Saturday, December 20, 2008

American Girl - Celebrate Your Inner Star!

Heather wrote that she never thought she'd be this mom...I must admit, I am this mom. I love these dolls and wanted Caela to have one well beyond a reasonable age. Santa brought her "Zoe" (not to be confused with Zoey) for Christmas 2 years ago and she has been part of our family since.
Last November the Dallas location opened and we've been saying that we'd go but it seems we never made it. So, after I went back to work I decided to bribe her with a trip to the Bistro and Salon. You see, she has had the hardest time adjusting to the new family dynamic and many days she'd begin with tears. Today was our Mommy-Daughter date in celebration of making it throught the last 7 weeks! When we walked in I believe Caela heared the angels sing "hallelujah, amen" and then she took off. She bounced from one section to the next as quickly as a ping-pong. It was all quite overwhelming and yet exciting all at once. She asked me, "Mom, why are you smiling?" It was just so fun to see her be a child. I hope I always remember to slow down to catch the view from here more often.




Does it get cuter than this? My picture isn't too clear, but this little hook is on the bathroom stall just to the front left of the toilet. It says, "Hang your doll here"! Oh, my heavenly days!


After brunch, Zoe had an appointment at the salon. Caela chose the style and ribbon colors. Quite honestly I was amazed at how well it turned out. Since Zoe has curly hair - just like Caela - it can get a little crazy, but our stylist did a great job.

I love this little quote above the door!







Every Who down in Who-ville,

the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!

He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!


Friday was the last day of school before the holiday break and all the 1st graders dressed as Who's. I know she may not look like much in this photo, but her sweater had a little fringe on the cuffs and she wore fuzzy slippers. Her hair looked really cute - I had to convince her it wasn't too much!
Merry Christmas, Stranger-Friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception


I've been meaning to post this picture to share our celebration of the Feast of The Immaculate Conception but life has thrown us a few curve balls. Last Monday both kids were sick so I scheduled an appointment with the pediatrician and turns out they both had strep throat. This is a new occurrence for Jaedon, but unfortunately this was the 5th time since October 3rd for Caela. Poor baby is miserable! We visited the ENT and he has scheduled surgery for the 29th. She is very nervous and so am I! She hates hospitals and I can't say that I blame her, but I know she will feel so much better when her tonsils come out. The ENT said that there is very little space between her tonsils and her uvula. Nighttime breathing has become a challenge and she is extra 'fussy' these days. Please remember her in your prayers.

Back to our 'celebration'...We (the Coach and I) had a white dinner and I made white cupcakes that I decorated with white icing and clear sprinkles. Caela colored the lovely portrait you see above just shortly before she fell out. :) As I'm sure you can imagine, our evening ended early...


Father, You prepared the Virgin Mary to be the worthy mother of your son. You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by his death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception. Help us by her prayers to live in your presence without sin.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

Monday, December 8, 2008

St. Nicholas Likes Hot Cocoa?

Saturday night we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas. This was our first year to do this and it was a lot of fun. The kids were so excited to participate in all the activities I had planned. I did not accomplish all I had on my list, but next year I will be 'on my game' and better prepared.

Jessica, Catholic Mom Extraordinaire, is soooo gracious and always shares her fabulous plans. Now that I am working fulltime - outside the home - MOST days I feel completely overwhelmed and underprepared. I love that I have Jessica as a resource. So it is with that disclaimer that I share what our family did on Saturday night. :)


We made St. Nicholas Hot Cocoa (cocoa was said to be his favorite drink), and the kids turned chocolate santa's into chocolate St. Nicholas'...







I really wanted to read, St. Nicholas The Wonder Worker, but I had a hard time finding the book (when I had free time to look). Note to self: Next year order online in advance!

At bedtime, the kids set a shoe at their doorway and woke to a nice surprise...



Altogether, I'd say it was a good evening.
God of joy and cheer, we thank you for your servant, the good bishop Nicholas. In loving the poor, he showed us your kindness;in caring for your children,he revealed your love. Make us thoughtful without need of reward so that we, too, may be good followers of Jesus.




Saturday, October 11, 2008

'Tis But A Season

**** Disclaimer - This is a long post ****

Ecclesiates 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...
Almost 5 years ago to the day I quit my job! Only to take on the task of being a stay-at-home mom & wife on a FULL TIME basis. It has proven to be the very best decision we could have ever made for our marriage and our family. We are stronger for it.

Being a stay-at-home mom requires sacrifice (for most) in the budgetary area and it has been no different for us. I researched and learned how to make nearly everything from scratch to lower our grocery budget. During the first 2-1/2 years, I made a $300/mo grocery budget (this includes all food, toiletries, cleaning, etc) stretch as far as I could. I drove my poor car until the wheels fell off - btw, if you were in the school parking lot and I honked at you I'm sorry! On it's way to the auto-grave my car horn went crazy! Every time I turned the wheel the horn honked! :)

The Coach wasn't so sure about the idea of me becoming a sahm. I know he had his doubts, so it became my mission to make sure he never felt the pinch. I would have sacrificed just about anything to be sure he was happy during this season of our life. I also felt very strongly about the kids never realizing we didn't have the money for "fill-in-the-blank". The kids and I have built many memories making cookies in the kitchen or checking on our homemade popsicles. We'd have themed "restaurant night" dinners - at home. Olive Garden was a favorite of our son, mexican is a winner any day of the week and pizza has been a Friday standard!

We have received God's blessings in abundance during the last 5 years. The Coach got his dream job after 10 years of working towards it. Whereas it included a nice raise, we were excited to have some extra. We bought a house into his second year and finally got a new car.

Ecclesiates 3:3,4
...a time to tear down...a time to weep...
But, last March we had to deal with some job issues and we weren't sure what the future would hold. It seemed God worked it out and we sighed a collective breath of relief only to have the air knocked out of us in May. The same man who said he wanted to start fresh, "reassigned" my husband the day after his all-sport athletic banquet. This basically meant he fired The Coach, but because we have a contract (which right now doesn't seem to be worth the paper it's printed on) we are "safe" for one year. The Coach was devastated. He has never been reprimanded during this career, never received a 'below expectation' review, etc. This man just didn't like my husband. The principal was in the wrong on several aspects...he never gave him an evaluation for the year (still hasn't), wanted him to sign a Growth Plan in June that the principal dated in February, etc., etc. Even though it felt like the darkest time, I know God was with us. We have both grown spiritually in the last 9 mo's.

The school year has been the hardest of his career. The principal assigned him to In-School Suspension. So he sits behind a desk all day and babysits kids who can't behave. He was volunteer coaching for his best friend at another high school in the same district, but his gem-of-a-principal found out and told him it was a conflict of interest (even though he has NO athletic responsibilities at his school). So, my Coach, a man who is usually so busy this time of year that we rarely see him, has been home by 4:30p everyday (any coach's wives reading this will know that this is NOT fun for anyone involved)!! God continues to stretch him in ways he didn't know he could go.

Ecclesiates 3:12, 13
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God.
Late in the summer, God showed us his grace again. A neighboring city (about 5 miles away) has grown exponentially in the last few years and will be opening a second high school next fall. They have already hired an Athletic Coordinator/Head Football coach and several other positions...but the have room for my Coach! The AC and my Coach had dinner and talked for a couple of hours. The Coach has gone to many of their freshman games this season (since he has nothing but time on his hands :)) and they are regularly emailing one another. The district isn't beginning the paperwork process for all the new hires until the spring semester but the AC has all but made it official. (trust me though, I know....until you sign the dotted line...keep praying) This new school will be 7.5 miles from the house!! The Coach has never worked that close to home. He is so excited about being part of a program from the ground up. The AC puts a high priority on character and integrity of the athletes and his staff. So refreshing!

The downside, you ask? Compensation. We will be taking a sizable cut for him to go into this district, but I know he wants it and deserves it (esp after the last year!). We just have to get through this year.

Knowing about this pay cut and loving my home (neighborhood, friends, church), it became clear that I was going to have to go back to work. I prayed about this and was even a little resentful (just being honest, friends) of the idea. Reluctantly I began applying for jobs in the kids school district and in the district The Coach will be in. Nothing. So I put my resume on monster.com and within 4 days I had an interview. Turns out it was NOT part of God's plan that I work for that company (I received many signs after asking God to show them to me....you see, I'm a little slow at hearing God's voice. I need the giant marquis that says "THIS IS IT" or "NO!") but the interview sparked a conversation with a man from church. This man is the same age as me, is married to the absolute sweetest woman you could ever know and they have two precious boys. He just bought a 30-yr old family business from his grandfather and wanted to talk to me about working for him. I start a week from Monday.

This will mean a little change for the kids...Daddy will take them to school and expedite the "morning routine" and one of our families dearest friends will pick them up in the afternoon. Daddy will be home by 4:30 and I will follow shortly thereafter. I guess the biggest change will come on school holidays - when I'm schlepping myself out the door to work while my family sleeps...but, to everything there is a season, right?

Stranger-Friends, I will end this by saying, God is Faithful. Even when you think it's the end of the road, He shows you another way.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What year is this anyway?

I know I've been a little frazzled lately, but I'm not completely losing my mind! Today I stopped by the Intermediate school to check my box. When I got home I began sorting through the papers and found 2 "Volunteer Sign-Up" forms. I immediately noted that the form was different than the ones I put out.

hmmmm........

Then I noticed this...(read the last line)...


Friends, I googled that date and it is 2-0-0-6!! Wow. What parent or teacher has been hanging on to this? This kid isn't even at our school anymore!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This bloggin' thing....

....takes a back seat to my life. Although, I began blogging for the opposite reason - to keep up with things on a daily basis - it seems I get sucked into living and forget about the rest of it. Not such a bad thing, though. Living is good.

So, in short...
...we went for a day visit to see the kids' favorite cousin




...the kids went back to school

...I've been subbing in our local school district,
...I was sick for a over a week,
...my in-laws came for a visit,
...Jaedon turned 10 (& went to the Fort Worth Stockyards with his grandparents),


video

...somehow this SUCKER is the PTA president for the district AND over the Intermediate school
...I had a garage sale with my sister
...Caela started dance
...Caela's school just finished their fundraiser
...Jaedon's school just started their fundraiser
...(have I told you that I hate fundraisers?)

Now you know that I wasn't lying when I said I've been living. I hope you are all enjoying your lives as well. Don't get me wrong, we all have our crosses to bear, but right now I'm trying to focus on the grace-filled life I've been blessed with!

Happy Tuesday, Stranger-Friends!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shaylee

My neice, Shaylee, is 11. She is a beautful girl - inside and out! I had the honor and blessing of being in the delivery room when she took her first breath and watching her grow into a young lady has been equally exciting.

So, it is with pride that I tell you that this baby girl is bloggin'!! :) Go say hello, would you?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WoW - Week 1

I've decided to join the Regina & the group by participating in Weight on Wednesday's. If you'd like to know more about it, check it out here.

The Coach and I both need to lose weight so began a 'low-carb lifestyle' last week. The first few days were AWFUL for me. I have such an addiction to sugar, caffeine & carbohydrates that I was in a definite detox for 2 or 3 days. I had headaches and cravings and felt a little sluggish. It was not fun! But I must say that I'm feeling great today (Day 6). The weight is coming off and I'm feeling good.

Goals for Week 2 -
:: stay away from sugar!
:: 2 cup/day of leafy greens
:: walk 1 mile 3x/week

Weight loss for Week 1 - 8 lbs !! :)



ps - I just took our Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake out of the oven. This will be dessert for Friday's celebration of The Queenship of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Here's the recipe for any of you who are just dying to have it! :)

3 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup splenda or other artificial sweetner
2 pkgs cream cheese
2 eggs
10 mini SUGAR-FREE Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Mix egg whites & cream of tartar on high until very thick (this is important)...usually takes me 3 minutes or so. Add heavy cream and mix - again until very thick. Blend in sweetner and then add cream cheese. Mix on low speed until completely smooth. Last, add the 2 whole eggs and blend. (this will be the binder and will help to thin out the thick batter you've created)

Chop the peanut butter cups until the size you'd like to have them. Fold into the batter.

Spoon batter into a 9" PAM sprayed pie pan (or spring form pan if you have it). Bake 20-25 minutes until brown around the edges.

Cool for about 1 hour on the countertop then cool overnight in refrigerator. Yummmm.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday Funny

Yesterday the kids were arguing (about nothing, I'm sure) and Jaedon rattled off to Caela that because she said she couldn't taste the sugar in a VERY SWEET drink she "had no taste buds".

Caela was understandably devastated at such news and came to me in that whiny girl voice and said, "Mom, Jaedon said I don't have any taste buzz."

To which Jaedon responded, "It's taste buDs not buZZ."

In her defense Caela replied, "No, everyones taste buzz are different."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Birthday LaLa!

We celebrated my mom's 56th birthday with a Tex-Mex dinner & cupcakes at our house. My brother gave her this t-shirt...She LOVES the Cowboys!!



Part II of her gift was spending some time with her newest grandson...(my brother's son)...


My PawPaw was able to come to the party and he also got to spend some time with his namesake...and 10th great-grandchild...

I love family names. My grandmother, mom & sister shared the name Catherine; my brother shares his name with my dad and grandfather and my kids share middle names with The Coach and I. Do you have a family name? Did you pass one on to your child?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mosaic Meme



1. What is your first name? Christie 2. What is your favorite food? Mexican @ El Fenix 3. What high school did you go to? Duncanville 4. What is your favorite color? Blue 5. Who is your celebrity crush? Emmitt Smith 6. Favorite drink? Mojito 7. Dream vacation? Rome/Vatican 8. Favorite dessert? Homemade German Chocolate Cake 9. What you want to be when you grow up? A witness of God's love & amazing power 10. What do you love most in life? My Lord from whom all blessings flow 11. One Word to describe you? Thinker 12. One hobby of yours? Reading



So...now it's your turn. I hope, like me, you learn how to do new things and enjoy your creation. Here's how: a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search. b. Using only the first page, pick an image. c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. d. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger. e. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.


Thanks Jessica & +JMJ+ for taking the lead! It was fun!




Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Link Love

  • BooMama is asking if you are a swimmer or a sideliner?
  • Whittaker Woman has confessed she doesn't do 'moving water' very well these days.
  • Big Mama has some fabulous skin care advice from her 90 yr old grandmother.
How's your summer going?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Frugal Friday Tip

I am a member of our local Freecycle group and last summer a lady posted that she had a box of old gourmet cooking magazines. I love to be in the kitchen so I knew I could put those to good use. I was dreaming of all the fabulous recipes I'd be trying out in my new kitchen. I knew that I would tear out the 'good ones' and create a notebook of my new found favorites. What I didn't expect I'd receive was this...



Kitchen decor! The Cook's Country magazines have beautiful full-color photo's on the front. I cut out 6 of my favorites (trying to vary the colors utilized) and took myself to the nearest Dollar Tree. I found this burgundy wood frames and they happened to have 6! Bingo!

Now I have unique & colorful wall decor in my kitchen for a whoppin' $6!!

Check out more Frugal Friday tips at Biblical Womanhood.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Walls Are Closing In On Me

One year ago we made the decision to move from the city to the "country". We are 30 minutes away from the big city and 10 minutes from the closest grocery store in a small suburb near us. Because I do not work outside the home I occasionally feel a little claustrophobic...even in our nearly 2700 sq ft! Especially this summer. I go to church on Sundays and the rest of our activities are here in our little community. I venture out to pick up groceries or occasionally pick up fast food from our limited options. Last week while The Coach was gone to football camp I got it really bad. I needed to see traffic, some tall buildings, maybe a restaurant and possibly visit TCBY.


I love my man. He was tired when he came home on Thursday so I let him sleep for about 6 hours. (He had been gone 6 days and they were practicing 3x/day in 100-degree temps!) On Friday morning I let him sleep in. Friday afternoon we lounged around the house just enjoying the fact that he was back home with us. By 3 or 4pm I was getting a little antsy. The Coach loaded the children into the car and took us for a drive into the city. ahhhhhh, relaxation. I know it sounds sooo crazy, but seeing this made me so happy!

We drove around our old neighborhood, rolled through a carwash and stopped to get me a Coca-Cola from my favorite...Burger Street. Let me say that I have specific criteria for fountain sodas. They must be in a styrofoam cup (for the insulation) and they must have "good ice". The Coach cannot understand this ice issue, but...Sonic ice pellets - good ice; McDonald's chunk ice - not so much. Burger Street - FABULOUS ice...it's the flaky kind!! Ohhhh, he must love me.

Then we went to see this...

Could She be more beautiful?? The Cathedral Shrine of The Virgin of Guadalupe is the Mother Church of our Diocese and has been standing since 1902! Can you see me beam with pride...what a piece of architecture! ;-)

We attended the Chrism Mass here in 2004 and the Rite of Election during our RCIA process.

We ended our city-adventure by eating an early dinner at El Fenix...my absolute favorite restaurant!!

So that concludes my "day out". Do you ever feel the walls closing in on you?



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Today's Post Is Brought To You By The Letter "F"...

...Friends, Family, Fun...

My sister and a friend came over on Wednesday (I'm a little late in posting since The Coach has come home! :) !! ) and the kids - all 6 of them - had a ball. There was swimming, tons of food, a house full of laughter and silliness...well, judge for yourself!

My niece...Shaylee


Caela & her friend Mia


Lunch...Cheeseburger Rolls & Homemade Fries


My sis & her make-up (she HAD to fix her face after swimming) with Caela


The whole motley crew...Jaedon & Andrew (l-r), Genna (pink), Mia, Caela (w/bow) and Shaylee

Playing with the dogs


Shaylee playing with Aunt Christie's camera...look, it does black & white...

Aunt Shell's new do (in sepia no less) :)


Genna

I hope your Family is enjoying a Fabulous summer!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My favorite word...GIVE-AWAY!

Sew Gracious is hosting a give-away and boy, does she have some great stuff! Check out this beauty...
Really, you should RUN over to her place...contest ends at midnight tonight!!

Girls Night


The Coach has been at football camp this week so the kids and I have taken the opportunity to do some deep cleaning! It has been a lot of hard work...sorting through clothes that no longer fit Caela, sorting through Jaedon's tiny pieces of lego's, transformers & imaginex, and even vacuuming the stairs! My reward for it all....Girls Night! I sent an email to a bunch of ladies from church and invited them over for a movie. I made popcorn & cookies and we all wore our pj's! So fun!
Do you ever have 'girls night'? What's on the schedule?

Sunday, July 6, 2008


A Mother's Prayer for her Children

Mary, Mother of Consolation, be with me now as I pray for my children. You, who bore the most perfect Child, know a mother’s concern for her children. You are the finest example of motherhood. Open your heart to my prayer.

There are times, Blessed Mary, when I feel so confused. My love for my children always directs me to do those things each day which will be good for them.

I always try to act in a way which will help them to be better Christians. It is often difficult for me to know what is right. Mary, please guide me through my doubts. Help me to know what is right. Help me to direct and raise my children, not for my own satisfaction, but for the glory of God.

Oh Queen of Heaven, my children are so frail in this world. Help me to guide them to know and love Our Heavenly Father. It is through His will that I have these children. They are truly His gift.

At this time, Blessed Mother of Consolation, I place my children under your care and protection. I know you will help them just as you have helped me. Keep us in your love, always.

Amen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tonight I was changing the music on my playlist and Caela came in and started dancing. What ensued was an impromtu dance/photo session. We laughed and danced until bedtime! Enjoy!

Click to play Dancin' After Dark
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Some New Jesus Music

I like music. Had I actually finished college (that's another post) I probably would have a degree in some kind of music. I like lots of different genre's to the exclusion of most rap & country. I don't detest either one, just not my fav's.

So, today when I was surfing the web (because I have nothing better to do, right?) I came across Gretchen Harris. She is a contemporary Catholic musician and some of of her titles include, Prayer of St. Francis, You are Near and others. She has rosary CD and one titled "Sing of Mary".

Perhaps you've already been introduced but this was our first meeting. I like her! She has a very sweet voice...listening to her is peaceful. You might like her too. Seriously.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pardon Our Mess

Whittaker Woman put it out there today. She thinks we should all confess our dirty little hiding spots. *sigh* I think this could get ugly here in Texas!

Downstairs couch was my first spot to check...
...2 roll-up crayons, a small notepad, emory board, bracelet, snack size ziplock, coupon for dog treats (and it's NOT expired!), a popsicle stick, one piece of popcorn, 2 ponies (pony tail holder), 2 pink "x"'s (for tic-tack-toe), one pink monkey (apparently to some game), a cheez-it (or is it a cheese nip?), 2 dirty socks, and a pile of miscellaneous trash


wow. what can i say? (i'm typing in lowercase now since it's my way of shrinking back a little :))



Next I went upstairs to the "supply closet". When we first moved in a year ago I filled it with pens, pencils, misc office supplies, phone books, etc. I set up 2 wire baskets (one for each child) to collect school work throughout the year and utilized the upper shelfs for some of The Coach's keepsakes. Now it looks like this...

Heather said it best...


I am fine with the fact that I have areas in my house that are just dirty. H



Alright girls...let's see whatcha got! Check out everyone else's dirty little secrets at Whittaker Woman.

Seriously?

The Coach sent the kids to the back yard this afternoon to clean up after the dogs. They had been out there for all of 3 minutes when the arguing began.


Seriously? They are arguing about who gets to pick up the dog poop (key word: poop).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Popcorn, Popcorn! Get Your Popcorn!



About a year ago we were the blessed recipients of a really cool popcorn maker from a generous member of our local Freecycle. It has provided tons of popcorn and some essential entertainment on these (occasionally) boring summer nights.

Veggie is my creative child. He is known for pulling out anything and most everything I've thrown away. Pringles cans, milk jugs, cereal boxes...just about anything can become something important to him. Usually he is willing to part with his creations fairly quickly but they definitely keep him busy for a day or so.


The popcorn stand was a cardboard box in it's former life. It was rescued and resurrected into the piece that you see in a matter of an hour or so. It served it's purpose for one evening and we were sure to capture it on film.

This is a typical day in our house. Do you're kids pull things from the trash? Do you sneak the items into the garbage pail or do you set them aside for creative thinking?
NOTE: Sorry for the picture placement lately. I'm strugglin' with blogger! ugh.