Monday, September 26, 2016

Visit With Old Friends at a Pecan Farm

We had a treat to meet an old friend and past business partner at his father in law's pecan farm. So interesting to see so many thousand of pecan trees growing and producing.
Our orchard is just getting started and we have big dreams, but none this big. It's so good to learn from an expert and get advice. 
They were generous to have us visit over the weekend and hunt a few small pests who are after the pecans.

Some pictures below show the machinery used to shake the trees then sweep up the pecans once fallen.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Daybook post, since apparently, I've forgotten how to blog

We have been busy and feeling busy with nothing notable to write about. The busy-ness has stopped me, and I feel I may not have anything significant to say, but that hasn't atopped me before, here I go.

Outside My Window.... Growing up in the South, you learn September 22 is just another summer date on the calendar and Fall doesn't make a solid appearance until November, hints starting in October. We may see the end to the 90's after a week or so. Kids don't mind, they still enjoy swimming.

Temperature won't stop us dressing like it's fall when we go out, and participating in fall type fun. Our county fair just began, and we are looking forward to rodeo, carnival and country western entertainment.

We aren't showing animals this year, Nick is participating in the talent show at the Fair with his magic.

I Am Reading....Betsy Tacy series, The Saturdays, Father Laux Church History, and various school stuffs.

I Am Enjoying...hummingbird migration. We missed helping with the hummingbird festival at Kleb Woods, but we have our own activity out our window. We hang two feeders of the den windows and the little guys find them. We have fierce competition for the feeders and it is amazing to watch. We find ourselves watching much during the day. 

Around The Farm....we have pinned up four sheep to prepare them to go to processing. We have quite a few interested in lamb. We will start with four, and we may go ahead and take some others to the sale barn. With fall coming on, grass growth slows and I don't want the sheep eating all the good stuff I need the cows to eat. Hope is In there to keep them company, ok, really, just to keep her off the porch.

We have one cow looking pretty skinny so we have added a protein rich snack to the days. I'd like to get her alone but I hadn't worked out, so all the cows get a little something extra twice a day. We applied the pour on the back de-wormer, after Euly lassoed and caught her. I hope we see results and less of her back bone. 

We Are commit most Saturdays to to work on the church property with Craig and the kids. We have the date for the Cardinal to bless our Saint Athanasius Hall at the end of October, which begins our move to the church property!! Five years in the making. So much needs to be done in time remaining! I'll be happy to help wherever we can. 
Lately it's been fencing, to separate he animals to an AG dedicated acreage.

Except for today, we had plans to be away, and busy with the fair. Craig took the rest hunting with an old friend.

I Am this homeschool year will go. I'm pretty excited about the coop we joined. I haven't participated in one since Lilly was a baby and do not have pleasant memories of that while experience. 
This is a new experience, at a country church. Many families I have known for years, many more I'm just meeting. I feel comfortable right off. I think the kids do too. It's a Thursday once a week commitment, three classes a day. I'm teaching grammar to 4/5 grades and monitor study hall with Nicholas doing math during that time, (for the fall session). 
The coop hosted a swim party. We all had a good time visiting and meeting new people. Catholic homeschoolers are modest at pool events, which help the overall tone right off the bat. I felt with friends right away.

I am Watching...A Man For All Seasons about Saint Thomas More. The kids are starting a study of Saint Thomas More and Martin Luther next for history. 

I don't have any other series to watch right now (until second season of Poldark starts this month!). and I'm staying off news channels about politics. I am much less stressed this go round. I am praying the 54 day novena for our nation and I do have fun discussing all the conspiracy theories out there. It's a crazy election cycle this round. 

I Am Thankful....for our life, all the people in it, how our days are spent and our health. I'm thankful for optimism and hope and a buoyant spirit. And for a good health check up for a daughter I was worried about.

I am listening to...a fun rebelling of Huckleberry Finn on Cd in the car. The story teller is quite entertaining but, there are those trouble some words we don't use in polite society anymore. I think my little ones understand that... But I flinch every time he rattles a stream off. 

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
Silence is the root of our union with God and with one another.

In silence we are filled with the energy of God Himself that makes us do all things in joy.

The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life.

(St. Teresa of Calcutta)

Euly and Nick were sworn in as officers in their 4-H club:
Euly is Secretary and Nick is Historian

In The Kitchen.... Ceci wanted the smell of fall and made her first pumpkin pie.oh my, it is the best I've ever had and a bonus, the crust is easy too.

For the crust:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

For the pie:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pie mix)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Easy Whipped Cream
For the crust:
  1. 1Stir the butter, oil, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Add the measured flour and stir until a soft dough forms.
  2. 2Sprinkle the dough in small clumps over the bottom of a 9-1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the plate (flour the cup or your fingers occasionally to prevent sticking). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
For the pie:
  1. 1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third. Place a baking sheet on the rack while the oven is heating.
  2. 2Place all of the ingredients except the whipped cream in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Pour into the chilled pie crust.
  3. 3Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake until the top starts to brown and the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. Top slices of the pie with whipped cream.
A few pictures from our annual county 4-H banquet last night:

With my sister who has helped us figure out 4-H:

I Am Thinking About... our Latin Mass Parish and was happy to find this mass missal To Know Your Mass online. it is also available in print.

This video explains why the mass is offered Ad orientem.
Our parish priest is represented at 1:08 and other churches around Houston, and the last consecreation at 7:57. We are so blessed!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 - 2017 Another School Year Begins

Finally done planning another school year, implementing the plan now. We've done many, it's all we've ever done. This year is a little the same and a little different.

The biggest change is that we are enrolled in a one day a week Catholic Co-op and I am teaching 4/5th grade grammar, beginning sentences. I am not teaching CCD at our parish, just coordinating classes and sacraments, and substituting for absent teachers.  

I am nervous and excited for me and for the kids. The last time we did a coop was just after Lilly was born and I was working back office accounting at home. I have my full attention this year, and hope we all stay well and hit the ground running.

The kids were very involved with 4-H last year and I am planning on working those activities into classes. There is a lot of critical thinking in Consumer Decision Making, a lot of analysis and memorization and oral defense in Meats Judging. Euly plans on leadership opportunities with her Vice Chair at County and hopes to run for other offices. 

Nicholas - High School - Senior Year

 Nick is planning on attending Blinn (local Junior College) in 2017 for college classes which will transfer to a major university. He will also look into visiting a few Catholic universities this year.

Religion: Saints with Renaissance History, Church History at our parish CCD. Volunteer projects at church property, Church Youth group.

Math: Wrapping up Algebra II, moving into Advanced Math

English: Writing skills

History & Literature: Renaissance History through coop

Science: Apologia Physics with Lab

Geography: World Cultural study by the Teaching Company
Foreign Language: German II

Arts: Artists of the Renaissance Study, coordinated with History course

Economics: at coop

Logic: Memoria Press. at coop

Computer Programming Course: class outside home

P.E.: Archery, Skating and Ballroom Dance

Extra: 4-H Activities, Historian for 4-H club and magic performances. 

Euly - 9th Grade High School - Freshman Year

Religion: Saints with Renaissance History, Church History at our parish CCD. Volunteer projects at church property, Church Youth group.

Math: Wrapping up Algebra 1/2, moving into Algebra I

English: IEW Narnia Writing through coop

History & Literature: Renaissance History through coop

Science: Physical Science at Coop

Geography: World Cultural study by the Teaching Company

Foreign Language: German II

Arts: Artists of the Renaissance Study, coordinated with History course

Arts: Piano performance and theory lessons

P.E.: Basketball and Ballroom Dance

Extra: 4-H Activities, County Council and Club Secretary

Cecilia - 5th grade

Religion: Parish CCD, Saints Study at home, Volunteer projects at church property, Church Youth group.

Math: Wrapping up Saxon 5/4, moving into Saxon 6/5

English: Better sentences and poetry at coop

History: American history at coop

Literature: from Laura Berquist DYOCC American history recommendations

Science: Zoology at coop

Foreign Language: Spanish at home

Arts:  Renaissance artists with siblings.

Arts: Piano performance and theory lessons

P.E.: Basketball and Ballroom Dance

Extra: 4-H Activities

Lilliana - First Grade

Religion: Parish CCD, Lilly is preparing for her first Holy Communion and first confession this year. I have been working with her over the summer to learn her prayers and she had done very well. 

Literature: Betsy Tacy series, Enright's The Saturdays series, Coatsworth books and more.

Math: MCP Grade A
Phonics: Mcp grade A
COOP classes will include many things, but I will still be working with her on her reading skills, writing, memorization at home.

Extra: 4-H Activities

I like to look back year over year at the variety and sameness we have year each. Last year's here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Because Little Girls Don't Keep

It started with, "Can we play with the make up?"
and then spilled over to opening the dress up chest,
and then, they took it outside on a pretty afternoon. 
I followed with my camera. 
I love these wild and free days of girlhood.