Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Champagne Ice Cubes for Orange Juice

(Photo credit:  here)


David and I will most likely be sound asleep way before the stroke of midnight so I thought I'd make these champagne ice cubes to pop in our orange juice for New Year's breakfast!

(*Our being David's and mine  AND we will be at Mass on New Year's Eve ;)

Found on pinterest here.

Happy New Year!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, December 30, 2013

Daybook Post - Sixth Day of Christmas 2013

Outside My Window

The sun is starting to rise.   We are suppose to have blue skies and sunshine today :)


I Am Thankful For

Healthy hearts!

Miss Ester had her cardiac check-up  December 27.  As expected, everything is in tip top shape.  She does not need to go back for another 5 years.  Praise God!



It has been over 12 years since her open heart surgery and she is doing so well.


I Am Thinking About

* My poor mother.  On Christmas day, she suffered a terrible accident and ended up severely burning her entire right arm and hand.  Her back is fine, thank God, but her arm and hand, they are terrible.

* An upcoming trip to the Kansas City area to visit my younger sister Jane and her family.  She recently moved there and is now the closest relative I have.  (Google has us at 8 hours away.)

* Downton Abbey.  (January 5 cannot get here quick enough!)

*  Living Liturgy feast day celebrations::

January 1 -  The Solemnity of Mary

January 4 -  The Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton   (Our home school patron saint.)

January (5 ) 6 - The Epiphany  (The church will celebrate it on Sunday, Jan. 5, but we will celebrate it on its' traditional date, January 6.)

January 31 -  The Feast of St. John Bosco



From The School Room

El zippo!  I absolutely refuse to think about schooling while on a much deserved break.



From The Kitchen

New Year's Day Menu ::

Blueberry Muffins (for breakfast in honor of the Solemnity of Mary)

Beef Brisket  (Somehow, I lost my post and pictures…but trust me, the recipe is to die for!)

Cheesy Potatoes (Recipe found here.)



 David's Cole Slaw (Recipe found here.)



Corn Bread (Straight from the shelf at the grocery store :)



What I Am  (About to start)  Reading

I will be honest here, I need and long for a deeper relationship with Our Lady in Heaven and wanted to take this journey with my oldest two daughters at the same time.  We needed a book all three of us could read and discuss along the way.  I think this may be it.




I Am Praying For

My mother, that her burns may heal safely and as quickly as possible.

My father-in-law.

For all those who have asked me to pray for them or a special intention.

For peace and healing in 2014, and that it will be more inspiring in ways that people of  our country will turn toward God rather than away from Him.




I Am Listening To

Christmas music.  I cannot get enough :)


Around My House

* All things Christmas…we are still enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the Christmas season!

* Hunters Safety Course at Cabela's.  Over the weekend, the older three girls and myself took the class.  (Yes, my girls enjoy hunting and fishing  :)

* New tires on my Sienna.   Ouch!  We had money budgeted, but it still hurts.  (My van is only 18 months old and 24,000 miles.)  Tire manufacturers only have  "car" tires for mini vans and since most  mini vans  are HEAVY, the tires wear quickly.  And you obviously cannot put truck tires on a mini van.


A Picture To Share



My little laundry helper.

She LOVES LOVES LOVES to help.  She sticks each sock to the edge of the couch…her way of "folding"…and is so proud of herself when she "helps" her mommy.

God bless these little ones!

Wishing you all a blessings in the New Year!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, December 27, 2013

Holding 2013 Close to My Heart

Have you ever been the hostess of a party and afterward, once all the guests had gone their separate ways, you wished you had spent more time talking with this one or that one?

In a way, that is how I feel with 2013.

Oh my gosh, what a year it was!   Wanting to squeeze the memories of 2013 closer to my heart, I sat down and put this post together.  

January 2013

We celebrated a Winter-ONE-derland with Miss C….



February 2013

February brought Ester's horse riding lessons (a Christmas present),  our first garden (Square Foot Gardening), and the start of Lent.



March 2013

My birthday at my favorite Mexican restaurant...


Ester turned 12,  and it was her year to have a big birthday party …


New yellow belts in Tae Kwon Do,  "Swimmer of the Month", and  a field trip to Mammoth Caves in Waco, TX…


As well as a field trip to the Dallas Arboretum

March ended with a glorious Easter



April 2013

I took Stan and Mabel on a field trip to San Antonio  to see The Alamo and the Spanish Missions.  I was also able to visit my sweet friend, Tiffany



May 2013

Camping trip to Galveston Island was one of our highlights for the month of May…


(Our camp site :)


Sally was confirmed on Pentecost Sunday…




and then celebrated her 8th grade graduation on May 31…



June 2013

Graduation trip to Washing D.C. (for Sally and myself), horse camp for Ester and Mabel, and SHINE Catholic work camp for Sally (in Memphis, TN)…




July 2013

 Fourth of July,  swimming lessons for Stan,  our 18th wedding anniversary,  and new orange belts in Tae Kwon Do…




August 2013

I took a real quick trip to Illinois to visit my mom before her scheduled back surgery.  Shortly after that visit, her surgery had been rescheduled to the end of September.  



September 2013

We were able to meet In Real Life, Carol and her amazing family (and they made us feel like family!),  we took a one week cruise to the Eastern  Caribbean, and celebrated Mabel turning 10 years old.  Two days after coming back from our trip, little Miss Clementine ended up being hospitalized with intussusepcion, and the swimming meets started back up for Sally.



October 2013

Home School Days at the Fort Worth Zoo, Stan turned 8 (and had his big birthday party this year)…




Ending with some fun costumes for All Hallows' Eve



November 2013

A field trip to the Dallas Symphony, a sweet friend's wedding, and David's birthday



December 2013

Celebrating the feast of St. Nick with family and friends...




and celebrating the Christ child's birth!


As I finish, the words "abundant blessings" come to mind as well as this quote I have recently read ::


"Let us remain close to the crib, the source of all beauty, joy, and holiness. Let our hearts be molded and transformed by the pure hands of the divine child. . .Let us love Jesus, so good and so giving, and let us express our love for each other in him." ~ Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur


Merry Christmas!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

O Holy Night



May the Christ child's birth bring joy and peace to your hearts and homes this Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Hughes Family!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Daybook Post - Fourth Week of Advent 2013



(Photo credit:  Facebook)

Outside My Window

We are enjoying all of the beautiful Christmas lights in our neighborhood.  The kiddos love to look at them.  So do I!  I think I'll drive them around tomorrow tonight again ;)



I Am Thankful For

Face Time!  An early Christmas present from my beloved was a a camera for my computer screen.   It's been AWESOME face timing my mom.  (LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!)



I Am Thinking About

The last three nights.  I haven't slept this good in eons!  My cure?  A little brandy that my hubs brought home to go with my egg nog.  He makes me a little cup each night.  Cheers!

Having a little one at Christmas time again.  I am so grateful for her life and being able to experience Christmas through the eyes of a wee little one!



From The School Room

Nothing!  (And  I love the break!)  


From The Kitchen

Christmas Wreath Cookies.  Recipe found here.



I remember making these as a child.  (Yes, the recipe is THAT old!  Ha ha!)

(Photo credit ::  Kellog's website)

Cut Out Cookies.  (The BEST cut out cookie recipe I have ever sank my teeth into…found here.)


A dash of nutmeg and the sour cream used   =   yummy + moist.



Lastly, our most sought after Italian Christmas Cookies.  Recipe found here.



Except for our Christmas menu, I am done in the kitchen.   Our neighbors should be pleased with the seven varieties of cookies they'll be receiving!



What We Are Reading

Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen for myself.

Audio book ::  Rush Revere for the kids.  David downloaded it for them and they are really getting into it!


I Am Praying For

All those who are so lonely and saddened at this time of the year, may the Christ child fill their hearts with peace and comfort.

For all those who are traveling, may they have safe and joy-filled journeys with their loved ones.

For all of our military men and women and their families who are unable to be united this Christmas.

For all expectant mothers.

For all those whose hearts are filled with the desire to conceive - and have never been able to.

And for all of your special intentions.


I Am Listening To

Christmas music.  I cannot get enough :)


Around The House

The excitement for the Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve is mounting! - (Dress rehearsal pics)


My little shepherd - acting surprised when an angel appeared to bringing glad tidings!


King Herod's wife...


And Mary…






More Pictures To Share



My cutie would eat every "Cutie orange" in the house if I'd let him.  :)



She loves to watch Baby Einstein on Daddy's phone.  (Their after-bath time routine :)  Notice how she twiddles her hair?


*Baking tip ::  (And I'm sure some of you have already been doing this, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case…)

After you mix your cut- out dough, divide and wrap individually in saran wrap, and then chill over night in the fridge.  See…


…this way, when you go to roll it out, you take out one section at a time to work with, leaving the other sections in the fridge where they stay cold and firm instead of becoming warm and even stickier to deal with.

Advent blessings!

~  Patty  ~


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Take 2

Last year's projects and materials used for Christmas decorations held up fantastically, enough so that we are able to use them again this year.

Repeat #1 …  Tomato Cage Christmas Trees.  Crazy easy tutorial found here.





(We used those same tomato cages this past summer in our garden! )


Repeat #2 … Snowflake Wreath.   Another crazy easy tutorial found here.


This wreath stayed on the front door all winter last year.  Ester did have to use the hot glue on it to whip it back into shape, but it hangs again!


Repeat #3 …  The Secret to Hanging Your Wreath Without Scratching the Door!  Found here.

(You can get a clearer idea of how the wreath hangs on the front door by looking at wreath in the above pictures.)

Repeat #4 … Candy Cane Mantel.  Inexpensive tutorial found here.



I replaced the stockings and heavy duty stocking holders with these light weight candy cane ornaments.

After a neighbor boy told us how one his mom's stocking holders fell on his head and he had to go for stitches on Christmas morning, I decided that our stockings would be hung elsewhere.

We now tie our stockings to the banister on the stair case.

Repeat #5 …  Christmas card holder.  Clipped to ribbon using clothes line pins. Tutorial can be found here.

I know a LOT of people use this technique on their kitchen cabinet doors, too.  I gently rolled up the ribbon from last year and stored it in a large ziplock bag with the wooden clothes line clips.


Update -  after Christmas last year, I read that you can use the Christmas card photos as up-to-date profile pictures on your phone of all your contacts (if you receive a picture from them.)

I.E.  With my phone, I took a picture of my sister's face from her Christmas card, and used it as an "updated" contact photo in my phone.

Pretty cool, huh?!


Advent blessings!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Menu

Every year I have the good intention of preparing a new, Christmas recipe that has received rave reviews and looks delectable on the dinner table.  Alas, this is not the year - again :)

And that's okay.

Our menu this year ::

~  Christmas Morning ~

Cream Cheese Stuffed Blueberry French Toast


Recipe found here.


~  Christmas Dinner  ~

Maple Glazed Roasted Pork Loin


Recipe found here.

Praline Sweet Potatoes


Recipe found here.


Roasted Garlic Cauliflower


Recipe found here.


Buttered Mashed Potatoes

Buttered Steamed Corn

Rolls


Christmas Dessert…

I am kind of stuck on this one and would love suggestions.  We do have plenty of Christmas cookies, but I was looking for a special, Christmas-y dessert.




~  Christmas Eve ~

Vegetable Beef Soup  &  Appetizers


Advent blessings!

~  Patty ~  

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