Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekend Plans

I love January weekends. They tend to be quiet, laid back, and cozy. This weekend will be that and a little more for us. Friday night we are planning a cozy night in with some homemade pizza and a family movie night. My fave. : )

Saturday I have a few things to do around the house before Mass in the late afternoon. After Mass, Steve and I are going to his brother's house for a fun Sibling Night! Steve's brother's wife arranged a fun night of snacks and games with all of the siblings in their family. There will be fourteen of us in all. And I have to tell you, Steve's family gets along better than any family I have ever known. Not only do many of them work together, they socialize and are very close friends with each other. Should be a fun night. : )

Sunday is all about football in this house! Our Steelers are still playing and we will be cheering! And eating all kinds of yummy football food. I am wondering if my friend Beth and I should have a friendly bet, since her family is all about the Patriots! What do you say, Beth?!

So that is what is happening in our part of the world. And this is what happened this past week in our country home...

Saturday night we went out dinner at a favorite place...Yep...Pizza celebrate one more meal with Madison and Nicolas while they were still on this side of the ocean...

Margie and Chris and my mom joined us.
And on another note...their Taco Pizza is AMAZING.

Sunday night, Peyton made a delicious apple pie for dessert.
And it was good.

Monday came quickly.
Flynn was so happy to ride with Steve and I while we drove Madison and Nicolas to the train station.
And I was happy to watch as my firstborn helped my baby tie her shoes.
Life is beautiful, isn't it?

Early mornings.
Road trips.

Madison and I passing the time as we awaited for the train.
She needed brown Uggs and I like her grey ones.
So. We switched. : )

Soon it was time for goodbyes...

And that was rough.
But we were brave.
And then...they were gone.
For now.
Thank you all so much for the prayers.
We felt them.
We did.

And then it was back to our cozy little classroom...

Where we have a new friend who helps us read fun little stories..

And where we learn and laugh and talk to Madison on the phone several times a day together. 
And it is good.

Have a cozy weekend, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

One Word Wednesday


( For cozy days like this with little ones at home... )

( ...And for friends like you who send prayers and love when one of my littles leaves the nest and flies across the ocean. )

They arrived safe and sound in Denmark!
And Madison reports it was the smoothest trip ever!

Thank you!!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Roots And Wings

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.”

My Madison is off again, spreading her wings and flying back to Denmark!
My heart is sad. And happy.
Sad because I shall miss her so.
Happy because I am so proud of her.
If you think of it today, would you mind sending up a prayer for her and Nicolas' safe return to his home and family?

Thank you, my friends.
Have a cozy day. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekend Plans

I could say this week was a post -holiday- back- to -normal- week, but it wasn't. We are still celebrating Christmas here! Partly because the flu bug affected some of our previous plans, and partly because we prefer to celebrate with family members on a more personal level as opposed to a giant party. For those reasons, we had our annual Christmas pizza and present exchange night with my sister Margie and her husband Chris last weekend, and because we were happy to have dinner here with Steve's brother and his family last week, and his sister and her family this week. Hi, Greg! So as the pages of the January calendar pass, we remain in holiday least through the end of this week. No complaints from me! (Although I am getting a tiny bit anxious to take the decorations down and give my winter home a good scrubbing!)

Before all that, we have this last weekend with Madison and Nicolas before they return to Denmark until Easter. I designated Friday night as Family Fun Night, to which Madison responded that every night is Family Fun Night! Anyway, we will have a nice dinner followed by some games and some movies. And dessert. : )

Saturday is quiet until late afternoon Mass. After that, we are planning on going out for a nice dinner and then returning home for a fun night of board games together. Nicolas introduced this family to the game Risk. They love it. I love sitting nearby reading and acting as if I have a clue what is going on.

Sunday. Not looking forward to it. I'm sure it will involve some type of organizing, searching, packing and crying. It will also involve Madison's requested meal...Steve's meatloaf, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and apple pie for dessert. We will end the weekend as we do all our weekends, cozy together watching our favorite shows together.

Here is a peek at what went on here this past week in our country home...

January brought coooold weather, but fortunately Santa brought a brand new hat my girl was anxious to wear. : )

We headed to my sister's house for our pizza night. 
Remember I told you she has the coziest Christmas house?

She does.
I could have snuggled there all night!

Here we are...

And again with our Momma. : )

They spoil my kids.
And Flynn's favorite?
A little rubber Duckie.
Made her happy for days.

These are some diehard fans right there.
They went to the Steeler playoff game last Sunday.
The temperature felt like 1 degree.
They stuck it out, and enjoyed a good game.
The rest of us?
We enjoyed it from our warm and cozy house.
(And Steve is really upping his selfie game, don't you think?)

And lastly...
Monday night.
The Bachelor.
And the most delicious carrot cake. 
My friend Heather comes over every week to watch it with us.
This week she brought this.
And it was amazing.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Noodles And Milk

Ok. So... you will either love this one or really, really dislike it. I love it. My family, however, falls into the latter category. My mother made this quick and easy recipe for me and my sisters, and her mother made it for her. I imagine my grandmother's mother made it for her as well. It is exactly what it sounds like. It's noodles and milk.

I never said it was fancy.

I eat this for lunch on cold winter days. It reminds me of home. Of my mom and days home from school with a cold. It is warm and comforting. And easy. Simply boil and drain some elbow macaroni. Put some in a bowl, add milk and some butter. Then heat in the microwave until hot. I add some ground sea salt and pepper for flavor. That's it! I like to boil a pound of pasta at one time, and keep it in the fridge. 

Well, what do you think? Have you ever heard of this? Or are you shaking your head in disbelief? Let me know, would you?

Happy and cozy winter days, my friends!

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Morning Routine

My morning routine can change because of many things... the weather, the season, and the ages of my children, to name just a few. One thing never changes. My need for a few moments every morning to pause and take care of myself physically, spiritually, and mindfully. This is my current morning routine, the one that helps me care for myself, in order that I can then care for others.

The first thing I do is make myself a hot cup of water with lemon.
Madison suggested I start my day with this, and wouldn't you know it?
I love it!

Then I make myself comfortable in this special spot.
I used to do all this in my bedroom, but I found that having a separate place to begin my day made it a bit more special.

The first thing I do is fill and start my diffuser.
I am late to this essential oil craze,
but am finding it very helpful and comforting.
My favorite one for the morning is peppermint.
It seems to get my mind awake and moving!

Then I get my prayer book out of this little basket I keep near my chair.
I have found that keeping all my things together means an easier start to the day. : )

Prayers are first. 

Then I read some of this book...
My current favorite Mindfulness Book.

Next, I jot a few thoughts in this little journal.
I am on my sixth year...this is a new one...and I love looking back at the ways we spent our days in previous years. I can imagine my grandchildren reading these words years from now. : )

Lastly, I choose one of my favorite meditation apps and spend five to ten minutes clearing my mind,  focusing on the moment, and refreshing my soul.
Then. Coffee.

There you have it, my friends.
My morning routine.
Someday it may involve an exercise portion.
Ok. Maybe not. : )

I'd love to hear about your mornings, my friends.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekend Plans

January weekends are cozy, don't you think? The excitement and preparations of the holidays are  now happy memories tucked into our hearts, and we have a chance to relax and savor the peacefulness that is winter.

Friday evening we are free. I'm thinking of a simple dinner of pasta with sauce and garlic toast. After that, we will most likely settle in for a cozy evening of games and movies.

Saturday we have Mass in the late afternoon. After that, we are heading to my sister Margie's house to celebrate Christmas with her, her husband, and their new puppy Cocoa! We had planned on getting together earlier, but the twenty four hour stomach flu had other plans. We celebrate with them every year at their house with pizza, wings, and presents. She has the coziest Christmas house ever!

Sunday is a quiet day here. Well, for some of us. Steve and Rhett are heading to Pittsburgh to the Steeler's playoff game! The rest of us will put on our jerseys and cheer them on from here. I'm thinking some good football food would be fun...maybe taco dip, stromboli, and brownies. : )

That's what we have planned for this weekend. And here are a few pictures of the past few weeks here in our country home.

Madison snapped this precious picture on Christmas Eve as Flynn helped Nicolas make his delicious coleslaw salad.

Our Peyton Rose was surprised with her Christmas gift this year.
She was so surprised and so very thankful.
Next up...the permit test!

Santa brought perhaps the best present ever for my little Flynn.
If you've read here for any amount of time, you know about her love of all things Cinderella.
One thing she always mentioned is that she could never find anything with Cinderella's "cleaning" outfit...
Santa must have known, because this was under the tree for her.
And she was thrilled!

She and Nicolas worked with the other kids and prepared a delicious meal from Flynn's Disney Princess cookbook...

And it was delicious.

Madison and I have enjoyed several days of afternoon tea together.
And I am happy.

In other news...
I got my hair cut.
And it feels sooo much better.
For some reason, the front was much shorter than the back.
Madison encouraged me to do it,
And even went with me.
My hairdresser is wonderful, and did a great job.
It's funny.
I used to take Madison to the hairdresser, and now?
She takes me!

Who is watching The Bachelor?
Come on. You can admit it!
We have a date with Nick every Monday night.
My friend Heather comes over and we watch his "journey to find love" together.
And to watch my friend Chris Harrison tell us that "This is the final rose tonight."

Have a cozy winter weekend, my friends!
Happy January!