I really need to get back to posting our weekly happenings.  I feel kind of lost and forgetful sometimes and I think documenting all that happens around me might help me feel a bit more focused.  And/or give me a reference point when I need to recall something!

So here goes…

Christmas was Wednesday and we had a great time with the family, once again.  Hopefully I’ll find a moment to share those pictures in the next week or so.

The hit gifts with the kids were martial arts weapons:


And Apple products!

Trevor got his first smartphone!  Yep, at age 14- he got a new iPhone 5c.

Riley was going to get her first basic phone (for turning 11) and decided to spend $230 of her saved up (and birthday) money on a new iPod Touch…..we said no.  We told her we’d rather she buy an iPhone with that money- since it’s the exact same thing as an iPod, except that it also makes calls!  That way she won’t have to carry two items around.   So she ALSO got a new iPhone 5c.

Being the sweetheart that she is, she cleaned up and wiped out her old iPod Touch to give to Brooke for Christmas!

The weapons were still the hit gift, for a little while.  After the novelty of the weapons wore off, the novelty of the teeny  screens set in and we’re going on about day 4 of Phone/iPod addiction.  (That was broken on Sunday when I took them away to install screen protectors- ha!)

Thursday, the day after Christmas, Jim had to work.  The kids and I slept in and then slowly cleaned up from our Christmas festivities.  I also made Split Pea Soup using the ham bone and a few slices of leftover ham.  WOW it was delicious! Even the kids liked it!  Recipe to follow shortly.

Brooke had a dentist appointment, then the kids all had karate classes that evening.  It was back to normal after that!

Friday I had daycare.  It was only a couple kids, so  Riley and I undecorated the tree and packaged up all the rest of the Christmas decorations that were in the front room.   I don’t normally like to undecorate so soon after Christmas, but I have to tell you- having Christmas decorations up and house full of daycare kids is really NOT a good combination.   I think we lost about 11 ornaments this season.  At least 11.

We did leave our “family tree” up in the Family Room where it will likely remain until after the New Year.


Yes, it has a baby gate around it – just in case!

After lunch on Friday, the kids had a shopping day with Aunt Jill and Uncle Dwayne. Each kid had received a $25 Visa giftcard for Christmas (specifically for this event) and they were going to hit Washington Square.  Brooke told me she was going to buy herself a pair of high-heels because her old one’s are boots and they are worn out and she needs new one’s.  Alas, she came home with these:


Two pairs on sale for a total of $30!  Nice!  And now she “needs” her toenails painted again so they look good in the peep-toes:


Oh what a girly-girl.  She has all her dressed picked out and lined up for her first week back at school!

Riley texted me to let me know that she bought a cute blue and white shirt that was originally $50 and she only paid $25.  My first reaction was WHERE is there a kids’ shirt for $50?  Then I remembered she wears WOMENS clothing a lot of the time now.  Still- wondered where she was shopping at.  She texted back to say she bought it at Hollister.  And that she was embarrassed to be walking around the mall carrying the Hollister bag because it showed a boy and girl kissing.  Ewww.


Trevor spent his giftcard at Dick’s Sporting Goods on another air-soft pistol.

Anyway- the kidlets had a good time.

And here’s Riley’s shirt:


That day we received our official “Approval” letter from GreenTree (the 4100 house) so it’s time to get that ball rolling.  The letter says we must close by January 27th.  Eek!  I’m still not holding my breath until we get the keys in our hand.  More on that some other time.

Saturday morning was relaxing.  I don’t think we did anything productive until the afternoon.  I mended various items.  A stuffed white reindeer had ripped at the hoof, so I hand sewed that.  Brooke had a Puffle (??) that needed some stitching.  My brand new jeans had a seam coming undone at the crotch area- that took 3 times to fix to make the stitching match just right.  Jim’s car washing sponge was coming undone at one end, so I mended that.  Brooke’s puffy coat sleeve had a loose seam where stuffing was coming out- fixed that.  And our Ugly Christmas sweater had lost a few items and needed reinforcements before we put it away for the season, so I took care of that, too.

Side note: did you know that our Ugly Sweater won the Instagram Ugly Sweater Kit contest?  Every week a winner was drawn, and one week it was us!  Yippee!


Yippee!!  So that’s $250 in our pockets!

I was in the mood for good healthy home-cooked food all weekend.  Breakfast on Saturday was omelettes- stuffed with mushrooms, tomato, avocado and ham (and onions and bacon for Jim).  Lunch was Sandwich Thins topped with sliced turkey, provolone cheese, tomatoes and a pesto-mayo sauce.  Grilled for crispy melty goodness.  Delish!  And dinner was French Toast. Can’t win them all, can you?

For dessert I made a Skinny Taste cheesecake topped with cranberry sauce.  Skinny Taste cheesecakes are made with 1/2 Greek Yogurt instead of all Cream Cheese, and I also used Splenda instead of sugar….so it’s a bit healthier.  And it was delicious!  I was originally going to make it crustless, but decided to make a (loose crust) of Fiber One cereal, Flax Seed and a Pumpkin Flax Granola from Costco.  There was no butter or binding agent in the crust, so it was more of a loose “crust”.  But it was still delicious!  Recipe to be posted shortly.

Sunday morning we had banana pancakes!  Some of them had chocolate chips in them- yum!  Brooke and I went to the Franz outlet to stock up on bread- we were OUT!  Not a good thing when there’s a teenage boy in the house who eats 2-3 PB&J sandwiches every day!  Oopsie!

Brooke wore her PJ’s there and the lady commented.  I think Brooke was embarrassed, even though she wouldn’t admit it.  I told her she should change, but noooooooo!

OH, and Riley had a guitar lesson at our HOUSE on Friday.  Her teacher is moving back to Illinois so wanted to squeeze in one more lesson and offered to come to our house.  Riley will continue lessons via Skype.  She received a guitar stand and music stand for Christmas, so that will make playing at home a bit easier.  Her instructor commented that guitars that sit out in the open have a tendency to be played A LOT more than guitars stored in their case.  And I’ve seen that.

Riley printed off the music to FUN “Some Nights I Stay Up”.  I’m still amazed at how talented she is, how quickly she can learn a song, memorize it, play it over and over.  And for this one she’s singing along, too!

Anyway- that’s about it for this week’s recap (sans Christmas events- those will have to wait).