Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Catholic T's for Christmas 2016

Each year for Christmas we give our kids a Catholic T Shirt, a great way to show our love for our Faith.  When I regularly kept the blog going, I would share a post each year with the Catholic T's.  I decided to open this special place up to public view for a limited time in order to share the T'shirt choices for this year.  I always love seeing all the Christmas posts from other bloggers, and wanted to join in the fun with our own unique blend of Frat house life/Catholicism. (Amazon Affiliate links included in this post) Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and looking forward to a blessed now for the Catholic Shirts for 2016:

(I got 2 of the above, it is my favorite)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

~Pretty, Happy, Funny Real~

~Capturing the Context of Contentment in Every Day Life~

~Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter~


My Mom has been downsizing.  She and Papa have decided to move into something more suited to their needs and I do believe it is a perfect fit.  I was the very blessed recipient of some of my Mom's favorite things and I hope it makes her happy to see them being loved here at The Burrow.  
The top photo was my Great Grandmothers bread baking bowl.  It is wooden and she would add all ingredients and knead it then let it rise all within the same bowl.  If you look closely there is an indention in the handle, it is from all the years of use where her thumb held tight onto the bowl.  I love to bake bread, and can see how handy this bowl must have been.  I do not want to harm it though so it will continue it's retirement from bread service but has been put to good use holding fresh fruit on my table.  I love having it out to see, a treasure for sure.
The middle photo are the stained glass windows my Mom placed in the Cathedral style windows of her home.  I plan to add a valance at some point to cover the top, but for now I don't mind that there isn't one.  I got some heavy weight wire wrapped in twine and hung them at my sewing window in my kitchen.  I cannot express how happy they make me.  I have one other stained glass I will share at next weeks PHFR.
The last photo is a sign of my mother's ingenuity.  When my nephew went to live with her as a baby, a very dear friend of hers gave her their own crib to use.  Their daughter no longer needed it, and Mom had grand-babies visiting as well as this special situation.  Once all the babies were all too big for a crib, she took the mattress springs and painted them bright red, then hung all her wind chimes from it.  I have always loved this feature on her back porch and am delighted that now it is on my back porch.  It sounds so pretty out there too.  

Part of my #nourish365 is to document meals etc.  These boys devoured the Broccoli Beef I made last night.  I didn't buy the skirt steak as recommended but used the stew meat I found on sale - and it was still delicious.  It makes me so happy to see them gathered together, we sure miss the ones who cannot be with us due to Military, work, etc.. 

Our bracelets came in.  We have ordered a variety of I.D. bracelets for Ben, but we thought it was a good idea for us to wear them too.  

This came up in my Timehop and I just love it, when I captured this moment I knew it was a gem, my Mom is not a fan of swimming (at all) but when her Grand kids are around she finds herself doing all kinds of things outside of her comfort zone, and having fun!  

These two, oh my goodness.  My cousins were my life growing up, I love staying in touch with them as adults and treasure all our times together.  It does my heart good to see my children have this same experience with their cousins.  I am a firm believer in the wisdom of 'The more people who love your child, the better for your child'.  Cousins, aunts, uncles, especially Grand parents - those are anchors.

Okay, this was seriously one of the best VBS years ever.  Cave Quest was awesome, the program at our parish was so fun, and a great time for learning.  This photo was from one of the games, Linus loved that his team won.  My sister-n-law took this photo for me (and by the way she lead the entire VBS, wow) that is my niece hamming it up in the background which is why I love that little girl so much - and this photo is priceless.  Linus wants VBS to come back for one more week, but we decided to play these games at our next 'all' family get together so that has pacified him for now.  It was seriously fun!

They were all laughing and smiling at their cousin's two year old birthday party until I pulled out my phone to snap a photo - then, the look of 'really Mom, again" and all other shenanigans went down.  

You are darn right I bought it, I wanted to buy them all and send them to my cousins!


Samwise has not been well.  Our poor puppy has suffered with some sort of skin irritation that we think we've finally figured out is food borne.  It is just our way of doing everything that we would fall in love with a dog that needs a designer diet - right, a designer dog.  But...we love him, and he was suffering from all the itching and his hair quickly began to fall out and as the heat poured on outside we just kept him inside but that made him miserable too.  The Vet has placed him on three different medications and a special diet to see if this will provide any relief, she keeps assuring us this is a common condition among German Shepherds, but that doesn't make us or Sam feel any better.  It does help me not feel so guilty about his state, he eats like crazy but has been losing weight.  We have finally rounded a corner this week and I do believe the meds and diet are helping.  This dog, he is just so much a part of our family, we are silly over him, we love him so much.  Everyone has pulled together to try and help him, he has the biggest heart of any animal I've ever met, and it makes us all happy he is feeling better.

Thank you for sticking with this very long PHFR, to see all the link ups or to link up yourself please visit Like Mother Like Daughter for this weeks PHFR.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Practice the Pause

So this happened, by the skin of his teeth it happened, but happen it did and that is the working of the Holy Spirit.

We had come to the conclusion around New Years that this wouldn't be Ben's year for First Holy Communion.  You know that light bulb you see go off in your child's heart, the one that you look for that shows you that there is a true desire to understand and embrace the teachings of the Eucharist, the importance of it all.  We couldn't see that clarity, only a fuzzy question mark and we knew in our hearts that it wouldn't be right to go through this for the ceremony, that would only confuse Ben more when he did grasp it - and it is a hard concept to grasp for all of us.  This understanding of bread/body, mystery cloaked in ordinary, making it all so very extraordinary.  

Our family always attends the Easter Vigil, it is a tradition we began once we had everyone over the age of 5.  Well, if you are a child on the Spectrum, the Easter Vigil is more than hard.  Everything we love about it because it appeals to all our senses, make it agony for a little one who has their senses being pulled and jerked in every direction.  Ben and I tried to go sit in the Narthex, but that was even too much with so many little ones out there already, and parents doing their best to hush them, created a whole new frenzy of sensory overload.

We left.

Ben began to cry once I started the van to carry him home, true and real tears.  He did NOT want to leave, he just couldn't be in Mass with so much assaulting his senses..... and so began a conversation where I could feel that his heart and brain were connecting, a soft wax moment of complete clarity.  Pete and I knew afterwards that he was ready for First Communion, the prayers and everything else had long ago been learned.

We have been on a roller coaster ride with him this year, so much going on, so much hard, white knuckle hard, the kind of hard that you just want to curl up and shield him from everything- which isn't good for him at all, only easier for you.  Sometimes I just want easy.

I had planned to jump right back into blogging.  I have so much I want to share, I want to record for our own memories.  I find it difficult to sit down and share because there is a lot I don't want to remember, I want it to fade away and only leave the fond, good, special times but the reality is that we are in a whirlwind of assorted moments. Isn't that how it goes, the pain always gives way to birth the happiest.  

When all is said and done, every single day Ben forces me to be a better person, to reach to places I honestly didn't think existed within me and to be patient, to pause.  We, as a family, are learning to practice the pause, it is good for us and hard for us.  When we pause though, we have these moments with Ben that lead to good things, we are learning that the Holy Spirit is in the pause and I thank Ben for helping me realize this truth.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Updates Continued~

Simon Peter is doing great.  He is a sophomore this year and ready for a Summer break.  Simon participated in Varsity Cross Country  as well as Varsity Track this year and improved all his times from last year.  He also works at Braums, and has more homework than he has ever had which has been an adjustment for him.  Pete and I are really proud of all he is accomplishing.  Simon is VERY quick witted and funny, I mean really seriously funny...he could do stand up comedy about life in a large family easily.  We have this running joke about his being the 'back up to the back up favorite'. It is a banter that has developed over years and it really means 'I love you and there are no favorites' but one day we were in the store and he wanted me to buy something and I told him no.  So he says "Was that a yes in disguise" and I cracked up and shook my head at him so he keeps going "If I was Isaac would you say yes" and I agreed with him "Oh you know I would buy it for Isaac" and Simon is all "Oh, I see how you are playing favorites, always playing favorites" and he mocks this hurt tone and expression (which apparently if you don't know us might seem real, not a put on).  So there was another shopper who had been in the isle that I had not seen, my back was to her and I reply to Simon "well your just the back up favorite, actually the back up to the back up and my funds are will have to buy it yourself if you want it" and he starts giving me this wide eyed look that was a disconnect from our usual cajoling.  He walks closer to me and says very quietly "the lady behind you thinks you are evil, she doesn't know we are joking".  We have laughed and laughed about this, poor woman probably really does think I'm awful.  Simon and I just left the isle after that, and I didn't buy what he wanted - which he continues to bring up to this day "I saved you from a CPS call Mom, I clued you in, and yet NOOOO you still wouldn't get it for me".   

Tobias is a freshman this year and is doing really well, he also participated in Cross Country and Track with his older brothers.  He works at Braums too, and has kept up his classes and really had an all around great beginning for high school.  Tobi is really reaping the benefits of being #6 since he has a brother who is a senior and drives, Tobi doesn't have to take the bus and our High School students have always been bus riders except for 1 year when I carpooled them back and forth, but after sitting in 3 schools carpool lines every day for a year I decided 'no more'!  Tobias and Elijah share a great gift for Art..  Tobias has a strong leaning towards comic strip style art, largely influenced by his complete love of all of Ben Hatke's work.  Tobias was in 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' with his Dad, Faith and Linus and he hopes to audition for another play that will be a Summer Production.  He is the baby of the six pack, and has not been a fan of being lumped with the younger kids for so long.  This year he finally broke away from that and has joined the ranks of his older brothers, it has been a good year for him.  By the way, that funny Simon story above....Tobi is who came up with that, he is also very funny but he has a very dry sense of humor, you have to listen for it and when you catch on to what he is saying you appreciate what is going on up in that brain of his.  Tobias will go to driving school this Summer and is hoping his luck continues in getting to do things before his older brothers like getting a license before he is 18, but I doubt insurance prices change so he is likely to be student driving a long time just like the others. be continued tomorrow.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Where to begin.  I guess I'll go in order and share a little about what is happening in the world of each of my 9Peas.  Pete and I are both doing good and enjoying the less stressful pace now that I'm no longer working, he will be traveling more often so he can feel more at ease about homelife while he is away.  I'm getting the house cleaned up, and loving the after school hours that I was missing.  Benjamin, who had the hardest time with my working (and one of my teens did too, never doubt that just because they are almost grown that they don't need you) is showing signs of less anxiety.  I have the deepest respect for working Mom's.  I don't want to give the impression that by my coming home I don't.  I am fortunate that I can come home, and there are 9, which really does require a lot of 'being available'.  I've made some truly good friendships and those working Mother's inspire me to be a better Mother, they are amazing.  
Okay, onto the updates:

This was Noah's April Fools joke this year, he is doing really well.  He is almost finished with his Internship at Florida Studio Theatre and will be home in June.  I have a feeling he won't be home long, he is applying to Fellowship programs to get his Masters as well as job applications and even some internship opportunities that would enrich his resume.  I cannot wait to have him home for a while though.

Jonah is no longer deployed to the Middle East.  We got a good long visit over Christmas and New Years. He is now stationed at his new base, which I'm unsure of the rules on sharing about where that is but trust me when I say I feel much better as a Marine mom than I did at his last duty station.  We get to visit with him often now and enjoy hearing about all he is up to etc... He recently had a 41 mile hike, afterwards I got a phone call about some basic medical needs regarding blisters and slight dehydration etc..  I love that he calls me for little things like that, I know he could figure it out on his own because believe me if you were on Survivor you'd want Jonah on your team (Noah you want on your team when playing Trivial Pursuit, we always call him for lifelines while playing) but he lets me take part in helping, which means a lot to me.

This is an older photo of Isaac, but I love it so I'm sharing it instead of a recent photo.  Isaac has taken to the scruffy college student look lately as he has a very heavy course load and is experimenting with exactly how long he can go before I say something, and I'm always extra delicate like "So we are going for the Drug Dealer look today", and since he loves my quippy jabs he eggs them on in his own "I'm my own man" quiet way, that is part of what adds to his charm (no sarcasm there, Isaac has a calm presence that makes it easy to enjoy his sense of humor).  Isaac has been accepted to UNT for the next phase of his College life and we are really excited for him.  He will be close enough for easy visits and far enough away to feel some much deserved and needed independence.  While he originally began school with intentions of becoming a Math teacher, his working at a local bank has made him turn more towards finance.  I know whatever he chooses, he will do well.

  Out of the whole bunch Elijah is the only one who is truly shy so he shocked us this past fall when he announced he wanted to audition for "Bridge To Terabithia".  He got the Dad role and really did an amazing job.  Senior year has not been easy, he took on lots of college level classes as well as a rigorous Art program and has been pacing himself well the whole way (and getting such great grades). He also took part in Cross Country again with Simon and Tobias.   He is almost to the finish of Senior Year and is really starting to become disillusioned with Senior Fever.  Elijah still works at our local Ice Cream Shop and plans to attend our Junior College like Isaac and Noah did before transferring to a University.  Elijah is the first of his brother's to be able to drive his Senior year, a sure sign Pete and I are softening.  We hold firm to the 'no license before 18 rule) he is 18 now, and driving to school each day taking his other high school brothers who are VERY happy to skip riding the bus, so happy in fact that they contribute to gas money.  Way to work that Eli, we are always impressed with you and your reasonable way of helping others understand 'what is fair'. be continued.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I'm planning to post something quick each evening, hopefully with a photo.

Sort of a 365/Photo Gratitude Journal.

I miss my blog.

I miss our memories being recorded.

Life has picked up its pace if, that's possible it was already going pretty fast, and we love pouring over this space...

a space full of our memories.

Bare with me as I'm not always good at sticking to these type things, especially when life is whirling in all directions.

So yesterday I should have shared this:

My nephew received his Eagle Scout, and yesterday was the big day to honor him and the person he honored with his Eagle Scout project.  Pictured here are my Mom, Papa (stepdad, but I hate that term) and Aileen the wife of Joel Durrett.  Joel was a big influence in my nephew's young life,  as Gavin was considering what to do for his Eagle Scout project, it became clear to him that this would be the most meaningful.

My parents have raised Gavin since he was 18 months old.  He is their heart and joy. 
Papa is a court reporter, we've all been raised up within the legal community.  Gavin especially so.

Our State Representative Larry Phillips came and presented Gavin with a flag that has flown at the Texas State Capitol.

My Linus is in the long sleeves.  He and three other scouts led the pledge.  It was such an honor to be asked to do this, Linus also got to help Gavin with his Eagle project, what a learning experience for a young scout.  The 4 boys who led the Pledge each have a Mom who work in the Court system within the County, I've had the great pleasure of working with the other two Moms.

I love this photo, I greatly admire both of  the ladies here.

I am so thankful for Gavin and that we've been able to spend the last 5 years being back here in Texas to be nearer to him and get to see and know him better.  Watching him accomplish this very challenging task fills my heart with pride and it meant the world to our family to be a part of this moment with him.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Birthday Weekend

We Got In On the Fun - sorry, no sound.

This photo is from the morning after Jonah came home, he got in late and Ben had just realized Jonah was here.  Ben rarely lets anyone snuggle him, I love this moment.

We had a wonderful birthday weekend for our resident double digit guy!  It would take something big like turning 10 to bring Pete and I to the Big Cheese place, a casino for kids, but we all had a great time and even Benjamin did really well.  We loved that Linus had such a fun birthday, filled with family and friends.

Once the party at the Casino for kids was over we came home and I fixed Thai Chicken Wraps,  a request by the birthday boy.  Friends and family joined us and the party continued as we enjoyed Jonah's game system that had a dance off.  What can I say, we love to make fools of ourselves.  

Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday and cooking, cooking cooking.  I am taking orders for baked goods and prepared 4 loaves of Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting and also prepared a dinner for a Bridge Club meeting Monday night.  To say the house smelled delicious was an understatement.  I also created a new soup which was a combination of Taco Soup and one I saw on my favorite cooking site (yes, I've totally stepped away from a vegetarian/plant based quasi diet) (I think it is fair to say I have a bi-polar diet) and the results were amazing.  I wish I had taken pictures, but when I make it again I will write down the recipe/take pictures and share!

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