Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hoo Hoo's Ready for All Hallows'- Eve?

Presenting the cast of All Hallows' - Eve 2013 (insert drum roll…)

Sally needs to wear her costume to swim team practice today so, I thought we'd get the pictures in early this time.

A friend asked if I made Clementine's outfit.  I wish!  (I envy those who can sew!)  I found it at Cracker Barrel back in late August.  Couldn't pass it up :)

Stan's Davy Crockett costume was his birthday gift this year.

The rest?  Pretty much just what we have lying around the house…pieced together from here and there.

Enjoy this All Hallows' - Eve!!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Dude Is Smoking Something Funny

Why won't the man just let his victims be?

Today, our prez was stumping a speech in Boston for his health care.

So, get this.

Instead of saying his usual, "You can keep your health insurance,"  he ACTUALLY said, "You will get a better deal."

Fall off my chair laughing here.

I'd love for him to stop by my house and define "better deal" for David and I.


At least my day ended with a good laugh, right?   I mean anything has to better than the this news we received the other day.

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The "new" & "unwanted" norm

This was the scene on my kitchen counter for the past two weeks…

By the grace of God, I think   (fingers crossed and eyes squeezed shut tightly when I say that)  we have finally made it through.

And then there's this...

We are small business owners.  Just a small mom and pop shop.  We have been able to buy our own private insurance.

Until now.

Our new premiums came in…to the equivalent of a second house payment - every. single. month.

I have to ask Obama voters out there (if I have any)…

You say you want coverage for all….who doesn't?  But are you willing to lose your house so even one person can pay their hospital bill?

Let me rephrase that question.

What if you were forced into the possibility of losing your house just so one person could pay their hospital bill?

Kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

My husband and I can NOT afford this new premium.

We have a meeting with our insurance agent set up  to see if there is any other option we can take…and what the bottom line will be with that new option.  I'm sure if there is one, it will undoubtedly have sacrificed in quality and financial stability.

(By the way, that new premium is just for David and I.  It doesn't even include the kids on that plan!)

And there's expected to be about 10 million David and Patty's out there by 2014.

Since October 1, not even one month into the new health care regime, over 1 million people have lost their health insurance.

Looking to put a face with that number?  You are looking at her.

Obamacare is one, big, stinky onion.  The private sector is only the first layer to be peeled off.  Absolutely everyone will be affected negatively at some point, EXCEPT for those men and women who voted to pass Obamacare.  That's right.  They excluded themselves from this financial disaster.  How thoughtful of them!

I'm feeling bitter.  And in my acknowledged bitterness, I can't help but blame the voters for the financial train wreck of millions of others.

Huge sigh.  Rant over.

~  Patty  ~ 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Our Birthday Girl

Turns 14 on Saturday!

Hel-lo?  When did this happen?

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Girls' Weekend

My boys went  camping with the Troops of St. George leaving the womenfolk behind.

Ha ha!  The "women" surely kept themselves busy.

Friday ~

Adoration, school, & chores...

Library and dinner ...

(Easy Cheesy Tortellini & Sauce recipe found here.)

(Pumpkin Squares recipe found here.)

Shiner Beer (my fellow Texans know what this is ) ...

Hot Cocoa & a movie ...

(Decadent, hot cocoa recipe  found over at Haunani's here.)

(BTW, the girls & I really enjoyed this movie, My Louisiana Sky.)

Saturday ~

Swim meet ...

(Sally had to babysit for a family after the meet.  She was tired, but needs the Christmas money.)

Carry out & a movie with their American Girl friends ...

Sunday ~

Mass ...

American Girl mass ...

I snapped some school photos ...

(I'll have to get Stan the man's photo taken this week.)

Pansies ...

(With the mild climate down here in Texas, we can enjoy flowers year round.  I like that.  A lot!)

Chili for the boys' return ...

It was such a GOOD weekend!  So many blessings and so much to be thankful for!!

Wishing y'all a really awesome week!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cold Front

A cold front moved in last weekend. 

Snail hunting in the misty rain :)

By the next morning, only one had decided to stick around for a little bit.  The others had slid back to their mossy, damp darkness in the middle of the night.  Their  capture  visit was fun while it lasted :)

~  Patty ~

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mourning - After the Move

One of my favorite songs ever is Home, by Phillip Phillips, for so many reasons.  It is so inspirational and uplifting, encouraging and rousing.  I have danced to it, twirling around my living room with my 20 month old in my arms laughing.  It is a favorite during the warm up sessions at my oldest daughter's swim meets.  I think of my father singing the lyrics and cheering on my mother (in spirit) as she continues to rock on her recovery from extensive back surgery.  So what does this have to do with "Mourning After the Move"?

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not along
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Six years ago, my husband and I uprooted our children, said good bye to our family and friends, and made the 700 mile move to Texas.  Three months after settling into our new home, I was hit with a tidal wave of sadness over the loss of my family and friends.  It would prove to be a period of mourning for which this homeschool mom had no clue would be so painful.

(First Christmas in Texas - 2007)

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

During a four month period leading up to the actual move, my role was three pronged in support.  The middle spike was the most important, my dear husband.  He had to come to the conclusion that selling his cabinet business of 12 years, (the one we both sweat blood and tears building together), would not be a badge of disgrace or dishonor. On the contrary!  The entrepreneurial gifts that God had blessed him with had carried us to the next level.  I never entertained the thought of disappointment when looking back at what my husband had built for us, only to sell.  His success was something that attracted the attention of a major cabinet manufacturing company.  They hired him as the new District Manager for the Dallas area, a job that brought more financial stability.

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not along
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

The second prong was incredibly important to me.  This prong represented my mother, a widow of only one year.  Losing her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren was another "loss" for her.  Mom's heart was still so fragile after the devastating loss of my father.  At the same time, I was preparing my in-laws who were almost 80.  This would be a "loss" to them as well.  My in-laws would now be 1,000 miles away.

(Going away cook out at my mom's house - 2007)

(Going away cook out at my mom's house with my in-laws - 2007)

Prong number three represented my dear children.  How do you prepare your homeschooled children for such a move?  Their emotions ran the gamut from fear and sadness to excitement and wonder.  The amount of emotion I had invested in them and their sense of security drained me completely.  There are really no other words to adequately explain it.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

What fumes were left in my tank were spent on helping my children find and make new friends.  This is the biggest difference between moving a homeschool family compared to a traditional schooled family.  Moving and entering a new school at least gives the child a chance to make a new friend the first day of school.  This is not possible with home schooling.  It took awhile to join or attend homeschool, social functions or co-op classes.  

When I was finally able to take a step back from supporting all the others, my own heart began to break in two.  It was my turn to mourn and grieve the dear, homeschool mom friends and family I had left  back up in Illinois.  Good mothers always find themselves at the end of the line, don't they?  Being at the end of the line, mourning after the move, proved to be so incredibly painful.  

The weight of this pain can crush a soul or make the soul stronger bit by bit.  I chose to grow stronger.  To be quite honest, the mourning stage never really ends.  The sting lessens, it really does, and God does give you blessings to help fill the losses along the way.  I will never stop missing being a cup of coffee away from my mother, but I have been blessed with a bountiful bouquet of flowers here in Texas.  My new friends have taken me to another level, just as my husband's cabinet shop lead us to Texas.


*  I want to thank my sweet friend, Jen @ Forever, For Always, No Matter What, for inviting me to guest blog on Friday in her series, Surviving a Cross-Country Move.  Jen and her beloved recently moved their six children from Michigan to Florida.

Have a great weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wheels on the Bus

She loves the Doodle Pad and the song The Wheels on the Bus.

(That is her bus that she keeps trying to draw.)

("Mommy.  Mommy. Here.  Here.  Bus!"  She asks me to draw a bus, too.)

(So I  attempt to  draw a bus.)

For the love of Pete!  I think I draw 50 billion buses throughout each day.  


And her reaction to each one?

Baby - approved :)

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Acorn Jewels

These would brighten anyone's day!
So easy to make. So beautiful to watch during their transformation :)

1.)  Aunt Sara sent us a bag full of acorn tops from Illinois.  (Thank you Aunt Sara!)

2.)  Secure them in play dough or in rice.

3.) Color the insides with vibrant, jewel-toned markers.

4.)  Fill with glue (to the brim).

5.)  Watch their transformation begin!

(After about 3-6 hours.)

(After 12 hours.)

(After 36 hours.)

(After 48 hours.)

They looked even brighter and prettier after 72 hours - take a look!

So much fun :)  Mabel and I colored and glued these in about 30 minutes or so.  We found the idea on Pinterest.

We just stuck a batch in the mail for both grandmothers...something to brighten up their days :)


~  Patty  ~


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