Saturday, September 30, 2017

Family Weekend in the Land of Cotton!

Last weekend we traveled down to Belton, Texas for family weekend at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  I was SO SO SO happy to hug my girl's neck!  And to have all of my kids together under one roof was amazing!  (Insert Mama's beating heart)

I teased Sarah telling her that we'd all be outside the classroom door when she finished up.  Sarah responded, "That's what I am afraid of!"  Ha ha!

Well, we didn't embarrass her, but we did not hesitate to pass out the hugs when we finally saw her!  We headed out for lunch downtown, historic Belton.

She had to work a few hours in the late afternoon - (the girl got a job as a lifeguard at the university's pool).  Then we met back up with her for the pep rally.

Little sister was so excited to watch the cheerleaders warming up and then had the chance to meet a "real, life cheerleader", a friend of Sarah's.

Friday night, Miss Mabel stayed with Sarah in the dorm room, and then on Saturday night, Miss Ester stayed with her.  It was a neat experience for them to stay overnight in a college dorm with college kids.

The dorms are not co-ed.  In fact, it is SO strict, that men, (including visiting dads and sons), had a limited time frame during the day that they could actually go inside to see the dorm rooms. Otherwise, they stayed on the big veranda porch or inside the air conditioned lobby.

Saturday morning, Sarah drove the girls and I into Killeen (this is where Fort Hood is located) for some retail therapy. :)  Then I dropped the three older girls back off at the dorm to "get ready" for the big football game!

It was SO hot - about 100 degrees last weekend.

But the shade was inviting.

The main street / plaza area of camps was closed off and family activities were set up to the theme, "hometown heroes".

It was so much fun meeting a handful of Sarah's friends in person!!

UMHB football is Div III National Champs and they won the game, 50-7.  :()

However, my favorite part of the entire weekend was attending Mass together as a whole family again.

We left Sarah about 2:30 in the afternoon and headed back home.  It's only a three hour drive.

She says she misses "home" and her bed, so I'll go down to pick her up for a weekend in a couple of weeks.

After that, we won't see her again until Thanksgiving.

She is doing well, adjusting to college life nicely.  She is studying hard and earning some great grades.   We are so proud of her!

Had to share this photo of all the cotton that is almost ready to be picked.  There's SO much cotton this year (we had a wet summer) and it looks like snow when driving along the interstate.

I live "in the land of cotton" and it is so beautiful!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Mid-Term - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Lately, it has felt like July in Texas.  We have tried to take advantage of the swimming.  It's great for PE class!

I am thankful for ~

Time spent with Sarah at school.  This past weekend was family weekend.  We all went down and had a great time.  That will be another post ;)

From the school room ~

We are on week 7 of the first quarter (well beyond mid-term).  We are FINALLY getting our groove after nutty first half of the quarter.

The one thing we are kickin' it in are the labs.  Bam!  By the third high schooler, one's confidence level in the high school at-home labs really grows.

(Miss Mabel is taking Biology with lab this freshman year.)

(Miss Ester is taking Chemistry with lab her junior year.)

Stan the man was studying whales and how their blubber protects them.  A little Vaseline and ice water experiment is easy enough that little sister can be included in them.

And Kindergarten science is SO! MUCH! FUN!

We studied density a couple of weeks ago.  We first read the cute story, Sink or Swim.  Then we preceded with collecting items from around the house.  With those items, we predicted if they would sink or swim float.  Once we predicted, then we performed the experiment to see if our predictions were correct or not.

After we saw the results, we mixed water, dish soap, and oil in a beaker to check out the density of each.

So much fun!!

I found the lesson on the website "BetterLesson".

From the kitchen ~

Earlier in the summer, Miss Mabel attempted Macrons for the first time.

She was disappointed that only half the batch turned out, but dang, girl!  Macrons are expensive in the store for a reason!  I think she did an amazing job on her first attempt.  These are incredibly challenging to make.

What I am reading ~

I'm really enjoying this one.  But beware! Do not read if you are hungry.  The food description is amazing and will leave your mouth watering.

Around the house ~

I took these of Miss Clementine at her first Little Flowers meeting.  This is also the adorable project she made after studying a bit about St. Catherine of Sienna and the Virtue, Faith.  (She goes to a meeting the first Friday of every month.)

I am thinking about ~

Homecoming!!  (It's October 7.)

Both Miss Mabel and Ester are going.

And Miss Ester was asked by one of THE most kind-hearted, gentleman-like guys out there who comes from a strong military-family background.

He asked David's permission first, (which is what we expect).  And when a guy really does that on his own, you know he is a real gentleman.

They are cross country team mates :)

I am praying for ~

Miss Ester...

This girl.  She has a nasty case of shin splints (micro fractures).  It's been 10 days and she is still limping.  There will be no more cross country for her for the season.

We need her feeling better so she can dance at the homecoming dance, people!!

I am listening to ~

Silence (except for the air conditioner running)!  The kids are busy with school so I thought I would get a chance to finish this post I've been working on.

Coming down the pike this week ~

Tuesday - (Make up) Ice Skating Lessons

Wednesday - Field trip to the pumpkin patch

Thursday - Dentist (for me)

Thursday - Ice Skating Lessons

Friday - Sunday - Troops of St. George Camp Out

A couple of last photos to share ~

(Glow in the dark pajamas!)

 (Algebra II Saxon Math - I'm so grateful for the "teacher" on disc!!)

And this is from the day big sister, Sarah, sent a care package from her school to Miss Clementine :)

Wishing you all a wonderful autumn season, houses smelled of yummy goodness, and blessings abound!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our SWEET Girl Turned 14!!

On the 15th, we celebrated Miss Mabel!  David and I are SO LUCKY to be her parents.  She is our quiet one who finds JOY in everything!

Her birthday wish was to spend the day on a lake, and her daddy delivered!  BIG Time!!

He drove Mabel and Ester up to Lake Texoma, found a private beach, prepared fresh, foil-wrapped lunches over a fire, and then took them knee boarding and Mabel water skiing.  And she got up!! You go girl!

We ordered out dinner at this awesome sandwich place ::

(I'm telling you, sloppy, but to-die-for Cuban BBQ sandwiches!)

And then it was Nothin' Bundt Cake for our birthday girl::

She had a super fantastic day celebrating HER!

We love you so much, sweet girl!!  Wishing you abundant blessings throughout the year :)


Dad and Mom

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cheesy Taco Pasta

During the summer, I tried this new easy-go-to dish for our Mexican nights on Tuesdays.  The fam liked it enough that it made the Mexican night rotation on our menu planning.

Cheesy Taco Pasta


1 pound large shells pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1.  Cook the shelled pasta according to the directions on the box and drain.

2.  Add the ground beef to the pan and brown well.

3.  Drain the fat.

5.  Add the taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water, stir and cook until water is gone.

5.  Add the salsa and cheese and stir to combine.

6.  Serve immediately.  (Can serve with crunchy tortilla chips on top.)



Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's Been a Long Time - Daybook Post

Let's see if I remember how to write one of these...

Outside my window ~

We were not effected from Hurricane Harvey.  We did have the cloud coverage, cool breezes, and intermittent rainfall, but our prayers.  So many prayers go to all of those effected by this horrible, catastrophic storm.

I am thankful for ~

1.  Sarah's safety as well.  She is located north of Austin and only had heavy rainfall, (not catastrophic rainfall).

2.  All of the compassion, love, kindness, generosity that Texans (and others) displayed during this incredibly devastating storm.  Why doesn't the news broadcast this?  #TexasStrong

From the school room ~

Miss Clementine is enjoying Kindergarten!

And kindergarten science is about to get exciting!

Stan the man read and wrote three of his four mandatory book reports over the summer.  For each book report he sent into Seton, I bought him a new book for his own collection at home.

From the kitchen ~

For Sunday dinner, we enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, and slaw.  For dessert, Miss Mabel made oatmeal, chocolate chip bars.

Full bellies = happy folks!!

What I am reading ~

Around the house ~

Her little world!

I am thinking about ~

plans for tomorrow!  Trim the bushes.  Mow the lawn.  Work on finalizing plans for an upcoming birthday party.  Counting down the days till we go visit Sarah!

I am praying for ~

all the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Amen.

What I am listening to ~

Ramblin' Man (The Allman Brothers Band - on my playlist)

Coming down the pike this week ~

Tuesday - Miss Ester has cross country practice

(Miss Ester with some of her team mates.  Photo credit: K. W.)

Thursday - XC practice again.

Thursday - Ice Skating lessons for Miss Mabel and Miss Clementine!

Saturday - TSG recruiting event (for Stan the man)

Saturday - XC meet for Miss Ester

A final photo to share ~

Actually a few from the eclipse ::

Miss Ester and Mabel melted a candle onto a piece of glass and then blackened it.

They held it out and could see the eclipse image on the blackened glass.

Isn't that a cool idea?!  I think they found it on Pinterest.

Now that we have finally found a new school year groove, I'm hoping to catch up on my blog reading and keep updating here.  Have a great week!


Feast of St. Helen

The feast of St. Helen (of the Cross) was on August 18.  She is the saint that Miss Mabel chose as her Confirmation saint.

Miss Mabel made these easy, chocolate crosses in honor of St. Helen and we read aloud a book about her life.

You can find St. Helen's story here.

St. Helen, pray for us!


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Utility Spool End Table

When my husband built this beautiful coffee table...

... from an old utility spool, I realized that my other table needed to be replaced as well.

A week later, well, take a look for yourself!

The two of them look gorgeous together :)

He is a man that's been gifted with many talents when it comes to working with woodwork.  I am a lucky lady.  I know.



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