Monday, November 30, 2015

I've Been Thinking (Again)

One of our deacons gave the homily at Mass this past Sunday.  He was talking about Advent and at one point used the phrase, "...missed opportunities."

Missed opportunities.



Regrettably, I have had one too many of those with my rapidly sprouting 3 year old.  I have been "too busy" taking care of everyone else to spend quality time with my baby girl.  This past October, I started making a bigger effort to spend more hands-on time with her, to become more engaged with her in her little world.

There's also those missed opportunities in my spiritual life.  (Don't we all have those?)



Layering more faith-based activities on top of my felt like dry foundation since the beginning of fall has helped me grow and branch out in other areas.

One of the layers I added was attendance at a weekday mass.  No, this isn't a blow my horn, look at me statement,  but rather a simple sharing of the fact.  David and I have made this change together.   Wednesdays (his day off) will find us at early morning Mass, just him and I.  (Sometimes one of the kids go...if they are up in time.)   I love Wednesday mornings now!  It isn't just a hump day in the middle of the week anymore, but rather a time for rebooting the graces that have shrunk from the Sunday prior.  And gosh! how I've needed that...kind of like needing to take extra vitamin D as you age, ladies.

Lastly, there's those missed opportunities for "me time".




Me time.  Mom time.  Alone time.

I use to dislike the "me time" phrase that women would throw out, and then I realized it was the way that phrase was being used and abused selfishly.  The bottom line is, moms really do need some "me time" every once in awhile.  Recharging the batteries in this area of our life is a necessity.  Period.

I have been more acutely aware of our calendar lately and am saying "no" to many things, especially during the Advent season we now find ourselves in.  With that, I find myself already reaping the rewards from the slower pace.  I can classify these benefits under mom time (i.e. have a phone conversation with someone without being rushed to drive someone somewhere), me time (i.e. drink a cup of coffee while it's hot), and alone time (i.e.  do something I want and uninterrupted).

Just tonight I was able to spontaneously meet up with three friends for a cup of cheer (Saxby coffee house) before the frenzy pace of Christmas kicks in for them.  The evening was such a delight, a great recharge.




As we now enter the season of Advent, I pray that you, too,  recognize past "missed opportunities" and experience in their place, a very fruitful season of expecting, waiting, hoping, and praying.

Advent blessings!

~  Patty  ~







Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent 2015 - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Rain.   Lots of it.  Since Thanksgiving, our friends (who live about 20 miles from us) measured 9" of rain between Thanksgiving night and Sunday morning.

Feast or famine.

I'm thankful for ~

* my very talented, handyman of a husband!!

No sooner did I turn on my dishwasher last Wednesday afternoon, when the water pump broke on it and my kitchen started to flood.

After a long day at work, he installed our new one.



* I'm SO thankful that I was in the kitchen when it happened before big damage occurred.

* I'm so thankful that we were able to find one (in stock) on our fourth stop and that it was priced at Black Friday pricing.

What I am reading (for Advent) ~

In addition to the 33 Days to Morning Glory, I am keeping things simple by reading The Magnificat Advent Companion.

From the school room ~

Gosh!  We really enjoyed the 4 day weekend!

We have three weeks left in our semester.  Our last day of finals should be Friday, December 18.

* Religion ::  (Living Liturgy)

We celebrated the Feast of St. Cecilia (Miss Clementine's feast day) last Sunday, November 22.  She enjoyed a bowl of ice cream with her Saint Cecilia friends :)


I am praying for ~

* a fruitful Advent season

* world peace

* our country

* and end to abortion

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

 Around the house ~

We went camping last weekend with the Troops of St. George.  It was family camp out month and we headed down to Corsicana, Texas and stayed on the grounds of a Vietnamese Monastery.


Miss Mabel, Miss Clementine, and myself slept in the teardrop camper.  The first day was gorgeous, mid-70's.  I actually kicked off my covers the first night.

The second night was very, very chilly!  Brrr....

(In her camper bunk bed on the first night.)


We attended Sunday morning mass with the monks in their little chapel.

The chapel, by the way, was wall-to-wall relics!  I've never seen anything like it.  Apparently, one of their monks was in Rome for an extended period of time studying and collected the relics, certificates and all.

(The relics' certificates were all in Latin, so I could not read them, but the image of the saint was next to the relic.  From the image, you could tell who the relics belonged to.)

From the kitchen ~

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Stan and I made the DELICIOUS cranberry bread recipe from the book...




I am listening to ~

Miss Clementine play with all the nativity sets I pulled out today.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Sunday - Advent begins
Sunday - Miss Mabel has a birthday party to attend
Monday - Novena to St. Andrew (Christmas novena) begins
Monday - Dr. appointment for Stan
Tuesday - Archery
Wednesday - CCD (Confirmation Class)
Saturday - Saint Peg Doll exchange (I'm painting St. Andrew Kim Taegon.)

A last photo to share ~

Thanksgiving day, before the rains came, the boys had a fun game of football on the church grounds.


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day and wishing you a fruitful Advent season!

~  Patty ~

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

(More) Special November Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Calm.  Sun.  Cooler temps.

At 3:45am, we were awoken to tornado warnings and spent a good amount of time in a closet under the stairs.

Fun times, said no one without a basement ever.


I am thankful for ~

* my little 3 year old who thinks she is a prima ballerina - (we so love the joy she brings!)

* the Rosary

* warm meals

What David and I are reading ~

* continuing on with this...


* I am also on the look out for some new Advent reading material for myself and David.  Any suggestions??

From the school room ~

* 9th grade English with Seton (the Catholic curriculum we use) has proven to be very tough.  Personally, I find it over kill on the amount of content that is required.

* The kids have successfully worked ahead a couple of days in all the subjects in order to take a 4-day break next weekend.

* Pre-school art - Miss Clementine and I worked on these 2 things...


(This was the source.)



It goes along with an adorable finger-play song that I found here.


* Religion - Living Liturgy::

November 17 is the Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (patroness of bakers as well as other things).  You can find her story here.


I bought this new book to add to our saint collection and made a crown cake in honor of her royal highness :)

(The cake idea - I think - came from Showers of Roses some years back.  I know I've made one for another occasion...Epiphany perhaps??)

I am praying for ~

* world peace!

* an end to abortion

* victims of radical Islam around the world


Around the house ~

* We celebrated Miss Mabel's baptism birthday.  I found this beautiful Holy Family font on Amazon. It now hangs by her school desk.




* Miss Ester and Miss Mabel had their last horse riding competition for the season.  They had GORGEOUS weather for it and took home a few ribbons as well ;)






From the kitchen ~

I'm working on an EASY camping menu for a camping trip coming up.   I was thinking along the lines of sloppy joe's, a soup, home made cookies possibly??

I am listening to ~

Miss Clementine "read".  Gosh!  I just love love love her cute voice.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Monday - doctor's appointment (Three kids AND David are all on antibiotics now. )
Monday - Mabel's Baptism birthday
Tuesday - Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Wednesday - CCD
Thursday - Physical Therapy on Miss Sally's knee

A last photo to share ~

We just love this book!


I have the ancient old copy that my mother bought for my siblings and I.   Stan and Clementine LOVE it the most, and Stan is insisting on using the recipe this Thanksgiving. :)

Have a great rest of your week!

~  Patty ~

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Getting Our Warmth On on The Feast of St. Martin de Tours

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I like to celebrate different feast days throughout each month.

A new one to us is the Feast of St. Martin de Tours, (Nov. 11).

St. Martin and the cloak story...

There's a story of how on a very cold night, while riding with his fellow soldiers, he came across a beggar half naked.  St. Martin de Tours took his cloak and after splitting it into two pieces, he gave one piece to the the beggar.  His comrades laughed and made fun of Martin.  In a dream that night, Christ appeared to Martin wrapped in the cloak and surrounded by angels.  Christ asked Martin if he recognized the cloak.  When Martin did, he realized that he would completely devote his life to Christ.  Once a pagan, now a Christian.

Today, on the feast of St. Martin de Tours, I wrapped up something warm and cozy for each of our children; something they needed not wanted.



 Clockwise:: Sally needed a new sleep shirt, Ester needed some new sleeping pants, Mabel needed a new robe, Stan needed a new pair of pjs and so did Clementine.

I'd love to give credit to the mom who inspired me, but I cannot find the article where she talked about using the feast of St. Martin de Tours to gift her children with new pjs each fall.  So whoever she is, thank you!!  It was a GREAT idea, and the children truly appreciated the spontaneity!

St. Martin de Tours, patron saint of soldiers, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Special November Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

We are experiencing a beautiful autumn in north Texas right now.   I LOVE it!  Some folks up in the northern states already have had to turn on their furnaces, but we still get to sleep with our windows open! The mornings are chilly (50's & 60's) but the daytime warms up to mid-70's. This is my favorite time of year in Texas.

I am thankful for ~

this little man who celebrated yet another adoption anniversary (last week).


What David and I are reading ~


From the school room ~

* the kids are busy studying, trying to get ahead two days in school so they can take a leisurely Thanksgiving 4-day break.

* Field trip.

Yesterday, our home school group had a field trip to Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch.  It's mostly for the younger kids, and we had so much fun!

Our highlights were petting a red-tailed lemur.


There was a bucket train ride.


I even went on it, but let's just say, the space inside?  Yeah, it was definitely made for kid size only ;)


Out of all the animals, the camels were the friendliest!


Around the house ~

* Miss Sally's Baptism birthday was last Friday.  She loves the new book we gave her!


Nothing Short of a Miracle, God's Healing Power in Modern Saints, by Patricia Treece, is based on the miracles that are attributed to saints from our day and age.

She LOVES it!!

* My main squeeze turned 47 yesterday!  (Can you tell he is happy with his age?)


He requested home made Suzy Q Cakes,  (recipe here.)

From the kitchen ~

Still working on this week's menu.  I'm thinking a nice beef stew for Sunday dinner perhaps?


I am listening to ~

Coughing.  Too much of it in my house.  One by one some nasty virus is making its way through the family.

Coming down the pike this week ~

* Monday - Field trip
* Tuesday - Miss C has a doctor's appointment
* Wednesday - CCD class
* Wednesday - Feast day celebration of St. Martin de Tours
* Friday - Feast day celebration of St. Frances Cabrini
* Friday - Little Flowers/ Little Women
* Saturday - Stan has a birthday party to go to,
* Saturday - Miss Ester and Mabel have a horse riding competition

A last photo to share ~

I saw this in a pediatric G I office today.  Thought I'd share the humor ;)


BTW, a couple of friends have contacted me (thank you) telling me that they are having a dickens of a time leaving a comment.  One friend said she was able to leave a comment via her iPad, but not her computer.  I also heard it is a Blogger issue.

Just an FYI, awhile back, I chose to use Bloglovin to read all of the posts from fellow bloggers.  I have never had an issue with them.   (I still blog on Blogger, just read my feed through Bloglovin.) You may want to make the switch yourselves.

Have a great week!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, November 8, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

Kind of late on posting, but my word! Dinner was delicious tonight :)

I made a Maple-glazed Roast Pork (recipe here).


There was Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter (recipe here).


I made my favorite type of potato, Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes, (recipe here).


For dessert, we had Pecan Pie Muffins (recipe here).


I'm telling you, it was A-MA-ZING!

Our family had a good Sunday here in north Texas.  How was yours?

Tomorrow we have a fun day with a field trip to a wild life ranch and then it's all about David's birthday!  He's turning 47 tomorrow!

~  Patty ~

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scoliosis Check Up



For 22 months, we have received the most amazing and compassionate care from our daughter's doctor, his staff, and the entire scoliosis department at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (Dallas).  Last May, the doctor thought that she may have only six more months of nightly brace wear left.  So yesterday, we went in hopeful.

Well, the doctor saw something he was concerned about and felt it was best to brace for another six months.

Where this was very disappointing, (imagine trying to sleep in a plastic tube that literally squeezes your spine straight each night), it is better than the alternative; surgery.

(The following are images from the Internet)

All prosthetics are made down in the prosthetics department of the hospital.



We've been to the prosthetics department many times for brace adjustments as our daughter has grown.  They do amazing work there, especially for kids with greater issues.

And you know what?  Shakes always make for a great pick-me-up!  We stopped on the way home to pick our spirits up.  It's all going to be okay.

Disappointments like these are character building moments.

~  Patty ~

November Memories - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Overcast and cool right now.  (Cool for Texas standards ;)  It's suppose to be in the upper 70's again.

It kind of looks November out.

I am thankful for ~

* the memories of my deceased father and father-in-law.

* the smell of newborn baby.  My friend just had her 7th child, and I got to hold him yesterday.

* this little boy who God put in our family!


Today we celebrate Stan's adoption day!!  We had a minimum 6 month waiting period to legally adopt state side once we brought him home the previous April.

What I am reading ~

David and I are getting ready to begin this at home retreat...


We will  start it THIS Friday, Nov. 6, and it ends on the Feast of The Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8.

From the school room ~

* Juggling school material and outside school activities can be tricky sometimes, especially for the older kids.

My personal thoughts::  I am pretty firm on insisting things get done.  For my household, school work comes first.  I do bend like the reeds when necessary, but that means kids have to do school over the weekend (either ahead of time, or after the fact.)  I am not sure if that is the old teacher in me or the organizing coming out of me.  It's probably both.  (I really dislike the anxiety that "having to catch up" causes.  So we avoid it as much as possible.)

* Sally juggled school work and a 25 hour life guard certification course the past two weeks.  Last Friday, she became a certified life guard and certified in CPR!

(I cannot keep up with this active and determined teenager!  She knows what she wants and goes for it.)

* Religion - Living Liturgy

This November, I chose the following feast days to celebrate at home:

November 6 - Sally's Baptism Day
November 11 - Saint Martin of Tours
November 13 - Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (Sally's Confirmation saint)
November 16 - Mabel's Baptism Day
November 17 - Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
November 22 - Saint Cecilia (Miss Clementine's patron saint)

Around the house ~

Our homeschool group had a wonderful All Saints Day celebration this past Sunday.  Even though it rained all day and into the night, the huge pole barn kept us dry and happy.

The Rosary.  (14 out of 38 families were able to participate.  There were 72 people there.)



Besides hot dogs, the there was a popcorn bar and a dessert table.


(Both photos were taken by my friend, Kathi.)

From the kitchen ~

Remember this ugly critter?




It turned into a wild pig dish that tasted absolutely A-MA-ZING!!!



It was (and looked like) the consistency of beef.  No lie.  (And I am not a wild game lover.) The sauce it soaked in overnight took away ALL wild game taste.  


I am listening to ~

The girls chit chatting while schooling upstairs.  I'm so glad that they have each other.  :)

The dish washer draining.

Miss Clementine crying because she cannot have a piece of  candy for breakfast. :)


Coming down the pike this week ~
Sunday - All Saints party
Monday - Scoliosis check up in Dallas
Tuesday - Stan's adoption day
Wednesday - CCD
Thursday - PT for Sally's knee
Friday - Sally's baptism birthday
Saturday - Horse riding event for Ester and Mabel
Sunday - R.E.S.T.

A last photo to share ~

The inside of Mabel's pregnant pumpkin!


It looked rather gross, to be honest.  Have you ever had a pumpkin growing pumpkins inside?  (A first for us!)  I think it was because of the very hot fall we had down here.

Have a great week!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Our Line Up This Year

Happy Halloween from Pinterest, Instagram, Ant Man, and Queen Clementine!



And wishing you a blessed All Saints day!


All you holy men and women pray for us!

Our festivities continue with a homeschool party:: hot dog roast and family rosary celebration this evening.

Have a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

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