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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

8th Grade Oath

Our little school has a lot of traditions.  And one of them is the 8th Grade Oath. 

Every year at the end of the first Mass (our school attends Mass every Friday), the 8th graders get up in front of the school and take an oath and make a promise to be leaders at Our Lady of Mercy, to work hard and do their best at school, and to be a good example to their Kindergarten buddies and all of the younger students at OLM.

Here's a picture of the kids after Mass.  I'm praying for a great year for this group of kids!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cousin Shirley's Sweet and Spicy Salsa

I made salsa on Friday and it turned out really great!  It was sweet and spicy and really yummy!

Here are all the ingredients in the pot.  Isn't it pretty?

And might I add that the tomatoes, green pepper and jalapenos were all from our garden!  I did have to buy the onions because that's something that we've never grown.

Here it is simmering in the pot.

And here's the finished product!

And here's the recipe!

Cousin Shirley's Sweet and Spicy Salsa
1 gallon tomatoes peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar (you can adjust the sugar according to taste.)
3 T. salt
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped bell pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 7oz jar jalapeƱo peppers, drained  (I used fresh and wish that I had left in more of the ribs and seeds because I wanted a little more spice.  However, other family members thought it was perfect the way it was.  You will need to adjust accordingly.)
Bring to a slow boil.  Lower heat and simmer until thick (I simmered mine for 1 hour but Shirley simmers hers for 2.  I like my salsa a little chunky that's why I simmered for less time.) uncovered
Heat clean jars, add salsa, and seal.

For me, this filled 5 quart sized Mason jars. 

Friday, August 26, 2016


Look at me!  3 posts in one week!  The kids must be back in school.  :)

It's Friday and you know how I like to link up with Kelly....

1.  Yesterday in my reno update, I mentioned that hopefully they would get the new windows in where the sink is going to go by the end of this week or early next week.  I could hear the contractor banging around downstairs and when I went to see what he was up to I found this:

And now I have three really pretty smaller windows in this spot!  I'll save that for a later reno update post but it's going to be really pretty.  The only problem is that I love me a lot of natural light and I've basically cut it in half by doing this so I'm going to have to adjust.  On a positive note however, it always got very hot downstairs in this spot so perhaps we will save some money on air conditioning! 

2. Yesterday while all this was going on in the house, I went next door and took care of these little beauties!

2.  And after about two hours worth of work, I went from this

to this...

3. I posted the following picture on Facebook and Instagram but I never put it here:

Sarah and I waited in line last Saturday for over two hours so Sarah could meet Kathleen Baker! Sarah and I were cheering her on when she won her silver medal in backstroke.  Her medal was unexpected and she was literally gushing on camera with excitement.  It was so cute!  And then she got to swim on the medley relay team and won the gold!  We were so happy. 

Kathleen is from Winston-Salem so she did a meet and greet last weekend before heading back to UC Berkley.  It was hot and the wait was long but I think Sarah would agree that it was worth it.

And when Sarah was looking through the pictures, she zoomed in on her fingernails and realized that she had Olympic rings painted on the white nails!  Leave it to Sarah to notice the nail polish!  :)

4.  Dan is finally home for a couple of weeks.  (At least I hope!)  He's home next week at least and I'm very happy about that.  Basically we got home from the Cape and he's been gone almost for 3 weeks straight.  He's got more trips coming up but they aren't scheduled yet so I'm just going to enjoy him while he's here!  Everyone is happier when Daddy is home!

5. Since Dan was gone while Jim Gaffigan was in town, I took my BFF to the show to be my date.  We had dinner before the show and enjoyed Jim.  It was a good show and the best part?  He came out and did his entire Hot Pocket bit as his encore!  That never gets old.  I was bummed when I saw on Instagram that he and his wife have decided not to do another season of his tv show.  I know they are busy but darn it!  I was hoping for a couple more seasons!

6.My brother's birthday was on teh 19th and we had a birthday lunch at my parent's house.  I'm not sure how it started but whenever we take a picture with Brad, we have to have one where is head is cut off.  I've got so many similiar pictures:

And we also usually have to take a picture where everyone is looking away from the camera:

My family is weird but I do love them!

7.  My plans today are to can some salsa.  I'm not using my normal recipe but I'm trying  a different one.  My mom had some people over for dinner and one of the women brought her a jar of homemade salsa.  We opened it a couple of nights later and literally at the whole thing in under 15 minutes.  It was delicious!  It was sweet and spicy and I'm hoping I can get mine to taste as good as hers!

Have a great weekend y'all!  And don't forget to head over to Kelly's to check out the other Quick Takers!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The reno. A quick update with a few during photos.

Several people have asked for a kitchen reno update.  We are still in the thick of things so there are no pretty after pictures to show at the moment.  Just a few before and during photos.

We are 4 and a half weeks in and it's going as I expected - slow.  They are pretty much on schedule but when your house is a hot mess all you want is for it to be done!  So even though I knew it was going to be the end of September until it's all completed, I really want to snap my fingers and have it done.

All the hardwoods are down in the entire downstairs.  They are dusty and dirty and covered with paper at the moment otherwise I would show you.  They are going to look good but they are a hot mess right now.  And there's really no need for me to clean them at this point because, y'all the dust!  I wasn't aware of the magnitude of dust and general construction debris there would be.  Silly me for not realizing this because the entire downstairs is literally a construction zone.

The wall between the kitchen and dining room is gone:

And here it is now from a different angle from the first picture.  This is looking from what used to be the kitchen into what used to be the dining room.

 And this is the view from what used to be the dining room into what used to be the kitchen.

Also,  the entrance to the little hallway that went to the guest bedroom and bathroom has been shifted a little to the right to make more room from the new sink/stove area:

We are doing this because we are changing the kitchen window and making it smaller and putting a sink in front of it and a stove on the wall we just extended.  I'm hopeful that they will have the new windows in by the end of this week or early next week.  And in order to make this work they are having to shift the door to the outside down as well.

In the above picture, the window/door area will become three smaller windows with a sink in front of it and the door will shift down to the spot where the first window behind the couch is.

The entire downstairs is a huge mess now and it will be until the end of September.  And I'm just hoping and praying that the new kitchen is highly functional and very pretty otherwise my family will never let me hear the end of it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Day of School!

School started on Monday!  The summer flew by and the last few weeks have been a little crazy due to the kitchen reno.  The kids were excited to see their friends but not very excited with the prospect of earlier bedtimes and much earlier wake up times!

Here are a couple of pictures of my 7th grader and my 8th grader!

I'm praying for a great year for these kiddos and I'm praying that we enjoy this last year with both of them together at Our Lady of Mercy. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Seven Quick Takes

It's Friday so let's do some Quick Takes!

1.  Next week is our last week of summer vacation.  In fact, this week, I had two PTO meetings and we all kept saying how we couldn't believe summer was over already.  I laugh at the old me who could not get through summer fast enough and now, I'm wishing we had a few more weeks of nothing to do.  Although, we still have plenty to do.  Sarah has a doctor's appointment, Peter has an orthodontist consult (a better mom would have planned this for earlier in the summer so that any braces could have been put on over the summer, but I guess I'm not that mom), and Dan is still away on his business trip.

2. The reno is moving along slowly but surely but the end of September can not get here fast enough for me.  I hate to wish time away (especially seeing as how fast it's going these days) but I'm ready to have the downstairs back again.  We've been eating dinner at my mom's in the evening and that's been nice.  I'm very thankful that they live next door, otherwise I'm sure we would be eating out a lot!

3.  Colton and Cheyanne spent the night last night because Peter reminded me that summer was almost over and there had been zero sleepovers so far.  At what age do kids stop doing sleepovers?  I'm pretty sure that by middle school I was done with them.  But honestly, Colton and Cheyanne are more like cousins to Peter and Sarah and I guess you are never to old to have a sleepover with your cousins!

4.  And speaking of sleepovers, Sarah will be heading to one tomorrow night.  One of her friends from school is leaving and she's having a big sleepover with lots of girls so Sarah is excited.  This girl also always has a big sleepover every year for her birthday.  All I can say is God bless her mom.  I think having 2 girls over is a big sleepover.  For them it's 6 or 8 every time.  I just can't do it.  That's too much giggling and screeching for me.

5. I'm probably going to take the kids to a movie next week.  Any good ones out there for the middle school set?  I'm thinking Bad Moms probably isn't appropriate although that's what I'd like to see.

6.  Speaking of seeing things....I'm going to see Jim Gaffigan this weekend!  I'm pretty excited although I will have to say I'm a little bummed that Dan isn't going to be here. We haven't had a date night in ages and honestly its looking like one might not happen until October!   My brother offered to go with me but his plans have changed so I'm going with my BFF instead. It should be a good show!

7.  And finally, a picture of my lunch yesterday because that's really all I've got.

It was so yummy.  Just diced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic, and salt and pepper.

And speaking of tomatoes...I have been in no mood to actually can salsa or spaghetti sauce yet because, well, no kitchen and honestly not having a downstairs has gotten me all out of sorts.  But, ripe tomatoes wait for no man so I have taken a ton of them (and by a ton, I mean 6 or 7 grocery bags full) over to my mom's house and skinned and seeded them.  And then I put them all in the freezer.  When the kids are back in school and I have a whole day of not taking anyone anywhere, I plan to can those bad boys.

Have a great weekend y'all and don't forget to visit Kelly for more Quick Takes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cape Cod 2016

Our time at the Cape last week was wonderful as always.  It was a little shorter than we like but due to Dan's work schedule it was then or nothing so we gladly went.

Here are a bunch of  pictures from our trip.

We took a nice bike ride on The Nauset Trail with scenic views along the way. 

And at the end of the bike trail was Coast Guard Beach so we had to take a swim!

We also visited the Eastham Windmill and heard a lot of great history on the windmill from the old timer that was working there.  He was full of knowledge and had a great sense of humor!

We took the kids go-cart racing one night!

We also visited the Whydah Pirate Museum.  It's a new museum that highlights the adventures of Sam Bellamy and has all the treasures that they've pulled up from his wrecked ship so far.  It was an excellent museum and I would recommend it if you are visiting West Yarmouth and are interested in pirates.  It is more for adults than kids though.  I think little kids would be totally bored there but we all found it very interesting and informative.

And of course the Whydah Museum is conveniently located right next to Captain Parker's so we had to go have lunch there! It you like clam chowder and you're on the Cape - Captain Parker's is the place to go!

Dan' Uncle Bob was able to spend a few days with us at the Cape.  We worked on a 1000 piece puzzle during the week and he was instrumental in helping us finish!

One day, the boys went to visit the Cape Cod Maritime Museum and Sarah and I walked through all the shops in Hyannis and ate some yummy cupcakes.  (She and I don't love museums as much as they do!)

We visited Gray's Beach one foggy morning and it was really beautiful.  The tide was out and the marshes were just gorgeous.

Peter earned his kayaking merit badge at Boy Scout camp this summer and insisted that we go kayaking.  So we did!  I was impressed at how quickly Sarah picked it up and quite unimpressed with how horrible I was!

We also visited the Cape Cod Inflatable Park again this year.  The kids loved it!

And of course, we played in the water a lot!!!

And that's a wrap!  Cape Cod 2016 is in the books!  Can't wait until next year!!