Allan built this desk in Tom's room.  He used a piece of countertop that was left in the basement of the house when we moved in.  It fills in the odd layout of the room where the ducting goes through the wall and Tom loves it.
 His first task at his new desk was to pen a letter of resignation.  This says: Dear Mrs. Burgess (church secretary) I quit acolyting.  Signed Tom Slotter.
Okay, then!


Boy Scout

Here's our boy in his glasses crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.



David got glasses on Saturday.  He mentioned having difficulty seeing in class and I knew I was about to lose my vision benefit so I took him in and had the exam and resulting glasses covered before my employer dropped me.

He looks very handsome in them and some say he looks like Harry Potter.  I'll have to post his picture.

Nobody in the family could remember when Alex got glasses so Scissorbill to the rescue.  He was also ten.  It's not looking good for you, Tom.  Fortunately we'll have vision insurance again by then.


New Job

I have a new job! Around November the MDS coordinator at work asked me if I've ever thought about being an MDS nurse.  I was honest and told her I really didn't even know what they do.  But when she told me the hours are very flexible my ears perked up.

So the person who was retiring retired and after a brief period of questioning whether the facility would even fill the position the job was posted, I applied and was interviewed.  I still wasn't totally sure what MDS nursing was but she explained it's filling out computerized assessments on nursing home and rehab patients and submitting them to Medicare/Medicaid for reimbursement and nursing home quality measures purposes and care planning.

I started Monday.  Right now I'm working Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and I leave shortly after the boys' bus leaves the house and I'm home in time for their return.  It's wonderful.  I can work the sixteen hours in two days if I want so I can structure a vacation in there by working Mon/Tues one week and Thurs/Fri the next.  Hallelujah!  The only caveat is that I will have to take weekend call every 8 weeks and if a nurse calls in sick I'd have to come in and supervise so the supervisor can take the floor.  Not a big deal unless it's nights and even so eight weeks is a long time.

It's a lot to learn and I've only just begun.  My mentor has been doing it for over 20 years and I'm so grateful that she's taken me under her wing and is willing to teach me everything vs. hiring someone who already knows the job and is MDS certified.

So there's something new for the old blog!


Pinewood Derby

Tom (and Allan...) won the entire pack's pinewood derby last month!


Winter Weekend

The boys spent the weekend at Foxwoods Casino and got to meet Jackie Bradley Jr.


Holiday Concert

We were treated to a beginner band holiday concert last night!


Ugly Sweater Party

We had a crowd of 20 for our Ugly Sweater Party on Saturday evening.  I failed to take many pictures  it would have been nice to have a family picture of us in our sweaters but to be honest I was too busy having fun.  I'm not a natural photographer!

This is a picture of me in my 'fruitcake' sweater waiting for the Ugly Sweater Run to start.  It was nice to get two uses out of that sweater. 

Here's Allan looking great in his ugly  sweater.  You can't tell by looking but he had spent hours cleaning the house both the weekend before and the day of the party.  It looks great. 



I can't believe it has taken me three children turning eight to realize that two doughnuts on a plate make the number eight.  Happy birthday, Tom!



We are all thankful for each other this year.  With the loss of my mom in January I'm trying really hard to keep my focus on the family that's left.

We had dinner for five this year so I wanted to keep it simple.  Everyone listed their must have and everyone helped make something.  Allan did the turkey:
We didn't spatchcock this year but we are not leaving that technique out of our toolbox since it worked well last year.  This year he seared it in a 500 degree oven and turned the bird.  It was delicious!

Alex made the mashed potatoes and opened the cranberry sauce cans:
He was also responsible for eating at least three pounds of those potatoes.  He's almost six one and he sure does eat like it.

David made the pineapple stuffing and it turned out great.  That was gone by yesterday's lunch and he made a full batch. 
Tom helped with the pumpkin pie.  We used a store bought crust and he poured the filling into the shell and then spread the whipped cream.  And like many males I've met in my life (not including you, honey) he took full credit for a minimum of effort.
That left the gravy for me.  The drippings were blackened from the high temperature so I only added a bit and used chicken broth to make up the difference.  Funny story-that's my mom's gravy boat and she laughingly told how she and my dad went years without a gravy boat because early on in their marriage she got mad at my dad (for being late?) and threw the thing at him then spent years explaining why she didn't have one before replacing it.  Now I have two so I can throw one at any time.  Consider yourself warned. 
I finished the main parts of a sweater for my sister and am sending it to her to try on for length before I do the ribbing on the sleeves and body.  I am so sick of this grey yarn and these cables I'm not going to mind if she takes awhile to get it back to me.





He carried this limb a half a mile!