Monday, August 31, 2015

Smiling Faces

What a blessing it was to see so  many smiles over the weekend.

It was a zinger of a weekend; we had only two things on the calendar going into it and ended up with a boatload of good memories and smiling faces.

Friday night, I dropped the older two girls off at the movie theaters to meet friends and watch Ant-man.  (They LOVED it!  It's a Marvel movie.)

Saturday afternoon had us at the stables hosting a super-duper fun, birthday party for Miss Mabel.

(More pics to come later.)

Saturday night the Mister and I went out for a quick dinner.  By ourselves.  Be still my heart...I love "dating" my man ;)

After Sunday 8am Mass, I had another date with my mister!

 Top Golf.   Bloody Mary.  Mimosas.


Free.

FREE.

We were invited to go with another couple who had this Mystery Shopper package.  They were reimbursed for food and drinks since they wrote a review on the service.

Next up, an ice cream social at our house for Miss Clementine and a handful of girlfriends.


7 darling girls (forgot to get a pic of one) eating ice cream and playing dolls, house, grocery shopping, baking, cooking... all little girl things.  

Sweetness!

Sunday night ended up with a game of Slip n' Slide Kick Ball.


It was our parish (youth group) vs Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Dallas).

So funny to watch.

No broken bones.  (Thank you, Jesus!)

Sometimes the best things in life are the unplanned!  (Can I get an Amen?!)

~  Patty  ~

Friday, August 28, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

Does anyone have big plans for the weekend?

On Saturday, we are throwing Miss Mabel a birthday party for her 12th birthday.  Our kids get a party every four years, and this year is her turn.  She is totally excited, especially since it is a horse theme.  (Imagine that!)  Her birthday isn't for a couple of weeks, but this was the only weekend that would work.

On Sunday, Miss Clementine is having a few little friends from church stop over for an ice cream social.  (I'm planning on keeping that easy peasy.)

While they are feasting on ice cream, I will have some Beef Brisket cooking in the oven.  (See recipe here.)


I'll add a side of mashed potatoes as well as some green beans.

For dessert, we can have some ice cream sundaes, (if the little girls leave any for us).

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sally's Vision Update


Can you believe that it has been nine months since her emergency eye surgery for her Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma attack?

We are thanking God for healthy eyes!

Yesterday, Miss Sally saw her eye specialist, and he gave her a thumbs up.  She does not need to be seen for another year! Woot!  Both holes are still open (whew!), and both eyes look "healthy"  inside and out.  Back in April, she had a noticeable improvement and actually needed a new bi-focal Rx twice.  Each Rx was smaller than the previous.  She still needs bi-focals, but it's about half of what she needed post-surgery.

There were so many people, friends and family in real life and on the Internet, who prayed very, very hard for this young lady.  Those prayers and the intercessory prayers of St. Lucy have been heard!  God bless you all :)

~  Patty ~

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kids' Sports / Activities for the Fall - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Partly cloudy.

The intermittent shade from the cloud coverage is  welcome in our near 100 degree temps in North Texas.

I am thankful for ~

* the Sacrament of Reconciliation

We schedule ours once a month on the calendar.  As soon as I "don't feel like going," I know that's the devil trying to persuade me to stay home.  I try to focus on one vice at a time.  Ha! And boy some of those vices are hard to kick.

* living in an area that offers SO MUCH for families

* home school field trips

* great women/friends who have the same goal in life



What I am almost finished reading ~

I've really enjoyed this book.  Even the most seasoned veteran parent can gain amazing perspective and insight from this book.


From the school room ~

Sports this fall ::

Tuesdays - horse riding lessons for Miss Ester and Mabel (six weeks worth)
Tuesdays - archery for Stan the man
Tuesday & Thursdays - swim lessons for Stan and Mabel (once riding lessons are finished)

No more competitive swimming.

Two years ago, Miss Sally suffered a knee injury and has been dealing with it ever since.  She took this past summer off from the swim team to focus on physical therapy.  The second MRI showed problems with her knee cap and the cartilage around the area.

Swimming 10,000 meters a day would actually be counter productive to the PT so, she came to the conclusion that competitive swimming is over for her.

A very, very tough decision to make!



Activities this fall ::

Tuesday & Thursdays
- Miss Sally will continue to work with the city's aquatic department.

In the next six weeks...
Pre-school ice cream social (it's a girl thing)
Middle School bowling get-together
Home school Homecoming FB game
Home school Homecoming Dance
Field trip to University of North Texas Sky Theater
Back-to-School Mass with breakfast picnic on church grounds

Ha! And to think some people believe we are un-socialized ;)

Around the house ~

Guess who won Swim Instructor Aide of the Summer for the city ?? !!


(Miss Sally -left - with a co-worker friend)

All that amazing work ethic from her former swim team days carried over to her job.

Atta girl!

From the kitchen ~

I write out a menu once a week.  The majority of the time I just stare at the paper, drawing  a blank on what to write down.

Lately, for each dinner I make, I turn around and write down a dinner for the next week's menu.  That seems to have helped.

Tonight, I am making Quinoa and Black Beans (recipe  here).



I am praying for ~

* an end to abortion

* rain (it's been 40 days since we've had rain!)

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


I am listening to ~

Miss Mabel and Miss Clementine.

Big sister is dressing up little sister as a butterfly.  Little sister currently thinks big sister is the ultimate friend ;)

Coming down the pike this week ~

Sunday - was our back-to-school planning meeting for the home school group.
Tuesday - Dr. appointment for little man
Tuesday - Eye specialist appointment for Miss Sally
Thursday - PT for Miss Sally
Saturday - Mabel's BIG birthday party for her 12th!
Sunday - Ice cream social for Miss Clementine


A last photo to share ~


Have a wonderful week!

~  Patty ~

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

This Sunday, I'll be enjoying a potluck with the mamas of our homeschool group.  We are getting together Sunday evening to plan our social activities for the year.  I'm really looking forward to time with a bunch of great women/friends!

I am bringing a fruit tray with a Coconut  Cream  Fruit  Dip (recipe found here.)


and a Pina  Colada  Pound  Cake (recipe found here.)


(I love that stuff!)


For David and the kids, I'm going to make Baked Spaghetti (recipe found here) with garlic bread and a salad.


He is planning on trying a new, dessert recipe...Oreo Pudding Cake.  (Sounds easy for Big D.)

Do any of you have BIG plans for this Sunday?

Whatever your plans are, here's wishing you a great weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty ~


Monday, August 17, 2015

School Courses - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

End-of-summer, wilting flowers.



I am ready for a change, but it's still too hot to plant fall flowers down here in Texas.

I am thankful for ~

* a school year that smoothly picked up right where last year's ended

* inspiring homilies at Mass

* priests who support homeschooling families


What I am reading ~

Still on this...


From the school room ~

* This year's curriculum line up::

Miss Sally (junior)
Accounting (1st semester)
Algebra II
Marine Biology (with lab)
English
American Government
Logic (2nd semester)
Religion
Spanish III

Miss Ester (freshman)
Algebra I
Biology (with lab)
World Geography
Religion
English
Keyboarding (1st semester)

*She will take American Sign Language her Junior and Senior year at the Jr. College and receive dual credit.

Miss Mabel (7th grade)
Art
English
History
Math
PE (horse riding lessons)
Reading
Religion
Science
Spelling
Vocab
Music (*Music camp fulfilled this requirement)

Master Stan (4th grade)
Art
English
Handwriting
History
Math
Music
Phonics
PE (archery)
Reading
Religion
Science
Spelling
Vocab

* Living Liturgy -
September 8, St. Adrian (304)

Around our house ~

* David's brother, Daniel, was in Dallas on business and spent Sunday/Sunday night with us.



* This is SO my husband!



From the kitchen ~

We loved the new recipe, (crock pot) Shredded Tacos!  (Recipe found here.)



I am praying for ~

* a blessed school year for everyone

* all dads who work so hard to financially support their family's home schools

* homeschool mamas

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

* for an end to abortion


I am listening to ~

Miss Clementine play with her toy kitchen. (She is making soup.)


Coming down the pike this week ~

* Sunday - Uncle Daniel visits
* Tuesday - Dental appointment for myself
* Wednesday - Dental appointment for all the kids
* Sunday - Back-to-School Mtg for our homeschool mamas.

A last photo to share ~


A couple of nights ago, I made a bed-on-the-floor, right next to ours,  for Miss Clementine after she had a bad dream.  I woke up to find her like this... I guess she needed to be closer to her mama ;)

Good thing I saw her before I stepped on her!

Have a great week!!

~ Patty  ~

Thursday, August 13, 2015

(Crock Pot) Shredded Tacos


SO good!  (And another one of those recipes that makes your house edible while its cooking!)

Ingredients:

1 (2.5 lb) chuck roast
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1 1/2 TBSP chili powder
1/2 TBSP cumin
1/2 TBSP onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Directions:

1.  Place the roast in your crock pot and pour the beef broth over it.  (I always use the crock pot liners, btw.)

2.  Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the roast.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle mixture over the roast.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

5.  Remove roast from slow cooker, shred beef (remove fat) and return shredded beef to slow cooker.  Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.

6.  Remove beef from slow cooker with tongs to remove juices when plating or drain in a colander.  Serve with desired toppings.

I found this delicious recipe over at happilyholtsclaw.

Enjoy!

~  Patty ~


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Preparing for the BIG Family Wedding

So it has been more than 12 years  since my BIG family (I am one of nine) celebrated a wedding, which was my baby brother's.  Getting together has proven difficult since half of us moved out of state.

In one month, we are flying up to Chicago for the first grandchild's wedding on my side.  To be honest, I'm most excited for my dear mom who hasn't had all of her children and grandchildren together at the same time since 2007!

To keep my budget in check and keep my sanity intact, I put a "plan of action" together, and it was simply to prepare and focus on one person a week.

So far, so good.

Miss Mabel's Week :

New jewlery  (Mixit from JCPenney)  and shoes (Kelly & Katie Becca Wedge Pump from DSW).



The dress (Target) and sweater (JCPenny) are from last Christmas...we were thinking ahead to the wedding when we bought them big.


New hair cut.

 Check.




(I love her natural honey-color!)

We took stock and she has all other clothing items she will be needing.  Amen.


******************

Miss Clementine's Week :

I ordered these shoes (Stride Rite Buffy Girls from DSW).

They will go nicely with this dress that I bought on clearance last January.



My mom refers to her as a "pistol".

I bought that dress one size bigger at Gymbore $13 last January!!

Miss Clementine also needed a new, youth booster seat for the car.  She has almost outgrown her convertible carseat, and we will definitely need something lighter to check on the plane.


It's a Graco and the height of the back/head can be adjusted as she continues to grow.


**************************

Next up :  Mommy Week

I found this Max Edition dress at Stein Mart on clearance for $14 last spring.  Since I own a pair of Aerosoles Sassy Plush Wedge Sandals, I only needed some jewerly to go with it.

I found this Serena Necklace set at Charming Charlie's as well as the Olympia Stretch Bracelet.



Next up:  the new do



Depending on what the weather is going to be like up north, I may need to add a couple of long sleeve shirts to my "needs" list.

******************

3 down, 4 to go!

Woot!  Woot!

~  Patty  ~





Monday, August 10, 2015

Smorgasbord in August - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Extreme heat.

Apparently, Texas produces the most wind power of any US state.

Sweetwater Wind Farm comes in 3rd place with 585 turbines on its "farm".

(We drove through Sweetwater, TX on our Southwest Texas trip and - in my opinion - saw how they completely ruin the scenery God put there.)



I am thankful for ~

* air condition

* all the kind words and prayers from THIS post

* summer jobs for teens

* daughters baking in the kitchen

* good friends

* coffee


*I really wish I lived closer to my mom so we could enjoy a cup of coffee together  :)

What I am reading ~

Still working on this...


I still love it!


From the school room ~

* Music:  Stan the man and Miss Mabel attended music camp at church last week.  Mabel was an aide (earning some of her Confirmation hours) and Stan was an attendee.

* First week of school was successful!  (I'll list their classes subjects next week.)

*  Driver's Ed:  Miss Sally completed all of her driving hours.  (She doesn't turn 16 till the end of October though.)


*  PE:   Miss Clementine is in the midst of swim lessons.  I had signed her up for evening classes.


* Religion :  Due to a busy schedule, I had not selected any saint feast days to celebrate for the month of July and still have not for August.  I miss doing this and need to start planning.

Around the house ~

Employed teenagers who are not old enough to drive yet.


It is a catch 22.

Miss Ester demonstrated basic horse care and basic riding for beginners at horse camp (30 minutes one way).  Agricultural age requirements for employment are different.

Miss Sally has been a swim instructor aide all summer, the first half being split shift (on the other side of town).

Being a full time taxi ate up most of my time, but it was only for this summer and boy oh boy!  The girls each have a nice savings account.

I love to see hard-working teenagers!

From the kitchen ~

I tried a new recipe, Salsa Chicken.  It's blog-worthy!  Here's the recipe.

I'm also trying a new recipe on Tuesday.  I think it is going to be a blog-worthy winner as well.  I'll keep you posted.


I am praying for ~

* the repose of the soul of my ex-brother-in-law (his wake is Tuesday and Mass of Christian Burial is Wednesday)

* my nieces

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

* for an end to abortion

I am listening to ~ 

* my little guy rinsing his dishes putting them into the dishwasher

* the hum of my a.c.

Coming down the pike this week ~

* Monday - Thursday, Miss Sally last week of summer swim lessons
* Monday - Thursday, Miss Clementine has swim lessons
* Wednesday - Miss Ester starts her new job (every Wednesday, feeding horses at the stable).
* Wednesday - Stan the man is going to a swimming party with his buddies
* Thursday - Swing dancing for the high schoolers
* Friday - High School social night for the girls

A last photo to share ~

 I put this on FB the other day.


She cracks us up!

Have a great week, all!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Evil of Alcoholism

My ex-brother-in-law passed away yesterday.  He had been estranged from my five nieces for a very long time, the youngest two have really no memory of him at home.

His name Jeff.  He was 47.

Jeff was an alcoholic, and as many of you may be well aware, alcoholics live a very destructive life, leaving loved ones severely wounded in the path.  Near the end, we heard he had been attempting to get into rehab.

We are not sure exactly what happened, but something triggered a drunken evening and it ended in a fall that left him needing emergency brain surgery.  He was placed on life support.

The state required his biological children to be the  guardians of his care.  Enter my nieces and their half brother.  They had been thrust into an adult world of painful decision making over night that many adults themselves have yet to deal with.  They had to eventually make the decision to take their father off of life support and put him under compassionate care with hospice.

He was on life support for almost two weeks.  Once a week, the neurosurgeons and other health care workers would meet with the family members to discuss his care.  The decision was made by my nieces and their brother to remove the life support; to see what God's plan was.  After labored- breathing (with oxygen) for five days on his own but still no response to stimuli and having fixed pupils, they made the decision to have a feeding tube placed.   He passed 24 hours after the feeding tube was placed.

My nieces are 18, 22, & 23.  Megan (23) is to be married in five weeks.  Emily (22) is a recent college grad and has been starting her masters over the summer.  Molly (18) is suppose to be leaving for nursing school in a couple of weeks.

Can you imagine making these decisions at their age?

Throw into the mix the fact that  Jeff's family is very dysfunctional, a family of mostly alcoholics starting with Jeff's mother.   Where I do not mean to throw accusations, I must paint a very clear picture so you can try and grasp what my nieces and their half brother have endured.  In their grief, his family has been very angry and have lashed out at my nieces and their half brother.  If I could sum up the verbal assaults and accusations, I would have to use the word 'evil'.  The family's denial of their own brother's self-destruction has resulted in great anxiety for my nieces.

This tragic situation obviously needs prayers from every angle.  One of their first acts was to have their father anointed by a priest.  They knew he had attempted rehab.  They knew he did NOT want to  be an alcoholic.  They knew he was sorry for years of pain and suffering he caused.  During his "sober" last days, the girls were able to find peace with him even though he was unconscious.  They mourn him.

I ask you to pray for this entire, tragic situation, for all those involved.  I ask you to especially pray for the peace my nieces deserve.

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

(Crock pot) Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken

This one had my house smelling soooo good, as my friend Nancy would say, "I could have eaten the walls!"




Ingredients :  (* I tweaked the original recipe)

2 pounds of skinless/boneless chicken breast
1 cup salsa
1 (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 (15.25 oz) can of corn (drain)
1 (15 oz) can of black beans (drain)
1 cup sour cream

Directions :

1.  Place the chicken in the crock pot and then add the beans and corn followed by the taco seasoning.

2.  In a separate bowl, mix the salsa and soup together then pour over the chicken.

3.  Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.  Add 1 cup sour cream during the last hour to get a creamy sauce.

Serve over rice.  (I found this recipe here.)

Enjoy!

~ Patty  ~

Monday, August 3, 2015

August Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Heat

I'm not complaining though.  This is Texas and it is the beginning of August.  It sure does make me tend to be a bit more lazy.  Why is that anyway?



I am thankful for ~

* the right to homeschool

* air conditioned homes

* my husband's sense of humor

* lazy days of summer

* Grammy's visit



What I am reading ~


I REALLY like this book.  It's an easy read, broken into five chapters, and each chapter has about five or six sections.  At the end of each chapter, there's some thought-provoking questions (which makes this a good book to read and discuss in a book club) along with a prayer pertaining to the subject of that chapter.  I kind of think of it as a "quick start" book you receive when you purchase a new piece of technology.

From the school room ~

* One of their favorite days of school is when we go buy supplies.


The second favorite day is the last day of school.  Ha ha ha!

* Today is our first day of the 2015-2016 school year!

No cute bulletin board was put up this year.  I could not find any back-to-school cards to put on their night stands the night before.  No big fanfare or hoopla.

I am not beating myself up.  We are kind of just there, being mellow.  Blame it on the heat, I don't know.

We will get to those things eventually.




(They did wake up to donuts to kick off the first day of school!)

Around the house ~

Can you imagine pulling 7 horses and teenage girls to a good, old-fashioned riding competition?  (Me neither!)  Miss Ester's instructor is amazing!


From the kitchen Cheesecake Factory ~

Their new flavor was unrolled last week on National Cheesecake Day!

Salted Caramel



Lawdy be!

A handful of mommy friends from my homeschool group got together, kind of last minute.  Dang!  It was good.

I am praying for ~

* my nieces who had a very difficult decision to make regarding the health of their estranged father

* our priests

* an end to abortion

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

I am listening to ~

* bugs outside and the running a.c.



Coming down the pike this week ~

* Monday is the first day of the school year!

* Mon-Thurs music camp at church (in the mornings) for Stan and Mabel

* Swim lessons begin for Miss Clementine (in the evenings)

* Saturday - hair cut for myself

* Sunday - our homeschool group is hosting the author of Dressing with Dignity, Colleen Hammond, at our church hall.

Another picture to share ~


My mom and I while she was here in Texas.  We miss her but look forward to seeing her and my entire (crazy huge) family in September.

Wishing you a great first week of August!

~  Patty  ~



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