Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sixteen is...

Sixteen is....

easy going

Sixteen loves to...

watch the Carolina Panthers
play video games
eat Mexican food, pizza, and BBQ
spend time outside
play his guitar
argue (especially with his sister)
go to death metal concerts
hang out with friends
spend time alone
learn about war battles and geography

Sixteen has my heart.
Happy Birthday, Peter!

Monday, November 12, 2018

The weekend....

This weekend was a mixed bag.  We were supposed to go to the football game on Friday night but my kids decided they didn't want to go.  A lot of their friends weren't going because the school play opened this weekend and they were going to that, it was raining and cold, and others weren't going because they were going out of town for the long weekend.

I was okay with that so instead when Dan got home from work we went to Christo's and got wings.  Well, Dan and I got wings (low carb) and the kids had the all-you-can-eat pizza bar (not low carb).

On Saturday the plan was that Sarah and I were going to make Peter's birthday cake and do some things around the house while  Peter and Dan were going to help my brother get some work done at the church where he maintains the grounds.  But because of all the rain the day before (and the entire week before) he decided it was too wet to accomplish what needed to be accomplished.

Sarah and I had just started working on Peter's plain cheesecake (his request) when they came piling in saying, "We are free all day so let's go look for a truck!"

I am not good at changing plans on a dime so I got a little flustered.  Sarah and I put the cheesecake making into high gear and they started looking online for a truck.

There was a lot of activity in the kitchen and I wasn't following the instructions closely enough on the cheesecake and didn't mix the ingredients in the right order.  In fact, I dumped everything in and then let the Kitchen Aid do it's job.  As it was mixing and the cream cheese was still lumpy, I realized my error and then saw the words "mix in eggs until just incorporated".  I panicked and stopped the mixer because everything- eggs included - had been mixing away for a while, and declared that the cake was ruined and was about to toss it all.

Then my husband, who is the calm to my crazy said, "I'm sure it will be fine.  Just bake it and see what happens."

So we did and an hour later it looked fine but I just knew it was going to be clumpy and cakey and weird.

Even with not mixing it properly and over incorporating the eggs, it was still delicious.  So, if you are looking for an excellent cheesecake recipe, use this one.  (Just make sure to follow the instructions!)

The boys found a truck that looked like a good match but it was in Concord (about an hour away).  Dan called and talked to someone and they said for us to be there at 3:00 so we could look at the car.  That was perfect.  It gave me time to finish baking the cake, time to eat lunch, and time to actually get there.

Peter drove us there and did a good job.  He is definitely getting better and better behind the wheel but I still do a whole lot of praying while he's driving and unfortunately, too much backseat driving.

We made it there a little early and the sales manager apologized and said they had just received the car and that when they get a new car they immediately put it online so it wasn't quite ready for us to drive. They had done their 150 point inspection and were replacing the coils. He said it wouldn't be much longer so  he introduced us to the salesman and he took us to see the truck.  In the garage.  While the mechanic was still working on it.

My sweet husband was making small talk with the salesman while we were all milling around the garage.  The longer we stood there the angrier I got.

We called three hours ago and told them we were driving an hour to see this truck.  If it wasn't going to be ready (and I'm sure they knew it wasn't going to be ready by 3:00) they should have given us a different time or told us to come on Sunday. 

I asked the salesman how much longer it was going to be. I told him that we drove an hour to get there and that I was a little frustrated that the truck wasn't ready.  Not only were they still working on it but they hadn't even cleaned it up. (Honestly, I feel like they just started the inspection on it when they found out we were interested in seeing it.) I told him I wanted to drive the car but I wanted it to be in good shape not quickly worked on while we were hovering over the mechanic.

Basically after waiting around a little longer he told us it was going to be another 15 mintues.  I told him we were leaving and he panicked and got Dan's cell number and said he would call when it was ready. 

Too late.  Sale lost. I had already decided that it we would not be giving this dealership any money.  At one point after I told him I was frustrated that the truck wasn't ready, he snidely said to me when I mentioned that we drove an hour to get there, "What?  Are there no trucks in Winston-Salem?"  I calmly told him that there were but that we wanted to see this one that was here in Concord which is why we drove an hour to get there.  He made it very easy to walk away. 

All they had to do was be honest and up front and we could have come there on Sunday.  But no they chose getting us there over having the car ready and that made me uncomfortable. So, long story short, we did not get Peter a truck this weekend.

As we were heading back home, all a little dejected and annoyed, I told the guys that I had prayed on our way there that God would make it clear to us if this was the right truck or not.  I feel like we got our answer! 

On Sunday, we went to Mass and then watched the worst Patriots football game ever and spent more time looking online for trucks.  Sarah went with my mom to another painting class and look at their latest masterpieces:

My two favorite ladies! 

And then we had Peter's birthday dinner and unwrapped presents and ate cheesecake!

Friday, November 9, 2018


It's Friday and I feel like I've done a million things yet done nothing at the same time.

I have spent a lot of time waiting on Sarah to get done with swim practice.  She said she's loving it even though it is very hard.  The coach timed everyone on Monday and she had shaved three seconds off her butterfly time from the county swim meet and she was THRILLED!  And apparently that time got her into one of the "fast lanes" with some of the older swimmers.  I think she's having a hard time keeping up but she is giving it her all.  I could not be more proud of that girl! 

So I spend a lot of time in the YMCA parking lot snapping pictures...

November 2

November 6

November 8th
And it's raining again today so I imagine by this afternoon this tree will be totally bare.

We will rush home from swim practice so that Sarah can shower and then we will head back to Kernersville for the last regular season football game of the season. I hope the rain stops by then. 

Peter turns 16 on Tuesday and he wants a truck.  We were talking last night and he was under the impression that Dan and I had purchased him a truck and were hiding it and would bring it out on Sunday when we celebrate his birthday at my parent's house.

Um. Nope.  Sorry to disappoint.

 Dan doesn't seem to be too motivated to look for anything.  He's from Boston, rode public transportation until after he graduated college.  He didn't own a car until he bought one for himself in the army. 

Around here though, when I was growing up, everyone got a car the minute they turned 16. It's still basically like that so I've been having to convince Dan that a car is a necessary item here. (And that it will benefit us all.Which it will.)  He has finally consented but told Peter that the only reason he is getting one is because he goes to school 30 minutes from here. 

I've been looking at used trucks online and I'm hoping that we can go out and look at some this weekend.  But that remains to be seen.  Like I said, Dan's not too motivated.  And I hate the whole process of buying a car.  Blech!

Speaking of Peter, he was up late last night watching his beloved Panthers lose to the Steelers:

Even his lucky Panthers jersey didn't bring the team good luck. 

And just because I could not resist:

He is still sleeping in the letter tray and my desk is still a mess.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2018

The floors are done but the cleaning is never ending.

The new floors were finished Friday afternoon right before time to get the kids  And I am so happy with how they turned out! 

My plan on Saturday was to put everything back in it's place upstairs but I'm lazy and slow and that didn't happen.  I did however, sweep and vacuum and mop the new floors as well as dust all the furniture upstairs.  Installing wood floors means a lot of construction dust and that all needed to be removed.  The installers did a good job of getting the initial layer off before they left but it really needed to be done by the homeowner  to really get it clean.

After I did all of that on Saturday I decided that the jute rug in the family room needed to be cleaned and that was quite the project.  That required Dan and Peter  hauling it outside and then beating all of us beating and shaking all the dust and dirt out of it.  Jute or other natural fiber rugs can't be vacuumed.  (That's one of the cons to a jute rug.  Honestly, after owning it for two years, that's really the only con. I love the way it looks and it was extremely cheap compared to other rugs I looked at. It's just a pain to clean.)

And once we had the rug out of the room, I needed to clean the floor there and all of that cleaning was more than I could take for one weekend.  So nothing got put back into it's place upstairs.  I told everyone I was going to do it gradually. This is part my laziness and part my evil plan to not bring much of the junk back upstairs.  And in the spring, whatever still remains in the basement will hopefully make it to Goodwill or to another Girl Scout yard sale.

On Sunday we went to Mass and had lunch with my family and then basically watched football the entire rest of the day. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  The Panthers won and so did the Patriots so everyone in my house was happy.  Although we were pulling pretty hard for the Rams to beat the Saints and that didn't happen.

Now it's Monday and it's back to regularly scheduled weekday life without floor installers in the house.  I went to the gym for the first time in over a week this morning and that was fun.  Not really but I do need to get back into the habit because while I didn't gain any weight last week, I also didn't lose anything.  I guess I should be happy with that.

And since I don't like a post without a picture, here's the tree in the parking lot at the YMCA. It was raining last Friday when I was waiting for Sarah. The second picture is my attempt at being artsy!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Everything you need to know...

Wednesday was Sarah's first high school swim practice.  She rushed home afterwards and got ready to go to a friend's house to watch Psycho and eat hotdogs. (She loved the movie AND the hot dogs.)

And then yesterday the kids were out of school for All Saint's Day.  We headed to morning Mass and then grabbed a snack at Bojangles. Peter was in the mood for some BoBerry Biscuits.  And Sarah wanted some fries.  I was able to make both kids happy at the same fast food restaurant.  That's rare so I considered it a parenting victory!

And then we took Peter to High Point so he could work with his group on their religion project.  Four videos down and only two more to go.  So I guess that means only two more trips to High Point.

But I'm not  complaining because while Peter spent three hours working on his project, Sarah and I got to leisurely peruse the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx.   Then we headed to Rack Room shoes because even though the girl has a ton of shoes, she still needed some different ones.  She keeps her black all purpose Nikes at school for gym (and informed me that they had a hole in them anyway so there's no way she could wear them in public with an outfit and the black boots that she has been wearing for the last two years don't fit any longer.)

Peter has two pairs of shoes.  One pair of Nikes and one pair of Sperrys.  And is some how managed to be appropriately dressed at all times. Sarah on the other had, has 15 pairs of shoes and still needs more.  Luckily Rack Room was having a boot sale AND it was BOGO. So we picked up a pair of casual black shoes and a pair of black boots and I told her that was it for shoes.  She should be good to go until spring when I'm sure she will convince me she needs a bunch of cute sandals.

The whole time we were shopping for shoes, she kept trying on inappropriately high heels and prancing around.  I worry what's going to happen to her wardrobe when I'm no longer in charge of it.

The kids are back in school today and because they were out yesterday, it feels like Monday or something other than Friday.  I guess that's good news because typically when I get the day wrong in my head, it's a Tuesday and I think it's a Thursday.

Sarah will be rushing back from swim practice tonight to get ready to go to a hockey game with her Girl Scout troop.  That group of girls love to go to the minor league hockey games. I'm glad it's hockey season too because we will go as a family to a couple of games this season too.  Minor league hockey is cheap and fun!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the upstairs floors will be completed today.  The installers have been hard at work all week.  As of this morning they had about 2/3 of the master to finish. I'm hoping they can get it all done today.  Then I can spend tomorrow getting everything back in it's place.

And so far the floors look really good. I definitely don't miss that dirty carpet.  Peter doesn't like the new floors and Dan said he can't tell a difference.  (Y'all - don't even get me started.)  Sarah and I love them so at least half of the house is happy with the current state of affairs. 

And with that, I leave you with this picture because it makes me laugh!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A face update and some pumpkin carving.

The face woes continue.  Before I tell you of my latest woe, I need to update you on the red goatee. 

It is no longer beet red but the skin around my upper lip and chin is EXTREMELY dry.   It's so dry and rough that none of my thick old lady face creams are even touching it.  I guess only time will heal this issue.  I'm hoping in a couple of days everything will be back to normal.  And probably just in time for the peach fuzz to start growing back in.

Today, I went for my 4th follow-up from the skin cancer I had removed from the side of my nose.  The scar was a hot mess.  The top of the scar was fine.  It was a very thin, very pale scar.  The bottom part of the scar however was a big bulge of scar tissue.

The last three times I've gone, he has injected it (yes, needle into my nose - good times) with a steroid and I've been sent home with instructions to massage it daily.  Massage as I may, the scar tissue didn't budge. 

Today I decided just to have it removed.  I got  SIX lovely shots of anesthesia in and around the scar tissue  (more good times) and then he removed it.  After the SIX shots, I didn't feel a thing but I could hear some scraping and that was a little disconcerting.  And then I could feel tugging when he was stitching it up. 

I have some lovely little not-quite flesh colored band-aids on my nose, a bit of a black eye forming, AND a dry scaly goatee.  I guess I don't need a Halloween costume this year.  My face is scary enough on it's own!

Last night we carved our pumpkin.  We had never gotten around to it and after dinner Sarah asked if we could do it.  Dan is always be up for carving a pumpkin and I was excited that the kids actually wanted to do it. 

So after we did the dishes, we got to carving.  We always do a basic jack-o-lantern.   I'm always so impressed with all the carving skills I see on social media and every year I think that next year will be the year we do something different.  But if the kids like a basic jack-o-lantern and don't want to change,who am I to get in the way of tradition?!

A little brother/sister selfie.

When the 15 and 11/12 year old say's "Mom, let's take a selfie." you take a selfie!

The 14-year-old always wants to take a selfie with mom and I'm okay with that!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From peach fuzz to red goatee!

Remember how back in the early days of my blog (2008 to be exact), I lamented about my chin hairs?  Well, apparently over those last ten years, I started growing peach fuzz in addition to the stray chin hairs.  I'm not sure when it started.  Maybe it's always been there or maybe it's just another lovely middle-aged old lady thing I can add to my list, but I feel like I've been noticing it for at least a couple of years.

Typically I see it when I'm putting on my makeup and the morning sun is flooding the bathroom.  I actually look like a prepubescent teen who is pondering his new hair growth in the mirror and wondering where it came from and what it all means.

There are some mornings I barely notice it and some mornings where it looks like I have a legit blonde beard.  Does anyone remember Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag?  I vaguely remember watching a very bad reality show many years ago with them in it. Dan and I were always freaked out by his blonde beard.

Is this Spencer Pratt?  Or is it me with my blonde beard? The jury is still out.

Anyway, about two years ago, I decided to rid myself of my fuzzy blonde friend and I purchased this:

It's a Finishing Touch Flawless Hair Remover.  I picked it up on a whim from the As Seen On TV section at Walmart. As soon as I got home with it I tried it out and nothing.  Nada.  It didn't remove anything.  Not one chin hair. Not one small section of peach fuzz.  Nothing.

And in my embarrassment, I threw it away.  I was not going to walk back into the Walmarts and request  $9.87 back because this little As Seen On TV product wouldn't give me a nice close shave.

Lesson learned.  Do not waste time or money on any As Seen On TV product.  However, I would like to note that since then, I looked at the reviews for this thing on Amazon and either people love it because it works so well or they hate it because it won't remove any hair. 

About a year ago, still disheartened by my Spencer Pratt blonde beard, I purchased this contraption:

It's basically a little spring that you roll over your face and it ever so gently (ha!) plucks all the little hairs on your face.  I managed to spend a painful thirty minutes and got rid of my little blonde mustache.  And have since been able to keep it off with regular use of this torture device and a simple pair of tweezers.

But the Bellabe Facial Hair Remover barely touched all the peach fuzz on the sides of my face so I've just been dealing with it.  Every now and then I think about maybe having it waxed but never do it. 

And then one day last week, someone I follow on Instagram showed a story where she was on her way to her hair dresser and she didn't want him giving her a hard time for her mustache so she was using Nair for the Face in her car.  And that got me wondering. Why have I never thought to Nair away the peach fuzz????

So guess what I picked up yesterday at Walmart?

I did a little research before buying it though.  I googled it and found quite a few YouTube videos of beauty tubers using it.  I watched one vapid 18-year-old apply it and thought, "If this ditz can use it and it works, it must be good."

So as soon as Dan and Peter left for Boy Scouts last night, I went to my bathroom and pulled out the pink tube and got to work.  I followed the instructions to the tee.

I washed my face.  I dried my face. I applied a thick layer but did not rub it in.  I waited precisely 5 minutes. I wiped it off my face.

And guess what? 

It worked!  Most of the peach fuzz was gone!  But I noticed that there were some spots at my jawline, above my lip, and on my chin where I must not have applied it thick enough because there was still some hair.

So I did what the instructions stated and applied more in those areas.  It stung when I applied it so I only waited 2 minutes before wiping it off.

And guess what?

ALL the hair was gone!!!  It was a miracle!

But also, guess what?

I had to immediately Google "nair burn".  Apparently I had given myself a bit of a chemical burn so I applied 5-years-passed-it's-expiration-date Neosporin as Google suggested.  Well, Google didn't say it should be 5 years passed it's expiration date but that's all I could find around here.  And I also applied some aloe and just prayed that my skin wouldn't peel like an actual sunburn.

A little bit later, Sarah saw me and said, "What did you do to your face???"  And then she shook her head and said, "Oh,Mom!"

I texted Jennifer to tell her my woes and was even going to send her a picture of my face.  But I decided that I needed to keep at least a little shred of my dignity so that photo will never see the light of day.

I applied the out-dated generic Neosporin again before bed and again this morning and it is still red but it doesn't hurt at least.  When Sarah came down this morning she said, "Mom!  You have a red mustache and a red goatee!!!"  And she wasn't wrong. 

However, I was able to mostly cover the redness with make up and I'm hoping that by tomorrow I will look like this:

Monday, October 29, 2018

Weekend recap!

This was my husband last night:

Because in case you haven't heard:

I was going to say that Dan can finally get some rest because all these late games  have meant some very late bedtimes for him over the last week.  But, the Patriots play tonight so it looks like he will be up late tonight too. I guess there's no rest for the weary sports fan this time of year!

Don't worry about him though, I'm sure he would say it's all worth it.  I love how serious and intense my husband gets over baseball.  It's times like this that I'm sure he misses his brother, Bob.  They would spend hours on the phone analyzing the games..  I thought about Bob last night and imagined him in heaven doing this as well:

Last I left you, it was a very cold and rainy Friday.  It rained all day.  But Saturday it cleared off and was partly sunny but thankfully no rain.  My husband had plans to help my brother with a project but that was cancelled because of the weather so that meant Dan spent the day trying to find things around the house to do.  He can not just be still and sit on a Saturday. I, however, have no problems just sitting and being still.

Unfortunately, I was not able to do that on Saturday.  I spent a good portion of the day moving all the stuff from bookshelves and dresser tops to the basement to get ready for the flooring to be installed. I was huffing and puffing most of the day and felt like I got a pretty decent workout.  Plus, everything looks so good with nothing on top of it.  I wonder if I could convince my family to just get rid of all the stuff.  Probably not but I'm hoping that maybe we can only bring back the bare essentials. I'm pretty sure that Peter will absolutely not be on board with that but I'm going to try.

We went to Mass on Saturday night and then went out to dinner and on Sunday we had our family pictures taken.  The weather at the beginning of last week was forecasting  a rainy Sunday but it was actually a gorgeous sunny day.  The only issue was that it was a tad windy but our photographer said she can Photoshop out any stray hair so I'm hoping we get some good shots.

I spent so much time fretting about what we were going to wear and thought I was good to go. I got a new scarf to wear with my outfit.  The colors were perfect and would have tied all four outfits together perfectly.  BUT - isn't there always a but?  But it was really largeand I could not for the life of me tie it where it didn't like like it was wearing me.  If I wasn't getting a picture taken, it would be fine (and I do plan on wearing it this fall and winter) but it just felt like I was going to be fussing with it and worrying about it the whole time.  So I decided at the last minute to ditch it and I threw on a gold necklace instead.  So much for tying everything together. 

After our pictures, we rushed back to the church where Sarah's Girl Scout group meets so they could complete their Silver Award.  They planned, shopped for, decorated for, cooked for and ran a Bingo game for the church members and raised money for the Breast Cancer Foundation.  It was a great evening!