Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Life

Happy Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael!
I am thinking...
how thankful I am for online Catholic resources to help with ideas for my first Communion Sunday school class. We are working on the chapter that talk is of first sins (Lucifer and Adam and Eve) and since it happened to be feast of Archangels, we made this craft, with adding the St Michael prayer on the back, with popsicle stick to set by their bed to prayer every day. I'm not sure if it was the weather but the kids were subdued! Man, I have a mellow group of 6-7-8 year olds! Mellow is good, not complaining, just very different from my very over active group last year. 

                                                               Outside my window...wonderfully dreary and intermittently rainy!

I am praying for..
families who are hurting, men to rise up to their duty and women to live up to and aise th culture of the dignity of our sex, and for my kids.

I am thankful...
for a quick visit with Max, school to be moving along smoothly this semester for all my students... And to trade in points to stay here:

In the kitchen...
smells of chocolate chip cookies baking to finish off dinner with King Ranch Chicken and salad. 

I am We are creating...
more resin project samples.  Euly and I are experimenting with resin, clear and tinted. We got the blue a little too dark, but she's happy and hoping to make earrings out of the sea horses.
Gotta remember to pour it in thicker.

We are reading...
still working through Texas history, starting this week with a book on the (not baseball) Texas Rangers and a little more in William B Travis. Slowly working through Dante with Molly, and other school topics. 

I am watching... 
this video of what it means to be an altar server: 
Nick is training for Master of Ceremonies. He's usually thurifer.

Around the house...
Nick and Euly are helping Craig build a dog house out of left over lumber from previous projects.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...

St. Michael the Archangel, 

defend us in battle. 

Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the Divine power of God, 
cast into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

One of my favorite things...
visiting with friends! 

A few plans for the rest of the week...
October already! I just realized I have three tags needed renewal, so I'll be at the dmv, then dentist, scouts, and Friday is a First Friday, thinking about going to the TLM at UST with Rev VV. :) or attending the worldwide children's holy hour. Two favorite saints have feasts: St Therese and St Francis, will do something in their honor.

A peek into our day...
Spending time at local garden center to find the best deals for plants for Nick's Eagle project at church.
So many pretty yellow things to look at:

Pumpkin muffins?

165 plants ready to go...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

{Counting Gifts} Things I am thankful for...

4100 "It kickels?" ...Translated..."Does it tickle when I blow raspberries on your tummy?"
4098 Talking in her sleep includes me
4097 Stop taking it so seriously..
...Seeing what's important
.....Accepting I can't bridge the gap
........But God can..
Peaceful resignation putting worries into His Hands
4096 Praying for a Shower of Roses
4095 Room full of snorers while I can't sleep
4094 Wretchedly wretched wretch. That is all.
4093 Prevailing winds.
4092 "Here's a shell for you, mommy."
4091 Sound of seagulls' cries to clear my head.
4090 Helpers around the house, like a well oiled machine....after a good, hard jump start
4089 Max's college friends recognizing us on campus...Infamous! lol
4088 Taking Max out for a dinner break from mid term round of studying
4087 Blessed be our God Who lives forever.
4086 Hunting ghost crabs
4085 Reading aloud picture books in the afternoon makes one take a nap. Too bad it's just me.
4084 W B Travis:
"Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make him a splendid fortune; but if the country should be lost and I perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country."
4083 Texas Battles History book
"You cannot choose your battlefield,
The gods do that for you,
But you can plant a standard
Where a standard never flew."
4082 Nick pushing himself through Calculadder exercises
4081 Successfully charging a car battery and learning minor car repair with Molly
4080 Cheering on my college kids during test time
4079 Dedicated prayer area
4078 Dedicated family prayer time again
4077 Getting use to Aggies and their reflexive insults of my alma mater.
4076 A little more from Saint Francis of Assisi
We ought also to fast and to abstain from vices and sins and from superfluity of food and drink, and to be Catholics. We ought also to visit Churches frequently and to reverence clerics not only for themselves, if they are sinners, but on account of their office and administration of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they sacrifice on the altar and receive and administer to others. And let us all know for certain that no one can be saved except by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the holy words of the Lord which clerics say and announce and distribute and they alone administer and not others. But religious especially, who have renounced the world, are bound to do more and greater things, but “not to leave the other undone.”
4075 Lil:
"Three-two-one... Rockstar!"
4074 Good people in my life to give me advice and guidance I can trust.
4073 Last from letter of at Francis to all the faithful:
"And since He has suffered so many things for us and has done and will do so much good to us, let every creature which is in heaven and on earth and in the sea and in the abysses render praise to God and glory and honor and benediction;2 for He is our strength and power who alone is good,3 alone most high, alone almighty and admirable, glorious and alone holy, praiseworthy and blessed without end forever and ever. Amen."

4072 Little pony tailed gal on the move 

4071 Seeing clear through the drama, stepping to the side to not add hurt feelings to bruised feelings.
4070 Sharing in and encouraging Margaret's successes.
4069 Understanding that plateaus are flat
4068 Getting my distracted mind to learn every word correctly of the Salve Regina
4067 My daughter's love shown through nutrition and her care for her family
4066 Craig and me: unofficial undercover neighborhood restaurant reviewers 
4065 Sharing the faith with my Ccd children, so thankful their minds are like sponges. Good class this year!
4064 Yellow and red leaves of fall
4063 Prayer to St. Christopher 

Grant me O Lord a steady hand and watchful eye.
That no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away 
or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear me company,
From the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others' need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world; that thus I may
with joy and courtesy go on my way.
St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, 
protect me and lead me safely to my destiny.

4062 A snippet of my daughter's poetical wisdom
" There is darkness, and there is light; 
whichever we allow to affect us most 
is what wins the war within us, 
and ultimately, in our world."

4060 Early morning smells of fall outdoors
4059 St. Pio of Pietrelcina
“Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church 
alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the
 true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament.

4058 Reminders of four years ago in Rome. Yearning again.
4057 Sleeping with the windows open
4056 Staying calm through Lil's temper fit
4055 Lynn's class reminder "To focus on the child in front of you."
4054 Remember to ask for the Grace of Final Perseverance
4053 Remembering silly haircut experience: "Big forehead, big brain."
4052 Finding the charger to my huge flashlight, and Lilly looking at it saying it's beautiful (because it is something that made me happy), but pronounced "It's so pitiful."
4051 Productive weekend
4050 Fortune cookie: "Attention is the mother of memory."
4049 St Augustine
"The world is a great book of which they that never stir from home read only a page."
4048  CoGS meeting
Loved a moms night to learn how to present ways to lead children to love Jesus.
4047 Ginger cookie mix for moms night
4046 St Augustine on Humility:
“No one is telling you: be less than you are, 
but to know that you are man, know yourself in sinner. 
Know that it He (God) who frees you from blame; 
Know that you are tarnished. 
Let your confession reveal the stain of your heart, 
and you will belong to the flock of God” 
4045 Walk under the harvest moon
4044 Six hour visits with friends
4043 Hot water again
4042 Apologies for hurt feelings. Always worth the effort.
4041 Prayer intentions, adding to a growing list, gaining prayers of extended family praying together:
St Augustine pray for us that we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
4040 Money tucked away to cover surprise random repairs after another and another and another and another.
4039 Kids having really good people as their friends
4038 Walk escapes for mood reset
4037 Hide and seek at the museum: Fun for the kids....Scary as heck for mom. 
4036 Just past Molly driving. Lol Haven't see her all day
4035 Nope...One lady told me I looked too youthful to have had a baby at 45.
Lol sweetest thing to say.
4034 Someone to hang out with while I wait.

4033 Strategic drive in to Houston, missing traffic wins!!
4032 Getting everything to work out for Cc and Maggie- Traci's influence with the angels :)
4031 Sacred seal of the Confessional:
It cannot be violated for any reason, however weighty. A priest must not report even the most heinous crime. Nor may trifles from a child's confession be revealed by the priest, even under torture.
4030  Biblical quotes on math pages
"But the word of God grew and multiplied."
"Be fruitful, and multiply.. And full the earth..."
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord."
4029 "I hate love bugs...They're creepy....They're everywhere."
Everyone around here lately
4028 lunch: homemade tomato soup, grilled cheese, with nutty salad.
4027 Cc:
"Since when do we have lunch? Ever since you've been on the calorie count we've been having breakfast lunch and dinner"
4026 Joey and Gianna love my class <3
4025 Irena's beautiful voice to start Immaculate Mary for my class
4024 St Michael defend us in the battle within ourselves. 
4023 He got past that emotional stage; Phew! 
Reminder: exercise more empathy next time!
4022 Euly keeping up with the pack on bikes, so hard to be a middle and feel left behind, go girl power!
4021 A house full of teenaged boys makes my husband cook a mess of food
4020 Bike rides, games, tag at park, games, poker, apples to apples, lots of Laughter
And No video games ...
Wow great day for the kids! 
4019 Lilly telling me bedtime stories
4018 "Find my iPhone"stalkings help save pestering driver from dangerous texts
4017 Happy yells from late night flash light tag throughout street
4016 St. Augustine, on fire with the love of God Pray for us
4015 Talking through age old dredged up feelings, trying to reach forgiveness
4014 Watching these kids grow up and flex their confidence
4013 Nick's project approved after four night dedicated to the cause, he rose to the occasion! :D
4012 Me: You are so pretty you look like a birthday cake. 
Lil: Thank you. I AM a birthday cake!

4011 Carol's God Shepherd project
4010 Visit with Traci and Sylina- and a house overflowing with joy filled children
4009 "Touch your ring to remind yourself of the sacramental graces with sacrament of marriage."
4008 Lilly when aiming her pretend gun, Says vroom vroom, Not Bang bang
4007  peaceful sleep
4006 Daily advice given to my teens:
Just do what you need and can do today.
Tomorrow will come, take the steps needed today.
4005 arts -n- crafts

4004 The girls reading; quiet time on the couch
4003 Yummy sweets, my husband knows me.
4002  Life lesson from Margaret:
Deciding to be happy...while enjoying being a trouble maker."Best to be in trouble, it's more fun." lol

4001 Hair transformations

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yo ho ho...

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~  


The middle kids and I have been working on Texas history, and finished up learning about Pirate Privateer Jean Lafitte, about the same time I needed a motivation refresher. Solution: off to Galveston, with the secondary motivator of being able to spend a little time with Max between his study sessions. 

First stop, Pier 21 historical movie on Jean Lafitte. We arrived at the top of the hour, sure, ticket lady, we'll go ahead and see The Great Storm as well. The Great Storm is a more or less a slide show with music and narrator, dramatically detailing the horrors of the great hurricane of September 1900 which wiped out Galveston and estimated six to ten thousand Americans were killed. I saw the movie many years ago with the older couple of kids. I now have one in this middle group that is very sensitive to things she reads, see and hears, and I am sure I have added hurricanes to her worry burdens. I'm thankful there aren't any storms brewing currently. 

We stopped at La Kings for a quick treat, then went to the Pirate museum off The Strand. It was a very small exhibit, and a little pricey for what was there. But the enthusiasm of our pirate guide made the experience exciting where the exhibit left off.
He started the kids with a treasure map, with the promise of trinkets from a treasure chest if complete, and it encouraged them to read every fact about the history of pirates in Galveston to complete the treasure map. Strangely some museum guests think it's fun to pry off the randomly placed letter clues so we were missing three clues, but we guessed puzzle anyway and were awarded plastic doubloons, gooey plastic eyes, Mardi Gras masks and little treasure bottles; strange assortment, but kids like free stuff!

We had time for the beach and a dip in the hotel pool before meeting Max for dinner, and a different kind of late night Ghost hunt.

Tourist town and the history lessons with a single focus sell the area short.
I would imagine that much more has happened in Galveston than hosting pirates and it has survived many as strong a hurricane thanks to the 17' seawall built following the 1900 storm. But Galveston has been scarred deeply, and never regained the pre 1900 wealth and status. There were casualties on every bit of that island. A fact that made my kids a little squeamish, the pirate museum was in the building that was a temporary morgue to thousands of victims. 

We lived in Galveston when my oldest was born, it is one of those tight knit communities - identifying natives as BOI- born on the island. I didn't make lasting friendships while there, but I fell in love with the island itself. I don't mind the flat, brown sandy beaches, (the kids always ask, "Where'a the sand?") and I love having the place all to ourselves.

When visiting, first I like to drive along the seawall, windows down, to smell the salt air, feel the breeze in my face and soak in the cries of the gulls, it all clears my head of any other thought, except: how beautiful Lord, thank you!




Lilly wants to catch seagulls, always just a half step faster.

Theme Thursday

We went out of town, and took my oldest out to eat. He had some time before he had to get back to campus, so we went for a night walk out on the beach and under Murdocks, a seawall-side shop hanging out over the beach.
Ghost crabs were running sideways all over the beach, all sizes out in large quantities. 
Max caught one out of its crabby sand hole.
It freaked out the girls a little, until they realized he was harmless, just a little cranky and out of his comfort zone.
My apologies: all my shots were on my phone without much light and were out of focus.
Great memories anyway.

Go check out some more over at Cari's link up party. Did I make today's theme obvious enough?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Understanding more about Dyslexia

It's not a death sentence or a dream killer..we just have to help find and provide the proper tools, and be their biggest cheerleaders.
Dyslexia shows up differently in each person and sometimes compounded with other processing difficulties.


  • Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
  • Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "behavior problem."
  • Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting.
  • High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
  • Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
  • Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
  • Seems to "Zone out" or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention; seems "hyper" or "daydreamer."
  • Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


First weekend of fall turned out lovely, breezy, beautiful and surprisingly productive.
We had a little relief from the recent drought with a dousing of rain all day Friday. Craig and I were able to start the weekend with a date night starting at a new to me Chinese place. Oh my, I can handle certain peppers like jalapenos and serranos, but I will never think I can handle serious oriental spices again. The hot and sour soup was spicy, not painful, but the Kung Pao shrimp was miserable.  I couldn't tell you what it tasted like because the spices killed my taste buds. I didn't finish my serving since I couldn't drink enough water to quench the fire that kept growing and intensifying in my mouth.  

A wine tasting place opened next door and we thought we' try that out next. Pretentious, clique ish, over priced. We live in Texas wine-tasting-people, where are your manners? We left there after I had a nice Merlot and Craig a short port, with no intention of returning. Then still not ready to head back home, and I was quite hungry for food that wouldn't burn my mouth,  we tried a sports bar next over. 
Now, this was a new experience for me and also the other end of the spectrum of clientele from the wine tasting place. The dart area served as a kid corral. Really, people? This place is technically a bar, and that area is not kiddy play land, so ...why? Ok, it was weird, and mildly disturbing as the kids would fight or jump off railings while all the adults we watching the fifty thousand TVS all over the room. Not my scene either, but always nice to have time alone with my sweetie no matter where we are.

Saturday, I was busy making craft projects with Euly. She and I left for an early stop at HobbyLobby. Who doesn't love HobbyLobby? I can only take one child with me at a time. Along with candy stores and office supply stores, craft stores  are our happy places. We are best that way. Too much damage could happen if I brought more girls with all their craft ideas. We had a list, stuck to it, and left.

She made a bridal fairy..

and we played with resin..

And they helped me work on my Sunday school Blessed Trinity project. 
Why do I always wait until the Saturday before?

Just like the leaves on each shamrock I see,
There are three parts of the Holy Trinity
Let the shamrock be a reminder to thee
Of God's perfect presence in His Holy Trinity,
First is God the Father,
Then Jesus,  His only Son,
With the Holy Spirit,
Together they are three in one

Meanwhile the guys were busy doing their projects. Nicholas helped his dad ready the trailer for transporting plants for his Eagle project. Right now his planting project includes a back row of 60 waxed leaf ligustrum. Front row may now be 60 knockout roses, if Nick can find enough, or maybe more ligustrum with lantana in the front. Opinions?
The other plants originally selected for the project either died back in winter (Esperanza), had poison berries (durania) or poisonous leaves (oleander) or were too drought intolerant (azalea). We are all learning so much about shrubs in this scout project planning process. It's also nice to find other Eagles along the journey that are so enthusiastic and encouraging about Nick's project. 

Beautiful, blue Texas sky and cool breezes made Sunday a glorious day to spend relaxing in the back porch, visiting with Molly and listening to the chirping of late summer birds.

Perfect bicycle riding weather.

"Hey, look it's a lovebug." 
And another and another, then a million more. 
It turned into a lovebug invasion and then the kids said, "Look I can kill them with out moving anything but my hand." They fly slow motion lazily in our faces, crawled all over our bodies, one tried to check out my ear.  They don't bite or sting, and do like to eat my plants. Weird, pesty, awkward bugs. 
Are these only in Texas?

Now that's it's fall, it's time to take down the blow up pool.

"Is it too late to swim one more time?"

More Sundays than not, we end up finished with Mass and Ccd and  straight over to Chuy's.
What's not to love, prayer reminders with each silverware set and creamy jalapeno dip...
and a hubcap alley or mil pescados overhead?
We consider it "our" restaurant since we spent so many dates at the original Chuy's on Barton Springs so many years ago...
just passing on the love to the next generation.

Happy last week of September!