7 Quick Takes Christi Getting to Know the Ink Slingers Ink Slingers

Seven Catholic Sistas Ink Slingers favorite posts and why!

For this First Friday’s 7QT we will learn what are some of our ink slingers favorite articles and why they chose those particular posts. I asked them the impossible question: which is your favorite post that you have written and why?  Here are the results in the order I received them. 

7 fav posts

Quick take 1:  Rita Suva  who will begin writing on a more regular basis starting next month has to date been responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes  activities such as editing and organizing many of our photo challenges and when asked responded “Can I say that one of my favorite things is/are the Instagram photo journeys/challenges?” My answer: Absolutely!! So check ‘em out here if you have not followed any of these challenges. This one was co-lead by Rita. 

2016 Lent Photo Journey

Quick take 2Kerri has authored a number of posts as an ink slinger for Catholic Sistas. One of her favorites is Celebrating Womanhood – Catholic Church Style. When I asked why she responded: “I think I like it because it was more than just the original post itself. There are a lot of comments on this post as well which greatly added to the conversation and added a lot more depth to what I had outlined in the post.” 

A full sixty-four comments dear readers  – now THAT’S a conversation! Make sure you scroll the whole way down the post’s page if you wish to follow that discussion.

Kerris quote

Take 3: Mary S shared “ I haven’t written very many, but probably my favorite was Loving My Cross (Even When I Hate It.) It’s my favorite because although it was difficult to write, and made me think about some painful parts of my life, it was also a way of healing somewhat. It also helped me write it because it helped me see my depression in a slightly different light (as the reason I cling so tightly to Christ and the Cross), which has continued to help me handle periods of deeper depression since I wrote it. I just pray that the Holy Spirit can use my experiences to help others.”  To read this post head over here.

Marys quote

Quick Take 4: Janalin Hood shared that her current favorite was about to publish and she loved it “because it is full of images from our readers own homes!

(here’s an example of the gorgeous photos she shares with us)

Laura M - Easter

Quick Take 5: Alison H replied when I asked why she chose Thank God Judith is in the Bible: “After we decided to ‘come home to Rome’ I read all the OT books stolen from our protestant bibles and loved Judith so much. At the time I had five boys and one girl (the tough one) and what I read there had a deep impact on how I saw my daughter (so different from me) and her personality.” Now if that doesn’t pique you interest I don’t know what will!

Allisons quote

Quick take 6: Charla  chose this post for me to read When Life Gets Old. Based on a conversation we had about this favorite that she also shared another favorite post which was A time For Every Event Under Heaven.

Charlas quote

Quick take 7: A round up of a few extras. As my fellow ink slingers and I chatted back and forth about our favorites, a few extras were thrown into the foray and they are: 

Here Comes the Judge

Catholic Women and Faith in the Work Place

An Interview with Ken Howell, Former Assemblies of God Pastor

Now this last one I’m going to finish with was not directly named but referred to by Alison when she commented: ‘I think people are shocked at what the “divine health and wealth gospel” does to people when  a healing does not come. That’s why I like to share my conversion story. The Catholic Church’s teaching on redemptive suffering saved my life and marriage.’ This resonated strongly with me as a convert myself and also because of a story with me by one of my children’s’ God mother who had a friend who was not Catholic. I have never forgotten my friend’s sorrow over the blame this woman felt over her own battle with cancer because ‘obviously if she was not healing it could only be due to lack of faith on her part.’  Because this spoke so strongly to me I looked up Alison’s conversion story and I’m finishing with it here. 

STOP! HOLD THE PRESSES!  I have received a late submission and it’s so good I cannot resist adding it even though I’ve completed all of  my Seven Quick Takes! Michelle Fritz shared Three Things I used To Know About Myself as her most favorite post. 

Michelles quote

So hopefully with this round up of favorites I have provided some fun and, hopefully, inspiring reading to fill those quiet summer nights that are still ahead of us. Until next time – happy reading and don’t forgot to mosey on over to this Ain’t the Lyceum and see what everyone else is up to this week.

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7 Quick Takes Books Christi Getting to Know the Ink Slingers Homeschool Ink Slingers

7QT – Seven ‘Must Have’ Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and EducatorsI have not been this excited about a QT post in months. Thanks to a friend who inspired me by saying that she’d love to see a 7QT of must have books that every Catholic should have on their shelf, I have had the opportunity to chat with and reconnect with some great Catholic authors. I also got to learn a little more about one of the owners of Holy Heroes, a fantastic Catholic Educator company.  When I reached out to our own Ink Slingers, as well as a number of well known and upcoming authors, here is how I posed the question. “After the bible, if you had to pick just one book, to have on your library shelf what would it be?” Well, brace yourself my friends – do they have some great books suggestions for your summer reading! 


Quick Take 1) 

Regina Doman author of The Shadow of the Bear , which is just one of her many books and accomplishments, when asked what would be the one other book shared with me:

“My favorite book aside from the Bible would probably have to be Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. That was the book which, when I encountered it as a teen, opened my eyes to the scope and beauty of the Catholic faith for the first time, as well as setting off an explosion in my imagination that I have never really recovered from. Every time I re-read this short book of nine world-shifting essays, I encounter something new, something that makes me think, something that makes me laugh, something that makes me cry. It’s one reason why I am setting out to do an illuminated version of it with illustrations done by Catholic artist Jason Tako, to help other people encounter this amazing book, which was Chesterton’s personal manifesto of why he believed in Christ and His Church, and which has become mine. Pray we are able to finish it!”

I told Regina after she shared this with me that her description of this book has inspired me to look for a copy for myself. Perhaps I will wait for her illuminated version of it!

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators


Regina Doman is the author of Angel in the Water, the Fairy Tale Novels, and edits and publishes other works of fun Catholic fiction.

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and EducatorsYou can find her work at


Quick Take 2)

Philip Campbell whom my family discovered through Homeschool Connections is the author of  the sourcebook The Rending of Christendom which I reviewed last June. When I asked him to pick that one book he responded with:  “One book I think every Catholic should have on their bookshelf is Socrates Meets Jesus by Peter Kreeft. Though the book is older (1987), it is truly timeless in its message. The book tells a fanciful tale of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, who is mysteriously brought back to life on the campus of a modern divinity school in New England. Here Socrates comes face to face with contemporary Christians and uses his famous Socratic method to discover the identity of Jesus Christ. Socrates Meets Jesus gives us Peter Kreeft at his best, demonstrating the rational foundation of the Christian faith while taking us beyond reason to encounter the God-Man who came to redeem humanity. A classic study of reason-meets-faith, Socrates Meets Jesus is must reading for any Catholic.”
7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

Philip Campbell, author of  a Tale of Manaeth, is a popular history teacher  with Homeschool Connections, a Catholic provider of online live and recorded classes for high school and elementary homeschooled children. He is currently writing a series of four middle school history textbooks for TAN Books. The series called “Story of Civilization”. Volume I, “Ancient Times”, will be available this May, with subsequent volumes following each year thereafter.

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators



Quick Take 3)

When I posed the question to Jenny Ryan, owner of Mothering Sunshine, she  shared: “I would choose, Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking because, as she says, “The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.” If I can’t be entertained by endless books, I could be entertained by endless cooking. I love reading this book and learning new tips and tricks from Julia. She didn’t even begin to learn to cook until she was into her late 30’s. Her book and her life are an inspiration to me!” 

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

Jenny Ryan is the mother of five and runs Mothering Sunshine, a website for moms. She can also be found over at the Holy Heroes’ Blog, and wrote the Catholic Children’s book, Love With All My Might

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators



Quick Take 4)

Kathy Clark is the Canadian author of Guardian Angel House , The Choice  and A Whisper in My Heart.  When asked what would be the one book on your shelf after the bible she shared this: “For a lover of good books and reading, answering the question what ‘one’ book should be on everyone’s shelf is both extremely difficult and yet at the same time, simple. As soon as ‘the one’ book pops into my mind, hundreds of others line up behind it clamoring to be included. Yet each time, it is that ‘one’ that always comes first. It is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Majestic in both scope and length, for me it is a book that contains all the elements that a good book should have: it is well written; has an engaging plot; has strong, clearly defined good and bad characters as well as those who grow from flawed, into good people. Through the lives and circumstances of its main characters most of our emotions are aroused. We come to understand the plight of the less fortunate in our society and grow in compassion towards them. We are challenged to reflect on our own lives and ask: what would I have done? Les Miserables is a book that shows, in a many faceted way, the challenges of living a noble, Christian life.”

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

My children and I have read both A Whisper in My Heart and Guardian Angel House and, really, every home library should have these books on their shelves. I am looking forward to reading The Choice her third and most recent novel, which is set in WWII. 7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

You can read more about Kathy here


Quick Take 5)

I decided to ask one of the faces behind Holy Heroes,  Kerri Davison. She shared the following: “If I had to choose only one book to have on my bookshelf I would choose, Introduction to the Devout Life  by St. Francis de Sales.  I would choose it because it was written by a Saint (who is also one of the Doctors of the Church) for the sole purpose of directing souls to Heaven–a practical guide for people busy living in the world! It is organized so that you can pick it up, read a short section in any time you can snatch from the day and still benefit from it.  Or you can look up a topic of interest and just read that section and come away enlightened.  The benefits can be reaped without needing to read it straight through, and every time you pick it up, you will find something quickly that will resound in your soul and inspire you to amend your life. It is easy and accessible for a busy mom like me, yet is so complete and profound in its content and guidance that for 400 years Catholics have continued to read it.  Like the teachings of the Church, it is timeless.”

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators

Kerri & Ken Davison, married for 27 years, have eight children. They are the co-founders of Holy Heroes and are committed to teaching and living their faith with their children and through their business.  Kerri has a BA from Rutgers, an MA from the London School of Economics, and a JD from Syracuse University, but she prefers to go by Mom.  

7QT - Seven 'Must Have' Books Shared by Catholic Authors, Writers, and Educators


Quick Take 6)

And here are a few must haves suggested by some of the Catholic Sistas’ Ink Slingers:

Misty: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. A beautiful story of a deeply flawed but grace-filled Catholic family as observed by the adult son’s secular friend. Shows the myriad ways God works in the lives of people of diverse backgrounds and temperaments.

KarenA Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot. I have read the book at least twice and while the strategy for ordering life to be daunting, incorporating the smallest morsels of her advice have really produced good fruit for my family. She offers an order for your commitments in life (prayer, self, spouse, children, home) and several questions reflections before laying out a strategy for a daily and weekly schedule.

KerriRule of St. Benedict: St. Benedict’s Rule was intended for monks as their rule of life. Written in the 500s it helped form monastic life throughout medieval Europe and is still applicable today. Families can find a lot that applies to family life since the Rule was written for people living in community. It’s also a great guide for living a simple life.

Quick Take 7 Allen Hebert, one of our writers who pens for us under the category of Perspective from the Head when asked to choose the one book shared that for him it would be In Conversation With God. Because as he put it “this book is a very thorough and motivational companion to sacred scripture and always encourages me to go deeper in my relationship with Christ in the midst of everyday life.” 

As you can see I have, once again, cheated and slipped in a few more than seven but one can never have too many books to choose from, especially when it’s a list like this one. This was so much fun that I hope to repeat it again. In the meantime be sure to share in the comment section what is the one must have book you would keep on  your shelf, after the bible and catechism, of course.  

Don’t forget to visit This Ain’t the Lyseum.


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Seven Quick Takes: Easter Traditions

Our forty days in the dessert are almost complete – today is Good Friday.  And while most of the Quick Takes this week will feature various Easter traditions embraced by members of Catholic Sistas I am beginning with an Easter tradition that our family has been using for almost 18 years and begins on Good Friday.

Quick Take One: The Easter Tree

On Good Friday we prepare a “dead” tree to plant. Typically we gather several large dead branches and place them in a container that is filled with rocks or bricks – something heavy. We explain to the children that the tree represents Jesus’s death as the tree is currently without life. Then Saturday night after the Vigil angels descend and decorate the tree bringing it back to life. We use live blossoms and leaves unless the time of year we are celebrating Easter is not providing us with sufficient blossoms we use store bought silk flowers. Regardless of what type of flower we use, we also need florists tape which I typically purchase at our local dollar store.We also use pretty ribbons that we tape to candy eggs and drap from the branches. On Easter morning the children get to see a beautiful tree that has come to life – representing Jesus’s resurrection and enjoy the sweet treats of the newly alive tree.


Easter tree 2006


Blog easter tree risen


Quick Take Two:  Some favorite recipes shared by our Ink Slingers:





Click on any of the pictures to get to the recipes.

Quick Take Three: another recipe but with a story!


This recipe is used to create a visual account of Jesus’s resurrection! (Click on picture)

or You can make Easter Story Cookies:


Quick Take Four: Add a new twist to your Easter Egg hunt this year


Cascarones (Eggs with Confetti)

(Click on picture for directions.)

But if thats just too much work for you this year – you can add an egg with the word Alleluia in it or on it. The child who finds it, as part of the egg hunt, wins a special prize!

Quick Take Five: More eggs with special meanings!


In various Eastern Rites it’s common to celebrate Easter with red eggs and here’s why. Often, they are also used in a game called tsougrisma by Greeks. (One year we attended a Byzantine Easter celebration and they too played this game! The kids had a blast!)  Click here to read about how its played and find some links to some great greek recipes as a bonus.

Quick Take Six: Resurrection Eggs 


One Catholic Sistas’ family shared that they love to add Resurrection Eggs to their Easter celebrations and, at one time, had their own hand version of these eggs. Over time parts of their eggs were lost so they bought a version of this online.

Quick Take Seven: Easter Breads

So many wonderful options for celebrating with delicious and symbolic breads. (I’m sorry at this time I have not found gluten free versions of these. Please feel free to leave links to gluten free options you love in the comments section!)


Paska Breads above and below. (Click on pictures to get to baking instructions)

easter polish bread

hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns (Again click on the picture….)

So now I have your mouth watering and it’s Good Friday too! I’d apologize but it’s still Lent so I’m just going to tell you to offer it up and get baking!

See  you next month and I can’t leave any hints as to what its gonna be about because it’s a surprise. (For you and me both!) Thanks again to  This Ain’t the Lyceum  for hosting the Quick Takes Seven and be sure to mosey on over and check out who’s over there this week.


7 Quick Takes Books Christi Getting to Know the Ink Slingers Homeschool Ink Slingers

Seven Quick Takes Favorite Authors and Titles

For this weeks Quick Take 7, I polled a variety of our Catholic Sistas to come up with a quick choice of seven new authors/books you might want to take a peek at – given that the new school year is breathing down our necks just around the corner.

Quick Take One is The Hundred Dresses and I can’t describe it better than Misty did when she suggested this lovely book that I recall from my first years of parenting and I think I might even have vague memories of reading it myself as a child.

In Misty’s own words The Hundred Dresses is “a beautiful story about a poor girl who claims to have “a hundred dresses” at home, despite wearing one bedraggled dress to school each day. She’s teased and finally leaves the school, but wins the school drawing contest in which she submits “100 dresses,” all expertly drawn. The book is about bullying and remorse for not standing up to protect others from it. Ages–8-12.”


Quick Take Two is another contribution from Misty and she describes this book just as beautifully as she did the first. “The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is about a tree who loved a boy, and who gave everything to him for his happiness at various stages of life until she was nothing but a stump.” According to Misty this book “explores both generosity and selfishness, and can prime children for a deeper understanding of self-giving and protecting their own dignity from selfish exploitation. Ages 3-7.”


For Quick Take Three (and a slightly older reading crowd than quick take one represented) we have another contribution by Misty and this time its for the 10 – 14 yr old readers in our family. Quick take three is titled Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus.  Misty shared that this book is about “a teenage Japanese fisherman who is rescued in the mid-1800s by a passing American whaling ship. Japan’s borders were then closed to all Western nations, so the crew takes him to America, where he learns English and is adopted by the whaling captain who takes him to his farm in New England. He eventually goes back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider, but his experience soon helps the shogun open the borders to the country when Admiral Matthew Perry shows up asking for port. Explores issues of racism (from both Japanese and Westerners), family ties, and good stewardship for the environment, all within a greater adventure story of Manjiro’s travels. Ages 10-14.”


Quick Take Four is a suggestion from Kerri and is an author as opposed to a specific book title. She and her little ones have shared many a giggle over the books by Sandra Boynton. One of the delightful things about writing this post has been googling some of these authors and realizing some of their suggestions have actually been cheerfully grasped by many chubby, sticky fingers in this household and have even found residence in our basket of favorite books. Boynton’s Blue Hat Green Hat is a perfect example.


Quick Take Five is a series of books called the Happy Holister books and there are thirty three titles in this series.  Apparently the author Jerry West is a pseudonym for Andrew E. Svenson who was a member of  the Stratemeyer Syndicate; a book packager of well-known children’s series such as Tom Swift, The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. It looks like a fun series of books to explore and I’m hoping to land a few on my shelves in the coming school months. Until then I can’t really tell you what age range the books are aimed at but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that we are looking at ages similar to those who would enjoy the other series by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Thank you to Catholic Sistas’s friend Lisa S for this suggestion.


Quick Take Six already?! I’m getting a tad stressed now because I have more books than I have quick takes so I think I’m going to cheat and group a few together here. You see, I have an awesome secret I’m going to unveil  in quick take seven – something that I believe is a little known secret.

So the group of books I’m going to share here from a variety of Catholic Sistas suggestions are the Red Wall Series, (An awesome series that my now 19 year old devoured during his very early adolescence.) the Children’s Illustrated Classics (This being our third decade of parenting our shelves are sporting second runs of some of these titles because, yes, we wore out the first ones.) Then there is our beloved author Robert Munsch.  He wrote the beautiful & very moving story “Love You Forever” which you absolutely need to hear him narrate. Way back when (I’m not saying when either!) I heard him being interviewed by Peter Gzowski on Morningside (Canadian National Radio show) about this particular book. Apparently the writing of Love you Forever was part of his healing process following the loss of his unborn child. (Tipping my hat to Michelle for this reminder of a great author.)

I’m going to finish quick take 6 with  The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon which was just one of the great titles suggested by Ann Marie O. I found this book myself this year while preparing to teach art to preschoolers. They.Loved.It. Need I say more?


Drum rrrroll please – we have reached Quick Take Seven! And… the unveiling of Anne of Green Gables. Wait, you exclaim! What big secret is that!? I’ve seen the tv series on PBS, I read the book as a child… my kids have read it countless times?

Wait, wait… Anne of Green Gables is actually only one of EIGHT books in the Chronicles of Anne! I bet you didn’t know that! Or that Montgomery has three other heroines she wrote about who are Emily of New Moon, Story Girl (The character upon which Sarah Polly of Road to Avonlea is based.) and Pat of Silver Bush?

With this incredible list of books suggested for our reading leisure by our Ink Slayers: Misty, Kerri, Anne Marie O, Alison S, Michelle, and myself, along with our good friend Lisa S, I think I have left you with some happy hunting ahead of you and, hopefully, not too large a shopping tab as you realize many, if not all, of these books are musts for your personal library shelves.

See you next month! Until then, be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


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7 Quick Takes Friday, No. 23


Every so often we like to interview our Ink Slingers to provide you, our readers, a little insight into who we are. This time we are going to introduce you to one of our male writers, Devin Rose. Devin is the author of If Protestantism is True: The Reformation Meets Rome and he blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard.  We are honored to have him as a writer here at Catholic Sistas! We hope you enjoy reading this short interview with him and getting to know him a bit more.


Where is your dream vacation spot?

Assisi, Italy. My wife and I had our honeymoon there. The beauty of the land, the old walled town, the Franciscan’s monastery and St. Clare’s basilica, the olive trees, San Damiano, all of it. Downside is that food is pretty pricey. The few times we tried to “go native” and buy food for ourselves we ended up with a very pungent salami.



What is your favorite movie of all time?

Pride & Prejudice, 5 hour A&E edition. The first time I watched it as a single guy, I thought it was the dumbest movie I had ever seen. To say it has grown on me would be an understatement. I am in awe of Jane Austen’s ability to capture human personalities.


What is your favorite animal and why?

Besides, I presume you mean, the liger? Which is pretty much my favorite animal ever. I would love to own an anteater and an echidna. Though apparently the jury is out on whether they would eat fire ants.


What is your favorite song or who is your favorite singer?

Gotta go with U2. Everyone loves them because they have had great songs and incredible longevity. None of them are great solo musicians, but together they often make powerful music. Favorite song? Too hard to pick. But I’d go with Zooropa.


Are you a cradle Catholic who never strayed, a poorly catechised Catholic and/or lukewarm Catholic who came to understand the faith later in life, a revert, or a convert?

Convert. Atheism to Southern Baptist to Catholic. I only spent about a year as a Southern Baptist before seeing that Protestantism could not be the fullness of the truth. Protestantism has no principled way to distinguish between the content of divine revelation and human opinion.


What do you wish everyone knew about the Church?

The Church is Christ’s. She is not merely an invisible collection of all believers but a visible institution, though no less supernatural because of her visibility. So many Christians still say “Jesus: yes! The church? No!” But that is the worst kind of false dichotomy. It’s Jesus: yes! The Church, yes!

Devin and his family
Devin and his family


Do you, or did you, play a sport and if so, which sport or sports?

One great gift my father gave to me was introducing me to just about every sport. He forced me to play each one at least once. Eventually I came to enjoy them and had the talent of being fairly good at all of them, but great at none of them. By high school I settled on soccer, and I could have played at a lower division college with a scholarship, possibly, but ultimately I realized that the sport wouldn’t be my ticket anywhere and went the academic route.

The upside is, I don’t look particularly coordinated, so when about to play a sport with people I don’t know, they underestimate me. Granted, now I’m old and slow and they rightly underestimate me.

For more Quick Takes, hop on over to Conversion Diary.