Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Memory Lane - Daybook Post

My kids enjoy seeing this post each year.

I love to get started on it, but about half way through I realize how busy we ended up being, and it's no wonder I feel like I'm losing my marbles at times.

And how much these kids change in one year!  It is scary how fast time is passing.

So without further is our 2014 in review.


~ A trip to KS to visit my youngest sister and her family

~ Miss Clementine celebrated her 2nd birthday


~ New green belts in Tae Kwon Do

~ St. Valentine's day

~ Homeschool talent show

~ Miss Clementine's baptism birthday


~ My birthday

~ Miss Ester's birthday

~ Painting projects

~ Spring break horse camp


~ David's sister (Miss Clementine's godmother) and niece visited

~ Miss Ester's baptism birthday

~ Stan the man's gotcha day

~ Easter Vigil

~ David's father passed away

~ Traveling for the funeral up to northern Illinois (getting to visit with both grandmothers)


~ Mother's Day

~ May Crowning at Mass

~ Hair donation

~ Texas Rangers' baseball game

~ Miss Clementine in her big girl bed

~ Visiting Jen in Florida

~ David's fishing weekend

~ Our subdivision pool opens

~ Memorial Day at the lake

~ Little Flower/ Little Women tea party


~ Stan's baptism birthday

~ Potty trained

~ Stay-cation (Perot Museum of Nature and Science)

~ Father's Day

~ Stay-cation (Six Flags)

~ Confirmation sponsor for my sweet neighbor girl

~ Stay-cation (Hawaiian Falls Waterpark)


~ Grammy visits

~ Fourth of July

~ Stay-cation (Mesquite Pro Rodeo)

~ Stan's First Holy Communion

~ Sally's mission trip

~ Our 19th wedding anniversary

~ School starts


~ Bathroom remodel begins

~ Music camp

~ Feast of the Assumption

~ Field trip to Frisco Fire Safety Town

~ Jr High/ Sr High Bunco night

~ Back-to-school Mass


~ Miss Ester's 8th grade trip to New Orleans

~ Miss Mabel's 11th birthday

~ Movie night pizza party for high school friends

~ Horse stable night for middle school friends


~ State Fair of Texas

~ Stan's 9th birthday

~ Miss Sally's homeschool homecoming dance

~ Miss Sally's 15th birthday

~ Halloween


~ All Saints Feast day & party

~ ER visit

~ Miss Sally's baptism birthday

~ David's 46th birthday

~ Miss Mabel's baptism birthday

~ Swim meets (year round)

~ Christmas card making for the troops

~ Miss Sally's eye surgery (no pics)

~ Thanksgiving (no pics)

~ Brewery tour for homeschool parents & friends


~ Miss Ester leases a horse for the month

~ Miss Sally's new eyeglasses after her surgery

~ Feast of St. Nick

~ Miss Sally's first meet after eye surgery

~ Christmas 2014

May you all continue to feel the peace and joy of this Christmas season!  May you all be abundantly blessed in the New Year!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Delicious New Christmas Recipes

Boy oh boy! did the Holy Ghost move me days before Christmas.  Wanting to grasp onto any Christmas spirit out there, I got online to look up some recipes that would make our Christmas dinner extra special this year.

I hit the jackpot.

Carrot Pecan Wild Rice (recipe here)

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes (recipe here)

Cranberry Punch (recipe here)

That pretty punch you see there??  It was so delicious...not sugary like other punches tend to be.

How about you?  Try anything new this year?

~  Patty  ~

Cranberry Punch

I'm not a big fan of punch that includes sherbet since those tend to be too sweet, and the ingredients seem to go to waste.

This cranberry punch was a new item on our holiday menu and it was by far the most delicious punch we've ever had!

The fact that this is so easy and quick to put together was a plus for our busy day.

Cranberry Punch


32 oz cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups ginger ale


Add all the ingredients together, stir.  I added sliced oranges and a half bag of cranberries to make it look more festive.

I found this recipe on


~  Patty  ~

Carrot Pecan Wild Rice

Another festive (and light) addition to our holiday menu this year!   The raisins and orange zest that are added to this dish make it taste better than imagined.

Carrot Pecan Wild Rice


1.5 cups of wild rice

(2) carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" rounds

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped pecans

zest and juice from 1/2 orange

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped parsley

4 TBSP melted butter


1.  Boil rice in 4.5 cups water to a boil then simmer for 40 minutes (or according to package directions.)

2.  Slice 2 carrots into 1/2" rounds.  Simmer carrots 5 to 7 minutes until tender.

3.  Combine rice with carrots in a large bowl.  Add raisins, zest and juice from orange, salt & pepper to taste, chopped parsley, and melted butter.

4.  Stir and serve

I found this recipe on Allrecipes. com.


~  Patty ~

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

This updated version of the mashed potato was exactly what our Christmas menu needed!

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes


4 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise (*I substituted with a package of frozen Ore Ida mashed potatoes and prepared according to package directions.)

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature (*Mascarpone can be found in the deli section)

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup milk

salt and  black pepper to taste

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 cup butter, cut into chunks


1.  Place potato halves into a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook until very tender, about 15 minutes.  A knife should pierce the middle of a potato half easily.  Transfer potatoes to a colander and drain thoroughly, about 5 minutes.

2.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F  (220 degrees C)

3.  Whisk mascarpone cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Stir egg yolk and milk into mascarpone cheese, whisking until smooth; season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

4.  Transfer potatoes to a separate large mixing bowl, add butter chunks to potatoes, and season with salt and black pepper.  Mash butter into potatoes with a potato  masher until fluffy; a few lumps are okay.  Whisk mascarpone mixture into mashed potatoes.

5.  Spread the mashed potatoes into a 9x13-inch baking dish.

6.  Bake in a preheated oven until potatoes are heated through and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Reading in 55 minutes

I found it on


~  Patty  ~

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas Wishes to You!

May this Christmas season bring a sense of joy, hope, and promise to you and  your loved ones!


Christmas Eve ~

The best decision I made this year was to say NO to the Christmas pageant and the children's Christmas Eve mass.  It ended up taking a chunk of stress out of our already stressful season.

On Christmas Eve morning, David and Miss Ester made yummy homemade cinnamon rolls.  They were a delicious way to start our day!

Each year, the kids have a gift exchange amongst themselves, and they open their gifts every Christmas Eve morning.

It was a different Christmas baking, no letters mailed to the North Pole.  The kids didn't complain, but gosh, it bothered me.  So we  (made an appointment) took the kids to see Santa Claus on Christmas Eve morning.

David said he could have stayed there all day to watch the terrified reactions of little ones as they were placed on Santa's lap.  There were some definite Oscar winners, poor kiddos!

Miss Clementine and Stan the man did a fabulous job being brave ;)

Afterward, we dropped the older girls off at the horse stables and went home to relax a bit.

(Playing play dough and watching Polar Express.)

In the afternoon, we went to a Christmas Eve party at our friends' house.  So! Much! Fun!  (Traditional Italian Christmas Eve party...all seafood.)

Back at home, I had a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup on the stove with some rolls.  I had also ordered this adorable (and delicious) Santa Claus cake for dessert...

We were so full from the party earlier on, we saved the big guy for Christmas day :)

Miss Mabel told Stan that if they hung the 'Key to the House', Santa would be able to use the front door instead of getting his bum burned in the fireplace.

(Grammy sent us this key many moons ago ;)

After the kids were in bed, Santa arrived and filled the stockings...

...and then spread Christmas cheer under the tree.

Gift wrapping was made easy on Santa this year by using brown paper, red ribbon, and gold Sharpie markers.  (I think he may have found that idea on pinterest ;)

Christmas Day ~

After a fun morning of opening gifts and then heading out the door to 10:00am Mass, we just lounged around playing with new toys and gadgets before feasting on a fabulous Christmas dinner.

I took few photos on Christmas day.  I just wanted to be in the moment soaking it all up.

It was a glorious day, and we look forward to the Christmas season.

From our family to yours,  we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

~  Patty  ~


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