Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Soaking It Up

Women are such resilient and amazing creatures.  Awesome creatures.  I mean, men are strong and tough, but just think about what the woman's body can do.  That, alone, is miraculous.

Throw in the vocation of motherhood and life becomes even more beautiful and perplexing at the same time.  I am sure glad God knows what he is doing because there are too many times I do not!

My intricate and involved life keeps me hopping and sometimes there is no rest for the weary.  I am sure the majority of you understand that too well.

Life is constantly evolving, never staying the same.  Right when you think you have the "perfect" solution, life throws a curve ball.

My latest curve ball is (drum roll please), menopause.  I'm definitely entering it.

Menopause:  Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles.

When I realized that this is really happening, I looked up the definition of menopause.  There are plenty of catchy titles that women have assigned to it, but one really had me upset.  It is said that some women refer to menopause as, "The Beginning of the End."

How absolutely morbid!

Quickly adding the years up in my head, I came to the conclusion there was no way I would refer to it as that.

No way.

I wouldn't say it has been a joyful experience either, but I'd rather try to shoot for joyful than "the beginning of the end."  Agree?

I do believe menopause can feel like a morbid, disturbing, abnormal experience for some women out there.  Definitely abnormal in the sense that all of a sudden our entire emotional and physical well being is turned upside down.  However, I'm going to try hard to maintain the best mental approach that I can.

Honestly?  "The change" has been kind of difficult for me so far.

It has also been challenging to find the best approach to deal with head on.

I am 47 and up until this summer,  I had the laissez-faire attitude toward it; "This isn't so bad!"  Like going into labor for the first time and you are only at the beginning stages??  And you are like, awe...this isn't so bad.

Yup.  That was my attitude toward menopause.

Then, what seems like something literally came out of nowhere, my entire female system short circuited, and I did NOT like how it made me feel.

I have had to act quickly trying to stabilize this new normal and enjoy life while doing so.

I don't want my joy robbed nor do I want to rob the joy from others who live in my house.

I have been working on some life style changes, trying to focus more on well-being.  It seems to be helping.

Most importantly, I have been stepping back to further watch and enjoy the gifts God has entrusted to my husband and I.

I have a senior and a pre-schooler this year.  I want to be as joy-filled as possible knowing how quickly time has marched on and will continue to do so.

It isn't going to be easy.

Would I knock you over with a feather if I told you I was actually looking forward to my next yearly doctor's exam??  (Never thought I'd say those words!)

I'm just planning on soaking up one day at a time.  Baby steps.

~  Patty  ~

Apple Dump Cake

I know.  The title sounds rather nasty, doesn't it.  But this cake recipe is so yummy!

 I'm sure many of you have the recipe yourself, or a version of it, (my friend Sarah has a crock pot version that is delicious.)  I had tasted Dump Cake about 25 years ago from an acquaintance.

I just made it this past Sunday for dessert and realized that I never put the recipe up on my blog.

This is my apple dump cake.


1 large can apples (pie filling) in syrup
1 box white cake mix
1 1/2 sticks butter


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

2.  Dump the apple pie filling into the dish and spread evenly.  Pour the cake mix over the top of the fruit.  Slice the butter into 1/8" thick pieces and distribute evenly over the cake mix.

3.  Bake for 45 minutes.

4.  Let cool a little.  Then just spool it out and serve it with ice cream!

As I mentioned, some of you may have a variation of the recipe.  I've also tried a cherry/crushed pineapple one and a peach one.  So good!


~  Patty  ~

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Newest 8th Grader - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Our area has been seeing a good amount rain, something usually not seen until fall.  So this relief has been greatly welcomed!

I am thankful for ~

* stopping to smell the roses advice  (I've been more in tune with life around my home and am so thankful for it!)

* the rain!

* a smooth first five weeks of school

* my delightful 8th grader :)

I am reading ~

I just finished reading, "A Fifty-Year Silence".

I heard about it on Goodreads website.  It's a great place to find books that have readers, like you and I, reviewing them.

I don't write reviews, but pick my books based on genre and the reviews already written.

This book is about the Jewish granddaughter who searches most of her life for the answers to a fifty year mystery.  How could her grandparents, who survived the Holocaust only to separate afterward, and never speak to one another again?

From the school room ~

Miss Mabel is my newest 8th grader.  She is such a great student.  Truly.  She can read her lesson plans and then do the work independently.  She only comes to me with the completed material that needs to be corrected.

Her morning work consists of: Religion, English, U.S. History, and Vocabulary.

Her afternoon work consists of:  Reading, Spelling, Science (she LOVES Seton Press' new science for 8th grade), and Algebra 1/2.

For the first two book reports due this semester, she chose to read the following:

Miss Mabel will also be in involved with continued horse riding lessons and choir at our church.

She is particularly excited to be taking part in the new, youth group for jr. high (EDGE).

Confirmation.  Mabel will receive the Sacrament in the spring.  Our priest realizes the effort the Catholic home school parents put into their kids' faith through the domestic church and has given us permission to keep her at home for Sacrament prep.

We are using the Chosen series from Ascension Press.

I am praying for ~

* our priests

* our country

* and end to abortion

* our country

* for all those who need our prayers!

Around the house ~

Mabel uses Saxon Teacher (on disc).  The disc set is $$ but SOOOO worth it!  No tears.  No frustration for both mom and student.  Better grades overall!

From the kitchen ~

I planned out my September meal calendar!!

 With the large amount of recipes in my arsenal, this monthly food menu has been pretty easy.  Seriously easy.

Between my August planner (here) and this planner, I have only had to repeat a few recipes.  (We do pizza differently each week as well.)

I am listening to ~

*  Miss Clementine "read" to herself from a book.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Tuesday: Dental appointments for 3 kids
Wednesday: Dental appointments for 2 kids
Wednesday: Ballet class for Clementine
Thursday: PE class for Stan the man
Friday: Planning meeting for discernment retreat
Sunday: The canonization of Mother Theresa!!
Labor Day Weekend:  Maybe a day trip ???

A last photo to share ~

(Out on a date this past Saturday.)

Here's to Monday!  Have a great week ahead!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fifth Grade and Feast Days - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Recent cloudy skies have knocked out the 100 + degree temps that we've been dealing with.  It feels heavenly!!

I am thankful for ~

* a new science book that Stan is using in 5th grade this year.

* some decent sleep lately.

* a new homeschool PE class  that opened up through the city.

I am reading ~

I am currently looking for a new book but I am not sure what I want.

From the school room ~

5th grade for Stan consists of the following::

His morning work consists of doing math, religion, science (we LOVE this new Seton Science!!), vocab, and English.

The afternoon has him working on history and phonics as well as spelling and reading.

The two books he chose for the mandatory, quarterly book reports are::

(He already wrote and turned in the first report on Madeleine Takes Command.  He's now working on Father Damien and The Bells.)

I also signed him up for a homeschool PE class that will be local.  He's really excited for this and will be going on Thursday mornings.

In addition to that, he looks forward to joining the children's choir at church this year.

I am praying for ~

* our priests

* our country

* an end to abortion

* our school year

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

Around the house ~

* For the feast of the Assumption of Mary (Aug. 15),  Miss Clementine pulled out a couple of her favorite Mary books.

The super, sweet discussion the ensued after reading those books lead Miss Clementine to playing with the "Bethlehem set"  as she calls it.

So I got down all of our toy Nativity sets that I usually have put away until Christmas.

 * Music camp at church was a success last week.  Miss Mabel was a volunteer again, and Stan the man was a participant.  They both loved it!!

Miss Clementine and a sweet friend enjoyed the presentation on the last day of camp.

From the kitchen ~

In honor of  feast of The Assumption of Mary, Miss Mabel baked some cupcakes in these pretty blue/purple cupcake holders we found.

I am listening to ~

...a wild bath time upstairs.  Miss Ester is bathing Clementine for me and oh my word!  It sounds like they are having a great time.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Wednesday - Ballet begins for Miss Clementine for the fall.

Wednesday - Information meeting for parents to meet the new Youth Group Director at church.

A few last photos to share ~

We had our first field trip of the school year.  I took Stan and Clementine to see Snakes Alive! It was a very informative presentation put on by a Park Ranger.

Texas is home to  4 venomous snakes :

Coral Snake
Pit Vipers: Cottonmouth, Rattlesnakes, and Copperheads

Enough of the snake talk.

Wishing you all a great week!!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What's for Sunday dinner?

Any big plans for the weekend??

One teenager has to lifeguard for 8 hours and two other teenagers have a party to go to.  David is working on an install for a customer, so that leaves the two littles and myself.

Tomorrow's calendar is empty.  And I'm more than happy to keep it that way :)

I am planning on a crock pot meal for Sunday, using this Zesty Chicken BBQ recipe.

As it cooks in the crock pot, it makes my house smell edible!!

I'm planning on making a Creamy Blueberry Pie for dessert.

Which reminds me, I need to pick up some fresh blueberries at the store today.

Hope you all have a great weekend and a blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, August 11, 2016

3-Car Family

A couple of weeks ago, we broke down and became a 3-car family.  It was completely out of necessity since we have two teenagers (one drives and one is learning to drive) who both have jobs.

Speaking of learning to drive...

Do you think she is excited to have her learner's license (permit)??

~  Patty  ~

Monday, August 8, 2016

Excited for Pre-School - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Blazing heat.

But I do not complain because it's August in Texas and that's life.

We sure had a great time with home school friends  at the pool party last week.

There were 92 of us that were able to make it (that's not even half of our group)!!

We rented one of the city's facilities for a private party.  It was such a success that it was requested for next summer as well.

I am thankful for ~

* our home school group.  There are currently 37 families who are members.

* the chance to enjoy a little one in pre-school one more time.  This makes my heart very happy!

I am reading ~

* I have two chapters left in "Blessed Are  You."

From the school room ~

Pre-School this year consists of::

A few books to work in -

I purchased these pre-school books at http://www.setonbooks.com/

Along with some cutting, pasting, and coloring ~

BTW, I LOVE those Melissa and Doug crayons!!!!  I'm not getting paid to say that either.  They are triangular shaped so they won't roll off the table and your little one learns to naturally hold a pencil properly by gripping around the edges of these crayons.

There will also be loads of pretend play allowing for her imagination to grow.  :)

(Big sisters love to braid her hair!)

Right now we are warming up to the alphabet with some of our alphabet books at home.

And since "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" is a favorite in the house, we had fun making a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.

(I found the tree idea on Pinterest.)

I am praying for ~

* a successful school year

* our country

* and end to abortion

* our priests

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

Around the house ~

We went to First Friday Mass last week as a family to kick off the school year and receive a blessing from Father.

From the kitchen ~

Delicious Coconut Cream Pie!  I ate the last piece for a snack this morning ;)

I am listening to ~

some of the big kids preparing their lunch.

Coming down the pike this week ~

 Monday-Thursday - Music camp at church in the mornings.  (Mabel and Stan actually started school a few weeks ago in order to take this entire week off to attend camp.)

Friday - Retreat planning meeting for the older three girls and myself.  (We are making a retreat with a bunch of other young ladies at a convent in October.)

Saturday - Birthday party the older girls are attending.

A final photo to share ~

On the way home from Mass yesterday, Mabel saw this like-new bike on the side of the road and a sign on it read FREE.  After double checking with the home owner, sure enough, the bike was FREE (the homeowner was moving.)

It's a Mongoose and in fantastic condition!!

 Have a great week!

~  Patty  ~


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