Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

May you safely ring in the new year, and may God abundantly bless your 2013!

Happy New Year!

~ Patty  ~

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Photo New Year's Project


I LOVE my photos.  As my friend, Tiffany, said, "They are my only valuables." (Things not humans :)

I could not agree more!

A few years ago, I received a digital photo frame for Christmas.  (I was running out of space to put photo albums.)

Well, we have SO enjoyed looking at all the "current" photos on the frame that I decided to scan the previous years...upload to a USB thumb drive...and watch them on the digital frame as well.

To be quite honest,  I found myself getting upset when I found the old photo albums strewn around with pages ripped out or pictures missing.  Am I the only one who does that?

This solved that problem as well.

The further back I got in years, I realized that maybe, just maybe, my children would appreciate their own USB thumb drives, with all of these photos on them, when they are grown adults.

I must admit that this project is more off than on.  I usually start it back up this time every year. (My new year's project :)   I just now finished the year 1999.  That's a LOT of photos folks!

The first one is the only time-consuming one.  Now I just have to copy everything from one to another and so on until I have five USB thumb drives.  (I purchased my USB thumb drives - bulk - at Sam's Club.)

Definitely an act of love, but I'm pretty sure that they'll enjoy them when they are adults :)

Merry  Christmas!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cherished Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas, everyone!  What a beautiful time of the year!

Even with little Clementine being ushered to the doctor's office on Christmas Eve morning....RSV.

We were able to keep an eye on her at home, not the hospital, and we were all together.

On top of that, I had volunteered to help out with the Christmas pageant this year.  It was AWESOME to work with the Jr. High and Sr. High kids from church!

I was able to get a shot of part of the cast from the Christmas pageant gathered around the baptismal font.

Going with the flow, I took the older girls to the children's Mass while David stayed home with the Stan and little Clementine.

Sally set the dining room table with our collection of Christmas dishes.  (Each child, when old enough, gets to pick out their own.  A fun tradition!!)

And I highly recommend track #5 - Joy to the World, George Straight.  Mmmm....Mmmmm!

This year, we decided against putting up the big, family Christmas tree.  We thought it would be safer for Miss Clementine after she pulled the wooden high chair over on herself!

But Santa still came. He filled the stockings and delivered gifts to  the kids' tree (which is smaller and upstairs :)

Miss Clementine wasn't too sure what to make out of her first-ever, M&M candy cane.  Check out the horrible spit rash on her cheeks!

She was SO congested and the virus produces a LOT of mucus.  Ugh!  She had about three sleepless nights.

And here's a great shot of  the handsome men in my life!

They headed out to Mass Christmas the thunderstorm that had been going on for hours and north Texas some badly needed rain.

Now, isn't this one of the cutest toy stackers you have ever seen?!

Santa brought this Fun on the Farm animal toy stacker for Miss Clementine.  She loves it!  (Santa didn't pay that price though:)

Remember that thunderstorm I mentioned above?

Well, it turned into big, wet snowflakes!

A VERY special site for these Texans!

There is a 0% probability for Dallas to experience a white Christmas of 1", 5" or 10+" of snow!!

And then that snow started to stick and accumulate.

My Texans were snow bound!

Stan wanted back in after being out only 30 seconds.  I told him no took 30 minutes to get him dressed!

And those three snowmen?

That's a rare site in our area, too.  I took the picture this morning.  Sooo cute!

As I type this post, the kids have been outside ALL!  DAY!  LONG! in the snow.  It's been just David, baby, and myself inside.  David asked, "Is this what's it like to have one kid?"  LOL

Everybody's happy :)

And Miss Clementine?

Though she doesn't look too happy here, she is starting to feel better.  She has an appetite today (a very good thing) and only woke up once last night.  She still wheezes and chokes on mucus as soon as she exerts any energy, but she is improving.

Can you believe she is 11 months old today?  I find myself saying, "No way!"

And now a hear voices coming to the door.  Need to hop off here and help take care of all the wet, snowy clothes.  I just LOVE the rosy, red cheeks!

Merry Christmas!  May you all enjoy the peace and joy of this beautiful season!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas blessings
from our family to yours!


So in the midst of our week long travel up to Illinois last month, I had the hair brain idea to throw a family picture into the mix.

I brought my tri-pod and set the camera, just needing someone to snap the picture.

I begged them to be nice to their mom and just smile for the camera.

I  told them I didn't care if the shirts were tucked in or how they were standing...just smile, for Pete's sake...that's all I was asking for...a simple smile.

We were sleep deprived...Ester was very sick with some upper respiratory infection...Stan decided to slide on his knees in the wet grass on the way to the pasture...Mabel just finished crying after baby sister pulled out a chunk of hair.

But they smiled.

And I was happy.

One for the annual Christmas frames I put up each year.

Advent blessings!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Delivering Christmas Cookies

So easy!

Start with this ~

That is an empty can of Pringles, by the way.

Measure the card stock, cut it & glue it on the can.  Finish off decorating with some Christmas stickers.

Waa laa ~

We just need to add the Christmas cookies, and they will be ready for delivery!

Thank you, Pinterest!  Another kid-friendly, festive idea.

Advent blessings ~


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Few More Worth Mentioning


I forgot all about this Advent book.  It is actually a Jesse Tree Advent book - Seek and Find style.

Stan LOVES this book.  Each morning brings us to a new picture to find and a short, simple, age-appropriate explanation.

I believe we received it as a gift from one of the kids' godmothers.

This next one is an all-time favorite in our house.

It was a gift from Grammy to one of the older girls many years ago.  It is still available on Amazon.

When you open the book, light and sounds come on (instrumental to O Little Town of Bethlehem.)  The kids LOVE this one.  And they don't care how old they are!

This last book I just ordered for Miss Clementine.

Grammy and Poppy had given one to both Sally and Ester when they were just babes.  Clementine LOVES to look them so I searched on Amazon and found it there.  (As well as a variety of others.)

Each page depicts your little one in another Christmas setting.  Here's the last two pages ...

I just love Christmas books, don't you?

Advent Blessings ~


Monday, December 17, 2012

How Do You Display Your Christmas Cards?

I usually tape them to the closet doors, but this year I saw a different way to display on .... yup, Pinterest.

Clothes pin them to ribbon you taped on  cupboard doors (or in my case, closet door.)  I found a bag of wooden clothes pins at Walmart for under $1.

As I type this, it is Saturday, December 15, and I still haven't ordered mine.  With baby, everything is taking longer this year :)

Don't you just enjoy receiving your Christmas cards in the mail?

Advent blessings ~


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tippy Toes

Clementine.  She loves to push empty clothes baskets.

But we need to stay close to her since she picks up speed and  loses control on the wood and tile floors.

Oh, and she is a toe walker.  I've never had a toe walker before.

And this is what happens when we take the basket away ~

So we decided to let Clementine open up an early Christmas gift.  While Daddy put it together,  I got her ready for a bath and pj's.

But she grew distracted and wanted to push her walker instead.

(She sure knows how to strut her gut, doesn't she?!)

Finally in pj's, she was able to play with her new toy ~

A new doll stroller - walker. :)

She seems happy to be pushing it.

The other night I opened the dishwasher and turned to grab a dish.  When I turned back, someone decided she was going to help ~

She is standing ON the dishwasher door that is opened.  She really wanted that dirty, red cup!

This child has brought so! much! joy! to our house.  I still find myself in a surreal state of mind every now and then as I cuddle, bath, or clothe this precious infant.

And her siblings?  Simply put, they are madly in love with her :)

Advent Blessings ~


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Lights

Today is the feast of St. Lucy.

Her name means "light".  On the evening of December 13, we get into the van and drive around looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights.

How fun to schedule this same night each year on the calendar.  It's an automatic and there is no stress added to the Advent season by doing it.

(The original idea came from Jen over at Forever, For Always, No Matter What.)

We enjoy a pizza & salad dinner and end with a couple of books about St. Lucy and children in Sweden ~

I'm posting this early just in case any of you decide to see the lights tonight.  A great tradition to start!

Advent blessings ~


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe

(A picture I took from inside our church  2011.)

A beautiful feast day to celebrate the Patroness of the Americas and Protectress of the Unborn!

We kept it rather low key, feasting on some yummy tortilla soup (from the Vitamix) and sitting back to read a couple of books honoring Our Lady's feast day ~

and our newest addition

Advent blessings ~


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hair Color # and Name

Gosh!  First, thanks for the kind comments!

 I told my husband what many of you thought of his abilities and he grinned quite proudly :)

Because you inquired through comments, texts, or emails...

I went to Sally's Beauty Supply (a first for me) and asked the gals there to match me up.

Next, they lead me down to the "maturing" hair isle.  I purchased these ::

I spent I believe $14 on these two items as well as a brush and dish (both reusable).  I used all of the red boxed item (2 oz) and half of the 20 Volume (it was 4 oz).  1:1 ratio.  Husband painted.  And then I sat for 35 minutes.  It was a smidge darker than what I naturally am, but after a couple of washes it toned down and now is quite natural looking.

My thoughts on the product::

It's been almost one week - about 5 washes.  No grey hairs re-appearing so far.

Note: I had my niece colored my hair last May with a drug store brand (can't remember which one but it was a popular name) and the grays appeared one day later.  I was so disappointed.  (My niece colored according to the directions.)

The box on this brand said it should last up to six weeks.  I'll let you know.

Advent blessings~


Monday, December 10, 2012

I Was SO Desperate!

I wanted my gray hairs covered for some time.  Heck, since last summer I was shooting for Thanksgiving!

Never happend.

What was I thinking?  I mean, five months was not enough time, obviously.

So when I was sick and feeling gross last week, I grew desperate enough that I asked my husband to do it.  (Gasp!)

Now, I'm not quite sure what that says about either of us (insert laugh out loud), but we definitely had a new bonding experience!

Picture ::

Kids in bed.  I'm sitting at the kitchen table with my hot tea and honey.  Hubs has rubber gloves on painting my hair.  We are both watching the movie Bernie (which I recommend for you adults out there) on his laptop.

I happen to think he did a pretty darn good job ~

He brought out my beauty and I brought out his...ahhh...creative side  (Insert snapping Z).

Advent blessings ~


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sugar & Cinnamon

Our snack on the feast of St. Juan Diego ::

Found these at Target in the holiday food section.  (Had them last year and we really enjoyed them!)

ME:: Stan, do you remember whose feast day it is today?

Stan::  Yup.  San Diego's!

A taco dinner and a viewing of Juan Diego, Messenger of Guadalupe to celebrate his feast day ::

Keeping things simple around here since we have been battling some horrible, horrible respiratory virus for the past three months.  Some of the kids have been hit with round 2 & 3 of this thing.  It hit me hard as soon as we came back from our week up in Illinois.

I've run out of patience - completely.  I'm sick of my household being sick!  Praying that the tail end of it is finally here.  (Sorry for the vent.)

The best thing I did was to cancel or decline RSVP's to all Advent & Christmas homeschool celebrations for the entire month of December (except for one or two that I had already promised the kids.)

Enjoying the quiet now of this beautiful Advent season.

P.S.  For those who wanted to know... I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Advent and Christmas with Fulton Sheen!  Highly recommend this one in the series :)

Advent blessings~


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Texas Bling

In honor of the feast of St. Nick...

Hoping all your feast day celebrations were joy-filled today!

St. Nick left signs of his visit...

Gold coins and a chocolate santa, books for the younger three, and new Christmas movies for the older two.

Titles from left to right ::  Homecoming (The original that kicked off The Walton's T.V. series), The House Without A Christmas Tree, Christmas Day in the Morning, The Miracle of Saint Nicholas, and Christmas Peek-a-boo!

We started the day with blueberry pancakes and fresh Cutie oranges.  The kids had some fun arts and crafts to work with, and then we had our traditional candy cane coffee cake snack.

But....this year, it didn't look as good.

So we quickly spun the platter around to call it something else...

St. Nick Stocking!  (It still tasted awesome!)  By the way, the recipe for this is posted at the top of the page under holiday recipes.

The hot cocoa?  Yup, they still wanted it even though it was in the low 70's.  

That little chocolate-coated peppermint stick you see in the picture above?  I buy a pack of these each year at Hobby Lobby...

They are so yummy and just add that special touch. 

One of the best parts of our St. Nick celebration each year is our day is a No School day.  Home schoolers usually don't get snow days or bad weather days.  So, we take what we can get!

Advent Blessings~


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Candy Cane Mantel

Remember when I mentioned that I was tired of my old, worn out decorations and  that I was going to plan a red & white theme this year?

The following is something similar I saw this past fall that started my wheels turning ....

Isn't it sweet?!

No more heavy, chunky stocking holders on our mantel while we have little ones in the house.  Last Christmas morning, a sweet, little neighbor boy ended up in the ER getting his head stitched up after having one fall down and clock him in the head.  His scar gave me a better appreciation for my husband's warnings from previous years...."They are going to kill somebody!"

Okay.  I'm going to "use the P. word" as my friend Tiffany commented a bit back (and had me laughing out loud)... Another Pinterest idea.

The original idea suggested using them to dress up a plain window.  I just switched the focus onto our mantel.

I found the large, shatter proof ornaments at Hobby Lobby (six pack for $11.00 then had a 50% off coupon) and the ribbon came from there as well.  ($1.50 for the sale price on ribbon.)  I recycled my old garland from outside, and the hooks to hold up the garland came from the garage.  So this whole project came in under $10!!

Ummm...can you tell how much I was shooting for "simple" in my decorations this year?

Oh!  And our stockings?  We will hang them on the staircase banister with care this year :)

Advent blessings~



Monday, December 3, 2012

It Came!

I ordered it late, but it came in the mail  Saturday afternoon, just in time for the start of Advent.

I love this series of Advent and Christmas with ....  Many of you have read them yourselves.  They are a beautiful, prayerful way to begin your day during this blessed season of Advent.

Advent blessings~



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