photo p1_zpsc8a7232f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p2_zpse73671a0.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p3_zps456abd62.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p5_zps95486d0f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p4_zps481d5f13.png

Thursday, December 19, 2019

I think I'm ready!

I think I'm done. 

I've got everything purchased. I've got everything wrapped.  I've got the Christmas Eve party menu planned.  I've got the food for the Christmas Eve party purchased. I even managed to get the Christmas cards mailed!

And, I've got my beanie for the game:

So, I *think* we are ready for our trip tomorrow.  Well, correction - I still have a long list of things to do today including packing and prepping the kids for our departure but I've done all I'm going to do for Christmas.

And speaking of our departure - our flight leaves Charlotte at 6:45 AM which means we will be leaving the house at 4:00 AM which means I will be getting up around 3:00 AM which means I most likely won't sleep a wink for fear of getting up late.

I can't seem to turn my brain off.  It doesn't trust my alarm clock and will wake me up multiple times to check to see what time it is.  It's very annoying. 

The weather looks decent for our trip.  Cold and partly sunny/partly cloudy.  I am very thankful that there is no snow in the forecast!

I am a little worried about the game though.  I am planning on dressing in layers but I have been having some serious hot flashes lately.  One minute I will be at the perfect body temperature and the next minute I will be burning with the heat of 1000 suns. And then after the hot flash I am cold - thanks to all the sweat that comes as a result of said hot flash.

It lasts usually just a couple of minutes thankfully but I am imagining myself bundled up at the Patriots game trying to stay warm and then having a hot flash and ripping off my coat, my sweater, my shirt, etc.  That will probably get me escorted out of the stadium....

Both of the kids have been fighting colds.  Peter's lasted over two weeks but I think he's over it.  His started as a sore throat, morphed into congestion, and ended with a lingering cough.  Sarah has it now and hers is the exact same.  Thankfully no fevers were involved and no school was missed.  Although Peter has been coming home from school and taking a long nap. 

Sarah missed swim practice on Monday because she was so tired but she managed to swim in her meet on Tuesday and shaved a little time of the dreaded IM and her backstroke. 

And with that, I'm out!   (If I have time, I would like to do a post about our trip but I'm not sure that will happen until after Christmas.  So, just in case - MERRY CHRISTMAS!)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The weekend update and now since it's the middle of a new week an update on that as well.

It's Wednesday and I'm just now doing my weekend update.  It must be December!  :)

After swim practice on Friday, we had dinner and then Peter headed to the Varsity boys basketball game.  Dan and I also went because we enjoy going to the basketball games. Sarah wanted to stay home and relax so she was happy.

On Saturday morning we dropped Sarah off at school.  She was behind in her pottery class and the teacher opened up the art studio for anyone who needed to come in and get caught up on their work or anyone who just wanted to practice.  Sarah is enjoying this pottery class and she's coming home with some really cute items.

After her time at the pottery studio, she went to a friend's house for an ornament exchange.  Each girl brought an ornament and then they played take away for the ornaments.  They had snacks, played games and took a lot of pictures.  She had a great time!

On Sunday we attended Mass, had lunch at my mom's house and had this beauty for dessert:

I was supposed to use cranberries for the decoration but had to sub red M&M's instead.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  Although I will say, the chocolate log roll recipe that I used last year was tastier than this one so next time I do one of these I will go back to my old recipe.

Sarah had a birthday party to attend at a restaurant downtown on Sunday evening so after we dropped her off, Dan and I headed to Incendiary Brewery for a beer. We liked the place but did not like their beer.  We most likely won't be heading back there anytime soon!

And here's an awkward selfie we took... We really should stop taking these!  :) But I liked the artwork on the ceiling so...

The kids had the day off of school on Monday and I headed to Boone to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I went with my friends from my old MOPS Care Group and we had a blast.

After a short orientation video, we were paired up with another group of workers, met the staffer in charge of our assembly line and got to work.

The first person in line checks the boxes for shipping money and then moves the box down where two more people are waiting to remove all the items from the box and check for things that are not allowed:  liquids, food, weapons, military or war items, seeds, money, etc.  and then after removing any bad items we had to check to add items if the box seemed a little lacking.  Then it got moved to the taping person who put packing tape around the box lids to secure them. Then they got scanned (if the person affixed one of the tracking barcodes to see where the package is) and placed in a larger container based on the sex of the child and the age of the child.  Then once the large box was full (each large box held 16 shoeboxes) it was taped and taken to the shipping area.

It was a lot of fun - the ladies I was with make everything fun - but it was also a lot of work.  It was also a little mentally draining.  The contents in some of the boxes were very sparse or just plain odd.  We had to keep reminding ourselves that these boxes are prayed over multiple times through the process (in fact, at one point, everyone in the warehouse stopped and a prayer was said overall the boxes being processed during our shift) and that God will make sure the right box gets to the right child.  I  also believe that with some of these boxes, God will mysteriously upgrade the contents before they arrive to the child.

As we were talking on the way home, we decided that when people are packing shoeboxes, they should go for quality over quantity.  For instance, we could tell that one person or group had packed 10 boxes because they all had the same items in them. It might have been better for this person or group to only pack 5 boxes and make sure the items in the boxes were a little nicer.  I'm just saying that because someone is poor doesn't mean you should give them a bunch of junk.  But again, that's where prayer and God come in to make this a beautiful ministry!

The boxes we were packing were going to be going to Peru.

Last night Sarah had another swim meet.  She was very annoyed that she had to swim the IM again!  Apparently, her coach told her he needed her to do it (not sure why) so she did it.  She was less nervous this time and actually cut some time from last week's time BUT doing this IM meant that her time on the 100 backstroke (her fave) went up.   She was frustrated but she can always get that time back down next week.

Here are some pictures from last week's meet and last night's meet:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Swimming and car problems.

Friday?  All ready?  That happened fast!

Sarah had a swim meet on Wednesday night. It was against Mt. Airy so we traveled up Highway 52 to get there.  It's about 50 minutes from the house but it is a very easy drive - not a lot of traffic, the highway is pretty straightforward and at the end of it you are literally dumped into Mt. Airy. 

Typically for sporting events in that direction I will drive to Dan's work and we will go together as it's on the way from his work.  But he is working on a new project and it's very large and will most likely consume him for the next three years and he didn't think he would be able to leave in time to get to the start of the swim meet.  I went separately because even though a high school swim meet can last between an hour and a half to two hours depending on the number of teams swimming, I didn't want to miss anything. 

Sarah was swimming a 200 Individual Medley. She's never done that one before and she was VERY NERVOUS so I didn't want to miss it.  It's a good thing I drove on my own because Dan missed her first two events and one of them was the 200 IM.

She did great!  She didn't win but we were excited that she finished, didn't choke (she was worried about that), didn't throw up (also worried), and kept up pretty close to the Mt. Airy girl she was swimming against.  I was very proud of her!  She was so relieved when it was over and her coach promised her that next week she would get to swim back stroke again.  (Her fave)

Here's professional shot from last week's meet.  I'm hoping he was able to get a couple more of Sarah from this week's meet.

After the meet (both our boys and girls teams won!) we headed to the parking lot.  I started my car and Dan helped load Sarah's back pack and swim bag and we had a couple of chairs as well in case there wasn't enough seating on the deck.  As we were doing all of this, we noticed my car making a very odd sound.  There were no warning lights on the dash so I headed home.  Luckily we made it with no problems.

I took the car to the shop yesterday morning and they determined that the tensioner was malfunctioning or broken or whatever.  I don't know all the correct mechanical terms.  This was causing the timing belt not to work.  So they need to replace the tensioner (which was already replaced once and should still have another 50k miles in it but apparently we got a bad one and of course, it's 5 months out of warranty) and the timing belt.  But apparently the timing belt and the water pump are part of a kit so they have to be replaced together.

Long story short:  cha-ching, cha-ching! 

I'm hoping they can have it completed by late morning.  Mom got to escort me around to all of my errands yesterday and then I had to borrow her car to take Sarah to swim practice so I'm hoping that I get my car back today.  There's too much to do to be down a car!!

On the  positive side, I think I might be about 75% done with my Christmas shopping!  That's good news.  I need to reassess my lists today and see where I stand.  Hopefully this time next week I will be done!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Thanksgiving, the tree, and all the rest of the long weekend.

Yesterday I posted about Sarah's ear piercing saga and now I need to continue with the rest of our long weekend!

After the doctor, she and I headed to swim practice.  After that, we came home and I made a delicious from scratch carrot cake for Thanksgiving. 

On Thursday morning Dan went for a run, the kids slept in but Sarah got up in time to watch some of the parade and  I made a delicious sweet potato casserole.

We headed over to my mom's for Thanksgiving lunch with her, my brother and my friend Jennifer's family.  We had a great spread which included jalapeno popper dip AND jalapeno poppers, chicken wings, turkey breast, ham, sweet potato casserole, twice baked potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, and bread.  For dessert we had the carrot cake and a pumpkin pie from Costco.  (You can beat their pumpkin pies.  They are HUGE and they are only $5.99!)

I never can remember to take a picture of the food or the people.  But afterwards while we were all hanging out, I did have Sarah take a picture of me and Jennifer.

On Friday morning we headed to the mountains of North Carolina to get a Christmas tree.

 We got home and put out the wreaths and window candles and got to work decorating the tree.

On Saturday, Dan mowed the grass for the last time until spring, Peter watched football, Sarah and I went to shop for a Christmas ornament for an ornament party she's going to this weekend and Dan and I made fried chicken.

Every Sunday we would eat lunch at my grandmother's house and every Sunday we had fried chicken.  It was THE BEST fried chicken.  After we moved here, we started eating lunch every Sunday at my parent's house.  Mom makes a lot of different main dishes but several years ago (maybe more than several but I can't remember how many exactly) my Dad started frying chicken following the way my Grandma did it. And he nailed it!  Dan had always said he was going to go over there one Sunday morning while my dad was frying it to learn how to do it.

He never got over there to watch him do it so when I decided we needed to learn how to fry chicken, we headed to Google.  We found a recipe that  sounded similar to what my Dad did (electric skillet just like my Grandma) and we got to frying.  (Well,Dan got to frying.) I think it turned out great!  Especially for the first time we did it!

On Sunday, we had attended Mass, had lunch at mom's, watched the Panthers lose their game, went out for a drink/date, came home and watched the Patriots lose their game.  And that my friends, was our long weekend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

She finally has two more holes in her head again...

Happy Tuesday!  It's nice to finally know what day it is!

Since last week was a two day school week for the kids and a three day work week for Dan and then throw in Thanksgiving which always feels like a Sunday, I spent the entire week wondering what day it was.

On Tuesday after school, Peter went to a friend's house and had a sleepover with several guys.  I think they played video games all night so he had a good time.

After swim practice on Tuesday, Cheyanne came over and spent the night with Sarah.  I think they had a good time.  There was lots of laughing and commotion coming from upstairs.  And then when I went upstairs to go to bed, they came downstairs so it worked out great.  Sleepovers with big kids are the best!

I took Sarah to get her ears re-pierced on Wednesday.  Not sure if I've ever mentioned that whole saga before or not.  If you will recall, she got her ears pieces in 2015 when she was 11.  Look here at my little baby.  Isn't she the cutest?  And look how young I look.  Five years really does a number on the old face and body at this age!  :)

Anyway, she did fine with the earrings when she got them pierced but somewhere along the way she took her earrings out and the holes closed up.  And being the bad mom that I am, at one point, I forced her earrings back in the holes which probably wasn't a good idead because they got infected. She eventually just took them out again and they closed over again.  But this time, they also formed keloids.

Keloids are little knots of scar tissue.  In addition to the little knots of tissue (these were in her lobes and you could feel them but not see them) the holes turned brown.  Kind of like darkened scarred skin would turn.  So she couldn't wear earrings AND her earring holes were brown.  She was distressed by all of this.

A friend of mine had a daughter that had problems with her earring holes and she went to see a plastic surgeon.  So I called the office that I went to for my lipoma and basil cell removal and made her an appointment.

Her first appointment was at the end of June.  Dr. Lawson immediately gave her a shot of steroids in each ear.  This is what he did on my nose where he removed the basic cell carcinoma.  Scar tissue had started to form and was causing a bump.  I went to him at least three times for steroid injections until it finally was gone.

Sarah was under the same protocol.  Shots of steroids in her ears and then she would spend the next 6 weeks rubbing scar cream into her earlobes and massaging the keloids away.  She did this 4 times and was a champ with each injection. 

Dr. Lawson said that most likely the keloids would come back but if she reeeeaaaalllllllllllyyyyy wanted her ears repierced then he would do it.  Well, Sarah reeeeaaallllllllllyyyyyy wanted her ears repierced so after all the injections had cleared up the keloids and the ugly brown skin discoloration, we went back to get them pierced again.

I asked her if she wanted me to take a picture of her getting them done again but she declined.  He gave her a numbing shot in each ear which she said felt like the injections and then he pierced them.  She was elated because she could not feel a thing!

She has to wear the studs for 6 weeks before she can change out her earrings and we go back in 1 month just to make sure the ears are doing okay.  I really hope keloids don't form again because she will be so sad.  A bunch of her friends gave her earrings for her 15th birthday "because she never wears earrings" and she is anxious to start wearing them again. Although I will say, her studs are cubic zirconia and look really pretty and sparkly! But she's ready to have choices when it comes to her earrings. 

If you look closely, you can see the stud.  Please ignore the big goofball in the background.