Friday, May 30, 2014

Hodge Podge - TGIF

Living Liturgy ~

Beside Easter, (which was spent traveling to Illinois for my father-in-law's funeral), we have not had a chance to bring the liturgy into our house by means of celebrating special feast days.

The kids miss this, as do I.   Sitting down with the calendar last night, we marked the following dates that we will celebrate ::

June 4 (Stan's baptism birthday)

June 8 (Pentecost Sunday)
*Novena to the Holy Spirit starts today!!  Want to join in?  Go to www.praymorenovenas.com and follow along each day.  (If you join - for free - the novenas will be emailed to you each day - what an easy reminder!)

June 29 (Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul)


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Big Girl Bed ~

So her big girl bed had been set up for months, yet little Miss would not have anything to do with it.  Right when I came to the conclusion I would not force her into it, (what's the rush anyway?), she decided to sleep in it.

(Her first night - and every nap and bedtime since.)

With little Miss Clementine, I have tried so hard NOT to rush her stages along, instead, appreciating each step of the way.  I have to say, my heart is a little bit sad that the crib will now come down.

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FIY::

Did you know the rubbing alcohol gets out dry erase markers on clothes?
(Sorry for the poor phone camera pics!)



I had forgotten to get a before picture, but trust me!  It really works.

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We are off now...

I have to take a couple of young ladies to their annual Little Women's Tea Party.  We are bringing the egg salad sandwiches.  (I am using my delicious recipe found here.)

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daybook Post - Hump Day

Outside My Window ~

Gorgeous weather as well as the bulk pick-up ready and waiting at the curb.




I Am Thankful For ~

Summer break.

Summer bucket lists.

A productive weekend.

(David "patty-tized" the garage....a red banner day!  Trust me, folks.  This is a clean garage that also takes deliveries for the business.)


*Insert fantasy here... I wish we had one of those spic and span garages that gleams from top to bottom.  You know, the kind with immaculate, glossy floors (the kind you could lick!)


A garden that is producing.

(Lettuce, peas, beans, and cucumbers.)


I Am Thinking About ~

A dinner menu for the next week.  I grocery shop on Thursday afternoons, but for some reason, I'm just sitting and staring at a blank piece of paper....so I decided to blog.  (I know.  Real productive.)


I have not blogged a daybook post in almost two months.  (Sally gently reminded me and informed me that she likes them.)

From The School Room ~

Yesterday, we cleaned out all the school stuff.

They did amazing on their finals!!

Each May, our homeschool group puts together an achievement test week.  (Three mornings).  Any homeschool family that wants their child(ren) to experience group setting tests, this is a great way to introduce them to filling in those dots.  I always sign my Jr High kids up since they'll need that experience when they take their ACT, PSAT, etc in High School.  Ester took her CAT5.

(*Texas doesn't require these achievement tests.)


What I Am Reading ~



Ester just finished Island of the Blue Dolphins on her kindle.  She just loved it and suggested I read it, too.  So I am.


From The Kitchen ~

Spaghetti tonight.  (But I really need to get crackin' on my grocery list....)


What I Am Praying For ~

~ For all those who have asked me to pray for them.

~ For our roles as parents (David and myself); as we continually discern on making correct decisions on  raising and parenting  our children.

What I Am Listening To ~

Miss Sally is making lunch.  Miss Clementine is playing and talking to her big sister.  Stan the man has a friend over and they are playing upstairs.


Around My House ~

We are making plans for a stay-cation this coming June.  Sarah blogged about her family's last summer here and here.

I loved the idea!  We have some fun ideas planned and can hardly wait to share.


(Another) Picture to Share ~


That is a spoonbill my hubs caught up on the Red River (border of Texas and Oklahoma.)  About 50 lbs.

He went on his own retreat last week camping and fishing.  He needed some manly-man R&R and enjoyed himself immensely :)

(I made sure he text me every time he went out at night to fish and when he safely returned to camp as well as a set of directions to where he was located....just in case.)

Happy hump-day!  Hope the rest of your week is a great one!

~  Patty ~

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pondering...

Last week, two homeschool moms asked me how I manage to finish up our school on time each year?  If there was some magic trick in doing so?

Instantly, my mouth opened and with great disdain the following just rolled off my tongue, "I really don't like homeschooling, and I just want it done."

I wanted to retract those words immediately because the tone I used made them sound so ugly and negative, and for the love of Pete!   Hadn't I just come back from a lovely mini vacation 72 hours prior to this conversation?  Which was to refresh my spirit and regroup?  

While on my mini vacation, I had realized that my near-constant complaining  about homeschooling to David or acting as though I detest it must send one nasty message to him when he sacrifices so much in order for us to homeschool.  How does all of my complaining make him feel?  Unappreciated perhaps?  As a mom, I cannot stand it when my kids seem to be on a complaining binge, and truthfully, it makes my heart so sad when they do just that.

I was conveying these thoughts to another homeschool mom a couple of days later, when she referred to this feeling as (in her own words)..."I am just ready to be the mom again."



I'm just ready to be the mom again.

That's it.

What teacher isn't ready for summer break?  I'm tired of being the 24/7 school teacher.  I'm tired of being the nagging school teacher mom, the task master mom, the "mean" parent pushing the child along to stay on target with school...morning, noon, and night, because we do have homework even though we homeschool.  (Jr and Sr High isn't so easy peasy as the early elementary years.)  At bedtime I just want them in their beds, out of my sight.  I want to be alone.  I know that must sound horrible.

You may ask where is David in all of this?  Well, he can be found raising funds in order to keep a roof over our school house.

I am so ready for school to be over because I just want to be a mom, not the school teacher.

I want to be a happier, funnier, more relaxed mom.  I want to have energy that flows well past my current bewitching hour.  I want to have a slower pace, not rushing my kids through the day as I check off each moment from our never-ending, daily "to do" list.

Wanting to just be Mom is what drives me to stay on task and finish up on time.  Knowing that I have 6-8 weeks off is the light at the end of the tunnel.  It guides our homeschool to stay on task (almost) always.  And by the end of each school year, I'm tired and worn out.

So for now, (and the next seven weeks),  I am just Mom.  For the next seven weeks I plan to relish the role and thank God for  the opportunity to be Mom.  I love that role.

*When I say "just Mom", that isn't meant in a derogatory manner.  No m'am!  The role of Mom is another full time and honorable (blessing) vocation in and of itself.  I'm just thrilled to have the two roles separated for a little while.

~  Patty  ~


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lake Day

Memorial Day.

There is an elderly gentleman (whom we know through church), who is a WWII veteran.    David told the kids today, "Big Jim (as he is affectionately called) is living history."  

What an honor to know someone personally who is still alive (and doing quite well) after serving in WWII!



As we remember those men and women who have given their lives for our freedom, we spend some traditional time together as a family.

Lake day after Sunday morning mass is one of them.








Texas' drought.  

It's going on four years now.  

Y'all see that concrete blocks below?  

That's where the water came up to when we first moved here almost 7 years ago.  


This fun, family day is always followed by pizza (delivered), bomb pops...


...and a viewing of the (live) National Memorial Day Concert (7pm CST) on PBS.   This is such an amazing tribute to those who have given their lives and to their families as well.  The true stories are always tear jerkers.  Always.

Tomorrow we will break out the patriotic music, throw some food on the grill, and make my yummy Creamy Blueberry Pie!


God bless our country and the souls who have given their lives for our freedom!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

I whipped up a batch of scrumptious,  coconut cream fruit dip a couple of weeks ago.  I thought I'd re- post the recipe with the Memorial Day weekend upon us.  (In case you'd like to try it at your house.)

It is SO dang good!

And SO dang easy!


Ingredients ::

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8oz  Cream of Coconut (Not coconut milk! Find this in the aisle with the margarita mix & other mixers.)
  • Only 1/2 of an 8oz tub Cool Whip
  1. Whip the cream cheese with the cream of coconut in a stand mixer until all lumps are gone.
  2. Remove paddle, & fold in cool whip.
  3. Serve with fruit.

You can find my original post with recipe here, too.

I also just posted about a fabulous oven baked fajita recipe here.  It is one of those where you just stick the dinner in the oven and finish swimming or hanging around with family on this holiday weekend.

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Oven Baked Fajitas

I saw this recipe come across our home school group when my friend Melissa made it for another family.  It sounded so good (and easy), so I got the recipe and it is totally blog-worthy!

This recipe is PERFECT especially for the holiday weekend if you are entertaining or do not want to be stuck in the kitchen before and after dinner.

Oven Baked Fajitas




Ingredients ::

4 large, skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips.

4 TBSP veg oil

2 TBSP chili powder

1 1/2 TBSP cumin

1 1/2 tsp of garlic (or more if you prefer)

1 1/2 tsp of oregano

3/4 tsp of salt

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (optional...I used rotel)

1 med onion, sliced.  (I substituted with onion powder)

6 peppers, variety of colors, sliced

Tortillas

Toppings of choice; cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc.


Directions ::

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place chicken in greased 13x9 baking dish.  

2.  In a small bowl, combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and slat.  Pour over chicken and stir it to coat.

3.  Add tomatoes, peppers, and onions to dish and stir to combine.

4.  Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are done.  

5.  Eat on warm tortillas with cheese, sour cream, guacamole...whatever toppings you like.  

This recipe would easily feed 10 people.  

I also posted a delicious coconut cream fruit dip recipe here.  A great side for the holiday weekend coming up!

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Retreat

Jen and I first met about four or five years ago through the blogosphere, and for the past two years, we have talked about meeting in real life.  So when our chapters in life happened to be in sync, I didn't hesitate to buy a plane ticket to Florida.

Gosh!  It was a great weekend spending time with Jen.  I even had a fun 15 hours visiting with her children and husband.  (They are almost a mirror image of my family!)  They made me feel so welcome...fresh flowers and some beautiful smelling body lotion welcomed me in the guest room at their house!

On Saturday morning, she and I headed out to our destination near Sarasota where we would spend two days and nights.


We talked and talked and laughed a lot.  We rested, relaxed, and came away feeling rejuvenated.


The clam shells, (as I referred to them), were so comfy!


And I even went paddle boarding!!  (Summer bucket list.  Check.)

Okay, so being a beginner on waves that were sometimes 4 feet high?  Not so good, but by golly!  I did it.  (Felt it the next day, too :)

(Top picture : heading out.  You can't even see the board I'm on because of the deceptive- looking waves.)
(Bottom picture up there : Coming back in.  I fell twice, but stood up 5 or 6 times.  The longest was about 30 seconds!  Ha ha ha!  The waves made balancing hard!)

No sharks either!  (Even though Jen promised she'd send my body back to my family if I were to have been attacked.)

But we did see dolphins :)

(Bottom two pictures : our room and the view from our balcony.)


I sent Jen a text letting her know I arrived in Dallas safe and sound Sunday evening, to which she replied, "....enjoy re-entry!"

I got a good chuckle out of that one.

It truly was a wonderful weekend.  We came away with so much, but feeling grateful for our husbands and knowing how blessed we are (for our families and friendship) were at the top of our emoticons!


~  Patty  ~



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I LOVE Crazy!


On Thursday I will be doing this...




Meeting  (in real life for the first time )  this AWESOME family...  We've taken a short cut to friendship and are excited to hug, and talk, and hug, and talk some more.

On Friday morning, Jen and I are doing this...


where we plan to have a mommy-only playdate here...


(Photo credit :: Resort Advertisement)

and here...

(Photo credit :: Resort Advertisement)

and just girl chat for 2 whole days and nights!  Woo Hoo!

And (on my summer bucket list), I want to attempt this...

(Photo credit :: Internet)

Where the experience will probably be more like this...

(Photo credit ::  Internet)

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Another crazy part?  My husband!  Both of our husbands!   Jen and I have been talking about doing this for a couple of years now, and the guys are behind us 100%.  They'll be manning the forts until we get back.

I love crazy!


~  Patty  ~



Sunday, May 11, 2014

The BIG Finale

A.K.A. Our last week of school.

Take me out to the ball game.







I took the older two last Wednesday,  (since they are the only big baseball fans in the house.)  The weather  was beau-ti-ful.

P.S.  The Rangers lost, but we still had fun!

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Donuts last Friday to celebrate the end of our school year!!



10 years of homeschooling.  That is H.U.G.E.!!!!  (My kids did the math...with Miss Clementine here, I am only 1/3 of the way through.  Long sigh....)

NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it past 6th grade.

Holy Smokes!  It's even CRAZIER  to think I will have an official sophomore in High School!!!


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Speaking of Holy Smokes...


Classes are complete for the year, and  I absolutely LOVED  my class of 8th graders!!

Confirmation Mass will take place on Pentecost Sunday, June 8.

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Random.




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New additions to our May book basket.

I added these new books to our collection for the month of May honoring Our Lady.  I saw them at Shower of Roses.


And my favorite...




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Splish splash.

The subdivision pool officially opened last Friday!



Ya think it was cold?!



Ester missed out on the fun because she was earning $$ babysitting.


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First Holy Communion.

I was asked to be on the logistics team for our parish First Holy Communion masses.  (Five masses in all - it's a BIG parish!)

Friday night was rehearsal.  Saturday morning was the Mass.

That was immediately followed by...

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Swim team banquet.

Miss Sally's banquet was held  at Cooper Fitness Club.  A fun-filled Saturday afternoon.


(Photo credit ::  Swim Team Mom, Kathi.)




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May Crowning.

Miss Mabel and her daddy crowned Mary at the 8am mass.



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Mother's day lunch at my FAVORITE Mexican restaurant with my FAVORITE people in the whole wide world :)


David ordered some egg dish off of the brunch menu...it was so colorful, I had to take a picture and share it.


(Eggs on colored tortillas with fajita-style beef, avocado and potatoes on the side.)

I ordered build-your-own-tacos.  Nothing fancy.


My favorite part of the meal was my strawberry margarita :)


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Skype date.  (Similar to FaceTime for those who are wondering what Skype is.)

Earlier in the week, the ever-adorable Miss Sarah from With a Hopeful Heart, suggested we hook up with Skype.  I thought it was a GREAT idea so we made a date for Mother's Day.


It was SO much fun and even though a couple of hours have passed since we "saw" each other, I am typing this with the same big happy smile on my face.

The kiddos got in on it as well since they are pen pals.    Listening to the two boys and their lego talk...so cute!

Her kiddos are just! as! adorable! on Skype as they are in pictures.  Pinky swear!

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And that's all of it, folks.

Crazy, crazy busy, but a good busy.  You know?

Wishing Sunday blessings to all of you as well as a good week ahead!!

~  Patty  ~







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