Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good distractions

I heard from a friend today and she asked if we were completely done moving in ....cough cough ..laugh laugh,  we aren't. We have hit delays and pushed off deadlines. We had a few days of rain, tons of water dumpage, which just turned our road back into a muddy mess. Imagine driving on wet cookie dough. Can't take a big moving truck down that!  Our tile guy got stuck and lost a morning. Nick pulled his van out of the muck with the tractor.

Pouring rain over Euly's shoulder.
Tile guy made a lot of progress in the utility room:
And in Molly's shower:

And did the demo in our shower:

Craig has material picked out, only the tile guy's mother needed him in El Salvador and he left... and we are hoping he will be back Friday.

I mentioned in this post we spent time away for a bridal shower and snagged some photos off Molly's camera:

Speaking of Molly's good was published in the Texas Catholic Herald promoting our parish's ground breaking coming up in December. +A.M.D.G.+

Then we spend Sunday down with Max celebrating his birthday in Galveston.
Ceci decided to try out street theater and be part of the fire breathing jugglar's act.

I wasn't home long enough to make a cake, so we had birthday sweets at our favorite candy shoppe La Kings and savoured the sweetness back at Max's apartment.

This week is busy for all of us preparing to spend time with family and friends.  I am very fortunate to have a daughter who offered to brave grocery shopping, and has already made the divinity and candied pecans. 

The girls and I have tried so spend as much time at the house as possible to communicate with the foundation guys and to keep unloading boxes and boxes and putting it all somewhere.
Then the preparations for Thanksgicing began, with a tradition of strawberry jello cake for Max's birthday before we hit the road.

SOOOOooooo much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

22 Years

Max is 22 years old today. 
My oldest babe. 
I am so proud of him. 
I so enjoy his company.
I really enjoy being his mom! 
I treasure being in and a part of his life.
He has always had a sweet, loving heart. 
I just love when Lilly, Ceci and Max get together. 
They love each other so much.

Taking time for the important things in life

That title/concept may seem like a no brainier to most people, but I have to be mentally deliberate. So much going on with the house renovations and husband travels, I have to convince myself it is fine to leave the projects for a while.

We traveled to San Antonio to a bridal shower for my niece to be. We took the mother of the groom with us and met one of our other sisters who brought my mom and her flower girls daughters. 

It was a delight to meet Angela's family. Christ centered faith shined through their gifts, every well wish, every party detail, every bit of advice. 
"There are three people in a marriage: husband, wife and Our Lord."
I got to know her better by meeting her family. She is well loved! 

I felt their love and acceptance for us, representing the groom, and I am so thankful, even by a in-law distance. We are now family. 
It would have been a tragic loss to have not gone, missing the opportunity to meet and blend relationships to help build a loving foundation for this special couple.

We traveled the evening before, staying home long enough here to make sure the tile contractor was able to get his van out the muddy drive without getting stuck on the road. We charged down after him in the dark slipping and sliding. 
(We need a good run of warm, dry days before we can get the road base delivered. Big priority. But it's November.) 

We picked up my sister along the way, and  started a fun road trip visiting the way sisters do and listening to my girls in the back singing to their favorite songs, letting go of life's stresses to go all to welcome Angela and shower her with gifts of love.

The weather this weekend was mucking up my road, also made travel a little cumbersome. We had no problems. Once at the aunt's home for the shower, no more rain fell and it was beautiful sunny skies by the time the shower ended. I haven't been to a shower in over twenty years. I easily catch wedding fever and delight in all the feminine beauty!
I didn't take pictures with my camera, snuck a few with my phone. Sweet table decorations out of paper doilys with kisses in back.  

There were well over thirty women there, having lunch around beautifully decorated tables, and the aunts suggested we introduce ourselves, relationship to bride, something about how we know her. It was a beautiful exercise helping to break the ice and immediately get to know and accept each other. I never like taking in front of larger groups, but felt such love from these women who love Angela, I felt at home.

I enjoy being with my sister and she goes through this life change. I love seeing how much she loves her future daughter in law and said if she was to have picked someone to marry her son, it would have been Angela, and she is so overjoyed that her son picked her.

We all wonder about who our children will marry and it is beautiful to see these two young people living strongly in their Catholic faith find each other and be so in love. I pray for my future sons and daughters in law, and or whatever vocation our Lord calls our children. I am happy for these two large extended families and and so thankful they found each note and are a faith filled inspiration to the rest of us. 

The women who helped make this happen, moms and grand moms and sweet Angela:

The drive home we were protected from crazy violent weather all around us. We were blessed to drive the majority of the way in the spot between the violent clouds, lightning on both sides, just getting mistings.

The flower girls dresses should be ready in December for Lilly and Cecilia. The wedding is in January. So much to look forward to!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Long overdue final Goal update: 101 goals in 1001 days

So way back when, at the start of 2012, I set some goals. I jumped in with 101 ideas, and committed to consciously make some changes and deliberately choose goals I thought would improve my life, at least my attitude.
It did both these things.
Here we are looking at beginning 2015. Almost three years down the road.
I learned a lot reviewing over these. Somethings have changed, like getting in control of health and finances, but other things haven't, like wanting my kids to be happy and have wonderful quality shared experiences with them.
I am a procrastinator, so I am proud I  did accomplished many hoped for goals.  Some are dreams and some are really beyond my control. This was a worthwhile endeavor. Much has changed over these 1001+ days. How nice to see what I can do when I put my mind and heart to it.

101 Goals in 1001 days
Starting January 11, 2012 - Ending October 7, 2014
I wanted to start the 2012 New Year with tangible goals and a way I could be accountable to them.

1.  make a cookbook scrapbook 
Still need to do this, planning an electronic version with photos for the kids as a family keepsake.
2.  build fence for dogs
Done and now with moving in to new place, need to do it again, least to fortify boundary fence.
3.  family rosary every night at 9 
still need to work on dedicating the family to family rosary, we get in and out of routines.
4.  loose I. II. III. IV. V. pound goals 
Then, I gained some back. Need to make exercise a priority again.
5.  run the 3 mile loop 
I love to walk in nature, and I discovered running can be fun and very satisfying too.
6.  don’t cuss for one full week 
7.  don’t lose temper for one full week 
it is amazing when you get a hold of diet and finances, how much underlying stress goes away and with it temper storms as well.
8.  make each child smile every day in a week
See #7
9.  sew an item of clothing 
repairing counts. I secretly have a wish to reupholster out Hoss chairs this year.
10.  paint a picture with oil paint 
nothing epic, just for fun
11.  learn a new piece on the piano 
Still a goal
12.  learn a song and sing it with children
Still a goal
13.  memorize a poem 
14.  take care of c**** (debt)
15.  stop and conquer sugar addiction 
16.  go to an art museum 
17.  take kids to DC
18.  stop biting nails  
19.  get disposal so I can stop nagging
had to buy a new house to get it,
20.  school – get kids above grade level 
21.  get pedi after #18 
22.  take family to confession  
23.  family read aloud –every day 
24.  only one meal out per week 
25.  cook one meal at home a  day
26.  visit Grand Canyon
Still Dreaming
27.  take kids on vacation out of country
Still Dreaming
28.  get L’s passport and M,M,N,E,&C
In process
29.  M test scores up 
30.  Host Easter Egg hunt & feast 
31.  Pick strawberries
We tried, we will try again 
32.  Take N to state capital 
33.  Dinner out with just Mx  
34.  Dinner out with just M
35.  Outing with just N 
36.  Outing with just E 
37.  Outing with just C 
38.  Go to Austin just to visit Donna 
39.  Go to eye doctor 
40.  Do family puzzle 
started, never finished
41. Get in the habit of keeping holy the Sabbath - no unnecessary work
42.  Visit family in Tennessee & friends on the way
43.  Take kids hiking in Tennessee
44.  Make all family's Lebanese recipes
45.  Do something nice for a stranger
46.  Take a photo every day 
47.  Enter a photo in a contest 
48.  Clean out attic 
49.  Read a novel
50.  Take an exercise class with M 
51.  Grow a garden 
52.  Go to movie with Hubby 
53.  Go out to eat with hubby 
54.  Make candle light dinner for hubby 
55. Eliminate white flour from diet 
Then added it back in, need to get on this again 
56.  Eliminate soda from diet
57.  Get kids to water ski
58.  Get kids to go sailing 
for a couple of kids, need to get Papa to take the girls
59.  Get a basketball goal 
Well it came with new house and needs to be straightened up.
60.  Go to the dentist 
ACCOMPLISHED now need to think about wisdom teeth extraction
61.  Go to the chiropractor
Still need to do this.
62.  Get N braces 
63.  Get hubby to qwlc  
64.  Go C & W dancing
65.  Take kids C & W dancing
66.  Finish N’s therapy 
67.  Finish Christmas Shopping by Thanksgiving 
ACCOMPLISHED, (but not for 2014)
68.  Send handwritten letter to five people
69.  Go grocery shopping and buy only what is on list 
70.  Host a neighbor to tea 
71.  Start recycling 
72.  Have tea with the girls once a week 
need to work this in to regular routine again.
73.  Take girls vintage shopping for tea items
74.  Relearn Spanish – and use phrases with kids 
we have started
75.  Get wedding photo redone & on wall
Still need to do
76.  Take family portrait 
planning to take a frame-able picture this Christmas season
77.  Let hair go natural 
78.  Visit New York in Christmastime 
79.  Start riding bike 
80.  Read Bible daily - family time 
81.  Memorize 5 favorite verses 
82.  Start nativity scene outdoor scene tradition 
83.  Monthly nature walks & updating nature journal regularly 
84.  Have a good prayerful& dedicated Lent
85.  Organize photos 
86.  Visit an old friend 
87.  Go on 6 rv trips in a year
Still dreaming of averagin more than one!
88.  Plan and have 25thanniversary party including original wedding party 
well, no party, but we did celebrate.
89.  Use only positive words (look up more to add) 
90.  Take Donna on a vacation with us
Still dreaming
91.  Go visit old family cemetery in Tennessee
Still dreaming
92.  Make sushi 
93.  Keep house clean 7days in row 
94.  Go no tv for lent 
95.  Make an apple pie from scratch
Just did today!
96.  Have salad every day for a week 
97.  Paint a room in the house 
98. Plant bulbs
99.  Write our will 
100.De clutter & donate 
101. Teach M to drive.
ACCOMPLISHED and now teaching Nick to drive.

So do I want to set new goals? Yes, but I'll rather present them to myself in a  more categorized view.
I thought I would beat myself up for ones I didn't reach. But I didn't, I don't, Life happens and I am thankful for each step I have taken in the right direction, and hopefully bringing children along with me, breaking old bad habits.

Care of soul
Prayer mass holy hour doing good things

Care of mind
Meditate. Read.Read Read: school work, read higher things 
Discuss everything. 
Do good things.

Care of body
Learn about nutrition, work hard at exercise
Work hard at diet drink water enjoy food
Invite and welcome others

Dental care
Worse problems with us

Care of spirit
All the above. 
And spending time enjoying each other enjoying life.
Not getting in debt, paying off remaining debts we have
And helping children with college to start off with out debt 
Teach and live better examples
Spend time with people we love,
Reach out more,
Visit more.
Call more.
Do more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{phfr} HMNS butterflies and friendly nature walks

round button chicken
Thank goodness for HMNS science days. 
We needed a break from moving activities. Tuesday's weather was very cold, and to have the chance to spend it indoors in a tropical paradise was a treat. The sunshine outside encouraged quite a bit of butterfly activity inside.

 Lilly and I volunteered to help chaperone Ceci's class, so we were able to join in on the butterfly tour with the class. Lilly had her first classroom experience. She learned what it meant to sit criss cross apple sauce, raise her hand when she wanted to make a contribution, make a butterfly craft, return her materials and her mat at the end of class.  She behaved very well, showing she understood what a privilege it was to attend class.
I hope we get a few more opportunities this school year. 

Did you know..
that besides the most known differences between moths and butterflies, (nocturnal/ day, cocoon/crystallis, muted colors/bright colors) that their antenae are also different. Moths' are more feathery, while butterflies' are longer, thinner with tiny bulbs on end.

pitcher plants - lure butterflies and insects in, trap and eat them.

We were blessed by a visit to our new house from our friends! We took a little nature walk, dodging vines and dead branches. We found where the two creeks merged together on our property.
We also braved creek crossing on logs.

and found a praying mantis back at home.

Some day I want to slow down and take a better picture of our interesting neighbors (a many miles away neighbor) that have a herd of zebras on their game ranch. The kids love to look for them every time we pass by.

Ongoing home renovation, something real is always happening around the house.
More work accomplished in utility room. On the job training.Father son learning sheetrock repair. They have many walls to practice and perfect this newly self taught skill.

Go visit Auntie Leila and the girls at Like Mother Like Daughter.