Saturday, August 19, 2017

College Bound Daughter

My first born has spread her wings this past week.

This is what they are meant to do.  But dang! It hurts.

We made a lot of memories leading up to the big day, however I'll have to save that for another time.  It is still hard to put into words what I feel.

I tried to take photos with my crappy old iPhone.  So bare with me ;)


We left the other three girls at home and brought Stan the man with us.






During Mass, I couldn't help think of how comforting and blessed one is to celebrate Mass the day you arrive in college town, and on such a beautiful feast day!  I LOVE being Catholic!


We were with her until 4:30-ish, helping her unpack, grocery shop, etc.  Then it was time to say good-bye.  :(


Her dorm room decor is darling; she did such an amazing job shopping and pulling it together over the summer.  She is HAPPY!  David and I are ADJUSTING.

In 48 hours she landed a lifeguard job at the university pool, joined the Pro-Life group on campus, and signed up for the Catholic Mass carpool, (she doesn't have a car and the church is too far to walk to).  She has met a slew of new friends, all nursing students, and many in the same dorm that she is in.  Welcome Week is keeping her very busy, enjoying her new life, and classes begin on Monday.

As for me...


Blessed Virgin Mary, Pray for her and all college students!

Patty 

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Day of School 2017

This week we officially kicked off our new school year.  But dang! I have staggered start times for the first time and I'm feeling really discombobulated.


Left to right::

Stan the man, who is in 6th grade now, has dabbled with reading and math all summer, but went full time on Monday, still enrolled with Seton.

**Stan will not have school next week since he will be coming with us to take Sarah to college.**

Miss Mabel, who is in 9th grade, has been dabbling in keyboarding all summer to complete that credit hour.  She has an exciting year ahead, and looks forward to an online Spanish class with Homeschool Connections!  The rest of her courses are through Seton.

**Miss Mabel will only toyed with classes this week to get a feel.  She goes full time next Monday.**

Miss Clementine!  Can you believe she is a Kindergartner!?  She is the MOST excited ;)  She actually was so excited for school she started back in July when her books first arrived.  And boy oh boy!  I forgot how absolutely darling those Seton, Catholic kinder books are.

Miss Ester, a big 11th grader this year, has some fun changes added to her routine.  She has joined the homeschool association's Cross Country team!  Woot!  She will be temporarily cutting way back on her work hours to handle the change.  She is also taking an online Spanish and Chemistry course this year through Homeschool Connections.  Otherwise, she is still fully enrolled in Seton.

**Miss Ester doesn't start full time until Monday.**

God-willing, we will have a successful 14th year of homeschooling!

Patty

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Utility Spool Table

My husband got the wood working itch last week...


We needed a new coffee table so he created this after seeing something similar a couple of years ago.


I LOVE how it turned out!  Now I need an end table because nothing matches.  And wouldn't that look fantastic with a leather couch!? ;)

I told him he should make and sell these when he has free time on his hands.

Patty 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bittersweet Week

Last week was a productive, exciting, yet bittersweet week.

Miss Clementine is 5 which means she can join the Little Flowers Girls' Club that our home school group has.  The moms in the group had a planning meeting for the year, and it is going to be a great year!  Miss Clementine is so excited.


My big girls have graduated from the Little Women's Club so it's just her and I now.  Kind of bittersweet, but I look forward to our one-on-one time. :)


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

Last Friday, the girls and I got into the car and headed south to Belton, Texas (just north of Austin) where Miss Sarah will be attending college.

It was a jam-packed day, and a great one!

First stop ~ Sarah wanted to meet the priest at the Catholic Church she'll be attending while at school.
We had such a lovely meeting with the rock-solid Catholic priest.  So grateful that she will have him for her spiritual advisor.


This is so important since she will be attending a Baptist university in a small, Baptist town.

God is good!

Next up was a trip over to campus (about one mile from the Catholic Church) where she checked out her dorm room she's assigned to. We brought measuring tape and took notes.  Tight spaces!!  She's so excited.


The last thing on her "to do" list was to apply at the university's natatorium for a life guard position.  She's hoping to get hired there since that is her background and it will bring in more money then a work study program through financial aid.

I'm so  excited for her, trying hard to remain positive, but it is really bitter sweet.  She is ready to spread her wings!

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

This past Sunday our home school group had its annual pool party.


Talk about a fun time!!

When it was time to wrap things up, Miss Sally was able to say some good-bye's to some of her friends before she leaves for college.

So the first round of "good-bye's" has begun...

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

Did you know that there is National Cheesecake Day??  Monday night, a group of mom friends and I went to The Cheesecake Factory for 1/2 price cheesecake.  Awesome moms night out, right!?

I also had a table reserved for a group of sweet, young ladies; Miss Mabel and friends.


They were in a different area of the restaurant from the moms and really enjoyed their experience.  I love watching Miss Mabel grow into this beautiful, young lady.


Time marches on...

Patty

Summer Fun - Lake Fun

This summer has gone by so uber slow, and I LOVE it especially since my first born will be leaving for college soon.

David tries to keep his Wednesdays off, so last week on a whim I suggested we head to the lake for the afternoon.

Have I mentioned how much I love spontaneity?!

We packed up right after lunch taking a jug of ice water and pretzels along.  (So 70 ish!)


We only had the younger three kiddos - oh my goodness did that seem strange -  and stayed only a couple of hours.  On the way home, we stopped for an ice cream cone.


Such a fun day making happy memories :)

Hope you enjoy your last few weeks of summer!

Patty

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

What can I say about Miss Mabel?!  She is producing some amazing things from the kitchen this summer.  While we were gone on our anniversary trip, I received this photo.




Isn't it gorgeous?

She made this gorgeous Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake by using The Pioneer Woman's recipe.

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

Ingredients:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE
Butter, for greasing
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted

FOR THE CREAM FILLING
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
4 ounces, bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp milk

Preparation:

To make the chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place a piece of the parchment paper or a silicone mat on a 17x12 sheet pan, and rub butter on it to grease.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine the cocoa powder, flour, and salt.

Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Combine the eggs and sugar in a heatproof glass bowl, then place over the simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl).  Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together over medium speed for about two minutes, until the eggs are thick, pale yellow, and warm to the touch (if you have a thermometer, you want the eggs to be 120 degrees F.  If you don't have a thermometer, just touch the mixture with your finger every once in a while until it feels like hot tap water).

Remove the egg bowl form the heat and continue beating at medium high speed for another 3 minutes, until it's thick and airy, and has reached the ribbon stage.  That means when you drag and drizzle a spoonful of the liquid, it shouldn't settle back into the liquid for a good 3-10 seconds.  Mix in the melted butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, and gently fold it in to the eggs with a spatula, working quickly.  Spread the batter onto the buttered parchment or silicone mat leaving an inch from the edges.  Bake the cake for 5-6 minutes, until springy to the touch.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder.  Flip the cake onto the parchment, then remove the parchment of silicone mat that the cake baked on.  Gently roll the cake up into a log while it's still warm.  This is like muscle memory for the cake and will roll easier again later.

To make the filling, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, and whip with a hand mixer to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes on medium speed.

Unroll the cooled cake, then spread the cream all over, leave a 1" border around all edges.  Roll the cake up gently (leaving the parchment paper behind), then place on a wire rack.

To make the chocolate ganache, microwave the cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each time, until combined.  Add the tbsp of milk, which will give a more pourable consistency.  Pour the chocolate ganache evenly over the cake, then refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving, so the ganache can firm up.

The cake is now ready to be sliced and served.

Enjoy!

Patty

Grilled Caprese Sandwich

This was another new recipe I had found earlier in the summer when we had garden tomatoes coming out of our ears!  What an abundant harvest we had!


Grilled Caprese Sandwich


Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough bread
1-2 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp pesto with basil
1 tomato, sliced
2 slices mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 inch think)

Directions:

1.  Warm frying pan over medium heat.  Butter both sides of your bread and then grill both sides of both pieces.

2.  Next, place pesto on the grilled side and the cheese on top.




3.  Allow cheese to melt a little, then place tomatoes on top of the cheese followed by the top piece of bread.




Enjoy!

Patty 

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts

With a garden bursting with tomatoes back in June, I had inspiration to look up new recipes for tomato use.

This was a yummy and delicious summer meal!

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts



Ingredients:

1 crusty French Baguette
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese ball
4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used up some of my smaller Better Boy tomatoes.)
4 basil leaves, finely chopped

Instructions:

1.  Heat oven to High broil.

2.  Slice the baguette in half, lengthwise, so that you are left with two long halves of bread.  Slice the mozzarella ball into very thin slices.  Sliced the tomatoes into thin slices.  Layer mozzarella slices along the bread, cut size up.



3.  Place on a baking tray and broil for 3-4 minutes or until mozzarella has begun to melt and bubble slightly.  Remove from oven and lay tomato slices on top.



4.  Return to oven for 1-2 more minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.  Slice into pieces.  Garnish very lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.



 Enjoy!

Patty 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Skippin' Town

Once upon a time, David and I would use our get-out-of-town card every 5 years without the kids  (way, way too long of a wait in-between).  We'd drop them off with or fly down grandparents to watch over the darlings.

However, after our 20th anniversary road trip (two years ago, here and here), I told him no way.  Not anymore. We would not be waiting every five years to get away by ourselves.  We need to seriously refuel more often.

So last week, for 30 hours, we skipped town!

We left to celebrate  # 22!   (Sans kids.  Sans a babysitter.  Teen girls are old enough to hold down the fort.)


I told him I just wanted a pool with a good drink and a book to read.


We ate delicious food.


We shocked our teenagers by sending them a mirrored selfie!  Ha ha ha!


And wowzer!  We had a room with a view!


We were on the top floor with the outside wall being one, enormous, floor-to-ceiling window that presented a stunning view.

It was so relaxing.  Oh my gosh.  It felt so good to be just the two of us for a little bit of time.  Now I'm thinking, we need to do this more than once a year ;)

Feeling so grateful (and refreshed)!

Patty


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Preparing for TSG Camping Season

Stan the man (and David) have been part of TSG (Troops of St. George) for going on 4 years now.  Stan is now a senior cadet and with that comes responsibility such as knowing how to set your own tent and prepare your own food on the camp out.  In other words, daddy isn't going to be doing this for him anymore.

David was thinking ahead and purchased a beginner's tent for our young man.  :)   Today, in the terrible heat, he taught Stan how to set up the tent.  He took him through the steps, one at a time.



Then, David took it all apart and had Stan do it himself.  Three times for good measure ;)



Stan did a GREAT job and David is an awesome dad :)

~  Patty ~

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dallas Arts District Field Trip (Post Ortho Visit)

My little man had another ortho visit in Dallas yesterday.  (We won't have any more back-to-back ones until the end of August.)  Like last week, we wanted to get as much out of our drive into the city as possible.

We packed a lunch before we left the house.  After our visit to the ortho, we parked the car near the Cathedral, (popping in to visit Jesus real quick), and then walked to Klyde Warren Park for a picnic lunch.


Since it was 7/11, 7- Eleven was giving out their free Slurpee's.  The 7 Eleven truck was there and we got right in line for our freebie ;)

The park is so unique!!  There is so much to do for people of all sizes.  We decided to have a hand at ping pong, but it was really so hot it didn't last too long.  (Beside, the old lady was whoopin' his butt!)


We watched children cooling off in the fountains...


...before crossing the street to enjoy the Dallas Museum of Art.


Admission into the general exhibits is FREE, so we took advantage of that deal to cool off in the air conditioning.

We have had a lot of fun the past 7 days.  I'm not sure if we will be able to be as adventurous next month since his visits will coincide with his school.  I know we both have enjoyed this one-on-one time :)

Patty 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Consider the Lilies (Scripture Study)

I am so excited to have started this new Scripture study, Consider the Lilies, by Elizabeth Foss!


This can be done on an individual bases (like I am doing) or with a group (online or in real life).  Put together and published by the wonderful group, Take Up and Read,  you can purchase your Scripture study on Amazon and sign up to receive daily prompts through your email.

Take Up and Read officially began the six week study on July 10, but you can also do this on your own time.

I was so excited to be encouraged to buy my first set of big-girl markers/highlighters/colored pencils for this Scripture study!


Along with my Catholic Bible and a pen, all I need is my Double Duty Caddy from Thirty - One Gifts (that should be arriving in the mail soon)!

If you have bought the Scripture study, too, blessings to you for a fruitful journey with God!

Patty 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Perot Museum Field Trip (Post Ortho Visit)

Stan the man had an orthodontic appointment in Dallas last week.  It was one of those quick, in-and-out visits.  So we decided to make the most of our drive into the city and visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Just the two of us :)  

Having a nifty coupon to get us in made the visit even more fun!


We took in the exhibit, Maya : Hidden Worlds Revealed!



And he had a blast programming and playing with the robots.


After a little splashing around outside, we decided to hit the road for home, hoping to get a jump start on the rush hour traffic.

This was another spontaneous bucket filler for our summer.  We are actually heading back into the city to see his ortho again tomorrow with more fun things planned for afterward.  I love spending the one-on-one with this kiddo!

~   Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

No-Bake Strawberry Blueberry Trifle

I made my first-ever trifle for the Fourth of July and it was SOOOO delicious!  This was an easy-to-assemble dessert that was so festive and patriotic for the Fourth.


Ingredients :
17 oz angel food cake, (I used a pre-made Sara Lee frozen pound cake), cut into 1" cubes.
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pound fresh blueberries
4 or 5 quart trifle dish (I found a $6 one at Walmart.)

Lemon Syrup Ingredients: 
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Frosting Ingredients:
2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

How to make lemon syrup -
1.  In a measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp sugar ,and 2 Tbsp lemon juice and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside until needed.

How to make the trifle cream -
1.  Beat together 1 lb cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar (with the whisk attachment) on medium speed until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl a couple times.

2.  With mixer on, pour in 2 cups heavy cream then turn mixer to medium/high and continue beating until whipped and fluffy.

3.  Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Assembling the berry trifle -

1/. Place 1/3 of your sliced cake into the bottom of your trifle dish and brush with 1/3 of your syrup.  Add 1/3 of your cream and loosely spread it over cake pieces.  (I even used my washed finger tips to help with the spreading.).

2.  Add 1/2 of the sliced strawberries.

3.  Repeat with remaining ingredients (adding 1/2 of the blueberries for the second fruit layer).

4.  Frost the top with last 1/3 of cream and decorate with remaining fruit.


A perfect dessert to bring to a party!

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it linked to here.

Happy Fourth!

Patty

Monday, July 3, 2017

Take Me Back in Time This Summer (week 4)

Wow!  So June ended up being the most incredible month of contentment and peace.  It was perfect!  I haven't felt this mentally healthy in a long time.  How much power the word NO wields!

Each day we woke up to see what we would put into our spontaneity bucket and this is how we lived.

* Sidewalk chalk compliments of Miss Mabel  (Masha and the Bear is Miss C's favorite cartoon on Netflix)



* Playing with play dough



* Books from the library


* Having friends over

* Going to friends houses

* Sleepovers

* Tomatoes from the garden



* So much swimming

* Rolling thunder and the pretty contrast in colors



* New nail clippers (Now everyone else in the house knows which ones are moms - ha ha!)


* It's time for creamy blueberry pie!



* Blueberry pancakes



* July 4th decorating and parties



Until next time ~

Patty

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