Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Coolest S'mores Maker Around

I picked this up over the Thanksgiving break.  It is so snazzy!

It makes the perfect s'more which comes with four, metal roasting forks!  You can use it indoors or outdoors.  The brand is Sharper Image, and I purchased it at a Stein Mart.



Saturday, November 24, 2018

On the Feast of St. Cecilia

This year the feast of St. Cecilia landed on Thanksgiving day.  Since our Clementine is named after her, we celebrated quietly by adding a new Shining Light Dolls to our collection.

St. Cecelia, pray for us!

Thanksgiving 2018 & Another Camping Trip

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you enjoyed any time you may have spent with family, friends, and other loved ones.  This year it was just the girls and I, and did we feast!

Tossed salad, turkey, praline sweet potatoes, stuffing, garlicky green beans with pine nuts, mashed potatoes, carrot pecan wild rice, rolls, and Miss Mabel's cream cheese filled pumpkin roll - it was all so scrumptious!!

My guys arrived home later that day from a week long fishing trip (what David wanted for his 50th birthday).  There were plenty of left-overs for those hungry men!

Speaking of fishing trip...

The Friday night prior, David and Stan the Man loaded up and headed to the seashore.

Early the next morning, the girls and I could watch him fish, (Stan was sleeping in the camper), while he face timed us.

The view though!

I was wishing I could have been their with a cup of coffee in hand :)

It's been a lovely week with so many things to be grateful for.  I'm so thankful for these people whom I love so dearly.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

David's 50th Birthday - Daybook

 Outside Near my window ~

I am thankful for ~

~ my dear husband

It's been such an honor to celebrate his life.  Our #50daystofifty countdown was such a fun thing to do especially since he didn't want a big party.

From the school room ~

Miss Sarah made it home for David's birthday weekend. It was so nice to have everyone home (my heart was exploding), and we kept the birthday evening quiet as we just admired the man!

From the kitchen ~

The birthday boy requested homemade chili and a homemade birthday cake on the night of his actual birthday.  Everything was delicious and turned out to his liking!

What I have read recently ~

 ~ a mouthwatering menu from the incredible restaurant we dined at with good friends

Good food & good friends to celebrate this man

Around the house ~

Post-dinner pictures

I am praying for ~

~ continued grace for him as he heads into his next 1/2 century

I'm listening to remembering a special night with friends ~

After the restaurant, we came back to our house for a post-dinner celebration of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and more gifts from a generous buddy.

Coming down the pike this week ~

~ Thanksgiving!  So much to be thankful for this year :)

One last photo to share ~

Wishing God's abundant blessings upon you, blessings of health and happiness as you enter into this next chapter of life!

I love you!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

"50 Days to Fifty", a Birthday Countdown!

My beloved turned the BIG 5-0 on November 9!!

He did not want a big party, so I decided to celebrate his life every day for 50 days.  Crazy!  I know.  He loved it!

I had a wrapped box on the table and each morning there was something to open.  As Stan the Man said, "It was like a big Advent calendar!"

I counted back and started the celebration 50 days out.

Here it is::

Week 1

Day 1: Fun facts from 1968
Day 2: Vintage beer mug (glass, in the shape of a can)
Day 3: A favorite snack (dark chocolate bar)
Day 4: Movie night - The Green Berets (1968 w/ John Wayne)
Day 5: What I Love About Dad (from Stan the man)
Day 6: New Tackle Shirt (for fishing)
Day 7: Favorite dessert (Suzi Q cakes)

Week 2

Day 8: Photo collage (grade school)
Day 9: Top songs from 1968
Day 10: What I Love About Dad (from Ester)
Day 11: Movie night, Where Eagles Soar (1968 w/ Richard Burton & Clint Eastwood)
Day 12: Card from a friend
Day 13: King David shirt (a fishing nickname)
Day 14: Memory from a former neighbor

Week 3

Day 15: Something needed (gift card for new shoes)
Day 16: What I Love About Dad (from Sarah)
Day 17: Something You Want (Scavenger hunt day!!  Found a new rod & reel hidden away)
Day 18: Move night, Planet of the Apes (1968 w/ Charlton Heston)
Day 19: Card from a friend
Day 20: Favorite snack (licorice)
Day 21: Birth day facts

Week 4

Day 22: Photo collage (each time you became a new daddy)
Day 23: What I Love About Dad (from Clementine)
Day 24: Something funny (manly soap)
Day 25: Movie night, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda)
Day 26: Something you need (new dress shirts)
Day 27: Card and gift card from a friend
Day 28: Gift from a friend

Week 5

Day 29: Card from a brother (with old family photos)
Day 30: Something for aging eye sight (magnified bathroom mirror)
Day 31: Things I Love About Dad (from Mabel)
Day 32: Movie night, Yours, Mine, & Ours (1968 w/ Lucille Ball & Henry Fonda)
Day 33: Gag gift from a sister
Day 34: Facts from birth year (1968 was a terribly depressing year!!)
Day 35: Gag gift from a sister-in-law

Week 6

Day 36: A card and homemade word find (from his 87 year old mother)
Day 37: Fun shirt
Day 38: Something you like to drink
Day 39: Gift from a friend (50 caliber shell, engraved, bottle opener)
Day 40: Gag gift from a sister
Day 41: Ensure you smell good as you age (cologne)
Day 42: Favorite camping snack

Week 7

Days 43 - 48: Cards from his children and one last fishing gift
Day 49: Card and gift card from his mother-in-law
Day 50: Birthday gifts from his children and more cards arrived in the mail!

I had put a few messages out to family and friends to let them know what I was up to and if they wanted to contribute to the countdown.  I'm so glad so many decided to join in on the fun because it really made this that much easier and David sure appreciated all of those folks who helped him celebrate.

On day 50, we spent the night at home quietly admiring the man :)  Sarah came home from college for the weekend.  Saturday had us celebrating with close friends at an amazing steak house.


The Feast of St. Martin de Tours

St. Martin was known for ripping his cloak in two and giving a piece to a freezing beggar on the street. Later, in a vision, Martin realized the beggar was Jesus. 

My kids work on many service projects throughout the year, always helping those less fortunate. I like to gift them each year on this feast day with something little THEY need to keep them warm or dry. 

This year, Emma received an umbrella for her new used car, MiMi received a needed hat, Sarah received some new mittens, Cecelia needed a new jacket, and Sam needed new flip flops (we wear them year round in TX). They don’t expect it or ask for any of it, it’s just done out of love. ❤️ 

St. Martin, pray for us πŸ™πŸ»πŸ—‘

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Maria's Baptism Birthday

On November 16, we celebrate the day that Miss Maria was baptized.  :)

I like to tell her the story about her name...

When your mommy and daddy both come from large, Catholic families, the name Mary is usually used a few times (Catholic family problems) 😊 Since my first choice was taken, I didn’t know what to name you. Your daddy was at a daily Mass during the month of May that year and heard the name “Maria” in a song. He came home and excitedly announced he found the right name πŸ’™ My dear Maria, may you always know how much Our Lady loves you as she wraps you in her mantle, and may you continue to know, love, and serve God in this world πŸ™πŸ»πŸ‘ΌπŸ» Happy Baptism day! (11/16/03)

We gifted her with a Scriptural devotion this year ::

God bless you always, Maria!

Dad and Mom

Friday, November 16, 2018

Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Remembering St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on her feast day because she is Sarah's Confirmation saint. 
It's so easy to do this at home with your own kiddos.  Remembering is the key! Ha ha!  I found this at Tuesday Morning while Christmas shopping. ;)

Mother Cabrini, pray for us!


Sarah's Baptism Birthday

Nineteen years ago, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, our baby Sarah was baptized into the Catholic faith.  She was our firstborn, and I remember so many details.  What a blessing she continues to be to our family!

We try our hardest to remember our children's Baptism days by relighting their Baptismal candle, looking at old photos from their special day, perhaps reading over the cards they received, and by gifting them with some small, faith-based gift.

Since Sarah is away at college, I sent her this special miniseries on St. Theresa of the Andes.

I want her to bring it home over Thanksgiving break so I can watch it, too!  I heard it is an excellent miniseries.

God bless you, Sarah!

Mom & Dad

Monday, November 12, 2018

Adoption Anniversary

Adoption is not always easy on the adoptee, but hanging out with friends on your special day makes it a memorable one :)

After some fun at the bowling alley, Stan the man had his traditional chocolate cake for dessert.

We love you, Stan the Man!


Historic Church Tour & Cemetery Visit

Last week when we traveled to the dairy farm for a field trip, we also included a self-guided tour of an old, magnificent, Catholic church in the same town after the farm.

Oh my goodness!  It was so incredibly beautiful inside.

The first Mass celebrated at St. Peter's first church was on Easter Sunday 1892.  The church was built by German immigrants who settled the area of Gainesville, Texas.

In 1899, the first of many Benedictine pastors was assigned to the parish permanently.  A new and larger church was built in 1903.

Fourteen years later, on May 31, 1917, the church was destroyed by a tornado.

The apse (the semi circular area in the sanctuary), all three alters, and the facade and steeples were all left completely intact!

The same generation who built the second church would now build this one.

Isn't it gorgeous?!

The church went through a 4.9 million dollar restoration project in 1990 after a water leak in the roof was discovered.

After touring the church, we went to the adjacent cemetery and prayed for the souls of the faithful departed.

It was such a beautiful day.


Friday, November 9, 2018

A Visit to the Dairy Farm

Some of the families in our homeschool group took a road trip early this week to a working dairy farm.  It was totally worth the long drive with some amazing hands-on experiences!

We saw the barn where the dairy cows eat before heading into the milking barn.  Once in the pit of the milking barn, we learned about how all the equipment works and how the farmers get up to milk the cows (the first of two times each day) at 2:30am!!  Such hard workers!

After checking out the tank room, where all the milk goes, we were able to bottle feed the calves.  That was SO exciting and adorable!

And then we moved over to the pretend cow were the kiddos took turns milking her.

After "milking" the pretend cow, each of the students were able to sample some of the dairy farm milk.  The kids were able to choose chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla milk.  The vote was unanimous and all the flavors won the category of deliciousness!

A picnic lunch came next before the kids were able to play on the coolest hay bale fortress that they ever saw!

Oh my gosh!  What a fun, farm field trip!

Since the field trip was so far away, we decided to make it a 2 for 1.  After the dairy farm tour, we headed into town to tour an historic church and cemetery.

Historic church tour post coming next!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Our New Book About Saints

I recently added this to our collection of saint books in time for the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1).

The illustrations are so sweet and attractive to the eye.  The quotes are beautiful as well.  However, I found the wording to be above the average child's comprehension level, especially since the title includes the words, "A Child's First Book of Saints".  I was having to paraphrase most of the quotes.

I don't regret purchasing the book because the photos caught the attention of my six year old and she enjoyed looking at them all.


Formal Nursing School Acceptance

The rain on Halloween didn't stop Sarah and her friend from celebrating!

They received their official acceptance letters into nursing school!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

All Souls' Day 2018

It is a Spiritual Work of Mercy to pray for the living and the dead.  You can find a great discussion about praying for the dead in the Bible, in Maccabees chapter 12, which concludes about the prayers of Judas Maccabeus for the sins of his fallen soldiers:  “Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin..”(2 Macc. 12:46). ~ Holy Heroes

Seven of our homeschool families gathered on All Souls' Day to pray for the dead.  The historic cemetery is incredibly fascinating.   

The first person to be buried in this cemetery was an infant (1856) who's parents buried him under a tree as they were traveling through in a covered wagon (bottom right).  That child's father was later buried next to the infant.  He was a Confederate soldier (bottom left).

We also came across a grave - with a newer headstone.  She was born in the 1700's (bottom).

It was such a beautiful peace-filled morning.  The three teens that were in attendance lead the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as they walked all the younger children from one section of the cemetery to another praying.  

The Catholic Church teaches (based on Sacred Work and Sacred Tradition) that::

At death, a soul either goes to hell, heaven, or (as the Catholic Church teaches from the Bible) Purgatory.  Purgatory is a place or state where those who died in God's friendship are made perfect so they can enter heaven, of which St. John writes, "nothing unclean will enter it." Rev 21:27  (Matt. 5:48, Rev. 21:27, Heb. 12:14, 2 Macc. 12:44-46)

All good Christians would "prefer to be" with Jesus than in this troubled world.  Just because we would "prefer to be," doesn't mean we instantly will be.  (Matt. 12:32, 1 Pet. 3:19, 1 Cor. 3:15, Luke 12:59, 2 Macc. 12:44-46, Heb. 12:14)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen



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