Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Honeycomb Cake on the Feast of St. Ambrose


Today my little ones helped bake a Honey Bun Coffee Cake in our Honeycomb Pull Apart Cake Pan for after dinner in honor of the St. Ambrose, the honey-tongued doctor. 

Legend says that when St. Ambrose was a baby, a swarm of bees flew in the window and clustered around his mouth, indicating that he would grow up to become a famous writer and speaker, one whose words would be as sweet as honey. 

He is the patron saint of beekeepers, bees, and candlemakers.


 


I just shared the recipe over at Catholic Cuisine

While it baked we read the story of St. Ambrose and the Bees in Brother Wolf, Sister Sparrow: Stories about Saints and Animals from our December Book Basket.

Saint Ambrose and the Bees from Brother Wolf, Sister Sparrow: Stories about Saints and Animals

Penitential Prayer of St. Ambrose

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen
- St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

St. Ambrose, ora pro nobis! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

O Antiphons Ornaments & Gift Package Giveaway


Ever since our oldest children were very little, we have been implementing an old monastic custom in our home by providing special treats, representing each of the "O Antiphons" on the days leading up to Christmas. The O Antiphon prayers begin on December 17th and end on the 23rd, which is the last Vespers of Advent, since the evening prayer on the 24th is the Vigil of Christmas.
The Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one - Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.
Each night, following our family rosary, we pray the O Antiphon for the day, sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, which was inspired by this ancient tradition, and then give the children a special treat.

The "treats" have varied from year to year. Some years it has been little gifts or activities for the family, some years it is all food related, and some years it is a mix of both, depending on our schedule and budget. It doesn't need to cost much! Sometimes the treats are a bit of a stretch, but my goal is try and find gifts that will either help increase our faith (Catechism books, holy family, saints, prayer, etc) or encourage family time (games, puzzles, going to look at Christmas lights, etc). You can find some of our past O Antiphon treats by scrolling through the archives and visiting Catholic Cuisine.

Our family loves this tradition. It is such a fun way to teach the children about these beautiful prayers of the church and also increase their excitement as Christmas gets closer.

This year I am hosting an O ANTIPHON GIVEAWAY! One lucky visitor here at Shower of Roses will receive a gift package which will include one complete set of O Antiphon Ornaments and one themed gift for each of the seven O Antiphons! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter. 



I have listed each of the prizes below, as well as additional ideas (food, activities and gifts - or simply decorate chocolate coins) for each of the O Antiphons: 


.: December 17th :.
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!


O Sapientia (O Wisdom) - An Alphabet of the Altar
sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press

Since the symbol for wisdom is a book, I usually choose a new Catholic book for our family. This year I'm planning to give our family a copy of An Alphabet of the Altar, a brand new release from St. Augustine Academy Press.  I'll also be including a copy provided by St. Augustine Academy Press in the giveaway below! This book is gorgeous! I can't wait to read it to my children later this month.



"This is perhaps the most beautiful book we have come across in a long time, and it was a labor of love to reprint it for you. Each lavishly illustrated page is mesmerizing in its detail but even more so for its love of the beauty of our Faith. Printed in a deep, rich brown ink on cream paper, with a cloth hardcover and dimensional gold embossing, this is a book that will make you feel proud to be Catholic. Preorder yours today and save--this will make the perfect Christmas gift--even for those who already know their alphabet quite well."


Additional Ideas: 


.: December 18th :.
O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!


(We already have this cookie cutter, I purchased two at the time so I have an extra to give away!)

In the past we would emphasize the word "house" in this Antiphon, and have made our Gingerbread Houses or Gingerbread Cookies on this night.  Now that we have two birthdays this week (and two birthday cakes to bake and decorate!) we usually wait until Christmas Eve, or sometime during the 12 Days of Christmas to decorated Gingerbread Houses. We have also incorporated Moses and the Ten Commandments.


Additional Ideas: 


.: December 19th :.
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.


O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) - Jesse Tree Kit
sponsored by Sacred Heart Books & Gifts


Additional Ideas:


.: December 20th :.
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.


O Clavis David (O Key of David) - Tiny Saints Key Hooks 
(Duplicates of a couple we already have. Hope the winner likes them as much as we do!) 


Additional Ideas:


.: December 21st :.
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!


O Oriens (O Dayspring) - Candle from The Cloister Shoppe
(I love these candles! I bought a couple of this scent, one for me and one to give away.) 


Additional Ideas:


.: December 22nd :.
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!


O Rex Gentium (O King of the Gentiles) - King of the Golden City
sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press


Additional Ideas:


This year our kiddos will be unwrapping this darling Wise Men Puzzle Set to go along with the Nativity they received last year.  I'm still in love with all the toys from Naturally Catholic!


.: December 23rd :.
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!


O Emmanuel (O With Us is God) - Prayer Pillowcase Color-Me: Prince of Peace
sponsored by Catholic Child


Additional Ideas:

.: O ANTIPHONS GIVEAWAY :. 


O Antiphon Ornaments (Rustic) sponsored by Jesse Tree Treasures 


This giveaway is sponsored by Jesse Tree Treasures, St. Augustine Academy Press, Sacred Heart Books and Gifts, Catholic Child, and Shower of Roses.  (Combined value of $140+) 


Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter Box below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that I have these all wrapped and ready to send to someone, 
I need to finish up our gifts for this year and get them wrapped up too! :) 


If you are looking for gift ideas, you can find my lists of Christmas Gift Ideas & Stocking Stuffers here (2015) and here (2016)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Celebrating the Saints :: Saint Andrew Cupcakes


Today is the feast of St. Andrew! We had a very full day today, between co-op classes for all the big kids and an afternoon at the office for the three little ones and I, but we had another nameday to celebrate! On the way home this evening we stopped at our local market for eggs, a can of Marshmallow frosting, and some Fudge Brownie Goldfish Grahams so we could decorate some cupcakes for this special feast. (We already had a box of cake mix and some Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks in the pantry.) I simply stuck two pretzels into each cupcake at an angle to create an X shaped cross and added a few fish grahams to the base. So simple to decorate and I loved how they turned out!


Our little guy loved his two nameday surprises: St. Andrew the Apostle from Naturally Catholic and his very own St. Andrew Chaplet from Mary Devotions.


Dearest Patron, St. Andrew the Apostle, in baptism I received thy name and was put under thy special care. Oh, teach me to be like thee! Help me to avoid sin and to practice virtue. Be always at my side to guide me and protect me, and bring me safe to Heaven, that I may be ever happy with thee in the presence of God. 



Saint Andrew the Apostle, Ora Pro Nobis! 

Saint Andrew Novena



St. Andrew Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

It is piously believed that whoever recites the St. Andrew Christmas novena prayer fifteen times each day from the feast of St. Andrew (November 30th) until Christmas Eve will obtain the favor requested. Our family has a very special intention this year... Here is a picture of our littlest one taken on Monday at 10 weeks 2 days. A little too soon to get all the measurements they were looking for, so I'll get another peek next week! So far everything looks perfect and baby is due June 24, 2017! ♥


Thank you all so very much for all the love, encouragement and prayers! 

P.S. There is still time to enter the Christmas Giveaway: 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bargain Priced Toys :: Shining Light Dolls


Ooohhh! Looks like you can save 23% on all qualifying Shining Light Dolls today! That brings them down to $10 each, with Prime shipping. The discount shows up during checkout.  The Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) and St. Thérèse of Lisieux are two of Rose's favorites. She'll be receiving Our Lady of Mount Carmel for either her birthday or Christmas.

If you haven't already, you can also enter for a chance to win your choice of six Marian Shining Light Dolls along with a copy of The Virgin Mary Around the World! A Pilgrimage of Faith (Board Book) in this year's Christmas Giveaway.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Jesse Tree :: Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories


Happy First Sunday of Advent! I had hoped to have one last giveaway all ready to go for this weekend, but between hosting Thanksgiving dinner for twenty (thankfully I had help!) combined with the nausea I've been fighting (thank you all so very much for the prayers, love, and support!), I'm a little behind and haven't even started the post... I will do my best to get it up on the blog sometime this week. In the meantime, I thought I'd share our Jesse Tree plans for this Advent.

Advent varies in length from 22-28 days, beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30th) and embracing four Sundays. The first day of Advent can fall as early as November 27th or as late as December 3rd. This year we, with Advent beginning on November 27th we get the longest Advent possible with four complete weeks! 

The Jesse Tree provides a meaningful way for us to count down the days until Christmas. Moreover, it increases our understanding of this portion of salvation history and is an effective way to prepare spiritually for Christmas.

In the past we have used a combination of the New Catholic Picture Bible and the Bible for our daily Jesse Tree readings. This year we will be reading through Amy Steedman's Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories (originally published between 1907 and 1922 as The nursery book of Bible stories, republished with minor editorial revisions in 2009 by Sophia Institute Press) and adding in some extra picture books as well! 


Optional: Additional Picture Books


"There shall come forth a shoot form the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." ~ Isaiah 11:1-2



Here is our plan for this year's twenty-eight days of Advent: 

1. Creation
Felt Symbol: The Earth
Wooden Symbol: The Earth
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Beautiful World, Pages 3-5
Picture Book: The Genesis of It All

2. Adam & Eve 
Felt Symbol:  The Apple
Wooden Symbol: The Apple

3. Noah
Felt Symbol: Ark
Wooden Symbol: The Ark
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Noah and the Rainbow of Hope, Pages 9-13
Picture Book: Noah's Ark and Noah's Ark (Board Book)

4. Abraham
Felt Symbol: Stars
Wooden Symbol: The Camel
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Story of Abraham, Pages 15-19
Picture Book: The Ballad of Matthew's Begats

5. Isaac
Felt Symbol:  Bundle of wood
Wooden Symbol: The Ram
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Isaac and Rebekah, Pages 23-28
Picture Book: Sarah Laugh's 

6. Jacob
Felt Symbol:  Ladder
Wooden Symbol: The Ladder
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Jacob and Esau, Pages 29-36
Picture Book: Old Testament Rhymes (Hardcover - Neumann Press) 

7. Joseph
Felt Symbol: Joseph's Coat of Many Colors
Wooden Symbol: The Coat
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Joseph the Dreamer, Pages 37-44
and Joseph, the Ruler, Pages 45-52
Picture Book: Joseph

8. Moses
Felt Symbol: Basket (need to make and add to our collection)
Wooden Symbol: The Basket
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Finding of Moses
Picture Book: Exodus

9. Moses
Felt Symbol: Ten Commandments/Stone Tablets
Wooden Symbol: The Tablets
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Moses, the Great Leader, Pages 59-64
Picture Book: Exodus (continued)

10. Joshua
Felt Symbol: Sword & Trumpet
Wooden Symbol: The Horn (Joshua)
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Story of the Spies, Pages 67-75
and Gideon, the Soldier, Pages 77-87

11. Ruth

Felt Symbol: Sheaths of Grain
Wooden Symbol: The Wheat
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Ruth, the Gleaner, Pages 89-95

12. Samuel
Felt Symbol: Oil Lamp
Wooden Symbol: The Oil Lamp
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Samuel, the Little Server, Pages 97-104
and Jonathan, the Soldier Prince, Pages 105-114

13. Jesse
Felt Symbol: Shepherd's staff
Wooden Symbol: The Tree
Read-Aloud Book of Bible StoriesDavid, the Shepherd Boy, Pages 115-122

14.  David
Felt Symbol: Harp
Wooden Symbol: The Harp
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: David, the Fighter, Pages 123-130

15. Solomon

Felt Symbol: Scales of Justice
Wooden Symbol: Use Isaiah's "Scroll" for Solomon
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Solomon, the Wise King, Pages 133-140

16. Elijah
Felt Symbol: Raven
Wooden Symbol: The Stones
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Elijah, the Hungry Prophet, Pages 141-148

17. Jonah

Felt Symbol: Whale and Teardrops (Hezekiah)
Symbol: The Big Fish (Jonah) 
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: (no specific story for Jonah)
and Elisha, the Man of God, pages 149-155
and Hezekiah, the Good King, pages 157-163
Picture Book: Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb and The Hard to Swallow Tale of Jonah and the Whale

18. Jeremiah
Felt Symbol: Stone
Wooden Symbol: The Clay Pot
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Jeremiah, the Prohet, Pages 165-172

19. Daniel
Felt Symbol: Lion 
Wooden Symbol: The Lion
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Story of Daniel, Pages 173-180

20. Esther
Felt Symbol: Queens Crown
Wooden Symbol: Use Solomon's "Crown" for Queen Esther
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Queen Esther, Pages 181-189
Picture Book: The Story of Queen Esther

21. Nehemiah
Felt Symbol: Walls of Jerusalem
Wooden Symbol: The Temple
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: Nehemiah, the Warrior Builder, Pages 191-198

22. Zachary and Elizabeth
Felt Symbol: Angel
Wooden Symbol: The Prayer Shawl
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Messenger of the King, Pages 199-204

23.  St. John the Baptist
Felt Symbol: Shell with water
Wooden Symbol: The Shell
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Messenger of the King, Pages 199-204

24. The Angel Gabriel
Felt Symbol: Angel with lily
Wooden Symbol: The Angel
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Coming of the King, Pages 205-207
Picture Book: The Angels' Alphabet

25.  St. Joseph
Felt Symbol: Carpenter's Saw
Wooden Symbol: The Hammer
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Coming of the King, Page 207-208
Picture Book: Father and Son: A Nativity StoryGood Saint Joseph and Story of St. Joseph

26. Blessed Virgin Mary
Felt Symbol: Lily
Wooden Symbol: The Lily
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Coming of the King, Pages 208-211
Picture Book: Mary's Song

27. Bethlehem
Felt Symbol: Bethlehem (need to make and add to our collection) 
Wooden Symbol: The Star and Town
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Coming of the King, Pages 208-211
Picture Book: B is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet and Bethlehem (Catholic Edition)

28. Birth of Jesus
Felt Symbol: Infant Messiah
Wooden Symbol: The Manger
Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories: The Coming of the King, Pages 211-213
Picture Book: The Nativity


O God, You fill us with happiness each year as we wait for our celebration of Christmas. May we also joyfully look forward to the coming of Jesus as our final Judge. We ask this of You through Jesus our Lord. Amen.




Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bargain Priced Books :: Coupon Codes for Christmas


The last few years we have really enjoyed giving our children stacks of books for Christmas and I am always looking for great deals and promotions to save on all the books we purchase.

Right now you can get $10 off any book purchase of $25 or more over at Amazon with coupon code: HOLIDAYBOOK

The promotion is valid for a limited time, on orders placed between November 24, 2016 at 12:01am EST and November 28, 2016 at 02:59am EST. Limit one promotional code per customer and account. You can read the complete details here.

I'm still searching for books for this year... 
Here are some books that our children will be receiving this Christmas: 



(her older brothers have an older box set and this excellent audiobook collection)

OR The Wind in the Willows (illustrated by Robert Ingpen - Help! I can't decide which one!)


Our oldest daughter will also be receiving a Kindle this year. They are all on sale right now!

I'll probably also incorporate some new books supplemental History books for this year: 

I'll most likely order these from Sacred Heart Books & Gifts:
FREE SHIPPING until Dec 10th with code: JMJFS

You can find additional books suggestions here: 

Scroll through all our past Stacks of Books for Christmas here

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving


...from our family to yours! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas & A Special Prayer Request {Plus Another Sleighful of Giveaways}


It's time for this year's list of "Christmas Gift Ideas" and another "Sleighful of Giveaways" from my amazing sponsors!  (You can find last year's list here, as well as even more Catholic gift ideas listed in my past Easter posts as well: 100+ Easter Basket Stuffers & Catholic Gift Ideas and Easter Symbols: Catholic Gift Ideas.) 

Before I get started, I have another little favor to ask this year... Could you please offer a prayer for the newest addition to our family? We had quite the surprise at the end of October! In fact, it wasn't until our oldest son asked, "Are you sure you aren't pregnant? This isn't your usual sick... this is how sick you get when you are pregnant!" that I finally took a test... He knows me well and has seen me pregnant a few times! ;) I truly thought I was just having another one of my long cycles, I was sick because my hormones have been so off for so long, and that our soon-to-be-five-year-old "baby" was going to be the last! (We even got rid of most of the baby stuff just last summer...) But, he was right! My husband and I were so excited to see our little baby's tiny heart beating during a dating ultrasound on the morning of the elections (we never did see heartbeats with our miscarried babies) and then I got another little peek at the baby during my first appointment with my new doctor last Monday afternoon. So far everything looks perfect! I wasn't going to say anything yet, but I have such a hard time keeping secrets... I'll be going in a week from Monday for some more blood tests and another ultrasound and would really appreciate prayers. Thank you!



When I started coordinating all the weekly giveaways leading up to Advent this year, I knew it might be overly ambitious, especially considering I'm homeschooling all seven on top of my work schedule this year, but I had no idea just how challenging it was going to be to get out of bed each day! pull off... It's all coming together though and has been a lot of fun! I plan to host one last giveaway for you all next weekend focusing on the O Antiphons.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter this GIVEAWAY for a chance to win one of 27 PRIZES with a combined value of over $1,500.00!

Note:  This post includes affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the affiliate links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a percentage. We are so grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you!


.: Fun Finds for Advent & Christmas 2016 :.


  1. 100% Beeswax Advent Taper Candles (Our candles from  have sold out for this year. Other options include: Toadily Handmade Beeswax CandlesHoney Candles, or these from Big Dipper Wax Works.   I'll be using these pillar candles in pink and purple for our large wreath. If you are looking for less expensive candles, these might be a good option.)
  2. Lavender Pearl and Bronze St. Andrew Chaplet from Mary Devotions (A beautiful new addition to our collection of St. Andrew Chaplets.) 
  3. Christmastime in New Orleans (CD) and the Special Edition (DVD)
  4. A Gospel Advent Calendar (Also available from Catholic Child! I've added this to our 2016 Advent Book Basket. The kids also have a few toy Advent Calendars again this year, one in each bedroom: LEGO City for the older boys, LEGO Friends for the girls and NHL Playmobil for the little boys.) 
  5. Caroling at Ephesus is brand new from the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles
  6. Baby's First Christmas Ornament from Blessings from Heaven*
  7. Christmas Tree Creche Candle from The Cloister Shoppe
  8. DIY: Christmas Chocolate Coins (I originally shared these back in 2010, but finally moved the FREE printable document over to Dropbox for easy access. You'll also find printable documents for St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins, Jesse Tree Coins, and O Antiphon Coins!) 
  9. Three Kings Wise Men Puzzle Scene (This will be one of our O Antiphon gifts this year! I'm hoping to share more about the rest of our O Antiphon picks, along with one last giveaway, next weekend.)

*We'll be adding one of these to our Christmas Tree this year, I just haven't decided exactly how to word the custom text... It will be something along the lines of:

Baby's First Christmas 
♥ Due June 24, 2017 


Since I have been so incredibly sick this fall (I keep reminding myself it's a good thing!) I decided to ask our kids to help me with this year's "Christmas Gift Ideas" post.  I had them each list nine of their past favorite gifts for me to share with you all. Here are their answers: 

(Note: Our children usually unwrap three gifts on Christmas morning - something they need, something they want, and one other gift which is usually faith based - along with a stack of books which I'm considering saving for Epiphany this year.  The gifts listed below have been received over a number of different years/occasions.)


.: Captain's Picks - Age 16 :.


  1. Key Chain (Tiny Saints are his favorite. He also has this Captain America LEGO Keychain.) 
  2. Favorite Sports Team Clothing (In his case it's the NHL Penguins and Beavers for College Golf - go Uncle Kevin! Last year the boys each got these NHL Fleece Pullovers.) 
  3. FOOD (Beef Jerky, Trail Mix, Clif Bars, Coffee and Restaurant Gift Cards) 
  4. ENO Hammock with Suspension System (He has the 2016 National Park Service Centennial DoubleNest Hammock in Forest Green - I'm hoping to get hammocks for our other teens this Christmas or for their next birthdays.) 
  5. T-Shirts (He has some great Catholic T-shirts including St. Benedict Medal, The Lord Be With You T-Shirt, and St. Patrick.) 
  6. Super Hero Anything, except costumes... (T-Shirts, SlippersMovies, LEGO, Metal Earth, etc. He'd love these Marvel Golf Balls.) 
  7. Music CDs (Celtic Thunder, Michael Buble Christmas)
  8. Audiobooks or Audible Credits (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings narrated by Rob Ingles, etc) 
  9. Strategic Board Games (Axis & Allies, Settlers of Catan, Stratego, Risk, Battleship)


.: Ranger's Picks - Age 14 :.


  1. Metal Earth Model Kits (Note: These are challenging to assemble.)
  2. Headphones (Particularly the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. His older brother won a pair from the 2015 NPLTW Contest and he has been borrowing them for his online Latin class. He'd love a pair of his own! If you have a favorite/more affordable option I'd love to hear about them! He also loves the Bose Mini BlueTooth Speaker he won.) 
  3. Sports Gear (Hockey Sticks, Golf Clubs, etc - Last year he received a new Hockey stick and we were able to get an amazing deal on these Golf Clubs for our oldest son. This year we are watching for another great deal on golf clubs so they each have their own set. Last season we borrowed an extra set from the high school.) 
  4. Movies (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Avengers
  5. Weapons (Swiss Army Knives, Bow, BB gun, etc... He also loves making things using these books: Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare and Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2: Build a Secret Agent Arsenal. He recently raided his sisters sewing box for supplies to make the darts pictured above. On his wish list: Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 3: Build Siege Weapons of the Dark Ages and Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction Targets: 100+ Tear-Out Targets, Plus 5 New Mini Weapons
  6. LEGO (ArchitectureCreator, and Modular sets are his faves - the Lincoln Memorial provided some of the pieces for his recent Ancient History Mini City. I need to share pictures of the Mini Vatican he has been working on building!) 
  7. Swiss Army Backpack (His is similar to this one.)
  8. Clothing (American Eagle Flannel Shirts, Dress Shirts, Slim Straight Jeans, etc - Watch for sales and I always make sure to click over from Ebates first to earn cash back on purchases! I was able to get the boys AEO Extreme Flex Slim Straight Jeans for less than $20 a pair recently.)
  9. The Brotherband Chronicles and Ranger's Apprentice Books (He doesn't know about the brand new release of The Battle of Hackhan Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years) coming out this month... I have already pre-ordered a copy. Shhhh!) 


.: Twinkle Toes' Picks - Age 13 :.


  1. Baking Supplies & Cookbooks (She received this Apron, Sweethearts Pot Mitt and Heart Cakelet Baking Pan for her 13th Birthday, celebrated with a When Calls the Heart party!)
  2. iTouch Gold (Last Christmas we went back and forth between getting her a digital camera and the iTouch and ultimately picked the iTouch. She keeps it in a Pink Survivor case.) 
  3. Books (Some current favorites include The Paradise Project, A Single Bead, Anne of Green Gables. On her Wish List: This set of Jane Austen books and this Literary Mug. I also want to get her this Anne of Green Gables coloring book.) 
  4. Clothing (For her... or for her dolls! She especially loves the saint outfits from The Little Habit, before these were an option the girls loved making their own.) 
  5. Stationary & Gel Pens (similar to these, check Costco for fun and affordable sets in stands - You can see hers pictured with her gifts from her Molly Birthday) 
  6. Journals & Colored Pencils (She has been enjoying these Seasonal Planners lately.) 
  7. When Calls the Heart DVDs (She has the Collector's Editions of Season 1 and Season 2
    ... maybe she'll receive Season 3 for Christmas!)
  8. Klutz Tiny Stitches book and Other Sewing Supplies
  9. Beauty Supplies (Hair Brush, Curling Iron, Chi Straightener, Manicure Sets, Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Lip Shimmer, etc - some of these she has, a few she borrows from me.) 


.: Chiquita's Picks - Age 11 :.


  1. Sewing Basket & Supplies (Last Christmas one of her gifts was a darling sewing basket, picked up at Michaels using a 50% off coupon, filled with sewing supplies including: embroidery thread, scissors, a small purple embroidery hoop and this book.) 
  2. Dolls and Accessories (She loves all the Historic American Girl dolls and accessories that she has collected over the years. One favorite is Josefina's Holiday Gown, complete with her lace mantilla for Mass!) 
  3. Puffin In Bloom Collection (and so many other books!) 
  4. Paint-by-Number Kits (Her past sets include: Chickadees and Lilacs and Goldfinches.)
  5. Make Your Own Washi Tape Stickers 
  6. Bow and Arrows (She has this Genesis kit with this case.) 
  7. LEGO Christmas Creator Sets (The girls have this Winter Toy Shop and Santa's Workshop.)
  8. Chapel Veils from Robin Nest Lane
  9. Sketch Book & Art Supplies (Her favorite is the eeBoo Nature and Observations Notebook



.: Rose's Picks - Age 6 :.


  1. Calico Critters (Hopper Kangaroo Family is one of her favorites.) 
  2. Seri's Dollhouse (This was given to the older girls Christmas morning 2011 and it's still played with every week. They love using it for their Calico Critters.) 
  3. Play Silks in a Variety of Colors
  4. Dolls, Clothing & Accessories (Saint Habits and Accessories from The Little Habit are favorites! She'll be receiving this St. Therese Doll for either Christmas or her birthday next month! I posted a review here.) 
  5. Shining Light Dolls (Mother Teresa and St. Therese are two new favorites!) 
  6. "ALL of my St. Therese St. Dolls!" (includes this Saint Therese from Trendzilly and a Saints n' Stitches pattern available here)
  7. Grimm's Wooden Fairy Tale Village (and the rest of our stacking blocks... I blogged more about them here.) 
  8. Dress Up Clothes (I've found some great deals on Gymboree's clearance racks after Halloween in the past, including her Peacock dress up.) 
  9. Enchanted Forest and Frozen Surprise Slides are two of her favorite games. See more of our family's favorites in this post


.: Bud's Picks - Age 4 :.


  1. Games (Bug BingoAnimal Tracks Memory, etc) 
  2. Swen and "Little Swen" (These live on his bed along with all the Pillow Saints from his Godmother and a few other favorite toys.) 
  3. Barn and Schleich Animals (Our fabulous wooden barn is ridiculously expensive now, but this might be a nice alternative. Add a Blessed Sacrament and St. Anthony Blessing Block to reenact the story of St. Anthony of Padua and the Hungry Gray Mule.) 
  4. Wooden Mass Kit from Almond Rod Toys
  5. Saints on the Go! and Shining Light Dolls (St. Joseph, St. Nicholas, St. Patrick, St. FrancisSt. Martin, St. Pio
  6. Naturally Catholic toys and Hand Painted Wooden Saints from Catholic Folk Toys (You can see our Our Lady of Fatima set here. The 100th Anniversary of the apparitions is coming up in May! The Pope and Swiss Guard Set is another one of his favorites.) 
  7. Wooden Trains (Thomas)
  8. Melissa & Doug Car Carrier and Car Loader (He also loves the Log Truck, but it doesn't look like it's available.) 
  9. Mini Hockey Set


.: 2017 Catholic Calendars, Saints & Planners :.


  1. 2017 Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Liturgical Calendar (FSSP - Extraordinary Form)
  2. 2017 Catholic Calendar - Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Saints Galore) 
  3. Saints - A Year in Faith and Art (This one is a book, not a calendar, but it's one of our favorites to have out year round.) 
  4. 2017 Saints Calendar & 16 Month Planner (TAN)
  5. 2017 Catholic Daily Planner™ (Michele Quigley)
  6. Holy Heroes Spiritual Diary (for children) 
  7. Mary and the Saints 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN)
  8. The Life of Our Lord 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN) 
  9. The Angels 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN)


.: A Sleighful of Giveaways :.


There will be one winner for each of the following 27 PRIZES from many of my generous sponsors here at Shower of Roses with a COMBINED VALUE OF OVER $1,500! 


Prize #1 - $50 Gift Certificate for Custom Missal & Breviary Covers, Nativity Finger Puppet Set, and Catholic Cuisine Apron sponsored by MissalCovers.com (value $110.00)


Congratulations, Karen S! 

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Prize #2 - The Illuminated Rosary Complete Set (Hardcover Edition) sponsored by Peanut Butter & Grace (value $100.00)


Congratulations, Laura B! 
"Thanks for the giveaway!" 

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Prize #3 - The Virgin Mary Around the World! A Pilgrimage of Faith and Winner's Choice of Six Marian Shining Light Dolls sponsored by Shining Light Dolls (value $87.93)



"Oh, how wonderful about your new little blessing! God's goodness knows no bounds. I will be praying for you for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Nothing like a little baby to keep our gaze on Heaven! Thanks for all the giveaway goodies. God bless you."

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Prize #4 - Nativity Set and Baby's First Christmas Ornament from Blessings from Heaven (value $79.95) 


Congratulations, Carolyn L! 
"All the prizes are wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win. I love following your job and your family! We too had a surprise this year.. #6 due May 17. I skipped my whole first trimester before I noticed! I was distracted and not very sick. Many prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy/delivery for you!"

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Prize #5 - Winner's choice of (2) Windeatt Comprehension Sets sponsored by TAN Books (value $75.70) 


(Options include: Children of FatimaSt. Rose of LimaSt. Benedict, and The Little Flower. Each comprehension set comes with three items: the actual Windeatt novel, the student workbook, and the Teacher’s Manual.)

Congratulations, Stacy G!
"What a wonderful giveaway! Congrats on the new blessing!" 
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Prize #6 - Set of two To Know the Savior Prayer Guide & Journal books, Give Him 5 Coffee Mug, Prayer Bag and Bracelet sponsored by Give Him 5 (value $63.00) SAVE 10% off all orders with coupon code: Roses


Congratulation, Tara! 
"Thank you for offering this giveaway! Prayers for you and your baby."

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Prize #7 - CLSP Pro-Life Tote Bag filled with Educational Materials sponsored by Culture of Life Studies (value $60.00)


(Options: The winner can choose an elementary pack or a high school pack and the bag will be filled with an appropriate assortment.) 

Congratulations, Deborah D! 
"Congratulations! Praying for you and your baby!"

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Prize #8 - Wooden Mass Kit sponsored by Almond Rod Toys (value $56.00)  Until Dec 18th, if you say a Hail Mary for the conversion of sinners and type in FOUNT OF MERCY in the comments section of check out you will receive an extra patron saint block of your choice with your order.


Congratulations, Kathleen C! 
"We are SO happy for your blessed news! You will be in our prayers. Your giveaway is phenomenal. So many wonderful prizes. I love #8 (mass kit for kids) and #21 (Jesse Tree - on my wish list!). All wonderful choices."

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Prize #9 - Set of Four Books by Rev. Henry S. Spalding, S.J. sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $55.80)




Congratulations, Christine B!
"Congratulations, Jessica! Please be assured of my prayers for you and your baby. I am so happy for all of you. I've been hoping and praying that you will be blessed with a second round of babies like my husband and I have been. God bless all of you!"

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Prize #10 - Heroes of Grace, Compendium Primary Edition and In Depth Edition sponsored by Sacred Heart Books and Gifts (value $53.90) FREE SHIPPING for orders over $40 now until December 10th with promo code JMJFS. They also have almost 200 items on special from 5-30% off


Congratulations, Elizabeth S! 
"Congratulations on your newest little one! You are in my prayers! I would love to win the Jesse Tree Ornaments, I've wanted those for years :) God bless you!"

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Prize #11 Set of Three Pendant Necklaces sponsored by Art Angel Gallery (Includes: The Immaculate Heart pendant, Madonna and Child pendant, and double-sided Sts. Therese/Zelie/Louis pendant. value $52.00)  SAVE 10% off any purchase with coupon code: SAVE10



Congratulations, Heidi!
"Yea! Another baby! i'd love to win the Mass kit---my boys (and girls) would love it!"

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Prize #12 - $50 Gift Certificate sponsored by Catholic Folk Toys (value $50.00)


Congratulations, Michelle! 
"So happy for you! May God's peace be with you! 
All of the gifts sound wonderful. I'm drawn to any of the wooden Saints or books for kids, but #6, 13 and 27 also sound great too!"

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Prize #13 and Prize #14 - $50 Gift Certificate sponsored by Regina Martyrum Productions  (two winners, value $50.00 each) 


Congratulations, Judi S!
"Congratulations, what exciting news. I would love the book " The Virgin Mary around the World" or the Catholic Folk Toys. What a wonderful gift for Christmas. Thank you."

Congratulations, Susan S!
Wow! What a great list! Thank you!

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Prize #15 - Therese's Sunday Best Outfit, "I am Therese" Book, and "She is Joan of Arc" Book sponsored by Dolls From Heaven (value $48.00, Doll not included.)


Congratulations, Audrey S! 
"We will be praying for you and your new little one! Thank you again for such a wonderful giveaway!"
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Prize #16 -  Mary's White Dress with Blue Cape & Lace Veil and Blue Rose Wreath sponsored by The Little Habit (value $46.00)


Congratulations, Susie M!
"Thank you for the opportunity! What a wonderful collection of Catholic gifts! I love them all! I would like the Jesse Tree set, the peg dolls, the 18"doll clothes... but the Shower of Roses mystery gift is so exciting!!!"

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Prize #17 - Precious Blood Bracelet sponsored by Gail's Designs (value $45.00)  FREE SHIPPING on all orders with coupon code: Christmas16


Congratulations, Cheryl G! 
"I've had my eye on the Jesse Tree Treasures set for a couple of years so I would love to win it!"

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Prize #18 - Red Carnelian Rosary Bracelet with Miraculous Medal sponsored by Et Corde Rosaries (value $44.95) Until Christmas you can save 15% off with coupon code: ROSES15


Congratulations, Tricia M! 

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Prize #19 - Two copies of Christmastime in New Orleans (CD) & one copy of Christmastime in New Orleans (DVD) sponsored by AimHigher Recordings (value $44.93)



Congratulations, Theresa N!

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Prize #20 - A Trio of Marian Pillowcases from Prayer Pillowcases (value $44.85) FREE PERSONALIZATION on Prayer Pillowcases through November 2016 with coupon code: Name4Free


Congratulations, Stephanie L!

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Prize #21 - Jesse Tree Ornaments (or apply towards custom set of your choice) sponsored by Jesse Tree Treasures (value $42.95)


Congratulations, Jenny P! 

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Prize #22 -  Christmas puzzles for young and old & some merry background music sponsored by Catholic Child (Includes: value $42.85)  SAVE 15% through November with coupon code: CmasRoses (one time use)


Congratulations, Traci S! 

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Prize #23 - Soft Peach Convertible Covering and Girl's White Veil with Ties sponsored by Robin Nest Lane  (combined value - $42.70) SAVE 20% off your order with coupon code: ADORATION2016


Congratulations, Teri!

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Prize #24 - Complete Set of Gospel Trekkers sponsored by Pauline Books & Media (value $41.70)  You can find my review of these books here. 



Congratulations, Christine C!

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Prizes #25 -  Set of Three Books by Msgr. Raymond O'Brien sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $40.85)



Congratulations, Samantha L!

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Prize #26 - $40 Gift Certificate sponsored by Naturally Catholic (value $40.00)


Congratulations, Rebecca S!

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Prize #27 - Christmas Gift Package from Shower of Roses (value $40.00+)  Contents still to be determined... It will be a surprise!


Congratulations, Marie B!
"Oh Jessica, I am so, so, SO happy for you and your family! Grow, baby, GROW!!! I am praising God tonight for new life!!! You were on my heart in a particular way a couple months ago and I offered up one of my Masses for you, maybe this was the reason you came to mind that particular day. :)  Thank you again for the generous giveaway and all of your wonderful sponsors, I found a few tonight I want to look into more when I do some Christmas shopping. There are so many wonderful prizes to pick from, but I love both the Shining Light Doll prize and the Art Angel pendant prize. 
Deo Gratias!!"

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