So, how was your weekend? Ours was a whirlwind. It started with the older one at a sleepover party on Friday, and then a swim meet Saturday morning. We won't do that again. He was so slow, he literally looked like he wasn't moving in the water at all. Not that we care about his times, but you could tell people were worried he was drowning. It was pretty comical for those of us who were confident he wasn't. Then there was his first basketball game, where they were lucky to escape with an 18-18 tie after being up 14-4 at the half.
I have no idea how that happened because we had the 3 and 5 year old cousins at our house for the night, and younger son and I were taking them on a tour of the school. We had a great Cousinfest, with a trip to our downtown with all kinds of holiday fun--scavenger hunts and a ukelele band singing Christmas carols at the coffee shop (no, I am not kidding; it was like stepping in to a lifestyle magazine shoot).
The little ones were supposed to go home at 1pm on Sunday, after Mass and chocolate chip pancakes, while we dropped off our older one at Party #2 of the weekend. That did not happen. The "light dusting of snow starting around 3pm" turned in to "a ton of snow starting at 11 that will make driving treacherous." By 12:15, the birthday boy was calling to say that he couldn't get to his own party due to the car accidents on both sides of the street out of his development. Another friend reported on Facebook that it took her 2.5 hours to go from the cousins' town to ours--usually a 30 minute trip. So--Cousinfest continued! We blew up the mattresses again, called friends frantically for small sized snowsuits and boots, and changed plans. The kids sledded down the hill in front of our house; we got extra Nutcracker tickets from families that suddenly couldn't get to the theater, and took all the kids (minus the oldest) to go see their two cousins dance in the Nutcracker. Even the 3 year old enjoyed it, which was awesome. The dancing cousins were so excited to have their fans--it was very sweet.
Meanwhile...I need a nap and I think blowing up my house is the easy way out of the calamity here. Beach towels are all over the floors, the entire playroom is once again host to wooden train tracks galore, the dog is exhausted, and I am so, so, so grateful for family and cousins and a new heater and a husband who is energized by the snow. Now they are calling for more snow tomorrow. Whatever. Milk and bread are in the house, chili is defrosting for the cold snap this week, the trampled-once-buried-in-the-snow lights are repaired, and we are ready. I hope.
Monday: 7pm appointment means fast dinner. I am making the Armagnac chicken since I am home today from the late opening of school.
Wednesday: spaghetti after the younger boy's art show.
Thursday: chili or chicken nuggets after the art show for the older boy.
Friday: family talent show OR NCAA soccer semifinals (Notre Dame is playing, and it's very close to our house--so I suspect that the family talent show will have to wait for next year).
Last week, I finally made the pork roast with cider cream gravy. It was still heavenly but it really is better with the amazing pork roast from the Co-op as opposed to the merely good one from the other butcher. The one from the butcher is absolutely the best for pulled pork recipes, but can be weirdly fatty for a slicing roast. (By which I mean, in a piece of meat that looks fine, there is suddenly gristle--yuck.)
My cookie swap is this week, all of a sudden, so I am in high magic-seven-layer bar production mode. My early start fizzled out when I ran out of aluminum foil. I am too old to scrape the 9x13 pan the amount needed after these without lining it.
Otherwise, merrily we roll along. One son was asked to be in our town's ecumenical every-other-year Christmas pageant--a big deal in these parts. I am excited for him; I remember going to see my friends in it when I was growing up. A baby cousin is Jesus in another church's nativity. I caved and got the Lego Star Wars and K'Nex Angry Birds advent calendars, so there is much rejoicing. (And we also have advent wreaths the boys made at church, plus other religious prep.) I haven't decorated much inside but the outside looks Griswoldian and the live tree sale is this weekend, along with the local Nutcracker performance. And of course, the elves are here. So, ready or not, Christmas and its surprises are all over the place! Wishing you easy, delicious dinners together with ones you love this week.