Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve and I have a house full of grandkids. We made snacks and the kids are having fun playing together while the adults are watching a movie. Aubrey is sitting on my lap, talking to me while I blog. :o) Uh oh, now I have two little boys playing with blocks at my feet. I love it!

Some of the kids went with me to see Great-Gran this afternoon. She enjoyed having them there so much. Here they are at the gazebo.

They always enjoy taking Teddy for a walk at her place. They were walking in the dry stream bed, playing with the rocks and enjoying the sunshine and just being together.

I made a cake when we got home. A friend from the Catholic board posted a link to some little Christmas candy mice, and I showed them to the girls. They were so excited to make them, and they turned out really cute. I'll show you later. We made some seven layer cookies, too. They took turns doing each layer.

When Josh and Cyrise got here, they brought lots of snacks--a tray of meats and cheeses, sushi and gyoza. We put all that out with some crackers, apples and oranges and some Japanese crackers Kismette brought. We've been snacking all evening. Josh also brought some sparkling grape juice, so the kids can join us in toasting the New Year later.

Some of the kids are starting to get sleepy, but some of them took naps and may make it to midnight.

They are all looking forward to tomorrow, when Great-Gran, Aunt Kelly and Uncle Mike will be here, too, and they can open more Christmas presents. I can't believe how patient they have been.

They were enchanted with Great-Grans little Christmas tree, examining all the little ornaments. We are going to look for a star topper for her tree. All of the kids agree that she has to have a star on her tree. :o)

Tomorrow we will have brisket, savory potato salad, Kelly's Texas beans, green beans, seven grain bread and my black russian cake for dinner. Oh yeah, and black eyed peas. It will be a slow, lazy day and I hope the weather stays pretty so the kids can play outside again.

I hope you are all still celebrating this beautiful Christmas season as well as the beginning of a brand new year. May God bless all of you in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

As The Old Year Fades Away...

We are ready for more Christmas celebration. Our oldest son, Jason, and his family will be here this evening. We will have another Christmas dinner on Friday, New Year's Day. Presents are wrapped and under the tree. I still need to shop for a brisket and the ingredients for the cake I'm making. And I never did make up the beds in the guest bedrooms.

Reece had his dental work done yesterday, and all is well. He had to go to a dental surgery center so that they could put him under anesthesia. He was pretty out of it when he got home around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. I stayed with Aubrey and Camryn while he and his parents were gone. Reece wanted to come home with me, but I told him that he could stay tonight when he feels better and his cousins will be here. I think he will feel like playing by then.

I'm going to Florida with Ron next week, so we're taking Mom to stay with Sandi for the week. She will enjoy the change of scenery, and she will get to see another great-grandchild, Jonah. Yikes, I just remembered I need to pick up a couple of her prescriptions!

Off to do real world stuff.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
cold and clear. We had very strong winds a few days ago that finally blew most of the leaves off the trees (except for the live oaks--they lose their leaves in the spring). It looks like winter now--ugly.

I am thankful...
for the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin at Atonement on Sunday evenings. We went last night, and it was beautiful, as always. I love that church so much. I wish it was closer to us!

I am wearing...
dark blue jeans, brown smock top, soft orange shawl, black socks. I had to take the trash out this morning, so I threw on whatever was handy. :o)

I am remembering...
the year I had pneumonia during Christmas. I was sick for a month, and was so very relieved to be well again when it was over. So grateful to be healthy this year!

I am going...
to wrap more gifts, do some laundry, get the spare bedrooms ready for guests, do a little picking up and cleaning, and go to Mom's.

I am reading...
I started reading Whatever Happened To Penny Candy by Richard J. Maybury last week, but didn't get very far. Too much to do during Christmas week, and I'll be busy this week, too.

On my mind...
found out yesterday that Jason and his family will be here on Wednesday, so there will be more Christmas celebrations when they arrive. As we were driving to Mom's yesterday, I was thinking how glad I am to be Catholic, and to know that Christmas day was just the beginning of Christmas. I am going to treasure each beautiful day of the twelve days of Christmas.

From the learning rooms...
Nothing formal for the next couple of weeks. Reece will have his dental work done tomorrow, his cousins will be here on Wednesday, and I'll likely go to Florida with Ron next week, although I'm still ambivalent about that.

Pondering these words...
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me--four calling birds...

Today is the fourth day of Christmas. Traditionally, the four calling birds are symbols of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself through Jesus Christ.

From the kitchen....
I think we'll have brisket when the kids are here, and I found a recipe for a black russian cake that sounds delicious. Cookie baking and candy making will begin this week, when all the grandkids are here.

Around the house...
it still looks like Christmas. I have a pile of sheets and towels to fold, more laundry to move from washer to dryer, some floors to vacuum, spare rooms to make up for guests.

One of my favorite things...
the "talking" sounds the puppies make. :o)

From my picture album...
Today is the feast day of The Holy Innocents.

It is because Herod believed the words of the Magi and of the high priests whom he consulted that he sees a rival in the Infant of Bethlehem and with jealousy pursues the Child, born King of the Jews. It is this God-King that the Innocents by dying confess. Their passion is the exaltation of Christ.
The Roman Missal, 1962

Then Herod, perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the Prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning: Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matthew 2

Is that not the saddest thing ever? All those little baby boys, killed by the wicked King Herod who hoped that by killing them, he would kill Jesus. It breaks my heart.

Please pray for the Holy Innocents and all of the little ones who are killed in these days, before they even have a chance to be born. They are also Innocents who do not deserve to die. I believe that God's wrath will be great because of abortion. This has got to stop.

(You can see more daybooks at Peggy's site. Click here to visit).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Camryn's First Christmas

"What the heck is going on around here?"

Unfortunately, my pictures of Camryn all came out blurry. I need photography lessons. :o(

In spite of this expression, she had a great time and seemed to enjoy all of the hubbub.

Merry Christmas, Camryn!


A Dolly That Laughs and Cries

Aubrey got a new baby doll for Christmas. It cries real tears, drinks a bottle, makes crying, giggling and babbling sounds, and its face moves like a real baby. It kind of freaks Reece out. Aubrey was a little disturbed by it too, at first. She looks a little worried here. :o)

It didn't take long before she was carrying dolly around and playing with her, though. She was giving it kisses--so cute!

She looks so cuddly in her little blanket sleeper. I got that for her for Christmas, and her Aunt Kelly got her a little dish set (a plate, cup and bowl) that also had Tinkerbell on it. Serendipity. :o)

Here dolly, have something to drink.

Later that evening, she was starting to get sleepy, but still getting into anything within reach. She loves for the puppies to lick her fingers. It makes her laugh.

Christmas froggies. :o) Aubrey was getting too much attention, so Reece came to get into the pictures. They are so wonderful.

Merry Christmas, Aubrey!


My Christmas Cake

I made a sherry nutmeg pound cake for Christmas.

Kelly got me the cathedral bundt cake pan for my birthday last year. I just love it! It makes such a beautiful cake.

It looked just like snow when I sifted the powdered sugar over it. Probably the only snow I'll see this winter, and that's fine by me! :o)

The recipe is here.

Santa Came To Gramma's House!

Reece was delighted to discover that Santa had left even more toys at Gramma and Papa's house. :o)

Reece saw Santa at the mall one day a few weeks ago, and climbed right onto his lap to tell him that he wanted a train set for Christmas.

He got Thomas trains at his house and our house, plus a box of track extensions to make a bigger track. We've all enjoyed playing with the trains. :o)

He also got some Hot Wheels and a Hot Wheels City, and a little rug printed with Radiator Springs and a couple of new Cars cars. He can act out the whole Cars movie on the rug. Trains and cars--boy heaven!

The first thing Reece wanted to do when he woke up this morning (he and Aubrey spent the night) was "Turn on the Christmas tree, Gramma!" The next thing was to play with his trains. Josh pointed out that all of his trains are engines--we need to get him some train cars to pull. :o)

Merry Christmas, Reece!


Great Gran's Happy Christmas

My mom enjoyed Christmas so much this year. As I was driving her home last night she said, "This has just been a wonderful day." It made me so happy to hear her say that.

Here she is with her little dog, Teddy. She loves him so much, and I thank God for him. He keeps her from being lonely, gets her outside to walk, and helps her to make friends. Everyone is crazy about Teddy. :o)

We were looking at pictures yesterday, and I told her that she looks more and more like her Grandma Brewer. After studying the picture for a minute, she agreed.

She and Reece have a very special relationship. They love each other so much, and they are always cracking each other up. Hearing them laughing together is so sweet.

I love how Teddy is looking into her face in this picture.

Maggie the Cat likes Christmas. She loves the wrapping paper, ribbons and boxes, but she does not like having this strange dog in her room (she thinks the living room is hers alone). If Teddy got too close, she would growl at him, and even run at him. He quickly learned to stay away from her. We found one of her claw sheaths stuck in his whiskers. Fortunately, she didn't hurt him.

This picture makes me laugh. Maggie was trying to see him and growling, and Teddy is cowering on Mom's lap.

Merry Christmas, Mom. I love you!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All!

Family and Friends, may you have a blessed and joyous Christmas!

Mom and Josh and his family joined us tonight (Christmas Eve) for dinner. Our tradition is to have Irish potato soup for dinner, with crusty bread. I made cinnamon bread pudding for dessert. Carb overload! But it was yummy.

I always light lots of candles on Christmas Eve. They are everywhere, and I love the soft light. They symbolize for me that The Light Of The World has arrived.

After dinner, the little ones got to open a present or two. Here is Reece, discovering a monster truck from Great-Gran. He loved it! He also opened a package that contained flannel PJ pants and t-shirts to sleep in, but he wasn't much interested in that gift. Toys are where it's at with this boy. :o)

Aubrey's gift from Great-Gran was little Pet Shop animals. She thought it was great fun to open presents. It's hard to get a clear picture of her because she is in perpetual motion.

Those are the little soft-soled shoes I bought her the other day. Aren't they cute?

The Best Baby In The World (Camryn) watched the action from her car seat. She was an absolute love all during dinner and during the present opening. She's such a good, happy baby. Her gift from Gran was a little baby doll. She liked it a lot, and so did Aubrey. :o)

The kidlings were tired after opening gifts, so Josh and Cyrise took them home so they could go to bed and Santa could come. I took Mom and Teddy home around 9 PM. They will all come back over tomorrow for Christmas Day, and Kelly and Mike will be here, too. We'll have dinner and more gift opening.

We're going to the 8 AM Latin Mass, then dinner will be sometime after 1 PM. Josh is making his wonderful prime rib for us, and we'll have scalloped potatoes and caesar salad. I'm making a sherry nutmeg pound cake for dessert (birthday cake for Jesus). There's also ice cream and hot fudge for the kids, in case they don't want cake.

I'm off to dreamland, with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday With Reece

Reece loves the Christmas tree. He likes to just stand and look at it, but even better, he likes to take off the ornaments and play with them. I keep finding different ornaments here and there, and empty spots on the tree. :o) But I don't mind. To him they are not just ornaments, but little toys.

He had so much fun today at Great-Grans. While they played in the bedroom, I baked some little pound cakes in Christmas loaf pans for Mom's neighbors. We took a walk with Teddy while they cooled, and delivered the cakes before we left. He loved taking cakes and cards to each person. He met Miss Jackie, Miss Janie, Miss Della, Miss Pearl and Mrs. Patricia. They all thought he was a sweetheart. Mrs. Patricia gave him some candy, so I think she was his favorite. :o) He told each of them "Merry Christmas!" when we left.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the cutest thing he said! He was looking at the nativity set on the piano, and he touched Mary and said, "Who's that? Mary full of grace?" I love that! I said, "Yes darlin', that is Mary full of grace."

Last night we made a gingerbread house from a kit I bought at HEB. Reece loved putting the little candies on the house. It's a bit messy because I was distracted, having all three kids here while Josh and Ron went shopping, but it was fun, quick and easy. I think we will put it on the dining table as a centerpiece for Christmas dinner.

The house has no chimney because it was broken, and Aubrey ate some of the pieces. :o) I told Reece that the gingerbread house kit is going to be our new Christmas tradition. We will make one every year.

I found out today that our Houston-area grands won't be here for Christmas, but will come next week, so we will be having Second Christmas when they arrive. We are looking forward to our extended holiday.

We are missing some Christmas stockings. I could only find nine of them. Some of them may have been carried away last year, still filled with goodies. Reece likes the Christmas lights on the mantel, since we don't have a tree in the family room.

We will have a quiet Christmas Eve tomorrow. I'll make Irish Potato Soup for supper, and get some crusty bread from the bakery. I'll make cinnamon bread pudding for dessert. I'm expecting Josh and his family and Kelly and Mike for supper, and then we'll open one present each.

No Midnight Mass this year. The Latin Mass will be at 8 AM Christmas morning, and we'll go to that one. Everyone will gather again later in the day, and we'll open gifts. Josh is making prime rib for dinner. We will have either baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, and Caesar salad or some kind of vegetable. And something wonderful for dessert.

I planned to make some candies and cookies tonight, but I think I'll save that for later, when the rest of the family gets here.

Meanwhile, I still have gifts to wrap and things to do. Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the desire of the nations and the Saviour therof, come to save us, O Lord our God. Amen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O Rex Gentium

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, Thou cornerstone that makest both one: come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay. Amen

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
blue,blue skies, sunshine, sharp shadows on the ground. It's cold--36°, but will warm up into the 60s.

I am thankful...
for all my blessings.

I am wearing...
black stretchy pants, long-sleeved black v-neck tee shirt, gold hoop earrings.

I am remembering...
it's been one week since the puppies had their surgery, and they have to go back sometime this week to have their stitches removed. They are doing great. You never would know they had recent surgery.

I am going...
to the BAMC pharmacy. I was there on Friday for over 2 hours and still didn't get my prescriptions. I finally had to leave in order to be home for a delivery at 1 PM. So frustrating! I'll try again today and I'm taking along a lot of patience and a book!

I am reading...
Started one of the books Jason left for us to read, Whatever Happened To Penny Candy (love the title) by Richard J. Maybury.

On my mind...
trying to stay calm and serene, but thinking of all that I want to do before Christmas.

From the learning rooms...
nothing formal until after Christmas, but it's wonderful to watch how the children are constantly learning with no effort at all.

Pondering these words...
"Do you object to the prayer of the Holy Rosary, feeling that the invocations are repetitious? Yes, it is like the manna that fell upon the sand in the desert. The Hebrews became bored with it for the very same reason you point out...every day the same manna, insipid and monotonous. And yet, it sustained their lives!" Venerable Pauline Jaricot, January 1846

From the kitchen...
Tea and cereal with peaches for breakfast.

Around the house...
Many packages to wrap.

One of my favorite things...
the smell of wood smoke.

From my picture album...

From Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts:

Toffee Bar Cookies

1 C butter
1 C light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 C sifted flour
12 ounce package chocolate chips
chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and sifted flour. Mix thoroughly. Spread the dough on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. return to the oven for a minute or two, or until the chocolate chips have melted. Take the baked cookie sheet out of the oven and spread the melted chocolate over it. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Cut the sheet into squares while it is still warm.

Please visit Peggy's site to read other Christmas week daybooks.

Breathe deep, stay away from the frenzy, and focus on what is important. Christ is coming! We are celebrating Him, and that is what matters most.

O Oriens

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Day-Spring, Brightness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen

Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Clavis David

O Clavis David, et Sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner forth from the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Summary

Do you ever get an uneasy feeling that something is not right? You can't put your finger on it, but something just seems "off." I've felt that way all day today. Maybe it's just that I'm trying to fight off a cold or something, but I don't think that's it.

Reece and Aubrey were here last night. We made homemade macaroni and cheese for supper, then went for a drive to look at Christmas lights. They both enjoyed the lights, but Ron and I noticed that there are fewer homes decorated this year than usual.

When we got home I decorated the fireplace mantel with a garland and some colored lights, and hung the Christmas stockings. I need to get a white extension cord to replace the brown one I used. Someone should invent invisible extension cords.

Today I made the little ones chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Reece didn't eat very much. He is not feeling well. We think he may have had a slight fever. He went behind the sectional (we have a little play area there with their toys) and lay down on the floor for a long time. That's not like him at all.

I took him and Aubrey with me to Gran's, and they enjoyed being with her. She is one of their favorite people. :o)

I took Reece home and took Aubrey to get some shoes. I was going to get her a pair of Robeez, but they didn't have any cute ones in her size where I went, so I got a different brand of soft-soled shoes. She looks so cute walking around in them. We were going to get her hair cut at a family salon near their house, but we got there just after they closed at 3 PM. Why would a hair salon close at 3 PM on Saturday? Weird. I was tired by then, so I took her on home.

I have some pansies that Kelly got me for my birthday that I never planted. I want to do that before it gets dark, so better get myself in gear. I love that we can have pansies here all winter long.

*I only got 3 of the pansies planted. The soil was too wet and gooey, so I'll wait another day. Also forgot to publish this post.

O Radix Jesse

O Radix Jesse,qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence, whom the Gentiles shall beseech: come and deliver us, and tarry not. Amen

Friday, December 18, 2009

O Adonai

O Adonai, et dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us. Amen

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One Week To Go!

In one week it will be Christmas Eve. Can you believe it? The time has flown by so quickly!

Hoping to finish up the cleaning and gift wrapping this week so that I can concentrate on the "fun stuff" next week--things like cookie baking, candy making, and the little stocking stuffers and extras. I haven't mailed out a single card, but perhaps will get some finished this evening. Still need to help Mom make something for her neighbors, too. I'm thinking fudge. Everyone likes it, and one batch makes enough for several gifts.

I think I'm coming down with a cold or something, so I've been gargling with hot salt water and using Zicam. This morning I made myself a pot of Earl Grey tea with honey, and enjoyed it so much that I drank 4 cups!

Did some grocery shopping this afternoon (and a little Christmas shopping), and just got everything put away and had a bite to eat.

The puppies are doing great after their surgery on Monday. I just looked at their incisions, and the stitches look good, there is no swelling or anything ugly. They look funny with their tummies shaved. :o)

Ron will be home soon. Where has the day gone! I haven't done a thing in the house. I got the living room looking good yesterday, moved out the Christmas storage boxes, rearranged the furniture a bit, and polished the wood with Orange Glo. Now I just want to sit in there and look at the Christmas tree.

Off to get something done.