Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Strep Monster

invades again. Yep, now I have Strep Throat. I went to the doctor and got on antibiotics yesterday. The non-penicillin variety, mind you, because I tried that option about 2 weeks ago (when the girls had strep) but I broke out in a rash all over my face. No reaction so far to this antibiotic...just hoping I'll be back to normal tomorrow so I can get ready for the big Mass and House Blessing on Friday!

Monday, January 29, 2007

My Candlemas Priest

I don't think I'd ever heard of Candlemas before a week or two ago when I heard that a Candlemas Loveliness Fair would be happening over at Blessed Among Men. Maybe I'd heard of a feast where the Church blesses candles and families bring candles to have them blessed, but I don't think I'd ever participated in any such event.

Well this Friday, February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation and the celebration of Candlemas. This is the beautiful Rosary Mystery which marks the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple when Simeon prophesied that Mary's heart would be pierced. Ironically, I emailed a priest friend of ours last week to see if he'd be willing to come bless our new home sometime soon. He asked if we could do it this Friday and also agreed to say a Mass in our house!

We are truly blessed to have met dear Fr. Efiri Matthias at a Pro-Life event several years back. Though he hails from a land far away (Nigeria), and his skin is as black as night, he is most definitely a white shining light to us, a candle which burns brightly with the love of Christ and His Holy Mother.

In joy or in sorrow, he speaks of God, he encourages us and calls us throughout the year, and prays with us each time we say goodbye. I have saved my favorite message from him on our answering machine..."Holy Blair! Holy Steven! My angel guardian told me to call you..." And he left his priestly blessing there on the answering machine!

He baptized our Ellie at one week old, and humbly asked to hear our confessions before conferring the sacrament (A priest asked US to hear our confessions? How wonderful!). He has visited and blessed all of the places we've lived over the past years, and I am utterly giddy that he will come and bless our first house on the Feast of Candlemas, and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the first time in our own home! We are truly blessed.

I have a lot to do to get ready for this Friday, including finding many, many candles to have burning and blessed that evening, getting all our beautiful artwork nailed on the walls, creating an altar, choosing music for the mass, lots of cleaning, and of course making sure I have the camera ready so I can share pictures with you all here on Saturday!

Here is our dear Fr. Matthias after Ellie's baptism with his shining smile!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Welcome home, Joshua!

I also wanted to send out a congrats to the first of our triplet nephews who was able to come home last night! We can't wait to meet you, Joshua, and pray that Cooper and Major will join you very soon!

Congratulations, Brice!

gMy little brother graduated from Navy Basic Training on Friday. We are so proud of him and excited to hear where he will be stationed! I am very thankful for men like Sean, Brice, Steven (hubby served in the US Army Reserves for 6 yrs), and so many other men and women who gladly serve this nation and provide our safety and freedom as well as the safety and freedom of so many others throughout the world. May God protect them until He calls them home.

Friday, January 26, 2007

+Capt. Sean Lyerly RIP+

This past Saturday, a friend we knew in college passed away in a helicopter crash in Iraq. Captain Sean Lyerly was in the Aggie Corps and Parson's Mounted Cavalry with Steven and on the SMYRT (St. Mary's Youth Retreat Team) with me. He leaves behind a wife and 3 year-old son. Please offer a prayer for his soul and for his family. He was a good Catholic, honorable soldier, and proud Aggie. I am so thankful that men like him are willing to make this great sacrifice for us to ensure our freedom and the freedom of other strangers throughout the world. Requiescat In Pace, Sean! You are a hero!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A few other pics

Here's the living room with some furniture, still minus pictures on the walls and crown molding. You can see the dropcloth and boxes hanging out :)

Playroom/homeschool room which are a mess! Still trying to figure out how to organize them and what cheery color I'd like to paint them:

And the entryway. Dh used drywall to do some texturing, since the wallpaper was ripped and we took it down (along with some of the wall, LOL). It'll be a brick red color when finished and the cream color of the fireplace on the bottom half.

Starting to feel like home!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Steven wanted to share a couple pics of his big carpet project! Since he works for a flooring/counter company, he got a wonderful deal on some fantastic carpet. He was up almost all night on Saturday night pulling up carpet and putting in the pad himself. Then he had some workers come and help install on Sunday. They all did a wonderful job and our home almost looks brand new! Pictured are the "golden" living room (with fireplace half-painted) and the front living/dining rooms (which are now the playroom/homeschool rooms). Way to go, carpet guys!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I've realized that one of the reasons I've been having trouble with prayer the past few weeks is that I have no images around to lift my heart to God. I do have a beautiful home, beautiful surroundings, and a beautiful family to remind me of His presence. But it's also easy for me to forget Him when I'm not glancing at artwork reflecting Him throughout the day.

We have a lot of religious pictures and statues...things we've collected over the years which could make our home appear to be a chapel! I sometimes wonder what my non-Catholic friends think when they come into our home and see our little family altar with Mary statue and candles.

I love to wake in the morning, get the girls settled with breakfast, and then spend some time relaxing on the sofa and meditating and journaling on His love while reading and looking at the artwork around me. Even a beautiful painting by my grandmother which isn't religious in nature helps to lift my heart and mind.

Some criticize Catholics' devotion in praying "to" (with) statues and pictures. But it's really no different than the photos I have throughout my house of family and friends. Religious images help me to remember Christ and those who followed him so fully (the saints), just as my framed photographs help me to recall the friends and family I hold so dear. Yesterday I put up our Christmas cards and pictures on the fireplace mantle and some framed photos on the bookshelf. It makes the place feel more like home and brings a smile to my face when I see the sweet childrens' smiles.

So I'm much looking forward to putting up some of our artwork, statues, crosses, and crucifixes throughout the house. In fact, I'm going to go unpack a box right now so that my MOST important family members can be viewed in honor!

Fun Outside!

Yesterday morning we spent a few hours outside, swinging in the backyard and then walking to our nearby park. It's great to have a big backyard and park so close by. And it was nice to have a little bit of semi-sunshine amidst these rainy January days. We're so thankful for our new home! God has truly blessed us.

Mary Clare on the tire swing

Ellie in the baby swing

Walking to the can see our house in the background :)

Playing at the park, only a few blocks away. There's a pool even closer, which will be great for the summer! You can also see the estate neighborhood being built behind our neighborhood...very nice

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mary Clare's Birthday Party

About the paint, we decided to leave the "golden" color for the time being. We're painting the fireplace a lighter creamy version and I think it will look better when furniture is in. New carpet is coming in tomorrow and we'll slowly finish painting over the coming weeks and months. Thanks for your input, everyone!

We FINALLY celebrated Mary Clare's 4th birthday with all the family today; everyone was healthy, praise God! It was such a blessing to have everyone over to our new house. It was a Tea Party Birthday and as you can see, the cousins really enjoyed pouring grape juice into all the little teacups. Thankfully that carpet goes tomorrow ;-) It was a beautiful day even amidst the cold, rainy weather. No snow here in Texas, sadly.

We should have continuous internet starting Monday, so I'll be on a little more and post some pics as we move our furniture in. May you all have a beautiful week!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Enjoy the Process

Our new motto from our friend Enrique. When we're frustrated with wanting things to happen quickly, tired in the work, and ready for it all to be over, we remind ourselves to just "enjoy the process." I think it's a great motto for so many things, not to get bogged up in the details, but just enjoy the process that will one day result in a finished result!

I'm reminding myself of this today. I'm having doubts about the color we chose for the rather large living room. When we first started painting it looked pretty dark and "orangey" (we wanted tan), but we kept going with it and I even stayed up until 4am this morning finishing it up!

But I'm liking it less and less, instead of more. Steven describes it as "burnt orange" and we really don't like that connotation since it's the color of our college arch rival! He just told me we could repaint it, but I'm trying to decide if it's worth the effort, probably 5 or more hours of prep and painting. I can't believe I took off all the tape this morning (see it in the picture). Oh well, we'll update later on our decision but here is the room so can see how it looks orangey in the 2nd picture :-/

Must remember, ENJOY THE PROCESS!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


We have internet and camera dock...yippee!

Mary Clare on the morning of her can see her Scarlet Fever-flushed face :-(

The girls playing in Aunt Jill's backyard

Playing with Enriquito at the hotel before they left overseas

Ellie in her striped jammies

Painting maniacs!

We did get to move in on Monday evening. But we didn't move furniture in yet since we're getting new carpet this weekend. We are painting maniacs! I wish I could post pics, hopefully soon. Our living room is tan and I think we're going to put up crown molding. This is so much fun; I feel like I'm on Trading Spaces, except that I'm doing the whole house, and I have 2 little girls who want to get into all the painting supplies!

Since we're all feeling well, our family will all come over to our vacant house this weekend so we can finally celebrate Mary Clare's 4th birthday. She's thrilled! Hopefully the Texas ice will be gone by then...

Okay, must figure out something for dinner since we have almost no food or cooking supplies here. Next week should be a fun week to slowly move in and relax in our new home, but for now...back to the brushes!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Not yet

Moving in, that is. Need to have a few things done before we move over. Looks like we're going to have to wait until Tuesday, hopefully, since tomorrow is a holiday. More waiting, but we're used to that!

We're so thankful that Ellie is better and hopefully my parents can put up with us another few days! The weather is finally cold and feeling like winter! Fun! Maybe we'll get to use our fireplace this week :)

Hope you all have a wonderful winter week!

"Do whatever he tells you"

Update: Ellie is doing much better! She was throwing up every 5 minutes for about 2 hours in the night but is feeling herself this morning, thanks be to God. Prayers would still be appreciated that she'll be feeling better and that we'll have a smooth transition to our new house tonight!!

The Gospel reading for today (Sunday) is the Wedding at Cana. Just what I need to hear, my special Gospel on a challenging day. It's 2:00 a.m. and Ellie has been throwing up for about 2 hours, horrible projectile vomiting. Please say a little prayer for her. Just when I think we're all well and moving forward into our new house and a new year, I'm once again faced with a little illness that leaves me anxious and unable to sleep.

I'm not sure what He is telling me through this. I just want my family to be well. My heart truly goes out to those with chronically or terminally ill children, and those who've lost children. I can hardly handle nighttime coughs, strep throat, or stomach bugs. I'm so thankful for my husband who has taken over since I get so nervous and sad watching my little girl suffer. I think she's doing a little better, I hope we can still get over to our house tomorrow and maybe to Mass.

Jesus, I only have "water" to offer you, my little sufferings of caring for sick children. Please turn it into beautiful "wine" and help me to see the fruits that come from it and not only the struggles. Sweet Mother of Sorrows, pray for me and show me how to be a better, calmer, more trusting mother. Amen.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our triplet nephews...

are getting SO big! Check them out :) I can't wait to meet them in person. God is so very good in blessing our family with these precious souls. They still have a little while until they'll come home but I'm so happy to hear their progress and see their little faces.

Entering the Dream...

...tomorrow! Most of our things are already in our new garage, but the few things that we had for our temporary housing (thanks so much, Jill!) will move over tomorrow and we'll spend our first night in our new house!!! I am so excited! Last night I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking of all the fun things I want to do. We'll probably do a little painting and put in new carpet next week (perk from Steven's new job), so we won't bring all our furniture in for awhile. I'm just so anxious to get settled and finally enter into the "real" world, the dream we've had for so long.

I've watched those decorating shows on cable here at my parents' house for years, but have never felt able to do much since we were always in a temporary renting situation. But now I can! I was almost jumping up and down when Craig showed me the paint and painting supplies he left for us in the utility room! And Steven is probably going to get me some kind of electric sprayer. I'm going to be a painting maniac, watch out!

We're also so ready to settle...for the girls to feel secure in our own home, not driving back and forth between our home and family members' houses like we have for months. I think it will really help Ellie since she is extremely clingy right now. I can't even go to the bathroom without her! Mary Clare is thrilled to have Isabelle's lilac room and it's going to be lots of fun finding spots for all the toys and for our future homeschooling area. We moved some boxes today from my teaching days that had been in our friends' garage for about 5 years!

And praise God, everyone is well! My rash has gotten much better, so I didn't have to see a doctor. I still have some parts of my face that are red and itchy, but nothing like earlier in the week. Thanks for all the prayers! I'm thrilled to get to go to our new parish tomorrow evening and to start praying about our involvement. Because of Steven's work and school schedule, we really haven't been able to participate in many parish activities together. We're both very excited about that and looking forward to more weekends and evenings as a family. Steven has really enjoyed going out to Little Way Farm and checking on the cattle. It will be a relaxing place for us to venture to when we need a break from suburbia.

Okay, back to TLC and HGTV for a bit before bedtime. We had a special treat tonight when the girls both fell asleep on the way home from our evening activities. I'll miss my nights here at my parents' with cable (we don't have TV), and I'm a bit sad that we didn't get to spend the time with Steven's family I was hoping to because of illness. But most of all I'm THRILLED to be entering the dream...

(Thanks for listening to my gab. Hopefully I'll get pics up this week!)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Homeowners!

We are officially homeowners! I'm so excited to move into our first house! We have been very blessed.

Rash is still around; I may see a doctor tomorrow. It comes and goes and we're wondering if it could be a food allergy. I'm weaning off the Benedryl :-/

Only sad part today was not getting to call the one friend I wanted to share our exciting news with, since she's settling into a new country! I know this time will be very fruitful for their beautiful family, but we sure miss them already :-(

Now I can finally send out our very belated Christmas/New Year's card/letter/picture to all our friends and family so they can have our new address!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tomorrow's the Day!

At 3:00 p.m., the Hour of Divine Mercy, we should finally close on the house, God-willing! I probably won't believe it until the papers are signed. I can't believe we could be in our first home next week! Thankfully it won't be a big move, because we've already moved almost all our belongings into the garage there. It will probably be awhile before it feels like home and not the S family's house that we visit all the time! But it does have so many fun memories for them and for us, and I feel so blessed that in God's infinite plan he might have chosen us to have that beautiful house from that even more beautiful family. We will miss you guys, Lillian! But our door will always be open and we can't wait to come visit your gorgeous new home as well.

On another note, the girls and Steven are all back to normal. I've still got this rash on my face and I'm not sure where it's from. Hopefully this continuing medical saga will be discontinued very soon so we can enjoy our exciting week moving into our new home, and also finally celebrate sweet Mary Clare's 4th birthday with the family. Thanks for everyone's prayers, keep 'em coming! St. Joseph, pray for us!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Well, almost better...

...the girls are well at least. Mommy had an allergic reaction (probably from the antibiotic), Daddy has a bit of a tummy bug, and one poor little cousin has now gotten strep :-( Please offer a little prayer that no other family or friends get it, especially any who visit the triplets or any who are moving overseas today! Must rest up so we can get ready for our new house, God-willing! I can't upload my own pics but this is one my mom took from Christmas morning of the girls with their dollhouse, which they LOVE :-)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Feeling better :)

Went to mall, in-laws, mass, and a family concert last night. Enjoying a beautiful sunny day today birdwatching with BopBop. Hoping to close on the house this week (St. Joseph, pray for us!) and to attend a little day retreat tomorrow. About to go wish a farewell to our friends who are leaving overseas, but looking forward to an exciting new year! Hope it's a nice week for everyone!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hopefully Week 2 will be better

Mary Clare celebrated her 4th birthday on Tuesday at the doctor office with strep throat + rash a.k.a. Scarlet Fever :( Doctor says it's no different than strep, just that it had a rash. She got a shot of penicillin and is already back to herself! Ellie had a day of vomiting, and a few days of feeling crummy, until we took her back to the doctor this morning...diagnosis: strep throat! So she's had the shot and will hopefully be feeling much better tomorrow.

We're relaxing here at my parents' tonight and still hoping for a closing on our house in the next few days. MC's birthday party will be on Saturday and maybe I'll get our Christmas cards out next week ;)

Our best friends are moving overseas next week, for about 3 years. I'm pretty sad about that. Their house is getting packed today. We'll really miss them :(

I'm looking forward to enjoying our time "in the city" next week with us all feeling better and getting to visit with our family and friends who live on that side of town. But it will really be nice to finally settle in our own house shortly. Can't wait! Have a great weekend and Happy Epiphany to all!
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