Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Reader extraordinaire
Quick to learn and incredibly intelligent
Amazing memory
Cheerful, generous and so obedient
Lover of Christian music and Life Teen Mass
Singing self-made praise and worship while he works
Talented LEGO master
A smile and a laugh for everyone
Mature beyond your years and responsible

Oh, Jacob it is hard for me to believe that you are already nine. It struck me today that you are halfway to eighteen - I don't want to think about that too often. I have enjoyed my nine years with you and I am not ready for your years here at home to be over. I cannot imagine a day in this home without your presence. You have been a delight to my heart all these years and I cannot wait to see what God unfolds for you in the years to come. You are a wonderful boy in more ways than I could list above. Often times after you are all in bed Mom and Dad marvel at what a great boy you are (as well as your brothers and sister). I pray that I will always treat you with the awe and wonder and love that I felt that December morning I met you for the very first time. You are precious to me and I love you.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Treat Again

Just a note!

I am making another little cutie bag like this one. It is made from some of this fabric line - Objects of Desire. It is a great little bag for a summer clutch, a makeup or jewelry bag or even a bag for a smaller Bible, prayer book and/or Journal.

I am willing to sell this one. Let me know if you want it. I am thinking $20.

I will post photos maybe tomorrow.

I see the pounds coming!

Yesterday afternoon and evening, I paged through Christmas cookbooks, Christmas magazines and recipes and made my Christmas baking list. I am either positively ambitious or positively dumb for making such an extensive list.

M & M Cake Cookies (made these last week - we ate some and I froze the rest)

Mama's Sugar Cookies (next week with a friend and her family)

Grandmother's Fudge

Cherry Almond Bars or Raspberry Bars (not sure yet)

Sandies and/or Jam Thumbprints

Orange Sable Cookies (I might drop the Sandies for these - Brian requested something orange)

Chocolate Covered Ritz (we bought a premade box at Kroger and Nicole and I fell in love - so easy to recreate)

And, of course, once Jessica mentioned Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Balls yesterday and then posted the recipe today, those were quickly added to the list. I had everything to just make a half batch. So easy! You could even add Christmas sprinkles on top for fun. And.......well, I took a sneaky bite before they were completely set and I would have to say THEY ARE WELL WORTH MAKING!!!!

I so love Christmas baking. But seeing as I have my monthly OB appointment tomorrow (almost 16 weeks), I think I will postpone the rest of my Christmas poundage until after I weigh in. Won't have to see that darned scale till mid January!

Also, I am making a soup in the crockpot today that just seems like it will be wonderful. I'll let you know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hanging On

This sickness, I mean.

Yes, we still have sickness here. It hit Nicole the hardest (I think because she was exhausted and worn out from Nutcracker) and her 104.6 spike in temp last Wednesday late night warranted a visit to the doctor. By then Andrew had a fever too so I took him along for the "two-fer" special. Andrew threw up in the exam room - so much fun. I think that was a combination of not eating much, having a fever and watching out the windows four stories up for too long. :) They swabbed Nicole for flu - negative - and checked her for several other things. Just arrived at the conclusion it was a bad virus. She was better finally by Friday afternoon, but she is still tired and bit whiny. Andrew and Michael developed barking coughs last Thursday or Friday - Michael first with no fever attached. Andrew had breathing issues early Saturday morning, but that was resolved and did not recur the next morning. Their coughs sound better now - not barky - but now Michael decided to run some fever last night during the night. So here we are, a week later, and still chugging along. Today we resumed school for the older ones so we can get a good bit accomplished before Christmas. We'll see how that goes. I am praying Jacob stays sickness free as he has so far. Saturday is his birthday party with friends. Even through all this virus stuff, there is still hope. After all it is Advent. There is cause for hope. There is joy in seeing that God never lets us down, never abandons us. It could be far worse - right? Happy Third Week of Advent!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sewing during Sickness

Well, it is sad that Nicole has been sick the past couple of days. Today she is doing much better with next to no fever. This surprised me since during the night she had about a 103 degree temperature. Hopefully no one else follows suit, but if they do maybe (please, Lord) this can be it till after Christmas. Our two major sources of sickness end by Sunday - Co-op and Nutcracker. Not to make it sound like these are germ infested places.

The good thing about having a sick child (and not a terribly sick one) is that we haven't had to go anywhere and we haven't done school yesterday or today. Thus, I have been able to get some sewing done. I guess I could have been doing lots of cleaning instead - nah!

I completed the Texas flag quilt I alluded to in my post yesterday. We have some sweet friends from Church that moved here a couple of years ago from the east. Next week they will be moving back. I had been thinking I would like to make them a little something to remember Texas and all the wonderful friends they made in our parish. The flag idea was my favorite and while I knew I could do it, I kept putting it off. It would require some serious thinking. So yesterday I began it and finished it - minus the star which I put on this morning.

Approximately 11' x 16 1/2"
Before I began, I got online and looked up the "regulations" for the size of the Texas flag so I could get my ratios right. That took some math on my part! I made it from a variety of 1 1/2" and 2" strips that came entirely from my scrap bucket and my stash. Actually, I didn't buy anything to make this quilt. I even had the bluebonnet fat quarter in my stash and it was perfect for the backing! I quilted it with straight lines in matching colors. I think that is some of the first straight line quilting I have done in a long time. This morning I used a cookie cutter to trace the star. I fused it on and then did two rows of stitching (very slowly) close to the outside edges of the star. Done! I am really proud of how it turned out and I hope they like it.

(oops - I forgot to blot out the blue tracing marks)

Then today, after finishing the star on the flag, I was feeling inspired to finish another project. Several weeks ago I had begun to construct a cute little bag called a "Sweet Treat Bag". I wasn't very far along with it, but it was such an easy little bag that I was able to pick it up today and finish it by lunchtime. I bought the little "Sweet Treat" box pictured below at the Quilt Show in October. I really didn't care so much about the tiny little 10 piece honey buns inside, I just wanted the pattern for the bag I saw next to it!!! So cute!!!

And here is the bag!

I found a bunch of these little boxes in another shop later in the day and I sifted through them to pick out the ones with my favorite fabrics - again, it really wasn't about the fabrics. I think this little honey bun was the Spring Magic line by April Cornell. It was so easy to make and of course now I have another little sweet treat to make with the other roll of fabric. I think this little bag will go to one of my sisters for Christmas (hope she's not reading). Won't it make a cute clutch or make-up bag? I am pleased with how it turned out too. And now that I have the pattern, just think of the possibilities!

So these are my little sewing adventures over our couple of sick days. What else can I do? OK. Maybe laundry. Nah!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Correct me if I am wrong, OK?

Is it only native Texans that would think to design a Texas flag mini quilt to give to a non-native Texan moving back out of state?

Do people in Idaho do this sort of thing?

Or is just us wacky Texans?

Just wondering.

Photos will follow - maybe tomorrow.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It really did snow!

Well, you have to look closely at the above photo to see it, but it really did snow here in Houston. What a wonderful thing! These photos are from around two in the afternoon - about the last time it snowed for the day. It snowed much more that morning, but we were at our homeschool co-op and not at home. The kids all got to see the snow at co-op and were thrilled at the huge flakes that were falling! It wasn't cold enough where we were for the snow to stick at all. It seems more of the snow fell and stayed on the ground to the slight north and west of us. So it wasn't quite as good as our December snow last year, but we'll take it anyway. I just hope the kids don't get too used to this down here in Houston.

After all, we don't have white Christmases in Houston!
Photos from last year's Dec. 11th snow and our actual ONE White Christmas in 2004!

Advent and Christmas Around the Harrington Home

Welcome to the Harrington Home!

This is our very first Christmas in our new home and we are all decked out (minus some lights in the bushes and a new floodlight for our front yard kneeling Santa)!

Come join me for a tour!

Greeting you at the front door....

This is the same old garland and the same old wreath we had at the other house for years. But this year it got a face lift. I removed all the faded red and gold ribbon and the sad, sad red and gold Christmas ball ornaments. This year I outfitted both with brand new red and white ribbons (on 50% off at Hobby Lobby) and red and silver jingle bells (40% off at Kirkland's).

I really love how bright and cheery they turned out. You know I am all about bright!

Once you come in, you see our Advent table and calendar in the hall and the lovely tree in the den. There were other places we could have put the tree but I loved that you could see it from the front door here - and just about everywhere else for that matter!

Looking up you see our banisters. This took some thinking and planning. In our old house I used fake pine greenery garlands and some red and green wooden beads and red and green plaid bows. Time for bright I thought! I decided I was tired of shedding greenery so I dreamed up what you see. I bought 6 yards of red tulle at Hobby Lobby for $1.09/yard and cut it in half lengthwise, giving me 36 feet! I bought the two rolls of shiny red ribbon half price at Hobby Lobby and got busy making five new bows. I love how it turned out!

I think I already shared the photo of our Advent table, but here it is with the candles in the wreath! They are perfect! I even found a short string of purple lights at Hobby Lobby (not on sale) to add to the wreath. Then over the weekend I hung the Nativity quilt Brian's mom made us several years ago. Perfect!

While in the front entry way, you can see the rest of the banister and then go on in to the dining room (we still have no table - someday!). We will use a folding table when we host my family on Christmas Day!

In the dining room I added this little six foot slender tree. I got it for $20 at Wal-Mart and it is really nice. I had bought one last year at Big Lots with the same intentions and I took it right back. It looked just like the sad little Charlie Brown tree. My sister-in-law has a wonderfully decorated similarly shaped tree in her kitchen eating area and I have loved it! I am so happy to have one. I decided to go with one of my favorite color combinations, red and aqua. I spent maybe $15 on ornaments half price at Hobby Lobby, a little for lights and $1 for 4 aqua snowflakes at Target. I even added some of the left over red tulle at the top. I'm not sure that will stay. Overall I really like it. It will be fun to add to each year.

The only other thing in the dining room is this antique sideboard my sister gave me. It is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. Over it I draped a lovely red table runner my mom passed on to me and then I thought it was just the right spot for these lovely little candle rings I had various places in the other house. I put one up on an old glass cake stand. I might have to look for some new clearance Christmas candles. The cream one is just a used extra candle I had on hand.

As you go from the dining room on into the kitchen, you'll say a favorite display that I have always loved putting in my kitchen. I bought our Santa Cookie plate at the Christmas Bazaar at our parish and have added to my little theme since then. During the season, I store cookies, etc. in the little jars and tin. What fun!

On the bar between our kitchen and den, I found the perfect new home for my snowman collection. This is one of my favorite collections to add to year after year. I always find some cute little half price Santa at Hobby Lobby. I have even found some at Kroger before! I love this display. The snowmen make me sooo happy and remind me of my best friend, whom I dearly love and who dearly loves stick arm snowmen. Here's to you, Robin!

Right next to the kitchen and eating area, we placed our Christmas tree. The children had such fun decorating it this year. It is such a joy to watch them already ooh and aah over all the ornaments as they remember their different favorites. It is wonderful as usual and full of so many memories and joys. I love where we put it!

Next to the tree is the fireplace and mantel. Our mantel is really big and really deep and there is an electrical outlet up there. I still haven't hung anything on the back wall and didn't feel like hanging my Christmas quilt there for just a month, so it remains blank. But it does prove to be the perfect spot for our Fontanini Nativity that Brian's mom started for us years ago. I found some half price trees at Hobby Lobby (it's the place to go!) and used some greenery, lights, and other trees from years past. It looks wonderful and it's right there for us to look at often.

I placed our big Nativity to the left side of the mantel and used the right side for a gathering of other small Nativities and angels we have. It makes for a nice religious themed area. I'm happy with it too!

Well, I guess that concludes this year's Christmas tour and hopefully will serve as a reminder to me when next year I am wondering, "Now where did I put all this stuff?????"

Wish you could come by and enjoy some cocoa, tea or coffee and visit for a while.

Many prayers for a blessed Advent and a joyous Christmas season!

My Little Rat

Yes, this is my precious daughter! This is her first season to dance the Nutcracker with our local ballet company, Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theater. She auditioned way back in August for a part and was awarded a rat part! She has been rehearsing most every weekend since the end of September and last Thursday, the first performance day had arrived. Over a two weekend period she dances a total of eight shows, 4 school performances and 4 public performances. We got to see her last Thursday in her second school performance. We had so much fun watching her on stage even though we couldn't see her pretty face. The scene with the rats is such a fun one - very comical in many ways. She has loved performing and has 4 more shows this weekend. The ballet is extremely beautiful and very professional. Many times lately she has said, "I wonder what I will be next year!" We shall see!

Lots of little rats back stage! It was so hard to tell who was who!

A very thrilled little rat after the performance - Mommy knew she would love another Nutcracker. She has been carrying it around ever since.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I can't believe it! I just can't believe it! We are supposed to have snow tomorrow. We had snow last year! We had snow Christmas Eve 2004! What's this world coming to??? Coming from someone who's lived right here all her life - this is unheard of!

And I soooooooo hope it happens!

Happy Day to You!

Monday, November 30, 2009


If you know our sweet, silly Mikey then you will not find the following photo at all surprising.

Mikey in the dryer.
(while helping Daddy with repairs)

Advent Celebrations

Well, I told you all last time that I was knee deep in creating my own Advent Calendar for the children. It was complete just in time for us to begin using yesterday, the First Sunday of Advent! I am really pleased with how it turned out.

How did I get started on this you wonder?

I had been thinking about revamping/combining several things we have done in past years and standardizing them. I felt like every year I was doing something slightly different and for me that meant more work than I wanted to be doing. We had done different kinds of Advent calendars: the traditional cardboard window types, we made purple paper chains, etc. We have also always done our Jesse tree. Back when Jacob was a little one, I bought this kit. Jacob would color an ornament each evening and we would put it on the enclosed poster or some years on a small artificial tree. Well, fast forward 5 or 6 years and things were mighty different around here. It was no longer feasible, much less enjoyable to have three children coloring and cutting our card stock ornaments. So last year I colored a set of ornaments and we velcroed them to a poster every night. OK, but now I really don't have a wall I want to hang the poster on AND I really like the tree. Oh, my, are you bored and worn out yet with my thoughts???? Then I was researching lots of cute advent calendars online and none of them fit the bill. Many wanted me to fill little boxes with treats and toys and prizes each day. That's just not what I wanted to focus on.

So here's what I ended up with....

This is all from my little imagination and was made with fabrics I bought at the quilt show in October - Michael Miller fabrics that I knew I would be terribly sad if I didn't get even though I had no plans for them yet. The only thing I bought was some remarkably similar red and white snowflake fabric from Hancock's on sale. I made the whole backing piece - layered it, quilted it and bound it like a quilt. Then I made pockets to fit certain things I wanted to slip in there - 28 of them! I made 28 because that is how many days Advent can technically have and we have 28 Jesse Tree ornaments. The hardest part was deciding how to number it. I am not much for applique and didn't really want to mess it up trying. So after much deliberation and experimentation and playing around with things, I ended up printing large numbers on the computer and attaching them to card stock. Then I decided to zigzag stitch the numbers on either side of the card stock (otherwise the machine was ripping the white paper) and set them just inside each pocket. Thankfully the numbering is easily removable if I want to attempt something else another year. I hung it up in our front entryway. The kids love it!

Inside each pocket I placed our precolored card stock Jesse Tree ornaments (I'd love felt ones) that I threaded with red thread. Then I also made a set of 28 gold wooden stars. On each star I wrote some sort of words or phrase having to do with Christmas or Advent or Jesus. I wanted them to think about a new phrase each day. Kind of like meditating on all the Holy Names of Jesus! Just for a little fun, I added four small coins (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters - bigger as Christmas gets closer) in each pocket. So far the kids are enjoying pulling out the contents of the pocket each morning. They hand out the coins, try and remember the picture on the Jesse Tree ornament, read the star and then place the ornaments on the same little artificial tree.

I am pleased.

The other thing I changed this year was our Advent Wreath. Here is a photo of the Advent Wreath we have always used. It was a gift to us and has been loved. BUT...

Over the years it has become permanently dirty with way too much drippy wax and I have gotten tired of the little tapers that do said dripping. And, of course, every year I have to replace tapers, pick wax out of greenery and dewax the porcelain wreath base.

This year I was hoping for something bigger and more prominent, more lasting and less messy. I think I am almost there. As you can see by this year's photo below, our Advent Wreath is missing a little something. :) I ordered new 9" pillar candles from a candle company online and was so hoping they'd arrive on Saturday - no such luck. Oh, well. They are en route and I am sure they will be worth the wait. They should burn well and hopefully last a long time and surely be more, well, big! I got the wreath for $4 half price at Hobby Lobby.

Nearby on the table you can see my purple Advent "prepare" letters. I used to put them somewhere else in the other house, but this seemed like a really good place where we will read them often as we walk by. Behind that are our books for Advent prayer - our Jesse Tree book, a children's Bible for reading the stories for the Jesse Tree and our new Advent book, Jotham's Journey (I had heard so much about this book and it is finally back in print. The kids and I had a hard time putting it down today to wait for tomorrow's installment!). I also made us a chaplet from my stash of beads to use in prayer our St. Andrew Novena nightly. It sure helps to count the 15 prayers!

So I guess that is what we are up to for Advent, as well as some Saint's feasts Nicholas, Lucy, Our Lady of Guadalupe. We decorated our tree over the weekend and the children are just delighting in it. Today, amongst our schooling, we listened to Christmas music and the children discovered the box of all our Christmas/Advent books that I set out last night. What joy!

I absolutely love the beauty of this season. I love all our Advent traditions and the preparations for Christmas! It all brings such joy, especially as we try our very hardest to keep our focus on preparing for the Lord's coming. I remember agonizing over whether it was right to set up "Christmas" before it actually arrived - during Advent. Today I believe there is no right or wrong answer. The question for me is, "Where is your heart and your focus?" For me, I found that the wonderful Christmas decorations surrounding me only added to my joy in waiting for Jesus to be born. While I know it is a time of penance and preparation, it is also a time for joy in the anticipation of what we know will come!

I will post a photo as soon as my candles come.

Happy Advent! May all you do bring you joyfully closer to our precious Lord.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Photo Attempts with Mikey

Still here

Wow. I can't believe that it has been since October that I last posted! Somehow blogging just hasn't been high on the priority list lately. We have busy, busy and I have been tired......


I am expecting Baby #5! Yeah! We are all very excited. This Friday will make 13 weeks. I can't figure out where the first trimester has gone! But I guess that is a good thing.

We are busy around here preparing for Thanksgiving and for Advent and Christmas. Right now I am knee deep in making an advent calendar and of course I only have the rest of the week! I also decided to redo our advent wreath this year and I'm hoping the candles I ordered show up in time!

I will try and update more regularly. Soon Nicole will have her first of eight Nutcracker performances and that will deserve a whole post all its own.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A few Creations

Here are a few things I completed recently!

A really lovely pink and white wall or baby quilt. It currently has no recipient and so it gets tucked away either to sell or give. It almost had no recipient EVER! I had washed it one night last week after finishing it and then threw it in the dryer as usual. In the morning I got it out of the dryer. To my horror, it was COVERED in tiny black specks - all over! I was so upset. After I got over the shock, I decided to try washing it. I had very little hope. After two washes it was gone! I am pretty sure it was the dryer and something to do with its unbalanced load. So that's why you see it hanging in a bathroom - drying NOT in the dryer.

I made these adorable soft baby blocks for a sweet friend having twins about a week and a half ago. I used the tutorial on Moda Bake Shop, but left off the tags. They were adorable. I haven't seen her since I gave the gift bag to her husband. I hope she loved them and that the babies will someday enjoy them!

I just finished quilting another baby boy quilt for a friend of mine. I need to make the binding and attach it. Then I have to wash it. And dry it??????? I really like the softness the dryer gives it, but I'm scared! Maybe I can borrow a dryer :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One of my absolute favorite fabric designers is doing a giveaway for her upcoming fabric line, Eden. It is lovely and I can't wait to get some, either by winning or by purchase! Head on over to her blog!

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Afternoon in the Yummy Department

Lovin' from our oven today.

I made muffins for tomorrow's breakfast. I was trying to find something else besides banana bread to make with ripe bananas, so I searched a short time and found a recipe for "Best Ever Banana Muffins." Oh, my. I tested one just to make sure they really were the "best ever" before I could honestly type this post....and I think they are! Yumm!

Then Jacob baked some cookies. We baked cookies last Monday too, but we were out of vanilla and so our recipe choices were terribly limited. Do you know HOW MANY recipes call for vanilla??? Staggering. We needed cookies for tea time today, cookies for Jacob's den meeting and cookies for a visit to a friend's house tomorrow evening. So with vanilla in the pantry and barely enough sugar (add that to the list), we set about making "Chewy Oatmeal Cookies." My mom cut this recipe out of the Houston Chronicle years ago and I have a copy of her newspaper clipping. I haven't made them in years, but they are oh, so good. Yeah, I tested these too.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. each: baking soda and baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses (mild)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans (I omit these and add raisins instead)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar. Add shortening, molasses, eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in oats and pecans (or raisins).

Drop batter by rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 12 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Hope you enjoy some happy baking this week. There are so many feasts to celebrate this week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just for fun

Below is my progress on my red and aqua and white dutch pinwheel blocks. I really love how they are turning out! I had been looking and looking for the perfect block of pattern to use all my red and aquas I've been gathering. When I saw this block, I knew this was it. I can make at least 20 different blocks at this point with no fabric repeats, so we'll see if I want to make more once I get to that point. And you never know, I might find more reds and aquas at the quilt show in October that I have to have!

And I thought Hillary might like to see that I found the perfect spot on the wall for my new doll quilt - right next to my fun, whimsical bird print I bought on Etsy a year or so ago. They have so many similarities. I am happy every time I look that direction!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doll Quilt Swap 7

I was so excited! I got a package in the mail yesterday!!!!!!!

Here is sweet ballerina Nicole holding my new quilt that Hillary made for me in the doll quilt swap. The photos do not do it justice. It is so amazingly me - I can't believe it!

The pinks, the reds, the aquas the white! And the bird! I love birds!

The applique is incredible. I want to do what she did.

Thank you so much, Hillary! You made my day. I will look at my quilt and enjoy it for many years to come.


Time is what I discovered yesterday. Time allowed me through the Lord's immense blessing - somehow, for some reason. Yesterday morning I awoke fretting over not being able to fit in all the things I wanted to include in our Monday. Even though I woke early to pray I still felt frustrated and impatient with the time allotted for the day ahead. It was only breakfast and I could already feel my self tensing up over the fact that they were eating so S.L.O.W.L.Y. Aaaaah!

Like the loaves and fishes multiplied in abundance for the hungry people, my felt like it had multiplied without my ever asking. At 4:30 I sat with the children for tea time and marvelled to them about how much we had gotten done! Even though I doubted, we had had time for all our morning lessons, a trip to meet Matt Maher, a run to the library, lunch, scheduled Wii time, all of our afternoon reading (our Ginger Pye chapter was not short), baking cookies, tea time and a concert! How blessed I am and how foolish I am to doubt that our Lord could not do what I felt was impossible.


We had a wonderful time! The concert was fantastic. What a blessing to have won these tickets. I had been telling Brian how much I wanted to take Jacob and Nicole to a concert, but the right one had not presented itself yet. I thought about it quite often. This all fell together so beautifully - Matt Maher, small setting, free!

I think I read on KSBJ that it was a like a coffee house setting. That seems to be the perfect description. The room wasn't huge, but perfect. We went up to the KSBJ studios in Humble which was fun to see on its own. In the "auditorium" the lights were dimmed and there was neat lighting. There was an entrance area where you could help yourself to free snacks and drinks - talk about float the kids' boat! There was a table to join the Movemeant and then a KSBJ table. We got to meet two of the radio personalities who we listen to quite often. That was very fun for the kids. Susan O'Donnell, one of the morning show personalities, told the kids about some pillows on the floor in front of the stage. How perfect! They got to sit on the floor right in front of the small stage and I found one empty chair on the left end of the front row. I think all together there were about 150 people there. We were 20 feet or so away from him. It was so personal. Yet still the sound was super. He had the Robbie Seay band instead of his own and they did a fantastic job. All the songs he performed were from his new album, except for "Your Grace Is Enough." He did lots of talking and answered questions. It was a very fun atmosphere. It was fun to be up close and see Matt speak his heart. There were lines at the end for a special photo opportunity, but since we'd had our own personal family photo that morning, we didn't stay. We feel so blessed to have had the privilege to attend.

Here is a little bit of video I took. (PS - the other voice you can hear singing is Jacob)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little field trip......or two

The kids and I with Catholic recording artist, Matt Maher.

His newest song, Alive Again (listen to my playlist), has been playing on our large Christian radio station here in Houston, KSBJ. They play quite a few of his other songs, too. It is so fantastic to hear an amazing Catholic on Christian radio. He is CATHOLIC! I mean, when we have been to concerts that are purely his, they usually have had adoration! This is how it was when Brian and I went to see him at the Catholic Charismatic Center a couple of weeks ago. Amazing.

Well, I had heard he was going to be in Houston again tonight for a special "private" concert. We haven't joined this "Movemeant" even though it sounds totally cool. Anyway, then I found out he was going to be at three different Lifeway stores across Houston today, before the concert, for what they call a "Street 'n Greet." One of the locations was at the Lifeway right near our home. I have been pondering all weekend whether I could put it in the schedule. I knew Jacob and Nicole would LOVE to go and meet him. They know all his songs. Could it be because their mommy plays his CDs so much? I have all five now! We went to the LifeTeen Mass last night at our parish (the kids have been asking to go) and they usually use several of his songs. Nicole knew that the sending song was one of his and she asked me quietly, "Is that Matt Maher singing up there?" Too cute.

And so........this morning I still wasn't sure I could fit it all in. And then as lessons progressed this morning, I had one who was crying at the least little thing and one who was grumpy and sleepy - you know how it goes. My first inclination was to say, "No way! I can't possibly take them to meet Matt Maher." But the Lord got the best of me and I decided it would be such a fun surprise for them. So we got through a little bit of school work and then I told them to get shoes on since we needed to go to the library and I had a surprise errand for them. I didn't tell them until we pulled up to the Lifeway who was inside. They were so excited! There was hardly anyone there!!!!! Perfect. We got to talk a bit. I bought a second CD so he could sign it for us (Brian pre-ordered it for me for my birthday). We got to take a picture too. It was very short, but very fun!

At the end the TicketServant/KSBJ man there asked if we would like to put our name in the drawing for a ticket to tonight's concert. He was so nice to us all. I agreed and put my name and phone number in the pot. He asked how many tickets we would want if we won. I said we'd like two thinking I could take Jacob since he loves all the Christian music soooo much. As we were walking to the car, I had this overwhelming feeling and this sense of confidence that we were going to win. I said a quiet prayer. Then I quietly wished I'd asked for three so that Nicole could go too. Oh, well.

Well..........around 11am a sweet lady from KSBJ called and said we had won the tickets!!!!! Thank you Lord! What a wonderful, yet small way, to show how even in frivolous things like this God can hear our prayers. Then the lady asked how many tickets I would like!!!!!!! Oh, wow! I asked if I could have three so I could bring my two oldest children. So, Jacob and Nicole and I are off across town tonight to the KSBJ studios to see a Matt Maher concert. I think it should be a really, neat personal event.

Praise God!

PS - If you would like me to send you my extra Matt Maher CD for free, leave me a comment telling me how often you will listen to it and what great care you will take with it! :)