Friday, January 17, 2020

Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

Last Saturday morning, after tornado warnings and bad storms the night before, we woke up to sleet.  Our planned art craft couldn't have had better timing! 

(Idea found on Pinterest)


Thursday, January 16, 2020

RV Camper Storage - Part 5

In our new camper, we have a set of bunk beds (double on top and bottom).  The kids love them!  There is plenty of wall space but storage is lacking.  We needed simple storage solutions to hold eye glasses, cell phones or Kindles, sunglasses, ear plugs, you name it.

I tried these Kingree brand storage pockets for walls and they seem to be doing the trick.  I put one on each bunk wall.

I attached them with Command Strips.   I prefer those white Command Strips (right side) rather than the light weight Command Strips.  I just need to remember to pick up more of the opaque ones the next time I'm at the store.


In our wardrobes on each side of the bed in the bedroom, I had a lot of empty space and wanted to create storage vertically.  I saw the idea of hanging shelves while surfing the web.

I found these hanging closet organizers on Amazon.  These are currently unavailable, but there are plenty of other brands with the same concept.

There's plenty of space on the side to hang shirts or dresses that I don't want wrinkled.


These little wire baskets are the best for wall storage.  I found them at Hobby Lobby (on sale for $1.50) and attach them with clear command strips.

The one above is our charging station basket.  With a charging port (for 2) on the wall, the basket comes in handy.

I also have one in our camper bedroom just to hold the remote and other odd and ends I don't want to lose.

I put one under the TV that hangs near the table.  This is been great keeping the TV, stereo, and DVD player remotes all in one place.

The more we take our 'little home' out and live in it, the more I find space saving solutions for it.  It's a work in progress.

The best part is that it doesn't have to be expensive!

More Camper Storage / Gear I love here, here, here, and here.


Friday, January 10, 2020

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and The Epiphany Celebrations

The saints in heaven are not dead.  Those who die in Christ are now alive in Christ in Heaven.  (Mark 9:4, Luke 23:43, Rev. 6:9-11, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Heb. 12:1, 12:22-24)

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of our homeschool.  She is the first native-born American to be canonized in the Catholic Church.  Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born in the year 1774 into a socially prominent family.  Her father was a surgeon.  Elizabeth was raised in what would become, the Episcopal Church.  Her mother died when she was a very young girl.  Elizabeth was given the best education for a young lady at that time.

When Elizabeth was 19, she married William Seton, a wealthy businessman who worked with import trading.  They had five children.  During the War of 1812, his shipping business was destroyed.  William Seton  had suffered from Tuberculosis for years.  When his health started to decline rapidly, William and Elizabeth to set sail for warmer climates in hopes of bringing relief to his disease.  They brought along their oldest daughter.

William, Elizabeth and Anna were held in quarantine from officials in the Port of Leghorn, Italy.  The officials thought they had brought the yellow fever with them.  After one month in quarantine, William passed away from TB.  His former business associates (the Filicchi family) in Italy took the widow and young daughter in for six months.  The Filicchi family introduced  Elizabeth to Catholicism. It was in Italy that she developed a strong devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Mass.

Once back in New York, widow Seton was received into the Catholic Church on March 14, 1805.  Entering into the Catholic Church, she was financially and emotionally cut off from her and William's families.  In order to survive with her five children, she had started an academy for young ladies.  Once news of her conversion spread, the families of the young ladies withdrew from her academy.

After living through many difficulties, Elizabeth received and accepted an invitation to establish a religious community in Emmitsburg, Maryland dedicated to care for children of the poor in 1809.  This school was the first free Catholic school in the nation.  The congregation was initially called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph and she would come to be called, Mother Seton.  In 1811, the sisters adopted the rules of the Daughters of Charity, co-founded in France by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Luise de Marillac.

She spent the remainder of her life developing the new congregation and having to bury two of her daughters.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton passed away on January 4, 1821.  Her remains are entombed in the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Her legacy is quite lengthy with countless schools, hospitals, and religious congregations stemming from her charitable works.

We celebrate her feast day each year.  This year, we decided to have Sara Lee New York style cheesecake for dessert and re-watch, A Time for Miracles (a movie based on Elizabeth Ann Seton).

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

The  Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, marks a visit to baby Jesus by the three kings (magi) on the evening of the 12th Day of Christmas.  The Greek work 'Epiphany' means to show.  It refers to Jesus being revealed to the world.

This year, I added another book to our collection of Epiphany books, Home by Another Way.  We had a few laughs over the description of King Herod.  How else can you describe a mean, evil king other than in a way that paints a picture of onion breath and foul body odor?  And from Catholic All Year, we made Kendra Tierney's idea of a king's cake by using three cans of cinnamon rolls.  It was so easy peasy (and yummy)!

It is especially fitting since my chosen word for the year is SIMPLICITY.

This celebration officially wrapped up our Christmas at home.  With the decorations (mostly) boxed and stored, we have begun school this week.


And as I type this, our weather is looking scary. Tornadoes can happen during winter times in the south, and we are currently under a tornado watch. So I am off now to pay closer attention to the weather.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Christmas Trip to the Coast

Last New Year's Eve, as the girls and I were freezing our buns off from a cold front that swept into North Texas, my husband and son were on a fishing trip down by Padre Island.  He told me what a neat experience it was to see families gathered on the beach for New Year's Eve, sitting around bon fires and shooting off fireworks.  I remember telling him something like... we will be doing that next year!

 I did not forget about it.

This year, on the Sunday after Christmas, we took the Christmas season on the road and I am so glad we did!  The week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite because of the Christmas coma we all find ourselves in.  I love being lazy and lounging in pajamas.  This year, it was even more relaxed.

Sunday ~

We left early and stopped halfway (for the night) to check out Lockhart State Park, a place where we explored and hiked for a bit.

(Old man's beard that was growing on this Live Oak)

The park was nice, the creek running through was calming, and it felt good to stretch our legs.

Monday ~

Early the next morning, we continued on the road, driving down to Mustang Island State Park (at the top of Padre Island).  Mustang Island State Park just recently re-opened after being hit by hurricane Harvey in September of 2017.  We've been patiently waiting to camp here since it is such a beautiful beach.  That last time we were at Mustang Island State Park was in May of 2017.

With it being a windy day, the air was rather chilly near the water, but that didn't stop my family.  They went for beach walks, explored the rocks and sand dunes, and fished right away.

(Emma and Mabel decorated our site with a bit of Christmas spirit!)

New Year's Eve ~

After a big breakfast, we took the kids to our favorite beach in Texas, Padre Island National Seashore.  David, Clementine and I were at the National Seashore back in April of  2018.  It was warmer then, but that was alright.  I love this beach, and chilly or not, we enjoyed ourselves all the same.  

That evening after Mass and dinner, we took the kids to another beach where there were bon fires and fireworks.  They really enjoyed that!

New Year's Day ~

Before we headed south on our trip, I made these cute cut outs and frosted them for the adventure.  We saved them for a special New Year's Day dessert.  Aren't they cute?!

Naturally, we we spent most of our time on the beach doing what we do best, fishing and walking.

I had found Stan the Man way out on the jetty by himself.  I think he enjoyed getting away from all of the females he is constantly surrounded by!

David pulled out the brisket he had made prior to the trip.  Oh my gosh!  It was so delicious.  We certainly ate well.  The day ended with another round of board games.  (I found that the games we are bored of go to the camper where they receive new life.)

It was one of the nicest New Year's we have ever had.

Thursday ~

I told myself (and Miss Clementine) how much I would miss the beach walks.  On that last day we found so many things, especially the jelly fish.  A lot had washed up with the tide.  Some had funny shapes.

Stan the Man and Miss Clementine had money burning a hole in their pockets so we went into town for some souvenir shopping before spending the late afternoon playing more card games.

Our last evening didn't disappoint.  I made some wassail for the kids to try (they loved it!), and the light rain had passed leaving a beautiful view at dinnertime.

There was a gorgeous, double rainbow to the east and a beautiful sunset to the west.  The dinner view couldn't have been any better.

We made it back safe and sound on Friday of last week.  In one day, we drove through Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Waco, and Dallas.  Boy did we see the traffic!! (My hubby wins the award for best road trip driver out there!!)

I'm so grateful to have had the chance to take our camper out once again.  We had four of the five kids with us.  Sarah was in Phoenix for the week.  She was very fortunate, very blessed to be taking part in the SLS20 , a student leadership summit organized by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students).

We all made it home safe and sound feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on 2020.  Until the next camp out the end of this month...


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Christmas Quiche

This delicious quiche was a new recipe I tried for Christmas breakfast this year.  It was so easy and I did most of the prep work the night before.


2 cups broccoli, chopped in small pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
6 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  Lightly spray two 12-cup muffin pans or one 10" pie dish with cooking spray.

2.  Saute the red pepper and broccoli in a little bit of olive oil until most of the liquid has evaporated from the peppers and the broccoli is slightly soft.  There should be about 2 cups veggies after they are cooked. 

3.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

4.  Stir in the cheese, cooked veggies, and green onions.  Pour it all into the pan or cups.

5.  If you use a muffin pan, bake for approximately 24 minutes.  If you use a pie dish, bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until the egg has mostly firmed up in the middle).

6.  Let the quiche cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  It can also be served at room temperature or cold.

There were no left-overs!



Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas Day Memories ~ 2019

Christmas morning was a magical one filled with anticipation and excitement especially for this little one.

I go back and forth at my age, sometimes longing for a little less stress.  Santa can be a double-edge sword, but in the end, I know that these years are fleeting.  I'll just cherish the magic of it all.

My greatest gift received this year was probably how she slept in (so the entire house slept in) until 6:45am!

A special gift was given out from Sarah to her sisters.  She gifted the girls with these sweet bracelets, a way to ask them to be in her wedding.  Aren't they pretty?  There are a couple more of these boxes wrapped up waiting for friends. :)

We had a delicious Christmas morning breakfast of fresh fruit, bagels, and Christmas quiche.  It was so good!  I love all the yummy food on holidays, Christmas especially.  This was an easy quiche recipe that Stan helped me prep for the night before.  I'll put it up on the blog soon. :)

As the family has changed, so do our Mass times.  We use to go to Christmas Eve children's Mass for YEARS!  That's slowly morphed as the older four have grown up.  This year, we attended late Christmas morning Mass. It was beautiful morning celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Miss Mabel felt like we were having the best Christmas ever with the real tree and with the decision to serve an actual Christmas dinner - at dinner time.  She said it felt like a Felicity Christmas (from American Girl).   With a late dinner planned, we had a lite lunch after Mass.

There were veggies & dip, crackers with spinach artichoke dip, and a meat & cheese tray.  Gosh! That was so easy and just the right amount of food.

We ended up eating our scrumptious dinner around 6:00pm.  Our table was set and the food was so flavorful.

David smoked a turkey and a ham.  We served green beans, creamy corn casserole, and praline sweet potatoes.  Oh my gosh!  We were so full after dinner that there wasn't a lot of room in our tummies for dessert.

We made a little drummer boy cake this year and served peppermint ice cream with it.  The idea came from Clementine's sacrament prep class.  We talked about how the little drummer boy had nothing to give to the infant Jesus except for the gift of himself.  How that little drummer boy played his heart out for the Baby Jesus!

With a board game after dessert, we called it a day.  I needed the slower pace this year and was enjoying the breathing room it brought.  We also missed family very much on Christmas day.  With both sides living so far away, it can be difficult.

With that, we are preparing for some exciting times during what remains this holiday season.  The sun is calling and Santa is ready for a tropical vacation!  (Even if the forecast is calling for rain.)

May all the beauty and blessing of the Christmas season fill your heart with endless love and may the coming year bring you warmth, peace, love and joy into your life.

Merry Christmas to you all!


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