Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Days and Birthdays

We have finally gotten a little bit of snow here in the past week or so.  Last week, we mostly had ice, but today the snow came down most of the morning and was so pretty, even though it was probably only about 1 1/2 inches or so.  Snow days are always so much fun.  We don't get them very often here in the south, so I always enjoy the few that we do have.

Since I am not teaching right now, I don't have the quite same excitement as I do when I get an unexpected snow day off during the school year.   That is one of the best benefits of being a teacher!


Sadly, our school district didn't cancel school today.  I guess the roads weren't so bad that buses couldn't run.  Ashley called me early this morning and told me how sad she and her kids were that they had to go to school when it was snowing.  They sure did look cute though!


I also thought about my class and how wiggly and wound up they probably were going to be today when they could look at the window and see all the snow and feel like they were missing all the fun. We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow night, so maybe school will be closed on Thursday!

I have missed my class so much.  I am still tutoring one of my students, and I love doing that.  And, I had a hot chocolate date at Barnes & Noble this past week with two of the sweet little girls who were in my class.  We had the best time chatting and catching up together.  I love them.


We had a busy and fun weekend.  Caroline turned two on Friday and David turned four on Sunday.  On Friday, Lindy and I met Ashley and the kids at the mall for a little birthday fun.  We went to the Disney Store and got Chick Fil A.  That is a great day for them! :)




David's friend party was on Saturday at Sports Connection.  He had the best time running around with his friends--bowling and jumping in bouncy houses and being loud and rowdy!




and we had fun helping with Will and Caroline.


We were supposed to have a family party on Sunday, but Caroline got sick so it was cancelled, but we took our gifts over anyway!  I can't believe how quickly those two sweeties are growing.  I love them both so much!

Since I have been home, I have trying to read more.  I think I told you I am reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.  I am almost done with that one.  I also just got the Audible app on my phone, so I can listen to books while I am cleaning the house or driving somewhere.  I am currently listening to Lessons From Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott.


I saw it recommended on Mix and Match Family blog on her February book review and thought I would like it.  I am about  half way through and I love it!!  It has lots of tips on how to live well and live in a way that requires you to be your best self in all kinds of ways.  Really good!  Plus, it's fun to hear about how people conduct their day-to-day lives in Paris.  You know how much I love to travel. I have been to Paris several times and I am always so interested in the way people live around the world.  I guess that's why this book appeals to me so much.

Jennifer L. Scott also has a blog that I found called The Daily Connoisseur.  Plus she has a YouTube Channel!


She is such a cute girl with tons of great ideas for anything from fashion & fitness to make up to great books to home and garden to etiquette tips.  Her high standards and old-fashioned values are refreshing to me.  I love finding fun YouTube channels!

And, I think Audible is going to be my new best friend.  Wow.  I can get so many more books "read" when I can listen while doing other things.

Before I go, I thought I would give you an update on my mom.  You probably already know that she has ALS and that I took a leave of absence from teaching to be available to help her as much as I could.  I have set aside Tuesdays as my day to go over and do whatever she needs me to do.  Lately, I have been helping her file all of her medical paperwork and insurance information.  Each Tuesday I usually take over something for her and my dad to have for dinner.  I have taken them chicken spaghetti, lasagna, poppy seed chicken, chili, and sausage corn chowder.  Tomorrow I am planning on bringing Green Chile White Sauce Beef Enchiladas.  I have never made this before, so I am hoping it will be good.  Eat Cake For Dinner is one of my favorite cooking websites and everything I have made from there has been good!

*I have since tried the recipe for Green Chile White Sauce Beef Enchiladas.  I have to be honest and say that I thought it was just "okay".  The beef mixture was a little bland and dry for me.  So, I added a package of taco seasoning and a can of tomato sauce!  I also added a can of Ro-tel tomatoes to the green chile white sauce.  That added so much flavor.  You can never go wrong with a can of Ro-tel in my opinion!  After making those changes, I liked the recipe much better,

Anyway...my mom is doing pretty well for the moment.  She is still losing weight and has gotten very thin, so she will be getting a feeding tube next week to supplement her calories.  She will still be able to eat as long as she is able to, but this will help her put some weight back on and help her gain some strength back.  She is very weak and gets tired easily.  So, please pray for her next Wednesday.  It is always risky to have surgery when your lungs are compromised, so please just pray for strength for her to get through that.

Thank you blog friends!  I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Frozen

Well, this is our second "snow" day here.  It is so funny because all we really got was about 1/4" of ice, but that is reason enough to buy up all the bread and milk in the store and cancel school for two days.  But, hey....I'm not complaining!  I love a good snow day and I am so thankful that we live in the south and are not having to deal with OVER 100 inches of snow.  Here is the latest picture Laura sent me from her backyard.


Bless Boston's heart.

Meanwhile, these two cuties went out to touch the ice on their swing set, but that was about all there was to do!  



You can't really build a snowman with a thin layer of ice.  (However, the kids in my neighborhood DID get in some pretty good sledding early in the morning before the ice started melting!)

We have had a nice, relaxing few days here.  For Valentine's Day, we just stayed home and grilled steaks.  


I made Pioneer Woman's chocolate pie for dessert.  Steve loved it!  He loves dark chocolate and this has the perfect amount of that!  This is not my picture, but I have to say, I put raspberries on mine and it looked almost exactly like this! :)

via Pioneer Woman

After dinner, we put our pajamas on early and got a fire going and binge watched The Good Wife.  That is a perfect night for me!  And Steve bought me roses.  


He is always so sweet.  I think he has gotten me roses every single Valentine's Day since I was 16 years old!  


Since it has been so cold and wintery, we have mostly just been hanging out at home the past few days.  I am currently reading this...


....and I am liking it so far!  I will let you know more after I get a little farther into it.

We watched SNL's 40th Anniversary Special on Sunday night and laughed so much.  


Watching that was such a walk down memory lane and made me feel old and young at the same time.  I can remember so many late nights in high school watching it with friends when we were over at someone's house or just coming home after being out and watching it on the couch until I fell asleep.  Of course, the cast looked more like this in those days....


And then in college--watching it in a bean bag on the floor of Steve's apartment every weekend.  That was just our Saturday night THING.  Those were the years of Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal and we loved it!  Anyway...it was so much fun reliving all those good times.  Plus there were so many great skits that were performed live on Sunday night that were really funny, too.

And then the next night, we watched the Stevie Wonder Tribute.  I loved that too!!  He has always been one of my favorites and I had the best time listening to everyone sing his music and tell their stories about him.


I am so glad I grew up in the 70's.  I had the BEST childhood and high school years.  Such sweet and happy memories!

So...it looks like school will be back in session tomorrow and everything will be back to normal.  It is still so cold here and we may get a little more snow this weekend.  I hope it won't be too bad, because I know two cutie pies who have birthdays this weekend and I can't wait to celebrate with them!


Stay warm!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Never Too Old To Try Something New

Happy Friday!  I have had such a fun and busy week.  I did something this week that I have never done before and I was really hoping I would be up for the task.  I kept all of Ashley's three kids (who are all three and under, by the way)--all by myself for three days.



Steve was out of town this week in Portland and Ashley and John finally got to get away on their five year anniversary trip to San Francisco, so it was just David, Caroline, Will--and me--on our own for a few days.  They are all so sweet and precious.  It's just that there are three of them and only one of me and they are non-stop!  Lindy and Sean did come help me both nights get their dinner & baths, which was so helpful.  And once I got over there and started doing all those things I used to do when I had four kids under four, it all started coming back to me and I really had fun.  But I know now why God gives you kids when you are young.  The first night I was there, Will woke up at 3:00 am and didn't go back to sleep until 4:15.  Plus we had a couple of other episodes during the night with the various things.  Goodness.  I had forgotten what sleep deprivation feels like!  Haha.  Thank goodness for Starbucks.


And my arm is sore from carrying Will around so much!  He is a chunk!

We played outside....


splashed in the tub....



and did crafts....



We went to WEE School, Target, and Chick Fil A.  And we built train tracks, fed baby dolls, read books, and watched lots of Dinosaur Train.  I cooked dinner one-handed while holding a baby, which brought back lots of memories!  Haha!

And the three of them had fun playing together too.  They all think each other are really funny and they entertain each other which is so cute to watch!



I love living near my grandkids.  They truly are a joy to me!

This week, I also did something else I had never done before.  I went to a Trivia Night!  Some friends of ours invited us to go with them to a Trivia Night fund raiser for Project 658--a ministry here in Charlotte whose focus is restoring hope to people in our community in lots of different ways.  You can read more about this amazing ministry here.

Anyway....my brother, Brent, is pretty much a trivia genius and we knew that if we really wanted to win, we should invite him and his wife, Britney.  There were eight members on each team and I think there were about 32 tables.  And, guess what???  We won!!  It was such a fun night.  I may have to go to Trivia Night more often! :)


Last weekend it was so beautiful here.  The weather was warm and the sun was shining and it gave everybody a bad case of Spring Fever.  Since it was so nice outside, we decided we wanted to get outdoors while we could and do a little hiking.  There are some fun hiking trails not too far from Charlotte that I have never been to before even after living here for 35 years.  They are in Kings Mountain and that is where we decided to go for the afternoon.  Sean and Lindy met us there.


I'm sure it is prettier when the leaves are on the trees, but we were just excited that it was warm and sunny and we had a great time.


Now it is back to freezing again and we are even expecting snow next week!

And speaking of snow, y'all.  Bless Laura's heart.  I mean seriously.  Here are the latest pictures she sent us from Boston.


And this is her "I'm over it" face....


Too bad they are expecting a BLIZZARD this weekend!!  What in the world?!!

Anyway...it's Friday night and my husband is coming home and tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so I am looking forward to a really great weekend.  I hope you have a great one too! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hello, February

So....it is February!


This is going to be a busy month for us.  David and Caroline both have birthdays this month.  David is turning four and this sweet pea will be two!  


We also have Valentine's Day and I am keeping all of Ashley's kids by myself (Steve will be out of town) while she and John go to California for a few days!  Other than that, I know I will be spending lots of time with my mom, getting some projects done around my house, tutoring, and doing lots of other fun things we have planned.

Today I am just going to do a little list of what we have had going on here the past few days.

1-First of all...the Superbowl.  Oh. my. word.  What a crazy game that was!  We had my parents and Steve's mom over and I think we had enough food for the entire neighborhood.  My parents and Steve and I were pulling for the Seahawks and Lindy and Steve's mom were pulling for the Patriots.


I was so sad that the Seahawks lost, but I was happy for Laura up in Boston.  She is having so much fun pulling for all the great teams up there!  She is also getting bombarded with so much SNOW! This is a picture she sent me today of downtown Boston.


They have already received the most snow within a seven day period in Boston's history!  And they are predicting another 11 inches this Thursday.  She may never see the ground again!

But...back to the Superbowl.  I thought Katy Perry did a really good job with the half-time show, and I  know a lot of people didn't like all the sappy commercials, but I did!  Haha!  I must be getting more sentimental as I get older or something?  This one is my favorite.  So sweet!


2-Will got his first little haircut last week.  He did so good!  


At first, he was a little skeptical...


But he held still almost the whole time.  Toward the end, he started to cry when she got out the electric clippers, so I didn't get a picture of him and how handsome he looked, but trust me, he was adorable!!

3-We took John and Ashley out to celebrate John's 28th birthday on Friday night.  John loves Asian food and he is a sushi expert, so that is what we got.  


John ordered everything for us since he knows what he is doing.  It was the first time Steve and I had ever gotten sushi out somewhere and we loved it!  I love anything spicy and we got mostly spicy rolls, so I was sold.  


It was a fun night!

4-Since I have been home, I have been so excited that I am finally getting to get little projects done around the house.... like cleaning out closets, the laundry room, and the pantry, and taking lots of stuff to Goodwill!  I always try to do things like that during the summer when I am home from school, but we are usually gone so much I honestly don't have much time.  But now I am determined to use this time to de-clutter and scale back.  

5-I watched the last episode of Parenthood last Thursday.  


I have never seen that show before.  I know....apparently I live under a rock!  I  have heard so much about it and I know there were Parenthood parties all over the country last Thursday night, so I know how good it must be!  I know my own parents are addicted.  Haha!  And even though I had never seen it before, it made me teary just watching the last one!  Good grief!  Now I am going to have to go back and start the whole thing over from the beginning.  There are just TOO many good shows out there.  I don't know if I will ever get through them all!  Did you watch?  What are your favorite shows that I should add to my list?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wintery Fun

Well.  This sickness thing just keeps going around here at our house.  Steve has it now and has been sick for about a week.  And David got it too.  I think we are all pretty ready to say goodbye to January!!  Good grief!

Besides trying to keep everybody well, we did get to celebrate my niece, Bailey's birthday on Tuesday.  She turned eight years old and wanted Mexican food for her birthday dinner, so yay for that!


And we have been getting updates from Laura up in Boston where Snowmageddon 2015 has been going on.


She said the snow drifts are taller than she is!  Haha!


But apparently in Boston, this is just another day at the office.  She only got one day off and then it was back to work as usual.

Meanwhile, Lindy and Sean went with his mom this week to the mountains to go skiing.  Lindy tried out her new snowboard and she even went on a Black Diamond!!  She said they had so much fun!


So, everybody who wasn't sick has been having lots of wintery fun.

And Ashley introduced us to a winter soup that has already become a hit for our family.  It is Barbeque Chicken Chili from Skinny Taste.  I love soup anyway, but this one is right up there with some of my favorites!  We have already had it about three times in the past two weeks!

So....that is what we have been up to these past few days.  Hope you are staying warm where you are!!