It’s been a while you guys, since I last typey typed up a blog post. But I’ve had a lot in the works for you guys. First things first . . .
You will probably not be surprised that I wrote another book. (There are more in the pipeline too!) But you MIGHT be surprised that I wrote a book of reflections for the Jesse Tree. Since . . . ya know . . . I’ve said in multiple places including in The Catholic All Year Compendium that we don’t DO the Jesse Tree. 😆
And we didn’t. We tried it when my oldest kids were little, and it wasn’t a super success for our family. It felt like a lot of flipping around between various mediums, and the length each day was inconsistent, and we gave it up. So, when Scott Hahn‘s publishing company reached out and asked me to write a book on the Jesse Tree, I knew what I had to do. Say yes anyway . . . and figure out how to make it useful and doable and beautiful and good. O Come, Emmanuel: Advent Reflections on the Jesse Tree for Families was written to solve the issues we had with the devotion as a young family.
It has everything you need right there between the covers: art + Bible reading + reflection + prayer. Each day’s content is similar in length, and not too long for little kids to manage. It’s appropriate for all ages from toddler to adult. It’s rooted in Catholic Scripture and Tradition but ecumenical in presentation, so we can share it with non-Catholic family friends. And it’s a high-quality, full-color, beautifully illustrated, sturdy hardcover book that will last for many kids and many Advents.
It’s available at Emmaus Road Publishing and Amazon and wherever else books are sold!
I hope it will be a great success for your family!
I wanted to be sure we had ornaments available to go with the particular symbols featured in the book. My friends at Emmaus Road Publishing have created a very cute set of printable ornaments to color and cut, yay!
But, I was hoping for ornaments that were less, um, scribbly, so I started looking at the lovely Jesse Tree sets available online. Unfortunately, none matched the particular set of symbols in Ms. Pilapil-Lasa’s artwork, to which I had paired the reflections in the book.
Then I started awake one night a week after I submitted the manuscript with an idea that the husband and I agreed was one of the worst I’ve ever had. And I did it anyway. I bought a laser cutter and designed a set of wooden ornaments to go along with the symbols in the book. I fired that baby up and my oldest sons and I have been changing out sheets of plywood 20 hours per day for weeks, and little kids have been popping them out and peeling and sorting them, and everyone has been packing boxes to create custom-engraved, custom-cut, beautiful wooden Jesse Tree ornament sets in case they’d help you make your Jesse Tree dreams a reality.
There are a VERY limited number of these sets available. I wish I could have made more, but they are really complicated and time consuming and I love them, but I cannot make any more! So if you want one, don’t delay.
There’s a 2-inch version that comes with a tree that can hang on the wall or stand on a tabletop with the included stand (see image above), and a 3-inch version good for hanging from a mantle or on a Christmas tree. Both sets include a signed copy of the book. Shipping to U.S. addresses only.
And, just for fun, I want to give away one of each set to those of you who’ve ordered a book. Leave a comment here on this blog post telling me that you bought the book and I’ll choose two winners tomorrow (Thursday 11/19) morning. (If you bought a set then you win the giveaway, I’m happy to refund your purchase or send your extra set to the recipient of your choice.) Be sure to check back on the comments on Thursday to see if you won. You’ll have 24 hours to contact me, or I’ll choose a new winner, just to make sure I can get these shipped out in time to be used! Shipping to U.S. addresses only, sorry!
It’s that time again! There’s an all new Catholic Mom Bundle for Advent filled with activities for kids, resources for prayer, marriage, and organization, crafts and decor, and much more!
These bundle sales are so fun for me. I love trying to come up with a product people didn’t know they wanted, but will end up using! My contribution this time around is a Rosary printables set with posters, booklets, and prayer cards perfect for little hands during a family Rosary. They’d also make fun Valentines!
Individually, all of this would cost $557. But for 5 days all 21 products for Catholic moms, by Catholic moms are available as a bundle for only $25. The sale ends November 20. See all the details and the other great products included here.
If you just want to enter the giveaway, feel free to pop over to buy the book, and then scroll right past this to the comments to tell me you’ve got your book and want to win an ornament set!
But if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past few months, I figured I’d give you a quick little update here. Mostly, I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been really busy with new opportunities that keep presenting themselves. I’ve turned in two book manuscripts. I’ve been asked to record talks for a bunch of virtual conferences and have spoken virtually to smaller groups all over the world (one of my Patreon subscription levels includes a virtual talk!). I went to Chicago to film a video series on family prayer at Spirit Juice Studios for the St. John Paul II Foundation.
It was SUPER fun.
I totally redesigned my liturgical year wall calendar pages for 2021, and made four artwork versions, plus a large format desk calendar.
See all the calendar choices on the home page. “Print Version” means an actual physical calendar will be shipped to you. “Digital download” means you get a PDF to use on a digital device or print at home. Get 10% off of the print versions with the code SELFPUBLISH10 (in all caps) until November 20th at 11:59 PM. Print versions of the calendar ship worldwide!
I spent a crazy number of hours working on these ornament sets, with lots of helpers. Figuring out a Glowforge and Adobe Illustrator was no mean feat. (Here’s my Glowforge referral link if you want to join me in the high highs and low lows of home laser cutting!)
But also, I disappeared from blogging because I painted myself into a corner a bit with my last blog post. I stand by the main point of it, that if one wants something blogged about . . . one should start a blog and blog about it, rather than requiring others to do so. But also I kind of implied that I only blog about meaningful things related to my apostolate of liturgical living in the home, and that’s just entirely not the case. This blog has always been about all sorts of things, many of them meaningful, many of them silly. I figured anything I wrote about next would probably get me accused of being a hypocrite and worse, so, with so many other places to spend my energy, I just let the blog sit.
Then I watched The Social Dilemma and found it super convicting that social media isn’t a healthy place to spend a lot of time, and I read a great article that I can’t find right now that encouraged Catholics and other non-woke voices to return to blogging because of the purposeful suppression of those voices on mainstream social media, so I’m feeling like I really SHOULD be blogging more. I just need to make the time. Pray for me!
Family stuff is good. The husband is doing well, latest scans show no change, which is good news. We are grateful for your continued prayers on that front. It’s hard to believe that this time last year George was hospitalized. He’s still in physical and occupational therapy for lingering apraxia of balance, but is overall really great and such a joy.
I think that’s it! Get your copy of O Come, Emmanuel (and have you seen these new paper goods that coordinate with it PERFECTLY?!) and leave a comment here to enter the giveaway, and get yourself an ornament set before they’re gone, just in case, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!