Thursday, February 26, 2015

What's old is new again.

We woke up to this:

Beautiful isn't it?  

When I went to get the paper at 6:30 this morning, I took a good long look around and just soaked in the beauty.  Honestly, there is nothing more breathtaking than when everything is covered with fresh snow.  (Except maybe a sunny day at the beach, but I digress.)

Sarah has spent all morning playing with Cheyanne.  They went four wheeling and now they are sledding. 

Peter has been shoveling snow at church with my brother.  Brad takes care of the grounds at the church we grew up going to and even though it usually involves mowing and landscaping, sometimes it involves shoveling snow too.

Peter helps his uncle a lot at the church.  Sometimes its just for fun, but other times, like today, it's a paying gig.   Which is probably the main reason he excitedly hopped up from his computer game to go work.

Peter ,who normally doesn't care a thing about what he wears, has suddenly decided he wants a pair of Air Jordans.

It all started during basketball season when he got mad at me for not buying him Air Jordan basketball shoes.  He wears a man's size which means they are expensive and the price was just more than I was willing to spend. 

Unbeknownst to me, the pair of shoes I bought for his sister were Air Jordans.  However, in my defense, I bought them because they were pink (her only criteria) and they fit and they were the same price I paid for Peter's adult sized shoes.  And since it's not 1987, I didn't think anyone even cared about Air Jordans any longer.  I mean, how can something that was popular when I was in high school still be popular today?

It didn't take long for me to realize the error of my ways, when a boy from Sarah's class told me he wanted Sarah's shoes.  They're pink for Pete's sake!  I gave this kid a hard time about it and his response was, "But they're Air Jordans!!!!!!!!"


Peter has not let me forget that I got Sarah Air Jordans and just regular old Nike's for him. 

Yesterday as he was leaving for school, he mentioned that his shoes were too tight.  Sure enough. The toe was at the very end and there was absolutely no room.  I told him I would buy him some when I was out running errands that morning.  Apparently the days of him wearing whatever I buy are quickly fleeting because he immediately informed me that he needed to be there when such an important purchase was made.

When he got home from school, I had pulled up a bunch of Nikes on Kohl's website and told him to pick the ones he wanted. I had a coupon and they were all on sale. Let's get this done!

"But Mom, I really want a pair of Air Jordans," was his response.

He started googling and found these beauties:

So apparently it is 1987 or at least 1986 because the name of these shoes is "Air Jordan 1 Retro 86". 

And the price is a bargain at only $130! 

"But Mom!  The shipping is free," was Peter's response. 

I told him I would pay $50 and he could either get a pair of regular Nike's from Kohls with my coupon and the sale or he could pony up the difference and he could have these.

Still waiting on his response but I'm quite certain these are the main reason he went to shovel sidewalks with my brother this morning.

And speaking of my brother,  I wonder if there's an old pair of these Air Jordans somewhere up in the attic at my parents home.  Seems like he went through an Air Jordan phase himself back in the day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mississippi Roast - A Pinterest Gem

I found the best recipe on Pinterest.  I'm sure you've all seen it by now, but in case you some how missed this gem, here it is.

It's Mississippi Roast.  And boy is it ever deeeeee-lish!  And it's so easy.

Mississippi Roast

1 chuck roast (4-5lbs)
1 packet ranch dressing/dip mix
1 packet McCormick's Gravy Mix  (au jus)
1 stick butter
5-10 pepperoncini peppers

Mis the ranch packet and the gravy pack together.  Sprinkle on chuck roast.
Put a stick of butter on top of  the roast.  Place peppers on top.
Cook in slow cooker on low 4-6 hours until done.

And when I made it last night, I didn't even mix the spice packs.  I just sprinkled them separately.  And you read it corrrectly - there is no liquid in this other than the better when it melts.

Meat cooked in butter?  What's not to love?

It doesn't look like much in the crock pot before it cooks. 

Or even when it's done cooking.   But it is yummy! 

Give it a try next time you make a roast.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There's always tomorrow!

So, it's Monday morning again and I haven't done another post since last Monday. 

Last Monday the kids were out of school for a teacher workday and were then out Tuesday and Wednesday for snow.  And now - they are out once again for snow!  And this was totally unexpected.  Usually the weather forecasters will spend days and days predicting snow and not much happens. 

This one wasn't even on the radar.


I woke up at 5:45 with a text from my mom letting me know that schools systems in  two counties were closed. About 15 minutes later I got a text from school confirming that the kids could sleep in. 

When they finally woke up, they were excited. 

But then I reminded Sarah that she has a book report due on Friday that she needed to complete today.  And then I reminded Peter that part of his science project is due Thursday and he needs to complete it today.

In typical fashion, Sarah started doing her work with minimal complaining. Peter, however, was not going down without a fight.

And then, low and behold, he didn't bring his lined 3x5 note cards home that he needs for his research.  And of course the only cards I have here are blank because I sent all the lined cards to school with him.  And the roads are pretty slushy and gross and I'm not in the mood to get in the car and go get more.

So I tried to lovingly encourage him to do the research on notebook paper so that all he has to do tomorrow when he gets home from school is to copy the work he's already done onto the note cards.

You would have thought I proposed that he write a novel on a toothpick. 

Oh the extra work that was going to be required!  It was ridiculous of me to think that my idea was a good one! It would make much more sense to do all the work tomorrow in addition to all of his homework that he will come home with tomorrow!  Why shouldn't he be allowed to play all day today?!   It's a snow day Mom!!!

My oldest is extremely shortsighted and doesn't see the  benefit in doing the research now and then just recopying it tomorrow.  We've had lots of heated discussions this morning but I think he's finally coming around to my way of thinking.  (Especially when not doing it was going to result in not being able to play today anyway because he would be grounded.)

He loves to do tomorrow (or the next day) what he could do today. And that drives my husband crazy.  He's always regaling the kids with tales that start like this:  "When I was a kid I always did all of my work immediately upon returning home from school so that I was finished I could play without worrying about anything...."  These stories usually end with, "And this was after I walked to school and back barefooted in the snow..."

The kids are never impressed.  In fact, there's always a lot of sighing and eye rolling when the old man starts talking about his youth.  But you've got to love him for trying to inspire the youth in our home not to procrastinate.

It's an uphill battle (much like Dan's walk to school).

But the one nice thing?  When Peter and I were fighting arguing rationally discussing schoolwork, Sarah turned into wonder child/super student with lots of "look how far I've gotten with my book report mom" and "how does this sentence sound that I've worked so hard on?" 

The angel daughter likes to appear when the devil son is in the room. 

But isn't she cute?

I would take a picture of Peter who is now semi-happily doing his research, but I don't want to press my luck.

No more whammies!

Monday, February 16, 2015


It's Monday morning.  The kids are in bed thanks to a teacher workday.  Dan's at work.  I've got a load of laundry in the machine, the dishwasher is humming away and I realized - I should write a #babble post because its been ages!

So here goes:

The kids finished their basketball season this weekend.  They both had a great time and learned so much.  I'm really impressed with all they know now.  While watching Peter's game, the ref blew the whistle and I asked my dad what the call was.  Before he could answer, Sarah said, "It was a moving screen violation, Mom."  

But as much fun as I've had watching my kids play this season, I'm glad it's over.  They've been practicing since October and playing games since the first weekend in November and it's just time to be done.

We've got a few weeks before track practice starts and they are looking forward to coming straight home every day after school and quite frankly so am I.  I'm ready to put an "Out of Service" sign on the old taxi cab for a bit.

We are finally going to get some winter weather around these parts starting this afternoon.  They are calling for ice and snow starting this afternoon around 2:00.  Many of the local school systems have already called for early dismissal even though nothing has started yet. And I'm sure that if this does come as predicted, the kids won't have school tomorrow and best case will have a delay on Wednesday.  Our school can be a little more lenient with bad weather because we have no buses.  If there's ice and snow the public schools around here will be out for several days most likely.  And I know the people in New England are shaking their heads, but we just don't have the equipment to deal with snow and ice. 

Our Valentine's Day was very low key.  We had basketball Saturday morning and we went to church Saturday night because we had a basketball game on Sunday morning.  In between, Sarah made some red velvet cream cheese brownies from scratch while I observed/instructed.  I thought they were good but she said she didn't like them.  Well then - we better keep practicing until we find the perfect brownie recipe!

And that my friends, is enough babbling for one day. Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lots of Post-Its and lots of lunches.

I've been packing Dan's lunch every day since we were married.  I'm not sure when I started, but at some point along the way, I added a Post-It Note with a Bible verse.  And for some reason I couldn't bear to throw away the notes.  So I started a folder where I stashed all those verses. 

14 years of love, lunch and a little Word from God. 

And while I may have grumbled while preparing some (many!) of those lunches, I never complained about picking a verse for him. 

I hope those verses remind him of my love for him while he's eating his lunch even if he heard me grouse while I was fixing it.  And I hope those words remind him of God's love for him even when (especially when!) things aren't going the way we had hoped.  

I like to think of it as a daily Valentine - just one more way to show Dan how much I love him!

Your word is the truth. So let this truth make them completely yours. - John 17:17 (CEV)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A peak inside my brain...

I knew that Valentine's Day was this weekend.  I knew because I tried to get reservations at several places Dan and I wanted to eat and they were booked already - unless of course we wanted to eat dinner at 11:00 AM. 

So it looks like we will be celebrating our grand love of one another on a day other than February 14th. And honestly, that's fine by me. On a holiday (especially on V-Day) restaurants are overcrowded and you always get the feeling that you are being rushed in and rushed out.  No thanks.

I needed to get the kids something for Valentine's Day so in my mind I decided that this would be the morning that I would go to Target.

Yesterday, as I was looking around my house, I realized that I really needed to do some purging, organizing, and general purpose straightening.  And I thought to myself, "Now's the perfect time.  I'll grab some baskets and organizey type items when I'm at Target getting the kid's their Valentine's Day gift.  And it's perfect timing because it's January and everyone has their organizey type items on sale in January.

Dum dum dummmmmmmmmm.

And then I realized that it's NOT January.  It's February!  And not just February but practically the MIDDLE of February. 

My poor brain has been spinning around like that since Christmas.  And this mom, the one who is never ready for summer vacation to start, is totally ready.  My brain needs a break!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm back. And with pictures!

Catholic Schools Week is behind us and I feel like I might be able to catch my breath just a little.  Not too big of a breath though because we are now working on next year's PTO budget as well as recruiting new officers for next year.

In the meanwhile, my house is a total mess.  There are piles of stuff everywhere and I'm not normally a pile person.  I may have one little pile of papers in the office on any given day but the rest of the house is usually pretty orderly.  Not clean mind you, but at least neat.   krawczykk@dhcmc.comI keep telling myself I can always clean next week.  Although, I did have to break down and clean the kid's bathrooms the other day.  If I don't keep on top of that one, the toothpaste residue becomes so hard and so thick that the best tool for the job is a chisel.  But I got to their sinks just in the nick of time so no need to mess around in Dan's toolbox.

In other news of things I'm behind on - I finally downloaded our Christmas photos.  And the only reason I did that is because I finally took some pictures of the kids playing basketball. 

Fear not though, I'm not going to post any Christmas pictures.  However, here are a few shots from last Saturday's game.  I know you want to see my kids running up and down the court.  Everyone does! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The boss and his tea.

I've been up to my eyeballs in basketball, PTO meetings, and planning for Catholic Schools Week.  I haven't abandoned my little corner of the internet but it sure feels like it.

Hopefully things will settle down a little next week and I can get back here on a regular basis, but until then, here's something that made me chuckle over Christmas.

Peter has been really pressuring me to let him drink coffee.  When I told him that it would stunt his growth, he informed me that was a myth with no scientific evidence to support it. 

And even if that's the case (which it most likely is, but who has the time other than Peter to actually research it?), I still don't think 12-year-olds need to drink coffee.   But he was really pestering me good so I gave in and let him have a cup of tea.

Here he is in the process of fixing that cup of tea:

After he let it steep, added some milk and sugar and stirred, he grabbed the cup in his hands, walked over to Sarah and gesturing with the mug said, "Do you have those reports completed that I asked you for last week?  I need them for my meeting."

Sarah gave him a confused look and just rolled her eyes.

Not sure if he ever got the information he needed for his meeting or not!

Monday, January 19, 2015

My selfish prayer. (Alternately Titled: Thank God for unanswered prayers.)

I postponed ordering and shipping Christmas presents as long as I could.  We always go to Massachusetts to celebrate with Dan's family. Always. But his brother, Bob, was struggling with colon cancer and the chemo treatments, and his sister had just started a new job and was only going to be up there for a couple of days and I just felt like Christmas and where we would be celebrating was one giant question mark. The last thing I wanted to do was to order and ship everything to Massachusetts only to realize that we would need to celebrate in Virginia or North Carolina.

But Bob was adamant that he wanted to spend Christmas in Massachusetts so we made the plan.  He would ride up with us and would stay for a week and then would take the train back to Virginia with his uncle so that he could continue his treatments.  His lungs were too compromised due to the cancer to be able to fly.

Once we had the plan set, I started ordering gifts, and Christmas was on!  We were charging full steam ahead.  And I felt like we needed to make this Christmas the best one ever because honestly, I knew this would be Bob's last Christmas with us.

So I started praying.  I prayed fervently that the Lord would bless us with the best Christmas ever. I prayed repeatedly for a Christmas full of wonderful memories. I prayed passionately that the Lord would grant us generous amounts of  laughter, numerous photo opportunities, and abundant amounts of time spent enjoying each other's company.

I prayed this way out of what I thought was the goodness of my heart.  I wanted a beautiful Christmas for my kids knowing that most likely after this one, Christmas as they had known it their whole lives would be different.  I wanted special memories of a final Christmas with their beloved uncle that they could cherish for a lifetime. 

After he passed away, I was talking with Dan.  We were trying to find the goodness of God's plan in all the death and sadness we had experienced this last year.  And while talking about Bob's death, I
realized why God didn't answer my prayers for a wonderful Christmas.

In retrospect though, my prayer was a selfish prayer. I was requesting things that would be good for my kids, for my own little family. Instead of granting me my requests, God, as usual, answered in a way even better than I could have asked.

He allowed Bob two whole weeks surrounded by family and friends.  People flew in and drove in from various parts of the country to spend time with him as he was dying.  Bob's brothers, sister, and uncles got to spend huge amounts of time with him in his final days.  And my kids got to say goodbye to their uncle, knowing  that it would be the last time talking to him. He definitely knew he was loved.

He also received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to include Confession and Holy Communion.  I know that being able to receive those sacraments in his final days were a huge comfort and blessing to him.

If he had not passed away over Christmas, he most likely would have been alone in his apartment or alone in a hospital room in Virginia.  If God had to take Bob, I'm glad he chose to take him when he did so that we could be with him.

We didn't get the Christmas that we wanted, but instead, we got the Christmas that Bob needed.

And ultimately, one that we needed as well.