Saturday, December 31, 2016

Twelve in Twelve 2016

Happy New Years! As we look forward to 2017, here's my 2016 in pictures:

January: Went through my first Holy Door for the Year of Mercy (which became nineteen doors in ten states!) all documented with a #holydoorselfie.  This was also around the time I became obsessed with making Saint Peg Dolls. And I got a brand new Bible and started reading/studying with the goal to finish the whole thing in a year.  (More on that later...hint- I didn't meet my goal ;).)

February: No major notable events, but I did have lots of meetings and therefore lots of pretty doodles.  I got a little organized and made a doodle each Sunday corresponding to the Scripture readings for Mass, and have kept it up for over a year.  I posted a summary of all of them here, or you can check out #sundayreadingsscripturedoodle and follow along!

March: Super notable was the birth of my adorable nephew Oliver whom we love to pieces.  I made the two hour drive a whole lot that month (and still do) to snuggle this little one and his big sister.

April: And five weeks later Oliver was followed by second nephew Theodore.  This time I majorly played hooky and flew to Colorado to spend a week with tiny Teddy and his mom & dad. He's the cutest.

May: Wrapped up the school year with our annual Fulton Sheen Field Trip and got my first glimpses of the newly restored St. Mary Cathedral in Peoria.

June: Summer!  First roadtrip of many- A friend and I traveled to the Appalachian Mountains.  We visited the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, hiked, listened to Bluegrass, ate great food, and drove the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.  Also in June, I also attended the incredible Finding Your Fiat Conference and hosted the Why Make Beautiful Things Series.

July: And a couple weeks later, I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains.  I made two back-to-back roadtrips to Colorado, once with family and once with a friend.  (If you are counting, I spent about 6,000 miles in the car over the course of a month!) My brother-in-law will be restationed to another Army post by next summer, so we spent as much time in Colorado as we could this year.

August: School started again and was a fun milestone year for my top floor teachers and I.  With Mother Teresa's upcoming canonization, I also made tons of coloring pages and activities to celebrate her powerful life.

September: #describeyourselfinthreefictionalcharacters was all the rage, and I decided that even though I want to be Laura, Jo, and Lizzie, really I'm Mary Ingalls, Meg March, and Jane Bennet- the older, predictable, trustworthy sister. Not a bad role, I guess. And I also made a skirt out of curtains, just like Maria VonTrapp.

October: My sister and Teddy made their first trip home to Illinois.  This is my favorite picture from the whole year, especially considering that Violet was 21 mos., Oliver was 7 mos.,  Teddy was 6 mos., and they are all looking at the camera. :)

November: I couldn't pick one, so you get two pics for November. First, I roadtripped to Wisconsin to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and sites around LaCrosse.  And, no big deal, we got to meet Gianna Emmanuela, the daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla.  Hearing her talk about her "Saint Mama" and hugging her was like a little piece of heaven.

And, also in November, I cut 14" off my hair to donate to Children with Hair Loss.  This is the shortest my hair has ever been, and I'm still getting used to it!

December: And this month has been filled with lots of good things, including tons of family time.  I'm currently hanging out in my parents' living room, surrounded by all the babies.  This sister pic is of us and our matching purses- earlier in the year I found and splurged on the perfect purse (it's the Fossil Sydney Tote).  It's soooo perfect that by the fall, both of my sisters had individually purchased their own.  We love our matching purses, but we (and their husbands) mix them up all the time, leading to some confusion and laughs.

So there's my 2016 in a picture nutshell.  Wishing you a very blessed 2017!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Trivia Jeopardy

We might be approaching one of the greatest Feasts of the year, but as Advent winds down, there is a certain level of survival mode that kicks in for teachers/catechists/moms.  We only have a handful of school days left before Christmas break, but those days are filled with interrupted schedules, program rehearsals, parties, and kids pulled out of the room for various reasons. I know I am looking for "filler" activities that are still meaningful and catechetical.  Over the years, these Advent Jeopardy games have come in handy during these crazy last days of December.  I'd like to share them with you here in case you might be able to use them in your home or classroom!

In presentation mode, the main Jeopardy board with 25 options will appear.  Clicking on a point value in a certain category takes you to the "answer" and the next click takes you to the "question." Hover over the home button, and you are back to the main Jeopardy board.  When chosen, the point values will change color so you know that question has already been chosen.  Some of the different games also have Double Jeopardy options and Bonus Questions to make it more interesting and challenging.

(Note- because Power Point doesn't transfer perfectly to Google Slides, some of the fonts and formatting are going to be messed up.  If you download to your computer or make a copy in your Google Drive, you can make those corrections.  You also can edit the questions as you would like.)

Click here for trivia about five popular December Saints and their Feast Days:

 Click here for Advent Trivia Game 1:

 Click here for Advent Trivia Game 2:

Click here for the Challenging Advent Trivia Game:
(we used this one at a young adult Advent party, but it would also be great for middle or high schoolers)

And if you are looking for an additional lesson  to squeeze in, the O Antiphons start on December 17th.  You could use this coloring book or mini book to study and pray with the whole Church as we await our coming Messiah!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Favorite Small Businesses {& a Giveaway!}

Growing up, my parents always made sure that we understood the importance of supporting small businesses.  Coming from a rural community, those small family owned stores kept our little town running.  They provided jobs, supported the community, and allowed us to live on a farm "in the middle of nowhere" with all the things we might need.

The nature of small businesses has changed with time, but I think that many of us still know the value of supporting those shops and owners.  One of my favorite small businesses is Kayla Phillips Design, owned by my dear friend Kayla (You might remember her from the Beautiful Giveaways in the past).  She creates the most lovely handlettering and typography designs, often with Scripture as the theme, and then makes products using the highest quality printing and materials.  Her gorgeous 2016 Christmas card design is pictured above.

Kayla also does custom graphics, logos, invitations, and more.  You can see more of her work and contact her here if you have a special project in mind.

Kayla's work is something that brightens up my home. Take this for example:
(the print, of course.  not the orchid.  I killed the orchid, like all other houseplants that cross my path...but my Psalm 16:6 print is as lovely as ever.)

And I featured this thank you card over on Instagram last week- isn't it sweet?

But really, I think the star in her shop right now are these art prints and brass stand.  Kayla chose six favorite original prints from her onehundredverses Project.  Each 5x5" design is printed two sided on 100 lb. paper and comes with a solid brass picture stand.

This solid brass holder is just lovely- I chose the hexagon stand, but there is also an option for a round stand.  All the prints fit together, so you can easily rotate between the six verses.  It would be perfect encouragement for your desk at work or the ledge above your kitchen sink.

The prints cover a variety of messages from Scripture and feature diverse design/lettering styles.  They include Colossians 2:6, Luke 19:9, Philippians 4:4...

Psalm 86:11, Jeremiah 29:11, and Psalm 73:28.

So, if you're in love with Kayla's work, head over to her Etsy Shop- you are just in time to snatch up a few last minute gifts while supporting a worthy small business.

Kayla Phillips Design has graciously offered Look to Him and Be Radiant readers a giveaway AND a discount to help make Christmas shopping a little easier.
-Enter below to win a set of five of this year's Christmas card design- a flat card featuring John 3:16 in navy and ivory, pretty enough to frame and keep up all year.  Giveaway ends Saturday, December 10, 2016 so I can get them in the mail for you to use for Christmas!
-Choose your favorites and use code RADIANT at checkout for 20% off your total purchase from Kayla Phillips Design on Etsy.  Code valid until Wednesday, December 14, 2016, so shop soon!

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