Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Five Favorites

Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com 

Joining the link-up at Moxie Wife with five of my current favorite items:

Lennon and Maisy
This sister duo is just adorable!  The girls and I enjoy watching all their videos on YouTube.
This is my current favorite!

Otterbox for my iPhone 4

The Otterbox has saved my iPhone from many a fall.  But they only stand up to my abuse for about 6 months before the rubber starts ripping and they must be replaced.  This one above cost $18 when I bought it in October, so I didn't think it too bad to pay $20 for a new one last week.  When it arrived I realized it was not the Otterbox "Defender" but the "Commuter," which seems like it will not be able to "defend" my phone from the abuse it gets in my family.  The Defenders now cost $44!  Quite a difference!  Any advice from iPhone abusers?

The Charlotte Mason Companion

Although I don't follow a full Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, I find such inspiration from her writings, and the reflections on her writings in this book by Karen Andreola.  Here's a beautiful Charlotte Mason quote I read this morning...

On the will:
"It is something to know what to do with ourselves when we are beset, and the knowledge of this way of the will is so far the secret of a happy life, that it is well worth imparting to the children.  Are you cross? Change your thoughts.  Are you tired of trying? Change your thoughts.  Are you craving for things you are not to have? Change your thoughts; there is a power within you, your own Will, which will enable you to turn your attention from thoughts that make you unhappy and wrong, to thoughts that make you happy and right.  And this is the exceedingly simple way in which the Will acts."

Okay, just one more.  On motivating children by ideas:
"Ideas are held in that thought environment which surrounds the child as an atmosphere, in which he breathes in unconscious ideas of right living emanating from his parents.  Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes; he does not think of these things, may never think of them, but all his life long they excite that vague appetency [relationship] towards something out of which most of his actions spring."

Okay, I lied.  This one is the best.  Read it even if you skipped the others!
"To bring the human race, family by family, child by child, out of the savage and inhuman desolation where He is not, into the light and warmth and comfort of the presence of God, is no doubt, the chief thing we have to do in the world."

If you are a homeschooling mom who hasn't read Charlotte Mason, you should!

Revlon Colorstay Overtime in Bare Maximum

I think it was Danielle Bean who first turned me on to this lipstick and I've used it for years.  It truly works "overtime" and this color is my favorite!  It includes a lipcolor and glossy topcoat.

Walt Disney World

Cinderella castle day.jpg
This place is calling my name.  I just found out that the yearly Free Dining offer for September is probably going to be released next week.  My thoughts are consumed with this dreamy world in Orlando, Florida right now.  I think we might just be crazy enough to drive 20 hours with 4 kids for a fun family vacation this year.  We'll see!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Motivation

 Insta-collage catch-up!

 Top Row L-R: all the kids asleep in our bed while Daddy was gone, out to eat after tball loss SJ tries to blow bubble, Tommy holding at least 3 powdered donuts, MC with baby R who we were babysitting, sunset over the beach dunes.
2nd row: a productive minute doing schoolwork, Mission Espiritu Santo, took the boys to Kohls and they were obsessed with these particular toys, but we left the store with Mommy's help choosing a dinosaur painting kit and puzzle, Mission museum
3rd row: Daddy tries on helmet, walk thru the nature trail at Goliad, Tommy reading a book that he ripped trying to "climb into the sandcastle", Presidio La Bahia fort, Goliad museum again.
4th row: girls in front of Loreto chapel at Presidio, "waterfall braid" on MC, Loreto chapel, a favorite book of nursery rhymes, and someone learned how to climb onto the island...yikes!
5th row: a minute of calm while the boys were reading, a campfire with friends on Friday night, Tommy holding another baby friend A, a nice shady view at the Presidio, and some of our many hummingbird visitors!

Goals from last week:
1. Bills and budgeting
2. New prayer plan
3. Look for treadmill
4. Make bed most days
5. Cleaner eating, smaller portions
6. Weekday read-aloud
7. Continue reading Charlotte Mason Companion and blog some quotes that struck me
8. Print communion photos and find thank-yous
9. Do some weeding and clean area for new statue
10. Meals: leftovers, Calabaza con Pollo, Chicken parmesan, leftovers, breakfast for dinner,
print out those healthy meals!

Goals for this week:
1. Bills and budgeting
2. Make bed most days
3. Read aloud most days
4. Continue reading Charlotte Mason and blog about it
5. Continue reading "The Optimistic Child"
6. Print Communion photos and find thank-yous
7. Prep for another Houston trip!
8. Make decisions about our family vacation :)
9. Meals: leftovers, Parmesan chicken bake, leftovers, traveling!

And a note here that once I get back into town after traveling later this week, I want to work on a plan for both exercise and prayer.  Okay, the kids are screaming and chasing and fighting.  Must re-direct back to schoolwork.  This post took me twice as long as it should have since I accidentally erased the collage the first time I made it!l

Hope everyone has a marvelous Monday!  And to my frequent readers, if I started a Monday Motivation link-up, would you join?  I think it might be helpful for us to encourage each other in our weekly goals!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

Well, my outfit wasn't that great today, but I haven't joined up in a couple weeks and not sure if I'll be able to next weekend, so here I am!

Navy 3/4 sleeve tee and one of my favorite skirts both via thrift stores
My new sandals from Marshalls
Handprints smeared on mirror from my kiddos and fuzzy picture thanks to my mad photography skillz!


Earrings stolen from my mom (gift from friend who got them in China!)
Charm bracelet from James Avery had since childhood
Crucifix necklace also had forever

I'm always on the lookout for a shirt that would go well with this skirt.  I planned to wear my new yellow cardi today, but realized that the bright yellow clashed with the mustard yellow on this skirt.  I ended up wearing a turquoise cardi during mass.  Maybe it needs a bright scarf or something?  A white lacy blouse?  Would love your input!

Have a great week, friends!
And check out more outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!
What I Wore Sunday linkup

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

I didn't intend for this to be a Quick Takes post, but since I just uploaded 7 photos, I figured I'd go ahead and join the link-up.  All but the last two were taken by Mary Clare, who might just surpass me in photography skills in the near future!  I will say that I just keep the camera on Av mode with a low aperture.  I still don't really understand these terms, but maybe if she and I learn this together, we can figure out how to use manual settings once and for all!





I think this is one of my favorite photos she has taken.

Quiet afternoon on the porch

Steven's drawing of Goliad's Mission Espiritu Santo
Somebody give this boy a haircut!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Theme Thursday: Sky

Joining the Link-Up at Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursdays
This week's theme is Sky...

This is the sky I'm wishing fo
(taken on Sunday)

Instead, this is our dreary sky today...

And here's my favorite series of sky photos (pre-DSLR).
This is Ellie at age 1, in July 2006.

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Weekly snapshots and our visit to Presidio La Bahia

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

Sweet Ellie on her 8th birthday
(photo by MC)

my pretty boy Steven (by MC)
 And my pretty photographer herself, Mary Clare 

 Tommy boy

a boy and a branch (by MC)
 happy triker (by MC)

the happy birthday girl

and the happy big sis looking at a photography blog


(by MC)

He knows how to play this game!
Hit the ball

  and run the bases!

 I'll go ahead and share the rest of our photos from the mission and fort we visited over the weekend.  First we went to Goliad State Park, and then we went a mile down the road to Presidio la Bahia (officially "Presidio Nuestra Senora de Loreto de la Bahia," which I think translates to The Fort of Our Lady of Loreto by the Bay).   It is a fort constructed by the Spanish army in 1770, and restored in the 1960s.

These two missions represent the only surviving examples of a Spanish Colonial mission/fort in Texas, and one of the few in North America.  They also have a yearly battle reenactment of the Goliad Massacre.

Ellie not only finds money everywhere we go, she also finds "wishing flowers!"

The Our Lady of Loreto Chapel still serves as a community church.

In addition to the six flags which have flown over Texas, the Presidio has also flown three flags of revolution, so nine flags fly in front of the fort.
 We enjoyed walking the grounds, visiting the chapel and museum, and also watching a short video about La Bahia.  This was a great way to finish off our year of studying Texas History, and I recommend a stop (or even camping) at Goliad to my fellow Texan friends!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goliad State Park and Mission Espiritu Santo

I've been hoping we could visit some of the missions to finish out our Texas History studies this year.  Last week I started thinking that the weekend would be a great time since we didn't have anything going on.  Unfortunately I stayed up very late and was worried one of the kids wasn't feeling well.  But once I got out of bed at 10:00am (whoa), it seemed like it might be a good day for a drive after all. 
(These first photos all taken by Mary Clare)
Goliad State Park holds Mission Espiritu Santo.  Actually the official title is "Mission Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga" (Mission of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit of Zuniga).  It was founded on Lavaca Bay but moved to this location on the San Antonio River in 1749.

They have a small museum.  Here's a fuzzy shot of a little diorama of the mission.

A stone for tortilla-making!

These are some of the original stone walls of what they believe was a sacristy (preparation room) for the Franciscan priests.

(Now photos taken by me)
The mission fell into ruin in 1830 and was restored in 1936-1939.
(I should've brought my other lens!  The portrait lens isn't the best for architecture.)

But the stone walls are original.  They used to be 10 feet high.


We decided to go on the nature trail while we waited for our tour to begin.

Finally Tommy wakes up and joins our hike. (This trail is not ideal for strollers!)

Ellie finds coins wherever we go!  But on this walk she found four dollar bills!

They were preparing for a big concert in the church, but we were able to take a little walk around.

The girls listening to the tour guide.  They're obviously captivated ;-)

It was a nice little tour around the grounds.  Lots of boy scouts there!

Little boys and sticks.

Some artifacts

Weaving looms

Ironically, we have a framed print of this mission that I bought at a small antique store when we were first married (or maybe even before).  It now hangs in our bathroom, and I never knew what it was!  Now we have a special memory to go with it.

After the tour, we drove down to see the river, but it was not the most kid-friendly spot.  So we packed back up and were off on our last part of this adventure!

Presidio la Bahia coming next!

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