Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend Life

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

"Amen I say to you, 
that you who have left all things, 
and have followed Me,
 shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting."
Mathew 19:28

I am blessed we are to have a Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter parish in Houston! The Traditional Latin Mass is reverent and rich in beauty. Yes, it is "in the Church", established under Pope John Paul II, in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. If you have one near you, I urge you to visit and witness the beauty while praying the Mass of the centuries.

I am praying for Nicholas in his travels to summer camp, safety while there as he learns to scuba dive, and a safe return next weekend.
"You're missing me already, mom, I can tell."  

I'm on my tippy toes! When did he grow up?

I am know Nick made it to his destination after a three hour delay on the train, which made the trip 18 hours on the train, and he said no opportunity to sleep. 

In the kitchen...lots of leftovers, nothing too exciting. While on this low carb/ low gluten diet these past months, I have missed baking. This week I decided to go ahead and make a Lemon Cake/Bread to satisfy my craving for lemons.  It was delicious! I plan to try it with a non-wheat flour next time.  Anyone bake with coconut flour? Any alternative recommendations are appreciated!

Lemon Cake/Bread
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
Peel of 1 lemon, grated
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Lemon Glaze:
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup sugar
Oven 350 degrees, 9x5 pan, 45-50 minutes.
For glaze, dissolve lemon juice and sugar over medium heat, pour over bread out of oven.

I am enjoying..watching Nick and Ceci's new hobby, magic tricks, mostly coin or card tricks, but they are getting better with practice and have both succeeded in the illusion on many occasions.

I am reading...Caddie Woodlawn (aloud), Animal Farm (as a re-pre-read), Euly started Nesbit's Enchanted Castle, and I'm reading Hidden Power of Kindness ( needing reminders to be kind):

"There is no better thing you can do for others than to be kind to them. 
Your kindness, after the grace of God, 
is the greatest gift they can receive."

"In private, watch your thoughts;
In the family, your temper;
And in company, your tongue.
St. James says, 
"if anyone makes no mistakes in what he says, he is a perfect man" 

I am watching...RED. I've always been a Bruce Willis fan. And I just saw there will be a RED 2 soon. We are thinking about a date night to see a movie...any suggestions?

I am looking forward to...Max retuning this week from his internship. 

Around the house...trying to find ways to keep cool. Over 100 degree days are killing my yard, wilting every outdoor plant, making my dogs miserable and the kids complain-y.  We joined the YMCA for some summer activities, rock wall, the water park and swim lanes; hopefully the new distraction will beat the heat. 

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
"It was pride that changed angels into devils:
it is humility that makes men as angels."

"Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance."
both from Saint Augustine

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Celebrating Independence Day, spending time with family, celebrating Ceci's 8th birthday and keeping cool.

Have a great week and keep hydrated. :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Theme Thursday - Black and White

What is it with Cari's Theme Thursdays always launching me down memory lane? 
Oh well, I can't resist, so here goes...

Back in the days of film, I tried to take a roll annually just to enjoy the different look and feel monochrome images have. These two are my favorites scanned out of albums..


Of course digital cameras changed everything... and even made B&W an after thought...
like this one of Lilly.
(I hope that isn't cheating)


pretty, happy, funny, real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~  

Pretty summer days for these pretty girls to swim

That I have been able to take time for myself (and whoever wants to join me) most evenings for a long walk around different paths in my neighborhood. Tonight no one was available to go with me, so I enjoyed over an hour to pray, meditate, make mental lists and generally clear my head. I changed my route and ended with this view on the last leg home.

Ceci spotted this silly face peaking up outside the back door. I hope he wasn't stuck.

My garden started this year with such promise. With May mild temperatures and abundant rains,  my tomatoes and beans were already producing before Memorial Day..

Then the deer realized my electric fence battery was out before I noticed, and tasted every plant in my garden, showing special delight in my strawberries, tomatoes, beans, squash, and cucumbers. Trying hard not to be discouraged and revive what's left, I am hoping with the Texas sun we have plenty of time to recover.
 For what ever reason, the deer did not like peppers. They tried bites here and there, but left most unharmed.  I always try to grow peppers, normally without much success. This year, we are all about peppers, but no tomatoes, cucumbers, beans... The kids and I eat these raw before dinner, but we are still picking more than we can eat, so time for Stuffed Peppers.

In a salute to the circle of life, I used venison in my recipe. If you try this, don't skip the "M.S.G." - Mint, Salt, Garlic. The mint gives a wonderful light aromatic scent and Lebanese flavor. Recipe could also be used to stuff squash or cabbage leaves.
Stuffed Peppers
1 lb. ground meat/ venison
1 cup rice (brown works)
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. salt
10 peppers, tops and seeds removed
1/4 tsp M. S. G (mint, salt, garlic)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 can tomatoes  
Wash peppers and cut off tips, scoop out seeds. Mix all the meat, rice, salt, pepper, allspice and M.S.G. Add 1/2 can tomatoes. Fill hollow shell and arrange in stew pan. Use rest of tomatoes mixed with water and 1/2 tsp salt to cover again. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350. I keep covered for half cook time.

go see more contentment at Like Mother, Like Daughter...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Storing a supply of memories

Stay home mommy life can be pretty isolating sometimes, add seeing our culture rapidly implode, turning every thing held to be good and true and virtuous on its ear, it is almost breath taking and can leave us seeing the definition and existence of the ideal life hanging over the edge of a precipice. Who could imagine laws, mores, policies and common beliefs have changed so quickly from the ideals held by those of the past generations, to what unfortunate legacy gives us going forward in this culture?

Take courage mothers, we do more than we know to help stand against these dangerous currents when we tend the hearth God has given us. To nurture and love our children, give them memories and foundations of what is good and true will give them the strength needed in their uncertain but certainly demanding future.

We want to fill our children's hearts and minds with what is good, true and beautiful; what it is to make this journey through life meaningful and worth fighting for. We want them to have the gifts of knowing "home" is a happy, safe place, filled with memories of mother, father, siblings, bonds of family. To see motherhood as a noble, beautiful, loving vocation, not to be replaced by cold institutions. A mother is sacrificial love in action.  A father's influence is foundationally important of the healthy growth of boys and girls, gives vision to what  father and man  mean, not our culture's comedic view of a bumbling dad, but our heroes and our pillars of strength. God wiling, Home is a source of loving memories to encourage our lives.

I  fear my memory may fail me in my older years, and I worry life in the future might not resemble life of today. The simple goodness of the little moments that are small and seemingly insignificant today will be the very ordinary things to feed our courage to stand for what is right and true: to know simple goodness, simple joys, ordinary days where we are free to love each other and praise our Lord in this Land of the Free.

I read this Leo Lionni book to my older children when they were small, and saw of an underlying stronger meaning to Frederick and his supplies beyond that cold winter. His words and memories inspired and comforted his family with descriptions of happier times, times of plenty. Although I do think Fredrick could have helped some with the hibernation chores, I love his act of soaking in God's beauty to share with his loved ones.

We all need beauty, we need reasons for hope and a treasure of good memories. Our culture is so desperately wounded. We need to be "Fredericks" to remind and lift each other and add colors to the darkness. Soak in some small moments of peace and happiness, and tuck these supplies away in our hearts.

"What about your supplies, Frederick?"

Frederick (1986) from waanaki on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Life

Outside my window...
humid & hot, but there is a delightful random breeze to make being outside more pleasant.

I am thinking...
on one hand that summer is going by too quickly,
then also wondering how we usually pass these hot, hot Texas summers,
must have something to do with, in, around water!

I am praying... 
for all our elected officials to remember the oath they each swore to uphold the Constitution, and to remember the constituents that voted for them. And ask God to bless America.

I am thankful...
for our visit to Austin this week.

In the kitchen...
trying healthy recipes out of Moosewood cookbook I rediscovered among my cookbook shelf, given to me many years ago from an old friend.
The author, Mollie Katzen has many recipes online:
We made Lentil Chili today with a green salad and corn muffins.

I am reading...
CHC catalog, should I just go with their school plan for the year? I am not motivated too much just yet on planning for the fall. I think I'll start curriculum shopping to get my planning juices going.

I am wondering...
why we Americans ever looked to the government for nutrition information? I guess the government has to tell the government schools what to feed the masses of children in their care. All flawed information from the beginning, motivated by agriculture products receiving government funds, not health. So no big surprise that America has unhealthy results: obesity and diseases affected by poor nutrition. Now we have government controlled health care to manage the problems caused by foods and drugs they promoted, subsidized and made America unhealthy. The food pyramid was really the fast track to obesity? 6-8 servings of grain daily?! Recently the pyramid has been changed to My Plate, but it is still pushing too many grains and dairy.
Exercise is not alone a means to loose weight, it is a means to get our bodies healthy, fight diabetes and heart ailments. To control/loose weight, it is all about the type of  food and calories we take in.

I am watching...
A 2009 Peter Jennings report on why there is so much obesity in America.

Part 1 How to Get Fat Without Really Trying

***"No link between agricultural subsidies and health."*** ???ha!

I am listening to...
and all her silly, smart, sassy, funny sayings
and so is Molly,
and this is the perfect size hammock for sharing and talking.

I am remembering... 
happy highlights of our trip to Austin: swimming...We love the water!
I couldn't decide which Lilly pic was cuter, so here ya go... 

A few plans for the rest of the week...
summer camp readiness for Nick (who leaves by train Saturday!), math lessons, dentist, go to traffic court, put blow up pool in backyard, renew summer reading list, and stay cool.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Assisted ...Living?

The atmosphere of a home affects the health of all those living there.

We know it is important for the development of children, but it is still so very important in every stage of life. Since my mother in law became a widow six years ago, she has been living in assisted living facilities. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis which makes her have difficulty walking, balancing and needs assistance with house hold chores, some care and occasionally some minor medical attention. 

Assisted living homes facilities are a step up of "independence" from nursing homes. The places have the smell and hint of a hospital existence with the covering facade of a home. Most have wings for Alzheimer patients and have some medical staff on site. It is a lonely place for a seventy something mentally bright woman to live with people who "aren't always there" mentally due to dementia or are under heavy medications or suffer with alcoholism. Assisted living facilities are many times the last step/stop of the living, and coming in as a very recent widow, sadly, it was a hard transition.

For a myriad of reasons, as our culture evolves, the older generations are not moving in with their kids as they leave their homes, instead move into some type of senior facility. My maternal grandmother had the opportunity, probably by her sheer will, to live in her own home until the day she died, as did my Papa and more recently, my father in law. Alas, not everyone can safely live on their own, and many do not want to move in with their children and don't understand how to hire home health professionals.

She doesn't want to live with us, we've asked...and asked. She doesn't want to "burden" us. She still has other plans for her life. I get it. She is still a youthful spirit and craves to be around people of her generation with her interests (and we don't play bridge). But the facilities she has lived in did not offer her many like minded peers. It was a depressing existence for her.  Many move in, have a minor mishap, die and just disappear from rolls as if they never lived there. People assigned to her dinner table to share meal conversation, would one day not be there and left her wondering what happened. The staff didn't talk about it. Maybe most other residents never asked.  When deaths occurred, they weren't honored, no memorials, just name removed from their doors, waiting for next resident. It is a business, after all, they just checked out. She said she knows we all die, but she hated sitting and waiting and watching for it to happen. So she boldly made a change.

Happily, she recently found and moved to senior living apartments. What an immediate difference! The fellow residents are lively conversation starters even just in passing in the hall, the staff are brighter, all knew her when we checked in at the front desk. The apartments are more home like and welcoming: a community room designed  for bridge, a pool for therapy I hope she will be able to use and for grand kids to burn off energy in their visits. Bingo, Yoga, Fine dining to host her friends, and her own kitchen...all bright and hopeful! Hope and happiness surrounded our recent visit.

I hope she is able to enjoy this facility for many years. She did have a fall soon after moving in, and that helplessness is the scariest situation for an older person living on their own. She is recovering from that fall, and is determined to enjoy her new, bright home. If life changes in future years, I am hoping she will opt to stay with us, hire in the whatever nursing help maybe needed and keep her away from the assisted living atmosphere. We will even commit to learn to play bridge.

If your loved one is facing a change of residence, here are a few things we have learned along the way:

  • Meet, and really get to know the facility director: What are their philosophies about running the program? How do they feel about children in the facility?  Some facilities are very unwelcoming and even a little hostile. I do have "many" children who want to visit, but at one place in particular we were clearly unwelcome. 
  • Seek to learn all available care options, including home health care. There are some wonderful home care nurses out there.
  • Meet as many of the staff as possible. It only helps to make yourself and your loved one known as a person, even an inquisitive person.
  • Meet other residents, especially long term residents. If able, interview and narrow down as many as you can, then bring future resident so he/she can see what their home will look like.
  • Get an understanding of the costs for all the services. Meal are usually included, laundry is an add on, as are the other "levels". It is good to know because these increase annually, and since many are on fixed incomes and they can find themselves tight in future years. Most facilities hold an nonrefundable deposit and deters some from moving even if unhappy, because of losing that sizable sum. The costs are quite astronomical, rising each year faster than earnings. We all need to watch if government tries to claim this area of life as well, we do have an aging population and this is a business that will grown large as the Baby Boomers age. We will all get old.
  • Help plan to safeguard assets, especially cash and jewelry. Even the very nicest of facilities have thieves with access to rooms. Theft and other invasions of privacy can cause hopelessness and despair.
  • Are church services held at the facility? Hers did.
  • It is best to locate nearest as many friends and family as possible, to ensure visits and outings unrelated to the facility.
  • Help stay in communication for any medical needs, and non needs, so to control unnecessary expenses, but then also so some important medical concern doesn't get over looked. 

We all need to do better. The older generation shouldn't be ignored and forgotten in these facilities, where the younger generation walks away from their lives, conversations, influences, friendships and life experiences. We need to be their advocates.

7QT Friday

My new favorite app:  Endomondo.
It keeps me exercising daily to compete with my prior day's accomplishment. It keeps tract of route, mileage, estimated calories burned and speed. It encourages me to pick up my speed to beat my last "score". And as a bonus, if done right, it loads activity and calories burned synced with My Fitness Pal. 
A voice interrupts your exercise to tell you the lap time and total time at every mile accomplished, helps to motivate progress along the exercise. 
Should I wonder that I have helped the government track me around my day? Do you ever get in the black helicopter mode of thinking? Heck, with FB, google email, blogger, they know what I'm thinking, talking about, who my family is, all because I participated with online social outlets.  Maybe they are tracking... anyway, I might as well have fun with it.
It is a weird feeling to notice priests are starting to be younger than me and they use hipper language? I read No Turning Back and it may be his wild life experiences or just youthfulness, but Father Calloway may be the hippest priest I've read. He has clear understanding of youth and troubles today from his own experiences. He delivers the message to put our loving Mother Mary in charge of everyone one in our life and prayers and that our God is a merciful Father.
We spent a few days visiting my parents and my mother in law this week. As my kids get older, it's fun to see the physical and personality traits they have inherited from each side, the combining of generations to their own unique person. Watching Ceci with her grandmother is entertaining to see in action how much they have in common, especially identical style of enjoying the phone calls from family and friends checking in.
I have been busy non stop for a month with vacation, party and visits. I have loved every minute of it, and keep finding things to keep me in that busy, busy, busy mode.  I know I need to slow down and take stock of school plans for this next year, see what I have and what needs to be ordered.  My biggest summer goal is to empty out attics and closets of unneeded junk. 
Although, I can't rest too long, Ceci's 8th birthday is around the corner, and she really wants a party this year. We've got to work around her friends' and brothers' vacation/ work schedules

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weekend, Monday's view

Outside my, like the car must be melting when you open the door hot!

I am thinking...about the man Ceci met at the park on Friday. She was very interested in his whittling and asked if she could approach him and ask about it. I thought that would be sweet. She sat and visited with "Will" about his life, travels, former service as a bus driver. He told her that he doesn't sell the walking canes he carves, he offers them to friends and strangers who need them, and will as long as he is able. He had one already stained that he offered to Ceci as a gift, and told her to share it with someone who might need it. He liked to look at fallen limbs and imagine what kind of animal head he could carve at the top of it. While she watched and visited, he carved what she thought looked like a swan.

I am praying for..our country, parish, family and strong marriages.

I am thankful...the party for Father turned out perfect!

In the kitchen...eating left overs left from generous fellow parishioners for Father's party. Lo mein, pumpkin spice bread, potato salad, macaroni salad, hots dogs, hamburgers. I am not sure how we were left with so much.

Around the house...not much to do, the party elves cleaned everything before everyone left, we all just enjoyed a day relaxing.

I am visit Donna.

I am reading...a book recommended so highly by a friend that I ordered on kindle instead of waiting to show up. I am just starting and anxious for a few moments to read this week. (She said she couldn't put it down until finished).
No Turning Back, Father Calloway's conversion story.

A favorite prayer from the Collect...
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the world may be regulated in its course by Thy governance for our peace, and that Thy Church may with tranquil devotion rejoice. Through our Lord . . .

A peek into my day...the boys put together their Father's Day gift today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

3700 Gifts

3700 Sophocles
  "One must learn by doing the thing; 
though you think you know it, 
you can't be certain until you try." 
3699 The random sense of humor in our family
3698 Pope Francis:
"Are you angry with someone? 
Then pray for that person. That is what Christian love is."
3697 Surprising Father with love and appreciation.
3696 Easiest party clean up- ever

3695 Hanging out with Lilly
3694 A long walk with Craig & Max, keeping up with their quick pace.
3693 After the most spectacular fall down the stairs, Ceci is ok.
3692 We are best buddies." Ceci and Lilly , when they weren't five minutes earlier.
3691 A wonderful half bagel
3690 The kids getting to swim with friends twice in one day
3689 A comment noticing changes
3688 Smooth party prep
3687 "We're not campers." Lil, after too much "RV"
3686 Chores done, perspective back again.
3685 Max's new plan, gives us more time with him.
3684 Late night walk and talk with Euly
3683 He had a good interview, good to have people interested, if only for ego boost.
3682 Turtle progress in the right direction
3681 Lowest BP yet
3680 Sleeping baby smiles
3679                              "Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people,
 a heart that forgives the worst,
 a mind that forgets that bad
 and a soul that never looses faith in God."
3678 Filtered water
3677 Sharing bites
3676 Summer plus ice cream = happy kids
3675 Opportunity to relax and recover
3674 Two walks for the dogs
3673 Rumbly thunder
3672 Craig having great success toward his goals
3671 Spontaneous help from all the kids to weed the garden
3670 "I can go fix your car so you'll be happy."
3669 The opportunity to practice humility with an arrogant mechanic
3668 Tobias reading at mass, whoa! New perspective on crimes of mentally ill or possessed?
3667 Renewed hope in a contract
3666 Four days in a row - working hard
3665 Nudge to pray before the phone call to pray
3664 Super secret party plans coming together
3663 Find My IPhone app - seeing Max is on his way home!
3662 "Can I pray the next decade?" Ceci
3661 Great bike ride with Molly, So refreshing!
3660 There is always a good reason to get together
3659 Lilly and her mouth that never stops! Sooooo cute.

3658 Musical Lilly

3657 "Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul, O save me for Thy mercy's sake." Ps 6.5
3656 Having siblings to smooth out the rough edges
3655 Rain, the power of nature.
3654 Coach's words to Euly: "I thought by your age and size, you would get run over, but you were never intimidated."
3653 An annual get away
3652 Safe travels, Deo gratias!
3651 River time
3650 Witnessing a dad's hug, before any words. A daughter's melting appreciation.
3649 Molly's first accident was only a fender bender, no one was hurt.
3648 Quick season over
3647 Marilyn coming over for a visit.
3646 Good fun all day long wipes out a little Lilly
3645 A happy exhaustion
3644 Water park fun
3643 Hey mom and dad, what's my name?
3642 Creed's cat will be okay.

3641 Visit with Viv
3640 Seeing such open kindness and generosity of others honoring a life's anniversary.
3639 I know I should be very thankful that I am serenaded the ABC song while trying to go to the bathroom, because someday soon I will miss having such sweet little people constantly seeking me out.
3638 Open mouth, insert foot. Wishing lessons in humility would stick for the next time I am ready to open my mouth...
3637 Registration is just that easy
3636 Knowing we made her day!
3635 Longest and fastest ride yet
3634 Opportunity to apologize
3633 Options for Craig
3632 Humility blow to the gut
3631 Off shore training
3630 Nick taking charge on scuba
3629 Dedicated and dependable Euly
3628 Musical chairs planned for council positions
3627 The girls takings dogs for a walk

3626 Having a lively companion, Lilly is always  full of questions imaginings and ideas.
3625 The lovely fragrance of gardenias to perfume my back yard
3624 She came outside just to keep me company
3623 Parenting - even when it is sooooooooooo hard.
3622 "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
3621 "Mommy's home!!!"
3620 Driving alone picking music I want to hear.
3619 "I heard your heart say Love, Love, Love."
3618 Oh, you didn't know, I am a rebel?
3617 A husband/father who has my back.
3616 Picking my battles
3615 Fresh cut lumber: memories of my childhood
3614 Saints
3613 Refreshing breezes when working outdoors, a kiss from heaven.
3612 Maneuvering Harvee on my own
3611 Weeded garden, everybody is happy.
3610 The awesome power of God.
3609 Every new morning to bring refreshment and hope
3608 Following Craig's pace of waiting to judge
3607 Mercy in action
3606 Contagious excitement
3605 "Lilly is Lumpy Space princess and R is her Brad."
3604 "Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts." Winston Churchill
3603 "Education is preeminently a matter of quality, not amount." Henry Ford
3602 "That man is best educated who knows the greatest number of things that are so, and who can do the greatest number of things to help and heal the world." Henry Ford
3601 Hearing the Holy Spirit encouraging me to JUST.  LET.  GO.  It is not mine to take on.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Surprise! A Party

A quick week and half of planning scheming between me and our parish secretary, we were able to pull together a spontaneous surprise party for our parish priest's 17th anniversary of his ordination. 
She insisted he loves surprises. 
I invited him out for an easy Sunday afternoon family cookout on Father's Day, then we went to work inviting parishioners who knew and loved our priest, and would want to share their Father's Day, and drive a gazillion miles from Houston and melt in the 98 degree, sunny, humid heat. 

Most everyone we asked did.

We had a high turn out, if it wasn't 100, then it was 99. We had so much food! We had so many wonderful drink choices (my favorite was a strawberry lemonade), to desserts that out shown the dinner. The word got out that Father liked pies, so there were pies! and cakes, puddings, cookies, fruits. 
I honestly prefer smaller gatherings, but I was forced convinced that a hundred people wasn't going to be that much harder to host than fifty. We scrambled to find tables, and rented some chairs, and made lists and kept up the RSVP's, telling everyone to keep the surprise. I was convinced he already has wind of something in the works.
But it wasn't until he was driving the gazillion miles, and kept passing other parishioners, (who did not live on my side of town) who were gong the same direction toward my house, he knew something was up. When he drove up to the driveway, and was greeted by my kids (who were traffic directors), he just said, "Wow, that is a lot of people."  He walked up to the back porch to face so many happy faces, to applause and congratulations. He joked he only brought one bottle of wine thinking it was a family event, had he known...
He mentioned something about getting me back. (Which I hope he doesn't intend to because I do not like surprises).  I asked if he would come back again for our small family dinner I had originally intended so I could visit with him (since I didn't have a moment to stop from taking care of food, drinks, potty incidents, the crash of my coo coo clock, dessert organizations, clean ups, to go packages), but he said he didn't think he could trust my invitations again. Lots of laughs and jokes and smiles. The kids held up great despite of the sun, lots of really nice people. 
We declared it a success.

I am anxious to hear his impressions when he meets up with my partner in crime at the office tomorrow.
And what a sweet husband I have, to spend his Father's Day cooking and giving and doing for our priest, our parish and so many friends.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

RV: 2013 New Braunfels

We stayed at the same place, 
enjoyed the same friends, with a few additions, and missed one already moving on,
played at the same waterpark,
tubed the same rivers.
We had so much fun, getting together with friends that are like family.
I hope the kids stay close through the years, 
and these trips hold special places in their hearts.

view down from our campsite

first dip in the water - cold, as usual

exploring together

a peek inside our home away from home

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekend Life

Outside my window...same forecast for the next three months: sunny and way too hot, abundant humidity.

I am thinking...discouragement is just a decision away. To have a good attitude is a conscious choice, sometimes a seemingly impossible task.

I am praying for..guidance and deliverance.

I am thankful...for my husband and sweet kids.

In the kitchen...Euly has been a busy chef: brownies/ ice cream cake, and tuna casserole.

I found this interesting... article on homeschooling.

and this article about the sad commonality of lying.

Ceci and I went to Molly and Nicholas' violin and viola orchestra recital. So many talented kids! Here is nick's debut just five months on the viola.
almost the full Friday orchestra group:
 Molly started the recital off with her solo:

Sharing from Facebook "Love Being Catholic" page...

Love Being Catholic
In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?" The other replies, "why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later. "Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?" "I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths." The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short." "I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here." the other replies, "No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere." "Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us." "Mother??" You believe in mother? Where is she now? "She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world." "I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist." To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her." I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality....

Around the house...getting house ready to host a really big surprise party for a special person in our lives. Can't give it away this week, hopefully I will be ready to show the fun next Sunday.

I had the wonderful opportunity... to attend a wedding on Friday. It wasn't an ordinary wedding, this wedding is planned by the groom so faithfully to the traditional Latin rite, I was blown away by the beauty. First, the couple choose the Feast of the Sacred Heart for their nuptials. The bridesmaids wore white and red sari's, matching the groom's red sash. (Red and white are traditional colors for the blood and water shed forth from our Lord, and the groom's family were of Indian decent, hence most women in attendance wore beautiful sari's). The priests were specially chosen to officiate over this Mass, in a Solemn High Mass with our parish's schola and ladies choir singing from the choir loft, like angels. The men's voices were rich chanting the Gregorian Chants, and the girls' voices were angelic. The sermon was tailored toward the bride and groom, but messages for us all. I am always so moved by the beauty of the Solemn Latin Mass, I can not understand or fathom how some can be opposed to it. It is so reverent. Heads are bowed at every mention of our Lord's Holy name. The celebration has symbolism to catechize the watchful attendee, and missal to follow along in Latin or English, so you really could be involved every part of the Nuptial Mass.
It was also a treat to visit Annunciation with its stain glass, statues and murals. 
Blessings to the bride and groom!

I am quickly Americans will thoughtlessly surrender their rights that our forefathers fought, defended and died for. We give up so much personal information on blogs, facebook and other sites with our consent, so the government finds the need to take advantage and steal our privacy through our phone calls, emails and photos of what we receive in the mail.  I enjoy watching Ted Cruz on the Judiciary Committee interviewing the perpetrators in the administration scandals, unfortunately his voice is a singular one. Keep him and all our leaders in your prayers. And stand up for your personal liberties!
Friday, June 7, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) today released the following statement regarding President Obama’s comments on the NSA’s gathering of Americans’ private phone records:
We should always be mindful of the need for government to have the tools necessary to keep Americans safe in a dangerous world, where there are enemies plotting to attack us. We have seen the face of that enemy time and again, most recently in the terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, Benghazi and Boston to name a few.
But on one hand the Obama Administration says this enemy is in retreat, yet on the other, they are implementing what appears to be an unprecedented and intrusive surveillance system on private American citizens in the name of guarding against that enemy. Just today, the president encouraged us to trust him on this – to trust that there are safeguards to ensure our privacy is protected, trust that there is a system of checks and balances to prevent an abuse of power. But in light of this Administration's track record, how can they expect to be trusted?
We have discovered over the past few months an ongoing pattern of wanton disregard not only for Americans' privacy, but for the truth – DOJ's refusal to be forthcoming about drone policy, IRS's targeting groups for their political beliefs and then misleading the American people about it, DOJ's targeting of journalists for doing their jobs, and now what seems an unprecedented intrusion into Americans' personal phone records and potentially into their broader online activities.
Americans trusted President Obama when he came to office promising the most transparent administration in history. But that trust has been broken and the only way to earn it back is to tell the truth. That's what Americans deserve. I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate who share my concerns to ensure that we have all the facts about these surveillance programs, and that our government is appropriately balancing concerns of national security with Americans' personal liberties.

I am reading...Rush's opinion of the current administration, and you should too.

A few plans for the rest of the week... doctor, dentist, surprise party planning, surprise party shopping, surprise party cooking, table & chair rental, clean, clean, clean my house, get yard ready, get food ready, then ... enjoy a great party!

A peek into my day...our delicious sweet treat: turtle ice cream brownie cake by Euly.

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Friday Quick Takes

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart!
Perfect timing to fall on a first Friday this year, great to start or renew your own devotion. 

Reparation for offenses against His Sacred Heart...
There are so many offenses and atrocities against our Lord in our present culture, our current government, in our families and our own behavior. Let us pray for each other and our damaged offensive culture:

Traditional Prayer for Reparation:

Most loving Jesus, when I consider your tender heart and see It full of mercy and tenderness toward sinners, my own heart is filled with joy and confidence that I shall be so kindly welcomed by you.  Unfortunately, how many times have I sinned! But now, with Peter and with Magdalene, I weep for my sins and detest them because they offend your infinite goodness.  Mercifully grant me pardon for them all; and let me die rather than offend you again; at least let me live only to love you in return. 


Make a fresh start:
Go to confession.

Something to ponder:

I was driving alone - a rare thing- so I plugged in my own music and my ipod came up with songs from Lingua Angelica. It was a nudge, remember your commitment to learn Latin? So, I played and replayed many to remind myself, and will have ready when the kids hop in the car with me later today.

Lingua Angelica

Date nights are good! I haven't always been able to get away for a meal alone with my husband, with smaller kids and living away from family for so many of our married years. I do now have the luxury of having babysitting age kids to watch the younger ones. When my husband returned from his business trip this week. I met him at our favorite sushi place. We has so much to catch up on, twenty minutes passed before we realized no waiter had checked with us. The service was unusually very bad last night, which just gave us more time to be alone with each other.  

This week, I went to a different confessor at the church closest to me, and one thing he gave as a penance, was to perform a random act of kindness. Great advice! I want to add as a daily goal.
Oh, and one more thing, go to confession.
7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 220)
Click and go see more takes and have a great weekend!