Blog Resurrection

Well, by the date of the last post, you would think we just fell straight off the face of the earth!

Not so, we’ve just been…well busy…

Adam is kicking off a new business! Isidro Chocolate is the newest single origin bean-to-bar chocolate in Austin! The Holy Spirit has worked it all according to His timing. We went from not having a foot in a door to start this up six months ago, to new cottage laws passed this session that would allow him to make the chocolate at home and sell at farmers’ markets, to now the prospect of a commercial kitchen where Adam can make his chocolate and sell wholesale and commercially.

I’ve have been doing my own continuing education as mother and wife this summer. I started a monthly class called Homes of Virtue that is specifically on home management. I love it. The woman leading the workshops has a degree from an Opus Dei university in Mexico City in home management…I think that would be my new dream degree! I have a long way to go in managing my home, but I know that streamlining and making that part of my life more efficient will help my homeschool and hopefully teach our child virtues. All service orientated jobs in the world begin in the domestic church. Our children will learn to serve others by how they serve in our home. And through this service they will be trained in virtue. And we if are not teaching our children virtue, by default we are teaching them vice.

The kids just started school last week. We had to detox them from all sugar this week to help the days run more smoothly i.e. less complaining and whining. Funny how taking every sweet treat away can really change a child’s attitude about school. Seriously they are doing much better. It was hard to come to school after a two week vacation, but they are slowing getting used to it.

VACATION!  Some of the highlights:

Sr. Maria Kolbe made her final vows!











Visiting Adam’s grandmother.











Picking and shucking corn.














ART!!!! Monet, Renoir, Serrat, o my! Art Institute of Chicago was awesome!














Jelly Bellies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



















Being at the top of the world at Holy Hill Shrine!











Scaring off all the wildlife with your screams of terror when you catch a fish.











Forced to wear a life jacket all weekend on the boat….but still so adorable!














Kneeling where our Blessed Mother appeared to Sr. Adele at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.
















Visiting Lincoln’s home.










My biker kids.












At the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Museum














Hanging out with Pres. Abe Lincoln, himself.











Fulton’s First Communion

Yesterday our beloved son, Fulton, made his first holy communion! What a beautiful day. Adam taught his religious education class for the last two years. Fulton learned from one of the best. The week leading up we were blessed with many graces including Grandma Gretencord coming for the occasion and Fulton’s 3 day retreat for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd first communicants. May God bless all those who were involved in forming these sweet children.

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St. Gianna Relics

My big girls and I were blessed tonight to attend the presentation of St. Gianna by the founder of the St. Gianna’s Physician’s Guild hosted by the John Paul II Life Center. There was a first class relic (a lock of her hair–and one of only about 20 in the world) and a second class relic (her fetoscope) available for veneration. Since St. Gianna’s still has living family members, namely her children and two siblings. They have custody over her body. So first class relics are rare. The lock of hair was actually cut by her sister at the time of St. Gianna’s death. Her sister who is also a physician happened to be visiting from her mission work in India during that time. The fetoscope was used by St. Gianna. In those times they would “listen” to a baby’s (in the womb) heartbeat by placing one end of the fetoscope on the mother’s womb and the other end on the doctor’s forehead. The doctor would then be able to observe the baby’s heartbeat by feeling the vibrations on her forehead. 

As I was sitting there listening to the presenter tell us about the relics, I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. What a gift to take our little Gianna to learn about her namesake. I was able to bless her and Therese with the relic which was so special for me to do as a mother. St. Gianna is one of my heroes and I hope that she will pray for our family and our Gianna in a special way.

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Brigid’s 1st Birthday

My baby girl turned 1 year old last week. Where did the time go? She is so sweet and delightful. She is a daddy’s girl and still has a place in our bedroom. It doesn’t seem like she’s moving out any time soon. She likes all things carbs, fruit, broccoli and green beans. She loves when her big sister twirls her around. She loves a good game of peek-a-boo. She too is a fan of chocolate and still finds crawling faster than walking.

For her birthday someone gave her a louse. No joke —we had to battle creepy crawly lice a week ago and she had one that I nipped in the bud on her birthday. I also made her a chocolate cake that day to celebrate. I decorated it with little bunny crackers that she finds quite tasty. Of course she ate those off the cake first.

After rescheduling her party a week after the original day, we had her God parents over and some good friends and family to celebrate. I used “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as the theme for the celebration. We had most of the food in the book, but I forgot to take pictures of the cute signs. The big hit was the giant bubble wand and homemade bubble solution that our friend Mark brought.

Happy Birthday sweet Brigid Clare! We love you so much!

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Easter Blessings

Egg painting…lots of baking…tying girls’ hair back so it won’t catch fire at Easter Vigil…Easter Vigil…Lamb’s cake and ice cream…kids up until midnight…transforming our house for Easter and making baskets, up ’til 1:38…kids up at 7:30…hoping the day won’t be a disaster with sleep deprived kids and worse, a sleep deprived mom…resurrection rolls that didn’t all get eaten because kids were full from a mountain of candy…indoor egg hunt since by the time I filled the eggs, it started raining…family…friends…blessings…IMG_2341 IMG_2340
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Texas State Aquarium

I think I’m the only CRAZY for homeschooling mom that would drive 3 and a half hours for a class for my kids. Of course, it helps that I have free lodging there. Otherwise, I’m wouldn’t even dream of dragging 5 kids on a 3 day trip by myself.

So the Texas State Aquarium offers classes for homeschoolers. And they are all at the same time and my bro lives in Corpus. AND he got us a membership to the aquarium since that’s what we’re studying this year. That’s also his secret ploy to get us to visit more often. My kids love their uncles and aunts so that’s really nice. But having to sleep in the same room with all my kids, that made me kind of grumpy.

We had fun though and I think Cecilia was made for the beach! At their class the kids learned about mollusks (for the younger two) and the jetty (for the oldest). The aquarium itself was a treasure of many of the things we have been studying in Apologia’s Zoology II. The kids were able to touch/pet sting rays; hold sea urchins, sea stars and hermit crabs; see 4 of the 7 species of sea turtles we learned about. And we’ll still have more things to rediscover the next time we go. For the next trip, I’m also looking forward to taking the kids to see the replicas of the Columbus ships. We are just studying that in Fulton’s history. Corpus also has a walking scale model of the solar system which would make another fun excursion.

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We always love visiting my sister at the San Antonio Zoo. In February we were down in SA so the older kids could go to the Toyota Factory with Adam. The little girls and I had a day of it at the zoo with their Aunt Nana.

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My Brigid…

…is SOOOO cute! She has the sweetest dimples and the wildest hair!

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Our Cub Scout

Fulton was made for scouting. Even in his young life, he has found his calling! He is a little boy that seeks to serve others. Whenever we are out, he wants to help. When we are at retreats or any place where people are setting up, he is there to help. If we are praying or anywhere there is prayer, he wants to lead.

And he’s still a 7 year old. His derby car was given the “Most Colorful” award. But he sure had fun!

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9 years young

My dear Therese turned 9 earlier this year! It’s so hard to believe…Since this is the year of odds, there was only a family party. We had a great time and she requested an ice cream cake…my first attempt to make one. I think we will go with DQ next time.

She is such a lovely young lady. She is the best helper a mom could ask for. She loves loves loves to read and loves doing art projects. She has devoured the American Girls books. Her favorite character is Molly and she asked for a Molly doll this year. She has an amazing knack for memorizing anything and everything with so little effort. Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite food is Chicken Tortilla Soup and Pepperoni Rolls, but these are only second to candy. She loves twirly dresses and hates socks and pants.
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