Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's official, Snooker is a hockey player! He suffered his first blood last night at class... well, actually it happened before class started (during free skate time)... but hey it was on the ice. Poor little guy took a nasty fall and used his face as a brake on the ice! You may be wondering why he has a boggin' on under the helmet. Well, as some of you might know, our kids are small... including their heads. So keeping the much needed helmets on the first lesson was a little difficult... putting the boggin's on under it helps keep the helmet put!

Needless to say when I took a picture of Snooker, the other two wanted to get in the shot as well. Here's their fierce hockey player face... notice my sweet little Snookie just can't make a mean face (when you want him to).
Okay, I don't really get the fascination... but every time we take pictures they always want to do a Jedi pose. So of course we indulge... so here are hockey jedi's!

How's hockey going? Pretty well. They just completed their 4 lesson, and the improvement in their skating is quite noticeable. There's still tons of falling, but there's a whole lot more skating to go along with the falling. Thankfully before the lessons start on Fridays, they have 30+ minutes on the ice for free skate. Honestly that is where I've seen the most improvement. They aren't hanging on to the wall, they are attempting to stroke versus walk, and they are able to avoid other skaters!
We have two more lessons, and then it will be time to decide whether or not to continue. Personally, I like it... I think it is a good exercise for them, and it is a sport (for now) that size really doesn't matter. Bubba and Snookie just went to the dr. for a check-up (only because I wanted them to get a flu shot and I didn't want to pay for it, otherwise I would not take them in by choice to that crack-pot)... anyway they are both in the 3-7 percentiles for height and weight and the chart thinks they will end up somewhere between 5'5"-5'7"... so no basketball players.

Well, that's about it on the hockey front. They think it's fun, I like the idea that it is in doors :-), and so far no serious injuries... it's a winner all around!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The abortion industry is racist.

More proof.

Abortion kills more blacks than the next seven causes combined.

"...abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of."

Friday, October 23, 2009

To-do list

Bobcat said, on the way home from hockey tonight:

"Daddy, I'm sure glad we went to the circus. Now the only two things I haven't been to are the Fair and a parade."

Duly noted, son.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


There is one week(end) a year in which I don't care that we have aircraft flying over all the time... AIR SHOW WEEKEND!!!! I just took this shot pointing straight up (from our driveway) as they flew over head! I LOVE BEING IN THEIR FLIGHT PATH!!!!

They will be rehearsing all day today (as long as it isn't raining) and tomorrow!!!! I LOVE THE BLUE ANGELS!!!!

Around the barnyard #11

In the CHC newsletter I saw an idea that I thought I would share with you. I, personally, don't know how I would incorporate this in my own household because I don't have a laundry room with enough room for this sort of thing... but I'm still thinking of ways I could make this work.

Create floor or shelf space in the laundry room, and get a box, five gallon bucket, or other container for each child. Sort wash directly from the dryer into each person’s laundry container. Children are responsible for putting away their own clothing.

Right now, I just have the boys move the clean laundry from the dryer to my room where I fold it (they help depending on the items) and then they put them away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finding the blessing in our struggles

I recently came across a four part series by Dr. Jameson and Jennifer Taylor on infertility thanks to another website I was reading. While the first 3 parts were mostly known to me because of our long struggle with infertility, the fourth part really allowed me to once again accept my infertility in a more faithful light.

I highly encourage everyone to read this... be it that you are struggling with infertility or if you know someone who is (it will help you see the internal struggle they are fighting).

Part One
Part Two

Part Three
Part Four
Additional Article

Here are a few quotes that really struck me and I thought were worth sharing:

Instead of giving children to God, infertile families can give their suffering to Him, their unfulfilled longing to conceive a baby. God will use this suffering to glorify His name and bring about the salvation of souls (cf. Jn. 9:1-3). Likewise, infertility is the gift God gives couples for the salvation of their own souls, as well as the souls of any children they might eventually adopt. To reject this gift is to reject the specific means by which God wills to lead us to Heaven.

Of course, this is not to say that infertile couples shouldn't use every licit means they can to conceive a child or bring a baby to term. We also do not mean to imply that every infertile couple is called to adopt. Adoption is not a "cure" for infertility because even after you adopt you remain infertile. Each of us, however, is called to "give everything to God," and to serve Him, even in the weakness of infertility.

Part of the pain of infertility, however, is that it is an invisible sign. In our culture, most people assume that if you don't have kids you're contracepting. If you're infertile, they suppose you can easily correct the problem through artificial means. The physical and spiritual suffering caused by infertility is usually hidden. To use an analogy, the generosity of the couple who chooses to have a large family is like a brightly burning sun whose beams produce beautiful flowers that everyone can see and admire. While their love might shine just as brightly, the infertile family has no flowers of its own. Yet, as Fulton Sheen perceives: "There is no sign unless something happens contrary to nature. The brightness of the sun is no sign, but an eclipse is."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Souper Tasty!

It dawned on me that I really haven't put any of our new recipes up on the blog... so here's a tasty soup I made this weekend... in the crock pot!

Now, I have a large 6 quart crock, so if yours is smaller you will probably want to pull back some of the quantity.

Chicken Soup
5 pieces of chicken (I used thighs because that's what I had on hand)
6 cups of chicken stock
1 lb baby carrots (chopped to your liking)
1/2 lb celery (chopped to your liking)
1 small onion (what ever your favorite variety is, chopped)
Dash of Dill Weed (I love this stuff, but you don't NEED it)
Dash of Rosemary
Dash of Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Throw it all into your slow cooker, wait 5-8 hours... and YUMMY! This will serve around 8-10 bowls!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flurry of activity

Or at least that is how it seemed this weekend!

The highlights: Circus and somewhere in the ballpark of a 9 mile walk!

A friend of ours from band gave us 6 vouchers for the circus, so we invited my niece (7yrs) to come with us on Saturday. The boys and my niece have never been, and Daddio and I haven't been since we were around their age.

To be honest, I really wasn't expecting much... but boy was it fun! I will admit that my mommy nerves kicked in with the high flying antics and spinning pendulums of death. YIKES! Based on the laughing, I think all four kids had a great time as well (the cotton candy didn't hurt either :0).

Sunday, after mass we packed up a picnic, the kids, and the scooters and headed out to a lovely park a little ways from us. It was an absolutely wonderful day to be outside! The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, and temps stayed in the upper sixities/low seventies! This park is filled with great paved trails, some running along side a nature preserve and other areas by a frisbee golf course (which I had never seen in action before... interesting to watch while we walked, but something I have no interest in doing). All in all Daddio figured we were walking at a clip of about 6 miles an hour and we walked for just over 90 minutes... so somewhere around 9 miles. The kids covered a lot more ground... riding far ahead, then coming back to us... but they also did a lot of sitting, while Daddio and I never did take a break. And then it was back to the tables for a refreshing lunch... some playground time... and home for a much deserved nap!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Well, I took Bobcat back to his endo. to see what else they think might be going on in regards to the lack of height and weight... basically they don't know. So along with the bone density test that his gastro. wanted run, we had another blood test to look for a specific growth hormone marker, and more bone age testing done (x-rays of his spine and hip bone).

This morning I got a call regarding the bone density test... within in normal range... THANK YOU! That hopefully means that we won't have any fractures in the near future! Now we are just waiting on the endo's tests. Those should be back in about two weeks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hey, I might need that stuff!

Boy, when someone touches our stuff... that's what we yell out right? Especially if they might be taking our stuff to the garbage! A similar sentiment I've heard... hey you can't throw that away my kids made that... right!?!

In my youth I would describe myself as cluttered and pack rat-ish. I kept everything... in (neat) piles generally. I knew where everything was, and could put my hand right on it when I (or some else) needed it... but it was a lot of STUFF. I also held on to clothing, for years. I never seemed to actually wear anything out, so I felt like there was no reason to toss it... I COULD STILL WEAR IT!

Then I got married... to a man who didn't really keep anything. He liked a clutter-free life... when forces collide we will say :-). Boy those first 6 months of marriage where challenging to the both of us.

We tell this to our engaged couples that we sponsor for marriage prep... I can remember one day when we finally decided that we needed to sit down and figure out how our life was going to LOOK. We each talked about the things that were most important to each of us, and how we were going to accomplish them so that we would both be happy with the living arrangement!

Pretty much from that point on I realized that I needed to let go of my stuff... stuff that I didn't need, stuff that really had no use, and stuff that I simply didn't have room for both physically and mentally! Now, if there is an item of questionable worth or use... PITCH IT (actually donate it) more times than not.

If by chance I catch a show or read an article on tidiness/or lack there of, it spurs me on to recheck our possessions for their need in our life or would be better suited for someone else (this also happens with a change of seasons, anytime I have to go through the boys clothes I go ahead and hit all of our clothing).

How timely was our Gospel reading yesterday?

As Jesus was setting out on a journey,
a man ran up,knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;honor your father and your mother.

"He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.
"Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.
"At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!
"The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among
themselves,"Then who can be saved?
"Jesus looked at them and said,
"For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God." (Mark 10:17-27)

Hoarding, pack rat-ish, messy, or cluttered, this is not what our dear Lord wants from us. I challenge all of you to clean something out... a shelf, a drawer, a closet... find something to donate! Those with kids, this can be fairly easy, they grow out clothing quickly and out grow toys that some other child is sure to need.

I've found the less clutter you find your physical state in, the less clutter you find your mind in!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A list...

What do these things have in common?


Hot rods











Accolades to the winner...

Friday, October 9, 2009


Well, if I thought today couldn't get anymore frustrating... IT DID!

We, well, Bobcat had a follow up with his gastro. regarding his celiac disease. He just past the one year mark for his diagnosis/biopsy and I was convinced that we would get another glowing report... like we got in April at his 6-month check-up. Unfortunately he has done little in the way of growing or gaining weight from April till now... and now he is the furthest he's been away from the growth curve over-all.

The celiac disease seems to be under control based on the blood work which came back completely normal... so now his gastro. is thinking that there might be something they've missed... now we have to go back to the endocrinologist and see if they can come up with anything.

My heart breaks for him, knowing that we will have to put him through more testing trying to get to the bottom of this...

A Nobel... really?

So I was watching the Today Show this morning... wanting to see the whole moon thing (which sadly turned out to be nothing to really see on the video), when I'm jarred to reality by the Nobel announcement.

Apparently nobody ACTUALLY did anything of real value because it was given to Obama... not because of what he ACTUALLY did, but on what he would LIKE to do... or at least that is how it was explained. WOW! Heck even Matt Laur said that it was given to him "because he isn't George W. Bush", and the other guy he was talking to agreed with that. NICE... really, Europe?

If the Nobel Peace Prize had any value previously... well it's in the toilet now!

For a far funnier post than mine (and funny comments) head over to CMR!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm not sure I'm prepared!

Knee Pads: check
Elbow Pads: check
Helmets: check
Pedi. Ortho: right around the corner
ER: just down the road
Heath Insurance: all up to date

Ready for our first hockey lessons on Friday: CHECK!
*Technically it's called hockey class, but it's really just learning how to skate!*

Monday, October 5, 2009

Campin' Fare

Charlotte asked me (or Daddio) to expound a little on our camping food... how we come up with it and that sort of thing. First let me say it has evolved over the years! We started off easy... hot dogs, steaks, baked potatoes, and s'mores!

I think the first question you need to answer before your next camping trip is where are you going and is there a burn ban (which happens frequently here in Tx, so do your research). We prefer actual campfire cooking, but all that we do can be done with charcoal if need be.

Next up are tools! Tools are just as important as the food you want cooked. First you need a set of heavy duty grill tools (spatula, tongs, fork), and a set of grilling gloves (here's the set I got for Daddio that he really likes!). If you like your arms and hands... these gloves will protect them! Then there is the actual cookware. We have a nice grill to set of the fire (for those sites that don't have a permanent fire ring with attached grill). I couldn't find one like we have... but ours is a heavy cast iron product that half of the top is a grill grate and the other is a flat surface that is great for eggs and bacon and the sort (frying). And last but definitely not least - DUTCH OVENS! We actually have two. A traditional one like in the picture, and a deep dish skillet with a lid that is great for frying things in. The lid has about an inch to and inch and half lip so your bacon grease doesn't drip into the fire, and you don't lose an egg on an uneven surface (using the lid is like having a third pan!!!). Oh, and another must have tool for dutch ovens... the Lid Lifter! It makes life a lot easier and safer :-).

When it comes to our menus... we have a few staples we always make: steaks, s'mores, breakfast burritos and dutch oven peach cobbler. Steaks and s'mores are easy, that's a no brainer. The cobbler, I think this came in the cookbook that came with our first dutch oven. It's a super simple recipe... two small cans of peaches in syrup (or one HUGE can), one box of spice cake mix, one stick of butter. First pour in the cans of peaches (syrup and all), without mixing spread the dry cake mix on top, then cut the butter up into tbsps and lay on top. Place lid on top, and put in the fire pit. Usually takes about 15-20 minutes (depending on how the wood coals are doing). The breakfast burritos are pretty straight forward. Daddio fries the bacon and eggs in the lid of the large skillet, place on tortillas, and top with cheese and salsa... mmmmmm TASTY!

Over the years we've done all sorts of meals in the dutch oven. This time we made up a new one all on our own :-). We cut up potatoes and stick of butter (add salt and pepper to your liking), placed on grill over fire. Daddio grilled a link of sausage for a while, then cut up into sections and threw that into the oven... once the potatoes were nice and soft we added cheese to the top! It made a great side dish for our steaks, and a full meal for the boys! Had we thought of it before hand, I would have tossed in some onion and probably garlic (but alas I didn't bring those items).

Last year we tried a few casserole dishes from Cee Dubs Dutch Oven Show. His show is funny, and all of his food (that we've tried) is very tasty! He cooks with charcoal briquettes instead of fire... so our timing and heat are really much more approximate than his. And we recently stumbled across Primal Grilling! This show is amazing and we've already put into practice some of his techniques!

Just the thought of camping excites my taste buds. Everything tastes different... better when it has been cooked over fire! And really once you have a few simple (well made) tools, the possiblities for meals are endless!

Much needed retreat!

Friday morning we headed out on a much needed camping trip... free from all the trappings of our normal life! No phones, no TV, no electricity... just good ole' NATURE! We ventured to one of our favorite parks in our great big state: Caprock Canyons State Park!

We couldn't have asked for better weather... cool, slightly overcast... PERFECT FALL WEATHER... perfect camping weather! Once we arrived that afternoon, set up camp, grabbed something to wet the old whistle... we did some exploring right around our campsite. The walk through the dry river bed was fun for all. I, the coolest boy mommy ever, found some of the best rocks (which later ended up in my pockets because the boys were wearing windpants sans pockets). The boys followed tracks of all sorts, and mom and dad lagged behind and enjoyed the view.

Saturday morning we got up and Daddio fixed an amazing breakfast... campfire breakfast burritos! AMAZING, my sweet! Then we headed off for the first hike of the day (we thought there would be more than one... more on that later). We hit one of our favorites, Canyon Loop Trail. Like most of the trails at this park, it has a wide girth and is quite easy to follow... it does have a few more challenging ascents and decents... but very doable for our family! Thankfully we have more than just two grown-ups taking pictures along the hike... Bobcat always has an interested eye!
Here you will see me waiting for Snooker to figure out the best way to get down what he probably shouldn't have gone up!
Then there is the actual nature. This trip was filled with fun stuff... a buck in the campsite when we arrived (we had a few sitings of him actually), a doe and her fawns, a bunny (of course), several lizards... and this guy... a tarantula! Seriously people...
Can it get any better than this?

At some point along our hike we decided not to turn around... to just keep going and that this will lead all the way to another parking lot and we could just follow the road back to where we started... trouble was we really didn't know how far we were going because we left the map in the car... no worries though the trail is well marked... FAMOUS LAST WORDS! We kept on even once the wide trail decreased to a very narrow path, which turned into a river bed, then a rocky sort of path... to a ditch and a sad little path on the other side. Daddio did a little recon. and decided that we better just head back because it looked a little too difficult even for us. That was about 2 1/2 hours into the hike. Um yeah... So we turned around and headed back. At some point right after we turned around, Bobcat found this huge (and quite heavy) rock and decided he was going to carry it all the way back to the car... and HE DID!
First let me say that we've never attempted a hike this long, nor did we set out to do such a thing... but our time was -- 3:58:24... NEARLY 4 hours! This last shot could not have come at a better time. Just off in the distance you can make out our big black SUV... for the previous 10 minutes I was certain I was not going to make it... I was looking around for a nice place to lye down and give up! But there on the horizon was the Beast, and we all perked up knowing that we were just mere minutes from its wonderfully comfy seats!

That was the hike to end all hikes for this particular weekend (based on the map, once we arrived back at the car, it was some where in the neighborhood of 9 miles that we traveled)! We headed back to camp, ate lunch (or if you consider 3:45 an early dinner), laid down for a much needed break... built a new fire and made an amazing dinner and dessert! What was on the menu, well let me tell you... steaks, potatoes/cheese/sausage in a dutch oven, and for the end of our evening GF peach cobbler in a dutch oven! PERFECTION!

Are we that stupid?

On one of the morning shows, they actually had an entire segment on cereal and how all those sugary cereals are bad for our kids.

First, raise your hand if you are a parent.

Now, raise your hand if you already knew that those crappy sugary cereals weren't good for your kids...

Thank you... we ALL know that those aren't good for the kids (or ourselves for that matter).

Sidenote: If you didn't know you were basically feeding your kids the equivalent of 6 chocolate chips cookies every morning when you serve them that bowl of cereal... well you just lost your Mommy of the Year award!