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Friday, September 25, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Edition Phone Dump

It's Friday and I'm heading off to Mass but I thought I would do a quick dump of my phone and call it 7 Quick Takes!
1. We got a load of mulch delivered yesterday.  We (and of course, I mean Dan) got a lot of it put out last night before the rain started.  It's been raining all night and it's supposed to be a rainy weekend.  Guess we (he) won't be able to get the rest out until it dries.

2. Speaking of my hardworking husband, here he is doing something that he's good out but that he hates - checking math homework.  This is one of those things that makes me love him even more!

3. I snapped this during the Vatican anthem the other day. Sarah saw it on my phone and asked why the Pope looked like he was sleeping!  (I am assuming he was deep in prayer but maybe he was just bowing his head respectfully.)

4. This is Sarah chowing down on a wing.  YUM!

5. See this pretty necklace?  My friend Jennifer gave it to me for my birthday.  So pretty!  I was trying to take a selfie so I could send it to her and when Sarah saw my results she grabbed the camera and said, "Mom, let me do this for you so all of your chins don't show."  (And I will save you from seeing the picture I took with my THREE CHINS!)

6.Just a pretty shot of the sun setting. The phone never does it justice.

7.I spent some time last weekend canning peppers!  So pretty.  So tasty.
And that's 7!  Head over to Kelly's for more 7 Quick Takes and have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sarah and the Google

I've mentioned before that my sweet Sarah loves to watch DIY videos and beauty tutorials.  She's practiced a smokey eye, a cat eye, casual up dos, waterfall braids, and a whole host of other things thanks to a good You Tube video. 

But her latest obsession is growing out hair.  And growing it out quickly.

She has decided that she  no longer wants her hair short and she no longer wants bangs. (insert knowing motherly voice saying "I told you so" right here)

Because, y'all, I. Told. Her. So.

But some lessons in life (particularly cutting your hair short when you love to style it and your face is really round, and cutting bangs ever) have to be learned the hard way.

For instance, have you seen Princess Kate's new do?

I bet you $10 she is already regretting them and probably Googling "proper use of bobby pins while growing out bangs."

But, back to my princess.  She Googled "how to grow your hair faster" and came up with some lovely advice.

Last week, I found her upstairs massaging coconut oil into her scalp. Because apparently the internets told her that will make your hair grow faster.  I told her not to believe everything she reads on the internet and to immediately get into the shower and  use extra shampoo to get that oil out of her so she doesn't look like an oil slick at school the next day.

She did as instructed and I had hoped we were done with that.

But last night, I went upstairs and found her rubbing VASOLINE into her scalp!

"What are you doing?????" I screeched.

"I read online that you should massage Vasoline into your follicules  to encourage your hair to grow faster."

"I think you mean follicles not follicules."

"Oh. Well what's a follicule then?"

"I think you are combining follicle and molecule.  Follicule is not a word.  Now get into the shower right now and really scrub your hair with lots of shampoo and rinse it really well.  You are going to look ridiculous tomorrow."

"No, no.  I'll be fine.  I can get it all out and I bet my hair will be longer tomorrow."

I looked at her this morning and could only shake my head.

It looked like she had not washed her hair in weeks.

"Well, it looks like you are going to have to go with a slicked back bun today because your hair is a hot mess."

So then she takes to Google and tells me that she can just sprinkle some baby powder in it.

"I think that helpful tip is for people who haven't washed their hair in a day or two, not people with a half a jar of Vasoline in their hair."

So she went upstairs, put her hair in a bun and went off to school.  She was a little worried that people were going to tell her hair looked greasy.  And I'm sure someone will.

Hopefully this will put an end to rubbing grease into her hair follicules.

Monday, September 21, 2015


It's Monday y'all and I'm glad!  It's been a busy 5 days or so for me so it's nice to look at the calendar this week and see lots of open space.

That doesn't mean I'll be bored though, so don't worry about me getting lazy!

Last Thursday we had our first general PTO meeting.  It was very well attended. But we promised refreshments and free dress down day passes so we knew it would be!  :)

I was in charge of the refreshments and I knew I wanted to keep it simple and easy with cheese and crackers.  But I also knew I didn't want it to be boring.  So, I did what I do and headed over to Pinterest and searched "cheese board".

And y'all!  Who knew there were so many elaborate ways to serve cheese?  I mean I love cheese and am very happy eating it straight from the pack, but apparently there are quite a few people out there than can make cheese look snazzy!

Here are a couple that caught my eye:

This one is courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.  Isn't it beautiful?

And this one is available if you hold your wedding at Flathead Lake MT Wedding Venue.
I knew I didn't have the budget or the time to pull off anything quite like this but I used these pictures for inspiration and shopped at Aldis and came up with the following simple cheese board:

Not bad for someone with a Pinterest dream but a PTO budget, eh?  I also added brownie bites with cream cheese frosting and some cookies at the other end of the table.  And of course there was wine because, it is a Catholic school!

And here's me doing my best Vanna White impression!

I had fun putting it together and I hope everyone had fun eating from it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wait! It's not Friday!?

I almost started this post with "It's Friday!  Where did the week go?"  And then I realized it's only Thursday.

I've been busy  and Dan's been out of town all week and the kids don't have school tomorrow so it really feels like today should be Friday.

This past weekend Dan and I went out to dinner to celebrate our Birthaversary.  Our anniversary is September 9, Dan's birthday is September 12 (49!) and my birthday is September 13 (46!).  We both love September because it really is the most beautiful month weather-wise (in my opinion) and we were both born in it making it extra special.  So when we were choosing our wedding date, September was our first pick.

And I remember declaring, "Oh and we can always do something extra special every year to celebrate our birthdays and our anniversary - like a trip!"

And we did the first year and over the last 15 years we've done it 3 or 4 more times I think.  We always go to Charleston because we absolute adore Charleston. I was hoping we were going to be able to make it there this year but it just didn't work out due to Dan's always changing work travel schedule and the kid's activities.

No worries though - we were still able to go out to a nice dinner.  We went to the Honey Pot again. And just like the first time we went there, it did not disappoint. It might be my new favorite date night restaurant - sorry Mozelle's.

This week has been a crazy whirlwind of activity between Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and swimming for the kids. And overseeing Teacher Lunch Out at school, preparing for tonight's PTO meeting and this Sunday's parish event which the school is helping to run for me. I've been on the go!

But it's been a good busy and the kids homework is starting to be a bit more manageable - or maybe they've just gotten back into the flow of it all- so life is moving right along here at a nice clip. And that's the latest on my little family.

And with that - I need to go decorate some brownie bites!

And since this post feels naked without a picture, here are some beautiful flowers that Jennifer brought me for my birthday.

And here we are blowing out the candles on our birthday fruit pizza.  My mom made us a cake for the anniversary party she threw for us so she made a fruit pizza (which I LOVE!) for our birthdays.

And here we are - the happy old couple! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 15th Anniversary to my sweet husband.  I prayed long and hard for this man and God did not disappoint! We've had our share of joy and our share of sadness through the years but God has remained faithful through it all.

And just because I love the words to our first dance song here they are....

Grow Old Along With Me

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love
Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love
Spending our lives together
Man and wife together
World without end
World without end
Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A little funny from Sarah and a big THANK YOU to my parents.

Tomorrow is my 15th wedding anniversary!  FIFTEENTH!!! 

My parents wanted to have a little get together to celebrate.  So we invited Jennifer and her family and my uncle and brother and  the 14 of us had quite a nice little shindig.

My dad smoked jalapeno poppers and wings and my mom made meatballs, pinwheels, cheese straws, veggies and dip, chili con queso, fruit, and a cake!

Before we headed over to their house, Sarah said, "Wow!  Grandma is going to all this trouble for your 15th anniversary, I wonder what she's going to do for your 50th?!"

After I picked myself up off the floor from the laughter, I told her that Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't be around for the 50th.  They would most likely be dead.

She looked confused and then I told her if there was going to be a 50th anniversary celebration, she was going to have to throw it. 

"Me?!  Well how old will I be then?"  she questioned.

I quickly did the math and said, "You will be my age now - 46!" (Well technically, that will be my age in a few days.)

She screwed up her face in disgust at the mere thought of being my age and just stood there shaking her head.

I remember being her age and thinking 45 was so old.  And now that I'm here, I just keep thinking how young 45 is and how quickly 35 years can fly by.  I hope she does get to plan our 50th (even though she will be so horribly old and I hope that we can wheel my 108 year-old dad and 107 year-old mom into the party! 

Thanks to my sweet parents for their love, support, and help over the last 45 years (and especially the last 15).  We couldn't do all this without you!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Seven Quick Ones!

Seven Quick Takes is all I've got time for this morning as I'm on my way to a hair appointment.

1. So the homework situation might be improving!  On Wednesday, I had a PTO meeting right after school.  My parents picked the kids up and brought them home so they could get right to work on their homework.  When I got in at 5:30, Sarah was just finishing up with hers and Peter said he was almost done with his.  And yesterday, the homework level was the same - they were both done before dinner.  Hopefully things have evened out now that the beginning of school is behind us!  Peter even opened his backpack this morning and pulled out some work that's due Tuesday and worked ahead!  Who is this child????

2.  Now that the kids are back in school, I've started a new exercise routine.  I ordered a DVD from Prevention with 8 ten minute workouts on it.  The first month you cycle through the first 4 and then the second month you cycle through the last four.  Y'all!  I didn't think 10 minutes would make a difference but I can totally feel all sorts of muscles that I haven't felt in ages - arms, legs, abs!  And the best part?  This woman is not at all like Jillian Michals!  And did I mention that it's only 10 minutes a day.  I've been doing it while the kids are getting ready for school in them mornings.

3.  And then when they leave for school I've been going for a brisk 1 and 1/2 mile walk.  No, it's not running but I still feel like I'm burning calories and my knees and ankles don't ache afterwards.

4.  I've also been working on changing my diet.  I'm not doing no carb or low carb but I am trying to do lower carb if that make sense.  I'm trying to eat more protein and less carbs but I'm not counting carbs.  I'm just not eating bread, rice, potatoes, or sugar.  I am eating lots of  nuts, meats, cheeses, green vegetables, etc.  I'm only a week in to this new plan but I've lost a lot of bloat already and feeling much less hungry.

5.  With that said, I have quite a few carb heavy eating opportunities ahead of me this week and I plan on enjoying them all.  So, I'm sure I'll be bloaty again on Tuesday but I'll just do my best and hop back onto the plan again and go from there.  I'm beginning to realize that life's too short to be on a diet all the time and if there' birthday cake, I'm going to eat some!

6. This week I made some pepper relish which is different than the pepper jelly I made a couple of weeks ago.  We've got so many peppers this year!  I also made so more spaghetti sauce with some of our remaining tomatoes (it's not all picture here). Our tomatoes didn't do as well as we had hoped this year.  Some years they produce well into October but they are almost done this year.  (insert sad face emojii)

7.  And because I'm out of time, here's a picture of our old cat Gray Gray.  (And yes, we realize he's not gray but Sarah named him when she was 4 so we went with it....)

Have a great LONG weekend y'all and don't forget to head over to Christy's (not Kelly's this week) to check out the other quick takers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Homework! Homework! Give me a break!

"Homework!  Homework! Give me a break!"

We are only in  week two and I am shouting this at the top of my lungs, throwing my glasses off my face and grabbing a Summit Bar to munch on.

Does any one else remember that commercial or am I just showing my old age?  You've got to love the grainy footage from 1981!

Anyway, back to my complaining.  Peter had a ton of homework over the weekend but got in done and managed to do some fun things as well.  He hopped into the car on Monday afternoon and said that he's got so much he better get started in the car.

So he whipped out a pencil and a workbook and got to it.  He got home, grabbed a snack and immediately started back in on the homework.  Around 4:45 (well over an hour into his homework) he starts to freak out a bit.  "Mom, I'm never going to get this done before Boy Scouts.  And if I don't get it done before Boy Scouts when we get home, I'm going to be up for hours."

I calmed him down (y'all, this 12 year-old can still freak out much like he did at 2) and we went over everything he had to do.  And based on everything he had to do, I made the executive decision that he was not going to be able to go to Boy Scouts. 

He finally finished his homework around 8:00.  Now don't think he was continually at work on this.  He likes to work for a bit, go outside and shoot 10 baskets, work more, take a 10 basket break.  It works for him if he knows there's a break coming up between the work. 

Yesterday, his load was homework load was much more manageable but Sarah had a ton of it.  She got to work on it at 3:15 and worked hard until almost 5:00 (with no breaks because she can't stand to stop if she knows she's not done).  She has just started swimming one night a week for the next two months and she had to get dressed so we could go to that.  We left around 5:30 and got home around 7:30.  We ate dinner and then she worked on her homework for another 45 minutes and then she was finally done.

The swimming program she is doing is either 1, 2 or 3 nights a week.  Since this is her first time in this program and her first year in middle school, we went with one night a week.  She really wanted to do 2 but I just felt like it would be too much.  And now I'm glad I chose the 1 night option.

I don't feel like the kids are overscheduled but on nights when their homework load is just too much, it makes me wonder.  I know the general rule is 10 minutes per grade which would put Sarah at 60 minutes a night and Peter at 70 minutes but they are waaaaaaay over that guideline the last couple of nights.  I know that their school is tough and it won't be like this every night but YIKES!  What a way to start the year.

Too bad they don't still make Summit Bars because I think we could all use one!