Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A few things on our Catholic faith

I came across a few items on the internet this week that I really want to share with you...

Our pastor was featured in an interview with Texas Catholic Herald this last week.
These are my favorite exerts:

TCH: What would you consider the most rewarding aspect(s) of being a priest?

Father Van Vliet: A rewarding aspect of being a priest is being able to absolve the penitents of their sins and give them the Body, Blood Soul and Divinity of our Lord in Holy Communion. Administering the Sacraments and seeing to the spiritual needs of the parish is very rewarding.

TCH: Do you have any words of wisdom or insight for those discerning the priesthood or religious life?

Father Van Vliet: If you feel you have a vocation, do all you can to protect it and discern it. 

Pray frequently, go to confession regularly and avoid activities that can endanger it ... Strive after purity of mind and body, for this disposes us better to discern His will. You should also seek a spiritual director to help in the discernment process.

We are so blessed with a wonderful priest.
If you are interested in helping build a church in Houston, our new parish celebrating only in the traditional rite, under Rome, go here to learn more about our campaign.

The FSSP priests are of a distinct and special character and style, all different, yet all with such singular focus and love for Christ and the Holy Mass. We have been blessed to have known so many.

Our pastor while we were at the FSSP parish St. Francis de Sales in Mableton Georgia, was Father Fromageot. Here is an interview with Father Fromageot about his call to the priesthood.
My favorite lines are about his parents' reaction, not to him becoming a priest, but the choice to be a priest in the traditional order.

And then we can learn so much and be inspired by our friends in the faith.
Danny Manthei passed away August 10, just six days after recording this video where he talks about his faith, his life and recommends books to read, and inspires us to live our faith to the fullest in our faith.

Please say a prayer for Danny and for his sweet widow Sonia and their four young children.

God bless you!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lilly in her Lilliness

Passing a couple on our way into Costco
Lilly yells hello. The gentleman is closer to her and says hello back, enthusiastically.
She mutters under her breath...
"Well, I already have a boyfriend."

Later I asked her who was this boy friend. She answered, incredulous:
"I'm too little to have a boyfriend."

Lilly was asked to be a flower girl in a wedding. When I told her, she proceeded to go into her closet and bring out, professionally held I must say, all her summer dresses, arranging them on the bed. I asked her what she was doing,
"Trying to decide which dress to wear to the wedding."

I told her she would get a special dress to wear. We had to go get measured. When we walked into the bridal store, Lilly was walking on a cloud. The saleswoman greeted Lilly, shook her hand and led her back to try on dresses. ...as if Lilly was the bride to be.

Lilly and Ceci tried on pretty princess dresses and veils and tiaras before they were measured for their dresses to order. They didn't have the flower girl dress to try, so we played with other styles. 

My sister, mother of the groom, and my niece, a bridesmaid, met us at the store to play in this girly dreamland. We looked at mother of the groom dresses, the bridesmaid dress and the gown the bride will wear. 

How easy it is to get swept in the excitement! 
I have four girls, we've never talked in detail about weddings before, my three younger girls haven't yet attended a wedding. This experience opened up some fun and exciting conversations.

What do you think she is thinking?

Friday, September 19, 2014

{this moment}

 Today, a Friday ritual from Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment  from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throw Back Thursday - Georgia 8 years ago

Eight years ago this month we said goodbye to our Georgia property to return home to Texas.
We lived and loved this place something big.

When we bought it four years earlier, the surroundings were much different. It was bordered by wild undeveloped land. While we lived there, a fire station was built between our house and the highway, and a neighborhood with houses lining and overlooking the length of the back acreage. (which I intentionally kept out of my pictures).

Cc was born in this house.

It will always hold a piece of my heart.
CC, Nick & Euly


Euly's favorite pasttime

after he lost his feathers in the heat of the summer.

my view out the kitchen window

Happy Feast Day of The Reluctant Saint

So good for a homeschooling mother's heart. God's in control.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Study of Living Things

Experiments are our favorite part of science. With Biology, there are unlimited experiments we can try. Life, and the study of are best experiments because it cover everything around us.

We are using Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology and the module 2 experiment is the study of bacteria growth.

We start with four jars, with a little starter: rice, cooked egg yolk, good soil and hay. Then add pond water and wait and observe. Euly has always had an interest in the study of life, and look control of this experience from the start. Even scrounging up and preparing the jars.

I had a few eager volunteers to get the water. We aren't familiar with the parks and ponds close to where we are living now, and had some extra fun trying out a new-to-us park.

Our experiment may fail to produce bacteria, as our water source was more creek than pond. Euly did get it from a slower spot and from the bottom of the water.

My kids love nature, exploring. Spending time in the woods, creeks, rivers and oceans have been our best family experiences. Lilly has been a little more cautious than the rest. She seems to worry a bit more about what she may encounter, and imagines sounds of bears, wolves or deer than may want to cause her harm. She also gets hot sooner than the rest. If I plan ahead for outings and have cold water on hand she usually adjusts and gets in the fun.

This park had a crazy play area with this three story slide. The girls said it was fun, but it was a rough experience. Look at that drop, a free fall, to a hard turn at the bottom where they bunched up on each other. I'd imagine, on a busy day it must get crazy. 


 Two Weeks later...
The specimens took off, especially the bacterial growth with the egg. They also were motivated to look around to other items to examine.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Day book

Outside my window...we woke up Saturday in Austin to 60 degrees. It was a lovely surprise. 
not too cold to miss out of swinging in Papa and Grandma's yard.

By the time we reached Houston, it was a balmy 75. Still wonderful. Today turned out to be a perfect day for a nature walk.

I am thinking...about how I love my kids, and I love time spent individually with each of my kids. Euly and I went for a nature walk, looking at tree and leaf samples, observing a variety of insects, a few large mammals, and taking pictures. 

I am praying for..peace in the Middle East and the world.

I am thankful...to be an American! And for term limits! And for hope and resilient spirits. 

In the kitchen...baked some old fashioned chocolate chip cookies. I haven't baked in a very long time...so I didn't discover we were out of vanilla until batter was almost done. I love how the apartment smells.

I am going...to dental visits for two of my girls and for myself this week, a few more meetings for volunteer positions, and school. 

I am wondering...what we will do for sports and entertainment when the weather cools the pool to the point it's too cold for the kids to swim. (It's there for me!) It has been a great summer of swimming accomplishment and fun! I am thinking of loading up the bikes for a ride around a local park.

I am reading..Lord of the Rings, still and almost done, and Acts of the Apostles as read aloud. Notes from
 a Blue Bike for me. We are planning on starting Arabian Nights this week.

I am listening to...Teaching Company class on Augustine's Confessions. 

I am hoping...we hear good news about a close date for the property.

I am looking forward to...getting this phase of short sale behind us. I would love to live in our house before fall really kicks in.

I am learning
....Spanish again. It is fun, muy divertido, to relearn along with the kids. I love to hear them practice. We have another family learning with us so we can practice out loud.

I am watching...Manor House via Amazon Prime. A reality show where volunteers agree to live and work in a English manor run how it would be 100 years ago in Edwardian England. It really makes us wonder at employee rights and benefits and how they have evolved over the past century. Also, teaches about the period and helps us realize how well done Downton is.
Manor House

Which is time of Susan B Anthony in America...when and where she spend most of her life fighting for women's right to vote, and other freedoms, and died fourteen years before it was achieved. 

We've come a long way baby!! 

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...from Susan B Anthony the heroine of the suffrage movement, earning women the equal right to vote. Think of her perspective:

"Resolved, that women of this nation in 1876 have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776."

Her rally cries and quotes fit perfectly in our present day struggles:

" Independence is happiness."
" Failure is impossible."
" I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows..."
"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry." 

One of my favorite things...Find My IPhone app. It helps us find our phone when we misplace them, and we can check in on the family travelers' progress without bothering them with the distraction of a text.

I am pondering...a conversation that started off because of my scapular. Sometimes I go into detail about the scapular, sometimes I just say it is a prayer. This time it was not necessary because the gentleman not only knew what a scapular was, and he knew when "Her" birthday was and mentioned his trouble finding a Latin Mass. Well, did I have good news for him!

Something that made me laugh, chuckle..I hate talking about money and I hate talking to other people about money. This is not a trait Ceci inherited from me.

We are having a capital campaign at our parish to build a church. Some of the organizers thought of a great way for children to get Involved and encourage then to give and develop a love for supporting the church.

Build a church
 At Sunday school Ceci's teacher encouraged the students to start collecting funds for the campaign. Ceci took it to heart and starting asking our neighbors at the apartment. 

She collected over $30 in a few minutes until her sister told her were aren't suppose to solicit people at the complex. I know there is probably a no solicitation rule. I would not have encouraged her to go in the first place, but pleased with the result and that she started her box off healthily.

It's an awkward thing to ask, but the sweetness and innocence of her request brought out a yes from everyone she asked. I asked her if she told them church details, she said they just smiled and gave. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My 100th Pretty Happy Funny Real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
I haven't posted a phfr in a while, and have missed taking time each week to look for photos reflecting contentment. I noticed on my label count, this will be my 100th. To celebrate, I scrolled through all 99!
The first one in January 2012.
Wow, have my kids grown up in phfr posts!

Museum classes started again this week.
My kids (who attend class) learned a lot about optical illusions and dissected a squid.

Lilly and I had a different day.
We explored the museum, the dinosaur exhibits, visited Egypt, learned a little more about energy production and played/visited with new and old friends.
Since she's a little older, she was able to get a little more out of each exhibit, she behaved like a little polite young lady,  listened and learned.
By the time the day was over, we weren't worn out and had energy to say yes! to an invite to stop by our friends' house on the way home.

What a pretty discovery this was!

Inventive little girls, 
enjoying a pear,
from the tree
hanging over the pool.

I love seeing these two together. Best friends for years, beam happiness and joy every moment they are together.

This is on its way to becoming Real!
After a year and a half from when we first saw it and nine months with a purchase contract,
we are days from hearing our closing date, with the possibility of living here full time by the end of the year.

Short sales be crazy!

Go visit Auntie Leila and the girls for more happiness!