piece of candy before the start of the meeting.  They were instructed to not touch the piece of candy.  It sat in front of the girls throughout snack time and lesson time.


That blessed woman Felicity, whose Birth-feast we are keeping today, had as much dread of leaving her seven sons living after her in the flesh, as have carnal minded mothers of seeing them go dead before them.  When she was taken in the strong pains of persecution, she braced up the hearts of  her children by bidding them cleave to the Fatherland above, and became their mother for the spiritual, as she had aforetime been for the fleshly life, bringing them forth for God by her exhortation, as she had brought them forth for the world by her body.  And shall I not call this woman a Martyr?  Nay, more than Martyr.  The seven whom she trusted to God were seven children sent before her to death.  She suffered first and triumphed last.  ~Breviary

I introduced the girls to St. Felicity and Her Seven Sons. 

"My sons will live forever if, like me, they scorn the idols and die for their God.”  ~St. Felicity


Felicitas Seven Sons (all of whom were martyred)

  1. Alexander
  2. Vitalis
  3. Martial
  4. Januarius
  5. Felix
  6. Phillip
  7. Silvanus

Patronage - against the death of children, against sterility, martyrs, to have male children, widows

Representation - woman in widow‘s weeds holding a palm of martyrdom, woman with a palm, book, and children at her feet, woman with Saint Andrew the Apostle, woman with seven sons


Learn how meritorious it is to die for the King (Christ). This woman (St. Felicity) feared not the sword, but perished with her sons. She confessed Christ and merited an eternal renown. ~Ihm, Damasi Epigrammata (Leipzig, 1895)

We honed in on the love of God and self control that St. Felicity and her sons demonstrated.  C volunteered to share her definition of self control.  Before she gave her definition of self control, I called for others to raise their hands if they new what self control meant.  Few girls raised their hands.  I invited them all to raise their hands since they had already demonstrated their understanding of self control. 

Self-control: The act, power, or habit of having one's desires under the control of the will, enlightened by right reason and faith.  ~ Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

According to C, self control is not doing something that you really want to do.  The girls wanted to eat the candy before them but they exercised their self control by not touching the candy placed before them.  The girls shared other ways that they have exercised self control.  They always enjoy this time of sharing.


I worked my way into the craft of the month by asking what the girls do each morning upon waking.  There were numerous answers before I pinned, the morning offering.  I encouraged each girl to exercise self control this month by saying their morning offering upon rising in the morning.  Even before, they use the restroom, eat breakfast, go to mom’s room, etc… 

I created an iron-on image of a Morning Offering and holy image (found at Holy Reflections).  The girls (with the help of a mom) ironed their selected image onto their pillowcase.

LF pillow cases

We had three stations for ironing so all the girls could complete their craft before the close of the meeting.  Rose assisted to prep the binders as girls crafted.  I also took the opportunity to paly another self-control game.  The girls played two rounds of a staring contest with their neighbor.  Then I selected one LF to go before the entire group to attempt to make the group laugh.  She had full reign to be silly and the audience had strict instructions not to laugh.  A good time was had by all.  Upon completion of this round, the girls discussed their strategy to exercise self-control so they did not laugh despite the silly antics. 

We held one more round.  This time the silly girl could not get her audience to laugh.  We discussed the reason for this outcome, was it because A was not funny or was it because it becomes easier to exercise self control after time of practice?

The meeting ended and the girls were rewarded their candy and sent off to exercise self-control.

St. Felicity & Her Seven Sons ~ orate pro nobis





Morning Offering Pillow Case

morning offering pillow case v2
Here is a simple and quick craft that I had my Little Flowers group complete for the virtue of self-control.  My hope was that they exercise self-control by saying their Morning Offering daily, upon rising.   The Morning Offering Pillow Case is to serve as a reminder to the girls. 
It would also make a great gift on any occasion.
  1. Pillow case
  2. Iron-on transfer paper
  3. Printer
  4. Iron
  5. Iron board
  6. Scissors
  7. Image to print
I found the beautiful images at Holy Reflections.  You may click on the image to print.
Mary with Child Jesus - Morning Offering Pillow Case ImageChild making an offering to Jesus - Morning Offering Pillow Case imageImmaculate Heart of Mary & Sacred Heart of Jesus - Morning Offering Pillow Case imageImmaculate Heart of Mary & Sacred Heart of Jesus with blue - Morning Offering Pillow Case imageSt. Therese's Morning Offering - Morning Offering Pillow Case image
  1. Print the image (be sure to print the mirror image if the image is not already set)
  2. Trim the image
  3. Apply the image to your desired item.  Be sure to follow the directions of your transfer paper.  

Ruth & Naomi ~ Friendliness ~ Blue Phox

Be polite, amiable and friendly to
every one; but be all this in reality. A young
woman who behaves with great friendliness toward
any person she secretly detests and talks about in
an unkind manner, plays the part of a hypocrite.
In the Garden of Olives, Judas greeted and kissed
the Redeemer, at the very time when he was
treating Him with shameful ingratitude and dis-
graceful treachery. ~ Father Lasance, Catholic Girl’s Guide


We met in October for our second meeting of the 2011-2012 session.  Ruth & Naomi were the saints chosen for the month.

We had 30 girls in attendance.  Two new girls joined us.  We are now at a grand total of 37.

As always, we started with Mass.  The girls are working on showing their Love of God by reverently entering the Church, participating in Mass, and exiting the Church.  We had a small hiccup on the exiting.  It required us to make another attempt and shorten our snack/social time.  All for!

We recapped what we learned last month, Mary-Mother of God and cheerfulness.  A few girls volunteered to recite the designated memory verse.

We then discussed the lives of Ruth & Naomi.  I retold their story from this recap.  The girls were drawn into Ruth’s selflessness and devotion to her mother-in-law and friend, Naomi.  The girls further discussed the virtue of friendliness.  As always, the girls enjoyed sharing their ways to show friendliness.

Father L was able to make a visit this month.  Father spoke about the Holy Rosary, Guardian Angels, and he offered a Q&A session.  The girls were allowed to ask Father anything that their heart desired.  They were delighted to learn more about Father L.  He closed his session with a blessing.

Friendship Rosary

I chose a craft that tied in friends and the Rosary (since it was the month of Our Lady of the Rosary),a single decade friendship rosary.  I had plenty of help from moms. 

I divided the girls into groups of six.  The cord was pre-cut and knotted so that the girls could begin their beading.  One girl would take her rosary cord around the table.  Her fellow Little Flowers would place a bead of their choice onto the cord.  Once all the ten beads were threaded, the mom helper would tie another knot and assist the LF with the remainder of her decade rosary.  This process was repeated for each LF at the table.


Handouts: (in order)


"Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” ~Ruth 1:16

Mulligatawny Soup

The kids are loving dinner prep.  There’s much more work  for them to do in the kitchen since we’ve dumped the processed foods.

They were thrilled to make tonight’s dinner, Mulligatawny Soup.

my helpersveggies for soupsoup in pot


The recipe made enough for the entire family.  Everyone loved it.  Dad and I ate for lunch the following day.

Discernment of a Maiden

tac visit

Rose went on her first, and possibly her last, college visit in October.

She is completely smitten by this beautiful and faithful college.  Dad and I remain steadfast in prayer, praying for God’s will for this young girl who is so quickly becoming a young lady. 



O ALMIGHTY God! Whose wise and amiable prov-
idence watches over every human event, deign to
be my light and my counsel in all my undertakings,
particularly in the choice of a state of life. I know
that on this important step my sanctification and
salvation may in a great measure depend. I know
that I am incapable of discerning what may be best
for me; therefore I cast myself into Thy arms, beseech-
ing Thee, my God, Who hast sent me into this world
only to love and serve Thee, to direct by Thy grace
every moment and action of my life to the glorious
end of my creation. I renounce most sincerely every
other wish, than to fulfill Thy designs on my soul,
whatever they may be; and I beseech Thee to give me
the grace, by imbibing the true spirit of a Christian,
to qualify myself for any state of life to which Thy
adorable providence may call me. O my God! when-
ever it may become my duty to make a choice, do Thou
be my light and my counsel, and mercifully deign to
make the way known to me wherein I should walk, for
I have lifted up my soul to Thee. Preserve me from
listening to the suggestions of my own self-love, or
worldly prudence, in prejudice to Thy holy inspirations.
Thy good Spirit lead me into the right way, and
Thy adorable providence place me, not where I may
be happiest, according to the world, but in that state
in which I Shall love and serve Thee most perfectly,
and meet with most abundant means for working out
my salvation. This is all that I ask and all that I
desire; for what would it avail me to gain the whole
world, if, in the end, I were to lose my soul and to be
so unfortunate as to prefer temporal advantages and
worldly honors to the enjoyment of Thy divine presence
in a happy eternity?

Most holy Virgin Mary, take me under thy protection.

My good angel guardian and patron saints, pray
for me. Amen.

All Hallows Eve

st isadore and holy cow

God, through the intercession  of St. Isidore, the holy Farmer, grant that we may overcome all feelings of pride. May we always serve You with that humility which pleases You, through his merits and example.


We made costumes out of our everyday attire since we were deep into our move.  Papi was St. Isadore and Dragonfly was his Holy CowSparkles was Mary Magdalene and Sweetie was Mary, Queen of Heaven. 

No Vertigo


i'm feeling much better without carbs and sugar.  i'm hoping to see more weight loss by my official weigh-in on mon.
i'm trying hard to give thanks for where i'm at despite the fact that i've missed my major WL goals.  i am pre-preg weight of baby #4.  i have two more babies to go, 20 lbs. i ran for 2.5 miles today.  this my first run since the onset of my vertigo.  i felt much better than anticipated.  my callouses are fading  so my feet were slightly raw and sore.

thanks for giving me a tip on the vertigo.  it prompted me to look it up again.  i came to the conclusion that my vertigo was triggered by a head injury.  i've had similar symptoms post pregnancy but nothing like what i recently experienced.  my condition started immediately after a soccer game.  i headed the ball on 2 occasions.  both were high impact and caused some immediate dizziness.  i was able to regain my composure and continued with the first half.  i became extremely light headed at the start of the second half.  i wanted to sit out but thought that my dizziness was due to my lack of fitness and hydration.  i continued to play.  i lost my vision on my way home while driving. rose and i prayed the whole way.  still, i passed it off and thought i was in need of food.  i stopped at the nearest fast food, taco bell.  i could barely take in 2 bites.  i was nauseous.  finally i arrived to where dad was and i couldn't even keep my eyes open.  i felt like i just stepped off a roller coaster.  i couldn't even walk without guidance.  dad thought i had a concussion.  it was worse than labor.  ok, maybe not that bad but you know what i mean.  i experienced excessive vomiting.  i slept for the entire weekend.

the symptoms continued up to the present time.  they were much milder and intermittent.

i found this link after your post.  i decided to perform the simple exercise that was suggested.  i haven't had any symptoms since.

i'm praying that it's gone for good.  i desperately need to get back to training.  also, my family will be embarking on a pilgrimage that requires us to walk 13-15 miles a day for 3 days.  we will be camping along the way.  i need to be free from the dizziness.

lets keep moving!

New Conviction

i was frustrated with my lack of results and i gave up.  it's not a place i want to be at spiritually or physically, although, i've been there before.
i give praise and thanksgiving to God that i'm working my way out of the darkness.
i have 3 more changes for this phase.
  • 1. high protein diet (thanks for the push)
    • i'm cutting the flour and sugar out completely, at least for this week.
  • 2. starting a new workout program.
    • i enjoyed the program and definitely got some results despite my lack of faithfulness but i need a shorter exercise program. the new workout has some cons but it's the right intensity and time for me (at this phase/season of my life).
  • 3. offering each day and sacrifices for a cause/intentions
    • i cannot do this on my own.  offering up each sacrifice for a specific cause helps me to keep the focus on Him and help others.
    • please share your intentions.  i'll gladly add them to my list.
i'm going to keep it simple and take it one day at a time.  i'll be  using our motto to help me along the way.
today's intentions are for all the mothers struggling with incorporating fitness into their daily lives.  may the Good Lord provide them (us) with the direction and grace needed to persevere. 


The new phase of my fitness journey has begun.  This is the phase that comes after I reached a plateau and lost motivation.  It’s the phase in which a new conviction is born.
I’ve been at this phase before.  The difference this time around is that I desire to do more than just drop the pounds and develop healthy habits.  I desire to grow spiritually and produce His fruits.
I am halfway there in regards to my weight loss.  I have already lost baby weight from Dragonfly and Papi.  I have two more babies to go, totaling 20lbs.  After that, I will set my next weight loss goal, as I am no longer sure what my ideal body weight should be.
Here are some of my commitments for this phase in my journey.
Plan of Action:
  • put the focus on the journey (spiritual and physical fitness) not the end result (weight loss).
  • ditch the all or nothing attitude
  • take it one week at a time.  focus on weekly goals so that i do not become discouraged.
  • 30 min exercise 3x week in addition to my running program
  • 2 races by the end of Aug. (any length will be fine with me)
  • 20 lbs loss by Aug.
  • no sugar!
  • eat small meals throughout they day – before i get into hunger mode.
  • only water. 10-14 glasses a day.
I have been dedicating each day of sacrifice to a specific intention.  You are invited to share your intentions with me.  I would be more than happy to pray and sacrifice for your intention.   You can be as descriptive or as general as you desire.  Leave your intention in the comments or email them to me at JOYfilledfamily{at}gmail{dot}com.
My primary goal is to glorify Him!
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  ~1Cor 9:24-27
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