Finding Patience: Winner In My Book

Finding Patience: Winner In My Book

Isn’t it great when you make a new friend?

The other day I realized that the author of one of my youngest’s (yep, the “Molly” prototype) favorite new picture books is a Seal-mate! I got to chatting with Ginny Lieto, fellow Catholic Writers’ Guild member and winner of the Guild’s Seal of Approval for her children’s picture book Finding Patience.

FHC-Cover-Lifesavers-Font-233x300“For children, it is difficult to wait for anything! Wouldn’t it be nice if your child or grandchild exhibited a little patience? Help is on the way! Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity–Finding Patience is a book for children ages 4-8; an age when patience seems non-existent! This book offers parents and educators a practical, yet entertaining way of introducing and reinforcing patience through the power of prayer. It is through prayer that Faith, learns how God works within her, in His time, to help her grow in patience.”

Like my Plaid Jumper, Finding Patience has a back-to-school setting (and uniforms!). It is a great read-aloud to kids ages 3-4 and up, and I think most 8-9 year-olds would even enjoy reading it on their own. This engaging story has darling illustrations by Carole Hahn Panzer and comes complete with every kid’s favorite thing: puppies!

I do have to say, there was a part that really grabbed me emotionally. Barely moved into a new house in a new town, the main character Faith had a hard first day at her new school. Due to her shyness she sat alone in the cafeteria during lunch. This is the scene when she gets home that first day;

“Faith sobbed, ‘Nobody likes me!’

‘No, no,’ replied Mama. ‘They just don’t know you yet.’

‘I want to go home,’ cried Faith, ‘to be with my friends.'”

The first day I showed up for cafeteria duty at the real “Molly’s” new school, I realized she’d been sitting there eating alone almost daily. That really hurts a Mama’s heart! But things got better for both “Molly” and Faith. It’s hard to not leak a spoiler, but trust me when I say that the end of Ginny’s super-sweet book is very clever! WTG, GF!!!

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Ginny is such an interesting woman. (I’ve met a ton of amazing folks in the Catholic Writers’ Guild!) Like my hubs, she hails from the Garden State. She left New Jersey for  North Carolina, and now, besides writing, blogging and public speaking, she teaches theology online at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine. Like mine, Ginny’s life has taken some wild career turns. In a former life she was an accountant. “I believe that God’s plan for me is far better than anything for which I could conceive,” she writes in her blog. Like a lot of great writers, she draws upon a rich, sometimes unpredictable, source of life experiences that includes career changes and big moves. But her leaving NJ was difficult. Blessedly, she has great faith and a strong support system. Ginny recalls the words of her husband Nick fondly, “I’ll go anywhere as long as I am with you.”

Awww!

Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity–Finding Patience is an absolutely wonderful debut children’s picture book by my new friend, the very talented Virginia Lieto. Seriously, that woman could write the phonebook and make it interesting! Follow her blog, FB page, twitter, everywhere you can find Ginny’s wisdom.

And definitely buy this book. Then share it with a good friend, just like my “Molly.”

 

Ways to follow Virginia Lieto:

Website: http://virginialieto.com

Link to book: http://amzn.to/2s5uR3Z

Social media links:

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112075609426695922253

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2s5jgSi

Twitter: @virginialieto

Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginialieto/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/virginialieto/boards/

 

 

 

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Moms-Of-Mollies: Mind-Blowing Books For Us, Girlfriend!

Moms-Of-Mollies: Mind-Blowing Books For Us, Girlfriend!

Sure, Molly McBride is a children’s book character and this blog mostly addresses stuff about kids and parenting and why we no longer go to the Columbus Museum of crap  I mean ART, and great children’s fiction books, etc. But sometimes I want to throw in some stuff for my GFs (and dad’s, too, of course!) Today I’ve got not 1, not 2, but THREE inspiring books just for us for grown-ups.

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https://thelionofdesign.com/product/once-i-was-blind-softback-book/

First up is I Once Was Blind, But Now I See with Kimberly Cook. Kimberly refers to the subject of this autobiography she co-wrote with Charles Picirilli as her “own personal Padre Pio” and, I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but, yeah. You’ll see why after reading it! I Once Was Blind is the faith journey of a man who falls in and out of faith many times, but each time he comes back to the Church, he comes back even stronger. This man’s temptations and struggles have ranged from as mundane as cigarettes to as shocking as the occult. But the clear, humble descriptions of Charles’ personal battle with each of the hurdles he experiences is truly inspiring.  Be prepared for miracles!


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Next I’d like to tell you about Broken Brain, Fortified Faith by Virginia Pillars. This award-winning account of a mother’s “lessons of hope through a child’s mental illness” was difficult for me to put down, but my family started getting REALLY LOUD about dinner. (The burned pork chops were totally worth it.) This is one of those stories that won’t let you go. It takes you into some pretty dark places but blessedly shows you the light that is our God. Pillars’ writing is straight-forward, and the book moves at a good pace. Mental illness is hard to talk about, and that leaves many people feeling alone in their silence. Broken Brain, Fortified Faith is like a comforting friend who understands and shares that pain.


 

I’m gonna plug my brother’s book for my third recommendation because it totally fits in with these inspiring, faith-strengthening grown-up reads. Dreams Of My Eagle has knocked the socks off both me and *cough* the Holy Father! (Nope, I am not EVEN name dropping.)

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William David Schoonover (my big brother Bill) went through hell and back. Twice. The first time he was alive. Donna, his wife of 34 years, died an agonizing death of metastatic colon cancer. She was only 57, a full-blooded Cherokee Native American “non-religious” Hospice nurse, but she had a deathbed conversion while holding a rosary. A ton of mystical stuff happened surrounding her death, stuff I totally witnessed, Friends. Also, Bill discovered some manuscripts. Donna had been secretly documenting her dying patients’ near-death experiences for much of her career. This hair-raising, goose-bump inducing tale of golden eagles that appear, pure elemental gold dust that appears and disappears, and Donna’s personal words made its way to Rome. And back. And Pope Francis’s own personal notes are scrawled in one precious copy of Dreams Of My Eagle that is now locked up for safe keeping somewhere in Southern Ohio.

Twice, you ask? Oh, that. Shortly after Dreams Of My Eagle got published and Bill was doing the book tour thing, he dropped dead. He was coded on the street for 20 minutes before paramedics arrived and transported him to Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY . There he went from blue-black dead to the induced hypothermia protocol to funeral plans in the making, to . . . now working on his second book. Rumor has it, the first line of this new book might read something like, “They froze me for 3 days, but it was warm in Heaven.”

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Coincidence? Power of suggestion? You decide.

Want to share with us some more inspiring reads that’ll renew our faith? Please comment below!

Blessings!

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Holy Molly! Now She’s a Unit Study!

Holy Molly! Now She’s a Unit Study!

Calling all homeschoolers! Here’s an AWESOME unit study for the kids. God Bless Writer/Teacher/Catholic-Mom-Blogger Ginny Kochis of Not So Formulaic and her two junior staff writers (6.5-year-old B and 10.5-year-old G) for not only reviewing Plaid Jumper, but putting together this incredibly creative and FREE unit study.

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To quote just a few words of the abundant wisdom in Ginny’s post:

“The second installment in the Jean Schoonover-Egolf’s Molly McBride series, Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper follows the titular heroine as she discovers there’s more to a person’s vocation than the clothes she wears. Discussions with her family, friends, and a trusted Pastor help Molly understand an important truth: God has designed each of us in a unique, unrepeatable way. That is the truth of our vocation, and what we wear on the outside can’t change that. My girls fell in love with Molly’s spirit, immediately identifying with her costume habit (pun intended).”

Be sure to leave a “thank you” to the Kochis Club in Miss Ginny’s comments.

Summer & Books: Coming this June!

Summer means . . .MORE TIME TO READ! Check this source DAILY in June for the best book for kids and YAs!

Things Visible & Invisible

Inspired by the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April, I have decided to blog about books for the month of June. I will be sharing tidbits about my own books and the other books on the Catholic Teen Books website. Stop by every day to learn about a different book!

www.CatholicTeenBooks.com provides teen readers, parents, catechists, homeschool co-ops, youth ministers, teachers, and others with direct links to exciting, well-crafted books that raise the heart and mind to God and reflect the fullness and beauty of the Catholic faith.

The site is organized by genre and includes a wide range of books in the following categories:

  • contemporary
  • historical
  • mystery
  • speculative
  • saints
  • dystopian

Among those, you’ll find suspense, romance, coming of age stories, and lives of the saints with age-appropriate themes including the power of intercessory prayer, the communion of saints, the Rosary, virtue, Theology of the Body, and respect…

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“Catholic Etsy” Is a Thing Already

“Catholic Etsy” Is a Thing Already

Have you heard of Peter’s Square? I haven’t run into too many friends who have, actually. And this makes me kinda sad. But then again, the company’s 1-year anniversary is this month, so they’re pretty new! It looks like a great site, and I am considering setting up cyber-shop on there myself. One of my Catholic social media buddies Chiara Finaldi interviewed the online Catholic marketplace’s founder David Rummelhoff. That interview was published by Regina magazine and can be read here.

Here are some great points from Chiara’s article to consider:

  1. Fees are slightly less than Etsy’s.
  2. Vendors commit to giving at least ten percent of their proceeds to Catholic ministries.
  3. There is screening to prevent any unwholesome products from being sold. on the site.
  4. All vendors are Catholic, but the products do not necessarily have to be religious.
  5. Solidarity. We stand united when we support our Catholic brothers and sisters by purchasing from each other.

I really, really think you should check out Peter’s Square and bookmark it on your browser!

Let’s shop together!

Let’s shop together!

It’s not too late, right? Can we still find some great Easter-basket-stuffers that won’t get our dental plan cancelled?

I’m throwing together this sharing post because I know a whole bunch of us are in the same sinking ship BOAT as we scramble to Easter shop while keeping some semblance of Lentitude (I made that up. It’s the attitude we do our best to assume during Lent.)  as Holy Week approaches.

So, I’ll go first with posting the obvious. Please click here to order MMPJ direct from my awesome publisher, Gracewatch Media/ Peanut Butter and Grace Books. Not only do they have a nice sale going on with the hardcover edition, but they have made an Easter Bundle if you’re new to the Molly thing: you can get a discount on ordering both MMPH and MMPJ softcovers together.

For your convenience, you can also add to your Amazon order by clicking here for Plaid Jumper or here for Purple Habit.

Hopefully I’ll have some other cute Molly McBride swag coming soon.

Now it’s your turn! I still need to fill my Molly’s (and Sissy’s) Easter baskets. Show me what you are either selling or buying. Include links whenever possible!

Blessings!

“Mommy, there’s something in my bed.”

“Mommy, there’s something in my bed.”

I have no idea where to start. Perhaps I could give you a visual from my husband’s point of view, for he was blissfully unaware of the latest installment of “This Crazy House” as he lay soaking in the jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. I come in and motion for him to turn off the jets so he can hear my explanation of why I am wielding in my left hand the enormous, meaty, remains of our Easter ham, shreds still clinging the bone, and gesturing frantically with my right hand.

How’s this for a beautiful end to Jo-Jo’s 8th birthday? Headline: “7-Year-Old, Previously Well-Adjusted Girl, Turns 8 And Suddenly Cannot Sleep In Her Own Room.” Or, alternatively I could title it “What’s The Weirdest Thing You’ve Ever Had To Clean Up Out Of Your Child’s Bed?” I mean seriously, it was like Ham-ageddon in there. Poor girl. Will she ever be the same?

Here’s the story. There were footsteps on the stairs, only halfway down since it’s past bed time: “Mommy. Mommy, I need you.”

Big sigh. “What is it, Jo-Jo?” (Translate, “What fantastic reason to delay your bedtime have you invented tonight?”)

“No, Mommy, you have to come up here.” Ok, there is real emotion in her voice. More real than just little-kid-trying-to-stay-up-longer emotion.  Her voice is small and shaky. “Mommy, please. You have to come up now.”

Then she really got me: “There’s something in my bed.”

Spider. “Ok hold on, now,” I’m on my feet. “This sounds like a Daddy thing. You need Daddy. Go get Daddy. Jay! Jay? Where are you?” Nothing.

“No, Mommy, I need you now. Come now! Please! You have to come now!” It sounded like panic. Now I’m panicking. Probably a wolf spider. Seriously need Daddy. And a shot gun. And someone to shoot it. I now have one foot on the stairs and the other one headed towards the bathroom where I hope Daddy is. I see the dog on the couch, so I know they aren’t out for their evening walk.

“Mommy, this is not an insect or….. something.” Tearful. Panicking. Fretting. Bizarre.

What.

The.

Big Sis pokes her head out of her door. Even she is curious now.

“Jo-Jo. Get ahold of yourself. What is it? What. Is. In. Your. BED??!!!!!” Oh, the images that flashed through my paranoid mind. Raccoon? Snake? Fire? Fallen-in roof? Person? Dead person?!!!!!

“It’s not, it’s not, it’s….” she is struck dumb. She makes a face that has more than fear in it somehow. What is it? Disgust? Disgust! Yes! The dog went up there while we were watching LHOP! We thought it was kinda strange! The dog was acting kinda strange!

“Ohhhhhhh! Oh, oh, oh, no. Did, did Josie….you know, did she….?” One time she had pooped in the play room to show us she was mad at us for leaving her. Strikes again.

“No. No, Mommy. I don’t know what it is.” Sobbing.

Sometimes I like to think I’m that person who can just live without knowing what’s in the basement calling you at midnight in scary movies. I’d be the one who buys that house but hears the raspy-voiced, “Get out!” and I’d just, you know, get out. No, I never picture myself the heroine of the horror film, the girl who has killer curiosity and ends up just facing Freddie Kruger or Jason or whomever. I’d just pick up and move to Canada. End of story.

But I climbed those stairs and went into that room. And what I saw in that bed, well, I can tell you quite honestly, if I were a just-turned-8-year-old girl, I’d never be able to get back in that bed again.

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It all began to click. We went out for birthday dinner and came home to find the lid off the trash can and a very thirsty puppy. I assumed she just, you know, ate the rest of the ham. I didn’t go digging though the smelly trash.

Then the weird trip upstairs during tv time. She’s a big dog and doesn’t really like going up and down the slippery wood stairs. It was fairly unusual. Not alarmingly so, but unusual.

Apparently, our dog had attempted to bury the Easter ham remains in Jo-Jo’s bed. Right up there next to her pillow, up against the wall. Our dog’s weird ascent during Little House had been a hambone inventory check. Poor Jo-Jo gets ready for bed only to find what truly appears to be a mauled carcass right where she is to lay her sweet head.

Now that she realizes what it is, and what that smell is, she refuses to even go in her room. I go in and strip the sheets as carefully as I can (I’ve already thrown away the ham bone since I am finished relishing over my husband’s bath) but still some bits of ham spray across the room, behind the headboard, down into the tight space between the mattress and the wall and the frame, down into the trundle bed mattress and frame. I try to move the bed over and, of course, the ceiling fan begins to bang loudly against the bedposts. I run to shut off the fan then return to attempt to remove the ham juice, grease-soaked mattress pad, only to find it is one of those zip ones that encases the entire mattress. Whose great idea was that? Yeah, mine. Go me. I won’t be able to fit all this into the washer in one load anyhow.

So Jo-Jo is having a little birthday sleepover in her Big Sis’ room tonight. I’m sure we’ll all get plenty of rest as we face a day of cleaning the ham bits from Baby Girl’s room tomorrow. And laundry.

You know what? I take it back. I can totally live without anyone else sharing what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever cleaned out of your child’s bed.