Monday, September 22, 2014

A Home With Truth and Beauty (and another giveaway)

In my post about how we do and do not shelter our kids, I mentioned that we choose not to shield our kids entirely from pop culture influences. As with most things, we try to find a middle ground. We don't have cable, but we do have Netflix. They mostly don't listen to the radio, but they do have iTunes playlists with a wide ranging selection: Sesame Street, the Smothers Brothers, Katy Perry, Weird Al, Ylvis, Elvis, Andrea Bocelli, the Irish Rovers. They're kids. They like some dumb stuff. But, given the opportunity, they like some beautiful stuff as well.


I have to admit to having rather pedestrian taste sometimes, myself. I like Once Upon a Time, and Taylor Swift. And, I swore I was NEVER going to admit this on the blog, but I read and did not hate Twilight. (Please don't leave.) But I don't LIMIT myself to only fluff. I also like Masterpiece Classics, and Yo Yo Ma, and Jane Eyre. I want to raise children who know how to enjoy the stuff that goes down easy, but who won't limit themselves to only that.

I think it's my job, as their mom, to steer them towards the good, guide them in the neutral, and protect them from the evil.

Here's how we mostly do it: We avoid the bad stuff, borrow the neutral stuff, and own the good stuff.



I let them bring books of their own choosing home from the library. They often choose not-particularly-challenging books like Magic Treehouse, or novelizations of Star Wars Movies. But for the books that we are going to own, I'm pickier. We make sure that they're getting exposed to challenging and beautiful books by reading them aloud as a family, listening to them as audio books in the car, and just having a lot of them on the bookshelves, so if they run out of junk food, they'll go ahead and have some vegetables. We avoid books altogether that I think are overly crass, or celebrate bad behavior.

I used to just not put anything on TV for the kids that I couldn't sit through myself. So Sesame Street or Word Girl? Yes. I find those shows clever and entertaining. But Barney and Caillou? Nope. Can't do it. As they've gotten older, they do watch things on their own from Netflix that don't seem bad, but that I can't sit through. But we make a point of owning, and watching together as a family, movies that we'd like them to see, but that maybe they wouldn't choose for themselves. Important movies like It's a Wonderful Life, and Henry V, and The Longest Day, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure.


They get to listen to their iTunes playlists on their own time, but during our late afternoon clean up, I'll often put on classical music.

It's important to me that, although they might enjoy catchy music or silly TV shows, they can also recognize a masterful painting or a beautiful poem. But since they don't often seek those out on their own, I have to have them in the house. We have family photos on our walls, but also mosaics, and paintings. We've got a TV in our living room, but we also have a crucifix. Because I want my kids to know about both.


It's still my birthday giveaway week, where YOU get the presents! And it is especially applicable today, since September 22nd is the shared birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, and, as everyone knows, at hobbit birthday parties, the GUESTS get the presents.

Today, I'm pleased to be able to offer you two gifts to help make your home more true and beautiful:

First, a CD of Liturgical Year Latin Motets, recorded by St. Joseph Cappella, an all-volunteer mixed choir from St. Joseph Church in Detroit.



I've had the CD myself for a few weeks now and it's really wonderful. Primarily a capella, but accompanied by an organ on a few tracks, the pieces follow the liturgical year, and the Mass. The accompanying booklet has lovely photography and a detailed explanation of the music. I've found this CD suitable for cooking, studying, cleaning, prayerful meditation, and dinner parties. :0)



You can get a copy of the CD for yourself by emailing stjosephcappella@gmail.com. It is available for sale from www.cdbaby.com/cd/stjosephcappella (physical CD and digital), iTunes and other major online digital retailers, and local Catholic bookstores in the Detroit metro area.



Second, is a one year's subscription of the children's magazine St. Mary's Messenger. My kids love getting mail, they love magazines in particular. So I'm really pleased to have this one in the house. It's full of saint stories, classic poetry, selections from great literature, science, art, photography, craft ideas, liturgical year celebrations and much more. It's a lovely little magazine aimed at kids aged 7-12. 




To find out more, or to subscribe, please visit their website at StMarysMessenger.com.

To enter to win, please leave a comment telling us all about something true and beautiful in your home.

I'm still out of town. Want to know where? I'm not telling. But if you're on Instagram or Facebook, you can follow me or look for the hashtag #whereislulu, and guess where she is today! The first few correct guesses on each photo will be entered in a drawing to win some trinkets from the trip!



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88 comments:

  1. I love the fact that one of the good films you keep is the Longest Day. My brother and I were such huge fans of the film when we were little, we can still pretty much quote it in its entirety (although, in French, we weren't children prodigies).
    Unrelated fact, I do like that the time zone difference and baby Jude's feeding pattern often make me the first comment :-)

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  2. Would love to win, thank you! We take a very similar approach, though I think I might be a little stricter with the music and tv. The shelves are stocked with good quality books and I'm very careful with keeping the fluff out. I think taste can most definitely be dumbed down and I want them to be used to being challenged and active and not passive in their leisure time. Great topic!

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  3. The Beautiful: I'm careful about the TV, movies & books they read (thank goodness they don't care much for video games) and they tend to go for challenging and classical stuff all on their own. We do run into problems with the school mandated reading list, but we simply don't read the ones that don't work for us. Now The Truth: I LOVE music from classic to good ol' rock n' roll. The only thing we avoid is hip-hop and gangsta rap. I don't much care if the kids catch me rocking out to Beethoven or Bad Company, but I don't let them listen to raunchy or suggestive stuff. Which kills me because Blurred Lines and All About the Base are two examples of super catchy tunes with terrible lyrics!

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  4. I have a portrait of the Holy Family in my dorm room above my dresser and I see it every morning when I wake up and put my glasses on.

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  5. I have a beautiful icon of the Blessed Mother and infant Jesus that my sponsor gave to me when I was received into the Church.

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  6. I would love to win! My family is the most beautiful thing in my house.

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  7. I would love to win the St Mary's Messenger. We already own the St Joseph Cappella Cd. It is lovely.

    This is in our home, on our mantel, and it is true and beautiful: \http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Series-Rosary-Desktop-Easel/dp/0990732509/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411396019&sr=8-1&keywords=sacred+art+series+rosary+book

    It helps us all focus our minds on the beauty of the rosary while we pray it as a family.

    We do fluff here as well. At this point, oldest being 6, I am really trying to focus on reading being fun. My son LOVES Shel Silverstien. I need to encourage him an awful lot to read/listen to James Harriot and Robert Louis Stevenson. A lot. Like, I need to force it. And I do it, but I don't want that to be his only experience of reading.

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  8. Kendra, happy birthday!! We've only ever rented our home/s and only ever had hand me down furniture, and I've never quite felt like I could decorate in a way that I wanted to because, again, not really our home.. BUT the things that have always made me feel like we have the true and the beautiful are our books, pictures, and statues which tell any guest who enters, "this is a Catholic home". I loooove your Queen of Heaven statue!
    I hope you're having a beautiful time at your mystery destination!

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  9. I'm so glad to hear that your kids like Weird Al! Our kids love his songs, often better than the original songs on which they're based!

    We have a beautiful painting in our stairway of the Infant Jesus encircled by His parents and the shepherds and animals. I think it's intent was to be a Christmas decoration, but ours is up all year.

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    1. Yes! Weird Al's version is almost always more appropriate!

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  10. "True and beautiful" I love that. What first comes to mind is books. I dislike twaddle and secretly donate books gifted to the kids that I do not think are worth their time. But I also love when a book looks beautiful. There is something so appealing as a leather bound, or cloth covered book. I feel like we treat our books better if they are hardcover rather than soft.

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  11. Happy birthday (week)! We're blessed with many artists in the family, so our home is filled with authentic, beautiful art! And I'm with you on the book policy.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. We are similar in that we incorporate current pop culture, while at the same time enjoying the sacred and classics. I play a wide variety of music for my preschooler, toddler and newborn. We have a few children's Bibles and saints books that are beautiful that we incorporate into our bedtime reading. I do have a question...when do you start incorporating the classics into your reading routine? I graduated with a degree in English so I am a nerd for the classics and can't wait to introduce them to our growing family. Any advice here would be great. Thanks!

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    1. It depends a lot on the kid. My oldest could handle chapter books like Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web at two. Most of my other kids haven't been interested that early. But these days we read them aloud over our lunch break, so even Frankie is listening, but he's not getting a whole lot out of it.

      I guess my concern with rushing to the classics, or even classics-light like Harry Potter, is that I don't want them to miss out completely on a particular level of book. So if I start reading Roald Dahl or EB White exclusively to my preschoolers, then when will they hear The Pokey Little Puppy and Beatrix Potter and Frog and Toad? Because those are great too! And if I let my seven year old read Harry Potter and Narnia, then he'll maybe never read Little House on the Prairie or The Boxcar Children.

      I don't think it's a moral issue. I just try to follow a progression through age appropriate books, to make sure they all get read. Or at least tried.

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  13. I'd love to win the motet CDS!

    Something true and beautiful: our dirty kitchen floor. It's got food crumbs bring dropped on it constantly, but it's also a family space, playground, and evidence of how blessed we are to have plenty of food to go around...and on the floor

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  14. I just saw that your birthday was the 20th -- so is mine (1975). I'm also an INTJ. As for something true and beautiful - we've made sacrifices to live in a beautiful part of the country so that the kids are surrounded by God's beauty. Happy belated birthday.

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    1. Happy birthday to you too! I'm just one year behind you. :0)

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  15. We have some beautiful art from Italy where we honeymooned...we try and have some in all the main rooms in the house. Though our current headboard for our bed are a bunch of the kids artwork, so it may not all match, but it's all beautiful.

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  16. True and beautiful. . . I try to keep fresh cut flowers in the kitchen, even just a tiny rise or two. We also have tins of books, and I always let my kiddos see me reading and tell them about my books, and how much I enjoy them.

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  17. True and beautiful in our home? Books, books, and more books! And right now, we are listening to stories about and music by classical composers. I love the books, but the music is a little harder for me, so I am trying to teach myself to like it, as well as the kids.

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  18. I have strong pro-Once Upon a Time feelings. Don't tell me it's not the best stuff. :)

    I like this idea. Something to keep in mind - permanently acquire the best. Music is the hardest for me (I genuinely like Good Literature to go with my trash and classic movies) because neither parent in this house is very into music, period. I suppose I should make the effort to get my kids into good stuff and not just the Frozen soundtrack.

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  19. I love that you put The Longest Day as one of those important movies :) One of my very favorite movies and knowing you like it makes me like you even more.

    Ok..something beautiful in my home. At Easter this year, and as a new convert, I placed a cross on my mantle - at the bottom there is a stone that says He is Risen. I thought I'd put it away after Easter, but it's still there. I love seeing it every day.

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  20. Happy Birthday and thanks for the giveaways!

    Most of the artwork in my house is religious, thanks in part to many of our wedding guests! I've come to really appreciate having religious art in every room of my house because it reminds me of God and helps me to maintain a conversation with Him throughout the day. I've noticed this benefit for myself, but I hope it has the same effect on my kids (three kiddos three and under) as they grow!

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  21. My husband installed a portrait that his mother did of us dancing on our wedding day directly over the mantel. It was the first piece of art we hung in our new home, and he told me he loves that it puts our marriage at the center of our home. :-) I also got the liturgical year collection of art prints from Catholic Heritage Curriculum, so this month we have a close-up of the hands of God and Adam from the Sistine Chapel ceiling hanging out near our school area. I love that this collection makes it easy to incorporate discussion of great art into my school day, and meshes with the liturgical year too.

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  22. My girls sweet smiles are both true and beautiful. :)

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  23. I was given a beautiful bronzed St. Michael statue as a wedding shower gift from my former coworkers. They knew how much I had been admiring it and pitched in to buy it. And, it was blessed for us by our retired bishop, who has since passed away. It is one of my favorite things in our house and I display it with pride because it is both beautiful and true.

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  24. I've tried to cultivate a nice collection of "good, true, and beautiful" things as well. During the day, the kids are I usually listen to folk music, classical music, or "good" kids music (like Raffi, who I think I enjoy even more than the kids do). I've amassed an amazing collection of interesting and beautifully-illustrated children's books from our frequent trips to thrift stores and flea markets. And when the kids get a bit older, we have a pretty great selection of Catholic classics, art, history, and all sorts of other great books for them to page through. But things don't always have to be so "high cultured" as this. I mean, I also want my kids to know and love the Muppets :-)

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  25. I'd like to enter the giveaway for the CD only please (my kids are too young for the magazine!). Although our kids are still really little, we seem to be heading in the same direction as you: TV in the living room, but also a crucifix and beautiful icons. My favourite is the large icon of the Blessed Trinity that my husband and I bought ourselves for our first Christmas as a married couple.

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  26. I LOVE that you admitted you didn't hate Twilight. I sort of enjoyed the books and thought they had some nice themes (independence and responsibility at a young age, chastity before and after marriage), but it seems like everyone I like (apart from the high school girls I coach) hated them.

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  27. For what it's worth, I enjoyed Twilight, too! It's great brain candy to read once; for me it's not one of those books I could read again.

    I will say, though, it's fine for an adult who has a firm grasp on the general principles of healthy relationships and all the ways that Edward and Bella's relationship deviates from that. But for a teenager who doesn't have these concepts solidified yet, this story is very poisonous. I only let my oldest watch the first movie so she could see what all her classmates were talking about. But I kept pointing out, "Honey, in REAL life, what you see right there is actually a BAD sign" so much that I really annoyed her. Oh well.

    If the kids want to read a romance book, I would rather have them read the Outlander series. It's a much better picture of what lifelong love looks like; the two characters make choices to grow together with their love and commitment as the core of their shared identity. There is sex in the books, but it really is only plot-point sex and not gratuitous. Just like a real marriage.

    So far, though, just the fact that the series is seven thick books has kept both my 11-year-old girl and 8-year-old girl away from them.

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    1. I agree with you on this Athena. I can't imagine any of my girls will want to read these books by the time they are teenagers, new fluff will be out, but if they were to read Twilight, it would have to be alongside some other books for context. Wuthering Heights shows how actually destructive an unhealthy dependence can be, Jane Eyre shows a noble and good reaction to an inappropriate attraction, Jane Austen is full of good relationship advice. I'd allow my teenager to read them, because I think they fall into the neutral category, but only alongside some good stuff.

      And I hadn't heard of Outlander, I'll have to check it out!

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  28. I read your blog all the time but have never commented before. We also have a mutual blogging friend in Anna from Just East Of Crazy Land. Of all the "true and beautiful" things in my home I would like to tell you about the one I am looking at right now. It is the only nice piece of furniture in my living room, because I share my home with my four (soon to be five) lively children and one fun loving husband. But I have a carved wooden chest that was my grandmothers. It was brought back form China in the 1950's by a man from China who was working in Canada at the time. He missed his family greatly and had gone back to China for a visit. My grandmother was a nurse in their small, isolated town and the only health care worker that was in town full time. As a gift for her care of him and all the people of the town (regardless of race or creed or ability to pay) he brought her this trunk.
    It is beautiful in it's own right but I loved most how it ties me and my children to this great lady and their heritage. I think that my children knowing where they come from, the stories of the people in their family is one of the greatest gifts I can give them. This is beautiful and true.

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  29. I read and didn't hate Twilight too...I sort of wish someone with a little more literary talent wrote it. Maybe JK Rowland can re-write it...I'm also not sure I'll let my daughter read it when she is older. The portrayal of all the teen relationships in the book are disturbing.
    I also just started watching Once Upon a Time - I was explaining to my husband how it met my TV needs perfectly - not too realistic, not too violent, not too scary, not too addictive, but still entertaining.
    My other favorite is Call the Midwife.

    Beautiful things in my home... I have a "Mary Mother's Kiss" statue that I find particularly beautiful.
    We also have a rather impressive old desk that classes up our front room.
    We have a large book collection for the kids and right now we are reading through the Little House books. We just finished the Betsy Tacy series that were age appropriate for my 5 year old. (Have you read these? They are some of my favorite books and one of the little girls is Catholic, which is unusual and nice to find in American historical fiction.)
    I love Vivaldi and that is my go to classical music, but as a recent convert, I'm also trying to build up our "religious" music. I LOVE the Divine Mercy chaplet set to music. I haven't found much modern "praise" music that I enjoy, but the kids are obsessed with Cat Chat.

    On a side note, I really loved your post about children's attitudes. I realized that my five year old has slipped into a habit of fake crying and whining and there is no one to blame but me. I've been using the "cryin' kids go to bed" rule with her and so far, so good.

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    1. I'm just in to season two of Once Upon a Time, and it's my favorite kind of cheesy. I am still very, very sad about the Huntsman. I was sure he was going to be redeemed!

      And thanks and I'm so glad!

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  30. Some noteworthy "true and beautiful" things in our home: a large painting of Rome, a Guardian Angel mosaic (depicting an angel who is protecting a little boy and girl walking over a bridge), and some random laminated prayers (thanks to you! My personal favorite is the St. Michael the Archangel prayer in my son's room).
    I really enjoyed this post. You articulate things so well. I love this quote: "I think it's my job, as their mom, to steer them towards the good, guide them in the neutral, and protect them from the evil." --What a great summary of our duty as parents.
    Thank you for your dedication to your awesome blog :)

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  31. I try to remember Charlotte Mason's advice about avoiding twaddle when we fill our bookshelves, but sometimes the kids pick out that kind of stuff at the $1 bookstore anyway.
    Our family is picky about the art that goes on our walls too. I can't throw something on the wall for mere decoration--it has to be meaningful. And to me, most of my children's art qualifies as true and beautiful so I happily hang their creations.

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  32. Happy birthday! What a wonderful giveaway! We have a crucifix in every room of our house (except the bathrooms). Each one has a story...one from on the altar at our wedding, one from our honeymoon in Rome, a Baptismal gift given to one of the kids. I put that information on the back of each one so we will remember the beautiful story behind each one. The kids always love to hear about them.

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  33. True and Beautiful: Our work in progress home altar, which is on the mantle of the fireplace. Along with collecting some religious items it also collects everyday items (such as the occasional hair clip or piece of mail), although I do try to keep those to a minimum.
    ~Ruth Anne

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  34. Our Bishop has a theme running this year - "Beauty will save the world". Not everyone will be immediately drawn to truth (since relativism is so rampant) but EVERYONE is attracted to beauty. Music, art, literature - we can expose our families to so much beauty in our homes that they don't always encounter in our culture (not that we don't have "junk food" here too). I feel like I succeed at this with the art displayed in our home (helps that it's permanent and I don't have to keep evaluating like with music and books!) - do pretty well with books, and should try harder with beautiful music more often...ironic since I'm our parish choir director and am constantly thinking about this in terms of music at Mass, just sometimes prefer promoting peace and quiet in our house rather than add more noise with music, no matter how beautiful. :)

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    1. Wow. This is so amazing! I love it. What a great point he makes about truth and beauty. That's exactly what makes me sad when I compare European churches to most American ones. We NEED beauty!

      We were just in Sagrada Familia and my husband and I both had the same realization at the same moment. All this time, it's not been that we don't like modernist architecture, it's just that we don't like BAD modernist architecture, and that's all we'd ever seen. Gaudi was a GENIUS and la Sagrada Familia is just stunningly mind-blowingly beautiful. Who could see it and not be inspired to seek Heaven?

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  35. Have you read the latest post about dressing for mass on Shameless Popery!?! It totally reminded me of your post about dressing well for travel and putting the kids in uniforms for school. I used to dress nicely for exams in college, no mater how exhausted I was or how late I'd been up. Now I know I was giving myself an edge.
    We try to dress up for mass and my daughter loves having her "Church clothes" reserved only for mass and special holidays.

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    1. No, I haven't, I'll have to go check it out, thanks!

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  36. Something beautiful-- my oldest sons first 'preschool' picture. We decided to not put him in a formal nursery/preschool (with many comments from family). We started basic phonics a few weeks ago and he is doing great. A as in Apple week meant apple stamp painting and his picture is proudly displayed in our house now.

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  37. My favourite beautiful thing is a largish Mary statue that came from my God father. The colours are subdued and beautiful. She may be chipped, but the sqaushed snake under her bare feet still has impact!

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  38. We have a beautiful family altar in the living room as well as small altars throughout our home. I hope that they will be constant reminders for all of us to continue to fight the good fight and strive for heaven. I have also been building up our collection of classical reads and I so enjoy seeing my kids scour the shelves for their next adventure!

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  39. The most beautiful image is of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in our living room. We have yet to show our nearly 3 year old television. This helps keep things beautiful and true although it is challenging to occupy him at times.

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  40. We have the Lord's Prayer hanging above our bed. It's a lovely reminder :).

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  41. We have a large Divine Mercy picture in the living room, and many crucifixes and saint pictures.

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  42. We have a majority of religious art throughout our home, which is so beautiful and fun for our kids to grow up with!

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  43. We have a lot of artwork, homemade and purchased, displayed throughout our home. I'm also quite fond of our "truth" representations - a brass crucifix from my confirmation and an olivewood carving of Mary and the baby Jesus.

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  44. We have a beautiful Sacred Heart picture from my husband's grandma in our house.

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  45. I have a new favorite true/beautiful thing in my home. A priest acquaintance recently gave me a statue of Our Lady that depicts her while she was expecting Jesus. She is lovely; she has the sweetest expression on her face, but she also looks like a *real* pregnant lady. She's standing slightly off balance and has her hand on her belly like she has round ligament pain (not sure if that would go along with being preserved from pain in childbirth, but roll with it), and her belly button is sticking out a bit. It might be my very favorite image of Mary (at least right now, when I'm 39.5 weeks myself).

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  46. I love decorating with books...we have books in every room of our home...they are a part of our décor...makes us a heavy move, but so worth it...my favorite are the classics ;-) I also just started selling Usborne to beef up my kids already expanding library ;-)

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  47. I love this approach. I definitely want my kids to appreciate truth and beauty, and to be challenged. But even I don't want to be challenged all the time, and it's nice to occasionally check out and enjoy a little fluff.

    We have a ways to go to get our home to what I'd call a beautiful place. But we do have the beginnings of a little oratory and some other religious art.

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  48. Something true and beautiful - the gold-painted cardboard box my almost three year old son wanted to make to play priest at home; he loves watching the priest take Jesus to his "home" after Eucharist every week!

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  49. I totally agree! We have a beautiful wooden portrait of the Holy Family above the baby's bassinet/changing table in our room, and I think I'll start listening to more classical music in the house and car! And it's ok- I read and didn't hate Twilight as well.

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  50. Thank you for articulating why I think it's OK that I watch or read "brain candy" in between more serious endeavors, while still carefully weeding through the books my kids are reading. Our favorites right now are the Five in a Row books - so far every one has been a hit.

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  51. Cool! I like Once Upon A Time, too! Also did not hate Twilight, but I wouldn't let my kids read it in the future. Thanks for being so honest, that takes humility because it's so easy to just pretend you look down on that stuff when you actually don't ... at least, for me it is. And while I *do* genuinely enjoy higher quality lit and entertainment, I also enjoy the less lofty things- like Once Upon A Time :) I guess what I'm trying to say is that this post has reminded me not to put on airs! Thanks, Kendra!

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  52. I have several beautiful Pre- Raphelite paintings in my home. My two favorites are in my master bedroom and are by Bougoureau. One is the Virgin with the Angels and the other is called Sewing.

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  53. A copy of Brian Wildsmith's "A Christmas Story" and "The Easter Story" which Isaiah requests again and again. He memorized bits of it by heart, and I hear him retelling pieces of the passion "En den duh bad soldiers grabbed Jesus..." or "He's not here, He's alive again!"
    The pictures are full of color and gilding, he was my favorite illustrator as a child.
    (small problem when he mixed it up with his Richard Scarry stories, once I overheard) "Goldbug, Crucify, Crucify!"
    The sample bits of the CD you posted are just heavenly.

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    1. here's links to the books, if anyone's interested, the illustrations are so full of colors...
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Easter-Story-Brian-Wildsmith/dp/0802851894/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411534862&sr=8-1&keywords=the+easter+story+brian+wildsmith

      the christmas one
      http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Story-Brian-Wildsmith/dp/0679800743/ref=la_B000AP7RSS_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411534981&sr=1-32

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  54. True and beautiful: a very simply framed copy of the Prayer of St. Frances, in Italian, that I picked up in Assisi when I visited several years ago. It's on the wall by our front door and it inspires me and makes me smile every time I look at it.
    Happy birthday!

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  55. My 11 year old daughter has a shrine to Mary in her room. It's quite beautiful. Happy Birthday!

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  56. Something beautiful, every night we say a family rosary. I have a 5, 3, and 1 year old boys. Also, expecting my fourth baby. Family rosary is something I grew up with, my husband is more of liturgy of the hours guy. I convinced him that we should do a family rosary five years ago, and every night we do so. If one of is gone at bedtime the other says the rosary with the boys. It is a beautiful time because even though it may have been a stressful day, it is a time when we all unwind. I love hearing my little men say their intentions:')

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  57. In our home, both kid bedrooms have beautiful icons of their patrons saints. :)

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  58. Something we have done, and is still a work in progress, is to create a family prayer time before bed. We all gather and say prayers together. We also have been trying to display our religious art and pieces more prominently around the house instead of hidden in our rooms etc.

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  59. When my grandmother moved into a nursing home, she gave us several of her statues and religious paintings! They are beautiful in our home and I feel so blessed to have them to share with our children.

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  60. My books from when I was a girl. A hardcover book full of fairy tales, Little Women, Understood Betsy, and lot of others. I also have some books that belonged to my husband's grandmother (such as Wuthering Heights) and one that belonged to her father.

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  61. We have some rockin' chandeliers, cute pics of the kiddos (well, the first 2 - 50% isn't bad), pretty crosses, and a large picture of St. Peter's that my husband somehow convinced me to put in our dining room months before I agreed to become Catholic. Nicely done.

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  62. We take a similar approach to books. I let them bring some light (read: annoying) stuff if they want. I cringe, but remember that even I enjoy a fast and easy read some times. However, all the books that adorn our bookshelves are good, true, and beautiful. And poetry! We have been incorporating more poetry in to our school and souls, and love it.

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  63. I can appreciate lots in my home... We have our own little shrine in our home decorated by my kids, as well as a collection of Saint movies that I love! I get so happy every time I come across a new one that we don't already own.

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  64. I still haven't gotten around to decorating our new house very much, so thanks for giving me the motivation to make some effort in the true and beautiful department! For Our Lady's birthday I moved our statue of her to more prominent place in the house and set up a little shrine for her. Now I'm trying to regularly put a few cut flowers at her feet.

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  65. Wow, what great ideas! I try to keep some beautiful food from the garden in our home!

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  66. While we have many beautiful things in our home, religious and not, the most beautiful thing to me(and I'm sure God, too!) is seeing virtue in action. It is easy to display or present beauty already created or visible, but the HARD thing is to develop, create, cultivate virtue, even in, especially in, one's self. We've been working hard this last year to talk about, model, develop virtue, and that is probably the most true and beautiful thing in our home, though there is much beauty else wise. BTW I enjoy your posts, they're very encouraging. I like to read them in the wee hours, or during naptime and gain the inspiration from the gems within them :-)

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  67. I feel like in the middle of the first trimester, there is not a lot of beauty in our home with mama down for the count. Maybe the new ultrasound pictures of our littlest one?

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  68. I've recently (within the last two years) become interested in icons and iconography. The few I own are definitely among the most true and beautiful things in my home.

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  69. Hm, true and beautiful, I think I have one! My husband nicely typeset and printed a page with the Angelus on it, and taped it in a visible spot in the living room. He has a lovely church bell sound on his phone that goes off at 6 am, noon, and 6 pm. If we are all together in the area when it goes off, he and I say the Angelus with the kids there (they are 3 & 1 so aren't quite saying it themselves yet :) ). We don't do it every time, every day (and my husband deserves way more credit for putting this together than I do), but I love the tradition we're starting! Thanks again for doing these giveaways!

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  70. Our house has a beautiful oratory, created out of the spare bedroom that used to be our office (read catchall junk room). What was once a disused room is now a room for quiet reflection and prayer.

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  71. Love your blog. We do alot of the same things you do. I think the most beautiful thing in our house besides the kids art plastered on the wall is a big picture of the Nativity from India.

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  72. Three statues I inherited from my Grandma - Jesus, Mary, and St. Therese. Sorry if this shows up twice - I've never commented before and I don't think it's working!

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  73. The laughter and giggles are the most true and beautiful thing in out house :-)

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  74. Truth and beauty is what we strive for in our schooling. That's why I love all the poems we memorize so much. That, and classical music. I do think that art and music and poetry speak to the soul in a way that other things don't - so they're good to have around!

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