Wednesday, February 27, 2019

"Experience" - the BIG Daybook Post

My word of the year has NOT let me down.  Oh man.  There hasn't been any time to blog, so I'm squeezing it all into this one post.

Photo overload ahead!

Outside my window ~

Gloom today, but yesterday??

We have blooms, pastels, shamrocks, and lemon loaf cake.  I was looking around and realized spring is almost here in Texas!

I am thankful for ~

* my family, especially when it's crunch time.  They step up, pitch in, and help me get the job done while I turn all cranky and sour from the stress.  I love them for loving me!

* This girl!

Miss Ester has had a busy February.  She celebrated a function for seniors in our home school group, and had her last scoliosis check-up with her specialist. She's kind of "graduated" from the program and will continue to exercise to ease any back discomfort.

Note: Her scoliosis is not healed, you cannot heal scoliosis.  There is surgery to correct it when it's incredibly severe.  Here curves are substantial, but they were prevented from worsening during her growth period as a teenager.

February is also Congenital Heart Defect month.  I shared a picture from her open heart surgery on Instagram.  She's 1 in 110 and wears her scar proudly. :)  We are so grateful for her and love her to the moon and back!!

* I'm thankful for a visit with my college student (scroll way down).

* our upgrade, our new camper!

We love to camp and do it so often that it was only a matter of time!

And as I gleefully snapped this photo, David told me to admit to myself that it is NOT camping, but RV-ing at this point.  Ha ha!

From the school room ~

Talent show time - woot!

We have such a sweet home school group.  Every 2-3 years, there's a talent show.

St. Valentine bowling party - loved this!!

Our home school group (mostly the little ones) met up to bowl and exchange valentines.  So sweet and fun!

At home I had little goody bags waiting for David and the my kids.  We baked cupcakes and ordered heart-shaped pizza for dinner that night.

Miss Clementine loved working on her valentines.  We kept it easy, thanks to Pinterest!

BTW~ someone has new reading glasses :)

From the kitchen ~

So we have tried a few new recipes and eventually I plan to post them.  The best part is that Miss Ester has taken over Monday night dinners and cooks for the family.  What a treat!

What I am reading ~

I just ordered my Bible study for lent, Hosanna, from Take Up & Read.  It's a Bible study on the Gospel of Matthew.

(Photo credit: Take Up and Read)

Ladies! I  love love love this group of authors who collaborate to put out Bible studies geared for women throughout the year.  This amazing Catholic group is inspirational and you will never be disappointed.  I promise.

Around the house ~

I'm laughing as I type this as if the above isn't enough???

* Baptism birthday :)

We celebrated Miss Clementine (I cannot believe it's been 7 years already).  This year we bought her an illustrated book on the Miracles of Jesus.  She loves it!  So age appropriate.


Miss Ester and Mabel attended DCYC again.  This conference is for spiritually feeding the souls of teens and young adults.  It is energizing, uplifting, and powerful.  Miss Mabel and her friend sang a duet during break time.  So amazing!

* Testing out the new camper

David is such an amazing hubby!  He knew how excited we were to test out our new camper, so he hauled it up to a state park (about 50 minutes from our house), and set it up for one night.

Miss Clementine, Mabel, and myself stayed in it this past Sunday night.  We set up "house", moving all of our equipment in that was in our previous camper.  As a friend said, "It's like buying a car AND moving into a new house on the same day!"

There is a set of double bed bunk beds in the back, an oven in this one (nothing like the smell of fresh cookies baking in a new place), and a bedroom in the front with a queen-size bed for David and myself.

It was just the three of us and we didn't burn the place down!  Ha ha

After they finished their schooling in the camper on Monday, we headed out for a little bit of hiking before David picked us up.  It was a quick 36 hours, but totally worth it. :)

I am thinking about ~

* my college student!  I had missed her so much!

It was a major bonus that we were able to visit her after picking up our camper near Austin.

She showed us the grounds of where she works / lives - all 70 acres of it!!!

Sarah is doing fantastic, settling into the semester nicely.  She is enjoying her nursing classes immensely and her new residence.  She works as a caretaker on the weekends at this Catholic retreat center just minutes from her college.  It's a sweet deal!  We enjoyed spending a few hours with her.

Before we left, I gave Sarah a peg doll of her patron saint (her Confirmation saint).  This is St. Frances Cabrini.  Isn't she precious?

I am praying for ~

An end to abortion!  What the hell is going on with the voters in these states that continue to elect such evil-minded people that would allow for abortion at any point, even allowing the baby to be murdered after it is born.  Our world has grown incredibly demonic.

What I am listening to ~

Silence  - it can be golden!

Coming down the pike in March ~

My 50th - woot!

A trip to celebrate with my mom and sisters - woot woot!!

A final photo to share ~

I want to journal my 50th year and the journal arrived on Monday.  Isn't it pretty??  I'm so excited to take on this new adventure, to embrace turning 50.

 (See how I am emphasizing the 5-O ?!?! I'm still in the process of convincing myself it is going to be awesome - ha ha!)

Sincerely though, I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize, I continue to trust in God  and try to live his word.  I fail miserably most times but knowing he is there to extend his hand helps me to live each day as his servant.  I look forward to experiencing this upcoming year and soaking in as much as my body and mind allows for.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Our Lady of Lourdes Tea Party

We had another tea party in our house.  (We love our tea parties!)

The girls and I celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - February 11.

We prayed a decade of the Rosary before munching on blueberry muffins,  chocolate/chocolate chip muffins, blue punch, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates - yum!

Here's a little trivia for you :)

I recently read (over at Catholic Cuisine) that the founder of Nutella and Ferraro Chocolates had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes.  He would take his top manager on a yearly pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.  Rocher translates to rock, and the Rocher chocolate was made to resemble the craggy rock at the shrine!

Miss Mabel and I then made Our Lady of Lourdes bookmarks.  We got the idea from her tea party book, Tea and Cakes With the Saints.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!


Brigid and the Butter

We added this adorable saint book to our collection.

St. Brigid of Ireland's feast day is February 1.  This legend and the illustrations are precious.

St. Brigid, pray for us!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Dinosaur Valley State Park Camping / Fossil Rim Wildlife & Safari

Wow!  Texas is SO big, the state never ceases to amaze us.  With this being our first trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park, we were blown away by its beauty.

The boys had a scheduled Troops of St. George camp out that weekend at that park, and being that it was also Clementine's birthday, she and I were able to go camping - making sure we stayed far far away from the men and boys.  It's strictly a father/ son apostolate - no females allowed :)

We pulled Stan out of school early on Friday and made it to park shortly after noon.

We set up the camper and then immediately went hiking.  This crystal clear river, the Paluxy River, was absolutely gorgeous, and we had a great time exploring.

The boys headed off to their campsite, leaving the truck with us so we could explore the park some more.

This area of Texas is where dinosaurs once roamed.  There are many areas for tourists to view the fossilized foot prints along the river bank.

The two Dinos above were part of the World's Fair in 1964-1965.

Her last night as a 6 year old.

Bright and early the next morning, we took a picture of her gifts (she had to wait until later in the day to open them) and then headed into town for donuts.  We had a special day planned, just her and I, and we needed to get a jump start on the festivities. :)

Our adventure began at Fossil Rim Wildlife and Safari Park.   I had taken the older kids there twice before, but this was her first visit and she was so excited.

Much to our delight, one of the giraffes came right up to my driver's side window!  I couldn't get any photos since I was enjoying feeding the magnificent creature. :)

We had one bag of food and were excited to be able to feed so many animals up close.  But those ostriches and emus!  They are something else - ha ha!

After all the excitement of the safari, we went into town to buy a birthday cake and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the other side of the state park - looking at the dinosaur tracks that were fossilized in the river's edge.

David, Stan the man, and a couple of friends from TSG popped into our campsite in order to sing to the birthday girl and watch her open her gifts :)  She was so excited!

She had a blast!

On Sunday, we packed up and went to Mass at a local Catholic Church before heading for home.

What a birthday weekend!

And this state park is so unique, we look forward to coming back sometime in warmer weather to swim in the river.

Until then...



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