Saturday, November 29, 2014

Processing



Perhaps I'm getting to a point in life where I just need more time to process everything.  Perhaps, there is too much to process right now.  I'm unsure which it is.  I used to have a terrible habit of becoming overwhelmed with far too many activities and dropping everything, entering into what I refereed to as a 'turtle shell mode'.  I realized when I got a bit older, just how terrible that was to the people who are depending on you to do your part of the activity.  I'm not proud of that way of handling over commitment and work towards not becoming over committed so that I won't - but it kinda sneaks up on me and then even though I don't act on it, the desire to enter into 'turtle shell mode' is still there.  The holiday season is absolutely a time I want to be home, decorate, bake and love my family.  I have to fight myself to go out and about doing the things that I always love once we arrive. 


The end of November has been a whirlwind.  I had a fantastic trip to DC, my husband's job has been extra demanding, and we took on helping out at Youth Group (which we are happy to do).  So when we sat down with #9's Dr.'s and the diagnose was given, the air sort of sucked out of the room for a bit.  The Dr. asked me if I was okay, truly concerned.  I was hit with a 'aha, of course, relief, and  grief' all at once.  I never looked at Autism, although in the back of my heart I had begun to wonder over the last year but was afraid to mention it for reasons I cannot explain.  The Dr. shared with us the hows and why's of this diagnosis and the 'what' this means.  It means a lot of good for us and Ben.  I'm still processing it all though.  The trip to DC was full to the brim and I came home from it straight into the diagnosis for Ben, straight into preparation for Thanksgiving, and my heart feels a little bit fragile at the moment. Turtle Shell Mode.  My friends and family have been wonderful and very supportive.  I think they were already there and I was the one who couldn't see the forest for all the trees.

Advent is a time for preparation, and in our home we have a lot to learn about preparing a good environment to reduce melt downs and to bring our frat house bawdiness down to a more soothing level (although we will still be ourselves).  I can see God's timing, Advent is such a peaceful, happy time as we prepare for Jesus.  If you notice a change of tone around my blog during this Advent Season it is only because we are re calibrating in order to prepare as well.  Turtle Shell Mode has been made a positive for once, and I intend to embrace it, slow down, quiet myself, and enjoy the fruit of the peace.


We also got a puppy - which is such an undertaking but I think this is going to be a good one.  We named him Samwise because even though he is a family member, we hope he is a companion to one member in particular.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}
The last Charity Ball we went to I was 8 months pregnant with Linus in 2005.  
(Linus was born 7 days later)
We enjoyed attending the Divine Mercy Care Gala
 I absolutely love that practice of Dr.s , 4 of our children were delivered with their care. 

So we don't really go to balls very often.
  
The opportunity to attend the Sherman Symphony Orchestra Fall Ball was something I very much wanted to do.  Pete was reluctant at first, but after some persuasion he agreed - and we both had a fantastic time.
I have been truly blessed with friends in my life, these two ladies are my heart!
It was wonderful to be with them at the Ball and my sister-n-law too 
*I really wish I had a picture with her*

{Happy}


Our annual Turkey Dinner with St, Mary's School was this past Sunday.
I am pretty sure this is the oldest fundraiser the school has, dating back over 100 years.
We love every opportunity to see cousins, but getting to see cousins, friends, family, and pretty much everyone from church is a real treasure for us.

{Funny}




It is impossible to get them to all smile, or just act natural, or ignore the camera even.
 No, one of them always has to give a 'look' or be goofy.  
I should rename this blog 9 Out Takes.

{Real}

Pete and I teach CCD at our parish.  We recently attended a Faith Formation workshop put on by the Diocese.  Loyola Press had a table set up featuring their Special Needs program and it caught my attention. Pete and I spoke at length with Loyola Press regarding our son and other children in our parish who would benefit from this program.  They kindly sent us these books and invited us to attend a workshop this winter about how to teach this program.  It was originally developed by a Boy Scout who was working towards his Eagle and had a younger sibling who struggled with understanding the Sacraments because of Special Needs.  The program evolved into what it is now and it looks amazing.  Our DRE is interested in the program and we hope that if all works out we can offer it next year.  I feel so blessed to find it and know it will be a great way to teach the faith and reach children who may not understand their faith using standard practices.  God is so good!

Please join Rosie for this weeks {P,H,F,R} at LMLD.





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Martinmas

The Feast of St. Martin of Tours, Martinmas

We loved having our Martinmas lanterns lit with our dinner last night. 

Dinner is never a quiet affair, but candle light really does help bring the mood to a more sedate level.

Last year was our first time to make the Lanterns.  This year we used Mason Jars and had planned to use colorful tissue paper, but when we pulled out our supplies to make them we could not find the tissue paper.  We used construction paper and made the most of it.  

We also made button turkeys for Thanksgiving.


We have a few more Thanksgiving projects that I'm excited about.  I have made little stuffed turkey hands in the past and we are making them again this year.

*Linus and Benjamin's hands 2009*





After making the turkey's and Lanterns the kids decided to create a puppet show about St. Martin.

My costume friends would love seeing the boys getting their puppets costumes ready.

Our puppet theater needs to be patched, but it is still holding up.  The kids had to put it away last night because a few friends came over.  We plan to continue to St. Martin fun today - we hope St. Josaphat doesn't mind.  Maybe next year we can have the bonfire, it was very windy yesterday and got below freezing last night so we stayed tucked inside and warm.

Monday, November 10, 2014

~Weekly Menu~

~November 9th - 15th~

Sunday, November 9th:
Breakfast:  Kolaches
Dinner:  Chili Mac that I made the night before.  We ended up going out to eat with the whole family following Mass on Saturday.  It was THE BEST time!  I love that no matter if we are eating sandwiches or Japanese food - we always make the most of it because the element that is the best part are the people.  There is so much love in this room!





Monday November 10th:
Breakfast:  Cheesy Wheat Toast
Dinner:  Lemon Roast Chicken, brown rice, roasted veggies
Snack:  Banana Bread w/Streusal Topping
*Simon giving the Blue Steel, and everyone else trying to get gathered for dinner* 
*Linus practicing his Dr. Seuss speech for our Co-Op on Friday, his Grandpa helped him write it*


Tuesday November 11th:
Dinner:  Spaghetti with garlic bread and salad
Snack:  Cut up veggies and hummus

Wednesday November 12th:
Breakfast:  Waffles 
Dinner:  Chicken and Rice Soup *using the leftovers from Monday night* with salad
Snack:  Apples with Caramel

Thursday November 13th:
Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Dinner:  Crockpot Roast with potatoes and carrots, salad and homemade bread
Snack:  Homemade bread and butter

Friday November 14th:
Breakfast:  Scones and eggs
Dinner:  Dad's Choice (I'll be out for the evening, there will be leftovers or he will order pizza - I bet it is the latter)
Snack:  Milkshakes

Saturday November 15th:
Breakfast:  French Toast
Dinner:  Pork and Potato Hash
Snack:  Popcorn

Thursday, November 6, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

{Pretty}



Still juicing and loving it.  I think the veggies all piled high ready for the juicer are pretty.  The juice does not always turn out pretty though, sometimes with enough blueberries and beets it can look down right muddy.  Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits are back at Sams and I am so happy to add them to my juice again.  I hardly got sick at all last winter and I really do think the citrus in my juice is why.  I have had some set backs with blood pressure going up and some health issues due to my surgery.  Thus, a little weight has found itself hanging around on my body.  I'm going to work hard to have it off by January 1.  It isn't much to lose and the real desire is for my blood pressure to stay down.  I had to begin taking more medications, which is frustrating to me.  I know if not for the vitamins I get from juicing I would be in worse shape though, so I'll keep at it.  

{Happy}

Saint Bingo thanks to Jessica at Shower of Roses


It made me very happy to have our parish host an All Souls/All Saints party this past Sunday.  It was our first year to do this, so the message didn't really get out very well and it had a low attendance, but it was a great opportunity to 'learn' how to set this up and get ready for doing a really great job next year.  Although, I have to say I think our Youth Director did a fantastic job.  The games were fun, everyone who came enjoyed it and seeing the Youth having fun setting this up and helping little ones enjoy the games does your heart good.

{Funny}



In our home, when decorating sugar cookies, the key is GAUDY.  The tackier the better, I mean why would you want to evenly distribute candies and frosting when you can pile one single cookie as high as can be, depth is important, and balance.  It is really not art we are going for here, but physics.  10 out of 11 Scheibmeir's agree that the more stuff you can load onto a single cookie, the better it tastes.

{Real}



Our community is very blessed to have a Symphony Orchestra.  This morning they put on a 'Meet the Orchestra' program for all the 5th graders in the area, homeschoolers were also welcomed to come and enjoy.  We started out sitting downstairs but the kids knew there was a balcony and were eager to see if we could sit in it.  I checked with my friend who was the narrator for this and she said it was actually where the homeschoolers were seated - you should have seen the happy faces on my children when they heard this.  Up we went and down they looked because we got fortunate enough to sit on the first row.  We also enjoyed seeing our good friend Mr. Crocker, the Director for Theatricks helping out by playing Professor Music.  A wonderful event, and so much fun for our homeschool today.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

~Weekly Menu~

I'm notorious for deciding I'm going to do a thing, on this blog, and then not keep it up.  Sorry about that!  I will not promise to make this an every week thing, I will promise to make it a frequent thing.  Leila, at Like Mother, Like Daughter has already given very wise advice about 'Eating dinner together' and 'Preparing Dinner Every Day'.  I thought a practical look at what I do for my family might help others to get ideas or at least 'see' how it works for us.  I love to see meal ideas and enjoy getting new recipes so if you also post a menu please share the link in the comments.  If I ever learn how to set up a link up then I'll add that to the next post on weekly menus.

Week of November 2-8



(St. Florian, Patron of Firefighters)

Sunday, November 2nd -
Breakfast:  Omelettes
Dinner:  We celebrated All Souls and All Saints with a party during the afternoon at our Parish so it was a leftover night.  Cheesy Potato Soup and Chicken Stew with Dumplings (both are even better as leftovers).  I just picked up some garlic bread on our way home from a friend/child exchange, 2 boys to a friends house and 1 friend picked up to come to our house.


Monday, November 3rd -
Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, fried apples and grits
Dinner:  Confirmation night so we needed something quick and easy, Soft Tacos.
After school snack:  Caramel dip and apples

Tuesday, November 4th - 
Breakfast:  Egg Nog French Toast with whole wheat or Ezekiel Bread
Dinner:  Junk food night (really).  We had 2 boys working the election, and 1 boy working on the musical 'Strays' and so I actually let them eat taquitos and some heated up pizza things.  They LOVED it because it is so rare in this house.  I didn't eat and my husband felt sick afterwards - just being honest, this is NOT how we usually eat and I remember why *gross*.
After School Snack:  One piece of candy from treat bags and a thick slice of Homemade Apple Cheddar Bread.

The plans are below, sometimes reality is different than the plan, so if I make changes I'll update with what we did instead.


Wednesday, November 5th -
Breakfast:  Steel cut oats (cooked overnight in the crockpot).  I knew Pete had an early start to the day so I prepared the oats to cook overnight so when he woke up, breakfast was ready.  I also made cheese toast and set up an oatmeal bar for the kids to make the oatmeal to their liking.  I always set out a small pitcher of milk/cream, small bowls of walnuts, blueberries, cinnamon, maple syrup or brown sugar.  
Dinner:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.
After school snack:  Homemade hummus and veggies for dipping (boys are starving around 3:30 pm every day)

Thursday, November 6th - 
Breakfast:  Egg sandwiches and fruit
Dinner:  Thai chicken wraps *update* Instead we had pork roast that could simmer in the crockpot all day.  Elijah had his wisdom teeth pulled that afternoon and I was concerned I did not have enough time to prepare the chicken wraps.  I was right, the surgery ran long (but he did great and we love our dentist), I had to get our adopted son for the last few months and Tobias to Strays and so I had a narrow window of time to have dinner ready.  Mac and cheese + a salad rounded out the meal.
Snack:  Pumpkin Bread (I'll share recipe and photos once it has been made)

Friday, November 7th -
Breakfast:  Waffles with fruit topping *update* my boy with the sore mouth couldn't bare the thought of missing out on these waffles.  I made milkshakes and scrambled eggs.
Dinner:  Spinach and Artichoke Pasta with Salad and Garlic Bread *update* No, we had leftovers.  Pete and I decided last minute to accept an invitation to the Symphony Ball and he needed a suit.  We went shopping and I needed to prepare something simple.  
Snack:  Caramel Dip with Apples

Saturday, November 8th - 
Breakfast:  Steel cut oats again
Dinner:  Chicken Spaghetti  (this is easily prepared early in the day so when we leave for Confession, Rosary and Mass it is ready when we get home) *update*  We decided to go to the Symphony Fall Ball so I tweaked tonight's meal.  I will make homemade chili mac (a kid favorite), it is easy, goes together quickly and has little cleanup.  This will allow me to make it early so we can make to to C,R,M, feed the kids, and get ready for the ball.  I am fortunate that the older boys do the kitchen clean up, and since I won't be here to help them along, I won't leave them a huge mess to clean up.



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