Thursday, February 28, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} and Theme Thursday

round button chicken
~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter
And joining in the weekly Photography Theme Thursdays
(hope you all don't mind if I double dip!)

I missed last week's Architecture theme,
and last night the girls had a dress rehearsal for their ballet.
It was downtown at the big auditorium,
which is surrounded by museums and this pretty park area  

It was sunset and a pretty time to photograph.  Not sure my settings; 
I didn't realize it was on Auto for some of the time!

Art Museum that overlooks the bay

A cool statue with the auditorium behind

I'm not crazy about our city for a lot of reasons, 
but this area is one of the prettiest spots of architecture and culture.

My pretty little ballerinas, thrilled to perform in
Alice in Wonderland this weekend!

(This week's theme for Theme Thursday, Happiness or Joy)
Well, their looks are more of concentration and awe,
but I can tell you there is some real happiness going on for the boys
when Daddy starts a fire in the firepit in the backyard!

They burned off the rest of the Christmas tree, 
along with some cardboard

T-Ball practice was canceled, but I think this made up for it!

Running back from getting more cardboard

Little brother joins in the fun!

and some Instagram photos for the last two...

As I've mentioned, I'm weaning this cutie-pie.
It has been a week, but he's still having a hard time getting to sleep,
and he's such a finicky eater.
I let him have (organic!) chips and salsa at 11pm last night.

 This new 5 year-old is soaking it all in these days.
He loves doing school.  I'm hoping he'll be a real joy to teach.
And notice the big sis in the background who has
thought up her own Texas lapbook!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Daybook, Monday Motivation, and iPhoto Dump!

Outside my window...
The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, windchime is chiming, it's a glorious day!

I am thankful...
For another full weekend.  The weekend before found Steven and I on a day trip to Austin for furniture, while this Saturday found me with 4 friends and a baby, driving to San Antonio for groceries at Costco and Trader Joe's.  I'm so grateful for these trips to find good deals so to provide a pretty home for our family and more healthy food on our plates!

Noticing God's goodness...
I stated it yesterday, but I will praise Him again.  I was thrilled when after a series of events on our trip, we ended up at LaMadeleine Restaurant for lunch, and I turned around to notice my aunt, cousin, and cousin's daughter come in right after us!  In a metro area of 2.2 million people, that I would encounter my family members who I hadn't seen in many years is quite a miracle.  Thank you, Holy Spirit.

In the kitchen...
Is a lot of food.  Staples from Costco and snacks from Trader Joe's.  I bought TJ's fresh pizza dough, so we are having cheese pizza on wheat for lunch.  I am not that great at making pizza, but I will say that this tastes pretty good!
here's the calabaza con pollo before the chicken and chicken stock,
one of our favorite meals (at least for the 10 and up crowd!)

I am wearing...
Jeans and a lavender tee.  I'll put on some makeup and jewelry before we leave for ballet this afternoon; maybe one day I'll do better at getting fully dressed in the mornings!  I did curl my hair.  It gets frizzy and full of static if I don't put hot rollers on after washing it.  It only takes me 2-3 minutes to put in the hot rollers, so it's not much of a time-waster.
 love this of my guys on their "laptops"

For my health...
I went to 5:30am Zumba and then stopped for fruit at the store on the way home.  I said NO to the pancakes the kids ate this morning and to the Little Caesar's Pizza at our church lunch after Mass yesterday.  Proud of me!  I had my protein-packed sprouted bread and some fruit this morning.  Hoping I can keep up my commitment to stay away from white flour and sugar this week!
Medically speaking...
Tommy has some sniffles, but we have somehow escaped the flu that ravaged so many of our friends' homes.  I hosted a doTerra Essential Oils party on Thursday evening.  I'm planning to finally order the family kit this week and continue to learn and research the therapeutic effects of these oils.  Many of my friends have seen great results!
I am creating...
A monster!  Weaning and finicky eating makes for one cranky toddler.  He needs a nap right now, but getting him to sleep without nursing has proved quite a challenge over the past week!  We'll figure it out.  I need to stock up on his favorite foods, and make sure he's eating enough since he no longer has the nourishment of mama's milk.

 the boys at their favorite park
I am listening to...
Nature Radio on Pandora.  It's slowly putting Tommy to sleep.

 Tommy loves this book, just to find the page with the guns :-/

Our Lenten Journey...
I have missed a few days on my commitment to the daily mass readings.  I also didn't attempt a weekday mass last week.  Stations of the Cross at church was wild with the boys on Friday.  Thomas saw the priest walking around and knew it wasn't a normal mass, so he wanted to run around, play in the water fountain, and say silly things to his friends, "YOU a ducky, Wade!"  They moved up the time, so Steven can't really make it there for us to attend as a family.  We did have fun with friends at the potluck dinner, and it seemed that the girls were able to fully participate in the Stations.  Hopefully this week my parents will be here and we'll just rest at home, and maybe next week we'll try the backyard Stations again.  The kids each have their own little Lenten commitments they've thought up; I'm proud of them.  I'm hoping to do the Papal Unit & Lapbook on Shower of Roses and maybe even a Lenten lapbook too.
Always on a Faith Journey...
Right now, I can hear the kids playing Mass in the living room.  I love that they play this, but am worried that I'll get upset when I see the mess when I open the door!  I'm working on patience!  I spoke with the pastor of our church back in Houston, and he will allow Ellie to receive her First Holy Communion there, probably on Divine Mercy Sunday, a week after Easter.  We have been preparing for many months, so this will be a beautiful celebration of the sacrament with our sweet girl.  We are all so excited for her!  First we need to figure out a time for her to make her First Confession.  We'll probably do that at our parish here.  Our pastor is a wonderful confessor, and hopefully she can go to Confession again before she receives her First Holy Communion.  Searching for the dress, accessories, and taking some photos will be fun in the coming months!

no more reading/spelling in the closet, yay!

Around the house...
I feel I'm at a good "stopping point" right now.  We have all the furniture we wanted and needed, so I can rest easy knowing we have places for our books, my grandma's china, and even our board games!  I'm hoping to sew some bedroom curtains and paint a couple small rooms; maybe I'll aim to do this after Easter.  I have the most precious picture of the kids to frame, which my friend took while watching the kids last weekend.  She gave me a beautiful print; I think it's 11x14.  I can't wait to find a good place to hang it!  We do need to clean out the garage now that most of the boxes are emptied.  I need to do a good cleaning of bathrooms, and we need to work on our daily tidying of bedrooms and especially the backyard!

And speaking of a stopping point....I think it's time I take the children away from their play Mass and get them to finish their schoolwork so mama doesn't turn into a yelling maniac when it's time to leave for ballet this afternoon!

Have a wonderful week, friends!l


Goals from last week:
1. Bills, update budget
2. Daily readings
3. One weekly mass
4. Workout 2x (I only made 1 last week, so I figure 2 is a better goal for now!)
5. Reminder email and snacks for DoTerra party
6. Start reading about clean eating
7. Finish school/dining room organization
8. Make phone call for First Holy Communion
9. Meals: leftovers, chicken crockpot into casserolex2, breakfast for dinner, grill, pizza
Goals for this week:
1. Bills, update budget
2. Daily readings
3. Workout 3x (last week was zero, so I must step it up!)
4. Prep for family visitors this weekend!  YAY!  The grandparents are coming :)
5. Laundry catch-up
6. General house cleaning
7. Read to the children every day! Not just school books.
8. Plan for Ellie's first confession
9. Meals: Leftovers, Pizza, BBQ chicken, King Ranch Chicken, and I'm sure Steven will have some ideas for grandparent meals :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

A DRESS!  I finally ventured out of my peasant skirt wardrobe and wore a fun little black dress with a cute black and white cardigan.  The dress has an empire waist and can sometimes make me look pregnant, so I've been hesitant to wear it.  And of course I rarely wear dresses when I'm nursing babies.  I haven't nursed during mass for many months, even though I've had a nursing toddler.  But I can finally say that I think he's pretty much weaned!  He's nearing age 2 1/2 so it was time.  We've gone almost a week with only two nighttime nurses the night Daddy was gone.  He's a big boy now! (Although when I tell him he's a big boy he responds, "No I not.  You a big boy!")

I don't remember where the dress or sweater came from.  
The boots are from Kohl's.  I wore some simple silver jewelry...
a crucifix, little loop earrings, and my James Avery charm bracelet 
and heart with gold cross ring. And some RED lipstick!

My goal is to fit into my black slacks by the end of Lent, and to stay away from peasant skirts for most of the season!  Trying my hardest to stay off white flour and sugar this week.

A little Lenten reflection:::
First of all, today during Mass we had a lovely family with lots of talented singers attending who joined our choir at the last minute. What a gift!  Our choir director was without a voice, so we were very grateful for the other beautiful voices who joined in.  They have nearly perfected this gorgeous Ave Maria polyphony, except imagine it with beautiful male as well as female voices...

This weekend I had a beautiful Holy Spirit moment.  I drove to San Antonio with 3 friends to do some shopping at Costco and Trader Joe's.  We considered first attending confession and mass downtown, but we were all getting hungry.  We drove through one shopping area, but finally settled on my recommendation of the restaurant I love...

LaMadeleine!  We were in line ordering, and the next people to walk in the restaurant were MY AUNT, COUSIN, and COUSIN'S DAUGHTER.  I haven't seen them in maybe 5 years.  I couldn't believe it!  S.A. is a metro area of 2.2 million people and the people who came into the restaurant right after us were MY ONLY FAMILY MEMBERS who live in that city!  If that wasn't a Holy Spirit moment, I don't know what else could be!  Thank you, Jesus, for that very special gift, and for showing me that you are with me.  Even when I can't attend every mass or devotion that I would like, your Holy Will may be done in ways that we cannot understand.  What a special gift to see these family members!  I am still in awe.

See more ladies' Sunday best at 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

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

Finally, new (used) furniture for the schoolroom/diningroom!

Here's a "Before" picture:
Moving boxes, folding chairs, and our old painted-on table.

We got two pretty matching bookshelves and 
I finally unpacked the books from the garage late tonight.

And we found another wild-goose-chase Craigslist armoire last night.
The guy told me it was solid wood.  We drove half an hour.
It's not solid wood.  But it's huge and can contain all our stuff!
Steven miraculously was able to fit this monster in the minivan!

It's a giant but needed spot for school stuff, art supplies, 
puzzles, games and manipulatives!

Silly boy was "sweeping" the backyard yesterday.
He wanted me to take his picture!

Ah, that face!  He's too cute.
But not so cute right now awake at 12:12am.
We're weaning again.  Let's see if it works this time.
It has been 48 hours, but Daddy isn't here to help in the night.
Wish me luck!

MC asleep on the couch

Ellie and Tommy on the floor beside our bed, 
watching a movie on the iPhone and reading Thomas the Train.

Anyone else's MASTER bath look like this?
These are not my clothes!!!

Hope you're finding some pretty, happy, funny, and real things in your life this week!
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