Sunday, June 28, 2015

(Late) Summer Solstice - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Last Friday morning, we briefly (like 5 minutes) had the pool to ourselves.  It was wonderful!

Our temps have been in the mid 90's and the skies have been blue.  We are enjoying our summer so far.  How about you?

I am thankful for ~

* a safe mission trip for the teens and chaperones

* 2 teenagers working  (What a weird - but - in - a -good - way feeling at the same time!)

* the Sacrament of Holy Marriage

* another date with my hubs (We schedule them regularly now.)

What I am reading ~

* Rocking the Cradle Catholic (Almost finished)

* 40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate

This book was recommended by the author of Rocking the Cradle Catholic.  Gary explains to the female readers how a man ticks.  Barbara explains to the male readers how a woman ticks.  I'm not sure if I am going to read the entire book, but what I have read has given me deeper perspective into what makes a man act the way he does.

From the school room ~

* Stan the man continues to plug away with Math and English a few days a week...just so he doesn't forget.

*  Miss Ester is doing a good job with her Keyboarding class (a credit for High School).

* Miss Sally has been driving a lot, and  I see her confidence growing more and more.  She is growing more intuitive.

Around our house Denver ~

Miss Sally in action on the mission trip.  The girl has power!

And Miss Ester's crew did yard work and some house cleaning for a widow.  (That would be a crew member with her...I believe from a parish up in WI.)

From the kitchen ~

Plum Cobbler.  Plum delicious!

(Recipe coming soon!)

I am praying for ~

* Christians

* for the repose of the soul of my husband's oldest cousin, Richard, who passed away at 68 this past week

* all those who have asked me to pray for them

I am listening to ~

My washing machine working on a teensy tiny plum stain on my white favorite, white shirt.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Well, with two teenagers working, (one working the split shift), things are going to be hairy.

Monday - Doctor appointment for Stan
Tuesday - Archery (last day)
Wednesday - PT for Miss Sally's old knee injury
Thursday - Book Club night
Friday - Miss Sally's hair appointment (she's getting highlights for the first time - ombre style!)
Saturday - July 4th pancake breakfast for neighbors at our house!

A last photo to share ~

Big sisters are good for helping put on sunblock before heading out to the pool :)

~  Patty  ~

Friday, June 26, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

I'm posting what we feasted on last Sunday, for Father's Day.  (Partially because it was out of this world amazing, as well as being it's Friday, and I still have no menu planned ;)

We celebrated David in style with ::

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs (recipe here)

Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad (recipe here)

Tater Tots

Suzy Q Cakes (recipe here)

Wishing you a fantastic weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Homemade Suzy Q's

For Father's Day, my husband requested a homemade Suzy Q cake.  Our kids had no clue what a Suzy Q even was.  We laughed when we reminisced how back in the day only a handful of kids were lucky enough to have them in their sack lunches...and neither of us were part of that elite group.  We coveted those who brought in their beautifully packaged, carcinogen delightfulness!

Because I love my guy to the moon and back, I searched for a recipe and found one here.

Ingredients (Cake) ::

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Ingredients (Filling) ::

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 cups marshmallow fluff (1  7 oz container)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions ::

1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, and softened butter.

3.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.

4.  Increase speed to high and beat for three minutes until the batter is smooth and increased in volume.

(It reminded me of a chocolate mousse)

5.  Pour the dough into a greased 9 x 13" cake pan.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

7.  While the cake cools, make the filling.

8.  Beat together the butter, confectioners' sugar, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla at high speed until light and fluffy.

9.  Cut the cooled cake into rectangles of desired size.  Then, slice through the middle each rectangle piece into two pieces...

10.  Spread 1-2 tbsp of filling over half of the rectangles and cover with the remaining rectangles.    Sprinkle with powder sugar.

David loved these!

*This recipe yielded 12 separate Suzy Q cakes.


~ Patty ~

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bye Bye, Nellie.

We recently laid to rest Mabel's pet frog, Nellie.  Nellie would have turned the big 0-4 in September. (I'm sure that is huge in frog years, right??)

She was preceded in death by Percival, her loving, frog- husband and her cousins Bill & Ben.  (Ben's emotional send off from 2010 can be found here.)

Trying to keep things on a happier note, Mabel picked out burial box from the holiday selection.  After a simple prayer, she was buried.  (And Stan was warned not to dig that box up.  Ever.)

Owner  Family &  Friends of the frog were treated to a celebration of life by hitting up Sonic afterward.

Cheers to Nellie!

We will miss you!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, June 22, 2015

Blackberry Pie

Our neighbor brought over some freshly, handpicked blackberries a couple of weeks ago.  David told me that he wanted blackberry pie...his fave.  (We've been married 20 years,  that was news to me.)

So I went on all recipes dot com and made this::

Never mind that I was short on berries and never mind that my pie crust isn't pretty, but the end taste?  Oh my word!  It was delicious!!

Ingredients ~

4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe for pastry 9" double pie crust (or use frozen)
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup white sugar

Directions ~

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Combine  3 1/2 cups berries with the sugar and flour.  Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell.  Spread the remaining 1/2 cup berries on top of the sweetened berries, and cover with the top crust.  Seal, crimp the edges, and cut vents in the top crust for steam escape.

3.  Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.

4.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce the temp of the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.

Recipe can be found here. 


~  Patty ~

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Men in My Life

My hero.  The man who can fix just about anything, including a torn Elsa dress.  I adore this man!  I feel the best when he holds me tightly in his arms.

And this man, one of the best.  He is missed every day.  (If your dad is still alive, hug him tightly!  Never take another's life for granted.) 

Wishing all the dads out there a happy Father's Day!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hump Day Photo Dump

It's Wednesday, hump day.  I'm sitting here watching Tropical Storm Bill dump rain on us.  The rain and winds come in bands, like an ebb and flow.  No flooding for us, but there is for others.  

The two oldest are working hard on their mission trip.  (I've enjoyed receiving the photos of their day-to-day activities.) 

It's definitely been a slower pace even though the photo dump below appears otherwise.

Miss Clementine follows me e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.!!  I've never had a child so attached to me.  While I am in the shower, she draws family members on my glass shower curtain.

Miss Mabel took a nasty fall from her horse while practicing some jumps.  Nothing broke, but very tender.  She'll need a sling for a little bit.

Monday night I almost stepped on this dead, baby tarantula.  It was dinner for the fire ants.  (Those tiny, black marks in the photo.)

I've been cleaning one bedroom floor a day this week.  Like move-all-the-furniture clean.  Good grief the dust bunnies that collect!!

Tollhouse Chocolate Chips.  They speak for themselves :)

My neighbor dropped off fresh, hand-picked blackberries.  David's fave!  So I made my first-ever blackberry pie.  (It isn't too pretty, but it tasted awesome!)

Wednesday morning ballet for Miss Clementine.

And a couple of pics from Stan the man's archery class yesterday.  (Got it in before the rains came.)

Here's hoping your week is going smoothly!

~  Patty ~

Monday, June 15, 2015

And The Beat Goes On - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Miss Clementine calls these her "darlins"  or "childs".

The sizzlin' temps of Texas have made the pool feel so refreshing.

**There hasn't been ANY rain in June and the water is still over flood-stage in a lot of places.  Cray-cray!**

I am thankful for ~

* the chaperones who are attending the mission trip with my girls

* Sonic shakes

* a good night sleep

* slower-paced schedule this week

* good friends

What I am reading ~

* Half way through this...
To answer a few questions I received about it...

1.  It is broken down into 4 parts - On Traditions & Daily Life, On Sacrifice & Obedience, On Sacraments & The Liturgical Life, and Where Is My Honorary Degree.

2.  Each of the four parts have a handful of short (1 - 1.5 page) stories to go along with the theme followed by contemplation/ action.

3.  It is easy to short story a day.

4.  I have already started a new tradition that I picked up in this book.

* Stan the man is reading the Chronicles of Narnia...currently on The Silver Chair.

Since the first three books were made into movies, he watched the movie after reading the book.

From the school room ~

*  Miss Sally has just one more chem lab to complete in order to close out her chemistry w/ lab credit.

* Ester continues to focus on Pre-Algebra over the summer.

* Stan continues to review Math and English.

* Still waiting to hear the announcement of the essay writing contest Miss Mabel entered.

Around our house ~

Miss Ester and Miss Mabel had a great horse camp last week.  It was near 100 degrees every day.  (Lawdy be!  I would have melted!)

*  Due to the  "Fecal Contamination" in our subdivision pool last Friday....(sigh)....our swimming plans were changed.

Since we didn't want to hang out with the "floaters" (excuse the pun), Sally and I took Stan and Miss Clementine to an old park in town...where they changed the old fountain into a splash pad.

(Side note::  when there is a call of "fecal contamination", the pool is always treated and shut down for 24 hours. )

* Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the mission trip they go.

Miss Sally and Ester took off for Catholic Heart Work Camp last Saturday.  They'll be in Denver for one week working with the poor and needy.

From the kitchen ~

Freshly picked cucumbers from David and Miss Mabel's garden.  Soooo delicious!!

I am praying for ~

* the teenagers and chaperones that are on the mission trip this week

* friends of ours who were in a serious car accident

* peace in our world

* our priests

* for all those who have asked me to pray for them

 I am listening to ~

The sounds that only 3 out of 5 children make.  How quiet it will be in my house this week!

Coming down the pike this week ~

Tuesday - Archery
Tuesday - Book Club night
Wednesday - Ballet
Friday - Swim party
Saturday - Girls arrive home from mission trip

A last photo to share ~

A little bit of beautiful Texas sky.  The girls took this photo  coming home from horse camp last week...

God's beauty is so amazing!

Wishing all a great week!!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, June 12, 2015

What's for Sunday Dinner

Things are going to be a bit quiet around our house this upcoming week with the oldest two leaving tomorrow for their week-long mission trip to Denver!

I am planning some delicious Brisket  (recipe here).

Mashed Potatoes

Garden fresh Green Beans

And for dessert....Sonic 1/2 price shakes!

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty ~

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Her First Ballet Class

It is a ballet/tap combo for 3 & 4 year olds.   One 45 minute class, once a week, for six weeks.  A perfect fit for summertime!

A a picture with Miss Laurel, her first dance instructor :)

As we walked out the door after class, she squeezed my hand and announced, "That was AWESOME!"

Yes it was :)

~  Patty  ~

Monday, June 8, 2015

St. Columcille (Columba)

I bought this (used) library copy of Across A Dark and Wild Sea back in 2011.   It is now available through 3rd parties on Amazon.

June 9 is the feast day of St. Columcille.

Amazon description of book ::

Columcille was born in a remote corner of Ireland in the year 521. Legend has it that as a child, he was fed a cake filled with the letters of the alphabet, and so learned to love writing. He grew up to become a monk and a scribe a thousand years before the invention of printing, when books had to be copied by hand.

There was one book, a beautiful volume of psalms from distant Rome, that Columcille especially loved, and even though its owner refused him permission, Columcille secretly copied it. The copy was discovered, and a dispute arose over who it belonged to: Columcille, who made it, or the owner of the original. So better was the argument that a battle was fought between the two men's powerful friends; although Columcille's side won, the victory felt hollow to him. To punish himself, he set out in a tiny boat, vowing to leave Ireland forever.

A revered figure in Celtic history, Columcille (also known as Columbia) founded the famous monastery on the Scottish island of Iona and left a legacy of learning that illuminated a corner of the Dark Ages. History, drama, and a love of books and reading fill a story--told here in exquisite watercolors and deflty understated prose by noted author and artist Don Brown.

A book on a saint is a simple yet enjoyable way to celebrate the feast days.

St. Columcille, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer is in High Gear - Daybook post

Outside my window ~

As I type this, it has been 10 days since our last rainfall.  Lakes, rivers, and streams are slowly receding.  Texas is returning to its normal sizzle.

His boredom buster...

I am thankful for ~

* Pink things drying on the line.

* A house that wasn't affected by the terrible flooding

* A severe drought that lasted years

Lake Lavon is about 15 minutes from our house.  These pictures are from the drought, and then after the rains fell during May.

What I am reading ~

Rocking the Cradle Catholic :  Raising Little Saints in a Lukewarm Culture

I really like the book, the material and format.  I am actually reading this with some moms from our home school group.

From the school room ~
Miss Mabel entered an essay contest.  She had to write a 650-1000 word essay on a Catholic,  historical character who influenced the times he lived in.  The character she chose to write about was Blessed Junipero Serra, a Franciscan Missionary who fought for better laws to protect American Indians and taught the Indians how to farm, read, and write, and introduced God to them.

(We are waiting for the publishing company to announce the winner.)

Around our house ~

* The Lego Americana Roadshow - A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  and free!

All made out of Lego's, these scaled replicas were depictions of some of  our country's greatest historical monuments.

That would be Mt. Rushmore with an added character, President Business from The Lego Movie.

* Plenty of liquid adventures!

* Life ::

Tick Tack Toe - boredom buster - Dollar Tree version  (shower curtain, masking tape, and Frisbees)

Swim party for  Miss Mabel and friends from our home school group

My little laundry assistant

David and Miss Sally took in a Rangers/ White Sox game.

Miss Clementine's first, plastic swimming pool

* We celebrated Stan the man's Baptism birthday last week.

From the kitchen ~

I made Sarah's (crock pot) Apple Dump cake two weekends in a row!

2 cans of apple pie filling, 1/2 cup of butter, 1 boxed yellow cake mix.  That's it!

It smelled yummy-licious as it cooked in the crock pot all afternoon...

But!  If only we had our Blue Bell ice cream back :(

 From someone else's kitchen ~

The love of my life woke me up early on Saturday morning, (6:30 in fact), and told me to get dressed for a surprise breakfast out.  We were in Dallas by 7:00am at Crossroads Diner.  

We split a sticky bun, and then I ordered Eggs Florentine.  Oh my word!  Made from scratch, delicious-ness!!

The occasion?  We just really needed a date! 

I am praying for ~

* flood victims in Texas (and in Oklahoma)

* the safety of all campers at horse camp this week

* for the safety and spiritual growth of all the youth attending the Catholic Heart Work Camp in Denver next week  (Miss Sally and Ester leave on Saturday.)

* for all those who have asked me to pray for them

Coming the pike this week ~

* Monday-Friday - horse camp for Miss Ester and Miss Mabel
* Tuesday - Archery (for Stan)
* Tuesday - PT for Miss Sally's swimmer's knee
* Tuesday - Feast day - St. Columbcille (a.k.a. St. Columba)
* Wednesday - Ballet for Miss Clementine
* Saturday - Miss Sally and Ester depart on their week-long mission trip

A last photo to share ~

With 4 girls in one bathroom, they need all the space saving they can get!!

David installed 2 roll out shelves in one side of their double vanity. *(He builds, sells, and installs these.)   

It's been on my "to do" list for quite some time.   The other vanity (sink base) we left untouched since the plumbing takes up so much of the space.

Have a great week!!

~  Patty ~


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