Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Rosary Potluck

The Holy Rosary.  

The prayers which it is made up of are a review of what our Lord did and suffered for us.

In these prayers, (all scriptural based),  we find ourselves drawn to practicing the virtues necessary for obtaining eternal happiness.


 (Stan's rosary)

The reflection of the examples Jesus and Mary encountered, encourages us to imitate them even in our trials.

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The entire month of October, especially the first Sunday, is devoted to honor the mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious) of the Holy Rosary.

Where tonight is only September 30, about 1/3 of our homeschool families were able to gather for an evening of awesome prayer, witness of faith, abundant grace, followed by delicious food and fun :)

A wonderful way to wake up to October tomorrow morning...the month that is dedicated to the Holy Rosary!!

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There were 60 of us there tonight.  One family hosted and the father lead the rosary.  It was so powerful to see children as little as Clementine being part of the devotion.   (Clementine has a baby rosary which she loves to chew on in Mass :)

Afterward, we sent the kids (age: infant to High School ) out to play.  The rain had stopped and the sun was shining brightly.

The parents actually jumped in line before the kids came in and ate first....as one dad said..."just like on an airplane when they ask the parent to put their own air mask on first!"

We were all asked to bring a casserole of some kind and a dessert to share.

I brought my Shredded Turkey Breast sandwiches and Scotch-A-Roos.  These two are SO easy to make and you can roast the turkey breast the day before!


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My kids were thrilled beyond thrilled on the drive home this evening.

Ester said, "That was the best potluck ever....and the first!"

I am filled with so much peace and joy right now.  I realize just how blessed my family is to be part of, to be so close to such an amazing group of Catholic families!

We are all so blessed to have the Holy Rosary, "the remedy to all evils, the root of all our blessings."  ~ Pope Leo XIII

P.S.  Make sure you stop over at www.catholicbloggersnetwork.com throughout the month of October.  I'm sure you will find some great arts & craft projects on the Holy Rosary, homeschool posts, readings & reflections, Catechism & Apologetics to name a few...

~  Patty  ~


Saturday, September 29, 2012

In Real Life (IRL) Blog Friends


(Photo credit:  Sally )

Tiffany is one of my heroes and writes the most amazing posts on her blog, Family at the Foot of the Cross.  She always helps me turn my sour thoughts into God thoughts!

I first met Tiffany IRL last year when she was in Dallas touring the UD campus with her son.

This weekend, she flew in for parent's weekend, and had time on Friday to hang out with my kids and I while her son was in class.

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Wanting to treat her to a place that was unique to the area, Sally insisted we take her to Esparza's in Grapevine, Texas.

(Photo credit:  Waiter at Esparza's ...see him in the mirror? :)

We LOVE that place and introduced her to stuffed, deep fried avocado!   They are so good!!!

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We had that photo taken with Tiffany's camera.

I had left my camera locked in the van....as well as keys!!

Oh boy!  We had to wait for two hours before the service man appeared, it rained, the 4 older kids were starting to climb the walls and fences....literally... and I could feel the tension in my back tighten.

David was clear on the other side of the *Metro working and would be no help, and the service man was suppose to "be there within 45 minutes or less."

It could have been worse ::

We had great company and the chance to really visit, the rain was actually refreshing, the baby was a perfect angel, and  I had the diaper bag with all of Clementine's needs in it.

Plus, Tiffany kept me sane!  :)  Major bonus!


* - The Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex encompasses 9,286 square miles (23,290 Km 2) of total area.  So when I say David was clear on the other side...I'm talking way over yonder.

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It's been raining  all!  day!  long! and it is BEAUTIFUL and soft and just plain reassuring.

I missed my 25th class reunion, but getting to see Tiffany again was my silver lining.  It made me think of all the people that passs through my life...all of our lives.

I'm so thankful for my friends, near and far, those I've met (in real life) and those I look forward to meeting IRL some day.

I am really blessed.  


~  Patty  ~


Butter Bars

My mom gave me this recipe oh...almost 20 years ago.  She received it from an English girlfriend of hers.

H.E.A.V.E.N.L.Y!


I found the recipe recently while cleaning out my old recipe box.  Totally blog-worthy, I tell you!

Ingredients:

1 package Dromedary Pound Cake Mix (I cannot find this in Texas, so I substituted with a what in the store.)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 - 8oz cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 lb of powder sugar (3 3/4 cups) *reserve 1/4 cup*
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Combine mix, butter and 2 eggs.  Spread in a prepared 9x13 inch baking dish.

3.  Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs, vanilla, and powder sugar except reserve.

4.  Spread on top of mix and sprinkle nuts on top.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35-45 minutes.    When cool, sprinkle with 1/4 cup powder sugar and cut into bars.


~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Had to share...



Living history.  Mabel has been studying how Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt.


Yowzer!  She's 8 months old today!


~  Patty  ~


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Her High Chair

The Bumbo seat had a recall.  The company worked hard at putting out new safety straps.



The new straps work so good, we can't even fit her in the Bumbo seat now!  Way too tight.

Anyone else with this problem?  (For new mamas...you are better off just using the tray with it.)

So I pulled out the high chair.  (I had saved it for grand babies someday :)


David had to sand the tray and put a couple of coats of polyurethane on it.  (Solid maple.)  I bought a new cushion as well.  

Her reaction?


The Bubbins didn't like it.  One bit.

(I believe she was a bit frightened.)

She calmed down when I introduced her to these ...



 Her coaches, whom I refer to as Team Hughes,  are now helping her learn the fine motor skills of picking up and bringing to the mouth.

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In other news ...


Big sister thinks it is AWESOME to be able to wear matching p.j.'s with baby sister.


Where many people are falling into Autumn...we are still swimming in summer weather.



However, we just received a notice that the subdivision is closing the pool for the winter on October 1.

David and I had a real quick date night on Saturday.


After Clementine went to bed, we snuck out to a BBQ joint for a 1 hour date!  LOL!

We will take whatever we can get.

Have a wonderful week!

~  Patty  ~



Friday, September 21, 2012

The Pool

Normally, our home away from home.  But this year has been different.  A new baby and daily  swim team practice eating up a chunk of our day left little swim time for the others.


(They weren't sure if they could remember the entry code.)

Just like a good friendship where you can pick up right where you left off, we headed out and had some afternoon fun with the pool.

It was good for the soul!





We finished with our classes by late morning.

And you know what?

Sometimes, chores can just wait!  Besides, there will ALWAYS be chores, right?

 The Lord wants us to have fun and experience His beauty...and for parents to enjoy the gifts He has blessed us with.


(He cracks me up when he wears those goggles!)

I dropped Sally off at swim team practice and then took advantage of having the subdivision pool to ourselves!

We thought we were alone until they spotted a frog in the pool.  :)


Ester makes her father proud....she is not afraid to touch anything slimy or scaly or creepy - crawly.

They set out on a rescue mission.





This made me smile and feel good inside.

Lately, the political news, the economy, the assault on religious freedom, the terrorist attacks, the report that almost half of "Catholics" will vote for Obama...well, it has made me feel physically ill.






These kids have their share of differing opinions.  Sometimes when they argue, it really makes me feel like I've failed.  But I must remember that they are jut little people.

Little people are still learning how to control their emotions.  There are good days and bad days.

Planting seeds.  Right?



But what about adults?  They are suppose to have more control.

I worry about my kids and their future.

These days, there is no civil disagreeing, no civil difference of opinion.  You are simply HATED.

Our society, has become a septic tank of immorality, and you are hated if you want to live by a religious standard.

But I cling to hope.



Hope - Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it.

Hope means that we trust God to care for all our needs.  - The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism.




We actually sin against God when we lose hope.  Instead, we focus only on presumption and despair instead of worshipping Him, trusting Him.


My kids, and the reception of the sacraments, help me to refocus on hope.






The pool has been good friend today.  It has reminded me of this.



It has given me the good jolt I needed to realize my faith will never waiver.

Faith - Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe on the word of God and all the truths He has revealed.

Faith means we believe all Christ teaches us through His Church.  -  New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism.

Unlike chores, we can never abandon our faith nor slice & dice it up.  For that, too, is a sin against God.


And I am expected by God to pass this on to them for He entrusted them into my care.

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Woot! Woot!

Yippee Kai Yea ....it's  Friday!


(Sister has hair issues lately :)

~  Patty  ~

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Casserole

Mabel gave up going out to eat on her birthday for this delicious chicken dinner.  And going out to eat is a rare treat for our family!

So, I consider this is blog worthy  :)




I serve it with rice or egg noodles with steamed vegetables.

My family LOVEs this meal.  I recall my mom made a similar dish when I was a child and I also recall requesting it for a birthday dinner more than once.

(A picture of the chicken cut into.  It is so tender!)

Ingredients:

6 halved chicken breasts
pepper (to taste)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I am going to try using only one can next time.)
12 bacon strips
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven at 325 degrees F.
2.  Pepper the chicken and then wrap bacon around each 1/2 breast.
3.  Arrange chicken in a prepared 13 x 9 in baking dish.
4.  Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and soup together in a pot over low heat until cream cheese is melted.  Stir frequently.  Cover the chicken with the cheese mixture.
5.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 degrees F. for 2 hours.  Take foil off to let brown for last 5 minutes.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  125 minutes
Servings: 6-8



Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

I found this surprisingly light casserole recipe on The Food Network.  The recipe was one of Giada De Laurentiis.


My family gave it mixed reviews.  The majority liked it.

We all agreed it was something different...a dish that would taste good on a cold, rainy day...or something for a potluck.

The tangy tomatoes gave it a nice kick and the bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese made a warm, crunchy topping.



(I doubled all the ingredients, except garlic, to make a serving for 8.)

Ingredients:

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)  *I could not find the pastina so I substituted with another small pasta.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 small onion) *I substituted with onion powder.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.  Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta.  Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 2-inch dish.  (I used a 13 x 9 in pan for my doubled recipe.)

In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture.  Dot the top with small bits of butter.  Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time:  40 min.
Serves: 4

Our homeschool group has a rosary potluck the last Sunday of each month.  I'm planning on bringing this dish.

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, September 15, 2012

9 Years Old!




And she had a happy day :)

She had a birthday wish list on the refrigerator door for some time.  American Girl doll McKenna topped the list as well as the doll's clothes.

David told her that McKenna came with camo clothes.  Of course Mabel would not fall for his teasing!

But Dad kept teasing.

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Then Mom had the idea to ask a neighbor to make a camouflaged outfit for McKenna.  It could be wrapped up as a gift :)

Next, Aunt Sara suggested we purchase McKenna, take her out of the packaging and redress her in the camo outfit that the neighbor made, and then repackage the doll.

Good idea, Aunt Sara!





This morning, Mabel was so excited to see that special shaped box...but she didn't expect to see "Rambo-style" McKenna inside...


Parents can sure play some funny jokes sometimes, can't we?!

(She felt better when she saw the "real" clothes that McKenna was suppose to be wearing :)

A trip to the American Girl store was her plan.  Allowance and birthday money were burning a hole in her pocket!


Did you notice who is missing?  Stan the Man does NOT like the big, red store!  He went to work with David instead.

We met up with some friends at A.G.   Can you guess who this sweet,  baby girl  is with Clementine??

(Okay.  So I took a few photos.  But they were SO cute together!)

Have you guessed yet?

Here is one with all the girls ::


Yep!  It's Waltzing Matilda's lovely little ladies :)

We first met these girls last year at American Girl for Sunshine's birthday.  (Sunshine is holding cupcake in the above picture.)  

It's a great place for girls to gather, that's for sure!

And Clementine says :  Meeting new friends her size ROCKS!





Arriving home, I frosted Mabel's cake.


Triple chocolate fudge heart-shaped cake and homemade butter cream frosting sprayed purple and topped with purple sparkles.  (That's a mouthful!)

I baked and then froze it earlier in the week.

She invited her neighbor girlfriend over for dinner and cake.  They watched the new Barbie movie, Princess and the Pop Star.

Their review:  "It's THE BEST Barbie movie so far."  (And we have 'em all!)
She celebrated big today!  And now she's tucked in bed soon to be drifting off into happy dream land.

We look forward to what God has planned for her in this next year and watching her blossom into a beautiful flower.

We love you, M!

~ Mom &  Dad ~






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