Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books I Read in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014 in Reading / 3 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This will be my first time joining in the fun.

This week’s list is the Top Ten Books I Read in 2014. This book is a bit difficult because I really didn’t keep track of what I read this year. I know some of them, so I’ll just have to pull from what I can remember. Most of these were rereads this year. And I’m warning you, this is a rather eclectic list.

Read More

Tagged as , , , ,

Review: Snow

Posted December 15, 2014 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: SnowSnow by Tracy Lynn
Series: Once Upon A Time
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2003)
Paperback (259 pages)
Also in this series: Water Song, Sunlight and Shadow, The Night Dance
Reading Challenges: Read 2014


In a tiny Welsh estate, a duke and duchess lived happily, lacking only a child -- or, more importantly, a son and heir to the estate. Childbirth ultimately proved fatal for the young duchess. After she died, the duke was dismayed to discover that he was not only a widower, but also father to a tiny baby girl. He vowed to begin afresh with a new wife, abandoning his daughter in search of elusive contentment.
Independent -- virtually ignored -- and finding only little animals and a lonely servant boy as her companions, Jessica is pale, lonely, and headstrong... and quick to learn that she has an enemy in her stepmother. "Snow," as she comes to be known, flees the estate to London and finds herself embraced by a band of urban outcasts. But her stepmother isn't finished with her, and if Jessica doesn't take control of her destiny, the wicked witch will certainly harness her youth -- and threaten her very life...

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


I have a soft spot for fairy tale retellings. I love to hear the tales imagined in different ways. The Once Upon a Time series is great at that. I love the way the stories don’t always follow the path you think they will… or even the setting. For example, I would never have thought to set Snow White in Victorian London and Wales. Or to have the stepmother be a crazy scientist.

Read More

Tagged as , ,

Happy Pink Sunday of Advent and Advent Songs

Posted December 14, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Well, it is the Third Sunday of Advent. As one of my religious ed kids said last Wednesday, “It’s Pink Sunday!” Yes, it is. Happy Pink Sunday of Advent

Why Pink?

Well, this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday which is Latin for Rejoicing Sunday. This Sunday we are called to rejoice. As Father said this morning, “And that is why I get to wear pink.”

From the Lectionary:

The First Reading for Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11 tells us “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.” The Psalm this week is actually a canticle, the Canticle of Mary. The Magnificat begins with Mary saying, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1). Even Saint Paul, in the First Letter to the Thessalonians states, “Rejoice always” (5:16). Then there is the Gospel Reading from the first chapter of John’s Gospel where John the Baptist is testifying that Jesus is coming.

Doesn’t this all point towards rejoicing?

Yes, I think it does. This Sunday we rejoice. We are closer to Christmas and the Lord’s Coming than last week. And it is finally snowing here in Montana after a week of 50+ degrees. It is cause for rejoicing, I say.

Read More

Tagged as ,

Prepare the Way for the Lord: Second Sunday of Advent

Posted December 7, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths: all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 

Alleluia Antiphon for the Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. The Alleluia Antiphon and the readings for today remind us that Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Our Lord. It is a time to really look at our lives and conform them to the will of God. We want to be able to cry out “Here is your God!” as Isaiah calls us to in the First Reading {Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11). We want to be ready for the day “the Lord will come like a thief” {2 Peter 3:10}. We have to be ready for the Lord could come at any time.

Preparation of Prayer

Prayer is the first and foremost way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. It is in prayer that we can talk to God and grow closer to Him. For myself, that means I am praying Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a daily Rosary and a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am doing my best to dedicate my entire day to the Lord so that all I do, I can do with the Lord.

Preparation of Action

There are things we can do, besides prayer, that can help us to be ready for the Lord’s coming. We can be charitable this Advent. There are all sorts of programs we hear about that can really benefit from even a small donation. I, for one, like the Gift Catalog of Catholic Relief Services. It is amazing how much a small donation can do. For example, health exams for 12 children can be donated for jsut $25! That’s just over $2 per child! I find it utterly amazing what one small donation can do.

And there aren’t just online donations. There are programs in our own communities that would love for us to help them out. Some programs are simply looking for people to help organize a food bank or serve food at a free community dinner. These are things we can give without giving money. We can give our time to really change people’s lives.

Preparing for Jesus

There are countless other ways we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. No matter what we do, we always need to remember that Jesus is the reason. As many of the churches’ like to say this time of the year: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” If we didn’t have Jesus, there would be no Christmas. It is all about an infant boy born to poor parents in the Middle East over 2000 years ago. It is all about a baby who, though born in humble circumstances, is the Savior of the World.

Enjoy the Second Sunday of Advent!


Tagged as