A Prestigious Award and 33 Things About Me

by | Mar 19, 2013 | You Ask, Kendra Answers | 11 comments

Woo-Hoo!  God Bless Pope Francis on his Installation Day and Happy St. Joseph’s Day!  It’s a solemnity, so you have to eat dessert.  Seriously.  We’re planning waffles for breakfast and a YouTube replay of the installation Mass for this morning.  To see what we’ve got planned for tonight, click here.

The Liebster Award seems to be hopping its way through the Catholic Mom Blogosphere bunny trail. I am grateful to have been thought of by Chris from Campfires and Cleats, Monique from Mountains of Grace Homeschooling, and Emily from Glitter Rainbow Happiness Land.    

So here goes:  

1. Where did you grow up? San Diego

2. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? That’s a tough question for me.  We have family in Chicago and San Diego, so I would love to be able to live in one of those places.  But, I would love to live abroad (especially when I read Jenny’s blog!).  I also have romantic notions about living on a farm that the husband thinks would probably not be realized by living on an actual farm.  (Maybe I should just go visit my cousin.)

3. What is your favorite book?  Pride and Prejudice

Unless you are familiar with regency customs,
an annotated edition makes all the difference.

4 Favorite movie?

The Princess Bride

5. Saint who inspires you?
St. Thèrése of Liseux



6. What’s your fairy tale wedding like?

7. Why did you begin your blog?


The long answer: As my older kids were getting helpful and my day-to-day became more routine and I had a bit more time to myself, I began to write.  First, I wrote a book on Confession for kids, which (now two years after I finished writing it) is supposed to be published by Ignatius Press at some point in the as-yet-to-be-determined future. 


Then I decided I would write picture books.  I wrote a bunch of manuscripts, picked my favorite couple and started sending them off to publishers and agents.  And . . . nothing but a bunch of form letters followed.  I received one personal response.  (Thank you Stephen Fraser, literary agent.)

So that was disheartening.  I still felt like I wanted to write, and I had mulled a blog, but worried about how long-term it felt to start one.  I tend to over-do things.  But then my church lady was the catalyst and here we are.

AND, I had a very promising weekend, picture-book-wise.  So we’ll see where that goes too.

8. Hobby?

Sewing baby blankets:



And baking birthday cakes:



9. If you could have dinner with a-n-y-o-n-e, who would that be?
Hmmm . . . it’s a three-way tie between my husband, Pope Francis, and Stephen Fraser, literary agent.

10.  Louisa May Alcott or Jane Austen?
I heart Jane Austen.  Before I met my husband his spot in the above list would have been taken by Mr. Darcy. 

11.  Best spot for a relaxing dinner with the family?
Bonfire pits at Dockweiler Beach:
1. How long have you home-schooled?
five years
2. What type of curriculum do you use?
Mother of Divine Grace, a classical, Catholic curriculum.
3. Do you have any pets?
Yes, but the husband is allergic to fur, so . . . 



4. What is your favorite season?
The fall.  Especially when we lived in Chicago, but even here.  I love feeling for the change in the weather.  And the kids are always so excited about the beginning of a new school year (and ready to be done by about now . . .)
5. What was the best school lesson you have taught?


At Shiloh National Military Park


At Grand Canyon National Park


In Madrid on our trip to Spain and Portugal

It’s hard to pick.  The trips that we have been able to take with our kids have always been our most memorable lessons.

  6. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?

Grammar.  I love this book:  

I find the lessons useful and charming.  I have had some really great discussions with my kids over grammar lessons.  

7. Do your kids play any musical instruments? The school age kids all play the piano.  

8. Do you school year round or do you follow the school
I follow a traditional school year. I love that the kids (and I) get to have unstructured time during the summer. Maybe this summer I will write that Middle Grade novel I’ve been mulling. It would be a challenge during the school year.  

9. What would be your dream vacation to take with your
I would love to go back to Fiji, where we spent our honeymoon:

10. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip  

11. Why did you decide to homeschool?
Because parochial school was so exasperating.  (I posted about it here.)


1. If you had to eat one thing or meal all day for a week, what would it be?
Jalapeno cheese bagels

2. When you get to go out by yourself, what do you do? Or what would you want to do?

I always try to bring someone with me when I run errands, even if I could leave them all behind.  I find it’s a great opportunity to get to interact individually with a kid or two.  EXCEPT when I go to the fabric store.  I really like to take my time when I’m picking and matching fabrics, and I often do not pay enough attention to how my kids are entertaining themselves.  I like to go to the fabric store alone.  Ooh, or Anthropologie.

3. Do you find your children have similar temperaments?
My kids are like a box of chocolates. They all look pretty similar on the outside, but on the inside who knows what you’ll get?  Could be coconut, could be caramel, could be that weird nougat stuff.

4. Sweet or salty?

5. When you are with your husband, who usually drives? What about on longer road trips?
I almost always drive because ever since I started having babies, I get carsick.  The husband never gets carsick, so he reads to us.

6. What’s a “chore” that you secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy doing (I won’t tell anyone)?
I love organizing things like pantries and toy closets.

7. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Both.  I am NOT an afternoon person.

8. What was the last book you read & was it any good (this is a selfish q, as I need some suggestions)?
I read a lot and I’m always reading multiple books at one time.  But this is Emily’s question and I know she shares my love for YA, so I’ll recommend Birthmarked (YA dystopia): 

A trilogy, but I’ve only read the first

and one of my all-time favorites (YA steampunk!) Airborn:

I liked all three books in the trilogy

And a (so far) super-great middle grade that my 10-year-old son and I are reading simultaneously called The Mysterious Benedict Society.

The “complete collection” is four books,
but I think one of them is just a book of puzzles.
I’m not quite done with the first one.

I’m planning to post a full review of it once we’re finished. Note: here’s that review!

9. If you could go on any vacation (expenses paid) with your kids & husband, where would you go? What would you do there?
I would love to spend a few months in a giant RV driving around the country to national parks.  We have been, without exception, extraordinarily impressed with the national parks and the people who work there.  Thanks, Teddy Roosevelt.

  1. I’m at your house. What would I see?
    Well, right now you’d see me, sitting at the computer while everyone else in the house is sleeping.  (And a kitchen that will be getting tidied up as soon as I’m done with this.)


  1. Chris

    LOVE this post! What fun.
    THANK YOU for answering all of my 11 nutty questions…Loved learning more about you!
    I was just about to log off when your post for today popped into my inbox!
    (BTW, we ARE traveling this summer again,,,,tho not in an RV!…around the country.this time to the SW.Last year we toured the midwest and the Pacific NW…thought of that as you shared the Grnd Cnyn pic and talked of traveling the country.)
    Your wedding photo is just lovely….I;d love to see more.Perhaps when you get a chance for a wedding anniversary, you can post another shot or two….?
    I res'd Airborn and Birthmarked for my older son, on your rec. They look right up his alley! (Altho now he is rdg Here, There Be Dragons…not his typical genre, but he's really into it.)
    Have a lovely day, Kendra and thanks again for taking the time to share your life and reply to the questions for the Liebster!

    • Kendra Tierney

      Thanks Chris! It was fun a fun exercise to think of all these answers. If you're coming as far south west as LA let me know . . .

  2. Emily

    I love boxes of chocolate: the mystery, the suspense, the chocolate! And I do like the weird nougat kind, so I think I'd love all your kids!

    Also, thank you for the YA novel suggestions!

    I always drive on longer trips as well for the same reason as you! (Plus Ben gets very sleepy, very quickly while driving).

    Thanks for doing this!

    • Kendra Tierney

      You WOULD love all my kids. But you would especially love the oldest two because they would take your YOUR kids and run off with them for the whole afternoon. They would come back dirty and wearing mismatched dress-up clothes.

  3. Brienne

    On behalf of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, we appreciate today's shout out to one of our country's greatest presidents!

    • Kendra Tierney

      hah! I thought I might hear from Aunt Brie on this one. When I was looking for a Teddy Roosevelt photo I kept coming across this meme about how he got shot while giving a speech. And FINISHED GIVING THE SPEECH. Wow.

  4. Brienne

    Also, I'm just starting a baby blanket for my newest little niece (my sister is due around August/September). I'll have to get your input!

  5. Nanacamille

    All of the years of clean up your room and clean out your school desk…nag, nag, nag have finally taken hold in your desire to clean out your closets. Must have saved it all up for your 6 kids and hubby. Yea..glad to see it finally worked.

  6. Mrs. Mike

    Oooohhh!!! So much good discussion material here–would love to pick your brain about Primary Language Lessons sometime. And yes yes yes to homeschooling field trips. We have been up and down the Eastern seaboard this school year studying early American history and my kids officially know more than I do about the topic. BTW…thank you for your lovely email (last week?) I have been meaning to reply back but time in front of the computer is elusive. Happy feast day!

  7. Theresa

    Are you kidding me?!?! That ballerina baby blanket is the CUTEST thing I've seen since I put my baby to bed 🙂 I love it! Nicely done. I've been stalking your blog for a week at a friend's recommendation (she recommended your blog, not the stalking part) but I think I'll make it official and follow! Happy First Day of Spring! -Theresa (ordinarylovely.blogspot.com)


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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