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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 22

I have a bit of a crazy day today so my list is short on entries but big on love.

1.  My Mom!

Happy 75th Birthday to this beautiful lady.  She's the one that loves us, feeds us, prays for us, worries about us, takes care of us and she's the one that makes us a family! 💜

She's the one that I want to be exactly like when I grow up! 💜

I love you, Mom!💜

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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That flew by didn't it?

Yikes!  That long weekend really flew by didn't it?  And now here we are with the end of the school year so close we can almost touch it.

Peter had no school on Thursday but Sarah did.  After school she had a doctor's appointment and we had a little time to kill so.....

Yes we did both order delicious Starbucks drinks!

Peter had Friday off and Sarah only had a half day.  So after we picked her up from school we headed to Swim Gear to order their swim team bathing suits and we had lunch at Zoe's.

And then the long weekend began.  We didn't really have anything planned.  And the weather was really yucky - lots of clouds, lots of rain, humid...

Peter and Dan got the yard work done Friday before the rain and then on Saturday we spent a lot of time at Lowe's trying to figure out what we needed to paint our shutters.  They are getting so faded that we can wait no longer.  We (Dan with my help - if you call standing around holding things help) took two of them down, cleaned them and then painted them and hung them back up.  That took quite a bit of time.  And these two shutters are behind a tree so you can't even see them.  But Dan wants to do the hardest ones first and save the easiest ones (the ones you can actually tell are faded) to last.  So hopefully by the end of summer my shutters will be solid black once again. ;)

I made this delicious brownie batter no-bake cheesecake for Sunday dessert:

On Monday we went to Greensboro to check out a guitar store that Peter wanted to visit.  He is saving his money for a new electric guitar.  Then we went to a used book/cd/video game store and afterwards had some BBQ for lunch.  Then we came home and did nothing for the rest of the day.

It was a very relaxing and peaceful weekend which was very nice. And now suddenly it is already Tuesday.  We have the sports assembly at Sarah's school this week, Peter has a guitar concert to attend for credit for his class, swim practice starts (assuming we can get the thunderstorms to stop) tonight, Sarah has her 8th grade dance on Friday and life just keeps on chugging along.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 21

It's Thankful Thursday (and once again I'm left wondering how it got here so fast!)

Here's this week's thankful list:

1. Hummingbirds.  The little hummingbirds are starting to come back to the feeder that's hanging outside my kitchen window.  However, I think the fact that Wally likes to hang out outside now that the weather is warm is keeping more of them away.  I told Dan that if I ever found a dead hummingbird on my back step (like I frequently find the  cutest of baby moles) then Wally is out of here.  He assured me that the hummingbirds are too fast for Wally.  They better be!

2. Little hummingbird swing.  Last weekend at Lowe's, I spotted a little hummingbird swing.  Dan and I scoffed at the idea but when I got home I looked it up online.  Apparently they like to perch right near their food source to rest and watch over their food.  So unbeknownst to me, Dan picked up one for me when he was at Lowe's without me later on.

It's been there for 5 days and so far I haven't seen a hummingbird perched there but if I ever do, you can bet I will be adding it to this list!

3. Our little garden.  Our garden is Dan's pride and joy and thanks to all the rain we've been getting our tomato plants are looking spectacular.  I can't wait to have a tomato sandwich!!

4.Unplanned lunch date with a friend.  I was out running errands in Winston when I got a text from a friend wanting to know if I was in town and if so, was I available for lunch as she had some time to kill after an appointment?  The answer to that is always YES!  If anyone knows me in real life and you are  reading this, I will almost never turn down an impromptu lunch date!  It was so nice to just spend some time with this friend chatting and catching up and the fact that it was unplanned made it that much sweeter.

5. That little voice in side my head (which honestly I think is God).  Many times through out my day, as I'm rushing about a little voice will pop into my head reminding me about something.  It's always something that I knew I needed to do or remember but the little voice always seems to remind me at just the right time.  Every time it happens I feel like it's God speaking to me in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  :)

6.My health.  I was driving along the other day on the way to pick up the kids when I realized that it has been five years since I have experienced any pain from multiple sclerosis. FIVE YEARS! That is a huge praise!  I don't ever want to take my health for granted!

7.Meeting new people.  I'm going to be honest here - I do not like to meet new people.  I'm not good at small talk, I hate awkward silences, and in general I'm not comfortable around people I don't know.

Now once I know you, you will wish that I would just shut up but in the beginning I probably seem shy and quiet an unfortunately, probably a little aloof.  Anyway, Peter had a track dinner the other night at a nice steak restaurant.  I was nervous about going because Dan wasn't able to go and I didn't know who was going, who I would be sitting next to, etc.  I knew the kids would all be sitting together which would mean I would have to make small talk all through a long dinner. Honestly, I was not looking forward to it at all. 

I prayed  on the way asking God to help me out during the dinner and right as we got there, a friend of Peter's (that he just made this school year) and his mom came in.  It was just the two of them as well - no father and no siblings.    I did something I don't typically do.  I introduced myself to her and hoped that since our boys were friends we would have plenty to talk about during dinner.  She seemed relieved that I introduced myself and we spent the next two and half hours talking about the boys, our other kids, school, etc.  She was really nice and easy to talk to and know I one of Peter's new friend's moms! 

That's my list! What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Science Expo!

I can't believe it, but I failed to mention our final Science Expo at Our Lady of Mercy which happened on May 7th.  It probably got lost in all the Confirmation excitement. 

Science Expo is basically a science fair put on by the middle school.  They divide into groups and conduct an experiment, do research around the experiment, write a report, create of display board and create a game explaining their project to the elementary school kids.

On Expo day, the middle schoolers set up their projects in the gym, show them to the elementary kids and then interact with the judges who are determining the best three projects per grade. And then in the evening, everyone comes back to school so the parents can see all the projects and so awards can be given.

This is our final Expo and Sarah's group came in 2nd!  They won last year and came in 2nd the year before that so I would say these three ladies had a great run!

At school on Expo day.  (It was PE day which is why they are in their PE uniforms!)

Receiving their award!

Expo at night!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Another full weekend.

It was another full weekend in our neck of the woods.

On Friday evening I dropped Sarah off with her Girl Scout troop for a weekend at Camp Keyauwee and then Dan, Peter and I headed to Bishop to see some of the Fine Arts Night performances.  Peter's class performed for the first time and they did a great job with all three songs!

Below are some pictures of all the cool things she got to do this weekend with her Girl Scout troop:


 Hanging out with her friends!
 Cooking and cleaning!

 Puddles!  Because it rained of course!
And while she was off having a grand old time, we were back home doing yard work, laundry, and unclogging drains.

My bathroom sink has been draining really slowly for quite a while.  Occasionally I would put some Drain-O down it and it would help a little but not much.  Dan decided Saturday was the day to unclog the drain.

And let me tell you, I almost threw up when he came downstairs triumphantly holding this thin:

Y'all that is a giant HAIR and SLUDGE mass.  It looks like a dead animal but let me assure you it is not.  And I guess now I know why my hair looks so thin these days.  Apparently all of my hair has migrated from my head to the drain. 

And I *think* that maybe when I put the Drain-o down the drain that it sort of partially dissolved the hair but not fully so the mass of sludge might be half dissolved hair??  Who knows!  But isn't it disgusting?

Dan was quite proud of himself for getting that thing out in one piece!

While Dan was wrestling with the giant hair/sludge ball, I was in the kitchen happily making a cinnamon pie.  It was really good! 

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 18, 2018

7 Quick Takes: Random Miscellany Edition

More miscellany from my life...

1. Dan and I never exchange gifts but I always request that he get me a card for Mother's Day, Birthday, Anniversary.  And I have high card expectations.  It should be Hallmark.  He knows this and is always good about going to the Hallmark store near where he works although I've told him before that the Walgreens near our house carries Hallmark.  He was busy at work last week and never made it to the Hallmark store so he swung by CVS and on course they only sell American Greetings cards there.  So this is what he did:

I think he did a great job!  :) And the sentiment in the card was perfect and I always love the things he writes inside.  <3 p="">
2. Tonight is Fine Arts Night at Peter's school.  There will be food trucks, chorus performances, displays by all the art classes, a puppet show (apparently some of the art classes have been making puppets and the drama club wrote a show which they will perform), and guitar performances.  Peter's Guitar 1 class will perform three pieces and he's excited about it.  He said they sound really good.  I am looking forward to seeing and hearing them perform. 

3.  It has been raining off and on here for most of this week with plans for rain all weekend.  I think a lot of the Fine Arts Night performances were going to be in the courtyard and now I'm not sure where they will be moved to.  And Sarah is going on a camping trip with her Girl Scout troop and she's a little bummed out about the weather forecast because they were supposed to go paddle-boarding which might not happen now thanks to the rain. 

4. Clover.  Y'all I'm not sure what is going on around here but everyone's yard is covered in clover.  I guess the cool wet spring we had was perfect for the clover because it is prolific.  Dan treats for clover every year and is really annoyed by all the clover.  I questioned whether he treated for the clover or put down seeds!  :) What annoys me most is that about 12 hours after you mow the grass, there it is again.  The only redeeming feature the clover has is that it smells really good.  You know you have a lot of clover when you walk out your door and can actually smell it! 

This is just one of the many, many clover patches in our yard:

5. I know by now everyone has heard of the Yanny/Laurel soundbite.  I hear Laurel and the rest of the family hears Yanny.  But please don't mention this to Peter.  He said the whole thing was stupid and was not news.  I mentioned that it was a human interest story but he said that MSN had it at the top of their news page and insisted it wasn't news and everyone was getting excited over nothing.  Peter takes the news very seriously and has no time for frivolity.

6.  After the Yanny/Laurel discussion at the dinner table last night, I jokingly asked the family if anyone was going to get up in the wee hours to watch the royal wedding.  Sarah replied with, "That's the stupidest thing ever!  Why would I waste sleep by getting up early to watch that? Who cares?"  To which Dan and I both had to remind her that SEVEN years ago when she was but a mere almost seven year old she loved Princess Kate, talked in depth about her dress and was slightly obsessed with her. I reminded her that she was still in her pink phase at this time as well.  She denied it and has zero memory of  anything Kate related. 

7. I just searched on my blog to see if I ever posted anything about Sarah liking Kate but the only thing I could find was me mentioning how I hated Kate's dress.  I thought it was too matronly.  But then, while I was in the April 2011 section of my blog, I started reading old blog posts and it made me a little sad but I also realized how much I appreciate this old blog.  I found some things I had long forgotten about and I am so glad that they are here, in this space so that one day when they care, the kids can look back through and see glimpses of our life.

Hey!  It looks like I did 7 Quick Takes without even trying!  Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 20

It's Thankful Thursday once again!  Here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for this week:

1. My sweet mom!  We just celebrated Mother's Day and I would be remiss if I didn't put her at the top of the list this week.  Two of her favorite things to do to show you she loves you is to cook for you and to prayer for you.  Am I lucky or what?  Because I love to eat and it's always nice to know that if my prayers ever fall short, she's got my entire family covered!  <3 p="">
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<3 p="">2.  Beautiful flowers.  Look at the gorgeous plant my mom got me:

It's a Sun Star and  it's so unique.  It looks great sitting in my kitchen.

And look at these lovelies:
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At the end of track, the coach always buys cake and ice cream for the team and we have a little party to celebrate.  This year, she gave me these beautiful flowers, a bottle of wine, a gift card to PF Changs and the sweetest thank you card ever.  She insists she couldn't run the track program without me but in reality, the track program wouldn't exist without HER and the 10 plus other volunteers that are at every single practice and meet.
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<3 p="">3. New sheet pan dinner!  I tried a new sheet pan dinner recipe this week and it was a winner!  Always thankful when every single morsel of food I've prepared gets eaten.  That is rare but we managed to eat every bit of this!
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<3 p=""><3 p="">You can find the yummy recipe here at I will definitely be making this one again. And FYI...I used top round instead of flank steak and I did not put the steak on a wire rack.  when it was time to add the steak to the sheet pan, I just put right on the pan.  (AndI always use parchment paper for easy cleanup.)
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<3 p="">4. A new tip for cutting avocados.  I follow Life Is But a Dish on Instagram and she recently showed a great way to cut avocados.  I typically take the point of a sharp knife and insert into into the top of the avocado and then cut it all the way around and then I open it so that there are two halves.  She does that and then rotates the avocado half way around and then cuts it around again essentially quartering it.  When you do this, you can easily peel the fruit instead of having to drag out a spoon to scoop it. It's so easy and I'm not sure why I've never thought of it before!
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<3 p="">5.  I recently discovered a new devotion to go along with the daily readings.   It's from Word Among Us.  I just added this to my morning devotion in addition to the devotion Blessed Is She puts out. I'm always thankful for more insight into the daily readings.

<3 p="">6. Time spent doing something new!  I went with my Care Group ladies to Breakout Games in Greensboro. It's an escape room and the room we did was Casino.  Sadly we did not breakout in time but we had a blast!  I have been wanting to try an escape room but Dan wasn't really interested.  Although, now that I've done one, I would like to go back with him and the kids and try a different room. 
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<3 p="">7. Wally came back!  Wally went outside one evening this week and didn't come home for 24 hours.  I thought my people were going to lose it.  I kept telling them that he would be home but they all thought the worst.  I knew he'd be back.  He loves his long afternoon naps on my bed too much not to come home. :)
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<3 p="">Here he is on a map of the Roman Empire that Peter was working of for a class presentation.  Dan title this one:  Wallius Cesear!  :)
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<3 p="">What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May Crowning.

On Friday, Sarah's school had  May Crowning.  It's a beautiful liturgy  that is led by the 8th graders.

A representative from each grade processes in and place flowers around the statue of Mary.  And then every 8th grader does the same.  At the end of the procession, one 8th grade girl has the honor of crowning Mary.

In addition to readings from the Bible and hymns about Mary, three 8th graders are chosen to read their Marian reflections.  Sarah wrote an excellent reflection and got to read hers during the service.

It was a beautiful service and such a nice way to honor Mary.

I'm waiting for the school photographer to post her official shots but in the meantime, here are the ones I snapped with my phone.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Life lesson learned.

Several weeks ago Sarah went zip-lining with her Girl Scout troop.  She had a blast! Here are a few pictures from the day:

Sarah's other leader, Miss Beth, wasn't able to attend the trip because her mother was in Hospice.  Sadly, Beth's mother passed away that day and the funeral was scheduled for Monday.

All the girls were going and the other leader, Miss Frances, had asked them to wear their vests.

There's one thing you need to know about 13-year-old Girl Scouts.  They actually really enjoy Girl Scouts but they DO NOT want to wear the vest in public.  Sad but true - they enjoy all the things Girl Scouts has to offer but they don't want anyone to know they are Girl Scouts.

Wearing a tan vest with colorful patches in public is not something a 13-year-old girl ever wants to do.  Because, "what if someone seeeeeeeeeeesssssss meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"! (Actual quote from Sarah when she had to put on her vest to sell cookies at the cookie booth.)

All the girls stood together during the graveside service wearing their vests and honestly it was just the sweetest thing to see - they were supporting their leader and the fact that I knew they all would rather be wearing anything other than their vests made it even sweeter. 

Afterwards on the ride home, both Cheyanne and Sarah said they were glad they went even though neither  had not wanted to go.

"Mom, Miss Beth hugged me really hard and told me she was glad we all came because it made her feel better to look over and see us all standing their together.  She didn't know we were coming so it was a nice surprise for her," Sarah told me on the way home.  "I'm glad we went."

I told the girls that no one ever really wants to go to a funeral because funerals are hard and sad and sometimes awkward but everyone is always glad they went.

Both girls nodded their heads in agreement. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Edition 19

There is so much to be thankful for every day.  Here's this week's list:

1. Air conditioning.  The heat pump that cools the upstairs went out this week (apparently a bug got stuck in it at just the right spot which caused the whole thing to shut down) and we had to get it fixed.  Luckily it was cool enough at night that sleeping with the windows open was just the right temp and we didn't sweat to death but none the less, I will always be thankful for A/C and our friendly repairman Brian. (We have had problems with both the heat pumps starting about a year and a half after we built the house.  By the time we started having problems, the manufacturer said "too bad" it's out of warranty so I see my repairman Brian at least once a year.)

2. I worked my last Teacher Lunch Out at Our Lady of Mercy yesterday.  I am thankful that I have had the time and opportunity to volunteer at this sweet school.  And I am also thankful for lunch afterwards with the other moms who volunteered. And I am also very thankful for the teachers who teach there. 

3.  Before Sarah got her Confirmation roses, I bought these beauties from Lidl.

I will always be thankful for flowers.

4. And speaking of Confirmation,  I am definitely thankful for a wonderful weekend celebrating my sweet Sarah with family.

5. We got our tomatoes and peppers and herbs and flowers planted this weekend.  Dan has been watering ever since because we have had nothing but sunshine for the past week!  Vegetable gardens and sunshine mean school is almost over!  I am thankful for all of the above!

6. Track season is over!  I am thankful that Peter had the experience of running for his high school team.  He didn't make the time cuts to run in regionals or states but I think he will make it next year.  He had a great time hanging out with his friends, he got good exercise and a Bishop McGuinness track hoodie that he can wear as part of his official school uniform.  And now that track is over, I can pick him up from school right after I pick up Sarah.  Back to the normal routine!  I am always thankful for the normal routine!

7. Avocados, tune and mayo!  Mix it all together with salt and pepper and lime juice and you have a delicious high protein, low carb, and extremely filling lunch! Quick, easy, and tasty!

What are you all thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My sweet Sarah and the story of her Confirmation roses.

When Sarah was doing her sacramental preparation for Confirmation, she had to choose her Confirmation saint and write a paper about this person and why she chose them.

She had trouble determining which saint she wanted but after quite a bit of research, she ultimately chose St. Rosaline de Villaneuve. St. Rosaline was a born in France in 1263. Her father was a wealthy noble and the family lived in a castle. Beggars would show up every morning looking for food and even though her father forbid her feeding the beggars, Rosaline did it anyway.  One morning she had bread hidden in the folds of her skirt to take to to the beggars.  Her father stopped her and asked what she was hiding in her skirt.  She told him they were roses that she had just picked but he didn't believe her.  He demanded that she show him and when she opened the folds of her skirt, roses fell out where the bread had been. This is why she is often portrayed in art work with a skirt full of roses.

Sarah was confirmed on Friday night.  Since it was the first Friday of the month, not only did she have Mass at school but she also attended Adoration and Benediction.

As we were rushing in the door from school to eat and get dressed and get ready to head back out to Confirmation, I noticed a large box on the front step.

"Wonder what that is, I thought knowing I hadn't ordered anything recently.

I got the box from the porch and noticed it was from ProFlowers and was addressed to Sarah.

I called for her to come down because she had a package.

"What is it?  Is this for me? Is it flowers for me??"

She ripped into the box and there was the most beautiful bouquet of 24 red roses and a box of 6 giant strawberries from Sharie's Berries that were dipped in chocolate and nuts.

As soon as she realized it was roses, she exclaimed, "MOM!!!! When I was praying at adoration today, I asked Rosaline to pray that God would send me a rose today for my Confirmation!"

St. Rosaline is quite the intercessor as mere hours later, not one but TWENTY FOUR roses were waiting on Sarah!

I teared up when she told me she asked St. Roseline to intercede for her and I love that God not only sent my sweet girl a rose, but two dozen roses.  I also love that the person who sent the roses was Uncle Ron.  Uncle Ron isn't Dan's actual uncle but a friend of Dan's Uncle Bob.  They met and became friends in the seminary. He spent all the major holidays with Dan's family and became part of the family.

Uncle Ron concelebrated our wedding with Uncle Bob and told me that when he saw me walking down the aisle with a bouquet of red roses he knew it was a sign from St. Therese.  Uncle Ron has a great devotion to St. Therese who said, "After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved..."  So to me it is even more special that God used him to send the flowers to Sarah.

I am so thankful that God answered Sarah's prayer for a rose on her Confirmation.  To me, it is like Matthew 7:11 coming to life:

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:11

St. Rosaline de Villaneuve pray for us!

Here is the picture we snapped of Sarah right before we headed out the door.  She grabbed one of the roses and this is the one that we know have pressed between two heavy books and she plans to keep in her Bible.

And here are a few of the professional photos from Confirmation: