Saturday, October 29, 2011

Celebrating Her

The night before her birthday, I wanted to document how tall our 12 year old girl has grown....

(and I am 5'5)

We celebrated with an early morning birthday breakfast at IHOP.  (Love! Love! Love! Blueberry pancakes right now.)

The girls had allowance to spend at American Girl.  Amazing how easy it is to spend $$ while looking through an American Girl magazine.

How amazingly different it is to walk into that store with your hard earned allowance.   Money only goes so far you know, especially in that store :)

After swim practice that night, we celebrated with cupcakes and ice cream....

Sally picked out red velvet in honor of the Texas Rangers and her favorite color is pink.  

I had decided to spruce them up by picking up black cupcake holders at Hobby Lobby, pink and black ribbon to cut and hot glue on, and finally top it off with sprinkled pink sugar.

These were super easy to frost.  I've seen the idea oodles of times in magazines and decided to finally give it a whirl.  You simply take a large ziplock bag, cut a bottom corner out, place your frosting inside and waa-laa....a perfect piping instrument!

Since this is her big party year, (which I talked about our traditions here), she asked if she could have a slumber party.  It was to be our first in this house.

And it was a truly girly-girl, tween, toe-polishing, movie-watching night, kind-of- slumber party!

Invitations~  evite.  She picked out this one.

Paper products~ Party City had plenty to choose from.

 Activities and Games~   While the girls painted toes they played "Let's Talk," a conversation game I picked up at American Girl.  It has questions like...

You hear a bump in the night.  What do you do?

Thank You Gifts~  Instead of loot bags or thank you cards we decided to do something extra special.

Sally picked out rosary bracelets for the girls to take home.  Aren't they pretty?

For local DFW friends, I picked them up at the new Catholic gift store in Plano...Two Hearts.  Those are the pretty colors they came in.  

She packaged them up ...

We picked up those bags, tissue wrap, and tags at Hobby Lobby.  I'm telling you, they have great paper products at that store!

Entertainment~  the girls watched the movie Soul Surfer.  Awesome!

Dessert~  (My favorite meal)  A yummy "Texas Wildflower" themed cake from our favorite cake place, Central Market.

(It was a double layer with raspberry good!)

Sally loves the Texas wildflowers down here, particularly the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.

(Springtime 2010)

I had to take a picture of the sleeping beauties with their sleeping masks.  (Crocheted sleeping masks!)

Take a close look at Stan in that photo.

Do not concern yourself over the fact that he was the only boy there.  He soaked up all the attention!!

This morning David and I made a huge breakfast for the guests.  We had pancakes, sausage, eggs, toast, OJ and milk on the menu.  They feasted!

After the guests left I was able to reflect on how God had lead us to an amazing home school group filled with so many amazing families when we moved to Texas.    God is good.  All the time.  The parents of these girls are doing such an amazing job raising beautiful, young ladies inside and out.  We really are blessed!

Oh!  And those Rangers?  Shoot!  We never did watch the game.  I realized, and mourned the fact, that after game 6 that they may not win it all.  But!  They are still #1 in our hearts.

Why do we love them?  Because they are a different group of ballplayers.  They aren't a bunch of show offs out for the big $$$ like so many big teams are.  They are just a group of good ole' boys just fixin'  (as they say in Texas) to play a good game of ball.  They love the sport for the sport.

Now for a quiet rest of the weekend...

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Wishes

I'm writing this post tonight reflecting on what tomorrow brings...Sally's 12th birthday. 

 I am not sure what to think...sometimes these "night before" moments can be somewhat bittersweet.  At one moment, I am amazed at the person they are growing into and yet, at the same time a small piece of my heart aches knowing that time continues to march on and seems to be just fleeting.

If I could give one piece of advice to new mothers it would be to hold on.  Grasp.  Enjoy...even the hard times.  Don't wish away what you cannot retrieve.

She has one wish, and that is for the Texas Rangers to win the World Series tomorrow night... on her birthday.  Wow!  How I wish I could give you that gift!  

I'll be wishing upon every star I see tonight and saying an extra prayer as well!

Happy birthday and may all your wishes come true tomorrow!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pictures Words and Music in Texas

Whenever the Texas Rangers win at home, the song I Like Texas (by Pat Green) is played loud and now throughout the stadium.    Thank God they played it last night...hoping for it tonight as well!

(This is the only version I could find on Playlist.  The non-live version is so much better.)


Yesterday afternoon...

I sat outside in my lawn chair with camera in hand, hanging with the littles...

Title:  Rangers Fan

(Chalk art by Sally)

Title:  Fire Ant

(Chalk art by Stan.  Notice the stinger in the behind?!)

Title:  A Meeting of the Minds

(5 out of 7 homes on our side of the road are full of children who love to play outside!)

Title:  Good Old Fashioned Fun

(Mabel playing hopscotch.)

Title:  Rangers' Baseball Player

...for clarification I pointed out the obvious (wink)

Remembering to be still and enjoying life from a child's perspective.  Have a blessed week!

Go Rangers!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How Are Things With You?

And the time just keeps marching ahead.  I was looking at the calendar and realized that Advent season will be here sooner than we know it!

Check ups and TB tests~

*Had my latest thyroid test done.  Forgot to call for results.  (My doctor's office is horrible about getting back with results!)

*Mabel and Stan went in for their yearly check ups.  All is well.

*Stan needed to have a TB test.  (Came back negative.)  The only criteria that I answered yes to was that he was born in Asia.  The little guy watched as the nurse stuck a needle into his forearm and he never even winced.  One, tough little man!

Apparently, there has been a TB outbreak in and around the DFW area.

Hobby Lobby~

*Saw these...

and decided to pick them up.  Good to know that I will have them ready for the Advent wreath.

I also picked up these beautiful paper products for when I host moms' night out in November...

Hobby Lobby always carries the most beautiful paper products!  They were 40% off last week.  

Since all the Thanksgiving decorations were 40% as well, I picked up these...

Cute salt and pepper shakers for a cute sale price!


*My mother-in-law will turn 80 this Tuesday.  She is an amazing woman!  We miss living closer where we could visit more often.

(Picture is from my September trip home.)

*Sally will turn 12 on Wednesday.  Still cannot believe that!  This is her big party year so we agreed that she could have a sleep over.  Seven (tweens)  girlfriends will be camping out on our living room floor next Friday!

We've been working on her party plans and the excitement is building :)


Since I cannot afford the $4 pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, I was told about this...

Very yummy and affordable!

"Honey Do" List~

Running your own business...being the sole provider, the breadwinner...never feeling comfortable just sitting around...well, I saw the need for a list of things that had been neglected around the house.  

1.  Fence.  Ugh!  Most subdivisions down here have these fenced in yards.  No biggie except they put in the crappiest fences that you can imagine.  

Not even a treated lumber post!!!  

Texas sun and heat...sprinkler systems...Texas winds...= ROT...big time!

Our fence is four years old and three 8' panel section have rotted and blown down over the past six months.  Oh, David fixed them, but it really is only temporary.  

So...He has power washed...repaired all the rotted sections...and now is waiting for the rain to stop so he can restain and seal the fence.   Truly hoping this can buy us another four years at which time we need to buy a new fence.

2.  Shrubs.  Sally trimmed the front ones.  David pulled out the dead ones that were lost in the heat this past summer.

3.  Carpets.  It was our dream to start replacing the carpet with hard wood flooring this year.  

Then life happened (sigh....)

With my miscarriage and surgery last winter we incurred some big medical bills.  Now we are preparing for even bigger ones when I have surgery in January.

So...He was able to clean all the carpets downstairs today.  (Four rooms).  He needs to hit the upstairs...hopefully by the holidays.

And the "Honey Do"  list goes on...

Reading & Halloween~
Preparing with easy-peasy costumes this year and planning on reading these with the littles...

All Hallows Eve...(Oct. 31)

All Saints Day...(Nov. 1)

and for All Souls Day...(Nov. 2)

(I found all the books in  Catholic Mosaic.)

Currently, I am reading this to Ester, Mabel and Stan...

LOVE it!!  We read 1-2 chapters each night.  It is amazing how well the littles "get" it. 

Mabel has received it as a birthday gift from a friend and we were finally able to start it last week.  A beautiful gift!

The Rangers are going to put me into labor one of these games!   Ugh...David told me I get too emotional.  ;(

Well, Stan is standing next to me asking if I can go outside with him.  Can't resist his sweet face!  May you all enjoy what is left of your weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, October 21, 2011

Korean Dish

Maple Syrup Korean Teriyaki Chicken

I originally copied this  very yummy  recipe from Jen.

A little tweaking...
Since we grill year round down here in Texas, Igrill my chicken breasts instead of broiling them.   The original recipe calls for brown rice (non-instant).  To cut back on time, I just use instant brown rice. Finally, I double the ingredients to feed my family. (The recipe below is a serving for 5.)

Marinate time:  2 hours
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Ready in: 2 Hours 35 minutes
Servings: 5


1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons of dark sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed  (I just pour some garlic powder in to taste.)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root (I use the ground ginger root)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons of cornstarch (I use 1 tablespoon so it isn't as thick.)


1.  Mix the soy sauce, 1 cup water, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag.  Set aside 1/3 cup of the mixture.

2.  Place the chicken in the bag, seal, and marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

3. Grill chicken breasts.  Use the 1/3 cup of reserved mixture to marinate chicken while grilling.   Bagged not discard.  You will need it to make the sauce.

4.  While chicken is grilling, prepare the brown rice according to directions on package.

5.  Pour marinade from the bag into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Mix in the cornstarch and cook and stir until thickened.

I serve the chicken and sauce over the rice with a vegetable on the side.

This is makes a warm and delicious meal.  Thanks, Jen!


~  Patty ~

Homemade Caramel Corn

(This recipe is my mother in law's and now David makes it for us as a special treat.)

Caramel Corn


7 1/2 -8 quarts popped corn  (Enough to fill a large roaster)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda


1.  Bring to boil the sugar, syrup, butter.  Continue to boil for 3 minutes.
2.  Add baking soda and salt.  Be will foam.
3.  Pour mixture on popped corn in a roaster and stir to coat.  Work quickly.
4.  Bake 1 hour in 200 degree F. oven stirring every 15 minutes.


~ Patty ~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Emotional Attachments

In your children's baby clothes.

I remember the day when I finally broke down and decided that the bins upon bins of baby clothes, (particularly girl baby clothes) needed to go.  We thought, for reasons out of our control, that we would never birth another child into this world and we were going to be moving to Texas which meant no storage space for them.

Since I was never one of those moms who eagerly waited to give away their child's outgrown clothes, it was a one of the hardest decisions that I had to make.  But reflecting on words of wisdom from my good friend Deena, I managed (barely) to get through the process.  "What goes around comes around."

No.  No garage sale for these treasures.  Gosh, every time I held up an item and thought of putting a price tag on it, I saw a child of mine, on a particular day, back when they were toddling around.  Too painful to watch any Tom, Dick or Harry rifling through my memories during a garage sale.

No.  I needed to do something special with them. Something that would be therapeutic for me.

I decided that I didn't want money for them.  Instead, I wanted to give them to someone who would really appreciate them.  And I found her.

A sister to another friend of mine was going through a long and painful adoption journey through China.  Their journey had many ups and downs.  They were in their early 40's with no other children and were trying to be so patient.

They were waiting for their daughter and I knew right away how to ease the pain a little bit.  I would give her all of our infant-toddler girl clothes.  I would give her something to hold as well as a bit of excitement.

I lived in Illinois and she lived in Virginia so I dropped the clothes off at her sister's house (my friend) who went ahead and shipped them to Virginia.

The day I dropped them off I came home and had a panic attack.  What had I just done?!  I cannot tell you how sick and sad I felt.  It was a closure that I did not want...a closure that did not feel good.

I wanted to get in my van and drive across town, run up her front porch steps and break the door down in order to retrieve the lost memories.  But I didn't.

In time, the pain eased.  Our attention was focused on moving and that process kept me quite busy.  And I know for a fact that the gift of those clothes was truly appreciated.

Oh...I did keep some of my absolute favorites.  Actually, I still do!  I have one large, Rubbermaid trash can chuck full of "my favorites" that I will never depart with.  I dream of passing them down to grandchildren someday.

Do I wish I had them now?  Oh, it would be nice, but why fret over it?  What's done is done.  Besides, I am beginning to seriously think we are having a boy.

No.  We do not know the gender of Baby Joy.  I'm just thinking it because I still throw up every once in awhile (stopped vomiting by week 14 with the girls) and get this... I crave beer!  Beer and salad! LOL Isn't that crazy?!

I never realized that motherhood would be painful in so many ways.  Letting go and watching them grow.  I don't like it.  But then I need to remember, they are a gift to us...only on loan to us from Him.  That makes me very happy.

~  Patty  ~

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chit Chat

Baseball bets...

With the Rangers' win, our friends in Michigan held true to their word.  The boys may be embarrassed by having to wear toenail polish, but I told them that a real man keeps his word.   (By the way, boys, take it off as soon as you want too!)

Thanks for being good sports!


Words of wisdom...on material things and respect.

I have always preached to my kids to NOT climb, jump nor eat on furniture.  Oh, I know it is fun...I know kids will be kids...I know I am a mean mom...but you know what?  Tough.

This wisdom-filled mom of seven wrote a post this past summer that put my thoughts into words.  You can find it here.

Now I don't want to get anyone fired up or mad at me.  And if your opinion differs than mine...that's okay.  But just for the post.  It comes from the "owner's" perspective and how it teaches kids "respect" in another light.

Since my Littles are not angels, I read them that post and pointed out that I am not the only "unreasonable" mother on the face of the earth :)


Words of wisdom...on adoption...specifically those who think adoption is cruelty to children.  (Yes, you read that right!  Insane, isn't it.)

From the same amazing mom, read this post.



Keeping things quiet on the home front.  I like quiet days, don't you?

~  Patty  ~

Friday, October 14, 2011

How Was Your Week?

Greeting Friday with a great big hug.


Oh! The power these yield!

Stan miraculously knows his alphabet and sounds if he is promised one or two of these!


Bobbin' for apples.

What else is there to do when you still have warm, gorgeous weather but the pool is closed?



You are about to see my preggo picture.

About 22-23 weeks here.

Not complaining but I have to admit, this has been a lot harder at the age of 42.

All worth it though :)

I use to take a monthly photo of my tummy for the kids' baby albums.  Just remembered to do it for Baby Joy's album.

David quoted Dr. Ray, "By the fifth child you take two photos:  one at birth and one at their wedding!"



We recognized the fifth anniversary of my father's death this past week.

(This photo was taken three months before his death.  He was in remission for only one month at the time of this photo.)


My mother could not have said it any better..."Tears are a healing balm."


Little Flowers and Little Women.  I was able to relax since I did not have to teach it this month.


Blue Knights.

David is in charge of the month of October.  He has planned a camp out for tonight!

He has done all the prep work for this.  (And I know he is enjoying it!)

Their craft project is The Helmet of Hope...check out Stan wearing the prototype!

Aren't they cute?!

The "knights" can paint them or put stickers on them when they get home.

They'll be leaving shortly here.  (6) dads and (6) six year old boys.   Wish I were a fly on the wall of a tent tonight (Hee hee!)


Baseball.  These games are wearing me out!  Too nerve wracking for us all.

Game #5::  Saturday at Rangers Ballpark 7:05pm CST.


Finally finished a book.

Loved this!

Dr. Meeker could publish a hand book just on Chapter 8, Find Ways to Live Simply.

I do not know one mother who could not use this book, simply for that chapter alone.

I've started this other one on the right...

Hopefully by all the simplifying I've been doing with my life I will have time for solitude and be able to work on my photography some more.


Sally made a warm batch of brownies this afternoon and my kitchen is smelling soooo good right now.  I'm thinking brownies with a dollop of ice cream.

Have a restful and blessed weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Win Some...Lose Some

Little Cowboy's new look.

By the way, the tooth was an unwilling victim.  Stan decided to use his teeth to pull the stem off of an apple.  (I think he was confusing it for the stems on marechiaros cherries).

Mom:  I bet you won't do that again, huh?

Stan:  Nope!

(We'll see.)


Rangers VS Tigers

Rangers are ahead in the series 3-2.  I told the kids that the Rangers need to win it in Texas!  (Although, it would have been nice if they would have clinched the championship tonight.  Drat!)


Little Cowboy never learn...

Fire ants love his blood.

(Notice his right ear?)

My poor baby :(               Don't you just love that picture?    So pathetic.

Me:  Stan, why do you play with the fire ants?!

Stan:  I wasn't playing with them.  I was trying to kill them.

(Stan, I think you lost that battle.)

For the people up north...yes, fire ants do sting down here.    Thank God for benedryl!

While eating dinner...and looking at Stan...

I ask...

Me:  David, who does he remind me of now?

David:  Alfred E. Newman.

We have begged, pleaded, warned (and warned again)...Stan, do NOT play with fire ants.  He never learns.

(We treat our yard, but not all the people around us do.  Fire ants will find Stan anywhere!!)

Now to put my little cowboy to the song says, "....his heart is a feather in all kinds of weather."

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Friendly Wager

In case you haven't heard, the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers are playing each other in the American League Championship Series.

(Winner heads to the World Series against the winner of the St. Louis or Milwaukee match-up.)

We have some good Bloggy friends who live up in Michigan and are big Detroit Tigers' fans.

We happen to be big Rangers' fans ourselves.

Their cute kids wanted to engage our kids in a friendly wager.  Ha ha!  Game on!

If the Tigers of our kids has to dress up as a lion for Halloween.

(Mabel gets her out of wearing a hand-me-down costume! )

If  When  the Rangers win, their son Jacob agrees to wear toe nail the Rangers' colors.

Monday afternoon game time:  3:19 pm CST

Hopefully they'll be able to play their game #2 tomorrow.  Texas is finally getting some much needed rain!

Go Rangers!

~  Patty  ~


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