Queen of Heaven Prayer in the Ordinariate (English Regina Caeli)

I finally found it!!

We are members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter — officially, now, since our oldest son received his Sacrament of First Communion in the Ordinariate this Divine Mercy Sunday! The Ordinariate is the structure set up by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to welcome Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Methodists back into the Catholic Church using a liturgy that is much more familiar to them, but is fully and faithfully Catholic. We’ve been attending our local Ordinariate parish for the past few years, partly because, as a convert myself (although not from any denomination), I immediately felt at home in the atmosphere of excitement and devotion the parish has, and partly because the liturgy is such a beautiful combination of the older traditions and our own familiar English. ;)

However, sometimes this causes a difficulty for us when we need to learn something new! The Ordinariate is not large or widely known, so it’s sometimes harder to find resources for learning the liturgy.

Our Sunday Mass ends at noon every week, and after the recessional the pastor and altar serves always come back and lead the Angelus by the statue of Mary at the front of the church. Of course, in Eastertide, though, the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Caeli. But in the Ordinariate, it’s in English — and not just any English — in special, Saint-James’-Bible-style thee’s and thou’s.

And I had no idea what we were singing, Lol.

I wanted to add it into our morning basket time so the kids and I could learn it, but I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet! Youtube is sorely lacking in Ordinariate prayers. ;)

But today I found it. Thank you to the liturgy geeks (in the best way possible) of the New Liturgical Movement website, for being interested in every tiny detail of an Ordinariate Easter Mass! Here’s what they reported:

“After the distribution of Holy Communion, the Prayer after Communion was sung, the Solemn Blessing was given, and the hymn Jesus Christ is risen today was sung as the altar party lined-up before singing, to the same tune, these words – known well to high church Anglicans as a metrical Regina Coeli:

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, alleluia!
he whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia!
as he promised, hath aris’n, alleluia!pour for us to God thy prayer, alleluia!”

The “metrical Regina Coeli” — who knew?

And I knew that tune was from a familiar hymn, but I just couldn’t put two and two together!

So I’m bookmarking this here, in case any of you dear readers are also nerdily interested in random facts of liturgy, and also so I can easily find it for tomorrow’s morning basket. ;)

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!


I hope you all have a beautiful feast of St. Nicholas!

I have so enjoyed learning more about this great Saint of the Church who became Santa Clause! We’ve never celebrated the traditions of St. Nicholas’ day before, so this year I did some research and adopted all the traditions I found: put out shoes for St. Nicholas to fill, and he brings oranges, chocolate gold coins, a Christmas-themed book, and Christmas PJ’s.

The kids loved it! I tried to snap a picture, but I crashed into bed before I remembered to take a “before” shot, and they were too fast for me to take anything but blurs in the morning! We read all their new books while they tried on their new PJs and ate their chocolate coins and oranges (in that order ;) ). It was a joyful and special morning!

The books I chose (although I wanted them all, but had to stick to budgetary concerns) were:


St. Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins, by Jim Forest

What a gorgeous book! The story focuses on “Nick” as a young man in Patara, how he realizes his dreams of having great adventures at sea can be lived most fully by an act of generosity among his own neighbors: secretly giving a great part of his inheritance to three young women who cannot afford to marry. There is a lot of background between Nicholas and his guardian/uncle, a Bishop, and the beautiful example of charity he provides for Nicholas. At the end there is a historical note which, I believe, explains more about St. Nicholas’ adult life as a priest and bishop and the legends that we have of him–but, frankly, I haven’t been able to hold their attention long enough to get to that part. ;) I was so pleased with this telling of his story!



The Christmas Horse and the Three Wise Men, by Isabelle Brent

Another beautiful book! My girl is craaazy about horses, so this seemed the perfect way to immerse her in the story of our Savior’s birth. It did not dissapoint! The story itself is fairly bland–three wise men see the star, track it down, run into swirling desert sands, etc., and finally find the Infant King–but it is charmingly told through the perspective of the horse who serves its master faithfully, and the pictures are so vibrantly rendered that it truly helps the reader imaginatively participate in the journey. The picture of the Christ Child is the perfect finale.


DS almost-2:

The Story of Christmas, by George Brundage (St. Joseph carry-me-along board books)

That kid is coming up on 2 years old. I can barely believe it! But he has fallen in love with a “Guardian Angels” book in the back of our church that is also from this series, and I knew it was the one for him. He started gasping and pointing and murmuring “Mama…” (at Mary) right away. The illustrations have a lovely vintage charm. The text minimal and straightforward, and the scenes are well selected. And it even has a handle! I am hoping it will induce him to sit in the pew for most of Mass, instead of needing to be dragged out to the back right away!

Well, now they are off waging some sort of pirate war against their younger brother (or with him now? It’s hard to tell!) and I’ve got work to do.

P.s., If you’re still looking for a lovely Christmas gift (or something for yourself!), don’t forget to look at my new 2017 liturgical-year and calendar-year planners! Give the gift of a year organized around a faithful home!


New Catholic Devotional Planner!

You guys — I made a thing!!

I’ve been working (on and off) on this project since February, and I’m so excited with how it turned out!

MarianMartha Planner 2016-2017 Cover

The Marian Martha Devotional Planner!

Isn’t it purdy? :) I’m in love. I hope you’ll love it, too!

Please click on my new “Shop” or “Catholic Devotional Planner” links above to learn more. Or, go straight to previews and purchase links at my shop! I’m offering it in both PDF and hard copy versions, printed and bound and delivered to your doorstep! You can also customize the cover with whatever text you like!


Please consider purchasing, and do please leave me feedback on it, either in the comments or by emailing me. I’m already working on the update for next year, so I’d love to hear how it works for you!!


Organic Homeschool Scheduling in a Charlotte Mason home

A.k.a., “How I eventually gave up trying to be like Other Homeschool Moms and figured out how I school with a 6 year old, 5 year old, and 1 year old”!

So, I’m new to this whole thing.

Remember when you were new to parenting, reading up on all the blogs and books, sifting through all the vehement, utterly contradictory scientifically-proven Facts (but that’s another story), trying to figure out how you can manage any of this without completely dooming your child to a life on the psychiatrist’s couch?

Or was that just me? ;)

Well, that’s what I did with homeschooling, too. And somehow — SOME how — I just never seemed to be measuring up. I couldn’t plan for the life of me, but I couldn’t manage to follow a boxed plan either. I could whip up a Charlotte-Mason-style weekly schedule, complete with pretty fonts and elegantly-bordered tables, but I couldn’t seem to make a single day follow my tidy boxes. If I got through the boxes at all.

What was wrong with me?? I was in agonies over every gorgeous, failed schedule. Could I just not hack this homeschool thing? Am I just not Type-A enough to pull it off? How did I ever manage all those years of public school, college, grad school with such a miserable work ethic?

Well, step one was to recognize the situation: I have a 6 year old, a 5 year old, and a 1 year old. No, I was not just making excuses about “the baby” even though I’ve had over a year to figure this thing out with him around. Yes, it is a genuine difficulty to try to begin formal schooling a 6yo boy, with his 5yo sister and near-walking brother bouncing around the same two rooms looking for things to do! Yes, not having a yard or a playroom or what-have-you to toss them out in when they get restless is going to impede your progress through a productive day, and the best planning tabulature in the world is not going to make those difficulties go away.

And no matter what kind of a learner I was in my own, thoroughly “schoolish” education, a table won’t turn me into a different kind of mother and teacher.

But how did I figure all this out? The strangest source–I discovered Bullet Journaling.

What is that? Well, you can click on the link if you haven’t heard of it, but for me, it means a hand-written system that isn’t pre-divided into someone else’s logical scheme, doesn’t insist on checking certain boxes in a certain order, and allows me to try, fail, change, and adapt as I go and figure my own self out.

What–a planning system you can mess up? Learning from yourself as you go? All in a pretty turquoise planner with multi-colored pens? Sign me up!

And, I’m proud to say, after one-and-a-half whole weeks (see what a great math teacher I make?) of this exalted system,  I’ve finally Figured It All Out.


But really, this thing has actually got me going. I can record what we do, in whatever order we do it, AND still have a checkboxy sort of place where I can make sure we’ve dotted all our i’s and such (and make myself feel all accomplished). Multi-colored motivation for the win!

SO… here’s how it works.


I keep track of my homeschooling (note: not “plan,” but “keep track of”–this is key to my sanity) in two different places: my weekly spread, and my “Homeschool Log” page. I can already tell my Log is going to change to better suit what we do as we go (as you’ll see by the mess that it is currently!)–and the fact that it can change is just fantastic to me.

Also, the fact that I can just log what we do as the day goes by, and refer to my Log chart for a checklist of what-can-we-do-next, means I can adapt our day to the crazy fickle nap schedule of a transitioning baby-toddler, the snack/entertainment needs of a newly-5yo, and the learning and play needs of my new “school” kid. I know what I want to do, because my bookshelf full of friends and head full of plans calls to me daily, but I couldn’t ever manage to do it all with the chaos of a small-but-full home.

Now, I can use a flexible outline of my day, snatch every quiet moment I find, grab a few kids and a few books and plop down at the table or the couch and get to know all our great new friends–Aesop, Beatrix Potter, Jenny Wren, the Saints, the Word and God Himself in all His beauty and truth.

What a gift!

The Homeschool Log


So, here is the Homeschool Log. You can see I’ve got the bottom corner dog-eared for easy flipping between “today” and the Log. (Just ignore the man behind the curtain all those empty/scattered days just the week before last!)


I use four-day weeks, since we are in a couple of co-ops that meet at various times and I like to have the room for flexibility. (Can you tell I’m a fan of flexibility yet? Lol! I used to think I was a schedule queen!) So across the top run dates of weeks, Mondays-Thursdays, and down the left are my lists of subjects/texts. The color code for each matches up to the general subject-groupings I use in my weekly/daily list (and you can bet those are going to be more effectively grouped for the next iteration of the Log).

Right now the subjects are in a loose order of importance — i.e., the things-that-must-get-done-today at the top, and subjects that rotate or are less frequent as you go down. For instance, I aim to rotate Saint and Bible readings, two each week, so I make a little box for that day with either “S” or “B” in it to keep track. If I end up with three “B”s in one week, though, I can either go with it or lean towards the Saint readings next week. See, Flexibility! I love it.

Some subjects get a box with a chapter  or lesson number for reference, and others just need a check to note that we did something that fits the bill. In my daily list, I’ll have a more specific indication of what we did. So, for handwriting I’ll make a check here, then write in my daily list a worksheet printed with a phrase from our literature reading, in cursive or print, or another page in Handwriting Without Tears, or whatever made sense to fit in our day, or was requested that day.

The Weekly Spread and Daily List


One of my favorite things about the Weekly Spread is that it is my one-stop-shop — all my hats in one lovely place. The top is the week of the month — the Third week of March. Below that you have the dates across the top — one column for each day, Saturday and Sunday sharing the last column. The top row is my traditional Bullet Journal to-do list: small bullet for to-do items, open bullet for events, X’d out as they’re completed. At the bottom of that cell I track my water glasses and vitamins and fill them in as I go.

At the very bottom is my meal planning row, lining up under each day. Our breakfasts and lunches are pretty routine, so I just plan out the dinners as briefly as possible.


The largest portion, between the to-do and the meals, is where I list our homeschool to-done’s. That is, I list them as they’re completed, in the order in which we get to them. That means I can check back to the days before to see what went well, and I can do my best to enact Charlotte Mason’s principle of alternating types of activities (sitting-producing vs. listening-narrating vs. active-moving, etc.) within our unpredictable, baby-driven timetable.

No two days have to look the same, but everything I want to do gets done! It’s a marvel.

As we enter into a new subject, I write down what we’re doing on my daily list (i.e., MEP Lesson 34 or Beethoven Lives Upstairs CD) then flip back to my Homeschool Log to check it off on my check-table (a “34” box under MEP or a check mark under Composer Study).



So that’s it! So far (all six days, haha) it’s been working beautifully for us. A definite game-changer!

And, although it’s obviously not time-tested or anything, it’s different enough from all the homeschool planning advice I’ve seen that I thought I’d share it. I hope it helps someone, if only to help you, too, break out of whatever home/school paradigm you may have accidentally boxed yourself into!

Enjoy the ride!

Low-carb, Vegetarian “Spaghetti”

It’s a tough Lent when your family is variously eating low-carb in some quarters, gluten-free in others, and meatless in others. Feeding the hoards becomes a little bit of a trick.

Especially when you open the freezer and discover you did not actually have a stash of frozen tilapia filets to fry up.

So what do you do? Well, I finally followed the advice Jessica at Good Cheap Eats keeps giving me in my inbox: I shopped the way back, nearly forgotten corners of my cupboards.

And I found–wonder of wonders–a spaghetti squash. And still good! Boy, those things are hardy.

A quick consult with google, and here’s what I came up with. The Husband calls it a win! (The key is huge amounts of cracked pepper and Italian seasoning–at least in my house.)


Spaghetti Squash “Spaghetti”


  • 1-2 spaghetti squash
  • 2 zucchini squash
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • garlic salt, tt (to taste)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, tt
  • Italian seasoning, tt


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray generously with olive oil spray.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash(es) in half. Scoop out seeds, then place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 30-45 minutes, until you can easily pierce insides with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, halve and slice zucchini. Heat about 1 tb. olive oil on stove; add chopped garlic and saute for about a minute. Then add zucchini slices and saute until they reach your favorite level of crunch/mush.
  4. Just before zucchini are fully mush-ified, add the canned tomatoes and sauce. Season as desired (the more the better! Don’t be afraid of overwhelming the veggies ;) and heat until sauce is warmed through and some of the liquid is reduced to a good thickness.
  5. When spaghetti squash is cooked through, take it out of the oven and run a fork length-wise along the inside of the halves to shred your “spaghetti” strands (pulling straight up from the middle will make them too short). Plate each person a serving of “spaghetti,” topped with some of your delicious tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Free Catholic Printable Valentines!


catholic valentines marianmartha

So… our co-op is having a Valentine’s Day party tomorrow–or, rather, joining the multi-co-op St. Valentine’s Day party, complete with valentine exchange, cupcakes, snacks, and crafts. And sixty kids!!

Sixty kids–my kids will be in heaven. Me? All I can see are the dozens of cupcakes to bake, the crafts to make, and the bazillions of valentines to bring for all the kids! Also, I have zero budget for bags of heart-shaped candies and whatnot.

So what do I do? Turn to my trusty Word program, a little googling, and a beautifully sturdy black-and-white printer.


To compensate for the bland b&w imagery, I used brightly colored cardstock (which my dear printer complained against, yet valiantly attempted and only printed most of them at a festive angle.)

The other bonus was an afternoon of entertainment as my 6yo quickly claimed the stack of newly-cut cards to color. Thankfully, most of the b&w images I found were actually coloring pages, so it worked out perfectly!


Many thanks to Catholic Playground, for two of the images, and Catholic All Year, whose own printable valentines inspired the quotes I used. (If you have a color printer, check Kendra’s valentines out for some beautiful Catholic printable valentines!)

And, without further ado, here are the ones I put together. Be sure to print double-sided if your printer can, or do manual duplex to print first the fronts then the backs.

Click here to open/download/print: Catholic Valentines MarianMartha


And enjoy!



The Feast of All Souls and Indulgences

Have relatives who have passed away? Have compassion for all the dead? Pray for the holy souls in Purgatory today and all week!

Just like when we ask others to pray for us on earth, our prayers can help those who died wanting to love God, but not accomplishing it very well, to be purified more quickly and enter the eternal embrace of our Loving Father! Justice and mercy shall kiss.

So how can we do this? Here’s what Father Z. says (I’ve copied the prayers below):

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (2 Nov)

  • Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory
  • Say one “Our Father” and the “Apostles Creed” in the visit to the church
  • Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions (that is, the intentions designated by the Holy Father each month)
  • Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)
  • Make a sacramental confession within 20 days of All Souls Day
  • For a plenary indulgence be  free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”). [Be sure to read Father’s excellent commentary on this at the end of his post.]

You can acquire one plenary indulgence a day.

A partial indulgence can be obtained by visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed.  You can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between 1 November and 8 November. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.

A plenary indulgence, applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when you visit a church or a public oratory on 2 November. While visiting the church or oratory say one Our Father and the Apostles Creed.

A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when saying the “Eternal rest … Requiem aeternam…” prayer.

And this is the prayer:

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace Amen.

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

What a great mercy is available to us!! Please take advantage of any of these that you can. How beautiful it is that rightly ordering our own souls, in penance and charity for others, assists them on their way to God’s heart.

Don’t delay, if you can participate in any of these graces!

Here are the prayers for easy reference:

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.


And if you can’t attend a Mass, at least listen to this beautiful Requiem Mass by Gabriel Faure…

Easy Weeknight Dinner: Tuna Tomato Pasta

Here’s one I “invented” (i.e., googled and tinkered) out of desperation one night before grocery day with nearly-empty cupboards. (You know, that “nearly-empty” kind of cupboard stuffed with cans of all sorts of nutritious substances you thought really important to stock up on… once upon a time.)

But with a scant half-hour before Daddy gets home, wailingly hungry kids, and a cupboard full of random cans, what do you do? Tuna tomato pasta, of course! A three-ingredient wonder. (Four, if you sprinkle some Parm on the top

This works best with some kind of big-noodle pasta, like rigatoni or giant shells. Last week I picked up some fancy pasta that calls itself Bucatini — it was tasty, but I’d prefer the shorter, fatter varieties of pasta if I had my druthers. But it’s a great way to change up this meal if it becomes a bit of a last-minute staple!

tuna pasta

So, here’s the nitty gritty. Ready? Go!


Easy Tuna Tomato Pasta


  • 18 oz. pasta noodles
  • 24 oz. pasta sauce/marinara
  • 3 cans tuna

BAM! And there you go. But if you want to get real fancy, add…

  • 1 tbsp. or so of minced garlic (I prefer pre-minced, for convenience, but if you’ve got the time, go for fresh!)
  • Chopped veggie, such as spinach or zucchini
  • Grated Parmesan


  1. Set salted water to boil in large pot. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. [Optional] FANCY: In large skillet (cast iron all the way!), heat up a tsp. or so of olive oil on med-high heat, then add minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add chopped veggies and saute until just the way you like them (in my husband’s mind, until pulverized out of all shape and texture, lol).
  3. In skillet on high heat (either filled with garlic/veggies or simply a tsp. of olive oil), add three cans of drained tuna. “Saute” until liquid is gone and tuna is good and fragrant, almost with a bit of crispy to it.
  4. Add jar of marinara to skillet. Stir and keep on heat until warmed through.
  5. Pour sauce over drained pasta. Dish it out to the hungry hordes, and take a long-deserved sip of wine.


And that’s it! The first time I served it, it was a huge hit. And not too bad for a 30-minute throw-together meal!

I hope it blesses your family, and their tummies, too.