Author

About the Author
Jennifer is married to Greg. They have five kids.

ADV #205: A Home Library

OSV launches a new podcast, Greg wonders what God wants of him, we move lots of furniture and make a new home library, we bumble through Sam’s long distance birthday and Jennifer goes deep into sin .. again.

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Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

ADV #204: Fighting Apathy

Greg and Jen have a fight, Jennifer reveals the massive book she’s reading, the ongoing struggle with religious education for their teens and how to deal with the threat of apathy.

Become a Co-Producer!

Not sure how to listen to, download, or subscribe to a podcast?  Check out this video.

Want to talk to Greg and Jennifer?

Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

ADV #203: Renewed Direction

Jen helps the kids with some homemade costumes, Greg shares a special memory tied to All Saints Day and reveals some big news about the future of our productions going forward.

Become a Co-Producer!

Not sure how to listen to, download, or subscribe to a podcast?  Check out this video.

Want to talk to Greg and Jennifer?

Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

ADV #202: Renewing Rosary Army

Greg and Jennifer reveal some exciting plans for the future of Rosary Army and bat around the idea of a possible season two of That Catholic Show.

Become a Co-Producer!

Not sure how to listen to, download, or subscribe to a podcast?  Check out this video.

Want to be a part of the show?

Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

Adventures #201: Once In A Lifetime

Saying good-bye to Doc. Walter joins us briefly to talk about his latest fan music video. Greg has a successful talk in Eerie, PA. Jen is forced to pivot inside the house and offers up some insights from the Gospel of John.

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Not sure how to listen to, download, or subscribe to a podcast?  Check out this video.

Want to be a part of the show?

Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

Adventures #200: Blue Space

With the help of blue space, friendship and loving support from Greg, Jennifer shares how she faced the growing darkness in her heart, rediscovered the value of her true temperament and heard God in the silence of her surroundings. Greg reminds us of the significance of October 13, 2017 and the Miracle of the Sun.

Become a Co-Producer!

Not sure how to listen to, download, or subscribe to a podcast?  Check out this video.

Want to be a part of the show?

Your voice makes the show fun for us to do! Call our feedback line and leave a message of two minutes or less at 888-299-8686 or send MP3 to feedback@gregandjennifer.com.

Greg and Jennifer’s Links and Resources Mentioned

Back to School Lunch Box Ideas

While I’d LOVE to take credit for this, I can’t.  Instead, I’ll give credit to all the creative moms out there who can think like this on their own.   With our five kids going to public school, bringing lunch from home is a must.   But it’s never been easy.  What I deem appropriate for a lunch box is hardly what my children desire.  Then, Greg told me about an image he saw on social media that illustrated how one mom took charge on helping her kids build a better lunch.  I never saw the image, but I didn’t need to.  It was enough to get my brain going.

Now, with a little sorting help from our son, Walter, I was able to conquer the pain-in-the-butt that is helping our kids to make halfway nutritious lunches from home.  I started thinking in categories like:  fruit, dairy, cheese, meat/protein, veggie, salty carb and/or sweet carb.  Then I sorted items that I wanted to offer in each category and LABELED them!  Now each child can pluck one item from each “bucket” and be guaranteed a well-rounded lunch.  AND … wait for it… it only takes our kids less than 2 minutes to make their own lunch!!! BooYah!

IMG_7596First I chose two easy veggies: baby carrots and celery sticks.  Our kids are not real big on veggies, but seeing it so neatly organized just made it attractive.  I have to work with what I can here.  So far it seems to be working. There are clearly less veggies in the bucket only a few days in.

IMG_7595Next, I selected at least four quick grab fruits.  Since apples and oranges are naturally one serving, only the red grapes had to be put into snack baggies.

IMG_7597Now for the slightly expensive option.. non-refrigerated sources of protein.  We choose our favorite brand of protein bars which are sweet.  Then, we provided a saltier protein bucket that contains options like beef jerky (portioned into snack baggies) and canned tuna and chicken.  I seriously doubt the kids would go for the tuna or chicken, but Greg surely might.  If those protein options don’t work, then I’m ready for that too since I try to keep deli meat, cheese and/or turkey pepperoni in fridge.

IMG_7598And probably the buckets of most fun are the carb buckets.  One for salty based carbs like single portions of ritz crackers, goldfish crackers and pretzels, etc.  And the other for sweeter carbs like chewy granola, rice crispy treats, etc.

I know what you might be thinking. These are a lot of options.  Eh, you’re probably right.  These are not as nutritious as it could be.  Yep, you’d be right there too.  I’m not a fitness guru who avoids all processed foods.  I’d like to be, but I’m not.  I’m just a regular mom who wants to feed our kids with the best options I can come up with and afford. With our five kids needing to build a lunch that will sustain them through a seven hour day PLUS help provide quick solutions for their after school feeding frenzy, this seems like a good compromise for all appetites involved.

Now I’m sure the mysterious other woman who came up with the original masterful organization of back to school lunch food items had the more Pinterest worthy presentation.  But I’m more than pleased with our “make do with whatever buckets we can find around the house approach.” So far, so good!  Thanks lady, whoever you are 🙂

 

 

Custom Triforce Pillow

The long days of summer often challenge my mommy-frazzled brain that fun and free activities that entertain kids are as elusive as spotting the Loch Ness monster.

But finally (out of desperation) creativity struck my brain.  I had an idea that just might occupy the super outgoing and talkative personality of our youngest son Tommy.   He loves the video game Legend of Zelda.  Like, a lot.  So, the idea popped into my head that it might be fun for him to try his hand at stitching a Zelda-themed pillow.  Not wanting to overwhelm him with complex designs right out of the gate, we both agreed that the famous Triforce symbol, which represents Link’s ability to harness power, courage & wisdom in order to save Princess Zelda, would be a great and simple pillow design.

I challenged myself to find everything we would need to make this pillow from stuff we already had in our house.  And we did.  We found an old throw pillow shoved in a linen closet that was no longer in use. We found two old t-shirts (one black and one yellow) that were too small for anyone to wear.  We used an old cereal box to cut up and make a stiff Triforce template design for use on the t-shirt fabric.  And lastly, we used our simple (and cheap) sewing kit.

So now it was time to get Tommy started on sewing. After getting the Triforce design cut out of the old yellow and black t-shirts, he sewed them together.

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Then he had a LOT of stitching to do.  Might as well get comfy!

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Since the black t-shirt was solid, we figured we’d take a short cut and turn it into a pillow case. We only had to cut off the sleeves and stitch along the top and bottom.

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Yep, the pillow works just fine..

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There you have it, a homemade Triforce pillow made for free.  The only cost was time and my patience.

Bring Your Child To Work Day

As we mentioned on TCND #084, our local public school system “celebrated” Bring Your Child to Work Day.  Since this opportunity only applied to our youngest two sons, I agreed to let them both stay home and work with me processing rosaries for Rosary Army.

RosaryArmy.com is the main ministry that I have the privilege of managing from the basement office of our home and these boys only know life with rosaries in it.  Not a bad thing in my opinion.

Post Office TripFirst stop was the post office.  It’s always a fun surprise when we check the mail and find all three types of mail inside: envelopes containing rosary requests, donations and more all-twine knotted rosaries to inspect and prep for distribution.  It’s a great reminder for me to be thankful for these individuals in my prayer life.

 

IMG_6994Before the massive inspection of nearly 1000 rosaries could begin, I figured I’d better boost their morale and treat them to a “business lunch” at our local burger joint.  Gotta have fuel for the journey.  And truth be told, the Reuben wasn’t half bad.  Not New York good, but decent.

 

 

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Time to get to work. Ben was in the zone sorting rosaries by color and making sure the rosaries were made according to our quality standards before any tax receipts can be calculated and presented.  (Don’t worry, I handle the tax part!)

 

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Tommy is hard at work filling out the quality inspection paperwork for each batch of rosaries submitted.  He caught on super fast.  Not bad for an 11 year old!

 

 

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No, these are not rainbow dreadlocks on Ben’s head.  One of our hardworking rosary makers decided to have a little fun with tie-dye and Ben decided to have some fun with her creative work.  Who says rosaries can’t be fun!

 

 

IMG_7002Our Lady Undoer of Knots where are YOU!!! Yikes! There were at least 10 rosaries tangled up in this ball of rosaries.  I tried to think of Our Blessed Mother as Tommy handed this giant knot to me to untangle for him.  It gave me a chance to meditate on how us mammas have the skill and patience to untangle knots in our kids’ lives.

 

After several hours of intense rosary sorting work, it was finally quitting time for this Bring Your Child to Work Day.  For their reward, I dismissed them to the basement for some much deserved R&R time with video games.  Or maybe just plain ol’ R&R.

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The Accidental Baker


Ben_HeadOur son Benjamin has been through quite the academic journey in public middle school.  From dealing with the shock of actually having to do his assignments to remembering to turn them in on time, it’s been quite the ride.  But mostly, middle school has been rough on him emotionally.  He just didn’t care to be there.  Middle school was something to endure and nothing more.  It didn’t take long for his teachers to notice how disinterested Ben was from his classes.  They could easily see how profoundly unhappy he was. (Not that he tried to hide it!)  It didn’t take long for his grades to suffer from his lack of engagement.

We tried band. But since it was not possible to get the highly coveted percussion assignment, he was forced to choose something else: the trumpet. He tried and tried, but he quickly began to resent that instrument and found every opportunity to avoid it. Since we had to rent it for $25 bucks a month, I was not too happy to see it unplayed so often.  We tried private tutoring sessions to help boost his confidence, but it just didn’t matter.  He genuinely disliked the instrument and music all together.  The band teacher found a way for him to be transitioned out of that year long class despite the general rules of leaving kids assigned to their original schedules.  We were grateful for the end of Ben’s musical misery and I was happy to get my $25.00 a month back.

Honor_RollEventually, he was allowed to participate in Drama, which showed him that school can occasionally encourage playful and silly behavior without being considered disruptive.  Slowly, he started to feel like a happy kid again. His grades were finally leaving the C and D zone and he was consistently getting more B’s.  By the end of the quarter, he was rewarded with an Honor Roll certificate for his efforts at trying to improve in all his classes.

But the real prize of a class was (the super popular and tough to get into) Consumer & Family Studies, aka the cooking class.  There are never openings in that class.  Students have to be very fast to sign up for it before it gets full.  Because Ben has several teachers who care for his success, strings were pulled in all the right ways and Ben was allowed in.  To me, it was an answer to prayer. Ben needed to know that it was possible to have a few positive experiences in his school.

To our surprise, Ben not only enjoys the cooking class, he is thriving in it.  He is loving the chance to explore new recipes and getting his hands dirty in the cooking process.  This warms my heart so much because Ben has such a beautiful and unique soul.  It hurt so much to see him so sad every day after school.  You see, Ben has high functioning autism and he relates to the world around him in a very unique way.   To date, he has largely felt disconnected from his experience in public middle school.  But cooking has made him connect.

His recent cooking assignment was to tackle the German oven pancake.  The teacher demonstrated it first and the next day the kids would get the chance to make it themselves.  Ben was so enthusiastic after seeing the demonstration that he couldn’t wait for the next day to try making it.  But since he was given the recipe, he thought, “Why wait for tomorrow?  Why not try making it as soon as I get home?”  Ben has never baked like this before.  He is quite adept at using the stove top, and even heating up foods in the oven, but never preparing something so raw from scratch.  I was quite happy to let him experiment and just figure it out.

Ben_pancakeHis first attempt came out very flat, much like a traditional pancake.  But we ate it and congratulated him for his accomplishment.  Secretly, he knew something was not right. It just didn’t look like the one the teacher made in class earlier that day.  He would later learn that he didn’t whisk the eggs enough and after having the opportunity to make it correctly at school the following day, he was ready to dazzle us at home.  And dazzle he did!

We all laughed with delight when he opened the oven door to reveal the new and improved German oven pancake in it’s risen glory.  How appropriate for the Easter season of which we are still spiritually celebrating.

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Ben was happy. We were happy.  And the German oven pancake was devoured.  I highly recommend spreading some tasty fruit preserves over it.  My personal favorite is using raspberry preserves.  Our youngest son, Tommy, was so impressed by his brother’s baking skills, that he requested this pancake for his birthday breakfast this Friday, April 24th.  I think I’ll commission Ben to make this delightful treat for my Mothers’ Day breakfast this May.

Our Ben, the accidental baker, is now experiencing the joy of cooking and sharing. Way to go Benjamin Bunny Faces of Love and Happiness!

 

Musical Baby

A parent never knows what talents lie hidden in their children until the passing of time. It has been a long time hope of Greg and mine that at least one of our children will have a knack for music. For now, Lily is just enjoying her world of noises and making an impact in her own small way. I guess you can call the attached video clips music videos. Enjoy. Read More

A good beer and a book

Earlier this week, Greg became resolved to improve our method of shownotes prep. Here’s a photo of his latest creation: The Evergreen Book. It contains timeless topics for us to discuss on future programs. Good job, Greg!

The next photo revolved around a very dark topic. Dark beer that is. We wound up talking so much about Guiness Beer on that particular show that he HAD to drink one during our broadcast. As you can see in the photo, Greg is lovingly describing the complex structure of the alluring dark and satisfying beverage. Read More

Understanding Moby

mobyI decided to buy the Moby Wrap to help me carry the baby around without using my arms so much.  You should check out this thing on their website: www.mobywrap.com.  It’s an incredibly LONG piece of fabric that you wrap around your body.  I’m still trying to figure it out and perfect my skills with it.  It’s definitely taking some getting used to.  But the demonstration video on their website made it look so easy, I had to try it myself.  Here’s a picture of me with Lily all mobied up.  And of course, our youngest son had to pose for the occasion.