Friday, October 31


In all of the Halloweens in the past....our little ones would dress up (they loved to choose their costumes) and we as a family would either go to a friends house, have friends over, or for the last almost 10 years, our family, along with some other families would host a joint party for the parents and kids to all enjoy Halloween together.  We would eat a lot of food and visit while the kids ran and played in the yard, then, when darkness fell upon the earth,  the daddies would walk around with the kids and trick-or-treat.

This year proved to be quite a different story...


This is the first Halloween, when ALL of my children had plans with friends that did not include us! Boy have the times changed.  Madison had her first high school Halloween party and Savannah was invited to a sleepover party at her friend's house.  Nicholas had a friend come over to trick or treat with him, so we did get to play a small role in his are some pics
 Nicholas and Trey getting ready to trick or treat....both Nicholas and Savannah were "light up stick people" this year.  It was a very cool costume.
 This is Nicholas in his stick person costume in the dark
 Here is Savannah in her cute stick costume
 Here is Savannah with her friends, Dorothy and Beth getting ready to trick or treat
Here is Madi and Claire as they prepare to leave for their high school party...Madi was a "Drifter", hitchhiking all around the world".  She wore torn up clothes,  holding a sign that stated..."NEED  A RIDE....ANYWHERE"
Here, of course is my Lil' Pumpkin, Isaac.  Unlike the other kids, he did not have any other plans.  We just got to love on him in his little costume, while giving out candy to the neighbors.
 I am sorry....I just HAD to put another pic of my lil' pumpkin man....
Here is a picture of me and my little pumpkin pie baby!!  I usually TAKE most of the pics in our house or at different events.... so, since I found a pic with me in it, which is quite rare, I wanted to post it!
Sometimes I worry that my kids may forget that I was ACTUALLY at their important events : )

What a fun and relaxing evening....We are looking forward to celebrating The Feast of All Saints tomorrow

Thursday, October 30


The more that I learn about Faustina, the more I fall in love!!
The first pic is of my Madison cheering (she is completely precious as a cheerleader and loves every second of it.  She was born for this sport)
 In the picture below this one, you'll notice all of the cheerleaders and football players are quietly taking a knee out of respect for a wounded player from the opposing team
(The cheer leaders kneel and pray out loud together for the safety of one of the players from the opposing team)
(The Faustina Football players taking a knee and praying for an injured player on the opposing team)

Both the cheerleaders, along with the football players bow their heads in prayer (the cheerleaders pray quietly together) until the wounded player gets up.  I love that the true essence of the sport is encouraged, and that in suffering, we all pull together and go to our Father, on our brothers behalf no matter who he might be.  The game stops (as it is JUST a game) and we call upon the Healing Hands of God to protect and look over one another.
This was very powerful to me, and I never want to forget that feeling of true Christian love playing out.  What a lesson to my children about the importance of prayer and how it reigns above all in EVERY situation.  We are Christians FIRST above everything else we might be doing

Sunday, October 19


For our Daddy's birthday this year, we took him to a Dallas Cowboys Game!!  Jeremy is a HUGE Cowboys fan!!  He has gone to some games before, but we have NEVER gone together as a family.  Of course (not our ENTIRE family was able to go) as our littlest one, baby Isaac stayed at home.  He is only 7 months old and just has not yet learned a true appreciation for crowds, hot dogs, sodas, and just the essence of "Game Day".  
(Isaac in his Cowboys attire for the home)

"Game Day".....I have learned over the years....."is a real thing".  It is a living organism that actually breathes.  It is sustained by nachos, chips, pizza, chili dogs and burgers....pretty much all that heartburn has to offer!!  It flourishes on the passion of it's fans.  For those 3 or so hours.....Game Day takes strangers and turns them into "old friends".....Friends with a bond that, in that moment, could easily be stronger than that of an actual family!!

(Preparing and loading up the truck the morning of the big game)
 (Nicholas expressing his Cowboy spirit)

(Savannah showing her spirit as well....a little bit of a color-leaking problem)
"Tailgating" is also..."a real thing".  It is similarly sustained by heartburn, but paired with heavy smoke and the smell of charbroiling red meat.  It flourishes when a seemingly ordinary pick up truck, turns into a fully functioning outdoor kitchen...when fans enjoy all of the comforts of home, in a small parking spot.

When you tailgate, your new neighbors (your temporary best friends) are the people that drove the pick up trucks parked on either side of you, who kindly share a group of porta-potties in the distance.   Tailgating fans will sit outside together eating, playing games, telling old football stories as they re-celebrate past wins of their team.  Some fans tailgate for the ENTIRE game (never intending on going inside...I am thinking that our neighbors- pick up truck to the left of us, were those such people (never planning on going into the game), as they DID bring their big screen TV along. These die-hard tailgaters will be there even in terribly cold weather.  It is the living and breathing essence of the "Tailgating" excitement that keeps them warm!!
(My love/birthday boy and I tailgating....When Savannah snapped this pic, we were not ready, as neither of us were really smiling yet, but its the only pic with Jer and I together)

I wanted to make sure that Jeremy had the total experience on his special day!!  I bought a parking pass in one of the tailgate lots and set up camp in a VERY small parking spot.....3 hours before the game even started!!  Jeremy was so excited about it, that his preparations for our tailgate alone, took at least 1 1/2 hours.
 (The kids set up our "Corn Hole" set while we tailgated...people would cheer for the kids as they walked by)

We played games and threw the football around, in our tiny parking space.  As our family played games and relaxed, we enjoyed the sounds of loud and joyful music coming from the other trucks in the parking lot, but muffled a bit by our "neighbor's" GENERATOR.....that he needed for his HUGE big-screen TV

(Daddy showing Nicholas how to hold the football for a successful pass)
(Nicholas throwing the football. "Passing... #82 Nicholas Lustig....Pass intended for......")
(None other than Savannah..."Pass completed to ALSO #82.....Savannah Lustig!")

Jeremy so happily drug out his portable grill, some kitchen utensils, and packed grocery bags full of game day foods, and coolers full of steaks, onions, cheese and sodas.  Jeremy made philly cheese steak sandwiches with a side of Au Jus for dipping!

 Ahh...the smell of grilled onions in the air)

The sandwhiches were delicious!
The set up and take down, took hours in itself, while the actual meal was only about 12 minutes long.
I guess that it's all part of the experience
 (forgot to get a picture of our Philly Steak Sandwiches before I started eating was delicious)

Into Cowboys Stadium we go....Sunglasses for all of the fans!
  (What a HUGE stadium)

I love Rascal Flatts!!  What a great day this is!!
Great seats!! We can see everything!!
(We decided to sit down in our seats early to watch the Cowboys warming up for the game)
(We all cheer on the Cowboys......and in the end....they won the game!! What a great birthday blessing!)

Thank you, Lord for our amazing Daddy!  The world has been greatly blessed because of him.  He is such a great husband and father! As the spiritual leader of our family,he is leading his wife (me) and his children closer to You.  Thank you for birthdays, when we can celebrate our Daddy in a special way....

We love you Daddy

Sunday, October 12


Madison is in high school now and life as a mom, has completely changed.  This school could not be more perfect for us.  Faustina is truly an answer to the prayer that I prayed the day that I found out that I was going to be a mommy (way back in 1999).   
"Please Dear Lord Jesus, help us to raise this little one to be holy so that we can return this precious soul back to You at the end of her earthly journey"

High school is such a scary time of life, when my children will explore this world outside of my protection sometimes, as they find their place and decide how they will live out their unique calling from God.
At times I grieve that loss of that "safe control" I was always able to make sure that their souls were protected and surrounded in purity at all times (well, most of the time).  I know that as my little ones grow, it is my job to LET them safely spread their delicate wings and learn to fly all on their own.  For they are only our children for a little while, gifted to Jeremy and I, to raise and lead back home to their Heavenly Father.

As a mommy (and Daddy too) I am in constant discernment over what to allow into their lives and what to keep out, as my little ones strengthen in character and holyness.  Sometimes, I just can't hear my Precious Lord's Gentle Whisper, with all of the noise of this world (something that I am constantly working on).  Sometimes, I just have to pray that the decision I've made (in whatever the situation might be) is the decision that He would have desired for their souls, as I beg to Him out of Mercy, that if I am mistaken (which, I am sure happens often) that He will guard their hearts from whatever it is that I have allowed to endanger them.

I daily thank my Dear Jesus for allowing our children the blessed opportunity of attending such a faithful Catholic school, where they can ALL be together!!!

Our Lord so kindly took the decision to put the children back into school out of my hands, which as He knows me so well, I would have forever fretted over....probably driving both myself and my sweet husband insane!!

Madison loves high school....(going back to my fervent discernment of how to guide our children as they grow) and she could not think of a better place to be everyday.  She absolutely LOVES her school.....her friends....her teachers, and all that Faustina has to offer.  Nobody believes me when I tell stories of my shy little first born, who cried at the thought of ever having to leave my side.  She has truly transformed into a beautiful butterfly, who is both outgoing and funny....she gained so much confidence through our years together, homeschooling
 (Madison could barely stop laughing at herself "as she always cracks herself up" to take this pic of her with her favorite drink....well ONE of her favorite drinks...the other is a Pumpkin Spice Frapuccino...personally, I stick to hot drinks from Starbucks, so as you can tell, I have no idea how to even spell "Frappuccino")
 (gotta love girls and the newly traditional "Pouty Face" pic)

 (these are some "selfies" Madi took with her friends...these are such a fun group of truly great kids...they have bonded so much and have such a great time together, just being teenagers)

She has been gifted the entire "high school experience" with faithful Catholic like-minded teachers and families.  As Jeremy and I have journeyed through parenthood, we see this as a wonderful advantage!  All 3 of our 4 children (of course baby Isaac is not old enough for school yet) are currently building a strong foundation in both character and education, all wrapped up in a beautiful Christ-Centered bow, that we just know, delights our Lord Jesus. 
(I just love this family pic after Mass....look how much they have grown in such a short amount of time...I did notice that our sweet little Isaac was missing from this pic, but that is only because he hadn't been born quite yet....and I have to admit that I LOVE how Jeremy looks in this picture as he had just served at Holy Mass.  It absolutely makes this Catholic girl's heart melt!!  There is nothing more romantic than a virtuous man.....I just love him so much


Not to leave out the other 2 children in school, at Faustina as well.  Nicholas and Savannah love their new teachers and of course, it goes without saying that they love their new friends too.

 (Savannah with her friends in the backseat of my car....girls are so funny)
(Nicholas wrestling with his friend Trey....As they roll around in the grass with teeth gritted, they laugh so hard......I love these precious boys and how our Lord made them so loving and gentle, but still a little rough around the edges, as boys should be)
(Sweet Little 4th grade Boys)
 (Savannah with the girls in her class....can you spot her....she's the one in the black "Roxy" t-shirt with "nerd" glasses and a HUGE Savannah-sized grin on her face)

We love going to Friday night football games and watching Madi cheer the Falcons on (from the sidelines) as Nicholas and Savannah run around with THEIR school friends, playing their own game of football behind the bleachers with all of the other siblings.
(Madison and Claire after cheering)
After the games, it is off to Braums (a Faustina family tradition) for ice cream.....and boy, with all of our big Catholic families, we can sure fill up a "small town Braums"....and by the way, I love every bit of that last sentence.
 (Savannah and Beth enjoying ice cream)
 (Madison and Lauren)
These families inspire us and build us up in our faith, as well as make us laugh and entertain us as we sit around and visit.  I love our Faustina family friends and pray that our Lord is giving our family something to bring to the table that might inspire them as well.

Saturday, October 11


Okay, here are the details.....right before morning prayer, Matt walked up to Madi with the bouquet of flowers with a note inside that read "Do you wanna tackle homecoming with #18 (very creative, I must admit) Also within the flowers was a bag of M&Ms...for "Matt and Madi"
She is so excited!!  He is a wonderful boy and one of her best friends.
 Homecoming week has a yearly theme and each day, the students would play fun games in preparation for the big game on Friday.  Nicholas was picked to play in one of the relay races during the Pep Rally
 Then dress up day....this years theme was vintage arcade games.  Madi's Freshman class decided to all dress up like the teenage mutent ninja turtles
 The guarder that Madison will give to Matt to wear on Friday before the game
 Madison top-right, holding the sign for the football players to break through to start off this most exciting game
 After a victorious win, I stopped these 2 for a pick.....Matt with his guarder on and Madi with her beautiful Mum that Matt gave to her to wear

Girls day.....starting early!! Going to the Hair Bar in Southlake for hair and makeup....I still have never had my hair or makeup professionally done...hmmm
Sweet Savannah waiting ever so patiently while Madison dolls up for the big dance....her first date!
Such a beautiful girl
My baby is so grown up!! Hair and make up done!! Such a great day... She said that she feels like a princess. I'm so happy because she's so hard on herself. This homecoming dress shopping was especially painful on her little heart....which breaks my heart. Thank you Sweet Jesus for making her feel so pretty today
 Now we wait for our date to come and pick her up.  Matt is such a wonderful young gentleman.  She was honored to be asked by such an amazing boy.....who TOTALLY cracks her up, laughing on a daily basis.  It was be sure to be such a fun evening
 Matt arrives (he picked out his tie, knowing that it was Madison's favorite color (gotta love that sweet gesture....he looked incredibly handsome
 What a beautiful couple....and both so excited for the evening. Matt, being such a gentleman, was so shy when his mom brought him WAY out to Roanoke to pick up Madison....I actually don't recall him saying anything.....he just smiled a lot!!
 I cannot believe that she is so grown up.  It is truly tugging at her Daddy and my heart strings, as it is sad for me to see her get so big, but a feeling of total joy flutters in my heart when I think about the virtuous young lady that she has become.
 A group of high school friends all met for dinner to start off their homecoming celebration
Here is Madi and Matt standing outside of the restaurant (Matt's mom texted me this it took every bit of will power for me NOT to follow them to the restaurant for a peek)  This was going to be the FIRST night that I have ever WAITED up for HER to come home.  I was counting down the minutes until she walked through the door and we proceeded to chat late into the night about  EVERYTHING that happened!! I was truly reliving my high school life through her stories.  She had an amazing time and Matt truly made Madison feel like a fairy princess.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for letting her grow up, even though it is sometimes tough for a me as her mommy to watch.  I am so grateful that she had such an incredible that she will NEVER forget.