February 29, 2016

This Makes Me Happy...My Girl And New Friends

She's home! My firstborn has flown...literally...home to our nest. And...for now...all my babes are all together again. And that makes me happy.

Saying...not goodbye...but see you soon...

with a smile on their faces. Yet sadness in their young hearts.

And then...suddenly...back with the parents...who missed her so.

But that leaves out an entire part of the story! Imagine getting a text from a blog friend...whom you have never met nor actually spoken to...asking you for a favor. Asking you to pick up her daughter at the super big airport in New York City, and welcoming her into your home for the night. And then helping her find a way home on a bus. But then realizing that the bus ride would be way too long, so offering to meet her family halfway on a Saturday afternoon. And you know who said Yes! Of Course! Right away?
That would be the sweet, funny, amazing, blessed Kathleen.
And there she is...waiting for my girl.
She and her hubby Bill spent way too long in the airport waiting for my Madison.
And took her to their home and a nice bed with fresh sheets and a magazine and body wash waiting for her.

Now that is a friend!
We met, and as it was when I met Tara, it was like seeing an old friend again.
Not at all like meeting someone for the first time.
Kathleen is exactly as she seems on her wonderful blog...she is beautiful, funny, kind, lovely, mothering, and gracious.

Not only did we make friends immediately, our kids did as well.
Look at all those blessing we have!

And the hubbies? They could have talked forever.
I see a meet up in our near future.
And I hope they do too!

This morning I had coffee with my Madison.
In my brand new mug from Denmark.
One guess what it says. : )

And this evening, Steve made her favorite meal...meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and tossed salad.

For dessert, Peyton made her a favorite...peach pie.

And all of this makes me very happy. : )

Have a blessed week, my friends.

February 26, 2016

Random Photo Friday

Last weekend the guys headed to camp to watch a bunch of noisy cars go around and around in an oval for hours The Daytona 500, so the girls stayed home and had some girl time. Translation: eating fast food, playing card games, and watching Lifetime movies. After our littlest one turned in for the night, of course. My sister Margie and Madison's friend Jessica were visiting too. : )

Pennsylvania weather...snow one weekend, spring temps the next. My little one was out before mass without a coat. Being super careful not to get her boots wet. : )


Sunday was game day. Have you ever played Uno Attack?
You must. I insist.

We played Old Maid too.
Scooby Doo style.
And yes, I Snap Chatted it.

Later in the week, we got dressed up for a day out on the town.
And yes. She came with me. : )

This weekend is full of happy.
Friday night we are having our friend Blueberry Mary in with my mother for Friday Lenten Fish Frys from our church. The kids call her Blueberry Mary because she and her late husband used to pick blueberries for us each summer. She is a sweet older lady who loves my kids. And they love her.

And Saturday!!!! Saturday is happy happy!
My girl is coming home!
She is flying into JFK on Friday night.
And...another happy!
My sweet and funny and kind blog friend Kathleen and her hubby are picking her up, and welcoming her into their home. Then we are all meeting on Saturday!
How happy is that?
My girl comes home, AND I get to meet a blogger friend I have been reading forever!
She and I share a love for Gene Rayburn and The Brady Bunch.
If that isn't instant friendship, I don't know what is. : )

So...that is what we are up to this weekend.
I hope your weekend is happy happy happy too!
Thanks for visiting! : )

February 23, 2016

Chicken And Biscuits...Or Waffles

Some recipes evoke fond memories. This is one. Every Wednesday growing up, my family would go to a small little family restaurant called Charley's, where Charley himself worked the bar, his wife Pearl cooked the most amazing Chicken and Biscuits, and their daughter Barb served us with a smile. I am not going to pretend I can replicate that amazing meal, but thanks to my sister-in-law Sally, I can come darn close. Please try this one. I promise you will love it.  And a side note...I prefer it with waffles. : )

Chicken And Biscuits
  1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  2. 2 large cans chicken broth, 32 oz. each
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 1 cup cool water
  5. Salt and Pepper
  6. 2 cans Grands Biscuits, baked according to directions
  1. Combine flour and water and shake in a covered container well. Leave on counter for an hour.
  2. Boil Chicken breasts about 15 minutes or until done.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a boil, in a separate pot.
  4. Slowly mix in flour and water mixture.
  5. Shred chicken and add to gravy mixture.
  6. Allow to heat through.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve over biscuits...or if you are feeling ambitious...homemade waffles.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes. Hungry Jack, of course. ; )

February 22, 2016

Sleigh Riding

Several years ago, my parents got the kids some sleds for Christmas. We have a hill behind our house that is perfect for sledding. Every time it snowed, my dad would call and ask the kids if they went sleigh riding. That is what he called it...sleigh riding. One of the last things he talked about with the kids before he passed was if they had been sleigh riding. We haven't had much snow and the past few years when we have had snow, it has just been too cold. But today...today was the perfect day for it. And as my kids laughed and giggled and went up and down the hill on this perfect winter afternoon, I know my father was smiling. Watching them from the window, I smiled too and told him..."The kids went sleigh riding tonight, Dad. And they had a blast."

These two. Always together. : )

My Rhett. Visible by his orange hunting suit. : )

The view from the hill...the back of our home.

Thanks for the perfect night, Dad. : )

February 19, 2016

Random Photo Friday

This is why I named her Mocha. : )
She always gets the last sip.
Every morning.

Winter finally made her appearance here...

And she made up for lost time, I tell you!
Good thing I don't mind being warm and cozy inside. : )

We celebrated with some good old fashioned comfort food.
For lunch.

We also finally lit our Bundle Up candle that filled the air with the crisp scent of citrus added to freshly fallen snow.

My youngest was a walking Valentine for Mass last weekend...

While my oldest was hitting the slopes with Nicolas and his family in Sweden.
So proud of this one.
Her first time ever and she's got it!
I credit her, but she says it is because her instructor is super cute. ; )

And there she goes!!!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

February 18, 2016

What's That You Say, Groundhog???

Good thing I like a bit of winter before my spring.
Don't pack away those boots and mittens yet, my friends. : )

February 17, 2016

Being Mindful

Recently I discovered something that has made a big impact on my life. You may be familiar with it. You, like me, may be just discovering it now. Or, you may have never heard of it until today. In any case, I feel compelled to share this life changing practice with you.

Some time ago, I began to experience an anxiety that was quite new to me. Blame hormones, or age, or the weather...whatever it was...it was interfering with my normal, daily, happy life. Enter a friend of Steve's, who just so happens to be a doctor, and whose own wife was experiencing the same thing. He suggested to Steve that I look into something called Mindfulness. Specifically...Mindfulness Meditation. Steve mentioned it to me, and I decided I had nothing to lose by looking it up. To my surprise, I found a great deal of information on this practice which has been around for awhile. Typical me...always late to the party. : )

I immediately felt connected to the things I was reading, and realized that, unlike most everything else I start, this would be something I could and would actually enjoy and benefit from. So I dove right in. I have to tell you, I am so glad I did. Mindfulness is not a five step program. It isn't a fad. It doesn't cost a penny. Well, unless you get the app, and I suggest you do. It is simply a way of life. It is looking at life in a new way...a mindful way. But I am no expert on it. So, I took to Pinterest and found something that will explain it much better than I ever could...

And here is the app. I downloaded it onto my phone from the App Store. I use it Every.Single. Day.

Ask me to walk or exercise every morning...not gonna happen.
Ask me to sit and relax and listen to my own breathing.
I'm in!

There are books and articles and apps galore on Mindfulness.
I am merely one person who found that by slowing down, living in the present, being mindful of the moments in the present life I am living, I found a peace I had not experienced before. Anxiety about would could happen in the future became less and less, as I learned to embrace the now. This practice, combined with my faith and prayer has helped me enjoy my daily life without being fearful of possible scenarios of the future. One of my favorite sayings from one of my favorite meditation teachers on the app, Rick Hanson, is something along the lines of "The future will come when it comes." And another, "You're alright right now".

And that's that.
Have a cozy, mindful day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting! : )

February 15, 2016

Our Valentine's Day 2016

A whole day set aside just for love. And chocolate. How wonderful is that? And...this year Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday! Here is how we spent our super cold day of love...

Flynn and I were up early to set our Valentine Table...
and on this day, anything goes for breakfast.
Even chocolate covered Oreos. : )
We lit our sweet smelling candle and let it burn all day long.
Daddy and Mommy had a few gifts for their Valentines...
and the older ones loved then so much, they were in use before I could snap a photo!
And my Valentine knows the exact way to my heart. : )
My Peyton Rose whipped up this yummy chocolate chip cookie dessert.
I may or may not have been napping on the sofa at the time. : )
The table was set for our traditional Valentine's Day Dinner...
and the cheese stuffed shells were as awesome as always.
We ended the night with a piece of delicious dessert and The Walking Dead Premier.
The perfect end to a perfect Love Day!
Hope your day was filled with love and hugs. And chocolate.
Have a wonderful week, my friends. : )

February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you day is filled with lots of snuggles from the ones you love.
And chocolate.
Always chocolate.
Have a lovely day, my friends!

February 12, 2016

Random Photo Friday

There was a lot of celebrating here this past week...here are some random photos to prove it. : )

Up first...Superbowl!
We had a Subway platter...yumm and no clean up!...and some snacks to munch on too.
We had taco dip with chips, kettle corn and Oreo Truffles.
Someone found some pizza in the fridge too. : )
My Best Friend in the whole world...Marian...who I met the very first minute of college...came for the Superbowl weekend, We love it when she comes!
Oh! Almost forgot...Peyton made this AMAZING Ho Ho Cake for dessert on Sunday.
No other words needed.
Monday we celebrated Chinese New Year!
The kids always enjoy researching facts about this fun holiday...
While I enjoy the Chinese Take Out and The Chinese Noodle Cookies Peyton made.
Just sayin'.
Three of my four. We were missing our Madison, but managed to Facetime her so she could share in the fun. Despite the fact it was really late there. : )
Tuesday we celebrated Mardi Gras!
This has always been one of my kids' favorites!
Every year they pick out their same necklaces and favorite coins. : )
My older two are enjoying the fun with our little Flynn. : )
Dinner was Jambalaya made by me, and delicious cornbread made by Peyton.
Dessert was a King Cake I ordered from a Louisiana bakery.
It was delicious, and look who found the baby!
Flynn is our Mardi Gras Queen this year!
Mocha took it all in...
(Photo credit ...Aunt Marian.)
And now we settle in for Lent and some quiet time.
Until Valentine's Day on Sunday. ; )
Happy Weekend!
Happy Love Day!
Happy Walking Dead Return!