7 Quick Takes Friday: Catholic Swag and Some Linkage

At the Catholic Writer's Live Conference, a few of the vendors slipped me some cool Catholic kid swag.  I wanted to write about the cute things I brought home that have already become staples in our Catholic collection of children's items.

1. Sacred Heart Toys:

  I met Laurel MacKinnon, the owner of this fine group of toys, when her toddler spotted baby Edward and darted over to say hi to him.  While the babies communicated about important things, Laurel, her husband and I chatted about family life and toddlers.  She eventually told me about her goods and the next day, when I had a free moment, I ventured over to her booth to check them out.

Her toys are the most darling plush Catholic toys around! 

The crosses and the rosaries are the perfect Baptism or baby shower of first birthday gift.  Laurel gifted a cross to Edward, which he promptly gnawed.  That toy kept him busy the entire plane ride home!  I even felt like we were evangelizing when we met a three year old little boy, Mason, at the airport who seemed intrigued both with baby Edward and his fancy toy cross. 

If you need a sweet, Catholic little something for a little baby in your life, consider these!

(Sidenote:  I especially like the baby teething rosary.  The wooden children's rosaries always leave me worrying the wooden bead rosaries will fall apart and choke my kid! But loose beads on these plush toys are an impossibility!)

images from www.sacredhearttoys.com

2.

CCC Companion Book: Here's the thing about recently published books and materials for Catholic kids---they are not the cheesy, didactic stories of years past. 

(If you don't believe me, then you need to walk around the gigantic Catholic Marketing Trade show.  Some of the Catholic stuff out there is SO cool!)  Catholics have upped their marketing game and have rededicated themselves to producing good, quality, attractive materials that are an alternative to some of the secular

crap

materials available to kids.

One of the 12 CCC videos on Saints and Heroes

If you don't have the

CCC videos, get them.

  Our kids are inundated with Avengers, Barbie, and Star Wars cartoons.  Why not counter balance some of those shows with stories of the real life heroes we find in the Catholic faith? (Psssst....my kids love these.)

This new book (first picture above) corresponds to the classic CCC film The Day The Sun Danced, The True Story of Fatima. 

3.

 Rumor has it, this small board book was inspired by Pope Francis.  Paraclete Press gave me a copy and I highly recommend it, especially for ages 2-4 years old.  When I got home, I read it to both Christopher (five years old) and Camille (almost 4 years) and they promptly asked for me to read it again, and again, and again!  It teaches little ones a simple way to remember to pray for all the people in the world and the colorful illustrations are super cute! 

4.  

The Truth And Life App

:  I met Michael Stark, the executive producer of this app, when he stopped at the CWG booth.  He is a man on fire for his work and struggling to get the word out there about this awesome Catholic resource.  If you need a bible app, consider this one!  There are two versions:

The FREE Truth and Life App includes the entire RSV-CE Bible text and the Dramatized Audio for the Gospel of Mark.

But there's more...

You can purchase the Truth and Life Dramatized Audio RSV-CE Bible for the entire New Testament and the Ignatius Study Bible today!

Voiced by award winning internationally-renowned actors including: Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Kristen Bell, Stacy Keach, Julia Ormond, Malcolm McDowell, Blair Underwood, Michael York, Brian Cox, John Rhys-Davies and many more. These awards winning actors bring the Bible to life through dramatized audio theater. Hear the people and places you read in the word of God come to life. 

5.  I have a stack of books for Catholic adults I'm slowly making my way through (this summer my

reading time has been devoted to the Brothers Karamazov) and promise some reviews of those titles when I finish them.  Randy Hain has probably given up on me as I promised him a review of his new book a long time ago!  It's coming, Randy!  It's coming!  I promise!

6.  I've been trying to get better about tweeting (are you on Twitter?  Come find me!!!) some of the

cool things I read on the Internet.  The past few weeks has been especially ripe with solid Catholic posts.  Here's a few I especially liked:

Rebecca Hamilton's post on her experience at Father Frank Pavone's Mass at the writer's conference.

(well written and profound)

This post

from Mary at Passionate Perseverance    Mary is the mother of a twenty-two year old handicapped daughter.  If you want to see how suffering has refined a person, I point you to Mary's blog.  She is not fancy, nor is she trying to build her platform or get you to follow her or tweet about her or anything else.  But

, wow,

she's living it.  I'm so inspired by her.

Cari Donaldson's piece on

The Devout Objectification Of Children

.  All I have to say, guilty.  So very, very guilty.  Despite what some of the comments say, Cari nails a real temptation for Catholics with big families.

The prayer Cristina T posted on her blog

.  It's written by Pierre de Chardin, SJ.  Beautiful!

Elizabeth Foss's reflection

on her Fitbit and her walk-a-thon experiment.  I've been logging 4-5 miles a day for almost two months now and her reflections echo my own experience.

(Sidenote:  I find myself frequently irritated by the Internet.  Elizabeth Foss's blog is not usually one of them. More often than not, I'm encouraged and inspired when I click away from her site.)

Rhonda's thoughtful post

on love as an antidote to the evil in the world

This guy doesn't like Flannery

(and the entire Catholic Internet gasped).  I get what he's saying...

7.  That's about it!  Hope I didn't overwhelm you.  Have a terrific Friday. 

Go visit

Jen for more Quick Taking!