Monday, October 31, 2016

Our Parish's Dedication and Blessing of Saint Athanasius Hall

"The house of the Lord is well established on a solid rock."
Psalm 86

You would be amazed at how fast this all came together after working on it so long! 

Five years and two months ago, Father Van Vliet arrived in Houston with permission from the Cardinal, the goal to establish a Fraternity of the Society of Saint Peter Parish in Houston. Father Lockey at Houston's largest parish welcomed him to live at the rectory and use the Family Life Hall for masses. A sweet good woman donated over 40 acres inside the beltway in Houston for our future parish. It was wooded, undeveloped property handed down to her family from the original Republic of Texas, with sections of neighborhoods surrounding this track.

Volunteers cleared and transformed this land. We had the original of what will be many building blessed Saturday by Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo: Saint Athanasius Hall. It will be for church use now, and in the future when the larger church and chapels are built, it will be a multi use chapel. Our pastor is so talented, he took a plain metal building and created a holy place of worship, our Catholic parish is thrilled to have. The wood work, altar, side altars are all due to his wood working craftsmanship. Quality and beauty everywhere. 

If you are ever in Houston, please visit.

Below are some pictures of the beautiful first day blessing and Mass.




















From the blessing:
Be Thou magnified, O Lord, our God, in Thy holy places, and show Thy presence in this temple which is built for Thee; That Thou, Who workest all things in Thine adopted children, mayest ever be glorified in Thine inheritance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Harvest Moon Daybook


Outside my window...the early morning is still washed with moonlight from the harvest moon. We've enjoyed our evenings outdoors. This place is very different place under a full moon, adding light in a magical way.


"Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices."
Saint Teresa of Avila

I am thinking...how hard a balance it is to defend Christ and Christian teachings and maintain relationships who are against Christ's teaching. Especially when one doesn't see that they are in opposition. Logic seems to no longer be useful. Prayer and humility seem to be the only resource. The Faithful are under attack from every direction, including within.

I am not Chicken Little, I am usually the forever optimist, but I'm weary and worried. I hate to see people I love and respect go down a path of self destruction, hopelessness and isolation.

Perfect timing for me, the kids are reading about Saint Teresa of Avila. I enjoy learning of her together. I needed this:

"May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us."

I am praying for...all priests and religious, the end to abortion, my college student and for her to survive the unnatural cyclical stress college puts upon students. For everything to come into place for our church dedication. For our country and leaders, and for this election. For Max to return from offshore safely.

I am thankful...for my husband's job. I watched The Big Short on Netflix. It's about the mortgage crisis and collapse in our country, a very few saw it coming (well, Rush did). The corruption and manipulation and the ending bailout abusing the American people...so hard to digest. I had to watch the movie over a few sittings, much to learn. But it was a little more entertaining than a documentary.
We had a tough time during those years. My husband's company shut down his division just after moving us back to Texas. He was out of work for nine months. We started a business the month that very bad economy started to fail, it folded in under four years.I was the accountant and watched the stifling economy choke and shut down all related business from the beginning of our dream.
He took a job based out of Vegas while we stayed in Texas. We were thankful for the job. Looking back on that time, it is amazing we didn't loose everything along with so many other Americans. I am thankful we resisted the transfer. When I saw the demise of our business eminent, I started praying the 54 day novena for relief. He had a job offer on the 54th day for the company he is now employed! Deo gratias!

In the kitchen...surviving. Nothing exciting. I need a reset plan with meal planning. We made meat pies with croissant rolls. I've been using the peppers out of the garden and happened on an extra spicy batch tonight for our chicken and rice.

We are creating...Nick created a mum for his date for the local homeschool homecoming. We had a started mum and he added all the fun extras. Mums have changed over the years! We were surprised the guys are given one now. The sizes are ridiculous. Maybe we are taking the everything is bigger in Texas thing a bit far on this one. 
I walked down the hall and saw Euly helping Nick with the collar of his suit and it struck me how grown up these middles are.


 I told him to send me photos...




The girls and I stopped by Hobby Lobby and took on some projects for the upcoming seasons.


I am going ... to surprise Molly and take her out to dinner this week. Its been a while since we visited and I want to make sure she is eating well.


I am watching...and catching up on English movies while Craig is traveling (not his favorites). I watched the third episode of Poldark, the four part Emma on Amazon and Endeavor murder mysteries on Amazon (yes, English as well). 
Your suggestions are always welcome.

I am listening to...our rickety, off balance fan in the otherwise silence of the early morning. Occasionally I'll hear the cry of our lone rooster. We had to ...um...remove five roosters from the flock. Too many roosters are hard on the hens.

Around the house...we celebrated Euly's birthday with a sleepover with friends and sisters. And cheesecake.
 

Around the farm...our grain fed captive sheep made a grand escape. A couple of ewes look pregnant. We have a Barred Rock hen sitting on eggs, and by our calculation, chicks could hatch this weekend.


Around the schoolroom...we are plugging along. Euly helps to keep everyone motivated by her own enthusiasm for school and co-op. What a difference kids are from each other. Co-op is going well. We are learning the nuances of pleasing different teachers. I'm wishing our days were our own, but I know the benefit of being around good friends. Their writing skills are already improving.
And we have the prettiest church to attend Mass:


A favorite quote for today... more from Saint Teresa:

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”


One of my favorite things...girl talk.
With four daughters, there is plenty to go around. My heart breaks as they grow up and encounter what comes with growing up. But my heart also grows with enthusiasm as their years ahead. A proud, kind of happy, heart break. Maybe there just aren't words for this!

The kids had a good time volunteering for One Day 4-H.  They stocked food at the pantry, did chores around the outside and inside of the building, prepared bags of food to give out and sorted school supplies for Louisiana.







A few plans for the rest of the week...the girls are selling discount passes for restaurants for their basketball teach fund raiser. We are at a disadvantage since the passes are for the town the team is based, not where we live. We are not salesmen by nature, so its taking a little longer than it might others. They are learning. 

We also have co-op, basketball practices, 4-H meeting and hoping for that visit with Molly. And other preparation for the church dedication next weekend!!

Something that made me laugh...how entertaining walks can be with my kids. Craig used Lilly's new found stick walking pole to push something away on the creek passing, and it broke. She mourned the loss of that walking stick more than it could have ever deserved.





A peek into my day...evening chores.








October is more than half done...and its already Wednesday this week. Have a good one!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

15 Things About Eulalia

Eulalia is my fourth born, a position which I have an affinity for and a basic understanding of how some things work being a fourth born myself.
According to the birth order theory:
Fourth born children often develop the ability to deal well with people. This is probably a result of having to deal with all of those personality types growing up. They may also be great thinkers and able to manage challenging situations. They may become analytical, hard workers and they can be pushy or passive. Euly is all these things.
And...
  • Fourth-born, or “Child of the Family”, most concerned about how the entire family functions
    • aims to perceive and understand the family as a whole
    • tends to be expressive and loving, responding to any family member's pain
    • wants everyone to get along and is happy when the family is happy
She's also a middle child. Now with the older two out of the house, Euly has moved up in status and I'll be honest, getting attention she deserves. The spotlight is on her wishes and desire, hopes and dreams and she is loving the attention and opportunity to shine.


Our family is full of confident, big personalities and one does have to push a little or find their own way to position for what they need. No one goes hungry, or is slightly neglected, but some feelings can be crushed or off notes in the a matter of daily life.
Euly handles it with grace, hard work and perseverance.

So in honor of her birthday, here are fifteen things I love and admire 
about Euly:

1. Patient - she does have patience and never nags or begs. She knows when a good opportunity comes along, to move for it. 


 2. Confident

3. Hard working with steadfast determination
When she was little, people would tell her they expect to see her run for president and she'd get their vote. 


4. Creative. She's orderly and has a style that fits her desire for order. 


5. Ease that things come to her.

6. Healthy. She doesn't walk from place to place, she runs, up and down all day long. We thought it would be fun to see how many steps she logs a day, so we have her a fit bit for her birthday. 


7. First to volunteer. 

8. Loyal friend.


9. Courageous
As a child with only sisters, I wonder if having a brother helps the courageous future shine more in a sister with brothers. Euly is brave and courageous, yet reserved. She has pushed out of her shy, meek days of the past.

10. Faithful. Her faith is very important to her, in her relationship with Christ. It especially shows through her acts of service. She has always helped the ladies at church with all the projects. She prays with me and helps to get everyone to join in.


11. Witty, especially with corny jokes. She has hundreds of jokes tucked away in her memory for just the right occasion. She'll have a one liner contest with random strangers.


12. Motivated. Especially to earn extra money on odd jobs. Our home/farm project could not be as far along if it wasn't for Euly's hard work.


13. Persistent and goal oriented. She wants to go to Texas A&M and is working toward what she needs to do to get in. She'd love to study aeronautical engineering or animal sciences. 


14. Positive outlook. Her natural disposition seems to be set on positive. It helps the rest in the house that don't always have that setting. 

15. Leader and encourager. She has us all very busy this year with her projects for 4-H leadership, groups and projects,  Basketball, Co-op. Oh our days are full. 
I had her commit to help me balance it all before I signed up. She is up before everyone to get it all moving along.

I'm so impressed, in awe and thankful for all her natural gifts!

Happy 15th birthday my beautiful Eulalia Grace. 



Euly and I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon playing around downtown Brenham taking these shots.