Posts Tagged ‘growing family’

Had her cake AND ate it too


Yup, my little girl is now a


And to keep  with our family traditions, we partied all weekend!

We celebrated Erinn’s actual birthday at Cousin Kim’s. The girls had some friends over and surprised her with an ice-cream cake!

Birthday Cake at Kim's


Keeping with birthday tradition, Erinn was able to choose the dinner of her choice at Mom’s.

BBQ Ribs, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob & Caesar Salad


Birthday Dinner - Erinn & Renee


My TWO teenagers


We then were able to enjoy another birthday cake… Birthday girl’s choice..Yellow cake with Lemon Frosting


Make a Wish


Josh, Kait, Joe, Nate, Matt, Erinn & Nana


And before dinner, Matthew couldn’t wait to share some fun news of his own……


I have exciting news!


When we came home from Church this morning,

my FIL surprised Matty with the news that he just bought him

his first car!

Yes, he has a year to wait, but he can practice driving it as soon as gets his permit and

can do some work on it while he waits…

very impatiently….LOL

Needless to say, he is THRILLED


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Nate-Dog has finally gotten it!



For almost two years now he could

ride without the training wheels, but

was too frightened to 😦



This past weekend, he just hopped on

and Took Off!!

He has been riding every day since!

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I used the Dough Cycle on the Bread Machine yesterday, and I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. Pulling the Recipe from the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, it produced two nice size pizza doughs! I had my doubts, when Matty had a friend over, that there would be enough. Should I serve something else to go with the meal? I was out of Lettuce?..Ugh, Now I am over thinking it!

But then I remembered growing up, with my Italian grandmother & Aunt Tessie, when this was a meal that fed many of us on a cold Friday or Saturday night (granted, with their experience in our big Italian appetites, they probably made more than two pies worth of dough, but hey, I am learning) Then it dawned on me, this is what it’s all about..those kind of memories. Sure they will remember when I ordered pizza out too, and they will also probably attach to this fond memory that they had to eat some popcorn afterwards because they were still a  little hungry 😳 , but it will be  a fond memory nonetheless, if it kills me!!!! hehehe

Ok, got a bit off track there..So as I was making it, I had eyes on me from the Pizza Maker, himselfWAYNE! It was kind of nerve-racking, he was watching every move I made. I apparently make pizza a lot different than he does! It came together great and all five of us + one friend were all piled in the kitchen laughing *note* these are those fond memories I was talking about 😉

Now the moment of truth….Hubs was the first to taste test…and he LOVED it! He even complemented me on my homemade dough, which he does not know how to make! Success!!! I think this just might make it into my vault of fond memories too!

Basic Pizza Dough

1 1/3 c water          1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

3 1/2 c all-purpose flour          1 tbl sugar               1 1 /2 tsp salt

2 tsp yeast

Dump in Bread maker, programmed on dough cycle.

When machine beeps, take out right away and put on lightly floured surface, and separate into two doughs. Cover with damp towel and let rise for about 20 minutes.  I then put doughs in 2 quart-size baggies sprayed with pam, and then threw in fridge until dinner time.

When Ready to Eat, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with Pam, then roll out dough into rectangle shape, and place in pan, you can then stretch to fit. Cover with sauce and your choice of cheese and toppings. I just used shredded Mozzarella and grated parmesan. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until your cheese is bubbly and the bottom of the crust is no longer pale white

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Have you seen my son?

He answers to Matt, Matthew, Matt-man, and most affectionately.. Matty.

Only a few months have gone by since I swaddled and rocked him to sleep, smelling his sweet baby scent.

I believe it was just last week, we registered for Kindergarten and then came home and snuggled together on the couch with a 4pc Happy Meal that filled his tummy to the brim .

Just a few days ago, he couldn’t pronounce his “R” sounds and I was his Valentine.  

And it was just yesterday that he graduated 8th grade and was ready for High School.

Now there is a young man residing here, who answers to all the names listed above, but he is a whole head taller than me, shaves every day, eats every meal like it was his last and pronounces his R’s just fine. He has a hysterical sense of humor and is  great role model to the younger ones of the household.

But this handsome young man can’t be my Matty

although he does sit fairly close to me on the couch, and he does end a phone call to me with an I love you….

On second thought, I think I will hang on to this special, caring young man..as long as he will let me 🙂

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Well that’s what it feels like anyhow. Nobody sent me the memo on how things change so quickly when the kids become older and more independent. I mean, yes I knew some things would get easier..and some tougher, but somehow it has happened so quickly right before my eyes!

All of the sudden, the kids are making their own plans and finding their own rides. We ran to Home Depot with the 2 younger ones, and my daughter casually says ” I think I am going to call Grandma and see if  I can sleepover.” Then, proceed to ask Little Guy if he would like to join her???  dodododo dododododo.. You are now entering the Twilight Zone….

First off, she has never suggested that before, and second and most shocking, she has NEVER asked to spend more time with her little brother!!

When we get home, they are packing their bags, my oldest calls from his pals and asks to spend the night over there! Wow-wee!! Just 5 short years ago, I would have paid top dollar for someone to take all three off my hands, and now they are planning their own escape!

It is now 8pm, and hubby and I  are sitting on the couch dumbfounded. Yes, looking back this has happened quite a bit lately, but it just hit us NOW! What should we do? Go to bed? Watch TV? We didn’t have tons of extra money to go out to eat..so now what?? We went bowling and had a blast!! Just the two of us! It was weird at first, and I do have to admit I had considered calling my younger ones and just let them know we were going in case they changed their minds…blush! But then we bowled a few games, and then paid for a few more..having so much fun together!

Then we arrived back at Planet Earth… got a few calls from my daughter, she was bored…My mom called, she was worried at my brother…So then I decided to check in with my oldest. Dropped him a text around 10pm. Now he is very responsible, always calls and checks in without me reminding him, so I never worry about him. That was until last night!

We came home, threw ourselves on the couch both moaning how sore we were from all those extra games of bowling and wondering where our curve ball was that we use on Wii Sports! We popped some Aleve and headed to bed, when I realized my son never got back to me! Ok, now it’s almost midnight?? wait, he always texts back! I text again, and threaten him, thinking I am being blown off. Nothing . Call him. Nothing .  Hubby calls. Nothing…..now it’s 12:15 and I am starting to panic. I am worried because I am worried! I never worry, so why am I worrying now? Oh dear…. Call his friends home phone, this will settle this. Nothing . Now hubby is starting to get concerned too. So, now at 12:35, we are both in our PJ’s, in the cold, driving to his friends home. Lights are out, and not all the cars are there..oh boy… Hubby knocks on the door..and five minutes later, two sleepy-headed teenagers answer the door! THANK GOD! They fell asleep on the couch early watching a movie, and only his dad was home, snoozing upstairs…. We get back in the car, and I start to shake. Holy Cow!

We crawl back into bed after I ate half a bottle of Tums, and then I realize it’s only easier in some aspects, but even harder in others.

Can I promise this won’t happen again? Not a chance!

As I am writing this, the cat has just threw up on the floor, my daughter has texted me three times, and hubby just walked by with an attitude…Aahhhhhh, no more Twilight Zone..I am back

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Trying to make ends meet, and still staying within my grocery budget has become next to impossible!  I used to be able to feed my family of five under $100 a week..well those days are long gone

I do understand why…

1) having a teenage boy has made a huge difference..he eats for 2, maybe 3 people! And when there is 1 teenage boy, there is usually another right behind him, so we rarely have dinner without a guest or two!

2) grocery prices have gone up

3) we have been trying to eat more fresh produce, which hikes up the bill a bit

So now my goal is to figure out what my new budget can reasonably be and how to keep it under that! Growing up, we very rarely had a “meatless” meal, so I am guilty of  upholding that tradition. Which brings me to my first, of many, dilemma….

Can we have meatless meals?? How would my family, who is picky about their veggies, handle this change? And if they are on board, how many days of the week can we do it? Oh boy, now my mind is spinning. What is there besides spaghetti & pizza? This will be my project for the next few days…Searching Meatless recipes and feeling out the family…Wish me luck

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