Grace is the Center of Everything

This weekend we celebrated Luke's and Will's First Communion. In Catholicism, there are seven sacraments (baptism, reconciliation, eucharist, marriage, holy orders, anointing of the sick). Most Catholics will receive six of these sacraments over the course of their lifetime. The sacraments are signs of God's grace. I love this interpretation from www. AmericanCatholic.org: Grace is God's self-communication with us. Grace is experienced as divine love directly from God. Phew. End of the … [Read more...]

Turn Around and Walk Out: When to leave a full shopping cart

A few weeks Scott left a shopping cart full of merchandise and walked out of the sporting goods store. (Apologies to the clerk who had to put everything away.) Three boys followed him, complaining, and saying what a bad dad he was. In the abandoned shopping cart was baseball equipment: pants, helmet, socks. All items that were needed for a tournament the next day. Leaving the full cart was no small feat of parental fortitude because the past two months  have been filled to the brim with … [Read more...]

I know that Easter is over. . .

I realize Easter was a month ago but it has been such a crazy time around here that I'm just now getting to this post. Besides, in the Catholic Church Easter is a 50 Day CELEBRATION extending from the Easter Vigil until Pentecost Sunday! I so love how these holidays are not over in just one day even though our culture wants us to move on to the next one! Easter is my favorite holiday so I'm okay reliving the moments from it. You can't hype the weeks before Easter because it is LENT. Lent is … [Read more...]

. . .and they all talk at once.

The hardest part about being a mom. . .and especially as a mom of multiples. . .is that my children seem to talk to me at the same time. This phenomena is very similar to when you watch someone check their phone and almost instinctively you have to check yours as well. Or maybe like a yawn. . .talking for them is contagious. Once they hear or sense (because they could be in a totally different part of the house) someone talking to me they also have something to say that cannot wait. Usually … [Read more...]

Opt out of the STAAR Test: Some Parents are doing just that

What if the state of Texas threw a high stakes test and nobody showed up for it? This week begins the first round of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). At the elementary level, this mandated test requires that all third, fourth and fifth graders take the test. Supposedly, fifth graders need to pass the test in order to be promoted to the sixth grade.  Last year 25% of the fifth grade students who took the STAAR test failed. But did you know that there is a … [Read more...]

Monday Meal: Squash with Pork

I love that the name of this recipe starts with a vegetable and then mentions the meat--as if the meat is a complement to the squash. The Spanish name for this is Calabacita con Carne de Cerdo and this particular recipe comes from my mother-in-law who daily fed eight children! Yellow squash was on sale last weekend at the grocery store so I bought some. This is a wonderful recipe to have in the summer when your garden (or those of your neighbors) runneth over with squash and zucchini. I think … [Read more...]

Reach for the Stars: McDonald Observatory

"Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us -- there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries." Carl Sagan Yesterday I encouraged you to swim with the fish--the catfish and minnows of Balmorhea State Park. Don't leave this area of West Texas quite yet because you are about to look up into the heavens and be amazed. A mere 40 minutes away from Balmorhea … [Read more...]

Let the Kids Swim with the Fishes–Balmorhea State Park

Minnows dart around your legs. Black catfish slyly seem to circle around your body. If you are a kid it doesn't get much better than this! Welcome to Balmorhea State Park. Only five hours from San Antonio, it was our first (and for the under 10 travelers their favorite) stop on our Spring Break RV tour. You can see my overview post here. Blamorhea hosts the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool. The pool covers almost 1.75 acres and it stays a nice cool 72-76 degrees year round. … [Read more...]

Hit the Road, Jack. . .Renting an RV for Spring Break

We're impulsive people. During the Christmas holidays, facing a 15 hour drive to Denver,  we seriously contemplated buying a used RV from Craigslist. Food. . .Potty Breaks. . .Movement. . .naps in a bed. . . we figured we'd cut that drive time in HALF. Then the adult voice of reason overwhelmed the egg-nogged drunk voice of "Let's DO IT!" and we decided that we first better rent one and see if this was the answer to our travel prayers. So for Spring Break Scott rented us a 31 footer that … [Read more...]

Monday Meals: Chicken Burgers with Panko Bread Crumbs

A friend recently revealed that she will NEVER buy meat that has a discount sticker on it. If it is close to the expiration date, she won't even think about purchasing it. I, on the other hand, tend to scour the meat section for that sweet orange label that says 25% off and stock up my freezer. Lately the ground chicken has been wearing that orange sticker so I've been experimenting with recipes that can use or substitute ground chicken. The beauty pictured above got RAVE REVIEWS from the … [Read more...]