Friday, June 29, 2018

Illinois Road Trip 2018 (My husband's side)

Oh man, we just could not agree on where to go for our June camping trip.

One wanted to go to the ocean, one wanted to go to the natural springs and tube the cool and refreshing waters, and one wanted to go up into Oklahoma.  Nothing seemed right.  And then it hit me that perhaps we should use the time to take a trip up to Illinois to visit our moms (and extended family).

I am so glad we did!

It's a long drive, one that typically takes 2 days of driving up and 2 days of driving down.  We didn't have that amount of time this trip and still be able to visit everyone, so we drove straight through (up and down).

I am so glad we did!

(We left the older three ladies home since they have summer jobs and college classes.)

David's side ~

David is the youngest of six children.  Two of his siblings still live in Illinois, one near his mother.  We used the first half of the week to visit his side.

Father's Day (Sunday) :: The first stop, after nearly 14 hours on the road, was in East Peoria to visit David's sister, (Miss Clementine's godmother).

(Sara's granddaughter, Sara, and Miss Clementine)

Anytime we are visiting our mothers, Sara makes the drive up to see us.  She always goes out of her way, so she was the first person I wanted to visit :)

David's niece has three kids (two close to Clementine's age).  That made the visit really fun for the kids!

Second cousins??  First cousins once removed??  Not sure on the proper, lineage terminology, but they didn't mind!

On Monday,  Sara and her husband took us out on their pontoon/house boat.  The kids went on the Illinois River for the first time!

They saw their first barge, drove the boat, and even went swimming in the river (twice).

We had such a great visit with Sara and her family!!  I sure wish we lived closer.

That Tuesday, while we hated leaving them, we needed to hit the road early and continue our drive to northern Illinois.  Our next stop would be to see David's mom and stay at his brother's place.

My MIL Clare is 86 years old.  She is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known.  (My FIL passed away in April of 2014.)

We introduced the kids to REAL pizza (Chicago style), and they found their own way of entertaining themselves at Grandma Clare's house.

(My FIL planted all of these gorgeous trees 45 years ago!)

That's David with one of his older brothers, Daniel.  Daniel and his wife hosted us for a couple of nights, which was so kind of them.

David was able to visit with his godfather while in town.  They are so funny to listen to!!

Buddy (David's godfather) and David are first cousins.   Their fathers were brothers.

Buddy was the 2nd of 15 children!!  Miss Clementine was so confused over the relation.  We think it was Buddy's white hair.  Ha ha!

There was a little music festival we went to one night.  Miss Clementine had her face painted and met a "real live" fairy!

(Miss Clementine with our sister-in-law.)

This half of the trip alone made the 1,000 miles drive up so worthwhile!

On Thursday, we headed back south to my side.  I'll post on that next :)

If you and your family are traveling this summer, prayers for a safe and joy-filled trip!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Miss Ester's Senior Pictures are In!

I learned with Miss Sarah how crazy hectic your child's senior year can be.  And oh my goodness!  It goes way too fast!

With Miss Ester being an official senior now (graduating May 2019), we acted quickly and had her senior photos done already.  I really wanted them done before fall and was hoping to avoid the Texas heat.

We are so pleased with the results and wanted to share some of our favorites!


Monday, June 25, 2018

My New Favorite Traveling Booster Seat

We just arrived home last evening from a 2,000 miles car trip to visit family in Illinois.  What a wonderful visit with a large amount of pictures to sort through.

Before I forget though, I wanted to share this new booster seat a friend recommended.

BubbleBum (backless, inflatable, travel booster seat)

It's inflatable.  My six year old LOVED it.  The seat was easy to operate and shift around when we transferred vehicles.  Just can't say enough good things about this.

I found it on Amazon, here.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our Camper Bathroom

It's actually pretty big for a camper bathroom!

It came without accessories, except for the shower curtain.  So I've been glamping it up a bit, trying to infuse it with all the comforts of home.

(Excuse my cruddy phone pictures.)

Showering Miss Clementine with the wand can be tricky, so I plug the shower base and create a little tub for her.  It's SO much easier to bathe her in a small area like that.

There's a window vent and fan in the ceiling above the shower.

And I bought Command Strips for everything!  (shower caddy, soap dish, mirror, hooks for rag, towels and basket)

Underneath the sink I store: feminine supplies, Clorox wipes, rubber gloves, extra toilet paper, cups, and trash bags.

I'm still looking for a cute print to hang on the wall and a shelf to place one's clothes on when changing.


Bath mat, toothbrush holder, and two-tiered counter basket - T.J.Maxx

Succulents and (wall) baskets - Hobby Lobby

Wall scent / night light and hand soap - Bath and Body works

Q Tip holder (I also put pony tail holders and hair clips in this container) - Target

Self-Adhesive toilet paper holder - Amazon

Shower squeegee - Walmart

Towels and wash rags - Walmart


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Girls' Weekend

"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." ~ William Shakespeare

Two of my girls and I were on a camping trip this past weekend.

I soaked up nothing but R&R, and they proved to be their father's daughters with their love of nature and adventure.

We floated on water and took walks in the woods (in our jammies after showers).

We kayaked for hours on the second day.  (We launched the kayaks ourselves, too!)

REI co-op (camping outfitters) recently donated 8 kayaks, (with oars and life jackets) to this particular Texas State Park.  The kayak program was FREE to campers!  

Miss Mabel napped, and I started a new book on my kindle while Miss Ester went fishing off and on.

Miss Mabel discovered a private cove not far from our campground.

So quiet and peaceful!!

We love our Texas State Parks!  (This one was called Lake Ray Roberts Texas State Park.)

We buy the park pass each year and utilize the beauty that this huge state provides.

Sarah was suppose to go on this camping trip with them, but with poor Internet service and taking a summer class, she really couldn't make it and be able to study.  I'm hoping she is able to get away after her class ends the end of June.

Until the next trip...


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Re-Purposing Glass Candle Jars

Once the candle burned out, I wiped the wax out, washed the glass container, and Viola - instant Rosary holder!!


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Time For Tea!

We had so much fun this morning!

Miss Clementine had another group of little friends over for another tea party. 

This was our third party in one month.  I know that sounds nuts, but I was thinking 18 little girls together wouldn't be much of a lady-like tea party, you know what I mean?  Ha!

And a little side note before moving on, none of these ideas are my original ideas.  I just put my own personal twist on it.

The church dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and that was our theme.

My friend brought 7 little daughters (SEVEN)!!  One is cuter than the other, and in true Catholic fashion, they are stair steps (one right after the other with a set of identical twins tossed in for fun - no joke)!

Since I didn't have enough tea cups for this party, I went ahead and purchased these adorable, paper, decorate-your-own tea cups on Amazon here.

The little ladies had so much fun decorating them with stickers and crayons.

Our menu ::

Tea Biscuits

Vanilla Tea Cake

Cucumber sandwiches

Fruit punch juice (which we pretended to be tea of course ;)

And just a little FYI, this fruit spread is so so so delicious!

It seriously is going to be the death of me this summer.  Ha ha!

After tea and biscuits and cake and sandwiches, the girls worked on their spiritual bouquets.

And I did it.   I bit the bullet and used glitter for a craft!  (I am NOT a glitter mom.)

And I survived :)

A spiritual bouquet is a card filled with prayers or devotional acts that the giver will offer for a receiver (typically someone in much need).

They all turned out so pretty and meaningful.

We sent our friends home with full bellies and joy-filled hearts!

I mentioned on this Marian Tea Party and Mary May Baskets post how much I love the Tea and Cake With the Saints.   One of the sweetest books for Catholic girls out there.  And no!  I'm not getting paid for an endorsement :)

With summer in full swing, we are looking forward to planning more - a little more low key next time since we've entertained all of our friends now.

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death, Amen.


Stan's Baptism Birthday

June 4 is Stan's Baptism birthday :)

He was baptized on Pentecost Sunday, June 2005.

What's really cool is that Miss Mabel received her First Holy Communion and was Confirmed on June 4 as well!    A God-coincidence.

We looked through his Sacrament box that keeps all of his cards, certificates, and other small gifts, and then gave him this book ::

Stan has a real connection to St. Martin de Porres.  Another God-coincidence.

Stan and St. Martin have a lot in common.  One of the big things that sticks out is that St. Martin's feast day (Nov. 3) happens to be Stan's adoption day (Nov. 3).  Mmm Hmm

St. Martin de Porres, pray for us!


Monday, June 4, 2018

Camper Kitchen Update

So we have this HUGE (for a camper) pantry  in our camper kitchen.

When we took the camper for a "test drive" last month I knew we'd have to adjust the pantry to maximize all that space.

My husband recently installed a roll out (we are the business owners of Kitchens Alive) and whipped up a drawer front because this gal likes things to match ;)

I can have only one drawer in the bottom space because the microwave is in the way, so I picked up a metal shelf to hold my tin foil, baggies, etc.

And since that microwave does hang low, the drawer front could only be so tall.

BTW, that drawer front was the middle panel of an old cabinet door from our kitchen.  He cut it down, sanded the old finish off, and stained it in a matter of 10 minutes!  He's awesome like that! 

David put on a drawer lock to keep it shut when we are rolling down the road.

Organization is key!!

Now for that top space...

That's toaster on the left side of the top space.  I plan to keep our food pantry items up there.

It's really awkward to reach back (the pantry is 2' deep!), so I was thinking about having David build a half shelf on the far side of it, one that runs from front to back??

Or maybe using a wire shelf like this??

He also transferred the this paper towel holder from our tear drop camper to this new camper.  I had him install it under the microwave.

Two of my daughters and I are heading out this weekend to camp.  I'm looking forward to the R&R and figuring out different ways to bring the comfort of home into this living space!

Until next time...



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