Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blessed Advent/ Happy New Year

"He will be great, and will be called Son of the Most High." 
Luke 1:32




In the Catholic Church, the church calendar begins a new year the first day of Advent.    So Happy New Year to you! 

Do you have any resolutions, especially during this beautiful season?

I love Advent.  The older I get, the more I fall in love with it.  Advent and Lent both!

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Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.   I had plenty of help this year in my kitchen.  David smoked the turkey and it turned out so delicious. 




David said he went out at 3am to turn the smoker on and it was a balmy 65 degrees F.  There he was in shorts and t-shirt.  He went back out at 5am and it was 40 degrees F.  and dropping.  It ended up being in the 30's Thanksgiving day.  (My blood has so thinned since living in the south.  I'm a total wimp now!)

With David freeing up my oven...I had so much room!  Makes me want a double oven unit...(sigh...)

This girl made her first pumpkin pie....all!  by!  herself! 




She is really growing into a domesticated lady of the house and will make a very good wife and mother someday...not that I'm trying to marry her off just yet!


These two little munchkins helped me make the apple pie.



It was all so yummy! 

The rest of the weekend was a filled with R&R....lots of it!  I didn't realize how tired our bodies had grown from such an active fall.

I love to watch, hear, and see what others are doing at this time of the year.  It is such a magical time, isn't it?   

~Our Christmas preparations pretty much focus on Advent right now.  For the children in particular, I started using this last year...



Christmas Mosaic.  A beautiful title that perfectly sums up the material covered inside.  You can purchase it here.

The book selection list is amazing!  We concentrate on different books for each week of Advent.  This week, the kids will be reading the following based on the theme Advent/Decoration/Preparation Stories:








We found all of these at the library.

I know the book The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey was made into a movie.  You can rent it on Netflix.  We rented it last year and it is a beautiful Christmas story for all ages. 

~The Advent wreath came out and sits in the center of our kitchen table. 

~The kids filled the advent calendar with their chocolates.  (I just pitched the rest of their Halloween candy.) 

~Ordered our Christmas picture cards from Sam's on Friday.  They had a special: 100 for $15.00!

~We placed our Christmas candles in the window and hung the wreathes near them.  I love the old Irish tradition of Christmas candles in the window.  My mother and father always had candles in the window during Advent/Christmas.



May you and your family find the peace in preparation this week.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Birthday Girl!

Today is my mother's birthday!



She is an amazing mother with an amazing family history. 

My mother's family comes from the 'Old World',  Ljubljana, Slovenia.  (Part of old Yugoslavia.)

Her family had an interesting life over in Europe.  Her paternal grandfather (my great-grandfather) was a body guard to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  At the brink of WWI, my great-grandfather was released of his duties and encouraged to take his family to safety in America. 

And so, the story began for this immigrant.  He arrived in America to find work and would send back for family members when he could afford it.  

 He had 10 children to bring over and my mother's father, Grandfather Louis, was one of those 10 children.  Grandpa Louis was the only boy out of ten children!  That puts a new spin on 10 In A Bed, doesn't it?  (In Slovenia, Grandpa Louis' bed was in the barn.)

Not all the children came to America, but Grandpa Louis did.  I never met Grandpa Louis since he passed away when my mother was only 17 years of age. 

I heard he was a great singer and he even played the bells in the church steeple with hammers.  Imagine that job!

In the past 10 years, my mother has made two trips to visit her father's homeland and visit with family that still lives there.  The old family home still exists, and she was even able to go to the church where my grandfather was baptized as an infant. 

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We are only able to see my mother twice a year.  She flies down once a year...


We LOVE when she comes!

When she flies down to Texas, we love to show her a good time.  She leaves exhausted but is a good sport.




 This past spring, we took her on an old steam engine train and headed to Fort Worth...to the historic Stockyards

I talked her into posing with these two fellas...




There is a saddle on that longhorn for anyone to sit on.  Mom wasn't going to get in it for anything...even when the kind cowboy asked, "Would you like valet parkin'?"

I thought we were going to wet our pants laughing! 

So today we send her a giant Happy Birthday wish.  Happy Birthday, Grammy!!  We love you!!



Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Week 11/26/10




On My Mind~

~My mother and father's anniversary today.  Proud of my mother for the courage she shows every single day as she mourns her beloved.

~So thankful for a niece who is home.  She has some recovering to do but can do it at home and not in a hospital room.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers since she has a little ways to go yet.

~So thankful for ...life, love, faith, family, and friends.

~So excited for Advent!

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Our Weekday events:

Monday-
~Played outside (a LOT)  in the gorgeous weather! 
~Piano lessons.

Tuesday-
~(Ditto on the gorgeous weather)
~Library.

Wednesday-
~Stan has another sinus infection.  (Weeds like this weather, too.  Stan and weeds do not get along.)  I turned on the a.c. and made a quick pre-holiday trip to the Dr's. office.
~Thanksgiving preparations after school finished up.

Friday-Sunday-
~Start reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader to the kids.  (They are soooo excited for the movie to come out next month!)
~We stocked up on some hobby supplies to occupy our time over the long weekend:



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Our tough moments this week~

Science:
*Ester started a new chapter.  That dew point can be a tough one to wrap a young brain around! 


English:
*Mabel....this is a tough one this week.  Introducing possessive pronouns to a second grader...with the difference between singular and plural possessive...all the while, maintaining the whole singular and plural nouns concept that you previously taught. 

Yowzer! A whole lot of blank stares from her... a lot of forehead rubbing from me!  (I think her light bulb eventually clicked on.) 

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Thanksgiving day traditions~ 
(Not that you really care to know....but... just in case you do *wink*)


~Name drawing for the Christmas gift exchange takes place on Thanksgiving day.  (Amongst the kids)

~Christmas parade on t.v. is hit or miss. 

~If the weather is nice, we head to the park after our meal.

~The bin of Christmas movies comes out for the season.  We will watch the first one on Thanksgiving night.

~Cannot forget the bin of Christmas music!

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Please join in for more fun at Jen's Forever, For Always, No Matter What.

May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Easy As Pie!





This is actually a yummy cookie!

Sally took this recipe from a Family Fun magazine and made it for her dad last Saturday. 

You will need:

1. Wilson's round cookie pan  (Hobby Lobby for $7.99)

2.  Sugar cookie dough (Sally made her own.)

3.  Pecans, halved crosswise

4.  Whipped cream

5.  Orange-colored frosting

Directions:
1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Grease bottom of cookie pan.
3.  Mix your sugar cookie dough and spread into pan.  (Sally used her fingers)
4.  Bake 15-20 minutes or when cookie starts to turn golden brown.  (Sally baked hers for 20 minutes).
5.  Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Then remove and place on serving dish to cool completely.  (We placed the large serving dish over the cookie pan; flipped it together so the pan bottom was facing upright; then tapped the pan for the cookie to pop out.
 6.  Once cooled, frost the cookie and arrange the halved pecans around the edge of the cookie.  Cut into pie slices and serve with whip cream.

These are some pictures I took along the way...







Something fun for your kids to bake for a kiddie Thanksgiving dessert.

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Molly update:

Thank you for your prayers!

Molly is doing very well.  She has not needed pain meds since late last night.  She is responding to her antibiotics, and the doctors  have been draining her infection.  She is in good spirits and said that she has had little sleep.  "Aunt Patty, every time I fell asleep last night, they'd wake me up to do something else." 

She should be home by Thanksgiving!  Amen!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Texas in November

Our good friend, Mr. Good Weather, came back for a visit.  I think he may be staying for a little bit.  At this time of the year he comes and goes as he pleases. 





We prefer to catch his arrival!


Warm gulf breezes and sunshine coupled with  the southern trees melting into a butterscotch array of colors  =  my family loves Texas in November!

And isn't it amazing how much joy a $2 box of sidewalk chalk can bring to kids?






Dirty hands and clothes, imaginations shifted into creative gear, happy thoughts. 

I love it!






 I'm glad they are smiling and enjoying life. 

We will not be with family this Thanksgiving, and the kids can take a holiday hard when missing their grandparents and cousins.  So this weather and being outside is welcomed for many reasons.



 







Little brother enjoyed that chalk in a different way.  No big sisters bothered him!  It was just him and his bike.   




And this next gallery of photos...gosh!...I just had to share.  I hope you don't mind.  

It makes me want to be a kid again. 




Think little man was excited?!  And if you look real close, he is giving me the thumbs up in that last photo. 

And then it was Stan's turn to pull Mabel.  He loves his thumb.  What can I say?



Did you notice how he let go...hmmm...on purpose... possibly? 






Those little stinkers!  They were having a ball.  Must have spent at least an hour riding  up and down the block.

Would you believe it if I told you that I even took a ride?  (Hee  hee!)  Sorry.  No picture of that one, folks!

We are thankful for the big bear hugs that Mr. Good Weather gives us~ 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coasters

Homemade Christmas (or anytime) Gift:



**Let me first say, I got this fantastic idea from Grace In My Heart.**

And it was so easy and fun!

I started with this...



  • The 4x4 tile came from Lowe's at $0.34 each.
  • All stamps came from Michael's and were on sale at $7.99 each.
  • The PERMANANT ink, StazOn, came from Michael's and was $7.99
  • Ribbon
  • Sticky Notes
Here is a bigger picture of the stamps and ink pad.






After wiping down each tile with a damp rag and letting them dry, I cut my sticky notes into smaller squares and stuck them in the middle of the tile like this:




Then I inked my main pad (I used a chocolate color) and carefully pressed down on the entire tile, sticky note and all.  *The slightest movement may smudge your ink, so be gentle here. 

It should then look like this:





Next, I pulled off the sticky note to see this:





I took an initial stamp and carefully stamped the middle:



Isn't that awesome?  That easy!

After a few minutes of dry time, I turned them over and placed cloth bumper pads onto each bottom as to not scratch the surface of furniture.  See:



Others have used the little rubber bumpers, but hubby (who has was a furniture/cabinet maker for 20+ years) said that rubber bumpers have a tendancy to catch and fall off quickly.  He suggested the cloth bumpers.  But, you can use what you prefer.


Then I tied it up nicely with a chocolate-colored, satin ribbon.  Isn't it pretty?



Grace in my heart had the perfect rule of thumb.  If you are making homemade gifts...is it something you would want to receive? 

Good ideas are meant to be shared.  This was definitely one of those!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Muchas Smoochas!

I am soooo thankful for my hubby!

























My hubby...like so many...has  been working really hard lately.  Kind of hurt his back, too. 


So...we decided to show our appreciation.







A nice lasagna dinner, a bottle of red wine, and a bottle of Eucalyptus Spearmint "Stress Relief" Message Oil.  (Wow!  That is a lot of wording.)

The kids were so excited.  They love their daddy to the moon and beyond.  It was so cute watching them watch him as he read his card.  (The little stinkers had picked it out themselves.)

I told him we are going hunting for a garage floor mat, something to support his legs and back when he is working out there. 

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You can check out more thankful hearts at the thankful hearts blog hop.  Just click on the button on the left side of my page.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Week 11/19/10



~On My Mind~

~ Thankful for...making the choice to homeschool!

~Much happier with the slower pace in our weekday activities.  The key?  Learning to say no without guilt!

~Really looking forward to the Advent season.  I love all the Advent ideas that mothers put online!

~Reminded daily how charming little pre-school boys can be...when they want to be :)

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Monday:
Mabel's baptism birthday.
Christmas pageant plans coming along nicely.

Tuesday:
Extra art activity...actually for Stan and Mabel but the big girls wanted to take part as well.





































Wednesday:
Little Flowers Club/Little Woman's Hospitality Club
Choir

Thursday:
Piano lessons are really moving along. 
Mass and Adoration.

Friday:
Field trip to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum...really, really cool! 

*Melissa, from another group in the DFW area, set this field trip up.  Job well done, Melissa! 

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Needing to keep this post short and sweet this week, I'll put the spotlight on...  

Religion:

We studied the about the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

We used some ideas from Waltzing Matilda.  She does a fabulous job drawing! 

When we study a saint in-depth, we also collect the holy card that goes with that particular saint.  The kids punch holes in them and put them on a key ring for safe keeping. 

We started doing this when the oldest ones were little and needed something to "play with" in church.







I now need to decide which two saints we will study up on for December. 

Do any of you have a favorite December saint....beside Saint Nicholas?!   (We "review" him each year. *grin*) 

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Please join in for more fun at Jen's Forever, For Always, No Matter What...


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