Saturday, December 3, 2016

Might as well blog...

Dan is still in Seattle so I figured since I had nothing else to do, I might as well blog.  Lucky you!

Dan is supposed to come home on Friday.  However, he said he wouldn't be surprised if he had to stay until Christmas.  Or if he came home this weekend, he would end up working the whole time and then have to fly bacl next week.  I'm hoping he comes home even if he's busy working here and even if he has to go back on Monday. It is not turning out to be a very merry Christmas so having him for even a few days is better than nothing.

This week has been a busy one!  Monday night we had Boy Scouts Court of Honor.  Peter received an advancement and two badges.  It was a potluck.  I always take the easiest meatballs in the world and they always get eaten. In fact, I made 100, and they were all eaten.  And if you've never made the world's easiest meatballs let me share the recipe.

Take a jar of grape jelly and dump it in a bowl and microwave it for a minute or two until it liquefies.  Then add a bottle of chili sauce and stir.  Then put a bag or two of frozen meatballs into your crock pot, pour the liquid mixture over the top, and cook on high for 2 hours.  So easy.  So yum!

Tuesday was Giving Tuesday and our school was participating.  We have a donor that said they would give us $50,000 dollars if we could raise $25,000. We had 50 hours to do it. We are announcing the results at the school Christmas pageant on Tuesday night! 

Peter had a basketball game on Tuesday evening. I worked on PTO things at the school for the better part of Wednesday.  On Thursday I helped out with the 8th grades biggest fundraiser - Santa's Workshop.

Parents send in money and the 8th grade sells items that have been donated to the elementary school kids and helps them wrap the gifts so that they can have presents for their family members that are a surprise on Christmas morning.  This is the biggest fundraiser for the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC.

I worked with 3 other mothers on Thursday sorting and pricing all the items that are going in to the sell.    We were all a little overwhelmed by the amount of work in front of us but we had a good time and we got it all done!

On Friday, I went to Mass and Adoration and then had another PTO meeting. After that, I ran a bunch of errands and then it was time to get the kids.

Today we had to drive to Burlington for a basketball game.  Peter had a good game and I think he was very proud of how he played today. (I know I was!)  Peter's not exactly what you would call a natural athlete and sports really isn't his thing, so any time he has a good game, we are all excited!

Here are a few shots I took with my cell phone:

Peter got the pass and turned and took a shot!


See the ball up there heading to the basket??


Swoosh! Good job, Peter!



And here is a little arrangement I put together this evening.


I wanted a red, green, and white arrangement but the grocery store didn't have any prearranged bouquets.  So I got some red carnations, some green hydrangeas (there were only two of those and they don't show up very well in this picture), and some white daisies.  When I got home I snipped some branches from our boxwood bushes and voila -  a sort of Christmas-y looking arrangement!

Tomorrow we are getting our tree.  My biggest worry is the lights.  Dan always does those so I'm going to be winging it this year.  Fingers crossed I can do a decent job!

And now we are all caught up!  Have a great what's left of the weekend!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Parade pictures!

So Thanksgiving has come and gone and now I'm left wondering how it's time to start getting ready for Christmas already!

We had a great Thanksgiving day even though Dan spent quite a bit of time on the phone for work. Mom and Dad put out quite the spread as usual.  Dad smoke a Boston butt and a turkey breast and grilled a bunch of chicken wings and mom had all the fixins and all the desserts!  So good!!

Typically we head to the N.C. mountains to cut our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  But Dan literally spent from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm working.  Even though he was home, he was constantly on the phone, working on his laptop, and texting.  He even had a conference call that lasted over an hour.  Not a fun way to spend vacation.

Saturday Sarah's Girl Scout troop had a float in the Midway Christmas Parade.  The girls all dressed up like girls from The Grinch Stole Christmas. Their leaders dressed up as the Grinch and the Grinch's dog.  It was a really cute idea! Unfortunately Dan missed the parade because - you guessed it -  he was working!

And then on Sunday we woke up, he got a phone call and had to pack a bag and head back to Seattle. And he will be there for two weeks.  Boo!

The kids and I, with the help of my brother, put the wreaths on the house and got the lights up so that it at least looks a little festive around here.  I am hoping that next weekend, with the help of my brother, we can get a tree and get that put up. 

While I am extremely thankful that my husband has a job, he's been very stressed out with his workload lately so if you could be so kind as to say a prayer for him, I would appreciate it!

Here are a few pictures of the girls before the parade.





Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Painting and scouts and more scouts!

Is it Tuesday already?  And how can Thanksgiving be on Thursday???

We had a nice weekend.  On Saturday we went to Greensboro for Peter's basketball game.  He did great!  He scored 4 baskets and got quite a few rebounds.  This is huge for Peter because even though he's tall for his age, he's not a basketball player at heart and normally tries to stay out of the action.  His true love lies in history, geography, and political science.  And video games.  But he had a great game on Saturday so we are just going to enjoy that and hope he's able to do it again at the next game.

We had a very late lunch of his choice...Mexican and then headed home where we proceeded to do not much of anything.  Although, I am trying to paint an old bedroom set and that seems to be taking up a lot of my free time.  I miss my painting partner. 

Speaking of painting!  The painters arrived on Friday morning at 8:30 to paint the trim downstairs.  A crew of between 3 and 4 guys worked until 5:15 with only a 30 minute lunch break and then 3 guys came back on Saturday for 4 hours.  They did a great job and I am very, very pleased with their work!  There is no way I could have done that by myself so it was totally worth the price.  Since it's trim work however, I'm the only one that will notice it!  But that's okay - especially since I'm the one that's here all the time.

On Sunday evening Peter had Confirmation class.  While he was off doing that, Sarah and I enjoyed some Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks. 







We passed the time by taking quite a few photos and then headed to Walgreens where Sarah tried to convince me she needed every hair product available.  That girl loves  her hair products!  And then she was up until 1:00 trying to go to sleep thanks to the caffeine!  I however fell asleep pretty easily because I'm old!

Last night Peter's Boy Scout troop ran the concession stand at the Cub Scouts raingutter regatta.  He earned service hours toward his next rank advancement.  I remember the good old days when he was a cub scout and he was racing the boats...

2009
2010
2011
2012
2013

And now I'm dropping his off at the door and telling him I'll be back in three hours and to work hard!   That little boy from 2009 is growing up! 

And while Peter was at Boy Scouts, Sarah was at Girl Scouts.  Her troop put together boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I used to do that with the kids when they were little and we haven't done it in a while.  Sarah and I went shopping one afternoon while Peter was at a birthday party.  We had a great time picking out things for the shoe box.  I hope the recipient loves lip balm and sparkles because it seems like everything she picked out had sparkles! 

And here's a picture of her troop dropping off their shoe boxes...


And with that, I'm out!  The kids have a half day today and I've got quite a few errands to run this morning!

Friday, November 18, 2016

7 Quick Takes!

We made it to another Friday so that deserves Seven Quick Takes!

1.  Dan headed back to Seattle on Wednesday and he will be there until next Wednesday.  I am keeping my fingers and my toes crossed that he makes it home on Wednesday with no delays or issues.  I will not be a happy camper if Daddy isn't home for Thanksgiving!  And to boot, he thinks he may have to turn right  around and fly back out there the day after Thanksgiving.  Keeping everything crossed that he can at least stay home for the weekend before going back.

2. The painters are coming this morning to paint all the trim downstairs!  This makes me very happy because the trim is a bit of a mess and the thought of trying to paint it myself was really stressing me out.  Trim is not easy to paint without making a huge mess so I'm leaving it to the professionals.

3.We have two October Glory maple trees in our front yard.  Meaning they are supposed to be in all their glory in October.  Well, someone forgot to mention that to our trees but they finally turned red halfway through November!

This one isn't even really that red but the other one has nice color.  You can tell by the other trees that this fall wasn't a very good one for leaves around here.  They all started to brown up and fall off before they got a lot of color.  It's been very warm here and very dry so I guess that's the reason.

4. Peter has a basketball game on Saturday and Confirmation class on Sunday but other than that we don't have much to do.  And I'm glad!  The kids have had a bunch of homework lately (who am I kidding? they always have a bunch of homework) so I'm ready for a relaxing weekend.

5.  Grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 spent one morning this week at the Ronald McDonald house putting together luminary kits.  This is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald house and they take volunteers to help put the kits together.  Our school sends these grades every year to help out.

Here are a few pictures from the morning...

Sarah and Gabi and Margaret

The kids take sand from a giant pile outside and fill plastic bags.  Then they put the sand and the candles in another bag to make a kit. People buy the kits and use them to line their driveways during Christmas.

Our Lady of Mercy 6th and 7th grade!
6. Every Friday the kids have Mass and each week a different grade leads the liturgy.  Last week 7th grade was in charge and here is a picture of Sarah giving the opening.  It was Veteran's Day so she had an extra long part to read.  She's always nervous before hand but she always does a great job!



7. And speaking of Veteran's Day.  Our school always has a little celebration.  All the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts wear their uniforms and participate in a flag ceremony at the opening of school and lead everyone in to Mass.  All the veterans are recognized and then they have refreshments for them afterwards. There's also a slide show with pictures of all the parents and grandparents who are veterans and all the kids make cards that are sent to local veteran organizations.
Peter!

And my painters are here so I'm off!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

They can't get here fast enough....

I can't believe I'm about to type this but....

I can not wait for my glasses to be ready.

Yep.  I said it.  I've been ready for  a while to start wearing them but I told the doctor that I wanted to order more contacts so that I could go back and forth  until I felt really ready to wear glasses full time. 

Vanity, thy name is Beth.

In our discussions, I mentioned that I was tired of my distance vision being blurry and that I was always reaching for my reading glasses.  She said that I would most likely notice an improvement in glasses over contacts because I have an astigmatism in both eyes and that can't be corrected with contacts. And then she asked if since I was wearing my reading glasses all the time anyway, would I like her to change my contacts prescription?

Apparently, when you start to need bifocals and you are wearing contacts, your eye doctor can under-correct your distance so that your up close vision is clearer.  And that's what she's been doing and that's why my distance vision is always a little blurry. 

My response was a hearty, "Heck yes!!!"

And I've been wearing the new contacts for the last few days and y'all, my distance vision is fabulous but my close up vision is horrible!  I have basically been wearing my reading glasses around the house like they were regular glasses because nothing I am trying to see within 3 feet of my face is clear.   So I might as well be wearing real glasses full time. 

I know it's going to be an adjustment with the bifocals once I get them and I hope I can get used to them pretty quickly. I remember when Dan got his he moaned and complained about them for a week or so and then all of a sudden he was fine with them.   

And at this point, I don't even remember what the glasses I ordered look like.  So when they finally come in, we will all be surprised with my new look! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My birthday boy!

We celebrated Peter's birthday on Sunday with a steak dinner at my parent's house. And there was cake and presents too!

We always measure the kids on their birthdays.  Peter grew almost three inches this year which puts him at 5'10" - officially an inch taller than his short daddy!  And about 5 inches taller than his even shorter momma!

On his 13th birthday he had grown a whopping 5 inches so thankfully for the clothing budget he has slowed down a bit.  

I broke down and got Peter a phone for his birthday.  I was trying to wait until the start of 9th grade but there are many situations in which  I find myself thinking, "I wish Peter had a phone." 

And now that his birthday is over, I have absolute no idea what to get him for Christmas.  None!  So if anyone has any thoughts on what to get a 14 year old who enjoys Iron Maiden music, computer games, and solitude, please let me know. 

Here are a few pictures of my birthday boy!  Although, in this picture he looks more my birthday man-child.










Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fourteen is...

Fourteen is....

intelligent
funny
handsome
moody
friendly
introverted
conservative
patriotic
tenderhearted


Fourteen loves to...

go camping
play on the computer
keep up to date on current events
read about history and wars
listen to Iron Maiden and Sabaton while doing his homework
hang out with his friends
hang out outside by himself
make his sister angry
eat BBQ, milk shakes and pizza 
Google anything he doesn't know
spend time with his Uncle Brad
procrastinate
 sleep late

Fourteen has my heart. 
Happy Birthday, Peter!



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A bunch of random...

I have an appointment with the eye doctor today and I'm going to bite the bullet.  After trying to wear two different types of bifocal contacts (they are the worst), I'm going to glasses - bifocals no less.  And I think I'm going to wear them full time and ditch the contacts. 

I am so tired of not being able to read anything without pulling out my reading glasses. Menus, my phone, labels on food, etc. all require that I locate my reading glasses and it's becoming extremely annoying.  So, I'm throwing my vanity out the window and I'm going to start wearing glasses.

I just hope I can find some that I like.  I need a pair that's cute, trendy without making me look like I'm trying to look like a 20-something hipster, and well, cute. 

I need to find something in between these...

(Which by the way, look extremely similar to the ones I wore in the early 80s before I got contacts.)

And these...

(Which come up when you google "eye glasses trends for 2016".)

Anyway, wish me luck!  I think Dan is a little nervous that I'm going to come home wearing a giant pair of trendy glasses.  We'll see...   (Get it?  We'll SEE!!!)

And in other randomness, the middle school kids had their annual Visual Vocabulary Day last Monday.  They have to chose a word and dress up in a costume that represents the word.  And then the elementary kids come in and look at all the words.  It's a fun tradition at our school that everyone looks forward to. 

But my kids picked the worst words.  Sarah picked despondent and Peter picked haggard.  I don't know why they couldn't pick NOUNS which would be some much easier to dress as but they did the best they could and here's what we came up with...



She made a rain cloud and she's sitting under it.  It's supposed to be like the commercial for that drug for depression where they cloud follows the person around.  Anyway, I thought she did a good job with a hard word.

And Peter is looking haggard while being unshaven and wearing a suit that's way to big for him with ripped pockets. 

I tried to find a long stringy haired wig but all the Halloween wigs I could find were mullets, clown hair, gogo dancer bobs, etc.  I was looking for homeless man stringy hair and could not find it anywhere so we had to settle for a beard.

 The oversized suit came from the Goodwill Outlet.  The Goodwill near us has the regular side with clothes on a rack that you pay for by the piece and another side to the store which has clothes in giant bins and you pay for everything by the pound.  It was a little disconcerting to see people sorting through these bins because  I'm pretty sure they weren't shopping for costumes.

 The school held a pep rally last week before the basketball tournament.  They announced the boys basketball team before they started doing drills and here is Peter being announced...

I guess he's hamming it up to get applause from the kids in the stands.  Look at his friend's faces.  I guess they are as shocked as I am that Peter would be hamming it up in front of an audience. Totally out of character for my boy. 

And here is a picture of him from the first game taking a foul shot...

And here's one final bit of random.

This is me and my trunk at the Halloween Hullabaloo.  Nothing scarier than a trunk full of dollar store bones and tombstones and ghosts! 

And that's all the random I can dig up for today!

Monday, November 7, 2016

And that was our weekend....

Peter's team won their first game on Friday!  And that was good news because it meant we only had to play one game on Friday and it also meant that Dan would be home to see the next game on Saturday.

He got home from his red eye flight just in time to head to the game.  Sarah had a camping trip with her girl scout troop so she missed the basketball games the rest of the weekend but she said she had a great time.

The boys won their Saturday morning game which meant they stayed in the winners bracket and didn't have to play again until Sunday morning.  So we had the rest of the afternoon free.  Since we were expecting to be playing in the losers bracket on Saturday afternoon we had no plans. Which meant we came home and did nothing.  I enjoy doing nothing but Dan does not.  He kept saying we should go on a hike. And it was a beautiful day for a hike but Peter didn't want to and before we knew it, it was almost almost 5:00 which was too late to go for a hike.

The basketball game on Sunday was at 9:00 AM and Peter had to be at the gym at 8:15. We dropped him off and headed to McDonald's for breakfast.  Well, Dan had breakfast, I  had a mocha. I don't like breakfast food but  I do love  a good mocha.

My parents watched the game with us and the boys lost.  And it was ugly.  The team we lost to is from a very large school in Charlotte and their coach is very, um, let's say intense for lack of a better word.  After we lost, we left Peter at the gym and we picked up Sarah from her camping trip.

She smelled like the campfire and wasn't interested in going to watch the next game so we let her stay home and then we headed back to see Peter's team put up a good fight but lose again.  So, they managed to get third place so it wasn't a total bust.  It was a good way to kick off the basketball season.  I think Peter's team has a lot of potential this season!

After the second Sunday game, I came home and took a nap (it was only twenty minutes but it was still a nap!) and Dan watched some football.  Then we all headed to Mass and were all very sad to see that when we came out of church at 6:00 PM it was pitch black.  I enjoy the light in the mornings after we turn the clocks back but I have a hard time adjusting to the dark.

And now it's Monday.  The kids are at school and Dan is at work.  He may or may not have to go back to Seattle today so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't.  I need to head to the grocery store and catch up on laundry and now you are all caught up too.