Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 8

Y'all.  This week has flown by.  I looked up and it's Thursday.  So let's so what I've got to be thankful for this week.

1.  Health.  I feel like our family made it out of this horrible flu season fairly unscathed.  Sarah had the flu early in the season but she honestly only felt bad one day.  And other than a head cold here and there, the rest of us have been fine.  Of course, winter has another month  to go but for now, I'm thankful that we have been so healthy.

2.  Warm weather.  With weather in the low 70s this week, it sure feels like spring is in the air! My tulips seem to think so too...

3. Cute things. I always keep little pinch pots of salt and pepper out when I'm cooking so when I saw these at Target from Chip and Jo's Hearth and Home line, I knew I had to have them.  Aren't they cute?

4. The sun.  Y'all.  It has been so cloudy and rainy around here.  Even though it's warm it still looks like winter outside.  So I've been thankful for the sunshine whenever we can get it.  I'll take a couple hours here and there over none at all!

5.  The tulip.  Last week Dan got me tulips for Valentine's Day.  But what I didn't realize until Sunday was that on his way to the Ash Wednesday service, he stopped by Rebecca's grave and put one lone tulip stem on her gravestone.  As soon as I saw it, I teared up.

We visit Rebecca's grave every Sunday after Mass religiously.  But just thinking about my sweet husband stopping by and paying his respects and leaving her one of those beautiful tulips just makes me so thankful for him, for tulips, for her.   She wasn't here for long but man, that little baby was loved.  And that tulip still looked perfect on Sunday.  The ones in the house were completely open and starting to wilt a bit but because of the cooler temps last week and the wet weather, it looked as if it had just been placed there.  It makes me smile just to think about it.

6. My crock pot. On busy days, I am always thankful for my crock pot and the ability to have a meal almost ready when we all get home from doing whatever it is we are doing.  I spent the majority of yesterday running around, driving people here and there, and was basicallyaway from home all day.  But dinner wasn't an issue thanks to my trusty crock pot.  But now the question is whether or not I should get an Instant Pot?!

7. That purse I didn't get.  I was in the store debating a purchase.  It was a gorgeous purse - the color was perfect, the shape was perfect, the size was perfect and it even had a clasp for your key chain.  And the price was too good to pass up. But I did pass it up because I had a purse in the exact same color that was only two weeks old.  Even though the other purse was way nicer (Michael Kors versus Target - that much nicer!)  I did not need it.  And as I was walking to the car almost instantly regretting that I did not get it, I realized  - I don't need anything.

There is not one thing that I currently need that I do not have or could not get if a need suddenly came up.  And for that, I praise the Lord and thank Him on the regular!

8.  Billy Graham.  How could I let this thankful list go  without being thankful for him and the Truth that he brought to so many millions of people.  Even in his death, he is bringing Truth to our troubled world as his life story and love of Jesus were all over the news, the radio, social media.  I imagine that even in his passing, he is bringing people to God as nonbelievers stop and listen to his words!  What a beautiful legacy of a life sold out for Jesus!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, February 19, 2018

And here we are again at Monday.

Well that one flew by didn't it?

We had nothing to do on Friday evening so we ate our traditional Friday evening Lenten pasta dinner which was met with two thumbs down.  I made a "sauce" that I've made before adn I actually like - it's just garlic, chili pepper flakes and lots of evoo. 

Peter who has decided that he doesn't really ever want to eat pasta again (he's a lot like me - I can only eat angel hair or thin spaghetti) had a cheese calzone from Aldi (he loves those) and Dan and Sarah deemed the "sauce" not saucy enough.

I was eating a tomato sauce on my fake noodles so I can't weigh in on the saucy factor but I'll have to take their word for it.  They added some pesto that I had in the fridge and were content.

And after our not-so-saucy pasty dinner we watched some of the Olympics.  When we are watching, the kids will float in and out of the room, sit for a little until they get bored and then leave, and then come back in, etc.  That's kind of how I feel about the Wwinter Olympics.  Just meh.

On Saturday, Peter drove my brother to Kannapolis to run an errand with him.  They took the back roads so he didn't have to be on the highway.  He got some good driving time in and told me that Uncle Brad is a way better front seat driver than I am.  Apparently he never annoyed Peter once.  Hmmmph!

While they were gone, Dan and Sarah and I, went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and then ran a couple of errands.  When we got home from that I made a wine cake for Sunday dessert and then we picked up Colton and Cheyanne and headed to the Carolina Thunderbirds hockey game.

We had a blast!  In fact, we are talking about going back next weekend.

Here is the one picture I took all evening.  It is very hard to get 4 teenagers to pose for a picture for their mother/fake aunt out in public.

Please note the two sweet girls who are humoring me and the two boys who are messing with me.  Colon is doing the Thinker pose and Peter is doing his patented death metal glare/smirk.

On Sunday we went to Mass, had a delicious lunch at my parent's house and then helped Sarah with her science expo experiment.  We all had to listen to a bunch of different songs and track how often they went through our heads for the rest of the day.

Dan had a scout leader meeting and then we settled in for an evening of watching the Olympics.  Why did we waste so much time watching the practice runs for the skiers??? Why???  Was there nothing else they could have shown us?

And with that, it's Monday.  Dan is at work, the kids are still in bed, and I am off to the grocery store.  Happy President's Day everyone!  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rambling and a recipe.

I am excited to report that it is not even 11:00 AM yet and it is already 69 degrees.  I am not very excited to report that tomorrow it will be high of 42 degrees and rainy.  Blech. BUT - I'm going to enjoy the heck out of this sunny and warm weather while it's here.

Before I forget, I need to report on another meal that got two thumbs up from my husband.  And it was another chicken dish.  He normally doesn't love chicken unless it's fried but chicken is cheap and we have it at least once or twice a week.  Another problem that he has with chicken breasts (which are what I always buy be cause he doesn't like dark meat, why so picky?) is that they are normally too big.  So, I've been taking two  failry good sized breasts and cutting them in half longways and is just the right amount for the four of us.

The recipe that I made last night is low carb and high fat but IT. WAS. GOOD.  And since it got two thumbs up from Dan, I will be making it again.  It's called Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Bacon and Cream Sauce.  It's got bacon AND cream so of course it's going to be good.

This is the picture from the blog where I found the recipe.  I was in too much of a hurry to eat mine and didn't take a picture but it looked just like this!

If you decide to make it, please note that I used a lot more mayo that the recipe called for.  I used a big blob on each piece of chicken.  I also took the breasts out after 40 minutes and tested with a thermometer.  They were done so I put them back in the oven and turned the oven off while I was making the sauce which only took a few minutes. 

I served this deliciousness with sugar snap peas that I sauteed in a little grease from the bacon as well as generous amounts of salt and pepper.  Dan even raved about the sugar snap peas! 

Things are about to get really busy around here. Sarah will start swim practice in a couple of weeks and Peter just started track this week.  His practice is every day after school.  So I will be running all over two counties getting everyone where they need to be and bringing them home.

I was mentioning all the driving I was going to be doing to Peter and he said, "Well, next year I'll be able to drive myself!"  And while that excited me on the one hand, it made me a little sad on the other.  Sometimes, our best conversations are in the car.  Especially if I can get him to take his headphones off!

I've learned that the best thing to do with my kids is NOT to ask them how their day went or how much homework they have when they get in the car.  A simple hello is good enough.  If they are in the mood to talk, they will.  If they aren't they won't.  But nothing riles them up more than me grilling them as soon as they get in the car.  Is that just my kids or are all teenagers like that??

All righty then.  I'm about to enjoy some delicious tuna salad for lunch. Oh meatless Fridays, why do you have to be on the day when I want a hamburger??

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 7

It's Thursday!  These are just a few of the things I've been thankful for this past week:

1. Dan.  Yes, I know he was on the list last week but he's on it again this week. Yesterday was Valentine's Day after all.  There are a million reasons why I love this guy but here's a good one.  I was cleaning out a giant dust/dirt/cat hair clog from the vacuum cleaner the other day.  I had the tubes taken pulled apart and was about to get the screwdriver so I could clean the roller brush again.  I just did that in November  if you will recall.  He stopped me, took everything from me, and proceeded to get the giant obstruction out of the tube AND he cut all that hair out of the roller brush.  SWOON!

Acts of service must be my love language because that made me very happy.  And THEN, yesterday, he brought me tulips from Lidl. 💕

2. The sunrise was really odd yet beautiful yesterday morning.  My mom text me to quickly look out at it.  It was really cool fluffy clouds and even though it clouded up after the sunrise, the sun did finally shine a little yesterday afternoon.  I am always thankful for a little sunshine in the middle of a lot of rainy and cloudy days. And of course this picture doesn't even come close to how the sky actually looked but...

3. It was just fat. I was bra shopping the other day and as I was checking out the fit of the bra in the three way mirror, I noticed a large lump on my shoulder blade.  I got out of Target immediately and called my doctor and made an appointment for the next day.  I also googled "lump on shoulder blade" and calmed down a little bit. As it turns out, the lump on my shoulder blade is a lipoma and is nothing to be worried about.  Bascially a lipoma is a lump of fat underneath your skin that starts to grow.

So, yay?  It's not a cancerous tumor but y'all, now I have a large lump of fat growing on my shoulder blade.  If I'm not careful, soon I'll be needed to shop for a back bra!

4. Bumping into a friend at the right time.  After I left Target and called my doctor, I headed into Kohl's.  I was a little freaked out about the lump on my shoulder blade.  I was hopefully that it wasn't a tumor based on my google search but at the same time, I was a little thrown off.  And wouldn't you know it?  I bumped into my sweet friend Kendra and told her all about it and seeing her made me feel so much better.

5. We didn't hit it.  The other morning, I was driving the kids to school and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a large deer bounding through a field.  I am very thankful that I saw him and that I was able to stop without hitting him!

6. These noodles.  I having been limiting my carbs since the beginning of the year so I haven't had any pasta.  But now that Lent is upon us, I needed a good noodle alternative.  And don't tell me to try spaghetti squash.  I have and it tastes just like squash.  No thank you.  I was in Aldi on Monday and found these:

I grabbed them and last night I made regular spaghetti for Dan and the kids and made the soybean noodles for myself.  And surprise, surprise but they were really good.  The texture was like a noodle combined with cheese if that makes sense.  And there were only 13 net grams of carbs per serving as compared to 40 in regular pasta.  I'm going to be finishing off the soybean noodles Friday night and then next Friday I'm going to give the edamame noodles a try!

And those are just a few of the things I've been thankful for this week.  What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A true story to brighten your day....

So I'm a little worried about my husband.

Yesterday morning he came downstairs and asked if I had seen his car keys.  I had not but I started to look for them because I can always find everything even when my other family members claim they have looked to no avail.  (And I'm always asking if they looked with their hand as well as their eyes.  Meaning - sometimes you have to move things around to find lost items.)

I did a quick search of a few places I thought they might.  I didn't see thme and it was time for him to take the kids to school so he used my key to his car.After they left I did a more thorough search and still had no luck finding these missing keys.  Honestly, I was a little miffed because my main super power is that I can find all the lost items at the speed of light.

I knew the last time he used them was Friday night to get home from work.  I also remembered that as soon as he got home he took out his laptop and did something  for work.  While he was doing that, I had just come in from dropping Sarah off for her hockey game but had to quickly come back to get her coat and rushed Dan and Peter out so we could all drop the coat off to her and then get some dinner.  I figured the keys most likely never left the kitchen island or the surrounding area.

I checked my car, the garage, the island, our bedroom, the cabinets.  I even looked under the couches and the beds thinking that Wally might have knocked them off the island and pushed them underneath something.

I texted Dan at work telling him to look in his computer bag and he said he was also going to check his trunk because he had gotten something out of there on Friday evening.

All of this searching but we were still key-less.

Dan got home from work last night and he searched a couple of other places and then was getting ready to change his clothes.  We were taking Peter to school to watch the basketball game and Dan wasn't going to wear his work clothes.

I was out in the garage checking his trunk and car again when I heard Sarah yell to me, "Mom!  He found the keys!"

I ran into the house to find out where they had been because honestly, I was shocked that I had not found them.

"Where were they?" I asked

"In my pants pocket," he meekly replied.

Y'ALL!!!  His keys were in his pants pockets the WHOLE TIME!  ALL DAY LONG!!

And because they were in his khakis the whole time and he's from Boston and even though he doesn't have much of a Boston accent he does pronounce it like that, I just have to share this...


Monday, February 12, 2018

A hockey game, a cuckoo clock, and a dance. All you need for a fun weekend!

We had quite the weekend!  It was rainy and dreary but we kept busy.

On Friday evening, I dropped Sarah off with her Girl Scout troop.  They were headed out to see the Carolina Thunder Birds play hockey.

Sarah said they had a great time and we are hoping to go as a family before the season ends. 

After we dropped Sarah off, Dan and Peter and I headed out to his high school to see the last home basketball game of the regular season.  It was a good game but unfortunately they lost.  One of their best players has been out with an injury the last couple of games and another good player has had the flu.  Hopefully they will all be back in time to play in the post season games. 

On Saturday, I did a few house cleaning chores and Dan and I drove to the other side of town to pick up his Dad's old German cuckoo clock from the repair shop. 

I had finally agreed to hanging up in the house - y'all - I can not stand the sound of a clock going off all the time.  But I was going to deal with it because this clock brings Dan joy. 

But as soon as we started to mount it on the wall, the Orange Menace came out of nowhere and began attacking the chains.  We decided at that moment not to hang it on the wall.  We are hoping that after a few months, he will calm down a bit and won't care about the clock chains dangling before him.  But for now, he sees them as something that must be attacked and we are afraid that he will pull the clock off the wall.

The big event of our weekend was the TWIRP dance at Peter's school.  TWIRP stands for The Lady Is Required To Pay.  Basically it's a Sadie Hawkins dance where the girl asks the guy and pays for the tickets and for dinner.

One of Peter's friends from middle school asked him and he said yes.  He went to the homecoming dance in the fall with a group of guy friends so going with a group of guys and girls was a new experience for him.

The girls planned the whole thing and after lots of adjustments to the plans and one of their mothers stepping in, it was decided that they were to meet at a local country club for pictures and then dinner. 

The mom arranged a banquet room (there were 18 in the group) and the dinner was predetermined after a lengthy group chat. The girls had paid for it ahead of time so there was no awkwardness with waiters and a bunch of 9th graders trying to figure out who was paying and how to pay.

When we got there, all the parents chatted while the kids broke off into two groups - a boy group and a girl group.  Peter knows all the kids in his class because his school is very small but he's really good friends with one of the other boys because they went to middle school together.  Peter was very happy this friend was in the group.

After all 18 kids arrived, we took all the requisite pictures and then the parents left.  The mom and dad who arranged every thing stayed because they were also helping to get all the kids to the dance after dinner.

The room they were eating in was gorgeous and dinner was served buffet style.  There were 3 large tables set up and there were waiters waiting on them.  Peter said the food was delicious. He even gave high praise to the green beans.  I wonder if there's anyway I can get that recipe!

I'm glad he was able to experience this dance with a friend.  It took all the pressure off of a dance with a date and it definitely got him out of his comfort zone.  He said he had a good time at the dance and I think even though he was a little nervous before it all started, it ended up being a good night for him.

The mom that planned the dinner even made a photo op sign.

After Mass on Sunday,  we met my family for lunch and then headed home for what I was hoping was going to be an evening of laying on the couch in my sweatpants.  But, alas, we luckily remembered that Sarah had Confirmation class so watched some Olympic coverage and then headed out for that.  While she was there, Dan and I shared an appetizer at a local restaurant and had a mini date night which was actually better than being in my sweatpants!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Heroine Chicken from No Crumbs Left

I mentioned the other day that I was trying a chicken recipe that was getting rave reviews.  I had to butterfly and marinate this  chicken and it had to sit in the fridge for 48 before I could cook it.  Last night was the night!

It was really, really good.  However, I followed her revised cooking instructions and my bird did not get nearly as brown as hers. Also, I think I need to purchase one of these to use for marinating the bird. She kept saying that the size of the container was very important.  Also, my bird was big.  Really big.  My mom said it looked like a small turkey.  Next time I will get a smaller chicken - because there will be a next time. 

Dan gave me multiple compliments on the chicken(which is very rare) and even Peter said it was really good and that I should make it again (which is also very rare) so I will definitely be making it again. 

Dan's mom used to roast a whole chicken a few times a month when he was growing up -  complete with stuffing in the bird - so I thought this one might make him happy.  And it did, although he mentioned the lack of stuffing.  So next time, there will be stuffing! He suggested putting the stuffing underneath the bird since it isn't left whole so I guess I'll give that a shot.

The recipe can be found here on No Crumbs Left.  Also, if you are on Instagram, you should follow her there as well because she cooks a lot of beautiful looking food every day in her InstaStories. You can find her @nocrumbsleft on Instagram.

Here is a pic of my chicken after it came out of the oven:

It's not quite as brown as I wanted it but it was getting late, the meat was at temp and we were ready to eat.  Next time I will work on getting the skin browner.

And this was the bird 48 hours before:

Does it not look like a small turkey in this pan?

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Editon 6

Thursday, already?  This week is zooming past with lightening speed.

Let's see what I've been thankful for this week...

1.  Dan is home!  You knew that was going to be at the top of my list.  It's always better when he's home.

2. Quiet time in DD.  Sunday morning after I dropped Sarah off to work at our church's pancake breakfast, I headed to Dunkin' Donuts for a coffee and some time with my Beth Moore devotional.  It was perfectly lovely in there.  I got to enjoy my coffee (DD is my favorite coffee), got caught up on my devotional, AND they were playing my Jesus music.

3. Birds chirping.  I was working in the office the other morning and it was a little sunny and I actually heard birds chirping.  I told Dan about it when he called that day and he wasn't as excited.  I told him I couldn't remember the last time I had heard birds chirping and that can only mean one thing - spring is coming!

4. Pauses that save us.  When Peter was driving to restaurant the other night, we got stuck behind a slow car and ended up at a stop light.  If this guy had been paying attention, we could have both made it through the light.  Peter was grousing about having to wait and I told him that sometimes being made to wait  saves us from other things - like an accident or other event that might effect us if we hadn't been made to wait.  He was not impressed with my story and dismissed it with a wave of his hand and a "whatever" and an eye roll.  But on Monday, Sarah asked I could take her into school a little later than usual (she would still be on time, she just doesn't like to get there before her friends do). I really wanted to get to Aldi and get going on my shopping but I let her sit in the car with after Peter's carpool left and then I went in with her and got some gift cards from the Scrip program.  It was about a 10 minute delay.  When I got to the intersection where the Aldi is located, there was a 3 car accident blocking everything and it looks like it had just happened.  So, maybe pausing with Sarah saved me from being involved in that accident??

5. These tulips.  These are the Costco tulips I got last week and they were so beautiful when they opened up!

And that's it for this past week.  It's a short list this week so I'm going to try to look harder this week.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Just call me Suzy Homemaker...

When I left you yesterday, I had just watched the Super Bowl This Is Us.  I then spent the rest of the day getting things done.

I made a pot of Trisha Yearwood's kale and chirizo soup for my lunches this week.  I left out the potatoes so it would be low carb.  It was pretty good but it did a number on my stomach.  I think she should market it as a detox soup... if you get my drift....I'm not sure I'm going to be able to finish the soup unless I know I'm going to be home for a while...if you get my drift...

Moving on.

After that I prepped a chicken dish that I am having for dinner Thursday night.  I had to take a whole chicken, butterfly it!, and then put it in a marinade where it will sit for 48 hours until I roast it.  This recipe gets rave reviews and if it turns out as good as it supposed to be, I will tell you all about it on Friday.

In addition to all of my cooking I managed to do three loads of laundry and I ironed a 8 of Dan's shirts.  And I was only able to suffer through the ironing because I was watching The Bachelor.  See, something good does come from trash TV -  Dan has freshly laundered and ironed shirts and I didn't have to pay the dry cleaners to do them.

Dan had to take his customers to dinner so I took Peter to the high school basketball game.  I didn't want to go on a school night because I'm lazy but he really wanted to go since it was against their rival school. It was an extremely  tense game and we ended up losing in the end.  It got so tense that Sister Anne would not the Pit (that's where all the students sit) leave until the other school's fans left.

She literally made them all sit down and then proceeded to lecture them on the ins and outs and hows and whys of acting like good Christians at a sporting event - especially when we are a Catholic school.  Although, in the kid's defense, I feel like the other school should have been lectured as well considering some of their PARENTS were escorted out by the POLICE OFFICERS because they were taunting out cheerleaders.

As I mentioned - it was TENSE.

So that was my busy Tuesday and now it's Wednesday.  And did I mention that I also got my car washed yesterday so of course that means it's raining today.

I've got some bills to pay, more laundry to do, I'm having lunch with Jennifer, and then after school Sarah is getting a few inches chopped off her hair.  And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Dan will be home for diner tonight.

My constant blog writing companion napping in his favorite spot - a desk paper tray that is also currently holding a folded American flag.  Is he comfy?  He must be because here he is a couple of days ago pre flag pillow:

Someone really needs to clean this office!