Friday, December 19, 2014

6 Days Till Christmas - Party Time!

Not Christmas party, birthday party.  My daughter's long awaited, long planned, long talked about, long stressed over party.  After 2 months of prepping for her quarter century celebration, the day has arrived.

I got up at my regular time, and started on breakfast.  I have my prayer and devotion time before I get out of bed, so that I start my day on the right foot.  I let my son sleep a little longer as my daughter came over to get her Christmas bark out of the fridge where it stayed setting overnight.  We had to break it apart, which lent itself to taste-testing (you wouldn't want to serve something to your guests that you hadn't tried before, right?).  I like that it's sweet and salty at the same time.  I don't like that every bite has about 1700 calories.  Why must birthdays and holidays be so fattening?

I was glad to see that my son's PE teacher had put last week's live lesson recording up, finally.  His teachers usually post them the same day, but apparently his PE teacher thought the lesson was up.  We emailed her yesterday and she posted it, so he was able to watch last week's lesson and right afterwards he participated in this week's lesson.  That really helped with getting his time in.  He still has to do his exercises today and tomorrow and record them.  He was so glad that his teacher said they could use Wii Fit for resistance exercises.  Work-outs and video games are my son's preferred combination.  He managed to do 4 hours of work today, leaving one hour to get his week's hours in. We'll be able to get that done tomorrow. 

As he did schoolwork, I did housework.  My daughter had several errands to run, so it was up to me to get the floor swept, the bathrooms cleaned up, furniture cleaned, that sort of thing.  I stopped to help E a couple of times but mostly he worked on his own while I took care of the house.  I decided there was no reason for lunch to be complicated, so I whipped up some spaghetti and shrimp.  Then back to getting the house ready for party time.

The menu is more about desserts than actual food.  Pizza was finally decided upon, along with my daughter's popular Buffalo chicken dip.  She decided to have a hot chocolate bar with whipped cream, Andes candies, candy canes, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, that sort of thing.  There's also gonna be cake (of course) and cookies shaped like snowflakes that her friend is baking.  If it were up to my little girl there would be a menu to rival Denny's, but I had to reign her in; we don't have the space or the time to make 100 different appetizers, meals, snacks and desserts.  I think what she has planned is enough and then some.

We got ourselves ready early. I had to take my nephew and niece to their karate class, so before I left I showered and did my makeup. I used the new Delight set I got from Bare Minerals. It's gorgeous! Since I was gonna wear a top my kids gave me that is an orange or rather melon color, the peach tones of this set were perfect. I left, got the kids to karate, and when I got home my package from Bare Escentuals was outside my front door. I'd hoped it would get there before I did my makeup, but it's okay. I still look great ;-). I'll be taking pictures and posting what I got in this shipment, probably over the weekend. 

I'm gonna be leaving in a few minutes to pick up the pizzas. I know I won't have any time to post later on, so I'll say goodnight now.  Have a great Friday night y'all. Details of the party will be posted tomorrow Lord willing, so stay tuned!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Countdown Is On - One Week Till Christmas!

It seems so hard to believe that we are just one week away from Christmas.  The time has flown!

I went to bed early last night; I was totally exhausted after our Awana evening.  So I was in bed by 10:30 and awake by 4:00 am.  Don't you just hate that?!  I stayed in bed, though.  If I got up I'd wake the whole house, and that certainly wouldn't be thoughtful.  I eventually dozed off (like an hour later) and woke up at 7:00 am with my stomach doing all kinds of flips.  That's what I get for eating pastries at 8:45 in the evening.  I know myself only too well, that eating at that hour of the night will give me a major stomachache and won't let me sleep.  I guess I'll know better next time.  Yeah, right.

My ancient computer has been acting up again, so I asked my son R to take a look at it.  He found a lot of junk going on in the background that needed to get deleted.  This computer was my daughter's.  She got it a year before going off to college.  She graduated in 2012.  So this computer has been with us since 2007, making it an antique.  When she gave it to me she didn't delete a bunch of school programs she'd downloaded, and they were taking up precious computer space.  Add to that the Norton Antivirus that we haven't used in like, forever, that was still running in the background, and it's no wonder my computer was slow.  He got to work on it, and I went to the grocery store.  I have to do my 2 week shopping trip this weekend, and I was trying to figure out a menu plan for the next two weeks, but it's difficult if you don't know what's on sale.  So I went to Winn-Dixie to pick up meats.  I purchased 3 packages of ground beef at $3.99/lb.  I know that last time I said I wasn't going to pay that much for ground beef when it was $3.79/lb at Costco, but the Costco ground beef was so fatty!  When I would brown the meat I'd have all this grease to get rid of.  Better to pay a bit more and get better quality beef.  I got pork chops and a pork shoulder as well, and a few staples that I knew I needed like onions, potatoes, rice, etc.  In all I spent $79 but the only meat I need to get now is the turkey for Christmas Eve.  I still have plenty of shopping to do but I'll leave that for Walmart.  Much as I hate going there, the prices on canned goods and frozen foods are cheaper for the most part.  The turkey I'll get at Publix.  Theirs is the best.

I took E to the park for his PE assignment.  He has to do several tasks to show how he has improved in his exercises since the semester started.  Well, I'm pleased to say he shaved off another 19 seconds on his mile run!  He was huffin' and puffin' but he finished in 10 min 48 sec.  This was better than the times he'd had when he had daily PE in school, so we are very happy about it.  He won't be turning in this assignment till Saturday, since he has to show 3 days of exercising, but it's okay.  The teacher says this assignment isn't due till January 18.  I'm having him do it now because he needs to finish his hours for the week, and he's done with all his other classes.  We took our time doing the science lab (translation: dragged it out as far as we could) and that got turned in today; it was the only assignment he had left to complete.  With exercising and watching documentaries on ocean life he was able to complete his hours for today, but I'm at a loss as to what we'll do tomorrow.  He has one live lesson that he has to attend, and his PE.  He'll be doing lots of reading and documentary watching I guess.

We had sandwiches for lunch and dinner today.  I kept it simple because I just didn't know what to make.  I have those days sometimes, when nothing sounds appealing.  Thankfully my kids don't make a fuss.  As long as there's food to eat they're happy.

I remembered something today:  I have some outdoor penguin decorations in the shed that hadn't been put outside!  How in the world did I forget that?!  Penguins are my favorite Christmas decoration.  I have all kinds of decor for Christmas - villages, musical and animated figurines, Santas, Nativity scenes, and enough items in storage to make the North Pole come alive in South Florida.  I could live without any of them, except for my Nativities and my penguins.  Oh, and my rabbits.  I have the Lloyd family from back when I sold House Of Lloyd, and I love them.  Anyway, after dinner and before the sun went down, I got my two penguins out of the shed.  One is made of metal and is holding a hot cup of tea, and the other is a light up cutie pie that is now on the pavers next to the front door.  Both were gifts from my dearest friend DPP.  I have to give her a call soon.  I really do miss her.  She'd moved out to Arizona at the beginning of the year, but thankfully she's back.  I don't have many friends, and she is one that I truly treasure.

Oh!  I got my Ulta order today!  The gift set I got so the kids could give to their dad...is a lot smaller than I expected.  I'm glad I got a bunch of stuff to go with it.  It was all freebies but it makes it a much nicer gift which makes my kids happy.  I also got my Bare Minerals Delight and Dazzle set that I'd ordered for myself.  The original price was $49; it was on sale for $34 and I had $8 in reward money, so I ended up paying $26 for it.  It's wonderful!  All the products are full size.  I have 2 new eyeshadows, 2 new blushes, 2 eyeliners and 2 lip glosses.  I'm debating which set I'm gonna try first!  The Delight set is for daytime, and the Dazzle set is for night.  I like that the Delight set has peachy colors.  I don't have anything in those tones so it'll be a nice change once in awhile.  

My daughter got home from work, then headed straight to the store to pick up supplies for her birthday celebration, happening tomorrow.  Her birthday is actually December 27, but since it's 2 days after Christmas and so many folks are out of town, she decided it would be best to do it 2 weeks before.  I'll have all the details to her festivities here on my blog either tomorrow or Saturday.  She did make something she calls reindeer bark, with crushed Oreos, pretzels, and more goodies, topped with melted almond bark and M&M's.  It looks pretty tasty, but it has to go into the fridge to harden.  It'll be interesting to see what everyone thinks!

I sat down to relax and watch some videos, and I kept dozing off.  I'm tired because I was awake at 4 am.  I'm gonna try to stay awake, but no guarantees.  I think I'll be snoozing before 11:00 rolls around.  Oh well.  Good night.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

That's right, wonderful.  Why not?  We are 7 days away from Christmas Eve.  I think that qualifies as wonderful!

My day started early and pretty normal.  Cereal, toast and coffee for breakfast.  My son's schedule was pretty packed today for a change:  he had 5 assignments to do, but one he'd done yesterday and the other he'd started, so he was ahead of the game.  He also had 3 live lessons to attend, so I got him up early to get started - it was gonna be a busy day.  At 9:30 he logged on to his music history class.  The teacher never showed up.  I guess the class was cancelled, but search as we might we couldn't find any announcement from her.  I told E he needed to keep working even if the teacher wasn't there, so he worked on his music history lab:  questions regarding the music of the Renaissance.  At 10:00 am he logged in to his science class.  Another lab, but this one the class did together and she said he could use her notes and results for his portfolio.  He's gonna leave that assignment for tomorrow, since he has all of tomorrow's assignments caught up.  After that it was algebra.  This particular class was really important:  he hadn't done a collaboration for algebra, and if he didn't do this one he'd get a zero.  Not only did he do his collab, the teacher gave the class credit for 2 assignments with the one class/collaboration, so he's now done with algebra till after Christmas break.  Once that class was done he finished his music history lab and submitted it.  Two classes down.  He still has his PE assignment, and an English assignment for Friday, plus sending in the science lab.  Once that's done, he can relax.

Today's lunch was fried chicken tenders, stuffing with gravy, corn, and a salad with fresh greens from my garden.  This is a butter type lettuce but while it has some sweetness to it, it also has some bitterness, kind of like endive.  It's very crunchy too.  I'm really enjoying it.  There was a little housework to be done while my son took his live lessons:  sweeping up an enormous amount of dog hair (well, it felt enormous, anyway), cleaning the hallway bathroom, and getting a load of laundry in the wash.  Other than that there wasn't a whole lot to do.

Today was our church's end of year mid-week services.  I serve as an Awana leader, and my son attends youth group.  Both had their parties for today:  Awana had a Happy Birthday Jesus party, and the youth had their Christmas Fiesta.  I showered early and did my hair; it's been about 6 weeks since I got my last haircut and already it's getting harder to style because it's grown so much.  My hair grows like a weed.  I hear women complain about how slowly their hair grows.  Mine is the exact opposite.  Maybe it's all the vitamins I take or something, because my hair has no growth issues.  I've been using a sample of Matrix Oil Wonders Egyptian Hibiscus Color Caring Oil (say that three times fast) that I received with one of my Ulta orders.  It can be used before shampooing, before conditioning, or as an after conditioning treatment.  It's supposed to make color treated hair more vibrant.  I will admit my hair color does look brighter, but I don't know if that's because our humidity has gone down and my hair doesn't get frizzy like in the summer or during the rainy season.  So far my hair feels nice.  I would have to try it during the time when my hair looks its worse to see if there's really a change.

I kept my makeup look simple today, but I did try the new blush I got from Bare Minerals.  It is so pretty!  It's a light pink shade, not overly pink, very natural looking.  My daughter has been using hers too, and she likes it as well.  She's been having a rough time with excessively dry skin, though.  I don't know if it's because she was taking medicine for her rosacea, or if maybe it's the dryness in the air, but her skin gets downright flaky.  She's been trying different moisturizers but none seems to stop the dryness for very long.  She got some intense hydrating cream by Burt's Bees last night, and it seemed to be working - her skin felt smoother this morning.  When she got home from work I thought she looked much better, till she got up close to me and I could see the skin flaking under her makeup.  She's getting frustrated; whenever her skin starts to clear up from acne the rosacea flares up, and when the rosacea calms down her skin gets drier than the desert.  The cleansing products she's using work great.  It's the moisturizers that aren't doing the job.  We are on the search for a potent moisturizing cream.

Back to Awana:  our evening started out fun.  The party room, which is the school cafeteria, was decked out with balloons for Jesus' birthday.  After the pledge of allegiance and prayer, we broke off into separate rooms by groups for counsel time.  This is the time when the kids listen to a teaching.  One of the kids, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was acting up, so we took the rest of the kids while several of the leaders stayed behind.  It was a good thing we left - he became violent towards the leaders and one of the pastors and had to be held down by 3 men so he wouldn't attack one of the female leaders.  It put a damper on the festivities for the adults, but thankfully we were able to shield the children and they had a fantastic time.  We loaded them up with sugar before sending them home ;-).  I ate a bit too much as well; I'll suffer for this in the morning, I'm sure, but hey, Christmas only comes once a year, right?  Actually, the teaching was about was how Christmas isn't about shopping or Black Friday or gifts or food, it's about God so loved the world (John 3:16).  So really, Christmas is everyday, because everyday we are loved by our Heavenly Father.  That is a comforting truth.

We have no Awana now for the next two week.  I'm gonna miss my girls, but I'm also gonna enjoy my wonderful kids and vacation time.  Looking forward to that!  Good night folks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tackling Tuesday

Did you ever get the feeling you were the last person to find out about something?  Like everyone is in on the secret but you?  That was me this morning.  The world is progressing forward and I'm stuck in neutral.

Last night my computer (which is pretty old, by the way) started acting up as it sometimes does.  I shut it down multiple times but for whatever reason I could not get internet access.  At all.  It wouldn't recognize our wireless network or any other wireless network in the area.  I was concerned because this is the computer my son uses for his schoolwork.  He can't get Java to work on his computer so he watches all his live lessons on mine, and today he had two. I prayed this morning that my son would be able to figure out what was wrong with the computer before 10 am when E's first lesson started.  As soon as R woke up I told him what had happened last night.  He walked over to the computer, pressed a button on the top of the keyboard, and all the wireless connections came up.  I sat there in amazement and asked what he'd done?  His matter-of-fact answer:  "I turned on the wireless."  I couldn't do anything but laugh my head off at what an idiot I was.  I must have turned the wireless off without realizing it.  Even funnier, I pointed to another button and told the boys I'd thought that was the button for the wireless.  My 14 year old said, "No Mom, that turns off the mousepad."  I shook my head and wondered when I'd left the prehistoric era and landed here in the 21st century.

Breakfast today was pretty basic:  one fried egg, 2 strips of bacon, honey wheat toast with homemade apple butter, and coffee.  Lunch will be tacos, with lettuce from my backyard.  I'd started a garden months ago but had given up on it when the caterpillars waged war and were winning.  Still, without even trying, my lettuce seeds sprang up and I have large gorgeous lettuce leaves ready for the picking.  Not only that, but I was watching our dog Molly and happened to look at my tomato plant.  There's a tomato growing!  The first one on this plant!  I stopped watering this plant because I was sure it was a dud.  It grew and grew but never gave me a single tomato.  Now it has a small tomato and 2 more little tomato buds.  Proof again that I plant, I even water, but it's God who makes things grow.

I watched Alexandrea Garza's new video this morning and had to tell my daughter about it.  She goes over her evening skin care routine, and there were some really good pointers.  For instance, why hadn't I thought of using Johnson's Baby Shampoo to remove eye makeup?!  Oh my goodness, that is genius!  It's gentle on the eyes and cleans really well, plus it's way cheaper than any makeup remover on the market!  She also had some advise for people with extra dry skin which my daughter suffers from.  Especially now that the humidity has gone down, our skin gets drier than usual, and her skin gets downright flaky.  Her regular moisturizer isn't doing a good enough job; hopefully she can find something that will work for her.  My daughter has started using Michael Todd products which are totally organic, since she has sensitive skin.  Hopefully a good moisturizer regiment will also help improve her complexion.

I thought today was gonna be another busy school day; after all, E had a couple of assignments to do, and 2 live lessons.  He went in for his first live lesson, English class.  Except it wasn't a class per se, it was review and question time for their end of semester assignment.  The class is writing a thesis on Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail (which is an inspirational read).  They've done the thesis statement, introduction, body paragraphs, and today they were writing the conclusion.  It took all of half an hour.  So he read his book till his next live lesson, leadership.  Turns out the teacher had cancelled the class because they are just about finished with the semester.  So he did his reading for leadership, wrote his conclusion paragraph, and was done in 3 hours.  Great.  He needs 5 hours of work per day.  We went ahead and started working on his music history lab, but I don't want him getting to far ahead of himself; the rest of the week is really light, and if he does all the work today and tomorrow he'll have nothing to do the rest of the week.  I'm looking forward to Christmas break so I don't have to figure out what schoolwork to do.

While my son was listening to his English teacher review for his assignment, I took our dog Molly out for her bath.  Molly is an American bulldog mix.  She acts very much like an American bulldog, except that lately she had gotten to digging in the backyard.  She comes to the door with filthy paws.  She also has taken to rolling in the dirt, causing her to stink to high heaven.  I was dying to get her cleaned up good but it had been too chilly out - we have to bathe her outside because she absolutely HATES getting a bath and she would not stay still for a moment to get bathed inside the house.  Besides, she sheds enough to build a second dog, and I can't imagine the damage her hair would do to our plumbing.  The weather has gotten nicer the last couple of days; 50's in the morning, 70's in the afternoon, 60's in the evening.  I had to wait till the sun came out so I could give her a bath without her freezing.  Now, normally I tie Molly up to the patio furniture to get her bathed because if I don't she'll run off.  The patio furniture is light, but she wouldn't move it because the sound it made against the patio floor would scare her (she's part dog, part chicken).  Today, however, she decided she wasn't having anything to do with cleaning or water or shampoo or anything.  I brought the hose out and started getting her wet.  All of a sudden, she bolted.  And I mean she was taking everything that was in her path!  She knocked down one of the patio chairs, a large planter, the glass from the patio table she was tied to went flying and only by God's grace landed on the grass and didn't shatter, and she ended up on the other side of the house, patio table still dragging behind her, where she turned and gave me that look said, "I'm in trouble, aren't I?"  Yeah, you better believe it!  I not only had to give her a bath, I also had to put the patio back together again.  She was in the doghouse, so to speak, after that little incident.

I got the email from Ulta today:  my order has shipped :-).  I'm glad; it's one less thing I have to worry about.  The Bare Escentuals orders are also supposed to ship this week, in time to receive them for Christmas, though none of the items we ordered are actually Christmas gifts.  Of course, there might be a birthday gift for my little girl, whose birthday is two days later ;-).

Tonight was our weekly group run, and I met up with my friend DS at the corner of our block.  We live about a mile away from the meeting spot for our running group, so DS and I sometimes go there on foot.  We took my son E since he'd been cooped up at home all day.  The night was brisk - 61 degrees felt nice for our walk/jog around the neighborhood.  DS and I don't usually run like the others in the group; we either walk or jog, so we lag behind and chit-chat the whole time.  Tonight we were walking along a path that is directly behind a bunch of houses, and there is a concrete wall separating the houses from the sidewalk.  My son E was a few feet ahead of us, running.  As we walked something along the top of the wall caught my eye.  It was a possum.  Possums are nothing more than giant rats as far as I'm concerned, and anyone who knows me knows I hate rats.  I let out a scream, grabbed my friend DS, pulled her away from the wall and yelled, "Run!!"  I hit my turbo button and took off like a mad woman, DS was trying to run but didn't know what was going on, and my son turned around and wondered, "What in the world are they doing?!"  He heard laughter and thought maybe we were laughing at a joke.  Then he saw us running and thought we were racing!  It wasn't until I'd gotten far enough that I told them what I'd seen.  It was so hilarious, we couldn't stop talking about it and laughing!  Even our exercise time is an adventure!

Oh, and I did change the background on my blog today.  The background I had was pretty but it was more appropriate for spring; this background is more of a winter theme, but not too wintery - it's not like we get snow or anything.  Hope it looks appealing!  Have a good night y'all.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Musings

It's the day after my birthday, and life is back to normal.  Yesterday I was a celebrity, today I'm just an ordinary mom.  Fame is so fleeting...

After eating out yesterday my stomach needed to get back to normal, too.  We don't eat out very much; Little Caesar's pizza is about the only thing we ever have, and that's maybe once a month.  Our digestive systems don't do well eating restaurant food (well, except for R.  That boy could eat rock soup and be just fine).  For breakfast I had cereal and toast along with my morning coffee.  My son E had an upset stomach last night, and today he was still not completely himself.  He ate quite a few chicken wings and drank a whole lotta Coke.  Ramen noodle soup is the remedy for that in my house; that, and a little bicarb.  My daughter was also complaining that she didn't feel well, and since they were the ones eating the chicken wings I have to suspect it was that.  We've had Buffalo Wild Wings before and been okay.  It may just be the amount they had - probably 10 wings apiece.  Lesson learned.

As I sat down to breakfast I went on the Bare Minerals website to see what was going on (my daughter says I'm obsessed).  It's a good thing I did - Beauty Rush!!!  I've explained this before, but:  Beauty Rush is when Bare Escentuals needs to clear their inventory, so they put all kinds of stuff at 50% - 70% off the regular price, and with many items this is the last chance to get them.  Beauty Rush is never pre-announced - they simply put it on their website the day of.  My daughter had already left for work when I realized Beauty Rush was going on today so I quickly texted her.  The sale started at 9 am PT (Bare Escentuals is in the San Francisco area) so I told her to be ready at noon.  No sooner had the clock chimed 12, we were on the site and texting back and forth!  We decided to combine our orders, since $50 is needed to get free shipping, and they were offering a free gift for orders over $65.  We both had just enough for free shipping but not the free gift; by combining our orders we got both.  I ordered a kit called Weekend Getaway, which includes a really nice rose gold train case, a well-rested eyeliner in Nude, a rich brown eyeliner, a plum brown lipliner, 2 lip glosses, a brightening mineral veil (which is a face powder with some highlight), all for $28. I also got the Bronze Affair Kit which is a bronzer/highlighter compact with brush for $12, a lip palette for $10, and my daughter and I each got the Natural Light Face Lifting Duo for $8 (regular price is $19!).  My daughter also got the Addicted to Peach collection for $25 - good thing she ordered early, since they actually ran out shortly after.  She also ordered an eyeshadow kit for $8 and a lip palette for $10.  We were trying not to go overboard but it was hard!!  Such great deals are hard to pass up.

School was pretty good today.  My son had 4 assignments to get done; two for today and two that are due by Wednesday.  He finished 3 of the 4 before laying down for a bit; his head was hurting because his stomach was still feeling queasy.  I figured he'd done pretty well under the circumstances so I didn't give him a hard time.

I had laundry to put away today - 5 baskets of laundry to be exact.  At 4:30 I went out and started picking up the branches and coconuts that had fallen from the trees in our backyard, and as I rolled the trash can to the curb I looked at my house with the backwards lights.  It's 10 days till Christmas and I hadn't been able to turn on my Christmas lights because I hadn't set them right.  I had to take care of that today, or I knew I'd never get it done.  My older kids were both at work, so it was me and my headachy son, but since he only had to hold the ladder steady (and call 911 if I fell off), I went to work righting the wrong.  I'm pleased to announce that we now have Christmas lights that are lit!  Now there's a feeling of satisfaction!

I hadn't heard from Ulta on my order placed a week ago, so I gave them a call.  They usually ship on time, so I knew it had to do with the Christmas rush, but I also wanted to be sure it would ship and arrive before Christmas.  My kids want to give their dad his gift on the right day.  They assured me that I should have a tracking number within the next couple of days, and that if the order does ship late they will expedite shipping at no extra charge.  Now that's good customer service!  I only have this order and one Amazon order that ships on Friday, and all my Christmas items will be under the tree.  It has taken longer this year because of shipping.  I usually have all my shopping done and all packages under the tree by mid-December.  

While my son took a break from school to rest, I went to see how much stuff was left from the Beauty Rush sale.  What I didn't know was that, as items run out, new items are put up.  There was stuff I hadn't seen before, that if I'd have known they were gonna have them I would have waited!  Order number 2 started to form as soon as I realized they had skin care products on Beauty Rush!  I found a 3 piece kit called Radiant and Glowing, which contains an eye serum, neck cream and toner wipes, all for $24.  These items all cost over $34 each on their own!  And they're full sized!  I also found a kit called Face Fashion, with 2 eyeshadows, blush, mascara and lip gloss, all for $12!!  I knew that wasn't there before because I'd have snatched it up in a hurry!  Add to that the Complexion Superstars kit, with 2 different mineral veils, blush, bronzer and highlighter, plus a brush, for $22.  Just one of the mineral veils costs that much!  Oh, how I love a sale!

I'm finishing up this post on my cellphone. For some unknown reason, my computer decided it didn't want to work anymore and went black. I shut it down 4 times. It came back up but could not find the internet. It was trying to find broadband. ?? We haven't had broadband in years. It also changed the date on the computer to 9/1/2007. My son E says it probably went to a past save or something. My son R is still at work; he's my computer genius. I'll have to wait till tomorrow to get that taken care of. It's pretty urgent - that's the computer with all my son's schoolwork. Never a dull moment is what I say. Well, goodnight y'all. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's My Birthday!!

The day is here!  I awoke this morning feeling...a day older.  And another day thankful.  I have so much to be thankful for!  God has been good to me.  I'm thankful for each day, for each year, and for each moment.  Today, I praise Him for one more year of life and health.

I got up early today (as I usually do) and began to get ready for church.  My daughter was awake and packing up her car - she plays guitar with the youth ministry band and had to be at church early for practice.  She was the first to wish me a happy birthday and give me my present:  she knows how much I'd been wanting to see the Disney movie Saving Mr. Banks, and she got me the DVD.  I love Tom Hanks, he is such an amazing actor, and I saw previews of him playing Mr. Walt Disney in this movie.  He is a genius!  I can't wait to watch the movie later on.  Underneath the movie I could see a gift card, but she said it was from her little brother who was still asleep, so I decided to wait till he got up to take a look at it.  I made breakfast and got myself a cup of coffee, then woke up my youngest son.  I didn't want to wake up my oldest son R; he had pulled a double shift at work the day before and I wanted to let him sleep in.  He got up early anyway, and gave me a big birthday hug.  That made my day right there!  His younger brother finally got up and they gave me my gifts.  My son E gave me a $25 gift card from my favorite cosmetic store, Ulta.  Woohoo!! My oldest son got me a great recipe book:  Taste Of Home Christmas Recipes.  I love recipe books, and this one has lots of desserts which means lots of goodies for our tummies!  It made me so happy to see how well my babies know me :-).

I got to Sunday school before anyone else, so I started up the coffee and set everything up.  People started streaming in, and one of the ladies whom I've known for years (her daughter was my daughter's college roommate) wished me a happy birthday.  I thought that was so sweet.  Then as our teacher was taking prayer requests, she mentioned to the whole class that it was my birthday - it caught me off guard, but everyone was wishing me a happy birthday, and at the end of the class they prayed for a special blessing for me on my day.  That really made my heart sing!

The sermon on the prodigal son was on point - I left feeling so loved by my God, who loves me and calls me His own even when I try to go off on my own, thinking I know better than anyone.  Pastor Ray once again preached the word with truth and accuracy.  I'm so thankful for our pastor!

After church we came home and waited for my daughter so we could decide where to go out to eat.  We always go out either for lunch, dinner, or "linner" on my birthday, and I was trying to decide where to go.  I felt like having Mexican food, so I chose a Mexican restaurant that's in an outdoor mall just north of us.  My daughter came home and we all hopped in the car and headed over, only to find the place packed inside and out, and no parking anywhere.  That was going to be a long wait, and it was already 3:00.  We drove over to the main street and looked at different places to eat.  My son R spotted Buffalo Wild Wings, and we all perked up.  We are chicken wing lovers, no doubt about it.  I still felt like Mexican but I would happily have wings, so we turned in there.  Again, the place looked like it was packed, but they got us seated right away.  Once we were sitting, I was quickly reminded how much I hate football.  There were television screens everywhere, with multiple games going on, and everyone focused on the Dolphin game.  The noise was over-the-top, but with it being a Sunday, and a football Sunday at that, I knew if we left we'd run into the same thing no matter where we went, so we stayed.  I anticipated slow service but it was the absolute contrary.  We were seated right away, our order was taken, and the food came quickly.  I ordered - get this - fish tacos!  Yes, I wanted Mexican and I got it!  My younger kids got a big platter of wings which they shared, and R had chicken tenders with enormous onion rings.  Once it was clear that the Dolphins were gonna lose, the place quieted down and we had a really nice time.  My oldest son graciously paid for the entire meal.  I was so thankful to be able to have my babies with me to celebrate my birthday.

Coincidentally (or not), Ulta was on the same street as Buffalo Wild Wings - isn't that perfect? ;-)  And my boys didn't complain - there's a Barnes and Noble in the same shopping center, so while my daughter and I went cosmetics shopping, they went to look at and purchase books.  I already knew what I wanted from Ulta:  cosmetic brushes.  Some of my brushes I've had for years, and especially my blush brush is rough against my skin from washing it so much.  I was hoping to get the Real Techniques core collection since I've heard such great things about it and my daughter has their powder brush which she loves.  When we walked into the store, the first thing that caught my eye was a Bare Minerals blush and brush set that I'd seen advertised on a youtube video, and I ran to get it.  It's a full size loose powder blush in Strawberry Cream with a mini blush brush for $10!  The regular price for just the blush is $19, so I knew I wanted that beautiful pink blush!  My daughter was looking at the BareSkin serum foundation, trying to decide what color she wanted.  I have this foundation in Bare Natural, which is a neutral color.  She has used it before, but she mistakenly thought I had Bare Nude.  As she was picking different colors to look at, I pulled the Bare Nude and asked if she wanted to try that one.  Her answer:  "You've already seen me in the Nude."  What was even funnier was that she didn't realize what she'd said till I told her, "I haven't seen you in the nude in a long time."  We laughed so much!  After trying out different tones one of the sales ladies came over and helped her pick the right color for her:  Bare Ivory.  It matched her neck nicely, and helped cover the redness in her cheeks.  After that she went to look at hair products and I went in search of my brushes.  I was so disappointed to find they didn't have any more core collection brushes :-(.  I should mention, the store was pretty busy and there was a long line at the registers the whole time we were there, so I wasn't surprised they were running out of merchandise.  'Tis the season to be shopping :P.  I did find the eye brush set - I wanted new eye brushes as well, and it was the last one.  Since they didn't have the core collection I decided to just get the blush brush.  Yes, the blush I was purchasing had a blush brush, but it's a mini.  It's nice for travel or to have in my purse, but I like a big fluffy brush for blush, and this one was $8.99 which is a great deal.  I had gotten a 20% off coupon from Ulta in the mail, and with that and the gift card, I was able to get everything I wanted for $6.35.  Now that's what I call a great deal!

The trip home was nice, chatting and listening to the Duck Dynasty Christmas CD my kids gave me last year.  We pulled into the driveway, and I remembered we still haven't fixed our Christmas lights.  It was already dark so that wasn't going to happen today.  Hopefully I can get that done tomorrow.  Our house looks so sad and dark compared to the other houses on our block.

I'm gonna relax the rest of this evening, watch a movie, and enjoy what's left of my birthday.  I am so blessed, and have so much to be thankful for.  My life isn't perfect by any means; but I am loved by my God, by my family, and by my friends.  And if you have Jesus, you already have everything you need.  All the rest is bonus.  Have a good night.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Birthday Eve

The countdown is almost over - tomorrow is my birthday!  So what am I doing today to get ready?  Housework, of course :P.

I got up nice and early today because I knew my kids were meeting their dad for some more Christmas shopping.  My oldest son had to work, which probably is best since his dad and siblings were shopping for him (I think he is going to be pleasantly surprised).  I got breakfast ready for us and was enjoying Eggo waffles and bacon, when I got an alert that Shelbey had posted a new video.  As soon as I was done eating I went on youtube to watch it.  She does great makeup tutorials which I love watching, but today it was about beauty gifts for Christmas.  She had us laughing quite a bit!  I really do enjoy her videos.

After that it was time for the kids to get ready and me to start cleaning.  I had to beat a pair of my youngest son's pants; he went to get something out of his closet last night and says he saw a cockroach on his sweatpants.  That boy is terrified of cockroaches.  He didn't want to go anywhere today because he didn't want to have to think about what was in his pants :P.  He actually wanted me to take all his clothes out of the closet and wash them because the thought of a bug on his pants grossed him out so bad!  Yeah boy, that ain't happening.  So I beat the pants till he was convinced there was nothing in them, then inspected them for half an hour before putting them on.  It was quite a sight.

Because of our sweet American bulldog Molly shedding so much, I have to vacuum or sweep the floors everyday.  This week I'd swept more than vacuumed, and yesterday I didn't clean the floors at all, so this morning my floors were furry :P.  Once the kids were all gone I got to work vacuuming and mopping up her industrial strength drool.  It was on the sliding glass doors as well, and I had to scrub it to get it off.  I'm not even sure it's completely clean, but I was getting frustrated.  Every time I looked at the glass I saw another smudge of drool.  Ugh!  I love you Molly but can't you keep your saliva inside your mouth?!  And quit all the shedding, girl.  I could make a second dog with all the fur I picked up today!  So I was vacuuming the family room, and the vacuum cleaner got stuck between the two recliners.  I pulled on it to get it loose and something went wrong.  The vacuum cleaner isn't working.  Well, technically it's working, it just isn't vacuuming from the bottom portion, just from the attachment.  Which is a problem.  I'll probably have to turn the thing upside down and figure out what I did to it, or get it repaired.  Dyson vacuum cleaners don't come cheap, so replacing it isn't an option.  I'm gonna have to get it fixed.  Add that to my to do list.

Since all the kids were gone and it was just me, there was no reason to make a big meal for lunch.  I cooked up some Totino's pizza rolls and munched on those.  I also had a butter pecan ice cream bar; it's not as cold out as it's been this week so I could tolerate some ice cream.  The high today was 75 degrees.  It was breezy the whole day so I was able to keep the windows open.  The humidity was 50% which for us is pretty low.  It made the weather very pleasant and enjoyable.

It's been 5 days and my Ulta order has not shipped.  This is out of the ordinary for them, but I imagine it's because of the holiday rush.  I went ahead and emailed them anyway, just to keep them on the alert.  Wonder how long before I get an answer?

At 3:00 I went to take a shower and get ready for tonight's concert.  Last night the Christmas concert at our old church was very contemporary; tonight's concert at our church would be more traditional, with the church and school choirs coming together for a reading and singing.  This concert is a dressy event, with most folks dressed in red dresses, blouses and shirts.  I love that type of tradition, so I pulled out a long sleeved red blouse I'd gotten a couple years ago at Kohl's.  I especially like the ruching around the waist that makes me look thinner ;-).  I paired that with a black skirt with a dark pink pinstripe.  What I love about this skirt, is how the pinstripe mimics the color of the top.  With a pink top the pinstripe looks pink, with a fuschia, plum, magenta, or burgundy top, that's what the pinstripe will reflect.  With my red blouse the pinstripe looked like a light red and matched beautifully.  I had plenty of time to do my hair and makeup, get dressed and be at the church with 10 minutes to spare.  The concert started off well, and we were singing along with some of the old classics.  As Silent Night started to play, I noticed a girl in the back who was moving around, something you aren't supposed to do when you're singing in a choir.  I also saw the girls around her kind of pulling her.  I couldn't understand what was going on till the girl looked up.  She looked kind of spaced out.  I suddenly realized what was happening - she was fainting.  She went down, got back up and continued singing but went down again.  Several people went to help her up but she was in and out of consciousness.  The curtain went down, and we were left to wonder if the girl was alright.  Within a few minutes our worship pastor came out and said the young girl had been overcome apparently by the heat and lights and had passed out.  She was awake and alert but an ambulance had been called to make sure she was okay.  Thankfully the ambulance got there right away and it appears it's nothing serious.  The concert continued after 15 minutes, but it was kind of awkward after that.  Our pastor got up and spoke about the Christmas story, and about 5 people raised their hands in response to the invitation to receive the gift of salvation, the greatest gift of Christmas.  We prayed for the young girl before leaving the church.  Despite the hiccup, the concert was lovely and it was a sweet time of fellowship.

Once I got home it was time to get out of my outfit and exfoliate.  I do my facial exfoliation once a week because I have sensitive skin, and I've chosen Saturday nights so Sunday morning my skin will look radiant for church.  As I cleansed my face my daughter talked about her birthday party next Friday.  Both my daughter A and my son E were born on December 27, 10 years apart.  E will be turning 15, and A will be 25 years old.  She has decided to have a winter wonderland party, with a hot chocolate bar and desserts such as cookies and cupcakes.  That will be the main focus of the party as opposed to a big meal.  We'll have party games which is something we love, and Christmas music because it is Christmas time after all.  She has invited about 25 people so it'll be a packed house.  She's really looking forward to it.  I've got a lot of scheduling to do to make sure everything goes smoothly.  That's my type A personality working overtime.

It's almost 11:00, and the bed is calling out to me.  You know what?  I haven't got anything planned for my birthday.  Unlike my daughter, I'm choosing to play it by ear.  It's my attempt at being spontaneous, which means letting go control :-).  I'll be posting about my special day tomorrow.  Come on back for a visit, won't ya?