Thursday, November 28, 2013

Long Weekend Plans

So the weekend is here again...but not just any weekend...Thanksgiving weekend! Always a favorite here in our country home. Friday is a day off for us. In our pre-homeschooling days, we would spend this day decorating the house for Christmas. This year we did that little by little in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. We are all decorated and ready for the holiday season. That means a day free of anything! Except fixing and eating the best turkey sandwiches for lunch. Fresh bread, sliced turkey, a bit of Miracle Whip, a slice of provolone cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper...and my day is made. : ) We will also be spending the day as far away from any shopping center, mall, department store, and retail outlet as possible. As you may or may not know, I have an aversion to shopping. And crowds. And many other things. ; ) So if you are opting to stay home, why not make some hot cocoa and join us as we park ourselves on the sofa and watch the Alfred Hitchcock marathon on AMC. What could be better?

Saturday is a quiet day here. We will attend early afternoon Mass and then come home to a favorite dinner...Turkey Soup. My sister and my mom are coming up to join us and stay as Steve and Rhett will be heading to camp early Sunday morning.

Sunday is our Christmas movie, game, and baking day. We have been spending the Sunday before Hunting season with my sister Margie and my mom for as long as I can remember. Sunday night we will order take out and then watch the Mid season finale of The Walking Dead. I can't believe we have to wait until February for it to return!

Monday is a day off. Rhett will be at Hunting camp so we worked ahead this week in order to complete the lessons for Monday. I usually spend this day putting everything back together after the long holiday weekend.

And there you have it. Our exciting plans for the holiday weekend. I hope yours is happy and yummy and cozy and safe, whatever your plans may be.


Madison's friend Justin...remember the one who cooked chicken in my backyard?...brought these beauties this past weekend...


so of course I used them to make a simple dinner of pasta with garlic and tomatoes. : )


This was the scene from my porch on Tuesday as the snow began to fall...


inside we were cozy as can be with some homemade cinnamon bread made especially for my Madison...The Birthday Girl. : )


Thank you all so much for the Happy Birthday wishes for my girl. She read them all and was so touched. : ) Here she is with a little helper opening her presents...


and I think they were happy with what was inside!


A new bag...pink of course. : )


Her Daddy...the best man in her life...brought her flowers and candy! : )


And she loved her teacup-teabag-teakettle necklace I found for her on Etsy. Tara...this reminds me of you! : )


What began 17 years ago...our four blessings...


We finished off Madison's special day with Blackberry pie...her favorite for years and years.



And thanks so very much for all your prayers for my dear sweet father. He was actually walking this week!!!! Keep 'em coming my friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013






On this special holiday, I am thankful for so many things, among them...you, my friends. I am thankful for the moments we share, the ideas we trade, the recipes we exchange, and the prayers we offer and receive.
I hope your Thanksgiving Day is filled with food and family and football and naps and one more piece of pumpkin pie before bed, my friends.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy 17th Madison!


My Madison Marie is 17 today! Wow! Just like that, she grew up. She is an amazing young woman, and I am proud of this precious soul who was the first to call me Mom.

Madison is artistic. She has a God given talent to create beautiful pieces of artwork.

She is musical. Again, a God given talent for song.

She loves music, and rarely goes anywhere without it. As in, she needs ear buds to vacuum the floors.

Madison lives in a laid back world. She is never rushed, or hurried, or on time. ; )

She loves green tea. We have a cup together everyday.

Madison loves to be home with us, but is beginning to feel the pull of the big world out there.

She is beginning to look forward to making her own decisions and is excited to do so.

She is almost ready to pass her driver's test. I am not at all ready for her to pass her driver's test.

My Madison is an old soul. She has a spot inside her for older people and enjoys visiting with them.

She loves healthy foods and afternoon naps.

She is a gift to her father and me. : )

We are celebrating her tonight with Blackberry Pie. Her favorite.

Happy Birthday, my Madison Marie! I love you!

















Happy Birthday, my firstborn! : )


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkey Soup...Save Those Bones!

While Thanksgiving is one of our favorite days, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is perhaps our favorite day of the Thanksgiving season. That is the day I make turkey soup. My kids actually look forward to that more than the turkey dinner itself! It is sooooo good, and soooo easy, and makes a perfect, simple meal for a cold November evening. So when you are shopping for Thanksgiving, pick up a few extras and give this one a try. Your family will thank you. I promise. : )

Turkey Soup


Ingredients:
  1. Turkey bones 
  2. One stick celery, chopped
  3. One onion, chopped
  4. One large can and two small(15oz.) cans chicken broth
  5. One teaspoon salt
  6. One teaspoon poultry seasoning
  7. One eighth teaspoon pepper
  8. One large can water
  9. One large bag Kluski noodles
Directions:
  1. On Thanksgiving, wrap turkey bones and any fat in foil and place in refrigerator.
  2. When ready to make soup, put bones and any fat in large pot.
  3. Add celery, onion, chicken broth, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, and water.
  4. Cook at boiling, covered, for one hour.
  5. Meanwhile, in separate pot, boil noodles. Then drain and set aside.
  6. Drain bones, fat, and veggies until only broth remains.
  7. Add cooked noodles, stir, and enjoy!!!!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weekend Plans...And The Last Of The Birthday Pictures!

The weekend is here... this is what I always consider the final "regular" weekend until after all the holiday excitement subsides in faraway January. The upcoming weekends will be filled with celebrating, hunting camp, visitors, parties, decorating, and so much more. So this weekend we plan on keeping it simple...with a few fun things thrown in. : )

Friday night Rhett will be working at our local theatre for the opening of...Catching Fire!!! We have been waiting for this for so long, and are so excited. (We are going to watch The Hunger Games Thursday night to get prepared!) The girls and I are going to see it, and Steve volunteered to stay home with Flynn. I'm sure he and Rhett will go see it sometime soon. : )

Saturday during the day is free. I really have no plans other than to put some veggie beef soup in the crock pot and relax all day. Steve has some outdoor work to do before winter, and I'm sure Rhett will give him a hand. They will take the autumn decorations down, take our remaining pumpkins and cornstalks out to the woods behind our house, and prep the garages for winter. Saturday night we are attending late Mass, as Rhett is serving. After that, it's home and jammies.

Sunday is a free day. We are going to drive up to camp and spend the cold afternoon snuggled inside watching our frustrating beloved Steelers and snacking on take out from our favorite nearby restaurant. Sunday night...you guessed it...The Walking Dead. And jammies. : )

So there you have it...our super exciting weekend. I hope yours is cozy and filled with family fun, whatever your plans may be. Thanks for stopping by!

Oh...and don't forget to take your turkey out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to give it plenty of time to thaw!


November cupcake delivery...cranberry...need I say more? ; )


Someone snuck in a little car seat nap on the way to visit Grandpa last weekend...


She woke up in time to see the random bull elk roaming in someone's yard...yep...life in Pennsylvania is nothing short of amazing. : )


We had a nice visit with my sweet dad...and he ATE! He actually ate half a sandwich. : )


All ready for Mass last Saturday night...outside without a coat in November!


After Mass, we celebrated my friend Mary's birthday with a yummy dinner out...shrimp scampi...


and triple chocolate cheesecake. Because she was having a piece and that's just the kind of friend I am...no one should ever eat decadent desserts alone on her birthday.


My Peyton...reading on her iPad...pretty much what you will always find her doing. If she isn't helping me with Flynn, or the laundry, or making dinner, or baking desserts...


My sweet Madison and I snapped a quick pic before Flynn's party last Sunday...


where my sweet baby had a wonderful time, and was such a great hostess. : )


On her actual birthday the six of us celebrated with Olivia...


and she was happy!


She loved her Elf on the Shelf nightgown...


and her Peppa Pig play set...which she has been playing with for over an hour. Not kidding.


She smiled when we sang to her...


and made a special wish before she blew out her candle.



And one more shot of my sweet girl waking up in her crib on her 4th birthday...because someday I won't remember these amazing baby days.

Happy Weekend, friends!








Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Flynn Grace!

My baby is four. And I am ok with that. Maybe because 4 year olds are awesome...and because I am realizing that no matter how old she becomes, Flynn will always be my baby.

Flynn is a happy person. Really happy.

She loves to play. With toys. Real toys like baby dolls and pretend food and Little People.

She loves school. She loves to learn and calls me Teacher.

Flynn loves to snuggle. She asks me to snuggle with the brown blanket, and when she does,  I drop what I'm doing and snuggle with her. Because I know, some day she won't.

My Flynn has spunk. And I am glad.

She loves white milk and pepperoni pizza.

She loves Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, Olivia, and Tickety Tock. (I'm still trying to figure that last one out.)

She loves her crib. Yes, she still sleeps in it. And I am glad. She can cuddle up in there as long as her little body fits.

My Flynn is my shadow. She tells me she loves me every single day. She takes my face and holds it in her hands, and says, "Ahh, I love my mommy..." I never want to forget that. Ever.

I ask her every day, "Flynn, what does mommy say?"And we say together, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my baby. Amen."

Happy Birthday, Flynn Grace! We love you!


Just as sweet as she was when she turned...


one...


and two...


and three! : )


Happy 4th Birthday, my Flynn. : )

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This Post Is Brought To You By The Letter F And The Number 4...

Sunday afternoon we gathered together to celebrate our sweet baby Flynn...who will turn 4 on Tuesday!  She was so very excited and had a wonderful time... here are a few pictures of her special party day!


Here is her cake...She choose Sesame Street this year...and I am so glad. : )
I asked the bakery to do whatever they wanted. Except no Oscar! Flynn has an aversion to anything Oscar.
 
 
Her dress all pressed and ready...and her hair bow too!
 
 
Posing for a few pictures before her guests arrived...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And my favorite one of the day...
 
 
Happy Birthday Party Day, my sweet Flynn Grace...
We will celebrate you on Tuesday...just the six of us... with pizza and pumpkin bread...your choice. : )
 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ornament Day...2013

Every year since Madison was little, we have celebrated Ornament Day. In the past, we combined it with our Christmas picture day at Sears. I remember dressing the kids in their Christmas outfits, driving to Sears in the mall, and cramming into that little space trying to make all my kids smile at the same time. Piece of cake. ; ) Once that was over, we squeezed into the exact same dressing room each and every year and changed the kids out of their picture clothes. Then we headed to Hallmark so each child could pick out an ornament for their Christmas tree. Then we went out to our special picture/ ornament day lunch. It became the unofficial start of our Christmas season.

Once Flynn was born, we began taking the photo at home, but still continued our family tradition of Ornament Day. We traveled to the mall last week to choose our special ornaments and have a special dinner out. We also were able to stop and have a WONDERFUL visit with my dad. Here are some pictures of our Ornament Day this year. : )


My sweet girls...enjoying our pizza night...


and this little one was enjoying it too. She loves pepperoni!


Rhett is all smiles as he returns with the pizza that I left on the table...


Remember me telling you that I don't like bright colors? Well, I branched out and bought myself a gift...look...pink!!!!


And the choices this year...Madison-Christmas Vacation...Peyton-Catching Fire...Rhett-Superman...and Flynn-Cinderella. : )


We finished the night with a very happy visit with my dad. For a few moments, my friends, he was back with us again. I lived in the moment. I watched his face as he played peek-a-boo with Flynn. I listened to his voice as he asked Rhett about hunting. I studied his smile as he teased Peyton about the holes in her jeans. I took those moments and stored them in my heart. I realized then how much I love this man...my father. And how I never want to forget his voice or his smile or the twinkle in his eye.

May I ask for your prayers, my friends? We have been told that my father's Dementia is extremely fast moving. He is slipping farther away and the moments we have with him as we know him are becoming fewer and fewer. I am praying for peace for him...for more comfort and less confusion and angst. I want that for him...this wonderful man who gave me life. I am grateful for visits like we had that night. I tucked the memories deep into my soul. And I am blessed.