Friday, January 30, 2015

It's a Tea Party!

I cannot believe little miss is 3!!

A tea pot cake for a tea party-lovin' girl.






She kept talking about how much she wanted pink snow for her birthday, so her big sisters cut out pink snowflakes,  and I hung them for her to find in the morning.


She had a super sweet day!

Gosh! Have the past three years just flown by.  We love her so much and are so grateful that she is in our lives!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, January 23, 2015

What's for Sunday Dinner?

We are super thrilled that Grammy will flying in tomorrow and staying for one, wonderful week!  The kids and I plan to get as much Grammy love in as possible.

To kick the week off properly, I put  Lasagna Roll Ups, (recipe here), on the menu with some salad and garlic bread.  Mmm...mmm.


Dessert is in honor of Miss Clementine's birthday.  (Where in the world has the time gone??)

Her birthday is not until Monday, but with David's busy schedule, we decided to have her "tea party" themed birthday cake on Sunday ;)


The girl is all about tea parties these days.


I'm excited to see how her special cake turns out.  The bakery we've used in the past has always done such gorgeous work.

Childhood story...

Being one of nine kids, we rarely went out for dinner and had one, BIG birthday party with our classmates (in the first grade).  My mom, however, always ordered a beautiful cake from a friend of hers who ran a cake decorating business out of her home.  I have the fondest memories of waiting for my dad to bring home the cake box, watching as Mom opened it up, and seeing what beautiful magic Miss Martha created for me (and each of my siblings).  The one I particularly recall (I think I was 3 years old) was a Raggedy Ann doll cake.  Oh!  It was too beautiful to eat!  Such fond memories :)


I can hardly wait to share her birthday photos here!


Have a wonderful weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Lamb

St. Agnes had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.  St. Agnes had a little lamb. It's fleece was white as snow.


Beautiful St. Agnes died a martyr's death at the tender age of 13.  She had consecrated her life to God, vowing to remain pure and chaste.  When she refused the marriage proposal of the Governor's son, she was accused of being a Christian and put to death.

Depicted with a perfect lamb since her name resembles the Latin word for "lamb", agnus...


...the name "Agnes" is actually derived from the a feminine Greek adjective meaning, "chaste, pure, sacred".

I did not know that last part!  (It's good to learn something new every day.)

Her feast day is January 21.  This is the last feast day we plan to celebrate for the month of January in our living liturgy.

Coming up in February, we will be studying::

February 1 - St. Brigid of Ireland
February 8 - St. Josephine Bakhita
February 14 - St. Valentine

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Medical Updates (Scoliosis & Vision)

Scoliosis Update

Days before Christmas, my dear daughter had another scoliosis check.  (I cannot believe four months went so quickly after her previous check up!)

The brace continues to do its job.  It is really fantastic how well it is doing.  So after one year of nightly wear, we can say with certainty that she will not need back surgery!

As for how much longer she will need to wear it?  We will have a better idea when she goes back in May.  She is a trooper, because having to wear that tight contraption every single night is a pain in the bum!

What happens at the check ups?  Well,  they take an X-ray of her spine.  They measure the curves to determine how well things are looking.  Next, they take her heat chip out of the brace and run it through a machine to make sure she is wearing at least 8 hours a night.  (And she is ;)  They do a visual check of her back, and then usually the brace needs some adjustments since dear daughter continues to grow.

Every four months it is a four hour visit with stops in three departments, but it is worth it in the long run if it prevents surgery.


Vision Update

Last Friday, Miss Sally had her vision check up at the specialist.  Everything is stable, and we are moving on with life.

Her eyes (inside and out) look quite healthy.  The optic nerves are beautiful.  The holes remain open.  The optometrist and ophthalmologist have agreed on almost everything except the cause.  Where the optometrist believes that something had to trigger this acute angle closure attack, (our daughter does not have glaucoma and since she is only 15, this is pretty rare), the blood work all came back normal. The ophthalmologist believes that our daughter was just predisposed for this to happen.

We are okay with the "predisposed" answer.  Seriously.  One could drive themselves crazy trying to find an answer that may not exist.

As the body always tries to heal itself, including trying to heal shut unnatural holes in the eyes, she will need to have her holes checked every six months for now.  We are okay with that.

At the same time, we pray that she never has to go through that painful eye surgery every again!

She still is in bifocals.  The specialist did not want to change her Rx since she can see just fine with them.  We weren't told that she will get out of bifocals.   He did okay her for contact wear stating that the contacts will not cause medical injury to the holes just above the irises.

She was delighted to hear that!  (Dryland exercises are very difficult to do with glasses on one's face!)

When we asked how the open holes present themselves we were told the following:

A special light is shone through the pupils and onto the retina.  That light is then bounced back through the pupils and the holes...they literally beam with light ;)

So...

God-willing, we will have no unforeseen doctor appointments or emergency room visits for a very long time, if  ever!

As always, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the prayers you poured out in these situations!!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunshine (& winners) - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Gloriousness.

Today's high was 70!

Splendor, I tell you, splendor!


I am thankful for ~

* all the  kind messages and encouragement left in the com box on my 1,000 post!
* the adults who work SO hard with our parish youth group.  A-MA-ZING people!

* good doctor visits.

* blue skies and sunshiny days.


From the school room ~

* The kids are working hard and will have one week off next week when Grammy is here for a visit.

* We plan on taking a field trip with Grammy down to San Antonio.  (We never tire of  San Antonio!)


From the kitchen ~


This afternoon, I made cut out cookies with this scrumptious recipe.  (With a hint of nutmeg...yum!)

We ate them before and after our Shredded Turkey Breast sandwiches.


What I am reading ~

Working on it.


Around the house ~

* Yard work.

So all the roses are officially dug up and disposed of now.  (Sniff.  Sniff.  Dang that dreaded Rose Rosette Disease.)  All that is left along the house is my Prickly Pear cactus.


* Miss Mabel made some banana bread.  (She's doing a super duper job cooking and baking.)

* And we are getting ready for a Tea Party theme birthday for Miss Clementine.

* Mabel and Clementine stayed outside ALL DAY today.









* Post March for Life (Dallas) this past Saturday



I am thinking about ~

This coming Saturday.  My mom flies in.  We are SO SO SO excited to see Grammy once again.  (She hasn't been down since July.)


I am praying for ~

* a special, little girl named Lily.

* special intentions through a novena, Mary, Undoer of Knots.  (This is my new, favorite novena!)

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


What I am listening to ~ 

* a cute convo between Mr. Stan and Miss Clementine as they sit at the table coloring together  while eating cookies.


Coming down the pike this week ~

* Monday - horse lessons for Miss Mabel
* Tuesday - dental appointment for me (again).  Happy, happy, joy, joy.
* Wednesday - feast of St. Agnes
* Saturday - Confirmation Retreat (for Miss Ester)
* Saturday - Grammy arrives!!

A final photo to share ~

Winners!!

This evening, Miss Mabel helped me draw the winners of the prizes from my 1,000 post give away...


1.)  The winner of the Our Lady felt softie doll was...




2.)  The winner of a "your choice" saint softie doll (maximum $22) is...



3.) The winner of a "your choice" kitchen gadget or accessory (maximum $15) is...



4.)  The winner of the scrumptious chocolate is...


Congratulations, ladies!

Cathy and Margaret, I'll need you to email me your mailing address so I can get your prize in the mail :)  If you click on "View my complete profile" on the right side of my page, it will direct you to my email.

Tracy and Jamie Jo, I'll be in contact with you very soon!

Have a super week everyone!  Thanks, again, for making my 1,000 post so much fun!

~  Patty  ~



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1,000 Post (with prizes to celebrate) - Daybook Post

Outside my window~

Dreary.  No other way to describe it except that it reminds us of the dreary winter skies we left behind in Illinois many years ago.

Temps are suppose to climb back into the normal range this week,  (60's)


I am thankful for the blessings from blogging ~


* new friends

* gathering and sharing of material

* prayers and support from readers/followers when asked for

* the convenience of staying in touch with loved ones and dear friends that we live so far away from



From the school room ~

* Permit license to drive!  It's official.  I think Miss Sally will do great.

* Snowman building ::


(She had a blast gluing cotton balls on to her snowman body.)



From the kitchen ~

I was just sitting at the table working on the new menu, trying harder to tighten the food budget.


What I am reading ~

Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  You will enjoy this book.

Margaret Powell's classic memoir of her time in service as a kitchen maid.  Super easy, interesting read!

You can read more about it here, on Amazon.

Around the house ~

Riding lessons make great Christmas gifts!  It's the gift that keeps on giving.





I am thinking about ~

* My blog.  Wow!  I didn't even realize I was close to 1,000 posts until Miss Ester pointed it out about seven posts ago.

* Prizes (give aways) to celebrate this milestone.    **Read on to see the prizes you can enter to win**



I am praying for ~

* The repose of the soul of an old, family friend, Stacia.  She was a good woman, a great mother, and an even better grandmother.

* all of the people on my prayer list

* the unborn babies and their mothers

* an end to abortion

* a safe March for Life this weekend, particularly in Dallas



What I am listening to ~

Stan and Miss Mabel playing upstairs.  I love the good moments when they actually get along!!

Coming down the pike ~

* Monday - Permit to drive (Miss Sally)
* Monday - Horse lessons (Miss Mabel received six lessons as a Christmas gift ;)
* Friday - Miss Sally's eye appointment with her specialist in Dallas
* Saturday - March for Life Dallas (Miss Sally and Miss Ester will be attending.)

A final photo(s) to share ~

Prizes that reflect my blog and what I write about.

#1 & #2  My faith (and passing it onto our children through homeschool) ~

SaintlySilver on etsy is donating a Mary felt softie doll - (See item details here.)  One lucky winner will be drawn for her.


These are absolutely adorable!!  I first saw these on Etsy when I ordered a St. Cecilia doll for Miss Clementine's baptism birthday last February.

I am also donating a saintly felt doll, (maximum limit of $22), to a second winner, their choice of saint doll!  

#3  My love of cooking ~

Swiddles, Inc , another Etsy shop, has some really fun serving pieces and entertaining accessories.  I have purchased a handful to her items this past year.  They make great gifts!

This is my coffee scoop ~


It starts my day on a bright note!

Here is an image of a tea squeezer (because I know so many of my readers love tea!)


I will be drawing the name of  one winner for one gadget (maximum $15) to choose from over at Swiddles, Inc.

#4 For my love of chocolate (and how it is needed during the school day) ~


This is goooood stuff.  I was reminded of it the other day when I read Kathleen's blog.  One lucky winner will receive some of this awesomeness in the mail!  And as Kathleen mentioned, it goes great with wine ;)

So how do you get a chance to win something?

Here's the skinny...I don't have any of those fancy gadgets that require you to jump through hoops to win something.  (I really dislike those...talk about putting the squeeze on people.)  Anyone (in the continental states) who wants to will get one chance to have their name entered into a hat.  That's it.

Just leave a comment telling me you want to be entered.  Easy peasy.

I will draw the winner next week and post in my daybook post at that time. 

Have a fantastic week!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, January 9, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

I do not dare complain about our cold temperatures, because it has been down right nasty in the Midwest and upper plains.  Yikes!

(Stay warm and safe, my friends!)

My meal planning is going to be easy - peasy with a Chili bar (chili and all the fixin's) for dinner.

Dessert.  I have been hankering for a coconut cream pie.    (Recipe here.)


Anybody have any special things planned for their Sunday dinner?  A birthday dinner?  Anniversary dinner?

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pallet Coat Rack

Our "coat closet" consists of limited space underneath the staircase.  Limited because it is also a storage spot as well as our (cough..) storm shelter.

When we do have the occasional friend come to visit, there's never been a place to hang their coat or purse.  I found a snazzy remedy to this on Pinterest and my husband was all over it.

Our new coat rack...




Recycled from an old pallet of his.  He followed these steps, making the proper cuts and then staining it with what he has in his arsenal.

I purchased these pulls from Hobby Lobby...


They were 50% off.  I think I paid a total of $14!

(Hobby Lobby was low on stock at the time, so I'm hoping to eventually add two more pulls.)

Hoping to have more friends come and visit soon!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, January 5, 2015

Productive New Year - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

A pink and blue pastel sky.  It looks cold out, but the sun is rising, and it will be a beautiful day.


I am thankful for ~

* the peace and productivity  that came with the week that falls between Christmas and New Years.



From the school room ~

* David and Miss Sally worked on some chemistry labs over break.



* We are switching from a Tues. - Sat. school week to the regular Mon. - Fri. since David's busy season will now begin, and he will only have Sundays off.

* Miss Sally picked up another 2 classes for spring semester ::  Economics and Driver's Ed (an online course called I Drive Safely.)


From the kitchen ~

 Jan 1 we celebrated the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God with Miss Mabel's blueberry muffins.



Jan 4 we celebrated the Feast of The Epiphany.  I found this platter at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.  I served a  if you can't tell  crown cake ;)




What I am reading ~

I purchased a kindle edition on Amazon.  You can purchase a hard copy from Tan Books as well.


And for the  Feast of The Epiphany...



Around my house ~

* Cleaning!


I love Weiman Granite Cleaner & Polish.  It also comes in the form of stainless steel (appliance) wipes.  (Both at Walmart or Target.)

I had the kids vacuum and wipe out all of our cabinet & pantry roll out shelves in the kitchen.

* Painting our master bedroom


This is how we spent our New Year's Day since we had freezing rain.

The new color is called "Mineral" from the paint brand Kwal.

We need a new comforter, curtain, and lamps, but they'll have to wait for now due to the dirty little word, budget.

* Hold onto your socks...I caught up on all 5 scrapbooks this break!


I don't know, but I felt relaxed enough to tackle it.  I was behind two years with each child.  BTW, I only do birthday photos, Sacraments, special occasions, etc.  But dang it anyhow!  I'm all caught up.

Just in time, too.  Miss Clementine's birthday is in a few weeks.

I am thinking about ~

* Miss Clementine's birthday that is at end of the January.  I cannot believe she is going to turn 3 already!

* My mom's (a.k.a. Grammy) visit the end of this month.  The kids and I are taking her to San Antonio for a couple of days.

* the fact that my new favorite week of the year is the quiet week that falls between Christmas day and New Year's Day.


I am praying for ~

* a little 5 1/2 year old girl named Lily who is dying of cancer.  She put up a tough fight, but this wicked disease has taken over.  Please keep Lily and her family for what little time she has left.  I cannot image.... I shudder to think.

* for a friend of my family whose cancer has returned.  Please keep Stacia in your prayers.

What I am listening to ~

* a small engine plane flying over our house and the hum of a dishwasher running smoothly in the background.


Coming down the pike ~

* Sunday - Feast of The Epiphany
* Monday - Classes begin
* Monday - Dental appointment for me....yippy skippy
* Tuesday - David's day long, charter fishing trip (a Christmas present)
* Friday - Little Flowers / Little Women
* Friday-Sunday  - David's first home show of the season

A final photo to share ~


Three of my kids bought Mary's donkey and the Holy Family nativity pieces for me for Christmas.  (Fontanini brand)  For the feast of The Epiphany, I purchased the 3 Wise Men to add to the collection.  (I look forward to adding on more over the years to come!)

Wishing you all a healthy and blessed start to the new year!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, January 2, 2015

Master Bath Completed

I realized recently that I never got around to putting up the photos from our completed master bath remodel.  We are beyond thrilled with how the project turned out!  Here it is...

Before ~



(Mirror reflection of old shower)



After ~

A door-less, walk-in shower




Before ~



After ~


David's custom-built, floating vanity and mirror









Details on tile, stool, and cultured marble can be found here.

Details on blue wall color, glass curtain, wall tile, and chrome accessories can be found here.

Details on plumbing fixtures and sink can be found here.

Details on David's vanity and light fixtures can be found here.

Custom roll out drawers can be found here.

Mirror and door trim was custom built by David as well.

~ This has been a haven for us!  We love it and are extremely please with the classic clean lines in the design.  I have found that cleaning is a breeze as well.  Looking forward to enjoying it for a very long time!

~  Patty  ~

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