Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sunflower Cupcakes to Celebrate St. Catherine of Siena

The end result was beautiful (and delicious)!

The kids and I made these with yellow tinted butter cream frosting for the base, yellow tinted royal frosting for the leaves (leaf tip - forgot the tip number), and mini chocolate chips for the seeds.  We are novices when it comes to decorating cupcakes, so this (decorating) project took almost two hours.  Miss Ester baked and then froze the cupcakes a couple of days earlier.

We found the idea on Catholic Cuisine and Betty Crocker.

“Our faith may be compared to this flower, since its gaze is ever fixed above, and turned towards the glorious sun of divine truth.” - Fr Lasance - Catholic Girl's Guide

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~

Toxic Moments

Last week was one of the worst weeks I have had in a long time.  Encountering toxic situations weighed heavily on the heart of David and myself.

Anger.  Hatred.  Gossip.  Calculating.  

Why do people  behave in such ways?  Insecurity?  Jealousy?  No one is immune to them and no one is immune to causing them, myself included.

What I do know is that it is hard  to rebound after being on the receiving end.  Growing from these humiliating experiences is so important, but hard when residual effects of hurt stand in the way.   So I wanted to share these thoughts I read just last evening.  Nancy always inspires me and makes me ponder more deeply.  This is from Nancy...What's Lurking in the Foyer

And leaving you with another of Nancy's posts...

In Each Moment

May you find great peace as you do what God expects you to do.

~  Patty  ~

Monday, April 27, 2015

No Worries

Life has been rather hectic here lately, but at least one person knows how to savor every moment.

(P.S.  This was before our precious Blue Bell ice cream was taken off the shelves.)

~  Patty  ~

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Faces of the Homeless

There's no "What's for Sunday dinner?" post this week.

In its place, I must share this picture that was sent to our home school group ~

The survival kits our home school kids prepared were delivered to the homeless in Dallas this past week.  The lady in the blue t-shirt works with this amazing ministry out of another parish.

It has been quite a humbling experience for the children and adults.

How the service project worked::

1.  A mom from our home school group met with this ministry's spokesperson and decided to chair this service project for our group.

2.  Home school families donated money, and we took money out of our petty cash fund as well.  Items for the kits were purchased in bulk quantity.

3.  A night was set to meet and assemble the kits.  (It was short notice and whoever could come were welcome.)

4.  Items were laid out on tables.  Children and parents took a spot by a table and as the large Ziploc bag was passed, we would put an item from our spot into the bag and then pass it along.

Survival kit items ::

tooth paste
band aids
pad of paper
granola bars
apple sauce packs
plastic spoon
and other various non perishable food items

We also placed holy cards into each bag.

*Approximately 85 bags were assembled.  Set up time to completed assembly took maximum one hour.  We had approximately 40 people show up to help.

When I saw this picture come through on my email, it brought tears to my eyes.  To put a face to a homeless person and to see that human being holding a bag we touched...there are no words.  Humility.  Compassion.  Gratitude.  These words just scratch the service.  It was such a blessing to take part in this service project.
I am not putting this post up for accolades, but to promote what we really can do as brothers and sisters in Christ.  I had a lot of inquiries since I first posted our project here.  I earnestly pray that this corporal work of mercy has a wide ripple effect!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Beautiful weather.

Friday and Saturday brought some strong thunderstorms to Texas at bedtime, but there was only glorious sunshine during the day.

I am thankful for ~

* so many good friends we have made in Texas over the past 8 years

* seeing so many GOOD people in a world that seems to have gone mad

* Miss Sally's new job (swim instructor assistant with the city)

* children who have the drive to be employed

What I am reading ~

Nada.  Not since Easter.

From the school room ~

* Stan the Man has finished up a few subjects for the year:  Phonics, Vocab, History, Maps & Charts.

* Service Project ::  Assembling Survival Kits for the homeless shelter in Dallas

These photos do not do the night justice.  One of the moms in our group, Amber, organized this amazing service project.  First, she collected the monetary donations from families in our group, and then she purchased items for the kits in bulk quantity.  Last Friday night was assembly night where  she set up stations for each item and had the kids and parents stood in an assembly line to fill some 85 survival kits.

Survival Kits included: chapstick, tissues, combs, wipes, pens, pads, tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorant, Gatorade, small food items, apple sauce cups with plastic spoons, holy cards...(and I know I'm missing items from the list.)

There is a group of adults from another parish that take these kits down into the city and deliver them to the homeless shelter.

Around the house ~

They've taken a liking to horse barrel  and pole bending races!

We sat outside to watch a thunderstorm blow in on Saturday night...

From the kitchen ~

I was only able to get part of my menu and grocery shopping completed.  Need to work on that after I finish this post.  (Can we say priorities.)

I am praying for ~

* Heather and her family...that they will be in their new home soon.

* Annie and her family.  Annie is the young mother of five battling a horrible monster inside of her.

* For all the persecuted Christians around the world, in particular, for those in the current holocaust taking place in the Middle East and Africa.

I am listening to ~

Silence.  It is golden.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Monday - Art class for Sally and Ester
Tuesday - Archery for Stand and Mabel
Saturday - Garage Sale - for the youth group's mission trip

A final photo to share ~

Wishing you a wonderful week!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, April 17, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

Spring is in the air!

On Sunday, I am planning on doing some spring flower / shrub planting this weekend.  I am excited because we have decided on what to replace all of our diseased rose bushes with.

In the front, I will put some Indian Hawthorne bushes by the power box.

I have a beautiful row of these in front of my porch, so tying it all in will make it neat and tidy.  They bloom beautiful flowers each spring (which trumpet in the Texas bluebonnets), and they keep their leaves year round.   Most shrubs down here do.

In the back, next to our prickly pear, I plan to put in two Red Yucca plants.

The Red Yucca is a native Texas plant and does quite well in our area.

I am not sure if I will put one by my Mary statue or not.  David had to pull that rose bush out as well.

I LOVE to plant, and rarely have the time these days.  So I'm looking forward to my Sunday :)

Dinner will need to be a crock pot item since I plan to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.

Italian Beef (recipe here) is on the menu along with mashed potatoes and green beans.  Yum! Yum!

Dessert will be Strawberries and Cream Cake (recipe here).

Wishing y'all a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Baptism Birthday

The 13 of April was the baptism birthday of Miss Ester.

We lit the baptism candle she received from Fr. Patrick 14 years ago.  We had a private baptism all those years ago while she was waiting for open heart surgery.  Our neighbors, Charles and Eleanor, were proxy godparents since we lived 120 miles from the closest family member, and we really could not have visitors around her, hoping to avoid an illness prior to surgery.

We gave her a copy of The Diary of Saint Gemma Galgani, her Confirmation saint.

We just celebrated the feast of St. Gemma on April 11, so we now have two beautiful saint books to add to our collection.

~  Patty  ~

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Showers - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~


I don't mind a nice thunderstorm, but I really don't like those ginoromous ones that scare the beegeesus out of me.

What I am thankful for ~

Sundays.  Our day of rest.  The Baltimore Catechism teaches us how to keep the Lord's day holy by refraining from unnecessary servile work (scrubbing floors, doing laundry, etc).   These days of rest are so good in so many ways.  I typically have to force myself to relax and do nothing, so I have come to be so thankful for them!

What I am reading ~

St. Gemma Galgani's feast day was this past Saturday, April 11.  Miss Ester chose her as her Confirmation saint, so we are celebrating this beautiful saint in our April Living Liturgy.

From the school room ~

* This week is our mid-term week.  The kids are working hard; no one is caving in to spring fever (yet).

* Religion / Living Liturgy for April

April 11 - Feast of St. Gemma Galgani
April 12 - Feast of Divine Mercy
April 13 - Miss Ester's baptism birthday
April 29 - Feast of St. Catherine of Sienna

Around our house ~

Miss Mabel pulled out the water table.

I found this flower hanger at Target for $6.  It holds scarves, belts, necklaces, etc.  I bought one for each of the girls.

From the kitchen ~

I put up some new recipes last week ::

Tuna Salad (recipe here)

Baked Macaroni & Cheese (recipe here)

And Miss Clementine calls this... "white smoothie".  Ha ha ha!

I am praying for ~

* all those who have asked me to pray for them

* the repose of the soul of my Aunt Frances

* an immediate family member recently diagnosed with cancer

* peace in our home school as we near the end of the school year

* peace in our world, particularly for Christians in the Middle Easter and Africa

I am listening to ~

The coffee pot making my morning magic.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Sunday - Feast of Divine Mercy (Living Liturgy)
Monday - Art class co-op (my turn to drive)
Monday - Miss Ester's baptism birthday
Tuesday - Coordinator for Metro-Aquatics swim team picture day.  (Just a few hundred kids to organize...say a prayer for me ;)
Friday - Home school service project (survival kits for the homeless shelter)
Saturday - Horse riding competition for Miss Ester and Miss Mabel

A final photo to share ~

Because living without a basement during the "stormy" season has never been very comforting to me.  I am hoping to get better sleep when it is storming outside.

Have a great week!

~  Patty ~

Friday, April 10, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

The days continue to blend together as time keeps marching on.  I am feeling the older I get, the faster that my world keeps spinning from one day to the next.

This week has been an emotional week with some heavy stuff going on in our families.  My Aunt Frances passed away (age 85).  She was my mom's last surviving family member.  I feel so bad for my mom right now.  She started burying her own parents at the age of 17 and has seen each family member pass away since, including her husband, my wonderful father.  Aunt Frances will be buried tomorrow, (Saturday).  I will not be going to the funeral as it is too far away from Texas.

We also have an immediate family member diagnosed with cancer.  (I cannot give details yet since he has asked us not to for now.)  There is a treatment, but there is no cure.  David and I am still trying to wrap our brains around this one.  I despise the C word.

My good friend, another home school mom, is moving away.  I have known for sometime and still have trouble dealing with mourning her move.

On the more joyous side...

Miss Sally had her first job interview.  It is for a swim instructor assistant through the city.  She did a great job and will know in the next week or two if she got it.  It would be a sure foot in the door for her, especially since the city has broken ground for a new HUGE aquatics center...Olympic size.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.


I was just sitting at the kitchen table jotting down our menu for the next week.  I have come to LOVE LOVE LOVE our Sunday dinners.

This Sunday I want to do Brisket  - we LOVE brisket!  (Recipe here).

My sides will include::

David's World Famous Coleslaw (recipe here).

Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans

Corn Bread

Dessert...always my favorite part ;) going to be Divine Mercy Ice Cream Sundaes (originally found at Catholic Icing). We are making this beautiful feast day part of our Living Liturgy this year.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tuna Salad

I have never put up my mom's tuna salad recipe.  I love it for the fact that it carries so much flavor, and you can tweak the mayo amount to make it less  dry if you want.

Tuna Salad

(Freshly made.  Stick it in the fridge for an hour to serve chilled and allow for the tune to soak up some of the moisture.)


2-3 eggs, hard boiled (amount is your prefrence)
1/2 cup mayo
8 oz can of tuna (I prefer tuna in water)
1 small chopped onion (I substitute with onion powder to taste)
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 Sweet Gerskin pickles, chopped


1.  Cut up eggs and place in a medium size bowl.  Add mayo, tune, onion, celery, and pickles.  Stir to completely mixed.

2.  Serve fresh or chilled on bread, toast, or even a bed of lettuce.

Servings: 6


~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I had tried plenty of home made mac & cheese recipes before I made this one, and this one has quickly become my family's favorite.  I found it over at South Your Mouth.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese


8 ounce uncooked ziti
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream
5 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups (12 0z by weight) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 tsp garlic salt


1.  Cook pasta in liberally salted water per package instructions for al dente preparation (slightly undercooked).  Drain pasta and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, whisk egg, sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl until well combined and smooth.  Add pasta and 2 cups cheese then toss to coat.

3.  Add mixture to a small baking dish (about 1.5 quart).  Top mixture with remaining one cup of cheese.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until brown and bubbly (about 35-40 minutes).

This serves 4-6.

Next time I make this for a meatless meal, I plan to double the recipe (and the dish), and add some peas and carrots to it.


~  Patty  ~

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Triduum in Pictures

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper ::

This is my FAVORITE mass of the entire liturgical year.  How I just love the piety, reverence, music, incense, humility, prayers, music....I could go on and on.

Good Friday, Stations of the Cross ::

Fasting in between meals, no electronic entertainment between noon-3pm (the time Our Lord hung on the cross), and then meditations on the Stations of the Cross at home.

Holy Saturday, we anticipated the Resurrection of Our Lord ::

We went to visit Miss Ester's horse, Penny.  The people that own the pasture land that Penny lives on have a handful of farm animals to enjoy.

There were two baby lambs to pet, eggs to collect from some VERY busy hens, a riding lawn mower to drive around (no worries, the blade was disengaged!)

The land owners have a 12 year old daughter still at home, so the girls all enjoyed one anothers' company :)

And Miss Clementine went on her first riding lesson!

Later that evening...

After they were in bed, the Easter bunny delivered...

The Easter bunny even brought new spur straps for the horse rider ;)

Each child received a new book, a new swimsuit, and then something individual: butterfly net, swim goggles, painting hearts craft, spurs, and a Texas Rangers well as a little bit of candy.

Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of The Lord, 8am Mass ::

Before & after Mass pictures...

Family pictures?  Forgetaboutit!

This is all I got, folks...

Fabulous food.

Easter egg hunt (with our neighbors).

Confetti eggs with the neighbors.

We had a wonderful Easter Triduum this year.  Feeling so blessed right now!

~ God our Father, creator of all, today is the day of Easter joy. This is the morning on which the Lord appeared to men who had begun to lose their hope and opened their eyes to what the scriptures foretold: that first he must die, and then he would rise and ascend into his Father's glorious presence. May the risen Lord breathe on our minds and open our eyes that we may know him in the breaking of bread, and follow him in his risen life. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wishing you Easter joy and happiness to you and your family!

~  Patty  ~


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