Naturally Fresh

Natural Deodorant Crystal

I have taken one more step in eliminating unnatural beauty products.  I finally made it through my stock of traditional chemical laden deodorants and went in search of an alternative. 

It was on a late night shopping trip with my husband that I found a natural deodorant, Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal with Aloe Vera.  I purchased the travel size (2.1 oz) at Wal-Mart for $2.50 (on clearance).  

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal with Aloe Vera is:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Fragrance Free
  • Aluminum Free

Naturally Fresphotoh Deodorant Crystal products are 100% pure and natural, non-staining, and provide up to 24 hour, hypoallergenic protection against body and foot odor. Our products are also paraben free, propylene glycol free, phthalate free, and contain no harmful aluminums (aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium). They function as natural deodorants, which kill odor-causing bacteria while permitting the pores to excrete toxins naturally. This is vital to maintain healthy, axillary lymph nodes located in the underarm area.

I love the Naturally Fresh Deodorant!  I’ve tried other natural and coconut oil based deodorants (homemade and purchased) in the past but none of them have held up or felt so light.  I have had absolutely no body odor, no filmy residue, no irritation, no marks on clothing, and no irritating perfume smells.  Another great benefit of the crystal deodorant is that it lasts up to one year! 

Maybe someday I’ll find the right homemade solution but for now I’m happy with this alternative.

WC Walk for LIFE 2013

We walked in reparation for the sins that have been committed against the unborn, all involved in abortion, and other end-of-life issues.  We walked to be a witness for Christ!



Pope John Paul II

For an End to Abortion

Oh God, who is the Beginning and the End, hear our prayers as we cry out to you to end the merciless shedding of innocent blood in our nation and throughout the world. Through death you have conquered death and through your life we experience eternal and everlasting life. Cause life to spring forth in the hearts of all people and bring forth a love and respect for life that will dominate our culture.  May your kingdom and church apprehend and overtake the culture of death that has prevailed through deceit and selfishness; may the Seed of the woman crush the head of the serpent through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


IMG_5650-001Praise God that we were able to walk as a family for the 2013 Walk for Life – West Coast.  It was a first for the boys.  Thankfully, there wasn’t much opposition (seen) so the littles were all spared from graphic visuals and language.

Rose joined up with friends from our parish and walked with TAC.

I must note that it was much more of a sacrifice for me (at 37 weeks) than I had anticipated.  Dad and the kids were great support.  ALL FOR!


Below is a recap of the walk in pictures. 

We had more pictures from the actual walk and entire day but my photographer and her assistant had a mishap with the camera memory while on our way home. A story not worth mentioning.


Dad – For the logic-impaired  ~  Mom – baby G in womb-37weeks  ~  Rose – Smile Your Mom Chose LIFE ~ Sweetie & Dragonfly – LIFE decorated with hologram smiley faces  ~  Papi – SMILE (w/hologram smiley faces) 4-LIFE  ~  Sparkles – glittered American Flag (her creation from a RMGS poster contest) with PRO LIFE image in place of stars

IMG_5660IMG_5576imageslogic impared






Novena Prayer for Life to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Oh Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of Life,
We honor you as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Thank you for pointing us to Jesus your Son,
The only Savior and hope of the world.
Renew our hope in him,
That we all may have the courage to say Yes to life,
And to defend those children in danger of abortion.
Give us your compassion
To reach out to those tempted to abort,
And to those suffering from a past abortion.
Lead us to the day when abortion
Will be a sad, past chapter in our history.
Keep us close to Jesus, the Life of the World,
Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

A Family Walking for Life

We are walking as a complete family in 2013 for the WC Walk for Life!  DEO GRATIAS!!

We pray to help build up the culture of life.

Please raise up this effort and all those participating in your prayers.


WALK FOR LIFE WEST COAST ~ January 26, 2:30 PM ET; January 27, 9:30 AM ET – EWTN


“I was excited to go on the Walk for Life WC (2012) for the second time. I prayed as I walked. The crowd (opposition) made me sad because they were being mean to God. I prayed for them.

I pray that we all will love God and that He let them know that killing babies is wrong.” ~Sparkles, age 8


LIFE IS THE ONLY CHOICE - wonderful song but not for viewing (for all audiences)

A Master Bedroom & Birthing Suite

Master Bedroom JOYfilledfamily Jan 2013My birthing suite (aka master bedroom) is complete.  It was not an easy task but it has finally come together with the help of my entire family.

Master Bedroom collage v2 JOYfilledfamily Jan 2013

Master Bathroom collage JOYfilledfamily Jan 2013

Prior to now, my master bedroom was serving as a storage room – a catch-all from quick cleans and all the other rooms in the house.  It was never my intention to live amongst clutter but it became easier to store it away than to deal with it.  Dad and I really never minded because having a clean room, a haven, has never been much of a priority.  We spend the majority of time as a family in the main living areas of our home.  Also, cleaning in itself is not the priority of my family (proof can be found here).  Sure, we have basic cleaning chores but anything beyond that is often reserved for special guests or yearly liturgical cleaning.  That’s the reality of our growing family who spends majority of the day together (dad, mom, and all five kids) homeschooling while trying to make due with my aliments

The hope is that my birthing suite will remain a haven for the remainder of my pregnancy (currently 36 weeks 2 days along), labor, baby G’s infancy, and beyond.  ALL FOR!



What every homeschooling parent wants to hear…

…Ave Maria and congratulations!  We are pleased to notify you that you have been accepted as a studeRose - college acceptance-001nt of (desired college).

Rose has been accepted to a wonderful Catholic college!  We are all offering prayers of thanksgiving for this very special blessing.  Our Lady of Bethlehem, pray for us!

Our homeschooling unofficially started when when Rose was first born and it went into full throttle when she was 6/7 years old, in third grade.  It’s been slightly over eleven years of “official” homeschooling for us.  Our goal has always been to give Glory to God, foster family relations, and provide a sound education (according to God’s plan for us).  Dad and I have always encouraged further education but were persistent that college is NOT the only way to go.  The emphasize has always been on following God’s call.

Yet more has He done for you! He bestowed on you the inestimable benefit of a thoroughly good training. Under the parental roof the inexhaustible love of a tender mother, the wholesome severity of a judicious father, worked together, with the blessing of God, to educate you wisely and well. Perhaps you have also been fortunate enough to finish your studies in some excellent Catholic academy or college. Thus has God given proof of His special love and care for you. Be grateful to Him, love and serve Him!  
~ Fr. Lasance, Catholic Girls’ Guide

As a family, we discerned some options for Rose as she focused on wrapping up her homeschool years.  It was determined that it would be necessary to complete a college application to keep her options open as we continued our discernment.  She did just that.

The discernment continues with another viable option to consider. DEO GRATIAS!!  We now pray for further direction and His providence as Rose seeks God’s will.

We will make the announcement of the Catholic college once Rose formally accepts or declines the acceptance. 


May Rose be a true follower of CHRIST, always.

IMG_7660 v2JOYfilledfamily v2

“True followers of Christ were meant to be at odds with the world: The pure of heart will be laughed at by the Freudians; the meek will be scorned by the Marxists; the humble will be walked on by the go-getters; the liberal Sadducees will call them reactionaries; the reactionary Pharisees will call them liberals.”

~ Archbishop Fulton Sheen

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Rosa Mystica Girls’ Society

Rosa Mystica Girls' Society (RMGS) is a society of young girls, ages nine through thirteen from St. Stephen the First Martyr Catholic Church. Under the Patronage of Our Lady of the Mystical Rose, the girls meet once a month on First Saturday for: Mass, Spiritual talk, teatime, and skills/activities.


~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ 

Every Thursday, here at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

{PRETTY}RMGS group photo with aprons 12.1.12 sewing WM

Forty girls joining together every month to grow in faith, virtue, and service, through hospitality, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The girls completed their aprons by the end of the third sewing session.



Thirty-three girls exchanging their Christkindls,


Fr. B with the french horn

Thirty-two girls and several moms enjoying some impromptu entertainment - Fr. B. getting down with the French Horn.

You can a watch a video here (at the bottom of the post).


RMGS Fall Bake Sale 2012 logo

I’m attempting to plan another bake sale – St. Valentine’s Bake Sale.  I’m feeling a bit optimist since the bake sale will be seven days before my due date. 

The bake sales help us fund our projects for the year, provide an opportunity for the girls to serve our parish community, and the girls get to showcase their baking talents.


Our Lady of the Mystical Rose ~ Pray for us!

A Gem for Mothers

Perfection is accomplishing the will of God in a constant and generous fashion. That person, then, is perfect who does at every instant what God wishes. Ask her at any moment what she is doing, and she will always respond: "That which God wishes." 

~ Monsignor P. Lejeun, Counsels of Perfection for CHRISTIAN MOTHERS


I wanted to re-share this gem since I am re-reading it this New Year.  I recommend this book to all mothers.  It is packed with precise direction and meditations that seem to be a personal prescription for all my needs.CPCM

Counsels of Perfection for CHRISTIAN MOTHERS is written by Monsignor P. Lejeun.  It is out of print but can be found online as a PDF.  An audio version is also available.

I am diligently working on refining my Rule of Life

Every woman, whatever her lot in life, and whatever her obligations, ought to have a rule of life. Of course, the rule of a religious will be less open to modification, and will entail greater precision and severity than yours. Nevertheless, you must have a rule, otherwise your life will be squandered in a thousand follies and futilities.

~Counsels of Perfection for CHRISTIAN MOTHERS

Below are my two objectives that I am currently working on, taken from the Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers.

~I shall draw up for myself a rule of life, adapted to my state, comprising only a few articles, and capable of being applied to the diverse circumstance of my life. I shall ask myself every evening if I have observed this rule in all its essentials.
~ I shall be faithful to the following rule which, so to speak, multiplies time, and permits even the busiest person to find time for everything. The rule is this: I shall never put off what I can do now.


"My God, what will happen to me today, I do not know; but I do know that nothing will happen to me which Thou hast not foreseen and ordained for my greater good.  I accept, then, Thy thrice holy will; I submit myself to it, and desire to delight in it despite all the revolts of my reason, and the repugnances of my nature." ~ Monsignor P. Lejeun encourages all to recite this morning prayer of Mme. Elizabeth, daughter of a king, and sister of Louis XVI.


Thank you to CeAnne at Sanctus Simplicitus for sharing updated resources for this book.

RMGS ~ Hospitality & Piety ~ Social

Rosa Mystica Girls’ Society met for our fifth meeting of the 2012-13 Session on the second Sat. of the month, January 12, 2012. There were thirty-three girls in attendance, not bad for a rescheduled meeting.  RMGS Christkindl Exchange JOYfilledfamily

The meeting served as a break between skills (sewing and cooking).  The girls met to exchange their Christkindls and have a social.  Each family brought a dish to share.


Father B was teaching the Confirmation class and could not join us for his regular lessons. Father did grace us with his presence during his break and for closing, Angelus.  

We briefed the girls on the virtue of piety. 

Piety infuses an intrinsic love for God and devotion to those who are consecrated to God.  It is an active love of God which men turn away from evil, do good and endure suffering.

Piety is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  The others are:wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. 

We compared the nature of Mary and Eve to better demonstrate the ultimate example of piety. We also addressed false piety.

The Creator has so firmed the heart of women that it is specially dispColors of Piety Card RMGS JOYfilledfamilyosed to piety, but if your piety is to be real and true, you must have a right understanding of false piety, so that you may avoid it carefully. 

~Fr. Lasance Catholic Girls’ Guide

Lastly, we reviewed the Colors of Piety – according to Fr. Lasance.

The girls were then led in a brief overview of table manners and conversation.  The goal was to set the stage for a enjoyable social that glorified God.


 food Social

The social began with grace.  Each table was invited to the food table for a modest first time serving.  The girls were instructed to return to their tables and wait to eat until all the girls at their table were seated.  It was quite lovely to see all the girls take pride in applying their manners and hospitality amongst each other.

The Chirstkindl exchange was to take place once the girls had adequate time conversing and eating. 

Fr. B initiated a Christkindl for Rosa Mystica Girls’ Society.  We adapted our version of the Christkindl, using the Trapp Family model

Our Chirstkindl took the form of a prayer exchange with a small gift exchange after Christ’s Birth.  You can take a look at our handout, hereOur handout included a prayer for friends, to be used in the case that the girls needed some guidance.

Each girl was given a name of a fellow RMGS member, in secrecy.  

The person whose name one has drawn is now in one's special care. From this day until Christmas, one has to pray for her as often as one can. One has to provide at least one prayer every single day--without ever being found out.

All were beyond excited to reveal their Christkindl and exchange their gift.

The girls were called up by groups.  Then their Christkindl was called up, one at a time to give them adequate time to become acquainted with one another and give thanks. 

group 4

gift exchange



AGENDA - Hospitality ~ Piety ~ Social ~ JAN



  • Table Manners & Conversation – based on Little Women Hospitality
  • Table Manners for the Home – by James Stenson
  • How to Set & Clear a Table – based on Little Women Hospitality
  • Diagram of Formal Table Setting – Little Women Hospitality



We reviewed the handouts that the helpers placed in each binder and encouraged the girls to grow in piety.

The meeting closed with the Angelus, led by Father.


There was a spread of food left out that was shared amongst those that helped with some aspect of RMGS. 

THANK YOU to all those that brought a dish and those that contributed your time.  I realize that we all tend to have a full plate – I appreciate your willingness to look beyond your plate and offer your assistance.  I pray that all of our efforts bring Glory to God.

Once again, a special thanks goes out to the A family who set-up on Friday and helped with the meeting. In addition, clean-up was taken care of by several moms and girls. Your support makes our role as leaders that much easier. Thank you and may the good Lord reward you for your sacrifice and service. ALL FOR!


Our Lady of the Mystical Rose, pray for us!



Mediation on the Feast of the Holy Family, JMJ

Feast of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Divine Intimacy” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD

~ Feast of the Holy Family, II Class - First Sunday After The Epiphany Within the Octave - Sun. 13 January ~

On this day for the last time in the cycle of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to contemplate the mystery of Jesus’ humble, hidden life. A feeling of close intimacy and tenderness characterizesholy-family1 this Feast and is expressed in the liturgy of the day. It is good for us to recall the little home at Nazareth and the humble life of those who lived there. In it, Jesus learned Joseph’s humble trade, and grew in age, and was happy sharing the work of a carpenter: ‘Let the sweat,” He seemed to say, ‘trickle over My limbs before they are drenched with the torrent of My Blood, and the pain of this labor shall go to atone for the sins of men!’ Let us enter the little house; in the presence of such humility, which conceals Jesus’ infinite Majesty, let us repeat the words of the sacred text: “Thou art indeed a hidden King, O God the Savior, King of Israel.”

Today’s liturgy particularly emphasizes one typical aspect of the humble life of this hidden God: obedience. “Although He was the Son of God . . . He learned to obey; He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death.” From Bethlehem to Calvary obedience was His companion. The Gospel stresses this obedience of Jesus at Nazareth in words which carry for all time the strength of their first utterance, “He was subject to them.” Let us ask ourselves with St. Bernard, “Who obeyed? Whom did He obey?” The saint replies, “God obeyed man! Yes, the God to whom the angels are subject . . . Was subject to Mary, and not only to Mary, but also to Joseph. For God to obey a woman is humility without parallel. . . Learn then, man to obey; learn, O earth, to be submissive. God subjected Himself to men; and do you, desiring to rule others, place yourself above your Creator?”

“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Jesus, who was so humble and submissive, did not hesitate to make this reply to Mary when she gently questioned Him about having remained behind in the Temple without her or Joseph’s knowledge, while they in anguish had been seeking Him for three days.

These are the first words of Jesus which we find recorded in the Gospel. He spoke them in order to declare His mission and to affirm the primacy of the rights of God. When hardly an adolescent, Jesus taught us that God and the things of God must always come first. He must hold the first place in our lives, and we must obey Him regardless of all other considerations, even if it means sacrificing the rights of nature and of blood. Yielding to relatives and friends is no longer a virtue—and may even be sinful—if it leads us away from the will of God or hinders its fulfillment.

Giving precedence to the rights of God does not imply that we neglect our duties toward our neighbor. Today’s Feast calls our attention to these obligations and especially to those concerning our family, natural or religious, inviting us to follow the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth. To this end, the Epistle shows us the virtues we should practice: “Clothe yourself. . . with mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.”

RMGS ~ Hospitality & Obedience ~ Sewing III

I apologize for the brief recap.  Unfortunately, I have waited too long to create this post and my placenta brain has taken hold of what little recollection I once had.  I hope to add more to this post as I am able.


Rosa Mystica Girls’s Society met for our fourth JOYfilledfamilymeeting of the 2012-13 Session on First Saturday, December 1, 2012. There were thirty-eight girls in attendance.

This was the last meeting that the girls would be in with their original group; Love of God, Industry, Truthfulness, Humility, Piety, and Obedience.   Next meeting will have a different format and the following months will be on a rotation.





Father B gave his lesson on obedience with a reflection on the life of a saint. 

RMGS instruction by Fr. B 12.1.12

Instruction on the Virtue of Obedience

“The Church’s Year” by Father Leonard Goffine

From this all Christians should learn to be obedient to the commandments of God and of the Church. God has united life or death, blessing or malediction with obedience or disobedience to His commandments, and the Bible shows that obedience pleases God more than sacrifices or the fat of rams, and He despises disobedience as He does witchcraft and idolatry. We must be obedient to the Church because Christ Himself with His Holy Spirit lives in her, and governs her, and has said: Who hears not the Church, let him be to thee a heathen and a publican, therefore, shut out from eternal life. We must be obedient to our parents, because they are placed over us by God, and we are indebted to them, under Him, for life and many benefits. Those children who do not assist their parents when they are old, poor, and helpless, or are ashamed of them, have reason to be afraid, since even Christ Jesus, the God-Man, was obedient and subject in all things to His poor mother, and to a humble mechanic who was only His foster-father. Cursed be he that honoreth not his father and mother; how much more cursed those who despise, deride and abandon their parents? Their eyes will one day be picked out by ravens. If God commanded obstinate and disobedient children to be stoned, what do those not deserve who even strike or abuse their parents?


He spoke about the liturgical season – Advent. 

RMGS instruction by Fr. B 12.1.12 v3RMGS instruction by Fr. B 12.1.12 v2

Father B introduced to the girls to the Christkindl.

My co-Christkindl Info Handout with Prayer Chartleader and I coordinated our version of the Christkindl, using the Trapp Family model

Our Chirstkindl will take the form of a prayer exchange with a small gift exchange after Christ’s Birth.  You can take a look at our handout, hereOur handout included a prayer for friends, to be used in the case that the girls needed some guidance.


Sewing project – tally of girls completed apron 19, completed apron & badge 11, need to complete apron 13, have not started apron 3

About half of the girls completed their aprons.  The other half were on task to complete their aprons by the end of this meeting.

RMGS 12.1.12 sewing work

All diligently worked on their assigned tasks.

RMGS recreation 12.1.12

Additional activities were made available to those who were completed with all their tasks.

  • Jump-rope
  • packaging baby items
  • assembling the name tags
  • creating embellishments for apron and/or name tag
  • floaters – assigned to walk around and find those in need of assistance
RMGS group photo with aprons 12.1.12 sewing WM

The meeting was a success – all the girls completed their aprons!


AGENDA - Hospitality ~ Obedience ~ Sewing III ~ DEC


Other Resources:


The girls were invited by Mrs. P to assist with a service project, Hostesses for the Altar Guild Reception to be held on the Feast of St. Stephen – Dec. 26.

RMGS Mrs. P 12.1.12

Each girl received the name of their Christkindl, placed securely in their Hospitality Binder, to be viewed in private at a later time.

The meeting closed with the Angelus.

RMGS Angelus 12.1.12

Our Lady of the Mystical Rose, pray for us!


A special thanks goes out to the A family who so generously surprised me (upon my Sat. arrival) with a completely set-up gym.  It was a special treat for this very pregnant Mama.  Deo gratias!

RMGS ~ Hospitality & Love of God ~ Sewing II

I apologize for the brief recap. Unfortunately, I have waited too long to create this post and my placenta brain has taken hold of what little recollection I once had. I hope to add more to this post as I am able.

Rosa Mystica Girls’s Society met for our third meeting of the 2012-13 Session on First Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. There were twenty-eight girls in attendance for Mass (as a group) and thirty-two girls for the meeting.

The girls went to their assigned group: Love of God, Industry, Truthfulness, Humility, Piety, and Obedience.


Father B gave his lesson on Love of God with reflection on the life of a saint.  -- More details to come. --


apron-front-view-v2_thumb2The girls were given their second overview of their sewing project, a simple apron. Each girl was instructed to begin where they left off from the previous meeting.

A complete tutorial for this project was handed out at the previous meeting and is to be included in the girls’ Hospitality Binders.

Four sewing machines were assigned to the older girls so that they could start their sewing.  While three machines were reserved for the younger girls to finish up their already started aprons.

There were a few girls who needed to prep their apron. Those girls were given pre-cut fabric and ties. They were instructed to complete the necessary steps so that they could begin their sewing at next month’s meeting.

  1. turn ties if needed
  2. iron waist and neck ties
  3. pin ties to top fabric
  4. pin lining to top fabric, enclosing the ties
  5. help one another

As always, the sewing helpers did a wonderful job instructing the girls while allowing them to be an active participant in the sewing process.



Girls waiting for the sewing machines and girls who completed their aprons, diligently worked on the embroidery name tags.  All girls were encouraged to help their neighbor when able.

IMG_4852 v2

Fr. B. made his way back to our meeting to supervise the girl’s sewing skills.  Fr. B. knows a thing or two about sewing!  He also provided the girls and moms with some entertainment.


IMG_4865 v2a


There were no handouts for this meeting since it was a follow-up of virtue and sewing skills from our meeting in October.  The girls were encouraged to take out their Hospitality Binders and work on previous handouts. 

AGENDA - Hospitality ~ Love of God ~ Sewing II


The girls wrapped up their projects and labeled their work so that it could be easily found at the next meeting. Their group areas were tidied. The worker moms did their magic while I closed the meeting with a recap of the day’s lesson and skill.

The girls were informed that they could take home their apron with the consent of mom.  

“Yes! You may take home the apron to work on it as long as you follow the directions that were given in class, bring it back the following month, and I have the consent of your mom.”

The girls were also praised for their hard work in our Fall Bake Sale on October 21.

We closed the meeting with the Angelus, led by Fr. B.


Our Lady of the Mystical Rose, pray for us!


Thank you to all the moms and girls who gave a hand with instruction and after the meeting for clean-up. We appreciate your help!  Things were a bit hectic but it turned out great. We especially appreciate all the help from the moms sharing their skills on the sewing machine. Our goal is to assist the girls in following the complete directions (without deviation) in the skill set while being as hands-off as possible. It’s a fine dance but you all managed to make it look effortless. Great Job! We hope to see you all again for the next two months while we complete the aprons. ALL FOR!

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