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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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Turkey Surprise

Thought about what to make with all your leftovers yet?


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Cold Season


Promoting Vocations, Uncategorized

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).”




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Happy Halloween


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Clarence Comic

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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.


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.

Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
planning night scene of St. Therese
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
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:

Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
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.



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. 😉