March 30, 2014

Weekend Getaway...In Pictures...Probably too Many

Friday morning, I hugged my sad baby and hopped in the car with my hubby for our weekend getaway. After I dried my tears and composed myself (at the end of our road),  I called home and was relieved to hear she was fine...already off playing the first of many games with Aunt Margie. And so began our weekend getaway. Just so I wouldn't forget how truly wonderful it was, I took way too many pictures. And here they are...

We're off!
The Amazing resort we enjoyed...Falling Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort...
The lobby was inviting...
and our room was pretty...pretty...pretty...
with a super soft bed...
and a super clean bathroom...
which was pretty too!
Falling Rock is an amazing resort that caters to your every wish.
I mean, how did they know I like cookies and milk in bed? : )
Saturday morning we had room service for breakfast...
one of us had super good oatmeal with fresh berries...
and the other...these amazing buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Which was which? I'll never tell. : )
But I did have some delicious green tea to start my day.
After a trip to the spa and afternoon Mass, we got ready and headed to the dinner. We attended The Safari Club International  Pittsburgh Chapter Annual Fundraising Gala. Steve is a business associate and friend of the president, and he invited us to the event this year.
Despite my aversion to public events, large groups, and people in general, I had a wonderful time. It was an amazing event with very nice, normal, unstuffy people, and more importantly...really good food. : )
Sunday morning we enjoyed a quick but delicious room service breakfast before heading outside to start home...
where we were greeted with this beautiful but surprising sight...
and as we drove away from our beautiful, relaxing weekend...
I thanked God for my hardworking husband and my sweet littles waiting at home for us. : )
And now I am home...right where I belong.

March 27, 2014

Weekend Plans

Well, friends...this weekend I am actually leaving the comfort of my country home. Yes, I am going away for the weekend with my hubby. When he first approached me about joining him on a weekend business trip, I said no thanks. And then he mentioned it was at a lovely resort. With a spa. And then I began to see the possibilities. A weekend away with my hubby and a spa? Ok, I'm in. And the fact that my dear mother, sister and her hubby are going to stay right here to watch my kiddos made it a win/win situation. My kids love when Grandma and Aunt Margie and Uncle Chris come to stay. An entire weekend with games, movies, Dairy Queen and donuts? Who wouldn't? : ) So that is what is happening this weekend my friends. I will shed a few tears when I leave my kids...yes, I really do that...And then I will remember how important it is for Steve and I to take some time to nurture our relationship as husband and wife. And then I will hit the spa! I hope your weekend is happy, and cozy, and fun, whatever your plans may be!

 Last week we lit our Spring Days candle to celebrate the first day of spring!
And then we closed the curtains so we wouldn't see the snow. : )

I picked these up at Walmart last week too. Because who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies with pink and yellow chips?

And I almost jumped for joy when I saw these!! Yes...Poptarts. But the BEST Poptarts ever. I used to eat these as a child. And an adult. But then they discontinued them. And now they brought them back for a limited time. I may or may not have bought a few boxes to hoard keep in the pantry.

What could possibly make this little girl so happy you ask...

Perhaps a night of this awesome game we played last weekend! It is even better than Hedbanz, because you act out the clues. So fun! Really. Not like one of those games you dread playing. Think Chutes and Ladders...the game that never ends...

More food...Peyton baked these beautiful pies last week for my mom to take to card club. And they were a hit! Shout out to my sweet friend Patty for the best Blueberry Cream Pie recipe ever. : )

My baby all ready for Mass last Sunday. We pulled out the spring dresses even thought it was still snowing!

And one last quick pic...(With some fun IPhone editing)...This is my "I can't believe we all got ready for Sunday morning Mass on time" in the van selfie.

Happy Weekend!

March 25, 2014

Easy Peanut Butter Pie

I love this pie. It is not too peanut butter-y or heavy. It is simply light and yummy. Peyton and I literally put this together in five minutes the other day, popped it in the refrigerator for a few hours and...instant delish dessert! Madison found the recipe floating around on Facebook. I hope you give it a try! Enjoy!

Easy Peanut Butter Pie
  1. 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  2. 1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar
  5. 1(8 ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed
  6. 3 ounces mini chocolate chips
  7. 1 ready made graham cracker pie crust
  1. Blend peanut butter, cream cheese, milk and powdered sugar in a bowl.
  2. Fold in Cool Whip and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into crust.
  4. Refrigerate for several hours.
  5. Enjoy!

March 23, 2014

My Rosary Beads

The Rosary has been a wonderful part of my entire life. I feel peaceful bringing my prayers and petitions to Our Lady. I gain comfort as the beads move through my fingers and as the prayers pass my lips and through my heart. Today, my dear husband gave me a most touching gift, one that caused me to reflect on the different sets of Rosary Beads that I have prayed with throughout my life.

As a teenager, I received this beautiful Rosary from my parents. They brought one home from Fatima for each of their daughters. I took this beautiful Rosary to college with me, and remember many, many days rocking in a chair in my dorm room praying for the intentions in my heart at that time in my life. I prayed for my family, and for Steve and our future together. I prayed for myself, that I would succeed in my studies and find a teaching job. I prayed for the things a young woman prays for as she begins her life away from home. And this Blessed Rosary got me through four long years away from my family, my home, and my Steve.

Steve gave me this beautiful Rosary shortly after we were married. I spent many mornings praying for things a young married woman prays for. I prayed for my husband, for my family, for myself, that I would do a good job teaching the young children entrusted to me each day. And most of all...I prayed for children of our own. I'm sure I practically wore these beads thin praying to Our Heavenly Father for a child. Then one more, and then for just one more. And in His own time, God answered my humble prayers.

I received this beautiful, old Blessed Rosary from a very special friend. One day, my sweet little son Rhett was holding my Rosary and it simply broke. My poor Rhett. Even as a young child, he had the most sincere, sensitive heart. He felt so badly about it, even when I held him and told him accidents happen. That very night, our family friend and parish priest, who happens to be Rhett's Godfather was visiting. When Rhett told him what happened, Father reached into his pocket and pulled out this beautiful Rosary. He handed it to Rhett, and told him to give it to me. The smile on Rhett's face is something I will never forget. So, that is how I came to pray with a Rosary once prayed with by a very holy man. With this Rosary I prayed the payers of an older mother. I prayed for my children that they would be happy at school. I prayed for my husband as he worked so hard for his family. I prayed for my parents as they got older. And I prayed for one more soul to bless our family. And again, in His own time, God answered our prayers. I also prayed with this Rosary for my father. I prayed for his health. And in time, for his soul.

This is the gift my husband brought me today. A brand new beautiful Rosary. A Rosary infused with the very roses that adorned my dear, sweet father's casket. Steve had this very beautiful Rosary made for me, so that now, as I move the beads through my fingers, I will be reminded of the man who taught me to pray The Rosary...who taught me to love The Dad. The very last day I spent with my dad, the day before he died, my sisters and I prayed the Rosary around my father's bed. As we started, we noticed his fingers rubbing against each other. We saw his fingers searching for something. Although he could not speak, he was letting us know what he wanted...his Rosary beads. And now, each time I pray with these beautiful beads, I will think of that day, and know that my father is praying with me.

March 22, 2014

Scenes From A Movie

One of the perks of impromptu movie watching party on a random, snowy afternoon...

Rhett picked out an oldie but goodie...Baby's Day Out. And this little lady thought it was funny!

And maybe a little bit strange...after all, a baby crawling alone outside in a big city? Looks like she's not buying it either. : )

At least the popcorn was good!

I just love these chilly afternoons with all my littles together with me.
I wish I could make them last forever. : )

March 20, 2014

Weekend Plans

Or lack thereof...First off...Happy Spring my friends!!!!!! No matter what the weather is outside my window, spring is here. Technically. No matter. We have little to no plans this first weekend of spring, so I am not complaining. One more chance to snuggle in our country home and rest and relax. : ) Friday Rhett has plans to be at the theatre helping out after dinner. Which, by the way is our Lenten staple of Tuna and Noodles. The rest of us are planning on attending Stations of The Cross at our church.

Saturday is a free day around here. I am happy to say, aside from a few usual chores...laundry, vacuuming etc...., we really have no plans. Madison works the evening shift at Dairy Queen, so I plan on having dinner before she goes. She is my pasta girl, so I think I will whip up quick pasta side to go with  the chicken that Steve is grilling for dinner. Then, of course, we should get a Dairy Queen treat when we drop her off, right?!

Sunday we will attend Mass and then come home and have brunch. I am thinking pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. After that, I have penciled in a nap. : ) Madison works the evening shift on Sunday as well. They rest of us will most likely enjoy some quiet time and pizza before finishing off our weekend with what else...The Walking Dead. Are you watching yet? Because you should be. Just sayin'. ; )

And that , my friends, is what we will be up to this weekend. I hope yours is happy, and cozy, and spring-like, whatever your plans may be!

Flynn loves the moon...and we caught this pretty sight out our window last weekend.

Also last week, I had a helper during our family Rosary. And you aren't noticing all the lint and puppy hair on my black pants, right? Didn't think so.

Also last weekend...Peyton whipped up this beauty from scratch for our friends. They were just engaged and my sweet friend's favorite ever is chocolate cake. Success. : )

Sunday, I celebrated spring early by treating myself to this sweet little tea mug. : )

And while I was out splurging on myself, Peyton and Steve were creating this...a big pot of amazing sauce and meatballs. From scratch. 'Cause is there any other way when your daddy was Italian?

Peyton is teaching my baby well. I looked over and saw my little Flynn working hard at folding the wash cloths. : )

St. Patrick's Day found us hard at work early in the morning.

We decorated the table...

did some fun schoolwork...

made this delicious meal of potatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, and bacon for dinner...
(This is actually my lunch the next day...because it was that good!)

and finished off the day with a piece of our traditional lime jello poke cake.

St. Patrick's Day 2014

Happy Weekend, friends!!!!

March 18, 2014

Time Goes Too Fast Tuesday

St. Patrick's Day 2010...just four short years ago...

when we had a brand new little leprechaun in our family!

March 15, 2014

What's In A Name?

You may or may not know that I was named after my father. His name was William Joseph. My name is Billie Jo. Get it? I was the fourth bundle of pink for my parents, and my mom says boy or girl, I was going to be named after my dad. And I am glad I was. I have no middle name. That was fun in school. Every year, my teacher would try to convince me that I needed to put a J in the box marked 'Middle Initial" on those pesky Achievement tests. Never mind that every year I told my teacher I was certain I knew my own name. I was baptized with the beautiful name Mary, after our blessed mother.

That's me. : )

My hubby was the seventh child in his family. Rumor has it his mother let the other kids vote on his name. Stephen it was. His middle name is that of his grandfather. The second time I met him, he asked me to guess what it was. He told me it began with a W, so my first guess was William. Then, I made a rather blunt comment that I hoped it wasn't something weird like Wilfred. Oops. Yep. That be my hubby...Stephen Wilfred. : )

And my hubby...look at those curls!

I always wanted to be a mom, and could not wait to name my babies. After being a teacher for five years, I found it difficult to come up with a name that did not immediately evoke the image of one of my students. Not that it was always a bad thing, but you get the idea. Before Madison was born, we had settled on the name Shelby for her. Well, Steve had. But after twenty four hours of hard labor, and an emergency C section, I was automatically granted the gift of naming that sweet baby anything my heart desired. We had chosen Madison as an option, and Madison it was. Her full name is Madison Marie. Her middle name was chosen to honor our Blessed Mother.

Madison Marie

We never found out what our babies were going to be, but I remember having Peyton's name chosen very earlier on. She was named by Steve, after a very beautiful character in a show we watched while I was pregnant. I loved it too. Her full name is Peyton Rose. And I love it. Rose was always a favorite name of mine. I actually used it as my Confirmation name. She was a tiny little thing, and I took to calling her my little Peyton Rose.

Peyton Rose

When Rhett came along, I was shocked that he was a boy. I don't know why, I just though that after two little ladies, I would have one more. Once the shock wore off, I chose the only name I ever had for a boy...Rhett. He is named after my favorite character from my favorite novel and movie ever, Gone With The Wind. If you have not seen the movie, you must. I insist. Get it, take your phone off the hook, get comfy on the sofa, pop some popcorn, and enjoy. You will thank me later. I promise. Anyway, Because I was so certain Rhett was going to be a girl, I had no middle name picked out for him. Poor Steve, when the nurse asked me what his middle name was going to be, I remember blurting out (in a drug induced fog) that I guess it would have to be Stephen, because I couldn't think of anything else! So...that is how my son got his name...Rhett Stephen.

Rhett Stephen

And my Flynn. Our blessing from God. None of our pregnancies came easily. And when we were praying for one more, we were told that we would have a slim chance of ever conceiving due to the fact that my hormone levels were approaching perimenopause. Well, tell that to God, because He sent us our Flynn in His own due time. : ) I loved the name Flynn, and that was going to be it, girl or boy. Her middle name is a favorite of mine, and my mother's grandmother's name, as well as my sister Scarlett's middle name. Her full name is Flynn Grace. Or, according to her, Baby Flynn. : )

and Flynn Grace.

So there you have it. Way more than you ever wanted to know about all the names in our family. Thanks for hanging in there. I would love to hear about your name choices sometime. : )