"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy will." ~ Luke 1:38

Monday, June 30, 2014

~ Around the Home ~

I love to decorate for the Fourth of July.

We are a very patriotic family and celebrating the Fourth is always time spent with family and friends, usually with the same enthusiasm.

I fell very ill last week and have been slowly recovering.  My children, especially my Butterfly, have been nursing me back to health and taking very good care of me.  I am one, very blessed lady.

My husband gets good points, too.  He came home in the middle of the day/week to brighten up the "convalescent" room with a lovely bouquet of flowers. 

My decorating began, before I fell ill...and I am glad that I was able to get the Easter decorations down and the Fourth of July decor up before I became too sick to do anything.  
Some things old, some things new, some old things in new places.

Besides, I wanted to get things in place before the World Cup USA vs Portugal game.  We should have won that one.  Oh well.  I had both patroness set out, no surprise it ended in a tie.

Patroness of the Americas: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of Portugal:  Our Lady of Fatima
(Although I believe that both countries invoke The Blessed Virgin Mary - Immaculate Conception as their principle patroness).

Everyone brought lots of great dishes and we supplied some All American Hot Dogs and Portuguese Sausages...American...Portuguese...that was my husband's idea.  It was his and the teens party; I was just asked not to bring out the 'fancy' dishes and to use paper plates.  No dishes?  Why, sure.  You cook?  Oh-K.  No problema.  
We had some trimmings for the dogs & sausages and a few appetizers and snacks...and chili.  I love chili.  And I love it, even better, when someone else makes it.

Our friends baked and brought some fabulous homemade desserts...as well as a delicious store bought for two birthdays that we celebrated.  Happy 9th & 14th dear friends!
We can't forget the Red Velvet cake...

Just some things that have been happening around the home...


Linking up to Catholic Bloggers Network:  Family Journal Edition

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Twenty-Four Years {p,h,f,r}

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for some pretty, happy, funny & real stuff...

My husband and I have just celebrated our Twenty-Fourth Wedding Anniversary.  To celebrate, we flew to New York.  Why New York?  My husband had a business trip to NY planned for the following week, so we decided to take advantage of the travel opportunity.   

It was an absolutely wonderful getaway...

I have been to New York once before.  The first visit was a stop over on our way to Rome.  We ended up having Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and visiting ground zero and the Empire State Building, among other things.

This trip was also jammed packed with fun...lovely, exquisite dinners; Yankee's Game at Yankee Stadium via Grand Central Station; Horse-drawn carriage ride; NY City World Trade Center Memorial Site; St. Peter's Church; Times Square; and of course, Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan.

So without further ado...

It may seem very touristy, but this is the best way to see Central Park.  It is so pretty & BIG.  We had such a blast.  At the end, it started to rain, and the driver pulled over and set up the canopy...IT WAS LOVELY.  It could not have been a more perfect ride.  HAPPY 24TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!


As a kid, I have always wanted to go to a Yankees game.  It just seems so All-American.  Well, my dream came true...

Funny, so many people asked me if my husband and I were going to the theatre while in NY...to me, this was quite the show.  And we WON!  Happy, happy, happy.
There were also the fun perks of enjoying a 'foot long' and washing it down with an ice cold 'beer here' (imagine saying this, loudly, with a NY accent).


I have been to Roma four times...this reminded me of the little cafes and ristorantes that we frequented.   The very large cannoli was unreal!  And the mini ones were delicious! :D 


Of course, we went to Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  The Choir was beautiful (almost as wonderful as our Children's Cathedral Choir).  
His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York celebrated the Holy Mass.  His Homily was inspiring.  At first he began by apologizing for the condition of his church...then he mentioned that one of the con-celebrating priests was visiting from Egypt.  He went on to explain that the priest, also, had a church that was under repair...however, because of vandalism and terrorists.  Cardinal Dolan humbly thanked the visiting priest...

The last time I attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, it did not have all the scaffolding.  It is a truly a magnificent Cathedral.  You can read more about the restoration of this beautiful iconic landmark here.

More {REAL}

Honoring the victims of the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001

If you are a new visitor, Welcome!  I hope you find something pretty, happy, funny or real here on my little blog.  For more {phfr} times, visit Like Mother, Like Daughter

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

~ Table Manners ~

I was so tempted to purchase this sign...but the frugal part of me said that I could make this myself...but then the (alpha) procrastination part of me laughed. 

So, I think I will print it out on some pretty card-stock and frame it...or better yet, just pin it to our kitchen bulletin board.  

Because the occasional reminders are still needed: 

Wouldn't these make great place mat holders?!?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

~ Airing Our Dirty Laundry ~ {phfr} style

I am always trying to find new ways to run an efficient household.  Constantly moving, changing, adding, removing...

As our family grows & ages, new techniques and ideas are needed in order to keep things streamlined; which is a perpetual goal of mine.

It always centers around "Simplify".  This is the key; keep things simple.  

Rather than spending hundreds on organizational gadgets & boxes & shelves & baskets, I keep those that work, while I move out those items that don't (or no longer) fit our needs.  This should help my laundry challenged child with her sorting limitations.


The black binder clips may not look pretty, however, they get the job done; and they were free.  Win-win.  Done.  Next...


Our Home School group organized a fun Spring Formal Dance...

My Conductor & Butterfly looked pretty fabulous...If I do say so myself. :o)
How did these 'little' people, all of a sudden, become taller (& smarter) than me?  
'In the blink of an eye'...so very true.  

I am truly enjoying my children and I do not regret a single day of staying at home with them.  Those that questioned my husband and I and our wanting to take them everywhere with us; those that did not understand that we did not care to leave them to babysitters, daycare centers, ...so that we could 'take time for ourselves' or not give up 'my career'.  I say to you...I do not regret our decision.  Nope.  I do not regret a single second of staying at home with my babies.  Neither do I regret all the sacrifices or exhausting toddler (and now teen) days.  LOL.  I love how they now gently encourage me to go and take a nap...so sweet.

Did I ever want to pull my hair out?  Yes.
Did I ever want to quit being their teacher (or 'mama-teacher' as they used to call me).  Oh, ya.  There were days that I was tempted to throw in the towel.  Home schooling is not for the faint of heart.  It is also, not for everyone.  

And now...here they are, my oldest two, heading off to a teen dance.  Very much a lady and a gentleman.  Two creatures that I love with all my heart and am so very proud of...
In the blink of an eye.  Guardian Angel...please continue to keep them in your care.

Speaking of mamas...a Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there!
You are to be honored, appreciated and thanked!!


I just love this bible verse:

A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  When it snows, she has not fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  ~ Proverbs 31: 10-30
A few of my favorite things:  Champagne, Chocolate, Flowers &
my Husband (it doesn't hurt that he is doing the dishes, either) O:o)

This lovely, large & lanky bird was spotted on the roof of a neighbor's house.  Maybe it wasn't too funny the gift that it left behind...(ahem).

If you are visiting for the first time, Welcome! I hope that you found something {pretty}, {happy}, {funny} or {real} here on my little blog.  For more {phfr} times, visit Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Speaking of LMLD...have you not purchased your THE LITTLE ORATORY book?  I am waiting for the upcoming, long weekend, so that I may savor every page in peace...I allowed myself one little peek.  Can't wait!!!

You can also visit other Family Journals over at Catholic Bloggers Network.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

~ The Easter Eggstravaganza & Menu ~

Have you moved on from Easter...?  Even though we celebrate for 50 days, here are some pics from our Easter Morning.  I am SO BACK-BLOGGED!

Every year we like to celebrate with the same delicious fare...maybe we add a couple new dishes & decor, in order to keep things a little interesting.  But we always, ALWAYS, serve the dishes we love and crave.  Including:

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

(not pictured) Macaroni Salad, Mandarin Orange Salad, & Quinoa
More Easter fare...

Grandma's Jello & Auntie's Peep Cookies

Mouth-watering, soft, warm, Buttery Pretzels...(from Good Friday)

Liquid Refreshments & Libations...
From the grandpa to the youngest, there was something for everyone!

The Decor...

The Easter Baskets...
Simple & Sweet
The Easter Bonnet...


Finger-pointer:  Do your school work!
Confused Child:  School work?!  What's that??
Finger-pointer:  Guess!

Confused Child:  Is it something that you do on Google+???

cartoonists:  Conductor, Little Lamb & the mama - we just kept adding to the fun, til it was done.   :o)


I cannot express how delighted I was to receive this gift...absolutely wonderfully made, lovely hand-made napkins.  They were a gift from my sister-in-laws mother.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am still excited.  Can you tell?  It was an incredibly thoughtful and generous gift...and I just LOVE THEM!!!

If you are visiting...Welcome!  I hope you found something pretty, happy, funny, or real here on my little blog.  For more {phfr} times, visit Like Mother, Like Daughter.

You can also visit other Family Journals over at Catholic Bloggers Network

~+~ Blessings ~+~

Friday, April 18, 2014

~ Welcome Home ~

~ Welcome ~

To my Catholic Family Journal...and journey.

On Saturday, at the Easter Vigil, several men and women will be received into the Church.  This is such an exciting and sacred time - The Easter Triduum.  

We have been preparing for Easter, during this Lenten season.

Today, Good Friday, is the only day we do not celebrate the Holy Mass.  This is a sobering thought.  No Holy Mass.  {{{I shiver}}}.  

Additionally, this time is special to me, because on April 21st, I will celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of my little cyber-journal.  My blog.  Which was dedicated to Our Mother, Mary.  And to Christ, Our Savior and Redeemer.  

As my children and I look back on our posts, we are reminded of all the joys we share together - as a family, and through our Faith.  

For the first year or so, I kept this blog private.  Very private.  I still do...But, after much prayer & time, I opened the door to our little world.  

Sharing a peek into our Catholic home.  I am happy that I have guests that visit us here.  It is not my goal to try and capture hundreds or even thousands of readers.  It is my goal to share my love...my family and my Faith.  As imperfect as we are.

Sharing the Catholic Faith.  The Catholic Church is such a gift.  No one can really explain....It is something that needs to be experienced.  Because even the pain and suffering is all for a greater glory.

I am so thankful for the gift that my parents gave me...The Catholic Faith.  So rich.  So full.  So home...thank you for your visit.  You are welcome to come over...anytime!

Welcome Home - Click Here

Thursday, April 10, 2014

~ phfr: Seeing Stars ~

Linking up to Like Mother, Like Daughter to share some pretty, happy, funny and real times...


Birthday flowers for my Fifteen year old...my Butterfly!  She is a gentle and sweet girl.  Correction:  She is a young lady with a gentle heart and sweet soul.  I love you, sweetie!  xoxoxo, mom

My Butterfly celebrated her FIFTEENTH Birthday this month...It was another birthday extravaganza.  On her actual birthday, we celebrated with just our familia.  But on Sunday, we had her teen friends over for lunch and then a movie...

Super moist Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries and a Dark Chocolate Ganache
The recipe for the cake can be found here.  It can be used for a Fourth of July Celebration.  Or, leave the red, white and blue decorations off, for a simply impressive 'plain' Chocolate Cake. 

Then again, you can add some fresh berries to give it an interesting look and exciting texture.  Either way, this cake is amazing.


Little Lamb:  (teasingly) Mom, I'm going to raise Catholic Chickens!

Me:  Huh!???!  (turning, abruptly, to face her)

Little Lamb:  (as she spreads out the 'Catholic' News Paper)  
Ya!  See; So they can read Catholic material.  :o)  Tee-hee

And they actually looked as if they were reading the paper!!!
It was hilarious!


'Sisters' inspired by White Christmas 

Go to Like Mother, Like Daughter to find more contentment...

Linking up to Catholic Bloggers Network's Link-Up Blitz
~ Family Journal ~