Our Jesse Tree


I’m still not finished all of the felt ornaments (I have four more O Antiphons to go)  but I don’t think that matters since our little Rosemary bush/ Jesse Tree is on the small side this year.






Restore Catholic Culture: St. Lucia Saffron Buns


St. Lucia Buns

1 packet yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar (I use honey)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
saffron threads (or powdered saffron, about 1/4 tsp.)
4 cups  flour (can use all purpose gluten free flour/ sprouted wheat flour)
beaten egg (for brushing)
raisins or dried cranberries or currants

Dissolve yeast in warm water (I add a bit of honey to make the yeast grow more quickly). Melt the butter, stir in milk, and then add this mixture to the yeast. Beat in the sugar or honey, salt, egg, and saffron, blending until smooth. Add in the flour a cup at a time, and work until smooth. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out and knead.

Pinch off small pieces of dough and twist into an “S” shape and place on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes in a warm kitchen. reheat oven to 425 degrees. Add raisins in the curves of the “S” and brush with beaten egg. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 2 dozen.


From last year’s festivities

Toys My Children Actually Use



Melissa and Doug Cleaning Set. This is a cute and functional set. My girls love to play house with it and they also love to use the brooms to help me clean the bathroom & kitchen. It’s solid and the stand makes it easy to put away.

Stephen Joseph Spend, Save and Share Bank, OwlSpend Save Share Money Bank. I got this for my oldest. The piggy bank has three separate compartments one for spending one for saving and another for giving. It is incredibly cute and has been an easy way to teach money management skills.


Night Sky Book My girls love this book! It has 34 glow in the dark constellations. The maps  are arranged by season and it even tells you a bit about the mythology behind the formations.

and its perfect companion . . .

is this glow in the dark star set . My girls (with my husband’s help) have created several constellations on their ceiling. They had a blast.  I love that it takes up no extra space in their bedroom, it had a lot of play value in it’s building  and they still love having the lights turned out at night so they can see the stars.

Toysmith Critter Cabin

Toysmith Critter Cabin. This is a sturdy bug house that has lasted us two years without any problems. My girls have successfully raised 3 caterpillars in it this summer and were able to observe countless other little critters.


Pack of 4, BYB Super Bright 9 LED Mini Aluminum Flashlight with Lanyard, Assorted Colors, Batteries Not Included, Best Tools for Camping, Hiking, Hunting, Backpacking, Fishing and BBQ

Who says you have to buy toys anyways. All children love flash lights and they’re very handy to have around the house.

What toys do/did your children love?