Monday, May 22, 2017

My baby girl's field trip with her class and our field trip to the mall. One was more fun than the other....

I'm not even sure if I mentioned the fact that last Tuesday at the literal crack of dawn, I dropped Sarah off at school for the 7th grade field trip.

According the Peter, the 7th grade field trip was the most fun of all the field trips.  Here's a quick list of what Sarah and her class did over 3 days:

After departing school at 6:00 AM, and a quick stop for breakfast, they arrived at A Walk in the Woods in Gatlinburg, TN at 11:00.  They took a guided nature/historical hike and had lunch on the trail.  Then they headed to WonderWorks which is a hands-on museum of science and natural phenomenon in Pigeon Forge.

After exploring that museum for several hours, they headed to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and then spent the night sleeping under the sharks at Ripley's Aquarium.  They also got ot dissect a shark, watch a dive show and do a scavenger hunt around the museum.  So cool!

On Wednesday moring they had breakfast at Ripley's and a morning program at the museum.  Then they head to Dollywood for the rest of the day.  It was here that Sarah and her group of non-riding friends spent the day laughing, talking, riding baby rides and enjoying hanging out together. 

After a day at Dollywood, they checked into a hotel where  they could shower and get ready for dinner which they had at a pizze shop and then they headed to the Comedy Barn for a show!  Sarah said it was really funny.

The next morning they packed up and headed to Sun Dog Adventures on the Virginia Creeper Trail and spent the day riding down the 17 mile trail with a stop for lunch at a cafe along the trail.  And then finally, they arrived back to school at 8:30 PM.

Needless to say, every child was bone tired at school the next day but no worries, I think the teachers took it easy on them.  However, Sarah did have a lot of homework this weekend which she luckily was able to finish on Saturday so that we could spend the entire afternoon shopping for a dress for the dance.

Y'all!  That 'bout killed us. We headed back to the mall to search for a dress that had no cut-outs, no spaghetti straps, no bare shoulders (but sleeveless is okay), no bling, and not too short.

Let me just tell you what there aren't a lot of for 12 and 13 year old girls.  Sarah can't wear anyting from the girls section any longer.  And she wouldn't want to any way.  Big bows and frills are no longer cool with the 13-year-old set.

Everything in the juniors department had cut-outs, or spaghetti straps, or bare shoulders.  Everything!  Well, everything that Sarah thought was cute anyway.

We exhausted all the possibilities at the mall and headed to Steinmart, but not first without a desperate stop at Chico's and the Loft.  Y'all.  In case you were wondering, nothing at those two stores worked!  HA!  I told you we were desperate.

Anyway, I knew Steinmart had a fairly large dress department and I was hoping and praying (mostly praying) that there would be a couple of dresses she might deem acceptable.

And finally, and mostly out of desperation, we found one that she loved.  It was a little black dress, and even though she had previously said she wanted something that wasn't plain, she was excited about this one.

It had little cap sleeves, a high waist (which we discovered looks good on her after trying on a lot of lower waisted dresses which made her look fat - which SHE IS NOT!), a little bit of flair in the skirt and a sweet v-neckline.

It was simple but it was perfect!  Whew.  Big sigh of relief and a huge THANK YOU JESUS!

Then we found her the perfect sandals with just enough heels to make her feel fancy but still low enough that she can dance and more importantly, walk!

And we tried to find just the right necklace but we were both so exhausted and couldn't find the right thing that she agreed to look at my jewelry when we got home.  I have a necklace and a pair of earrings that met her approval so she is dance ready!

Again - THANK YOU JESUS!  And a small shout out to Starbucks.  After our devastating and very tiring trip to the mall, I could tell she was fading fast.  So I swung through the Starbucks drive through and treated my tired girl to a small Iced Caramel Macchiato.  She had never had one before and she loved it.  The small (or tall if you insist on the silly way Starbucks does their sizes) was perfect for her.  The surprise treat and the burst of caffeine did the trick!

And now it's Monday and it's track party after school and then Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the days until summer vacation march steadily on!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Thursday and Friday and check, check, check!

I am continuing to check things off of my massive May to-do list.

Thursday night was my final General PTO Meeting - ever!  After three years on the executive board, I am done!  I am glad I served but I am also glad it is over.  It's time for a new groupof board memebers full of energy and fresh ideas to take over.  And I'm happy that we have just such a group in place.

Here I am with Katie, who also served three years with me and Dana, who served the last two.  It was a pleasure working with these ladies!

Yes, those are giant thank-goodness-we-made-it smiles!  And yes, that is Prosecco in our cups - Catholic schools for the win!

Then on Friday morning I was back at school to help another 7th grade mom get something ready for the dance that will be next Friday night.  And after that, I stayed at school for the Buddy Luncheon.

The buddy program at Our Lady of Mercy School is just the sweetest thing. All middle schoolers get paired with a buddy.  6th graders get 1st graders.  7th graders get pre-kers.  And 8th graders get kindergartners.

The big buddies sit with their little buddies during Mass each Friday to help them learn how to behave during church.  And they get to do fun activities with them throughout the school year.  It is so sweet to see the big kids with the little kids.  It's nice to see them being helpful and friendly to the littles at the school. It's great for the little kids to get to spend time with the bigger kids - I think it gives them confidence.

Yesterday the 8th graders and their K buddies had a prayer/blessing service and the parents were invited to attend.  It was just the sweetest thing.  The little kids sang and then the little buddies did a special blessing on the big buddies as they are about to leave the school and head to high school and then then big buddies gave the little buddies blessings as they are about to leave the kindergarten cottage and head to big 1st grade.  It was so sweet and I will admit that I was tearing up.

Then we all headed to the cafeteria and had lunch together.  The little buddies were hosting and they had all lined up to great the 8th graders and their parents as we walked through the doors. 

Our places were all set with place cards.  The buddies all sat together and then the parents of the buddies were paired up as well.  After lunch the buddies performed more songs especially for their big buddies. And the big and littles even got up and did the hokey pokey together.  It was the sweetest thing!

And then, the buddies were each presented with a framed picture of themselves with their buddies.  Peter is a giant compared to his little buddy!



Then the 8th graders presented their parents with a pledge they had each written.  This pledge contained things that they would and would not do when they headed off to high school.  It was so sweet.  I was crying while I read it because apparently I have turned into a big sap!

And then they showed a music video and I can't remember the name of the song.  But the gist of it was about little babies growing up and I sobbed through the whole thing.  Y'all!  Who am I?

At one point, Peter said, "Mom stop crying you're going to make me cry!"  But no worries, all the other moms were crying too so I felt better.

After lunch, the 8th graders were allowed to go home.  Peter came home and took a nap.  3 hours later when he got up, he said his throat was killing him so I took him to the doctor.  (Our doctor's office has clinic hours in the evenings which I love!) He tested negative for strep and the flu but because his symptoms sounded like strep, they prescribed amoxicillin.  He said he feels much better this morning which is good because ain't no body got time for sickness in May.

Today, my parents are having a big family BBQ which we are very excited about and then tomorrow after church, I will be taking Sarah back to the mall because the dance is next Friday and she has nothing to wear!  Y'all - say a little prayer for me.  My sweet girl who only used to need something pink to be happy now has so many opinions and what to wear that one of us may not make it out alive!  Your guess is as good as mine as to who the dead one will be!



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cloud Eggs!

In my attempt to eat more protein and less carbs, I've been having (or trying to have) an egg for breakfast every morning.  I am not a huge fan of eggs but I've found that if I mix some cream and some cheese in with the egg before I scramble it and heavily salt and pepper it, I can eat it without gagging too much.  Although, it has to be a very loose scramble.  If it's too eggy, then I'm done. It's a texture thing.

I was intrigued the other day when I saw a recipe for cloud eggs.  They looked really interesting so I gave them a whirl.


 Here's my quick recipe for cloud eggs.

Separate an egg.  Whip the white until it just forms stiff peaks.  Don't let it go too long or the white will end up spong.  You want fluffy not spongy - anain, it's a texture thing. Into the whipped white of the egg gently fold in about a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of Italian seasonings and a heavy dash of garlic powder. (This recipe is extremely forgiving so add whatever spices you like.) 

Take the white mixture and place it onto a baking pan and give it the shape of a cloud.  Make an indention into the top of the cloud.  Pop it into a 450 degree oven for 3 minutes.  Take it out and then gently place the yellow in the indention.  In the picture above, I didn't make my indention deep enough.  Here's a better shot from another time I made the egg cloud.



Then pop it back into the oven for another 2 minutes.  Gently slide the egg onto your plate and enjoy!

The best part??  Dipping the cloud into the runny yellow.


This is not as easy to whip up as a microwave scrambled egg but it was fun to try something a little different and it looks really pretty on the dish!  Let me know if you try it!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Not exactly how we planned it....

Whew!!

It's Tuesday already and I just realized I never posted about our weekend.  I am sure you are all on pins and needles.

We went into Friday thinking that we were going to get to the track and then the host team would make the decision whether or not to cancel.  At least that's what they told us on Thursday and that's what I put in the email that I sent out to our entire team. 

And then on Friday morning, (after some pressure from another school, I think), the host school decided to postpone the meet to Sunday.

SO, another email went out saying POSTPONED.  I wanted to include in that email that I was not the one that could not make up my mind and to please don't hate me but those words were not included in the email.  :)

Anyway, it never really rained Friday night but it did drizzle a lot and it was very chilly so it's fine that it was postponed EXCEPT for the fact that we had restaurant reservations with my family on Sunday.  I felt bad for my mom but they were quickly able to get some friends to take our spots at the table and it sounds like they all had a good time on Sunday - MOTHER'S DAY - while we were at the track meet.

Because the track meet was postponed, that meant that Sarah got to spend both Friday and Saturday night at her Girl Scout camping event.  Her leaders posted a lot of pictures and she said she had a really good time.  They did a little of everything: giant games, fishing, paddle boarding, a color run, a flag burning ceremony, and a dance.  She was tired on Sunday morning.









The leaders told the parents that they were stopped by the camp leaders and told that this group of girls was one of the nicest most helpful groups that they have every seen come through the camp in all their years working at the camp.  Now THAT makes me happy!

Dan, Peter and I went to Mass and dinner on Saturday evening after a day full of chores and then on Sunday we headed to the track where we had a beautiful, sunny, hot day - perfect for a track meet.

Our team did well and so did Peter and Sarah but we came up short - 2nd place for the 6th time in as many years.  Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.  But, it 's hard to compete agains the school that wins every year as they have well over twice as many students as we do.  Oh well - I guess we are building character!  :) 


7th grade conference meet runners (minus 1 plus the coach).

8th grade conference meet runners.

And then, because my mom is a saint - we had dinner at her house.  She felt bad that we missed the lunch out so she and dad fixed us fillets, baked potatoes, salad and cake!  And y'all - my parents gave ME  a present! 

So, even though it didn't go exactly as planned - it was still a pretty great weekend!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bow or no?

At Peter's confirmation a couple of weeks ago, one of the dads took a picture of all the boys from Peter's school that were being confirmed at Holy Family.

Aren't they handsome?


Take a closer look. One of these is not like the others. (And also the one that was not like the others had a shirt on with a neck that was too small - notice the stray collar.  That has since been remedied with a new large necked shirt.)

Dan has always worn a regular tie.  Peter has always worn a regular tie, well at least since he wore his first tie when he received first communion.

I prefer regular ties.  I worked with a man almost 25 years ago that always, and I mean always, wore bow ties.  Keep in mind this was 25 years ago when no one but stodgy old professors were wearing bow ties.  And this man was extremely pretentious and not very friendly.  So, unfortunately, when bow ties became all the rage, all I could think of was this man that I used to work with that I really did not like. 

After confirmation, I asked Peter if he wanted a bow tie for the rest of his dress up events - May Crowning, the dance, and graduation.

His response was, "Nope.  I don't like bow ties."

My response was, "Very well then.  If you change your mind, let me know."

And a few minutes later he replied, "Get me one.  I can make anything look good!"

And that's the story of how we arrived at this today:


 That's my handsome boy all dressed up for May Crowning this afternoon.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Brace Face #2. And doing a non-rain dance.

Yesterday I took Sarah to get braces.  She was pretty excited about getting the gap closed between her two front teeth.  Although, she's a little disappointed about losing the ability to gleek.

And in case you aren't aware of the definition for gleek let me paste this little tidbit from the ever-helpful Urban Dictionary here for you:

Gleek - building up saliva in the salivary glands using some stimulus, like sour food or yawning, and then pressing the tongue upon the glands, causing the saliva to shoot out, usually at an impressive distance.  

Sarah is quite the pro at gleeking (water - not saliva) through her gap! Guess those days of annoying her friends in the pool are over!

Dan has been gone since last Tuesday and lamented the fact that he forgot to look at her smile one last time.  So I sent him this picture:


And then afterwards, I sent him this one:

She got mint green bands around them although you can't really make that out.  She's happy with how they look but she was pretty sore this morning. 

Tomorrow is the conference track meet.  And, y'all, it's supposed to rain!  UGH.

So here's the three ways it can play out:

1.  The weather forecast is off and it doesn't rain and we get the whole meet in.

2.  The meet gets started, then it starts raining and we have to run in the rain until it rains so hard they call it and if we aren't at the 3/4 mark have to continue it on the rain date.

2. The meet gets started, then it starts raining and we have to run in the rain until we make it to the 3/4 mark. Meaning the meet ends prior to the  events that our school are best at!

4.  It is raining so hard before the meet that the don't start it and we move it to the rain date which is..............

Sunday.

Which is....

MOTHER'S DAY! 😞

Needless to say we are all hoping really hard for #1. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Science Expo! And we have a winner! (Two, actually!)

Last night was the long awaited Science Expo!

The kids split into groups in October.  Or they can choose to do it alone. My kids have always chosen to do it in a group.  Peter - because he's lazy and knows that he doesn't want to do all that work by himself.  Sarah - because she knows by doing it in a group her friends will get to come over multiple times to work on the project and it might involve a sleepover or two.

Once they determine their group, the figure out what they want their project to be about.  It can literally be about anything as long as they can come up with a hypothesis, test the hypothesis and draw conclusions.  You also have to be able to find research to support your hypothesis and conclusions.

After they figure out their project they do research and then they formulate their experiment.  Then they have to perform their experiment.  After that they have to write their paper which includes an introduction, background information, materials and procedure, results, graph of results,discussion, conclusion, credits, and bibliography.

Then they have to create the display board and come up with an interactive component for the little kids.  This can be a demonstration, and activity or a game that relates to their project.

Yesterday, the middle-schoolers set up their display boards and their interactive components in the gym and all the elementary grades came through to see the experiments and to hopefully learn a little science.

And then last night, all the parents came to check out the projects and the evening ended with awards.

Sarah's group came in 1st place out of all the 7th graders and Peter's group came in 1st place out of all the 8th graders!  It was a very good night!  My only regret was that my dear husband was out of town.  Grrrrr.....



So proud of these kids for all their hard work! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Check, check, check!

We made it through the weekend!

On Friday evening, we went to Tanglewood where the Court of Honor for one of Peter's fellow scouts was held.

Bryson was being awarded his Eagle Scout. rank.  It was a very nice evening.  Bryson and his family are so sweet and watching the ceremony brought a tear to my eye.  Peter is getting closer and closer to his Eagle but he still has a lot of work to do.  I like to think that attending this ceremony was inspiring for him.  Fingers crossed he will persevere and get it done!

Here's a picture of all the boys from the troop that were able to make it to the ceremony:




On Saturday morning, Margaret came over and she and Sarah got to work on their Science Expo display board.  Later that afternoon, while they were working on their board, I dropped Peter off at a Merit Badge college to work on another required badge.

When I got back from that, Sarah and Margaret were making slime.  One of the things they have to do as part of the Expo is to come up with something interactive to do with the elementary school kids when they came around to look at all the middle schooler's science projects.  And after they do the interactive potion, the big kids give them candy or a prize.

The girls decided that they wanted to give out slime.  So, they got busy and made a boatload of slime and portioned it out into little cups.

My kitchen was a slime factory for about 2 hours!


I found a gallon of Elmer's glue in Hobby Lobby for $29 but a quick search on Amazon led me to a $13 gallon which I had Primed to the house in plenty of time to make all this slime.  And they used every bit of the gallon! 

On Sunday after church Peter met with his group to complete his Expo board.  Y'all - nothing stresses me out like waiting to do things until the last minute but they got it done. 

While Peter was at his friend's house, I took Sarah shopping for a dress for the dance. 

It was so frustrating because I thought the dress code said: 
 
Appropriate length dress with no spaghetti straps, can't be sleeveless, can't be strapless, no halter neck, no cutouts, no maxi dresses and no prom style dresses.

It was very frustrating to shop for a dress that met this criteria and so we left without a dress.

But then I got home and re-read the dress code and realized that instead of "can't be sleeveless" it said "no bare shoulders".  I'm hoping that subtle difference helps because there were a lot of sleeveless dresses she liked.  So, it's back to the mall for us.  Have I mentioned that I hate the mall???

Have a great week everyone!


Friday, May 5, 2017

All the things.....

If you have school-aged kids then you know that the busiest month of the entire school year is May.

At the head of the busy list for May was Confirmation.  Now that that has come and gone, we can move on to all the other exciting things May has to offer.

Tonight, one of Peter's fellow Boy Scouts will be having his Eagle Court of Honor and a big cookout to celebrate.  I'm hoping that by attending this, Peter will get fired up to complete all of his final requirements so that at some point he can start working on his final Eagle project. 

The Science Expo is Monday night and neither one of my kid's groups have completed (or honestly, even started,) their display boards.  That's the final requirement but because of late Easter/Spring Break and crazy busy schedules for everyone in their groups, we have had to leave it until the last minute.

So, Sarah and her group will be working on their display board on Saturday and Peter and his group will be working on theirs on Sunday. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!  But I've spoken to a lot of the other moms at school and it sounds like we aren't the only ones who are behind.  Solidarity!

While Sarah is working on her science display board, Peter will be attending a Merit Badge college to complete (hopefully, complete - I hate it when they come home from a Merit Badge college and they still have requirements to do at home) another Eagle Scout required badge.

Although, if I'm not mistaken, the badge he is working on his Family Life so I'm certain he will come home with a long list of things he has to do at home.  But we will just add that to the long list of other things he needs to work on this summer. 

And then of course, Monday night is the Science Expo.  On Tuesday and Thursday we will have our final track practices before the big end of year meet and then on Friday night - the final track meet.

Did I mention that Dan left on Tuesday morning and won't be back until (hopefully) next Friday night? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will make it to the track meet because he has been out of town for all the other ones. 

In addition to all of this excitement, I am working with some other 7th grade moms to plan the 8th grade graduation dance.  Hopefully we can turn the cafeteria into something a little more exciting that a cafeteria. 

And between now and graduation are a whole host of other things - May Crowning, 8th grade Buddy Luncheon, 7th grade Buddy Field Trip, and Sarah's class field trip to Tennessee.

And then, it's 8th grade graduation!  And how can my baby already be graduation from 8th grade?  It doesn't seem possible but he is  ready for high school. I would say he's more ready than I am!

In fact, we attending a new student night so he could sign up for his electives, choose his summer reading book, set up his school email account, set up the app they use to record service hours, etc.

It's all very exciting and just a little nerve wracking.  Luckily though I know some other parents who have kids already there and will probably be frantically texting them through the summer to make sure we have everything we need. 

Peter came down in his uniform the other day and said, "Mom, these pants are too tight and too short! I need some new ones."

To which I replied, "You have four weeks of school left.  Suck it in!"

Lest you think I'm a mean parent - I would have purchased him a new pair if he would be able to wear them next year but the uniform at his new school is completely different.  And he has already declared that after so many years of wearing navy blue pants that as soon as he leaves OLM he will "never, ever wear navy blue pants again!"  I know that if I purchased another pair, they would never be worn after the month of May.  So, suck it in!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!