Sunday, December 04, 2016

Christmas Decorating Day!

I will tell you about all of the good things, later, today I'm going to show you pictures from one of my favorite days each year.

Friday night we got the tree and put it in the stand waiting for the excitement of Saturday :)

Once dusk fell on Saturday we set the table with a variety of finger foods and let the decorating begin.

It was Lucy's turn to put the star on the tree.  This was the first year Sam hasn't had to lift a child.

Then we all sat around the tree and listened to "O Christmas Tree". :)

Putting up the nativity

Wish balls - Each year we write a new wish and look through our old wishes.  This was our 7th year doing them so it was fun to look back at past wishes.

Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, had salted caramel brownies and a "fancy" drink while we enjoyed the candle light. Perfect!

Our advent readings are going well.  Last night we read An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco.  This was a new story for us and we were quite disturbed at the end!  Good story, but sad! 

Friday, December 02, 2016

Hard Things

Let's start with the hard things from the past few weeks....

1.  I was visiting my grandmother and missed a step as I was leaving.  My ankle was swollen and painful for a couple of days, but then fine.  Now though there is a pain in my calf when I step on it a certain way so I am walking gingerly on it.

2. The day after falling, I dropped off Amelia at soccer practice and then Lucy, Toby and I decided to play "Left, Right, Straight" which is a game where they tell me which direction to drive in and randomly drive around.  About three minutes into the game, a buck with large antlers came bounding across the road and into the front of my van.  We were all fine, except the deer. The police came and the van was towed and obviously is a total loss, which was sad because it had about 270,000 miles and was running well.

3. I then got a uti which was persistent and difficult to get rid of.

Onto the good things tomorrow!

Thursday, December 01, 2016


This year for our nightly Advent readings, we will continue to use the Jesus Storybook Bible - one story a night which ends right with the birth of Jesus.  We will also use our little preschool book that we have used every year.  The kids laugh at it now but they enjoy the silly little rhymes.  This year instead of using one of our normal advent storybooks I chose 25 books off of this list - Picture Books for December and ordered them from the library.  We will read one each evening.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Recipes

This year I made, like I always do:

Cranberry Sauce
Sausage, Apple and Leek Stuffing
Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball

and my new ones were:

Pear Cornmeal Cake with Rosemary Syrup - This was delicious, tasted like a cornbread but had the layer of pears at the bottom and the rosemary glaze - definitely different.

Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding - This was more popular than I anticipated although I already knew if was delicious because a co-worker made it a few months ago.  I kept the sauce separate and people could put on as much as they wanted.

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin - Yum! But I love gruyere cheese.  I also used spinach and butternut instead of swiss chard and sweet potato, which she does say is an option. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family reminded me that I have a blog! :)  Life has been crazy and one would think I would blog all of the "excitement" but I haven't.  I'll try to get to that tomorrow.  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It remains my favorite holiday and I made a variety of new dishes this year which were quite delicious.  I'll share those tomorrow also or at least schedule a post with them.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 4 and 5

Hmmm, well this one went to plan as far as time.  We were home by 4:45 which is miraculous, but then I just felt sick and exhausted so I spent a lot of time in bed, not baking and cooking.  Ah well, such is life.

Day 5 was the school apple pie making day, 7,000 pies in one day, so I didn't get home until late.

Today Sam's doing hockey and soccer.  I'm going to a face to face session with the online class I'm taking and then we're celebrating Rachel's birthday this evening!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day 3

Day 3 went to plan with just a few changes.

1.  We found out the bottoms to Amelia's bathing suit weren't in the swimming bag so no swimming lessons.

2.  I wanted to watch the debate so I ended up staying at my parents to watch it (since we do not have cable) and then Amelia ended up sleeping over their house because it was late.

In great news, I finally finished 1/4 of Task 1 for my licensure.  In order to get my administrator's license from the state I have to complete four lengthy tasks.  I've been looking at them for a year and have been hesitant to begin, because I'm at a private school which makes everything complicated, and because the state is still working out the kinks.  So I finally decided to take a class "Data Driven Decision Making" because at the end of this class you will have finished Task 1. Hopefully once I've submitted Task 1 to the state I will feel more confident to complete the remaining tasks on my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 2

Not quite as good as Day 1, but that's because Sam and I both had plans in the evening which made it busier on that end.

We did leave school only 23 minutes later than planned, so that's an improvement!  We didn't cook anything because I was going out to eat and we had limited time, but we did eat our pulled pork leftovers from Sunday, and finished up the apple dumplings Sam made this past weekend.

Toby and Amelia were in bed super early because they were grumpy and exhausted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Operation Take Back My Life, Day 1

So this past weekend, I decided it was time to try to work the weekly schedule to allow us to actually come home.  Due to my job and volleyball season, we have been living at the school.  The Smitten Kitchen recipes keep showing up on Facebook and I keep wanting to make them but I have no time.  We were eating dinner at the concession stand three times last week.

So.  I wrote out the schedule with me coming home and whatever children are available to come home, coming home.  This means that some days we have to go pick up Lucy later but it beats staying in Whitinsville for hours. I also printed out the recipes that I was looking at and bought everything to make them all.  This means we will be having a lot of desserts for dinner this week. :)

Day 1 (Monday):  We ended up leaving school 30 minutes later than planned, but still quite an improvement.  Toby went through the recipes and chose Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Slaw and Feta. They were delicious and everyone liked them.  Amelia went to soccer.  Sam picked Lucy up.  It was lovely.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thursday, October 06, 2016

So little time, so much to say

Here's the scoop.  This blog is on my calendar every day to update and every day it's the easiest thing to move to the next day.  So today's the day, who knows when the next update will come...

I have been:

- working.  One of our 1st grade teachers was in a car accident last week that left her with significant injuries.  She will not be back for quite awhile so I was involved in classroom triage last week and this week I'm hiring someone to take her place until she comes back.  I will be micromanaging this class because it is very important that we provide a consistent, successful program for the students.

- enrolled in a course. Data-Driven Decision Making.  I am taking this course to help me with my final tasks that I need to finish to get my administrator's license.  I could do the four tasks on my own, but at the end of this course I will have the first task completed and submitted to the state which will give me more confidence to complete the last three on my own.  

- taking another course with some of the school community - Effective Education for Children with Down Syndrome in School.

- sleeping over my parents a few nights over the past two weeks because they are away.  We call it "going on vacation to Whitinsville".  We've been enjoying watching tv!

- spending weekends doing fun things, along with other necessary things. Start on the Street, Six Flags, Garlic and Arts Festival, visiting grandparents in Boston.

Sam has been:

- working.  He's enjoying the new location and job very much.  After all, they serve a great breakfast and lunch each day!  He likes the other parts also.

- picking the children up from school some days and bringing them all over for their after school activities.  I couldn't do my job without him!

- mountain biking in Douglas and playing basketball at church.

Lucy has been:

- walking to visit Granny after school.

- living a life of volleyball.  Practice or game every day, Monday through Friday.  It's exciting to watch her games, she's pretty good!

- sleeping over friends' houses.

- working on her children's book she started last year.  She's almost done!

Toby has been:

- enjoying his new year of hockey, teams are still be worked out, they are trying to make them more fair this year.

- enjoying another round of fencing classes.

- participating in hockey skills classes at the DCU center.

- participating in the MS Drama Club with a goal to perform in the Spring musical , Alice in Wonderland.

- doing very well academically in 6th grade.

- going to the orthodontist for the first time.  Turns out he is missing an adult tooth, has adult teeth that have no space to come down, and it all ultimately means that he needs four teeth pulled and braces put on.  But for now we don't have to come back for 6 months so that's great!

Amelia has been:

- playing soccer, so much fun to watch!  She's been asked to be on two winter leagues, not sure we'll do both.

- taking Level 2 swimming lessons.

- participating in an after school club, Once Upon a Pops, learning songs they will sing at the Pops Concert.

- writing a story about a ladybug.

- practicing piano without too much complaining.

- complaining about her clothes and how she is sick of them.  (I still have summer clothes out.)

- loving GEMS, a church group for girls her age.

Friday, September 23, 2016


She lost another tooth this past week so now her mouth is full of holes!  She is enjoying Level 2 swimming lessons and excelling in soccer.  She was recruited for a club team this weekend but we haven't decided yet.  She is super strong (just like her dad was at her age) and she enjoys showing off her strength.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


I've finished a few books recently.

Devoted - This is a young adult novel and I didn't really like it.  I don't like when authors seems to dumb things down, but perhaps young adults do.

Vanishing Acts - This book was fine, but definitely not a favorite.  I did like one paragraph which you will see below.  This is an interesting take on having your children "live your dreams".

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I received a thank you gift last week from a grandmother of one of our students. Inside was a beautiful oil diffuser and two oils.  Our house smelled like peppermint and lavender over the weekend. The diffuser has a timer on it and a light, both are upgrades from the one I have at school.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


We had a fun weekend!

Friday night Lucy had her first home volleyball game.  They lost but she played well.  Saturday morning Toby had hockey tryouts.  Then onto Amelia's first soccer game of the season, followed by celebrating Lucy's 14th birthday.  We had both set of grandparents at some of the various events, along with Rachel and Liam, and great-grandmas.  Sunday we went to a sprinkle shower for my sister-in-law, Anne, who is due with her 6th child in October!  Then more hockey tryouts and getting everything ready for the new week.

Breakfast and gifts in bed

Her friend, Anna, slept over.

She's 14!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Test Results

I received all my blood work test results and all appears to be fine.  My vitamin D is low so I'm taking a vitamin.  My cholesterol was elevated, but that's not making me tired.  We'll see how this week goes.

I still have not received the results from my SEI MTEL test that I took eight weeks ago!  How can it take this long to score it???????

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Typical Day

I'm in awe of our schedule, it keeps getting busier and busier as each child adds activities they want to do.  They all are good activities and most center in Whitinsville so they are workable, but still....

Here's my school day today:

Meeting at:

Here's the afternoon today:

3:00 - Work meeting for me
3:00 - Toby - cello practice
3:00 - Lucy - food pantry
4:45 - Lucy - Volleyball
5:00 - Amelia - Swimming Lessons
6:15 - Lucy - done
6:30 - Amelia - Church group
7:30 Work meeting for me
8:00 - Amelia - done, Sam picks up all kids and goes home
10:00 - I'll head home

Poor Toby is just along for the ride pretty much.  He's starting up fencing on Thursday and hockey starts on Saturday.

I'm enjoying the challenge of coordinating. :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Labor Day Weekend

This extended day weekend was much needed for our family. By Friday night we will all ready to rest and relax. (Except for Sam since he had Friday off!)

Saturday Toby spent twelve hours at a youth group camp event with friends.  Amelia went to the Woodstock Fair with my parents, and Lucy, Sam and I went shopping for volleyball clothing/shoes and out to eat.

Sunday we went to church and then headed right to Six Flags.  We picked up our season passes for next year which are also good for the remainder of this year.  This means that instead of spending 48.99 per person for one visit plus $25 for parking.  We spent $51.99 per person and get free parking, for now and next season.  It was actually cheaper to buy the season pass even if we never go again!

As for the park itself it was incredibly busy and lines were long.  If I could offer one recommendation it would be to open a single rider line on the rides.  There are a lot of empty seats on rides that people are waiting a long time for, this would help cut down at least some time.  We also purchased a 2017 drink cup that is free refills for now and next season.  It was $23.99 and we filled it up 6 times so I think we are already making good headway with saving money on it.  It was stolen while Sam was on a ride and they replaced it, which I was happy about.  My favorite ride was the Wicked Cyclone, Lucy's favorite was Mind Eraser, Toby liked Tornado, and Amelia's favorite was Pandemonium.  Sam's out biking so I can't ask him.

We got home late Sunday night, we stayed until closing at 10pm.  We had a relaxing morning on Monday and then Amelia and I finally tackled her bedroom.  Every summer we deep clean the bedrooms and we never got to Amelia's because I didn't feel up to it.  She has a lot of stuff!

I decided it couldn't be put off any longer so she and I set a goal of three hours and it took us two, not bad at all, and now I feel better just having it done!

We're back to school this morning and Sam starts at his new school today.  We are out straight with our evenings now that sports have started back up and Lucy is on the volleyball team, so hopefully that one day extra of rest and non-work was enough to hold us for a bit.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I went to the doctor yesterday because I've been so tired...and I've been going to bed early, 9pm most nights.

I hadn't been to the doctor or had blood work taken in two years, so he had a full panel of blood tests done and we'll see.

Toby had his first real day of Middle School on Monday.  Parts were difficult, but he survived.  Lucy has volleyball tryouts this week and was super excited to find out she made the JV team!   Amelia is loving 3rd grade.  Her teacher is going with a flexible seating plan this year, so they have high tables, low tables, balance balls, wiggle seats, pillows, etc.  It's a great environment for Amelia.

Sam has his first PD day today and then tomorrow and has Friday off before he starts back to school on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Yesterday we caught up on sleep which was lovely.

We had some money left in our FSA which had to be used this week so Sam had an eye appointment at Target (who knew?) and then got new glasses.

The kids and I went to see Kubo and the Two Strings.  It was excellent.  I also made Director status with my movie rewards card so now we get free refills on popcorn and sodas!

One of the trailers had the following quote, "Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong."  I love this...

Now we're watching some Malcolm before heading to bed.  Weekends are great!

Friday, August 26, 2016

First Week of School

We are doing it...

Parts of it feel hard - getting up SO early, making lunches, helping new students navigate the transition, showing parents how the pick-up/dismissal line work...

Parts of it feel good - time to work during the day, going to bed earlier, satisfaction at the end of the day that all of the "to-dos" are done, smooth middle school and new teacher transitions for Lucy, Toby and Amelia...

We're tired, mostly.  Lucy and Toby are off to their middle school retreat.  Plans for the weekend are minimal - survival, relaxation and getting ready for another week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Day of School 2016

Yesterday was the first day of school.  Lucy is in 8th grade, Toby in 6th and Amelia is in 2nd.  It was a good day for all.  I enjoyed being back in a regular school routine, as principal. Excuse the dark pictures.  It was 6:00am and seemed pretty light when I took them, but I guess not.

 This is Lucy wearing the same dress Amelia wore, except Lucy wore it for her first day of Kindergarten!