Sunday, August 25, 2019

Our Craziest Back-to-School Year - 2019

Okay.  So this was unquestionably the most insane, back-to-school week we've ever had.  Ever.  Having two kids in two different colleges definitely mixes things up, and not to mention one student in a brick-n-mortar school.  Trying to be prepared, I had planned for this week back in July.  But you are never ready for those those loopy, curve balls that life throws at you.

I'm a planner folks.  If I don't put things on paper, my head is spinning out of control when I try to go to bed at night.  Emptying everything on a sticky note, into my phone, or in my planner brings me that peace of mind I crave at bedtime.

And what sweet relief it was when my emergency surgery came up unexpectedly.

On the Sunday, August 11,  we attend our last (for awhile) Mass together as a family.

It's not the best photo but it's real.  It's me wanting to embrace and hold on to the moment.

Our Sunday menu was NOT fancy, but heck! at least I got food on the table. :)   The gourmet dinner consisted of meatloaf, French fries, and buttered corn.

The dessert was fun!  Earlier in the summer, I saw the cupcake toppers over at Billie Jo's place.  I immediately ordered them from an Etsy shop.

The feast of St. Clare is on August 11.  Since our school celebration happened to be on her feast day this year, I had purchased mini Eclairs for dessert (she's from France).

St. Clare is the patroness of television.  Sounds a little strange, right?  Well, as a young nun, she was very ill quite often.  Due to her illness, she missed Mass many times.  She told others that while in her little cell in the convent she would have a vision of the Mass as the Mass was taking place!

We also watched a family movie that night in honor of St. Clare (Planes 2).  That is such a CUTE movie!

On Monday, our homeschool officially started.  Miss Mabel is a junior this year and will be taking a class at the local college as well.  (I guess that makes more than two kids in college??)  Miss Clementine is a second grader, a big year for the Sacraments!

On Wednesday of that week, I sent Stan the man out the door.  He's an official 8th grader (I still cannot believe that) and in another new school building.  This middle school is brand new and where I felt bad they moved him, (the pain of zoning) it's only for one year.  Then it is on to high school next August.

(Doesn't he look grown up?!)

It was Wednesday night of that week when Emma was in her car accident.  I'm so grateful that both drivers were fine.  It's a terrible call to receive from your child and thank God! the other person (who was at fault) had great insurance!

In Texas, we have a LOT of illegal immigrants and they drive without insurance.  I cannot begin to tell you how many people we know that have been hit by one.  Our friends and acquaintances are left holding the bag.  I'll leave it at that.

I felt awful the next day when I realized that, while in the aftermath of the accident, Stan hadn't said good-bye to Sarah before she left for college on Thursday morning. Life is too short and can change on a drop of dime.  Never forget to say, I love you!

I still find it crazy to think she is a junior nursing student this year.  She's pretty excited and was happy to be matched to the VA hospital for her clinical.  This young lady was made for college!

Last but not least, Miss Emma had her moment to shine.  At the end of July, after months of planning and preparing for, she had her entrance interview into the local EMT program at our local college.  The interview went well and she found out on August 6 that she was accepted!!  (They only interview twice a year.)

This six month program certification will allow her to apply for paramedic school next spring.  That is another two years.

Between shopping for a different car and her uniform and equipment, she also had to prepare for  orientation.  I think she looked pretty great!  We are super excited for her and this new chapter in her life!

And that's it.  It's a moment in time I really don't want to have repeated.  By the grace of God we made it through and are embracing the new normal.

Prayers to all students this year.  May you always remember that Jesus loves you!  Mistakes will be made, but we can always learn and grow from them.  Surround yourself with people who want you to get to heaven.  Never forget your guardian angel!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Jamaica Beach, TX 2019 - Part 2

Friends, I started this post back here (Part 1).


The surgeon said I could get into a pool on day 7 post-surgery.

I did just what the doctor ordered ;)

It felt sooo good to cool off because it was sooo hot down there.  I wasn't swimming but just submerging and chilling out.

I was also able to walk around the resort a lot better by Wednesday and was grateful to be able to keep up with this little one. :)

I loved seeing all the bikes parked outside of the pools.  Nothing says island time like palm trees and bicycles. Right?

We had one more fish fry on that Wednesday night.  The black tip shark was blackened in butter and the whiting fish was deep fried.  I'm NOT a fish eater, but I did eat this fish - twice!  Fresh fish out of the ocean tastes so much better than what I have ever had.

And it's pretty cool to be able to watch a movie at night outside your friends' camper!

On our last day there, I got up early to watch David and Stan the man fish.  I was excited to be there to see David reel in a whopper, a 33" Black Drum.  He didn't keep it since they are not good to eat once they are that size.

On our last evening, a couple of the families went out for dinner together.  I love these people!

We bought a couple of Groupons for axe throwing and go kart riding.  Don't worry, I never participated in the axe throwing.  :)   Miss Clementine and I did ride in the go karts.  That was fun!  It was a first time for both of us.

On Friday we headed back for home.

I did not miss the traffic.  At all.

Miss Clementine suggested that we and our friends should move to the island and work from there.  I like her idea! :)

Jamaica Beach Part 1

As my friend said, "Another successful Jamaica Beach trip in the books!"  Here! Here!  Until next time...


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Jamaica Beach, TX 2019 - Part 1

On a Tuesday night, at the very end of July, I ended up in the hospital with appendicitis.  And if anyone is ever wondering which of the three is worse: appendix, kidney stone, or child birth, appendicitis is the winner.  Hands down.

I had an appendectomy on the following morning.  I cannot express just how awesome it felt to be rid of the horrific pain when I woke up in recovery.  The surgeon came in afterward and asked if we had plans for that weekend.  I told him we were to leave on vacation.  Since my surgery was performed through laparoscopy (3 small incision instead of a great big one), he said to go!  I was stunned.  We waited until Saturday to see how I would feel.

He told me about not submerging the incisions for a week, not lifting anything over a certain weight for 10 days, staying out of the ocean water, and making sure I took my antibiotic.  On Sunday, all tucked in with a blanket, a pillow to protect my tummy, a book, and my phone (of course), we arrived in Jamaica Beach, TX!

You see, our camper is like a second home.  Everything we need (except for food and clothes) is already inside.  Once we arrive to our destination, set up literally takes David 15 minutes.  My family was so good to me while I rested before we left.  They tolerated my coaching from the sidelines.  ;)

I'm so glad to have been able to go.  I really rested and relaxed.  Thinking back, I told David that I would have been a danger to myself if I would have stayed home.  Think about it.  What mom really recuperates from any big illness when they are suppose to be resting at home? None.

The first couple of days consisted of Popsicles, palm trees, and pools (I was the spectator but enjoyed being forced to slow down and take pleasure in their joy).

There was successful fishing, a fish fry, and a big group breakfast.

We went two other families.  The same friends from last year.  We were happy to know we hadn't scared them off!  Ha ha!

We even got to celebrate the birthday of two friends!

On day 3, I caught a breathtaking sunrise.

Miss Mabel baited, cast, and reeled in her first-ever stingray!  David and his buddy caught numerous sharks.

That Tuesday I was able to start walking a bit more.  It was hard keeping up with this little one!

We went down to the bay side on the other side of the resort and checked out an empty crab trap and ended up catching a sunset. :)

More to come! (Part 2)


Monday, August 19, 2019

Feasts of the Assumption and St. Helen

Feast of The Assumption (August 15)

Last week was a rough week. 

We were getting back to school, heading in so many directions, when right in the middle of it all, Emma was in a car accident.  Both drivers were fine, thank God.  However, Emma was t-boned by an elderly lady (who should never have had a license to drive) and her car was totaled.  This is so unfortunate for many reasons.  The main reason is that Emma worked HARD to save her money to pay cash for her car completely on her own.  There was no bank loan taken out on it either.  And with this crash, she has had to start over. 

I was definitely stress-eating by Thursday when Miss Mabel helped me pull together a feast day dinner that was definitely more nutritious than fast food.

The traditional feast day dinner on The Assumption is made with herbs.  So, we had baked herb chicken and roasted potatoes with mixed veggies on the side.  For dessert, we had our jello parfaits (I had bought the ingredients earlier that day).

Feast of St. Helen (August 18)

St. Helen is Miss Mabel's Confirmation saint.  I wanted to make sure that she was put on our calendar to remember her holy works.

I had printed off a couple of coloring pages of St. Helen (a.k.a. St. Helena) from CatholicPlayground. com, and it was therapeutic to sit down with my girl and color alongside her.  :)

St. Helen comes from modern day Istanbul, Turkey, so we decided to try Turkish Delight. 

There was only one in the house that liked it, Miss Clementine.  I'm not sure if it was the flavor or not?? but I wouldn't recommend this one.  Ha ha!

St. Helen had a rough marriage being married to a pagan.  Her devotion to Christianity eventually led the way to the conversion of her son, Emperor Constantine the Great, who was baptized later in life.  (He legalized Christianity to end centuries of religious persecution.) . She "was tasked with locating relics of Christian tradition".  Parts of Jesus' tunic, pieces of the Holy Cross, and pieces of the rope used to tie Jesus to the cross can be found in Cyprus and in Jerusalem at the Basilica of the Holy Cross.  She helped entire communities through her works of charity as well as the poor and destitute.  She is patroness of new discoveries. 

St. Helen, pray for us!


Friday, August 2, 2019

End of July Daybook Post 2019

Outside my window ~

Flowers that are at the end of their growing season.  Gosh! Don't they look pathetic??

I am thankful for ~

* My faith, family, and health! 

From the school room ~

Miss Clementine and Miss Mabel's school books have arrived.

From the kitchen / What's for Sunday Dinner?

My teens bust their bums to earn money, especially for school.  Sometimes, they have to work Sundays.  We try to keep Sundays a day of worship, rest, and leisure and this includes intentional Sunday dinners.

This past Sunday, I had everyone home for dinner (the first time in weeks!) and it felt wonderful.

We served BBQ chicken thighs, home made cole slaw, green goddess rice, steamed fresh beans smothered in butter and bacon bits, cantaloupe, with a pan of  cheerio bars for dessert.  It was a delicious Sunday dinner!

What I am reading ~

Getting ready to stock up on some items for an upcoming RV trip.

Around the house ~

There's a flurry of activity starting this week for that upcoming RV trip.  (David said I have to stop calling it camping.  It is NOT camping.) . We are also prepping for the start of a new school year,  and getting in hair appointments and eye exams.

I took Stan and some buddies to Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park.  It was one, last hurrah before school starts.  It was such a fun time!

I am thinking about ~

The Tour de Parks was so much fun this summer.  We continue to meet almost once a week, hitting up swimming pools during the dog-days of summer.

I am praying for ~

* the health of a dear friend of mine

* an end to abortion

I am listening to ~

* the poop fan!  Ha ha!  Seriously though.  We have a bidet on the powder room toilet.  I don't mean to gross anyone out, but that toilet is used the most and the fan is always running which DRIVES my husband batty.  Ha ha!   He thinks we are going to ruin the fan, but it's almost 12 years old and still doing fine.

Coming down the pike ~

Home school activities (some fun events)

RV trip

A last photo to share ~

Last week we took advantage of the unseasonably cooler temps and low humidity.  It was GORGEOUS out, especially for a July week down in Texas!

There's a new park nearby that has some amazing features, one being a zip line!  There were kids and parents riding it. :)

***Funny how things turn out.  I had just finished typing this post when I got pretty ill and ended up in the ER with an emergency appendectomy on Tuesday night.  I'm home and doing better (thank God for modern medicine and laparoscopies).  Some of us were suppose to leave on vacation this Saturday.  The surgeon said I should still go. I just cannot submerge my incision in ocean water or pool water for one week.  We will see how I feel.  I am so grateful for great medical care!!***

This has definitely been a year of experiences so far! 



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