Trifecta in February

Trifecta in February

The header image above is an actual message I received, in a rather round-about way, from a reader. Fear not, faithful followers of the fiery-haired five-year-old! The “folks” over here in Mollyland have set a goal: in 2018, the month of Valentines and Mardi Gras will feature BOOK THREE! Rumor has it, it’ll be something to party about. Little teaser:

sprucing upFEBStay tuned for updates!

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Religious Vocations Awareness 2017

Religious Vocations Awareness 2017

National Vocations Awareness Week 2017 begins Sunday, November 5, and it’s been a really exciting time here at the “McBride” residence. I had the pleasure of writing a piece again this year for Peanut Butter and Grace, and that article is here. Additionally, I had the privilege of appearing live on Catholic TV’s This Is the Day show with Bonnie Rogers and Kevin Nelson. We discussed my favorite topic: fostering religious vocations through children’s literature!

Looking back, I was lucky. I treasure so many beautiful childhood memories, especially visits from my 2 nun-aunts, Sister Carla and Sister Mary Elizabeth. My mom used to say, back then, every Catholic family strived to raise at least one child to hear the calling to the religions life.

Born Family, Portsmouth, OH c. 1938
Back then, every Catholic family strived to raise at least one child to become a religious.

 

My grade school principal was a religious sister, as were several of the teachers and staff. These days a Catholic school kid can go a whole 12 years of school (or more, if you count pre-school and kindergarten) without ever meeting a religious other than his/her parish priest.

This makes me so sad. How will we continue to have religious sisters and brothers, as well as ordained priests and deacons, in the future of the Church when this generation of children never sees any?  And so I write the Molly McBride series with the hopes that my colorful little character will influence other spunky little kids to consider the calling.

Besides reading books about religious to your kids, you can head over to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ page for a long list of suggestions for families. The following prayer is from the same site:

“O Holy Family of Nazareth, community of love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, model and ideal of every Christian family, to you we entrust our families. Open the heart of every family to the faith, to welcoming the word of God, to Christian witness, so that it become a source of new and holy vocations. Touch the hearts of parents, so that with prompt charity, wise care, and loving devotion they be for their sons and daughters sure guides towards spiritual and eternal values. Stir up in the hearts of young people a right conscience and a free will, so that growing in wisdom, age and grace, they might welcome generously the gift of a divine vocation. Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that all of us, contemplating and imitating the assiduous prayer, generous obedience, dignified poverty and virginal purity lived out in your midst, might set about fulfilling the will of God and accompanying with far-sighted sensitivity those among us who are called to follow more closely the Lord Jesus, who has given himself for us (cf. Gal 2:20).”

Amen.

 

 

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

We all have *that friend* who can make anything and everything as perfect as Pinterest. I, however, once attempted to make a “simple” Minecraft Creeper birthday cake. It came out looking like 50 shades of mold growing on a box.

You know what makes me even more jealous? People who can sew up coordinating Halloween costumes for a family of 10. I knew a family who did the Incredibles one year. Yeah. We don’t have the best of luck here at the “McBride” household when it comes to costumes. Here’s “Molly” one fun Hallowed Eve about 8 years ago:

Dang, the things we do to our kids for holidays!

Ok, so back to current. Momma can draw, but when we start talking about 3-dimensional art like cake and costumes, I fall short. But if I could sew really well and really fast, I’d make Victorian Era costumes.

I fell in love with the Victorian Era a coupe years ago when I took on an illustration job for author Becky Arganbright. The book is about one of everyone’s favorite little saints, the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux.

I had a blast researching the life and times of the Martin Family, from their charming house (now a museum!) and the plates they ate off of, to their garden tools and their clothes.

Oh! how I’d love to go to France some day and see these things for myself. I had to be content with my old pal Pinterest to provide reference photos for this project.

IMG_2061

Drawing St. Therese was a holy experience. Through this particular job, I drew closer to this saint (and her saintly family) than to any other saint whose life I’ve studied.  I read everything she’d written that I could get my hands on, studied her artwork and her photos, and read every public letter anyone ever wrote to her. For several months before officially beginning the job, I did pencil and watercolor sketches of Therese, her mother Zelie, and her father Louis. For nearly a year, I thought of little else than the Martin Family.

IMG_0602
Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
IMG_1946
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
IMG_0661
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
IMG_2064
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
IMG_0915
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
IMG_1185
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
IMG_0644
planning night scene of St. Therese
IMG_2354
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
IMG_1187
detail of Victorian Era watering can in the garden scene –later cut from the book

 

After a while, when I could draw her familiar face from memory, it was time to build the story board to go with Becky’s manuscript. Here are some early scene plans:

IMG_1066
Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1086
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1109
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
IMG_1338
Early watercolor study of Therese Martin using actual photo

So, if I could sew, I’d whip up the whole McBride and friends gang outfits to match the famous Martin Family, and I’m sure we’d be a hit at any Saint’s Day Feast.

fusain-annould-1917-60x80cm

Unknown

Flowers for Jesus (Gracewatch Media) is available wherever books are sold and available in full PDF preview here.

How ’bout you? Any plans for family costumes for Halloween or All Saint’s Day? Don’t be afraid to share. I promise not to be jealous. Too much. 😉

 

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

We all have *that friend* who can make anything and everything as perfect as Pinterest. I, however, once attempted to make a “simple” Minecraft Creeper birthday cake. It came out looking like 50 shades of mold growing on a box.

You know what makes me even more jealous? People who can sew up coordinating Halloween costumes for a family of 10. I knew a family who did the Incredibles one year. Yeah. We don’t have the best of luck here at the “McBride” household when it comes to costumes. Here’s “Molly” one fun Hallowed Eve about 8 years ago:

Dang, the things we do to our kids for holidays!

Ok, so back to current. Momma can draw, but when we start talking about 3-dimensional art like cake and costumes, I fall short. But if I could sew really well and really fast, I’d make Victorian Era costumes.

I fell in love with the Victorian Era a coupe years ago when I took on an illustration job for author Becky Arganbright. The book is about one of everyone’s favorite little saints, the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux.

I had a blast researching the life and times of the Martin Family, from their charming house (now a museum!) and the plates they ate off of, to their garden tools and their clothes.

Oh! how I’d love to go to France some day and see these things for myself. I had to be content with my old pal Pinterest to provide reference photos for this project.

IMG_2061

Drawing St. Therese was a holy experience. Through this particular job, I drew closer to this saint (and her saintly family) than to any other saint whose life I’ve studied.  I read everything she’d written that I could get my hands on, studied her artwork and her photos, and read every public letter anyone ever wrote to her. For several months before officially beginning the job, I did pencil and watercolor sketches of Therese, her mother Zelie, and her father Louis. For nearly a year, I thought of little else than the Martin Family.

IMG_0602
Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
IMG_1946
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
IMG_0661
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
IMG_2064
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
IMG_0915
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
IMG_1185
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
IMG_0644
planning night scene of St. Therese
IMG_2354
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
IMG_1187
detail of Victorian Era watering can in the garden scene –later cut from the book

 

After a while, when I could draw her familiar face from memory, it was time to build the story board to go with Becky’s manuscript. Here are some early scene plans:

IMG_1066
Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1086
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1109
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
IMG_1338
Early watercolor study of Therese Martin using actual photo

So, if I could sew, I’d whip up the whole McBride and friends gang outfits to match the famous Martin Family, and I’m sure we’d be a hit at any Saint’s Day Feast.

fusain-annould-1917-60x80cm

Unknown

Flowers for Jesus (Gracewatch Media) is available wherever books are sold and available in full PDF preview here.

How ’bout you? Any plans for family costumes for Halloween or All Saint’s Day? Don’t be afraid to share. I promise not to be jealous. Too much. 😉

 

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.

mmpj-cover-front-copy

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.

And the Winner Is

And the Winner Is

Congrats to Katherine S.! There were 86 entries, and she is the winner of my very first ever Rafflecopter contest, so a signed copy of MMPH is headed her way.

What’s the best part of these giveaways? Making new friends! I had the pleasure of communicating with Katherine via email as well as friending her on FB and checking out her beautiful blog!

Here I am at my beautiful mess, signing her book for her 5 daughters. I told Katherine I hope at least one of them is considering a religious vocation 😉 .

IMG_2863.jpg

More giveaways are forthcoming, so stay tuned!
Blessings!
Jeanie

How to Raise Kids to be Open to Religious Vocations

How to Raise Kids to be Open to Religious Vocations

Huge thanks to everybody who contributed to my article published by Peanut Butter and Grace.  Love you all, Friends! Enjoy.