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

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer....So, so close

We are still finishing up with our school year...but I'm thinking about all the fun activities that we will enjoy this summer...
Grandma's hand-made creation
and the fruit...we love the summer fruit!
and tasty treats...we love tasty treats!

And gardening...and fun adventures...and ice cream making...and swimming...and reading...and reading...and reading while enjoying tasty treats...

Hand-made by Butterfly
I've been thinking about our 2011 Summer Fun List....just a tiny break to day-dream about the summer...now back to work.  Summer.  It's so, soooooo close.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

~ Light Bulb Moments ~

Ah-ha!  This week, Little Lamb has had a few "light bulb moments"  - where things become concrete...I love being there to share these little steps on the never ending staircase of knowledge...
In Science we had studied about energy, forces & motion; her comments to all this new information was "no wonder it's so hard to walk up a hill; because gravity is pulling you down!"  (big smile, wide eyes, slight tilt to the head).
And her matter-of-fact comment to addition problems "Anything plus zero is like bouncing into a rubber mirror - it stays the same number."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

~ First Holy Communion ~

Little Lamb made her First Holy Communion on the 22nd of May...Is there anything else that can give a parent such joy and comfort as when witnessing this holy union?  It was a blessed and beautiful day!

Everything was beautiful...the liturgy, the children...everything.
Hand-made with love by one of the mothers...beyond beautiful!!

I've never seen, nor tasted, anything so incredibly and tastefully delicious...in a word ~ heavenly.

Try as I may, I could not get this pic to turn...so just tilt your head to the left. :o)

Little Lamb...her soul is white as snow.

Friday, June 3, 2011

~ Experiments ~

Making Rainbows...

Dry Ice with...mystery concoction
Chemical Reactions...

 Also, results from "National Doughnut Day"...delish!

Butterfly's home-made donuts with glaze

Thursday, June 2, 2011

*O* National Doughnut Day *O*

Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Doughnut_Day
Although we've never "celebrated" National Doughnut Donut Day, it seemed like a good thing to do after attending our final First Friday Mass for Home-school families before the summer kicks off...
There are a lot of stores offering free doughnuts tomorrow - Friday.  We will be making our own slightly healthier versions ,which I actually enjoy much more!  We make both the Cake Donuts (with nutmeg & cinnamon) and the
Chocolate Cake Donuts
1 1/2 C flour
1/3 C unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 C confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp HOT water
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Combine first five (dry) ingredients.  In separate bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick.
Combine milk and butter. 
Combine egg mixture and flour mixture, alternately, until smooth & soft.  Spray pan lightly with cooking oil.  Fill donut cooking pan with batter 2/3 full.
Bake 8 minutes.  Cool.  Remove to plate - Frost or glaze, use sprinkles if desired...savor with a good cup of tea or café!

~ Alpha & Beta ~

princess Popcorn at cocktail hour
Meet princess Popcorn,

our one year old West Highland White Terrorist puppy.  She's spry and very playful.  Her favorite things to do, are chasing feathers and chewing on rawhide bones - preferably bones the size of herself or larger.  She thinks BIG.  Popcorn has a younger (by only 2 days) sister, Fräulein Rosenheim, or Rosen for short. 

Fraulein Rosenheim
Rosen is an 80+ lb. German Shepherd pup.  Now, Rosen's favorite things to do are chase balls and lovingly chew on Popcorn's head.  Lovingly.  They really are great pals.

Game On!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

~ Twenty-first Anniversary ~

"I will love you and honor you all the days of my life...."

"to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part..."

Wow, I can't believe that we are already celebrating our 21st Wedding Anniversary...amazing!
Tonight, we will celebrate with a special dinner...out!
At first I thought it would be nice to stay home - the children made us a very romantic and lovely Italian-themed dinner last year - with music & dancing and delicious food hand-made with much love.  However, tonight we dine out...and I'm looking forward to dining downtown this evening.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

~ Remembering those who gave their All! ~

Arlington National Cemetery
Eternal Rest, Catholic Prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

"Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
                                                          ~ John 15:13

Thursday, May 26, 2011

~ Priestly Ordination ~

"With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God..."
       "Ordination to the Sacred Order of Presbyters
              Through the laying on of hands
                     And the invocation of the Holy Spirit..."  

On Saturday, May 14th, 2011 at 10:00 in the morning, our friend was ordained.  LAUS DEO!!!

Deacon...soon to be priest

Our new Priest...
 It was a glorious day...    

Time to CELEBRATE...
His First Holy Mass...the Mass of Thanksgiving
was said at our parish, the following day (thanks to our most wonderful pastor, and mentor to our new priest)....our family was honored, when asked by Fr. R. to bring up the gifts, along with his sister who traveled all the way from Poland to be with her brother - the Father.  It was a very beautiful and reverend Holy Mass - the MC (Master of Ceremonies) was a seminarian and friend of our new priest.  Seminarian L, did an amazing and flawless job - what a Mass, what a Celebration!
Rev. R.D.

After the Holy Mass, and the special blessing*, we held a reception for Fr. R.
In gratitude, we gifted Rev. R.D. with priestly vestments.
We were honored and grateful to have Fr. R. celebrate his First Holy Mass
at our parish...and we look forward to the blessings and fruitfulness this new priest will bring to us through the sacraments, especially through the Holy Eucharist.

The table is set...let us Celebrate!
*A Plenary Indulgence is granted to those who venerate the hands of a newly ordained priest and receive this special blessing.  Under the usual conditions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

~ Mother's Day ~

M is for May, Mother, Marnier & Mimosa...Mmmmm!
Mother's Day 2011

Upon awakening, my eyes were delighted to find the following surprises awaiting me on my Mother's Day...
A lovely Brunch...

~ Orange Star ~
A gift from my First Communion children

~ Mother's Day Brunch Menu ~
  • Shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce
  • Lox, lightly toasted bagel with capers & cream cheese
  • Blossoms everywhere!
  • Chocolate covered eclairs
  • (Classic) Bon-bons
  • Refreshing Mimosas
  • Fresh strawberries & blueberries over pound cake, topped with whipped cream and a splash of Grand Marnier

Hanging basket
place to sip tea, read & pray...

Every Day is a Mother's Day...Feeling very Blessed!
May Crowning 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May ~ Mary's Month

~ May Crowning ~
I teach the First Communion CCD class at our parish.  The First Communion children lead the procession and crown all the statues of Mary at our church - starting in the courtyard with Our Lady of Lourdes...then Our Lady of Fatima....and Our Lady of Grace.  This is a wonderful and lovely Catholic tradition.  We invite all to bring flowers from their gardens.  "O Mary!  We crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May."

Fresh roses at the feet of Mary, Our Mother,
 as she holds the child Jesus

Fifty Days of Easter Joy...

Well, we have really been celebrating the Easter Season and all the joys and blessings that spring forth from the Month of May:  Mary Devotions and May Crownings, Mother's Day, Priestly Ordinations and First Holy Communion!

Welcoming Hydrangeas on the porch
~ This Year's Menu ~  (looks a lot like last year's menu, and year's before, and ...)

~*~ Appetizers ~*~
Sliced deli salami with fresh crisp cucumbers
Smoked salmon with flatbread (croccantini) crackers
Calamata & green olives with feta
Roasted shrimp cocktail
Stuffed mushrooms

Easter Decor

~*~ Entrees ~*~
Green Salad (SIL)
Fresh Bread (SIL)
Lamb (couldn't find non-halal lamb early enough)
Deviled eggs (sis & mom)

more Easter decor...

~*~ Desserts ~*~
Fresh strawberries with whipped cream
Lamb cake
Home baked cookies, cookies & cookies
Heavenly chocolates

I borrowed the (above) Hanging Easter Egg decoration idea from Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight (great blog for resources on organization & fun, lovely & creative ideas).
one year since the house was blessed

Chocolate Sacred Heart of Jesus

ProsciuttoWrapped Asparagus

almost ready to put in the oven...

Coming soon:  More Month of May Joys to share... 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Celebrations

Heavenly Chocolates

Butterfly's white cake from scratch - delish!

Solid white chocolate lamb

Stuffed Mushrooms ~ a family favorite, prepared by Butterfly & Little Lamb

Fresh Strawberries ~ another Easter favorite

Coconut?  Little Lamb loves these...they're kinda fun.

Festive Easter Napkins

Easter Reads & Activities

Coloring Easter Eggs (with secret messages)

We are so thankful for our family that came to visit and share a meal together.
Good Food ~ Good Times ~ Great Memories