Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{pretty, funny, happy, real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

This has been a beautiful sight this week.  Ellie is very much interested in reading and excited to share it with everyone else!  The past two nights she has read to her brothers at night.  The girls have been a little slower in taking to reading, so the progress and confidence makes me smile :-)  Yay, Ellie!

Tuesday was National Pancake Day, and you can bet we took advantage of the free short stack of pancakes per person offered at IHOP!  We were happy that schoolwork was finished early so we could make this little lunch outing.  This has been one of the few times I've taken them all to a sit-down restaurant without Steven.  And they did really well.  Thomas did try to jump over the back of the booth to get food from the people behind us, and once again food was placed at our table and then removed because it was the wrong table!  Sorry to the person who got child hand germs on their pancake!  Thomas also loves the little syrup pitcher (and any other similar things right now...Parmesan shaker, pepper grinder, etc), so we were both a sticky mess when we were finished. But oh those pancakes were GOOD!

Mr. Bright Eyes ready to jump over the back of the couch!  I love that happy-twinkle-mischief grin!  Last night I heard water running and ran to the bathroom thinking he was playing in the sink.  I caught him just before he climbed into the bathtub with his clothes on!  If you mention the word "bath," he will run to the tub yelling and demanding to get in right that instant.  My favorite thing is when I come home from an errand or Zumba class, and his eyes light up and he yells "MOMmy!"  Then, he chases me down fussing until I will sit and nurse him.  I have to say that I still love the way he talks "Mommy" language.  All different tones and ways of saying Mommy/Mama to mean everything else.  You can see some of it in the video I just posted this afternoon.  I am happy being the primary word in his language :-)

I'm really proud of myself and how I've done well with cooking most of our meals and not eating out.  I made another Pinterest recipe last night, Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta.  Yum.  And for the second night in a row, I served two veggies with dinner (well, one was spinach salad).  What a concept!  Trying to get more green into our diets, and the fresh carrots from Steven's co-worker were delicious.  The basil was from our plant.  We moved into a home with four established herb plants, awesome!

Video of Thomas at the Aquarium

We were watching the underwater diver show, but Thomas was so loud I had to take him aside. This was his first visit to the Aquarium where he seemed to really notice and get excited about the animals...the funny part starts around halfway through...notice the "mama" language!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Low screen time

I can't say it was "no screen time" today, but it was "low screen time."
Our accomplishments:
Mary Clare painted a beautiful flower on a canvas.
Ellie finished the face and hair on her handmade doll.
MC helped Steven make a little stuffed owl while I was putting Thomas for a nap!
Ellie learned to tie with my tennis shoes while I was reading Robert E Lee to Mary Clare.
Steven Joseph got his whole preschool checklist done today for the first time ever!  He is very motivated by a reward of Nerf bullets at the end of the week for good behavior.
Mary Clare read a whole excerpt about the saint she wants to talk about at her girls' club back home next week.  And she read it aloud, which she doesn't usually care to do.
Completed the sale of the bed from our old guest room on Craigslist.  Still scouring Craigslist for kitchen chairs and an area rug.
We visited the local library for a few minutes!  The boys don't ever last long there, but I was stir crazy and desperate to get out for a bit before Daddy came home.  I ordered everyone to the car to go somewhere!  The library it was.
Daddy grilled a delicious steak dinner and for the first time I didn't make a potato side dish. Wow.  We had salad and sweet fresh corn on the cob!  Yum.  He also grilled chicken for the week.  Yay.
I went to Zumba!  Always makes me a happy mama!  It was a really great workout tonight.
Looks like the Tooth Fairy remembered to come after about 3 nights.  MC lost her 4th molar!

I don't have anything for "Pinning it Down" this week, although I've been pinning a lot and organizing my Pinterest boards.  Lots of projects floating around my brain.  I did start a sewing project last night while sitting with Steven and watching a Ken Burns WWII documentary.  I'm embroidering each child's initial on felt to go on their Christmas stockings!  I'll try to take a picture tomorrow.  I can't even find my camera right now!

Oh and a hilarious memory from the weekend.  After Sunday Mass at our small parish, there is always some kind of meal and socializing.  This Sunday was no different.  After leaving the sanctuary, all the boys were running to their cars and coming back with Nerf rifles.  There must have been about 20 boys with their guns and it was SO funny to see them all run and get them after mass was over!  They had a blast with a big war on the playground; some of the sisters joined in as well.  I wish I would've gotten a picture.  We had to drag Steven Joseph away crying.  Hence, his desire for more Nerf bullets; he has less than 5 for his three Nerf guns!

Hope we have a productive Tuesday. I'm sure it would be much more productive if I could get to sleep before 11pm and wake up early!  I am SO not a morning person.  Goodnight!

Monday Motivation

Quick note: I ran out of photo space on my blog so I need to figure that out (I think I have to pay a $5/year fee).  Hopefully I'll have some more reflective posts this week since I may not be able to post photos for a few days! 
Second note: Our dear friends the G family welcomed their fifth baby on Friday and first DAUGHTER!  Congratulations to Veronica, Enrique, and their boys....and WELCOME, PRECIOUS MIRIAM EVA!  Can't wait to meet her!
And guess what?  It let me load this photo, so maybe I do still have some space for uploading?

Monday Motivation Review
10 Goals for Feb 20-26
 Prayer and Community
1. Prepare for the Lenten season and decide on personal commitments.  Also considering a family commitment/sacrifice to help the children to be successful.  The ideas they came up with at dinner tonight were rather lofty, so I think we might try a similar plan to last year's:
   Mon-No screen time
   Tues-No treats- this includes fruit snacks, candy, cookies, etc.
   Weds-Go to Daily Mass as a family or read the daily mass readings
   Thurs-Learn about a new Saint
   Fri-Pray the Stations of the Cross, or at least a few
   Sat-Pray a Rosary
   Sun-Nothing- Sunday is always a day of celebration!
Decided on commitments but didn't follow through on all of them.  Will work on that this week.
2. Read the daily mass readings 3x this week. 
3. Plan a mom's night for our homeschool group.
4. Attend 2 Zumba classes.  My pants are starting to feel too big and I'm fitting into one size smaller bottoms!  Praise God that maybe Zumba is helping me to not look pregnant anymore!
5. Go to bed by 11pm and set my alarm for 6:45am!!!  I did pretty well at getting to bed but not so good at waking up before 7.
6. Plan weekly meals and serve them!  Also do some "pinning" of meatless dishes for Lent.
Mon-Pasta bake, Tues-Leftovers (grilled chicken), Ash Weds-potato soup, Thurs-Baked chicken, Fri-(Stations and potluck at church?) Caprese pasta or Macaroni & cheese, Sat-chicken sandwiches, Sun-grill

Home Management and Homeschool
7.  Sort and prepare kid clothes for resale/donate  one of these days I'll get these off the dryer and to the resale store!
8.  Start one more sewing project on my list (camera case, stockings, pillow covers, skirts, quilts for kids' beds).  I started embroidering their initial on their stockings tonight while watching a Ken Burns WWII documentary with Steven :)
9.  Start getting kids ready for bed at 8:30, lights out at 9pm!
10. Read books with the boys once a day, finish Robert E Lee book with MC, and find a new family chapter book to start.


Monday Motivation
10 Goals for Feb 27-Mar 4
 Prayer and Community
1. Focus on our Lenten daily offerings and personal prayer time this week:
   Mon-No screen time
   Tues-No treats
   Weds-Daily Mass as a family or read and discuss daily mass readings
   Thurs-Learn about a new Saint/discuss saint presentation for girls' Pickwick next week
   Fri-Pray the Stations of the Cross, or at least a few (This Fri will probably be First Friday Mass and Potluck at church)
   Sat-Pray a Rosary
   Sun-Nothing-a day of celebration!
2. Start brainstorming about a St. Patrick's Day celebration.
3. Plan a mom's night for our homeschool group.
4. Attend 2 Zumba classes.
5. Go to bed by 11pm and set my alarm for 6:45am!!!  
6. Plan weekly meals and serve them! 
Mon-Steven will grill steak and chicken, Tues-Leftovers, Weds-spaghetti, Thurs-pasta bake, Fri-Church fish fry/bring mac n cheese?, Sat-chicken sandwiches, Sun-grill

Home Management and Homeschool (let's try this again!)
7.  Sort and prepare kid clothes for resale/donate
8.  Start one more sewing project on my list (camera case, stockings, pillow covers, skirts, quilts for kids' beds) and work with Ellie on finishing sewing her doll things for next week.
9.  Start getting kids ready for bed at 8:30, lights out at 9pm!
10. Read books with the boys once a day, finish Robert E Lee book with MC, and start the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln books

Friday, February 24, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

round button chicken
~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

On Saturday evening, we ventured back to the university trails by the water with some friends.  It was a nice time.  We're grateful to be meeting some new friends.

I took the youngest three down to the seawall yesterday afternoon while Mary Clare was at ballet class.  I'd done this once before when Ellie was in ballet, so we needed to even it up!  They were happy to have this special outing.

I am constantly chasing Thomas down from these stairs that lead to the sidewalk and a busy street!

The kids all consider this a slide!

Yep, we've had some pretty warm days here in Texas this week!

Proud of their sandcastle.  These two blondies can be good buddies.

We found a chicken on our driveway on Saturday, but she hasn't come back.  We think she's "Hennessee the Hanukkah Hen" which the neighbors found in their yard on the first night of Hanukkah (they're Jewish), and now lives on the ceiling fan on their back porch.  We laugh when we see her wandering around their front yard, but were really surprised to find her in OUR yard!  My friends on Facebook got a kick out of the grill being in the background of this photo, like a foreshadowing.  But no, Hennesee did not end up there!

We went for a walk/bike/skate on Sunday evening and opted to stroll down the quiet lanes of the cemetery down the street (our neighborhood can be traffic-y!).  A good start to the Lenten season.  Tonight we went to Ash Wednesday mass at a nearby parish (standing room only!), and were reminded that "you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  We have a lot to take care of and enjoy while we're on "this side of the dirt" (as my aunt referred to this week on her birthday).

A blessed, Holy Lenten season to you all!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinning it Down, Valentines!

Every Tuesday, sharing a Pinterest project that happened in our homes this week!

For St. Valentine's Day, we had our homeschool celebration on Friday, so I had some extra days to help the kids put together their ideas (and treats on clearance!).  I believe all these ideas ended up coming from the Disney Family Fun website.

Mary Clare chose the iPod Valentine.  It's a box of conversation hearts wrapped in construction paper with the printables glued on.  We downloaded one on the website for the bottom, and I made the "playlist" at the top.  She put the whole thing together, using tape to put the yarn on the iPod and the Hershey's Kisses for "ear buds!"  She put each one in a plastic bag.

 Ellie is quite the indecisive one.  Finally at the last minute, she agreed to this owl Valentine made with scrapbook paper.  It says "I'll owl-ways be your friend!"  She too put the entire thing together.  I made a little template for her out of posterboard and she had so much fun making each card out of unique paper.  I'm so glad the girls can pretty much make these on their own now!

And Steven Joseph initially wanted to make a paper airplane card on that website, but ended up changing his mind and wanting a rocket ship.  We just wrapped a mini Kit Kat in the white paper, and taped the red posterboard to make it a rocket.

We all had a lot of fun putting these together last week, and the kids were so excited to share them with their friends.  Also for the St. Valentine's Party I made Party Popcorn, which I'd also pinned on my Pinterest board.  It was quite a hit!  I'll always think of "Neen," who first introduced me to this yummy treat!

And here are a few photos of the party.  It was a bit of a gloomy day, but the kids fit in a bit of playing between the little rainfalls.  A very happy St. Valentine's Party they all had.  Hope you all did too, thanks for visiting!

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