Monday, January 14, 2019

It's Monday and I can see the sun!

This is going to be a weird week.  It's exam week and of course the kids schedules don't quite match up and Sarah will still have swim practice so there's going to be lots of me driving back and forth but that's okay because THE SUN IS OUT!!!

We had some ice Saturday night and many of the school systems are on delay today but since it's exam week at our school and the first exam is a little later than the normal start of the day, we are on normal exam schedule.  AND THE SUN IS OUT!  Did I mention that already?

It's cold but I'm happy to see the sun.

This was my backyard tree covered in ice Sunday morning.  You can't see the ice but it was really pretty.



I think Peter may, like me, have a touch of seasonal affective disorder.  He was in super complain mode last night about all the clouds and rain and general gross weather we've been having around here.

In order to combat that (for myself, I'm pretty sure Peter doesn't care if there are fresh flowers around or not), I purchased these last week:



On Friday night, we went to the basketball game at school.  Peter wanted to drive himself but since he can't drive without an adult after 9:00 Dan and I had to go too.  He drove himself and we went out to eat (Chipotle because the place we wanted to go had over an hour wait...ain't nobody got time for that!) and then watched the game.  And Dan drove home with him and I drove home by myself.  Sarah was very excited to just be home alone for a few hours.

On Saturday we had to get the oil changed in Dan's car and it needed to be inspected as well and we ran a few errands and then we came home and we all watched the Kids Baking Championship.  My kids love this show.  We like to see what ridiculous things the kid bakers are going to say and someone always cries. 

Sunday morning was Mass and lunch at my parent's house and then we watched the Patriots game.  They won!  We are looking forward to next Sunday's game but it's going to be tough.  The Chiefs are looking unbeatable and it's at their stadium so the will also have that as an advantage.  

And in other news, Sarah got glasses so she can see the board at school and I got new glasses a few weeks ago:



This selfie isn't the best quality but I think we look cute in our new glasses!  We both went with large frames that scream "hey look, we're wearing glasses!" and honestly, I couldn't be more pleased. 

I hope you guys have a sunny week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I've still got my chauffeur's hat on!

Dan is in Ireland and the kids are on their way to school.  Had this been prior to Peter obtaining his driver's license, I would have had to drive them to the carpool drop off point every morning this week (as well as drive my one day of carpool) but now?  Now, I am currently sitting in front of my computer, in my pjs, and leisurely drinking my second cup of coffee while nervously patiently waiting for my Life360 app to alert me that Peter has arrived safe and sound at school.

claclunk

Hey! That was my app and it just went off!  They have arrived safe and sound! I can relax now.

I am slowly but surely starting to see that the benefits of having a driver will eventually outweigh all the nervous fretting. I fervently pray for their safety each morning and try not to fret. I've got the fervent praying down but I'm still working on the not fretting part.

This weekend, Peter had to do the sixth and final (all the praise hands!) installment of his religion video project with his group.  He was going to drive himsleft to High Point where they have been working on the project.  There is a back way from our house that is country roads and no highways.  It takes 40 minutes as opposed to the 30 minute highway route.  (I am not at all comfortable with him driving alone on the highway yet.  He has had very little practice with us in the car with him.)

He said he would be fine and he has driven (with me in the car) this route before.  However, right as it was time for him to leave, I think he panicked. Or maybe just decided he didn't feel like driving all that way.  But Dan and I ended up taking him.  Peter assured us that this one would be short and he would hopefully be done in an hour and a half so around 4:30. 

After we dropped him off, we headed to Target and I got a text from Sarah.  She wanted to know if we could drop her off at 6:00 to have dinner with some friends and do some shopping in Winston.  We said yes assuming we would be home from High Point in plenty of time to get her to Winston by 6:00..

But of course, Peter never texted he was done so I finally called him as we were running out of time.  They were still busily working on their video. Long story short, we got Peter, went home, got Sarah, went to Winston, dropped her off a little late, ate dinner out while waiting on Sarah and then finally made it home.

Since I woke up Saturday morning thinking I wouldn't be doing anything but messing around the house, I did all of this while wearing leggings, a sweatshirt, unwashed hair and no makeup!

If you saw me out and about any on Saturday, thank you for not coming up to me to say hi!

Moral of the story -  while Peter is learning his independence and getting more comfortable driving alone, I need to always be dressed and ready just in case he decides he wants to be chauffeured around!

And on a totally unrelated yet highly adorable note, the four of us have a group chat.  It mainly consists of us texting pictures of Wally doing adorable Wally things.  Peter text us all this picture the other day:

Cute, right?  Well don't think it's normally like this.  One of Wally's favorite pastimes is chasing Kitten and cornering her behind this chair or underneath the nearby dresser.  Maybe our little orange terror is maturing?   Nah!  He was probably just tired from all that chasing and needed a rest. :)

Friday, January 4, 2019

A very nice after Christmas treat!

The day after Christmas, we decided to take Dan's Uncle to visit Belmont Abbey. Belmont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery dating back to 1892. There is a Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the grounds that is a pilgrimage shrine. In 1904 St. Katherine Drexel visited the abbey and in 1910 Belmont was created as a  nullius ‘diocese’ by Pope St. Pius X which gave the abbey church cathedral status. In 1998 the church was designated a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II. There is also a college there which dates back to 1876.

On our way to visit the abbey, we stopped for lunch in Charlotte.  After a delicious hamburger at Pinkies Westside Grill  we decided to drive past the Panther's stadium and see if we could locate their practice field.

Peter did some quick googling and directed us to the field.  He wanted to see if he could spot some players but of course, they had black draping around the fence so you could hear some football sounds but couldn't really see anyone.  Also, there was another fence around the field to keep Lookie-Lous like us from bothering the players.

We parked (in a lot that said "No Practice Field Parking" like the rebels we are.  This was the only lot remotely near the field and the businesses at this lot were not working because it was the day after practice.  And it was clear that everyone else trying to get a glimpse of practice was parked there as well.

Dan and his uncle stayed in the car while Peter and I walked up the hill to the fence.  We were disappointed when we realized that we wouldn't be able to see any of the players.  There were probably 20 people there with chairs, their lunch, snacks, etc. 

One of the men there turned around towards us and I asked him if the players were going to come out soon.  He replied that they said practice would be done at 1:30.  It was currently 1:15.  After further conversations with this man, it was clear that everyone that had brought chairs had been there since the morning when all the players went into practice and they were hoping to get more autographs as the players came out.

This nice man convinced us to stay with the logic of "it's only 15 minutes and you might never get this chance again."  So we stayed.  He even gave us a piece of heavy art board and a sharpie. 

When the players came out his family moved their chairs so we could get right in beside them.  They started calling out the players names and this family had researched the players favorite treats and had them.  They would call the players name and say, "We have your favorite Haribo gummy bears will you sign and autograph for us?"

And the player would come over and sign for them and then we would meekly say, "Will you sign this for us?"  Peter was able to get the autographs of 3 of his favorite Panthers.  Sadly Cam Newton wasn't there because he was injured and Luke Kueckly rode out on a golf cart but Peter was very pleased with our impromptu stop! 

Honestly, he was just as excited about these autographs as he was on Christmas morning!

Getting DJ Moore's autograph.


Getting Dante Jackson's autograph.  That's Peter's hand behind the other boy with sunglasses.


Christian McAffrey!  
And then we made it to Belmont Abbey.  The church itself is very plain but there was some beautiful stained glass windows inside:





All in all, I would say it was a great day!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

And they are off!

Today was the day!  Peter drove himself and Sarah to school this morning!

Here they are pulling out of the lower driveway at 7:37....

And no, I did not go running after the truck!  (Although I thought about it!)

I did,however, go inside and start immediately following them on the Life360 app.  But then I realized that it doesn't track them second by second (it updates every few minutes) so I got in the shower and started to get ready for the day.  And in no time I got a notification from the app that they had arrived at Bishop McGuinness.

And did I mention?  Sarah took her 30 hours of in-class driver's ed instruction over Christmas break.  At some point between now and her birthday she will do her in car work and in June, I'll have another driver in the house.  YIKES!!

Pray for us all!  :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Christmas and New Year's and some pictures.

Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!  And all that jazz.

I hope everyone had a wonderful everything.  We survived all the festivities and things are starting to get back to normal...ish.  Dan went to work this morning for the first time in almost two weeks but the kids don't go back to school until tomorrow.

We had a really nice two week break from everything normal.  I really enjoyed having Dan and the kids home for such a long stretch.  It was so very good.  I was sad to say goodbye to him this morning when he went ot work.

Dan's uncle was able to spend 5 days with us over Christmas which was lovely.  We celebrated Christmas Eve at the church of my youth with a beautiful Lovefeast and Candlelight service and then came back to our house for a little party with my family and my best friend's family.  (And as usual, I got no pictures because I never think about it until it's too late and I was too busy enjoying myself.)

On Christmas morning, I literally had to drag the kids out of bed so that we could unwrap gifts, eat breakfast, and get dressed in time to make it to the 11:00 Christmas Day Mass.

I did manage to get a lot of pictures of that and here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure:
















After Mass, we celebrated at my parent's house with a delicious feast of turkey, ham, and all the sides and my mom's famous chocolate cake and of course, presents.























On New Year's Eve we went to a Japanese restaurant with my best friend's family and another friend's family and then back to their house to watch the ball drop.  And no once again no pictures because that's how I roll.  Just imagine a large group of people eating way too much food and then hanging out until the ball dropped.  There - isn't that just as good as a picture? :)

I am excited for things to start to get back to normal now that all the festivities are over.  We still have our tree up and all of our decorations because my husband and my kids love them so much.  If it was up to me they would all be down by now.  But we are going to do it this weekend and even though it feels like Monday, it's already Wednesday so only a few more days of all the decorations being up!  Bahumbug!  My family thinks I'm a big scrooge but I've always said I prefer ordinary time...

I hope you all had a great holiday and that you made lots of memories and spent quality time with family and friends!  And here's to a fabulous 2019!

Friday, December 21, 2018

My little Tiger Cub is all grown up now!

This is a picture of Peter wearing his Tiger Cub uniform.  He was in first grade.  It was September of 2009 and he was ready for his first meeting as a Cub Scout.

Last night, Peter had his Eagle Scout Board of Review.  He went into a room with three adults from the Hickory Council and was questioned for almost an hour about his project, his time in scouts, his views, his leadership, his activities, his morals, etc. 

And HE PASSED!!!!

All of the official paperwork things have to be done on the councils end but hopefully on Boy Scout Sunday in February he will be awarded his Eagle Scout rank.

It has been a long NINE years from start to finish. In between all the fun activities and the meetings and the trips there was a fair amount of complaining (because y'all getting to Eagle definitely requires work) but he did it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Pictureless post with lots of news!

I'm alive!  I'm pretty sure you were worried that I wasn't but here I am.

I'm not going to lie. Last week's snow really threw me off.  My kids were out of school three days and went in late on two days.  (All the public school systems were out all week.)  Dan said he thought we got closer to 12 inches here.  My original estimation was around 8.

3 inches keeps the schools closed for three days so you can imagine the havoc this much snow caused.  And it was so slow to melt.  But finally, on Sunday it had all melted and the sun was out and this week the temps have been in the upper 50s and I am so happy about that!

But all of this weather has me behind but I am slowly starting to dig out of that as well.  We managed to get the Christmas cards sent and I got some packages to the post office and I think I have purchased almost everything I need to purchase.  I still have a few odds and ends but I will get that done.

Today my kids only have a half day and then their Christmas break starts.  So as soon as I post this, I am going to start wrapping all the things before I have to run back to the post office and to pick up the kids!

But that's not really why I was popping on here, I wanted to document that Peter got his driver's license yesterday!  Y'all, we were both nervous but the road test around here is fairly quick and simple.  I think the most complicated thing he had to do was a three point turn and he can do those fairly well.

I did not get a picture of him with his license at the DMV because we were rushing out of there to get him back to school because he had a chemistry test.  Luckily he made it just in time.  Apparently the teacher gave him a hard time about missing it the day before when he told her he might be late.  So, crisis averted.

AND IN OTHER BIG NEWS.....

We got Peter a truck this weekend.  It's a basic Toyota Tacoma.  We paid a little more than I was hoping but it's low in miles.  It was a work truck for a pest control company so it definitely been used and it's got no bells or whistles but the boy seems happy with it.  I'm just hoping and praying that it's dependable!  And no, I didn't get a picture of him in front of his truck either.  He is a teen aged boy after all, and pictures and teen boys don't really seem to mix.

And now, the wrapping begins and all of the praying because having a teen ager driving really brings you closer to Jesus! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Snow Event.

Last Monday, I noticed some weather reports stating that all 4 of the models they use to predict the weather were forecasting a potentially large snow event for our area over the weekend.  The forecasters were very quiet about it all and were being extremely cautious and were stating that they would not predict totals until 60 hours out from the event.

As the week progressed, it became more and more apparent that we were going to actually get snow and get a lot of it.  The snow was supposed to start early on Sunday (around midnight or so) and continue through the day. 60 hours out they were predicitng that depending on where you were, the snow would be between 6 to 12 inches!

Since I normally do my grocery shopping on Monday morning I knew I better do it on Friday in case I wouldn't be able to get to the store on Monday or Tuesday.

I even gassed up the car, took the trash to the dump, and cleaned the house - sort of.  And Dan, who had been in Singapore all last week made it home late Friday night.  Apparently he was on the plane in Singapore and it was about to take off when they made everyone deplane.  YIKES!  Wonder what kind of issue they found at the very last minute??  He safely made it home though on another flight and was only 6 hours later than expected.  His bag however, did not make it home until Monday afternoon.

Saturday was busy - we went to Mass at 9:00 am and then dropped Sarah off at school for a swim meet in Huntersville.  I had found the perfect truck for Peter and we had an appointment to look at it but they called and said, "Whoops!  Not sure what happened but that car sold last month."  I'm just glad they called before we drove to Statesville.  We stopped at another place that only sells used cars to see if they had anything but was told it was going to be hard to find what we were looking for but they took our information and will call us if they come across anything.  (Not holding my breath...)

On Saturday evening, Peter had to attend a classical guitar concert at Wake Forest University so Dan dropped him off for that and I picked Sarah up from her swim meet.  The three of us ate chili and then it was time to go back and pick Peter up from the concert.  And then we settled in for the snow event.

It snowed all night and by Sunday morning we had at least 5 inches at our house (it may have been more at that point but who knows and it was still coming down).  There was so much snow in the area that they even cancelled Mass.  (Our rectory is several miles from the church and since all the snow happened over night and since there are minimal snow plows here no roads were cleared.)

So Sunday we slept in, ate lunch at my parent's house, watched the Panther's lose, heard about the Patriot's loss, and did the Christmas cards and I wrapped a few gifts.

My husband's company was even closed on Monday so we slept in again.  We live on a very busy road that connects two major roads so our road was scrapped by Monday morning.  My husband had a huge case of cabin fever so we did we always do on a snow day. Piled in the SUV with my brother and got wings at Christo's. 

And now it's Tuesday and Dan is back to work but the kids are out of school again.  Many of the local public school systems have already cancelled for tomorrow as well. It will be interesting to see if their school is cancelled tomorrow or just on a delay.

The official reports are that our town got 8 inches but many of the surrounding areas got 10 or even up to 12 inches!  That is a lot of snow for here and there will be many small roads that don't get plowed and have to wait for melting to occur.  The snow was beautiful to see on Sunday morning but because we don't get big snows very often, it just messes everything up.

Sarah and her Girl Scout troop were supposed to go to Charlotte to sort boxes for Operation Christmas Child on Monday afternoon  but that got cancelled.  My care group was supposed to go to Boone on Wednesday to sort the gifts at that facility but now we aren't going to be able to go either.  Sarah was supposed to have a swim meet tonight but that got cancelled too.

I'm trying to use my time at home wisely though - getting gifts sorted and wrapped and trying to determine what I still need to get.  I also need to work on my menu for our little Christmas Eve party.  And I'm trying to encourage my kids to work on things that they need to be working on for school.  You can imagine how well that's going over.  :) 

Here's a shot from the front door on Sunday morning when I got up.  It's pretty but now I'm ready for it all to melt!


Sarah and I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies on Sunday.  Sunday is my diet cheat day and I definitely had some of these. Now I'm practicing my willpower but now eating the rest of them!

I also had a big piece of this delicious coconut cream pie I made for Sunday dessert.  Sunday cheat days are the best!  :)

This was my view while doing the Christmas cards on Sunday afternoon.  I had a cup of peppermint coffee, the snow was falling outside, I had the fire going and football was on.

Wally started relaxing in the sink this weekend.  He did this at least twice when I was using the bathroom.  Poor thing is going stir crazy.  He wants to go outside so bad but he can't deal with the snow. 
And when he's not curled up in sink, you can usually find him curled up under the tree!

Happy Tuesday everyone.  And I'll just be over here trying not to panic that it will be Christmas Day in TWO WEEKS!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Everything and then some. And a whole lot of pictures.

It's Monday and we've been busy.

Sarah had her second swim meet on Thursday evening and she did great!  The team we were swimming this time was really good.  Well, correction - their women's team was good but their men's team was terrible so we split the meet. 

Sarah swam in two relays  and also in the 100 backstroke again but instead of the 50 free she swam a 100 butterfly.  She was so nervous about this.  She's never done a 100 butterfly in a meet before but she finished and she didn't DQ and she came in third!  (Which isn't as impressive as it sounds because there were only three girls swimming that event.)  But she survived and her time was respectable. And even though she swam that before her backstroke, she still managed to have roughly the same backstroke time as last week. Her goal now is cutting time off her backstroke.

Here's my girl doing the butterfly:


On Saturday morning we got up and headed to Laurel Springs to get a Christmas tree.  It was a cloudy morning and by the time we got up the mountain, it was rainy and extremely  foggy.  Peter did a great job driving in the fog and the rain:

Zero visibility!

It proceeded to rain  on us the entire time we were picking out our tree so we were quick this year.  Typically the kids disagree over which tree to get but they were wet and cold and ready to get back into the car.


We got home and got the tree up and then it was time to go to Mass.  After Mass we went out to eat and came home and started decorating the tree.

























And we went to be a little early for a Saturday night because Dan was out the door and on his way to Singapore at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning.  But not before he got my coffee ready to go with a little love note.  This is what greeted me when I rolled out of bed at 8:00 AM:

 I definitely married up.

The kids and I had lunch at my parent's house.  Peter stayed there to watch the Panther's game with my dad and my brother and Sarah went with my mom to another painting class.  Look at their 
masterpieces:

And look how pretty it looks on my shelf:

And while they were all doing their own thing, I stayed home and finished decorating the tree and putting out the rest of the Christmas decorations and then, at 6:30, Sarah had two friends from school come over so they could work on a religion project.  I ordered some pizza and they got to work.  They finished the first part and it sounds like they will be meeting at another house next Sunday to finish things up.

And just like that, it's Monday.  Dan left the house at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning and literally just called at 11:45 PM today (Monday)  to tell me he was finally at his hotel in Singapore.  Yikes!  That's a lot of travel time!

Tonight is the first home basketball game of the season and Peter wants to go.  So it looks like after I get Sarah home from swim practice I will be heading back to school to watch a basketball game!  Thankfully the price of gas is going down.  :)