Catholic Conference 4 Moms: Learning in the Home with Danielle Bean

I loved Danielle’s presentation yesterday! Did you? I was also super inspired by the healthy eating presentation by Katie Kimball on Day 1. We might be asking grandparents to gift her kitchen class for kids web series for Christmas. It looks so good, and purposeful presents. That’s the Christmas theme this year – purposeful presents.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the conference. If you’re just hearing about it, no worries! Today is only Day 3 of 5, plus a bonus Day 6 of encores of the presentations. And it’s totally free! Seriously, go check it out.

If you wanted to hear more about what I thought about Danielle’s presentation, head on over to CatholicMom.com where it posted yesterday.

Also, if you are loving this who experience, there is a way for you to keep the spirit alive. Catholic Mosaic, the organization who puts this conference on, has a special M4M (More 4 Mom) package that you can purchase. You get all the presentations to download, so you can watch them anytime, anywhere. Also included is a discussion guide for all the presentations. Looking for a new study for your Moms group? Trying to get a way to engage parents during your Religious Education classes? Need something quick and easy for Advent this year? The applications are endless!

If that wasn’t enough, you also will receive ebooks, inspirational prints, coloring pages and so much more! When you add it all up, it’s about $150 worth of stuff, which is incredible!

more-4-mom-ad-1-1_origThe presentations, plus the bonus material, is only $30. It is a great price for such a wealth of information, resources and encouragement. Check out here for the full list and details. Also, as an affiliate of the conference, if you use my links listed here I will receive a small kickback as thanks for sending you there.

My big takeaway yesterday came from Colleen Duggan’s Love in the Family presentation where she challenged everyone to consider how often during the day they thought about themselves. How often am I thinking about what I want to do, how easy or hard this moment is for me, when will I be done, ect. There’s some deep thinking and praying in this for me, I’ll probably be blogging about it soon.

Enjoy the conference! And check out the More 4 Mom package!

Embracing Cloth: Living a Less Disposable Life

We have recently made the decision to switch to cloth napkins. This is following a more conscious effort to create less waste in our home. Instead of reaching for paper towels, we reach for dish towels, Swedish dishcloths or cloth napkins. There are many reasons why people make this kind of choice. Environmental awareness, scientific knowledge, smaller footprint, cost savings, etc. These are important factors, to be sure. However, they aren’t our primary motivator.

Linguists know, and so do we all deep down, that the words we use shape the way we think about the world. Something as simple and basic as changing a single word or phrase in a sentence can give us a fresh perspective on any number of perceived divisions, attitudes and injustices. For example: “These people are different than I am” or “These people are similar to me.” Or the classic Catholic example, “We have to go to Mass” versus “We get to go to Mass.”

The little things can make all the difference. After watching the Netflix show Cooked Ben and I have been talking a lot about how “disposabley” minded our American culture has become. Worldwide, roughly 140,000 disposable plates and cups are thrown away every second! In one year, approximately 73 billion Styrofoam plates and cups were disposed of in the US alone. Combine this conversation with our subscription to a website called MightyNest which offers sustainable products designed to encourage people to create less harmful (primarily plastic) waste and we landed at our dinner table. Specifically our napkin holder with its ever-emptying supply of paper napkins.

Now that Eliza is capable of getting up on the table unassisted (not at the table, on the table – literally), our napkin usage has skyrocketed. John, Rosie and Clare also tend to revile dirty fingers so you can quickly see that in a single day we could easily burn through 15 or more paper napkins. Most meals included at least one if not multiple napkins per kid, and not because the napkin was unusable. It was just more convenient to grab a new one. Ridiculous! We had created napkin monsters!

Maybe this isn’t a big deal in your house, and that’s awesome! But for us, we have chosen to see this tendency as a foundational building block for a less disposabley-minded life (I know, I totally made that word up but I like it).

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Just like we are taught from the earliest ages that it is polite to say “Yes, please” and “No, thank you,” shouldn’t we be taught to be mindful of the things we use? Humans were placed on the earth not to use it or abuse it, but to be good stewards of it (see Genesis 1-2). In this way, we are helping our children (and ourselves) to be good stewards of something small, a simple napkin. But, hopefully, it will help to form their conscience in a way so that when they are called upon to be stewards of something larger, they already have a good habit pattern to follow.Daily Graces. kktaliaferro.wordpress.com

CatholicMom: Lessons from Lent – Fasting

As Lent comes to a close, it is time to reflect on what I’ve learned. This year, I chose to not only fast from meat on Fridays, but to follow the stricter fasting rules we observe on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday each Friday during Lent. I’ve never fasted with this kind of regularity before, so when this thought popped into my head a few weeks before Lent began it felt very Spirit-driven.

I knew this kind of intentional fasting would be challenging, and it was! But not always in the ways I thought it would be. Here are some things I learned from my fasting.

Continue reading at CatholicMom.com