Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!
























May you all have a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
What a difference a year makes. I can't believe this time last year I had just gotten out of the hospital (again) and was still feeling pretty sick. Having the baby out and big enough to crawl and pull up and laugh and be so amazingly wonderful seemed so so far away. Yet, here we are!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!! Today Katie, Emma and Grace went with some neighbor children to go caroling (in 75 degree weather). This has become a holiday tradition for these kids. They stopped at the home with the neighborhood light spectacular,complete with Santa on Saturday nights. Santa (aka Jeff) snapped this picture.
See his website at La Vernia Lights

Monday, December 15, 2008

More pics from this weekend












We had a wonderful weekend with Chris's sister, Melissa and her husband, Tim and their boys Gabriel and Dominic. Gabriel's graduation was very moving and we are very proud of him and all his fellow graduates.
Saturday we went to Sea World. Jack went to Ft. Sam Houston Nat'l cemetary to lay wreaths on veteran's graves and a senior member was nice enough to drop him at Sea World to meet up with us when he was done. Sunday was a nice slow day with Mass in the morning and just rexlaxing and visiting at home.

There is nothing like a 5 year old boy to keep you humble

Ben asked once why I was putting on make-up. I replied, "To look pretty."
He tilted his head, looked puzzled then said, "Hmmmm....it 's not working."

Ben slept on our floor the last few nights as we had overnight guests for the weekend for our nephew's graduation from AF boot camp. I was informed this morning:

"Mom, you snore! You sound like a cow. I had to sleep with my hands over my ears!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Next Top Gun?

O-flight #4



1 hr of flight time and 4 touch-n-go's






Friday, December 5, 2008

Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap

Joann over at Creamer Chronicles is having a virtual Christmas Cookie Swap. I'm trying to decide which recipe to post.
Creme de Menthe Squares?? Rum Balls?? Toffee?? Meringue Kisses? Triple Chocolate Fudge?? Canteen Bars??

Decision made.














2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds or pecans)

Directions:
1.In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color and the temp has reached 285 degrees. Stir occasionally. This step will take a good 5-10 minutes. Be patient.
2. While the tofee is cooking cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
3. As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate and press in slightly.
4. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Creme de Menthe Squares

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. creme de menthe
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bottom layer: In a saucepan combine 1/2 c. butter and cocoa. Heat and stir well. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Mix well; press into bottom of ungreased 9x13 pan.

2. Middle layer: Melt 1/2 cup butter and add creme de menthe. Mix well. Add 3 cups powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread over bottom layer and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.

3. Top layer: In saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter and chocolate chips. Spread over mint layer. Chill for 1-2 hours. Cut into bars


These are very rich, so cut into small squares. They need to be kept in a sealed container in a cool place, even the refrigerator. You can change it up by using clear Creme de Menthe, dyeing half of the creme/sugar mixture with red food coloring and swirling it, or using different chocolate for the top layer. It's chocolate and mint, you can't mess it up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not even December yet....

And I have a good amount of Christmas shopping done AND my prep for Advent is pretty much done too, for me this is a record.
I have presents for all the parental (and uncle) units on the way and about half of the kids presents and a good number of stocking stuffers stashed. I have to think of a couple more things for a child or two and I'm set. It is so NICE to not be stressed out about all this. I do have people clamoring for suggestions for Ian and Emma's birthday-I'm working on it, I promise! I did NOT go shopping on Black Friday, I'd rather chew glass. I did go out today. Hit Hobby Lobby-which was well stocked, not crowded and still had almost everything 50% off. I picked up some Christmas craft stuff, a couple small presents and some decor I couldn't resist, spent very little after the 50% kicked in.
The main mission today was....getting Katie's ears pierced. She has been waiting a long time for this. As one of her friends put it "you're all grown up now" :-p
She's happy, I'm happy, Daddy is resigned.

Book meme

These are the rules:
Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.


I was tagged by Therese at AussieCoffeeShop.


"Fra Anto says we must not do what they do."
"He's right. But when they try to shoot you, what can you do? You shoot back."
Josip absorbs this. "We have no guns."
The Italians and Home-Guard took away all the guns in the village, on the day they first came to Rajska Polja. It is no longer possible to protect the flocks from wolves or to hunt deer in the mountains.


Islands of the World by Michael O'Brien.

I tag:

Carol
Freddie/The Real Katie
Kalona
Minnesota Mom
The Other Katie

Friday, November 28, 2008

Look who is standing!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Some kids and our two AF trainees, our nephew Gabriel and his friend, Mark.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tis the season to...

COOK!! In case you haven't looked at a calendar lately (or don't happen to be from the US) Thursday is Thanksgiving. My food shopping is done and tomorrow I start to do some cooking and prepping. It will be our little family plus two cadets from Lackland AFB,our nephew Gabriel and his friend, Mark. Operation Homecook I think this is something we will participate with in the future too.

Menu:

cheese and crackers
Black Bean Salsa and other jarred salsas
chips
Spinach Dip
Veggie tray

Turkey
stuffing (sausage and apple)
Green beans with bacon vinegarette
green salad
Rolls
Cranberry relish
Sunshine Salad
Mashed potatoes
sweet potatoes
shells and cheese (don't ask, the kids always beg for it)

Pumpkin pie
apple pie
Pumpkin cheesecake

I think that is it.
I am cheating a little, well a lot. My turkey is HEB Fully Cooked. The kids liked it last year when I was too sick to do Thanksgiving. It isn't 'purist' but it frees up time and trouble and tastes fine.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How addicted to blogging are you?

Saw this over at Therese's blog.

54%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?


What I found really funny was some of the other quizzes including...

14

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites


42%60%

Little girl, big horse

Grace and Devil. Devil is short for She-Devil but have no fear, Devil is not a devil.
She'll take advantage of a mistake but she isn't a bad horse at all.
It is sometimes a little scary to see Grace interact and ride with an animal that is so large and know that she could get hurt, and hurt badly. I trust. I trust her instructor who is a no-nonsense guy, I trust Grace-she is always doing her best and I trust her Guardian Angel.
I also believe that I can't always keep my children from getting hurt. Grace loves horses (beyond the 'all little girls love horses'). They are her passion. I am not going to keep her from what she loves because of my fears.






Thursday, November 20, 2008

You think crossing the Mommy-bloggers was bad??

HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!
try crossing homeschoolers.

YouTube Link

Joy Behar called homeschoolers 'demented' along with some other choice comments in the context of discussing the schooling choice the Obama's are making in regards to their daughters.

The homeschooling 'discussion' is around 6:50. I wouldn't want to make anyone watch anymore of The View then they absolutely have to.

Canadian Car Chase

A Canadian Midas ad:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dreaming of a meaningful Advent

Advent wreaths, Jesse trees, Advent angels, mangers, traveling Mary and Joseph, O Antiphons, the Nativity novena...oh, there are so many activities out there for families to do for Advent. I think we have done, or tried just about every one with varying successes. Every year I ponder all these things, and new ones that I have found and imagine all my happy, smiling faces joyfully participating in these devotions. It is not to be. Either my lack of preparation, lack of follow through or giving up after moans and groans and rolled eyes end my big plans. We'll stick with the ones that work. Advent wreath, celebrating St Nicholas Day (Dec 6), the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8th), Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec 12), St. Lucy's Day (Dec 13), the Advent Wreath (oh how they love the Advent Wreath, it is the candles-they are all about fire), some sort of Advent calendar and the setting up of the Nativity scene in stages and traveling Mary and Joseph through the house.
No Jesse Tree. I know, I know...how can we not do the Jesse Tree? I've tried a good 3 or 4 times but we just don't get into it and never make it beyond the first couple days.
Now if they could set the Jesse Tree on fire???

He's on the move!

At 6 months 16 days Tristan officially started crawling. He's been army crawling and lurching (getting on all 4's and throwing himself forward) for weeks but hand-knee-hand-knee crawling has been beyond his coordination capacity. Yesterday he mastered it. For now he can only do it on the living room carpet as tile+footed cotton outfits=too slippery for crawling (for now). He is quite proud of himself :-)
Two teeth, crawling, solid food...where does the time go?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Babywearing and Motrin

It seems there was quite a bru-ha-ha over an ad on motrin.com this weekend.
The ad has not only been taken down and an official apology issued, the motrin.com website is down completely.

So do you find this ad offensive? If you aren't a mom or don't wear your baby do you agree that it would be offensive to babywearing moms?



Update: the website is back up with an apology on the front page. All in all, I think it was in bad taste but not worth all the anger it has generated.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Fire.

It has finally started to feel like Fall here in S. Texas. Right up until the last couple days it was still T-shirts and shorts weather. A/C was on in the cars and the house. This morning it was 38 degrees outside! Last night it was chilly enough to put a fire in the fireplace (although we had to open windows to chill the house down earlier in the day :D ) It will be in the high 60's/lo 70's this afternoon. I guarantee that Grace, Ian, Emma and Ben will be outside playing in the leaves. They will be wearing coats or sweatshirts and come in requesting hot chocolate. They are real South Texans now! Cold wimps.

Lucy checking out the fire.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

While we are busy praying for our vets

can you send up a few Ave's for a cyber-sister? Margaret over at Minnesota Mom is having her first ultrasound today. She has had quite a few losses in recent years. Please pray they receive good news today!!!

Praying for you Margaret!!!!

Veteran's Day

Remember veterans today. Teach your children why we observe Veteran's Day. Thank a veteran for his/her service. Pray for veterans who have died and for their families. Pray for our men and women who are currently serving.

My favorite veteran. My grandfather.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The mark of a true Texan...



FOUND: One peso
Location: Lucy's diaper

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama and homeschooling

There is little to nothing available on Obama's opinion on homeschooling. Some nebulous comments about supporting school choice are the only public information available at this time (that I can find)

This comes from Change.gov .

Obama and Biden will require all schools of education to be accredited. Obama and Biden will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively.



It will be interesting to see what impact this may have on homeschooling. Currently, homeschooling is regulated on a state-state basis.

Updated: the above quote and other information on the Obama/Biden agenda is no longer available at http://www.change.org .The Agenda section of the site has been edited down from dozens of detailed pages to one paragraph.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let not your heart be troubled....

St. Teresa of Avila wrote a famous poem:

Nada te turbe,
nada te espante,
todo se pasa;
Dios no se muda.
La paciencia todo lo alcanza;
Quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta;
Solo Dios basta.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

In this world, there are no final victories until Jesus returns, and no complete defeats because He will return. There is never a time to rest easily in satisfaction, and never a time to give up in despair.Every time and place where there are Christians presents its own challenges. God, in His providence, has chosen us to be the ones who face the challenges of the present day. This time is ours, and not another one. The problems of this time are ours, and not others, and it is futile to wish that they were.We are Christ’s disciples, and He is our victorious King. He is ours because we are His, and there is no hope more secure than that.Nada te turbeSolo Dios basta.Let nothing disturb you.God alone is enough.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just like big brother...


Finally, Blogger let's me upload pics.

Halloween.
Spiderman, a pirate, a 14 yr old, Katie and T., a cat, a soldier and a cheerleader.
How to sleep at an air show.





Eating overpriced hot dogs. After the bounce-around and before the airplanes the little ones favorite thing to do.

Ya think he is done?