Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sweetheart Shakes

Have you ever tasted Cherry - flavored  7Up?    

To be honest, whenever I see 7Up, I think of my dad, the pharmacist, bringing it home to us when we had a nasty stomach bug. I never drink 7 Up these days.

At any rate...

A made these sweetheart shakes on St. Valentine's day, and the kids loved 'em!

We used Cherry-flavored 7Up with the vanilla ice cream.

I had to taste that Cherry - flavored 7Up myself, and it really was quite yummy :)

Thank you Pinterest.

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Her Life Since Turning One

Life has has become one big adventure since turning one :)

She totally digs her new "ride"!

(This wagon is 11 years old, and in amazing condition.  Glad I never got rid of it!)

David hung her new swing  (birthday gift)  on the front porch. 

I dubbed her the Queen of Sheeba, who has a royal view of all her adoring subjects playing out in the front :)

They love to entertain her ... ALL.  THE.  TIME.

(The kids were outside playing a game of soccer on the side of the house.  She gets a "kick" out of watching them play!)

Another favorite past time?  Riding in the shopping cart.

(This shopping cart is about 20 years old.  It first belonged to some much older cousins.  All of my kids have played with it, too!)

Little Miss took her very first steps 2 days before her birthday!  She is loving her new mobility :)  

Her new friend is the dryer :)

(Having an animated conversation with the dryer :)

My mom said it best ::  She must wake up every morning wondering what kind of exciting adventure the day will bring!

And taking a bath?  Oh my!  She squeals with delight when we tell her it is bath time.  She is going to LOVE the swimming pool this summer!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Square Foot Gardening - 1

Our first-ever garden!

We've talked the talk enough.  This year we are actually going to do it.

David started transforming Stan the man's old rock box back in January.


For fun, I added this old Smilebox of David and Stan making the rock box.  I think it's about four years old...

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook


In January, he went to work by emptying the rocks and weed paper first.  Next, he started building the sides for rabbit proofing.

The next photo is of the rabbit-proof sides complete with entry gate for us.

He added compost soil mixture from Lowe's and a water irrigation system.

Then he heard about Square Foot Gardening from a customer of his.  What a great concept!!  I attached a link to a blog here for you to read.

Our garden is 5'x5' and we "plan" to get more out of it by growing our garden up.  We are also keeping it small since this is our first time at it.

Today, he sectioned off the garden into square foot sections, preparing for planting.

And that is where we are at right now.  Planning stage for planting.

I'll post more once we have it all planted.  Wish us luck!

Happy Sunday!

~ Patty  ~

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yellow Belts

These two girls earned their yellow belts at the beginning of January!

They started taking Tae Kwon Do this past fall  and really and truly enjoy it.

I found a program that is offered at the Community Center...$8 per hour....per student.  What an inexpensive way to "try out" a new activity.

Stan the man took a couple of classes with them, but he really didn't like it.  (I think someday he may.)

They love it and go together every Monday night...a win-win for David and I.  

Mabel received an ornament in her Christmas stocking that had a picture of a girl with pony tail doing a particular kick.  The caption read::  Don't be fooled by the pony tail!

There's something to say about a young lady knowing Tae Kwon Do, don't you think?

A force to be reckoned with, perhaps. :)


So the weekend is here, and I am so bummed.  Downton Abbey is finished for the season and what a terrible way it ended!!  I bummed about the ending, and depressed because my favorite weekly hour is void.

Any recommendations?  No heavy reading for me at this chapter in my life.  I need to keep things lite.

Happy Friday!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, February 18, 2013

Clementine's Baptism Birthday

Today marks ONE year that Miss Clementine was baptized!

We sang happy birthday to her with her baptism candle.  (No, we didn't let her hold it even though she really wanted to.)

I purchased this beautiful, hand painted peg doll (St. Cecilia) over at St. Luke's Brush on

The time that went into this hand painted peg doll is obvious when you can see the fine detail up close.

It is a little more than what I normally spend on a baptism birthday gift, but being child #5...we already have a TON of toddler religious books and rosaries!

She loves it!

(Whenever she hugs a doll close to her she says, "Ahhhhhh....."  so sweetly!)

I have been looking back at her photos of her beautiful baptism day with so much gratitude and joy,  remembering how sick I had been right before!   

*At my two week post-op check-up, I had been sent to the hospital being diagnosed with Post-partum Pre-Eclampsia.  Kind of rare since Pre-Eclampsia usually occurs while one is pregnant.  Also, extremely dangerous since you have no real symptoms (unlike regular pre-eclampsia).  Any  horrendous headaches you experience are dismissed as "stress",  therefore it receives the name, Silent Killer.

So, even though today is Monday, it is a GOOD day in our house.  Hope your week starts out with blessings as well!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Horse Lessons

My girl loves horses.

So much so, that at the tender age of 6, when we moved to Texas, the only thing that eased the pain of the move was the promise of seeing lots of horses and horse lessons.

Currying a horse loosens the dried mud from the coat.  

The cost of riding lessons isn't cheap.  (About $35 an hour.)  With a large family and a single income, that can be difficult to swing.

Over the past few summers, we've opted for week long summer camps (8-5, M-F) instead.

Using a soft brush after  currying wipes off the loosened dirt and hair from the horse's coat.

Lessons of any kind always make for great gifts.  The gift that keeps on giving.

Ester's Christmas gift was a series of horse lessons.  My girl was so happy!

A saddle pad always goes under the saddle.  The saddle can rub and injure the horse's skin.

BTW, that is Hugo in the pictures with Ester.  Ester really has taken a liking to Hugo.  They get along well.   The stables have all the horses and equipment.

Ester's riding lessons are on Saturday mornings.  (She signed up for six - with a package deal, you get a little bit better pricing.)

Tightening the girth keeps the saddle from falling off of the horse's back.

Bridling the horse (which contains the piece that goes into the horse's mouth, the bit) can be tricky.  Hugo can be stubborn and doesn't always like that part.

Her confidence is amazing and she is learning so many things that one doesn't "get" in camp.

Today's lesson was getting your horse to crosswalk (walking sideways.)

Just trotting in this one.

Cantering (like a slow gallop.)

Her 12th birthday is coming up in March.  This is the year for a big birthday party (our kids get one, big party every four years.)

Guess what we are doing?

MmmHmm.  A horse riding party.

No need to tell you how excited she is!

Hope you are having great weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homemade Valentine Love

Wishing you all a happy St. Valentine's day!!

I'm putting this up early since we will have a day filled with schooling and then our home school St. Valentine's party to follow.

This is what we made for the home school party ::

Sam's Club had cases (30 pieces) of mini cereal boxes on sale for $6.99.  I bought two cases for $13 and change.  

Party City spoons.  48 in a package @ $6 a package.

Old ribbon from the art bin.  

Michael's craft store had the tags.  1 package (20 pieces) for $2.99.  I bought three packages.

Under $30 for 50 homemade valentines.  Not bad at all!  (It was a group effort...they all took turns coloring, tying, and placing the spoons.)

 I made these for my own kids ::

  A fun way to put some extra love into their lives :)

Both ideas are from Pinterest.

Happy St. Valentine's Day to you and your family!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Votive Candles

As a child, I disliked the season of lent.  It seemed so dark and dreary and always fell in such a drab time of year.  I was lazy in my youth and didn't like the idea of having to give up or sacrifice.  Worse yet, I totally disliked fish.  (And still do!)

But there is one fond memory I have of my Lenten childhood, and that is attending the Stations of the Cross with my mother (and father when he had off of work.)

(The first station, Jesus is condemned to death.)

I can vividly recall singing Stabat Mater in English, the prayers lead by the priest, and the responses by those in attendance.  The service was always on a Friday, to mark the day that Christ was crucified.

I am grateful that my faith has continued to grow along with my aging body, and I continue to share this tradition with my own children.

What are the Stations of the Cross?  For you non-Catholics (and fallen away Catholics), in short, the object of the meditation is for the faithful to make a spiritual journey (pilgrimage) to the main scenes of Christ's suffering and death, stopping to pray and meditate at each station.  Clearly putting into perspective exactly how Christ sacrificed for us.

Stations of the Cross votive candles ::

It's been hard to keep the commitment of attending the Stations, especially since we can't walk to church, (like "back then" as my children refer to my childhood years.)   So, we've tried different ways of meditating on them at home.

This year, I'm hoping these candles will make it more tangible.

A friend originally told me about these candles a few years back.  You light each votive candle as you meditate on it.

She couldn't remember the source so I googled it and found the original idea at this blog, (Ten Kids and a Dog).  She has the small, printable stations available here.

I tweaked it a bit.

I printed, cut, and then used Mod Podge to adhere the labels to clear votives.

Next, I just popped a purple votive candle into each.

(The color purple is chosen to represent solemnity, with connotations of both penance and royal dignity.)

I bought a pack of 16 clear votives on sale at Michaels for $4.99.

Two boxes of purple votive candles for $6.00 each.  (They were not on sale, nor did I have a coupon with me.)

The original post showed the votives glued onto a board.  I chose not to do this.  I thought it might make any wax removal more difficult (and possibly break a glass votive in the process.)

I am confident that with this tangible form of meditation, my kids will have a more meaningful experience with the Stations of the Cross.

You can find a complete meditation on the Stations of the Cross here.

Ash Wednesday is February 13.

~  Patty  ~

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Sharing With You...

...the books & other media we will be using during this Lenten season.

(My Path to Heaven is for the older girls.)

(The Day of the Cross for Children is a lovely DVD on the stations and The Sorrowful Mysteries is the meditation of those mysteries of the rosary on CD.)

And I am waiting for the next two books to arrive in the mail any day now ...

How are your plans coming along?

We also plan on creating a version of these great Stations of the Cross candles this weekend!  I'll post ours when we finish them!  

Have a blessed weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, February 7, 2013

EASY Spray Paint Projects

This old shelf wasn't needed in Stan's new bedroom.  So, I tucked it away thinking it, too, would go into the nursery.  Eventually.

(Hardware removed in the photo.)

Almost one year later, I finally figured out what to do with it.

I picked up a can of "Eden" at Home Depot for around $3.50.

I gave it two coats and let it sit a couple of days to dry.  (Actually, till my husband could get around to hanging it for me.)

The finished product ...

I kept the original hardware since they go with the hardware on her dresser.

While I was at it...

I had also saved a darling print that I first hung in the nursery 13 years ago when Sally was born.

I repainted the frame and then hung it over Clementine's table.

And here is a close up of the print titled This Little Piggy.

Isn't that the cutest little picture??

Okay.  So I think I'm done with her room for now.  At least until the crib comes down, and that won't be for quite some time.

~  Patty  ~


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