Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Piano Updates

Billy, Tommy, and Mary Kate were quite the performers this past week!  Last Tuesday night they were invited to play piano at a local nursing home along with their fellow piano students.  Billy and Mary Kate did this back in December, but this was Tommy's first public performance.  He was superb!  Not too shabby for having only one month of lessons so far!  I was more nervous than he was.  As you can imagine, a nursing home can be a little scary for children.  There was one resident who kept asking the kids to repeat the name of the songs they were playing because he couldn't hear them well.  He wasn't trying to be difficult, but his loud voice made it a bit scary.  They all took it in stride and put on a great performance.  The audience loved it!

On the way home I asked them about the positives from the night.  They all said the juice and cupcakes that were served were the only positives they could think of.  I reminded them of the joy they brought to the people there.  Plus, the experience of performing in front of others can boost their confidence levels.  They still think the cupcakes won over all of that.  Does anything I say sink in?

On Sunday the three of them performed at the local mall.  The Hannah Young Play a Thon is a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association.  They played for about five minutes each.  A bit nerve-wracking if you ask me....there's a lot of people walking by and a lot of distractions.  I'm pretty sure I'd be a mess if I had to do it.

Great job kiddos!  We are so proud of you.
A special shout out to Ms. Renee.  Thanks for all you do!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


My husband's job sometimes requires him to be out of town. Tomorrow he'll be returning from two consecutive trips that kept him away from home for five weeks.  Because I didn't want some mad serial killer to come and get me, I didn't mention this until now. (and for the record, for future serial killers who may be reading this, we do have a 110 lb dog that protects us.)

It wasn't dragging all 5 kids on Saturdays mornings for 8:30am basketball practice, or Thursday night 9pm pick up from practice that was hard. (Although it did give me pause to Google Pennsylvania laws for the legal age of letting kids stay home by themselves.)  Most of the time I like to have things to do.  So that stuff didn't bother me. 

However, I was lonely.  Yes, the children kept me company....sometimes more company than I wanted.  I usually pray every night for lonely people.  I always feel sad that they have no one to talk to.  But what I realized this month is that I missed the "not talking" to Bill.  Does that make sense?  Meaning, just to have that person you love next to you and have the comfortable silence that you have with no other person in the world.  What a gift.  I missed that the most.

And really, I'm just so thankful that I don't have to watch TV anymore like this.


1. Portions of this post were written to make you laugh.
2. I did not leave my children home alone.
3. I did not really watch TV like that.
4. I looked like a total dork while trying to snap that photo.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Wine

Bill and I are part of a family prayer group.  It consists of 9 couples and their children. We meet each month at someone's home.  It can be crazy because there are 31 children ranging in age from 23 to 3 years old. During our meetings we sit and share our prayer intentions and then say the rosary.  It has been something I look forward to each month.

Once a year, one of the couples invites us to their home for an "adults only" dinner  party.  John and Mary are wonderful cooks and have a great knowledge of wine.  This past Saturday night we went to their house and enjoyed a wine and food pairing. 
 ***Warning*** These pictures may make you hungry.

Parmasen Toasted Rounds
French Onion Soup
Rigatoni Bolognase
Creme Brulee
A lot of work went into this night.  John and Mary gave us all a fun and relaxing night.
Matt and Tracy

Sam and Barb
Jeff and Vicky
Michael and Donnalee
Mike and Beth
And our host and hostess for the night.....

John and Mary

Our friends Jason and Mary were in Disney so they couldn't make it. We missed you two and also Amy who was sick :( 

My date (Bill) is finishing up his month away for work.  We all missed you, but I missed you the most!

Thanks for a great night John and Mary!  

Friday, February 17, 2012


A church marquee close to my house has this quote on it.

"God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage."

A few days after I saw it I snapped this picture because it reminded me of those words.

Which in turn reminded me of this old story I heard years ago and was able to find on the internet.

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
The Struggling Butterfly StoryOne day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress.
It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
So the man decided to help the butterfly, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Which in turn again reminded me of this quote:

"That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Top Ten Love Songs

Top 10 Love Songs

10.  Suddenly by Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard

 9.  I Feel Fine by The Beatles

 8.  You Needed Me by Anne Murray

 7.  The Search Is Over by Survivor

 6.  I Go Crazy by Paul Davis

 5.  Best of My Love by The Eagles

 4.  I Don't Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith

 3.  I Have Dreamed by Frank Sinatra

2.  If  by Bread

1.  Longer by Dan Folgelberg

What are your favorites? It's hard to narrow them down, isn't it?

Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Idea

If you have young children you may have noticed that Valentine's Day is becoming more like Halloween with respect to candy.  My kids come home from school with oodles of candy.  They no longer are interested in reading the cutsie messages wondering if Spiderman really is "Swinging by to say hi" or if the princess really wants you to "Be mine."

Well, I try to not fall into that trap of  giving out candy. Part lazy-part cheap.  I went to the dollar store and got XMen and Barbie boxes for Tommy and Ann, complete with stickers or tattoos.  They seemed fine with that. Done.

Now Mary Kate on the other hand wanted to exchange too.  Her teacher sent home the class list of names.  Not sure how necessary it is for 5th graders but.....
So I searched the internet for ideas. I found this really cool site called Living Locurto.  It has this great printout for an iphone wrapped around a box of Brach's Conversation Hearts candy.  Yes, I gave in to the candy.  It was too cute not to.

If you're in need of last minute Valentines this is an easy one.  The hardest part was finding Brach's brand specifically.  Apparently the other boxes won't fit the printable. We went to 3 stores before we found them at the Giant grocery store.  Mary Kate cut each one and glued them on, needing no help from me.
Bless her little heart.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Haircut

I got a haircut today.  I gave a picture of this actress to my hairdresser because I was needing a change and I like this style. 
Alana de la Garza from Law and Order
 And this is what I ended up looking like.

So, there you have it.  I went a shade darker too.  (oops, did I just admit to coloring my hair? )

And on another note, Bill is out of town, it's Saturday night, and I'm B.O.R.E.D!  I have to entertain myself.
Hence, I'm making you look at silly pictures of me.  Thanks for putting up with me :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Everyday Happenings

~  The moms group I attend did a household item auction.  We brought in items from home we didn't want anymore and auctioned them off to each other. (a great way to get a jump start on Spring cleaning.)  The bidding started at 50 cents.  Imagine my surprise when the first item up for bid was a set of 4 glasses with a logo that was very familiar to me.  It was the famous basket  logo from the Merion Golf Club, a very swanky place near to where I grew up. (and is scheduled to host the 2013 U.S. Open)  I even worked there one summer too.  They look like this.

I got them for 50 cents.  I can't imagine why no one else wanted them!  What a find. 

~  My friend Mary Alice tipped me off about these delicious chips from Hershey.  I think the possibilities are endless, but as of right now, they make THE BEST cinnamon pancakes.

I think I'll try making the cookies next.  I know I won't be sorry.

~  I spent two hours last night trying to create a new header on the blog. I was using Picasa and it took me forever, but I was happy with the result.  When it came time to upload it onto my blog it wouldn't let me. I cannot tell you how frustrated I was.  It flashed up there some mumbo jumbo about reaching my uploading quota.  If it had worked it would have looked like this at the top of my blog. 

Maybe I'll figure it out and you'll see it up at the top at some point.

~  We had some deja vu at Wegman's today. Something in the air there must make him sleepy.  Honestly, it was before noon!  

Don't sleep and drive.
 I hope you are all having a good week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Task Oriented Kid

Billy has his morning routine down pat.  He sets his alarm, but most days he's already awake and halfway down the bunk ladder before the chimes ring.  He's dressed in no time flat.  Next he walks downstairs to the dining room, checks to make sure he's got his books, gets his lunch, and places his backpack on the couch.  You would think breakfast would be next, but no.  He puts his coat and hat on first.  Yes, he eats breakfast with his coat and hat on.  This is what he looks like.

He was tired from watching the Super Bowl the night before.  And all he wants is to finish breakfast so he can watch 5 minutes of ESPN before the bus.  Most mornings it's just the two of us awake during this time.  He doesn't say  much, but that time is special for me. 

You're a cool kid Billy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Highlights

I got a new cell phone on Friday.  It was a harrowing experience for me.  I'm glad it's over.  I'm happy with my choice.

 I did not go for the almighty IPhone.  For me, I know having one would not only confuse the heck out of me, but it would consume my every minute.  I would become addicted to it.  This is one of the many reasons I don't do Facebook. But that's a post for another time.

Saturday I'd like to forget.  Mean Mommy made an appearance and wouldn't leave.  Enough said.

Sunday was much better. Matthew wanted to clean my windows.  Far be it from me to deny him that fun.

Billy had a basketball game.  It was an ugly defeat for his team, but I still love to watch him play.  That is him on the left with the ball.

Of course, the other kids had to make their own fun. 

If you know me, you know I'm not a football fan.  But I do love the snacks that go with a good Super Bowl party.  The kids had their friends over and we went crazy with snacks. 

This is one of my favorites, the Lazy Man Potato Skin.  They're just pierogies with sour cream and bacon bits. Yum!

And, isn't it amazing how a pretty two-tiered plate can make even frozen foods look great?
We're having fun and it's only halftime. 

Crazy commercials though, huh?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No Shadow Please

So, will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow tomorrow?  If the last few days of mild weather are any indication, he'll wake up, climb out, and stay out.  Let's hope so so I can get more pics like this.  My kids LOVE not having to wear jackets. 

Of course, some homemade ice cream can only help rush Spring along.  I got this ice cream maker for Bill's birthday. It is wonderfully easy and so delicious; and magically fun for a 3 year old to watch it turn into a great treat.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Addendum:  Just saw the news....don't put those coats away just yet.  Bummer!!