Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas and New Years

Christmas and New Years
This season was very blessed. We had school off from our co-op early in the month. We leisurely shopped and decorated and joined in many Advent and Christmas activities.
It was smooth and very pleasant.
Even our (mandatory) Christmas Card setting went fairly well. No yelling, no crying. haha

The week before Christmas my parents dropped  by to exchange gifts.

We attended midnight mass.

Every year I say it's our last because it is hard to stay up so late. Nick is usually scheduled since he knows the mass well and he's a good example for other servers to follow.
Molly and Sebastian were able to join us for mass. We slept in and opened gifts in the morning. A lovely chaos that I refuse to photograph. Pictures could never do the joy justice.
Everyone was pleased. Everyone was generous with each other. I received many surprises, and was delighted with the creativity and generosity of my kids.
We had our Christmas dinner a little early because Molly and Sebastian had to go to his family. Steak, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, Hawaiian rolls, sautéed mushrooms, wine with chocolate pie  for dessert. 
The day was restful, relaxed,  and happy while we all played with or discovered our gifts. 

The week between included packing up and seeing Molly off to California. We all followed their journey driving a while day across Texas, and amazingly finishing the drive the next day through New Mexico, Arizona and California to the coast . Ah, to be young. Lilly and I decided we would take four days if we drove out there.

Max was home. He had many days off to recuperate from so many days off shore and knowing he was facing more days to come.  He's already left for a long stint now. 

Craig had days off and started trenching and laying water line and power lines to bring water and power to the garden, chicken coop and his shed. He was thrown off track by a kidney stone attack. I do believe he was blessed by a quick passage. Max suffered this summer and it was many days of suffering. After a trip to the ER for pain management and confirmation, Craig felt better the following day. Dehydration always seems to bring these on.

We finished the week with a New Year's party with a wide age range of family and friends. Everyone was happy. There was good food, Craig cooks sausage from a local place, everyone brings sides, sweets and drinks to share.
Fireworks and bonfire were fun and a little tamerite. We had many teenage boys in attendance who were quite delighted with all the celebration explosions.
My parents were able to come again, and brought two dogs they were babysitting for my niece.
I enjoyed every bit of it and took no photos at the party. I soaked it in. I hope these memories don't fade.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Children do Adulting, Marriage and Use Free Will Differently From What Was Planned

First, let me wish you a happy New Year, with blessings abundant for 2017.
I'm excited and apprehensive about this new year. Many changes right off the bat, many uncertainties looming, some stressful, some so unknown I can only work on my New Year's resolution and new word: Trust. Resolve to give up worry.

My oldest daughter and my new son in law have moved to California. This last year I fought this, whether I realized I was fighting it or not. Mostly all of 2016. I prayed more against this from happening than I've prayed for anything. Ever. And yet, it happened. They are alive and happy and working toward getting their marriage blessed in the church.   I pray she finishes her degree. But I have to let her live her life.

So I have come, slowly, to accept my will is not what's happening here. I pray for their protection and happiness. I will and already miss them terribly. But life has changed. Some things have stayed the same. I am needed to be present in the lives of my children here. They need me as a nurturer and teacher and all else I do. They need me to do it with love and specific attention to them. I have accepted this, I embrace it and look forward to what 2017 brings me and them.

When I first knew what my heart had told me about Molly's plans, I cried, I cried for two months. My priest told me about what a priest told Saint Monica: a mother's tears and prayers are never wasted. So now I pray, a few tears will still fall. But I am beginning to let go, be happy for her and wish her well. It took a lot of courage to go against the norm. I wish it had been different, but I accept it now. Unconditional love doesn't come easy.

I have gone through all stages of grief! And now, I'm tired of grieving. I want joy back in my heart. I'm looking forward to a church wedding in their future and wish them all the joys life can bring.

Their smiles show their joy. I am so thankful for that!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Space Center Houston

Field trip while Max was home and everyone was offf school.
There are never enough hours to visit! So much to see and do. Can't wait to go back.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Counting Gifts at Thanksgiving Time

Counting gifts at Thanksgiving

When I started this space five years ago, it was in honor of wanting to be thankful for gifts of grace. 
I dropped the habit a while back. 
Today I will begin again and list as many things that come to mind:
1. Thankful for the roof over my head.
2. Thankful for my family, especially my husband who works so hard for me. For our children, Max, Molly, Nick, Euly, Ceci and Lilly.
3. For Thanksgiving spent with both sides of our family. We saw most of our family, had a wonderful day. 
4. For Julie to open her home and host for the first time, and host a feast to rival any!
5. For my sister Teresa to open her home to us, and always make us feel so welcome.
6. For Austin, her back porch, a warm fire, family to talk to and reconnect.
7.  For Molly's happiness and courage to follow her own heart to find love. Not my path or time, but for me to learn to offer up my feelings, sadness and words for her.
8. For our relationship to still be strong and close despite our differences in plan for her life.
9. For peace to know I've done all I can as her mother.
10. For prayer to follow my children wherever they are in life.
11. For Max's move back home. To spend time with him.
12. To see Lilly be a wonderful little/big sister and plan Max's birthday breakfast in bed.
13. For my nieces who wanted to vent, commiserate, laugh, cry, and pray with me.
14. For Nick's magical talent and entertaining everyone.

15. Birthday celebrating 24 years of his life and of my momlife.

16. Time with grand niece Kathleen and grand nephew Desmond. I do like babies. Sweet, squishy, happy beings are good for my heart. 

17. A compassionate priest.
18. A tree in my bedroom because I want to go to sleep happier. 

19. A reason to reconnect, even if it's kind of transparent.
20. Group effort to clean up the redneck. Hoping it works.
21. How much everyone of us loves this property.
22. Setting up for Advent before Advent starts.
23. A clean kitchen after so much prep'ed, cooked, and baked.
24. Ceci's turkey cupcakes 

25. Animals doing well, being low maintenance, for now.
26. Saint Teresa's words of encouragement:

27. Lilly's sunshine and happiness.
28. Getting motivated on shopping.
29. Being married to the kindest, biggest hearted dad. Ever. He teaches me so much.
30. Mom's old chocolate pie recipe -already gluten free! 
31. The election results. A new era of optimism and hope, bringing on prosperity and peace.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

1860s: Liendo Plantation and a Civil War Reenactment

Lilly, Ceci and I attended a trip back in time, a Civil War Reenactment and a peek into life in the 1860's at the Liendo Plantation in Hempstead, Texas. There aren't many Ante Bellum plantations in this part of the South, thanks to General Custer, but fortunately the Liendo home was spared since the family had cared for Custer's wife when she was ill.

The girls were entranced. Both girls fell in love with the fashions. The house took their breath away. The other scenes of the day were beautiful, exciting and well done. A hands on history experience, since you walk through life in the 1860's, with activities all around. 

We enjoyed a perfect day for this experience. 

An 1860's and beyond Fashion Show

A Tour of the Liendo Plantation 
(no photos allowed inside, the owner lives in the house)

A Look Through The Confederate Camp

with a sweet Calvary officer invited my pretty, little, young lady have a sit on Midnight.
We cheered for Midnight throughout the battle.

A Wedding
(the girls thought it wasn't real since it wasn't complete with a kiss for the bride.)

Arrival of the Union Troops

 Off to Battle

We highly recommend the experience. There aren't many reenactments in this part of the country, so that alone was a treat. It is held only one weekend, always the weekend before Thanksgiving. Everyone was friendly and eager to talk about Texas/American history.