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Thursday, March 29, 2018

THankful Thursday - Edition 13

It's Thankful Thursday and I'm on vacation.  BUT - I planned ahead so here's my post!

1.  We are on vacation!  A few days in Savannah with the family should be lots of fun.  I love spending time with my people and cramming into a hotel room for 3 nights and being together 24/7. Should be great, right?  I think it will be!

2. Sarah got to go on her class trip last week.  We were worried about the weather but it all worked out and she had a great time!

3. That her illness was short-lived.  She came home with a fever, a sore throat and aches but she slept it off and was fine by Sunday.

4. Even though it's still cold we have had lots of sun this week. Surely it will start warming up soon.

5. The kids and I had lunch with my brother on Monday at the local Mexican joint.  We love spending time with Uncle Brad and I love the Mexican chicken soup they have!  It's really yummy and it's healthy enough that I don't feel bad eating a basket of chips and guac before the soup comes!

6. Lent is almost over!  Can I get an AMEN and a HALLELUJAH?  I am so ready for Easter Sunday!

7. Perfect dress for Sarah.  We went shopping on Monday to find a dress for Easter because while the girl has a lot of leggings and jeggings she doesn't have a lot of dressy clothes. And I wanted her to have something cute for Easter.  But we have the worst time shopping for dresses.  Thankfully we found a dress we both liked and a cute pair of shoes that we both liked for $50!  The best part?  She will also wear it for Confirmation!  Woohoo!

8.  Run Peter Run.  Peter's track coach emailed a workout schedule for the team over our two week break.  And Peter has actually been doing it.  The best part?  He's doing it without me telling/reminding/cajoling him.  (Easter miracle?  Probably!)

What are you all thankful for this week?

Monday, March 26, 2018

A rather boring weekend update....

The kids are officially on Easter/Spring Break!

They get two full weeks this year.  Normally they just get a week and a half but because all the teachers in the Diocese of Charlotte have a two day meeting, they get two full weeks.

To say my kids are excited is an understatement.  They've been looking forward to two full weeks off since the day they went back after Christmas break.

We picked Sarah up from her trip on Friday night and before we even got to the school she had texted us that she was feeling bad - freezing cold, sore throat, back ache.

I took her temp when we got home and it was almost 101.  She was supposed to go to her final Confirmation Retreat on Saturday morning.  It was scheduled to last from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Needless to say, she wasn't able to go to that.

Other than to eat a little lunch and a little dinner, she was in bed all day Saturday.  But she was fever free all day and only complained of a sore throat.  I am very thankful because I thought we were about to get hit with a spring break flu!

Our weekend was pretty laid back. It was rainy and cold (so what else is new?) on Saturday but it was sunny on Sunday.  It was still cold and windy but at least we had sun!  My parents had invited us and Jennifer's family to Sunday lunch.  My dad grilled steaks and we had a baked potato bar, a salad bar, cheesy garlic bread, and corn on the cob to go along with it.

My mom made an orange pineapple cake, Jennifer brought a dutch apple pie and a key lime pie, and I made a wine cake.  Needless to say, we all rolled out of there stuffed!

Here are the only pictures I have of Sarah on her trip:

Friday, March 23, 2018


This week has gone by fast!  It's always odd to me that some go by some so slow and some speed past.

Sarah was able to go on her class trip yesterday.  It had snowed in Charlottesville but the roads were clear.  I set the alarm for 4:20 and Sarah hopped right up.  Oddly enough, this never happens at 6:30 on a normal school day.

I dropped her off yesterday at 5:30 AM and the bus pulled out at 6:00 AM. She's sent me a few pics and said they are having a good time.  We are scheduled to pick her tonight at 10:00 PM. I imagine she is going to be very tired but she has a Confirmation retreat all day tomorrow so there will be no sleeping in for her. 

Peter has a track meet this afternoon and thankfully it is sunny. It's not really warm but at least the sun is shining and the winds we've had the last couple of days are gone!

I finally heard back from GE about the dishwasher that won't drain and because the washer is outside of the one year warranty period they happily offered me a discount on the parts.

I kindly responded back that I was disappointed that my expensive dishwasher that was less than 18 months old was already not working and I had hoped for a different response from GE.

I left it at that to see what they would come back with.  And low and behold, the customer service agent "did some more research" and because it's less than 18 months old, they will fix it for free this time. 

Moral of the story - always push back when you don't get what you think you should get but always do it nicely. 

Secondary moral of the story -it's always easier to wait on slow customer service agents when it's the dishwasher as opposed to say the clothes washer.  I might not have been so eager to slowly play the customer service game of emailing(thanks to extended phone wait times), waiting for a response, responding to requests for serial numbers, waiting on further responses, more questions, more responses (you get my drift) if it had been the washing machine!

So, even though I'm still washing my dishes by hand, I consider this a victory!  Now I'm just waiting to find out the date the service tech will come to do the repair.  And since we are traveling for a big chunk of next week, it will be sometime during the first week of April. 

I guess I better get some Palmolive so I don't get dishpan hands!

Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy this adorable picture of the cat who literally gets into everything:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 12

It's Thankful Thursday!  Here's what I'm thankful for...

1. Sarah's track coach - I love Coach Steele's heart for the kids at Our Lady of Mercy and I love her passion for getting them excited about running and being part of the team.  She starts recruiting at the beginning of the school year by seeking out all the new kids and encouraging them to run.  She isn't intimidated by coaching 97 kids.  That's almost half of our school!   Her love of the kids and the sport shows and it makes it an honor and a pleasure to assist her each year.

2.Homemade mochas - a friend of mine gave me some nice hot chocolate mix for Christmas.  Sarah loves hot chocolate but she likes to make it in the Keurig because it's quick and easy.  So not to let good hot chocolate mix go to waste, I've been making my own mochas.  In the afternoons I've been brewing a cup of decaf in the Keurig, putting a large tablespoon of hot chocolate mix in the coffee, some cream and of course a big dollop of whipped cream and viola!  A homemade mocha of sorts!  YUM!

3. Plumber Dan - the dishwash stopped draining this week so Dan had to pretend he was a plumber again.  Unfortunately, he couldn't find the problem so I've been in contact with GE since the dishwash is only a year and a half old at this point.  I want them to fix it so I haven't called a repairman yet.

Even You-Tube couldn't help.  Most likely it's the motor or the pump...
4. Hand-washing dishes  - So we've been washing everything by hand since Saturday and while I don't love that, I do love washing and drying beside my sweet husband.  💗💗

5. The snow - hahahahaha!  NO.  I am not thankful for the snow but it was pretty coming down for four hours yesterday.  I am however, thankful that it did not stick and that it was gone by lunch.

6. Weather forecast for Savannah - it looks like the rain is gone now and it's going to be sunny and warm.  I know all that can change quickly but I hope it doesn't!

7. Leftovers - I love it when I make a decent meal and there are leftovers for my lunch!
This was leftover ginger beef, jasmine rice, and a coconut curry vegetable stir fry (that came in bag with the sauce included and was so delicious that even Dan commented on how good it was! And he is not a fan of most vegetables so that was high praise.)

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


They were calling for more wintry weather early this morning and I blew it off.  Picture me sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "lalalalalalalalalalalala"

Peter was adamant that his school would be cancelled.  I scoffed and harshly informed him to get his homework/project-that-he-left-until-the-last-minute (when will he ever learn?) finished before he went to bed.  And he did (as far as I know).

I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM only to discover that Sarah's school is going in on a 2 hour delay BUT Peter's school is CLOSED.

Now I'm worried about Sarah's 8th grade trip.  She is supposed to leave tomorrow morning at 0'dark-thirty to head to Charlottesville,VA to visit Monticello, James Madison's birthplace, the Luray Caverns and the University of Virginia.  I checked the weather in Charlottesville and they are supposed to get 3-6 inches this morning.  If that happens there's a good chance her trip will have to be rescheduled.

She has been looking forward to this trip since the beginning of the school year because in her mind, once she got to this trip, 8th grade would be smooth sailing until June.  And she's sort of correct except that there's still a lot of work to be done before June.  But she's had this trip in her head since the first day of school and an "if I can just make it to the trip I'll be fine" attitude.  Hopefully they can still go on their trip but if not the teacher assured me that they will reschedule it.

My plan of sitting at the computer all day and finishing the taxes has been slightly derailed now.  Because once Peter gets up, he will be on the computer completing another project that he has to finish that's due later this week and playing video games, watching you tube videos, and generally goofing off.  Luckily, I'm almost done with them and there's still 3 weeks left until April 15th so I still have pleeeeeeeeenty of time. 

Hmmmmm....wonder where Peter gets his why-do-it-today-when-I-can-do-it-tomorrow attitude? 

Yesterday I spent the better half of the day figuring out our itinerary for our trip to Savannah.  The kids get two weeks off for spring break and we decided to spend some time next week in Savannah. We've never been there and thought it would be a nice little vacation.  But having never been there we don't know what to do or where to start.  So I cobbled together a loose itinerary for the 4 days we are there and I guess we will just hope for the best.  The weather forecast calls for a lot of rain so that's a bummer since we will be doing a lot of walking around.

In case anyone needs a Wally fix, here you go:

 He will literally curl up anywhere!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The weekend update, a Monday review, and a recipe.

Yesterday I headed to the grocery store as normal, raced back home to unload the groceries, got some laundry going, headed to Chick-fil-A to pick up lunch for Sarah, headed to school to monitor Teacher Lunch Out and deliver Sarah's lunch, went out to lunch with a couple of school moms, headed back to pick up Sarah, brought her home, went to pick up Peter from track practice, came home and helped Sarah fix a Margherita pizza for World Thinking Day at her Girl Scout meeting, took her to Girl Scouts, came home and ate dinner, put away the laundry and then sat my big butt on the couch until bedtime.

So that's why it's Tuesday and you are just now getting the weekend update. And I'm not really sure it's worth the wait but here it is anyway:

Peter didn't have track practice on Friday since he had a meet on Thursday so it was nice just to come home from school with no where else to go.  When Dan got home from work, he started the yard work.  Unfortunately, it's time to start mowing the grass again around here.  It really needed it last weekend but it was pretty rainy so it had to wait.

I made our normal Friday-in-Lent supper of pesto pasta with garlic bread.  Afterwards we ran to the grocery store for a couple of things and then we came home to get watch an episode of Survivor.

On Saturday, we spent the entire afternoon at Wake Forest University where our school hosted a track meet with two of the other local Catholic schools. We usually host two or three just-for-fun track meets each season and then end with the conference championship meet where all the local Catholic schools participate.

This year due to busy schedules, we are only hosting two fun meets.  But that's okay with me because hosting these meets is a lot of work.  It takes a lot of volunteers to run a  track meet and it's always a long day.

Our kids ran really well and had a lot of fun.  The day ended up being fairly warm and mostly sunny so it was perfect.  Sarah ran well and had more fun than she thought.  She never wants to run track and only does it because I make her.  I figure if I have to be there as an assistant to the track coach then my kids are going to participate.  (And I don't HAVE to be there, I want to be there -  sort of.  I love the track coach and will help her with anything she needs.  And this is my last year!)

We made it home a little before 7:00 and grilled out.  We love to grill out these delicious steak bites:

This is a picture of them before they went on the grill.  Didn't get one afterwards but trust me, they were delicious.  We have them a lot.  The marinade is what makes them so good and you can use a fairly cheap cut of meat and still have tender steak.

Here's the recipe if you are interested:

Steak Bites

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lbs. flat iron or top sirloin steak, cut in 1-inch pieces

Place all ingredients except the steak in a baggie and mix well. The add the steak and seal the baggie. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24. Then we skewer them and Dan throws them on the grill for 15 minutes. Or you can cook them in a skillet on medium high heat for about three minutes.

I had originally planned to have them 2 weeks ago but our schedule changed.  I already had them in the fridge marinating so I just threw the baggie in the freezer until we could use them.  The extra time in the marinade made them even more flavorful than ever.  So we all decided that I needed to start doing it that way from now on. 

After dinner Dan and the kids wanted to go to Sonic because they've got their half price shakes after 8:00 so off we went.

We attended Mass on Sunday morning, had lunch at my parent's house and then the kids had projects and papers to work on.  My brother came over and we watched Carolina lose to Texas A&M and then watched some episodes of Shark Tank.  We totally missed a whole night of American Idol but that's okay because Sarah was working on school work anyway. There's no fear of missing out when you don't realize that something is on!  :)

We did however record last night's episode so hopefully we can watch that tonight. (Last night she had scouts and a bunch more homework.  8th grade at our school is no joke!) Although, I'm going to be honest, I'm not looking as forward to it as she is.  I'm still hoping the new judges grow on me....

And then before we knew it, it was Monday and I've already given you the details of that day and now it's Tuesday and I've got work to do - taxes, pay bills, track practice at Sarah's school.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Track meets and the fact that I'm old, tired and lazy.

Last night Peter had another track meet.  And it was not as cold as last week's meet but thanks to very high winds, I was bundled up like it was in the low 40s  One  of the other moms and I were joking that we looked like homeless people huddled over in our mismatched hats, gloves, and winter parkas.  And it didn't help that one of that we were scarfing down another mom's snacks like we hadn't eaten in days.

Track meets are exactly like swim meets - you sit  around for hours eating snacks because you're bored and hoping you don't miss the 2 minutes that your kid is going to swim/run because you are talking and not paying attention.

Here's the one decent picture I got of Peter:

Sarah has her first track meet tomorrow.  I am the assistant to the track coach so I've been busy helping to get everything ready.  It's supposed to be in the mid 60s but there's a 40% chance of rain.  Hopefully it will stay away!

We have no plans for St. Patrick's Day. Well, we were supposed to go to a trivia night fundraiser at Peer's school that sounded really fun.  But then the start time of  Sarah's track meet got pushed out by 2 hours and there's no way we would be back to Peter's school in time for the event.  And it's the kind where you go in as teams to win the trivia contest and you are supposed to bring a dish to share with your table/team.  I hate going to things late (especially when I don't know if I will be 30  minutes late or an hour and half late) and I knew there would be no way I'd be able to get an appetizer ready in time for this thing in addition to the track meet. So in the end we cancelled those plans and I'm feeling good about my decision. I'm not one of these people that go from event to event. I find when I do that I don't enjoy each thing - I'm too worried about getting to the next thing.   I prefer to just have one major thing to do per day.  That way I can focus on it and enjoy it.

Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill

Or maybe I'm just old, tired, and lazy. 

Whatever the case, we will be grilling dinner at whatever time we get home from Sarah's track meet and we will be enjoying a calm evening after a long day at the track.  That's more my speed...

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 11

It's Thankful Thursday!

1. Mississippi Pot Roast - I've shared the recipe before and I make it all the time.  I made it this past week and it was soooooo good.  (Sometimes you can make the same thing over and over again and sometimes it's just better than others.) I am always thankful for a good easy main dish in the crock pot that everyone likes.

2. The snow day - as much as I don't like snow, the snow day we had was nice because the kids were able to sleep in and get back their extra hour and more.  They even went in the next day on a two hour delay.  Although I will say that they were still very hard to wake up on Wednesday even with all that extra sleep. 

3.  The sun - we finally had some and hopefully we are on an upward trend with the temperatures. I'm always thankful for the sun!

4. Date with Dan - I am always thankful for time spent with Dan even if it's just an hour and a half over an appetizer while Sarah is in Confirmation class. 

5. Daylight - I don't like how Daylight Savings Time messes up our sleep for a week but I am always thankful for the extra hour of light at the end of the day!

6. Rescheduled Track Meet - yesterday was cold and windy so I was very thankful they rescheduled the track meet to today. 

7. The concert - Peter was so happy that he got to go to the Sabaton concert.  I'm thankful that he enjoyed it and I'm thankful that my husband took him so I didn't have to!  :)

8. Fresh manicure - I got a manicure yesterday and my mom got a pedicure.  I love freshly painted nails and I'm always thankful to get to spend some extra time with my mom.

9. Carpooling grandparents - My parents are always eager and willing to help me with the kids.  At this stage of the game, that usually means picking them up from or taking them to activities since it's hard for me to be in two places at once.  They don't even mind it when I ask them to do a pick up on the spur of the moment or change the plan even as they are driving to where I had previously asked them to be.  I'm always thankful for my parents and their willingness to help me with whatever I need help with.

What are yo thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I'll be the judge of that.

Peter was supposed to have a track meet this afternoon/evening but thankfully it got moved to tomorrow night.  The high today is only supposed to be 42 and it's supposed to be windy.  Tomorrow it's going to be mid-50s so that will be a little better.  Last week's track meet the highs were in the upper 40's and it was cold but not unbearable until the sun went down.  So hopefully the kids won't freeze tomorrow in their sleeveless shirts and shorty shorts.

Has anyone been watching American Idol?  Sarah and I always used to love watching it and we were both sad when it went off the air.  Although I felt that last season they were just phoning it in.  We've been anxiously awaiting the start of the new season since they announced it last year.

I was a little disappointed with the first two nights.  I don't like the new judges.  Lionel Richie can't  seem to stay seated - not sure if it's a back problem or if he has ADHD or what but he is always up out of his seat hovering around the other judges or hugging the contestants. 

Sit down, Lionel.  Just sit down. And stop hugging everyone.

And then there's Katy Perry who is either throwing herself at the cute male contestants or batting her eyelashes and prancing around like she's been crowned the most beautiful girl in the world. 

Nope.  You're cute as a button Katy but a little humility would make you even cuter. 

And Luke Bryan.  Y'all.  He's cute and I guess he's a good singer.  I wouldn't really know because I haven't listened to country music since the early/mid-90's.  As a judge, he likes everyone but also seems to have trouble coming up with the right words or sometimes even finishing his sentences.  I'm just going to say one thing...

Bless his heart.  

We watched both nights and had a grand time making fun of everyone.  There were a couple of good singers, a few they made waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fuss over, and then the ones that have a good backstory and everyone was crying.  Except us.  We were rolling our eyes.

I hate it when someone has a disability or a hardship story and they judges make over them like they are fabulous. 

Nope.  You are a decent singer that's had some tough breaks in life and that's it.

I don't mean to be heartless but this is a singing competition.  (say that in a British accent for full effect).

I guess what I'm saying is that I really, really, really, miss...


We will still be watching this season but I hope they have some really fabulous singers in their back pocket. I'm still waiting for another Kelly Clarkson or another Carrie Underwood but so far, I haven't seen it.

And with that, I must sign off.  The kids going being out on Monday and going in two hours late haas me extremely far behind on my list of things to do.

Monday, March 12, 2018

But it's March!

Thanks to a wintry mix, there's no school today!

Late last week Peter was telling me that it was going to snow Sunday night and school would be cancelled on Monday.  I looked at the weather forecast and laughed.

Nope, kid.  Best case flurries, worst case nothing.  Make sure you do your homework.

But as I went to bed last night, it looked like we were going to get more than they originally were thinking and that it was going to come a little later.

I got up this morning at my normal 5:30 and it was raining.  30 minutes later I got a text from Sarah's school that school was closed due to the "impending weather".  30 minutes after that I got an email from Peter's school.

This was good for the kids as they both didn't fall asleep until really late on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Maybe they can get caught up on that lost hour this morning and Sarah has a big paper she needs to write so maybe she can get that knocked out and I'm hoping that Peter decides to use his time wisely and work on a biology project that is due soon.

In other news, we went to dinner at the Brazilian Steakhouse with my parents and my brother on Saturday evening.  It was really good.  Check out their menu.  I honestly could make a meal off the salad bar alone - jumbo shrimp, really yummy chicken salad, various other salads, different cheeses...  And the delicious hunks of meat they kept bringing around was the icing on the cake.

We attended Mass on Saturday evening before dinner because on Sunday morning Sarah's Girl Scout Troop was celebrating Girl Scout Sunday at the church her troop meets at.  Afterwards, they had lunch together and went ice skating.  She was a happy camper!

Yesterday we had lunch at my parent's house and then relaxed until time to take Sarah to Confirmation class.  Dan and I dropped her off and headed to a nearby restaurant to share a couple of apps and catch up on life before time to pick her back up.

It's  a nice little Sunday-evening-once-a-month-date-night-during-Confirmation-class  that we started last year when Peter was in 8th grade.  Class is an hour and a half and it didn't make sense to drive 20 minutes home and 20 minutes back so we decided to turn it into a mini date night.  We are both going to miss it when Sarah is confirmed in May.

This is my view outside the window right now...

The wintry mix is still falling but it's not sticking to the roads.  However, they are calling for freezing temps tonight so I am anticipating a late start to the school day tomorrow.

Here is my view from my perch at the island.  It's a little spring thanks to the tulips and a little winter thanks to this wonderful candle from Chip and JoJo that my friend Kim gave me. The wick is a piece of wood and actually crackles while it's burning so I feel like I'm sitting beside a little fire. 

Enjoy your Monday!

Friday, March 9, 2018


The Christmas present Peter loved most this year was tickets to see  Sabaton  in concert. In fact, if all we had gotten him was a ticket to the concert, he would have probably still declared it the best Christmas ever.

Yesterday was the big day.  Dan took a half day off of work and picked Peter up early from school and the two of them headed to Raleigh.

They checked into their hotel, found the concert venue, and then had dinner.

The concert was being held at The Ritz which is basically a very large room with a stage.  It's standing room only - no seats.  While I was researching this place, it reminded me of the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte.  Dan and I went to a Bare Naked Ladies concert there almost 20 years ago.  This was back before they were famous. 

We worked with a guy who was from New York state and he and his wife used ot see them when they were in college.  The Bare Naked Ladies were from Canada and starting out they did a bunch of college shows and small clubs in New York state.  The wife was actually pregnant with their first child at the time and he is now in college!

Anyway, we went with them and had a great time at the show even though we didn't know any of the songs.  When they released their first album, it had all the songs on it that they had been singing in small clubs for years and that we had heard.  We went to another one of their concerts after they became famous and had a great time then too.  They put on an excellent show!

Where was I?

Ah, yes.  Sabaton.

So, the Ritz was standing room only just like the Tremont Music Hall.  Peter sent me a text when the first act was on.  He said I would have probably liked them.  Sounds like they were more of a hair metal type band which I did love back in the day.  Dan texted me at one point that they had just finished a Scorpions cover so yes, I probably would have enjoyed that act.

Then the second act came on.  Peter sent me a video of the mosh pit.  My response to the video was "yikes".  He responded that he wasn't in it so I didn't need to worry.

A little later Dan sent me a text saying that he encouraged Peter to get into the mosh pit. 

Um, why would you do that, honey? 

I guess it was all part of the experience and Dan didn't want him to miss anything. And based on the videos they both sent me, it was mild as far as mosh pits go.

Here are a few pictures they texted me.  I can't wait until they get home this afternoon so I can hear all about it!

I don't know about you, but the lead singer of Sabaton is giving off a Village People vibe!  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 10

Here's my list of things I'm thankful for this week.

1.  Run, Peter, Run. - Peter is really enjoying track.  Last night he shaved 5 seconds off his 400 Meter time and I don't have the exact number but he looked much faster in that too.  He was very excited about this.  Track is his kind of sport - sit around eating snacks and hanging out with your friends and then running for literally one minute and then coming back to eat snacks and hang out with his friends. 

Peter is the blur in second place up there.  I really need to take my real camera to the next track meet.  It was so cold last night - low 40s.  I think part of the reason he was running so fast was so he could get back into his sweats!

2. More tulips from Lidl.  I will never not be thankful for beautiful inexpensive tulips!

Aren't these gorgeous?

3. Mocha splurge.  I splurged on my latest Target run and got a skinny grande mocha from Strabucks instead of my normal regular coffee.  Morning made!

4. New faucet.  My old faucet (which was only a year and a half old) got a leak in the hose of the sprayer handle.  The hose looks more like a rope than a hose but somehow had a pinhole leak in it that only got bigger.  I googled it and apparently a lot of people have had this issue with this Kohler faucet.  I emailed them and they immediately responded that they would order me a replacement hose but because the correct one was on back-order they would also order me another one to use until the correct one could be shipped.

Three weeks went by with nary a hose in sight.  So I emailed them again telling them that the leak was getting worse and that I was getting upset.  Immediately they emailed back that they were just going to send me an entire new faucet set:

That's a $378 faucet for free.  Hopefully they have fixed their hole-y hose problem.

5. Plumber Dan.  I know he was on the list last week for his plumbing/drain cleaning skills but he had to spring into action again this week as he had to remove the old leaky faucet and replace it with the hopefully non-leaky new one. 

6. Sunshine.  Y'all!  The sun was out all day yesterday!  Come on, Spring!  You can do it!

Lovely view of Our Lady from the car rider line.

7. Breakfast date.  I enjoyed my Saturday morning breakfast date at the Waffle House with Dan before Peter's track meet last Saturday.  Nothing better than spending time with my sweetie AND eating a patty melt and hash browns!

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Airplane seats!

It's been almost two years since Dan started working on the Emirates project.  And yesterday, the first plane with all new Business Class seats made a flight from Dubai to Fort Lauderdale. It takes a lot of work to refit existing planes with new seats!!

Here are some images Emirates posted on their Instagram of the seats.  Aren't they gorgeous?  And these aren't even First Class!

And now he's on to working with other airlines on different seats but I bet none of them will be this nice!

Monday, March 5, 2018

And that's a wrap!

Another weekend is in the books.

Friday afternoon was nice.  Peter didn't have track practice so I was able to pick him up after I picked Sarah up and we were home by 4:00!  Since he's been having track practice every afternoon after school, I pick up Sarah, bring her home and then go pick him up.  Typically we aren't home until 5:30 or later.  So being home at 4:00 on Friday afternoon seemed like a great way to start the weekend!

We were up early on Saturday as Peter had to be at the track meet at 9:00.  Dan and I dropped him off and then headed to Waffle House for a romantic breakfast.  Ok, so it wasn't romantic but it was really good.  I had forgotten how much I used to love the patty melt and hash browns from Waffle House.

After breakfast, we went to Lowes Home Improvement and got some extra house keys made for the kids to keep in their backpacks.  We got Peter one with an American flag on it and the one for Sarah has a flower on it.  They are really cute.  My plain gold colored house key looks so boring in comparison.

Then we headed to the track meet.  The sun was shining and it was in the mid-50s.  We were sitting right in the sun and it felt really  nice!  The track meet was an invitational and we weren't running against anyone in our conference.  Our school is 1A (the smallest conference) and all the schools we were running against were 3A and 4A (the biggest conference). 

Everyone Peter ran against was either an11th grader or 12th grader and these boys were fast!
It was a good learning experience for Peter and now we have some official times for him so he can start working to improve those every week.

We went to Mass on Saturday evening and then out to dinner.  There was a very long wait at the restaurant I wanted to go to so we went to another restaurant that also had an hour and a half wait.  I was getting frustrated because I just wanted to wait.

By the time we got to the 3rd restaurant that only had a 45 minute wait and waited through it, we still spent about an hour and half from the time we got to the first restaurant. So, we should have just waited at the first restaurant. 

Peter wanted to go to Golden Corral but I had to put my foot down to that one.  I just can't do Golden Corral.  As we were waiting for our table at Red Robin, which is across from the mall, a woman came rushing in and sat on the bench beside us.  She was out of breath and told us she had just run over from the mall.

She said she had been in Belk but a friend of hers who was in JC Penneys called her and said there was someone with a gun in the mall and to leave.  Right as she was telling us this, we saw about 15 (and apparently there were closer to 40 or more in total) police cars heading to the mall.

Our mall has a curfew on Friday and Saturday night.  If you are under 18, you have to be with a guardian after 6:00 PM.  Apparently one of the teens was there without a guardian and the police asked him to leave.  He wouldn't so they arrested him.  As they were doing this, other teens started to gather around (the newspaper estimated about 100) and started yelling at the police officers.  So back up was called, the kids were all made to leave, and the mall closed for the night. 

Apparently there was no gun at all  - that was just rumor.  It was just kids a bunch of kids making trouble.  It did add a little excitement to our Saturday evening though.

On Sunday morning Peter and Dan headed to the church where Peter's Boy Scout troop meets and they had their Scout Sunday celebration.  The current troop leader is stepping down after many years of service and as a special surprise to him, the troop retired their flag and gave it to him. 

Peter, as one of the older Scouts, got to participate in the flag retiring ceremony.  After the church service the Boy Scouts held a spaghetti luncheon and Dan and Peter worked that while Sarah and I enjoyed lunch at my parent's house.

My uncle made these delicious and healthy cupcakes.  Instead of flour he used black beans!  If he hadn't told me, I would have never known.  They were super moist and really good!  He also used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and Xylitol instead of sugar. They were so good I had two and I didn't even feel bad about it!

The afternoon was spent relaxing and now it's Monday morning.  We have a busy week ahead.  Scout meetings for both kids, track practice and a meet for Peter, track practice for Sarah AND we start swim practice for Sarah this week too.  It's going to be a busy one!

Friday, March 2, 2018

An update, a cool tool, and a recipe.

The sun is shining! And that makes up for the fact that it is extremely windy but I'm going to try not to complain. Because the sun is shining!!!!!

In less exciting news, I heard back from my doctor on Wednesday and the spot on my nose did test positive for basil cell carcinoma so I will definitely be having that bad boy removed.  And while I'm there I will be having the lipoma removed from my back. 

I go back this Wednesday to have the suture removed from my nose and I will discuss all of this with the doctor at that time.  Thankfully basil cell is one of the most treatable of the skin cancers but your prayers are always appreciated!

In other news, Peter has his first high school track meet this weekend.  It's an invitational so there will be 10 to 12 schools there which means this will be an all day affair.  Peter will be running in two events and in looking at the schedule, these two events are more towards the end. However, he still has to be there at 9:00 AM for warmups.  The meet starts at 10:00 and the track coach said it could take 6 hours.  Although he said it all depends on how many teams actually registered and how many heats are needed for each event.So maybe it won't take that long...

I think Dan and I will be dropping Peter off at 9:00 and going somewhere for breakfast before heading back to sit for hours to watch Peter run for a couple of minutes! 

I wanted to share this really cool kitchen tool with you guys.  Dan's sister put it in my stocking years ago.  And honestly, I put it into a box of rarely used kitchen items which I kept in the basement due to lack of space in my small kitchen.  But after the renovation, this thing made it's way upstairs and I have been using it ever since.  (And honestly, kicking myself for not using it to begin with!)

"What is this thing?" you ask.

It's a garlic peeler!  Here, I'll let Sarah demonstrate. 

Pop a couple of cloves of garlic into one end.

Then lay it on the counter and applya fair amount of pressure with your hands and roll it back and forth for a few seconds.

Shake it all onto the counter:

The clean cloves of garlic roll  right out! You might need to shake it a bit to get the skins to come out but usually they fall out with the garlic/

I love to use fresh garlic but the worst part is getting the skin off.  This makes it so easy and is actually fun to use.  Sarah and I fight over who gets to use it when I'm making dinner. 

And speaking of making dinner.  I made a really good side dish the other night.  Well, I loved it, Sarah ate it willingly but Dan and Peter protested.  Dan ended up eating all of his but Peter just took a bite and turned up his nose.

It was roasted cabbage!

Izsn't it gorgeous?  It was so simple to make.  I just sliced up a head of cabbage into "steaks".  Laid them on a parchment paper covered sheet pan.  Coated both sides with olive oil, and sprinkled on salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili pepper flakes to taste and baked in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes and then flipped them and baked for 15 more minutes.  SO GOOD! 

It would be nice if everyone liked it as much as I did but I have yet to find that one elusive vegetable that we all love. 

Well, I'm off to vacuum and clean a few bathrooms.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 9

It's Thursday.  Again!

Why am I always so shocked week after week?  I guess because after I write each of these posts on Thursday I tell myself that I am going to be very intentional to look for all the things I am thankful for and then I get to Thursday and I'm wracking my brain and wishing that I had written them all down as I go.

Sometimes I do jot down all the things I am grateful for throughout the week but most times I just tell myself I will remember them and then sit down to write and old age has erased them from my memory. 

With that said, here's what I can remember that I've been thankful for this past week:

1.  The day date with my husband last Friday.  💜💜💓💛💚💕💘  All the hearts for my sweetie.

2. The full dishwasher.  I found myself grumbling while unloading the dishwasher and had to stop myself.  A full dishwasher means food on the table, people sitting around that table eating, and people telling me about their day while they are eating.  So I'm making a better attempt at being thankful for the daily chores in my life that remind me my life is full!

3. A good night of sleep.  The stupid cats (yes, I love them but they are still cats so I can call them stupid) have a bad habit (Wally especially) of jumping on my bed around 3:30 in the morning and walking on my face.  He will then attack Kitten who is calmly laying by my side until there is a full blown cat fight literally occurring on top of me.  My sweet husband is lying next to me snoring away and totally oblivious to said cat fight.  Meanwhile, I am basically awake until my alarm goes off at 5:30.  But thankfully for the last two nights the cats have left me alone and I was able to sleep in relative peace.  I can still hear them chasing each other through the house but as long as they aren't mewing and aren't doing it on top of me - it's all good. 

4. Signs of spring.  We have a few daffodils in our yard and they are blooming!  And the cherry trees around  are blooming too.  Spring is coming and that makes me very thankful!

5.  Rain.  It pains me to type this as I don't like rain.  At. All. And we've had so much of it lately.  But!  This rain has turned our winter brown grass to a lovely shade of spring green. So I will just choose to focus on that instead of all this dreary rain!

6.  A return.  I had gotten some shorts for Sarah that she did not approved of.  When I returned them, they happened to be the exact same price as something I was buying for myself!  Her loss was my gain!

7.  Another math project.  I was good this time and did not mention Peter's lastest math project to him other than to remind me that if he needed any supplies he would need to tell me ahead of time.  I was very thankful to hear last night that he was almost done with it AND he had made an A on his latest math test.

8.  Clean drain and a cute plumber.  Sarah had a clogged shower drain that even maximum stregth Drain-O couldn't handle so my sweet husband had to remove the drain plug apparatus thingy (I think that's the technical term for it) and clean out the most disgusting looking clog I've ever laid eyes on.  I'm gagging right now just thinking about it.  But the drain flows quite nicely now!

9. Starbucks gift card.  Jennifer gave me a Starbucks gift card as part of my Christmas present and I have loved having it on my Thursday morning Target runs.  I drive carpool on Thursdays and don't have time for my second cup of coffee so it's nice to have a cup when I'm in Target.  And it's even nicer that it's paid for with a gift card!  Thanks Jennifer!  And please note, you can make a Starbucks gift card go along way when you are just buying a cup of regular coffee!

What are you all thankful for this week?