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Monday, October 21, 2019

Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming weekend is in the books.

And they won!  I am so excited for this team!  They played a great game and won.

Peter said the Greensboro newspaper predicted that they would lose so the win was even nicer.  (Although, really, why are local newspapers predicting winners and losers?  Are people gambling on high school games?)

Sarah spent Saturday morning doing her nails.  She found the perfect shade of polish that matched her lilac shoes.  And Peter spent the day watching football.

Both kids were going in opposite directions so it's a good thing Peter was driving himself.  His group was meeting for pictures at Tanglewood in Clemmons and they were having dinner at 2520 Tavern.

This was great for Peter as Clemmons is pretty near where we live.  It wasn't so great for his date for the evening. She lives in Greensboro which is about as far away from Clemmons as you can get so her dad drove her to Tanglewood and then Peter drove her to the restaurant and to the dance.

Sarah was meeting her date and her friends in Greensboro for pictures at the Greensboro Country Club and dinner at the Imperial Koi.

Here's a few of the pictures from the evening.

Sarah and her friend Cameron

The whole group.
The girls.

Peter and his friend Megan.

The whole group.

The boys.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Some recipes, a new kitchen tool, and my new hobby.

It's going to be a big weekend around!  Tonight is the Homecoming game and tomorrow night is the dance!  I'm hoping that we can win this game and that both kids have fun at the dance.

You know I'll be here on Monday with a weekend recap but in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few good things I've found. 

The first thing that I have been loving and using daily is this:

This is a milk frother that I purchased for $9.99 on Amazon.  I have been using it every time I make a cup of coffee.  I use it to mix my collagen powder into my coffee as well as to froth up the milk.  Something about the frothed up milk makes the coffee taste so much more like coffeehouse coffee.

Yesterday I used it to whip up a low carb peppermint mocha!  I just put a tablespoon of cocoa powder in a cup of hot coffee and blended it with the the frother.  Then I added a dash (a little less than 1/16 of a teaspoon) of peppermint extract and Stevia and blended that. And then I added my cream and frothed that and then I added a dollop of whipped cream.  A cheap and low carb alternative to my favorite Starbucks drink!

Last night I tried a new meal out on the family and it was a hit!  It was this recipe for Mozzarella and Pesto Chicken in a crock pot. The only thing I did differently was to use thin chicken breasts instead of the full sized ones and I cut down the amount of butter to half.  The chicken was flavorful and moist and I will definitely make it again.

I served it with a side of sauteed thin green beans and blistered tomatoes as well as this recipe for cucumbers.  I will also definitely be making this cucumber recipe again!  Cucumbers are a nice low carb side that Dan and I both like.  I used one English cucumber and cut the ingredients for the mayo mixture in half and added just a little extra vinegar to make it a little looser.  DELICIOUS!

I've been working on our family tree using  Dan's father had done a lot of research on the Cotell side so I'm trying to get all of that information input.  Dan put it all into a computer program called My Family Tree Maker in the mid to late 90s.  Of course that was a program you had to purchase from Best Buy and install on your computer.  I think we have a floppy disk floating around with all the information but no computer with a floppy drive and who knows where the disks are for the Family Tree Maker.

It's fun when gives you a hint about a relative and you are able to add more information to your tree.  It's also interesting learning things about your relatives.

I learned that my grandmother's parents (on my father's side) were first cousins.  I am a little grossed out by that fact but I guess it was a common practice in the 1800's.

I also learned that many of her relatives are buried on a family graveyard near where she grew up.  This graveyard is just a few miles from the Moravian church they attended and I'm hoping to find it and check it out soon. It's just a few miles from here and I never even knew it existed!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

National Honor Society Induction

Last night Peter was inducted into the Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School's Chapter of the National Honor Society!

Way to go Peter!

Peter's friends Zac and Daniel from Our Lady of Mercy were also inducted!

Sarah loves to rush in when I'm trying to take a picture of Peter and hug him.  Peter doesn't love it.
Here are my mom and Dan at the reception after the induction:

These are the candles that were lit to represent the principles for the NHS:  Knowledge, Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.

Keep up the great work, Peter!!!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Another weekend recap.

Happy Monday one and all!

Another weekend has come and gone. On Friday, I went to lunch at Firebirds with my mom and my brother.  I got my usual - sesame encrusted salmon with a ginger mustard aioli, fried spinach (so good!) and choice of side.  I got broccoli for my side.  This is the perfect low carb meal BUT their bread is delicious so I had to indulge.

Dan and I went to Peter's football game on Friday night.  I met him at work and we drove the rest of the way to Pilot Mountain together.  The boys lost but they actually scored twice on this team so we counted that as a small victory.  Sadly our head coach got pummeled on the side line  and broke his leg.  He is having surgery on the leg later this week.  
On Saturday we had dinner next door with my mom, my brother and our friends the Wallers.  It was delicious and we had a great time hanging out.  My brother has a pool table, darts and a large tv so we played, ate, talked, and watched college football.  Good times!
The Panther's played in London so their game was Sunday morning at 9:30.  Dan, Sarah and I went to Mass at our normal time but Peter stayed home to watch the game.  Thankfully there is a church in Winston-Salem that does a Life Teen Mass during the school year on Sunday evening at 5:00.  Peter attended that while the rest of us stayed home and enjoyed the rainy cool evening on the couch. 

I made this delicious Apple Crisp Cheesecake for Sunday dessert and it was sooooooo good:

It wasn't overly sweet and didn't have too much cinnamon.  It was the perfect fall cheesecake!

And then, just like that, the weekend was over.  Why do they have to go by so fast?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The tale of my lost keys....

Last Thursday evening, Sarah drove home from swim practice.  Before she drives, she has to  adjust the driver's seat, adjust all three mirrors, turn on her Road Ready app to track her time behind the wheel, and then and only then does she slowly  pull out of the parking lot.

Her driving is getting better - it really is.  But it's all such a process.  A necessary one but still, it is testing my patience.  Something I know I don't have much of and apparently God feels I need to work on but still....

When we pulled into the garage she tried to cut the car off before putting it in park.  A rookie mistake for sure but every once in a while I, a seasoned driver of 34 years, find myself also making. So while I was a little annoyed, I wasn't angry. But we were both a little flustered.

She got it in park, turned off the engine and then, typically I take the keys from her and put them on the kitchen counter when I'm lazy or in my purse where they belong when I'm doing it right.  And she typically sits in the car turning off the Road Ready app and Snap Chatting with her friends while still sitting in the car.

I remember rushing inside to get started on dinner.  I already had tomato bisque in the crock pot but I was also making grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it and wanted to get that started so we could eat.  The bisque is delicious, by the way.  I need to share that recipe with you some day...

Fast forward to Friday morning.  I was heading out to run some errands so I grabbed my purse and started searching for my keys.  They weren't in my purse.  They weren't in the kitchen.  They weren't where my husband keeps his keys.  So I grabbed the spare and headed out to run my errands.

I kept replaying Thursday evening in my head and could not remember for the life of me if Sarah handed me the keys or if she kept the keys and brought them in.

When I got home from my errands, I searched her room and every other place I thought they might be.

When I picked her up from school I asked her.  She thinks she gave them to me but then asked if I checked the recycling bin.  She typically tosses her water bottle in the bin after practice and thought maybe she had accidentally tossed them in the bin if she had them in her hands.

I had just taken the trash and the recycling to the dump earlier that day and I didn't think to check in bins for my missing keys..

I have prayed all the prayers.  I have asked St. Anthony to pray.  I have asked St. Rebecca Irene to pray.  And nothing.  No key.

The thing that annoys me the most is that we just had new keys made because the original set was cracking (thanks Honda - I would think that you of all car manufacturers would be able to make a set of keys that would last more than 6 and a half years.)  And this new set of keys wasn't cheap so to have already lost one is a big bummer.

But I have continued to pray that I find this key and I have continued to search. I've looked in the cabinets, the pantries, the bedrooms.  Places the key should not be but places it might have been laid.

I told Dan I was still praying and he asked why.

Well, why not?!  I have faith the size of a mustard seed and if that can move mountains it can also find keys.

He argued that if they had been tossed in the recycling (like I honestly believe they were) then we would never find them.

But I disagree with that.  God isn't constrained by space and time the way we are so if he wants to mysteriously return my keys then he will. 

So I am continuing to pray.  I am continuing to look.  And I still have faith as small as a mustard seed.

I really do feel like I am going to find those keys.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Another weekend recap.

It was another busy weekend - well, for the kids anyway. 

There was no football game on Friday night and no football practice either.  Sarah went to a big sleepover with a bunch of her besties.  And Peter came home to get started on his homework.


Just checking to see if you were all awake.

Peter did not get started on his homework because that's not his style.  But he did get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning.  He met a friend for breakfast and then they went to Hanes Park with a big group of kids from their environmental science class to do a park cleanup. 

And then after a few hours of picking up trash in the park, he and a bunch of these kids went for pizza at the Mellow Mushroom.  When he got home, he asked if he and Colton could go to the Dixie Classic Fair.

We looked on line for prices - the fair may be cheesy (in my mind anyway) but it sure ain't cheap! Parking was gong to cost them $10 and rides were going to be between 6 to 10 tickets each.  We figured out which would be the best amount of tickets for them to get (based on price breaks) and they headed out.

He got home in time for dinner.  He said they had a good time but it was kind of cheesy for the amount of money it cost him (he used his own money for this). I agreed.  I'm not a fan of the fair but I know other people live for it. 

My loathing of the fair stems from my disdain of any and all rides AND the fact that one time in elementary school my parents took my brother and me to the fair.  I believe my dad's Lion's Club was selling concessions to raise money.  Or maybe we just went for the heck of it.  I can't remember because it was so long ago.

My brother and I got on a ride that basically went round and round in a circle.  It was one of those swing type rides but we were sitting in the seat together. 

Anyway after a couple of minutes on this ride my brother looked over at me and vomited.

All over me.

And they had served hotdogs in the school cafeteria for lunch that day.  And guess what was all over me.


We left right after that obviously because  I was covered in hot dog vomit. 

And that's my fair story.

Anyway, Peter didn't get vomited on so I considered that a win for him. 

I picked Sarah up from her sleepover.  Made a delicious carrot cake for Sunday dessert.  And we watched football - what else - all afternoon and evening.

On Sunday morning, Dan and I left a little early for Mass because we were helping to sign people up to sponsor a child through Unbound.  A visiting priest was coming to talk about the program and since we are sponsors they reached out to see if we could help out at the registration table.

If you aren't familiar with Unbound, you should check them out. 

We sponsor three children from one family (well, actually just two now as the older sister has graduated from high school and has aged out of the program).  I can tell from their letters to me that my measly $40 a month has made a drastic change in their lives. 

These kids are able to go to school because of our help, eat decent food and get healthcare.  The older sister is working at a professional job and taking college classes part time all because of our support.

They address me as "Godmother" when they write letters to me and that makes me feel good. They've even asked on several occasions for us to visit them.  Unbound offers trips to meet your sponsored children and we may just do that some day.

Another cool thing about Unbound is that you can also sponsor elderly people who need help.

Anyway, go check them out!  You won't be sorry!

After Mass, we had lunch at mom's house and then watched football and ran a couple of errands and now we are back to Monday.

Is it just me or do the weekends go by faster and faster?

It doesn't look like much but it was DELICIOUS!!!!!

Friday, October 4, 2019

More dress shopping.

It's October 4th and it is currently 90 degrees and according to my weather app should reach 92!  And this is the coolest day of the week so far.  We are breaking records and I am here for it.

I ran errands this morning in shorts and sandals!  The only negative for me is the fact that our electric bill typically starts going down in September when we aren't running the AC all the time. But it is still cranking.

Sadly, a cold front is coming in tonight and the high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be 68 degrees.  That's a 24 degree DROP. I am definitely not ready for that.

Enough boring weather talk.  Let's talk about Sarah's homecoming dance dress.  Last week I mentioned that the one she loved was overpriced and we weren't getting it.  We went last Friday (the kids had the day off of school) to another place that had formal wear in the hopes that they had some cute short dresses.

They did  have some beautiful short dresses.  There was one really pretty one but we looked at the price tag and it was $250 so NO!

We headed back to the mall because Sarah had seen someone she follows of TikTok (social media video app for all y'all old people like me who didn't know what it was and had to Google it) that was raving about the dress she wore to her homecoming.  She got it at Dillard's.  Off to Dillard's we went again.  (In my opinion, Dillard's has the best selection of hoco dresses out there.  The other department stores just don't have the same volume as Dillard's.)

We found the dress but they did not have her size.  So she tried on the closest size and decided she liked it so we ordered it from their website.  This dress was also more than I wanted to spend for a dress she would only wear once but at least we were done with dress shopping!

Or so I thought.

A couple of days later she started saying, "What if I hate it when it gets here?"  Which is code for, "I think I've changed my mind."

It came.  She tried it on.  And it fit perfectly.

"I don't love it."

So, it was mailed back to Dillard's and the great hoco dress hunt of 2019 started over.  Several of her friends have been ordering their dresses from random little boutiques/online shops in LA.  So after hours of pouring over those to no avail, she finally found a dress she liked.

But they didn't have her size so we ordered the next size down because based on the online measurements. This particular boutique requests that you post a picture of yourself in your dress and tag the store.  Then they post it and you can see how other people look in the dress.  They post their height and weight and the size dress they bought.  And it was crazy seeing the different sizes and shapes of people all in the exact same sized dress.  So that left us not knowing exactly which size to purchase so there's a chance this size might work.

She also found another similar dress that was in what we think is her actual size on this website and purchased it. as well.  This boutique does free returns so fingers crossed one of these dresses will fit and we will send the other one back. Not sure what we are going to do if neither dress fits.

And a nice bonus about this particular boutique is the fact that these are super cute dresses but they aren't super expensive because they  aren't super dressy (no beading, no sequins, etc) so she might be able to wear this again.

She opted for a basic black dress so that means she got to have fun figuring out what color shoes to wear with it.  This boutique also sells shoes.

Now we are just hoping that the dress comes sooner rather than later and that one of these dresses works.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I'll be by the fireplace trying to warm up!

And since I can't have a pictureless post, here's my favorite shot from last weekend and my current phone screensaver:

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

OKI get away!

On Friday evening, Dan and I headed to middle-of-nowhere- North Carolina to watch the football game.  As expected, the boys lost.  Although, they held the score to 0-0 the first quarter so I thought maybe we had a chance.  But no so luck.

We made it home at midnight.  And were up and out the door at 7:40 on the way to Oak Island!  We  picked up my mom and were checked in to our VRBO by 11:15.  We got unpacked and got the sheets on the beds (the worst part about not staying at a hotel, in my opinion) and then hit one of our favorite OKI lunch spots - The Oak Island Sub Shop!

It's been a long time since we had one of their Cubans and it did not disappoint!

Peter settled in for an afternoon of college football watching, my mom settled in on the front porch for this view:

And Dan, Sarah, and I hit the beach for a couple of hours:

The weather this whole weekend was perfect!!  It was HOT - my favorite!  But there was always a wonderful breeze off the ocean.  It honestly felt more like early August than the end of September and I was so happy!

After the beach we came in and got dressed for Mass.  After Mass we headed to Fishy Fishy for dinner and it was delicious!

Dinner's always better with a view!

On Sunday Peter, Dan, and I went to the beach while Sarah slept in.  That girl even skipped the delicious breakfast made by my mom in favor of sleeping late.

We headed in from the beach and went to lunch at the Southport Smokehouse.  We all got the brisket sandwich and they were so good. After lunch, Peter stayed in to watch the Panther's game and we hit the beach again.

We came in and relaxed a little before going out to dinner.

We went to Island Way for dinner and it was delicious.

Sunset dinner view.
On Monday morning we hit the beach again after another tasty breakfast cooked by my mom.

 We grabbed lunch at Bob's Dogs on the way off the island and then headed home.  It was such a great weekend.  We slept in, ate (a lot!), played in the water, laid on the beach, and just relaxed.  It was wonderful and we can't wait until next time!