Autism Uncategorized
SUCCESS for Autism + Jamberry Joy!
November 19, 2014
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Happy, almost Thanksgiving! I should really be making the Turkey Day menu right now, but it’s tough to teach an old procrastinator new tricks.:) A recent event is on my heart so I thought it would be more fun to share that instead. Last Friday I had the joy of attending the SUCCESS for Autism Benefit Gala. It really was a beautiful evening. Inspiring, uplifting, and very relaxing to be in the company of friends on a common journey. Relaxing… except for the total discomfort of my shapewear, that is! I’ll just say that as a stay-home mom I’m not used to wearing spandex anymore. Plus, being home 24/7 to make homemade meals, desserts, and after school snacks clearly has caught up with me! But I digress.;)

The evening itself was absolutely wonderful. I had the privilege of attending with my friend Gretchen. She is one of the most amazing women I know.

IMG_2456She and her husband Pat have eight children, most of which are adopted. Their daughter Maria is 27 and has autism. Thanks to Gretchen’s wisdom and experience, she has illuminated the path and inspired my own walk with my beautiful daughter. It was truly a gift to spend a few hours with her! It was also incredible to witness the stories and work of SUCCESS for Autism. For more information, click here. 

And now for the really fun part! My friend Jen has set up a Jamberry fundraiser to help raise funds for Autism Awareness and is selling these fabulous custom nail designs (and more!) on her site!

Jamberry Autism AwarenessI was so excited to receive this treat in the mail! I am notoriously disastrous with traditional nail polish and since my nails are short anyway, it’s just not an area I invest much in. But these were super easy to apply (once I got the hang of it).:) And after washing dishes, giving the babies a bath and making soup tonight, they are still looking good! Jen has loads of different designs (for hands and feet). I love the fact that this “spectrum” design makes a statement. Not only do they look cute, but a portion of every set purchased goes to autism awareness! I was just thinking this would be a great gift for Karolina’s teachers and aides! If you are interested in supporting Jen, please click here and spread the good word. Thanks again, Jen!

 

Sending you lots of love and grateful blessings.

As we lead up to Thanksgiving 2014,  here is a prayer I hope will bring you peace and replace any stress as you prepare.

(based on Luke 10:27, 38-42)

Lord, you know all the things
that still need to be done—
the cooking and cleaning,
the preparation and anticipation,
the anxiety and worry
that everything will be just right.
As I prepare this meal, help me also to prepare myself
that I may not be distracted by all these concerns.
And when you enter this home and sit at this table,
may I sit beside you and remember
that only one thing is needed:
to love you with all my heart, with all my being,
with all my strength, and with all my mind,
and to love my neighbor as myself.

Amen.

-Diana Macalintal.

God bless you. xoxo.

Oh, and Karolina says “thanks for stopping by!:” Love this beautiful smile!:)

SUCCESSFORAUTISMandJamberryJoy

 

Contest Uncategorized
Thank You!
November 10, 2014
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Thank you to everyone who entered the Juniper Plum Giveaway! The winner of the contest is:

 Beth Backer!

Congratulations, Beth! A heartfelt thanks again to all of you who entered to win!

Also, Katheryn has generously offered a discount at her Etsy shop to the first 10 Sacred Sink readers who order type in “Nov10″ at her Juniper Plum store.

How cute is this felt mass set?

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I ordered one for Gus for Christmas and it’s absolutely adorable! Thanks again Katheryn!

Within the next week of so, I also have another fun discount opportunity, so stay tuned.:)

I’m gearing up for a busy time of speaking events and excited about a special Gala coming up this Friday. For my autism/spectrum mom friends and families, this one is going to be amazing! Praying for all the details.

You can find out more at the SGM website under “events.”

 

SGM

Hope to see you there! With all of the daily busyness, I know time will get away from me if I’m not careful. So, I’ve been trying to plan ahead for Advent where/when I can (mostly at night). I’ve started a routine of bringing the laptop in bed at night to do my “work” there. The days are so full though, that I often find myself running out of steam as soon as I sit on that mattress! Ha ha. Still, I’m determined to post a few Advent themed prayers and plans over the next few weeks. God bless you on this Monday, and every moment of your week ahead. May God’s great grace find you!

It’s there on the mountain top
There in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace
Oh such grace

From the creation to the cross
There from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me, yes your grace finds me

-Your Grace Finds Me by Matt Redman

Have a wonderful, blessed Monday!

Giveaway Uncategorized
Juniper Plum Giveaway!
November 3, 2014
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Welcome to November! I’m excited to kick off the new month with some goodies for you! First, is the newly minted Facebook page for The Sacred Sink. Please pop over and “Like” the page, and I will do my best to give you little prayer starters, treats, and tips! To help celebrate the kick-off, I have teamed up with Juniper Plum for a giveaway and promotion for you! She has generously offered to bless a beautiful reader with a set of Catholic Icon Lacing Cards:

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Here’s a description from her Etsy store: “As a Catholic Mommy of three kiddos ages 4 and under, I am always looking for ways to keep them quiet, entertained, and as focused on Jesus as possible during Mass. When I started making these lacing cards for them, they were jumping up and down they were so excited to use them. They are great for rosary and family prayer time as well. Children love the bright colors and have fun weaving different patterns. While having fun, they are introduced to the beautiful world of iconography. To top it all off, lacing cards are known for helping children develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Lightweight and measuring roughly between 4×6 – 5×7 inches, they are wonderful for keeping in a diaper bag or purse, ready to pull out when needed in the car or while waiting in line at the store.”

I ordered a set of these for the babies, as well as a few other things from her store. I love everything she makes! Not to mention her wonderful customer service. In addition to the giveaway, she has also generously offered 10% off to the first 10 Sacred Sink readers who place an order! Thank you so much Katheryn! To enter the contest, simple follow the link, (below).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween Liturgical Year Resurrection Uncategorized
Celebrating All Saints and All Souls Day
October 29, 2014
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We are just a few days away from the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls.  It’s times like this that I am reminded how much I love the Liturgical cadence of the year. November is the Month of Holy Souls. A time of change, darkness comes earlier, vibrant colors fade away, and animals head into hibernation. It also coincides with the end of the Church year and the reminder of our own mortal “end” and what lies ahead. Not usually something we like to think about! But, there is a certain beauty in honoring the souls that have touched our lives and paved the way before us.  Since it’s not something I wanted to just blow by in one day, I decided to start a little early to prepare as a family. Granted, this is about as simple as it gets, but I entrust the rest to the Holy Spirit. This is our little mantle for All Saints Day (Nov.1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2.):

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Here’s a breakdown of what we have displayed:

The candle:
We went around the table and wrote the names of the faithful departed. Those (mostly within the last year) that we have loved and lost, and want to remember in a special way. This was surprisingly emotional for me (although I’m always emotional, so that should’t be a surprise! ha). It was a very powerful time of recollection, joy and somber reflection after writing the names of each soul.

Anita Kennedy, Mr. Costanzi, Grandpa, Francois, Ruth Howser, Louis Zamperini, Abigail, and many others.

FeastofAllSaintsAllSouls

The clock. I included this as the centerpiece behind the crucifix as a tie-in to both All Souls and All Saints day. A reminder that our minutes are numbered, and we must love and serve God and others with the precious time we have. Inspired by the following story:

“Once there was a king who desired not to forget that, like other men, he must die, and he had a man whose duty it was to come before him each hour and repeat the words: “Remember thou art mortal!”
That is, every hour he had this man remind him that sometime he would have to die. Each time the man came in before the king, he was reminded that he had one hour less to live; so, each and every time that you hear the clock strike, you should be reminded of the fact that another hour has passed, and that you have one less to live. In this sense every clock has a tongue, and when it strikes it tells us that we will now have one hour less to live upon the earth.

Redeem the time: Ephesians v. 16

“Did you ever stop to think that a man who is thirty-five years old has had five solid years of Sundays? And the man who is seventy years old, has had ten solid years of Sundays? With the years given to worship and the study of God’s Word, a man at seventy ought know a great deal concerning the teachings of the Bible. May God teach us so to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

-Sylvanus Stall

With that, I also printed out Psalm 90: 12:

“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

I also have my Dad’s memory card from his funeral service (Love that strong smile. Miss you, so much. xoxo). As well as holy cards of the Saints (the Church Triumphant) and a blessing cup chalice.

For All Saints Day, I purchased “Brother Francis presents The Saints Coloring and Activity Book”  for Mr. Gus (although this is probably better suited for 5-10 year olds).

AllSaintsColoringBookI’m hoping we can get to the cemetery over the weekend and pray the Rosary too. Oddly, it’s one of my favorite things to do as a family (I know that sounded weird, but it’s really not..trust me)! Lol. I love praying for the families as we stop at each grave stone. These are people we will never know this side of heaven, but the Lord hears the prayers and applies grace to the people/families who need it, and I just love that.

Do you celebrate the Feasts of All Saints and/or All Souls Day? I would love to hear how you observe them!

Finally, I wanted to share a “soul exercise” I ran across Fr. Ed Hays’ blog. He says the following:

Today the soul is commonly considered to be the totality of the self as a living conscious subject. But what are your thoughts about the soul? One thing for sure, talking about or to your soul would make you more conscious of its invisible mysterious existence. If you care to experiment, the following examples can be a beginning of your own Soul Language Lexicon.

*Coming home tired: “Oh, my poor weary soul, I’m dead on my feet.”
*During a long sermon: “My sorry soul aches for him to stop preaching.”
*Upon winning anything: “O my soul, dance with joy—I’ve won!”
*Finding place to park: “Look, my soul, an empty parking space. God is good!”
*Awakening at dawn: “O my soul—I’m alive! I’ve been gifted with another day.”

 -From the Haystack Blog.

May God bless your soul! xoxo

-Brooke

 

Birthday family Gus Uncategorized
Adios Dos!
October 27, 2014
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In 2007 I had a little idea with my son Grant to do an “Adios Dos” party (here).  The goal was to celebrate his birthday with a  “Goodbye TWO!” send-off party as we prepared to turn a proverbial new page. I can’t believe that little guy is now TEN!

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Sweet Karolina missed out on her “Adios Dos” because it was the day my Dad died. So here we are, finally at our little caboose of the family. Today was Gus’ turn for Adios Dos!

AdiosDos

 

Gus is still a little too young to latch on to the full concept that it’s the last day he’s two in relation to the phrase “Adios Dos,” but that didn’t stop the fun!  We kept it simple but sweet. The two little crafts (pictured) were our only real tangible tie-ins. As you can see, they are pretty basic. For the hat, I traced his hand so I could always remember the size at this stage. Thankfully, the hat DID make it through the day unscathed (small victories, whoo!) and I plan to tuck it away in his little keepsake collection.

For his birthday, we got him a Strider bike and he LOVES it already!  They are efficient, lightweight, all-terrain, and help kids safely build balance coordination at an early age. He noticed right away that they didn’t have pedals, but then zipped down the street like a champ. They are a little pricey, but after seeing the success of Augustine’s maiden voyage, we are all smiles here!

AdiosDosbikeIn celebration of the gift of children in general, I wanted to share with you a little reflection I recently read in the book “The Mother” by Cardinal Jozsef Mindzenty. I pray the beauty of the words touch your heart as they did mine. Talking about the birth of a baby:

“When the tiny human bud reaches maturity, the Lord of life has ordained that he/she leave it’s place beneath the mother’s heart, and go out into the world. Immense is the joy of the mother over her newborn babe, which is truly blood of her blood, bone of her bone. This infant belongs to her more than anything else in the wild world. It has made it’s first move into the world, but in her arms, followed by her eyes, her anxious breath upon him. The loveliness so often dreamed about and sighed for now lies before her eyes. ‘Deep rest and humble silent joy fill my soul. All my life I have sighed for this moment, and now this great unutterable happiness is mine. My life, my dreams, my fears have been embodied in this small fragile human being.’ She makes the first sign of the cross on the little forehead. This is the first motherly blessing, and many more to follow. The pain is gone, a new life has begun, and love has been victorious.” 

Amen! God bless all mothers, and may the Lord bless and keep your little ones…and the ones who are not-so-little anymore!

Happy Birthday Augustine Lawrence! Adios Dos! xoxo

AdiosDosGusBirthday