Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend Life

Outside my window..."It's a cool day, go outside and soak it in. You won't have many cool days left." I have said this so many times this April that I think the kids don't believe me. We had nice, balmy weather through soccer picture day and soccer games, and a light rain just as we made it home only to intensify to a storm very like a hurricane, with tons of water and broken limbs all over the yard.
I am praying for..this country to wake up. This country to realize words and actions matter. The country to wake up and realize we belong to God, the gifts we enjoy come from God, not the government, and He deserves our gratitude. And sin is still sin even if everyone is doing it. Sin is still sin even if you try to rename it.
I am thankful...for dreams.
In the kitchen...well, not my kitchen, Craig and I had a quick date and treated ourselves to pepper seared maguro. Delicious!

I am creating...a First Communion banner project for my SS kids to do in class, that I can put together during the week and will be a surprise decoration for our parish First Communion party.
If you wonder....why I am opposed to the Girl Scout organization: read this.
I am reading...Edmund Campion with Nick, Uncle Tom's Cabin with Molly, Behind the Attic Walls with Euly and lots of Olivia picture books with Lilly.

I am watching...a dvr of the season finale of Duck Dynasty, my kids' new favorite show.
I am looking forward to...May crowning and First Communion of 5 of the kids in my Sunday School class. The youngest girl will have the honor of crowning a Blessed Mother statue next week. Ceci had the honor last year. This weekend is their last class, after most should have made their first confession. Then two weeks of beautiful celebrations in our parish.
Around the house...long overdue repairs finally getting attention. Looking good.
We am still pondering...whether we move forward on this or not. On one hand, I feel a definite, hopeful pull, on the other hand, the work that gets us from A to B seems daunting. I hate to make a decision based on selfishness or laziness, but maybe that is appropriate when it comes to where you live. Craig and I are really thinking about the quality of life for the younger children we are raising, balancing with the needs of the older children in our home. Feels nice to dream either way it goes.
One of my favorite things...the kids having a good time together.

A few plans for the rest of the
Something that made me chuckle..the look on Lilly's face after neighbor Lisa said,"She's so cute. I just want to eat her up." I have said that about babies, I hope they didn't take me literal.
A peek into my day...hail from crazy storm (requiring a new roof!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lesson: Playing well with others

Summer vacation is a month away. Our school year is not yet over, it is winding down. We did have a very, busy week. To enjoy the Friday afternoon, the girls thought they would play "car wash" with the hose. Giggles and joy filled shouts echoed through the trees around our house. There is something good and wholesome about playing in the water hose on a warm spring afternoon. I hope they have good memories of these days of happily playing together with their sisters. I couldn't resist capturing the vibrant colors and happy faces and enjoyed their fun while staying dry. (can't spray mom, she has her camera).

"Live and work but do not forget to play, 
to have fun in life and really enjoy it."
If you never did, you should. 
These things are fun and fun is good.
Dr. Seuss

Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. Margaret Mead

Treat others as you want to be treated.

What comes around, goes around.

Water is the driving force in nature.
dr Vinci

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, 
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of every body's heart.
Anthony D'Angelo
Today was good, 
Today was fun. 
Tomorrow will be another one.
Dr. Seuss

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} - HMNS

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ 

Euly & Nick had their last science day, and since we went to the zoo last week, Lilly , Ceci and I decided to hang around inside and outside the Houston Museum on Natural Science.

The end of the school year is apparently the time the Houston schools are doubling up on field trips. Last week at the zoo, we had a hard time finding a parking place with all the school buses and a hard time sticking together with the swarms of kindergarten classes buzzing by. 
This week, school kids were everywhere. 
The sound in the museum's marble floors was quite overwhelming.
(No, I don't get out much).
I appreciated the slow pace a homeschooling field trip allows. 
stopping to rest in the shade
We had time to waste while the classes we going on with no specific agenda this week, so we walked, rode the train, played at the parks, visited park of the museum we seldom stop by. 


 always happy around water

From a distance we guessed these were "swans",
 but after a while they decided they were supposed to be lilypads.

We spend so much time looking at the live lions at the zoo, 
I wondered if seeing the diorama would scare her a bit.

"Oh nooo, I dropped something."
Ceci was quite surprised by the massive size of a crocodile over alligators she has seen

Go see more {phfr}

Theme Thursday: Sky

{Theme Thursday} - Sky

I know the theme isn't boys, but my memory of this day, in 1997, visiting my sister Katherine in Big-Sky-Country, aka Texas, while we lived in the woods in Alabama, was 
all sky: 
all blue, 
all big and beautiful.

I happen to be featuring boys again because 
these guys grew up 
and I am feeling quite melancholy about it today.

Even when we lived miles apart these guys were best friends whenever we were reunited, close cousins.
Now, the one nephew is graduating college and moving many hours away. And my sweetie just let me know that the college summer job (that I was to have him at home) (at least in the evenings) will take him to further more exciting destinations more than he thought.

It is what I want for them, just a little heart breaking in the living of it.

My hope for the future.

King of the Mountain

The sky 's the limit, boys,
or maybe I should say, 
the stars.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wanderlust, Dreaming or Just Looking

Craig and I seem to have a case of wanderlust, suddenly and at the same time. We are ready for a change. Maybe we have impulsive personality traits, at the same time wanting to follow each others dreams and whims. It just doesn't usually happen that we are on the same idea at the same time to make any real changes.

I love my house. But I feel the need to simplify, get nature in our lives and around our home, and free ourselves. I don't want more house, I need more life, more room to explore. I need nature. I need projects.
I need freedom of expression. I want to live real, experience more.

I feel in my heart somewhere else calling me.

I am not sure if this is it, but we enjoyed soaking in the nature on a beautiful April day.

Maybe I just need summer vacation to begin.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Counting Gifts: 3500 Gifts

3500 Robin, stopping the lesson, coming over to me with a big smile, squeezing my hand, thanking me for my family, making me stop and think "Yes, I love every moment of it!"
3499 First day on the job for her "real" job. Angels go with her!
3498 Husband and wife, the comfort of not going at this alone.
3497 Free back rubs
3496 An early, late-April morning starting at 37 degrees.
3495 Smells of honeysuckle on a walk, brings me back through time to my childhood.

3494 How Lilly insists on giving her daddy a goodbye hug and kiss, how she's so tiny but insists on reaching up to her tall dad for goodbye.
3493 "I suddy (sorry), kiss, kiss." Lil
3492 5 miles of therapy with Molly
3491 Mahi mahi fits in perfect at dinner
3490 Spring rains make my garden happy, happy, happy.
3489 Even after waiting and hour and half, being a patient patient.
3488 "Welcome to the program."
3487 Cool refreshing breezes.
3486 My girls working hard to help me with our busy day.
3485 Hair cut fits in my day.
3484 Nicks physical good and done.
3483 Midday date - Chuys.
3482 Date doctor appointment.
3481 "Haha tickle my teeth with my toothbrush, mom. Haha"
3480 Trill and chirp of night birds communicating after dark.
3479 Every day with my babies.
3478 Just praying for those in Boston, all the victims and all those who helped. United with prayer.
3477 That there are little people walking around in my house singing happy sounds
3476 Adoration chapel next to scout meeting, able to spend time with Jesus in thanksgiving.
3475 Getting good news for a change.
3474 "Contract to be signed the 24th". Praise God
3473 Great news about parish
3472 Many hands make light work cleaning up house.
3471 Corn on the. Cob.
3470 Max working for scholarships.Awarded a new one!
3469 Lebanese ketchup.
3468 Brusters: celebrating two goals by two girls.
3467 Picking up speed on the bike, feeling good
3466 46 degree early morning bike ride with all the smells, fresh  mowed grass, dead fish at lake, sweet spring flowers, exhaust. laundry smells, sweet firewood burning.
3465 "I felt like Barney when I said that." - one of my kids who wants to be anonymous.
3464 "Is that a scapular?" funny conversation opener
3463 Bonnie waiting and making it easier for me to do my job.
3462 Saint Augustine:
'The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God. The peace of all things is the tranquillity of order.
3461 A safe place to vent.
3460 Sister phone call to set everything in perspective.
3459 Spring rain watering my garden.
3458 Saint Augustine:
"Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing itl right is right even if no one is doing it."
3457 St. Mark the Ascetic:
'When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.'
3456 Blessed Margaret d’Youville
"All the wealth in the world cannot be compared with the happiness of living together happily united."
3455 Mother Teresa;
"I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world."
3454 Pope St. Gregory
"The words of those who bring up children will be as milk if they be good, but as deadly poison if they be evil."
3453 Euly: with the the biggest, most open heart!
3452 Curtain refresh.
3451 I didn't notice how loud we all were until they started eating, and all became embarrassingly, deafeningly quiet.
3450 Little rhythmic breathing sounds of my girl sleeping peacefully.
3449 Comforting Lilly with a tummy ache
3448 Molly's giving heart.
3447 It's really three windy outside...
Dadada da..
Okay Now quit it.
3446 Garden is planted.
3445That's not just too loud it's four loud
Nick is silly.
3444 I don't want to be with you forever, I want to be with you five ever.
Silly guys.
3443 H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
"Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get."
3442 Desmond Tutu
"You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
3441 John Muir:
"Let children walk with Nature,
let them see the beautiful blendings
and communions of death and life,
their joyous inseparable unity,
as taught in woods and meadows,
plains and mountains and streams
of our blessed star,
and they will learn that death
is stingless indeed,
and as beautiful as life."
3440 H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Live so that when your children think of fairness,
caring and integrity, they think of you.
3439 Nice thing about having lots of kids- it's always a party
3438 Nick killing ants in garden with boiling water
3437 Starting garden -better late than later
3436 Volunteering and staying caught up on the paperwork.
It's all for a good's all for a good cause...
3435 Yellow roses in Mary's garden

3434 Taking on the rv curtain challenge
3433 Nick: "Mom my life is really becoming awesome"
3432 Saint Augustine
"Patience is the companion of wisdom."
3431 Scary auto call about incident at Molly's school- thank God not same campus. Mercy!
3430 Bye... See ya later... Toot-a-loo
3429 You know it's not good when you hear - rapping:
"I stuffed too much McDonald's in my tummy too fast."
3428 Iron man awesomeness
3427 Survive the dump process with huge belly laughs shared with nick
3426 Watching someone set a goal...Work her heart and body out...And see the joy and relief of accomplishing that goal!
3425 Gearing up to go back to real life
3424 Harvey is ready to roll
3423 John 15:18

  "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you."
3422 Overheard: "How many kids do they even have now?"
"I don't even know."
It's just six, not 32.
3421 Overheard on phone "this is Craig.. Ahem, I mean Craiggy.
3420 Cheering Judy along her way
3419 Seeing Marilyn accomplish so much
3418 Views from rv
3417 New awning
3416 So cool but too much sun
3415" Sacred heart if Jesus have mercy on us"
3414 "Angel of God, my guardian dear..."
3413 (Jer 32:39)

 "I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. " 
3412  (Psalm 89:7)

God is more awesome than all who surround him.
3411 Working on letting go of human respect.
"If I kneel before God I can stand before men."
3410 Knowing we are all int this together being different...
And proud did it.
3409 A good marriage relationship is being able to focus on the one with you on the merry go round and not worry about the world around being out of focus
3408 Vigil mass.
3407 Seafood bisque- and memories of prom 30 years ago.
3406 All together to cheer Mar on.
3405 Euly's joy at spending time with a cousin.
3404 Euly helping ready the rv.
3403 Hermit crab races

3402 The yelling calls of seagulls.
3401 "She's so smart she counted to ten..
Then she dipped her cracker into my yogurt ..."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Life: Gardens, Soccer and a new hope...


Outside my window...gorgeous spring weather, cool mornings up to the 70's.

I am praying for..victims of horrible incidents this week in West, Texas and the Boston bombing, for our enemies, and our country to wake up and return to Christian values.

I am thankful...for a family full of dreamers.

In the kitchen...lots of healthy snacking: bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, and lots of berries. Shrimp salad for dinner.

I am creating...a garden to take care of itself, except for weeding. Craig and Nick have the garden's electric fence back in operation after deer crashed through it at the end of last summer. They also set up an automatic watering system, improved from last year to direct water only in the beds.  Everything is planted, except the melons which aren't going in the garden. We will just sit back and let nature work its magic (and weed).

I am dreaming..about moving to the country. Where I live, some would say is the "country" but an acreage neighborhood that doesn't allow chickens isn't really "country" enough. Craig and I had some spare time this afternoon and thought we would drive out to look at a property we've looked at on the internet.
It was beautiful! It reminded me of the favorite things about our property in Alabama and Georgia. It is hilly, wooded, has a pond and a spring fed creek, fenced, peaceful trails...
and the things I didn't like so much about my Alabama and Georgia property: a house that needs work. Lots of work! It has a lot to work needed because the previous owner just "ran out of money" before he could "finish" the job. It is a beautiful home that photographs well, so I am not going to post any just now. But there are some serious repairs needed. It also is adding to our drive to anywhere we go. We already live a good distance from the city, this will add 30 miles. That's a whole different metro area compared to some locations, but Houston general area covered lots and lots of miles, three area codes, and hours to transverse. It's true, everything is bigger in Texas.
We need to pray about what to do. We made a little mistake by bringing Euly with us because she fell head over heels for it. "This is my room." "I can put my horse here."  "A goat would be great in this area." "Please, mom, dad?" Sounds perfect? But, my husband has a full time job, just not sure we are ready for a real redo just now. And there is the extra drive.
Here is a view down and up the driveway, with horses coming up from the creek thinking we might have food.

I am reading...Edmund Campion with Nick & Euly, Uncle Tom's Cabin with Molly, and a variety of picture books with the girls.

I am watching...a Masterpiece series Mr. Selfridge. My dvr was set to auto record any Mp shows. This is an interesting look into how department store concept came to be under the true story of  Harry Gordon Selfridge and a look into the early 1900 London.

Around the house...declutter clothes, my goal is to have ten bags removed this week.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer especially this week after reflecting on so much heroic action in traumatic times...
"It is a most useful thing, when we see another doing any spiritual good to his neighbour, to seek by prayer to have a part in that same good which the Lord is working by the hand of another.'

St. Philip Neri

One of my favorite things...this time of the Sunday school year when Father comes to talk to my kids.  (Not my favorite because they get so nervous they act like I haven't taught them anything) but the part when he gives them a tour of the sacristy and altar. I learn so much about the vestments and want to learn the history and significant of each piece. Nothing is by accident, there is a reverent reference to Christ from the five crosses in the altar stone( five wounds) to the arrangement of the waiting vestments shaped in the initials for IHS, for Christ.  These kids are very blessed, but can absorb only part of what he shares with them. I hope it inspires their curiosity to keep learning about this rich Catholic faith.

A few plans for the rest of the week... School, school and school. No extra appointments to interrupt any day this week. ( I hope that doesn't jinx it) and (we might want to see that property again). We do have the last science day of the year, boy scouts, soccer practices, neighborhood park day :), music lessons, meal for a friend recovering from surgery, and a girls group meeting, but we should be able to get school for this week done.

A peek into my Saturday!

Ceci's team spirit
(I bet it is the coach's car)

Have a great week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~  

Every Thursday, over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Zoo day with three of my and three of my friends' children.
We had a lovely day, cloudy with a nice mist of rain to cool us.

"Take a picture of me and my pet roly poly." ~Ceci
Why does this little one just love pill bugs when she screams at any other of the bug variety? I think it  must be because they are easy to catch, move slow and unsuspiciously, aren't fragile when handled and can roll up into that neat little armored ball.

peek a boo elephant swimming in his pond.

If you give Lilly a tube of glitter,
she'll want a piece of paper to go with it.
Once she thinks her little scribbles aren't fancy enough,
she'll want to add a little sparkle flare,
and if a little is good,
the whole contents of the glitter bottle will look even better.

Go see more pretty, happy, funny, real 
round button chicken