Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hitting the Books

My happy campers on the first day of school...

Putting up a brave front...

It really wasn't awful.  Mabel said she liked it this much....using her thumb and index finger to measure about one inch.

Curriculum for 2011-2012

Sally - 7th Grade

Art 7 for Young Catholics - Seton
English 7 for Young Catholics - Seton
History/ Catholic World Culture - Seton
Maps, Charts, & Graphs Level G - MCP
Math Saxon 8/7 - Saxon
Music - formal piano lessons
Reading Faith and Freedom Readers - Seton
Reading 7 for Young Catholics Comprehension & Thinking Skills - Seton
Historical Novels for book reports - The Singing Tree, by Kate Seredy and  Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle
Saints book reports - Saint Louis De Montfort, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt series from TAN books and second choice undecided at the moment.
Religion 7 for Young Catholics - Seton
Confirmation Preparation for Young Catholics - Seton
St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2
Bible History:  A Textbook of the Old and New Testaments by Marie Ignatz, TAN books
Science 7 - General Science - Apologia
Spelling 7 for Young Catholics - Seton
Vocabulary - Worldly Wise Book 4 - Hodkinson & Ornato, Educators Publishing Service, Inc.

Ester - 5th Grade

Art 5 for Young Catholics - Seton
English 5 for Young Catholics - Seton
History - America's Catholic Heritage - Seton
Maps, Charts & Graphs Level E - MCP
Math Saxon 5/4 - Saxon
Music - formal piano lessons
Phonics 5 for Young Catholics - Seton
Reading Faith and Freedom Readers - Seton
Reading 5 for Young Catholics Comprehension & Thinking Skills
Historical Novels for Book Reports - If All the Swords in England, by Barbara Willard and Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal, by Robert Reilly for Bethlehem Books
Saint Biographies for Book Reports - St. Catherine Leboure and the Miraculous Medal, by Alma Power-Waters for Ignatius Press and second one is still undecided at the moment.
Religion 5 for Young Catholics - Seton
New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1
Saint Joseph Concise Bible History - Catholic Book Publishing Company
Science - Zoology 1 - Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day - Apologia
Vocabulary 5 for Young Catholics - Seton

Mabel - Grade 3

ART 3 for Young Catholics - Seton
English 3 for Young Catholics - Seton
Handwriting 3 for Young Catholics - Seton
History - The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas - Seton
Maps, Charts, and Graphs Level C - MCP
Math 3 for Young Catholics - Seton
Music - formal piano lessons
Phonics - MCP Phonics C - MCP
Reading Faith and Freedom Readers - Seton
Reading 3 for Young Catholics - comprehension
Book Reports - St. Joseph Picture Books:  St. Therese of the Child Jesus, by Rev. Jude Winkler and St. Padre Pio, by Rev. Jude Winkler
Religion 3 for Young Catholics
Science - Exploring God's Creation - Geoffrey Garvey for Christian Liberty Press
Proper Manners and Health Habits - Rachel Burkholder for Rod and Staff Publishers
Spelling 3 for Young Catholics - Seton
Vocabulary - Worldy Wise Books A, B, C - Educators Publishing Service, Inc.

Stan - Kindergarten

Art - Will pick up here and there as we go.
Handwriting - Kindergarten Handwriting for Young Catholics - Seton
Math - Mathematics K for Young Catholics - Seton
Music - Will pick up as we go.
Phonics - Kindergarten Phonics for Young Catholics Parts 1 & 2 - Seton
Religion - Kindergarten Catechism for Young Catholics - Seton
Science - Will pick up as we go.


We called this week 1A - working on half of the subjects.  Next week is 1B - we will do the other half.  After that we will go full time.  

I have always started early and then I enjoy 2 weeks off at the end of each quarter.  I'm telling you, it is a break that I REALLY need!


I also picked up these two new faith books for the month of July...

A Peek Into My Church, written by Wendy Goody and Veronica Kelly - for Ordinary Time during the Church calendar year.

The Legend of Saint Christopher, written by Margaret Hodges - Feast day:  July 25.

Found all of these in Catholic Mosaic, written by Cay Gibson.


Oh, we still are enjoying our summer.  We've been checking off our bucket list and I'll write about that another time.

Wishing you all the best in this upcoming school year no matter where you go to school!!!

~ Patty  ~

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blueberry Yumminess

I posted this Creamy Blueberry Pie recipe last year, but without a picture of my own creation.

So here it is...fresh out of the oven!

It goes fast in our house!

Creamy Blueberry Pie

3 c fresh blueberries
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
1 c white sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c butter, softened

1.  Combine 1 c sugar, 1/3 c flour, and salt.  Add eggs and sour cream, stirring until blended.

2.  Place (thawed) blueberries in pastry shell, and spoon sour cream mixture over berries.

3.  In another bowl, combine 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c flour.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal.  Sprinkle this mixture over sour cream mixture and berries in the pie shell.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60-70 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Ovens variate.  I have used a pie crust protector shield in order to bake the pie longer.  If you don't have a protector, you can use small, rectangular pieces of tin foil to cover and protect the edges of the pie.

**Refrigerate left overs.**

I serve this warm with vanilla ice cream or chilled the next day.  Both ways are yummy!


~  Patty  ~

Friday, July 22, 2011

Schmorgasbord with Bling

And she thinks she has no bling.


1 Hello Kitty flashlight
1 angel dress costume tied up into a rockin' top
1 wig (on loan from a neighbor)

1 inner star unleashed - priceless


The kids made a quick, 2- act Star Wars skit for us way back on Father's Day.  Guess who Little Man was?

I thought that was pretty darn creative!


I had purchased these two books to read over our vacation.

I didn't read either of them!

Since we've been back, I have started  Dr. Meeker's.  I thought it would be a good one as we prepare for the upcoming school year.

Mamarazzi.  I swear the kids think I'm stalking them most of the time!  LOL



Took the kids to "lunch" the other day.   A celebration to kick off the first day of school on Monday.  Hell, when it's this hot, what else is there to do?!

Okay.  Not completely healthy.

Mine is on the bottom right - Belgium chocolate and New York cheesecake flavored yogurts with granola, yogurt chips and itty-bitty pieces of cheesecake sprinkled on top.

Yes.  It was very good!!!


New TLC show on Monday 9pm CST, Surprise Homecoming hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus.  What an amazing (and emotional) show honoring not just our troops arriving home but the families who sacrifice so much waiting on the home front for them!


David took me out for a delicious lunch to celebrate our anniversary.

(Picture - compliments of Ester.)

We arrived home to find a scrumptious chocolate cake cooling on the counter and smelling the house up in the most yummy way!

Candles and all!

They can drive us absolutely insane....but we love them to the moon and back!


Weather.  Okay.  I'm going to complain.  July and August are miserable for us like your January winter is for you all up in the Midwest. Darn right miserable.

This summer, the heat was bad by mid-June. 

Drought.  You may have heard what a horrible drought the state of Texas is in...the third worst drought in history (since record keeping started.)

Watching the weather report....

Cotton crops are ruined.  (Watch for the cotton prices to jump.)  Cattle are being sold.  (Beef prices will drop dramatically and then rise sharply do to a shortage.)

The only thing that will knock the drought/heat out...a tropical storm!  Yes, people are actually hoping for a tropical storm to hit Texas.


Stay cool.  Rock your weekend.  And don't your ice cream!  When I raise my spoon let's all charge for our freezers!

 (Spoon now raised :)

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Greatest Wedding Gift

That would have to be the gift of sacramental grace that David and I received 16 years ago tonight. 

I have to smile at this picture...two 26 year olds ready to conquer the world together.  We were so happy and still are!

Thanking God (not as often as we probably should) for His perfect gift! 

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.  You are my everything!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sausage Drop Biscuits

Wanting a warm, yummy breakfast?   These are new in our house and are they a hit!

Sausage Drop Biscuits

1 pound Bob Evans/ Jimmy Dean sausage, browned.  (I used the rolls).
3 c Bisquick baking mix
1 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
seasoning of your choice.  I used onion powder.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet until browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl; mix well.  Mix in sausage.  Shape dough into 2 inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot with butter, if desired.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  12 minutes
Ready in:  22 minutes
Servings:  28

**I used my big 2 tablespoon cookie dough scooper to form these.**

And for those who like to spice it is the Southwestern version.

1 pound Bob Evans/Jimmy Dean sausage, browned.
1 c chopped green onions
3 c Bisquick baking mix
1 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 c seeded, diced fresh or drained canned tomatoes
1 dash cayenne pepper

Same as above.


~  Patty  ~

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Last of It

The little BROWN truck.  Don't you just love it when it pulls up and stops in front of your house giving you the honk honk?

Yesterday, as I began writing this post, it came....and the moment was rather anti-climactic when we realized the school books had arrived.

Four kids scattered like mice.

Four boxes are still lined up in the foyer.

One adult brain immediately relapsed into vacation mode.  I have decided that those four boxes will remained closed until Monday.


And for those of you who don't mind reading about more vacation days....

Day 3

We swam.

We played.

And when we needed a break from the sun and heat...there were plenty of games to play indoors.

Little fingers usually have the advantage with Jenga, but she still lost.

We did feathers.

The latest craze in Texas...feather hair extensions.

From the mouth of Mabel::  Mom, we have no bling!!!  We are plain homeschooling girls!!

I almost choked when I heard her say that.  And she thinks she is plain?!

We passed a salon with a big purple and black sign that read... We Do Feathers.  I could only laugh as we pulled in.  Who in the world thinks of these things?!  And why don't I?!

After I saw and approved, it was agreed upon that these feathers would be purchased with their own "souvenir" money that they've been saving for months now.    (3 for $25)

Ester chose 3 :: blue, pink and a black/brown stripe.

Mabel went for the bright bling :: light pink, bright pink, and purple.

And Sally chose lime green, light pink, and a purple/black stripe.

The feathers stay in for 6-8 weeks.  They are crimped in with a micro bead.  You can swim with them in.  You can wash your hair with them in.  You can brush your hair with them in.

Really.  That easy.  Like I asked...why can't I ever think of these creative trends?

Fine Cuisine.

And this little bakery sucked us in when it claimed to be the oldest bakery in Texas...according to a sign in the window.

We tasted and tasted.  And it really was good.  But I have to tell you...their streudel had nothing on my mama's streudel.

Movie Nights

Imagine...  Cactus.  Palms. Agave plants.  Mighty, majestic live oaks.  A covered, back, lobby porch lined with wooden rocking chairs.  It screamed we dare you not relax!

Turning to the right would find you gazing upon a brick patio with wrought iron patio furniture nestled snug underneath those old, crooked but wise trees.  Oh the stories they could tell.  I'm sure!

That is where they held movie night each night starting at dusk.

Popcorn, water, and kool aid were on the house.

And if the beautiful evening breeze gave you a chill....they had you covered.  One soft blanket on each table.  A pretty smooth touch!

For those who might be bored waiting for the movie to start...

...don't worry about it. They thought of everything.  I'm telling you...this resort knew your needs before you even did.   

Day 4

Austin, TX.

I just threw it out there.  We could drive straight home....or....stop and take in a tour of our lovely capitol building.  

This capitol building is the only one in the country to have been built and paid for with land.   Texas is so big that 3.3 million acres was set aside up in the panhandle to use as payment for the building of the structure.

The builders took the land and turned it into the largest cattle ranch in the world.  The XIT Ranch.

The limestone to construct the building all came from land owned by the Texas government.

Debt-free.  (Doesn't that have a nice ring!)

Visitor Center

The Texas capitol building is almost 15 ft. taller than the U.S. capitol building.

House of Representatives Chamber

This flag you see hanging behind the Speaker's desk is the flag from the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto where Texas won its independence from Mexico.

Texas remained an independent country for 8 years!

The first (and third) President of the Republic of Texas was Sam Houston, who originally came from Tennessee.  He is also the only man in history to be Governor of two states:  Tennessee and Texas.

Driving Home

We always start and end are trip with prayers of safety and thanksgiving.  We are so grateful to have had this chance for amazing family time!  Our spirits are refreshed and renewed as we enter into the second half of 2011.

Praise God!

Hoping that you can still fit some fun family time into what is left of your summer!


~  Patty  ~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Permanent Vacation

Isn't it hard to switch gears after getting back from a vacation?  My brain and body always act as though they want to stay on a permanent one! A constant battle between reality and fantasy.

Late this afternoon, I looked around to find my kitchen in this state...

...and realized the trip was up.   You're home baby!  Lounging and laziness be gone.  (Sigh....)   This mess was just from breakfast and lunch.  In half hour, it was all cleaned up ...just in time for the dinner mess :)

Yet, another deep sigh....

Oh well.


Day 1 


Upon checking in.

David and I were like .... seriously?!   

Lemons.  Lemonade.  Lemons.  Lemonade.  The mantra kept running through my head.

The condo was great....stocked with all the old- fashioned board games one could want....what seemed like a library of books (for most ages)...and...if all else failed... a t.v. (gasp).

David and  Sally did some grocery shopping while the rest of us waited for the storm to pass.  And it did. Clouds broke way to the happy, yellow sun  (and lots of humidity.)  So we set out to explore.

Lizard Hunts

Making friends with the residents.

It was quite obvious that these beautiful residents have grown use to being fed by the locals.

The kids were hoping to coax the deer to drink water from their plastic cups.

They came pretty darn close to drinking that water!  I was impressed.  Then I  remembered the you tube video of the dog being attacked by these beautiful creatures gone mad when a baby fawn was in trouble.  And I saw baby fawn...make that fawns...right behind those trees!

I quickly reeled my own fawns back  to safety.


One of the pools was right outside our front door.  


This great, big, honking grill/smoker was set out on a picnic area right next to our pool.  So convenient!  My big treat for the entire trip...David prepared every meal (and we only ate out once)!  

So love him!


And this tennis court was right outside our back patio doors. 

Not too bad for a first day...traveling, rain, and all.


Day 2 


Words cannot express the fun our family enjoyed.  It had to have been one of the most unique experiences we ever had!

The Comal River is the shortest river in the world at 3miles long.  It is a natural spring fed river with crystal clear waters that hold steady at 72 degrees F.  And it felt so cool and refreshing.  This little river meanders its way through the town of New Braunsfel.  The ride itself is like a giant lazy river....with some deep and shallow areas alike.

We rented our tubes from Texas Tubes and set out on this grand adventure.

(We purchased a water camera for the tube trip.)

Because the trip was 3 hours long, some of us rented tubes that had bottoms.  We loaded up and set off.

It was so hot, sometimes they jumped out of their tubes to swim and cool off.  They loved it!

And if you look closely in the next photo you can see the beautiful Spanish Moss hanging from the branches of the trees.  It was such a beautiful setting.

This next photo is of Ester getting ready to go down the Chute.  The Chute is a man-made diversion to an otherwise, fairly steep waterfall.

I tried to snap a quick photo of it as Mabel and I came out.  It really reminded me of a winding tube ride at a waterpark.

A couple of the kids were scared since we were split controlling it really.  Two of the kids' tubes got stuck in a 2 ft deep whirlpool and they had to wait until David could climb out, walk over, and help them out.  I was clinging to a pole keeping an eye on them.  I couldn't move because of the currents.  It really wasn't "dangerous" just scary for the two who were stuck.

So we continued on and went down to "softer" sets of falls.  Someone with a very loud voice shouted out "Snake!" once.  But once is probably one too many times for most of us.  

One of the kids snapped this of David and myself and a blur.

After we got off at the "exit", an old school bus that was pulling a huge trailer (for the tubes) picked us up and delivered us back to the starting point.  

It was so! much! fun!

We ate a really, really late lunch at a wonderful BBQ joint.  Ate enough that it carried us through dinner as well.

You can only imagine how easy going to bed was that night!

~  Patty  ~


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