Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Changes

We made a little change in our schedule a few weeks back. We switched Masses. Forever we've gone to 10 am Mass on Sunday mornings. We know everyone there. It feels like home to us. We adore our parish and couldn't imagine being anywhere else on Sunday mornings.

And then last year I started teaching Anna's religious education classes that meet every Sunday morning the hour before Mass. While I would head out the door with Anna to 'church school' Scott would stay home with Abigail and finish cleaning up breakfast and get her ready for Mass. Then he would meet us there. It was fine but somehow this year it started feeling like "too much" (see a theme in my blog lately?)

I would be gone so long on Sunday mornings that I'd have to pack snacks for Anna and I. I hated driving home from Mass in two separate cars. I hated not doing Abigail's hair for Mass and getting her in her pretty dress. It just bugged me.

So over so much time reading Billie Jo's weekend plans (and going to church on Saturday afternoons was always there) I decided to make a change for us. And guess what? We love it! Although it feels a bit foreign to get all church dressed up in the middle of Saturday, we've gotten used to it. It makes our Sunday mornings so relaxing. Anna and I often have a quick breakfast on our way out the door to church school and then come home to a little 'brunch' coming out of the oven when we get home. I can prepare it on Saturday night and Scott slides it in while Anna and I are gone.

And on Saturday afternoons I load up my crockpot with dinner so that when we walk in from Mass right before dinner, it's waiting for us. Oh I love this change for us!

dinner

Of course I love that we are missed by our friends on Sunday mornings. But the good news is that we only have church school three out of four weeks in a month so that once a month we'll go back to Sunday mornings. But we'll all be together. And I like that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Editing Makes Me Happy

especially when I'm supposed to be making the girls and Scott's lunch, I'm mentally wiped from this week (and it's only Tuesday), and I just don't want to do what I should be doing!

abigail hat

My how they grow too fast.

When a Tricky Week Gets Trickier

I won't say bad because there is good in all days, good in all tricky weeks.  But this is one of those weeks when I can hardly wait for Sunday night to come (yes, it sort of continues until Sunday evening) 

One more thing got added to Thursday night that I had forgotten about. 

One more car had to go in the shop. 

We walked to school today... not too much fun on the ice and piles of unshoveled sidewalks.

And on and on. 

But I press on and find the good...

I got to walk with Anna to school and I got to push Abigail in the stroller to school today.  Anna didn't complain one bit running behind my 'get them there on time' pace.  And boy did Abigail love being pushed in the stroller.  (until we got close to her line and she asked to get out and park it in the bike rack so that her friends wouldn't see her being pushed like a baby)

The fresh air felt good.

Scott has a more flexible schedule that he used to and is able to pick up the girls from school.

We'll have our car tomorrow night.

We can't go to group viola class this evening so the girls and I will be home when Scott heads back to work.

So there is good, so much good in even a tricky week. 

And just some pictures that don't fit this post at all. 

Abigail celebrated her 100th day of school two weeks ago.  Her very clever and awesome Kinder teacher had the children dress as if they were 100 years old.  Grandma provided the shall, gloves, and hat.  It was adorable!  And it makes me smile.  Life is good. 

(old ladies sitting around playing card games and such)
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(it was Valentines day too so I couldn't go all out on looking 100)
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(and this is their 'oh my aching back' pose)
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Moments

(please excuse the 'flash in your face', unedited pictures. 
and here's a little music...


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Last week Scott's Mom came after work to visit the girls.  She had planned and shopped for a cute craft to do with them.  A 'Leprechaun Trap'.  They covered their shoe box with white paper and decorated it.  And then when it was all done she showed them that on the night before St. Patrick's Day they were to set up their traps filled with fake jewels and pretend gold.  The Leprechaun would of course head into the trap after all of the fake riches and wala... they'd have themselves a leprechaun. 

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They've decided that on St. Patrick's Day morning they will let that caught leprechaun go... only when he tells them where he's hidden a real pot of gold.

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Pure Grandma magic! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Morning

Music that makes me smile even on Monday 'after vacation week' morning. 

Sunday night blues... I've got them bad.  Usually this blog is a place for the happy things in our lives but I just can't help it tonight.  After we've all been home for nine days I dread going back to the 'go go go' schedule that we keep. 

Scott usually sits down with me on Sunday night to go over our schedule just so that we don't have any major surprises coming up through the week.  And it's the normal business with a few overlapping times and places we need to be.  I have to stay after the girls usual viola lesson for a parent class but of course that's one of the three evenings he's not home so I'll have them with me.  Add in a 'car in the shop' day an important 'pull out of school doctors appointment' and I'm thrown.

I know it's all relative.  So many moms wish they could be home with their kids to figure out these scheduling problems.  But changes to our routine... well... I'm just not good at those. 

So I'll dig in and do these crazy days hoping that next time we sit down to talk through the week it'll be 'business as usual'.  Those are the weeks that I love... my house tidy, mostly clean, dinners prepared, and me not stressed.  I know that my peace and calm makes the whole house peaceful and calm. 

With many of these things I have choices, which is one of the reasons we talk through our schedules.  We decide what would be too much for our girls, too much for the two of us, or just too much for our family.  We know that we sink (not stink but really sink) as a family without some unscheduled, play, connect, happy time on the weekend.  Running from one activity to another does not fill us with what we crave all week, just plain time.  So we choose our activities so wisely that sometime I panic when 'extra' events are thrown into the mix.  I want to say no to all of them but gently Scott reminds me that sometimes connections with other people can not be maintained when it's 'convenient' for us, and that sometimes we just 'have to' when we don't  want to put one more thing on the calendar. 

So I'll get to bed super early tonight and wake up to exercise and have a few minutes of quiet time before 'I'm on'.  I'll smile and thank my lucky stars that I'm the one to wake them up in the morning and get them on their way. And through the day no matter what the calendar says. 

School mornings mostly look like this...

She's hard to wake.
abigail

And she's hard to get moving.
anna

This one us often grumpy for the first few minutes of breakfast.
abigail breakfast


Almost out the door.. just a quick stop for chapped lips.
almost out the door

Friday, February 22, 2013

Little Purse Camera Post

collage

donut after Mass
how she rides in the car
we love playmobil
viola practice posing
reading Junie B Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine to her
cozy on the couch with a chapter book
valentine nail polish deciding
she's always got a book in her hands

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Simple Jam Muffins with Orange Glaze

Music

I feel like I say the same thing over and over. But it's the truth... oh how I love when my girls are home with me. We're not doing anything special this week off but I'm in my glory. My camera hasn't been picked up until today... and I only snapped a quick picture of some muffins that Abigail and I made. (Well, except for a photo shoot I did of my brother and his family... who are having a baby any minute now!) 

jam muffin

2 c biscuit baking mix
2 1/2 T sugar
1/4 cold butter
2/3 c milk
1/4 c jam, any flavor, divided

In a bowl, combine baking mix and sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in milk just until moistened.  Mixture will be thick.  Spoon one tablespoon batter into each of 9 muffin wrappers.  Top each one with one teaspoon jam.  (more if Abigail is doing this part) Spoon remaining batter equally into muffin cups.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, or until muffin tops are lightly golden.  Cool in tine for 5 minutes; remove to a wore rack.  Drizzle with Orange Glaze

1/2 c powdered sugar
2 t orange juice

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients until smooth. 

(Out of biscuit baking mix?  No problem!  For each cup needed in a recipe, use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt and 1 T shortening.)

Wishing the week would slow down. It's bitter cold outside but cozy and warm in here. I think I'll go make myself another cup of tea. Oh yes, it's winter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentines Day... more

I forgot to post these with all of the others and I just can't forget them.  The night before Valentine's Day my parents came over for dinner and we had a lovely time.

Their were presents, sweets, and love. 

2 cs

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collage 4 5

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collage 1 7

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Weekend and some Catch Up

Music

It was a super great weekend. Any weekend when we don't have plans outside of our regular agenda is ALWAYS a great weekend. And guess what? It's February Vacation Week which means that the girls and Scott are home with me all week... I'm so excited that the lunch boxes are up in the cabinet until next Sunday night! I might be a bit scarce around here until then too. We don't have plans but no plans make this mom happy!  Lot's of time for spontaneous play and sister giggles are what I'm looking forward to. 

Look what came to my bird feeder!

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I love cardinals... they are oh so beautiful! I wasn't home when they visited but Scott knew to grab the camera for me. Unfortunately they haven't been back yet. I'm hoping they will be soon. I wish I could have called my Grandpa to tell him.  But somehow I'm sure he knew. 

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I usually take a holiday down right away but I think I'll leave Valentines Day up until the end of February because I adore pink!

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After Saturday Jobs the girls picked "indoor smores" I was so cute! I highly recommend it!

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And on Sunday we headed to the prettiest little New England winter town for their 23rd annual "Winter Carnival"

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The girls wore their long church coats and a warm cape over them. It was a bit bulky with two coats but worth it for sure!

Their were street performers, bakeries set up outside, lovely shops, and of course a fun lunch with a booth overlooking a cool stream below!

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But far the girls favorite were the ice sculptures!

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collage ice

Watching the old fashioned tractor parade. I adore quaint old towns.

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It was wind whipping freezing cold but oh so much fun to do something so different.

And we ended the weekend with heart cookies that Abigail helped me make.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Music

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Phew! Holidays... even the littlest of them... wipe me out! But it was worth it. It was a happy day filled with smiles and love of course!

Here was our morning.

After school the girls had viola. (and I got to sit for an hour and a half... yahoo) When we got home Daddy had already beaten us there and it was one happy evening. I found these online and adore them. I decided to keep them hidden away until the girls walked in from their day.

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Next year I'll hang them up when I decorate for Valentines Day. So sweet!

collage  6 & 7

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The girls were overjoyed with them.

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And their little gifts. They each got a book and a nightgown. (with a matching one for their dolls)

(you gotta love then your daughter has this kind of face when she opens a book... makes my heart happy)
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We wrapped it up with dinner and desserts and a quick family picture. They only let me do one. :)

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And once the girls were fast asleep Scott made these... pomegranate martinis... yum!

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I'm looking forward to a normal weekend around here. tennis, art school, group viola, teaching rel ed, mass, and that's it. Can you believe I'm actually looking forward to laundry, organizing, and playing with my two littles (as Billie Jo would say:) )

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