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Sunday, December 20, 2015

John 14:1-4

The mother of one of Peter's good friends from school passed away on Friday morning.  She had been battling cancer for six months. We were planning to head to Massachusetts Friday evening but we delayed the trip so we could attend the Vigil and Rosary they are having tonight.

Please pray for the O'Connor family as they face this Christmas season without their beautiful wife and mother.  And please pray the Our Lady of Mercy School family.  Chris loved our little school and worked tirelessly for the athletic program.  She will be greatly missed.

John 14:1-4  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No more Santa. No more Elf.

My kids have come to me several times in the past asking if Santa was real.  I've felt for a couple of years now that he did not believe in Santa.  (Just read those two posts.)  But I've never actually told him.

Early last week, he approached me with a troubled look on his face and wanted to know if Santa was real.  I gave him my usual, "Well, what do you think?"  And this time, he replied, "I want to believe he's real but I just don't think there's any way it could be true."

He's 13 so I told him the truth.  He was extremely disappointed and a little sad.  But then he said, "The only reason I was really still thinking that he might be real was our gifts.  How do you get them to Massachusetts?

"Amazon Prime!"

"Ohhhhh!  Well, that makes sense!  What about the elf?"

I showed him our poor little Elf on the Shelf hidden in the back of Dan's dresser, wrapped up in the red towel we use to transport him from here to Massachusetts.

The elf is the reason that I am certain Sarah no longer believes either.  She hasn't come right out and asked but neither one of them mentioned our elf after we put up our Christmas tree.  It was a couple of days later and I asked Dan if I should get it out.

He looked at me with great disbelief and violently shook his head.  "Why would you get that thing out if they aren't asking for it?  It's nothing but one big hassle."

And I agree.  Ever since we've had that thing it's been just one more thing to do.  One more thing to remember.  And our poor elf never did any exciting things like the other elves seem to do.(Well, usually once a season he would do something really mischievous but for the most part, he just moved around from shelf to perch to shelf.

So I left Sparkle wrapped in his towel.  And have been a little glum about it all month.

The kids are growing up.  I guess it's what they are supposed to do, but sometimes it leaves me a little wistful. 

Back in December, 2008 when both my babies still believed...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Panini

Every Sunday my mom makes a big lunch and we head next door after Mass to enjoy it.  Cooking food for others is my mom's love language and eating food prepared by others is mine.  So it works out great!

The only problem is that I'm usually so full from lunch that I don't ever want to fix anything for dinner.  Which is fine with me, but not my little family.  So I'm always trying to figure out what to cook that is tasty, easy, and light.  (And by light, I mean, not much food, not light in calories.)

A couple of months ago I purchased a sandwich press thinking that we could just make paninis for Sunday supper.

I've made cubans (which Dan and I love) and lots of grilled cheese with bacon which has also been a big hit.

But I've been wanting to branch out.  So when I stumbled on a recipe for Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese, I knew I would have to give it a try!  

And that's exactly what I did this past Sunday.  I didn't have the apricot preserves so I subbed peach jam and I always use Ciabatta rolls that I get from Aldi's.  And oh my!  These were delicious.

After Dan finished his, I asked if he would eat this again and he shook his head yes as he was licking his lips.  (That was almost as good as two thumbs up from him.)

So, this is what we'll be having again this Sunday.  The kids will be sticking to their grilled cheese and bacon but that's okay with me.  More jalapenos and goat cheese for me!

Please check out the original recipe because she actually roasted her own peppers (and her picture is way prettier than mine).  There's no way I'm ever going to roast peppers  so here's my lazy Sunday evening version:

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Panini

2 slices ciabatta bread
2 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 - 2 tablespoons jalapenos, pickles and chopped
1 tablespoon peach preserves (or apricot or any mildly sweet preserves)
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Spread one slice of bread with goat cheese.  Top with jalapenos and then bacon.
Spread the other piece of bread with preserves and place on top of the other piece.
Spread tops of bread with melted butter.
Place into sandwich press and cook.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A little story....

Today I went into my bedroom to sew a button back on Sarah's school skirt.

Peter was in my bathroom with the door closed.  (The kids always prefer to use the bathroom in our bedroom instead of theirs.  And I don't blame them because it's bigger and it gets lots of sunlight but still.  It's annoying because there's always someone in there.  But I digress.)

Sarah came into the room while I was threading the needle and sat on the bed. And then she began telling me about so and so and what she did and blah, blah, blah. Basic after school girl talk.

And as she was telling me a story about this person, a muffled voice called out from the bathroom, "Who?"

No response from Sarah.

"Who?" questioned the faint voice once again.



Chuckling,I said to Sarah, " I think there's an owl in the bathroom!" 

"Pffft." And an eye roll.

An. Eye. Roll.

"Did you just roll your eyes at me???"

"Well, yeah.  That really wasn't a very good joke, Mom."

"Are you kidding me?  That was a great joke.  It sounded like there was an owl in the bathroom because Peter kept saying, "who who who".

"I get it Mom.  It's just not that funny."

I guess I'm getting old because I'm still chuckling.

Peter was also not amused and I'm sure had the bathroom door been opened, his eyes would have been rolling too.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gingerbread Cookies!

We made gingerbread cookies this weekend!

Well, technically, Dan and Sarah made ginger bread cookies.  It's always been their thing.  Dan loves gingerbread, has the patience and skill to roll out the dough and I don't. So he has always been the one to make them.

But I like to watch them and Peter likes to come in and out of the kitchen to check on the cookies and taste them when they are done.

I hope when Sarah is older, she will want to continue this tradition with her kids and maybe Peter will even decide it's something he wants to do with his kids.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A negative and a positive.

On Tuesday morning, Sarah came down for breakfast and said her throat was sore.  I didn't think much of it because she's a mouth breather at night and often wakes up with a scratchy throat (which I attribute to all the nighttime mouth breathing.) 

She made a cup of tea for breakfast and said her throat felt better.  I checked her temp and it was normal so off to school she went.

When she got in the car at the end of the day, she said her throat was still sore.  When we got home, I checked her temp and it was  99, so I gave her some pain reliever for her throat and she finished her homework. 

When she got up the next morning her fever was 100 and she said her throat was very sore so she got to stay home.  I had an afternoon full of PTO meetings so she spent the day watching shows on the laptop, doing some homework (she can check her assignments online) and generally just hanging out.

When I got home from my meetings at 5:30, she said her throat hurt "really bad".  Lovely.  It must be strep throat. 

Luckily our doctor's office has walk-in clinic hours from 5:30 -8:30 Monday - Friday so we hopped in the car and headed there. At the entrance to the office, they had their "if you have a fever please put one of these masks on" sign perched right beside a basket full of those lovely face masks that are all the rage in China. Sarah was not happy about having to wear one of those.

In the exam room, I told the receptionist and the nurse that I thought it was strep because I had looked into her throat and thought I could see some of those dreaded white spots. So the nurse cultured her throat and we waited.  As the nurse was leaving she said, "And if the strep test comes back negative, we'll do the flu test."

"The flu?", I mentally scoffed.  It's not the flu.  If it was the flu, she would be laid out on the couch unable to move.

The nurse came back in and declared, "It's not strep!" and did the culture for the flu. 

And a few minutes later, the PA came  in wearing gloves and a face mask and said, "It's the flu!  And the test isn't just sort of positive, it is definitely the flu!"

"But, but, but..." I stammered.  When she had the flu in 1st grade (the year I wasn't able to get a flu shot for the kids because I missed the window at our doctor's office and drug stores won't give them to kids under 18) she was miserable.  She missed an entire week of school and literally laid on the couch or in bed for 5 days unable to move. 

"She's been up, watching tv, doing homework, eating. How can it be the flu?"

The PA informed me that most likely the flu shot she got this year has helped keep her symptoms to a minimum. 

As we checked out, the receptionist said, "Was it strep?" 

"Nope, it was the flu!"

She got a panicked look on her face and immediately applied a large blob of hand sanitizer to her hands and forearms.  I'm certain that after we left she sprayed down everything because as we were leaving, I saw our nurse wiping down the door handles to the waiting room door.

We headed to Walgreens where the pharmacy tech informed me that they ran out of Tamiflu the day before but that they had just gotten one more package in earlier that afternoon.

So we scarfed that up along with a giant bottle of antibacterial spray and headed home. 

The doctor told her she couldn't go back to school until Monday and she was mad because other than being a little tired (and a lot contagious) she felt fine.

Yesterday, she was up all day, did her homework and watched more tv.  At lunch time she declared she wanted Chick-Fil-A so we went through the drive through.  She hasn't had a fever since Wednesday night but her throat was still a little sore yesterday.

She's still asleep right now so I don't know how she's doing today but I know she's going to be bored. We might drive around somewhere just to get out of the house - there's only so many episodes of "Jessie" she can watch.

Luckily no one else has gotten it.  Peter and I have also had our flu shots but Dan hasn't gotten his yet.  I'm putting a trip to Walgreen's on his to-do list this weekend.

And thanks to having my dear little one home, now I'm really behind on my online Christmas shopping.  There's so much to do and so little time!  I better get cracking while she's still asleep!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Break.

We had a very relaxing Thanksgiving.  The kids had the whole week off but  Dan only had Wednesday through Sunday off.  Sarah started the week off with a sleepover.  Peter was supposed to have one too but that didn't work out.  (But don't worry - he'll pester me until he gets one!)

Wednesday was spent preparing for Thanksgiving.  I made a couple of dishes to take to my mom's house.  She and my dad were taking care of the meats and most of the other sides. 

Thursday was spent resting and eating and relaxing with my family and my best friend's family.  And even though I took my camera, I did not take one single picture. 

We headed to the mountains on Friday to pick out our tree:

Please pretend that Peter's eyes are open!
Then we came home and decorated the outside of the house:

And on Saturday, Sarah's Girl Scout troop was in the Midway Christmas Parade:

After the parade, we finished decorating the Christmas tree:

On Saturday evening, Dan decided he wanted to make Laura Bush's Hot Chocolate so he and Sarah did just that.  Here he is with Peter and Sarah enjoying some really rich and tasty hot chocolate:

On Sunday we headed to Mass then met my brother for lunch at P.F. Chang's (yum!) and then came home to finish homework and watch football. 

And, yes, I stayed up until Midnight to watch the Patriots lose to the Denver Broncos. 

And that my friends was how we spent our Thanksgiving break!