Thursday, January 31, 2013

Like winning the lottery and Christmas...almost.

How is it Thursday already?  And Thursday afternoon at that?

I spent Tuesday morning at the Verizon store with my parents helping my mom to get a smart phone!

A smart phone!  My mother!

That's something I never thought I would ever do.  Although we did that the day after I helped her set up a Facebook page which is another thing I thought I would never do.

A Facebook page!  My mother!

And since I never thought I would win the lottery, I guess I better go buy a ticket because don't things like this always come in threes?

So that was Tuesday and then yesterday was Student Appreciate Day at school and I spent the whole day there volunteering.

Student Appreciation Day is always held during Catholic Schools Week and for my kids, it now ranks right after Christmas.  Seriously, Sarah had been looking forward to it for weeks and had even been counting down the days.

They got to spend the whole morning moving from activity to activity (on their own without teachers!).  The activities included Wipeout, tie-dying t-shirts, paracord bracelet making, basketball, field hockey, spa, cheerleading, bingo,Tai Chi and many more. 

Then they all had pizza parties in their rooms.  After lunch grades K-3 watched a juggler perform and then had an ice cream sundae party.  And the older kids went roller skating.

See?  Almost as good as Christmas!

Monday, January 28, 2013

One of these days...

The kids were dismissed early from school on Friday thanks to the sleet and their basketball games were cancelled on Saturday morning as well.   It's too bad because I really do love watching them play. Although, sleeping in was really nice too!

We used our free Saturday wisely though. Both kids practiced their musical instruments.  Sarah worked on her reading project and her science project.  Peter did his music homework. And Peter and Dan worked more on their Pinewood Derby car. And we went to confession.

Sunday afternoon we kicked off Catholic Schools Week with a ziti dinner and bingo at school.  The ziti was delish and the bingo was fun even though we didn't win any money.

After the bingo, Peter wanted to drive around the city.  The city is Winston-Salem and while technically a city, other than a handful of tall buildings, it's really nothing to get super excited about - especially when we go to Boston at least once a year.

But Peter's been on a big-city kick lately so we drove around downtown for a little bit.  Lately all he talks about is wanting to live in a big city and going to visit New York.

His dad has no desire to visit New York so that one is going to take a little convincing.  But I think we'll be successful in convincing him because I want to go too. It's just a matter of when.  Peter wants to do it RIGHT! THIS! MINUTE! But I'm thinking in 2 or 3 years.

So it was a nice weekend all in all.

And then this morning as I was checking Facebook, I realized that our county and the one the kid's school is in were delayed two hours because there was a possibility of freezing rain this morning.  Of course, when I checked the thermometer, it was 37 degrees and while the driveway was wet from an overnight shower, it certainly was not icy.

But the nice thing about not being a county school is that we don't have to do what they do so we went to school on time this morning.  However, I waited until the last possible second to get the kids up in case we got the phone call.  The phone call never came so we were in hurry-up mode until they finally got in the car and pulled away.

And of course, Peter's last words were, "I've got a big math test today and I forgot to study." And somehow in his mind, it's my fault.

I've been stewing about that all morning.  That boy is super smart and I think he'll do okay on his test.  But I don't want him to do okay, I want him to do great.  Plus, I know he didn't "forget".

And also, I'm kicking myself for not paying closer attention to the teacher's webpage where she noted there was going to be a unit test in math today.

One of these days, I'm going to get it all together.  Today, however, is just not that day!  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

WIWS - The even more casual than normal edition.

It's Sunday!  And I know everyone is excited to see What I Wore!

So here you go:

Jacket: Kohl's
Shirt: Target
Cords: Target
Boots: Target
Scarf: Coldwater Creek

 Here's a close-up of the scarf.  It's an infinity scarf and I happen to think it's very cool.  And I'm hoping it's going to be pretty versatile.

I know my outfit is a little more casual than normal today but this afternoon we are heading to the kid's school for a Ziti dinner and Bingo fundraiser and I didn't want to have to change clothes.  So lazy - I know!

For more Sunday best, head on over to Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---
Last Thursday night, school was cancelled for Friday because they were anticipating 3-4 inches of snow throughout the night.  We woke up Friday to a light dusting and nothing more.  It looked almost like God had decided he didn't want to ice the cake so he just sprinkled the front yard with a little powdered sugar and decided to call it good.  I don't know about you, but when there's cake, I want frosting - not powdered sugar.

Fast-forward to last night.  The all-knowing and usually wrong weather forecasters have predicted sleet and freezing rain today starting in late morning.  The majority of the area school systems decided last night to go ahead and make today a half day.

We got the call this morning that our school would have a half day at 5:24 am.  Yes.  AM.  That's 36 minutes BEFORE my alarm goes off.  I was not a happy camper because once I'm awake - I'm awake. Anyway, I've got to be quick because I'm going to have to race out of here in a little to pick up the kids.

My prediction - we get no ice/sleet/freezing rain/snow.
--- 2 ---
But if we do, even get the slightest bit, I am certain all the basketball games will be called of tomorrow. And they have promised that if they call them off, they will decide this evening.  Which means tomorrow Mama may get to catch up on the sleep she missed today!
--- 3 ---
 Move over Words With Friends, I have a new game addiction! RUZZLE!  It's like Boggle only some of the letters have different point values.  The BFF plays it.  Even my husband plays it on Peter's tablet!  My kids love it too.  If any of you guys play it, let me know your user name and you can admire my mediocrity!
--- 4 ---
Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't watch Downton Abbey?  I must be since most people blog about it frequently.  I wouldn't mind watching it, but when Dan and I watch tv, we watch together.  So whatever we watch has to be mutually agreeable to both parties.  (Although I will admit that Dan does watch Top Chef even though he doesn't really want to.  That's love, y'all!)

There's no way I could get him hooked on a British soap opera.  That's what it is in a nutshell right?  A British soap opera?  If I'm missing something let me know but from what I can tell, it would have zero interest for him except for the fact that it appears the seasons are based around historical events. (The sinking of the Titanic, WW1).
--- 5 ---
We have been watching American Idol and I must admit I am enjoying it more than I thought I would.  (Dan watches it because he knows I like it and because our DVR is pretty empty at the present.)  I will have to let you guys in on another secret - I had no idea who Nikki Minaj was. (Although after checking her out on Wikipedia, I realized I was a fan of her song Starships but I only know that song because it's on Sarah's Kidz Bop CD.)  My age is showing through here!

I am enjoying the "friction" between Nikki and Mariah Carey.  It's not like it was hyped up to be but you can tell they certainly don't enjoy being around one another.
--- 6 ---
Well, I guess that's it for me.  Seems I'm all out of quick takes. I need to get dressed anyway because before I know it, it will be time to get the kids. 
--- 7 ---

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

That's my girl!!

This is Sarah's 4th year playing basketball and I think she finally understands what's going on!

She is becoming more aggressive in terms of trying to go after the ball and she scored THREE baskets during this game this Saturday. 


Indulge me a little gushing please as I recount my favorite play of the game:

With 35 seconds on the clock and her team up by only two points, she stole the ball from a girl on the other team, dribbled down the court, took a shot and SCORED!

It was the best thing I have seen in a long time.

I was screaming when she took the ball, screaming as she dribbled down the court, realized oh my gosh, she's gonna shoot, and then started taking pictures.

She shoots!

We all held our breath!

She scores!!!!
I was jumping up and down!  I turned to my mom in disbelief and this is what I saw:

My mom was on her feet with tears in her eyes.  (This picture was taken by the league photographer).

And my dad was on his feet too!

And after the game, Sarah got a big hug from Daddy!

So proud of my girl!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WIWS - Heading to the O.K. Coral after Mass?

"You going to play cards in the wild, wild west?"

Not exactly how you want to be greeted by your husband after he sees you in the outfit that you are wearing to church.

But that's okay.  I thought my outfit looked pretty good so even his comments weren't going to sway me.

"Why don't you wear a thicker belt with slots for your bullets?" my husband asked with a smirk.

"If I was going to wear a thicker belt, it would hold my poker chips and not my bullets!" was my witty retort.

And then we left for Mass chuckling at how funny we thought we were.

So, here's my outfit (photo taken by cute 8-year-old):

Jacket: Kohl's
Shirt: Lands' End
Pants: Target
Belt: Target
Shoes: Target

And here's a recent purchase that added a little bit of color to the outfit:

Necklace: Target

I wish you could see the really cute feature of the jacket.  There's a little rim of plumage (I think that's the technical designer term...if not, please let me know the correct term so I don't look like a total fashion dolt) running around the bottom quarter of the of the jacket.  Not plumage as in feathers but plumage as in three very non-ruffley ruffles.

I know that doesn't make much sense but it's cute...adds some flair to the jacket and makes it look more hip and less Wild West.

For more knowledgeable fashionistas and certainly less gun-slinging, poker-playing ones, head over to Fine Linen and Purple.

Happy Sunday y'all!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm not a horse, but I was prancing!

The only reason I left the house yesterday was to pick the kids up from school.  It was a rainy, dreary day (third one in a row) so I was okay with wearing jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers all day.

Today, the fourth day in a row of wind, rain, and general dreariness and with snow in the forecast tonight and the knowledge that with even the tiniest bit of snow on the ground the schools would be closed tomorrow; I decided I was getting out of the house this morning.

As I reached for a hoodie and my sneakers, I decided NO!  Not today.  I will not let this weather and my general laziness dictate that I look like a slob today.

I put on an actual shirt, with my shoe booties and even a scarf to add color and interest.  And then I went one step further.  I pulled out my yellow trench coat.  And voila! 

I felt fabulous running my errands this morning.  And truth be told, I felt more than fabulous, I felt proud of myself for not looking like the rest of the ladies in Target this morning.  No hoodies or yoga pants for me!  I felt superior to these other mothers.  That's right - superior! Because I thought I looked better. I think I may have actually even been prancing around Target.

Prancing. (I blame the prancing on the shoe booties.  These boots are made for prancing!)


I think you know where this is going.

God doesn't like pride.  And I will admit, I was full of it this morning.

So He decided one of those wind gusts that turn your umbrella inside out was just the thing I needed.  I may have looked pretty snazzy in Target but I looked like a  half-drowned puppy in Lowes and Home Goods and Walmart.

Nothing like a lot of wind and a lot of rain to remind me that no one is superior to anyone else and pride really does goeth before the fall...

Even if that fall is just your hair and make-up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WFMW - Sometimes simple is brilliant!

Jennifer came over on Friday evening to pick up her kids who had been playing at our house.

As she was leaving, she exclaimed, "That's brilliant!"

She was referring to this note that I had posted on the garage door, the door that my family always uses to enter and exit our home.

I had to take snacks to Sarah's basketball game the next morning.  Anytime I need to remember something like that, I always post a note on the back door.

I've tried posting notes in other places but that usually doesn't work for me.  If the note is in the office or by the telephone, I'm going to see it 20 times before I leave for the basketball game, but that's not going to mean I'm going to remember the snacks as we are rushing out the door in an attempt not to be late.

I've tried putting the things I need to take with me on the kitchen table or by the telephone (which seems to be my station for all things important - or at least where important things pile up!), but typically if they have been there for a while, they become part of the landscape and I tend not to see them, which means I forget them.

So what works for me is a note on the back door so that it is the absolute last thing I see as I leave the house!

I know it's simple, but sometimes simple is brilliant!  ;)

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips and tricks, visit Kristen at We Are That Family.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't touch Jimmy!

I was at the grocery store this morning and saw a woman wearing a pair of these shoes:

I laughed out loud but luckily she didn't hear me.

And now, I can not stop saying "Jimmy's sweet on Elaine" or "Jimmy doesn't like misunderstandings" and every now and then, just to spice things up, "Hands off Jimmy! Don't touch Jimmy!"

I really do miss Seinfeld!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

WIWS - What can I get you folks to drink?

It's Sunday so it must be time for What I Wore Sunday.

For Christmas, my mom got me a new bedspread and a pair of red skinny jeans.  Even though they are red, I think the jeans will be very versatile and I am excited to try them with different things.

Today, I paired them with a white blouse, black sweater and leopard flats.

And while I was excited to wear this outfit, the whole time I was wearing it, I should be waiting tables at Chili's.  Plus the fact that I felt like I was choking throughout Mass thanks to a too small sweater and/or blouse and kept thinking, I can't wait to get home and get this off, did not help my feelings about this outfit.

Blouse: Kohl's
Sweater: Lands' End
Jeans: Kohl's
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Target

So, have you guys decided what you'd like to order?  Can I get you started with an appetizer?  How 'bout some jalapeno poppers or some hot wings?

For other less waitressy outfits, please visit the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Santa's Lost Hat

I mentioned yesterday that Sarah wrote a story over Christmas break and I told her I thought it was so good I would publish it on my blog.  I am a mom of my word so here it is. (Please note, I have kept the punctuation and spelling exactly as she had it.)

Santa's Lost Hat
by Sarah Cotell (8 years old)

It was Christmas Eve and Santa has no clue where his bushey red hat was. 

"Mrs. Claus?" said Santa. Do you know where my hat is?

"Why no no I don't." she said in confustion.

Well I'd be go and help you find it.

"Yes please," signed Santa. Tonight I have to go through the cold bradle (brittle) winds and my bald head will freeze!

"Don't say that deer," said Mrs. Claus. Well'le find a way.

"Mrs. Claus" we will have to have a search party! 

Sure whatever we need.  We don't want you to get a cold.

As Santa went in to check on the elves he notised a red hat.

Is that what I think it is!

"Mrs. Claus" Santa yelled clankingly. Get in hear! I think thats my hat!

As Santa and Mrs. Claus where talking about the found of Santa's hat and elf scurred over to secretly grab the hat.  Santa reached into the landry piel to take his hat.  He found out the red soft hat wasint there.

Santa has always belived in his elves.  The elves from the North Pole of corse not from the Soth Pole. In most ways Santa is enimeis with Soth Pole elves.

"Santa", come aon grab the hat." said Mrs. Claus.

"It's not there," Santa said intregingly. (interestingly?)

What do you mean it's not there?

"Then where did it go?" asked Mrs. Claus. (She marked out "in an agresive way) at this point.)
I'll be right back. I think I have some hats that you will like even better that that old ripped up one you call nice.

As Mrs. Claus got the new hats Santa asked the elves if they have seen it.

As you can see a South Pole elf stoles Santa's hat.

"Santa" called Miss Claus thes hats will be magastic on your cute little head.

Santa looked close at the hats and finiily said those are the uglyist hats ever.

"What do you mean theas are great hats," Mrs. Claus said in amasment.

This one doesn't even match my outift.

"Well do you want a hat or not?" Mrs. Claus asked as Santa complaiend.

Santa filled the slaih sadly and signed.

Mrs. Claus saw how deppressed Santa was and thought she had to do something.

She knew that the hat had to be in the washing machine. When Mrs. Claus opnd the door it wasnt in there.  Mrs. Claus one had got triked by South Pol Elves and it was with a hat too. The South Pole elves didn't have hats to keep them war so they stole some.  Mrs. Claus hurred down to the South Pole. 

She rushed and ran.  Mrs. Claus snuck into there casle wich was mostly a food court. The hat was crisp clear on a bald head of an elf.  She quickly snached the head warming hat and ran home.   A still deppresed Santa sat on the couch.  She said to him "Merry Christmas".  Thank you thank you! yelled Santa.

The year of 2009 was a year of warmth and joy all because of ...........a hat!

The End!

Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---
This afternoon I am taking lunch to Jennifer and her husband at their vet clinic and I'm excited!  I love to spend time with her and I'm taking food from Sheetz so it's a win-win for me.  (Yes, Sheetz is a gas station but they have really good food!) And to make it even more exciting - I just saw on Facebook yeterday that Sheetz now serves Fried Pickle Chips.  Y'all, I have loved fried pickle chips since the first time I had them about 12 or 13 years ago.  And I'm always on the lookout for restaurants that serve them. It thrills me to no end that fried pickle chips are being made only a few miles from my house. 

And please, if you have never had fried pickle chips, you must try them the next time you are at a restaurant and see them on the menu.   But don't order them if they are fried pickle spears.  If you are going to eat fried pickles, please promise me you will get chips - not spears.  In order for a fried pickle to delight, it must have just the right batter to pickle ratio.  You don't get the correct ratio with a spear.  And you have to have a good dipping sauce.  Ranch will work in a pinch but most restaurants serve it with a special sauce.  If they have a special sauce, always go with that over the ranch.
--- 2 ---
Sarah wrote a story over Christmas break and I told her I would post it on my blog.  I will do that tomorrow so make sure you come back to check it out.

--- 3 ---
For the last several months, Peter had been telling us he wanted to be an auto mechanic.  Peter loves fancy cars and for a while decided he wanted to own a car manufacturing company. I thought that was a lofty goal but wouldn't it be great to be driving around in a Cotell Cruiser or perhaps a Cotell Cheetah? Anyway, when he announced he wanted to be an auto mechanic, I knew it wouldn't be long before he was on to another career.

Now, after studying about Albert Einstein at school, he has decided he wants to be a physicist and he spent a lot of time trying to explain (unsuccessfully) to Sarah that you had to have math to explain a lot of principals in the world that would be hard to explain otherwise.

I think this is a nice goal, but it kind of makes me miss the simpler times when he wanted to drive a trash truck.
--- 4 ---
Sarah is reading a book on Elanor Roosevelt for a book report at School.  It's from the Who Was... series and all of the people are drawn as caricatures with large heads.

Sarah looked at the picture and said, "Why does she look like that?"  I tried to explain that it was a caricature.  She said, "No.  It's her face.  Why does her face look like that?"

I told her she was just a homely woman.  Peter, w ho joined the conversation late, asked what homely meant so I showed him the picture of Elanor Roosevelt and he said, "Oh. Gotcha!"

Poor Eleanor Roosevelt.

--- 5 ---
The kids are playing basketball and had their first games last Saturday.  This is Sarah's 4th year playing and Peter's first.  They both did very well.  Sarah scored a basket during the game.  Peter took a couple of free throws and missed them but I am just so excited that he wanted to play this year.

They both had a great time and it was so much fun to watch them.  They are playing with Upward and I just can't say enough good things about the program.  It's a Christian sports league so we pray before each game, there's a break during practice where the kids talk about the Bible, character, sportsmanship, etc. The parents are expected to behave during the games or they will be asked to leave.  It's a nice environment especially for someone like Peter who is ten and playing for the first time...there are no angry parents yelling when he misses a basket and the coaches are there to teach the sport, not to win at all costs (which was the feeling I got sitting at some of Sarah's games last year).
--- 6 ---

In sad news, the Dairy Queen that I took the kids to every Friday after school closed unexpectedly.  When we first discovered this, I ended up taking the kids to McDonald's for McFlurries which were a poor McSubstitute for a Blizzard. 

Last Friday, we noticed that the new TCBY they had been working on had opened.  We took the kids in there and they seemed to like it.  Frozen yogurt is just meh for me.  I think it really needs a lot of toppings to make it tasty and really, why not just go for ice cream if you are going to have to add a lot of calories with extra toppings.

The kids liked it even though Sarah only got sprinkles on hers and Peter had his plain.  Plain???  Are you kidding me?  I kept asking him if he wanted any toppings but he said he liked it plain.  We'll see how long that lasts.

And for me, I guess the good news is that the frozen yogurt won't tempt me like a Blizzard would so more room for fried pickles!

--- 7 ---
Fried pickles?  Is it time for lunch yet?  Have a greet weekend y'all!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 Goals...Um, is it 2013 already???

Before Christmas, I was plowing through my documents in Excel and Word looking for my address list and came across a document titled, 2012 Goals.

Oh no!.  Did I actually write down my goals for 2012?  If so, I knew I had probably only met half of them.  I held my breath and opened up the file.

As I read through them, my heart sank.  I had not met even one of them.  Not one!

I had kept most of these goals in mind during the year, occasionally remembering that I had wanted to do this or do that but I hadn't opened the file once since I typed it and had not done anything to work toward these goals.

What's the point of even writing them down if you aren't going to do any work toward them?

So I have decided to post the goals here for the entire world to read. (And also to print them out so that I can at least glance at them from time to time throughout the year and not be shocked again in December.

I marked through some of the goals and updated them as necessary.

2012 2013 Goals
Run a 10k. (Train, sign up for one in the fall.)
Start taking better pictures.Learn to use my camera. (Read manual and eBook. Take a class.)
Get up to date on my picture books. (Complete 2012, start 2009, 2010, 2011,2013. Do a few pages per day.)
Clean out the garage and paint the walls.
Clean out the basement and paint the walls.
Start making $100 a month with my blog. Hahaha!  I can't even believe that was a goal.  Let's change that to - Post 4 times per week on my blog.
Memorize 12 Bible verses.
Redecorate the office.

So there you have it.  My goals for 2013. 

They all meet the criteria of a good goal.  They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  (That's SMART for those of you that don't remember this mnemonic device from Business Management 1101 like I do.)

I reserve the right to change any of them as I see fit during the year.  

And I might report back here from time to time to let you know how I'm doing with these goals. But I'm not going to make reporting on the goals a goal because, well, have you seen that list up there?  I think I need to get another cup of coffee!

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” - Karen Lamb

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the kids and looking like a total dork in the process.

I was going through our Christmas pictures and just had to share these.

We took the kids sledding and I decided to give it a go.  Unfortuntely, I was too old and slow to get my legs pulled in and I'm sure looked like a total goober going down the hill with my legs sticking straight out from the saucer.

And then I crashed into someone (an adult, thankfully) bounced off their legs and kept on going.

Needless to say, that was my one and only ride down the hill!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Normal is good!

We got back from our Christmas trip last Wednesday.  We were gone for 12 days.  My husband was gone for 6 days before that so it was really nice when we all got to sleep in our own beds.  Nothing says home to me like my bed.

The kids went back to school on Thursday but Dan took Thursday and Friday as vacation days so I stayed away from the blog and the computer as much as possible and enjoyed my time with him. 

But now it's Monday.  The kids are at school.  The husband is back at work.  And I just got back from Wal-Mart.  Things are back to normal.

I wanted to post a few pictures of our Christmas trip.  We had a great time as usual.  The kids love spending time with Dan's family and we even got some snow!

Milk, cookies, and notes for Santa.

Sitting in front of their piles from Santa.

Time to go sledding!

We went to Salem, MA and visited the Salem Witch Museum.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What I Wore LAST Sunday

Happy Sunday, y'all!  It's great to be back to blogging after an extended break.  I'll post the obligatory holiday photos tomorrow but today, I wanted to share with you guys what I wore LAST Sunday.

We were in Massachusetts celebrating Christmas and thankfully (because I think my kids would have exploded if it had not happened) it snowed last Saturday night.  We got 6 or 7 inches  which meant sledding after church but it also meant that I got to take my picture in front of this beautiful backdrop.

And it meant that I got to wear my wool Aran sweater.  (I stole this look from another WIWS participant from a couple of weeks earlier and I apologize that I don't remember her name.  I am going to try to figure it out and if I do, I will edit this post and give outfit credit, where outfit credit is due!

Sweater: A shop in Dublin, Ireland.  (My husband picked it up on one of his many business trips.)
Cords: Target
Tee Shirt: Target
Boots: Target
Scarf: Target

I tried to pose while casually looking down or thoughtfully looking to the left, or running my hands through my hair like some of the other WIWS girls do.

My photographer thought I was crazy  and kept saying, "Mommy!  What are you doing?"  And at one point was laughing so hard she had to stop taking pictures so she could catch her breath.

The above picture is as close as I'll ever get to an artsy WIWS photo.  From here on out, I'll be looking directly at the camera and smiling old school style.

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple for more inspiration!