Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Finally back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The kids are back in school today.  Well, my kids anyway.  The county schools are still out today due to many of the roads still being icy and impassable for buses.  But our little school doesn't have buses so back to school it is for Peter and Sarah.

Sarah seemed happy to go back but Peter was not.  No shock there though.  He's always ready to stay home and never excited about leaving the house - especially for school.

I'm meeting up with my old MOPS Care Group.  I joined the local Mothers of Preschoolers group 9 months after we moved here.  Sarah was 2 and Peter was 4.  And it was a lifesafer!  I met so many ladies who were in the thick of mothering little ones and it was so nice to have one morning a month where we were able to focus on ourselves.  I continued with the group (and it eventually morphed into a Mom's group with kids up through elementary school) until I think when Peter was in 5th grade and Sarah was in 4th grade. However, I have continued to meet monthly with  5 of the other moms from that group.  We all hung around so long that we were getting to be the old ladies in the group!  I always look forward to seeing them and catching up.  We typically just meet at Chick-Fil-A for coffee and breakfast.

I always look forward to it and I'm glad we were able to make it work this morning even with the crazy school schedules.  We have two moms with kids in public school, two moms with kids in private school and two moms who home school!  How's that for diverse?!

Every other week I have to send in baked goods for the 8th graders weekly bake sale.  This bake sale is a fundraiser they do all year long to make money for their trip to Washington, D.C. in the spring. I waited until late in the evening to make my Ooey Gooey Butter Bars because I just knew if I made them early, school would be cancelled and we would have a whole pan of Ooey Gooey Butter Bars to eat.  Which normally wouldn't be a problem except that I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday and I can not stop eating them.  And I wonder why I am not able to drop a couple of pounds.  They were so good though!

Sarah helped me with the cookies and the batter eating:

And speaking of eating, I made some delicious paninis the other day:

Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and jalapeno jelly!  So yummy!!! 

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snowy weekend, too much food, and future plans.

On Friday afternoon, I got a text saying that our Friday night basketball game was postponed because of the impending storm.  If you will recall, I had received a text on Thursday saying that our Saturday game was cancelled because of the snow that was supposed to arrive on Friday night.  I will admit, I was a little annoyed that the Friday game was also cancelled because the snow didn't start until around 10:00 PM Friday night which was what they had been calling for the whole week.  We could have had the Friday night game no problem. 

Now, with no plans, I decided that we must go out to eat!  :)  There's a new restaurant in town that we were supposed to go to the Saturday after Thanksgiving but due to the fact that Dan worked all day Friday and Saturday that weekend, we never made it.

If you are local, you must try out the Cin Cin Burger Bar (pronounced Chin Chin).  It was really good and I am already looking forward to going back!  I got the No Money - No Honey Burger which had bacon, goat cheese, and sweet pepper jelly.  It was so delicious!  Diet?  What diet?


And that side of mayo that I ordered because I love mayo on a burger?  Not necessary.  The goat cheese and the pepper jelly was all this burger needed!

On Saturday morning we woke to a nice 5 inches of snow at our house.  It was a powdery fluffy snow that was not good for sledding according to Sarah so she and Cheyanne and Peter and Colton went four wheeling instead.  It's nice to have friends with big toys! 

Dan shoveled part of the driveway and the sidewalks and by 1:00 he was ready for lunch. His cabin fever had already set in.  So the kids changed into dry clothes and we piled into the car with my brother and off we went to eat out.  Y'all! I'm living the dream! 

We went to my favorite wing place (Christo's) and I proceeded to chow down on a big order of hot wings.  One of my bucket list items is to eat wings at the Anchor Bar - the place that invented the Buffalo wing.  While we were eating  lunch we were discussing that we needed to swing by Buffalo on our way home from the Cape one summer and get some wings and visit Niagra Falls.  And when I say "swing by", I really mean, drive about 8 hours!  But, that would kill two birds with one stone - Anchor Bar Wings and Niagra Falls!  I think we need to make that happen!

And all this eating, meant that what I really wanted to accomplish on Saturday did not happen.  The bonus room remains a hot mess.  I was lamenting this fact to Dan and he said, "What do you mean we didn't do anything today?"  The kids played on the four wheelers with their friends, we had lunch together, it was a great day! And besides - if you want to clean out the bonus room, you really need to clean out the basement first."

Argh.  He's probably right.  I think I'm going to look into those collapsible dumpsters that get delivered to your house and once you fill them up, they will come pick them up and take the stuff away. 

On Sunday, we headed to Mass, then lunch at my parent's house, then an afternoon and evening of watching football.  The kids finished their homework and we go the text that there would be no school today so there was much cheering about that! 

I will leave you with some pictures of snow in the south:


See that weird lump in the table?  That's the bowl we left out for snow cream!

Sweet Sarah on her way to attempt to sled in the powder.

View from my front porch on Saturday morning right after I woke up.

Snow cream!  YUM!

Sarah and Chey came in from 4 wheeling and decided that they needed some hot chocolate!
Happy Monday, y'all!

Friday, January 6, 2017

7 Quick Takes: My $4000 phone bill, my 4000 Legos and snow.

It's Friday and I'm trapped at my computer so it seems like the perfect time for 7 Quick Takes!

1. Why am I trapped at my computer?  Welllllllllll....I went online to pay my Sprint bill on Wednesday and low and behold it showed that I owed over $4000!  We got Peter a phone for his birthday in November so my first thought was, "What the heck has he done?????"  Sorry, Peter!

Apparently someone hacked into my account and ordered 3 phones and 3 lines of service.  YIKES!  And, y'all, it's sort of my fault.  Not the hacking in part, but I did receive an email from Sprint in early December and I think it vaguely said something about my password having been changed.  I also vaguely remember that I was in the throes of PTO work, purchasing Christmas presents, and just general December craziness and I also vaguely remembered thinking to myself, "I should really call Sprint." 

Anyway, after being on the Sprint Chat (because you can not get a real live person on the other end of the phone) for 1 1/2 hours on Wednesday, it was all resolved.

However, I went online to pay this morning and it still showed that I owe $500.  WRONG.  So, I'm back on chat with them now. 

2.  Snow.  BOO!!!  I hate snow. And mostly because in N.C., it just messes everything up.  It's supposed to snow 3 - 5 inches here starting late tonight and into the morning so yesterday I got an email stating that Saturday's basketball has been rescheduled to next Wednesday.  I was looking forward to driving to Greensboro with the family tomorrow for this basketball game.  But now thanks to the snow (or rather, the IMPENDING snow) I will get to drive to Greensboro Wednesday after school.  GRRRRRR....  I enjoy Saturday basketball games but games during the week, not so much. 

3. UPDATE:  So, I'm off chat now, apparently the Fraud Team is still working to get all of my charges adjusted.  They have assured me that I won't be fined a late fee and my service will not be cut off while they are trying to sort all of this out. 

4.  I actually do need a few things from the grocery store which is unfortunate because it will be a madhouse thanks to the IMPENDING snow.  And I could really probably wait to get them because when we are "snowed in"  my husband gets cabin fever and will get out and go do something - and typically we find a restaurant that's open and go eat! :)  I think it's the Bostonian in him.  3 - 5 inches does not bring everything to a halt there but it sure puts a damper on things here.

5.  Since we aren't going to be spending Saturday playing basketball, I think we will clean out the bonus room.  It's still a hot mess from when we were redoing the downstairs and everything just got shoved there.  But basically all this means is that everything that got shoved up there will get moved to the basement.  But getting it to the basement is one step to getting it out the door because I can back my car up to the basement door and get things to the dump or to Goodwill!  :) 

6.  One of the main things that taking up space in the bonus room is Legos.  Every single Lego (minus the ones that got vacuumed up are in the bonus room.  And Peter hasn't really played with them consistently for at least three years.  Oh, occasionally, he and Colton would play with them over the last few  summers but it was rare.  And I can't even really say they were playing with them.  Maybe putting a couple of pieces together here and there but that was about it.  So, to the basement they go until I can figure out what to do with them.  Peter does not want to part with them but do I really need 1,000's and yes, there are 1,000s of Lego pieces in big plastic bins in my basement???

7.  And speaking of cleaning things up.  I have begun the process of unsubscribing to all the emails I get that clutter up my inbox.  I mean, do I really need a weekly email from Domino's Pizza with their latest special or an email from Box Tops for Education explaining why I need to be collecting Box Tops, or even an email from my beloved Joanna Gaines reviewing last night's Fixer Upper?  NO!  I do not!  So, it's farewell to all the useless marketing emails and hello to a nicer inbox!

And with that, I'm out.  Time to go get my bread, milk, and toilet paper!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I took a week off and apparently spent it eating!

Hi!  Welcome back to the blog!  As you can see, I took a little break from things over here to enjoy Christmas. 

Well, and honestly, when everyone is home, I can't blog but everyone is back to their normal routine today (finally!) so here I am!

And let me just say go ahead and get this out of the way:


According to my scale, I was fine before Dan got home from Seattle but this morning, it told me otherwise.  Apparently all I did the past week was eat.  So, this was my breakfast this morning:

Gonna try to do the low carb for a little bit just to get back in gear.  I'm not starting any new diet or anything, I just fill like I probably had enough carbs over the last couple of weeks to last me for a while so less of them can only be better for me.

However, that's the exact breakfast I had yesterday morning and look what I got yesterday afternoon:

Yep.  Donuts.  In my defense, there's a new donut shop that my parents were raving about so I had to see what the fuss was all about.  I ate the lovely red velvet cake donut and had a bite of Dan's chocolate glazed donut which was filled with a delicious white cream.  They were yummy but hopefully I can resist all the sugar and all the carbs today.  Willpower - not my strong suit.

So, where were we?  Yes!  Christmas!  Dan finally arrived home on Christmas Eve and promptly did this:

And then he got up for a little bit and promptly went right back to napping.  The red-eye will do that to you!

We went to my old church on Christmas Eve for their Lovefeast and Candlelight service.  It was beautiful!  Afterwards my family and my BFF's family came back here for appetizers and festivity!

It was a great evening and I took zero pictures.  I'm so bad about that! 

I had to set my alarm on Christmas morning because I knew everyone was going to be sound asleep.  And I was right.  I got up at 7:30, put the breakfast casserole in the oven, had a cup of coffee and then got everyone out of bed.  Long gone are the days when the kids are up before dawn.  I kind of miss that.

We opened our stockings.  It's tradition that Santa brings tons of stocking stuffers and we always open those first. 
















After the great gift unwrapping, we ate breakfast and then got ready for Mass.  After Mass, we went to my parent's house for lunch.  My mom fixed everything that we would normally have in Wellesley for Christmas day lunch.  Then we unwrapped presents there and y'all I totally forgot to get pictures of all of us unwrapping our gifts.  I didn't even realize it until I got home. 

But, I did remember to get the annual Tesh Family photo that we have been taking since 1997!

And then, after that, Christmas day was over.  And then apparently I proceeded to eat until New Year's! 

We did manage to get in a  couple of fun family things during the week between Christmas and New Year's.  We headed toGrandfather Mountain last Wednesday.  It was a very warm day and we enjoyed the time together.  And Dan and the kids walked across the Mile High Swinging Bridge.  I however, did not.   I am still traumatized by the time I went across it when I was about 10.  Although, they have since upgraded it and it not longer actually swings like it did when I was a kid.  Still didn't go across it though.





And on Friday, we headed to Charlotte and ate lunch at Midwood Smokehouse.  So good!

And then headed to Reed Gold Mine which is the site of the first gold discovery (1799) in the United States.





On New Year's Eve, we went with a group of friends to a Japanese Steakhouse for dinner (and I got zero pictures) and then we headed back to Jennifer's house to hang out and wait for the ball to drop.

And I only got one picture and it's of Sarah and Cheyanne after they mixed up so good old fashioned Shirley Temples!


And just like that - our TWO WEEK vacation is over. 

Sarah, who normally takes for every to go to sleep, actually got to sleep at a decent hour last night but woke up this morning and 4:00 wide awake and raring to go.  She came downstairs a little before 6:00 while I was drinking my coffee.  Peter, who normally goes right to sleep, apparently tossed and turned last night until after 2:00 so he was hard to get up this morning.  But I was able to get Dan and the kids out the door and off to work and school and it's time for me to get the groceries!

This afternoon we have an orthodontist appointment and a basketball game and I'm sure the kids will have a ton of homework.  I guess it's back to life, back to reality!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Pretending I'm Martha Stewart!

So, Dan won't be home until in the morning.  And at some point last night he mentioned that he HOPED he would be home on Saturday. I didn't even acknowledge the fact that not being home on Saturday morning was even a remote possibility.  I might have even stuck my fingers in my ears and started singing a "I cannnn'ttttt heeeeaaaarrrrrrr  yooooouuuuuuuu!"

I've been busy this week.  Having the kids at home has been nice even though we haven't really done anything.  Peter mentioned a movie and I had even thought about that but when I checked what was available, I knew there was nothing that all three of us would be happy seeing and we just ended up staying home.

But, we've been making and baking!

We went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bunch of craft stuff:

I would show you what I made but someone that reads this blog regularly (hello mom!) is going to be the recipient of some of the cute things we made with all this stuff. 

We've also been busy baking. Yesterday we made fudge!

It's the super easy kind with just condensed milk, chocolate chips and vanilla.  Next year and I may get wild and make real fudge that requires butter, sugar, eggs, etc.  But then again, I may not!

We also melted chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel and made pretzel rods! 

Yum!!!!

And finally, we made chocolate chip cookies!

I used my sister-in-law's recipe and it is so good.  The edges are crispy but the insides are chewy.  These are the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  You take the regular Toll House recipe and subtract 1/4 cup of flour and increase both sugars by a 1/4 cup.  And then bake for 10 minutes.  The centers will still look undone but take them out anyway.  They continue baking after you bring them out of the oven.  And this goes for any chocolate chip cookie.  If you wait until they look done until you take them out, they will end up way over done.  And that's my Martha Stewart tip of the day!

And today, I'm getting ready for a little Christmas Eve party we are going to have.  We will go to my brother's church tomorrow night for a Moravian Lovefeast and Candlelight service and then my family and my BFFs family will come back here for appetizers and some Christmas cheer!

I'm trying to get some of the food prepped today so I don't have quite as much to do tomorrow.  Enjoy your final moments of Advent.  Our long awaited guest is almost here.  And I mean Jesus  - not Dan!  :) Although I'm really looking forward to seeing him too!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Melting Potatoes

We are hoping and praying that Dan is able to get on a plane tomorrow morning.  That all hinges on whether or not they are able to complete the third and final plane in the order today.  It is scheduled to be completed today, however, the other two planes both were completed the day after they were scheduled due to various issues. 

If it doesn't get completed today then instead of taking the early flight out tomorrow morning and being home by tomorrow evening, Dan would have to stay on Friday and then take the red-eye home on Friday night arriving Saturday.  Needless to say, the kids and I are praying for a miracle that this final plane is able to be completed today so that Dan can get home!

Today I thought I would share with you this new recipe I tried this week.  Typically when Dan is gone, I don't cook.  However, when your husband is gone for a month, you don't just tell the kids to eat whatever they want for a month. So the other night I picked up a rotisserie chicken -technically that's not cooking but both kids love those. But I did make a new potato dish.  It's called melting potatoes and I saw it somewhere online. 

They were billed as "crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside" which is exactly how I would describe the Pioneer Woman's Crashed Hot Potatoes which I make frequently and everyone loves.  The main difference being that this recipe looked a little less time consuming.  So I gave it a shot.

And they were good!  Really good!  I will be making these again for Dan whenever he gets home!

The recipe can be found here on ClosetCooking.com.

If you decided to try these - please note that the recipe calls for the potatoes to be sliced to an inch thick.  If you look at the pictures posted with the  original recipe, it is clear that the potatoes were sliced  a half inch not an inch.  And that's what I did and they came out perfectly.  I think sometimes people say an inch without realizing exactly how big an inch really is.

And mine really could have used a few extra minutes in the oven but they were still really good!

I hope you give these a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The weekend and my new glasses!

We've been busy little bees around here.

On Friday, after a day of Christmas parties and #GivingTuesday celebrations at school, the kids came home, hung out with friends and relaxed.  Then we headed to Christo's in Lexington for dinner with my parents.  If you are local and love a good Buffalo wing, you need to get to Christo's.  They have the best ones ever.  Ronnie's in Clemmons is second but for the best wing its always Christo's.  And then of course, my dad makes fabulous wings on the grill but y'all can't get just pull up to his front door and request an order.  I probably could, but you guys can't.  :)

I got the Christmas cards done on Saturday, Peter helped my brother with some work and Sarah and I ran errands and had lunch at Subway. 

Sunday was  a very busy day.  After Mass, we had lunch at my parent's house and then Sarah and I headed to the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem to see the University of North Carolina School of the Arts perform the Nutcracker!  Sarah and I had never been so we were excited.
 Here we all are! I like how Jennifer and I are a little blurry in the background! 

And here is a shot of just the girls!

It was a really good show and I'm so glad we went!  However, getting out of the parking deck was a nightmare.  It took us ONE HOUR!!!  And I'm not even exaggerating!  We happened to be one of the last people out of the deck.  It was so frustrating!!!  We barely made it to drop of Sarah and Cheyanne at their Girl Scout Christmas party.  After we dropped them off, Jennifer and I went to dinner.  It was nice to catch up with her.  I've been so busy with things at school and trying to get everything done for Christmas that I haven't had lunch with her in a month!  That's too long!  Hopefully January will be a little more calm!

Yesterday I went to pick up my glasses and here is the mug shot I took of myself this morning.

I need to go back today to get them adjusted.  The stem on the left side is digging into my ear and the stem on the right side is a little high.  And that's because my ears are uneven but I'm hoping they can make them a little more comfortable. 

Regardless, I am just so excited to be able to  see. A lot of people warned me that I would hate them or have trouble getting used to them.  But I quickly adjusted.  I think it's because I had to wear my reading glasses with my contacts for the last month and could not see a darn thing up close or mid-range without them.  Now I'm not cussing under my breath while searching for my reading glasses so I can read a label or something on the computer.

Have a happy Tuesday, everyone!  I will be trying to wrap up the last of my present wrapping and then will need to start thinking about cleaning and cooking to be ready for Christmas!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dan and my list....

Dan will not be arriving home tomorrow morning as planned.  Instead, he is now currently scheduled to come home on December 23rd.  And y'all, I am praying that he actually does make it home for Christmas.  If he doesn't, the kids will be devastated. So, I'm praying that he will be home on the 23rd and that he will at least get to stay home 4 or 5 nights.  Although, most likely he will have to go back right after Christmas. 

In the meantime, I've been trying to remind my kids to think about our blessings and not Daddy being gone so I thought I would put down a few of them right here. So, here they are.

Things I Am Thankful For

1.  We are all healthy.  And I don't just mean that we are free from sniffles or the stomach bug, but that we are not fighting a major disease or a catastrophic illness.

2.  Daddy has a job - and a good one at that.  Even though this project isn't going well, Daddy is still gainfully employed and we have all that we need and actually so much more.

3.  My kids attend a great school.  It's a small school and it's not perfect (no school is) but it's perfect for us.  The teachers have high expectations for the kids and they usually rise to meet them.  Kindness, generosity, helpfulness and a very strong work ethic are not just taught but modeled at our school on a daily basis.  

4.  We have a house (with a really great new kitchen!) and it is filled with everything we need and most of everything we want.

5.  My parents are right next door and love to take my kids to school when Dan's not home.  And they would do anything for us.

6.  My brother is nearby and would also do anything for us.

7.  In addition to family, we have friends who love us as well and would do anything for us.

8.  We have our Catholic faith which is just so beautiful. Every season is so perfectly thought out and full of meaning and always seems to come just when you need it. Advent is a season of waiting for Jesus but this season has a different element of waiting for us - waiting for Daddy to come home! 

9.  Diversions - we have lots to do to keep us busy.  Basketball, scouts, and church are keeping us busy these days.  But we also have dinners out with friends and family, parties to attend, and shows to see.  We may be missing Dan but we have things to do to keep our mind off of it.

10.  And last but not least, I would like to put something really silly on this list.  This Is Us and Fixer Upper.  I have been able to watch all 10 episodes of This Is Us while Dan has been gone and y'all, if you aren't watching that show you really should be.  It's all kinds of good!  And, you know my love for Chip and Joanna.  It's nice to be able to watch as much shiplap and demo day as my heart desires on Tuesday nights. 

I have so much to be thankful for, how can I be bitter that Dan isn't here with us right now?  Because, ultimately, this program will be over and he will get to come home and life will resume as normal. 

Have a great weekend everybody!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This, that and the other....

Y'all!  I'm behind in life so this is going to be fast!

This weekend was very nice.  On Saturday I met three of my oldest friends at a local winery for lunch and to catch up.  Mom and Dad took the kids to Peter's basketball game so I could enjoy myself!

It was so great to catch up with these ladies!

Me, Kristi (college friend that I met in 1987), Christie (friend from work that I met in 1995), Tanya (friend that I met in Junior High is 1982! and was later my college roommate and also worked at the same place Christie and I worked).

It's always nice to spend time with them and we have vowed to get together sooner.  They all live in Charlotte and we used to meet once a month for dinner and then I had to go and move and our twice a year meetings have dwindled to once a year and this time over a year had passed.  We can't let that happen again!

On Saturday evening, Sarah and I made this delicious cake:



It's basically a southern birthday cake - Southern White Almond cake with Southern Buttercream Frosting.  It was really good.  I think if we made it one more time it would perfect!  There are a few minor changes/updates we need to make and then I think we will have the recipe for all of our future birthday cakes!

On Sunday we went to Mass, had lunch at my parent's house (and ate the delicious cake) and then I came home and made our Christmas card.  Hopefully I will be able to get them out before Christmas! 

Yesterday was errands and PTO work, basketball practice and Girl Scouts and today I am going to attempt to finish the last of my Christmas shopping or at least try to get the bulk of it completed.  And tonight Peter has a basketball game. 

Last night at Girl Scouts, a paint your own masterpiece place brought the canvas and all the supplies and the girls painted away!  Sarah was frustrated that she wasn't getting her math assingment to work out and wanted to stay home from GS to try to get it right.  However ,she had already been working on it for 2 1/2 hours and I knew she just needed to go in this morning to talk to her teacher.  So I forced her to go paint and to relax.

And she had a great time and this is her masterpiece:


I think it looks great!!! 

And speaking of great.  A fellow PTO mom gave all the board members a bottle of Cranberry Prosecco  and had tied a sweet little package of Trader Joe's mistletoe to it.  It made a very festive gift!   Thank you, Dana!

Now if I could just get my husband home!  ;)