Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Over the past couple of days I've been hoping to come up with some inspiration for a New Year's Day post.  Each time I logged on for inspiration a certain song from Godspell kept  popping into my head.  This is true.  I am not making this up.  Then it hit me. Perhaps this verse would be the perfect resolution for all of us.  Divine intervention?  I'd like to think so.

Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

Happy New Year !!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yummy Appetizer

We've been lounging around all week, barely making it out of our pajamas. Bill's on vacation, I've done the bare minimum of laundry, and the kids have had hours of TV/Xbox time. We're all quite content.

I happened to catch a segment of the Today show earlier in the week that showcased this recipe. I had to try it and it was delicious. I thought I'd share.

This is what it looked like.

A close up...
I guess I could have made them look prettier, but I didn't know what chiffonade* meant.

Oh, and I also forgot the whole olive oil-brushing-drizzling thing and they were still good.

Here's  the recipe. Enjoy!

 Mock mascarpone crostini
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • Mock mascarpone cheese, recipe follows
  • Roasted red peppers, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade*
   Mock mascarpone
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the mock mascarpone, in a small bowl cream together the cream cheese, yogurt and vanilla extract with a hand until well blended. Refrigerate if a firmer texture is desired. Use in recipes as an inexpensive alternative to mascarpone.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bread slices lightly with olive oil and season with salt. Bake in the oven until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Allow to cool. Spread the toasts with mock mascarpone cheese and top with roasted red pepper slices, basil, olive oil and salt.
Serving Size
4 servings

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Weekend Catch-Up

I'll try to be brief, but we've had some fun-filled days that I must blog about.

Thursday Matthew and I headed to a near-by nursing home to sing Chrismas carols with some of our friends. I love to see the faces of the residents. They really enjoy seeing the little ones. Too cute!

Yes, he was the only boy and LOVING it!
 Friday was my nephew's first birthday!! A great party for an adorable boy.
Happy Birthday Michael!!
Proud Mom Amy

Proud Dad Mike
I didn't  get a picture of Mike and Amy together with Michael, but someone took a nice picture of this cute couple:

Thanks for inviting us to your party. We love you!
Christmas Eve is when Bill's side of the family celebrates. This has become a very special night for me. My second date with Bill was this night back in 1996. It's a good story for another time. But this night consists of about 75 people now and is complete with Christmas carols around the piano. I often say I fell in love with his family before him. (but he followed close behind : )

Let the caroling begin.....
And the matriarch of the family, enjoying it all....

Christmas morning:

Had to post this.
I didn't take too many pictures in the morning. We opened, ate, dressed, went to mass, and headed to our next event.  Back in the car third day in a row. ( a lot easier than hosting, so I'm not complaining ).
Billy and Matt decided to recharge during the ride.
My sister and brother in law hosted this year. Their home is so warm and welcoming. The food was delicious and the company the BEST!

Thanks for a great night Gracie and Mike!

Monday and Tuesday were spent in our pajamas.....or in Bill's case, a leopard-print Snuggie.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"BP For J"

I should be wrapping Christmas gifts, but had to share pictures from the Moms N Tots 10th Annual Birthday Party for Jesus!!

A time with friends......

A story.....
A song.....

A craft.....

A game.....

And of course birthday cake.....

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Quote For Today

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
                      -Sydney J. Harris

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weekend Highlights

Wow! Has it really been a week since I last posted? Lots of fun events going on around here.

Event #1: Bill was off from work on Friday and was able to join me and Matt to see Thomas and Ann's holiday concert at school. So cute.

That's Tommy in the middle-white shirt/green tie.
Event #2: Saturday was the Piano Recital for Billy and Mary Kate. It was such a beautiful event. We couldn't be more pleased with their teacher. She organizes and  puts on the most beautiful and classy recital, all out of the goodness of her heart. What I like best is seeing year to year how much the children grow and improve. Lots of our friends are also part of the recital, so it makes it that much more exciting and special.  Billy and Mary Kate did a fabulous job. I'm so proud of them.

Event #3. PAR-TAY Saturday night with our friends from the parish retreat.....our extended family. I love these peeps! What a great time. Thanks Tim and Cathy!

Event # 4. Sexy Six Get-Together. All six of us met for dinner Sunday night. Always a good time.

This was my dessert:

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Good Friend

About one year ago the mother's group I attend did a "get to know you" exercise. I sat around a table with a group of  about twenty women. We were given a few minutes to tell everyone a little bit about ourselves. We could say whatever we wanted. Most of the time we heard stories  about where one grew up, went to college, how they met  their husband, etc. Very cut and dry. I could easily talk about that stuff.  But the more I listened, the more nervous I got. I heard women telling about their many different hobbies, where they worked, and even dreams of higher education. I was amazed. I sat there feeling very down about myself. I had no hobbies. I had no goals. What would I say when it came to be my turn to talk? Luckily I didn't have to find out. Time ran out and we had to adjourn. I left there feeling worthless and continued to feel like that for weeks after.

I mentioned to a  friend these feelings and a few days later I received something in the mail from her. It was a book from a Christian motivational speaker named Joyce Meyer. The book was called The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations. To quote the review: This compact devotional includes 365 brief inspirations about the issues most prevalent for women today that directly affect their self-confidence.
I felt much better after reading just a few pages. Each devotion gives an example of an issue women face, how it can sometimes make us feel ( badly ), a bible verse to counteract that feeling, and a message from the author about our worth in the eyes of God. Wow!  It really hit home. I felt so much better. The book helped.

Now, let's get back to the friend who sent it to me. She's one of the Sexy Six. She's been my friend for as long as I can remember. (except from 6th to 8th grade when she dumped me for the 'cool' kids). She's been there for me too many times to count....through good and bad. She's made me laugh to tears and wiped away many tears. When my mother made me wear snow boots on my way to high school, this friend let me sneak back into my saddle shoes when I reached her house. (sorry Mom) She's the one who is responsible for hounding us to get  together so we never neglect the friendship that is so special. As the rest of The Six say, "She is the spice to our hoagie".

So here's to Marianne.  Thanks for your friendship, your love, and the book! All are treasures to me.
Ps. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Tree Hunt

This weekend we did our annual Christmas tree "hunt." We went to the Poconos to a farm we've never been to before. In fact, you could say it's somewhat of a famous farm. Back in 2006, the White House Christmas tree was taken from here.

We were welcomed by this guy:
Last minute instructions and glove fix:

Just his size:

I think we found it.....

Some visitors use the farm's chainsaw crew, but Bill came equipped with his muscles:

He had lots of help:
Mission accomplished:
When I was growing up a friend of mine and her family traveled from the Philadelphia area to the Poconos to cut down their Christmas tree. I alway thought this was CRA-ZY considering you could just go to any street corner and get a tree. Even this time I was thinking that somewhat when we were dealing with the grumpy one who was hungry, the desperate one who had "to go", and the weepy one who was upset we didn't decide on the tree she wanted. But it really is a blast doing this together, and even those slight blips in the day add to the memory. So to quote my mother, "Don't knock it 'til you try it!"

And here is the finished product....TA-DA!!

Just a tad too big to fit the star on correctly, but all in all it's a darn good tree.