April 29, 2022

Around Here Lately

Hello there! And Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week to end the month of April. Sometimes I have some serious thoughts to share here in this little space; other times, I share some fun. Every now and then, I find a few photos on my camera roll that haven't yet found a post to call home, so today is a random photo post from our little world! First up. Cookies! Peyton is the chief cookie baker, as you well know. Since she is a happy homemaker now, we don't enjoy homemade goodies as much. However, one day this week, Madison and Flynn made these beautiful things, and they were delicious! 

My first and my last. We talked the other day that Flynn is now the age Madison was when I had her! Madison and her friends threw me a surprise baby shower all those years ago. And by surprise, I mean I was literally surprised! Seeing these two now is beautiful, remembering how much Madison loved Flynn before she was even born.

And how lucky are we all that Madison found this amazing guy from across the ocean who also loves Flynn and always includes her in the late-night Dairy Queen runs??

Would you believe these two just celebrated their First Wedding Anniversary?!? What a beautiful life they have made together. And while I have many favorite photos of that lovely day, these two are perhaps the best...

Is there anything better than literally seeing the joy in your daughter's face when she realizes her dream come true?

And this one. I don't know how many times the camera caught Christopher glancing at Peyton that day, but seeing it, I know I will never have to worry about her. 

They celebrated with the tradition of eating the top of their wedding cake, which they said was as delicious as it was on their special day. And which also spent twelve months in my freezer, only almost accidentally disposed of while thought to be outdated cheesecake one time. Peyton and Flynn text each other every single day. And I love it.

Through the years, I have commented many times how very blessed I am to have married a man who loves all types of activities, sports, crowds, and people. Steve has always been the class trip chaperone- concert-going- sled riding-football, hockey, and baseball game parent, and I am so thankful to him for that. The memories he has shared with all of our children will stay with them forever.

He cooks a darn good burger too!

And then there is me. And my Mocha. Who often seems to masquerade as a bunny.

I am getting lots of visitors outside my window. And it is so funny to everyone because I really am afraid of birds! 

Well, I guess if there is a theme here, it is one I write about often. Family. I am blessed that my children's best friends are each other. And that given a choice, while maintaining friendships with peers, each of them chooses to spend time together. With us. Together.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Thanks for visiting

Billie Jo

April 27, 2022

Cozy Wednesday

Good morning! I hope your week is going well. I am cozy on the couch this morning with this little pup, thinking about my day. I have some errands to run in town, and then, because we had some sort of cold/cough/allergy situation around here last week, we rescheduled our Family Movie Night for tonight! Rhett and Kyrstin are providing dinner, and I heard a rumor that Peyton is bringing something sweet! We are watching The Batman. Which I am sure resembles in no way the one I watched as a kid with Adam West and the Batmobile. 

I will leave you with some random thoughts and suggestions on this lovely Wednesday. In no particular order:

1. If you choose to wear eye makeup and are thinking about being lazy and trying to remove it with an old sample remover you found in your drawer and a cheap tissue, rethink your decision. You may or may not end up with an itchy, red, irritating sty in your eye. Just sayin'.

2. If you are looking for something to watch, Apple Tv + has a fantastic miniseries called We Crashed. Steve and I loved it! From IMDB-The greed-filled rise and inevitable fall of WeWork, one of the world's most valuable startups, and the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible.
It is based on real-life events and is so fascinating!

3. If the world news is getting too much for you and you want to be educated but not overwhelmed, pretend you live in another time by turning your tv to Buzzr, Game Show Network, or MeTV. Watching game shows and family shows like they used to be is fun, refreshing, and calming. Stars were talented people who loved their work, not just being famous. Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, The Andy Griffith Show, and so many more are still around. They entertain. They don't politicize everything. They just Are. 

Well, I am off to say my morning prayers. Thank you for the love for Rhett on my previous post! He read every single one! Have a cozy day with your people, my friends. Thanks for visiting! I will be around soon!

Billie Jo


April 25, 2022

Just Like That


 Every new mom will tell you, somewhere amid all the joy and happiness and fresh from the bath Baby Magic newborn snuggles, she is told not to blink. She is told that the years pass quickly. And that before she knows it, her new little baby will be all grown up. And every new mom hears but cannot possibly understand how very true all those words are. See this little guy here? That is my Rhett. And although this is often how I think of him, he is almost twenty years old, and indeed, all grown up! If I am honest, however, as much as I miss this little guy, I love the amazing young man he has become. 

Rhett has worked with Steve in the family car dealership for as long as I can remember. He started as a detailer, washing cars during the summer and after school. Once he graduated, he began working in the parts department. He then moved to the Business Development Center, where he made calls, answered emails, scheduled appointments, and actually managed the department. Just a few weeks ago, Rhett moved into the next step of his automotive career, automobile sales! He is now licensed and certified to sell Hyundai, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram products! He is enjoying his new career, and here he is with his very first new car sale!

I could not be more proud of my son. He is succeeding in a career he loves by working hard and learning on the job, especially from his father! Rhett continues the family business as a fourth-generation salesman by becoming a car salesman, dating back to 1925 when his great grandfather sold Ford cars. In another interesting sidenote, Rhett is doing the same exact thing Steve was when we met all those years ago! 

Rhett and his lovely, sweet girlfriend Kyrstin recently celebrated two years of dating, and we could not love her more!

Well, there you are. A proud mother's update on her one and only son. Yes, I miss those days when we sat in the rocking chair in his room and read Big Farm Tractor before his nap. And yes, I miss picking him up from preschool and going through the Wendy's drive-through and waiting at the longest red light ever, as he would say. But I love the time I spend now with this amazing young man. I love his kind heart and his love of home and family. And I love the cheesy fries and Frosty-ccino he brings me from Wendy's too!

Happy Monday, my friends!

Billie Jo

April 20, 2022



I realize that with everything going on in our country and world, the weather is the last thing to complain about. So I didn't. I put the flannel sheets back on the bed as Mocha watched the snow fall. And I was thankful to have a bed. A home. A family together.

Not much planned for today. School and then a family movie night. How about you, my friends? Have a cozy Wednesday.

Billie Jo

April 18, 2022

Easter 2022

Good Monday morning! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that your Easter was lovely and filled with faith, family, food, and fun. I am so thankful that my children enjoy our holiday traditions so much they are happy to watch The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town and set out carrots and juice for the Easter Bunny! 
Three of my four! Peyton and Christopher attended the Easter Vigil mass, where Christopher played his violin. Easter Sunday was sunny and warm enough for Steve to cook the bacon for brunch outside. This makes me happy, for as much as I enjoy a piece of bacon every now and then, I do not enjoy my home smelling like it for days after! Steve and I were so happy to have everyone with us for Easter Brunch. Kyrstin, Rhett's girlfriend, was working but was able to join us later for dinner and dessert. 

Our Easter brunch included bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, herb and cheese quiche, cinnamon coffee cake, Danish kringle, and deviled eggs. We also had coffee, tea, and orange juice for drinks. Mass, baskets, games, chocolate, naps, and fun followed brunch on our beautiful Easter Day. And now, forgive me as I finish this so I can get the fire going, pour a cup of hot coffee and get ready for the snow that is coming later today! 

How was your Easter, my friends? Any plans for today?
Thanks for visiting. And prayers for our world.

Billie Jo

April 15, 2022

Good Friday and Happy Easter!


Good Friday morning, my friends. Actually, it is literally Good Friday morning! Today is the day we remember Jesus' crucifixion and death upon the cross as Catholics. The darkness of this photo I snapped this morning seems symbolic of that day so long ago. We will fast and abstain today and pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

Sunday, we celebrate Easter! I took this photo this morning as well and was struck by the symbolism of its light and brightness. If the first photo represents the sorrow of Good Friday, this one represents the light and joy of Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, triumphing over death and granting us eternal life. We will commemorate Easter with the celebration of mass, most likely on Saturday evening, known as the Easter Vigil. Then Sunday morning, we will enjoy an Easter brunch together before seeing what the Easter Bunny left! And yes. The Easter Bunny still visits our house because one is never too old for the magic and fun of tradition.

Happy and Blessed Easter, my friends.
And if you do not celebrate Easter, I wish you a happy and cozy weekend.
See you here on Monday!
Thanks for visiting. I am always glad you do.

Billie Jo


April 14, 2022

Quick Thankful Thursday

Hello! On a Thursday! Just wanted to let you know my appointment went wonderfully yesterday! I was checked out and am good to go for another year! Thankful for dermatologists who are kind and patient, and knowledgeable. And for blog friends who leave encouraging comments too!

Thankful that my beautiful, amazing mother is doing so well! And that my children and their spouses all love spending time with her, which makes her so happy. Madison and Nicolas visited her last week. Doesn't she look wonderful?

And thankful for this little thing Flynn said sat on the steps by the door waiting for me yesterday. And who is always ready to snuggle and nap with me.

Have a cozy Thursday, my friends!

Billie Jo

April 12, 2022

Time For The Annual Skin Check!


Hello, my friends. Today I am off bright and early for my yearly skin check at the dermatologist. Almost two years ago, I had a Basal Cell Carcinoma removed from my face. I wrote a post about it HERE. Thankfully, the doctor removed it, and it has healed beautifully. Because of that, I now go yearly for a skin check by a dermatologist. I don't actually enjoy this experience and get a bit anxious before the appointment. Still, I remind myself that I am fortunate to be able to have a doctor check my skin and make sure everything is ok. And if not, then it can be taken care of. So far this year, I have had my annual physical by my PCP, my yearly eye exam, and after today, my dermatologist appointment. All that remains is my annual gynecology appointment and mammogram later this summer and the dentist in the fall. The joys of middle age, right??

Well, have a good Wednesday, whatever you are up to today. I hope to be home, showered, and on the couch visiting with you all later this afternoon. Thanks for visiting!

And because I have a thing about always having a photo in my posts, enjoy this one of Mocha looking very much like a Muppet.  : )

Billie Jo

April 11, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Hello, my friends. And Happy Monday! Mocha and I had no trouble hopping out of bed this morning, perhaps because it no longer looks like this outside. Saturday was cold and snowy here in Pennsylvania, but today is sunny and warmer and much more like spring. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week in our Catholic faith. In addition to the prayer and remembrance, we also enjoyed some "Palm Sundaes" for dessert. 

Through the years, I have found that combining the religious aspects of Holy Week with the traditional Easter Bunny fun works well for our family. And although my children are older now, we still enjoy some of the same traditions of years past. I suppose that is what traditions are all about, right? After all, are you ever too old for Easter fun? The fact that these sheets are available in King Size is proof of that!

 I hope you have a lovely week, my friends. 
Thanks for stopping in!

Prayers continue for Ukraine.

Billie Jo

April 8, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up


Hello! And happy Friday, my friends. This week was a busy one, but apparently, I only chose to snap pictures of the food involved. Wednesday evening, Peyton and Christopher hosted all of us for a cookie decorating evening! My heart is so happy for my Peyton Rose. She is living the life she loves. She had baked Easter cookies, arranged colored icing and all kinds of toppings, and had an Easter candle burning. It was a wonderful evening with all my people, and I am so thankful to see my children carrying on the same traditions they enjoyed as children, now in their own homes. 

Earlier in the week, I made a delicious salad for easy lunches. It was so good and very simple to put together. I will link the recipe HERE. I followed the directions, except I made my own vinaigrette with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Last night, we attended a Lenten Penance Service. It was so nice to be in a church with others again. Afterward, we went to dinner at a favorite restaurant nearby. I tend to find a favorite dish at every place I go, and this was it last night! It is a shrimp bowl with coconut rice and an avocado mango pico. So good! I only ate half, so I have some for lunch today.

This weekend is blessedly quiet, so I will plan on visiting my mom and finalizing our plans for Holy Week and Easter. I am also beginning to think about next year's homeschool curriculum. I like to have it chosen and ordered by the end of the current school year. Add in the usual laundry, meal planning, and naps, and I am all set! I hope you have a lovely weekend too, be it slow and cozy or busy and productive. I will see you here on Monday!

Prayers for our world.

Billie Jo

April 6, 2022