Friday, January 31, 2020

January Daybook Post With a Birthday Celebration - 2020

Outside my window ~

A couple  Saturdays ago, I witnessed 13 hot air balloons flying over our neighborhood.  I was driving home from running an errand and could see these beauties from the highway.  By the time I pulled into the subdivision, a few went right over our street / backyard.  The most we've seen at once was 5 or 6, never 13.  There is a hot air balloon club south of us in another city.  The southern winds always bring them near our subdivision.

I don't think I'd ever go in one.  Would you?

I am thankful for ~

* this bundle of joy and energy

She turned 8 years old on January 26  and continues to bring joy and laughter to our lives.  This was the year for a party, so she celebrated with some friends at Urban Air Trampoline Park the week before.  They sure had a blast!

Can you believe that Barbie cake came from Target?  It was incredibly moist and super delicious.  The funny thing is that Clementine doesn't really play a lot with Barbie but has had her eye on that cake for over a year.

We celebrated her actual birth date together quietly as a family.  Big sister Sarah came home to surprise her.  It was the first time in three years Sarah was home to help celebrate, and Clementine was so excited. :)

From the school room ~


We recognized St. Agnes. on her feast day.  I found a fun activity packet on this saint over at Real Life at Home.

From the kitchen ~

* Miss Clementine requested homemade chicken soup for her birthday dinner and IBC root beer to wash it all down with.   I'm not sure where the love for IBC root beer comes from??

For dessert, she asked her sister Mabel to bake some homemade brownies served with mint chocolate chip ice cream and asked her future brother-in-law to light her candles since he is a fireman you know. :)

* Just a friendly PSA:  this is THE BEST fajita marinade we have ever used.  It's sooo delicious!  I find mine at Kroger.

What I am reading ~

My word for the year is SIMPLE.  We had a stressful year in the health department the last six months of 2019.  That tension, pressure, anxiety can really put so much strain on a life.  This year, the word SIMPLE popped into mind.

Recently, I was cleaning out a huge collection of books, mostly Catholic books, when I came across this gem.  I love the wisdom of Fulton Sheen!  This book contains daily readings (short, like one paragraph or no more than five paragraphs).  It is something simple I can read that helps flex my spiritual muscle at the same time.

I highly recommend it, especially since this is the second time I'm reading it!

Around the house ~

* It’s the little things!  This Frozen gift wrap was originally $4.99.  I paid only $1.23 for it!

* We have another driver in the house :)

I am thinking about ~

the fact that January is over - Wow.  Just wow.

I am praying for ~

an end to abortion

What I am listening to ~

Clementine is singing up in her room.  I mean really singing, like belting it out, Broadway kind of singing.

Coming down the pike ~

February is going to be another fast one.

* Dental appointments

* Bowling party for our homeschool group to celebrate St. Valentine's Day

* Troops of St. George rock climbing (a fun family event is planned)

* Illinois road trip to visit my mother

* A short camping trip

A final photo to share ~

New camping gear for the camping enthusiast

January has been good to us. For that, I’m so grateful.  We needed a good start to the year. I hope yours wasn’t too bad and that your February is even better.


Friday, January 24, 2020

Celebrating the Sacraments

What parent wants to see his child hurt himself?  God doesn't either.  He is so sad for us when we do.  So, what a sweet moment it was last Saturday when Miss Clementine received another Sacrament!  The Sacrament of Baptism takes away original sin but that sin leaves our souls weakened and susceptible to pain through our poor choices.  We don't just hurt God, we end up hurting ourselves as well as our neighbors. 

The awesome news is that God knew we'd be weak and gave us another important tool to help us along our journey.  Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God allows us to wash ALL that dust and dirt from our souls, leaving it shiny and sparkly.  And!  It fills us with Sacramental Grace, kind of like receiving armor to battle the devil.  I'm so grateful for this gift.  My mama heart is bursting because a little girl received this Sacrament for the first time last Saturday.

Afterward, we went out for ice cream to celebrate to goodness of God's love and mercy :)

Where is it in the Bible that God gave all the apostles (the first bishops of the Church) the authority to forgive sins - IN GOD'S NAME?

Matthew 18:18
John 20:22-23
2 Corinthians 5:18
Mark 2:7

God bless you, Miss Clementine!  Always remember how much Jesus loves you!

Daddy and Mommy

Friday, January 17, 2020

Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

Last Saturday morning, after tornado warnings and bad storms the night before, we woke up to sleet.  Our planned art craft couldn't have had better timing! 

(Idea found on Pinterest)


Thursday, January 16, 2020

RV Camper Storage / Gear I Love - Part 5

In our new camper, we have a set of bunk beds (double on top and bottom).  The kids love them!  There is plenty of wall space but storage is lacking.  We needed simple storage solutions to hold eye glasses, cell phones or Kindles, sunglasses, ear plugs, you name it.

I tried these Kingree brand storage pockets for walls and they seem to be doing the trick.  I put one on each bunk wall.

I attached them with Command Strips.   I prefer those white Command Strips (right side) rather than the light weight Command Strips.  I just need to remember to pick up more of the opaque ones the next time I'm at the store.


In our wardrobes on each side of the bed in the bedroom, I had a lot of empty space and wanted to create storage vertically.  I saw the idea of hanging shelves while surfing the web.

I found these hanging closet organizers on Amazon.  These are currently unavailable, but there are plenty of other brands with the same concept.

There's plenty of space on the side to hang shirts or dresses that I don't want wrinkled.


These little wire baskets are the best for wall storage.  I found them at Hobby Lobby (on sale for $1.50) and attach them with clear command strips.

The one above is our charging station basket.  With a charging port (for 2) on the wall, the basket comes in handy.

I also have one in our camper bedroom just to hold the remote and other odd and ends I don't want to lose.

I put one under the TV that hangs near the table.  This is been great keeping the TV, stereo, and DVD player remotes all in one place.

The more we take our 'little home' out and live in it, the more I find space saving solutions for it.  It's a work in progress.

The best part is that it doesn't have to be expensive!

More Camper Storage / Gear I love here, here, here, and here.


Friday, January 10, 2020

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and The Epiphany Celebrations

The saints in heaven are not dead.  Those who die in Christ are now alive in Christ in Heaven.  (Mark 9:4, Luke 23:43, Rev. 6:9-11, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Heb. 12:1, 12:22-24)

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of our homeschool.  She is the first native-born American to be canonized in the Catholic Church.  Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born in the year 1774 into a socially prominent family.  Her father was a surgeon.  Elizabeth was raised in what would become, the Episcopal Church.  Her mother died when she was a very young girl.  Elizabeth was given the best education for a young lady at that time.

When Elizabeth was 19, she married William Seton, a wealthy businessman who worked with import trading.  They had five children.  During the War of 1812, his shipping business was destroyed.  William Seton  had suffered from Tuberculosis for years.  When his health started to decline rapidly, William and Elizabeth to set sail for warmer climates in hopes of bringing relief to his disease.  They brought along their oldest daughter.

William, Elizabeth and Anna were held in quarantine from officials in the Port of Leghorn, Italy.  The officials thought they had brought the yellow fever with them.  After one month in quarantine, William passed away from TB.  His former business associates (the Filicchi family) in Italy took the widow and young daughter in for six months.  The Filicchi family introduced  Elizabeth to Catholicism. It was in Italy that she developed a strong devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Mass.

Once back in New York, widow Seton was received into the Catholic Church on March 14, 1805.  Entering into the Catholic Church, she was financially and emotionally cut off from her and William's families.  In order to survive with her five children, she had started an academy for young ladies.  Once news of her conversion spread, the families of the young ladies withdrew from her academy.

After living through many difficulties, Elizabeth received and accepted an invitation to establish a religious community in Emmitsburg, Maryland dedicated to care for children of the poor in 1809.  This school was the first free Catholic school in the nation.  The congregation was initially called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph and she would come to be called, Mother Seton.  In 1811, the sisters adopted the rules of the Daughters of Charity, co-founded in France by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Luise de Marillac.

She spent the remainder of her life developing the new congregation and having to bury two of her daughters.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton passed away on January 4, 1821.  Her remains are entombed in the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Her legacy is quite lengthy with countless schools, hospitals, and religious congregations stemming from her charitable works.

We celebrate her feast day each year.  This year, we decided to have Sara Lee New York style cheesecake for dessert and re-watch, A Time for Miracles (a movie based on Elizabeth Ann Seton).

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

The  Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, marks a visit to baby Jesus by the three kings (magi) on the evening of the 12th Day of Christmas.  The Greek work 'Epiphany' means to show.  It refers to Jesus being revealed to the world.

This year, I added another book to our collection of Epiphany books, Home by Another Way.  We had a few laughs over the description of King Herod.  How else can you describe a mean, evil king other than in a way that paints a picture of onion breath and foul body odor?  And from Catholic All Year, we made Kendra Tierney's idea of a king's cake by using three cans of cinnamon rolls.  It was so easy peasy (and yummy)!

It is especially fitting since my chosen word for the year is SIMPLICITY.

This celebration officially wrapped up our Christmas at home.  With the decorations (mostly) boxed and stored, we have begun school this week.


And as I type this, our weather is looking scary. Tornadoes can happen during winter times in the south, and we are currently under a tornado watch. So I am off now to pay closer attention to the weather.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Christmas Trip to the Coast

Last New Year's Eve, as the girls and I were freezing our buns off from a cold front that swept into North Texas, my husband and son were on a fishing trip down by Padre Island.  He told me what a neat experience it was to see families gathered on the beach for New Year's Eve, sitting around bon fires and shooting off fireworks.  I remember telling him something like... we will be doing that next year!

 I did not forget about it.

This year, on the Sunday after Christmas, we took the Christmas season on the road and I am so glad we did!  The week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite because of the Christmas coma we all find ourselves in.  I love being lazy and lounging in pajamas.  This year, it was even more relaxed.

Sunday ~

We left early and stopped halfway (for the night) to check out Lockhart State Park, a place where we explored and hiked for a bit.

(Old man's beard that was growing on this Live Oak)

The park was nice, the creek running through was calming, and it felt good to stretch our legs.

Monday ~

Early the next morning, we continued on the road, driving down to Mustang Island State Park (at the top of Padre Island).  Mustang Island State Park just recently re-opened after being hit by hurricane Harvey in September of 2017.  We've been patiently waiting to camp here since it is such a beautiful beach.  That last time we were at Mustang Island State Park was in May of 2017.

With it being a windy day, the air was rather chilly near the water, but that didn't stop my family.  They went for beach walks, explored the rocks and sand dunes, and fished right away.

(Emma and Mabel decorated our site with a bit of Christmas spirit!)

New Year's Eve ~

After a big breakfast, we took the kids to our favorite beach in Texas, Padre Island National Seashore.  David, Clementine and I were at the National Seashore back in April of  2018.  It was warmer then, but that was alright.  I love this beach, and chilly or not, we enjoyed ourselves all the same.  

That evening after Mass and dinner, we took the kids to another beach where there were bon fires and fireworks.  They really enjoyed that!

New Year's Day ~

Before we headed south on our trip, I made these cute cut outs and frosted them for the adventure.  We saved them for a special New Year's Day dessert.  Aren't they cute?!

Naturally, we we spent most of our time on the beach doing what we do best, fishing and walking.

I had found Stan the Man way out on the jetty by himself.  I think he enjoyed getting away from all of the females he is constantly surrounded by!

David pulled out the brisket he had made prior to the trip.  Oh my gosh!  It was so delicious.  We certainly ate well.  The day ended with another round of board games.  (I found that the games we are bored of go to the camper where they receive new life.)

It was one of the nicest New Year's we have ever had.

Thursday ~

I told myself (and Miss Clementine) how much I would miss the beach walks.  On that last day we found so many things, especially the jelly fish.  A lot had washed up with the tide.  Some had funny shapes.

Stan the Man and Miss Clementine had money burning a hole in their pockets so we went into town for some souvenir shopping before spending the late afternoon playing more card games.

Our last evening didn't disappoint.  I made some wassail for the kids to try (they loved it!), and the light rain had passed leaving a beautiful view at dinnertime.

There was a gorgeous, double rainbow to the east and a beautiful sunset to the west.  The dinner view couldn't have been any better.

We made it back safe and sound on Friday of last week.  In one day, we drove through Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Waco, and Dallas.  Boy did we see the traffic!! (My hubby wins the award for best road trip driver out there!!)

I'm so grateful to have had the chance to take our camper out once again.  We had four of the five kids with us.  Sarah was in Phoenix for the week.  She was very fortunate, very blessed to be taking part in the SLS20 , a student leadership summit organized by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students).

We all made it home safe and sound feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to take on 2020.  Until the next camp out the end of this month...



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