Thanksgiving Memories

By | Posted November 24, 2011

Posted in football, Random | 1 Comment »

I could go on about how grateful I am for my faith, my family and food.  But let’s be real…it’s after 11.  There is one thing I’m happy about right now.

We Won!

I won’t rub it in, that’s being taken care of on Twitter as I type.  The joys of social media.  I need to start following more people.

I say this weekly, but watching Goose is unreal.

Except he fell asleep, and we were winning.  By the last minute, I had moved to the bedroom and had to pick him up to watch the final seconds with me.  (I realize how creepy that sounds.)  Then I nudged him.  Then I started talking loudly.  Finally, I hit him to wake him up.  Not hard or anything, I just knew he wouldn’t want to miss that.

This weekend is why I love college football.   I danced so much afterwards, I might have lost all the weight I gained earlier today.

Hook Em!

Have fun in the SEC, Aggies!

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By | Posted November 15, 2011

Posted in Daybook, pictures | No Comments »

For Today…November 15, 2011

Outside my window…the wind is blowing, it looks like it’s going to rain today.  I’m grateful it’s not so humid right this second.  But seriously, can we have some nice FALL weather?  Now.

I am listening to…The Baby Hulk and No David play together outside.  We skipped our time at the gym this morning due to stuffy noses and I’m glad.  We did a small amount of math, coloring on a grid, then came outside to play.  And spend time with the damn dog.

I am wearing…black shorts and a green shirt, also known as workout clothes.

I am grateful for…the babble of a baby girl, a boy who is ALL boy and snuggles from my kids.

Around the house…in honor of the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, we had another cleaning haul and were able to donate quite a bit of stuff.  Lance’s side of the closet looks amazing, I even managed to get rid of a formal from before Lance and I met.  It had shoulder pads.  Why was I holding onto that thing?  The boys ditched several “noisy” games without any hesitation.  I organized toys so they were more accessible.  No David just came and gave me two more shirts, a red one and blue one.  He wants to donate them because they don’t have any pictures on them.

I am reading…Simplicity Parenting.  Another great book.  How did I luck  out with two great parenting books in a row?!  This book really helps me stand firm in my resolve to limit the amount of crap we have in our house as well as the amount of outside activities we do.  It’s more about being together and giving your kids a sense of security.  (My words, not the author.)  Thankfully, we like to be together.  Most of the time.  I’m wondering if Goose wants family time or a DS.  Hopefully, family time because he still isn’t getting one.

In the yard…I’m taking estimates for a new fence and also looking at my dead grass and shrubs.  Can I be real?  With all the crap I need around here, Christmas for me and Lance is going to suck.  In fact, anyone that gives us cash for Christmas can just send it my way now.  It will be put to good use, might not be fun stuff, but good use.

One of my favorite things…The Renaissance Festival.  I used to go each year with my parents, we’d eat and drink all day long.  Then all of a sudden, it started taking over an hour to leave the parking lot.  After two years of that, I was done.   That was more than ten years ago.  This year I took the kids to school days at the RF.  While it wasn’t the same (read:no alcohol or Scottish eggs) it was still a beautiful day.  Thanks to my dad for sending us and mom for enjoying the day with us.

In the kitchen…decent menu planned.  Nothing super special, but I won’t be scrambling for ideas during the week.

I am praying…that we all get better.  Almost everyone has this cold.  And quite frankly, it stinks.  I have two family members performing this week, and they can’t be sick.

I am creating lists…grocery lists, Thanksgiving lists, Christmas lists.  It’s kind of slow going on the Christmas lists.  Very Slow.

Baby Z this week…ate a bit of dirt.  What more can you say about that?

Lance…is growing a beard.  It feels like I’m cheating on him when we kiss.  I cannot wait until it is gone.  No David thinks Lance has cactus on his face.

I am trying…to get organized for Advent.  It starts a week from Sunday.  Will we be doing the “gift wrapped book” each night?  Which feasts will we be focusing on this year?  What about the new Jesse Tree ornaments, which have yet to arrive!  I am really excited about my new advent spiral wreath.  It’s a lot to figure out and I want to make sure it’s all done so we’re ready to go.  We have a real season in which to PREPARE, I need to be ready to go.  Which reminds me, I need to make some letters that say PREPARE for the learning room.


Learning all the time…who knew I could get into gardens?  I didn’t grow up with a family who gardened or even got into yard work at all.  That said, my dad did our yard and planted shrubs himself.  The rest of us did our part weeding.  I think most men did that back then.  Unlike today.  Unlike my own spouse.  Have I mentioned I don’t have a housekeeper?  I have a yard guy and dead grass.  Anyway…we’re on G for Gardens, and I have really enjoyed what we’re learning.  Currently, we’re waiting to see what grows roots faster: a sweet potato or sprig of Ivy.  We’ve talked about different vegetables and fruits, as well as flowers.  The Baby Hulk even made a vegetable soup with his dad.  Lance, Squirt and I all loved it.  Even Baby Z tried the veggies.  The other boys, nope.

A few plans for the week…not so much with a sick family, but there is a play my oldest son is in this weekend so I’ll be there opening and closing night!  We have a play date planned and then I’m hoping to attend a conference this weekend.  Trying for some adult evenings, but with my sick self and sick kids, they just keep getting pushed back.

A picture thought I am sharing…

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By | Posted November 13, 2011

Posted in birthday | 2 Comments »

Being a mother is often times a thankless job.  You’re expected to be “on your game” all the time.  I have come to realize that it’s just not possible to be like that all the time.

Which has led to a new appreciation of my mom.  I have no clue how she did it.  She was an amazing mom and home maker.  I love that my children enjoy spending time with her.  I love that I can always depend on her to help out.  I really love that Lance loves her.  He doesn’t like when I get pissy with her.  And wants her around and not just to babysit.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I hope your day was great.  Once Lance can eat real food, we’ll really celebrate!  I love you so much.  Thanks for being an amazing mother and even better grandmother.

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Five For Friday

By | Posted November 11, 2011

Posted in Five For Friday | 6 Comments »

So last week, I decided I was going to play with our dog in an effort to become a decent dog owner.  How has she repaid me?  By chewing through our fence three days in a row.  And then leaving our yard.  Because of course, not only does my dog chew through fences, she also runs away.  She runs in the exact direction which will most likely result in her death.  With me and the children chasing her down.  Which will then result in watching her die and scarring my kids.  No lie, I just ran outside to chase her away from chewing through yet another board.  WTF?  What am I supposed to do?

This leads to the question of when do you cut your losses with a pet?  I don’t give away animals, but this dog might be the one.  I honestly don’t know what to do with her.  Quite frankly, she has become “one more thing to deal with” every day.  That sounds horrible, but I’m being truthful.  The reality is that I don’t have time for a dog anymore.  I play with her when we’re outside, and yes, now I am trying to make a better effort, but I’m spent.  I am at a time in my life where I feel like I am just getting by more often than not.  I’m not being a good mother and if something has to give, it would be the dog not my kids.  I know this makes me a pretty bad owner, but at the same time, I have to be truthful as to where I am these days.  I don’t know…How do I deal with this?  More torn up crap, more barking, the crazy lady freaking out…

In googling advice for “my dog chews through my fence” the best answer on Yahoo was “stay home”.  Really?  This was the best people could come up with it.  Doesn’t do much for me since she started chewing through the fence today when the kids were outside trying to play with her.

Last week, I read about the family cloth.  Ever heard of it?  In a nutshell, it’s reusable toilet paper.  This is not something that interests me in the least.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from reading several (as in over 50) comments about it.  From the comments, the people who seem to be using this are those who also use cloth diapers.  However, there were many who use cloth diapers that don’t go for the family cloth.  I don’t use cloth diapers, but don’t think they’re weird at all.  In fact, I have a lot of friends who use them on their babies.  (And all their babies are potty trained much faster than my generic disposable diapered babies.)  One of the commentators asked “what do these “family cloth” families do when company comes over”.  Easy, they have toilet paper for those occasions.  That answer got me thinking…do any of my cloth diaper friends use the family cloth in their homes?  And do I want to know?

I have a nasty cold and was in the mood for soup.  I wanted something easy, so I made this soup called Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I use that term loosely; this is not what I would consider a tortilla soup.  Regardless, Lance loves it and constantly tells people about it.  I’m glad he likes the food I cook and that he brags about it.  But this recipe…it’s a soup from a ton of cans.  Canned pinto beans, canned great northern beans, canned hominy, Rotel, and more.  The recipe even calls for canned chicken, but I draw the line at that and buy rotisserie instead.

Today is Veteran’s Day, and also my mom’s birthday, more on her later.  As a member of ROTC, Squirt will be marching in the parade today.  In his uniform.  He wears his uniform to school once a week.  And on those days, he has been asking me to drop him off at the ROTC building rather than have him walk across campus.  Why?  Just some asshole kids who make fun of him for aspiring to be in the military.  I am so proud of Squirt for not quitting ROTC.  It’s hard to do something that people consider different.  He wants to do this, he wants a career in the military.  And while I am like most people, wanting someone else’s child to serve our country, I couldn’t be more prouod of him today.  A huge thank you to those who have served our country, a big hug and kiss to my son for supporting those who have served.  And a big F-you to the kids who mock my son.

I just had my first true “I’m the mother of a lot of boys” moment.  Kind of strange that it has taken this long.   The boys collect treasures on a daily basis: rocks, acorns, leaves and sticks.  These items end up in the house with Goose having a huge collection in his closet.  We also are trying to implement a nature table around here.  I have a nice little basket with our thankful leaves and acorns the boys have found all week.  Today there were white worms with brown little heads crawling around.  I want to puke.  My boys thought this was so cool and started picking them up.  I didn’t freak out in front of them, but I want to puke right now.  In fact, this is much grosser to me than the above mentioned “family cloth”.   Now I am thinking about Goose’s closet.  And after telling Lance, he used the word MAGGOT.  No, not in acorns, right?  I am not even going to Google it because I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

update: my dog chewed through the fence again.

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My brightly, bright son…

By | Posted November 8, 2011

Posted in Goose | 1 Comment »

I shouldn’t mock, but sometimes it’s hard to keep these whoppers to myself.

While Goose may be all over the television one day with his sports knowledge, I can pretty much guarantee that he won’t be hosting any blogs, winning awards for his writing or authoring a tell-all about his mean mom.

His writing is so poor, it is painful.  Sitting with him while he write sentences is hard because he quits within five minutes.  He can’t think of anything to write, real or fake.  Once he quits, I get upset and the whole bad cycle starts.  Tonight he wrote on his own, and I’m sure he thought he did a great job.

Here are his sentences tonight based on the word family: bright.

  1. The sun is so bright today.
  2. Look, that’s the brightest star we have seen all night!
  3. Do you realize the stars are getting brighter each night?
  4. The moon’s brightness glowed so bright I could read a book in bed.
  5. The stars are brightly glowing across the sky.
  6. I hope the day doesn’t brighten up because I may not be able to see for a whole day.

I don’t know which one is my favorite, but if I have to choose, 6 is the keeper, with 4 a close second.

I guess I should be happy he didn’t start crying while writing these tonight.


Goose is a lot like me.  Writing isn’t his thing.  And he’s not really good with the BS.  On day 2 of the bar exam, there was a property question, and I had no clue what it was about at all.  So I left it completely blank.  Blank.  (And I still passed!  Go me!)

A week ago, I asked Goose to write a journal entry about his family.  Basically, if someone asked you about your family, what would you say.  He couldn’t answer orally, so I told him to think about it and write it for me.  Nothing.  I persisted and if I’m honest, I might have badgered him a bit.  “There is NOTHING you can tell anyone about our family?!”  To which he responded,” Sometimes we’re not nice.”

He might not be able to write, but he is pretty smart and at times a bit cutting.  I’ll take that.

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One Fall Day

By | Posted November 5, 2011

Posted in Baby Hulk, football, Goose, Longhorns, pictures | 3 Comments »

The best thing about Fall is college football.  I’d like to say it’s the weather, but I live in Houston.

This morning Goose woke up and the first thing he said was: “I hope Texas wins today.”  He was barely awake, it was a whisper.  That was his first thought.  Tonight he is rooting for LSU, Alabama a sworn enemy unless they’re playing OU.  He just told me he’s sad that it’s already November because there is less than a month of college football.  He already thinks like this!  God help his wife.  Hopefully, she’s cool like me.

We’ve been trying to take Goose to a Longhorn game this season and today has been the only one that fit our schedule.  My father got tickets for us, and overall, our time at the game was a great success.

A success until the end of the third quarter, then Baby Hulk showed his age.

But really, I’m okay, silliness is a good thing in little boys.  I need to remember that.

Yes, Snoopy enjoyed the game too.



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Daybook~ In November

By | Posted November 3, 2011

Posted in Baby Z, Daybook, pictures | 1 Comment »

For today…November 3, 2011

Outside my window…It’s cold.  Like in the 60’s cold, which I realize sounds kind of lame, but living in Houston, that is cold.  Cold enough for Baby Z to wear some jeans and a long sleeved top.  The boys, of course, argued about wearing jeans today.

I am wearing…a blue workout top and  black shorts.  Need to shower, I can finally wear jeans!

I am listening to…Baby Hulk and No David negotiate candy trades.

I am trying to…live by this quote: Choose peace over productivity.  I think it will make me happier.  Or calmer.  Or nicer.  Or something positive.

I am praying for…patience.  It always comes back to this one.

I am grateful for…my family.

I am really thinking…about Simplicity and what it means in my life.  It’s more than just getting rid of a lot of toys.  It has to be about choosing what matters each day.  To live an intentional life.  Not to race through each day.

I am wondering…why all these bloggers seem to have a great talent for photography and I don’t.  Their pictures are always amazing.  I am kind of jealous.  More than kind of.

I am trying…to become a good dog owner again.  I am starting small, like playing with the dog daily.

To live the liturgy…I need daily mass.  If not, I need to read the readings.

From the kitchen…I’ve had more chicken, noodles and carrots without broth than I care to admit.  Why?  Because Lance has the broth and I can’t waste the rest of the can.  I need to do something about how cheap I am.  Menu for the week will happen.  So will cookies.

Towards rhythm and beauty…I need a rhythm, not necessarily a full on schedule, but I need balance.  With the holidays approaching, something I’m not ready for this year, I need to keep my sanity.

From the learning rooms…BH is about to start writing lowercase letters.  He’s really done well with Handwriting Without Tears, so I’m hoping the transition goes well.  The kid reads nonstop.  I love it.  I can’t find enough books at his level.  I think he might be ready for his first Magic Tree House soon.  I’ve been holding him off because I want to really work on comprehension before we move to something more difficult.

One of my favorite things…my little girl wearing Snoopy.

A few plans for the week…seeing as the week has come and gone, I’d like to say I’m resting tomorrow.

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All Souls Day

By | Posted November 2, 2011

Posted in Family Life, Liturgical Year, Spiritual Life | No Comments »

Today the church celebrates the Feast of All Souls.  This perfectly coincides with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead.  I’ve never celebrated Day of the Dead before, but after finding a couple of children’s books, soon to be added to our permanent collection at home, I decided to make a small altar and buy some treats

I set up a small altar with pictures of some of our relatives that have passed away.  Then Lance and I talked about some of them.  The boys only remember Bisa, Uncle Richard, and Uncle Ed.  It’s pretty sweet, they always remember these three in their prayers and are quite positive that they have special angels watching over them in heaven.

In memory: Grandpa, Bisa, Grandpa Zierlein, Grandma May, Grandma Zierlein, Grandpa Stephens, Lili, Felipa, Aunt Julia, Uncle Richard, Uncle Ed, Marlisa Rene

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

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On The Feast of All Saints

By | Posted November 1, 2011

Posted in Family Life, Liturgical Year, pictures, saints | 2 Comments »

I love the Saints.  Love Them.

Honestly, it’s one of the best parts of being Catholic.

Apologetics 101: Catholics don’t worship Saints, they ask for their prayers.  Kind of like asking your friend to pray for you.

Today we look at all the men and women who have gone before us.  Some have been seemingly perfect while others have had similar vices.  We have our favorites.  A couple of years ago, I decided to teach my kids about the Saints.  We look forward to feast days, some celebrations are small, some are bigger.  But we’re always learning.  Today we celebrate all of them.

Yesterday the Baby Hulk and I picked out Special Saints for each member of the family.  We read about each of them tonight at dinner and asked them to pray for us all year long.  Then tonight before we went to bed, Goose and I went through his book of Saint coloring sheets from the past few years and did our own Litany of Saints.  It was beautiful.

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Halloween~Zierlein Style

By | Posted October 31, 2011

Posted in Baby Hulk, Goose, holidays, Kobra, Lance, pictures | 7 Comments »

The funny thing about Halloween is that I hate dressing up.  I would avoid a costume party at all costs.  Thankfully, Lance feels the same way.  As for our kids, they love dressing up.  And Lance loves to dress them.  He does it to impress Chris.  Really, that’s it.  In fact, twice we’ve gone straight to his place for candy knowing that people might not appreciate our kids.  After last year’s Party City costumes, I’ve been on Lance to get moving.  I knew we only had one year left to control No David’s costume.  Plus, he started saying he was going to be a cat.  Nothing against cats, but no chance in hell was my son going to be a cat for Halloween.  So Meth dealer it was.

I think Lance did a great job this year.

As we walked through the neighborhood, Goose was told over and over how awesome his costume was.  I worried a bit about Baby Hulk’s feelings, but he stood firm in his decision to stay away from his father’s antics.  He was my proud Bumblebee.  He was happy that Goose didn’t received rocks in his bag.

Earlier he asked Lance if he would want to have a bald head as a little boy.  How can you argue with that?  Besides, Lance knew Goose was his man for the night.

Overall, a successful evening.  I know it won’t be easy to convince any of the boys to do what we want next year, but thankfully, we’ve still got Baby Z.

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