Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013...

I would have to say, was a success.

We had a quiet day, and I was able to really enjoy cooking a nice dinner.
It was really fun!

Yesterday was pie day. I made an apple and a pumpkin.

The turkey that I got this year was a Butterball, and it weighed about 15 pounds.

Last night I pulled the turkey out of the tub that it had been thawing in, let it dry a bit and then put it in the roasting pan, covered in Saran wrap, to keep it from drying out. This morning I flipped it breast side down,so that the juices could get into the breast meat.
About an hour before I put it in the oven I took it out of the fridge to let it get closer to room temperature.
I decided to use a turkey sized roasting bag this year. I am really glad that I did. I stuffed it with celery, and an onion, cut in quarters. I used olive oil and salt and pepper all over it. I sealed up the bag and used the digital thermometer with the correct temperature set to alarm.
It cooked for about 3 1/2 hours, and then when it came out, I let it sit for the full 15 minutes before I started carving it. NOW I know why that is so important.

We carved it right onto the plates, and it was SO juicy!! I was amazed.

The other big discovery was the new way that I did the mashed potatoes.
I used this recipe Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes 

These were so tasty, and the crazy rush of getting potatoes mashed and ready for the table, while carving the turkey and getting everybody seated, is a thing of the past.
I had the potatoes cooked, mashed, seasoned and ready to eat, by noon! At dinner time they were nice and hot, and so were the seconds. All we had to do was scoop them out of the crock pot.

All the sides were things that we eat every year, as tradition.
We had the green beans with bacon and onion. Now, however, you can get bacon pieces pre-cut and pre-cooked, and french fried onions add a really good flavor.

I made the Jello this morning and bought some great rolls.

Tim contributed the White Zinfandel, which was really good with the Turkey.

The pies were both great!
 Not every Thanksgiving dinner comes together well.
I have had dry turkeys, cold potatoes, and pies that have flopped.
No matter what though, the best part of Thanksgiving is sitting down with the family and GIVING THANKS! We are so blest!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Day Before Thanksgiving...

It's rainy, cold, and blustery outside, and it's warm, cozy and quiet inside. I have no need to go anywhere!
We are off school for a few days, which is wonderful for all of us. Tim is off tomorrow and for the weekend, so we can enjoy family, food and fun. The boys just enjoy being home with no place to go and no school!
We will go to Mass tonight, as there isn't one in the morning.
I am going to be baking and doing the things that I need to do early. It's just nice to have a chance to slow down and appreciate all the gifts that we have been given.
Our Faith, a warm house, Tim's job, our health, our family, this nice little town, our country, and so many other things!
I am going to try to post pictures as I cook today. We'll see. I'm not really all that great about that these days.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brendan's Annual Fall Picture

He's not going to fit in that tree someday!

Two Amazing Talks....

....From Magnificat Day....

Fr Barron...

Fr Peter John Cameron....The play is one that he wrote, about St Therese of Lisieux, whose relics were present there....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Magnificat Day!!

Tim and I were so BLEST to be able to go to Philadelphia, yesterday, for Magnificat Day 2013.
The Reason
We were able to hear Fr Robert Barron, one of our favorite priests, talk about Revelation, and living in the world close to the door of Heaven.

I am hoping that they will post his talk online, and I can post it here.

We also go to hear Rev. Peter John Cameron, the editor in chief of Magnificat Magazine. He is really an amazing guy!

Here are some more pictures of the wonderful day...

Conference Center Upper Hall
The view of the lower hall of the Conference Center

Fr Barron chatting with attendees

Fr Barron
The relics of St Therese, and her parents Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin.

Archbishop Chaput

Love this backdrop!

John Sacco and Johnnette Benkovic, the MCs.


Waiting at the end of the Procession
Here He comes!! Our King!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Winter in the Air!

It's 37 degrees out there...
...and they are calling for snow on Tuesday!
I knew winter was on the way, but it didn't have to hurry!

It has been so beautiful out! 
The leaves have turned, but the days have been mild, and some of them downright warm!
The Brendan, Paul and Henry were out back having their annual leaf raking party.
Every year they get together and rake up the leaves into the biggest pile that they can.

They used to spend a lot of time jumping in the pile, but this year, only Paul was jumping. I guess they are going to have to hand down the jumping to Lilly.
Maggie really enjoyed herself though. It's definitely her thing!

The guys had a very full school week and really worked hard.
They all have the usual subjects to finish every day, but they also have things that need attention in addition to school.
All three are participating on robotics teams, and the competition is going to be tough. They have a lot to finish in a short time.
Paul's team is brand new, and it's having the usual rookie-team struggles.
Brendan is on an FTC team that has a bit more experience behind it and they seem like they are on track, They don't compete until after Christmas.
John's team is older and the kids are all very experienced, John is working on the writing aspect of the team, but their big push isn't until Spring. They still meet once a week though.

We are preparing to update the main floor bathroom somewhat. We have a couple of guys coming in to do the tile, and then Tim can do the rest of the work himself. It should be very rewarding! I can't wait to freshen it up and see something in there besides pink!
These are great winter projects. It all needs to be done, but we are so busy coming and going in the summer that we usually end up with home improvement projects piling up when we have to be in the house, and we notice how much it needs a change.

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Been Awhile...

Gee, I don't even think I can call myself a blogger if I only blog about every two weeks....
Well, part of the problem is that all the good pictures are on the computer that is a whole lot less convenient at the end of a long day. I open up the blog, think about what I want to share, and realize that I am on the wrong computer and I am going to have to switch...ugh.
So I don't. I just don't have the energy, and during the day, I really don't have time to put two luxuriously idle thoughts together. We are going steady from sun-up to sundown and long after around here.
Not making excuses, just stating the facts.
However, I will say that we are having a wonderful Fall in the midst of constant activity.
We have been able to get school under control, after a wild September. I was chasing two high schoolers and a middle schooler around a whole lot of books. Getting things started this year was a lot harder than other years. We are in a new co-op, Brendan is now in High School, and has had to deal with the shock of all the stuff that has to be read, processed, commented on, and retained. He is now in the groove, but our first month was a stunner.
John has learned how that works, but I think it was still a tough month for him.
Paul is in seventh grade and he moves along really quickly in school. He reads so fast that I don't worry too much about the load.
These guys can all type faster than I can, so they can write pretty effortlessly.

We have had fun at co-op, we have done some great field trips, we have had a bonfire, with our TORCH friends, we went to a great All Saints Mass at St Ignatius, all the boys have been busy with robotics, and getting together with friends. Last weekend John and I were so lucky to get to see The Piano Guys in concert. That was just awesome!
Brendan and Paul went out on Halloween and John went to a party.
Tim has been working really hard, and when he gets home there is always some project that needs doing.

Lilly is here quite often and we are enjoying all her silly talk and her games. She is quite taken with Grandpa, and they have some amazing adventures. Good thing he likes to pretend! She thinks his willingness to go along with all her wild imaginings is just fab! I am just Mimi, and we do quiet things when she is here. She is ready for the Little House books I think!

I may get some pictures posted tomorrow. We'll see whether I remember....