Christmas Wishes From the Tierneys (and a book pre-order announcement!): 7 Quick Takes XXXVIII

by | Dec 20, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Christmas, My Book | 10 comments

On the off chance that I don’t have your address, I figured I’d share our Christmas card for this year with all of you! And I’ve got seven kids, and a take on each. So, I’m calling this my quick takes . . .

So, here’s the front, middle, middle, and back of the card:

You can click on the pictures to embiggen them, or here’s a closer look . . . 
If you read this blog with any regularity, you’ve already heard all the anecdotes. (Sorry, you guys get all my good material first!)

First things first, we have been blessed with a new baby girl, Louise Marita. She is sweet and squishy and sleepy and pretty much all you could ask for in a baby. We are calling her Lulu. All except Frankie. Frankie is calling her baby Uh-wheeze.

Speaking of Frankie, after putting in a solid year and a half of squawking, screeching, banging on things, and food-throwing, he’s really pulled it together. At eighteen months, he pretty much didn’t speak at all, and now at two he’s a constant source of stream of consciousness chattering. His favorite things include getting his fingernails clipped, throwing away trash, and “hiding” (lying down in the exact same spot next to mom and dad’s bed) when he’s supposed to get changed. He also really loves his new baby sister.

Anita is still a preschooler, but knows pretty much every poem her big brothers and sister have learned, and is known to pipe up with what phonogram that is before any of the big kids can answer. She got to “play soccer” this year, by which I mean she stood on a soccer field looking adorable while other kids occasionally attempted to kick a soccer ball. And there were snacks afterwards. She plans to marry her friend James, but only if he can grow a moustache and beard when he grows up.

Gus, on the other hand, turns out to be a regular force of nature on the soccer field. He scored at least once in each of his games, and, in one game, had three goals. He’s also a big fan of push-ups. If anyone even mentions them, he’ll drop whatever he’s doing and start counting them out. He has an astounding level of self-confidence, the kind of self-confidence that means you might happen upon him in the side yard with a hammer and a box of nails and some wood from the scrap heap and ask him what he’s doing and he will reply, “Building a car.”

Bobby’s talents include drawing, doing funny voices, and making himself scarce when mom’s doling out chores. He was on an undefeated flag football team this year, and is the only Tierney kid capable of flipping an egg. After being told that the phonogram ‘ng’ can come after a, i, o, or u, but in English words ‘ng’ doesn’t come after the letter e, he said, “But ‘ng’ comes after the letter e in THIS word (while pointing at the word: English).” And his teacher had no response. He had his First Holy Communion last spring at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Betty continues to be mom’s helper and the finder of things in this house. And now, she can cook! She played soccer this year and loved being goalie, and was the best hitter on her coach-pitch baseball team. She loves her voice lessons, and is looking forward to her three note solo in the big Christmas choir concert. Her favorite subjects are history and Latin and she likes to be reading two or three books at any given time. She loves looking after her siblings, and got to be in the hospital room when her new baby sister was born.

Jack loves sports. He played football, baseball, and basketball this year, was on the swim and water polo teams, and took fencing lessons (with Betty and Bobby). But his greatest loves are science and inventing. He has finally figured out that if he just does it, he can get his schoolwork done by lunchtime, so now he has all afternoon to spend in the garage conducting experiments and building prototypes. He’s currently working on an automatic pancake flipper. He and Bobby are altar boys on Sundays at the Old Mission where we attend Mass.

Kendra suddenly found herself this year with big kids old enough to kinda look after themselves and each other. And, even with homeschooling four kids, chasing two preschoolers, and gestating one baby, she had some time on her hands. So, she started a blog: that in a year has had hundreds of thousands of hits and has been nominated for two different awards, but hasn’t won either. She also wrote a book called A Little Book About Confession for Children which is being co-published by Ignatius Press and Magnificat, and will be available in early February. And she learned how to make Shepherd’s Pie. It was a pretty good year.

When Jim isn’t leading the boys’ scout troops or coaching their baseball teams, he can be found driving around the freeways of Los Angeles in his hybrid car. He’s finally gone native. He enjoys his work with DaVita, but likes his time with the family even more. He is about to finish reading the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy aloud to the big kids.

As a family we enjoyed our trip to Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii, Jim’s 10th Stanford GSB reunion, a driving trip up the coast to see the giant redwoods, and our annual trek to Chicago for the summer, with a stop off in Iowa. We are the proud owners of ten hens, two tortoises, and a fish that Bobby won at a carnival that just won’t die. We’re loving LA, our family and friends, the weather, and being a homeschooling family.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and every blessing in 2014!                  Love, the Tierneys

Therefore the Lord
himself will give you a sign. 
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name 
Isaiah 7:14 

Thanks to Micaela of California to Korea and Back Again, who braved the elements with us on a VERY cold and wet morning at the beach, and took some pretty great photos, all things considered!


And if you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift for a child or Godchild who is preparing to receive his First Reconciliation. Or for someone who teaches catechism. Or for someone, child or adult, who would like to understand more about this sacrament. . . . My book is available for preorder on Amazon!

Click through to Amazon here: A Little Book about Confession for Children

Right now it says it will ship mid-March. My publisher says it’s more likely to ship in February, but they can’t be sure. So right now, it says March. Hey, it’s only $8.99!

I followed the lead of the estimable Jen Fulwiler and got the very talented Kathryn of Team Whitaker to make up a pre-order certificate. So, if you order the book as a gift on Amazon, you can print out this lovely certificate to stuff in a stocking or tuck in a card. Just click on the link to download the printable PDF!

click HERE to download
Merry Christmas and 
a Very Happy 2014 to All of You!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Anonymous

    Love the card!!! Merry Christmas!

    (and I have one of those kids who point out all the exceptions to the phonograms rules as well!)
    Me: English words end in y, not i.
    Kid. What about taxi?
    Me: Uhhhhh

    • Kendra

      Yep, I started it January 2nd, because a lady yelled at me in an adoration chapel. :0)

  2. Erica Saint

    This is just all kinds of fabulous! What a year you have had! Have a merry Christmas!

  3. Christine

    Great photos and write-up. How did you achieve a four-sided card?

    Also, congratulations on your book!!

    • Kendra

      Thanks Christine! That means a lot. :0)

      I made up the card myself in publisher and took it to a local digital printer. I can get a four sided, full color card for about a dollar each that way.

  4. Anna Yager

    Thanks for including us all in your Christmas card list. And congratulations on a very successful year of blogging and writing in general! You've definitely found your path.

  5. Anonymous

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Nanacamille

    Loved the card and waiting for mine to come in the mail to see the real thing. That was an awful day you took the photos. Jimmy Kimmel probably had a funny series of weather clips from the LA News Stations deciding what rain really was and how we don't get it in LA. Will preorder my books now. Nanacamille

  7. Kate

    I love the card and the blurbs about the kids! And I remember my dad reading Lord of the Rings out loud so many times as little kids became big kids…so so special!

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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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