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Merry Christmas!

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Feliz Navidad!

Things here at the Leal home have been very busy these days! We just got finished planning a Formal Winter Tea for the girls Little Flowers club a few weeks ago. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! Although I had wanted to update this blog (and my other Las Vegas Mama blog) at least once a week, I am finding that with four kids and homeschooling, this is just not possible anymore! When it was just Ivy and Violet, and Violet was still really little, it was a lot easier to blog frequently. I confess I have no idea how some moms with twice as many kids as I have are able to make their blogs successful… and how do they frequently post and even parlay their blogs into book deals and radio guest spots?! I have no idea! They must have more energy in their little finger than I have in my whole body. Or are more organized. Or care more about blogging than they do about taking naps.  I admit self-preservation often kicks in so that when I have a free moment I end up eating, exercising, or laying down to rest, instead of blogging.


I have also been committed to leading a children’s Schola Cantorum (school of chant) at our parish Extraordinary Form Mass for the last year and a half. Today we sang Morton Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium for Communion. It was ambitious, I realize. We are a children’s Schola and we have only soprano and alto voices (since our male singers are boys and still sopranos), but I think it still worked out. I am very happy with it considering we have only had a handful of rehearsals. And, Natalia just learned it when she came up to visit a couple days ago, so WOW! I was so impressed! Here are the beautiful words of the song.

(Desde el agosto pasado estuve dirigiendo un coro de chicos en la iglesia. Hoy para la Misa de Navidad cantamos el O Magnum Mysterium de Morton Lauridsen. No es facil para un coro de chicos, y solo tenemos las voces de alto y soprano, pero me parece que igual nos salio bastante bien considerando los pocos ensayos que tuvimos. Estas son las palabras de la cancion.)

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.


Oh gran misterio,
y maravilloso sacramento,
que los animales deben ver al recién nacido Señor,
acostado en un pesebre!
Bienaventurada la Virgen, cuyo vientre
fue digno de llevar
a Cristo el Señor.

This is the recording of us (Schola Cantorum Sancta Brigida) singing O Magnum for Communion at Christmas Mass today. (Esta es la grabacion de mi coro, Schola Cantorum Sancta Brigida, cantando O Magnum Mysterium para Comunion en la Misa Navidena de hoy.)

In other news, this is PJ’s first Christmas. He is now officially 8 months old, and he wishes you all a Merry Christmas!!


Este es la primera navidad de PJ. Ya tiene 8 meses, y les desea una muy Feliz Navidad!

Tucson and Tombstone Pictures

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Rose and PJ

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I know I have not posted regularly as I had meant to, but PJ has not been sleeping much and when he does sleep in the early morning Rose comes in and wakes us up, so things have been hard and I lack the focus to come and update the blog. But, randomly something funny happened that I wanted to share.

Go to my Las Vegas Mama blog to see.

I hope to get the Tombstone pictures up soon!

Tombstone, here we come!

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Traduccion abajo!

We are visiting our good friends the Urtu family down in Tucson. We have not seen them in forever so we’re pretty happy to see them. They were among our closest friends in Vegas and we were sad when they moved away. I’m still not sure I’ve forgiven them completely!!!

Tomorrow we are going to Tombstone,  which Phillip has always wanted to see. There is a town called Benson on the way where some of Phillip’s relatives are buried so we are going to stop there do grave rubbings. This is not like where you rub a lamp and a genie comes out. Its actually just taking a large paper and placing it against the headstone and then rubbing a crayon or charcoal across to make an impression of the headstone.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to be with such good friends and just hang out. We don’t even have to be doing anything,  we just sit around talking and laughing.  Good times!

Maybe when we get back into town we’ll post some pictures!

Estamos visitando unos amigos en el estado de Arizona. Los extranamos mucho y todavia no los perdono por mudarse fuera de Las Vegas!!

Manana vamos al pueblo Tombstone,  done hubo una famosa pelea de pistoleros. Los actores Val Kilmer, Charleton Heston y Kurt Russel actuaron en una muy buena pelicula en 1993 llamada Tombstone a cerca de la pelea esa.

Tambien vamos a pasar por un pueblo donde estan sepultados unos familiares de Felipe.

Cuando volvemos a casa puedo poner las fotos del viajesito!

Fine Weather and Fun

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The weather finally turned, at least temporarily. Instead of the 100 degree weather we have been having, it was suddenly about 70 degrees yesterday- glorious!!! We all went for a walk down to the park.

The girls took their chances on the monkey bars, it was really funny.

Here are some pictures from the day, starting with my two favorite ones. First, Violet about to fall off the monkey bars. See her face??? Hilarious!!


Can we zoom in on that face? Close up!!



And then she fell:


Don’t worry, Phillip caught her as she fell. She actually got the hang of it and did quite well.

Here is us with Rose…


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And here is Ivy struggling on the monkey bars. Like me, not a natural monkey. We are more like water babies, she and I. This exactly what I used to look like on the monkey bars as a child.


And….walking home!