I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Advent Children's Books

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  We will trim our tree, bake St. Nicholas gingerbread cookies to leave out for Santa and light candles and the fireplace and say our prayers before bedtime.  It has been a quiet and blessed Advent for us this year.   I am so looking forward to Christmastide!

Here are some books our children have especially enjoyed this Advent:

Lucy's Christmas features a Victorian era girl who enjoys preparing gifts for her friend's and family as much as she's looking forward to the Christmas celebration and gift sharing at her church.  It is a sweet, gentle book full of beautiful illustrations.

Tasha Tudor's Corgiville Christmas.   My 7 year old especially found the idea of dogs and cats having skating and snow picnic parties to be particularly funny!

St. Lucia, Saint of Light.  St. Lucy, with a crown of candles on her head.  She is the saint associated with light and she is an inspiration for generosity during a season in which the focus should be on just that.  She gave away her entire dowry to the poor.  

The Baker's Dozen.  This is the story of baker, so careful and precise that he became cheap and miserly.  This is the legend of how the Baker's Dozen of 13 came about.  

In the Legend of the Poinsettia a young Mexican girl is devastated that she is unable to complete a new woven blanket for the Baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve procession because her mother has grown too ill to help her.  Worried for her mother and ashamed that she has no gift she is inspired to pick some weeds to offer at the Nativity by an old woman.  Those weeds miraculously bloom into bright red flowers as she places them by the baby Jesus.  

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. Just simple good fun from a classic Christmas story.  My 2 year old is obsessed with Look and Find books and this one has been fun and kept her attention through the last few weeks. 

The First Christmas. This book tells the Christmas story.  It has moving pictures that change when a tab is pulled.  The story is simple and the pictures are captivating for young children.  

Merry Christmas to you!  

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